Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not Me Monday~ My Boy Did Not Just Eat What!!!!

My dear friend participates in this thing called "Not Me Mondays". I always enjoy reading hers but never wrote any of my own. The reason why is because I didn't have anything to write about! I also know it is not Monday but I could wait.....NOT ME.

Oh a good mother would never leave her child unattended in a high chair for a lengthy amount of time to get things not me.

And of course I would never find my cute baby boy sitting in the high chair with something greenish brown all smeared on him and the tray....oh no not me!

And a good mommy would not first think, "I didn't give him green beans!"..not me.

I did not then smell the tray and realize that this was not green beans it is poop!...most certainly not me!

Then to my horror realize that he was eating have got to be kidding me...not me!!!!!

And a good mommy would then quickly pick up the child, put him in the bath, and not nearly hurl because of her extreme germaphobia....who would ever think of themselves before there sweet baby boy...NOT ME!

I would never then go blame my nine year old who heard him doing his business and then not tell me....what kind of irresponsible kind of mom would do that, she would certainly realize she is the adult in the house not her....not me.

And a wonderful mother would never begin to cry as she is washing the poop off his face and begin to worry that he may eat the dog poop outside next....absolutely not ever me!

So here is to my slimmest, dirtiest, poopiest, snottiest, all around boy....who I love more than anything, I would then never write about it so the whole world would know what happened today...NO NOT ME!

Somehow, I am going to try to rid myself of the images in my head and….

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

12 Years In Ministry

I just realized today that this month marks the 12th year we have been in youth ministry. I was reminded by a guy who showed up at camp tonight who happened to be in our first youth group. I introduced my kids to him. I was pregnant with my oldest when we left that youth group 10 years ago. It seemed weird to do that and to see him so much older. It got me thinking about how much has happened this last several years.

I echo the words of Paul to Timothy
1Ti 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,

We started out at Petoskey Assembly of God. I remember driving over the hill as we came into town and seeing the bay and saying to John, "Are you kidding me, we get to live here!" I was so excited because not only was Petoskey easily the most beautiful place to live but that we were about to embark on what God had called us to do and that was minister to youth. We loved it there so much and we loved the kids. When we visit there I always selfishly ask God to let us come back.

We then went back down to the Detroit area to get some practical training working along side John's former youth pastor. It was a great size youth group and we made some wonderful friends. We learned a lot working with John Luttman. It was a great time of growth and learning.

We then moved to Sault Ste. Marie and all I can say is Brrrrrr. I am just kidding, well maybe just a little. The move to the Soo was so amazing because of how God worked out everything so perfectly(blog for another day). Our church was small and our youth group was even smaller. But in the short two years we were there I learned so much about church family and the importance of it. I learned that I needed to start opening my heart more to the body of Christ. In the Soo I met some of the most loving and dedicated people I have ever met. The kids were simply amazing too. John and I loved them dearly. Our hearts were broken when we left there; but God had other plans.

For the last seven years we have been in Gladwin, MI. This year marks the year that we have seen a student move through our youth group 6th - 12th grade. This has been amazing dynamic that we have never experienced before. We have been able to minister to kids there entire junior and high school life. What a privilege to be involved in that experience. There is something to be said of longevity in youth ministry. We really feel like we are at the beginnings of something great.

Now I have been saying "WE" a lot. I know that my hubby is the youth pastor, the ordained one. But we have always seen our ministry a team effort. We have always worked together. I love how we share in the calling God has place in our hearts. I am so excited that I get to do it with my best friend.

Ministry has been tough at times but the joys far out weigh the negatives. I get no greater joy than seeing our kids (I call our youth my kids...I just see them like that) at the altar worshiping our most high God. I get no greater joy than seeing three of our student becoming missionaries. I get no greater joy then seeing all of our youth grow in a deep relationship with our Jesus. I love ministry and there is nothing on this earth that would ever change that.

So thanks to all
our kids (don't be mad if I missed your name) Nathan, Holly, Monica, Jessicas, James, Jason, Karen, Mark, Jenilee, Robert, Josh, Elaine, Mike, Connie, Lynzie, Nathan, Lyndsay, Dominic, Heather, Phylisha, Travis, Dustin, Shelia, Mary, Jennifer, Trevor, Jenna, Justin, Nick, Lance, Rebecca, Krista, Shanna, Luke, Autumn, June, Cody, Brenda, Angela, Jill, Craig, Lance, Kristina, Joe, Nathan, Allsion, Katie, Rosa, Kaitlyn, Taylor, Jessica, Tim, Greg, Erin, Mike, and to the many more and the many more to come. Thank you for the opportunity to be even a small part of your lives. John and I count it a privilege.


I am at camp in Northern Michigan right now. My hubby is the assistant director for Jr/Sr High camp. We have been doing this camp for several years now and we love it. It is always a joy to come here. I am actually looking my window and watching the kids play down by the water front. I love hearing all the laughter and feeling the cool breeze blow. Every year there is always change here campers, new staff, new speaker, new band, and new activities...always something new.

I also had the opportunity to go visit my cousin who lives in Harbor Springs, Mi. It is very close to where John and I first started youth ministry in Petoskey, Mi. On the way back to camp we drove through Petoskey and I showed my girls some of my favorite places. So much is different even little subtle things like my bushes I planted in front of our little white house. Eleven years later they are HUGE. Of course there are things that are the same like Hunan's the Chinese restaurant and Tom's Mom's Cookies in Harbor Springs, thank goodness! But there were so many differences like the Dairy Queen we use to go with the youth to is now gone and now is a family restaurant. Change was everywhere.
I began to feel a little sad the last few days thinking about all the change and how we have no control over our favorite places closing, never working with the same staff at camp or that my kids are growing up. Change is inevitable.
But in all this change one thing never does...My God! He never changes. He is always the same. I can count on Him. He is our Rock our sure foundation. How awesome is that?! When things seem out of control, He is in control. He sees the beginning and the end. He knows all and sees all. He is surprised by nothing. What a mighty and awesome God we serve!

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who Cares About Me? Psalm 139

I had the awesome opportunity to talk to about 60 teenage girls today. I was so excited to share what God had laid on my heart 2 months ago for them. It all started when I asked about my friend's new tattoo on her foot. She had Psalm 139 permanently marked on her. I was curious so I looked it up and God began to speak to me that this is what He wanted me to share with these young ladies. I read the whole chapter but for my blog I will copy the portion I really focused on.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

I shared with the girls that there is nothing you can say or do that is hidden from God. He knows everything and sees everything. We see this very clearly in verses 1-12. Some may find that this makes them uncomfortable because of sin...I told the girls that it is just the opposite for those who are in Christ. It is awesome that He knows everything. He knows our dreams, our hurts, when we are sad or when we are happy. God is not surprised by anything that comes along our way. He is always with us and cares about everything in our lives.

We then discussed why He created us. I said that God loves us and made us to have communion with Him. We also looked at that He has a plan for each of our lives and found in Jer. 29:11. We are not some cosmic accident that happened for no apparent reason. The God of heaven and earth made each of us for His unique purpose and plan.

My next question to them is who are you listening to? Are you listening to what the world tells you are or are your listen to who God says you are? I had a 4ft mirror that we wrote on. I asked the girls to tell me all the negative things they say about themselves when the look in the mirror and see the person that they are. Here are some of the things we wrote on that mirror... I am ugly, fat, hate my hair, eyes and nose, I hate my body, useless, worthless, stupid, dumb, sinner, I am nothing.
When we begin to listen to these things, we talked about what happens
1. We want people to tell us what they think and do anything for it.
2. We only do things if we feel we are good enough
3. We hide who we truly are and pretend to be someone we are not
4. Depressed/Arrogant
5. Act out
Addictions, Eating disorders, Cutting, Sex, Suicide

I then brought out my hammer. I reminded them about what we read in verses 14-18. We need to listen to what God says about us. We need to listen to what His thoughts are towards us. He loves us so very much. And as I smashed the mirror it began to reveal what God truly sees us as....His child, His masterpiece, His joy, His love towards us, He created us, we are unique and full of talents, He has given us a hope, and we are beautiful to Him. All those things are what really matters. We need to stop focusing on what others think of us and only be concerned about what God thinks of us.

We then closed out with verses 23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thanks girls at Lost Valley Bible Camp for giving me the chance to share what God had laid on my heart for you and for all girls. Together we will....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Joy of Family Vacations

I just got back from our family vacation to Ludington, MI. We had such a wonderful time together with our extended family. My only wish is that it had lasted longer. I am so thankful for the time God allows us to have and enjoy these opportunities, because I know they will not be available forever. I hope everyone takes some time to relax and be with family this summer. Here are some of my sister, mom and my artsy photo's we took. All together we took nearly 650 photos for 7 days of vacation....sad I know!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Some Kinda Crazy Faith

I have this wonderful friend at our church who has really challenged my faith in God today! We are praying together about a need that my family has. Wow! Was I humbled by her "Crazy" faith. I say "Crazy" because the world would see as just that "Crazy"! But when have I cared about what the world thinks????? Her faith is so amazing. She told me, "God heard her prayer and she is just waiting on Him to answer it." "Wow, Wow, Wow!" I thought. She really believes that my answer is already on the way. What do I need to do to believe it like her? I need to test God's promises!

Matthew 6:8
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 7
7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 18:19-21
19 Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.

OK I hear you God. Help me now to get it into my heart. I read up on a true story today about George Mueller. I find that reading about others faith really encourages my own. This amazing man trusted in God for everything. He never asked people for anything. He just trusted in God to provide. As a result he took care of thousands of orphans fully depending on God's provision. I challenge you to read about him. It will bless your heart. The amazing thing I researched was that his work continues even today. Check out the George Mueller Foundation! God's ways are so much bigger than our ways. What a testimony of God's provision beyond even what George could even imagine.

So, I am not going to tell you what we are praying for. I will tell you when God meets the need; because I am beginning to believe that need will serve more purposes than I can even imagine. It will be a fun testimony of His faithfulness. Friends, our God is able to do the impossible. I just need to believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Psalm 50
7Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, your God.
8 I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
14 Sacrifice thank- offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.

Help me Lord to have even more "Crazy" faith then my friend and George. My God owns everything and He ALWAYS meets our needs!

Have Faith and....