Saturday, July 26, 2008


This has been the theme in my spiritual life lately. I think it is interesting how God places me in situations where I am learning the same concept in several areas all at once. Could it be that this is the only way I listen - I hope not, but I wonder . . . am I just like my kids????

So, here we go. I have to say that I feel that packing up my whole life and my family and moving away from the only place I have known as an adult and the longest place I have lived in my whole life was very bold. Especially to come to a completely unknown place to do such a risky thing - start something completely new without the budget that we really needed and without a lot of people to help us. It was a bold move, but after the last couple weeks, I realize it wasn't bold enough.

I was asked at the very last minute to go with a youth group of one of our sister churches to a Youth Conference called CIY - Move. While I enjoyed getting to know the teens better and being able to pour into their lives a bit, God did not make this happen for them. I'm quite sure he had the other leader drop at the last minute and gave Chris the idea to ask me to go because I needed to hear the words those speakers were saying. They spoke about so many things, but the two things that impacted me most was that the Holy Spirit gives us the power we need (Acts 1:8) and that we need to be bold in going out and telling others about the love of Jesus and the fact that he died and rose for our sins. What an amazing gift that is and I hide it for fear of scaring people away! For too long I have waited around for people to come and say to me, "I want to know about Jesus." Not many people actually use those words. How many people have said that in different ways, but I have not heard it? Or how many people never asked, but would have changed their lives had I given the opportunity? How many times has God wanted to use me in that way, but I haven't let Him, so He's given someone else that privilege? Ouch!

Interestingly enough, just before we left, I hit the bookstore to see about a couple books to read and a new Bible study book. I had heard that the afternoons were down times and good for reading. I did get a little reading done, but not a lot. Anyway, I picked up a study on Joshua called Live Fearlessly from the Fresh Life Bible Study Series, which I highly recommend. I wanted a study on Joshua because I just finished a study on Deuteronomy, not because it was about living fearlessly. I don't even know that I noticed the title before we got to the conference and I began to see the theme in my life. Again, just more conviction on how I really am not very bold when it comes to actually sharing the gospel with adults.

There are a million reasons why this is the case - some excuses, some probably legitimate reasons. When we were discussing boldness at the conference, we did talk about the types of bold we do not want to be - mean or bible thumping - we don't want to scare people off. That is probably my main reason, but there comes a time when that is no longer a legitimate reason, rather an excuse. I think when we really want to be bold, we are listening to God and waiting for opportunities and then seizing them. He provides those open doors all the time, if we are willing to walk through them.

I still struggle with this and am praying constantly that when there is an open door I will be bold enough to share. And praying for forgiveness for all of the times that I have failed to listen closely to God.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dawn in the Dishwasher

Ever wonder what happens when you put Dawn dish soap in the dishwasher? Probably not - common sense probably tells you the answer without having to do the experiment; not in my house . . .
Tonight the boys were loading the dishes. There were two things that couldn't go in the dishwasher, so James asked what to do with them. I said to wash them with dish soap. At the same time, Jason held up the dawn and asked if it was the right stuff, so I answered yes. We have this communication problem in our house over and over - you would think that I would learn, but not yet. A few minutes later Brent yelled from the kitchen. The floor was covered with bubbles that were escaping from the dishwasher.
Jason was asking if the dawn was the right stuff for the dishwasher, and I was answering James question about what soap to use on the two extra things. Ugh!!! It wasn't a big deal, since we were home. We just got the shop vac and sucked it all up. We got a good laugh out of it, too. Maybe next time I will ask Jason to be more specific in his questions, but probably not - it was an innocent mistake on both of our parts.

We had a nice dinner with new friends tonight. Thanks Bill and Dominique if you read this. It's nice to get to know them better. They home school their kids and have a pretty cool philosophy on education. It was fun to hear a little about it and to talk to them about the vision God has given us for Kaleo. Then we went to set up church. We are definitely back in the swing of things after our long vacation. We had a nice time being gone, but we are also glad to be back.

We came back to some difficult news. Our neighbor died in a car accident while we were gone. He was at the top of Brent's list as far as people to get to know better and to talk to about Jesus. It is our understanding from the family that he did know the Lord, and we hope that is true, but it was heartbreaking. He has two or three children, one of which we had in our home a lot. Brent was already scheduled to teach on evangelism when we returned, and it was tough. He did an amazing job, though. It has really made us think about how little time we have and how we have to seize every moment we can. It is a fine line we walk. It's nice to be invited into somebody's life in order to be able to tell the story of Jesus to them, but we can't wait too long. It takes lots of prayer and really watching for every opportunity. This is my current conviction. I know that I don't seize every opportunity like I should. I am praying that I will see doors that God opens for me to speak truth to people who do not know Him.

At the last minute I was asked to go as a leader to a youth retreat down at Biola University this coming week with one of our partner churches. I think it will be fun. It's always a little stressful to leave the kids when Brent has so much to do, but we think it will be a good opportunity for me personally and a great opportunity for me to help CCV. So, five days without kids - it's been a very long time!! I will have to update when it is over. I'm not sure if I am looking forward to it or not (being away from the kids, that is.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

It's been a while . . . Some amazing blessings

I have been so incredibly busy and have not had time to blog in almost a month, and not consistently for even longer. I wanted to just share some of the amazing blessings in my life in the last six weeks.

We had an amazing week at Pine Cove for family camp! I cannot tell you what a tremendous blessing this time of reflection, refreshing and encouragement this week was. We are so thankful for all of our friends at camp who are so encouraging and such great supporters of our ministry.

We had a great time in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with friends and family. It was busy and we did not see tons of people who we desperately wanted to see. There are not enough hours in the day. We are sorry for those of you who we missed, and we are grateful for every moment spent with those we saw.

Brent's back is still hurting, but he made the trip without too much more pain. He will see a back specialist on Tuesday, July 8th.

We missed our friends back in Bakersfield while we were gone. Might seem like a silly blessing, but I am so thankful that God has provided relationships here with people who we miss when we are away.

The kids finished school and finished well - we are about half way through summer - won't be long before we are starting again - this time with three in school.

God has provided more work for me through the adoption unit in Oklahoma. I am so thankful, as nothing here has worked out as of yet. I am still looking for something part time.

We've had new families visit the church and are very excited about everyone who is involved at Kaleo.

I'm sure the list could go on and on and as I think of things, I will add them, but I am off for now, as I still need to clean up the house before bed.