Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Romans 6:23
23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What is the Reason For Christmas?

We had the privilege of hearing Dr. Don Stewart Sunday night at our church and he spoke about Christmas.  He shared the story of the Magi and what we can learn from that story.  These men knew what a privilege it was to be able to worship Jesus.  They knew the price it would cost to travel to see Him.  They knew what to expect.  They knew how important Jesus was to the world.  

So what is the reason for Christmas?  

One thing Dr. Stewart shared was it was because of sin that we celebrate Christmas.  It was because of sin that Jesus came to this earth to save us.  
It was that sin that forever changed our relationship with God.  
It was that sin that separated us from God.  
It was my sin, it was your sin.  But…

             there is good news!  
We have a gift that is like no other gift that you will get this Christmas~

This gift cannot be bought by money or good works.  

This gift is eternal.

This gift will not break or rot or even get eaten up by moths.

This gift was freely given by someone who loves you more than your mom and dad.

This gift can change your life forever.

This gift if from God and it an eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord!

So today, give the gift that will last a lifetime~  Share the love of Jesus with someone so they know what it means to have Jesus as Lord of their life.  Share the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Share what He has done for you.  

Prayer: Father, Thank You for Christmas!  Thank you for people who know the REAL meaning of Christmas!  Thank you that I can share this gift with others.  In Jesus Name I Pray.  Amen

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Prayer

This was my journal entry last night that I wanted to share, in case other mothers out there are struggling with the same thing.  Even if you don't have children, you may still struggle with these thoughts with family and friends in your life.

I am struggling tonight~

Struggling with so many thoughts~
     Am I a good mommy?

     Am I a good wife?

     Do I make the right decisions for my family?  

     What kind of legacy am I leaving?  

The discussion I had with my children tonight was probably too deep for this eight year old brains to even grasp.  (Sometimes I don't know when to stop and make it simple.  Do you struggle with this?)  My desire for my children today is - I want them to desire Jesus more than anything in this world!  But how do you explain that to them when they are being taught by so many outside influences to want the things in this world.  They want the next toy that can entertain them.  Or they want the latest fashion.  And I am reminded of a question that I really don't want to answer.  Why?  Because I know the answer.  The answer is a swift kick in my booty.  So what is the question, you may be asking yourself.

Am I investing time in my children?  Of course you say.  You are a good mommy.  I see you with your children and they love you.  But Am I really investing "quality" time in my children?  Am I teaching them what it truly means to follow Jesus?  Am I teaching them by example?  Am I spending time reading God's word with them?

And the raw reality is NO.

That Hurts MY Heart!

Yes, I spend time with my children but I must admit that it is not always quality time.  I am just there...  I am doing activities with them but sometimes they are not things that are pouring God's word into them or teaching them about the important things in this life.

If I want my children to desire Jesus more than anything in this world,
    it is my responsibility to teach them what it means to truly follow Jesus.
           It is my responsibility to spend time with them daily reading His word.

Tonight, we talked about hearing Your voice.  Noah asked me "how do you know God is talking to you?'  I told him that the more time you spend in prayer, reading His word and talking with Him, you will begin to hear God's voice and know it is God speaking to you.  I explained that he knows my voice because he spends time with me daily.  He has heard mommy's voice from the time he was in my womb, so he knows it is me that is speaking to him.  Of course he went on to say "but I don't hear His voice out loud like I do yours."  I assured him that he will know when God is speaking to him.

I want the best for my children and my family, and I know that a relationship with Jesus is what is best for them.  But I also know that I can't make them have these same desires or have a relationship with Jesus.  My prayer Father is that You will use me in my children's life to teach them about you and trust that you will do the rest.

These same thoughts of "am I investing time in my children", I also have for my husband.  Am I really investing in our marriage?  Am I showing my husband that I honor and respect him? Do we spend time communicating about our day?  Do we communicate our needs and desires to one another?  These are questions we all should ask ourselves and evaluate our priorities.  I can recall a conversation I had with my youth group a little over 10 years ago about priorities.  I remember telling them that God should be first in their parent's life, then their spouse and then came the children.  They looked at my like I had lost my mind.  But if you are to have a healthy biblical centered marriage, this should be your model as well.  God should be the most important person in your life.  Your spouse should be second and if you have children, they should be third.  Anything else like other family members, work, or friends should not be in those first three positions in your life.  You may disagree with me and that is okay but God's word shares about this very thing.  Evaluate your life this morning and see what is taking priority in your life.  Are you investing time in your relationship with Jesus?  Are your investing in your marriage?  Are you investing in your children?

My prayer this morning is ~
     for my children to walk with Jesus daily,
     for them to know Him in only a way that an 8 year old can know Him,
     that they will be content with where they are and what they have,
     that Josh and I will invest quality time with them daily,
     that Josh and I will continue to invest in our marriage,
     and that I would be content in my own life, so that I can lead by example.

What is your prayer this morning for your life, for your spouse and for your children?  I would love to hear from you.  Let us all join each other in prayer for our priorities to be refocused on where they should be.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Did you move?

As I sit on the 8th floor of a friends condo in orange beach, I am reminded of how BIG this world really is and what a small part I am in it.  Think about it…

The ocean looks like it goes on forever when you are standing at the shore.  The amount of water that is before me and the creatures that make their home there are beyond my comprehension.  The tiny grains of sand that join together to make vast, beautiful beaches were created by the same creator that made you and me.  Just like the waters in the ocean, the creatures living beneath and the sands - we move.  


Why, does the waters move? 
Why, do the creatures move?  
Why, do the grains of sand move?  

God created all the things to move- to bring forth life, to create bodies of land.  But why did you move?  

You might be wondering where I am going with this but stay with me.  When I speak about moving, I am not talking about moving to the next town or to another job.  I am speaking about moving to or away from God.  God never moves.  He is the same from the beginning.  So looking back over this past year can you answer the question of “did you move?”  as it pertains to your relationship with God?  I think we can all say yes we did move.  If you did not move then you have been stagnate in your relationship.  We must be in a perpetual range of motion when it comes to our daily walk.  We must be firmly established, as Paul writes, and “not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” 

                      God’s love has not changed.  

                                                     He has not moved.  
                                                                            He is right where you left Him.  

He is waiting for you to come back to your first love.  But rest assured He will welcome you back with open arms, no matter how long you have been away.  

Cling to His promises.  

Colossians 1:21-23
21And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-23if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. “

Prayer: Father, Thank you for the little reminders that we can find in Your creation.  Thank you for reminding me to stand firm in my relationship with you.  Thank you that even if I move away from You, that You will welcome me back with open arms.  Help me to take those first steps back to you.  In Jesus Name, I Pray.  Amen.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is it well with your soul?

Colossians 1:15-20

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Wow, Can you believe we are in December already?  Reflecting back over the last 11 months, think about all that has happened in your life.  Maybe tears begin to well-up in your eyes because of the loss of loved ones or a huge smile creeps across you face because of the precious memories that were created this year.  When we take time to reflect over our day, week or year we are able to step back and see many things.  I do not ask you to reflect over the last year to bring sadness to you but for you to take time to see where Christ was in all of it.  

All things were created by Him.  All things are held together by Him.  All the fullness dwell in Him.  This may be hard for you to grasp because of the sadness you feel in your heart but I know that He was with you during those days of hurt, sadness, loneliness, even those day of anger.  How do I know this truth?  Because His word says He will never leave us nor forsake us and I know this because I experienced it in my own life.  

When you are finally at a point in your walk with Christ that you can reflect back over your life and see even in the midst of the pain that God was right there with you, preparing you for the plans He has for you today, you can firmly say, “It is Well With My Soul.”  I leave you with the story behind a very well known hymn.

It is Well with My Soul, the Song and the Story
Composer Horatio Spafford, It is Well with My Soul

HoratioSpafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day.

At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.

In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family's ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.

With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul.

Philip Bliss (1838-1876), composer of many songs including Hold the Fort, Let the Lower Lights be Burning, and Jesus Loves Even Me, was so impressed with Spafford's life and the words of his hymn that he composed a beautiful piece of music to accompany the lyrics. The song was published by Bliss and Sankey, in 1876.

For more than a century, the tragic story of one man has given hope to countless thousands who have lifted their voices to sing, It Is Well With My Soul. 

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) 

Prayer: Father, today I pray that I will be able to say It is Well With My Soul.  No matter what is going on around me today, help me to see where you are and where you have been in my life.  Help me to share your truths today to the lost world around me.  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The More We Know Him...

Colossians 1: 15-20

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”

I hope as we have gone through this study that you are getting to the point that you are getting to know God as is described by the, “That I May Know Him.”  The more we pour ourselves into scripture- 
The more we get to know God.  
The more we get to know Him as our creator.  
The more we get to see others through the eyes of Christ.  
The more we begin to be humbled.  
The more we are able to forgive others and even ourselves.  
The more we seek to find our kingdom purpose in this thing we call life.  

Looking at this passage of scripture today we see the Supremacy of Christ.  We see that by “Him all things were created.”  We see that He is the one who “holds all thing together.”  Christ is the beginning and the end.  He is and should be first in everything we do.  I pray that you find comfort in knowing this about Jesus.  If you do not find comfort in this, my prayer is that you will begin to heal from your hurts so that you will begin to see, “He has rescued us from the dominions of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col.1:13-14).”   

Because of Jesus’ shed blood, He is the only one who can make peace between us and God.  Without this we are a lost people.  That feeling of being lost is one like no other.  In the worldly sense, we all have experienced that feeling of being lost.  As we were driving at dusk in the Northern Autonomous Region of Nicaragua, I found myself relying on my faith.  I was at a point where I could not see as far ahead and around me as I wanted, which took me WAY out of my comfort zone.  We were not lost but I was experiencing some of those same feelings that you experience when you are lost.  

Not being in control  

But I found myself praying for safety and traveling mercies.  I had to begin to practice my controlled breathing that I learned twenty years prior.  These same breathing exercises that I was taught after experiencing the severe trauma of being raped.  My senses were heightened and the only thing that would ease my fears was the creator of the universe.  It is amazing to see the power of prayer work around you but then when you get to see it first hand in your own life is pretty spectacular.  But those same feelings of being lost in the kingdom perceptive are far more severe.  If we do not have that personal relationship with Christ and have asked Jesus to be Lord over our life, then we will experience the sense of lost in an eternal sense.  Once this happens there is no turning back once Christ Returns.  

Seek God today.  When you seek Him you will find Him.  He will bring comfort to your hurting heart and ease your fears.  Let Him be the one who brings peace to your life today.  Let Him be Lord over your life.  

Prayer: Father, Thank You for sending your son to die on the cross for my sins.  Thank you for the gift of prayer, that I may come to you at any moment to seek your guidance, to praise you, to worship you and to just be still and hear you speak to me.  In those quiet moments, help me to  be still and know that YOU ARE GOD!  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Hook, Line & Sinker

Colossians 2:4
4I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.”

In light of the midterm elections that took place this week, I feel this particular scripture rings true, even today.  Not just in the world of politics but sadly enough we still find this in our workplaces and our own churches.  We see leaders in the church preaching a false doctrine.  The Gospel + something else.  It is the Gospel alone.  

Do you know the kind of person I am speaking of?  You do.  You know the ones.  The ones who are smooth talkers.  The ones who can persuade you to do things that you would not normally do.  This person is the one who is a leader but they are leading people down the wrong path.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane….

When you were growing up in school, did you have someone in your class or school that fit this description?  Maybe they were the brains in the class.  They could get you to believe anything they said because they must know what they are talking about.  They are the smartest ones in the class.  Or, they were the class jock.  The reason they could get you to believe anything they said was because of their popularity.  Everyone was drawn to this type of person.  Through the ages we have seen this type of person in every scene.  The walk in to the room with a presence about them and we are drawn to them.  At first we don’t quite know why but they have a presence about them that we like.  

It is a slow fade.  

After a little time we are hooked
…by their charm
…by the way they carry themselves
…by their words

Then, BAM!  
We have fallen for what they have said.  Hook.  Line.  And Sinker

It’s a slow fade.  

We have given everything we believed away.  
We have been persuaded to believe a lie. 

This lie has been taught to us from someone we thought knew what they were talking about because of their brains, their charm or because of their popularity.  What ever the reason that we put their word over God’s word does not matter.  When we allow others to creep into our heads with a false teaching or persuasive argument they pull us away from the truth.  They pull us further away from God.  They begin to change us from the outside in.  Why?  Because we were not in the word daily, allowing God to speak His truth into us,  we let someone else tell us what His word says.  We let someone else tell us what we should believe.  

The next time you go to church, to a bible study, go into a meeting at work or go vote make sure you have done your part.  You have taken time preparing for the task at hand.  You have read your bible and bible study.  You have done your research so you are prepared to be an active participant at the meeting.  You have researched the candidates that are up for election.  

We must get back to putting forth the effort into everything we do.  
We must have that desire to bring Glory and Honor to God in everything we do.  
We must spend time daily with God allowing Him to speak His truths in us.  
We must allow God to use us to bring others to Christ.   

Prayer: Father, Hear our cry.  Heal our land.  As your word says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  May the hearts of your people turn back to you.  May we seek You first!  May we look to Your word for the truth.  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.  

Listen to the song: If We’ve Ever Needed You by Casting Crowns.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christ Alone

Colossians 2:1-4

1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.

Christ ALONE

Reflecting over my last month here in the states I have encountered many different perspectives of our life in Nicaragua.  At times it has been humorous to hear peoples comments but on the other hand those same comments make my heart hurt for them.  

We are not saints for what we have done.  We are just being obedient to what God has called us to do.

We did not go just for a year to experience life in another country.  We went with a heart desiring to serve the Lord for as long as He calls us there.  

We are not stronger than you.  We have come to rely on God’s strength each and everyday.

We have the same needs.  We have the same desires.  And, what we have found is that we have to get back to the truth of scripture as a “church” which is called a BODY OF BELIEVERS.  

Reading through Colossians today, I have the same feelings feel as Paul.  I struggle with the hearts of the people here in the US and all over the world.  My greatest desire is for them, even you who is reading this, to be encouraged in Christ ALONE.  Christ ALONE is the one who walks with us each and everyday.  Christ ALONE is the one who gives who the assurance of a tomorrow.  Not a tomorrow guaranteed to live in this place we call “home” but if it is our time to leave this world then a guarantee that tomorrow you will be in your eternal home.  

No matter where you live, so easily we can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.  But is this what Christ called us to get caught up in?  NO!  He wants us to get caught up in the life of doing His business.  What is His business you may ask?  His business is loving the Lord your God and loving others.  You may say what about making disciples.  We are supposed to do this as well but Christ summed up the 10 commandments into these two and when you love the Lord and your love others (Matthew 22:36-40) you are obeying what he commands in Matthew 28 for the great commission.  In my opinion you can’t make disciples if you don’t love the Lord and love others.  So we must be filled with His wisdom and knowledge in order to do His business.  We cannot be deceived any longer with the false teachers that are unfortunately so prevalent in our churches today.  Just turn on the tv or visit a church in your area that is preaching a feel good message.  I know my heart hurts for those who are sitting under preachers, teachers, etc who are not preaching God’s word and His word alone.  God Word + anything else is false teaching.  It is God’s Word ALONE that we are to share.  

Don’t think that just because our family has been called to a foreign land that we are any different from you.  We are no different.  We experience a lot of the same things from getting frustrated with school work with our children, driving and the person in the other lane swerves into our lane, to being distracted by the things of this world.  But I am grateful to be where God has called us to be because our family has learned over the last year of our life what is truly important…..Christ ALONE.  

Prayer: Father, turn our hearts back to You.  Take the distractions out of our lives so that we can serve You more.  I know not everyone is called to the foreign mission field but we are all called to be missionaries in our own home, workplace, neighborhoods.  Make me more mission minded wherever You have me today.  In Jesus Name I Pray. Amen. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Living The Story

Living The Story

What is your story?  When did your story begin?  We all have a story to tell but the real question is, are you willing to tell your story?  

I personally believe our story begins the day we are conceived.  Even though we can’t really share about that time in the womb, our story began.  During those first 40 weeks, +/- a few weeks, God was weaving our story to life.  This part of your story may be difficult to bear because of choices your mother made (i.e. drinking, drugs, etc) while you were in the womb but no matter what it is still part of your story.  But we can find in scripture God’s love for us, even then.  

We see this in Psalms 139:13-17, 

13For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
17How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!”

God’s word is filled with so many stories that gives us hope for a new tomorrow.  God’s word is filled with wisdom and instruction.  But we must learn to open God’s word daily.  By reading it daily the words 
          life and become a part of our everyday life.  

When we let God’s word live through us, then we allow it to 
  life for those around us to bear witness.  

When we share the story of our life that God wrote, it helps others come to know Christ.  We all have a story to tell but again are you willing to tell that story.  

That story of brokenness. 
That story of healing.
That story of forgiveness.
That story of redemption.  

All of it is God’s story for us to tell to the world, in order, 

…to bring hope to the brokenhearted,
…to bring healing to the hurt,
…to bring forgiveness to those who have hurt us and 
…to bring redemption to a lost world.  

So, what is your story?  Are you willing to share your story with others?  Are you willing to put it all out there to bring 
Glory and Honor to God?  
What is your redemption Story?

Prayer: Father, Thank you for my story!  Thank you that you have used all of me to share your story of brokenness, of healing, of forgiveness and redemption.  Thank you that you have used my story to bring hope to the brokenhearted, to bring healing to the hurt and to bring forgiveness to those who have hurt me.  Father, each our stories have the ability to bring glory and honor to you, let it begin today!  I pray for my friends who have not shared their story.  Give the strength to be able to share their story with others.  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

To Live Is Christ

Today, I am beginning a new study and this is what this first week is about - To Live Is Christ.  Can you say that and really mean it?  That is the question.  Can I be like Paul and live for Christ, no matter what the cost?  We often find ourselves saying, Lord show me your will for my life but....  What do you put at the end of that sentence?  But don't ask me to get out of my comfort zone; but don't ask me to change jobs; but don't ask me to speak in front of large groups; but don't ask me to be bold in my faith and share the gospel with a perfect stranger; but don't ask me to move to a foreign country to be a missionary!

This week we have shared with friends and family on FaceBook about where we feel God is leading us in our ministry when we get out of language school.  We feel that God is leading us to the North East side of Nicaragua to be able to start a hospital.  Yep...I said it- a hospital.  YIKES!  That is so not what I planned on doing here.  I spoke with a dear family friend last night about all this and she said this, "but I thought you already knew what you would be doing after language school.  I thought there were two positions open to be missionaries there and you were just stepping into those positions."  I told her that the way it works with our organization is that if you feel called to a certain country, like Nicaragua, then you go to language school in Costa Rica for a year or up to a year and then go to your country of service and begin your ministry (what you feel God has called you to do).  Well we have done things a little different.  We were the first ones to be approved to come straight to the country of service to do language school.  Some missionary candidates know exactly what God has called them to do when they get there and some continue to have God reveal His plan to them during that first year.  During the year of language school your focus is suppose to be solely on language school and not getting involved in ministries yet.  This was the con that was brought up when we wanted to come straight here.  It is so hard when people ask...."so what are you doing in ministry?"  Well, we are going to language school.  How "glamorous" is that to say to people.  Well, at least that is not what they want to hear.  People think you should be doing something else in addition to going to language school.  But it is very taxing on your brain to be in a new country, learn a new culture and learn a new language much less begin to do ministry.  But after a few months, we felt more at ease with our daily routines and began to do more in the area of ministry.  We did not begin to help with leading bible studies and agriculture at the Emmanuel Home of Protection just to say we are doing something.  We felt God leading us to help in these areas.  We will continue to do these things until God tells us it is time to head North.

Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to meet with our field director, Darrel, to share with him what we felt God was calling us to do.  (I remember him telling us even before we left and when we first got to Nicaragua , be open to what God has in store for you.  I know you feel like God is calling you in a certain direction right now, remember it can change.  Well he was correct.)  Our meeting went well and he gave us his approval but reminded us that this would be a long road and lots of work.  He advised us to do lots of research and then speak with Jason, President of BMDMI.   On a side note let me say that Josh still feels lead to church plant and disciple but we feel like God is using this opportunity to open MANY doors to be able to do this.  During the next few weeks and months we will have a lot to do.  We will need to meet with Jason and then we are not sure of the process after that but think that it will have to go before the board as well.  So be in prayer with us that God will open doors where they need to open and close doors where they need to close.  Also prayer for discernment for Josh and I along the way.  We don't want this to be a Josh and Laurie thing.  We want to join God where He is already at work and if this is truly God's plan, that He will continue to reveal that to us.  We will continue to do more research of the needs of the area and make new contacts.  We will be traveling to remote areas and seeing the different areas.  Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A New Normal

Today, as I sit here in the quietness of this house, I am reminded that we can so easily become dependent on someone to help us along the way.  We have had the JOY of having a young lady stay with us for the last 5 weeks.  Yes we had another young lady stay with us but this time for a shorter time.  Alex was able to plug in to different ministries while she was here.  She made such an impact not only with the girls at the Emmanuel Home of Protection but on our family as well.  She helped us with learning the language more and loving on our kiddos.  We are truly grateful for the time we had with her.  This Saturday will be my first day doing the bible study with the girls at the home by myself so this is my new normal.  Also, over the last two weeks I have been reminded that our days are numbered.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow so we must live as though today may be our last.  Don't get me wrong, it is so nice to have friends and family around but we can't become so dependent on them to things for us that we forget WHO we should put ALL our trust in....God.  God is our ROCK and our FOUNDATION.

I said that I have been reminded that our days are numbered, well here is the reason.  A missionary family that is serving here in Nicaragua had to experience the unthinkable...the death of their child while serving on the field.  It was a freak accident and even if they would have been right there with her, they could not have saved her life.  Taellor's mom believes she died instantly from the fall.  Her hammock was tied to a palm tree and the tree broke.  When Taellor fell, her head hit the cement in just the "right" spot.  Yes, this is very tragic but the joy that this family has in knowing that Taellor loved Jesus more than anything else in this world.  She was only 19 but the life she lived was incredible.  She showed God's love to those who did not know what LOVE was or what LOVE could be.  I have enjoyed watching this family show God's LOVE through their tragedy.  What a testimony!  They are continuing to fulfill Taellor's calling in areas of Nicaragua that most people would not go willingly.  She chose to serve because she felt the call as well as her parents!  How awesome is that!  What joy as a parent to know that your child wants to be serving on the mission field alongside you.

So the new normal for this family is to continue serving in the same places they would go with Taellor and know that they are bringing glory and honor to God and keeping Taellor's memory alive.  I pray that when you accepted Christ not only as your LORD but as your SAVIOR as well, you discovered a new NORMAL.  LIVING EACH DAY FOR CHRIST AS IF IT WAS YOUR LAST DAY TO BE ABLE TO BRING GLORY AND HONOR TO HIM!
As Psalm 139 says:
16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; 
 And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Clinging to Life

Do you find yourself clinging to life right now?  I have to confess I am clinging to life.  Clinging to things I miss.  Clinging to relationships with friends back home.  Clinging to things familiar.  Clinging to my first language.  Clinging to everything but what I should be clinging to...the TRUTH of God's Word!  Josh and I had a good discussion last night, which was a major milestone for me.  I have found it difficult to have in depth conversations with my own husband for years.  Why?  Maybe from fear of really sharing my heart and those thoughts being out there vulnerable to what I don't know.  But I felt like a light turned on last night for me not only in this area but in the area of where I am having difficulty.

This step of faith, in coming to Nicaragua, has been one of the hardest things I have ever done but I can probably guarantee will not be the last.  I have had to depend on things other than myself which is what we all should be doing everyday!  We should be clinging to the very foundation of what our life is about - Christ!  Josh reminded, which I knew already but so need reminding everyday, me that I am here in Nicaragua for a purpose.  I have discovered that in the missionary community it is a lot like the military community in that people have reservations of making deep friendships with others for fear of them moving away.  If you know me, really know me you know that is so not my nature.  That is the complete OPPOSITE of my personality.  I want to develop deeper relationships and am not afraid of sharing my heart, all my heart with others.  I have felt God nudging me to get closer with the ladies in our neighborhood but definitely need God's help with this.  Another mom in the neighborhood talked about when she first came it was hard to get into a group that already looked so tight.  We must be willing to open our hearts to have others be a part of our groups.  Because who are we to say someone would be a part of the group or not.  Think about the movie, "Yaya Sisterhood" (one of my favorites) and the diversity of the ladies who were friends.  We need diversity because we can all learn from each other.  We learn how to be a better daughter of the King, a better wife, a better mother, and a better friend when we let down our walls.  Jesus calls us to LOVE but how can we love others if we put up walls and cling to things in this life, instead of clinging to HIM.

God uses the daily things in our life to bring us closer to Him if only we will allow them to do so.  Don't look at the trials as something bad but as a chance to go deeper in your relationship with others and with God.  Cling to the TRUTHS found in God’s Word.  Cling to the PROMISES that He has given.  Cling to not only the CROSS but to the EMPTY TOMB.