Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blessed Lady!

I am sitting in my living room blogging! ask?  Because my wonderful husband brought down ALL of my Christmas decorations yesterday and I finally finished decorating the house!  Claude put up the lights outside this morning (just before it started raining!  He's so wondeful!)

I am feeling very blessed this season.  We are both healthy, we are in ministry and love it, we have great friends (both here and around the country!), we work with a fantastic group of kids, the youth group is pretty terrific too, we have wonderful families, our bills are paid every month, and we have each other!   OK, I'll stop with the mushy stuff...for now!

Friday, November 28, 2008

More of the kids!

Here is a video of a song the children performed at the concert on Tuesday night! I can't even tell you how much these kids touched us. The video doesn't even scratch the surface of what they did!

One sad note...

This past week has been fabulous..with the exception of one thing.  Now, anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am a perfectionist!  I want to do things well and be the best at whatever I attempt to do.  Well...... I failed this week.  :(

I attempted, for the very first time by myself, to make a HOMEMADE banana pudding.  My mother-in-law taught me how and walked me through the first one.  This was my first attempt to do it on my own.  I was suppose to take it to the people's house that we were going to for Thanksgiving dinner.  However, I burned the meringue (obviously, by the picture!).  It was in our oven for less than a minute and this was the result.  I called my mother-in-law to see if there was any way to "save' it, she said to start over...the whole pudding?!?  NO WAY!!!  She told me that it was a good thing that I caught it before it CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!  Claude said he would eat it and just pick off the meringue!  That's why I love him!!!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What a thanksgiving week!!!

I know it's been a few days, but WOW...we have had one of the best thanksgivings EVER!!! We've been busy with a group of kids from Kenya. They have been so much fun and more blessings than I could begin to tell you! I am to the point where I'm envious of them and the PURE joy that they have in Christ. We are sad thinking that they have to leave us tomorrow, but I know I will never be the same after this! I have a completely different understanding of what my younger brother must've felt when they came back from their missions trip to Tanzania. He said he wanted to adopt the children from the orphanage and now I get why! They are so loving and precious. I am so thankful that God allowed us to have this opportunity. They keep telling us that we have been such a blessing to them, but it really it the other way around. The blessing has been on us.
I'm gonna miss you guys! "Nakupenda", Denzel, John, Anthony, and Moses." ("I love you" in Swahili!!!!)

From left to right
Anthony, Moses (chaperone), John, and Denzel
(Claude on the counter!)

Anthony was being crazy!  This was our "Kenyan"dinner night!
The children fixed a true Kenyan meal.  It was called chipati (don't know it that's spelled right!) and included beef stew, cabbage, rice, and a type of tortilla!  I liked it!!!

John had so much fun with Ella & Natalie ("Talie")!

No matter what was going on, when the kids started giggling, you couldn't help started giggling too!!!  Their laughter was so contagious!

The chaperone that stayed with us, Moses, was just as big a kid as the kids!!!!

On Thanksgiving, the kids got to have an American Thanksgiving dinner!  Some weren't too sure they wanted to try it, but most of them loved it!

Somehow, the local news heard about the kids.  They came out and interviewed some of them and then the kids sang a few songs for them!

The group!

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is what's it's all about!

This Thanksgiving holiday, we at Discovery Church get a rare opportunity to minister to a group of orphan children from Kenya.  Well, actually, after seeing them perform at Catalyst this year, I'd be more accurate to say they will minister to us!  
Check this out...this is a taste of what we got to see at Catalyst!  They were so precious and I cried through the whole performance.  I kept thinking, " I wish my little brother could see these kids!"  (He has such a heart and passion for Africa and the children there.) They was so awesome!

They will be doing a concert Tuesday night at a local church. If people don't walk away thinking what an AWESOME God we serve, they might want to check themselves spiritually.
In the meantime, check out this group! They are truly an amazing story!

BTW, their style of worship is different than what I grew up with, but I am so humbled when I watch them. They give everything when they worship! They are not afraid to raise their hands, stomp their feet, be joyful and praise God as the Holy Spirit moves them! Watch the video! My favorite part is when they sing "Jesus conquered the grave" and they stomp on the ground like Jesus was stomping on death and satan! It's truly awesome!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Never too old...

You know, when I was a kid I thought that when I became an adult I'd know enough to live a happy productive life!  Well, now that I'm "old" (as the teens would say!) I realize that you're never too old to learn something new!  
Laci and I have been teaching a class to 9 teenager girls about sexual & emotional integrity.  We've been using a book called Every Young Woman's Battle.  Let me tell you, these girls have been open and eager to learn and to understand why we are made the way we are!  They have been willing to ask questions (even embarrassing ones!) and have been just as willing to share struggles and issues they've had in their lives.  I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned about myself from listening to them!  They've taught me as much as I've taught them!  They've told Laci & me several times that they think the boys should go thru the same type of class!  
The one thing I have learned (or been reminded of) is how satan still uses the same lies and deceit on girls today that he used when I was a teenager.  Satan uses a young girl's desire to be accepted and loved.  He takes her insecurities about how she looks and fills her with lies about what she must do in order to be loved.  These are the very same lies I heard in my head when I was a teenager.  One thing is definitely different now...satan is running out of time and so he is working even harder nowadays than he did when I was young.  Teenage girls today have SO MUCH MORE peer pressure and so many more "acceptable" lies to deal with than I did.  What was considered immoral and wrong when I was a young girl is now totally the norm for girls today.  It's hard enough just existing as a teenage girl without having all these thoughts running thru your head about what you have to do to be accepted!  
All this to say, we are never to old to learn new things.  The things our kids are dealing with today may be the "same" things we dealt with, but SO MUCH BIGGER than when we were there.  So allow God to show you how to love your teenagers better by praying for them and truly listening to them when they need you to.  Don't cast judgement and don't threaten to lock them up when they start telling you things that would make your ears want to burn off.  Let them know that you can't believe what they have to deal with, but you know that our God is powerful enough to give strength to help them deal with it!  PRAY FOR YOUR KIDS!  If ever was a time for it, NOW is the time!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Been too long!

OK, first I must apologize that I haven't blogged in over a month!  
I have no other reason than it's just been a LONG month and alot going on!  It's not all been great things, but most of it has been great!

I was reading my devotions yesterday and a really great verse just jumped out and grabbed me.
1 Timothy 1:15-16
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.

In my life, I've found that I struggle with the same things on a regular basis...anger, jealousy, resentment, lack of compassion for others.  These things are so hard for me to control.  I get angry and resentful so quickly.  I am definitely not known for my compassion!  I am so quick to look at others and be jealous instead of content where God's placed me.  
This passage really gave me a small peak at how God's heart works.  He gets glory from me when His "unlimited patience" is put to work!!!  I don't know how He does it, or even why, but I'm in awe that He loves me that much!  I think about parents and their children and the love those parents have for them.  I've told Lora on numerous occasions that I don't know how my mother survived me!  The standing joke was that if I had been the first child, I would've been the ONLY child!  (Lora has a child like me and so she tells me things about this child!)  I sit back and think "Only a mom can love that way!"  But, in reality, God loved us so much more than even our moms.  
I am so thankful that in spite of my shortcomings He still loves me!

Thanks, Mom, for never giving up on me and for showing me Christ's love everyday in the way you loved us!  Thank you for the heritage of that!

In case anyone is wondering, my personality comes more from my Dad than my Mom!  I've seen this look from her MANY times!!!!!