Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009




What a gift from God to be home this Christmas with our children!!  We had a grand time!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father

As this year draws to a close, I was just reminded how much I need a wise Counselor, a strong arm fighting for me and a Father's love forever.  I praise Him that His love isn't based on anything I do or don't do.  And I stand amazed that He loves me, one whose heart is indeed desperately wicked.  Take a few minutes and listen to this incredibly encouraging message - http://www.sevenrivers.org/mp3files/091224message.mp3

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Graced Again

“The crucial significance of the cradle at Bethlehem lies in its place in the sequence of steps down that led the Son of God to the cross of Calvary, and we do not understand it till we see it in this context. The key text in the New Testament for interpreting the incarnation is not therefore, the bare statement…‘the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us’, but rather the more comprehensive statement…‘ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich’.  Here is stated, not the fact of the incarnation only, but also its meaning; the taking of manhood by the Son is set before us in a way which shows us how we should set it before ourselves and ever view it—not simply as a marvel of nature, but rather as a wonder of grace.”  J I Packer, Knowing God

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

More Thanksgiving Pictures

For more incredible Thanksgiving pictures visit the "professionals" blog site.  Lindsey captured the day beautifully!  http://linzphotography7.blogspot.com/

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Thanksgiving Gingerbread Houses















We had a glorious time with the family on Thanksgiving.  Last year we made 1 gingerbread house and we used a kit.  The kids had such a good time that this time Steven and I made the gingerbread so more people could make houses.  And all the kids enjoyed it this year!! The above picture is Chad and Kelly's retirement cottage.  Kelly helped build the structure and Chad decorated it.  Notice those nifty bushes in the front.  Their house won best decorated and it would definitely be a great cottage to live in - one day

This is Wyatt's home and he did it all by himself! Well, he had a bit of help with the icing but otherwise he decorated it just like he wanted, he didn't want any help thank you.  It's really cute and his decorations so go with his personality.  Wyatt did a GREAT job!

This is Raney's house and it is too cute also.  Raney had a bit of help with hers because she was struggling to decorate her house because she was too busy eating all the candy!!  That girl loves her some sugar!
And the last house won Most Original.  Steven decorated it and well check it out:


This side is a duck blind with green (of course) decoys and 4 tree stumps.

And the other side is a deer blind.  So he can hunt duck or deer.  Man he would LOVE to have a cabin like that and especially some land to put it on!

Oh and one last thing, check out Chad's satellite antenna on the front of his roof.  He needed that cause we all know that some hunting show is going to film Dad in his new blind!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving

I am so excited about Thanksgiving!  First it's incredible to be here to enjoy it with my family. Second, as every year rolls around we realize more and more how much we have to be thankful for.  And third, we're making gingerbread houses again this year and I just can't wait!  The last time I bought a kit but this time Steven and I are going to make the gingerbread ourselves so that everyone can decorate their own.  Pictures to follow and Happy Thanksgiving to each of you as well!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Check This Out

Hey check out Lindsey's pictures of our new Grandson Holden and also some pictures of Chad and his family.  Lindsey has an incredible gift of photography.  Thanks Linz for capturing some priceless memories!!  http://linzphotography7.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 20, 2009

Immanuel

Times flying and I am beginning to feel a bit pressured.  I have begun to sort through things, clothes will I need in Mexico since it's not just hot there all the time.What should we take with us? We are busy studying spanish with Rosetta Stone. And God has been preparing my heart to leave and follow His calling. I Praise Him that He doesn't just call but He is the One that makes it possible for me to follow!!
On a different note, dear me I struggle with finding day to day freedom in the Gospel.  I grew up with a Father who was a strict, strict perfectionist.  I am certainly not blaming things on my Dad cause I have more than enough parental failures of my own.  But I have come to realize there is somewhat of a connection here.  I am prone to self-righteousness and working, working, striving, striving and more striving trying to please God.
Paul David Tripp says: "You will only get what God has given you when you understand that you need much more than a system of answers; what you actually need is a Redeemer.  Why? Because only a Redeemer can rescue you from you! And so God didn't simply offer you legal forgiveness.  Praise Him that He did that.  But He offered you something much more profound.  He offered you Himself. He knew that your need was so great that it wouldn't be enough to simply forgive you. He literally needed to unzip you and get inside you, or you would never be what you were supposed to be and do what you were supposed to do.
And so the whole redemptive story marches toward Immanuel, the redeemer who would destroy sin's dominion in our hearts by making our hearts the place where He, in His power, wisdom, and glory, would dwell." from Whiter Than Snow
Oh and the author doesn't stop there.  He asks me to take a moment and reflect. "What does it means to live believing that Jesus lives inside of me and empowers me to do what He has called me to do where I live every day."
Still pondering but that should give rest to my soul as I surrender to Christ doing through me instead of me striving, striving, striving.  Just sharing.
"I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal 2:20

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Unfailing Love

I wish I would live with You in view;
Eyes to Your glory
Ears for Your wisdom
Heart for Your grace.
But I live with me in view.
Eyes to my kingdom
Ears for my opinion
Heart captured by my will.
I know I was made for You,
I know that Hope
Meaning
Purpose
Identity
My agenda for every day,
Is to be found in You.
But I want my own kingdom
I love my own glory
I define my own meaning
I delight in my control.
I know You are not fooled
by my burnt offerings.
There's a war that never ends;
The battleground is my heart.
It's a moral skirmish
Between what You have ordained
And what I want.
So I don't find pleasure in Your glory,
I don't delight in Your law.
But my heart doesn't rest;
I know there's a better way.
I know You are God 
And I am not.
My sin is more than
Bad behavior
A bad choice
Wrong words.
My sin is a violation of the relationship
That I was meant to have with You.
My sin is an act
Where I replace You
With something I love more.
Every wrong thing I do
Reflects
A love of self.
Help me
To see 
To acknowledge
To weep
And say,
"Against You, You only have I sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight."
And then help me to rest
In your mercy
In your tender mercy
In your faithful love,
Even as the war goes on.
by Paul David Tripp


God didn't give me the gift of words but I am thankful for others that can pen words to the desires of my heart!  This Thanksgiving season I am thankful for a God that first loved me and for God who holds on to me in spite of my rebellion!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Grandbaby




We are PRAISING the Lord for allowing us to be in country for the birth of Holden!  Granna and Papa were even able to hold him shortly after his birth!  He weighed 8 lbs and 9 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long. Wyatt is showing him some of his toys.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Photographer in the Family

Our daughter is an amazing photographer!!  It has been so much fun to see God develop her gifts and talents and He has definitely blessed her in this area.  The result is that I don't take many pictures of our Grandchildren cause she does it all so beautifully!  Recently we took them to the park and had a blast.  It was their Mother (Kelly's) birthday and we were trying to give her a bit of a break since she is great with child.  She is due ANYDAY now and I am so excited to be here that I can hardly contain myself!!  Come on out baby Holden!! Well hop on over to her blog and check out the pictures http://www.linzphotography7.blogspot.com.  Her pictures of the Grandchildren are called I Heart My Babies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Righteousness

“Do we do nothing at all for obtaining this righteousness? I answer, Nothing at all. For this is perfect righteousness, to do nothing, to hear nothing, to know nothing of the law or of works, but to know and believe this only, that Christ is gone to the Father…not as judge, but made unto us…righteousness, holiness, redemption…that He is our high priest entreating for us, and reigning over us and in us by grace,…in his righteousness and life I have no sin…I am indeed a sinner as touching this present life…but I have another righteousness and another life…which is Christ.” Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Full and Overflowing

This afternoon my heart is full and overflowing with PRAISE to the Lord!! We just returned from a trip to Texas. We visited a new church (Christ Church) for the first time and we were blessed immensely. We met some neat new friends (Stella, Gerry, Lee, Pastor Carroll and renewed acquaintances with Pastor Fred and Deb and their family. We had a marvelous time meeting people and sharing God's vision for Mexico! For those of you on Mission Committees, they gave us a flip recorder so that we can send them videos of our ministry in Mexico which they in turn share with their congregation. What an amazing idea, why didn't I think of that when I was on the Mission Committee? Maybe some of our other supporting churches would like to receive these videos also???
Then we traveled to Bryan, TX where we visited with our dear friends Pastor Wade and his precious wife Marian and their children who each have a special place in our hearts. The Mission Committee gathered on Wednesday night so that we could give them an update and it was delightful to see them again. Many of the Committee helped with the food even though we were trying to say "thank you" to them, Brother Darrell was insistent but what fun to catch up again. Thank you for your help Sisters!! We were able to see newly adopted babies and parents that are shining for God's glory in their calls to adopt children from broken families. And even though our hearts were full, God dropped another unexpected sugar plum in my lap through our precious friends Mrs. Nancy and Mr. D. They gave me a delightful HUGE gift set of Evelyn and Crabtree Summer Hill. We stayed with them on our first visit and I gave her some lotion. She remembered and wanted to give me some and wow the gift is so special, not to mention that I love it!!
We had planned to leave on Thursday morning because we have a Grandbaby due but we wanted to have some time with Hannah and Kevin so we decided to stay another day. Wednesday's Doctor's appointment indicated only small progress with baby Holden so we felt fairy comfortable. And we had the best time with Hannah and Kevin. Our time of fellowship was sweet as it was during our entire time in Texas! As you can tell I was touched and thankful through this whole trip. What a blessing from the Lord to make new friends and have sweet times of fellowship with existing friends.
Right after our lunch with Hannah and Kevin we got a call from our son Chad and he mentioned that Kelly was having some contractions. My heart leaped from my chest cause just a minute, Texas is a long way from Mississippi. I calmed down a bit when I thought about how God knows my heart and my desire to be there when Holden is born. But to be safe we packed up our car and left Bryan Texas at 4:30 Thursday afternoon. We got home this morning at 12:15 and our hearts are still Praising the Lord. The pains stopped but come on Baby Holden we're home and ready! We are still PRAISING the Lord for the warmth in our hearts for friends and also for the safe travel which He continues to provide by His grace!!
I suppose that I haven't thought too much about this baby but I want you to know that I am dancing with excitement now that we're getting closer!! What a sugar plum from the Lord to be here when he's born something that we haven't been able to do with the other two Grandchildren. We're excited and ready!! Please do pray for safe delivery for baby and Mother!!
And one last sugar plum. While itinerating last year we met our dear friends Rich and Donna. Today I got this huge box of clothes from Donna!!! She sent me some clothes that she can't wear any longer. There were even some long pants in the box and since I am going to be in a climate where it's cool and hot, I have been in need of these. And when I called to thank her she indicated that there is a second box on the way. Well, I am simply out of words to express my thanks to so many and also the Lord! God has just dumped out His blessings this week by the dump truck loads and I'm so glad it's not bed time cause my heart is so full and over flowing with PRAISE and excitement that I don't think I could possibly go to sleep.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Good Reminder for Myself

“We comfort the afflicted sinner in this manner; Brother you can never be perfect in this life, but you can be holy. He will say, ‘How can I be holy when I feel my sins?’ I answer, ‘You feel sin? That is a good sign. To realize that one is ill is a step and a very necessary step, toward recovery.’ ‘But how will I get rid of my sin?’ he will ask. I answer: See the heavenly Physician, Christ, who heals the broken-hearted. Do not consult the Quackdoctor, Reason. Believe in Christ and your sins will be pardoned. His righteousness will become your righteousness, and your sins will become His sins.” Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians, 1538

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WOW 2 Posts in 1 Day!!

I am in love with Travis Cottrell!! He has an amazing voice - was studying to be an opera singer when the Lord changed the direction of his life. His music speaks to my soul often and says what I wish I could say. Linz and I were able to worship with him one Friday night and it was an amazing time of worship!!
Anyway, one of his songs - You Came reminded me of why my life is not my own. Here's a portion:
"Before YOU came we were stranded in the dark bearing wounded heart's without hope.
Before YOU came we were drifting on the sea desperate and in need, sinking low.
We cryed for help because we could not save ourselves.
YOU heard, YOU saw, YOU knew and YOU felt it all, YOU wept when YOU watched us fall.
YOU could not stay away and YOU came."
"Praise YOU Lord Jesus for leaving the glories of Heaven and coming to earth, to suffer and die for my sins."

Who Is In Control of My Life?

"The desire to be God rather than to serve God lies at the bottom of every sin that anyone has ever committed. Sin is rooted in my unwillingness to find joy in living my life under the authority of, and for the glory of Another. Sin is rooted in my desire to live for me. It's driven by my propensity to indulge my every feeling, satisfy my every desire, and meet my every need." Whiter Than Snow - Paul David Tripp
I love these devotions (thanks Belinda) as God has used them to really show me my heart and my need for a Savior! I confess I so want to live for myself - do what I want to do and it's often a struggle of surrender to my Lord.
"You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Cor 6:19-20
"Thank You Lord Jesus for loving me in spite of my wanting to be in control of my life; for wanting to do it my way. May the power of Your blood allow me to surrender my all to you day by day."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Something to Ponder

Religion is, ‘I obey, therefore I’m accepted’. The Gospel is, ‘I’m accepted through what Jesus Christ has done for me, therefore I obey’. Religion gives you control, that’s why its so popular…If I am saved by what I can do, then there’s a limit to what God can ask of me. I still have some control. But if I am saved by sheer grace, then there’s nothing He cannot ask of me”. Tim Keller

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Jumped Off the Cliff Friday July 17, 2009

As many of you know I have been reading the Prodigal God by Tim Keller. It is a must read and has really changed my life like no other book. I've always known that I am a Martha but God has shown me through this book more of the why and reason that I live as a Martha.
I grew up with a perfectionist Dad who ruled by fear. If you didn't sweep out the carport correctly then you had to do it again. If you didn't get the paint line straight along the base board, you had to wipe it off and do it again. While I don't like to blame things on my past, God has really shown me through this book how my childhood really did shape my image of God.
The book has helped me to see that I am an Elder Sister who does, does, does, tries to pull myself up by the bootstrap (doing my moral duty) all to gain God's approval and acceptance. Tim Keller helped me to see that I have really been saying, God, thanks for my salvation, now I've got it under control but will you please sit up there in the bleachers to help me when I need you. (A dear friend of mine pointed out so clearly how that is health and wealth prosperity gospel!) I've always considered myself a prayer warrior. But I have been so convicted that my prayers are often "vending machine" prayers. And if I am so busy doing, seeking my own righteousness, how can I love God or others??
"God is committed to enthrall me with what is most deeply and durably satisfying, Himself." "The gift is God Himself above all His other gifts." John Piper in God is the Gospel
God has deeply convicted me that I have missed the relationship with God (and others) because I have been so busy doing, doing, doing. I have lived my life seeing how close can I get to my surrender without loosing all control. I have not believed that God Himself is all I need. (Somewhere in the Middle by Casting Crowns). So last Friday, I jumped off the cliff in total abandonment to God. Only by God's grace, I really am beginning to see that God is ALL I need.
I (by God's grace) can so live in the day BUT am often fearful that when I get down the road (i.e. Mexico) the day is going to overwhelm me and knock me down. But as long as God is with me, being knocked down isn't the worst thing that can happen to me. I often feel overwhelmed with Mexico, a new culture, a new language, new ministry and in the past would have spent an enormous time praying for God to help me (which of course I need to do some of this) but recently I have the most incredible peace and have even been able to say to God, "I only need you to go with me and be with me." What peace, freedom and joy there is in this abandonment to God. However, I must confess that I don't feel like I have my arms around all of this but I am thankful that only by God's grace, I have begun a relationship with my Savior, not based on my needs but on loving and enjoying Him forever.
I can sure make this Christianity thing much harder than it is supposed to be!! Thank you God for your grace and mercy to this sinner, for not giving up on me and for loving me just as I am in spite of myself!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Scotts July 2009 Update

“See, I have called by name Bezalel, and have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability, intelligence and knowledge…..that they may make all that I have commanded you.”  Exodus 31:3,6

As we feel that time is drawing closer for us to go to Mexico, we are reminded of our need of God and His grace to fulfill His calling through us for His glory.  So, may we share some specific praise and prayer requests with you, which are on our hearts?

-Praise God for our supporters who have sacrificed much during these difficult economic times.

“Through eternity (we) shall thank God for the silent flame in the hearts of those and what they did for (us).  Not many of them has ever had their path opened into foreign work, but the light of the Day that is coming will show what He has let them do in kindling others.”  Lilias Trotter

 - Please praise God for our supporters who have given much and prayed much during the past 5 years.  We are thankful to God for each one of you who support us financially and through prayer.

-Praise God for His detailed provisions for us during these past 2 months.  Please praise Him for the loan of a car.  Our dear friend, Chaplain Don Malin is serving our country in Afghanistan and they have graciously given us his car to use.  Please pray for him and his wife Bess. 

-We are so thankful to our daughter Lindsey for allowing us to move right into her home.

-Praise God for our encouraging communication/visits with most of our supporters during these 2 months.

-Praise God for special times with our Children and Grandchildren.

-Praise God for using our son Chad to encourage us, counsel us, point out sin and listen to our hearts.

-Please pray for God to grant us ability, intelligence and knowledge to accomplish His ministry in Mexico.

-Please pray that doors will be opened and that hearts will be opened for the gospel.

-Please pray for God’s abundant grace during language school, and for us to learn the language quickly. We are planning on attending school in Guadalajara, Mexico in September.

-Please pray for a place to live in Guadalajara (a place that feels like home) and for quick transition to this country/city.

-We only need $352.55 per month to be able to depart for Mexico.  Please pray for God to raise up commitments for this amount through churches and individuals so that we can depart in September.

With many thanks and much love – Deborah and Steven

Friday, July 03, 2009

Firehouse Visit


What fun we had visiting the firehouse to see the fire trucks with our Grandchildren!!  The Firemen were so nice and took much time with our special little ones.  And it was so interesting!!  It's definitely a calling and one which requires much sacrifice!  This 4th of July here's a special "thank you" to all the firemen in our country!



Raney's 2nd Birthday

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mexico Bound

Thank you for praying for our time in Florida with Andrew Lamb, Ann his wife and their 4 boys. It was an incredible time of fellowship, getting to know Andrew and Ann better and enjoying their boys as well.  What a privilege to enter into their family life for 3 days and to enjoy Ann’s definite gift of hospitality.  God granted us safe travel and allowed us to get all of our questions answered.

We returned to Mississippi feeling a bit overwhelmed and yet began to pray for God to reveal His will for our lives. As we began to think and process there were several things that stood out distinctly to us.

-Andrew was the chairman of the committee that interviewed us during MTW’s Interview and Orientation in the very beginning of our mission career and God used him to extend some refreshing grace to us during this time.

-We reflected upon God’s sovereign hand in bringing Andrew to the Philippines to visit with us during our first term (when he was headed to a partnership meeting in Thailand).  We appreciated his willingness to listen to us and encourage us.   

-We continue to be amazed at God’s timing of our leaving the Philippines and the already open and approved position in Mexico.

-We are so thankful for our ability to be honest with Andrew and Ann, their life commitment to minister in grace as much as possible and their acceptance of us.

-We are still amazed at God’s plan for our gifts and talents.  Steven will be able to use all of his administrative gifts, mercy ministry and short-term team experience in Mexico as well and even more.  I (Deborah) will be able to continue to participate in Mexico in every mercy ministry that God had previously laid upon my heart with an added bonus of working with an orphanage.

-And last but not least, since January we have prayed for God to reveal His will to us and we also prayed for Him to make it clear and not confusing.  Upon our return, we realized that He has closed all other doors that have been opened so indeed the call to Mexico became really clear to us.

Therefore, it is with much excitement that we want to share with you that we have accepted a call to work on a Servant’s team in Mexico with Andrew Lamb and one other participant. What does that mean next??

-First, our budget for Mexico is less than our previous budget, but we have lost some supporters who were interested specifically in the Philippines.  So, we need to raise some more support before we can depart for Mexico.

-But we would really like to be in Mexico, in Guadalajara, for language school this September.  Our precious daughter-in-law Kelly is fluent in Spanish and so we are going to start working on language with her. We are thankful that Spanish is supposed to be easier than Tagalog.

-So, would you please praise the Lord for His clear calling upon our lives to Mexico and for our time with Andrew and his family? 

-Would you please pray for God to quickly raise up churches or individuals that are willing to support God’s work through us in Mexico? 

-Would you pray for His hand to be in all the logistics, housing, transportation, what we need to take to Mexico etc? 

-Please praise the Lord for the support of our family, Chad, Kelly and Lindsey.  Each one of them has given us countless hours of encouragement, wisdom, listening and just loving us.  We are so thankful for the gift of each precious family member, including Wyatt who will be 4 in December, Raney who will be 2 June 27th and the newest baby which will be born the first of November. 

And we thank you immensely for standing with us during this time of transition, for your prayers, support, encouragement, grace and love.

We would love to hear any questions that come to mind!

Mexico bound -

An Amazing Bath in Grace

When:
I continue to pull myself up by my bootstraps, to add inches to my spiritual stature
I huff and puff to impress God
I thrash around trying to fix myself
I am focused on bad choices and failed dreams
I compare myself to others to bolster my righteousness
I am judgmental and critical of others
I don't want to see my imperfect existence
I deny my sins and deceive myself, all the time lying to myself
I am unloving, irritable, angry, resentful, disrespectful to my husband
I feel I need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him
I can't accept ownership of my poverty, powerlessness and neediness
I can't be honest with myself or others about who I am and my sin
I believe and doubt
I hope and get discouraged
I am trusting and still suspicious
I am honest and still play games
I believe God owes me for my faithfulness
I think/feel I can merit something on my own
I have to do and do and do instead of just receive like a little child
I can't trust in God because it's a matter of my heart
I walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty phase of life
year after year I long for perfection and it doesn't appear
I see that my old sin compulsions are still reigning in my life
despair destroys all joy and courage
I feel insecure, inadequate or mistaken
panic, depression and disillusionment are near me
I want to hide the ugly and repulsive in me

A wave of light breaks into my darkness and only by a Grace Bath, am I able to see:
God loves me as I am but also knows me as I am!
it's in my deepest awareness of myself that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.
I am accepted. I am accepted, by that which is greater than me.  
I don't need to do ANYTHING. 
I don't need to seek for ANYTHING, perform ANYTHING, or intend ANYTHING. 
I only need to accept the face that I am accepted - and it's here that I experience grace!

My heart lives in each one of the WHENs but longs to live out of and embrace more and more the Grace Bath.  
I am reading again THE RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL by Brennan Manning. The above while not original, is taken from chapter one - Something is Radically Wrong and is written in a format that God used to pierce my heart and help me to see more clearly.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Heart

Romans 7
"I am a mass of contradictions; I don't want to be but I am.
I preach a gospel of peace, but my life isn't always driven by peace.
I talk about a Jesus who alone can fully satisfy the soul, but I am often not satisfied.
I celebrate a theology of amazing grace, but I often react in ungrace.
And if I rest in God's control, why do I seek it for myself?
Even in moments when I think I am prepared, I end up doing what I didn't want to do.
Irritation
Impatience
Envy
Discontent
Wrong talk
Anger
Self-focus
Are not the fruit of the new life, are not the way of grace.
So there is this law operating inside of me.
When I step out with a desire to do good, evil follows me wherever I go.
There is this war that rages inside of me, between a desire for good and sin that is anything but good.
There are times when I feel like a prisoner, held against my will.
I didn't plan to be mad  in the grocery store, but that guy made me mad.
I didn't plan to be discontent, but it just enveloped me in the quietness of the car.
That discussion wasn't supposed to degenerate into an argument, but it did.
I am thankful for God's grace, but there is daily evidence that I'm still in need of help.
That battle inside me cannot be solved by
Theology
Strategies - (doing, doing, doing)
Principles
Techniques - (trying to pull myself up by my boot straps)
Plans
Preparation
Helpful hints
Outlines.
I have been humbled by the war I cannot win.
I have been grieved by desires I cannot conquer.
I have been confronted by actions I cannot excuse.
And I have come to confess that what I really need is rescue.
So, have mercy on me, O God,
Acording to YOUR great compassion
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions
And my sin is always before me.
I embrace the rescue that Could only be found in YOU.
Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

This beautiful writing came out of a book WHITER THAN SNOW by Paul David Tripp (thanks Belinda for pointing me to this devotional).  While there is no way that I have the gifts to write it, it was quite convicting and spoke to my heart, so I wanted to share it with you.  
We had an incredible trip to Florida and got all of our questions answered.  Life has been fast and furious since our return but I will write about our trip soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

On the Road Again

Sorry it's been awhile since I have posted anything. This month has been a delightful time of refreshing myself in the Lord.  I am so thankful for time to sit and watch the birds, look at the flowers and just enjoy God and His creation.  It's been a blessing to have time to read, reflect, process and seek the Lord. By the way, have you read the book PRODIGAL GOD by Tim Keller?  I am not even finished as it's really taking some pondering and praying but I can't recommend it enough - it's incredible and a must read! 

Well for over 4 months now we have been seeking the Lord to reveal His will for our lives.  It appears that God is leading us to participate in a management team for all of Mexico, including the Border Ministry.  There are 62 missionary family units on the field in Mexico and it’s simply more than Andrew Lamb, the regional Director, can manage.  So, he is putting together a management team, which will consist of him, 1 other family and possibly us.  Because this is a new concept with MTW and there are no job descriptions, we are leaving Sunday morning driving to Florida to meet with the whole management team and, we have LOTS of questions. 

So, would you please pray for us this week as follows?

Praise God for the time this month to read, reflect, process and repent.

Praise God that Andrew really wants us to work with him.

Praise God for Andrew’s willingness to process with us further and answer all of our questions.

Pray for safe travel, we will return on Friday, June 5, 2009.

Pray for God to clearly confirm/reveal His will for our lives through these meetings.

Pray for a time of refreshment and fellowship.

Pray for God to reveal a timetable, and other future logistics if this is His will.

We thank you for standing with us during our transition, for your financial support especially during these difficult financial times and for your prayers. We are very excited about being able to share the outcome of our meetings upon our return with you.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…….come and pray to me, and I will hear you…..You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord.  Jeremiah 29:11-1

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cold,Dill Pickles, Bathtub and Hot Water

Thanks to all of you who prayed us home safely.  We left the Philippines at 9:00 Friday morning and arrived in Mississippi Friday evening, 22 hours later!  We are so thankful for God's provision of safety and also His help with our making our connecting flight in Japan!
Brrrr this central air conditioning is cold!! While it is warm here in Mississippi, guess it's going to take us a bit to adjust.  But, those dill pickles are just yummy! It's so funny the things that God gives you the grace to not even think about until you return.  Those hot baths are a real treat, but even more so is the hot water to wash my face!
Thanks for praying us home and we would appreciate your prayers for God's direction for our future.  We have already been approved to go to Mexico if that is where we feel that God is calling us, but are praying for God to show us where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do.  We will keep you posted and thanks again for praying.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Roaches on Steroids

We certainly have our fair share of roaches in Mississippi but this week I have been thinking of my best friend Bess who HATES roaches.  The roaches here are pretty good size, most of then 2 - 3 inches.  Steven always says they are on steroids because once a week a man comes by the house and sprays bug killer in all of the drains.  Steven's theory is that the roaches here eat that stuff and it just makes them stronger. I must tell you one thing I will not miss in the Philippines is the roaches and the ants!
Anyway Bess, last week I went into the kitchen to get something and as I turned on the light there was a huge, I mean BIG roach, right on top of my kitchen counter - disgusting! My precious husband will come and kill them for me but he was laying down and I didn't want to disturb him and besides the roach might have gotten away.  Well, he saw me and crawled onto the front of my drawer which yes, was open a bit.  I tried to kill him with my foot, but missed. The roach dived into the drawer that has some knives in a silverware tray.  I jerked open the drawer and that roach was trying his best to crawl under the knives which was impossible! Hum, got him - think quick.  He was just crawling, his legs digging, trying to get through that plastic tray.  So, I picked up the scissors and yep - I cut that sucker right in half!  And I just left the drawer open cause I didn't want to clean it out that night - dead halved roach and all.  Well, when I got up the next morning only the bigger half was still in the drawer.  My friends the ants finally helped in a worth while way by getting rid of the smaller portion which contained the legs. 
Then, I was cleaning out the cabinets in the kitchen.  I was up on a stool and picked up a tall wine bottle that I hung my angel food cakes on upside down to cool.  Yep, Bess, right inside that wine bottle was another Grandaddy!!  And he was trying to dig his way out of that glass bottle.  They might be able to see well but they are just plum stupid!  Gallant Steven came to the rescue and drowned that fellow - they can't swim either!
Last week I decided that the mattress on our bed was aiding to my back pain.  We had sold the bed and so were going to have to move to the floor this week anyway to get rid of the bed.  So, we made us a pallet on the floor with some firm pieces of foam - quite comfy and much better on my back.  Well, Bess, the very first night Steven and I are laying there reading and he jumps up quickly (which was quite a feat off of the floor) and swats the wall.  "What was that, I ask?"  Yep, a roach, the Grandmother! Now listen, I haven't seen roach one in our bedroom until we moved our bed onto the floor.  Thank the good Lord that I was tired that night and so went right off to sleep.
But the next night, I came into the dining room to cover my cake which was cooling.  As I was coming down the hall another Grandaddy entered from the kitchen into the dining room and he saw me.  He ran under the table and I was yanking chairs, trying to get to him. All I could think about was that guy might make it into my bedroom tonight!  I missed him as I think he climbed in between some wood pieces on the floor that hold up the table.  Oh no, he can get under my door! Feeling somewhat defenseless, I resorted to prayer as I asked God to keep the roaches out of my room!
And then this is the icing on the cake!  Yesterday I'm sitting at the table doing something on my computer.  There is a stack of napkins with the plastic still on them but the top open.  I looked up and could not believe my eyes! There crawling inside the plastic on top of the first napkin was a baby roach!!  I looked at Steven and said, "this is it, I can not believe this"!  And once again my knight in shining armor took care of that baby roach for me.  But what about all of those napkins?  And where is that Grandaddy that was under my table?  This is definitely a different kind of dependence upon the Lord than I am accustomed to,  but because I remember swiping a roach off of my head while sleeping last term, I'll keep praying for God to keep the roaches out of my room for the rest of the week!! Bess, I just know you are dying to come visit!!