Belle Glade Beautiful

The 5 Minute Friday topic:


and I immediately thought of our week in Belle Glade.

BG picture

No way to do it justice.
Not in 5 minutes,
Not in 5 lifetimes!

But I want to share some of the beauty with you,
so I will attempt,
knowing that some things,
even for one who loves words,
are best shared face to face.

It was Beautiful… to see 40+ (yes, really!) girls and leaders living in unity and fun,
sharing and praying together at day’s end


Yes, we did look like a tetris board completely filled up!
Yes, we got our exercise walking/jumping to and from our mattresses each day!


It was Beautiful… to see middle school kids learn, grow, and lead Sports Camp with excellence!


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It was Beautiful… to see God call me to something crazy – seriously crazy! – during the week
AND call my husband to something similar – without either one of us knowing!!


Then see Him confirm that call in His Word

It was Beautiful… to see God answer prayer!


It was Beautiful… to see 500+ students sing in worship and surrender

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and to hear them cry out to God in prayer,
a Thursday night etched in eternal memories


It was Beautiful… to be challenged by our Student Ministries pastors twice daily

prayer notes

It was Beautiful… to share the re-cap of the week together, even though it doesn’t touch the surface.


click to watch the Belle Glade service

It IS Beautiful… to see God continuing the work He started last week!!



It WILL BE Beautiful… to see others wake up and take the challenge!
You’ve got 2 to choose from – go for both! 🙂

Prayer Pocket Challenge

Awake 514 Challenge

I’d love the company!


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Prayer Pocket Challenge

How do you put one incredible week into words?

If you’ve been on a missions trip
or to church camp,
you know what I mean.
And I was on both of those last week!

As often is the case, I had another direction to go with this post, but God changed my mind just now

because I read this


There is so much behind that great blog, but it’s for another day. What God brought to mind as I read Logan’s words was the message Pastor Aaron preached Wednesday morning

Wake Up And Pray!

Pastor Aaron talked about creating Prayer Pockets. A Prayer Pocket is something you do daily that you use as a trigger to pray – like brushing your teeth.

prayer notes

And I thought, here’s a challenge! The whole week of Belle Glade the pastors challenged us that the week was more than a week. Logan’s awake. Some of the other guys are also awake and planning things for the next year. We can be a part of that! How? Glad you asked!!

  • We can pray! Those of you who are bloggers, what about making your blog a Prayer Pocket? Every time you sit down to blog, why not pray a quick prayer for these students who were awakened last week – that God will keep them awake and use them to transform their schools and their culture?
  • If you’re not a blogger, when you read this you can pray, and ask God to give you a prayer pocket to remember the students throughout out this next year.

Would you do me a favor? Would you either write down a prayer God puts on your heart in the comments, or tell me that you’re making your blog a Prayer Pocket.

I got gooesbumps last night thinking of the prayer covering we could give these kids!!

“Prayer is the birthplace of ministry, and the fuel for its fruit.
Prayers outlive those who pray them.” Pastor Aaron

Can’t wait to see what God does as we bring these kids before Him!!

Thanks for being a part of the Great Awakening!!

cfstudent mission


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Stewarding God’s Story

If I had a penny for every metaphor of God’s writing a story in our lives over the past few weeks I’d be a rich gal! Here are just a few:

I read this tweet about giving God the pen & I wrote a post about it

God's Pen

I’ve read blogs and heard things on the radio about how God is writing a story with our lives.

Last week our Campus Pastor, Jonathan, announced the Amazing 2013 event by staying,
“We are stewards of the story God is writing with our lives.”

And I’m ok as long as there’s writing going on. As long as I see the pen moving. Action, people. I like action. You know, “Action Action We want Action! A-C-T(clap,clap,clap) I-O-N (clap,clap,clap)” Go, Do. I’m not a good “sit still”-er. Think Martha, not Mary. Because if I’m doing, moving, I have a semblance of control.

So what happens when God refills the ink of His quill pen?
What do I do when it seems like an eternity
between the time the last word was written and the next letter starts?

What do I do with the waiting?

I’m not good at it. My friend Jen Ferguson wrote this: “Why do I feel better if I’m doing something fruitless instead of being still & letting God do something magnificent?” Oh, how I relate to that! This is her take:

1Ugly vs. BeautyAfter today’s service I could say,
“Focusing on problem can make you miss the Promise who walked through the door.”

Just today God gave me some challenges from the message. (It’s worth watching! According to John Week 5.) Pastor Todd preached out of John 11, comparing the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection to the one where Jesus raised the son of the Roman official in John 4:43-54. One was an instant miracle (John 4), one was The Long Way Around (John 11). Here are some of the quotes and challenges God gave to me today:

  • Don’t despise the detour and miss what God has on the journey
  • Don’t hold onto an old thing with Jesus wants to do a new thing
  • Stop crying in the corner about your problem when the PROMISE is walking through the door!!
  • There was a crowd in John 11 – more people were affected on The Long Way Around
  • Don’t hold onto grief; Hold onto God
  • God will get you where He wants you, you might just have to take The Long Way Around. When you wonder, “Why is this taking so long??”, hang in there. God will get you where He wants you.
  • Martha & Mary thought Jesus was LATE, but He was NOT!! (this is a biggie for me!!) He was right on time for what He wanted to do that glorified God
  • It’s The Long Way Around that tests my faith. When God asks, “Do you REALLY BELIEVE it?” Like Pastor Todd said of his conversations with God: God – “I know you can preach it, sing it, pray it, admonish it, but do you really BELIEVE it. Do you really believe I AM ENOUGH for you?”
  • God cares more about changing me than changing my circumstances

And the kicker was this line from the opening video by Donta Nelson

“We should not be desperate for the miracles,
but desperate for the SOURCE”

and I realize I’ve gotten more desperate for the miracle, the testimony, than I am for the SOURCE.


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Honoring Fathers

I just posted on my Facebook…

My boys are so blessed!







and so am I




BBMom&Dad 50th

I’m so thankful for the gift of such a great Dad
who has his priorities straight
and provides an amazing example of living life for God
and of the joy of ministry!
What a legacy he has!

photo-66And I’m so thankful for Tim
and the example he provides for our boys
of how to love his wife
and walk humbly before his God.
What a legacy he is leaving!

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I am so blessed, and am thankful that my boys are too!

1 Comment

Posted by on June 16, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, Family Fun


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Love Handles Wisdom

“Love Handles”
the theme of the last Student Ministry series
about how to handle relationships in a Godly way.

During the series there were some great points like…

“Don’t worry about finding the right person. Worry about BEING the right person.”
“God cares more about your soul than your status”
“Girls, you are worth the wait.”
“Guys, marriage is worth waiting for.”

But my favorite part of the series was the end.

All during the series kids had been sending in questions about relationships. The Student Ministry Pastors chose a panel of a single gal, a single guy, a dating couple, and a married couple to answer some of those questions.


Can I just say, that panel was AWESOME!! Seriously, I was amazed at the wisdom imparted to the students! Here’s an example: Question: “What do I do if I’ve found a great person, a really Godly person, but my parents don’t want me to date?” Answer: “If your parents aren’t for it, it’s not a Godly relationship. If you have to go against your parents, you’re saying it’s ok to lie and your relationship is based on a lie.” See what I mean?!?

But still, my favorite part was the end of the panel.
Because a spontaneous idea turned out to be amazing.

My parents “happened” (really, orchestrated by God) to be visiting us and wanted to observe a Student Ministry service. They “happened” to be there during the panel discussion. When I mentioned to Pastor Aaron that Mom & Dad had been married 51 years (and started dating in 9th/10th grade), he immediately asked if they’d be willing to share one nugget of truth to the kids at the end of the panel. Since Dad is a teacher and former pastor, it wasn’t too hard for him to say yes 🙂


So they went on stage at the end of the discussion as special guests
and gave the kids one word
to help them build a lasting relationship.


Faithfulness first to God, and then to each other. They challenged the kids to follow God’s design and not mess with Him. Then they prayed a prayer of blessing over the middle schoolers. Dad got a little choked up, and so did I.

What a special night!
One of those magical memories!
I loved hearing the kids cheer for Mom & Dad.


But the best was still yet to come. They were floored by the number of kids who came up to them – especially boys! – and thanked them for sharing. They got to talk with and pray with a group of gals who sought them out. It was so gratifying to them, and to me, too!


What a great exclamation point to their 50th Anniversary celebration last year!
And what a blessing to know they’re still being used by God!


Posted by on June 10, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, WOW! Only God!


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A First!!

I’m in uncharted waters!

New territory!

I signed up to be on a launch team for Philosophy Adventure.

I’m not only learning about this amazing product,
I’m learning more about technology, social media,
and stuff we have to do –
like posting the disclosure statement below, and creating a blog hop link!
It’s a win-win for me!

And today I get to host my very own, very first give-away!!
(on my birthday!)
I’m so excited!! 🙂


Before I get to the actual review, I have to say I’ve really enjoyed being on this team. I’ve mostly enjoyed getting to know (virtually) the author of Philosophy Adventure, Stacy Farrell. Her heart for God, humility, and passion for excellence have been evident throughout this process.
Being on this launch team for the course makes me like it even more, because I know the heart behind it.

I’ve read through the text of Philosophy Adventure, and I really like what I see. I’m excited about using this with my older two boys next year. Basically each chapter introduces a famous philosopher, giving details about his life and ideas. Students then embark on a writing, thinking, and speaking activity related to that philosopher. Each chapter includes a geography component as well.

I have two aspects of this course that I just love! My favorite part of each chapter comes at the end where students get to contrast the thinking of the philosopher with the thinking of the Bible. What a great way to help teach our kids discernment! My favorite challenge in this course is the one for students to memorize the book of Philippians as they complete the course. What an awesome challenge, with eternal rewards! And what a great way for kids to renew their minds. Like I said, I love it!


Philosophy Adventure comes with a text, teacher text, and student workbook. I appreciate how I was given both a weekly time-frame for completing each chapter, and a general time-line for completing the course. The material also gives a general idea of how to count this course for high school credit, realizing that each state has specific guidelines that must be followed. I like the student workbooks because they allow students free response space as well as space to answer specific questions. I also like all the vocabulary words being at the end in a glossary, with additional space to add more words.

The three goals of the course are “to be engaging, easy to use, and empowering. Our goal is to help students retain what they learn for their lifetimes.” In my opinion Stacy and her team have accomplished each of these. I found the text easy to understand; students are encouraged to think and respond to what they’ve read; the text is color coded so students can easily identify each task given. Usually the term “philosophy” dredges up dark memories and connotations for people, unless they happen to love the subject. I think Philosophy Adventure helps change that perspective and give kids a good foundation into the discipline of philosophy.


In the introduction Stacy writes, “In fact, the future of freedom may depend upon how many of us wake up to the world of ideas and seek to discern and defend truth.” In my opinion Philosophy Adventure is a great tool to help students and families wake up to ideas, discern and defend the truth! I’m excited about the discussion and growth it will help facilitate between myself and the boys.

Will you join me on the adventure?

Enter the Rafflecopter below by 6/11/13 for your chance to win a copy of Philosophy Adventure!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

more reviews & giveaways here:


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Doing Life Together

The topic was “View”

And I had a front row seat.

It was beautiful!

To see a mom re-united with her son for the 1st time in 2+ years.

He’s active duty military; been deployed to Afghanistan.


To see a wife willing to stay behind, share her man, and be content with watching on video.

To see a life group doing life together.

To see everyone working together to make a milestone birthday surprise happen.

To hear all of us saying, “This is why we do life together.

No one person could have pulled this off alone.


To see someone have an idea

share that idea with another

who mobilized a group of people

to give, plan, and prepare

and every person’s input was crucial to the success.

To see each person thinking through different details that would have been missed by another.

To hear numerous phone conversations

and see texts flying back and forth as we gathered together.

To see adults giddy with the excitement of anticipation!

To hear boys planning ways to reveal the surprise:

“Let’s paint our faces black and belly crawl through the grass!”
“Let’s rappel from the roof!”
“Mr. Nate can be the window washer and wash her window.”
I told you he was active duty military! 🙂
He was also their life-group leader a few years ago, so he trained them well!


To see Mr. Nate lead and manage the boys,

giving them reconnaissance duties
(this did involve the roof),

and entry-point duties

which they loved, and also helped them feel a part of the event.

To see my boys experience the thrill of giving

even though they don’t really know the mom, just the son.

To hear, “Next time there’s a surprise like that I’m in!” from my boys.

To see strangers appreciate the experience.

To realize how blessed we all are to do life together!

I don’t know which was the better view –

all the planning and excitement beforehand,

or witnessing the joyous reunion!

It was beautiful!

The perfect beginning to Memorial Day weekend!


Posted by on May 28, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, WOW! Only God!


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