Saturday, January 31, 2009

Count the Cost

Americans love restaurants. One recent survey estimates that most of us eat out an average of 3.4 times a week, spending $25 each time. That's $340 a month and $4,420 a year!

In 1970, Americans spent $6 billion on burgers and fries. By 2000, our fast-food tab reached $110 billion! (Home Life Magazine, Sept. 2004 pg.9)
Wow...had to share those numbers with

"Welcome to Fast Foods! How can we destroy your internal organs?"

Dave Ramsey

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snowed Ice! Water heater...and pics...

It snowed ice today! We woke up and we had a semi-winter wonderland outside! Since breakfast had just begun and I had gasped before thinking...I forwarned my boys that what they were about to see was not what they thought it was...(ice instead of snow)...because I know my sons. Jump-out-of-your-skin squeals were about to follow with choas errupting and heading for the door to play in the "snow".

I said "now...listen...Josiah and Jude...what I'm about to show you is not what you think it is ok? So don't get tooooo excited..." I slung open the blinds (a little too dramatically...part of me was really enjoying there inevitable excitement...just not enjoying the thought that breakfast would be threatened and ear drums might be busted)...and what came...

"SNOW SNOW SNOW...JUDE IT'S SNOW!!! AHHH!!!" (lots of squealing)...then I jumped in when I had the moment...and stated..."No one goes outside without finishing their breakfast pita first...OH AND you have to get suited up!"

It was fun but they came back in about 30 minutes after their little fingers could take no more. Josiah loves icicles and he even found one that looked like a music note...and in the circle part there was a frozen leave...pretty neat if I do say so myself. What do you think? (Oh and by the way, that goofy lookin face is him singing the note he's holding...hehehehe)

Once Josiah and Jude came in...Josiah's fingers were frozen - Jude likes to watch so his weren't popsicles I brought Josiah over to the sink and turned on the cold water and let him put his fingers under it and slowly let it get warmer and warmer. Then I was reminded that this little boy has spent the past 4 years of his life in Thailand when he said:

"MOMMA! How is this happening??? How are you doing that? HOw does that work?" I had to get clarification because I saw nothing out of the ordinary and then it dawned on me that Josiah has never used a sink that has hot running water coming to it. He's had hot showers and baths but he's never used a sink that had hot water ability (well, that he knew about - because on furlough he was to young to try the other knob to get hot water).

He continued on "So you just inject the hot water through there?" INJECT?!?! I answered "yeah, kind see there is something called a water heater" He starts looking on the wall to see the water heater...because in Thailand the water heater for the shower hangs on the wall...I taught him about water heaters in America and how the hot water runs through pipes and he was amazed...

Ready to go...

Cutie Pie!!!

Sitting pretty...

Thank you God for my wonderful children...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cozy Campfire Days Are Gone

I am floored tonight. I watched possibly the best video ever…at least one of them. It’s called “Finger of God” (thanks Barb). As I sat there watching God moving on people I was overwhelmed and could not hold back my tears. I have been going through a battle that I had not even chosen to recognize. I have not spoken my battle out to anyone because I myself didn't even realize it was happening.

For the past week I can not even begin to explain how I have felt and give it justice…but I will try. I have felt like one of the most useless people walking this earth. I felt as if everything I had ever done was nothing but a joke. I felt like my faith in God was weak and empty – I felt like the people I have been trying to love all these years are unreachable and not only that they are laughing in my face right along with the enemy.

I’ve felt like a failure in the body of Christ…l felt like the epitome of 2 Timothy 3:5: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” of which the bible says to stay away from these types of people. As I sat there and watch Heidi Baker ministering to the Africans, healing the deaf and the lame…loving like Jesus would I was floored.

All I could think about through the tears was a combination of two things…

1. Oh God you are good…thank you God. Let me do that for you…allow me Lord to serve you like that...use me God to bring people face to face with you.

2. What a failure you were in Thailand…you didn’t bring the fire of God as you came to do…you yourself never even reaped one single soul. What did you do? You stayed in your home and took care of your children and “did what you could, when you could” (my own words) You aren’t worthy of the name missionary…those people are real missionaries. You should never have gone. (this has no baring on what my husband did for the Lord in Thailand...John worked is bottom off and spread the gospel in places it has never been)

As I continued to watch…tears streaming from my eyes…I could not contain the joy and pure in aweness of our God and his goodness. I love everything about Him and His message. The message that changed my life…I was a lost teenager…heavily into witchcraft and desperate for someone to see me…someone to love me.

I had no talents to speak of…I wasn’t beautiful…I wasn’t witty…definitely not funny but what I did have was that when I placed my hands on a Ouija board it moved and I wasn’t the one moving it. When I wanted to contact a spirit…I did and things happened and that was exciting to my “friends”. I was so desperate to be special the devil took advantage.

I still remember the view at camp. They had gathered us on a huge hill after a full day of fun with the counselors and we sat at the top of the hill and in the distance we saw lights approaching. We were instructed that now was not a time to play or talk because we were about to witness something very important. As the torches drew closer I could hear angry shouting and crying at the same time.

Through the flames and smoke I made out the figure of the cross in a shape I’d never seen before. It looked as if it was floating flat and then as it drew closer I saw there was a man below it…beaten and bloody…carrying it as guards whipped him. I watched as people followed behind and wept…and some cheered. I watched as they nailed Jesus to the cross…one nail at a time.

When the pole went into the ground and I heard a huge thud as it settled it was like something hit my heart and I could not stop weeping. When he screamed the words “it is finished” I was in love. It had all come together. At that moment I recognized my need for a savior to cover my sins and what a desperate lonely sinner I was…and this man…this Jesus came to give his life for me. He came to bridge the gap between me and God.

It was never the same again…I’ve been in love with him since and I still remember when I was younger and things were much simpler…waking up in the morning and just laying there smiling…with an unstoppable grin…because I had Jesus in my heart and I could feel his presence and I literally needed nothing more.

I remember just bursting with His love and dancing because I was so filled up and had to release it some way. The Bible was the best book I had ever had my hands on and I devoured it daily…no one could destroy my love for Him – I am my beloved’s and He is mine was my confidence. Even when I lost my world…my best friend, my fiancĂ©, my mom’s confidence in me, my comfortable foundation…I still laid there that night…face up on my bed and just smiled and physically spoke through tears…"but as long as I have you Daddy I am happy".
So how is it that now, I’m 29 years old and a missionary on a short term mission trip…mother of 3 and wife to a wonderful 1 and at times this questions rocks me to my core: (quote from Crazy Love by Francis Chan – GET IT!) "what if heaven was you and all those you loved, healed, no pain, no problems, just parties and fun and joy and love. But no Christ. Would that be ok with you?"

My heart is for the Lord but yet when I ask myself this question I am shocked that I know the right answer and have been there for a long time but in my heart of hearts I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I live my life at times as if I am ok with JESUS not being apart of my EVERYDAY life. As if I am ok with being some where inbetween average and ON FIRE FOR HIM. When I say above average - please don't think I'm being self righteous or something like that...I just know I don't believe and live like the normal/average Christian lives but yet I'm not allowing myself to be on fire for him either.

I’m not ok with ANYTHING but totally and absolutely, head over heels in love with Jesus and yet I’ve allowed myself to become this above average Christian without allowing Him to consume me as he always has. I feel like the work of the mission field left me a bit jaded because I didn’t trust and lean on Him throughout…allowing the continuous disappointment and the inability to get through to people’s hearts consume me and create some sort of callous because I felt like I couldn’t “keep wanting more”.

I felt spent and it was either…settle for the average…settle and be ok with just doing what you can do – allow the opportunity to come to you instead of MAKING the opportunity. Go to church on Sunday instead of BE THE CHURCH on Sunday…love conservatively instead of love ridiculously…it’s the difference between abiding and watching from afar.

I had allowed myself to give over to the much easier path of conformity because it was too hard to keep giving it my all…it seemed too hard to keep believing for miracles and keep stepping out even when in and of myself…hope for that soul was gone…but in Jesus…there is HOPE.

I focused so much on our affect on Thailand – I am just now realizing its effects on me. Now that we are back and I can’t seem to meet with hardly any of the people I genuinely love and want to fellowship with – I can’t find time to go out on the streets and witness – I feel like a ping pong ball because we’re bouncing around between so many of the churches that have loved us and continue to love us…and I so desperately want to be steady and serve - nothing in life is consistant since John is gone sporatically and we still do not and have not been in a permenant home situation in over a year and a half...and I ask myself “am I willing to go the second mile?”.

Am I willing to allow God to reignite the blue flame…not just the steady flame but the raging fire that burned with love for my savior and set me apart? No matter what the circumstances...Am I willing to continue weeping even when my body says it’s been enough? Am I willing to push the envelope and press in…PRESS IN to God and allow Him to have me completely and wholly as He once did? Am I willing that after I’ve gone that long mile for Him…and my body aches and I willing to go that second mile?

Yes Lord. Yes Lord….Yes Lord….Yes…All for you King Jesus…because the lamb that was slain is WORTHY OF HIS REWARD!

I ask you as you read this to ask yourself if you would be happy if you found yourself in a heaven that consisted of you, your family and friends, all the comforts you need, with everyone healed and happy…but Jesus was not there…would that be enough for you?

Do you truly know Jesus Christ as your personal savior? Have you given your life fully to Him with reckless abandon? Are you walking with Him daily? Have you settled for less in your Christian walk…have you stopped seeking Him as you once did?

Brothers and sisters in Christ – I beseech you to get on your face before God…repent and go after God with all that you are. Believe your beliefs and relinquish your life to God and you will not be disappointed. If your heart has been moved by this post…don’t call your friend…or pastor to help you through this…get on your face before God and let the Pastor of all Pastors shepherd you.

Have a personal experience with God right now…right where you are. (I’m not saying don’t go to church…I’m simply saying…don’t rely on man to give you an experience…experience God for yourself right now…you have direct access through the blood of Jesus and an experience with God is not dependant on anything but your surrendered heart and God…alone in a room…then GO TO CHURCH)

Ask God to move in your life and speak to you. Turn away from the things that you know do not please Him and begin to seek Him with all that you are…don’t settle…for lukewarm or even warm…BURN for Him.

My absolute favorite song by Nichole Nordeman when I was a teenager:

Started rubbing sticks together
I thought a spark would take forever
I never dreamt this fire would appear

When Moses saw the Bush in flames
And heard the branches speak his name
I wonder if he felt this kind of fear

'Cause I'm burnin'
Yeah, I'm burnin'
And I know I'm gonna blister in these flames
So I'll stay here
'Till this smoke clears
And I'll find you in the ashes that remain

Used to be that I could say
My faith was one arm's length away
From any flame that ever felt too warm

Asked for matches, but I received
A gallon full of gasoline
Now my cozy campfire days are gone

'Cause I'm burnin
'Yeah I'm burnin'
And I know I'm gonna blister in these flames
So I'll stay here
'Till this smoke clears
And I'll find you in the ashes that remain

'Knock with caution at the door
'They said, 'Beware of what you're praying for'
So I'll stand here with my whole desire

In the middle of this forest fire
'Till I've nothing left to show
And new life begins to grow...

Friday, January 16, 2009


Hi all!

No...I haven't disappeared off of the face of the earth. I promise...I'm still by day...hour by hour...I'm still here. :) That sounded a little glum...well, I suppose that because today has been rough. But what's crazy is that I've had the best 2 weeks...despite John being gone. I have felt so encouraged in my spirit and excited about what God is doing and had sooo much grace for my children but it seems as though cup is a bit empty.

We did receive some great news though - we WILL be moving to Denver, Colorado in April! I'm excited about this although I had definitly let myself dream a little dream...for a little too long...a dream of staying here with all my family and friends.

John brought back 2 magazines all about Denver for me to pour over. He also bought me the book Captivating by Eldridge and his know the guy who wrote "Wild At Heart" (the best book ever for christian men). I haven't been able to sit down and read it yet because pretty much as soon as John got back he was gone again.

Unfortunatly, there was a family member that passed away and the funeral was today so Curry and John were off to Nacona yesterday...his dirty clothes weren't even washed yet from the trip! I suppose that might have something to do with my empty cup...I was planning on relaxing and having help after a week of being a single mother. doesn't matter...he'll be back today....and we can all spend time together and enjoy each others company and HELP MOMMY! :) hehehe...

I know I know...there are lots of single mothers out there who do it all the time and I ADMIRE you...SERIOUSLY! I have a new found respect of single mothers...especially those who have two or more children! It is not easy...but it is apart of our new life here in the states and while John was gone...I MISSED HIM TERRIBLY...but there was so much grace for everything that needed to be done. The first day I just determined in myself that...I will rejoice if unloading the car only takes 3 that way when it takes the normal 2 I won't be frustrated. :)

God is so incredible and the supplier of all that we I know that in March...when John is gone for a whole month that it will be alright. John will be going with his father on a trip to multiple destinations in Malaysia and Thailand. Please keep us in your prayers during that time. It's going to be an incredible trip and we're praying that God moves mightily.

You know...I think one of the hardest things being back is that so many people don't know why we are back...and when I speak to them there is this look of disappointment on their faces. It's hard for me not to justify and try to defend why we are here because I have struggled in the past with what "men" think and needing approval from man more than from God. But I've found so much peace in being here...seeing God move and knowing that we are where we are supposed to be. I suppose it just makes me sad that they just assume the worst...that we gave up and came home.

In the light of eternity all that matters is that we are doing what God has told us to do and that we continue in that. On a really good note, I am going to be here during a very special time...perfect timing because two of my best friends in the world are getting married! I'm the maid of honor in one and a groomsmaid in the other. yeah...groomsmaid. :) Love it!

I'm really excited because I'm working on some ideas I have...I can't wait to show you some pictures once I've done one of them. All I need is one decently warm day - living in Texas that is bound to happen anyday now...the weather seems bi polar joke. One day it's freezing and the next it's warm...

Thank you for stopping in...since returning not many of you are stopping by anymore...22 a day to 10...disappointed?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Does Spiritual Growth Just Happen?

Does Spiritual Growth Just Happen?
by Rick Warren

You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. Hebrews 5:12 (NLT)
*** *** *** ***

Millions of Christians have grown older without ever growing up; they act as though spiritual growth is automatic. They may have a plan to save for retirement. They may have a plan for sending their kids to college. But they don’t have a strategy for enriching their souls.

They leave the single most important facet of human existence to chance! But a soul doesn’t automatically grow to maturity any more than a baby automatically grows to physical maturity. You need to have a plan for feeding, exercise, education – and especially potty training – if a child is going to grow up healthy, strong, and mature.

A baby left on its own withers and dies. The same thing is true of your soul. Our world is full of people who have grown older but are still babies when it comes to spiritual maturity. Spiritual growth is not automatic even for people who have opened their hearts to Christ. The writer of Hebrews sadly noted, “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.”

“You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong” (Hebrews 5:12-14 NLT).

© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for ministers.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

If you read the video...

If you are short on time and read none of what I least watch the video and if you ever have time watch Paris Reidhead's sermon "Ten Sheckles and a Shirt" on YouTube or read it online...or listen to it at:

Here it is 10am and I find myself feeling rather alive instead of feeling like a cat who has been the focus of a dog hunt...ok so that's an exhaugeration but I did stay up until 3 am last night chatting with a future missionary. OH I love I love I love God. Me and this wonderful young woman got to talking and we could have gone on for days. I love fellowship with like minded people. I generally love fellowship period but when you are taking to someone who is on the same's just so awesome.

I had met this young lady before returning to Thailand this last time and was very impressed with her heart for missions. She had applied with a missions group to go to Africa and was waiting to hear back from them at that time. So this last new years eve we were at her church...Pathway and she told me that because of her recent church went from a Baptist Church to a Nondenominational Church that someone had lodged a formal complaint with that missions group because she was no longer attending a baptist church. She was removed from the mission trip...

So as I was talking to her I remembered back to Renee telling me that they had been praying for a young woman to come and serve in their a homeschool helper. And I remembered the things that Renee said were important to her in the person that she had been praying for to come...and I was looking at her. So I told her about Todd and Renee and what they are doing in southern Thailand and what they were looking for and Ashley lit up but said she would pray about it. Long story short...she prayed about it and said she would love to go and last night we talked to the Pruetts and it's a go!

I'm really excited for's very exciting for them and exciting for this young lady too! It really seems to me that God has set this up. When she was told that she couldn't go to Africa she was broken...and little did she know that God had another plan for her. An awesome one at that...anyone who gets to spend time in the home of Todd and Renee Pruett will learn and grow in leaps and bounds from experiencing their wisdom and love.

So things are in action...John is gone with his father for a week. This week they are in Denver, Colorado - so if you live near there...go to: and get the directions because these are meetings you will not want to miss...and they are always FREE. I'm excited for John simply because after a month of moving, preparing, going through stuff, traveling and settling in John is finally able to do what God spoke to him and told him to with his father. So, while I'm sad about him not being here for a week...I'm excited because we're finally here...doing what he's instructed.

The boys took it very hard yesterday when John left...tears and all. I thought I would help them get over it with some candy and JOsiah put me in my place when he said through tears "I don't want candy Momma...I want Daddy!". OH my heart just hurt...but they were ok after about 30 minutes. God is steadily working on my heart - I feel his presence throughout my day and I'm in awe. It's my fault that it isn't always this just feels so good to allow God to be apart of every moment of my day. I keep being drawn back to Paris Reidhead and the story he told of two I continually dwell on what it means to deny yourself...take up your cross daily and follow Jesus...I'll leave you with the story he shared:

And for those of you who can't play that video:
Two young Moravians heard of an island in the west indies where an athiest British owners had 2000-3000 slaves, and the owner had said, “No preacher, no clergyman will ever step foot on this Island. If he’s shipwrecked we’ll keep him in a separate house until he has to leave, but he’s never going to talk to any of us about God. I’m through with all that non-sense.”

3000 slaves from the jungles of Africa brought to an island in the Atlantic and there to live and die without hearing of Christ. Two young Moravians heard about it. They sold themselves to the British planter and used the money to buy passage to the island, for he paid no more than he would pay for any slave and wouldn’t transport them. And as the ship left the pier at the river Hamburg, the Moravians had come to see the two young lads off. Never to return again for this wasn’t a 4 year term.

They’d sold themselves into lifelong slavery, simply that as slaves, they could be as Christians were these others were. The families were there weeping for they knew they’d never see them again. And as the gap widened and the hawsers were being curled up on the pier, and the young boys saw the widening gap.

One lad, his arm linked through the arm of his fellow raised his hand and shouted across the gap the last words that were ever heard from them… They were these:MAY THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN, RECEIVE THE REWARD OF HIS SUFFERING.

This became the call of Moravian missions, and this is the only reason for being, that the lamb that was slain, may recieve the reward of His suffering.

From Paris Reidhead’s Ten Shekels and a Shirt