This and that.

Happy New Year!
That greeting feels long overdue, yet we are only fifteen days into this new year of 2017!
350 days left for the Lord to weave His hand in and out of each of our lives, shaping us, growing us, maturing us, and making us more like Him. Such an exciting thought!
We also need His comfort, strength, mercy, and grace for the days ahead as we navigate the trials and sorrows that invade our lives and the lives of those we love. How good it is to belong to a Father who understands our pain since He too is a "man of sorrows."
Lord, this year is Yours, because time belongs to You. As Thomas Brooks says, "The great weight of eternity, hangs upon the small wire of time!" Give us the desire to keep our focus solely on You so we might live out the words of the Psalmist, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12  Thank You for a new year, Lord! May it be used for Your glory.
Dennis, Micah, Luke, and Caleb are enjoying a wonderful weekend up in Big Bear for Winter Camp. It rained for almost five days straight before they left, so the mountain is covered in snow, and they are having the time of their lives! Camp is a highlight of their winter, and the Lord always meets them in the mountains. They have fun, they enjoy their peers, they compete in games - but the best part is that each day ends in worship and sitting under the preaching and teaching of God's Word. All the fun in the world cannot replace the life-giving truth of Scripture!

We are blessed that Dennis has been a part of our boy's youth group experience since the beginning. He has faithfully served in Sunday school, at camp, holiday events, mission trips, and Disciple Now for six years, and our boys love the fact that he is part of their world. They even claim he is one of their favorite counselors! I am thankful they can do this together. Side by side in ministry and life. They make each other better and encourage, share, talk, and laugh about everything that happens in both. Thank You, Lord, for the relationship You have established between these four guys!

~~~ After months of prayer the Lord has chosen to answer a specific request with "Yes!" 
He has provided a Titus 2 woman to meet with me, disciple me, hold me accountable to the truths and commands of Scripture, encourage me, and push me deeper into my relationship with Christ.
Someone once said, "Every believer needs a Paul, and every believer needs a Timothy." Pauls pour into us and teach us how to walk, talk, and look like Jesus. Then we have the privilege of investing that same knowledge and passion into a Timothy. It is a beautiful cycle of discipleship.
I have no idea what the Lord has planned, but His timing is perfect, and when I told this lovely woman I had been praying about meeting with her for months she said the Lord had been putting me on her heart as well. He has prepared us for each other - and everything He does is good!

One of my girls has a pet Holland Lop - and I love her! She has a sweet, gentle, playful, fun personality, and if someone could guarantee the same for us, I would add a bunny to our family today! My favorite thing about this breed - the feet! They are HUGE! And fluffy. And fun. Josiah, Isaiah, Ellie, and I bunny-sat one night and we had a blast. Charlotte really is a funny little creature, and we look forward to enjoying her again soon.

~~~ Micah and Luke were accepted to the mission teams traveling to spread the Good News of the Gospel this summer! Micah will be traveling to Ireland and Luke will spend his week in Mexico.
They are already working hard to earn the money to finance the trips, and are counting the weeks before they leave.
Pray for them, if you will. The enemy is going to enter into full attack mode - heart, body, and mind - with the goal of defeating and destroying them so they are ineffective for the Kingdom. Pray they will put on their godly Ephesians 6 armor every single day as they prepare for these wonderful opportunities so they can serve with passion and not have one moment of shame for speaking the truth of the Gospel. For it is the POWER of God for salvation for all those who believe!
Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie are in 7th heaven because after four years we finally have a rug in our family room. (Does anyone else feel overwhelmed and stressed out about such purchases/choices/commitments? Me? AAAHHH!)
They lay on it, roll on it, read, play, and try to eat on it. It's the little things that bring us joy! <smile>
Oh, if anyone is looking for a great 'toy' for their children, purchase Snap Circuits! You will be glad you did! An excellent activity for small hands.

~~~ I hope your Sunday was filled with worship, thanksgiving, and PRAISE to a God who loved us enough to let His Son die for us, and chooses to pursue us and sustain us with an everlasting love.
Believers are rich, not because of what they have - but because of Who they know. Our God is an AWESOME God! He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power, and love. Our God is an AWESOME God!

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