Monday, December 17, 2012

December in Bozeman!

What a busy first half of the month…

Kirkwood hosted a Christmas concert December 6 put on by Amanda Lorentzen, an up and coming artist.  The following evening was the youth lock-in, which included food, games, movies and more fun all night long.  Bless those who stayed all night with our youth pastor.  I had to coach a basketball tournament the following day. 

One of my favorite parts of the last couple months was the opportunity I had to coach the Heritage Christian 5th-8th Grade Girls’ Basketball team.  They completed their season this past week.  The girls’ finished one of the season ending tournaments in 2nd place, competing against all the other schools’ purely 7th-8th grade teams.  It was such a blessing coaching a group of girls who improved so much throughout the season and learned to play as a team.  Most importantly they honored Christ in how they competed, how they responded to adversity and in how they encouraged one another.  The other coach and I were so proud of how they played.  

TEAM VERSE: "Don't you realize that in a race
everyone runs but only one gets the prize? So run to
win! All athletes are disciplined in their training.
They do it for a prize  that will fade away,
but we do it for an eternal prize."
-1 Cor. 9:24-25

Heritage Christian Basketball
Gallatin Gateway Tournament
Runner-up Team

End of year team party.

During the season I had the chance to do weekly devotions with the girls.  The one that stood out the most to me was when we talked about the fact that athletes spend over 95 percent of their time training and less than five percent competing.  However, when we look at our spiritual life, we often spend very little of our time training.  We spend about 99 percent of our time living and less than one percent in intentional time with Him.  It really caused me to stop and evaluate if there are better ways that I can spend my time each week.  There are so many lessons from sports that can be applied to life and to our walk with the Lord.  And just as in sports where we are competing against an opponent, in life there is a spiritual battle that many of us do not take seriously enough, as evidenced by how little we work to grow daily in our relationship with Him.

The month has also been full of opportunities to substitute teach at Heritage Christian Academy.  I so enjoy spending time with the kids during Bible, math, science and other activities.  However, each time I substitute, it gives me a greater appreciation for full time teachers and also the sense of humor the Lord gives us.  Everything between having to fish the marker out of the fish tank (no pun intended) when a girl dropped it in during prayer requests and the egg that splattered on the floor during a science experiment was quite a good time!

The Kirkwood singles Christmas party was earlier this month, complete with a white elephant gift exchange quite unlike any other I had been a part of in the past, finger foods, games and a lot of laughter.  Kirkwood also hosted a Christmas event for kids of the community that included cupcake decorating, the Veggie Tales movie “It’s a Meaningful Life” and the candy cane story to share the Gospel.

Veggie Tales movie at Kirkwood Christmas Celebration

Cupcake decorating

Misty telling the Candy Cane story

Sunday night the 16th we had the Kirkwood Christmas Celebration.  It was such a sweet time of fellowship with the body of Christ that attends KBC.  We had dinner, worship and took communion.  In preparation for the event people volunteered to decorate each of the dinner tables and come up with goodies, and I of course, got to do the kids table.  What a blast!  I am so grateful for my church family here in Montana and it has also been a time to reflect on how grateful I am for my church family in Nashville at Judson who God is using to allow me to be out here - sending my love to all of you!

Kids table for Christmas dinner

Lane girls :)

Wyatt kiddos! :)

Kids lighting advent candle

KBC Christmas worship time

I also got to enjoy a sweet time with Pastor James and Misty and the family celebrating Christmas before we all hit the road this coming week.  Baby Levi is getting bigger each day (and cuter if that's even possible) and the girls are so sweet.  We had a great time together eating at Outback, opening some presents and watching a movie!
Chillin' :)

Baby Levi!

PJ Christmas pic with the Wyatt girls

I have a few more days in Bozeman before heading to Utah and then to Slovenia.  I will finish up with a Christmas party for the kids who attend Wednesday nights at church and celebrating Christmas with my Montana sister Saralyn, her husband and kiddos who are such a big blessing in my life ... In the midst of everything going on, the greatest joy comes from being able to celebrate the birth of our Savior! May our eyes remain focused on Him through this season.

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

Prayer requests:
-Pastor James and Misty are traveling (by car) to Tennessee (and back) with the four kids including Baby Levi.  They leave the 18th to head to TN so please pray for safe travels and their sanity to still be in check when they return, and of course that they will have a sweet time with family while they are there!
- TeamKid Christmas party at church December 19th.
-I am road tripping to Utah December 20th with a good friend and her family who will be staying to ski for a few days and then I will be spending Christmas there with my uncle as well as my mom who is flying in town and her side of the family.  Please pray for safe travels and also for the opportunity to share the love of Christ with all I am with during that time.
-On December 27th I leave straight from Utah to head to Slovenia (Europe) on a mission trip and will be there until returning to Bozeman January 6.  My teammates and I will have the chance to ski the alps and share the Gospel – what could be better?!  Please pray for the team I am traveling with and check out for other opportunities to serve with the International Sports Federation.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Giving Thanks!

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." 
-Colossians 3:17

It has been a whirlwind month of November.  I hope all of you had a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving with friends and family!  This has truly been a month of being constantly reminded how much I have to be thankful for.  God promises in Philippians 4:19 that he will "meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  I have seen that promise fulfilled in so many ways this year. The Lord has been so faithful in everything, from the move to Montana in May, through the passing of my dad, through the ministry doors that have opened, through a procedure on my back that has left me feeling as good as I have in more than six years, to the many people He has put in my life who constantly point me to Him, and just the ability to grow in my personal relationship with Him daily, He has truly provided for my every need.  And it's amazing when thinking of the things I am most thankful for, almost all are things that money could never buy.  I am constantly reminded of my favorite verse that says "where (our) treasure is there (our) heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)."  I am so thankful to be rich in the things that God values over what the world says is most important.  Know that I thank Him constantly for the role so many of you have played in encouraging me along the way.

Things have been busy at Kirkwood Baptist out here in Bozeman getting ready for the winter season.  We have been working on some upcoming Christmas events, finishing up calendaring for the coming year, and spending a lot of good time in the Word.  Pastor James' and Misty's baby boy is growing so fast and just hit the six week mark!  We also just had a new family come into town from New York and they are just getting settled so everyone is eager to get to know them better in the coming months.  Also, a man that many of us had been praying for came forward and accepted Christ after service a couple weeks ago - so exciting!

I have also been busy coaching the Heritage Christian 5th-8th grade girls' basketball team.  It is a fun group of girls and we are getting ready to head in to some tournaments after Thanksgiving break!

Baby Levi - the Thanksgiving turkey :)
Hanging with the Wyatt kiddos

In the midst of everything I took a very quick road trip down to Utah to clean out some stuff at the place that was my dad's.  I was blessed to have a friend with me to help and we had such a sweet time together.  I am so grateful the Lord puts people in our lives to walk with us through each season!

Utah Road Trip

Utah Road Trip

I also got to go back to San Diego for the first time in almost a year for Thanksgiving.  I got to see my mom and friends I consider family.  It was a sweet time catching up with them and getting to wear flip flops for a couple days was nice!

With the Emerick family
With my mom
Quick stop at the beach

Although I grew up in San Diego and enjoy the beach, I am most certainly a mountain girl at heart and love being in Montana in Big Sky country with all the snow!  As we get ready to head into December, and as the lights go up, trees are decorated and gifts are purchased I pray we can all keep our eyes on what Christmas is truly about and have the ability to see God at work all around us.

In the coming weeks please pray for:
- Youth Lock-In at Kirkwood December 7
- Upcoming Kirkwood Kids Christmas Celebration December 15
- Kirkwood Christmas Dinner and Worship December 16
- I leave December 27 on a mission trip to Slovenia (near Austria, Italy and Croatia). Please pray for myself and the team I am traveling with as we all prepare to head over there! (If you go back to my Aug 24 blog post, there is more information on the details of this trip!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Things October

Wow, what a second half of October! God is good...

It started with Pastor and Misty's family coming in to town to see little Levi (who is three weeks old today!)  That meant I had the opportunity to go stay with the McLean family for my birthday week.  We took a trip to Rocky Creek Farm, carved pumpkins and enjoyed time together.

Rocky Creek Farm

At Rocky Creek Farm

Pumpkin Carving

My pumpkin :)

Ministry-wise I had the opportunity to paint Bible verses on a couple of the walls of the church.  As we painted, I was reminded of these verses, "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Deut. 6:6-9)".  We were able to get the Youth Room and front foyer of the church completed and are looking forward to some more projects soon. 

Working on the Youth Room

Youth Room

Front foyer

We have also had the chance to spend a few days helping out one of the family's from the church on some construction that needed to be completed on their house before winter comes.  It was sweet to see everyone come together and be willing to use their gifts for His glory.

Additionally, we had the annual church hayride which was an absolute blast.  After prayer meeting outside by the fire, we got on the hayride and stopped out in the fields where the kiddos (and many of the adults) jumped off to try to feed the animals.  It was hilarious to watch and just the best time with a great group of people.

Last night, we had Trunk or Treat at Kirkwood and made some good contacts with people of the community who came by.  We had the cars outside and then games, chili, cider, hot chocolate and a skit inside. 

Getting ready for Trunk or Treat to begin
Alex getting ready for Trunk or Treat

Jesus, Marty from Madagascar 3, a Honduran soccer player,
a chef and a pumpkin making up the "Holy Rollers Praise Band!"
It was a one time performance :)

Personally, over the last couple weeks I had the opportunity to substitute teach at Heritage Christian School for 5th and 6th grade and had a great time.  I am also coaching the 5th-8th grade girls basketball team for the school.  They have been working hard and are gearing up for our first game this week.

When I was with the children at school, they had Chapel and learned about how God can use our problems and everything that happens for His glory as we trust and walk with Him daily.  When we went back to class we were able to discuss Psalm 40:1-3 which says, "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."  This is one of my favorite passages in Scripture because it is a promise of God that when we cry out to Him, He will answer and will always give us a firm foundation to plant our feet on.  That doesn't mean life is easy and there aren't painful times, but it is most often through our brokenness we see Him most clearly and He is able to restore us.  Why does He do this?  Because He loves us and He wants to use us so "many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."  I have seen this so clearly in my own life and am so thankful that God has grown me through the hard times and places.  May we all be in awe of Him in every season.

As we head into the holiday season, please pray that God will continue to open doors for us to minister to the community and for hearts to be turned to Him! 

My prayer is that each of us can give thanks and remember that He is sovereign, He is faithful and His promises will always and forever be true ...

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Sending my love to all of you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happenings around Bozeman

It has been a crazy last few weeks here in Bozeman.  Perhaps the most exciting news is that Baby Levi is here!  Pastor James and Misty are excited and Levi's three older sisters are absolutely enamored with the little man.  And he is so cute!

Cassie, Muranda and Alex with their baby brother

First official Wyatt family photo with Levi!

So sweet getting to hold the little guy!

One of the doors God has opened here has been the opportunity to get involved at Heritage Christian, a K-12 school here in Bozeman.  I was able to serve as a chaperone on a fifth to ninth grade field trip to Big Sky Resort where the kids got to do archery, hike, zip line and do a ropes course - I don't remember having field trips that exciting when I was in school!!  I have also had the chance to help out with the 5th-8th grade girls volleyball team.  It has been a great opportunity to get to know some of the other children and parents in the area and am excited to see what else God will have in store there.

With Taylor and Alex on the field trip

Crystal, who is the head volleyball coach,
and I on the field trip.
Volleyball team trying to make a pyramid at picture day :)

At the church it has been especially sweet in Sunday School and Children's Church to see the kids growing in their knowledge of His Word more and more each time we are together.  We did a review activity this past Sunday on what we have been learning over the past couple months and they all blew me away!  On Wednesday nights there have been some children visiting so we are praying that we can share His love with them in a very tangible way and get them more plugged in as time goes on!  On Halloween night, October 31 we are hosting Trunk or Treat for children of the community.  Please pray for what God will do through that ministry outreach.

Additionally, I have been learning a ton in the World Religions class I am auditing at Montana Bible College and the Skiers and Snowboarders for Christ Bible study I am in has been a great time of fellowship and intentional time in His Word.  One of the things God has been constantly speaking to me lately has been the importance of serving out of His love instead of out of duty.  I think it is easy to get wrapped up in outward appearance and "doing the right thing" and completely miss what God desires, especially when running from one activity to the next.  In 2 Chronicles 16:9 it says, "The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth looking to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to HIM." I have seen in my own life that when I allow Him to change me from the inside out, then His love will overflow naturally onto others, instead of doing things in my own strength.  Allowing Him to fill us daily is the only way to "walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6)."

In addition, it snowed here October 3!  Woo hoo! The count down to ski season has officially commenced :) ... But it really has been nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather we have had the past couple weeks.
Enjoying God's creation just outside of Bozeman

Praises/Prayer Requests:
- Huge praise for the doors God is starting to open here - please pray I would be obedient to Him and only say "yes" to what God calls me to and not to all the good things that are in my path.
- Also a praise for the friendships that I have developed here in Bozeman - life is meant to be lived in community and I am so grateful for the many people He has put in my life, both here and elsewhere that help my eyes stay focused on Him in every season.
- Pray for Pastor James and Misty and little baby Levi as they raise him to walk with the Lord.
- Pray for patience and wisdom for Pastor James, our youth pastor Andrew and myself as we make decisions concering potential upcoming ministries at Kirkwood.

Let me know how I can be praying for you! Love you all!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nashville trip!

"Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."
Romans 10: 17

What an INCREDIBLE trip to Nashville!!  My heart is so full from the time God allowed me to have there!

First, there was a five day missions conference known as the Global Impact Celebration at Judson Baptist Church.  It was such a sweet time with my Nashville church family and hearing what God is doing all over the world!  Judson has mission partners in places including Kenya, Guatemala, Brazil, Nicaragua, Honduras, New York, Montana and throughout Tennessee.  It was so encouraging to hear what God is doing all over the place and to have a chance to share with so many what God has been doing out in Montana as well.  To God be the glory for allowing me to be apart of a community that is willing to be His witnesses in "Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)."  To all of you there I was able to spend time with, whether at church, in passing or out and about over the couple weeks - no words can thank you for your love, support and encouragement.   

Opening Night of Global Impact Celebration at
Judson Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee

Another huge blessing of the trip was the chance to return to Foundations Christian Academy where I worked at for two years.  The group is like one big family centered on Jesus and is just a big bundle of love and encouragement.  The families there have served in over 60 countries and 48 states and have such a heart for sharing the Gospel.  I had the chance to speak in Chapel to the kids (about 140 K-6th graders) and many of the sweet parents who stayed that morning, about the Armor of God and related it to what I have experienced during my time in Montana and other missions experiences I have had.  I encouraged the kids and families to be obedient to God's call on their lives.  I also had the chance to get over 100 of them together one evening to celebrate what God has been doing and just reconnect with everyone - it was such a special time.  Here is a link to slideshow of pictures from time with them!:

Speaking in Chapel at FCA
With the FCA 5th grade class

Part of the group during an awesome evening together!

Additionally, I had the opportunity to catch up with Chris and Christy White who run Mobilizing Students and a great missions program called Trek-X that focuses on launching the next generation ministry.  Students in the program are trained for two years in the states and then serve overseas for two years with the opportunity to stay on the mission field after that.  I have gotten to know them through a mutual friend over the past couple years and they have been a huge blessing and source of encouragement to me.  It was great to catch up with them in addition to attending a morning session with the current Trek-X students in their program.  Please pray for what God is doing through their ministry ... and if you or someone you know is entering, in, or just leaving college and is interested in missions, the Trek-X program is definitely worth praying about and looking in to!  They also send many mission teams overseas in addition to an awesome missions week called Urban Plunge in Atlanta each summer.   (Check out: and see all they have going on!)

With Chris and Christy White

Additionally, I had the opportunity to catch up for a few with Sam Feazel of Ignite Missions who I have served with for three years in Honduras - God is doing incredible things through that ministry and you can't help but walk away fired up after being around Sam!  Please pray for him and his wife Peggy and what God is doing through Ignite Missions down there!

Sam Feazel, Ignite Missions founder

It was truly an awesome couple of weeks - I wish I could list every detail of what happened but just know that every single one of you I got to see just made my day and you are each a reminder of His faithfulness - it was great feeling like I was home in Nashville and could also return home to Bozeman where God has called me for this season ... I got back to Montana yesterday and have already hit the ground running getting back in the swing of things!

Please pray for:
- Individuals and families to come to Montana to partner with us throughout this next year!  (And if God is leading you out here - contact me :)
- To be able to clearly discern which doors God is opening here in Bozeman and to walk through them with boldness in His name.
- For Pastor James and his wife Misty as they are getting ready to have their fourth child!
- For God to provide us a worship leader at Kirkwood Baptist here in Bozeman.

Love to you all! Please keep me updated on how I can be praying for you!