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!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Answered Prayers

I think many of us have people in our lives that we have prayed for over periods of time.  When I came on my site visit to Bozeman last November, I met an awesome lady who I connected with right off the bat that, who in addition to being one of the funniest people I have ever met, would become one of my dear friends.  She had been coming to Kirkwood for a little while, but at the time had lots of questions and did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  So even as I returned to Nashville and prepared those next five months to return to Montana, I prayed often for her heart and for what God would do in her life.  Then, a few weeks ago, when I was on one of the trips that I have had to make down to Utah, I got a call from Pastor and his wife, letting me know that she had come to meet with them that day and surrendered her life to Jesus Christ.  I was SO excited!  This past Sunday, she got baptized along with her daughter who had previously been saved as well.  They wanted everyone to know they have a personal relationship with Jesus.  It is so cool when we are able to see God answer prayers in such a tangible way.  And perhaps even better is when we see the difference a relationship with Him can have in someone's life.  There is a different peace and confidence that she has walked with since coming to know the Lord.  God has put such a desire in her heart to listen to Him daily and she is starting to become more and more aware that God is involved in and cares about every small detail of our lives, not just the "big things."  It will be exciting to see what God does in her life and her daughter's life moving forward as they continue to walk in obedience to Him!  So to all of you reading this - continue to pray for friends and loved ones - even if it is over years and years - God is faithful and promises His word never returns void.

Jonni's baptism

Morgan's baptism

The past couple weeks out here we have been getting back to the "normal" schedule during the school year, with Wednesday evenings along with Sunday mornings and evenings.  We have met as a staff and prayed and discussed what we feel God is leading us to do in the coming year and have begun putting some of those plans into action.  I am also a couple weeks now into the World Religions class I am taking at Montana Bible College and am learning a ton.  I wish the class could be more than twice a week!

I shared in an earlier post that I have been working this summer on memorizing the book of James.  I want to share the following that is an excerpt from the book Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro.  In this passage he was over in China training some of those who lead the underground house churches and this is what he said about the experience:

"We'd brought 16 Bibles to pass out, leaving a few of the leaders to share with one another. I had them turn to Second Peter, chapter 1. As we were about to read it out loud, one elderly woman handed her Bible to another leader.  I thought it was a bit strange, since Bibles were so scarce, but I didn't call attention to the matter.  After we began to read, I understood why she had willingly given up her Bible.  She quoted the whole chapter from memory! During a short break, I asked her how she memorized so much Scripture.  "I have much more memorized," she replied through one of our interpreters.  "But how did you memorize so much," I asked, "when there are so few Bibles available?"  "In prison," she said. Pushing back, I went on.  "But if you had a Bible, wouldn't they confiscate it right away?"  "Yes," she answered.  "So people brought me Scripture written on pieces of paper."  "And what if the guards found you with those?"  I pressed. "Wouldn't they take those away as well?"  "Yes. That is why I memorized the Scriptures as quickly as I could.  You see, they can take away the paper, but they cannot take away what I have already hidden in my heart." (p. 167)

At that moment, it really hit me how much I take for granted having a Bible at my disposal whenever I need it, how often quiet time is the first thing to go in a busy day, and then when things in life aren't going according to my plan, I run back to the Word for a "little help."  Lord, forgive me for that!  It has been such a reminder that in His Word we are told to pray "Give us EACH DAY our daily bread (Luke 11:3)" and that as Mr. Cordeiro says in his book, "The Lord wants us to come to Him each day for what we will need on that day.  Nowhere does He ask us to pray for our weekly bread, or our monthly bread, or our yearly bread.  He fashioned us to need fresh bread daily, and nothing but fresh daily bread will every satisfy our souls (p 116)."

In the Bible, Jesus declares, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35)."  I am praying I can be more intentional in my time with Him each day.  As an accountability for myself in memorizing and an encouragement to you all that it is possible, here is a video of me reciting James 1: ...

This week both Pastor James and myself will be traveling to Nashville for the Global Impact Celebration at Judson Baptist!  I am excited to get to see everyone, share more about what God has been doing out here, and also to hear what God has been doing with all of Judson's mission partners around the world.  It is a blessing to be apart of a church that is truly working to fulfill the Great Commission and to take His name to the ends of the earth.

Please pray for safe travels and for what God will do through that time.  Pray as well for Misty as she is going on eight months pregnant and will be remaining in Bozeman while Pastor travels to Tennessee for the conference.  Pray for the doors that God is continuing to open here in Bozeman and that we would be obedient to what He is leading us to do.

To all of you back in Nashville - SEE YOU SOON! Love you all and thank you so much for your prayers!