Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5: 17

God is so good! As we pack to leave our first seminar of the year, it is amazing to look back and see how God has worked. We celebrated baptisms this weekend at church and it was such a blessed day. We rejoiced with all of Heaven today. Truly.

I wanted to share one more story of how God works in such awesome ways. One young man coming to the seminar had a planned move halfway through the seminar. He loved coming out and hearing God's word, and he was making great decisions to follow Christ. Then, it was time to leave which we are sad about. As he drove away from Central California though a "funny" thing happened - his car broke down. Not able to fix a large problem, he had to turn around and postpone his trip. As a result, he continued coming out to our seminar, and decided to baptized with his parents this weekend. Isn't God amazing?

Though we were sad that he is out of a car for awhile, we were so pleased to know that he'd be coming back. We know that many times God allows things to happen for a reason and no matter the issue, we should always trust in Him. We may not know why He allows trials, but as long as we cling to Him, He will always get us through.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Living Intentionally

Extravagant Grace

Yesterday, my husband and I got into an argument. And we were both right. We are always both right. (That is the problem.) The thing is, the argument is often about something insignificant.

While he took the Princess out for errands, I began thinking of more ways I was right. Which is a wrong attitude, I know. It was then that I decided to take advantage of the time I had alone and read a chapter in a book, The Messiah, about the life of Jesus. Then I read and re-read Isaiah chapter 12.

As I was reading about God's awesome love and grace for us, I was convicted deeply. My husband and were not communicating effectively. My own pride and love of self were just getting in the way. I decided, intentionally, that I wanted to communicate my needs in a godly way. I prayed and wrote down what I wanted to say. When my husband returned home, gone was my prideful attitude, and in its place was a Christ like love. I could not have done it without the help of Jesus. I gave him my list, and you know what? He read that list, and said he was going to do his best to do every thing on the list. We hugged, apologized, and stated again, how much we love each other. That is what Intentional Living is for me this year -2010.
  • Choosing to spend time with God, any opportunity I can.
  • Choosing to allow Him to change me from the inside out.
  • Choosing to love my family, even when it is hard.
Won't you join me, in Living Intentionally for Jesus? It is worth it, believe me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ten Things I Don't Miss About Apartment Living

Don't get me wrong, when we travel the country, working with churches, I actually prefer to stay in a furnished apartment. The reason? All the amenities of course. I mean, this recent apartment we stayed in had a pool, hot tub, cable television, wireless internet, gym, juice bar, and gated entry. How cool is that? But if I had to put a list together of 10 things I don't like very well about staying in an apartment, here they are (in no particular order):
  1. Assigned parking spaces. Not fun when it is raining, or when someone else parks in your spot.
  2. Snoring. Yes, I can hear the person next door who snores, loudly, at night.
  3. Base. You know when music is so loud, all you hear is the bump, bump, bump.
  4. Stairs. When you don't live on the ground level you have to walk up stairs, which takes a century for my Princess. And yes, I am still learning to deal with my patience. Most days I just pick her up, against her will, and carry her.
  5. Uncomfortable couches. Some nights, when I can't sleep, I really can't sleep when I have to lay on the couch. The latest one was on a sloping cushion.
  6. The road is below the bedroom window. The quiet of our Loop in Washington is bliss. Really. Which leads to #7:
  7. Light in the bedroom at night. When you live above a major road the street lights, house lights, and car lights are BRIGHT.
  8. Strangers. I have an irrational fear of strangers breaking in. I hear noises all the time and look out the peep hole 10x or more per day. And no, no one has ever tried to break in.
  9. Central mailboxes, that are far from our apartment.
  10. I don't have enough room for coupons and crafts.(And I do love coupons and crafts.)

Joshua 17: 14 "...The Lord has blessed us abundantly."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lives Changed

The reason we do this - this traveling - is not because we especially love being away from our home, family, church family and friends. It is because of the lives that are changed when they come face to face with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Everlasting Gospel. Every night, for 19 nights total, my husband faithfully preaches Jesus Christ and the Gospel message. Many people come out and learn more than they have about the Bible and Jesus and their lives are changed.

One lady coming to the seminar was raised in a Catholic home. When she was a child in Mexico, the local Catholic school was full so her mother sent her to a protestant Seventh-day Adventist school. As she attended that boarding school she learned about the Bible and Jesus. As a young teenage girl she made the decision to be baptized into that protestant Adventist faith. When her mother found out, she was angry and removed her from the school. Fast forward almost 20 years later - she started coming out to my husband's seminar and has once again fallen in love with Jesus. For years she had left Him, and lived a life of sin. Now she is ready to return. And praise God, He will take her back with open arms. What an awesome God we serve!

This is why we do this. We are not content to go to heaven alone.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28: 19, 20

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Born Again

Well, we are really half way through this seminar. I can't write about the Central Valley and not also talk about the great weather. How blessed are we to have 66 degrees and sunny today? We are going to get a new bathing suit for the Princess tomorrow so she can swim with daddy in the heated outdoor pool this week. Is it really winter? Wow!

Last night my husband's seminar topic was on the Biblical topic of baptism. He not only taught the audience about baptism in the Bible but also celebrated his ten year anniversary of being baptized. What a great night. 18 people made the decision to also be baptized or prepare for baptism. People here in Central California want to know God in a real way, and it is exciting to be a part of it.

As I look back at the last ten years since my husband was baptized, I am in awe of how far our Lord has brought us. When I say that I am living a blessed life, I mean it. It is not perfect, and we will always have trials, but now we have a Savior to rely on. And that is a good feeling.

So as people here are desiring to be born again, a new birth, I too want that each day. A renewal. I have so much to be thankful for and I want to live for Jesus. I also want my daughter and husband to truly see Jesus in me.

My prayer today is: Lord, help my anger, impatience, and selfishness to be washed away each morning. Amen.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A Date with Good Taste

Well, one benefit of working with churches, is working with generous church members. We have two special ladies that have been very generous to us. One lovely lady is going to be 98 this year! She comes out every night, works in the church library every weekend after the church service, and continually brings us food. GOOD FOOD. Dates that taste like candy in your mouth; have you had a really good date before? She also brings almonds, walnuts from her 14 trees, and oranges from her trees. Yummy! The combination of dates and almonds really does taste like a candy bar, I promise you! You must try it.

The other wonderful woman is very healthy. Something I am always striving to be, but often falling short (I blame my sweet tooth!). She has sent Tyler home with chili, lasagna, split pea soup and potato rosemary rolls this week. All vegan. All very healthy. All tasting great. (Really!) You'd think I would be a little offended by this, I mean I can cook. But nope, I will take any food. I don't turn down free food. Not only does it save me time, money, and yes I hate doing dishes, but we eat healthy too. It is like having our own cook. This feels pretty good! Moving around the country working with churches does have its perks you know!

I linked this post to Heavenly Homemakers meme, Gratituesday.

Transformation: The Real Transformer

As I have thinking about Living Intentionally, and a theme for the year of transformation or even renewal. I have found the following verses helpful. I really want to be transformed daily by the power of Jesus Christ from the inside out. Continue to pray for me and with me that we can be transformed and renewed by His power.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12: 2

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4: 22-24

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3: 4-6

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5: 8-10

Friday, February 05, 2010

Thankful Spirit

A couple nights per week, my husband gives out a card where people check mark the decisions they are making for Christ. He offers them to also write their prayer requests on the back of this card. It is part of my job to log in those decisions and prayer requests. (Did I mention that I also get paid to do this work? I get paid as a secretary for my husband!) It is during times like these that I truly realize how blessed my life is, and how my problems are small. It is easy for me to take advantage of how well my life is going, forget Who is the one that is blessing me, and to forget to just be thankful. I don't want a complaining and critical spirit. When I read about people suffering from cancer, broken marriages, broken homes, addiction, and so much more, I am committed more than ever to being thankful to the Lord and singing His praises. So today, I ask that you continue to pray for me and that I always have a thankful spirit.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2: 6, 7

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Monterey Fun

Fisherman's Wharf

My Little Penguin

My Princess' Favorite Thing about our trip?

The Nemo fish of course! ;)