Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Gift of A Scar: Hairy Compassion

When I was 18 months old, it was discovered that I had Scoliosis. That's a fancy term for a curved spine. Instead of being straight - it looked like an "S"... It became worse over the years as I grew. When I was in 4th grade, it was determined that I had to wear a Milwaukee back brace. That's a brace that went from under my chin to my hips. It had one metal rod in front and two in back. It made me sweat! But I would not trade those moments for any thing.. Not even when I was stripped searched at the airport. That was long before 911 mind you. Not even for the jokes and endlessly teasing and stares.

The summer going in to 6th grade, it was determined that the brace was not working. I remember so vividly my daddy sitting on the floor with me weeping as he held me in his arms after praying about the next step the doctors said was necessary. So... while all the other kids my age were starting school - I was having back surgery. I became the proud owner of a 12 inch metal rod known as the Harrington Rod. And no, I do not make metal detectors go off funny enough.

What I do not talk about very often is that I almost did not make it off the operating table. They were getting ready to write my time of death down when I started breathing again on my own. Well, of course, it was not on my own. Hope wasn't finished with me here on earth yet.

I've always been known for my hair as crazy as that is to me. I spend very little time on it and always have. But, when my hair recently past my scar - I knew what I was to do with it! Of course, I have those in my life who do not understand my decision to cut 10 inches off today. That's okay.... I do not need their permission. I only seek to answer to One.

I look at my scar as a gift. As a reminder of God's love for me. I am thankful for the life He has given me - yes, even in having faced the depths of not being considered normal and loss. In suffering, the compassion of Jesus became more real to me than every single breath I take. Giving the 10 inches of hair to help someone else is one way I can serve Him... and share His compassion with another so that they too may know His love in the most intimate ways.

Hairy compassion! So, I ask you this moment - what can you give to another out of the story of the life you've been given?

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hope Has A Name!

This morning I had the pleasure of ministering at a memorial service of a dear family friend. Pleasure and a memorial service? They don't sound as if they should go together, but in this case they do without a doubt. That's what can happen when you're walking through life's moments together. While Marion and I never agreed 100% on every single thing - there was a bond that was undeniable. The bond - Jesus.

Marion also brought into my life a woman named Pauline. Pauline is married to Marion's oldest son. Today, I finally had the opportunity to meet her face to face. I sought her out amongst the crowd of other family members that were there. When I told her my name - she grabbed my hand and tears filled her eyes as they did mine. As she stood there with the aid of her trusty cane - we smiled and laughed as sisters can do.

Pauline has been ill for many years now. At times, she is unable to stand. She is in pain and doctors are unable to give her any real sense of hope of being cured. Her illness is not one that is easily explainable. Pauline and I have a bond that is deeper than deeper even though we've never been in the same room until today.

Pauline prayed for me from 1998 to 2003 while I was ill. And I have been praying for her all these years as well. She said to me this morning, "I remember hearing that you had been healed Camey! Here you stand now! Hope knows no end!"

For while I am thankful to have been physically healed, there is truly no comparison between it and Spiritual healing. That is another part of the bond that Marion, Pauline, and I have in common. The last time I saw Marion - he said to me, "You and I both know that I won't be healed this side of Heaven. Just like you knew with your dad. Hope is not found in the world, but only in Jesus."

I'm often asked if I'm afraid of becoming ill again. The answer is simple. No. For even in illness or the best health of my 40 years - my hope is the same. It is not based upon myself or what I can or cannot do. Jesus. My hope is Jesus..... it is in Jesus... it is through Jesus.

Now... back to pleasure and a memorial service.... When Jesus is there - the tears can be ones of joy and happiness!

Hope has a name..... Jesus.

As always - you dear reader have been prayed for...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Special Message: The Cross!

For those who have asked.....

The cross is hanging on the main tree in front of the house. Brother G put it up this afternoon.

I can still remember when he made it with his own hands at daddy's request all those years ago now.

If you drive by.... please know you are welcome to stop and visit with us. The porch light will be on if we're here.

With all the talk about Christmas gifts... may we not forget that had Jesus not died on the cross and rose again on the 3rd day defeating death.... He would have been merely another babe...

Thank You Lord for the message of the Cross especially as we celebrate Christ's birth.

No one can ever take Christ out of Christmas!

Will you help others see Him in it through serving them?

By Request!

Here are the links to the articles that I have had published through Serve! ezine with Steve Sjogren. Please make sure you read the other articles as well. Then - actually SERVE!


Called "Deal of a Lifetime"


Called "The Lawn Pastor"


Called "Not Just A Day On The Calendar"

My door is always open to helping you/yours figure out how to live life in the outflow!

Jesus came to serve... not be served... His door is open too!

Opportunities to show His love and kindness to others are at an all-time high!

As always, dear reader, you were just prayed for!

How are you serving others this moment?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Real Oxygen Testimony - Some of the Homer Rains' Story.

Real Oxygen Testimony! Date: June 21, 2007

One of the benefits of living in this highly secure gated community 15 miles plus away from town is the grocery store up the street. Well.... today... the benefit was that of Homer.

I noticed him when I first walked into the store. Frankly, I don't remember having seen him there before. Most of the time one of the boys is with me, if not two or all three. That's where a lot of lessons take place. When I was reading one of the labels on the pasta - there he came down the aisle. Low sodium has taken on new meaning.

Homer was pushing a cart full of items that needed shelving. Attached to this older man was a portable oxygen tank. He looked at me.... I smiled and walked on. When I had grabbed a few items - I proceeded on to the checkout line. The girl calls over the loud speaker, "Homer to carry out please." I had not noticed his name before.

He came and bagged each item with care and then placed it into my cart. He walked with me out to the van and started putting the groceries in the back end. He made a comment about the carrying case for the golf clubs and asked if I played. Remember: there's not a golfing bone in my body. Not a single one. Yet.. the door was open....

I told Homer about my dad and we talked some about what a horrible disease Parkinson's is. We then talked about how when one is a Christian - there is more to life than good physical health. I asked him about the additional oxygen he was requiring. He then told me his story up until today....... He recently had a PET scan made.... The doctor was baffled. It was clean. No cancer to be found. Homer goes to our church and yet we had never met. That happens when you have a church our size.

While the cancer is gone - his body still needs additional oxygen to help him not be so tired. We talked about how great God is. And standing there looking at this dear older man - there was no doubt what a real oxygen testimony he has.

Not long ago I sent a story about a testimony that took place at a laundry mat one day to a dear friend of ours.... She said, "I would love to be a part of something like that." The testimony actually included her by the way. Of how God had used her in a person's life...... She was a part of the testimony. Why? Because of her passion for sharing Christ's love with others. For getting into the pit and showing who could really get them out......

My challenge to those of you reading this is........ Don't put God into a box that can only be opened on a hill or wherever you call church. For He is alive in the parking lot among the trees as well as the laundry mat.

If you have a testimony you'd like to share..... You are free to post it

The above was written on June 21, 2007. I have not seen Homer in a long time. Austin informed me last night that "Homer" had died. You see, Austin knew Homer from having worked together at little store here in the highly secure gated community. As employees, all their name badge has on it is their first name. I only knew him as Homer all this time.

One day this week I learned that a man named Homer Rains was in the hospital - near death... I learned this as a part of what I do at the pcb - physical church building. It wasn't until just a few minutes ago did I understand it was in fact the same Homer. The name "Homer" has been ringing in my heart and mind since hearing about Homer Rains and praying for him and his family. Homer and Austin ended up being a part of each other's testimonies as well since I first wrote about him. And we are thankful for Homer Rains and his "Real Oxygen Testimony".... He has never been more alive than he is now!

My challenge to those of you reading this now... whenever now may be.... remains the same. Don't put God into a box that can only be opened on a hill or wherever you call church. For He is alive in the parking lot among the trees as well as the laundry mat. He is just as alive on Monday - Saturday as He is on Sunday... May we who claim to know Him live as if we do no matter what day or time it is.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How Deep Is The Ocean?

Tonight as I sit here not where I originally had planned... I can't help but think of how truly blessed my moments are. My calendar had me being gone each night Tuesday through Sunday. And yet, here this woman is... again... not where the calendar said. I've been needing to stay in due to a silly head cold. Funny how blessings come that way?

I was supposed to be one of the hostesses for a big event with our current church body. It was something I had been looking forward to for awhile. And yet, back in my mind - I had a feeling that it wouldn't turn out as I had planned. Funny how that worked out isn't it?

Instead of nights filled with hundreds of people, food, dancing, singing, and etc... my nights have instead been relatively quiet, but then again not. I've spent much time listening to others pain, praying dangerous prayers, studying, talking with friends catching up on life's moments, hanging out with my husband or the redhead known as Parker.

Last night I was trying so hard to cook Parker and myself a wonderful dinner. Well.... let's just say... utter disaster! We laughed ourselves silly over it and then dived into some delicious sugar cookies. Tonight, I had favor with the redhead as I scrambled up a few eggs just oh so right. We sat at the bar and talked much to my delight.

Tucked into the last two days has been Travis.. the dirty blond with spiked hair. He made the All Region Band for the trumpet - 4th chair! Out of 800 plus students who tried out.. only 200 or so made the cut. To say we're proud of Travis would be an understatement.. then again - we always are even when he forgets to the dishes. This afternoon was the big concert. I was up to going so the redhead and I jumped in the van and headed off an hour away. I was tempted to speed, but I didn't. Of course, I had to laugh at the mere thought of it. The concert was great! The mean 4th chair trumpet player out shined them all in my eyes!

So? My calendar may have ended up looking nothing like I had planned... and yet... there is a smile on my face and I've got my hug on which is a part of my groove... and I am reminded again how deep is the ocean of God's love for this silly woman!

Dear reader... I can assure you... His love for you is just as deep.

Dive in.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thawed and Not Frozen

There's this couple... I ran into them earlier while in the frozen food section of the little store here in the highly secure gated community. Upon seeing one another we always hug. Tonight was especially tender.

The man looked at me and said, "Kid... I was hoping to see you over the course of the next few days, but wasn't sure how that was going to happen unless we just dropped by where you live. And here you are with that hug to give."

The couple and I talked about the fact that the Lawn Pastor had been by for a visit yesterday. We discussed the fact the Wal-Mart Pastor was already serving others tonight. Then we talked about what's coming this weekend.

Brother G (aka hubby, Lawn Pastor, Wal-Mart Pastor) is preaching at a different place this Sunday morning and evening. The boys and I have been asked to come too. The question was asked of me, "So? Do you think you guys will end up there?" I looked at them and smiled. Only God knows that at this point. Although I do have my theories... and that dream.

While we were standing there in the frozen food section, I couldn't help but smile deeply inside. For whether or not hubby is called to this other place as their pastor is not necessarily the goal and they were perfect examples of it.

They were thawed and not frozen... How can you share God's love with others? It is as easy as mowing a lawn, stocking water or even giving a hug.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Than Just A Good Time. Weekend Update.

Thanks to all whom have sent me messages asking for an update... It truly is hard for me to find the words to describe what all transpired this weekend. Without a doubt - it was more than just a good time. It was more than answers to dangerous prayers prayed whether years ago or just even yesterday. It was a vision/dream painted in real-life colors with brushes and strokes that only can come from the Holy Spirit.

We saw individuals come to Christ... teens... We saw individuals come back to Christ who had been wandering away. We saw individuals even really notice God for the very first time. The students did projects that took them out of their comfort zones and then learned first hand about what it means to serve others without pay.. just because God loves them. I had the pleasure and sheer joy of seeing a college age young lady whom I had known as a child lead because her foundation is secure and steady. I also had the pleasure of being the chauffeur for some of the teenage girls and their leader. I'd drive them any time - Chinese fire drill and prayer request time included.

It is no secret that I take seriously prayer and having a praying life - not a prayer time. This weekend - I had the pleasure of praying with several different individuals. Some teens... others adults... And I can say without question - there is major Jesus work being done in and through so many lives. Prayer can take place any where and at any time.... Yes, even in the bathroom!

My husband was ordained last night. We had individuals come from hours away to be with us for such a special time for our family. That's really where I saw even more of the Spirit at work. And I am so incredibly thankful. Hubby was surprised to receive so many letters from individuals all over the USA. To those who wrote one who might read this - he will treasure those letters just as much as the certificates he rec'd if not more so. He laughed when he got to the bottom of a couple of them and there was the suggestion to come to whatever state they (or you) are in. There were individuals who spent countless hours preparing for not only last night but the weekend as a whole.

One of the questions I was asked was, "Did you stand behind your husband and hear what all was said to him as individuals laid hands on him?" No, I did not. I was where I could see his face clearly and who was speaking to him. I also got to experience numerous of those same individuals coming to hug me as they wept sharing with me about my husband, my daddy, the boys, and our family. Some of these very individuals I have known since being a little girl.... and some are individuals who prayed for a woman and her family during the years she was ill because of her parents. Talk about reaping what you sow.

There is no question we will leave this place at some point - unless Jesus returns before then. There is no question that the very place I said I would never go to has had a lasting impact on not only my life, but that of my husband and sons. I remain dumbfounded by how God works in such mysterious ways.It is a love that can only be explained by God.

Thank you to those who are a part of this journey with us through prayers and/or however else you may be. Thank you to those who prayed for Brandon these last few days. While we are thrilled that my husband was ordained - it doesn't compare to seeing others come to know Christ or coming back to Him or even noticing Him for the first time.

More than just a good time............ Radical life-changing times!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Heart Burn. The Best Kind.

The last few weeks have been crazy. We're seeing dangerous prayers answered in ways that we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it can only be the handiwork of God.. of the Spirit.

The title of this may seem odd to some. Yet, if you were to closely examine the moments the G family have been having as of late... you'll come to understand what I mean. Our heart burns.... there is an aching there that cannot be described in any other way than God. Our heart burns to continue to draw closer to Him.. Our heart burns to see others notice Him for the first time. Our heart burns for those who have wandered away to come back.

As I wrote about in "Thanksgiving in our Novembers".... hubby has preached at our current church the last two Sundays. The comments are still coming in.. One lady told me today, "Camey? He nailed it. That hubby of yours nailed it." And while I was grateful for her sentiments - I couldn't help but be reminded that if Jesus had not "nailed it" - it would matter not what my hubby did. Talk about a love that surpasses all others!

I must confess - some of the clearest indication of heart burn happened last night. Hubby received a phone call. Needless to say - he is preaching this coming Sunday morning at another church.. I had to remind him that he could not preach at their Sunday evening service... this Sunday night is when he is being ordained as a pastor. But that's how much his heart burns for the gospel... for the Word.. to preach, teach, and let the Spirit guide him in the ways in which he should go.. to see lives transformed by the renewing of minds/hearts that can only take place with God and His Love.

Another indicator of it was my lunch date with Parker... which ended up being pretty much his whole class too. Parker invites 1 or 2 kids whom he knows does not know Jesus or perhaps is not connected to any church to eat with us. There wasn't room at the "guest table" for us to eat at. So? We did what we could.. sit where they normally do. The conversation flowed with ease between myself, Parker and the kids at the table. One boy kept being talked about. Apparently, he is known as "The Arm Wrestler." His name is Daniel. Daniel finally came to the table and we got to talking about his arm wrestling adventures with others in the school. Before long - I was telling the kid directly across from me to change places with Daniel. You should have heard the cheers from the kids, "Parker! Your mom is going to arm wrestle Daniel! COOL!" I held on pretty good but alas Daniel won.. that opened the door to my sharing with those listening about having been paralyzed and where my real strength comes from. It is certainly not from myself alone. Before the class all headed back off to their classroom - hugs or handshakes were given by almost each one of them. Yes, it is safe to say - another indicator of heart burn.. As I sat at that table, one of the boys shared with me about his home life. I told him our family would pray for his family. He smiled and said, "Thank you, Camey. I know you'll pray because you're Parker's mom." Burns just thinking about it again.

Today, I saw a dear friend named Stephanie. Every time I see her - I am reminded of another Stephanie. That Stephanie came into my hospital room back in November of 99. It was a time in-between family/friends "taking care of Camey." There I laid not even being able to push the button for a nurse should I need one given the fact that I was paralyzed from the neck down. The nurses had left my door opened and told me to SHOUT OUT if I needed them. In walked Stephanie.... and then quickly out again.. She returned with a chocolate candy bar and a Coke. Both had been off limits to me. Stephanie walked over to my bed and broke off some of the candy bar and rubbed it in-between her fingers to break it up into tiny pieces and put it on my tongue. A candy bar never tasted so good in my life! Honestly - no candy bar to this day compares to that one. She then got a straw and put it into the Coke can. She then dabbed some of the Coke on my tongue - just like she had done with candy bar. Some of the sweetest heart burn I've ever had.. Still to this day even. OHHHHH! The very next morning was when my fingers were able to move.. Oh my.... the heart burn! And even though the complete physical healing was still 4 years away - I am thankful beyond words.

This weekend - our church student body will be having what is called DNOW. 146 students are signed up to come. As I sit here and think about each one of them and their families - again - there is that heart burn. Yes, please pray for all involved. Amazing things are going to happen and already are as we only had around 60 last year! Austin and Travis are two of the students. One can never be too close to God... matters not how old one is or how long they've gone to a place called a church... nor if their parents and grandparents are/were Christians.

There are other things going on that I cannot talk about just yet. Come Monday, I will be able to share more! Our heart burns for those of you who continue on this journey with us as our brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, through prayers... or however you may be. So.... from our hearts to yours - thank you.

Heart burn... The Best Kind.

Have you ever had this kind of heart burn?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shoes - Sharing God's Kindness Really Is Simple

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Today, I am thrilled to be a part of an internet blast to help raise $$ for 50,000 pairs of shoes to be given to individuals who have none.

Sharing God's kindness really is simple..

Go to http://www.50000shoes.com and donate $5.

$5 buys 2 pairs of shoes.

It takes less than 2 minutes.

Help take a stab at poverty today!

And as always... you've been prayed for dear readers!

More to come...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thanksgiving in Our Novembers!

Over the last few days, the boys and I have been talking about how November seems to be a significant month in our lives time and time again.

Today is the 2 year anniversary of daddy's passing. We remain thankful in the midst of grief. And for those who have asked... Yes, I do believe some of my accepting about his passing is directly related to having been at death's door before myself. And there was a dream as well. The dream came a week before he passed. I know that makes some uncomfortable... I don't always understand that myself. My daddy loved God. He rec'd the ultimate healing!

Tomorrow ( and the 9th) - hubby is preaching at our current church. While he has preached other places before - this will be his first time to do so here. We remain thankful for how we see God working here in G-town. (ohhhh to those in our group - you'll have a sub filling in for us tomorrow as I will be with hubby.)

Sunday, November 16th, hubby will be ordained as a pastor. And while we believe he has already been ordained by God long ago now... we are thankful for this next step.

November 1998 is when I came down with a rare form of pneumonia and our lives were changed forever. No question - we are thankful that our family did not remain the same.

November 1999, having been ill for a year... I became paralyzed from the neck down. I spent the whole month in-between two hospitals. Muscular Dystrophy wouldn't be diagnosed until later... I did receive a miracle in being able to move again. The battle would continue for 5 years. Again..... I cannot begin to tell you how thankful we remain for that time in our lives as hard as they were.

November 2000, we spent Thanksgiving with my folks in Galveston. I was able to get around some with a cane. I looked like an old woman standing there at the edge of the water having to be covered from head to toe.. Daddy wanted me to be able to spend some time with the boys on the beach... playing in the sand. He always thought I would die first. He had already been diagnosed with Parkinson's and Diabetes a few years before that.

This is just some of why I am thankful as I sit here..... For while we may not always understand why things happen the way they do - I am thankful for God's amazing love. For that's what life's moments are all about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Take Our Lives. Here We Are.

First things first... Thank you to those who have checked in about no blog posts. Your friendships and prayers mean more than words can say. My blogging fast is over as of today.

NOW! Having said that... Let me share what's going on in our moments.

The G family is so thrilled to see prayers answered.

Direct prayers.. Dangerous prayers...

Four years ago, Bro G and I surrendered to God. We surrendered to "Take our lives. Here we are." Actually - all five of us surrendered - the boys too. The past four years have been filled with some of the best times, some of the worst times and in-between. And yet, we can say without question... we wouldn't want it any other way! That has to be God - not the G family... We have grown, stretched, reached out, served, and etc.... We have not stayed the same. We simply could not have.

Sunday, November 2nd, and Sunday, November 9th - we are seeing prayers prayed long ago answered. It definitely goes to show how God is at work in our lives and through our lives and where we are at currently.

Bro G is preaching at our current church. We have two gatherings each Sunday - one at 9:00 and the other at 10:30. Will he be wearing his boots and blue jeans? Don't have a clue... He is preaching on Evangelism. The Wal-Mart Pastor and The Lawn Pastor will definitely be preaching/sharing too - no doubt.. We are to use our life's moments to be the hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouth, and etc of God - wherever those moments may take us. God's Word is clear - as you go...

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for him/us in regards to this. Please continue to do so. And while everyone knows we love the people where we are currently at... we are praying for those yet to come, yet to know Jesus, and for real transformation to take place in each individual on a daily basis. It's not just about Sundays folks.

We are also praying for that body/place that God is preparing the G family for and them for us. When/where - we haven't a clue yet.. Until that time - we will serve with joy where we are at. Yes, even through the internet..

We do know this - we will follow God no matter the cost. After all - No One could come close to what God did for us with Jesus on the cross.

Take our lives. Here we are.

Dangerous prayers continue to be prayed and answered!

Every day is a GREAT day to serve God... and therefore, others!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty!

Today is Blog Action Day on poverty!

Jesus said that the poor will always be amongst us. As Christ-followers, we have a distinct responsibility to help those in need. We must not turn a blind-eye to the faces and lives they represent.

While today is "blog action day".... I encourage any one who reads this to consider that every single day is action day if we are to be the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and arms of God!

What can you do? Take action today! Don't wait for someone else to help that individual in another country or even perhaps across the street from you. Poverty knows no address alone.

Since the summer of 2007, our local church body has joined together with other churches and organizations in feeding the children in our community/town a free meal 5 days a week. Almost half of the students in our public system here in G-town qualify for free or reduced meals. Summer means no school. We almost had a child die of starvation in 2006. One child is one too many! Yet, our town is known to many as a "retirement or resort area"... We must look with God's eyes and not merely our own!

Take action today! It's not about money.. It's about touching and changing lives!

Love God. Love People!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today. Ordination Council Meeting

4:00 p.m. central time....

Hubby is having a meeting with the Ordination Council at the local body we serve at currently.

He will be ordained as a pastor. The real ordaining of course we know and believe comes from God.

This is mere a formality... but most definitely an answer to specific prayers prayed by numerous individuals.

So... from us to each of you - Thank you. Keep praying!

More to come as the G family continues to follow God as and wherever He leads.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's the Little Things.

This afternoon - hubby, the boys, and I went to lunch with some of our group (18 to 25 year-olds). The manager of CiCi's (a pizza joint for those not in the know) is a bud of mine from various things in the community/town.. There was a long table in the back of the room that simply wasn't going to be big enough. I made my way to the counter and asked him if we could put some tables together. He said, "Yes. Really? Yes." I didn't think too much about his reply at the time other than his approval given.

As we were preparing to leave after totally stuffing ourselves.... I asked him if we needed to put the tables back or did he prefer to have them cleaned off first. He looked at me and said, "No. We'll do it." as we shook hands.. I thanked him for allowing us to put the tables together in the first place given their lunch crowd. He looked at me and said, "Thank you for even asking. No one ever does that. They just do it. That was cool." He took my hand again and squeezed it hard and yet tenderly.

It's the little things that can speak more often than not. Yes, there is something to be said for grand gestures... but really.... it's the little things that can make someone see God instead of just a silly woman.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Weekend Update!

It's taken me a couple of days to process all that took place on Saturday. Thank you to those who have continued to pray! Your prayers have been felt without question. Thank you as well for the checks up however you've sent them.

Saturday morning, four of us headed out at 7:15 a.m..... my mother, her boyfriend, hubby, and myself. We decided it would be best to let the boys stay in G-town. That decision was not made lightly, but ended up being the right one without a doubt! We were gone a total of 12 hours...

Overall, I can say that the ride to and from went rather smoothly. Again, the prayers were greatly felt and known intimately. It was the in-between that I'm still working on.

My uncle Dale requested to be cremated. He also did not want any flowers. So, needless to say - it was rather different from most services I've attended or been part of. His wife, daughter, two sons, their spouses and children were there. I was greatly saddened by the lack of attendance by the majority of our extended family however - not even half showed up....

My uncle Joe was in rare form.. Hubby didn't have to fill in for him like we thought might happen. Uncle Joe told me as we were preparing to leave that he is done being the marrying and burying pastor for our family. He's officially passed the baton to hubby now. Uncle Joe has cancer too. He handled his brother's service with much dignity, grace, and never forgetting to take the opportunity to talk about Jesus and Heaven. And I was beyond thankful. Given that he has been told there's nothing else that doctors can do for him either - it came across with much concern for those he'll be leaving behind. He never got one name wrong either.. With such a large extended family as ours - that happens often!

My aunt Jane - Dale's wife and I spent some real in-depth time talking. It was my conversation with her and Dale's grown children that still has me processing things. She talked about my role in the family - especially in the last five years. Dale's grown children did too. And about hubby's as well. She specifically said to me, "Camey? I believe God healed you because our family couldn't have handled your dying. We need you to get us through these deaths. Your place in the family is known by all of us. It is greatly appreciated." What does a person do with that? I must confess - it made my heart heavy. No, not because of being physically healed.... I remain thankful for that.

My uncle had served the USA in the armed services years ago. Taps was played as was a flag unfolded, folded again, and given to his wife with the Country's thanks. One couldn't help but notice the memorial with all the names of individuals from that little country town who had or are currently serving. Yes, I stopped and prayed for all those families represented.

There was lots of talk about Dale being back home where he wanted to be - speaking here about the small country town we were in. As we stood at the site where he was to be buried - his children and grandchildren took turns digging the hole for the small box his ashes were in. Laughter erupted when the ground was much harder than anyone was expecting and muscle really had to be put into it. It was natural to laugh during those moments.

When the box had been covered... we all went back to the pavilion. Aunt Jane proposed a toast with champagne - one of his favorite things to drink. Some of us had Ginger Ale instead... More toasts were made - some serious and yet some funny.

When it came time for us to be heading back to the highly secure gated community, I made my rounds. As each one of his children were hugging me - they said the same thing, "I'll be calling you soon to talk!" When I told them people were praying for them and would continue - I got smiles and winks. And the one I would have least expected hugged me harder. Much harder.

So, keep praying!

A testimony from a dying world

Hello peeps of da' blog

Today's post is going to be a little strange. I am not writing as Austin son of Camey but as Evangelancer Neo X, or {ELC}Neo X. I am about to explain why. It is long winded, but please bear with me.

One of my hobbies is playing the computer game Halo. Since the beginning of 2007 I have ran a online group of Halo gamers called a 'clan', but we were a "Christian" clan. We were active for the majority of the year. The name of our clan was the Evangelancers, and my screen name was Neo X. My clan never had more than 10 members, as compared to the other "Christian" clans have around anywhere from 50-200 members.

The name comes from the Greek world Evangelion, which is an improper form of the word "Evangelism", meaning "The Good News", and "Lancers" is a type of warrior; a spearman. Therefore, "Warriors of the Good News". This type of name was not uncommon. Some of the other names are Deadly Christians, Soldiers of Christ, God's Chosen Warriors, and Children of God.

The whole point of my clan-at the time-was ministry. Particularly, evangelism. Let me describe the typical "Christian" server (online location for playing the game)

1)No cussing, name calling, inappropriate words, cheating, foul play, ect
2)Keep talk about Jesus elsewhere

That pretty much sums it up. If you were shocked by the second example, you should be. The first example is a very Pharisee-esqe quality of these servers that I also have issues with (The problem is the how the people who act against those things act) .At the end of last year, God told me to stop my 'clan', that I was missing the point. Well, I've been playing on and off earlier this year, with the intent of presenting the Gospel at each server I play on. On these "Christian" servers, I get told to keep it elsewhere and to play- by the members of that "Christian" clan.

I'm just going to let it out. I just got through giving a Gospel presentation on a Christian server. I was told to stop. Having been on two mission trips this summer, and being away from the computer for about 4 months, I find that disgusting. Repulsive. And the sad fact is, that there are probably 10 well known "Christian" servers, and all of the members of those "Christian" clans are like that. I can count maybe 4 other individuals who are like me and agree with what I'm saying.

When I give these presentations, those who aren't Christians (the overwhelming majority) come down on me. I really don't care if I get called every name in the usable English language (some of it you wouldn't believe if I told you). I try to talk to people and explain things if they question (or condemn) my words. However, the thing that makes me sick is a "Christian" player telling me to take the Gospel to somewhere else, which pretty much happens every time I do it on a "Christian" server.

I'm just going to ask you: Is that being acting like a Christian?


If I counted on my mind the total number of professed Christian gamers, the number would be about 500-600. The Halo PC total population of online players is no more than 1500. The Christians are a strong majority. They may not be the largest, but they are a respectable size (keeping in mind it is an estimate). And they are so concerned about being able to play their game that they just slap "Christian" on themselves as a gamer and be good. What would happen if they all stood together and represented the Gospel, instead of committing Matthew 10:32-33 (which, I quoted to the member of the "Christian" clan after he told me to stop).

...I'm just frustrated. We all know of those who say they are Christians but act otherwise; at school, at our jobs, wherever. If you came to the online Halo gaming community, the "Christian" populace is like that. When I began playing Halo online, I was one of those people. Now I strive not to be. Do I seriously know that every presentation will be met with condemnation by those who don't believe? How can I know that my presentations- which aren't very long and I do it only once per server visit-, are the only time that someone could hear the Gospel?

What do I know? How can I know? Why should I keep silent?

I view myself as an online revolutionary. This is my revolution. I will NOT keep quiet. I WILL tell others about Jesus when I play online, REGARDLESS of the "Christian" (by the way, in case you didn't get it, when I put quotes around the word Christian when I'm talking about the clans, I say that with much intentional sarcasm). So what if Halo is bloody and violent? Like we can't find that in the Bible anyway. People question why on Halo? I say why not. Of course I strive to witness outside of Halo, but why can't I carry the Gospel to everything I do?

Read for yourself and judge my position.

And if anyone who knows that I'm talking about them on the Halo online "Christian" community - You have just been called out for your lukewarmness.

God bless everyone who reads this, and please pray for this community. You can ask me questions if you wish,
Evangelancer Neo X (Austin, son of Camey)

P.S.- If my post seems hate-bashing, it is not. Some of my best friends are the people I speak of. I love each of them. It is for that reason I make this post.
P.S.S- There is a song by the Christian artist/worship leader Charlie Hall called "Hookers and Robbers". Please listen to it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Part II: Grief Comes Knocking Again.

Thank you to all for the prayers, messages, and etc... concerning the passing of my uncle on Monday. I found myself staying in the house today/tonight due to still trying to get over this blasted head cold. Little did I know why I was really to be here...

I ask that you continue to pray for my extended family. I have spent much time with Dale's daughter today via cell phone. That would not have been possible had I been at the physical church building. Ah! I'll take a head cold any day then.

I believe we are take our experiences and use them to help others notice God. Please join with me in praying for all those connected to my Uncle Dale.

His Servant

Monday, September 29, 2008

Grief Comes Knocking Again

This evening the phone rang... upon looking at the caller id - I knew.... Yet another family member had passed on. His name was Dale. He was one of my mother's brothers. And he called this niece, "Dear Sweet Camey" for as long as I can remember. He had been ill for so very long with cancer. I am incredibly thankful that he is no longer in pain and suffering.

There is no question that grief was going to come with his passing.... Yet, it does sting a bit more given the timing. The last time I spent quality time face to face with Uncle Dale was a year ago..... we were together due to another family member's passing (cousin Dennis - he was 47).... and I was in charge of taking care of the family. Did I mention before how large our family is? At least on my mother's side...

Uncle Dale and I had really in-depth conversations over those few days. We talked about the time he called me from his hospital room while I was in the hospital in another city. And we laughed.... It was appropriate at the time - just like it makes me laugh still. Two people hooked up to oxygen tanks trying to talk on the phone... while the people around us were trying to insist we needed our rest.

We also talked about where he stood with God. I can still hear him saying, "Camey? That's the minister in you! Just for the record... we're good. Best we've ever been." And right now.... this moment - I am counting that as a sheer blessing.

Grief comes knocking again. And truthfully.... ministering to ones own family is so much harder.

Please pray....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pictures Worth A Thousand Words

Parker and I

went on a date last night.

This is the park taken by Park. On the other side is the river.

This is just a tad of what we saw.

This picture was taken upside down from behind me.

Trees... Trees... Trees. More trees. What else do you see?

Sometimes it's worth it to ride in the golf cart. Otherwise, we might drive by too fast and miss out on the beautiful scenery of life's moments.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Whose Eyes Do You See With?

Sunday morning, one of the guys in our group told me my hair looked beautiful. He later went on to say that he noticed I had it going the opposite direction than normal. This touched me deeply. Let me explain why.....

I've written about him before. His eye sight is not good. He has had surgery on both of his eyes in recent months and years. He knows who I am by the sound of my voice most of the time - not because he clearly sees me with his own two eyes. Most of the time his own eyes are too cloudy and are partially closed. During the week, he lives and attends a school for the blind. He rides a bus back to town on the weekends.

So, let me ask you this moment.....

Whose eyes do you see with?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Experiencing God. Seeing Him Move.

In the last post, I talked about prayer. It is safe to say that answers to some prayers have clearly been seen in the last couple of days. Thank you again to all who have been praying.

First up is Uncle Logan. He was certain he was going to die in Hurricane Ike. God spared his life. And while I do not claim to understand it all..... I do know this... only God knows.

Yesterday morning, Barbara and her family were at the physical church building. Barbara is a co-worker of Austin's at the little store here in the highly secure gated community. We've been praying for Barbara and her family for well over a year now. The smile on their faces, especially Barbara's..... priceless. Invite people to come..... All they can do is say no. It just might be the invitation they've been waiting for.

The response by individuals in regards to prayer - beyond words.

After I was done with the whole prayer thingy..... it was time for our Bible study group to meet. I walked into the room where Brother G was already sitting with them and had begun talking. As soon as I hit the inside of the room - IT was obvious still.... Brother G taught, there was discussion, and then he had to leave. Where I was sitting - I didn't have a clear view of each one - I knew I needed to move in order to make eye contact. I knew it.... I got up and moved.

Brett J. was sitting directly in front of me. His eyes were filling up with tears as I continued. A twenty-something year old guy - getting all teary. As I looked over to my left - so was Austin M. I talked about Uncle Logan. I talked about not knowing when our time may be up. I shared about when I was 11-years-old. I had surgery on my back and almost didn't make it off the operating table. I talked about the years I was ill - what the doctors had said.... about being in the best health ever at age 40 now. I talked about being lifestyle missionaries.... as we go about our daily lives being his hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mouth. I challenge them to not wait until tomorrow or when they're finished with college. That if they are Christ-followers - they should want to be about sharing Him with others now. It flowed out of me..... I wasn't the one talking. I was merely the vessel.

Brett J. came up to me after the group was over... he said, "When you moved to where you were looking directly at me, I knew God was speaking to me." Brett and Austin M are praying about and will be discussing this week with our staff where they can get plugged in. It may mean they're not a part of our group on Sunday mornings..... and we are thankful. For while we enjoy having them - we'd rather them follow His prompting. Please pray for them.

Brother G and I came back to the house and took a nap. We slept for 3 hours.... 3 hours..... we had a wonderful rest of the evening with each other and our boys.

Experiencing God. Seeing Him move......

What about you?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prayer - More Than A Chance Encounter.

This morning at 2:00 a.m. I woke up. I had been sound sound asleep - in fact - dreaming. But at 2:00 a.m. - I was wide awake and praying..... Ike made landfall at 2:00 a.m. here in Texas.

Uncle Logan would not leave Texas City. He has Parkinson's like his oldest brother, Glen does, and like his youngest brother, who was also my daddy, did. Like that isn't enough - he also has cancer. He didn't see the need to leave in an effort to spare his life. I must confess to having rather mixed thoughts and emotions about his decision...

Hubby's sister and her family live in Katy... we spoke with them last night... she is suppose to call us this morning when they are able... No call yet..... Hubby's parents live in Magnolia. They decided to stay in Colorado where they had been on vacation.

This morning as the G family was eating breakfast together... we heard about Ike making landfall at 2:00 a.m. Hubby and I discussed the fact that's when I was woken up to pray. Truly believe it was a prompting of the Holy Spirit... of God. I don't discuss these things lightly. It tends to make some rather uncomfortable.... That's okay... Parker said to me, ""That's why you're speaking/teaching on prayer tomorrow."

During the years I was ill - I was often awake at 2:00 a.m. Some times I could move and would get up with the assistance of a walker or cane.. and others - I laid there. It was during that time that praying went to a whole new level. Looking back - I am beyond thankful. For while prayer had always been a part of my daily life.... it took me deeper than I might have gone otherwise.

I have had the opportunity to speak/teach on prayer numerous times since being ill and then having been healed.... and especially since daddy passed on. I am grateful. Yes, I believe in the importance as a Christ-follower of reading His Word.... But even more so than that - there is a level of communication that takes place through prayer. Some times it is me listening to what He has to say in the quiet of the moments... others.. well.... I could go on and on...

It is my prayer today.... wherever you are... that prayer will be more than some thing you do at meal time when ready to chow down. That you will stop..... get alone with The Father... and be still.. and listen.... and speak from your heart even if no audible words come out of your mouth.

It is not a chance encounter. It is an Absolute.... just as He is... even if we don't see our prayers answered immediately or in the way we thought best. It is about the relationship and drawing nearer and standing in the gap for others.

If you have a prayer request - please feel free to leave it.

As always.. you were just prayed for.

I will update on Ike and the status of family members and etc... when I know more.

UPDATE: Uncle is safe! No electricity.. not sure about damage.. but is safe. Sister-in-law and family are without electricity as well. They have downed trees, but are safe too. Still waiting to know more about damage and how best help is needed. Thanks all for your prayers!

Note: For those who have asked.... Yes, the latest Serve! ezine is up... This month's article is entitled, "The Lawn Pastor"... http://www.serve-others.com/issue21/

Monday, September 8, 2008

When the axe fell....

Once upon a time a fat, sappy teenager stumbled across an addiction known as anime. Engrossed and obsessed, he worshiped this sinful collection of Japanese animation while playing the Church game. Over time, the fat sappy teenager (who eventually became slimmer and happier), became less obsessed, yet still held on to his little drug. He became more involved in Church and didn't play the game anymore, yet he still held on to the thing that held him from a true relationship with his Creator.

Case in point: The 16th of Wednesday in April of 2008. The Beginning of the End.

A wonderful devotional named "A Call to Die"entered my life during a stroll through the city. Coming from Bestbuy, I remember, holding the DVD set of this obsession in my hand, turned it down, went to Lifeway, and bought this book, and started a 40 day fast from anime and manga. That day was March 29th. On Day 18 of this intense devotional, a wonderful speaker named Brandi spoke on wednesday night, one of the best wednesday nights of the year. It was that night I chose to end my relationship with anime. I remember holding a piece of clay she had passed out while speaking, saying "Are you going to let God mold you into the person He wants you to be?". At that point, angel and demon Armageddon broke out in my mind. I knew why. He was asking my to give up the thing that had been in my life since childhood, which mutated into a unhealthy idolatry. I sat, as my buddy Linc led closing music, letting the battle rage. Finnally...i took my thumb and pressed it into the clay. It was finished. That was my decision. That night we didnt leave until 9pm ish, a large group who had been moved talking about what had happened. I then immeadiatly trashed the manga and stuck the DVDs in the garage.

Now re-read the last sentance of the last paragraph. "I stuck the DVDs in the garage." Hm. Why did that happen? Over time I died to it...yet something haunted me still. Maybe I still saw it...in the garage, getting out of the van...in a little green travel bag...the wretched DVDs, the majority of the sin materialized even still! While I went a whole summer of no anime, still in my mind, I couldnt quite get it out of there. Duh! The temptation was still there! What could be done to solve this, to finnaly break free from this obsession...?





Yes, sometimes the way to truly put something to death is to literally kill it with an axe! The punishment for my delay to fully kill my old obsession was my hesitancy at first - I debated in my mind if this was the right thing to do. When you are going to do something radical for God, dont wait. Do it now, before Satan gets a chance to give you doubts about your actions. Even though I havnt watched any of those DVDs since the day I started the fast, the temptation was the fact they were a few doors away. Now that they are in ribbons, there is no more temptation, since they are dead! After a while, it got easier and easier to lift the axe and slice them up. It was fun too! Poor tree stump.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Celebrating A Servant!

Today is our oldest son's birthday.... Austin is seventeen! Time has flown by....

As I write this, Austin is not here. My brother-in-Christ is out being God's servant at the little store here in the highly secure gated community. He is being the hands, feet, ears, eyes, and mouth of the Father he loves and adores. It is one of the ways he worships. He takes being a lifestyle missionary seriously as well as being in vocational ministry.

It is has been such an incredible blessing to watch how God has used Austin and continues to use him to show others His love and kindness. Austin is a generous young man. He has already adopted one child through Compassion International.

I could go on and on.... (no, I'm not the slightest bias am I?)

Today.... this moment... I am celebrating a servant....


How can you serve others, today...... this moment?

As always, you were just prayed for....

God is moving.... are you?

Watch for the next edition of Serve! ezine... The Lawn Pastor!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

On Grief: The Two Year Countdown

We've officially entered the two year countdown with the end of August happening. I was asked to share where I am with the whole grieving process of saying goodbye to daddy and learning to live without him being here in the flesh. So, here I go....

Grief is one of the necessary emotions and processes of life. I do consider to have been incredibly blessed by starting the process before we ever moved in with my parents. For the man who had been my dad in my childhood and teenage years would have never needed his daughter and son-in-law and three grandsons to take care of him. The man in May of 2005 did without question even though he did numerous times - question it that is.... until he and God got it all straightened out and he was able to accept it and no longer be mad at me/us.

My daddy and I were exceedingly close. We shared the same passion for serving God and serving others. And even in his dealing with Parkinson's and Diabetes - that did not change. It just made it more interesting at times. There were times when we simply had to laugh even though others thought it might have been inappropriate to do so. That's what happens when you had one who was healed and one who was ill. Of course - he got the ultimate healing.

At the end of August of 2006 is when daddy had his heart attack and spent the next two months in such a battle before winning the race on November 1st. What we learned about God, ourselves, and life and living during those two months - I would not change for the world... not even with the pain that was involved. Funny how God can work like that if we allow Him to.

We're still getting phone calls for daddy even after all this time. And I must confess - that can be hard and hit me/us when we're least expecting it. Yesterday there were 2 of them. One of which we've repeatedly asked for his name to be taken off their list.... It gets a little frustrating as well. If he had just been out playing golf and missed their call - I could understand. But deceased is deceased. It is the ultimate change of addresses.

One of the things that I/we do deal with on a daily basis is the fact that because of how loved daddy was and how God used him to touch others right where they were.... we are not in the grieving process alone as a family. On any given day - he is talked about and remembered... and I'm often called or sought out in person to be a support for that individual - whether it's just listening, praying with or giving that hug I promised him I would give on his behalf and mine.

It is no secret that I loved my daddy dearly. He wasn't just my dad, father in law/friend/dad to my hubby, and amazing grandpa to our three sons...... he was a very dear friend... but more than that.... he was my brother in Christ... and still is. Taking care of daddy will always be remembered with fondness even with the many tears that were cried and still are at times. Tears are a necessary part of my grief and my joy in Christ and salvation that only comes through Him.

So, that's where I am today. And I am good with it. For like I said... grief is one of those necessary emotions and processes of life. It should not be swept under the rug, or put on a shelf, or ignored. And it can reap untold benefits such as helping others who are dealing with their own grief. We were not meant to walk through life's moments alone.

It does, however, go back to God.

It always goes back to God.

For that is the most important relationship any one can ever have.

I could still have my daddy here and not have that relationship with God.

And my daddy could not save me. That's not what dads are for or moms. (nor daughters their dads.)

That's why Jesus came, lived, died and rose again conquering death.

Jesus is the Only Savior....

And while I loved my daddy and he loved me.......

There is no love that compares to that of my Real Father - God.

His love is sufficient. It is complete.

He is the Only One worthy of Worship and Praise....

Even in grieving a man I knew as daddy.

Have a story about grief to share? Feel free to do so...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"The Questionator"

One of my nicknames is "The Questionator"..... This is why:


If you're a Christ-follower.... how's your walk today? this moment?

Have you thanked God today for today?

Can you name people in your daily path that you are reaching out to with God's love?

Can you even see them for who they are? right where they are? or just where you want them to be?

Is it easier to trust God in the small things instead of the big? He's God... He can handle it all.

Where are you on your Spiritual map? Are you wanting to stay there? Are you wallowing in it? Or putting one foot in front of another? Or running? Or hiding?

If you were to lose every one in your life that you love and cherish - would you still know God loves you? Would God be enough for you to want to keep on living?

Where are you on faith? is it in yourself? in others? yourself and God? God alone?

Did you notice God yesterday?

Did you help someone else notice Him by acts of kindness? by loving them when loving wasn't easy?

Do you love generously? with a love that is not yours alone to keep? that requires the Holy Spirit?

Where is God found this moment in your life? is He in a building? on the street? kicked to the curb? on the back burner? in your hands and feet and with your eyes and mouth and ears?

The most important relationship any one can have is with God....

with Jesus...

with His Holy Spirit.

Where is that relationship today? this moment?

Listen to God's voice today.... and respond.

As always... praying!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oh That Son. Those Sons. The Only Son.

His name is Travis... and he is 14 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRAVIS!

He's a Christ-follower.

He is a lifestyle missionary. He helps others to notice God in the every day.

He isn't afraid to share about Him either with words... actions....

How he is with little kids? Unbelievable!

He's also a mean trumpet player.. and golfer. And is a pro at pretty much any thing Wii sports.

Every single day even when being a moody teenager at times... he helps me notice God too.

Why is that?

The Great Physician showed the medical world to be wrong again with the birth of Travis.

The medical world only knows what they think they know...

Then there's the GOD Factor. The Real IT!

Talk about WOW!

Just as another little glimpse into Travis... if we said we were moving from the highly secure gated community with her two golf courses and plans for a third to go start up a ministry in a lower economic area.... he'd be all over that in a heartbeat! He went and worked at one earlier this summer and is still talking about it.

In fact.... that's where Austin wants to go for his 17th birthday... which is coming up on the 6th of September and Travis is right there with him on it... We're taking others with us too when we can arrange it.

No fancy presents are needed. They already have the Priceless Gift of the Only Son.... Jesus.

And they can't help but want to share Him with others.

What about you? Do you know Jesus?

If you do.... do you know that God isn't found in a building on Sunday mornings or whenever the doors may be open?

Austin and Travis are proof of that as well... They accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior in our own home back when they were each in 1st grade. Austin - up in a tree... Travis in the playroom after spending some time talking with his big brother Austin.

Oh... and they both became Christ-followers during the years that I was ill... 98 to 03.

Due in part to others showing God's love to a family in need.

That's part of the reason why it flows out of them with ease.

Thank You Lord for the gift of Your Son Jesus.. and Thank You for allowing me the pleasure of being a mom.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shhhh. Since He's Already Read..

Since I know Brother G has already read today.... I can get away with sharing this.


He uses more hair products on his really short hair than I do on my really long hair.

What's up with that?

Celebrating 19 years of marriage today!

It's the little things that add up. Like goatee hairs in the bathroom sink. (I'll take those over nose hairs any day!)

A vital part of our marriage? Laughter.

That man can make me snort.

Aren't ya glad you read this now? ;)

And you thought I was going to be all mushy.....

Monday, August 18, 2008

"You're Not Finished Here Yet."

Remember: You were warned.

Do you ever get hurt so badly that you want to leave? You want to go anywhere else, but stay where you are at? That was me/us at the beginning of the summer. And yet, Brother G and I kept hearing, "You're not finished here yet. You're not released to leave this town." We were even told by another church in another place - "You're not finished there yet." Confirmation yet again... This is definitely where having a praying life and not a prayer time is crucial.

As God so often does.... He is using the hurt and the pain and is continuing the work here in G-town in ways that there is no denying it's Him. How do I know? It is totally beyond me/us...

One of the things that Brother G and I have the privilege of doing is teaching the late teens and twenty-somethings Bible study group on Sunday mornings. At first we said yes to doing it because there was an immediate need for teachers/leaders. We thought maybe we'd be "the substitutes" for a couple of weeks and then be gone. Little did we really know.....

I was walking up the stairs after having been moved greatly by the Holy Spirit... and I saw him.. and he saw me. And he walked into the room I was going to.... Then came the..."Camey? You're just going to have to trust me on this. You're going to be uncomfortable as hell, but I know what I'm doing even if you don't." Brother G was not going to be with us for today's group either.

We sit in a circle.. We were discussing "Spiritual Maps"... I had asked the question, "So? Where are you on your Spiritual Map this moment?" We were going around the room. When it came time for Tommy.... he said, "Well, this is my first time in a church in about a year. I live in Ft. Worth now. I came today because I knew I was supposed to. I used to live here and worked at ______ before changing jobs and moving." Then, Tommy and I looked at each other in the eyes. That's where we knew each other from. And he remembered... and so did I.

Brother G and I were on a double date with Smithee and his wife when we first met Tommy. He was our server that night. He already knew Ry and so the conversation flowed more as individuals who knew each other and not as that of complete strangers. As Brother G and I do... I asked Tommy how we could pray for him... he responded... and then Brother G prayed... He was treated with kindness our whole time there. God's kindness.... and received a generous tip. We had Tommy as our server several more times... whether Brother G and I together on a date or my being with others that I was meeting to minister to in a neutral place. Each time offering to pray, treating with God's kindness, and leaving a generous tip. At that time in his life - Tommy really didn't want any thing really to do with a place known as a church. Remember - Brother G and I (nor our sons) consider the church to be a building.... that is how we live life as lifestyle missionaries. That is where life in the moments come from... it's not just about those couple of hours on Sunday morning or whenever one might "do" church...

Had we treated Tommy like dirt - he would not have been as open to listening to the Holy Spirit talking to him about coming or through me and the others in the group. He also said he was in a cave right now and the light peeking in was really bright. Then he brought up "Hell" and we discussed it. It included me throwing my Bible down in the middle of the room. Talk about uncomfortable.... Talk about totally relying on the Holy Spirit...... I'll leave the rest of what was said between those there for now... except this part..

As they were walking out of the room - one by one - we hugged and "I love you" was said, meant and known. I almost did not hug Tommy. "I" had to get out of the way again... He hugged me hard and told me he was glad we were still here and that he came. He really hadn't wanted to but knew he wasn't finished here yet. That even though he didn't think there had been any way to reach him.... God was.

I'm quoted now as saying, "Included moving to a town I said I would never live in." That's because I knew I would truly have to die by living here...

There were other things going on this particular weekend that I will not write about here... except to say this... I would rather look like a fool and follow the Holy Spirit even when it does not make sense than to leave in an effort to become comfortable again and lick my wounds.

Where are you not finished yet?

Are you willing to die to self and let Him use you as HE wants?

It's not just about Sunday.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Warning! Don't Read If You Can't Be Moved.

This post is merely to warn you about the next post from me.

Don't say I didn't warn you.....

Don't read the next post if you can't be moved. Or don't want to be....

I'm just sayin'....

And you are being prayed for!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Than A Free Lunch.

It's Thursday now... my mind keeps going back to Monday. To the Monday family.

Five days a week during the summer, our local church body feeds children free lunches. We take the sack lunches to four locations throughout our town. Designated spots where the children know they can come and get something to eat... The boys and I go out on Mondays with our Student Ministry... Sometimes the boys and I go to the same spot.. other times we split up. Just depends upon the Monday.

This Monday was different. It was cooler outside. Last Monday it was 105 degrees. This time there were even little sprinkles happening. This time - there was a man and his little granddaughter.... Her name is Tori. A beautiful little blond who loves to play in the park.

The grandfather and I spent a good amount of time talking while sitting at a picnic table while Tori went up and down the slide. He showed me picture after picture of his family..... a family that knows much heartache. And Tori kept playing.

Tori's mother is in jail. She is expected to get out in October. While there is no doubt that he loves his daughter - he is nervous about what is going to happen when she is no longer behind bars. When she comes to live with him, his wife (her mother), and Tori. Drugs... Oh, those drugs. He prays this time is different - especially for Tori's sake.

I walked over to Tori as she got on a swing. She started singing "Jesus Loves Me"... and I sung along with her while pushing her higher and higher. There is no doubt she held my attention... and took a piece of my heart. So did her grandfather.

When it looked as if the bottom was about the fall out of the sky.... Tori and her grandfather decided it was time to go. The three of us, Smithee, Austin, and the Michaels (there's two guys named Michael) all held hands and prayed for their family. And hugs were given. Tori whispered in my ear, "Camey? Thank you for being here today."

Five days a week during the summer free lunches are provided.

It's all in the name of Love..... God's Love.

For there is no love like His....

Please join us in praying for the Monday family. Thank you.

What ways can you share God's Love today.... this moment?

(And yes, Austin shared with her that her name "Tori" means bird in Japanese. She thought that was cool.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hearing and Responding: Public School (by Austin)

Ohayo..."Good Morning" in Japanese...to the peeps of da' blog.

S0 the last few days have been rather interesting to say the least. Thursday evening I was working and I got this burden about the High School. As my momma-in-Christ Camey said, I had a major conviction about going to the High School of Granbury to be a lifestyle missionary. If you want the full story you can read a few posts back.

I'll get to the point.

GHS or LBA? *Drum roll please*


And now I explain.

At the wonderful Mission Arlington complex, there is a faithful volunteer named Matt. One of the points he repeatedly bashed into our heads during the Middle School Mission Trip earlier this summer was "We can get a group of students excited about going to a country like China, thinking 'Yeah lets go! We can get shot and killed, but who cares?', when we can't even get excited about going across the lunchroom table.". The high from Philly is still in my spiritual bloodstream, so being reckless...yeah. But that's not what God has in mind.

You see, I have only been spiritually sane since April, during the first time I did the devotional A Call to Die. April was the closing of the school year. Even though last year was a living soap opera episode, I grew close to several of my friends there that either aren't Christians or aren't plugged into church. I don't recall inviting any of them to any church events this year...well how can I go to a high school, and get risked getting shot for my faith, when I haven't even done that at my small, little Christian academy. Yes, it may be "Christian", but several of my friends there aren't or aren't in Church. As my Pastor Mark says, 'We get so caught up in hitting a home run that we forget how to do a routine ground ball'.

So there you have it...If several of you were thinking "Austin is going to the High School" - nope, I have my instructions from God- Step up in your own little school, before you tackle the big world.

Sayonara peeps! And thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Precious Resources

*Note from Camey: Please watch the name of the author at the bottom of each post before commenting.

Last night, we had just sat down to dinner, when there was a knock at the front door. It was a guy from our local water company who was driving through the neighborhood looking for green grass...you heard right...green grass. And anywhere he saw green grass, he pulled up, stopped, and went up to the front door of that home and knocked. Which was why he was now knocking on our door...because we have green grass.

The man from our water company proceeded to explain to me that the reason he had stopped and interrupted my highly nutritious Pizza Hut dinner, was because he saw our green grass. Not trying to be a Mr. Smarty Pants, I said to the man, "thank you, I'm glad you like it." Unfortunately, the man was not there to bestow an award for the greenest lawn in our neighborhood. To the contrary, he launched into this somewhat probing interrogation relative to my watering habits...which I must confess caught me just a little off guard.

"How many days a week do you water? What days of the week do you water? Do you water on even numbered days or do you water on odd numbered days? Do you water between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM on any day of the week regardless of whether it's an odd or even numbered day?

Now the Paul Harvey as to why this young man was now standing on my front door step has to do with more than the fact that I have some green grass in my front lawn. Several weeks ago the water company had sent out a letter telling all the residents of the neighborhood that the water well that provided water to our quaint little village was running dangerously low because of the hot temperatures and high demand for water. The letter had specifically instructed all residents not to water between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Furthermore (now I'm sounding like a lawyer, right?), according to the instructions contained in this letter, if your address ended in an even number, like mine, you could only water on even numbered days of the week...but only before 8:00 AM or after 8:00 PM. The letter contained a similar admonishment for those water mongering odd numbered residents.

Well it seems that the water level in the water well has not recovered, and in fact, has now reached a critical stage. If drastic conservation measures are not initiated immediately the neighborhood could temporarily be without water in a matter of days and until such time as the water company can drill an additional well. Which brings us back to my dinner time visit from the water company representative. The water company has apparently decided that if you have any green grass in your yard, you must somehow be in violation of the aforementioned water edict. So the pointed questioning as to the true nature of my aquatic habits continued unabated.

I must admit that at this point I was beginning to feel like I was back in the fifth grade at North Euless Elementary School being lectured by Ms. Morrison, my fifth grade teacher after someone ratted me out for stuffing papertowels in the drain of one of the sinks in the boy's bathroom and turning on the water. She kept me after school that day for what seemed like at least six hours...which I think it was only an hour, but to a ten year old wanting to get home and play, it was an eternity. Ms. Morrison went into great detail with me about why we should respect God's creation and the precious resources He gave to us to sustain life on this little blue planet. She read to me the Genesis account of creation from the big ol' family Bible she had on her bookshelf, and she told me horrifying stories of kids my same age in other parts of the world who were dying because they lacked enough clean water to drink. Then, she made me write on the blackboard 100 times that "I will respect God's creation and not waste water ever again." That's a long sentence for a 10 year old...especially when you're having to write it 100 times!

But you know what? I can promise you that after the lecture I received from Ms. Morrison that day some 36 years ago, I have never, ever, ever, knowingly wasted water. What's more, I have always been keenly aware of God's incredible creation and of the awesome responibility we all been charged with by God to care for it. Whether it's the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or other resources he has blessed us with, we are God's stewards and caretakers of His creation. How sad that we so often take for granted the gifts we have have been given...many times until it's too late. One day, we are going to run out of something that God has given us, like water...and we won't be able to just drill another well...like they are planning to do in our neighborhood.

Oh yes, the nice young man at my door - where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I explained to the fellow that the reason I had greener grass than both my even and odd neighbors, was because I happened to have an anaerobic septic system. The kind that cleans the water to the point where its cleaner than our lake water, and then waters the yard with it. Our's is the newest house in our neighborhood, and by the time we built it seven years ago, all the building codes had changed and traditional septic systems were no longer allowed. No one else had a septic system like ours. Obviously this nice young man wasn't aware of that fact. After several minutes of explaining the finer nuiances of our septic system to the guy...while my highly nutritious yet somewhat cold pizza dinner awaited...he went away - I think still somewhat skeptical.

However, I appreciated the reminder of just how precious the things God has given us are. And that includes a lot more than just water!

Hearing and Responding. Public School.

Thank you to those whom have commented on Austin's post below whether through here, via email or in-person. He has been beyond busy at the little store since he posted it. He will respond himself when time permits. In the meantime...

I ask that you continue to pray for Austin. He has a big decision to make that only he can. The ball, as they say, is in his court.

Austin has been home schooled/academy since the middle of seventh grade. His decision involves responding to how God is speaking to him these days. There's no doubt he is hearing from God because it would truly mean dying to self even more so than he already does. Austin so enjoys the way he has been doing school the last few years. For him - the most important person ever to walk the face of the earth was Jesus. Curriculum based off that is right up his alley. The academy also meets in our physical church building.

That's where the rub is..... He went to Philly.... the inner-city streets to follow God's call. What about the public high school here in G-town? It's ranked one of the worst in the nation? One reason being drugs. I know it's ugly... but it is the truth.

Brother G and I have never lived or believed that our children's education is totally up to the public school system and the government. If we had - Austin would not be a junior this year. He would be a sophomore. Austin took a test a couple of months ago at a college not far away from here..... he more than qualifies to take dual credit courses for a couple of subjects. (dual credit means they count for high school and college)

There's a lot of talk in certain circles about Christ-followers needing to home school their children these days. That, we believe, is for each individual family to decide after much prayer and seeking God's face... not His hand and not a way to separate ourselves from the world. Strong? Perhaps. We also believe in doing what is best for each child.. not what is easiest necessarily.

If you've spent any amount of time reading this blog - you'll know we see Austin as our brother-in-Christ first.... then our son. That's why I said...

He has a big decision to make that only he can. The ball truly is in his court. We'll support him either way. And for the record... he currently helps pay for his schooling... So, he really does have more than a vested interest in it.

As a note here: I never had any intentions for any of our children to attend public schools. Austin being enrolled in kindergarten at the public school was a response to being obedient to what Brother G heard clearly six weeks before school started. We had Parker - our third child that spring. Parker's story has been shared here before (okay: here's some about him written this year Dream. Prayers. Nineveh. Note.) Austin's first grade year was when I became ill. God clearly was protecting our family. Yes, even in public school.

Hearing and responding.....

Are you hearing God these days?

And what is it going to require of you?

Are you willing to look crazy?

(and you thought this was just about praying for Austin...)