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Blessed and Refreshed

26 Jul

Well time certainly flies by and it seems like it has been for me. A few major changes have happened in my life too which also makes life a bit more exciting! One of those changes being that I have resigned from my job. This was a big step for me and required a lot of faith and trust in God  for what may come next but I’m looking forward to see what God is going to do on my behalf. He is ever faithful and has promised to be so!

Because of this change, I had the opportunity to fly out to Chicago to once again minister at IBLP, the former organization I used to serve at three years ago. The girls “Journey to the Heart” was this past week and I was blessed to be one of the team leaders. I had an amazing assistant who helped me tremendously! Our team consisted of 11 sweet girls ranging from 14 to 26 years old. Over the next 10 days, we had a great time seeking the Lord together. There were times of counseling, sharing, praying, reading, singing, fellowshipping, and sometimes just times of laughter or tears. To see God work in hearts and lives is thrilling. There are some that come with past hurts, some with current struggles, and some without a Saviour. We saw young women saved by the grace of God, relationships restored, and hearts revived. I trust that as these women settle back into the normal routine of life, they will continue to walk in freedom and joy as they love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ and those around them.

I stayed for a few extra days here in Chicago to catch up with some old friends – it’s been great. I’ll be heading home for two days and then flying out to Georgia to visit with my uncle and family. I’m certainly enjoying my summer so far and feeling mighty blessed! 🙂

My awesome team!

Session with Mr. Gothard
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Group Session up in the Northwoods of MichiganIMG_2133

Such beauty!
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Time of singing, sharing, and teaching

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Time for some relaxation and fun at Lake Superior!

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My awesome assistant!DSC_0070

Group photo with Mr. Gothard and team leaders/assistantsIMG_2188

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Revive Tour

23 Jun

This past weekend, my mom and I had the opportunity to take a short trip to Lancaster County for the Revive Tour with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Nancy from Revive Our Hearts Ministry was finishing her three month on-the-road recording trip. By this time, Nancy had already travelled to Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and other cities recording an upcoming radio series on the names of God that will air the early part of next year. Lancaster was her last and final stop.

We started off Friday evening with a praise and worship session led by Shannon Wexelberg. What an awesome Christian and  exceptionally talented musician! Our hearts were stirred as we focused in exalting Christ and moved in quiet meditation as we focused on our Saviour’s great love! Nancy gave a powerful message that touched many hearts and lives. Tears were shed and hearts were encouraged as Christ met with us.

Our Saturday schedule started off bright and early with the first recording session beginning at 9 AM. Nancy led us into a study on four names of God: Man of Sorrows, Redeemer, Lamb, and Amen. As I sat there listening to the truths of God’s Word , I was blessed. It’s always good to be in the house of God and it is a special treat to be with hundreds of ladies who are seeking to know more of Christ while being taught by such a great woman of faith as Nancy.

Saturday afternoon, there was a luncheon held for women serving in ministry. My mother and I attended and once again enjoyed moments of praise and worship with Shannon, fellowship, and teaching. A special bonus was being able to listen to Nancy play a beautiful hymn composition on the piano!

Coming home, I could sense that the Lord was tugging at my heart. I know that I’ve been a bit lackadaisical in my pursuit after Christ. I know He hasn’t changed but my heart has. I don’t want to remain where I’m at – No! I want to consistently be moving forward, ever growing, and ever changing for my Saviour’s glory and praise!

I’m so thankful for the godly influences God puts in my life to spur me on and keep my encouraged! I’m blessed for Biblical teaching to keep me on course. And most of all, I’m thankful for a Saviour who loves me unconditionally and is ever so merciful!

Shannon Wexelberg

Shannon Wexelberg

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

 

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Shannon and me

...in between recording sessions

…in between recording sessions

Leadership Luncheon

Leadership Luncheon

a non-blurry pic :)

a non-blurry pic 🙂

 

Help Fight for Life!

24 May

Would you please take a moment and seriously consider joining me in helping  save one baby at a time?

I’m so excited about this upcoming opportunity but we deperately need your help! Please click this link  and remember that every prayer and every “nickel and dime” will help us change the world forever!

Thank you so very much!

baby girl

A Pastoral Tribute

15 Apr

Written for my dad.  Based on Proverbs 31.

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Who can find a faithful man? for his character is far above reproach.
The hearts of his household trust in him to lead, protect, and provide.
He will do good and not evil all the days of his life.
He looks for opportunities to serve and provide for his household.
He works willingly and fervently with his hands, doing all with his might.
He will rise when the sun is not yet shining and prepare his heart by meeting with his God.
He considers the weight of his earthly responsibilities and does not take them lightly.
He girds himself with the armor of God and strengthens his arms against the day of battle that awaits him – perhaps the battles of discouragement, lust, worldliness, or laziness.
He seeks for ways to reach out to the community and bless those who come across his path.
He chooses to not be afraid of what the future may hold because he knows that God is in control. He has dedicated his life and the lives of his household to God Almighty.
He may be known as a man of great integrity and wisdom yet he continues to lead a life of humility, keeping his heart with all diligence, and seeking after God fervently.
He is a great warrior willing to fight against all odds. For sure, his reward shall not be fully recompensed until a time to come in eternity.
He opens his mouth with authority yet is kind and gentle to his wife and children.
He is not passive in his beliefs or standards. He diligently washes his wife with the Word and has done his utmost to raise his children in the fear and admonition of God. Because of this, his children can respect and praise him. His wife can safely trust in him.
There have been many men of the past who have done great and noble deeds; but he is one that surpasses them all for he is my Pastor, my Father.
Flattery is deceitful; outward strength is vain; good looks are vanishing; but a man who whole-heartedly fears God shall always be praised. This man will not be forgotten.
Let him see the fruits of his work for it has pleased God and touched the lives of others.

In the Presence of the King

3 Aug

My heart is breaking. It’s breaking for a family who has lost a son and brother. This world is now missing a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.

Exactly one year ago, God gave me the opportunity to meet a young man (18 years of age) who had a passion for serving Christ and promoting His kingdom on this earth. That young man’s name was Chandler Brazell. He was called Jimmy by his friends.

We met at the Chicago O’Hare airport, excited to be leaving for Beijing China. He, myself, and Brooke Martens were entering a new chapter in our lives and looking forward to many new adventures together. We were heading to a strange land to teach character to boys and girls we had never met before and in a country we had never visited!

Throughout the three months that we spent together, we would share lesson plans, pray, eat together, visit new restaurants, attend church services, and soak in the Chinese culture.

I can definitely say that Jimmy was brave! He wanted to participate in everything and anything. He would make new friends so quickly. He tried his utmost to immerse himself in the culture, learn the Chinese language, and share His passion and love for the Lord by sharing a smile, greeting the elderly with a ‘Ni hao’ (hello in Mandarin), or spending time at his students’ homes.

I was blown away by his testimony and fervency for the Lord! I knew he loved God and God loved him!

Just two days ago, my heart sank when I came to find out that Jimmy was taken home to be with Jesus after a swimming accident. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it! I would have never thought something like this would have ever happened. I would have never imagined that the young man that I spent many hours with – while sitting laughing in conversation or catching the city train or listening to him sing from the next hall – would be taken one year later.

I’m stunned but I’m happy that Jimmy is home with his Saviour that he loved. He is worshipping Jesus in a perfect way. He’s most likely singing praises with a heart of gratitude perhaps while he skips down the golden streets of heaven – certainly beats skipping down the busy streets of Beijing like he would.

However, my heart breaks for his family and close friends. My prayer is that the Lord will strengthen them, give them peace that passeth all understanding, uphold them in His care, and surround them in His unfailing love.

Jimmy was a testimony of God’s faithfulness to me. Without a doubt in my heart, I know he will hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

Pondering

27 Jul

I’m sitting here in my dimly-lit bedroom checking my emails, looking over blogs, and reminiscing over the events of the day. It was a good day. I feel blessed. I feel at peace. I feel happy. But at the same time, it was a different day filled with many emotions.

First off, I had to deal with a screaming kiddo who wanted his own way. He didn’t want to eat his banana or toast for bfast. I didn’t feel like fighting so I didn’t push. Now, if it was my kid….it would have been a completely different story! 😉  haha!  Anyway, moving off that point…..I wanted to keep the day busy so I told little G that we would do a photo shoot. She could get dressed up all fancy and smile to her heart’s content – just like a real princess.
While in the process of set-up a ceramic figure fell on my head and broke. Oh the pain! I have a huge goozer on my head which brought on quite the headache. Then if that wasn’t enough, plans of horseback riding with a dear friend were cancelled which was greatly disappointing. And then to top off the evening, the ticket that I was going to book sky-rocketed in price! Am I disappointed?! Of course. I’m human and have feelings. However, it’s what I do with my feelings that shows the state of my heart. I could allow all this to bring discouragement or I can choose to put all my confidence, trust, and dependence in Christ alone and believe that all this was and is ordained of God, it’s all going to work towards my good, and this is a time that I can look to Him to continue leading and guiding me in His ways. God knew how much I could handle today. So I can sit back, hang on and enjoy the ride of life with all the twists, turns, ups, and downs! 🙂

Last night, I was reminded of my frailty in my pursuit after God and His righteousness. I spent the last two nights at the house of the family I have been working for. G wanted to sleep with me so before we went to bed, I read her a story and then we prayed. I shut the lights off and was so happy that the time had finally come when I could close my eyes and get the rest my body was so yearning for when I heard her little voice ask me if I could read my Bible to her. In a half-hearted tired voice, I told her “maybe tomorrow” but as I laid there I realized that I’m on a mission field. Two families with five children under one roof lost and without Christ. A little 5 year-old asking me to read my Bible to her……..how often does that happen?! I quickly hopped out of bed, turned the light on, opened my Bible and started reading Psalms. After one was read, she kept asking for more until she just about drifted to sleep. It ended up being a precious time and God even spoke to my heart through the verses that I needed to hear. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s love and goodness even during the times when I’m  dragging my feet and not running after Him with all my heart! Ah, I have so much to learn for sure! Life has been and continues to be an adventure. I’m just wondering what tomorrow will hold! 🙂

In the UP

28 Jun

This past week, I once again had the privilege of flying into Chicago to IBLP Headquarters. A girls’ “Journey to the Heart” was scheduled and I went to help for 10 days. The weekend was blessed with fellowship and the encouragement received from time spent with the dearest of friends. Monday dawned early and we loaded up six 15 passenger vans along with two trailers and headed for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  For the next several days, about 80 girls and their assigned team leaders set aside time to study God’s Word, pray, search their hearts, and seek after God as they desired to know and love Him with their everything.

I, along with four friends, kept busy in the kitchen cooking up a storm! We chopped, diced, stirred, kneaded, boiled, baked, and everything in between as we prepared meals for each team and the staff.

I was thrilled to serve in this capacity and was encouraged to see hearts and lives of many girls changed throughout the course of the week. We returned tired and weary in body but happy and blessed in spirit!

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