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

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.


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!


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.


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...


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!


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, Look for a "Discounted Items" link to see the available sets.

Don't forget to order blocks!!!!