Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hello India!

Wow- yesterday felt like the longest day ever. We kept saying "when we got here yesterday" but actually it had been that morning! God was so good and we were upgraded to  business class on our flight from London and we all felt that we had rested well. Such a blessing- the flight from Dallas to London was over booked and packed like sardines. We have seen so much and the city is so very very busy I can't take it all in! The streets are full of cars, motorcycles, people, bikes, mini taxis and we've seen 2 cows! Everyone honks ALL the time and the driving "rule" is "the bravest one who guesses best wins!" I am the designated front seat rider.....whoa! It is wild :) The poverty of the peoples lives both physical and spiritual needs is overwhelming- although it has not been as shocking as I expected. Last night we walked to the restaurant and I did not feel unsafe- just very aware of the MANY vehicles passing less than a foot  from me! I ate spicy lamb and chicken with rice, corn that was great- cooked different than we do it and amazing naan, a flat bread. I am glad for the excitement to be here. God is very real and I feel Him close which such a comfort as I walk and ride through this city. I have not yet felt nervous or overwhelmed- We are going to a Telegu church this morning and then meeting to pray and plan this afternoon. We will head to the village in the morning. We heard from the team that was visiting this past week that the teachers are warm and receptive and the children are SO EXCITED to have them there. I am looking forward to the village and seeing them all.  The team before us had a medical clinic and saw every child as well as around 100 from the village. It is 6:45am Sunday morning here right now and the sunrise is  coming over the buildings. I slept all night well and feel "on schedule" so far, not too much jet lag, we will see what the day brings!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the other side of the world.....

Aletheia Banjara School in Andrah Predesh, Inida is a place where seeds of hope are being planted.  Where the lives of over 300 children are being impacted with the truth that there is One true God that loves them and offers an unshakable hope for them and their future.  God is at work in this place!  Will you please join in prayer for me and five others as we travel and serve the teachers at the ABS school over the next 11 days?  I cannot wait to come home and tell the stories that I know will fill my heart after seeing what God will do with this small offering of sacrifice we make for Him in this place.  Thank you!  Below is a prayer guide~

From November 17-27, our team will be going to Aletheia Banjara School in Gurrapu Thanda, India, to conduct a teacher in-service.  Our hope is that God’s Word would come alive to the teachers through the Christian Character Qualities curriculum written by a dedicated member of our team.  Our prayer is that the teachers would develop a vision for reaching their students for Christ through teaching these godly virtues more effectively.   We would greatly appreciate your prayers for us as we minister to the Banjara people.

Our first and foremost request is that in all we do and say, we would be vessels used by the Lord for His glory; that we would be invisible and God would be the focus as we share His truth.(2Cor.4:7,10; 2Tim.2:21)

Pray for the Lord to multiply our time and energy, to thwart Satan’s attacks, and to enable us to keep His priorities. (Eph. 5:15-17; Ps. 90:12)

One way we are concerned that Satan may render us less effective is through health problems and fears. We would ask that you pray for the Lord to protect us in all ways.(Ps. 28:7-8; Ps.18:1-3)

Another request we have in the physical dimension is for our energy and stamina.  We have a grueling travel and ministry schedule, and it will only be the Lord sustaining us victoriously.  Pray that we can stay focused in spite of sleep-deprivation and missing families over Thanksgiving.(Isaiah 40:29-31; Phil. 4:13)

Our families at home will be doing everything from homeschooling to cooking Thanksgiving dinner while we are gone.  Please pray for protection on our families and for a special blessing on them for their willingness to sacrifice in order for us to minister. (Num. 6:24-26)

Pray that at all times we will have servants’ hearts, flexible attitudes,  unity, and sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading (Phil.2:3; Phil.4:11-12; Eph.4:1-3)

Lastly, we pray for the Lord to go before us and prepare the hearts of the teachers who will hear the information that we will present, and that it will be truly life-changing for them.  Pray that circumstances that they are going through will prepare their hearts in such a way that they will not be overwhelmed by all of the information, but will see it as the answer to many questions that have come to the surface in their teaching.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to speak just the right words through us to each person, and that we’ll encourage and show the love of Christ to everyone and each other.  (Col.3:14-17; 4:2-6; 2Thes.3:5)

Thank you for your prayers and faithfulness for our team.

Friday, November 11, 2011


vulnerable ~ exposed, open, sensitive

These are not words we tend to gravitate towards in a positive way.  In fact, I am sure that each of us has a way of setting up boundaries so that we do not expose too much of ourselves to others.  Fear and uncertainty can plague us and in turn cause us to keep the "real us" at a safe distance.  

First, I want to say that I believe it is incredibly important to first filter everything through God's word, so we can be within the guidelines He has given us to follow. Our thought life, our speech and our actions must be motivated by our love and desire to please Him.  

So, with that said, freedom should follow.  

Freedom to follow the call that God has placed on our life.  Yes, there are absolutes in God's word that apply to all of us.  The beauty in His master design of each of us is that we will flesh that out differently.  For one example, this afternoon I had a wonderful discussion with a young woman about having children.  She was saying how she was really wanting to search our her own answer, according to God's word, in regards to married people having children. Is it an absolute?  Is in required?  Commanded?  What about those that are unable to have children due to medical reasons?

I said that I believe God tells us to raise up generation after generation for HIM and for HIS glory.  We need to be obedient to that command.   But to me, here is the beauty of it all.  It is fleshed out in a unique way in homes all over the world.  

I have a friend who has adopted four children and has two of her own, a friend who has only adopted even though she is capable of having her own children and one who adopted after trying for 10 years.  I have friends that only have biological children and friends with no children who are investing in those children around them.  I also just recently heard the amazing story of this young woman, Katie.  Talk about having the freedom to live your life to what God is asking!  

This is where it becomes important that we become vulnerable.  Where we are open to share what God is doing in our life and stand boldly on the foundation of His master plan for our lives.  It is so easy to begin to "mark" our lives by those certain success "markers" that the world so easily places on us.  

a good job.....check
a home of our own.....check
great family vacations.....check
successful children.....check

None of these things is bad.  However, I do believe there are things that carry a great significance on which to build one's life. The list of "markers" goes on and on. I think the list could be much shorter.....

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul and your mind.  Love & serve others.  


exposed to let others see your heart burning with passion for God
open to letting Him use you in the ways He created you to be used for His glory
sensitive to His call on your life in whatever form that may take

Not all of us will be called to serve a people group on the other side of the world, but I know that whatever God calls you to do for Him, it is a high and holy calling, so do it well.  Do it for Him with all your heart!

financially supporting

You can add your own to this list and if you don't know what it is that He has called you to at this season of your life.....stop right now and go before Him.  Do not move forward with your own plans until you have heard from Him about what His plans are for you!  If you have not surrendered your life to Him, then stop and do that now.  Don't wait, time is short and there is much to be done for Him.  

If we are moving forward with God, then we are moving in the right direction!  Let Him show you the "markers" by which to mark your success in this life.  Oh how different they will be than what we imagine!  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Bigger Picture

We all have something that we said we would never do. You know that list that includes things like..... get married, have kids (definitely not more than two!), go to Africa as a missionary, go back to school, pay off all your school debt, adopt a child, learn a foreign language, run a marathon.... The list goes on.

But, unfortunately, most of the time so do we. Life moves forward at a rate faster than most of us can keep up and we keep adding to the list, but we don't take anything off. They stay there because we unconsciously have made the choice to NOT do it, rather than mark it off because we have done it! We don't actually do anything on the list so it keeps growing.

Now, I am not saying that we view all things in life as a list, but in our head it's on THAT list.

The "Abraham" list ~ the one where you see nothing but impossibility in that one thing really happening
The "Mary" list ~ the one where circumstances would have to be different for that to work out
The "Moses" list ~ the one where you are certain that you are not equipped to do this or that certain thing

Well, so far, the above lists would include the father of many nations, the mother of the Christ child and the man who led the Egyptians out of the land of slavery. They all thought they were incapable or that what was revealed to them seemed impossible, but they, like us, were only looking at the small picture called "right now." The biggest hurdle called "me."

We know people and we hear stories of things happening in which only the hand of God could have made it happen. We are moved and may even thank God for his amazing work. But, we fail to see how we too can be used in His bigger picture.

So, how do we do that? We open ourselves up and we grow. We let God work in us and change us and mold us into His hands and feet. We seek His Kingdom and His righteousness first. We stop building our own little lives and we ask how He wants us to help build His Kingdom. Then, one day without warning we are on a plane across an ocean to serve another people group, we are trusting in Him sustaining us as we train for the marathon to help make a difference. We are preparing for a home study in the process of adoption, we are hitting the books each night getting through school with His grace.  


The list is getting smaller because of His work in us.

Of course we have all heard the expression ,"Never say never!" Certainly with a God like our God, we should never say never. First, because He is capable, but also because "never" is a selfish expression of what we think is possible or not possible. So, shame on us for reading about the great possibilities in His word, for listening to the stories of His amazing work in others, but not really believing. Not really taking the possibility, that He may want to use us, seriously.

We are all someone to Him.
We are all a possibility to Him.

Let Him see in your heart an authentic desire to grow and be used for things that you have always said you would never do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chiseling Away

God has been at work in me, refining and chiseling away all that is not good. (A lifelong process!) I am amazed at the many different ways He chooses to open our eyes to new truth, or rather truth packaged in a way we have not seen it before. His Truth is never new, it is timeless and never-changing, how wonderful to really count on something in this crazy world!

Right now, this book is making a huge impact on me.....

If you need a book that will encourage you, inspire you, challenge and change you.  Give this one a try! You can also find daily encouragement with Ann

Thursday, September 15, 2011


She knows your heart.
She knows your shortcomings.
She knows your kids...really knows them!
She knows why you make the kind of choices you make.
She knows what you need even when you may not be sure.
She knows she can say that "one" thing to you, because,'s her and she can!
She knows how to pray for you.

She sometimes remembers your birthday. (Which you actually love about her!)
She might know your favorite cookies.
She might remember where you were born, or she might not know at all.
She never asks you those kind of questions that get under your skin, because she knows they get under your skin.
She doesn't doubt you, even when you sound crazy!
She never sees you as an inconvenience.

She tells you if you have too much on your plate, because she loves you.
She calls from a long way away at an odd time, but you talk anyway, because that is a treasured moment to get to chat.
She knows what makes you fearful,even if you haven't said it outloud.
She nods her head and finishes the sentence when you can't quite get the words out.
She will listen to the "real" you talk openly and honestly without judgment, harsh questions or accusations. 
She will take your child with her on her family vacation if it means that she can help you do something you can't yet believe yourself, that you are going to do.

She is there.
She is available.
She is trustworthy.
She is strong.
She is truth-driven.
She is walking alongside.
She is encouraging.
She is honest. 
She is authentic.

She is.......
   the kind of friend that really makes a difference in your life every time you spent a    moment with her.  

I hope that you have this kind of woman in your life.  I also hope that we are all striving to be this kind of woman in someone else's life.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Devotion? {s}

I remember a few years ago, as I was listening to a radio-talk show interview a Christian author about motherhood she re-told one of her favorite "real-life" learning moments.

One morning she was awoken early and decided to get up and spend some much needed time with the Lord. It had honestly been a few weeks since she really spent some time before Him. She quietly walked to the kitchen and made some tea, then settled down in her chair.

She began praying when she heard slippered feet coming down the hallway. "LORD! Why on earth is one of my children up this early? I got up and am going to spend time with You and one of them is awake! This really doesn't seem fair!"

As her child approached her, he excitedly said, "Mama, were you waiting for me?" Gentle tears began to fall down her cheeks as she realized deep in her heart that each morning, God was waiting for her, but she did not consistently get up to meet Him. Oh what a sweet moment that encouraged her to be just as eager to get up for her waiting Father!

The word "devotions" always seems to bring up an array of ideas in conversation. I love how Jess so simply puts into honest words our need and desire to spend time with the Lord. Not time in a "well I checked that off my list for the day" kind of way, but really BE with and before the Lord.

Our Creator.
Our Savior.
Our Peace amidst the storm.
Our Comfort.
Our Guide.
Our Provider.
Our Protector.
Our Healer.
Our Ever-present help.
Our Emmanuel.

Yes. THAT God, sovereign over the entire universe! He longs to hear from us, so that we may hear from Him. Let Him, "wake you morning by morning." (Isaiah 50:4)

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