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Belle Glade Beautiful

The 5 Minute Friday topic:

Beautiful

and I immediately thought of our week in Belle Glade.

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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

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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!

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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!!

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Then see Him confirm that call in His Word

It was Beautiful… to see God answer prayer!

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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

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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.

ReCap

click to watch the Belle Glade service

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

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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

WILL YOU JOIN THE STUDENTS & MYSELF ON THE JOURNEY?
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

greatawakening

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!!

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UN STINKIN BELIEVEABLE! part 2

You’ve heard the Un Stinkin’ Believable! story, right?
If not, click here.
Seriously, you have to read it!

This post gives a little more background, a little more insight into my conversations with God, a little more insight into details that just make this story so very rich!!

Like I mentioned in part 1, I’ve never had such continual conversation with God. It took a few days to really process it. Truth be told, I think I still am! I was helped by a phone conversation with my friend, Michelle, as always. Here are some lessons I’m learning about how I perceive God and some of what He said to me:

  • Why won’t you ask for big?
  • You only ask for safe – what you know will be a yes answer.
  • Are you afraid I can’t handle it? You keep it small to keep it “easy” for Me.
  • You want to see Me do big things, but you won’t ask for big things from Me.
  • You don’t have because you don’t ask.
  • You know I don’t have to, so you don’t ask. Are you afraid I won’t?
  • You really don’t want to have to deal with the disappointment of a “no” or of My timing being different from yours. So you don’t ask, so you don’t have to deal with that. But in the “safe” you miss the adventure. You miss the BIG that I can be.
  • You’ve put Me in a box
  • If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it.

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How many “monuments” do I miss out on having because I am afraid to ask??
We have one big one in the living room, daily staring us in the face now!
How many more could I have?

My biggest take-away: I have created a “safe” God. I don’t want to give Him anything tooo difficult. Well, not difficult, but I just tend to stay in the safe zone. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that if I pray His promise He will answer with a yes. He promises to meet our needs. That’s not tough for me. I’ve got faith for that. It’s the “extras” – the flat screens – I have trouble with. Because those aren’t guaranteed. So I’m scared to ask. And, truth be told, I’m not sure I deserve the extras. But my fear also robs me of the amazement I can have when God does something amazing! I don’t have because I don’t ask. I don’t see beyond, because I don’t ask beyond. I caught myself again going the “safe” route today as I was praying. Started asking for big, then went small, just to make sure it wasn’t toooo hard! Silly ME!

I struggled with this same concept when we were trying to get pregnant. Tim’s Mom was always so encouraging, so certain we’d have kids. When I was walking through that valley, all I could think of was, “There’s no verse that promises ‘thou shalt have kids’.” True. But God does promise to give us the desires of our heart if we are delighting in Him.

To make the Un-Stinkin’ Believable story even more rich, you have to know that my friend
actually won this TV at her husband’s company Christmas party.
Through a long series of circumstances she still had it.
God had put us on her heart, so when she couldn’t take it back she brought it over.
She said she actually was hoping they wouldn’t take it so that she could bring it over.

Come to find out, Nathan had been praying for a flat screen! Who knew?! And Tim resisted the urge to get one awhile ago, because it wasn’t a priority in the budget, so God rewarded Tim’s discipline!

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How precious!! I love being able to share the stories on both sides and see God’s hand weaving such a beautiful tapestry. Had she come in December it still would have been amazing, but not as specific a message to our family. Not such a demonstration of God’s hand at work – in both families!!

Here’s what I wrote in my journal: God, I don’t want to put You in a box. I know You will provide for our needs, so I ask that. I don’t know how You will, I just trust that You will answer these specific requests. And I will praise You and trust You even if you say NO to some of the big requests that aren’t just needs. I continue to ask for eyes to see Your provision. I continue to ask for exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think – for YOUR glory and praise!!

PS – today I found a penny, a dime, and a quarter. 🙂
Look out world, I’m prayin’ BIG!!
I’m prayin’ UN STINKIN BELIEVABLE!!
CUZ THAT’S THE GOD I HAVE!!

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UN STINKING BELIEVABLE! part 1

yep.

That’s just how I wrote it in my journal…

UN   STINKIN   BELIEVABLE!!

I’ve been dying to share this! So here’s the story…1pennies

We’re in our 21 days of prayer and fasting. One of my prayers was, “God increase our income.” That very day I found 6 pennies sort of scattered in the library parking lot. I started laughing out loud – literally! I said, “OK. I got the message. I’ll pray more specifically.”

My next prayer: “God, increase our income in denominations of 10.” And the next day – no lie – Kerri found a dime on the parking lot as we were running at HEW! We both started laughing! And I got the message to be more specific still.

1tenThird time’s a charm, right? “Ok, God, bills, not coins.” And, seriously, we got a $10 bill in the mail!! Not totally unexpected since family usually sends that amount at Valentine’s, Easter, and Thanksgiving. But the timing, and the fact that it was a $10 bill, not 2 fives or anything different. Unbelievable!
(but not UN STINKIN BELIEVABLE yet! :-))

Then the serious conversations came.

I have never had such a long, continual back-and-forth conversation with God before in my life.
I’ve also never heard God so clearly.
He was challenging me about my perceptions of Him.

I wasn’t at the point where I could ask for big yet.But I do remember praying that God would do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think a few days earlier. Still processing.

THEN I got a phone call from a friend who asked if we were home. Her son had a surprise gift for us. Her words were, “It’s not a puppy. If you decide you don’t want it, I’ll take it back. Don’t worry.” I’m thinking we’re getting a turtle cuz her son’s turtles had babies or something. Have to admit to being a little nervous. She pulls up with her son in the van. And from the back seat they pull out

a   flat  screen  TV!

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I kid you not!!!

And I was speechless!!!!!!

Here’s our old TV.

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Suffice to say that we needed a new place for the new TV!
And I had no problem KNOWING God would provide that!!
And HE did.
We just did some rearranging, which helped us anyway!

Here are a few last tidbits for you.

  • God rewarded Tim’s patience and discipline. He really thought about getting a new TV in the fall, but resisted the urge so we could be disciplined with our finances.
  • Nathan had been praying for a flat screen, so he got to see God answer in His perfect timing
  • The boys saw the opportunity to give God glory when they tell people the story. They see it clearly as a blessing.
  • We have a daily reminder of Who God Is – and How BIG He is!!
  • My friend was so encouraged to see the timing of the whole thing…which adds to the richness of the story…and is for another post.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! 

 
23 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2013 in 1000 Gifts, WOW! Only God!

 

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F.L.A.T!

I had a “Balam & the talking donkey” experience this week.

Couldn’t go another step.

Smacked right up against that “wall” & fell Flat on my face.

F.L.A.T!

Through that experience (yes it involved one of my offspring) God kept yanking me away from myself. I got to the point where I could do nothing else but cry out to Him. And I sure did. You should have heard that prayer – maybe you did because I was praying out loud and loud at that!

And God helped me start to make some changes. Not in boys. Nope. In me. (haven’t I been here before?!?)

The next day I started my crying out to Him before my feet ever hit the floor. Not the normal “bless my day”, “Good morning Lord”, happy kind of conversational prayer. The warfare prayer. (just not as loud as the day before! :-))

Here’s what I’m realizing & remembering.

  • I need to keep up my intensity even if things “look good”. I can’t let down my guard.
  • God is the one who can change hearts. I can do everything by the book, but He is the one who makes the change
  • So I need to communicate with Him & depend on Him (haven’t I been here before, too?!?)
  • Spiritual lessons aren’t easy, but they are good!
  • Keeping a record of blessings is important. And it’s important for the boys to do that.
  • There is no immunity from spiritual warfare.
  • I wasn’t prepared for the “fight” of being a parent! I wasn’t prepared to fight for my kids. Oh sure, against the culture and stuff, but not the spiritual warfare fight.
  • BUT I’m thankful for the reminder that the fight isn’t against them. It’s against the principalities & powers of darkness in this world.
  • Our physical fitness plays a part in our spiritual fitness. For me & my family that’s most profoundly seen when we don’t get enough rest.

So how’s the rest of the week been? Better. Not perfect, but better. We’re keeping documentation so we can use it to focus on the positive. One of our writing lessons this week will be to list blessings. 🙂

And… I’m going to stop writing because it’s getting late (even though I’m a night owl), and I don’t do any better than the boys when I’m tired. But I’m thankful for the chance to sit down and process through my week – for the little bit of quiet tonight. Thanks for listening.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Proverbs 13:1 – the rest of the story

Anyone who knows me knows what a challenge posting in 21 words is for me!

I love poetry.

But I love to talk.
In fact, I have the spiritual Gift of Gab!
(not listed in any of the gifts passages, I know, but I’m sure it’s mine! :-))
My mom always jokes that my brother’s philosophy is “Why use 100 words if you can get by with ten?”
while my philosophy is “Why stop at 100 when there are thousands of words to use?!”

All that to say – see I told you I love talking! – there’s a bit more to the Proverbs 13:1 story I’d like to share. My heart was/is just too full to leave that precious time at just 21 words.

 

 

That night was the first time David had written in his journal on his own. He and I have worked through some together, but last night was solo – all the way – from the idea to the actual doing. Here are some of the neat things I got from watching the process.

the journal David used

  • David is beginning to see the importance of washing his mind with the water of God’s Word
  • He is beginning to see and use the process of journaling
  • He was able to see God working in his life
  • He is beginning to learn to meditate. He said, “I was reading this verse and then I just started to think about it.” As he thought, he got out his journal and started writing.
  • He said, “I think tomorrow is going to be a good day.” 🙂 which means he’s beginning to see the correlation between right thinking and right living.

Oh how my mommy heart sang last night! and still is!!
If you only knew some of the fierce battles we’ve had lately – specifically with David!
Trust me, there is a real enemy of our souls and he goes after the mind!!!
We’ve been doing lots of spiritual battle and prayer with God’s Word.

Last night was just a precious reminder that God has my kids. His Word is truth. It is powerful. It changes hearts, minds, attitudes. And He is such a personal God, who desires to have a relationship with each of us, no matter our age. I was beyond blessed last night to receive that priceless gift of watching my little boy follow God’s leading!!

To top it off, this morning I was reading John 7. The Jewish people got a little confused and miffed that Jesus could teach like He did without any formal training. That hit me as I thought of David last night. He doesn’t have any “formal training,” either, but he can read and understand God’s word because the Holy Spirit is his teacher. Oh Hallelujah!!

May I, may my kids, remember that God and His Word are what’s eternal.
May I model that for my boys and may they catch it!
Nothing is more important than spending time in His Word,
letting God speak to me and change my life!
And any child of God can hear and understand their Daddy speaking to them!

ANY child! 

What’s He saying to you?

 
13 Comments

Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

his life verse & it was true this weekend ~
the 2nd time he played!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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