1 Corinthians 3:4-9

"For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."

1 Corinthians 3:4-9

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 9, 2017

Dear Ethan,
Today is your 17th birthday. As I sit and reflect on your life, my heart is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude at all that Jesus has done in you.

I never imagined that we would not be together physically on this day, but I cannot imagine anywhere else I would rather you be. I write this from Guatemala and you are in Montana, following the call of the Lord for your life.

Ethan, for seventeen years, you have brought great joy into our lives. Your laughter and smooth humor have kept us laughing and giggling and marveling at your impecable timing. Since you were born, you have had a way with people and a comfortableness that has always served to reassure and calm those around you. You have sought to love and protect and care for your sisters since before Isabelle was born, always wanting to talk with 'Sissy' even while I was still pregnant with her.

Your compassion for others has been an example to so many around you. And as you have grown, you have lived life as one who walks in truth.

Today, as you celebrate with so many who have watched you grow and mature over the years, know that your dad and I could not be more proud. We know without a doubt that we have had nothing to do with who you are today - because it is a miracle of Jesus that you are the young man that you are with all the mistakes we have made over the years...We thank God for your life and rejoice in the great things He has done over the 17 years of life you have lived!


He has fashioned and formed you and nurtured you and grown you. We have prayed for you since you were born and we are seeing the fruit of those prayers as you follow Jesus today.

We love you so much!

While we long to be with you today, we know God will bless you and keep you and show you His lovingkindness as you celebrate with so many who we love dearly and who love you dearly as well.

Have a wonderful 17th birthday, Bud.

Much love,

Friday, January 13, 2017

El Roi- The God Who Sees All

El Roi, You are The God Who Sees
Genesis 16:13

Over the course of my life, this is the name of God that I have believe has had the greatest impact on me. In my younger years, though, I fought the truth of the meaning of this in my life. I did not believe that God really was the God who sees. I believed that He only saw me in my sin and He turned His back on me and left me where I was to figure out how to get myself out of the mess and the mud I had gotten myself into. I was not raised in a Christian household or in the church. Although my mom has always been a believer, it was not until recent years that she began living out her faith. So growing up, I remember going to church off and on with my grandma, and hearing about God and Jesus, knowing he died on the cross, but knowing nothing about his desire for, nor my need for, a relationship with Him. In fact, as a teenager, hearing that he had died for me on a cross, actually made me want to try and run and hide from him out of shame and embarrassment, knowing that I was not worthy of that sacrifice, and therefore I felt incredibly guilty. There was so much I never understood about God, especially that He was my Father. My own father was an alcoholic and my only memories of him as a child are that of drunkenness and verbal rage. So, my youth and young adulthood were spent really trying to rebel in almost every way possible in order to prove to God once and for all that I was not worth his love nor his sacrifice for me.

But God- the God who sees all.

All of this resulted in a life lived behind many masks. In high school, the mask was to be the good girl in front of authority and the wild, party girl when outside the sight of any authority. That continued into college, except that I dropped the mask in front of authority. I had moved out on my own and had virtually rid my life of authority so the only mask I clung to was to be the life of the party and make sure everyone around me was happy and having a good time. 

Later on in life, after having met my husband, having had given my life to the Lord, the mask became having the appearance of being the good Christian wife and mother. I knew Jesus, I had a relationship with him, I did love Him, but I just did not understand that He really did love me and had forgiven me, and had cleansed me and made me whole. I knew it in my head but I had not yet allowed it to be written in my heart. 

Years later, Matt and I had been serving on the mission field for several years. I really and truly had grown in my relationship with the Lord, but I was still so very independent. I still had not accepted the fact that God truly loved me to the depths that I read in His word and had forgiven me. I believed it for others but I still did not really believe it for myself. I found myself in a dry, dry place- a wilderness.

Hosea 2:14--'Therefore Behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness to comfort her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope. She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the days when she came up from the land of Egypt.'

Even though I believed God had forgotten me, He met me in the place of my wilderness. Even though I had run from Him, He met me where I was at and drew me close to Him. It was irresistible. He was irresistible. 

But God. He is the God who sees all. 

After a lifetime of trying to hide behind masks, of trying to cover who I really was, I finally saw the One who sees all. I had been a Christian for years, been serving on the mission field nearly five years, had harbored bitterness, anger, rage, fear, and shame for years and finally recognized that there was hope. 

The valley of Achor means trouble- and God takes that place of trouble in our lives and He is our Hope in the midst of the trouble. 

But there must be a transformation of our hearts. We must give God everything and as we give him everything we must do it with open hands and freely give it to him and let him do with our heart what he sees best. 

Ezekiel 36:26
'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.'

The last five years of my walk with Jesus have been learning to live without my former reactions, my former thoughts, my former heart. God has given me a new heart of flesh where there once was a heart of stone. He has redeemed my years of the false belief that abuse had made me dirty and shameful to him, that he had left me and abandoned me as a child, that my rebellion as a teenager and young adult had caused me to be unloved by him, and therefore that he had tossed me aside, and that he had turned his eyes from me as a young wife and mom, that he had forgotten me in my wilderness. 

But God, who is the God who sees all.

I now know and walk in freedom of all of my former ways and my former beliefs. I now believe and live in the truth that God is the One who sees all. He never left me, not once. In every moment where I felt alone, incapable of being loved by Him, He was there. He saw it all, but none of it caused him to flee from me, even though I tried to flee from him. Instead, He has pursued me and allured me and has restored me and freed me and healed me and loves me. 

Ezekiel 36:27-29;33
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your father's; you shall be My people; and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleanness...thus says the Lord God: On that day I will cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.'

That is exactly what He has done in my life- He has cleansed me from all of my uncleanness, all of my sin. He has rebuilt the ruins and the mess I had made of my life, redeemed me from a pit, and restored my marriage and my life. He has shown me my worth in Him. He has never once left me. 

He is the God who sees all.