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!