Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:7-10 The Message

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Close to My Heart Clearance Sale

Get all your holiday shopping done in one spot this year with our online clearance sale! Many items are 50% off, with some discounted as much as 80% off regular retail. The selection is incredible, too! Shopping begins Wednesday, December 2, at 9 a.m. and continues through Thursday, December 17 (11:59 p.m. MT) or while product supplies last! There is a deal on shipping, too! For orders of more than $100 US/ $150 CAN and non-continental US shipping is only $5 US/ $10 CAN and non-continental.

Check it out on MYCTMH web Site

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Still here...

As I was sitting here, catching up with old friends on Facebook, I realized it's been a whole month since I posted anything here on our blog. That's way too long. So I'm going to rectify that right now.

I have no excuses, it isn't because nothing has been happening or that we have been too busy. I just haven't done it. Sorry!

So in the last month what have we done? Hmmm...

Butch has spent a lot of time in the woods. It has been hunting season for what seems like FOREVER! First it was bear and deer season. (Grady hunted with him) But the deer were very elusive, at least the ones he could shoot at! And of course the bear we saw was before bear season opened. Then it was Elk season, bear season was still open. (And Grady hunted again) The Elk were more elusive than the deer. Then there was a short reprieve (1 week) and it was Elk season again for Muzzleloading. (Spencer hunted this time) The Elk are not so elusive, today they even showed themselves. BUT...other hunters spooked the herd that Butch and Spencer were watching and they couldn't get a shot at one. (Sigh) They have one last chance Monday.

But that means I get to go grocery shopping alone. It's been a long, long, long time since that has happened. And I must say that I am looking forward to it:) I must get to making my list and make sure I get everyhting I need for the coming whirlwind of holiday baking. (Cookie Exchange Thursday)

We have had some snow but it is mostly gone now. The last 2 days have been absolutely beautiful. The temps were in the low 40's but if you were sitting inside where it is roasty toasty it was easy to convince yourself that it was in the 70's! Today the mountain finally showed itself and it is such a breathtaking sight with all that fresh snow. So breathtaking I didn't even take a picture. I guess you will have to come see it for yourself:)

Things are going very well with church. We have seen some new families coming recently and numbers have been up on Sunday morning and bible studies have had consistent attendance. We have been having Sweet Thursday once a month (which is just a fancy way to say let's get together for dessert) and are seeing new ladies come to that. We are excited about what God is getting ready to do in Glenwood and pray that our church family is ready!

I have been helping out with the band at school and loving it. I still need to dust off my clarinet and actually play it, but helping new students learn to play has been inspiring. I miss giving guitar lessons and hope to start up after the first of the year. Seeing a child's eyes light up when they have mastered a new song gets me fired up!

I'm looking forward to a busy December. This next week will find me making a quick trip to Bonney Lake to hold a Close to My Heart Workshop. I have missed holding workshops and hope that this will get my business going again. It'll be nice to get the creative juices flowing again. I realized recently that I have barely scrapbooked at all this entire year. I must change that!

Well, that is probably enough of my ramblings for one evening. Consider yourself updated on the exciting lives of the Hallenbeck family.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October News

October 2009

Greetings Family and Friends,

As we enter into fall we are reminded of the many blessings of God. We see in His word that He blessed those who were faithful. As we have followed God, He has blessed us as well. We have whole-heartedly followed Him as He has led us on this journey with Village Missions. When he first called us to follow Him late in 2001, when he sent us to serve Him in Round Mountain, NV in 2006; and now in Glenwood, WA. God is providing for us, taking care of us, and helping us reach people through relationships.

In September Butch had the privilege to baptize 4 people, one of them being Grady. We were able to hold this service at the pool of a man in the community who does not come to church. As we prepared for this service, we have come to realize there are many within the church who have not been baptized. We pray that they will come to understand the need to obey God in this simple act of obedience.

September also began new ministries. Jennifer gathered a team of women to begin developing Women’s Ministry. In October they held their first event, Sweet Thursday. Sweet Thursday is “women’s socials on a shoestring…tied to a generous God.” 13 ladies attended and enjoyed a sweet dessert and a short devotion by Jennifer with lots of fun and fellowship sprinkled in. Please pray that this ministry would grow and that women who don’t attend church would be reached.

Shortly after school started, Youth Group began. We average 6-10 kids every week. Please pray that we would reach our goal of 15 kids every week. Also pray for one more female leader. We are also beginning to have a presence at the school. Jennifer is helping out with band one day each week, we volunteer to go on field trips, help out with special days, and attend any special events the school has, from fundraiser dinners to sporting events. Pray that kids would get to know us, accept us, and trust us and that through them we would be able to get to know their parents.

There are many projects that need to be tackled on our church building. The men have recently been working on some roof repair over the breeze-way to help with the snow load. The back door needed to be replaced and a new porch built as well. Pray that the projects would get completed in a timely manner. If you feel led to bring a group to help out with any of our building projects, we would be glad to have you!

The men have also begun meeting for a monthly men’s breakfast at the local restaurant. They average 5-6 each time. Pray that this would build unity among the men of the church and that others would be reached through this time of fellowship.

Both men’s and women’s bible studies are in full swing. The men are just beginning a study in the book of James. The ladies are in the middle of a Kay Arthur study on the Names of God. Please pray for those leading the study and for more to get involved in Bible Study.

As we move along towards 2010 we are praying for God’s direction in ministry for our little church. There is a strong desire to reach the community. We are developing a plan of action to equip the church body to share their faith and reach out beyond the 4 walls of the church. We are striving to be people focused, not program based. Please pray that God would give us creative ways to reach the people here in Glenwood and that the walls would be broken down between church and community.

On a personal note, we are doing well. Our kids have blossomed since we have moved here, especially Becca. She is always willing to try new things. She just finished Volleyball, which to some extent has filled the void left by not being able to continue with swimming. All 3 kids have been accepted at school which is no easy feat in a small town. Our biggest struggle has been the lack of challenging classes and electives for them to participate in. We have recently discovered the Internet Academy which will allow for some electives, plus Grady is taking Running Start, college classes for dual credit. He should graduate High School with his AA degree.

There is much to be explored here and our days off will often find us out in the woods, discovering trails and looking for wildlife and places to photograph. The fall colors are absolutely spectacular right now and there is no shortage of photo opportunities. We are in the midst of hunting season and Butch and the boys have been spending as much time chasing deer as they can. Soon it will be Elk season and we have been told our little town becomes quite populated with hunters during Elk season. We are looking forward to opportunities to minister to the hunters.

As you pray for us please remember:
· Praise the Lord for the opportunities He has given us thus far to be involved at school, to help out those in need in the community, and building relationships.
· Leadership Development –
· VBS 2010 – last year we reached 32 kids during VBS. We are praying for 35 this next year, which is nearly all of the 4 year old – 5th grade population here in Glenwood. We may need help from an outside group to reach this many so pray that God would provide for that need.
· Grady needs braces and Becca is nearing time for phase 2 of her ortho treatment. We do not have enough in our current budget to cover these expenses.
· We are also in need of a more economical vehicle. Ideally it would be 4-wheel-drive and have some ground clearance. We have been told we get “feet” of snow, not just “inches”.
· We both desire to get some more schooling. Butch has found an online Bible College out of California that with his enrollment, Jennifer could attend for free, however, finances just won’t allow for that expense right now. We are patiently waiting for the Lord to provide.
· Pray that God would continue to open doors for us to build relationships in the community and give us opportunities to witness.

We thank God for each of you. Knowing you are praying for us and support us in this ministry is an encouragement to us. We could not serve the Lord in this place without your partnership. Though there are times we may feel discouraged, we are reminded that God is El-Shaddai, God Almighty, All Sufficient One. He is everything we need, our Provider, our Comforter, our Lord. Through each difficulty, he makes us stronger. We need only to keep our eyes fixed on Him.

Serving Him Together,
Pastor Butch and Jennifer Hallenbeck
Grady, Spencer and Becca

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Women of Faith

Well, it certainly is a weekend not soon forgotten.

Myself and 5 other ladies from the church went in to Portland for what we thought would be a conference filled with laughter and reminders from God's word, great worship and fellowship.

We received all that, plus a little more.

Satan tried, but was not successful, at stopping God's work through this conference. We arrived at the Rose Garden about 6:15, went inside, found something to eat and found our seats. As we were eating we noticed that the venue seemed surprisingly empty. There were a few thousand people milling around but definitely not the numbers we expected to see. One whole section was completely empty. We wandered around on the concourse and noticed yellow caution tape in one area but really didn't think too much of it. Just found it odd that we couldn't walk through there. So we went back in and found our seats because it was getting close to 7:00, time for the show to start.

7 comes and goes, 7:15 comes and goes. Finally about 7:25 we see a large group of ladies across the arena finding their seats and we think, "Huh, I wonder why they weren't letting them in before"

Then Mary Graham (President of Women of Faith) comes on stage and announces that the Arena Staff have requested that Friday night's events be canceled due to an incident and we need to quickly but safely evacuate the building. So the Saturday portion was extended by adding an hour in the morning (Seriously? They're starting at 8AM?) And it will go until 5 PM instead if 3. So I'm not really thinking much about what is happening. My first thought was, "But I have all this stuff I need to do when I get home for Sunday. If we don't get done until 5 we aren't going to get home much before 8. Uggghhhhhhh!)

So anyway, we ask a few people on the way out if they know what is going on but everyone is clueless. Outside I see the police vehicles and one of them has the black box thingy behind it so I figure it must have been a bomb scare. But I kept that thought to myself for the time being. We arrived at our hotel about 8:30 and found Breaking news on one of the local channels (Thank you FOX News for having a newscast at such obscure times:)

That is when we learned that in fact there was a bomb scare, a suspicious package found in a restroom around 6 PM. That explained the yellow caution tape. Had we arrived just a few minutes later we would have been locked "out" instead of "in".

But the Lord blessed our time together. Since we had unexpected time waiting around before the conference I found my way to the book table and purchased a book called "Laugh Out Loud" So as we sat around our hotel room we took turns reading stories from the book and laughing out loud!

Saturday was a long day with Friday Night's events added on, but it was good. I particularly enjoyed Lisa Welchel, I have always felt that I can relate to her story and as she shared about her "Scrapbooking Moment" I thought "Oh, been there done that" Putting the scrapbook page slightly ahead of concern for the injured person involved. Oops:)

I think all the ladies had a great time. We will probably take a group next year and will add to our prayers "No Bomb Threats, please!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baptism Sunday

Today we had a baptism after church. We were scrambling trying to find an alternate location but it worked out. A guy in town has a heated pool that he let us use.

Butch baptized 4 people today, one of them being Grady. It's exciting to watch your children take this next step in their walk with God. To me it is them saying that their faith is becoming their own. A faith they want, not just because they have been raised to believe, but because they truly believe. And it is an even more special moment knowing that dad was the one to baptize them!

I promise I'll post a picture soon. The camera is downstairs.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

She's Growing Up!

Tonight Becca is at her first babysitting job. Yet another reminder that she's growing up. (Sigh....)
She hasn't called home yet so all must be going well:) I'm proud of her for being willing even though she was pretty nervous about it. I told her she couldn't back out when the last round of nerves hit just as we were leaving. She knows the kids fairly well so I'm sure she settled right in. We'll see how she really did when she gets home tonight:)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Veteran's Memorial Dedication

Last Saturday the Veteran's Memorial at the Glenwood Cemetary was dedicated. Butch had the opportunity to be part of the Service.
This is taken from the White Salmon Enterprise. (the local paper:)

Photo by Elaine Bakke
REMEMBERING -- Butch Hallenbeck reads a poem honoring vets during the dedication of the Veterans' Memorial at Glenwood cemetery.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Must be time for an update!

We are settling into the routine of school. 3 weeks down. a lot more to go:) At least they aren't counting days till Christmas Break, YET!

Grady's Running Start classes haven't yet begun so he has been having a pretty easy start to the school year. We discovered the Internet Academy, out of Federal Way. He is taking his Algebra through that and is already wanting to take a couple of other classes as electives. He is thinking about the possibility of summer school to get a required class out of the way so he can take a Web Design class next year. Plus taking the required class during the summer will free his schedule to take Band. I told him we should probably get through this year first!

Becca is already looking ahead to high school and beyond. (Sometimes I wonder whose child she is:) We were looking at classes offered through the Internet Academey and there is a Photography Class offered as an Elective. Since we don't have much opportunity for Electives here, she is already thinking about how she can work that into her schedule. And then she made the comment, "When I apply to George Fox University it will look really good on my Application to have taken a Photography Class. It will help me with my Art Major." We'll see if she still feels that way in a couple years when she actually gets to high school.

Spencer is plugging away at school. So far he seems to be doing well, although I haven't checked grades yet. I really need to do that! He still isn't showing much interest in thinking about life beyond High School. He's thinking of Running Start next year so that he can graduate with his AA. He doesn't have much interest in going to college at this point so I think he figures at least that way he'll have something more than a high school degree.

Things are going well with our ministry here. Youth Group begins this Sunday. We're praying for 15 kids. New Sunday School classes start as well. We'll have a class for 5th grade and down and a class for Middle School. And the best part, we have teachers for both so I can be available as a back-up! We're still developing the Music Team. We'd like to have a couple more adults join us. Just praying about who to ask:)

We've been pretty busy around town these past couple of weeks. Yesterday the school kids participated in a town clean-up, which we helped out with. Today is a dedication of the Veterans Memorial at the Cemetary. Butch is involved in that. We've had a couple of Memorial Services to attend as well. Next week I'm going in to help out with the beginning clarinets in band. I guess I better dust mine off:)

So that's just a bit of what our life has been like these past few weeks. I forgot to mention our Labor Day camping trip. 5 families from church camped and it rained so hard we all came home on Sunday. We didn't do much other than hang around under tarps and visit. Next year I think we'll try for July instead:)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Week...

The first week of school is complete. I think all 3 kids survived! I know the parents did!!!!!

Tuesday morning we sent them out the door and promptly headed up into the hills to pick Huckleberries. We got about 2 gallons, which we then had to sort and get in the freezer. I am enjoying a Huckleberry Scone as I write. It is very tasty. A new recipe for me though, therefore it will need some tweaking to make it my own. We plan to go back up this coming week and get a couple more gallons. Huckleberries in the freezer are like gold and we plan to get as much as we can before the bears get them all.

So back to the kids...

Becca is in 7th grade this year, there are a total of 5 kids in her class. She settled right into the routine of school. Volleyball starts Monday and she plans to play. She hasn't played before but when there are that few students, it doesn't seem to matter as much! She has all the typical classes. She doesn't like History so is a little concerned about her Pacific NW History class. She is trying to convince me that she shouldn't have to take it because she had Nevada State History in 4th grade. She continues to be the only Oboe in band and we are looking into private lessons for her. She plays very well and with lessons could become an excellent Oboe player.

Spencer is in 10th grade this year. Also a total of 5 kids in his class. There is one new one but he is not new to Glenwood, he went to Trout Lake for a few years of school. Big sister wanted to take Running Start so they are attending Glenwood this year. Spencer is having his typical feelings towards school, "Why Bother." So far he has been doing his work and Grady keeps telling him he has to have a good GPA for college. Maybe big brother will be more of an encouragement to him than we seem to be. He isn't in band this year, Geometry was the same period. Spencer doesn't seem to mind but I do. He does want to learn to play the drums so we are working on getting him a drum set and some DVD's so he can learn.

Grady is in 11th grade, and, like Becca and Spencer, has 5 kids in his class. He is taking Running Start which has created a few minor issues. With our move, he is on the off year for math, so he has that with 2 other students during the pre-Calc class. He is missing a quarter credit of Biology so we will be working on getting that final credit through independent study, and he needs Pacific NW History. He is doing that through independent study as well. He is in band with 2 other students, a trumpet player and a clarinet player. So for his classes he has US History, Algebra 2, band, and PNW. Plus he has 4 running start classes so he has a pretty full load. We'll wait and pick up the Biology credit when he finishes the PNW credit.

Needless to say, I think that all 3 will be very busy this year.

As for Butch and I, I am sure we will be filling our days with church things. Visiting people, Bible Studies, Music, Youth Group and other ideas we have got brewing. We are still praying about going back to school and asking God to provide the finances to do so and we have committed to becoming better musicians by playing together daily and learning more.

I'd post the first day of school picture but all 3 told me no because we haven't gone shopping yet. That's what happens when school starts before payday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

August Update

August 2009

We pray that this finds you well. Our whirlwind summer is beginning to wind down. We just finished with Camp. The first half of the week was for our 4th-7th graders and the second half for 8th – 12th grades. We took 14 campers for Junior Camp and 5 for Senior Camp. It was a great week and we saw God impact the lives of our kids.

In July we were able to go to a Pastor’s Getaway at Camano Island, hosted by our District Rep. Vern & Cindy Wilkinson and the folks at Camano Chapel. It was a wonderful time of refreshing for us and many other Village Missionaries in Washington. We were able to spend a few days visiting our supporters at Lake Tapps as well.

We did manage to squeeze in a camping trip this summer just before the 4th of July. We spent a few days at Tahk Lahk Lake on the Northwest side of Mt. Adams. The kids fished, we made S’mores and acquired a few bug bites.

Vacation Bible School was the week after Father’s Day. We had prayed for 30 kids and God answered with 32! Yay GodJ 2 of those kids prayed to receive Christ. We held it in the afternoon and served lunch before we started. This allowed the staff time in the morning to prepare for each day and I think it helped us all be just a little bit more relaxed during our time with the kids.

School begins on August 25, the kids aren’t too excited about that. Grady is taking Running Start this year. He will take College classes online, getting his High School credits while working towards an AA degree as well. We are beginning to look at colleges for him, so please pray about that. We’re still trying to get classes all straightened out with our move from Nevada. Both boys will have to retake a class or two, and they will need to take Pacific NW History with the 7th and 8th graders. Good thing there are only about 10 them!

Becca is becoming quite the photographer. She entered 4 pictures in the Klickitat County Fair. She received 3 blue ribbons and a red ribbon. She has also begun learning to play the Bass Guitar. Grady is learning guitar and Spencer still wants to learn to play the drums. We are in the process of trying to find a drum teacher for him. Then we’ll have to get a drum.

Labor Day weekend we are having a church campout. We’ll have our worship service at the campground, coming into town to pick up those who aren’t camping with us. We are looking forward to having the chance to really spend time with those in our church. We visit them but you can learn so much more when you spend a few days in the woods! The campground is just out of town a ways along a creek. Maybe we’ll get fish for dinner.


As you think of us please pray for the following:
· Unity within our church. We need to grow together as a church family so we can effectively reach our community.
· Fall ministries. We are beginning our new Sunday School Classes, Adult, Elementary and Middle School, as well as Youth Group and Bible Studies. Pray that the people in the church will get connected. Jennifer is also starting a Women’s Ministry Team. Pray for the women who will be part of this team.
· Pray that more people would get involved in serving in various ministries in the church. The needs are great in every area of ministry. The workers are out there, they just haven’t said “Yes” yet!
· Butch wants to go back to school but our budget is tight. He has found a Bible College to take Distance Learning classes from, and Jennifer can take classes for free. Pray that God will provide the funds to get started.
· Praise the Lord that our first 4 months in Glenwood have gone very well. Our kids are doing exceptionally well here. We have seen them blossom and grow. It has been a very smooth transition for all of us.
· Praise the Lord for our time in Round Mountain, NV. We learned so much during our 3 years there and know that God had us exactly where He wanted us during that time, and He has us exactly where he wants us now.

We thank you all for you financial support and your prayers. If you would like to support us financially to help cover this expense in our budget, please contact us or find our name on the Village Missions web site. www.village-missions.org. Without you we could not serve the Lord full-time in Glenwood. Glenwood is a very needy Mission field in that many here do not know Christ. We pray every day for opportunities to share the gospel with those who cross our path.

Serving Him Together,
Butch and Jennifer Hallenbeck
Grady, Spencer and Becca

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Past Few days...

The past few days we have rested, after camp I am always exausted. Said goodbye to my mom last Monday, so thankful for her coming out and staying with Sandy (the dog) and Becca. Well, Becca was only here part of the week.

We had a wonderful visit from our friends from Lake Tapps on Saturday and Sunday. Took them up to Bench Lake and let the kids fish. Caught 2 Trout and cooked them up for lunch the next day. Said goodbye to them yesterday after church.

Today we went out with the intention of picking Huckleberries but ended up at Forlorn Lakes instead. We wish we would have packed up the camping gear so we could have stayed up there longer. The kids fished but the ones that were nibbling were too little. The water was nice and I wish I had my suit so I could swim. I usually am not a fan of lake swimming but the water was clear and the lake bottom didn't look too mucky!

No Huckleberries though. We found some bushes with red ones on them but we want the purple ones. Maybe next week after the kids go to school we'll go up for a day and pick some.

Speaking of school it starts next week. Becca is in 7th grade, Spencer is in 10th , and Grady is in 11th. Grady is also taking Running Start so he will have 3 classes at school, and 4 Running Start Classes online. His Running Start Classes don't start until September 21 so he will have a couple of boring weeks. I think he won't mind!

I'm working on our prayer letter. Should get it out in the next few days. Until then just keep praying for our ministry in Glenwood. Things are going well. We are working on a few things. Butch is wanting to go back to school. He is looking into Summit Bible College, which offers Distance Learning. I can go for free so it will be a good thing for both of us. Pray that the finances will come through so we can get registered in time to start the Fall quarter.

Thanks for praying!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Aaahhhh....

We are home from Teen Camp, a little sore and a little tired, but it's all worth it when I think about what God has done this week in the lives of kids and teens.

We took 5 teens (all boys) to Teen camp and every one of them re-committed their lives to Christ. We had an awesome speaker, Eric the Youth Pastor from Clover Valley. He really connected with the teens. I hope that we can have some sort of camp reunion/worship night thing like Brian W. used to have at Lake Tapps. I think it would be fun for the kids and help them remember the commitments they made at camp. We'll see.

We have made plans to keep our youth and the Wishram youth connected through the school year by having different things periodically. I am so excited to get youth group going. I know that God has big things planned for Glenwood and I have come back from camp ready to go!

I love camp and can't wait for next year!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Junior Camp

We took 13 kids from Glenwood to Junior Camp. That woud be 4th - 7th grade. Part of me wishes we could have stayed one more day but we only have a week to get both camps done. It is amazing what God can do in just 3 days. 4 of our campers prayed for the first time to ask Jesus to be their Savior. Most of the others made a re-commitment to Christ, desiring to truly live their lives for Him.

Today we head back up with 5 teens, all boys. Pray that lives would be changed and for strength and stamina for the satff. Not all of us came home on the turn around day so some may be more tired than others!

I'm almost all re-packed. Got the cards, Catch Phrase, and a die and a pencil to play 6's. A new game I learned last summer when the youth group from Graeagle, CA came to help us with VBS in Round Mountain.

Well, time to get the boys up (all 3 of them:~) so we can get on the road.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Friday Night in Glenwood

What do you do on a Friday Night in a town that is 9 square blocks with just a small store and a restaurant/gas station/hotel?

Go for a tractor ride of course!

We were invtied tonight to go for a tractor ride, about an hour long, around the countryside:) A man in town has built a wagon of sorts to pull behind his tractor, complete with couches and a couple of old bench seats from various vehicles.
I wonder what people think when they drive by on the highway...



Our driver, Dale, let one of the boys (not ours) drive for a while.



The field is the background is part of the wildlife refuge where we were seeing very large herds of Elk in the Spring.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Busy?

You could say that we've been a little busy:)

I find it hard to believe that it's already the end of July. Where did our summer go? Last week we were able to go to Camano Island for a few days for a Pastor's Getaway with other Village Missionaries in Washington. It was a fun time to get away and be refreshed. We spent a few days with my mom in Puyallup and visited our Lake Tapps Community Church family on Sunday and had lunch with friends before heading home on Monday.

This week we have been playing "catch up" which is usually the case when we are gone for a week. It seemed like we were gone a lot longer.

Sunday we head off to camp in Oregon with 13 kids in 4-7th grade for Junior camp. We bring them home Wednesday and head back with our 5 teenagers for Teen camp on Thursday. Then home Sunday and sleep on Monday! My mom is coming out next week to puppy sit and have a mini-vacation. Must be rough, Sandy isn't exactly hard to take care of!

We're hoping to fit in at least one more camping trip in August. Butch wants to go bear hunting and I want to get some Huckleberries but we have a pretty small window to fit it in! Labor Day weekend will be family camping with the church family. We're not going far but it will be fun camping with people from church. We'll have the worship service up at the campground:)

The kids go back to school August 25. Part of me is counting the days, but the other part wishes that it was a little bit later. The start of school means the end of summer. No more sleeping in every day and hanging out in pajamas. But...I get so much more done when I get up early to get the kids going.

Well, that's just a little update on life in Glenwood.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jen's Scrappin Spot

Don't forget to check out My CTMH Blog for the next project in my Online Craft Club! E-mail me a picture of your completed project by August 31!

Happy Scrappin'

Friday, July 10, 2009

Time Flies...

A lot has been happening since I posted last. I didn't realize it had been that long. We finished VBS with a great closing Friday night. The kids brought $170 for their Missions offering and all got to "Cream the Pastor." Butch is such a good sport to go along with me on these things. It gives the kids great incentive to bring money for missions!

We took our kids camping the Monday - Wednesday before the 4th of July. We went to Tahk Lahk Lake, on the NE side of Mt Adams. It was beautiful up there. Not very many camping yet and still some snow left in the campground. We couldn't get to the higher campgrounds yet. It was a nice, relaxing time.

We had a BBQ at our house on the 3rd of July and invited anybody who wanted to come. We had about 30 people show up. It was a great time of fellowship. We'll do it again before summer is through.

We met with those who had been or would like to be involved in the Worship team. It was a good meeting. We practiced yesterday with the piano player and it went very well. It would be nice to have at least one other person to sing, we'll get there! I've come a long way in the last three years but it's nice to have someone else to hit some of those higher notes!
I was able to get my hair cut today. I found a gal in Trout Lake which isn't far from here. She did a great job. I told her she passed the test and I'll be back:) I do miss April but Sumner is kind of a ways to go to get my hair cut!
Here are some pictures from our camping trip.
Langfield Falls, just out of Trout Lake

Spencer will shuck corn, but he won't eat it.
Sitting around the campfire
Mt. Adams reflected in Tahk Lahk Lake, late afternoon
Same view as the sun sets

Waterfall on a bend in road 23, on the way home

We'd have a great family picture if Butch would smile:)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Days 3 and 4 are complete:)

Well days 3 and 4 of Avalanche Ranch went very well. We had 28 on Wednesday and 29 yesterday. The kids are having tons of fun. We pray now that they will realize church is fun and will plug into Sunday School.

Yesterday we shared the gospel and encouraged the kids to come talk to either Butch or myself afterwards if they wanted to know how they could be a part of God's family and have Jesus as their forever friend:) 2 girls came to me after we were done and prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior! Wahoo!!!!!

Today is our last day and we will have a closing program tonight so the kids can bring their praents, families and friends. We once again issued the challenge of raising money, this time time to buy goats and chickens for needy families in countries like Uganda, through World Vision. The kids have done awesome in bringing in their loose change, hoping for the chance to throw a cream pie at Pastor Butch. I'll be sure and post pictures when we are done:)

Well off to get ready for Day 5....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2nd day done

Well, the 2nd day of Avalanche Ranch is complete. We had 31 kids again today, 1 new one and 1 was missing from yesterday. I've had parents tell us how much their kids have talked about VBS at home. Kids who have gone before but never talked about what they did. I guess we're doing it right because that's what we want. When kids are having so much fun the Bible sticks and they sahre it with their families without being prodded, then I know that we will see those kids and hopefully their parents again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

VBS - 1 day down, 4 to go

Today was the first day of Avalanche Ranch here in Glenwood. I wasn't super excited to do a VBS I've done before but it works when you don't have much time to plan:) The kids today had a blast.

We saw God answer our prayers and it's just the first day! We prayed for 30 kids and God brought 31 today. People doubted and said we'd be lucky to get 15:) God showed them:~)

Friday we put in the Chadder DVD and discovered it was cracked and had to order a new one. We had to have our order placed by noon Mountain time in order for it to get processed. So at 10:58 (11:58 MST) we got that order in, paid for next day delivery and just as we got started today it arrived.

I kind of like having VBS in the afternoon. It was nice to have the morning to go over my lessons, especially since I'm covering multiple areas:) Chaos hit at noon though when all the kids showed up. We got through it and got back on track. I also learned that they need a little longer to eat lunch so maybe game time will have to be a little shorter.

I need to go over tomorrow's lessons, check registration forms and relax. Looking forward to another great day at Avalanche Ranch!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hallenbeck News for June

June 2009

Greetings Family and Friends,

We pray this finds you well and enjoying summer. I am sorry it has been a while since our last letter. We have been busy getting moved, unpacked and settled. For those of you who may be wondering “What? You moved?” We felt God leading us to leave Round Mountain and on April 1, arrived in Glenwood, WA, to serve the church here.

The transition has gone fairly smoothly as far as ministry goes. The church itself averages about 40 people each week. The people are generous and giving is strong. We have been made to feel very welcome here. Part of our church is the original building, constructed in the late 1800’s and then moved to the current location. The other part, the Sanctuary, was constructed in the 1950’s. If you do a Google search for “The Little Church on Crutches” you will most likely find an interesting article about the history of our little country church!

We try to spend our days out in the community when we can, either at school, the restaurant (which conveniently is right cross the street!), or the store. People are very friendly and we enjoy many conversations “over the fence” as we walk. The town itself is very small. 9 square blocks plus some housing in the outer areas. Ranching and logging are the main industries. The school has 63 students, K-12, and about 15 full-time staff. We’ve been told the population is between 200-500. This town is full of history, with generations of families being in residence. Many of the founding families still have descendants living here.

As we move into the summer months we ask that you pray for several things.
~ Father’s Day weekend is a big weekend here. There is a Rodeo and the church is bringing in a Christian Country singer for a concert on Saturday evening, as well as hosting a Cowboy Church Service Sunday morning. Pray that many will hear the Gospel.
~ Vacation Bible School is June 22-26. We are praying for 30 kids and right now have about 14 registered. Pray that we will have enough volunteers and that it will be an effective outreach to the kids and their families.
~ We will be traveling to Camano Island in July for a conference. Since Village Missions was unable to continue staff conferences, many of the District Representatives have put together mini-conferences for the Village Missionaries in their districts. We are privileged to be able to go, but are praying that we will have the finances to travel.
~ The first week of August is Summer Camp. Pray that kids from the community would attend and respond to the gospel. Again pray that through this we could reach not only kids, but their families as well.
~ Then in September we will begin Fall ministries. This will include a re-vamped Sunday School program for kids and youth, Youth Group and possibly an after-school program for Elementary kids. Pray that God would raise up volunteers for each of these ministries.

We thank each of you for praying for our ministry and for supporting us financially. We have been truly blessed in these tough economic times that each of you continues to give faithfully. We thank God for you each and every day. May He bless you as you give.

Serving Him Together,
Pastor Butch and Jennifer Hallenbeck, Grady, Spencer and Becca

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just a quick minute checking in...

We're off to The Dalles in a few minutes to go grocery shopping. I need to start planning better so we aren't running into town so much. But when we used to go 2 1/2 hours to stock up, now we only go an hour and it doesn't seem so far away!

But if I had planned better we would have shopped Saturday on our way home from the dentist in Portland:) Oh well!

So today is grocery day. I also have a couple of flyers to take to the school, one for VBS and one for camp. It's nice they will send them home with the kids for us. Last night was Baccalaureate. We have 3 Seniors graduating. After the service 2 of the seniors went out and painted the street. Apparently that is Glenwood tradition!

I got flowers planted in the yard Monday and also in the flower pots near the church. It's time to spruce things up so people in the community know we are a church who cares. I am working just one flower bed at a time. I'm hoping this will deter Sandy from digging up my freshly planted flowers! I planted some Dahlia bulbs over the weekend and in less than hour she had dug up one bunch and who knows where they are. She probably ate them!

Tonight is the spelling bee at school for K-8th grade, hosted by the Honor Society. Becca is participating and finally decided last night that maybe she should practice the words. There are 558 words on her list. We got through 150. So, we'll see how she does.

Well, sounds like Butch is ready to go. More later...

Blessings from Glenwood!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Still Pinching Myself

I am still finding it hard to believe that God has allowed Butch and I to serve him here in Glenwood. It is such a beautiful place. When we lived in Bonney Lake this was the kind of area we used to go camping in. Now we live here!

This afternoon we went for a picnic with a family from church. They showed us their "secret" spot along the Klickitat River. A sandy beach where the kids could play in the water, just at the edge because it sure is cold and swift this time of year. Of course Spencer was the first to fall in:) Just his feet got wet!

After we ate we drove down the road further and hiked a little ways in to where the water goes down a tube or something to the Hatchery. Then we hiked a little further and found water coming out of a rock creating quite the creek. A little further brought us full circle back to our vehicles. Driving out we stopped at another place where the water comes out of the rock creating a magnificent waterfall down to the river. Some call this Wonder Spring but we have been told the real name is Cascade Spring. And apparently the speculation is that the water is coming through a Lava Tube. Butch took a picture but it really doesn't do justice so I won't post it. You will just have to come visit us to see it!

We have been truly blessed to be here. As we spend time getting to know people we are finding that there are many fascinating people here in Glenwood. And they all have stories to tell. I have never lived anywhere that the history is so rich and the people are here to tell it. It's exciting to go visit people and listen to their stories. Some have been here 50 years or more. Generations of families live here. We had multiple generations of one family in church this morning that took up 2 pews and they were squeezed in together!

So yes, I am still pinching myself because sometimes it feels as though I am dreaming:) The snow is quickly melting, allowing us to get up into the high country. Butch and Grady were out Friday evening and they saw deer and elk of course, but also a porcupine and a bear. And they were just a few miles outside of town. Hopefully when I am with Butch and we see a bear we'll have the camera!

Keep praying for us to continue making progress in meeting people and in moving the church forward. And praise Him for allowing us to serve Him here in Glenwood!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Online Craft Club

Check out my Scrappin' Blog for details about my Online Craft Club! You have unil June 30 complete this great project. All who complete it will have a chance to win a fabulous prize!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Time for Me

I am finding myself busier than I did in Round Mountain and am realizing that I haven't had any "me time" since we got here. So I am going to deliberately carve out time for myself this week. The house is pretty much unpacked except for my scrappin stuff so that is my goal for this week. To take time to get it unpacked so I can get back to scrappin'.

I figure an hour here and there should be enough, but if I don't write it on my calendar then my time will slip away. Today I am taking time to work in the flower beds. I want to plant some roses along the fence and get some bedding plants but the flower beds are in sad shape. I saw pictures from quite a few years ago and there were beautiful rose bushes all along the edge of the yard but they have mostly been taken out. There are a couple left but they have been neglected over the years and might not make it. I might be able to save them but it will probably be better to just replace them.

It looks like it will be a fairly nice day so it is a good day for yard work. And since I enjoy it that makes it "me time":~)

As far as church goes, we are getting settled into the routine. Still trying to learn names but getting there. Butch and I decided that when the new Pastor arrives everyone in the church should have to wear name tags for the first 3 months of Sundays. That would make it so much easier to learn everyone's names! Part of our busyness is getting out and visiting people.

I found a couple of ladies so far that scrapbook so maybe we'll be able to get together and scrap one of these days. One is apparently well known in town for her scrapbooking because every time I mention that I scrapbook, her name comes up:)

Butch is hoping to go turkey hunting this week with a guy from church. They have talked about it a few times but I think they finally made a plan to go. So maybe we'll be eating wild turkey here real soon. We see them everywhere but Butch is going to hunt with his bow so it will be harder to get one.

I guess that's the latest update on us. As I carve out "me time" I will try to post more and get some pictures up.

Blessings

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a Great Day!

Today was a wonderful day. First off, the sun helped tremedously. I love spring, with the flowers blooming. We mowed the yard yesterday (well, Grady did) and I love the fresh cut grass smell. A lot of people are burning their brush piles from the winter and from spring clean-up and everyone is getting out in the sunshine. It makes our evening walk take a little longer but it is nice to be able to visit with people over the fence.

This morning we had a guest during worship. A Country Christian Musician by the name of Charlie Walker. He was very encouraging as he shared his music and life stories with us. We took him to lunch after church and several people from church were there too so it gave us a chance to also get to know some more of our congregation.

I took the kids over to the store to get ice cream and visited with the owner for quite awhile. He gave me an earful of history and once the snow is melted told me he'd tell us some areas where we can go exploring.

Tonight at Bible Study we had a great time in Philippians and sharing with each other. And then of course the fellowship afterwards. Butch is all fired up now to get his WA Driver's License so he can get his hunting license. One of the ranchers wants Butch to go Turkey Hunting with him. We found out the season goes until May 31. Our new DL will be a snap to get since it's only been 3 years. We are still in the system so they won't have to take a new picture or anything. We just have to prove residency which is the challenge:)

So the news from Glenwood is good. We are excited to be here and look forward to growing our ministry here as we get to know people. We have been well received by the people in the community and look forward to the many opportunities to get plugged in.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jen's Scrappin' Spot

In an effort to compartmentalize (is that a word?) my life I have created a blog for my Close to My Heart business. This new blog is called Jen's Scrappin' Spot. For those of you who are interested in Close to My Heart products and information about my business, please save this site in your favorites.

In the coming months you will find lots of exciting things, as time allows, including an online craft club where you can win prizes while using your Close to My Heart products.

Look for pictures of my current projects as well as information about Close to My Heart specials, such as the current Tickled Pink special for National Scrapbooking Month, which starts today!

This new blog is still in its infancy so bear with me as I get it going, dial-up is slowing down the process greatly. As is meeting lots of people in our new community:) We all have busy lives and it is my prayer that even in the midst of busy-ness, we would each remember to take time for ourselves. Creating is a passion of mine and as I carve out time to create, I hope that you will too!

Blessings

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pictures from Glenwood

I posted these on facebook and then remembered not everyone is on facebook:) More will come soon. On dial-up it takes a little longer to upload!



After taking a picture of this sign, we found another one where we might be able to get Mt adams in the background. The next sunny day...

Mt. Adams (we can also see Mt. Hood from our yard)



The Parsonage. It's a stick house, yay!!!!
The church and the sign that welcomed us!

The restaurant across the street. They have good food, a small store, gas station and a motel.


I'll take pictures of the inside once the rest of the boxes are out of the way. I just have a few left.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Adjusting to life in Glenwood

I don't think it has completely set in yet that we are here to stay. Sunday I actually got to just "Go to church". I know it won't last but at least for a little while I get a rest from any Sunday morning duties. We have been busy getting to know our new congregation.

Today an older gentleman took us out for a tour of Glenwood. He showed us where a lot of the church people live, gave us some history of the valley and showed us some sites we might not have found on our own. It was an enjoyable day.

The kids started school today. I think even though we tried to prepare them for the smallness, it caught them a little off guard. There are 7 6th graders, 5 9th graders and Grady wasn't sure how many 10th graders. Grady's math is messed up because he was taking Geometry and they only offer it here every other year. I'm not sure how that will work out! There are 6 or 7 kids they said in the High School band, and Becca said there were about 14 or 15 (pretty much all the middle school) in the Middle School band.

Becca decided to try track so we'll see how that goes. The coach said she has potential for Pole Vault. Today she tried high jump, shot put and javeline.

Our house is nice and big, with a recent major remodel. I am finding joy in some of the smallest things, water that tastes great out of the tap; the washer on the left of the dryer so the dryer door is out of the way; green grass and big pine trees; a breathtaking view of Mt Adams and a peak at the top of Mt Hood when I look outside. Wal-Mart is only an hour away and I can shop at Fred Meyer once again. Winco, Costco and Kohls are only 2 hours away in Portland.

The dog and cat seem to be adjusting well although we thought the cat was lost. I had taken him out on the cat leash a couple of times, then I took him out and stayed with him. Then he was being a pest Saturday night so out he went at 1:30 AM. We didn't see him until Sunday evening just before bed time. Sandy is eager to make new friends with everyone who walks by our house and there are a couple of dogs next door who have greeted her!

I have been taking pictures and so has Butch so my goal for tomorrow is to load my photo editing software on his computer so I can make the pics smaller an share them. Since we are on dial-up for now I have been putting off uploading pictures because I know it will take forever!

Thank you for praying or us durng this transition.God is certainly in the midst of it. We are looking forward to what he has for us here. Our first task is getting to know our new church family! Look for pictures in the next few days.

Blessings

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Final Thoughts from Round Mountain

Today is the day....

We've known this day was coming but now that it is here it hardly seems real. In the past 3 years our Round Mountain church family has taught us much and been an integral part of our lives. Now our miniatry in Round Mountain is complete and we move on to a new ministry in Glenwood.

We will take with us the things we have learned and apply them in Glenwood. The people here will always have a place in our hearts but we must obey God and when he says move, well, you better move:)

I am thankful this morning for each of those who helped us load the truck yesterday. Without them, we would have been loading late into the night. I am also thankful for the gals who said they would come clean for me today. Such a relief not to have to worry about it last night when we were tired and hungry. I am also thankful for the one who brought us dinner! Such a blessing these people have been in our lives.

They had a brunch for us Sunday and while it is encouraging to know the lives we have touched, it was even more encouraging to be able to let them know they have toucjed ours as well.

We pray that God will bless this little congregation as they move forward from here. It is going to be hard work for them in the coming months, we pray they rise to the challenge.

As for today, we are praying for clear roads and no snow. We are driving to Baker City, OR which is about a 10 hour drive, probably longer with a full moving truck! We planned this on purpose so we could arrive in Glenwood fairly early tomorrow and get that truck unloaded.

It will be a few days before we have internet again so until them, blessings to each of you!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Strength will rise...

"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)
In need of encouragement this morning I opened my Bible and read where it fell open. Well, it opened to Isaiah 40 so I read the whole chapter. As I read a song began to run through my head. Brenton Brown's "Everlasting God".
I am reminded that our God IS the Everlasting God, He reigns, He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. If I trust in Him, he will give me strength, I will soar on wings like eagles, I will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.
In our final days of frenzy as we pack up our household it is easy to forget to focus on God and instead focus on life. Each day that goes by is one day closer to our move and sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the emotion that goes with it. I have had some good visits again this week and even though it is difficult to visit with those I care about in these final days, I am glad that God hasn't allowed me to sequester myself away from others.
I have needed those breaks from packing and the encouragement from others. I am confident that as I trust in God, He will give me the strength to move, to embrace ministry in Glenwood and live for Him with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. Years ago when I surrendered my life to Him I knew that wherever I went and whatever I did for God would be an honor to Him.
Again as I surrender to His will, I know that our time in Round Mountain has been an honor to Him and so will our move to Glenwood.
"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, ...
Our God, you reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer...

You are the everlasting God, the everlasting God
You do not faint, you won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak,
you comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles... "
Brenton Brown/Paul Baloche

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When they grow up...

Today was one of my hardest days so far as a mom. I put my oldest on an airplane for the very first time and let him fly across the country all by himself.

In a way it reminded me of his first day of kindergarten. I took him in and got him settled but couldn't stay with him and make sure he knew what the routine was with school. I barely held in those tears until I walked out the door.

Today, we got him checked in for his flight and to security but couldn't go beyond that point so I had to let him go, and find his way to his gate all by himself; get on the plane and then figure out everything on his own on the DC end. I barely held my tears until he was through security. Once he called and said he was at his gate I was OK. (I wonder how much of a wreck I'll be when he goes off to college:~)

He checked in again when he got off the plane. Once he got to the hotel and got to his room he called and now I am completely at peace with his being so far away and not knowing anyone. He sounds pretty excited to be there and I'm sure he will come back somewhat changed. Maybe a bit more mature for having to step out of his comfort zone and do things himself.

I have bathed this week in so much prayer how could I not be at peace?!?!?! I have prayed that he will have great roommates and connect with others this week. Who knows, maybe he'll make some lasting friendships. And perhaps he will have a chance for God to use him in the life of another. He has such a strong faith, I pray that it shines this week.

Keep him in your prayers.

We are finishing up packing and cleaning. We should have everything packed by Saturday night.

Blessings:)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

One Week

We have just one week left in Round Mountain. I find it hard to believe sometimes that we are really moving. It seems a little unreal. But I have no doubt that we are exactly where God wants us to be, and that we are stepping out in obedience to Him.

Butch preached on Joshua 1:1-9 this morning. About being strong and courageous as we face the difficult task ahead. Just about every day these past couple of weeks, God has sent someone to encourage me, to remind me that God has called us according to His purpose and as Butch and I step out in faith, He goes before us. Each has been a continued confirmation of God's call on our lives.

As we get nearer to the date of our move, the emotions of all of us ride high. Each of the kids have realized the friendships and impact they have had on their peers, things they didn't see much before these past few weeks. While they are eager to move and go someplace new, they are sad to leave behind those who cared about them, that they never knew about.

Unfortunately, sometimes we don't realize the true friendships until it comes time to leave those friendships behind. This has reminded us all of the importance of making sure those we care about know how we feel. We need to be encouraging one another with phone calls and cards, spending time together, building relationships and genuinely caring for one another.

Butch and I have always felt very strongly about Acts 2:42 where it talks about the believers praying together, studying God's word together and sharing meals together. When these three are lacking then our walk with God suffers. I know there are areas I need to work on and I pray that God will help me do a better job as we move to Glenwood.

We are excited about this new start for us, but this week will be a tough one. We go to Vegas tomorrow to take Grady down for his trip Washington DC. He flies out early Tuesday morning and will return Sunday evening. We will spend this week finishing the packing and cleaning in order to be ready to load the truck on the 30th and roll out of here early Tuesday the 31st.

Please pray for us this week as it will be a busy one. Pray for Grady as well. I think Butch and I are more nervous about his trip than he is, so maybe pray for us too!

Blessings

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I was going to post...

I was going to post an update this morning but I am having a hard time finding the words.

We are in the midst of packing up all of our stuff. A lot of which is going to the Goodwill or to the dump. I see some of the things I have moved in the past and wonder "Why?"

I know my new house will be bigger and I will have room for all this extra stuff, but I don't really want to keep packing it around with me!

Every box I pack brings finality to our upcoming move and with it brings another wave of emotion. While I am looking forward to the next step God has for us, I am still struggling with the sadness that comes with leaving behind those we care about here in Round Mountain. I keep reminding myself that I need to not look back, not dwell on the "what-ifs", but look ahead to our future and embrace all that God has for me.

I have finished reading The Organic God and truly enjoyed it. I don't generally read non-fiction (I should say I don't generally FINISH reading non-fiction) but this one just really grabbed me. The author weaves a lot of her testimony into the book and I think that is what made me finish it. Our "conversation" over coffee (or Hot Chocolate in my case) wasn't finished yet! You can get a glimpse of this book in an older post.

Keep praying for our transition and for the people here at Smoky Valley Community Church during this time. I am trusting God's plans for this little congregation and pray that they come together in unity and be ready.

Well, for not really knowing what to say -- I said a lot:)

Have a blessed day!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Let Your Light Shine


I am so proud of Becca.

Last Friday I went to lunch with a couple of gals from church. We were talking about our leaving and one gal shared with me something her daughter said about Becca.

This girl is in 6th grade with Becca. She said that she was sad that we were moving because school is such a dark place. But when Becca walks into the room she brightens the room. She said she didn't know how to describe it except that Becca's prescence brightens a dark place.

Now Becca doesn't seem to think she really makes a difference because she's quiet and pretty much nobody hangs out with her. But this just goes to show that even when we're quiet we can let our light shine through our attitude and actions.

Keep shining your light Becca!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Please pray for our dear friend

Please pray for a friend of ours. Her 26 year old nephew lost his battle today (or won depending on how you look at it). He had Cystic Fibrosis and received a double lung transplant 2 1/2 years ago. His lungs began to fail several months ago and this morning he went home to be with the Lord.

As I ask you to pray for his family, I also ask that you don't forget Nathan and Tricia. You can read their story here. Theirs is an incredible journey of faith and trust in God. We also know 2 beautiful girls in Washington battling with CF and ask you to keep Syndee and Erika in your prayers as well.

Thanks:~

Sometimes I wonder...

...if I am the only one that still fills in my tax forms by hand:)

I was just thinking that maybe I should go on the IRS web site and see if I can fill in the forms and then print them. They would sure look a lot neater!

But, I am done with them and that is all that matters. Butch has been bugging me for weeks to get our taxes done so we would know if we'll have a big enough refund to get some new furniture. Well the answer is a big fat NO. Oh well, at least we didn't owe anything.

We'll just have to use our little refund for our anniversary! I'm trying to convince Butch to take me to Multnomah Falls for dinner and spend the night at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River. We haven't gone anywhere for our anniversary in hmmm, 3 years. Kind of hard to do when everything has been so far away and you are living on a Pastor's income!

As for furniture, we'll have to figure something out. There might be camp chairs in the living room for awhile. They're not so bad! Really...


Really...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Organic God

So I've been reading a book called The Organic God by Margaret Feinberg.

This morning I literally laughed out loud as I read. (Which I needed to do because this week has been an emotional roller coaster!)

In Chapter 4 she talks about how the organic God is always wise and she's sharing gems of scripture she has discovered that have helped her discover God's wisdom. Then she says this:

"Recently I stumbled on this gold mine:

Where no oxen are, the manger is clean,
But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.
Proverbs 14:4 NASB

....this proverb offers a powerful lesson:

Sometimes work stinks, but keep it up because it will lead to profit."

She goes on to talk about how she loves writing but not always everything about it

The she says " This scripture insinuates that any job worth doing has its poopy parts - whether you're a college student, a writer, a farmer, a minister, or an executive for a Fortune 500 company."

That's the part that made me laugh, did she just say "poopy"?

Then she has this equation:

"No oxen = No poop = No profit OR Oxen + Poop = Profit

I love that because ministry is definitely not all a bed of roses but if we take the dirty parts with the clean parts we will see profit in our work.

I just had to share. I am enjoying this book so far. It has been encouraging to me especially during this transition.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ready for Next

We had a good meeting last night with our District Representative from Village Missions. Since we made our announcement last Sunday we have felt many different emotions. One being sadness.

Sadness for what might have been, sadness for those we are leaving behind, sadness for the end of our ministry here. But we are triumphant, knowing that God has ordained this move, He is our Sovereign God and we trust him completely.

He has given us confirmation that our ministry here is complete. We have completed the task he had for us in Round Mountain. We may not ever know the full impact of God's work through us here, but we have been given glimpses of hearts touched and lives changed. We trusted God and allowed Him to work through us and in the process He has done a great work in us as well.

We are looking forward to a fresh start in Glenwood but the people who God brought into our lives in Round Mounatin will never be forgotten. Just as my "Youth Kids" (as I still call them) from Lake Tapps will always have a place in my heart, so will the people of Round Mountain.

I know God has great things planned not only for us, but also for the future of Smoky Valley Community Church. We have to trust in Him and let Him guide our life.

I think I can truly say, "we are ready for next."

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take."
Proverbs 3:506 (NLT)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Close to My Heart Stamp Sale!

Greetings

Beginning this morning at 9 AM Close to My Heart will be offering 10 retired stamp sets for 40% off. This offer is only available on my web site, www.jenhallenbeck.myctmh.com. Look for a "Discounted Items" link to see the available sets.

Don't forget to order blocks!!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Free Book

I love to read and I especially love FREE books!!!

There's a fairly new web site www.symtio.com that you can download e-books and MP3's. When you register with their site you will get an e-mail with a code to get an MP3 copy of Karen Kingsbury's "Between Sundays" for free. Scroll down the page a tad and you will see a link.

If you haven't read this book it is awesome. All her books are but I especially liked this one because it really focuses on the life we need to live between Sundays.

I will warn you, if you have dial-up it will take a REALLY long time to download. I started my download at 5:00 and it isn't finished yet! And we're hooked to a T1 line. It's a 309 MB zip file, wow. But so worth it.

So check it out. You'll love this book!

A Difficult Task

Just a quick request for you to pray for us this weekend. It will be a hard one for us because of the task ahead, beginning tonight.

Details will come Monday, for now just PRAY! God knows:)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sunshine is Good for the Soul!

I know I just recently said how much I miss the rain, and I do, BUT...I love the sunshine!!!!

Granted we get tons of sunshine in Nevada but when it's sunny and 12 degrees outside it doesn't count. These past few days however have been sunny and near 60, Tuesday was 62. Woot! I was able to get outside and clean up around the yard a bit.

I got the plastic flags out of the trees (those would be shopping bags, for those of you picturing little American flags waving:) I loaded the truck up with another load for the dump and today my shades are open to let the sun shine in while I finish up the last little bit of painting. Yes, I know it was a project I started many, many, many months ago. Better late than never.

Now if the wind would just quit....

Monday, February 23, 2009

I finally did it!

Months ago I began getting friend requests to join Facebook. I resisted because I had visions of MySpace but I finally broke down and decided to check it out.

It is so much fun. I have been able to connect with a lot of our youth kids (they're not kids anymore, yikes) back in Washington as well as other Village Missionaries and friends. And it is so much easier to use than MySpace. Think of it as the more "mature" version of online networking!

I've decided it is a great way, other than blogging, to just touch base with people. Don't worry, the blog will continue on! But it is easier to put photos in albums on Facebook, so I will post more of those there.

Anyway, you can go here to sign up for facebook then search for my name, Jennifer Hallenbeck, (I know if you are reading you know my name:). Then you can be my friend on Facebook.

Check it out!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Monopoly

So Grady and Becca started playing this game of Monopoly at 7:00 tonight. I was just on my way to the kitchen and had to laugh at the rest of the monoploy entourage! Apparently the cat and dog like monopoly too.

Cell Phone vs. The Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone? What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets? What if we flipped through it several time a day? What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it? What if we used it to receive messages from the text? What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it? What if we gave it to Kids as gifts? What if we used it when we traveled? What if we used it in case of emergency? This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible? Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill. Makes you stop and think "where are my priorities? And no dropped calls!

Grady came across this on a Christian Teen Forum he likes to read.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Will wonders never cease!

Sometimes when my children argue continually I wonder if they will ever actually get along and enjoy each others' company. The past 2 days have been peaceful ones:)

Sunday after church Grady and Becca played board games all afternoon until youth group. I was completely amazed that Grady chose to spend time with his sister instead of in front of the computer. Then yesterday pretty much all day after chores were done they again played board games all day. I think there was some Wii time in there too, but they were enjoying hanging out together.

Spencer of course hid out in his room for much of the time, coming out to eat and when I told him he couldn't hide anymore!

Several times I thought I should get the camera out and take their picture so I had proof that they could get along, but did I? NO! Maybe there will be another opportunity.

I think limited screen time is paying off:)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Canada's Double Portion

Everything worked out for the dinner and concert. I wasn't so sure how it would all come together:) The turn out was pretty low which was dissapointing but it is Valentine's Day, and there was a dance at the school tonight as well as a wrestling tournament in Winnemucca and basketball in Tonopah. A less busy weekend would have produced a better turn out.

The group, Canada's Double Portion were a fun group to listen to. The are a family group; mom, dad, 8 kids and a friend of the family who sings with them. Even the youngest who is 2 sings with the group. She was a cutie. They travel all over the states and Canada and you can tell they truly feel led by the Lord to do what they do. Their love for God shines through. At the end of the concert they gave a clear presentation of the gospel.

Happy valentine's Day

Butch and I don't do much for this day because we think every day should be a day to make each other feel special. So he's not even getting a card, partly because I didn't pick one up when we were in town and there aren't a lot of options in Round Mountain for that kind of thing. The store has limited supply of these things and nothing caught my eye!

Today is a working day anyway. Another Pastor in town arranged for a musical group to be here this evening and asked us to reserve the facility so we have to be around for set-up and clean-up of that event. And then the music department at school planned a fundraiser dinner to coincide with the concert so all three kids are involved in that.

In a way we will get to enjoy the evening out. $10 for Spaghetti Dinner for 2 and a free concert. Even though it's a working day it should fun.

Off to find out what the plan is:)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ladies Dessert Night

I used Maraschino Cherries to top mine.
Our theme was chocolate, our topic was Love. Appropriate for Valentine's Day. We didn't have many attend and I have to not let myself be discouraged by that. The ones who did come truly enjoyed themselves and low attendance just meant more dessert for the rest of us!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Finally some decent snow

We woke up this morning to a couple inches of decent snow. I say decent because this snow actually has a little moisture in it. It's only a couple of inches but we are forecasted to get snow everyday for the next week.

Mom, I bet you're glad you were here last week when it was warmer!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Winter Fun In Alaska

My brother and his wife live in Alaska year round. Someone like me would probably stay inside my house all winter long but not my brother. Several years ago they got into ice-racing. It looks like a lot of fun, but boy is it cold!

Go here and scroll down to Automotive Ice Capades for a glimpse at their winter recreation. My brother is Ralph and his wife is Roxy. There is a short video as well.

Just checking in...

Well, our week of rest is over and it's time to jump back in. We arrived home yesterday afternoon after spending a couple of extra days in Reno so we could get a little shopping done. If I never have to stay in another casino hotel I won't be dissappointed. Saturday night was sure loud, at 3 AM. So much for sleep.

The kids had a great time with Grandma, though I hear Spencer spent a lot of time in "the cave" as we have dubbed his room! That was his last hur-rah on the computer. We are imposing time limits beginning today. I should say enforcing time limits. We have set them in the past, but since there really is not much to do in Round Mountain for our boys who aren't into sports, we have been lax on the rules. Pray for us!

Won't they be excited to find a list of things to do waiting for them when they come home from school?!?! Actually today there isn't much to do around the house, but I'm sure I can think of something.

Please keep praying for our ministry here in Round Mountain and the people in the church.

We appreciate each of you. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Time of Rest

This week we have the privilege of taking a few days from ministry and joining with other Village Missionaries in our district for a time of rest and renewal. We are enjoying sunny 70 degrees in Merced, CA!

We spent an extra day at the beginning of our trip in Reno and enjoyed a day to sleep in, with no agenda. We will spend 2 nights on our way home in Reno as well, giving Butch a Sunday off from preaching.

Over the past few weeks God has layed heavily on my heart to study the model for women in the bible from Titus 2 and apply that to my own life so that I can better come alongside women younger than me and encourage them in their faith and in how they live out that faith in their day to day lives.

This morning (and again tomorrow morning) we heard from a long time Pastor's wife and she encouraged us with several passages about women in the bible and how to be that godly example to women in our ministry. I guess that is confirmation that God is preparing me for this sort of ministry in the coming months. I pray that God will use me as a woman of influence in the lives of others, just as I had a woman come alongside me early in my walk with the Lord.

The blessing of a mentor is a wonderful thing. I hope to be a blessing as well.

And now, off to enjoy a tri-tip dinner that I didn't have to prepare, nor will I have to clean-up after! They feed us well:)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jury Duty

Today I was summoned for Jury Duty. Butch was summoned Monday but his was cancelled so he didn't have to drive in. Mine, yeah, not cancelled. So I had to drive the hour to Tonopah and report for jury duty.

I know some people really enjoy jury duty, but me, not so much. So I drove in, praying all the way that they wouldn't pick me, or better yet would pick their 12 jurors before they even got to my name. Well guess what...

I checked in and waited until they called the jury pool into the court room. The judge tells us he has good news and bad news. The bad news was we wouldn't get to listen to a trial, the good news, the case was settled and we could all go home.

So...I drove an hour each direction, with no other errands to take care of while I was there, for nothing. We live 5 miles short of the mileage reimbursement so I may or may not get a check in the mail for mileage (Butch did last time he went). I felt like half my day was just wasted:( So was 1/4 tank of gas (sigh) At least I wasn't one of the ones from Beatty! That's almost 2 hours:)

But the good news is we get to go away for a week without the kids next week!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Big Close to My Heart Clearance Sale starts today!

If you are looking for some great deals on Close to My Heart products, then this sale is for you! Items will be 40% off and will include a little but of everything. Paper, stamps, and accessories, oh my!

It starts at 7 AM Pacific time, TODAY!

Don't miss out, items will go fast. Check out the sale here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who would have thought...

Who would have thought that one family of 5, living in a 1000 square foot house, could find SO MUCH STUFF! Wow. I knew we had a lot of stuff to get rid of but when I started setting up for Grady's sale I realized just how much there was.



We sold a lot today, but there is still a ton left over. I didn't even ask anybody at church if they wanted to donate anything to the sale. I am sure glad I didn't because I don't know where we would have put it all!

He made about 1/2 of what he has left to raise. We are down the the last $550! If you want to help him out send me an e-mail and I let you know how you can get a donation to him. Or if you know us and have our address, you can just send it:D

Thanks for your support and prayers for him to go on this trip to Washington DC. He is pretty excited about the opportunity.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pitching & Purging!

It never ceases to amaze me how much stuff we accumulate. Grady still has about $1000 to raise for his trip to Washington DC so we decided to have a garage sale.

I have spent the past 4 days going through cupboards and closets, drawers and boxes still not unpacked from our move 3 years ago. We have been taking everything we don't want or need out to the church's Annex building. Today I went out with another load of stuff and Oh my, how much stuff there is!

You don't realize how much you have collected until you decide it's time to get rid of stuff. I have one more cupboard in my bathroom to go through; that is a place where I have put things I didn't know what else to do with:) Our house may be small but our master bathroom is HUGE!

It is so freeing to get rid of things though. Whatever doesn't sell is NOT coming back in the house. We are going to load up the Yukon and take it the Goodwill when we go to our Getaway the first week of February.

Now let's just hope that our junk IS someone else's treasure and he makes a dent in that last $1000:)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Soon to be a new driver

Well, Grady is now driving legally, at least learning to drive legally! He passed the written test yesterday and now has his permit. A little scary:) Butch let him drive the big red truck to the
dump and back today.

He made him take the back road though so he only had to drive on the highway for a short time. And since it was the big truck he didn't drive 70. That truck doesn't do well going that fast! He doesn't have to take driver's ed because we don't live where it is offered. He just has to log 100 hours of driving time. Not hard to do when everyhting is so far away.

So, maybe the next time we take a trip into Fallon or Reno we'll let Grady drive. Maybe....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Quiet Week

Is there such a thing? This week has been fairly quiet. Not a lot happening in Round Mountain these days.

This is finals week for all 3 kids. Grady and Spencer, being in High School, have half days. Becca, in Middle School, gets the privilige of going the full day. I don't know why they all don't get a half day, Oh well:)

Friday Grady will go down to Tonopah and take the written test to get his learner's permit. I told Butch he gets to teach him to drive. This will give Grady his state issued ID for his trip to Washington DC as well.

We are sorting through everything in the house to get ready for Grady's garage sale next weekend. We have so much stuff that we haven't touched in 3 years I figure maybe someone else could benefit from it. (Some of it is still in the boxes it moved here in:)

I have a Faithbook Class scheduled for this coming Saturday. This has been such a good project for me, really helping me see how God has been at work in my life, even when I didn't acknowledge Him. I pray that those in the class would be drawn closer to Him through this experience. I need to spend some time working on a few more of my pages before Saturday, but since everyone is at a different place in their album I think I'll be OK with getting just a couple of the next layouts done.

We've been studying Romans in Bible Study. I never tire of the book of Romans. You have the theology, Salvation, and how to live for God. My favorite chapter is Romans 12, where it talks about not conforming to the world but being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Those verses have been on mind a lot lately as we have pondered how to better reach the people of Round Mountain. We see a lot of people living in the world despite proclaiming a faith in Jesus Christ. It breaks our heart to see people continually choose the world over Jesus Christ.

Several years ago I adopted Deuteronomy 30:19-20 as my Life's verse. It says, in a nutshell, "Choose Life." I pray that the people here would choose life, by choosing to Love God, obey him, and commit themsleves firmly to Him. Everyday I wake up, I have a choice to make. To choose life I must embrace what God has for me each day. I must live my life for God, every day. Not just when I want to, but even when I don't to. Not giving in to the desires of the flesh.

Oh, that you would choose life -- every single moment of every single day.

This was the page for My Life's verse in my faithbook. I chose the song "Choose Life" by Big Tent Revival to further illustrate the verse.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Maybe it's not so cold here...

Wow, I just checked the VM Alaska blog and in Nenana it was -50 on the 3rd. 24 degrees seems like a heat wave now. I am thankful we are here and not there, whew!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Just another day really, but it was my day, so I did what I wanted to do instead of what I had to do. That's the best kind of day! Chicken Fajitas for dinner and Chocolate Cake for dessert. Yum!



And, we finally got a break from the cold. Yesterday we barely got up to 24 degrees, and the wind chill made it feel like about 10 degrees. Today we made it up to 51 degrees, warmer than Las Vegas (that doesn't happen very often.) So it was a beautiful spring like day for me. Wahoo!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

We're Home!

Well, it has been an interesting vacation but we finally made it home today. I say interesting because first we got a flat on the Yukon last Sunday. We are praising God that it happened in Butch's mom's driveway and not in the middle of an intersection. We needed new tires anyway but were hoping to hold off until February. Not happening! We put new tires on the Yukon on Monday.

Tuesday I had lunch with a couple of friends from high school and borrowed my mom's car. Butch took the kids out to spend their Christmas money. When he pulled into the mall parking lot there was a horrible screeching noise. Turns out the berrings were bad, and had been going out for a few months. So a friend helped him replace those. Again we are praising God that this happened at my mom's where he could do the work himself and not somewhere in between.

Needless to say, it was an expensive vacation!

We didn't have any really bad weather, either going to or returning from Washington. Thank the Lord for that. With all the car troubles we did leave later than planned and didn't make it back in time for church this morning. But it was a refreshing visit, for that we are truly thankful.

Keep praying for us.