Thursday, October 16, 2008

A never fail recipe

Want a good recipe that will never fail you? Try this one.

Beef Taco Bake

1 lb ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheese
5 tortillas torn into small pieces

Brown your meat and drain then mix all ingredients together and put in a 2qt casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips and mexican rice.

2 Doors down

I've waited too long to write this blog, well maybe just avoiding it rather, but I guess it's time. Many of you may have heard that there was a murder that took place a couple weeks ago in Roanoke. Let me take you through the last couple of grueling weeks in our neighborhood and family.
The kids and I were leaving for church one Sunday morning and as we walked out of the house, all we saw were police cars, trucks and black suburbans on our block and in the drive 2 doors down. Hmmmm.... I quickly got the kids in the car and then walked down to ask the police if there was anything I needed to be concerned about for my family's safety. He then told me, "No, ma'am, it only involves this family. I can't give you any more information at this time."

We went ahead and went to church praying for this family along the way. Jenna's first question was "where is David?" You see, David is a 13 yr old boy who lives in that house and we had played with him several times this summer. I told her I didn't know, but I'm sure he was safe. She quickly said a specific prayer for his safety. All we knew about David is that he lived with his mom and had an older sister that stayed with them from time to time. David told us that his mom worked 2 jobs and we never saw her there, which meant that David was home alone most of the time. We had invited him to church, but he never came with us.

Long story short.....David, his sister and her boyfriend murdered their mom, left her dead in the hallway while stealing her car to head north. The kids were picked up (only by an act of God) in South Dakota for being out after curfew on that Saturday night/Sunday morning. You can read all the details on if you're interested.

The part that disturbs me the most is that the whole week after the police found Susan's body, there was just a very heavy, dark cloud over the neighborhood. I can't explain it, but it just didn't feel right. Knowing the little bit that I do about the spiritual realm, I know this heaviness was the spiritual battle going on around us. Even the policeman who came down to talk to me about everything, said that when he entered the home there was just "evil" in the air. Wow!

Come to find out, the kids were living in a fantasy world through a series of books. One of the books is called "Dragons Blood." It scares me to think that more times than not, parents are not monitoring every aspect of their kids' lives. Most people will chalk these books up as fiction, yet these books become very real to their readers and allows the enemy one more entrance into their lives.

After being in Youth Ministry for 10+ years, it breaks my heart for David. He was a really nice kid, although I always sensed there was something wrong deep inside. I never would've dreamed it would end like this.

I've had a hard time explaining to my kids what happened. In fact, they don't know the whole story. They just know that someone killed Susan and the kids won't be coming back to this house. I've had to just leave it to the Lord and explain that there is a lot of evil in this world and we need to be on guard at all times. We are to be kind and loving to everyone (Ephesians 4:32) no matter their situation.

The Lord tells us in scripture: 1 Peter 5:8 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

The devil succeeded in devouring the household 2 doors down, but we will continue to resist him, standing firm in our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ to share His love with everyone we meet!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A New Start

Well, we've only just begun. What a great day we had with the start of our new Compass Christian Church site in Roanoke. We had 247 on our first day open to the public! I'm amazed by that. I'm not much for numbers in church, but it's exciting to see how many people knew that our doors were "open for business." Our church put a huge ad (including the front cover with a picture of Jeremy & Trevor) in a local magazine ("Living" Keller/metroport edition) that went out to like 28K houses in the area. We had about 20 people say that they came because of that ad in the magazine. The article is really good and represents the heart of our group really well. We had several people make a decision for their lives yesterday including some who want to be baptized next week. How exciting is that? The angels are having a HUGE party right now! I can't wait to see all that God has planned for this community!

I have to admit I was very scared to move away from our home for the last 9 1/2 yrs, but God has continued to bless us for our obedience to His call. For those of you reading this who know us well, you know that we lived way out in the country for the last 2 yrs in Katy and had to drive A LOT! It made life difficult at times to be able to be in community with people and we really missed that. We now live about 5 minutes from Jenna's school and our church. We have Wal-Mart & Home Depot around the corner from us and are loving the small town feel of Roanoke, yet being about 15 minutes from the city life. God continues to bring new people along our path that we just get to love on and share life with.

In my last blog, I wrote about "friends for life" and am still seeing how God is using people in our lives. We have a dear friend who was in our youth ministry for 4-5 yrs who decided that when she graduated college that she wanted to come work with us. She is now Trevor & Jeremy's admin, Jeremy's asst soccer coach for Jenna's soccer team, and my dear friend. The team that we have to work with in starting this church is awesome. Each of them brings such a unique heart and desire to serve the Lord that encourages me even more with each day.

I thank God for this new start in ministry. I thank Him for not allowing us to get burned out, but keeping life fresh and new each day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Friends For Life

Have you ever tried to figure out why certain people come in and out of your life at different times? Or maybe you've just wondered why certain things have happened to you in your life. For some reason, these thoughts have crossed my mind more than a few times in the last couple weeks. People from my past (childhood, college, etc) have "be-friended" me on facebook and it has brought back a lot of memories - mostly good thank goodness! :)

You see, I look back on my childhood and remember my best friend from growing up. We were only 2 days apart in age and lived in the same houses until we graduated high school. Eric was such a great friend growing up. I remember having cheerio eating contests, wrestling matches, trampoline contests, swimming contests, birthday parties, and just sharing the ups and downs in life while growing up.

Then there's the girls I cheered with, played piano with and made it through Jr. High with. One of those girls became like a sister to me and her mom a mom to me. Thank God for them during 9th grade when I lost my parents. We are still friends today and I'm so thankful.

I then think about what a special place my sister became in my life once she moved back home with me after my parents died. I wouldn't have made it through high school without her. This leads me to remember my preacher who always just checked up on us and loved us through a very difficult time. Thanks Glen! I also had a tremendous youth minister and his wife. I dreamed to grow up and be just like them. My youth group and youth sponsors held such a special place in my life - more like a family to me. Well, thank you Kari, because I was a youth minister's wife for 10 yrs because of you and loved every moment of serving those kids. (we are still in ministry just with adults now instead of students.)

What about the friends made in youth group and at summer camps. One in particular had just lost his mom after I had lost mine. We had a lot to talk about and share with each to encourage one another to keep going. It blows my mind how God brings people to us when we need them most. What about the "bonding partners" made at camps as well. Those who you share those deepest joys and hurts with. You continue to pray for them through the years even after you lose contact with them. It's fun to reconnect 5-10 yrs later and find out how your prayers made a difference in their lives.

Then there's college - some of those friends I would like to just forget, but know that God brought them into my life for a purpose at the time. Like the relationships where I learned best that God is right - "don't be unequally yoked." My "pledge daughter" was brought to me so that I wouldn't stray too far away from the Lord. What a friend she was and still is.
College years are fun to look back to and see how people had such an effect on your life. I was in a sorority for 4 yrs and I have to admit, there's a lot of good that came from it, but also some bad choices were made. I had an awesome boss/pastor that the Lord brought into my life who helped me to see that poor choices made can be forgiven. Thanks Watson! Watson helped me find that dream again to be in ministry. During this time of ministry, I had a student in my youth group who became a great part of my life. Shoot, she's one of those people I can just sit with and stare at a box of rocks and still have fun! :) Love you, Corey!

That's when I headed to Joplin to take 1 more yr of college at Ozark Christian. I met this really great girl and we were instant friends. I love you Heidi! She then introduced me to this really great brother of hers who I am now very happily married to and serving in ministry with.

Now to the "adult" years of life. Once we moved to Katy, I was about 12 hours from all my friends and family. God loved me so much, he blessed us with yet another great church family. Oh the memories of starting a family. One friend came into my life b/c we were pregnant at the same time and even though she didn't think she needed a friend at the time, :) I pushed my way in and we've shared many great moments raising our kids together. I cherish our friendship. Our children are special friends and will be through life. Who knows, they may even get married some day since they have a "pre-arranged marriage" from Papa Wayne. Then there's the adopted "grandparents" and "aunts & uncles" who took us and our kids in as their own since we didn't have biological family nearby.

There's always the people you work along side in life. When I didn't think I needed another friend or could have time for another friend because my life was so crazy with family, ministry and my grandma - the Lord brought me someone who might as well be my sister. She & her husband became our very best friends, not only at work, but in life. I love you guys and miss you so much!

Most of all, I'm thankful for the husband that God brought to me. I couldn't ask for a more supportive, loving, encouraging man to work alongside and share life with. We've shared many ups and downs in these last 10 1/2 yrs together and I have to say - there's no one I'd rather be with. Jeremy & I are starting a new season in our lives with our move to Roanoke and starting a new ministry. God continues to bring new friends and people into our lives and I'm excited to see what role they will play.

I was just recently sent this in an email and it is what brought this blog to my mind.
"God determines who walks into your's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

Father God, bless all my friends in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity and power as they seek to have a closer relationship with you.
Amen. "

I love all of you and thank God for you everyday! I couldn't make it through this life without you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dermabond: Not so amazing!

Well, as you can see, I'm not too good at keeping up with the blogging, but....

That "amazing invention" that I last wrote about, did not turn out to be so amazing! Dermabond did not bond to Jaden's chin for very long. We were back to the ER in 2 days (it should've lasted at least 7) to have it checked and then back the next day because it had completely come off. Needless to say, within 4 days after the fall, I was playing Nurse Mama and butterflying it myself.

Jaden is doing much better now. He is finally able to play in the water and sweat as much as he wants. :) Trying to keep a 4 yr old, active little boy down for a few days, was next to impossible.

We've had a lot of fun though with visits from friends and family to come this weekend. We have VBS this week every night and it is absolutely exhausting!

We start our new church site on September 7th so you'll probably start hearing a lot more about the preparations for that. Keep us in your prayers!

Maybe I'll be a little quicker with my next post. I think I'll write about our new found fun family place: the lake.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Amazing Inventions

People invent things everyday, but I was introduced to an absolutely amazing invention yesterday that I'd never heard of. It's called "Dermabond."

You see, I have a very accident prone child who had to visit the ER last night because he busted his chin open on the playground. After cleaning up the blood and getting a really good look at the cut, my husband and I decided Jaden probably needed to go see the "Dr." I called it the "Dr." so that he wouldn't get scared because of his last visit to the ER when he hit his head 2 years ago. I also avoided the dreaded word "stitches" because I didn't want to have to explain how a Dr. was going to use a needle and thread to sew him up.

The first thing Jaden did when I told him we were headed to the "Dr." was go and find his "ER bear" that the hospital gave him 2 years ago, the last time we visited the ER. He then requested to ride in the truck and away we went to the ER. (What's funny about this is that we have only been in this area for 2 1/2 weeks now and had no idea where the nearest hospital was. Jeremy had to run next door and ask.) Luckily it was only about 5 miles down the highway. We got half way there and Jaden finally asked, "mama, are we going to the ER?" I said, "well, is that ok if we are?" He said "yes, maybe they'll give me another bear and then I'll have 2 ER bears." How sweet.

We get tot he ER and find out that there is NO wait and we were in and out in 30 minutes. As far as ER visits go, this was the best ever except that they didn't have any bears to give away.

Ok, back to the invention part of this story. I was so scared to tell him what they were about to do and I asked the nurse if we really needed to be there. She said yes and that they could probably just glue it together with this new stuff called "dermabond." It's this glue like substance that the Dr. uses to hold cuts together instead of stitching. Nothing scary or painful about it. I was so thankful and blessed that we didn't have to go through the pain of stitches.

Thank you, God, for new inventions!