Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Taking the First Step

Well, the long story goes like this- Just over a year ago, Luke and I became the blessed parents of a wonderful son. His name is Beck. Oh I could go on for hours about him! But he is not the point of this little note. The point is... well, you will see.
I have to say I was quite impressed that, though I was on maternity leave, every second Tuesday our bank account would magically have enough money to pay the mortgage! How nice of you Canadian Government! I was quite enthralled with the whole "system". Anyway. My year of mat leave was coming to an end and I realized that this free money was no longer going to be part of our monthly income. So, I got out the trusty old calculator, and a note pad. I was going to put our family on a budget!
Budget. Ok. Seems pretty straight forward, as it should be for this math-minded gal. Of course, it is simple to figure out how much we spend each month on the necessities. And the not-so-necessities. The question that haunted me was "How much should we be spending? And how do I know if we can afford something, anyway?"
Good old Google. Did you know that you should budget 35% of your income for housing expenses? There is a breakdown for everything! This is amazing! Do others know about this? I just have to say, I wish someone had told me this YEARS ago!
Here I go again with my calculator... housing, vehicle, fuel, bills, groceries, personal, savings... Tithe. wait, that's 110% of our income? Ok, where can we trim a little...
Well, initial shock over with, and we are pretty close to where we need to be. But something does not make sense to me... Now how do I DO this??? Cash system?No debit cards, credit cards? But I have so many automatic payments? Ahhh!
Can someone please tell me? Do it for me?
Honestly I can't believe how hard this is for me to do. Math has always been my strong suit.
However, applications have never been. I am finding this in other areas of my life and frankly it annoys me like crazy! But I seriously have not the slightest idea where to begin, with this and with a long list of other things.
When it comes to the family finances, I must confess that I have a super hard time giving generously that which is the Lord's, or tithing. I heard one Bible teacher say that All of my money belongs to the Lord, and he lets me decide how much of it I get to keep. I agree with the teacher, I really do, but in this area I struggle greatly. Recently our Sunday sermon was on the topic of giving. I was convicted more than I have been in church in a while. Literally so uncomfortable in my seat. Yet, I am still holding on to my money!
The first step is always the hardest one. Especially because I don't know what it is.
My desire is to be obedient to the Lord, I strive to be a woman of noble character, being a good steward of what I have been given, to have my household in order, to be generous and to be hospitable unto my ever gracious and generous God. I will only be able to accomplish this by his mercy... (and possibly a little help from my friends who know a thing or two about it?)
Thanks for reading! If you remember,please pray for us in this area, and if you have any advice I'm open to it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

this is life

So, I have been complaining a lot lately. More than normal. Complaining has somehow become part of life. I complain about everything, not just the weather which well, everyone complains about the weather but...

The past two weeks have been tough, I will say that. It all started when Beck, our exceptionally content 8 month old son, had a booster shot. He had a reaction to the vaccine resulting in 3 days of fever and irritability. All normal side effects. The first night wasn't too bad. He was a little cranky, he went to bed early and that was that. The next day was the worst day of my life as a mother, followed by my second worst night as a mother, followed by my worst night as a mother. Cranky, inconsolable, sleepless baby. Not fun. To top it off, Luke my husband was also coming down with a cold. Then, just for fun, I also got a cold and then Beck got it too.
Luke was afraid our sweet boy was broken "What happened to our good baby?" he would say.Each morning I would wake up, sicker and more tired than the day before. I would think to myself "oh how I wish I could just not wake up today!". (That is a bad day right there. Not thoughts I should be having.)

The past two weeks have been tough. That part is real.
Everyone is thankfully nearly back to health.
Last night as I laid in bed, I began reflecting on this time. I confessed to Luke that this was the first time that I had felt good, happy, healthy, joyful, in as many days. I began to ask myself What would I change?" The only answer I could conjure was My Attitude. Then I started wondering "what would I even do if this wasn't happening to me, if life were easy?"

Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans" wrote John Lennon. Though there is great debate about what he meant, the first thing I thought of was Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way,but the LORD establishes his steps."

I wish I could have seen the lesson in the hardship, that I could have "rejoiced" in my suffering, drawing close to the LORD. Sometimes life is hard. Though the moment seems to last for an eternity, (especially long nights with baby) these are the moments we remember, that make a life. I hope to look back on them and say that I made it. I know that Beck is only small for so little time in the Grand Scheme, precious moments are fleeting.
This time has prompted me to look back at other hard times in my life, some self-inflicted. And though I have often wished I could take back the moment, I would never take back the lesson. And so I suppose the Lord has accomplished his purpose. Even in my bad attitude, my sin and rebellion. And THAT is what gives me joy, that He has a plan, that His name may be glorified. And so, we press onward.

"It's supposed to be hard! If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great!" -Jimmy Dugan, A League Of Their Own.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The sin that I hate most

It freaking drives me absolutly bonkers when I see single moms, single pregnant women and children with out dads. I know there are different circumstances, but majority of cases are because men, and I hesatate to call them that, maybe boys that can shave would be better suited, fail to pull there weight and fail to live up to there duties as a man, husband and father. Being it fathers day I know that there are people out there that today this is a really tough day because there dad was not there and dropped the ball in the most important game they will ever play. My heart breaks for those who have been wounded by guys who suck at being guys.
My wife and I are expecting our first born child in a few short weeks and this weekend we did our first of two prenatal classes. It was amazing for many reasons, the videos were shocking but informative. I was amazed at how much they talked about the importance of the support person there. The support persons role is huge in child birthing. I could not immagen being a woman who had to go through that on there own. In my mind Gods intended plan for marriage and children is thr right way. All of the other ways are wrong. Statistically, all other methods of people try to be together do not for the majority work as good as the way it speak about in the bible. I'm not saying that Christian don't get divorced but statistically, with regular church attendance, small group support, and regular bible reading you are less likely to get divorced. Bottom line, Satan is still a liar, men need to man-up and repent of there sin.
Real men Love Jesus.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Auxano and marriage!!!

Auxano last night was awesome! The largest crowd we have had at a cool 40 people.
The topic that we addressed we a big one, sex and marriage. The night started off as usual with worship, scripture memorization and then the word. I was blessed to be able to bring a short talk on both sex and marriage and while I was talking we had the group write questions and statements about sex and marriage down and then hand them in to be discussed as a group.
It was amazing the amount of good feedback and comments that we had from the group and we were able to talk about a lot of things that you could not usually discuss sunday morning. We went about 30 minutes over time to make sure all the questions were answered thoroughly.
Sex and marriage is a huge topic and it is near and dear to my heart. While we were in Brazil the focus of barbie and I was for young men and women to see what it is to have a godly marriage. Most of out time out side of the scheduled evangelical outreaches was spent talking with young adults about dating and marriage. Barbie and I now celebrating three years of marriage are happy to say we are still in the honey moon stage of our marriage and we intend to be there till Jesus comes back or one of us dies. Yep. We both recognize that we have been given huge grace in this area of our lives and we are excited to share our experience with people.
some of the resources that we have found helpful are,
-The peasant princess sermon series, found on line at marshillchurch.org
-The first 90 days of marriage, by Eric and Leslie Ludy
-God, Marriage and Family by Andreas J. Kostenberger.
I encourage everyone, single and married to look into these things and prepare your self for marriage. It is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us and is the second most important decision you will ever make.
#1, Who is my God?
#2, Who will my spouse be?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Blogg

Blogg time!!
Things have been good for us as of late. Our main focus has been Auxano. For those of you who don't know about auxano, most of your questions can be answered by searching auxano on face book. Basically stated however auxano it self is the Greek word for grow, and growing in christ is what it is all about. We meet every monday down town Red Deer in the Career assistance development center from 7 till 8pm for worship, scripture memorization, teaching and community. It has been really great so far. This past week we had our biggest group yet at 30. The focus is on discipleship with a focus on Christ. We are hitting some hot topics that you don't commonly find in church every sunday. One of the highlights for the night is when a large group of us cross the street to O'Mallies pub and grill. Yes Pub. We know as Christians this might ruffle some fundamentalists feathers but we believe that this is a good thing and God has confirmed that it is to us. The first night we decided that this place would be a good place to have some good christian community invade it, we told the waitress that we would probably be returning every monday for the next bit. She was excited to hear that and shared about her faith in the Lord as well.
Now as we continue to build currency with the pub and the pub owner, it has opened the door for us to do some cool things there. They have asked that we some nights bring out guitars and do some music which will hopefully get off the ground soon.
God is good.
I am looking forward to speaking at auxano on april 12, the topic that I have been given is indulgence. It should be fun. I encourage you to come. If you think that this might not be your kind of thing, then please tell people that you think might benefit from it. Our agenda is the Gospel, bottom line.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Here we are in Victoria B.C Canada. We have done a lot of traveling over the past year and it has been lots of fun. One thing I want to try and do more of is blog what we are doing on a more regular basis. That way we can keep people up to speed with what we are doing as far as ministry goes. Life is ministy for us. Even though Barbie and I are both working, we are continuing to do ministry and are presuing full time ministry work. As it stands now we almost have two full time jobs. Currently we have taken a week to be with a couple in Victoria that are geting married next Saturday. We have been invited up for the week prior to help with the wedding plans and I have been asked to officiate the wedding which is exciting. We wanted to spend time with them to go through a sermon series that we have been going through with a couples life group in Red Deer called the Peasent Princess which is a series through the Song of Songs that addresses marriage and everything that is involved in marriage. Barbie and I have been richly blessed by this series and we are looking forward to going through it. Barbie and I have felt a serious pull to invest in the lives of young married, and dating engaged couples. We know that marriage is hard and is not something to be entered into lightly so we want to do what we can to help invest in couples lives. We believe in the covanent of marriage and that it is binding and something to be entered into with reverance We feel that we have been give a lot of grace in our marriage to be able to work through hard things and look at the situations of live objectivly and press thought knowing that our strength is from the lord. We are really excited to share what we have learned in our two and a half year of married life together with them and your prayers during this time are greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

HI FROM LUKE! We have been involved in some great outreaches lately. We have been going to a few schools and doing a base GX presentation, this has been really awesome. I have never seen such a response to the gospel, and the performers. So far, we have spoken to and performed for over 400 kids with about an 80 percent rate of response. The outreaches have consisted of hip hop dance, break dancing, a bit of skateboarding, testimony by one or two of the performers, and a gospel message with a call to repentance and faith in Jesus. The outreaches have been a lot of fun, and the kids are stoked! Even wanting their picture with us, and our autograph, which is a strange feeling, but fun none the less.
We are very fortunate to have an open door like this to do ministry in the schools. Most of the Brazilians we have talked to are shocked to hear that if we tried to do the same type of thing in Canada we could be arrested. If this is news to you Canadians, it’s true. As for pastors, or other people who might want to go into a school, you can not preach the gospel, talk about Jesus, sin or absolute truth even, or you can be removed from school property. The amazing thing, though, is that the students can share Christ publicly with other students, and can even start a Christian club in their school. It is a great loop hole and one that opens doors for Jesus to be shared in the schools in Canada.
In this coming week we are planning a construction project in a neighboring city called Conde, which is more rural that where we are now in Joao Pessoa. It is a very poor community, and where we are going to work is the only school in the area. It is a special school in that it is solely run by volunteers, as the government has suspended funding, so right now, none of the teachers or other staff gets paid. They simply have a heart for the youth in that area that otherwise would not have an opportunity to get any sort of education. We are going there to do some concrete work, which is right up my alley though I have yet to see how it is done here. From my entire sidewalk walking experience here in Brazil, it seems that they use many different methods so we will see what happens. We will be sure to post many pictures of out project so stay tuned.