Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mission Trip 2011

For the youth/church Mission Trip we decided to go with World Changers which is a ministry through the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The mission of World Changers is to engage teens in providing labor to those here in the US - it ranges from home repair, painting, roofing, working in parks, cleaning up cemetaries, etc. Each church group is divided onto crews of with other churches from all over the country and they have a project to complete during the week...

Our church went to Gallup NM which is only about 4 hours away. It was a different experience for all of us and not one we are soon to forget! The picture above is my crew - The Cinderblockheads! Our project was to build a wheel chair ramp for the home owner that had a stroke this past August. We also repaired a roof over their patio.

I must say that this was WAY out of my comfort zone for missions! I not only do not know anything about construction, I don't enjoy it, and would MUCH rather be engaging and interacting with the people. However - this past week God had plans for me!!!

I started the week very frustrated and irritated with the organization and leadership of some of the youth sponsors, I felt very useless, and quite honestly was thinking that I should have stayed home as I had PLENTY to do here in terms of getting to move. Yet - as the week went on God began to show me that HIS agenda wasn't about me ministering to others this time around but simply to sit and be willing to be his servant when and how He willed.

Yesterday, was the real blessing for me! I was able to share basic Bible stories with a young boy at one of the work sites and then I was able to meet others in the neighborhood; I noticed that these opportunities didn't arise until I had an attitude check however and became willing to let GOD determine the purpose, organization, and leadership of the trip! Isn't that the case a lot? We try to do it our way, with our motives and plans and God says "step out of the way so that MY plan can be accomplished!"

I don't regret going and at the same time I don't know that I would go again to a World Changers trip - however I DO know that no matter where God sends me, I hope to step aside and let HIM determine what and how I am to minister!!!

This next week we are headed to youth camp at Hesperus Baptist Camp followed by a weekend trip to Borger Tx as Joel is going in view of a call as Associate Pastor to Children and Families. We are excited about it but also very tired and weary...please pray for sustained energy and strength for all 6 of us as we navigate this BUSY schedule...Love you all!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

His ways are not our ways....

I am so thankful and excited that I can now type this particular post - it has been something that I have SO longed to blog about but for necessary reasons - I really had to keep quiet until now - however God is SO perfect in His timing because I truly am overflowing with joy over this new journey that has begun in our lives!

In order to fully grasp where we are at now - I need to share with you all where we have been! As most of you know, Joel and I came to First Baptist Bayfield in Sept. 2007 when Joel accepted the position of Youth and Children's Pastor. We were SO excited to be back in Colorado, the mountains, near family, near my home town, etc. It was our full intention to stay here for the majority if not all of our kids schooling. We LOVE this community and area.

Yet, as is often the case at the point that people become "content" where they are at - God often calls us in a new direction...For us, this process began approximately a year ago when Joel and I seperately began to consider that perhaps God was calling us to move; however neither of us said much to the other and both chalked it up to the fact that we had actually been some where more than 2 years and were just restless....As time went on we would talk about long term ministry and Joel shared that his heart was turning more and more to ministry to children and families; for me my heart was turning more and more to mentoring young moms and encouraging them as they parent their preschoolers. So, we knew that this was the direction God was getting us to and figured it was 2 to 4 years down the road.

Fast forward to the end of March, first of April to a conversation Joel had with our current Pastor about our church here. Randy and Joel were talking about the financial state of the church and the effect of the economy on it. Randy asked Joel to just pray about going part-time and doing only children's ministry since that was his heart. So - we did pray and God answered!

The answer was clear to both of us - Joel was to pursue Children and Family ministry but it was not to be part time and it was not to be with FBC Bayfield. We shared this with a few friends as well as Pastor Randy and asked them to pray with us about this new direction. We had concerns as to moving the kids after they were settled, leaving the first church we had ever had true friends at, leaving a community we love dearly, etc.

In obedience to the Lord, Joel began the process of sending out resumes but unlike before when we looked for a church that Joel could deal with working with - we decided that he would share his passion and vision for ministry and pray that a church with that shared vision would open up. This past May as we prepared to go on vacation we decided to table the whole job search and just enjoy our vacation - we laid it at the feet of the Father....amazing how when we let go, He is then able to work!

While on vacation on May 20 Joel had coffee with a good friend from college who is also in ministry. Joel shared his heart and where God was leading us. Through this conversation, our friend mentioned that he knew of a church that he thought might be what we were looking for. The next day Joel had an hour long interview with the Pastor of Spiritual Development of the church, which led to a dinner interview a week later with the Sr Pastor, Pastor of Spiritual Dev and their wives and Joel and I. This went great and led to Joel and I going this past weekend to a formal interview with church leadership....the position title is Associate Pastor to Children and Families! Isn't God so amazing?

This brings me to where we are at now. Based on the interview this past weekend, a shared vision between Joel and the church, a peace about it on both sides - we will be going in view of a call to First Baptist Borger Tx July 3. For those of you not familiar with "view of a call" it is a time for us to be introduced to the whole church, a meet and greet, question and answer time, and will conclude with the church voting on Joel as a whole.

If that goes favorably, which is our prayer, we will then return to Bayfield and be moving July 15. This is a very fast time frame especially considering the next two weeks are booked with youth trips for First Baptist Bayfield. Yet - God has given us both a peace that this is the direction we are to go and we are following Him step by step....

To share more about how we have seen the Lord in all of this: ALL 4 kids were not only ok but genuinely excited about moving, the church in Borger goes to Zimbabwe once a year (a place dear to my heart), we have a house there already, we are 40 miles from Joel's sister and only 6 hours from mine, we have MANY college friends in and around the area, and some friends of ours from Bayfield are also potentially moving to that area! God is SOOOO amazing!!!

We will miss our friends and church family here in Bayfield but we know that in the family of God there are no goodbyes only see you laters! Also, both of our parents are still here which means we will be here on vacations and plan on visiting FBC Bayfield regularly!

Please join us in prayer for the upcoming vote and potential transition for our family. I look forward to sharing with you more about this adventure and God's work in it all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Dad....

With Father's Day coming this Sunday, I wanted to take time to recognize the AMAZING father that I have! This picture really does capture the essence of who my Dad is - he's fun, a cowboy, wise, discerning, caring, loving, and just an all around good guy.

The one thing that I remember and cherish most about my Dad is that for me, he was the primary discipler in my life in regards to my walk with Jesus. It was my Dad that taught me how to use the Bible, how to pray, how to seek Him for the answers I need most in my life. My Dad taught me what it means to love others unconditionally and to serve others for the sake of Jesus.

As for today, my Dad is not only my boss for work, he is a friend, a mentor, someone in whom I place a lot of trust and who has set a GREAT example for marriage for my husband and I. He has also led by example in terms of being a godly parent and role model for my kids!

Of course, he isn't perfect but in my opinion he's pretty darn close! I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for placing in the arms of a wonderful earthly father with whom I am privileged to share my birthday!!! Love you Dad!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A shift in mindset..

Parents - I want to share with you not something new, but rather something that has been lost, forgotten and placed on the back burner...here it is, are you ready?

YOU are CALLED to be the chief discipler of your children. Yes - YOU! Unfortunately through the passage of time and a shift in our society many churches have not only assumed this role but in some cases they have TAKEN this role from the parents and I believe that the time is NOW for parents to step up and say "We care enough about our children that we will do as Deutoronomy commands and we will train, disciple and show our children to be the Christians that Christ has called them to be."

This idea is something that Joel and I have known for awhile but really weren't sure what we were to do with it until recently. However, the past year or so God has revealed in many ways that he asking us to come alongside parents and to encourage, train, and equip them to be the primary spritual influence in their children's lives.

It is not enough to take your kids to church on Sunday morning or Wednesday night and expect the children's workers to train them - they need to see it lived out, practiced daily, and most of all they need to see you as parents taking this role.

So here are a few practical steps that we have taken with our own children that I pray will help you - however know this: YOUR children are different and may respond different; however YOU know your child better than anyone else and you know how to relate to them...

1. Set aside a time at least weekly if not daily to sit around the dinner table AS AN ENTIRE FAMILY...while at dinner, talk about what God is doing in each of your lives. Start by letting your kids know what God is doing in YOUR life...

2. Pray with your children and for your children.

3. Read the Bible together and then talk about what you have read and how God wants us to apply that to our lives.

4. Use scripture in your discipline of your children - show them that these aren't your rules but God's.

5. Be involved in your kids' lives - their activities, friends, schools, etc.

6. PRAY PRAY PRAY

So - this has been my topic of conversation the majority of the day and I thought I would blog about it since it was on my mind. Once again, not an indepth post by any means but simple and to the point....

Friday, June 10, 2011

VBS 2011 is a Rap!




BIG APPLE ADVENTURE I <3 VBS!



This was the theme of this past week at First Baptist Bayfield and a BIG ADVENTURE it was! With 42 kids and 37 adults registered we averaged an attendance of 70 people each night. What a fun week we had!



Beyond the typical things of music, crafts, Bible Study, and snacks we also included a Missions rotation. For our Missions offering - we collected school supplies for the Kits for Kids program through the Global Baptist Response organization. Although different than just bringing change - I think it was good for the kids to do something that they could relate to.



Some other highlights were Seth, a 6' 6" football player, giving piggy back rides and being our parking lot attendant; giving a Bible to a special little girl; funny comments like a preschooler saying "dog water" was their favorite food; and Seth getting a whip cream pie in his face! Yep - these are the things that make VBS so fun!!!!



As much fun as VBS was - I must say we are wiped out! Ha ha ha! It feels so good to put my feet up and know that I don't have to do it again tomorrow! LOL....



Thank you to all the wonderful teachers, helpers and volunteers!!!




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Seasons of Change...

I have been thinking a lot about all the different seasons of life we go through, the changes we experience and how they reshape us, develop us and refine us.

Some changes are good and help us grow and yet others are difficult and painful and may change us in ways that we aren't sure we want to go.

No matter the type of change or the season surrounding it - when we are consistently walking hand in hand with the Savior we can know that "he works all things for our good..."

So - why all this talk of change? Primarily because I have sensed a big change of seasons in our life over the past two months...

We have gone from a family of 6 with kids in Elementary and Jr High kids to now a family of 6 with one in HS, 2 in Jr High and only one in Elementary! The idea of HS brings a whole new realm of reality for us - decisions on how late and with whom she can go out, beginning stages of college searching, prom, dating, etc are all events we will cross within this next season.

Personally I have found myself changing seasons in my own purpose and direction in which God is calling me. I still have a HUGE heart for women but it is more specific and refined now - I want to reach out and minister to Moms of young children, special needs children and elementary age children. My heart is to come along side them and encourage them as they journey the path of motherhood whether alone or with a husband. I have also had this sense of embracing and cherishing every moment with my own kids - mostly because of the reality that within four years Hannah will leave home and the others aren't far behind!

In sensing and seeing all these changes, I have found myself at a crossroads. I can worry, stress, be down and depressed about them. I can fight them - deny them- pretend they aren't happening and yet they will still happen and progress. OR I can choose to embrace them, look forward to them, and seek the Lord's guidance and direction through them!

This second choice is where I find myself - at the point of excitement about what lies around the next bend of my life! I have had the BEST conversations with my daughter Hannah the past few weeks - it has been a sweet time for us! I have watched a young mom and dear friend begin her journey as a mom of four and truly see the joy that this brings. I have been able to encourage and lift up another new mom of four in a hard point in her life. Conversations about life in general with my almost 13 yr old boy have simply been amazing and wonderful... these are just a few of the highlights of this new season I find my self in!

I know that there are still some major changes ahead - some sooner rather than later. Yet, because I know in whom I have believed and He is able - I can look forward to this season with anticipation and joy!

I look forward to sharing more about this season in my life as it unfolds throughout the next few months and years!