Saturday, August 4, 2007

Courtney S. - God IS Great!!

Going to Kentucky was a lot of fun. it was new scenery new experiences and a totally different way of life for these people. I worked on a lady's house named Mrs. Bevins. she was a sweet heart she was so happy to see us, knowing we were there to help fix her house. she opened up her house and everything she had for all 20 of us working on her house. what i thought was really neat was how when we got there she asked where we were from and we told her texas. she was like is that where all the flooding has happened and we told her yes and she replied ive been praying for was amazing to see how God had her praying for us..and the same time we had been praying for her since we found out we were doing home just shows how big God is and how everything in his plan works together...we also did a vbs at the local YMCA. it was a lot of fun. there were a lot of kids...who loved us being time my group was outside the front door teaching the bible story..and one of the parents had just dropped their kid inside and came out and asked where we were from...we told her texas..and she was astonished we came all the way to kentucky to teach a vbs to these kids we didnt even know. but just seeing how greatful these kids were was incredible...i wouldnt have changed anything about the week..God IS Great!!

Courtney S.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Austin - To Define in a Single Word

To define in a single word how this week was is simply an impossible task. You may study it, question it, and try to wrap our puny human minds around the very concept of the magnitude of the events that took place that week. Nothing will change

Someday you might come up with an answer.

It will be flawed.

There is no word. At least, not in proper English that can put all the words like ‘amazing’, ‘awesome’, ‘astounding’ in one word. And that was just the ‘a’ section of the list. There are still 25 more letters.

The reason we cannot come up with a word? Because the Lord worked so much in that week that He won’t let us come up with a proper term, nothing short of ‘the Lord was ever present and worked hard in everyone.’

This was my first mission trip with a church, and as much as I want this and hope this to be true, I hope every other mission trip is like this one. You drag yourself out of bed, and you’re tired. You eat breakfast, and you’re tired. You arrive at VBS, and you’re exhausted. The kids show up, and you’re dancing and singing and bouncing off the walls with energy you never knew you had. The kids thought we were kings. To see their smiles as we gave them a tunnel entrance was worth it. They got pumped and so did we. They enjoyed the music, the games, the crafts and the stories. Well, VBS ends, and after hanging around the kids for a few hours, you feel like you want to take a nap, and somewhat unwilling to get on the site and work. Well, when you get there, you feel like you can chop down a mountain with the energy that come from nowhere, well, God. Speaking from my site’s perspective, yes it was hot, and yes there were hundreds of stinging wasps and bees and yellow jackets, but we didn’t care. Just seeing the smile on Mrs.Bevin’s face every day was more than worth it. She would wait for us every day for us to come out and work on her house. At the end of the week, some of the workers and I made a new sign for her house, and she cried when we presented it to her. During the week we got to know her better, and while we had been praying for her, to hear from her that she had been praying for the Texan’s in the flooding areas for a while now brought to us a happiness that only the Lord could provide.

It would take me a while to explain all the marvels the Lord did that week. Sadly I have no time left, and I want the other students writing a testimony to give their views. My hope is by the time you’ve read all of them, you will get an idea about the week. And it will inspire you!

God bless,
Austin G.

PS- Mrs. Bevins made THE best biscuits and fried chicken you can EVER taste. If you wanna talk about heaven on earth, her cooking was a good example.

Children's Camp

Our 1st - 3rd graders are officially on the road this morning to camp. Please pray for Jim and Dawn, along with all the children and sponsors. They left at 7:00 a.m. and will be back around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. tomorrow night. The camp is down by Lake Travis. There are going to be around 600 campers from various churches.

As parents, we are thankful that our local church body has an over-night camp for these grades. It truly helps prepare the children for the week long camps that come with growing up. We also greatly appreciate those adults who make time for the children.

Please pray that during this time, each child and adult will come closer to God. That if they do not already have a personal relationship with Him... that this time will be the start of a beautiful and lifelong one. May HE truly ROCK their worlds!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Testimonies. AWANAS. Fall.

Testimonies: They are coming. Please be sure to watch for different names at the beginning and end of posts. We've got some amazing guys and girls in our student ministry. Please pray for the ones who will be sharing their testimonies here. Actually, continue to pray for the student ministry as a whole. They are exciting to watch and be around!

AWANAS: Last night was another training session for this exciting adventure! Our family can personally testify to the impact AWANAS has had on our whole family. Please consider being a part of this vital ministry. Next training session is Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. in the DMZ.

Fall: There are many new exciting things happening in the fall. Where is the fall going to have YOU? (ask yourself this whether you're here locally or not)

Off to serve meals as a part of Healthy Kids now.... Looking forward to getting all wet!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

While Riding in the Golf Cart.

Earlier this afternoon, Parker came into the living room where I was working. He wanted to go to the little store, as we call it, to buy some batteries for his grandma's hand fan. She uses it to help her keep cool when playing golf. She has talked in the last few weeks of getting really hot while playing. I couldn't go right then. Instead I gave him a job to do to keep him busy for a bit. He went outside and swept the driveway. Oh those pecans......

Hubby hadn't been home long when Parker and I decided to go on the golf cart to the little store. Hubby informed P that he had already bought the woman of the house her batteries for her fan while in town this morning. Parker had earned a little money for sweeping all those pecans. So, we decided to go anyway.

When my folks got the purple golf cart, we had to laugh. My brother is an alumni of a school whose colors are purple and white. Did I ever mention about the purple counter top in the laundry room? Too funny actually. So, instead of just Parker and his mommy going on the purple golf cart to the little store, his daddy went too.

As soon as we backed out of the garage, there it was again. That horrible skunk smell from a few weeks ago now. Funny how I've been in and out of the garage a good amount lately and hadn't honestly smelled it. But wait..... I was going from inside the house straight into the garage. Most of the time, the garage door being closed. It is amazing how badly it can still smell after all this time and given the fact that the skunk itself is now completely gone.

As we made the turn onto another street and yet still has the same name as ours, a diesel truck decided to pass us. Frankly, given the fact that it is a battery operated golf cart and, therefore, goes incredibly slow, I didn't blame him in the slightest. Again, there's another lovely smell in the air.

As we passed by more row and row of trees..... again other smells start tickling our noses. While driving past one of the driving ranges, the smell of freshly cut grass was almost overwhelming. I must confess that it is weird to see the range after it's been mowed..... talk about being able to see the grass even with a couple of balls. Most of the time, the grass is covered like a blanket of snow.

Our trip to the little store was productive since I had promised P that I would take him to buy a treat. He also got to spend some time with his mommy and daddy. Of course, we came away with more than just his goodies.... there is also a pecan pie for the new neighbors. If his favorite had been cherry or apple - I could have made one with my eyes closed. It is still a pie.

On the way back to the house, there were more smells to take in whether we really wanted to or not. This is what happens while riding in the golf cart. Just remember - I don't have a golfing bone in my body and neither really does Parker. But we do enjoy riding on the golf cart because we are spending time together and at times use it for visiting others as well.

I'm sitting here eating peanuts that I purchased at the little store. Again, there's another smell. It reminds of me of baseball.... and why the golf cart is purple. Some stories will remain in the dugout.

Imperial March or Imperial Sugar?

Just a few minutes ago, I was sitting in a chair at the side of my mother's bed. She was sitting on the bed. We spent some time chit chatting about various things in life. We even laughed some. In fact, she just came out into the living room where I'm currently writing at and shared about an email she had received... And we laughed again.

This morning, Parker was in our bedroom talking with his dad. Hubby said something to Parker and P's response was, "Don't keep using sarcasm on me." The three of us just laughed. Of course, Parker's dad kept it up for a bit just because of that. I'm laughing again even thinking about how silly those two are together.

Yesterday, while at the science museum seeing........ all things Star Wars related.... I couldn't help but laugh. One of the exhibits was labeled, "Naked C-3PO" ....... Then right across from that was Darth Vader's head broken down into three parts: the helmet, the jaw piece, and then the rest of the face. The jaw piece consists of numerous wires and such the same as looking at a naked C-3PO. This struck me as funny because in the movies, Darth Vader was suppose to mean darkness, fear, and evil. C-3PO was suppose to be helpful, amusing, and well..... a robot. Of course the most laughter occurred when the 5 boys took turns acting like they were run over by a sand crawler. They were to look like they were hurt or dead..... instead they couldn't, for the most part, keep a straight face - especially our sons..... There's one pic of me that made everyone in our group laugh. If we can ever figure out how to post pics on this thing - I'll put it up so you can laugh with us.... on me... You know how I like to share things.

Last night at dinner, watching the ten of us all eat together definitely provided for more humorous times. The kids all thought it would be interesting to know how many packets of sugar and such were on the table. They had them all laid out in order to count them. Parker leaned over to me and said, "Those pink packets kinda reminds me of our kitchen counter in the mornings where you and dad fix your coffee." And then, he topped it with... "You know? All over that part of the counter?" Okay.... so maybe you had to be there and/or see our counter in the mornings. It's okay... The maids always clean up after us.... Oh, wait.... that would be us cleaning up after, well, us.......

I've been making noises and saying one liners associated with the movies while typing this. And yes, laughing at myself.... I'm trying to control it.... I know... I know... "Use the force, Camey." Where did I put that lightsaber again?

What makes you laugh?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, July 30, 2007

Conversations on Monday.

This Monday morning has found me already involved in numerous conversations. Some easy and some not. That is life in the moments....

My mom came home Sunday night. Long/short - they had changed their plans from coming back on Saturday to Sunday. She thought she had told us of those changes. She had not. This too is life. Parker and Travis sat around her bed listening to her talk about the trip. By the time I came into her bedroom, Parker was able to say to her, "Grandma? Tell Mom about....." They had a good trip. They are still a couple - just not married legally. They are more like companions in life. Or so that's what I've gathered thus far. She is taking him to the eye doctor this afternoon. So, she will be driving today. Okay.... When you pray for one to be freed up - you gotta remember to not complain about when it starts to happen. Oh, lessons in life daily. It had been awhile since the boys had sat around her bed and talked with their grandma. I am thankful for this morning's time with her even if it was not a comfortable conversation in every single detail... whether mentioned or not. Parker and Travis have to go thru my mom's bedroom to get to their room. It was originally mom and dad's study. We are thankful that our sons were used to sharing a room. Totally see Him all over that!

Another conversation took place with a sweet friend. Funny thing is..... the lines in our friendship are more connected than ever. It comes in part from loving our families and wanting what is truly best for them... even if it means at times taking unpopular stands. We had not talked via phone in a while. I felt refreshed after talking with her and she said the same thing in return. We were of encouragement to each other. That's how I believe real friends should be. Not just full of fluff and tickling ears.... but able to dig through the difficult stuff and try to offer a hand to hold or to bring up.

In a couple of hours, the five of us are heading out to the big city with our "running buddies".... There's five of us and five of them. While we have many things in common - at times it is our differences that make for some of the most fascinating conversations. There are things we will probably never agree upon.... Yet, that does not stop the depths of our friendships. We're going to see an exhibit at a science museum. I cannot wait to hear the conversations that will take place while walking amongst each piece displayed and through the hallways. Then afterwards we will all eat together. Again, cannot wait to hear the conversations that will transpire.

This has been a different sort of Monday and it's just 10:24 a.m. at this moment. And yes, other conversations have taken place... the best one has taken place on my knees.

Where are you found having the best conversations of your life? And how long has it been since you've truly been on your knees?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Time. Mystery. Porch Swings.

For the last few weeks, I've been teaching on Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. The title of this series of lessons being, "What Time Is It?" If you have a Bible, I encourage you to open it and read these verses. If you don't have a Bible - I encourage you to get one and dive into it. What time is it for you at this very moment?

Mystery. Is time a mystery for you just waiting to be unwrapped like a game of Clue? Or is time something that you think you can plan every single minute of and in the ways in which you think it ought to tick?

Porch swings. Parker and I just spent some quality time together on the back porch swing talking about life and our walks with Jesus. How long has it been since you've sat on a porch swing and listened and talked with another about Him? Would you even have time for such things in this season of life?

Time. Mystery. Porch swings. Thank YOU God for the blessings of these things.

It's Sunday Morning.

Okay. So Austin made it home last night but so far no sign or word from my mom.