Saturday, June 27, 2009

Birthday fun!!!

Here are a few highlights from Tyler's birthday party! It was a joint party with a friend and we all had a ton of fun!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A lesson in servanthood

Today's blog is going to deviate a bit from the basketball camp itself in that I really want to blog some thoughts that are on my mind while they are still fresh.

Tonight Joel and I were invited to dinner and share time with the group from North Carolina. I am so glad the Lord allowed us to have this opportunity. We have both been on SEVERAL mission trips but this is the first time we have been on the receiving end of the mission trip. We have seen a whole new side!!!

As the people shared tonight there was a common theme - the ability to work together for the kingdom of God. Let me first of all tell you that this group is made up of families. Most of them bring their kids and this is their family vacation - they spend it serving the Lord! All of them stated over and over that they no longer care about going to a beach and sitting there, they don't care about the nice hotels or the attractions - they want their vacation time and money to be spent serving the Lord and investing in His Kingdom!!!

This really hit me hard because to be perfectly honest with you - I have been coveting a glamourous family vacation. I have wanted the money to go to like Disney Land or Hawaii or on a cruise - yes this has been my little sin in my head. Yet tonight as I listened to not only parents but KIDS (of all ages) share that they wouldn't have it any other way - I was challenged to change my way of thinking. What are we, The Arringtons, doing as a family to expand the Kingdom? I know that Joel and I do lots through the church but are we raising mission and servant minded children?

One statistic that was brought up tonight and that I have heard in the past as well was this: 7 out of 10 kids raised in evangelical churches will leave the church and never come back! That is 70%. When research was done - they focused on the 3 that stayed and asked them why they were still involved in church - the answer? They were involved in hands on ministry. They were given the ability as children to invest in others. I want and pray that my children will be one of the 30% - I want to raise mission minded children. One thing that the team leader shared was that not every project allows children and they will not go anywhere that doesn't allow children because they see the importance of families serving together. Members of the team shared about the joy it has brought them to come as an entire family and serve together!

Stories that were shared tonight included everything from the chance to share with people at the hard ware store about why they are here in Bayfield, to the chance to just hug and love on children, to the opportunity to work in a construction environment where everyone is happy and kind to one another and there isn't foul language. I can honestly tell you that the seeds are being planted here in Bayfield for the harvest and we are anxious to be here and help them grow. My prayer tonight is that I will have a mission mindset about all I do everyday!

So - yes the teams from North Carolina have come to build a physical building and to reach out in the community but they have also been sent to help ME re-evaluate my mindset and to challenge our family to be more mission minded. So don't be surprised if in the future you hear of a Arrington Family mission trip!!!!

Side note - tomorrow the kids and their parents at camp will hear the Gospel Message. Pray for open hearts and minds!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 2 - Basketball/Cheerleading Camp

Well we made it through day 2 of camp - today there were 80 kids there!!! Can you believe it? We now have 92 kids enrolled!!! What a praise to the goodness of the Lord.

Today went a lot smoother than yesterday simply because we were all prepared for the large numbers where as yesterday we were a little caught off guard. It was nice to just sort of sit back and watch the kids learning and playing. So many of them come from homes that are not fun or happy and this gives them a chance to get away.

One girl I met today is in a foster home - well actually she just got to the foster home last night. She was so scared when she came in. I was encouraging her and letting her know how much fun she would have when all the sudden she said "My mommy was taken to jail yesterday" and then her eyes filled with tears. How heart breaking!!! I pray that this week we can show her that Jesus loves her and He is NOT going to leave her.

As the week continues please pray for more opportunities to talk with the kids and to get to know them better. Also, please pray for all the workers, us included, to have renewed physical energy. It is wonderful but exhausting to work with the kids. We are so excited to see how the Lord will continue to work this week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Basketball and Cheerleading Camp Day 1

The first day of the Upward Basketball and Cheerleading Camp went GREAT!!! We had 70 kids total sign up – with about 24 in cheerleading and the remainder in basketball. In all honesty, we were only thinking 30 but the Lord had a different plan and so we are once again in awe of how He is working through these wonderful people from North Carolina.

The people that have come to build the church also brought with them others who are here specifically to reach out to the community and this week it is through the Upward Camp.

The kids will learn the fundamentals of basketball and cheerleading while at the same time learning to have Biblical Sportsmanship. They experience the love of Christ through the coaches and helpers as they come along side them and encourage them to work hard for the Lord. At the end of each day, 12:00 our time, they will have praise and worship music as well as hear the Gospel message. We are excited to see how the Lord works through this avenue of sports to reach the kids and hopefully their parents.

As I sit here in the gym typing this, I look over the kids and know that many of them come from un-churched, broken, and dysfunctional homes. Many of them could really care less about basketball or cheerleading but this is a chance for them to come to a safe environment and escape the pain they have at home. Please pray with us that they can feel the loving arms of Jesus this week and know that HE can set them free from their pain.

I look forward to updating you throughout the week with all that the Lord is doing. For now though, this is the end of day 1 report!!!! God Bless!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Week 1 - Recap

Whew~ we have finished week one which consisted of Backyard Bible Club in Mesa Park. What a week. I am so overwhelmed really by all that the Lord has taught me this week that it is hard to determine where to start in blogging about it all. So - at the risk of being "corny" I think I am going to just go day by day through this week so far and share what the Lord has been showing me. If I bore you - I am sorry but here goes! I will start with Monday since I blogged about Sunday in an earlier post.

Monday - started out a little on the chaotic side to say the least. I was trying to get ready to go to Farmington for the day with my friend Amy to get the last of the birthday purchases done (like that could happen in one trip but more on that later). Joel of course was in a hurry to get out to the park to help set up for day one of Bible Club. So - once we got everyone dressed, fed and out the door I just was taking a breath (okay Lord I can do this!). Got the kids and Joel to Bible Club after picking up another girl along the way and it was off to Farmington!
Normally I LOVE shopping of any sort and ESPECIALLY shopping without my kids....but I kept telling the Lord "This is NOT the day for this. I have all this other stuff I should be doing" Yet I knew that was where I needed to go and so we went!!!
Monday night at youth group Joel's lesson was on how God created us JUST the way He wanted. The Bible tells us He formed us BEFORE the formation of the Earth!!! Holy Moley (as Tyler says) God thought of ME before He created the Earth.
So I know you are thinking - how does this tie into your trip to Farmington? Here's how - I am a person that deals with events in the order they come. So yes Tyler's birthday is coming but in MY mind that is way down the list as far as what comes - I have Bible Club, work, ladies night out, Baby Shower, feeding building team, Basketball camp THEN Tyler's party. Don't lose this mindset because it comes up later in the week! ;)
Now to my blessed friend Amy whom I LOVE dearly!!!! Amy is like the mega mom when it comes to party planning!!! Not in a bad way at all - she literally ROCKS!!! She has been on me like for weeks about this party (it's for her son Aiden and Tyler). She is like "It's two weeks away we gotta get going". So you put her mindset and mine and they are TOTALLY different. Here is what the Lord showed me on Monday - "Ronnie, I created you just the way you are BUT I created Amy just the way she is too! You need to understand that you are BOTH my beautiful daughters and I made you the way you are for a purpose. It's all okay." Lesson learned - we are all created uniquely in God's image to work together as a body. One person strength can help compensate for another's weakness!

Tuesday - once again the day started with getting everyone up and out the door to Bible Club. Side note - it is AMAZING how fast we get out of the habit of something! We did this all school year and not a big deal but those darn lazy summer days have already taken over!!! Anyway - got that accomplished and stayed at Bible Club for awhile but then went to my discipleship time with my friend Olivia. Olivia is an absolute JOY and inspiration! So our lesson was on temptation and how to resist temptation. The thing that I learned from this lesson is we have to CHOOSE to resist temptation - not just wish it away. The area I struggle with is losing my patience with my kids - sometimes because of them, sometimes because of me and MOST times because I am tired. So when I lose my patience I tend to yell at them. So instead of wishing I wouldn't yell at my kids - I have to CHOOSE not to yell at them. Just like I have determined that divorce is not an option in my marriage, so I need to determine that yelling at my kids is not an option!

Wednesday - my usual day at my Dad's office (about 25 miles away) so this time it was getting everyone up and ready to go but Hannah and I going a different direction (Hannah works for my mom some). The day at the office was busy in that I was trying to catch up from not being there last week and get ahead because I can't go out next week and trying to do the regular work too. Needless to say by 4:30 when I left my brain was DONE!!! I was so tired and still had another discipleship time and church yet to go! So on the way home - Amy calls about some more details for the birthday party. Now keep in mind my "lesson" from Monday and Tuesday of how I act when tired. I was not the most pleasant on the phone. I am so like Israel in the Bible - God teaches me something and I get it for awhile then it is back to the old habits!!! Anyway - got home in time literally to drop Hannah off and talk to Joel about MY pity party (oh hubbies are GREAT to listen to us) then it was off to discipleship.
This time the lesson was on a variety of things but scripture memory was the biggest one. It talked about how scripture memory helps us know what to do in our daily life. So - of course the scripture they use as an example is Phil 4:8. "Finally brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are right, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things."
My thoughts had NOT been any of these things - they had been about ME and how tired I was and how I didn't get a break and how no one knew all I had to get done.... God hit me HARD over the head. I hadn't been lovely or pure to Amy or my husband, or my kids.
If that wasn't enough - I went to church following discipleship. We are going through Galatians on Wednesday nights and it is GREAT. This week it was focusing on how Christ has come to set us FREE from the law. FREE from the old way. What a refreshment!!! However - during church the Lord changed my heart in regards to Tyler's party as well. He showed me that this party wasn't just another thing I had "to do" in fact the party wasn't ABOUT me at all - it was about celebrating TYLER and HIS life. My attitude had been "here's one more thing I have to deal with" So my heart changed from seeing it as another thing on the list to this is something I can do for Tyler and that as my son this needed to be a PRIORITY and not something way down the list!

Thursday - today was another day in learning lessons from the Lord!!! With nothing else on my agenda I was able to spend the whole morning at the Bible Club in the park and I am SO glad I did!!! The kids there are so HUNGRY!! They were asking so many questions and wanting so much information. We just were talking to them SO much and I just KNEW God was up to something during the time when Joel was sharing the salvation message. Yet Satan had a plan too!
Joel had just started to get into his salvation portion and I kid you not....the kid that lived next door had gone home and brought his "pet" Boa Venom!!! Yes a REAL snake! I, of course, being the mature leader that I am - RAN and hid behind Joel who at that point hadn't seen the snake!!! Tyler is running over to it, all the kids are pointing and so excited.....After a few moments of mahem we politely ask him to take the snake home until AFTER the story and continue on. Joel did GREAT at pulling the kids back in but you know I seriously believe Satan was thinking "I used a serpent once before I bet it will work again" However - after a wonderful illustration of what how the Lord makes us clean - several of the kids came and talked and prayed with Joel and I. None of them made an immediate decision but the seeds are planted and we are excited about the follow up with them.
The lesson I learned today was that God can accomplish His will and His purpose in spite of us and in spite of the distractions Satan tosses our way. I totally should have stayed and been the first leader to approach the boy with the snake and yet the Lord taught me through it.
Tonight was Ladies Night Out Banana Split party and even though I was tired I made it (okay so I was in charge of it so I sort of needed to). However - the Lord used tonight as a time for me to just relax and visit with my sisters in Christ. We laughed and talked and told the snake story many times and it was refreshing and restful!

So - even though it is only Thursday this is the recap of week one of our crazy summer. Tomorrow is primarily staying home and catching up on laundry and housework. We will go to a youth concert tomorrow night but that is all.

Thank you for letting me share how the Lord is working in my life. I know it was long but I think it is important to share what we are learning with each other so that they can encourage us and spur us on.

Side note #2 - Amy if you read this, THANK you for teaching me this week! The lessons I had to learn were for me and I am sorry you had to be the messenger for my lessons!!! I love you....

Venom the snake and Trevor his owner.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Early Father's Day Dinner

We had to have an early Father's Day celebration since Joel is really busy this weekend. So we went to Applebee's and then came home to chill and relax. I am so thankful for a wonderful Father for my kids!!!

Church Building

View from outside the front of the sanctuary.

Here are some more pictures of where the Church Building Project is. The closing went through yesterday without any problems. Thank you for all your continued prayers!!!

View from front of sanctuary to entrance of the church.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Incredible Sunday with a strong reminder

Today's service was awesome! Actually let me back up a bit to the beginning of the day so you can get a glimpse of where we came from...Ha ha!

Sunday mornings at the Arrington home are chaotic to say the least. I suppose it can be chaotic at anyone's home but at our's its crazy. We have to be a church by 9:00 and so it takes a lot to get 6 people all coordinated and out the door in a timely manner. Today was no exception - well it really was because we all got up LATE! YIKES! So - as we are rushing and hurring kids, tempers are short and patience is almost nil!

So by the time we arrived at church we were all a little on edge. Once we went to Sunday School I took a deep breath and thought - okay I can make it through all this! Joel is taking the High School through Ephesians and today's lesson was on Ephesians chapter 4. It was the part about working as a body and bearing one another's burdens. Joel went on to explain that in order for the church body to work right we each have to use the gifts and talents we are given. Long story short - it was good and I was thinking okay so I need to not only use my own gifts but support and encourage others in theirs.

Then, we went to church. Now our pastor is GREAT about following the leading of the Holy Spirit and being flexible - today was no exception. Pastor Randy told Joel before the service that there was a lot going on and so we had to start right on time. Well we did and the first thing that was amazing was one of our college girls Meagan Posey sharing about her recent mission trip to Greece. She had lots to share but what she ended with was that the thing that stuck with her was one of the pastors there sharing that he was glad they had come but to not forget that they needed to be missionaries in their own community. So she encouraged us to do the same and to reach out to our church and others.

Then before his sermon Randy shared that one of our members felt the Spirit leading him to share. Gordy Herrick then got up and shared what was on his heart. Basically he shared that the Lord was speaking to him about how we needed to be there for one another in the church. He mentioned that the Lord showed him: first we have a love relationship with Jesus, then we have a love relationship with our family, then we have a love relationship with our church family, and then with our community. Gordy's testimony led us into a time of prayer that was AMAZING!! The rest of the service was just prayer time!

God reminded me that I need to unite with my family and my church family. He reminded me that yes my kids are tiring at times but I need to bear with them!

It was so AWESOME how the Lord worked it out that the testimonies and the Sunday School lesson all tied into one another. God showed me the importance of church unity and how I need to be there encouraging and supporting my church family. He also revealed to me that I am to be praying fervently for those in my church. This week I was reading a book by Karen Kingsbury and the characters had an acronym for PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens. This is the type of prayer life I want to have - I want to be so enfolded at the throne of the Father that I won't leave until something happens!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Need more energy, better immune system and better overall health?

If you are anything like Joel and I - there are times that you have thought "I need more energy" or "I wish I didn't get sick all the time". Raising four kids and being in full time ministry definitely keeps us going CONSTANTLY and we are always exposed to EVERY little illness that goes around. It is so hard to know what to take and not take, what to eat and not eat, etc. In fact, if your like me, it seems the only constant from the health industry is to "drink water". Everything else changes - one minute something is good for you and the next it is not. How in the world can people keep up with it all? Throughout the years we have been introduced to so many health products, some of which have worked and some which haven't.

Recently Joel and I were introduced to a product called MAXGL. Now, I am NOT a health expert and can't explain how this product works or even why it works but I can tell you from my personal experience that it DOES work and it isn't unhealthy like an energy drink or pill. Simply by taking 3 pills twice a day my energy level has increased tremendously. I must tell you that I am HORRIBLE at taking vitamins, nutritional supplements, medicine etc. I have always had trouble remembering to take them - however MAXGL has helped me so much with my overall energy that it is really hard to forget to take it! Because I do not understand health science and how things work and don't work - I have copied and pasted some information about MAXGL, what it is, how it works, and what it helps.

Joel and I want you to know that even though we have decided to become independant distributors, we DO NOT want to pressure you into it at all. We simply feel that this is a HEALTHY, SAFE, BENEFICIAL product that can help people and so here is some information as well as a link to the website.If this is something you are interested in and would like to try - Joel and I would be more than happy to give you a weeks worth of MAXGL so that you can see if it works for you.

Our desire is to help people live better lives and have more energy to serve the Lord. Thanks for taking the time to read the information and visit the website.

What is MaxGXL®? MaxGXL is a patent-pending formulation that has proven its ability to raise intracellular glutathione safely and effectively.

What is glutathione and why do I need it? Glutathione (GSH) is a naturally occurring substance in the body that is vital to the health of every cell in the human body. In fact, without glutathione present in the body, life itself would cease.

What are the benefits of increased glutathione?
Raise energy levels
Strengthen immune system
Fight intercellular inflammation
Improve athletic performance and recovery
Detoxify your body
Support mental function
Enhance your sense of well being

The body's master antioxidant Glutathione is called the body's master antioxidant. It is found in every cell in the body. In addition to its major role as an antioxidant, glutathione also is an antitoxin, known for capturing toxins and escorting them out of the body. If that weren't enough, glutathione is also vital for proper immune system health. Your body's immune system arsenal of T-cells, B-cells and white blood cells need glutathione to perform their protective function. Effective supplementation to raise glutathione can greatly support the pursuit of health.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our Busy Crazy Summer

So this week marks the end of our "technically" free summer! I know you are thinking "What? It's only June 11!" but see here is what our summer looks like from here on:
June 15 -18 - Backyard Bible Club Mesa Dr Park
June 18 -Ladies Night Out - Games at church
June 19 - Youth Concert Florida Baptist Church
June 20 - Baby Shower for a friend
June 21 - Father's Day and Feeding Building Team
June 22-26 - Upward Basketball Camp
June 27 - Tyler and his buddy Aiden's B-day Party!!!
June 28 - Feeding Building Team
June 29 - July 3 - Backyard Bible Clubs
July 4 - Pagosa Parade,
July 5 - Pack for Camp
July 6-10 - Youth Camp
July 11 - 12 - Laundry and repack
July 13-16 - Girls' Camp
July 16-19 - Boys' Camp
July 20-24 - Brief break
July 27-31 - Possibly VBS
Aug 1 - 17 Break and prepare for School
Aug 18 - School Starts
Somewhere in the midst of all this madness - Kestra has summer school and Tyler continues to go to speech therapy AND we are helping as we can with the building of the church. However - even though it is PURE madness and we will definitely be exhausted Aug 1 - We are both so excited about all that the Lord is doing and how He is moving. Please pray for us and the kids that we will have strength and patience!Another reason I am posting this is so that if we aren't able to do much you can understand why! LOL Love you all!!!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Garage Sale - More than a Fundraiser...

In my life I have been involved in so many garage sales that there is no possible way that I could count them all. I have done personal garage sales, 4-H garage sales, church garage sales, and other ministry garage sales. Yet I have to tell you that the past two garage sales that I have done with First Baptist Church Bayfield are the best and the funnest I have done yet!

The reason is not the amount of money that was made or the amount of items we had (which is a lot) but it is about the ministry opportunities and the sweet fellowship that was had! I was "in charge" but really there is no possible way that I could have done it without the help of SOOO many others in the church. We had such a fun time while working on the sale as well - we laughed and chatted and overall had a fun time!

Even more exciting than the fellowship were the opportunities to minister to people. The first garage sale was May 15-16. During that garage sale we focused on inviting people to church and sharing the excitement of our new building. One man was living out of his car and one of our ladies had the opportunity to share the gospel message with him and pray with him.

The second garage sale was today and our primary purpose was to try and get rid of more of the left overs from the May one, however we also wanted to just reach out to those that came and minister to them. Today we had the opportunity to bless a pregnant teen with many clothes for her new little boy who is due to arrive any day now, we had the opportunity to help a single mom furnish her home with needed furniture, and we had the opportunity to provide a family with 4 kids some needed items for their home (all of the above were GIVEN away at no charge).

What was so unique for me today was this - no one had a bad attitude! They were all willing to serve in whatever way possible and making money was NEVER the priority - it was about reaching those in need no matter what. I can honestly say that I have never seen the heart for ministering to people during a garage sale more than I saw it today.

So - here is what I have been reminded of. There is simply nothing more important than people. WE are HIS hands and HIS feet - WE are the way that others will see JESUS. My hope and prayer is that I will remember and make a priority of meeting the needs of people rather than focus on my own agenda!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Alkaseltezer Tag

Okay - being married to a youth minister is always somewhat entertaining. Last night he came up with this crazy game (okay so I think he got it from another crazy youth guy) but anyhow...

You string alkaseltzer tablets on a piece of yarn and players put it around their neck (just one tablet) like a necklace. Then everyone has a squirt gun and tries to shoot the other players tablets enough to dissolve them....unique I know but VERY fun summer game!

More Building Pics

Siding going on...

Okay so you may get tired of the progression of our church building but it really is AMAZING how God is working through this and the speed at which is going along.

Okay picture this - a team of 14 strong christian men from North Carolina, several strong christian men from our church working alongside a team of non-christian builders! What a way to witness - they are showing them the love of God as they work hand in hand to see this building go up!

Please pray for opportunities for the non-christian builders to be shown the love and saving grace of Jesus - THIS WOULD BE THE BEST BUILDING PROJECT - that of the kingdom of Heaven!!!!

Sanctuary walls go up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Feeling so inadequate....

Today is one of those days that I really don't feel up to the task. The task of motherhood that is... I wanted to be home with the kids this summer so that they would not be sitting around all day and we could do some fun things together. In addition, I wanted to keep my home clean and functional - yet today neither of these things have happened.

I know - it is only one day but in an attempt to share my thoughts as well as what the Lord is teaching me I decided to take some time and blog about it a little.

The day started with me waking up before all the kids except Tyler. I was energetic, excited and looking forward to getting some house work done in the morning and meeting a friend in the park for lunch. Then....things changed drastically! The other kids woke up and I got breakfast for them - THEN it happened. I asked them to do some chores....Yep you guessed it - whining, complaining, arguing, etc.

This pretty much sums up how the day continued with a brief intermission while at the park. I would get one argument settled and turn around and the next would start. AHHHHH get me out of here~

However - tonight as I sit here enjoying the peace and quiet (two are at youth group with Dad and the others are thankfully peaceful) and reflect on the day I have to admit - I feel TOTALLY inadequate for this task of being a stay at home mom! I mean I could easily go back to work - hire a babysitter or put the younger two in day camp. Seems like I would be MUCH better at that.

Yet - my day reminds me of how the Lord must feel with me sometimes. He has great plans for me and ideas and dreams. Yet what do I do? I whine, complain, argue, etc. However the difference occurs in how HE reacts vs how I react!!! He reacts with patience, grace, mercy and forgiveness - my reaction has been exasperation, frusteration, impatience and anger....

So here is my lesson for the day: First off - I need to follow MY FATHER's guidance and be obedient to Him. Second - I can learn from HIM in my reaction to the kids. The world may say throw in the towel or punish them tomorrow. However - I am choosing to react as Christ reacts - starting over with grace and mercy and a new day tomorrow!!!

Now - if I can just keep afloat tomorrow....Ha ha. As for working vs staying home - still praying through that not for the sake of getting away from kids but for the financial issues. Thanks for your prayers.

More Building Updates

Here are the latest pictures of our church building! Today the walls are taking shape and going up - how exciting!!!