Saturday, June 28, 2008

Life's AHA Moments! Compassion.

Last night our two oldest sons, Austin and Travis (16 & 13) returned from Student Life Camp. As I sat there and listened to them.. it was clear that they indeed have had "AHA" moments this past week.

I asked each one of them, "If given the choice between going back to Student Life Camp for another week or going back to Mission Arlington - which one would you pick?" They both said Mission Arlington. In fact, Austin said, "I don't think I'll be going to Student Life Camp next summer. My plan is to be out serving others instead." Travis said, "I'd definitely take Mission Arlington. Sure it was tough work but well worth it."

As with any trip away from mom and dad our sons go on, I spent some one on one time with each son. A couple of weeks ago, I thought about suggesting to Austin that he adopt a child through Compassion International ( - I decided against it. Now I know why......

Austin has adopted Frixon Ariel Medranda Vera - a ten-year-old boy from Ecuador this week through Student Life Camp for $40.00 a month. Any day of the week as a parent and as a sister-in-Christ - I'd rather him do such a thing because he is compelled to because of God's love outflowing through him. Austin is at the little store here in the highly secure gated community as I type this with yet another purpose for his service there. He is a stocker, checker, produce man, and etc. with a joyful heart and a smile that reflects that even when he is dirt tired.

Travis said to me, "Mom, I have to agree with Austin. I don't know that I'll be going back to Student Life Camp next year either. I know there are better ways to spend my time for God." We have seen such incredible growth in Travis the last few months especially. And as Parker, our ten-year-old said, "That's what we're suppose to do - not stay the same. We're suppose to grow as we serve. And serve as we grow." Talk about "AHA".....

Parker has spent a good amount of time with me at the physical church building this week. We've talked about the various things as they've gone on. From the phone calls of individuals seeking shelter, food, or ...... to those who walked in the doors - we talked. One man came in to the building as I was upstairs making sure the night service was on. Parker ran up the stairs to get me saying, "Mom, I think he's been in jail. He needs help." He was right. And when I told the man I remembered him from a few months ago, he had tears streaming down his face.....

"You remember me Camey?"

Please note here.... I did not have my name tag on. He then said, "I remember how kind you were to me. Thank you."

God's Compassion fails not.... we just have to remember it's His... not ours to keep.

As with Compassion International.... it can be as simple as $40 a month..

As with Healthy Kids... it can be as simple as giving out a free lunch...

How is His Compassion flowing out of you?

Friday, June 27, 2008


Rumor #1:

I hear the students will be back around 6:00 p.m.

Answer: True. Can't wait to see those smelly faces and hug the heck out 'em and see how God rocked their worlds!

Rumor #2:

Brother G was seen working at Wal-Mart today.

Answer: Also true! In addition to being The Lawn Pastor ... he's now The Wal-Mart Pastor too. See a pattern??? (He's a stocker.. not a stalker.. watch the spelling please people.) Stay engaged where you are at and be prepared to leave brings on whole new meaning yet again.

Rumor #3:

The students were challenged in last night's sermon to stay on their mission trip even after it is over.

Answer: True! I know because I was listening live via their website! As a parent with a son going on a mission trip here soon - it's okay with me if he does not return because he has been called to stay there. Yes, I just said that out loud (well, sort of). He's not mine to keep any way..

Rumor #4:

There are items needed for VBS still.

Answer: True! Remember folks.... we're looking to have hundreds kiddos here at the physical church building that week. Some of which we're connecting with through Healthy Kids currently. (Over 600 plus free lunches have been served since the 5th of June.)

Rumor #5:

It will be hard to top the motorcycles from last year. What are they going to pull out of their hats for this one?

Answer: That was off the charts! And true... very true. I have no clue - even if I did...... shhhh

There ya have it folks.

I'm Naked. I Gotta Go Potty.

I'm often asked why I get such a kick out of working the front downstairs desk on Thursdays and Fridays....

You know the old, "Why on earth would anyone want that job?"

The widow ladies are going on a day trip today.

"I'm naked."

"I gotta go potty."

These things have already been said to me this morning while at this desk.

The one lady was seeking my help because she had forgotten her earrings. Therefore, she was naked by her definition of the word and circumstance.

The other ladies all saying, "I gotta go potty" took the time to then explain to me the necessity of going to the potty before going on a road trip.

There ya go... Just a couple of reasons why. Laughter simply abounds!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Praises! Prayers Being Answered.

Latest txt msg from Dawn:

"Praises! Wrangler moved from ICU. Now at Richardson Tower. Night went well. Go 2 Harris Hospital website and send him an email. They will hand deliver 2 him! He was very excited 2 get some yesterday!"

For specific room number information - please contact me directly via the physical church building until 4:30 p.m. central or leave a comment here and I will call or email you with the information.

Please keep praying! God is answering prayers...

Praying in the Spirit. Noticing Others.

Yesterday morning before leaving for the physical church building - I had been praying in the Spirit. A "open my eyes - help me see what You see.... make me not be able to be comfortable" type praying. This is a part of my very breathing... For someone who is as shy as I am - the type of ministry I've been called to requires more from me than I am able to do or give on my own. I depend greatly upon Him to guide me. Otherwise - sitting behind this desk is good with me. That's why it demands surrendering every single day. Again praying in the Spirit....

Please be aware - this next part may offend some. Others will be able to laugh with me and understand my gratitude.

I threw down my dinner. I was so hungry that I did not really take the time to eat slowly. Really had not eaten that well during the day so was ready to chow down. Totally forgetting that I do not eat broccoli and cauliflower in such situations. It tasted so good though!

So, on my way to make a hospital visit.... Gas and burping became a passenger. Shortest hospital visit I have ever made! I headed back to the physical church building to hide out until Parker was ready to leave.

I was sitting at my desk upstairs when she walked by...Her head was hanging down low. There was sadness and despair written in her overall body language. She did not notice me at first but then turned around and looked directly at me. I motioned to her to come on in...

She tried to act as if nothing was wrong at first. Then I asked her, "Tell me why the despair?" She looked at me as if she realized I knew any way... and then poured.... and poured.... out.

This is one time when I can say that gas was a blessing. Praying in the Spirit often brings about opportunities to truly notice others. I was not able to immediately solve her problems. But sometimes - just knowing someone will listen and then actually does is food for the body and soul.

Please pray for this woman and her circumstances.

Please pray also for the woman in the hospital as well.

Although I would beg to say that they both were in one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Speaking of Difficult Moments...

This morning I am totally laughing. The main computer I use is not working properly...

Yes, it is the very one I have the first installment of the writing opportunity thingy on.

Good thing I was able to print a copy up before the computer went south. (Funny I thought we were already south being in Texas!) Looks like I'll have to retype the whole 750 words.

Now is that really a difficult moment? On one scale perhaps.. others - nope.

Wrangler is having surgery again this very moment - talk about truly difficult.

Please continue to pray for him and all connected.

May they know The Comforter's presence like never before.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dealing with Life's Difficult Moments.

One of the things I'm often asked to talk about is about dealing with life's difficult moments. So, here we go... if you know me at all.... if I can share from personal experience(s) - I try to. I've found over the years that it helps others connect better.

I was asked specifically: "Camey? The last ten years of your life especially are like something one would read in a book. How can you say if you never receive another blessing you're blessed beyond measure and richer than rich?" Okay... So how can I?

The last ten years have been the worst of the worst and the best of the best all thrown in and mixed up together. Through all of life's ups and downs and twists and turns... God has been there. He has been my refuge. I have learned that there are no arms better. There is no love stronger. There is no bond tighter. There is no relationship more important.

One day when daddy was needing a bath... I had the privilege of telling him he was just going to have to get over my bathing him. The nurse could not do it alone given daddy's health at that moment. Daddy was mad at me. I was his daughter... I was not suppose to be bathing him.. taking care of him... He asked me, "Cam? When did I give up control?" I then reminded him of the years when I was ill (trading places takes on a whole new meaning here) - he told me numerous times over that my not being able to do something for myself was another person's opportunity to receive a blessing by doing it for me. That we never have the ultimate control that we think we do. So, I repeated back to him what he had said to me. . And we laughed.

Why laugh? Was that laughter inappropriate given the circumstances? No... not at all. He was mad at someone whom he had cried many many tears with years before when she was lying in a hospital bed not able to move from the neck down. Now.. here was that same person being able to bathe him.. take care of him.. at his times of greatest physical needs. The most basic of basic needs just as that person had known herself. As I had known myself.....

During the years that I was ill, daddy would often say to me, "You know, God is teaching me that as much as I think I can take care of you.. make it all better... save you... I can't." And I could not make it all better or save him either. I wasn't suppose to. That was not my place as it was not his either.

We were created for God... He is the Only One who can truly save any of us. It is only the depths of His love that even in the midst of the most difficult moments can make one be filled with joy and laugh. Pain can rip out our hearts to such a degree that we think we will never be the same again. And honestly, when pain comes - it means we are to be changed - stretched. We are given the opportunity to look to Him, and say, "I will trust You even when it does not make sense."

God is bigger than any and all circumstances. And when we can come to grips with that...

We can dance when the rain comes in our bare feet and sing His praise with arms wide open even to a song we don't like the beat of.

Are you able to dance today.. this moment?

Are your arms wide open or are they closed not willing to be unclenched?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Prayer Requests for Staffers.

UPDATE 6/24/08:

Funeral for Cathy's dad is Thursday 6/26 in Bartow, FL. For more information you may contact the physical church building.

Wrangler is off the ventilator.. He is doing good. Talking a little. Keep praying for no infection. He is at Harris Downtown Ft Worth. More surgeries to come.

(AP) Randal - Cathy's dad passed away Sunday night in Florida. His diagnosis of cancer to passing was very quick.

(MA - preschool/children) Cassie - her son, Wrangler, was hit on his motorcycle and is at this moment having surgery on his leg. He will have several more surgeries. He will be in the hospital 7 to 10 days at least according to doctors.

Please join us in lifting up these staffers and their families/friends during these times.

Thank you.

It's A Funny Monday.

It is not even noon here in G-town. (might be by the time I'm finished. lol)

What a funny Monday....

By 8:15 a.m.:

A gang of 88 peeps left out of the physical church building parking lot heading for Student Life Camp in LA. Two of those peeps are mine and Brother G's sons - Austin and Travis. Talk about excited! Too dang funny. They didn't have to hug their mama goodbye before getting on the bus because we're a hugging family daily anyway.

There are a few individuals that I have purposefully been investing time in the last couple of months especially. Some are also on that bus. I asked the one with the name written on my prayer band how could I be specifically praying for her this week.. Her response... "That I would have the courage to share my faith with others." Oh my.... what a privilege to pray that kind of prayer. Please join me won't you?

Another individual on the bus I've requested prayer for numerous times before from various individuals/circles. She is not happy about being on that bus. She may be smiling but she is not happy. Brother G, myself, her grandparents and etc... cannot wait to see what God has in store for her this week. It is no coincidence she is on that bus. Yes, of course, please pray for her.

Please pray for all those adults and students. Pray also for their families back in G-town. May God truly rock lives this week! May they be shaken and stirred and poured out!

11:30 a.m.:

I was arranging for more time for the young woman and baby to stay where they had been moved to on Friday. Shortly afterwards - she tells me her news.. She has found a place to stay with a friend. That friend has a relative who is willing to loan her an extra vehicle they have to get back and forth to the new job she just got on Friday. She was beyond grateful to our church body.... and hopefully we'll see her for dinner and Bible study on Wednesday night if not before. Yes, keep praying for her and her baby.

Parker and I had made a delicious homemade lunch of three cheese grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup with bacon. We cooked together and then totally chowed down together. Yummy!

Brother G has called a few times from the physical church building... He's working on website stuff this morning and eating lunch with a fun bunch of peeps. Funny enough? More knocking this morning from a different church than last week. We kind of thought maybe that one had gone past us... Goes to show... Seeking God's face!! And yes, we believe in being open about the fact that his resume is out and about. We're prepared to stay in G-town or to leave... staying fully engaged and yet prepared to move. THAT is only possible with HIM!

All day today:

It's Shelley's birthday! Yes, she purposefully planned to be gone to camp! That right there is someone who cares more about the students than being pampered.... lol We love you Shelley! We are exceedingly blessed to call you our sister in Christ, dear friend, and our sons' student minister (along with Ryan.. except the sister part... lol)

Right now:

I'm closing this puppy down. That writing assignment has my name on it. And I am counting my blessings for the privilege of being able to write about how prayer and serving truly go hand in hand.

OH... and yes.... lest I get in trouble again for not mentioning it... It has been 5 years now since I was completely healed physically. My gratitude for that goes without saying. May I never forget what it was like to be fed, bathed, and etc.... Somehow, I know I won't. My HOPE is in the Great Physician ALONE... otherwise - I should still be paralyzed from the neck down waiting to take my last breath.

And you've been prayed for wherever you are at this moment! Thank you for that privilege.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh Those Men.....

This afternoon I was reflecting back over the day thus far...... I could not help but smile deeply. Let me explain why...

The G family is incredibly blessed to have some amazing men in our lives. Some having been around since I was a little girl - others having really known only for a few months now. One thing is a common thread amongst these men.

Shortly before leaving the physical church building, one stopped me and put his arms me and hugged me tight. And I hugged right back. We do not always agree but that does not stop us from loving each other richly. If you've ever heard me talk about "The Ten Men"... he is one of them. Brother G walked up shortly after and this man said, "Hey Man! I'm praying!" And laughter erupted as only can between individuals who are so connected. Brother G knowing that I had shared with this man something we've been discussing and praying about and seeking God's face on. This man almost always says to me, "I love you kid." And without question - we love him and his wife.

Another man was opening the doors for individuals. As he was finishing for the morning, he walked over to me and hugged me. For as long as we've known one another - the majority of my life now... he has started off conversations with me by asking, "So? How's Camey today?" Today was no different. We share life's ups and downs and have seen each other through some of the best of times and worst. Again, we do not always agree but that does not stop us from loving each other richly. And without question - we love him and his wife. And yes, he is another one of "The Ten Men."

Over the course of the last couple of weeks in particular.. Brother G and I have been getting to spend real time getting to know Pastor Mark.. Mark. I've been asked what are my thoughts and opinions of him. That always strikes me as funny actually. This morning's sermon was an example of why there is no doubt Mark already holds a tender place in our hearts... He shared about how only God completes any person. About how we are to seek God's face and not only His hand. He was wearing this dumb smile because he is so excited about going to camp with our students this week. Why it is called a "dumb smile" is beyond me because it really is rather smart.

Earlier this morning I wrote about another very special man in our lives.... Again... One common thread....

They are some of God's men. God loves them. They love God. And because of that... they invest in the lives of others. Giving what they do not have on their own but must rely on God for.

So, I issue this challenge for any man reading this.... Consider the following:

What do individuals say about you?

Do you invest in the lives of others because of God's love for you and yours for Him?

In this day and age... it is vitally important for men to step up to the plate and get off the sidelines or the couch.

Are you now.... will you be.... One of God's Men?

Are you ready to go where no man can truly go alone?

One of God's Men.

Today is the birthday of a very special man. He is clearly one of God's men. Time and time again, God uses this simple man in ways that only He can. This man at times wears his heart on his sleeve but that truly only makes him more endearing. This man is not afraid to say what he thinks and mean what he says. This man is a risk taker for the sake of God's kingdom alone. This man is a devoted family man. I could go on and on for this man is truly one whom God has used time and time again in our moments of life and living... especially through prayer and real communication. This man is a servant of God.

Happy birthday to one of God's men!

May God bless you PT in ways you've only yet to dream of... for His glory and honor alone.

The G family loves you and are grateful for your life beyond words.