Monday, August 31, 2015

Are we praying for our husbands as much as we are talking about Anna's!?

It seems that as Christians it is assumed that we have some kind of "response" to the recent "scandals" involving Josh Duggar and/or the Ashley Madison hack. (I thought this was the name of the "other" woman when I first heard of it) To be honest, it seems that most do.  The conversations, blog posts, and news prove that a lot of people do have something to say.  

What if we didn't stop talking about the subject, but rather changed our audience? I think that the recent developments are a call to action.   

What if we took all of our thoughts and compiled them into prayers?

When we think...

How could he do that...pray for him, his temptations and his repentance

His poor family...pray for their hearts to be healed and filled with forgiveness

How many others are in the same situation...pray for our nation to be guarded from the evils of satan

These have all been fairly common suggestions.  But have we missed something? Why do we wait until recovery phase before we on the outside take action.  

Wives, are we praying prevention over our own husbands? 

Are we covering their minds, their hearts, and desires in prayers!?

A lot of things probably come to mind when think of taking action against these very circumstances coming into our own homes.  But the most important and effective line of defense we can take is hitting our knees! 

Prayer changes EVERYTHING! 

Wives, will you join me in knee bruising prayer for our husbands, and our marriages!? 

The devil is a thief and a liar, but we know The One who has already defeated him! 

It's not about God waiting on us to ask him to do something, it's about us surrounding our hearts, minds, and souls with the Power of The Spirit!!!

"Lord, bless my husband’s sexuality and make it an area of great fulfillment for him. Restore what needs to be restored, balance what needs to be balanced. Protect us from apathy, disappointment, criticism, busyness, unforgiveness, deadness, or disinterest. I pray that we make time for one another, communicate our true feelings openly, and remain sensitive to what each other needs. Keep us sexually pure in mind and body, and close the door to anything lustful or illicit that seeks to encroach upon us. Deliver us from the bondage of past mistakes. Remove completely the effect of any sexual experience—in thought or deed—that has ever happened to us outside of our relationship. Purify us by the power of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray.

"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." 1 CORINTHIANS 6: 18-20

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Landlocked and Lacking: Praying for Bolivia

Following recently introducing you to Alvaro, I would like for you to join me in praying for Bolivia!  An area the size of California and Texas combined, landlocked in South America, Bolivia is home to almost 10.5 million people. 

"Bolivia ranks at or near the bottom among Latin American countries in several areas of health and development, including poverty, education, fertility, malnutrition, mortality, and life expectancy. On the positive side, more children are being vaccinated and more pregnant women are getting prenatal care and having skilled health practitioners attend their births. Bolivia's income inequality is the highest in Latin America and one of the highest in the world. Public education is of poor quality, and educational opportunities are among the most unevenly distributed in Latin America, with girls and indigenous and rural children less likely to be literate or to complete primary school. The lack of access to education and family planning services helps to sustain Bolivia's high fertility rate - approximately three children per woman. Bolivia's lack of clean water and basic sanitation, especially in rural areas, contributes to health problems." - The World Factbook

"The Bible Society has been and remains instrumental in all aspects of ministry in Bolivia. Over one million NTs have been distributed in schools. The Aymara and Quechua Bibles are in great demand, but without effective literacy programs, their impact is blunted. Nearly every Amerindian language that warrants translation work has received it; SIL, The Bible Society and the Catholics have been instrumental in this. Pray for a powerful impact of God’s Word on all groups in Bolivia." - Operation World

Will you pray for Alvaro, his family, community, and nation!?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Operation Christmas Child

One of my favorite ministries we are involved in is Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes! 

Every year Samaritan's Purse delivers shoeboxes full of gifts to children around the world!  Packing these boxes is the most fun I have ever had giving a gift!  It is so humbling to see a list of suggested items and to think about a small child wanting or needing certain items for Christmas.  Along with receiving a box full of clothes, hygiene items, and small games, every child hears the gospel preached.  The boxes are distributed by local churches, building relationships with the children and their families. 

Sometimes we get to see what country the boxes we pack are delivered to, and occasionally it is possible to become pen pals with the child that receives our box.  It is amazing to hear a testimony of how the simple gift of a small packed shoebox can change a child's life forever. 

Starting this year, Brett and I will be coordinating a new drop off location in hopes to increase the number of shoeboxes our community can collect and disperse around the world!

Volunteering at the packing warehouse last year was one of the biggest blessings and so much fun! We are already scheduled to go back this year and hope to make it a yearly tradition!

For information on how you and your family can send a shoebox around the world, visit the Operation Christmas Child website.

To see more about our involvement with Operation Christmas Child CLICK HERE!!!

Meet Alvaro!

I want to introduce you to someone...

This is Alvaro...
His home is in Bolivia, and in our hearts.  Alvaro is our most recent Compassion sponsor child

He is currently 6 years old, attends kindergarten, and lives with his mom and dad.  His dad sells ice cream! 

Typical houses in his community are constructed of dirt floors, brick walls and tile roofs. The most commonly spoken language is Spanish.

The regional diet consists of maize (corn), cassava and rice. Common health problems in this area include skin diseases, dengue fever, mayaro (mosquito-borne illness) and stomach infections caused by dirty water. Most adults work as day laborers or street vendors and earn the equivalent of $171 per month.

We are so blessed to help provide Alvaro with medical checkups, education, field trips, and most of all the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ!

Please join us in praying for Alvaro and his family! Please consider adding a member to your family through child sponsorship...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Serving one. Loving Jesus.

Why do we serve?

When I asked this question, I found my mind going in circles because I really could not settle on one solid answer, but rather was flooded with the many reasons we choose to love on others.  
First, being that sometimes, when we are so in tune with the Father, I find that it isn't even a conscious choice, but rather just allowing our Lord to move in and through us! Those "little" impulse moves to carry out somebody's groceries, or pump gas for the elderly across from us, or even hold a door so politely for someone.  These are acts of service, of love, and when performed so naturally rather than for self boast, it's not our love, but rather the perfect Love of the Father shining through! 

We should never find ourselves short of "reasons" to Love.  

Jesus and The Word, tells us to do so...

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" - 1 Peter 4:10

"If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” - Mark 9:35

I recently read a passage in a book that has stuck with me...

-why don't we assume God actually does want us to DO everything He tells us, and have faith that he will direct and channel those actions in the right direction?

Jesus not only tells us numerous times to serve others, but many times we read instruction to love others. Love is a synonym of serve, at least in should be! 

Because he first loved us...

We as fallen human beings lack the ability of true, perfect love. It is ONLY through God and our relationship with Jesus that we can truly love others. 

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us" 1  John 4:7-12

Why do we serve? 

"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them" - Hebrew 6:10

Serving is not only a way we can demonstrate God's love, but in serving we "show God love!" It is an act of worship! 

Why do we serve?

"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” - Gal 5:13-14

We have been set Free! 

When we come to the realization of who and what we would be without the saving grace of our Lord, we can discern that every part of our lives should be devoted to service

 For Him! 

"We can do no great things, only small things with great love" - Mother Teresa

There are innumerable ways that YOU can serve! Be proactive and pray for direction! Remember that we don't have to serve hundreds or thousands to serve Jesus.  Only ONE!

  "And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." - Matthew 25:40

Here are a few ways my family serves...

We sponsor children through Compassion Intl. and serve as child advocates.

Pack and send shoe boxes every year as well as give monthly to Samaritan's Purse discipleship program.

Participate in food drives that serve the local community.

Serve through mission trips at home and internationally.

Volunteer at various events such as conferences and concerts.

Serve in our local church.

Click Here For more ways to get involved and read a little bit about what God is doing around the world.