Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gloria Copeland once said, "You don't get what you deserve.  You get what you believe for."

Tonight, we had a major breakthrough in our youth group.

We have been involved with the youth for about 10 years now, and Jason has been the youth pastor for almost 4 years.  We have never seen anything like what is happening right now.  When we first stepped into the position of youth pastors, we talked about, wrote down, and prayed about the vision that God had given us concerning our leadership with the youth.

One thing we really wanted to see was unity.  We wanted to see them become a family that truly loved each other in a way that the world doesn't understand.
We wanted to see acceptance.  No cliques.  We wanted anyone to be able to walk through those doors and feel like they belonged and had a safe place to be who they are.
We wanted to see them changed.  We did not want them to attend year after year and remain the same, with no true change in their real, everyday life.  We wanted them to hear the word and then do it, not just hear it and leave unchanged.  
We wanted them to understand how to worship.  We wanted them to know the freedom that happens when they truly forget about who might be looking at them, and just worship God.  

Last summer at Forward Conference 2010, we had 8 who were filled with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking with other tongues.  This was in our rooms after the services.  We also had several who were set free from addiction.  We had some who really heard from God about what they were supposed to do with their life.  It was an amazing time that I can not possibly put into words.

You wanna know the difference between this "summer camp" and the 9 we've been to before that?  The fire that God put in these guys is still going.  It's been 9 months and they are worshipping with more passion than they were when they came back from Forward.  We have never seen anything like it.

Rewind for just a second...

About 2 years ago, a few of my friends and I got together once a week to pray for our church.  We prayed for every area of our church.  The reason we did this was because we felt an urgency to pray for the passion of the love of God to be awakened in our church like it was being awakened in all of our hearts.  I remember saying something over and over again, every time I would talk with them about it, and every time Jason and I would talk, even during prayer.  I would say, "I believe that passion will be awakened in our church, and it will spread like WILDFIRE, and I believe it's gonna start with the youth."  I truly believed that in my heart, and so I would say it whenever I thought about it.

Back to Forward Conference...

When we came back home, these guys were so excited about what God had done, they started telling their friends about it, and so we had more being filled with the Holy Spirit even after we got "back to reality".  It was awesome to watch.

In the past, we've watched them stand there during worship with their arms folded, just watching the band play their hearts out.  But since Forward, every week we notice them worshipping more and more. It's to the point now, where we have a full house, and there are hands up all over the place.  It's one of those things you just stand back and remember when you were thinking about what else you could do to get them to really enter in to worship, and you realize that what you've been praying and believing for is within eyesight.  It's breathtaking.

Over the past few weeks, we have had several (not sure how many exactly) salvations, but they haven't all been in our services.  These guys are sharing Jesus with their friends and getting them saved left and right!  It's spreading...

This past Sunday night, Daniel Eric Groves was at our church, and our youth got ministered to in a BIG way.  Some of them were called out, but the most exciting thing to me was what Daniel said.  He shared with them about how he hates the "youth camp" fade out, and that the FIRE had to be alive inside each of them.  He said they could have the best youth pastor in the world, but it didn't matter.  They had to have the FIRE in them to minister to EACH OTHER.

We decided to have a testimony night tonight in The Loft.  We knew that God had done some things in their lives and we wanted to give them an opportunity to share that with each other.  Our service starts at 7:00.  We had to stop them and tell them to leave at almost 9:00.  At 8ish, we stopped and told them that church downstairs was out, and they could leave if they wanted to.  Nobody moved.  At some point in the middle of the service, we had 5 make decisions to either be saved or rededicate their life.  And then they kept getting up and sharing testimonies.

Wanna know the best part?  They were sharing about how they felt so accepted and loved when they started coming to this youth group.  When they felt so out of place at their school, they felt like they fit right in when they came to The Loft.  They were sharing how God was putting it on their heart to talk to some people at their school about Jesus, that they had decided they didn't wanna just make it through the day anymore.  They wanted to make a difference because they feel like they have a purpose now.  This wasn't just one or two...this was nearly all of them!

Some call it a revival.  I call it an AWAKENING!  Salvation, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and passion is spreading like WILDFIRE in our youth group!  The flame has been lit, so church, get ready to burn!  It's happening!


Why Do You Worship?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today, Daniel Eric Groves ministered at our church.  He shared some of the amazing things that God has done for him and his family.  The reasons why he worships.  Then he asked the question, "Why do you worship?".  Worship is real when you have a reason.  If you worship just because you're supposed to, there's no freedom in that. You're just going through the motions.  I don't wanna go through the motions...

I worship because I have a born again, spirit-filled husband, who loves God (and me) with all of his heart, and chooses every single day to sacrifice his life for his family just because he loves us.

I worship because I have 3 beautiful, healthy, obedient children who are following Jesus.

I worship because God continues to amaze us time and time again with His loving provision. His way-making, when there seems to be absolutely NO way.

I worship because Jesus has set me free from sin and the guilt that comes along with the regret of that sin.

I worship because my family is restored and free from addiction.

I worship because I know there is more restoration and freedom to come.

I worship because salvation is spreading like wildfire in our youth group!

I worship because of my God given friends that still love me and don't judge me, even when I don't deserve their love, mercy, and forgiveness.

I worship because of God's mercy in my life every single day.

I worship because even when I've been hurt, God shows me how to change me and become stronger still.

I worship because God loves me, and I don't deserve it.

There are not enough words to express how thankful I am for God's goodness in my life.  I'm so glad I have worship to do that!  Worship is one of the single most important things I have to express my love and thankfulness to God.  He really is SO GOOD to me.

Why do you worship?


My Assignments

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

 Homeschooling is the best decision I have ever made for my kids.  Yes, we have challenges.  Daily.  But I believe these are the types of challenges that will make us stronger as a family.  I found myself wishing for a break today, and I realized that I don't really want a break.  What I want is to overcome these challenges and see my relationship with my children become stronger than it ever could have been otherwise.

Jessi has been having a hard time focusing on her schoolwork.  It's really more of a "I don't want to do any work, anywhere, period" type of thing, along with an "I'm 8 years old going on 13" type of thing.  You mix those two together with my Jessi and you've got MAJOR DRAMA.  I also believe she's fighting for attention in this crazy household.  I think she'll take any kind of attention she can get at this point, even if it means a fight with her mommy.

But I'm ready for this fight.  I want her to know that I'm not going to give up on her and let her have her way.  I'm not going to stop helping her understand all the whys of what she's feeling and what she's going through.  Sometimes she feels like I don't understand and I'm so glad that I have the opportunity to walk her through these precious years myself and that I have this precious time to spend with her that will all too quickly be gone forever.  I can't imagine trying to teach her and guide her through these years if I only had a few hours before dinner and the weekends to spend with her like I would if she were going to school elsewhere.

For me, being a mother is so much more than cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and driving people around.  It's about teaching them how to live and how to learn in every area of life.  It's about teaching.  I am so thankful that God has provided an opportunity for me to teach my children all day long, every single day.

I believe my children are receiving the absolute best education possible.  I always know every area they are struggling with, so I can help them through it.  And they never get left behind when they don't understand something.  I love the fact that we can focus on those things more, and breeze through the things they understand already with ease.  And who better to do that than their mother, the one who knows their strengths and weaknesses the very best?  There is no one on earth more equipped to teach my kids than me.  I believe God assigned my children to me for a special reason, and I am graced by Him to teach them the way they learn best.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

I felt the need to share this, but also felt it might be too much for some of my Facebook friends to handle.  They can click over at their own risk.

So this morning I was awakened to a laughing baby girl who had not only performed a #2 in her diaper, and not only took the diaper off, but also chucked it outside her crib because obviously that doesn't belong in there.  Oh, and this was after it got smudged all over the sheets, bed, bumper pad, and herself.  GOOD MORNING MOMMY!

Also, my eldest child woke up complaining that her foot was hurting so bad that she couldn't even walk. Then shortly after I mentioned that we probably shouldn't go to the park today since she couldn't walk, she said, "My foot has healed up to the point that I can walk on it, and the faster I walk, the less it hurts.  It's really just when I stand still that it hurts the most."


This will be a 3 cups of coffee day for sure. (maybe more)


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