Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lakeview 2010- Day 2

So behind in my blogging, and so very sorry. Summer is calling me...and with so few days left of it, I must answer. The computer just can't hold my attention during this time of year. :)

Yet another day of fun and adventure for Lakeview OR! Any town that would let us visit is fearless.

Started out the day with another fantastic VBS program, with our slogan being "God's Word is comforting!" The bible story was from Acts 27- check it out and picture our crazy antics as we tried to explain it. :) This day was truly a sweet one, filled with kids who were nervous the first day now running to say hello!
(Ryan played the part of "Extreme Steve" in Human Clue terrifyingly well!)
My favorite part of the day was the Middle School Youth Event that evening though. Our teens organized a game of Human Clue- sooooo hilarious! And two of our Juniors shared their testimonies. What I loved was that both of the kids didn't have these horrible, tragical stories to tell. They are Christian kids, raised in Christian homes, loving Jesus. And their testimonies are just as powerful.

(Caitlyn made a fantastic "Kung Fu Karl".)
Our male student brought me to tears as I watched him share his story. I've know this little guy, who happens to stand 6'3" now, since he was 5, and to see the confidence and grace God has given him was such a blessing. It was awesome to see how God knew exactly which persons needed to speak, to relate to a room full of churched, "good" kids. Our guy showed them so clearly that God is just as real, relevant and ACTIVE in his life today as He was in the heroes of the Bible thousands of years ago. Very cool!
(This was Jordan as "Rockin' Ralph" during Clue!)
We finished the night off with some fun in the MAD house, and my favorite quote of the day was "PINCH IT OFF, JORDAN!!!" Needless to say, the girls didn't want anyone stinking up the bathroom and were not afraid to harass any potential perpetrators.

God blessed us during this trip with opportunity after opportunity to grow closer together, and hear Him more clearly. The verse we taught the VBS kids was another to put in your memory cards-
"Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles." Psalm 119:50 Oh, thank you for that Lord. Our promise that YOU have a good, and perfect plan for our eternity.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lakeview 2010

"God's Word is TRUE!" What a first day of VBS in Lakeview, OR last Monday! That was our slogan for Day 1- and the adults and kids alike could use the reminder! Most of our memory verses for the week were from Psalm 119, and Monday was one of my favorites. "But You are near, Lord, and all your commands are true." Psalm 119:151 As we loaded up and prayed for God's protection and growth, I couldn't help but think about the command of the Lord to go forth and share His Word- and it brought such joy to know we were teaching our young people exactly how to do that in America! So cool!

We took 13 of our youth group teens, with 4 adults, to the town of Lakeview- the tallest town in Oregon with an elevation of 4800 feet and a population around 2000. Our mission- to give them assistance in putting on a fantastic Vacation Bible School as well as offering some summer night activities for the middle and high school students. And boy, did we!

The minute we got there I saw our kids jump up and get to work. The ones who had been there last year took time to orient the newbies, we got beds made on floors, food packed away, lessons reviewed for the next day and even some time for fun and games that night!
Lakeview Baptist Church, our partner in this adventure, has a house for the girls- the MAD house (Making A Difference) and the boys got to stay in the church. Lots of good places to play Sardines! We got to see the nearness of God as we adventured through a rigorous VBS schedule unlike the one we used, dealt with large crew groups and often times unruly boys. We felt His presence that Monday as we adjusted to life as a family, and 17 people using one shower. :) Oh, good times! And God poured out His grace and mercy for each of us, as we practice compassion and patience to each person we came in contact with.

I had the joy of teaching the Bible Story on Day 1, and it is the story of Peter's miraculous release from prison in Acts 12. Check it out, and I so hope it blesses you as much as it did me. I played Rhoda, the servant who answered the door for Peter. I think my acting skills have improved over the years, because I must have scared more than half of the kids to death as I pretended to be afraid of the Roman soldiers looking for Peter. The preschoolers cried, and one of the 1st graders told me "I was so scared I almost peed my pants!" Nice, right? Needless to say, I am still praying that I didn't permanently damage any of those wee ones, and they walked away seeing that God is powerful and His Word is TRUE! "Let's Go!"
One of my favorite things about these trips, as much as I miss my husband and my daughter, is that I get to spend time with my TAG girls. They crack me up every day, and I get to see a little piece of their hearts as they share their week with me. It is wonderful, and helps me to know how to pray for them in a different and more specific way. Oh, Lord- may we all see how true your stories are, and that we would all have a joyful moment like Peter- as the chains fall off our hands and feet and we run for the pure pleasure of tasting the freedom you give!
All in all, a fantastic mission trip. I will try to post more each day this week so you can enjoy the moments with me, and maybe God will give us both new insight into what ways we can serve the rest of the year. Jesus be close to you tonight!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Some encouragement for your mama heart.

Sweet blog I read the other day at just the right time. Written by a woman who never actually knew her mother, but the impact a mother has is always there. I hope if you found yourself discouraged today, whether by your choices or others- God would hold you close and comfort your heart. None of your efforts are wasted, sister. And by the grace of God, He won't let you totally screw those babies up! :)

"Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. " Psalm 119:35

"The Hand Clapping Game

I was 24 years old, sitting in a sandwich shop with our Sunday School class after church. I don’t remember what I ate, who I talked to or what I heard, but I vividly remember what I saw.

I saw my Sunday School teacher, Cindy, and her 9 year old daughter sitting on her lap playing a hand clapping game. You know the ones. You rhyme, you clap, you giggle and laugh.

I watched and even after 24 years, my heart…ached.

My Mother

I never knew my mother. She died when I was only a few months old. I never knew what it was like to sit in her lap or play hand clapping games. I never dressed up in her clothes as a little girl. I never had an argument with her and I never gave her a hug.

In my mind I had the perfect mother, though. I put together the bits and pieces that my dad and grandparents shared about her and wove that together with my own dreams. She was beautiful and gracious. She loved Jesus and her family. She was kind and gentle and giving. She could sing like an angel.

She does sing like an angel…

I clung to everything that was hers. My dad said she liked pears. Pears were my favorite-est fruit ever, in-the-whole-wide-world. I had a fancy lotion jar that was hers. I’d open it for a sniff and close it as fast as I could, afraid my connection to her would fade with the scent.

The mother-daughter relationship – it seemed like such a mystery to me. I was the outsider looking in and dreaming. As a little girl, I’d see mothers and daughters talking or playing together and I was so jealous. l wanted to know what it would be like to play a hand clapping game with someone called Mommy.

My little heart ached a lot.

He Saw Every Ache…and He Knew

And then…

It’s as if He’d been whispering to me all along, “Just wait, my girl. Have I got something special for you. Just wait.”

When I grew up, my sweet, precious, ever-faithful, ever-watching, ever-knowing Redeemer gave me not one, but two little girls.

And we play hand clapping games. And they call me Mommy.

And I am thankful.

A Word for You

Isn’t it funny how someone I never knew has shaped so much of who I am? The mere mention of her name brings misty wetness to the eyes of this grown, 34 year old woman.

A mother’s impact in her child’s life is profound. Never ever doubt or forget this.

What you are doing matters. It matters deeply.

You are not just a mother.

You are a Mother."

Kat -
Enjoy the last month of summer, and make memories that will bring a smile to those who remember...