Thursday, July 31, 2008

happy 100,000 vern!

for those of you who don't know, vern is our 2001 (or 2003- i can NEVER remember) pontiac grand prix. he's a great car and deserves recognition for all of the travels (mostly to and from irving) he's safely transported my wonderful little family on. go you!

Monday, July 28, 2008

THRIVE! marriage conference and time with the fam (CAUTION: lots of pictures)

Philip and I went a couple of weeks ago to a marriage conference at Gateway Church in Southlake with guest speakers Gary and Greg Smalley. It was quite good, but the best thing was being able to relax and enjoy some alone time in a nice hotel with my hubby. How often does that happen?? My parents were gracious enough to let Deron play at their house for a few days, and he was sure excited because he got to ride the train for the first time and, of course loved it thoroughly. Here's some pictures...

my beautiful apron erin made me for my birthday!!!

our hotel room
the view from our room overlooking the golf course
i've never stayed at a hotel that had bath and body works complimentary shampoo! they also proudly served starbucks coffee in the room. nice.
my birthday present from my honey. it's hard to see, but it's a beautiful aquamarine ring! he did a good job.
a cute park we found.
since we had a big lunch, we decided just to go out for dessert. can anyone guess where we are?we had leftover cheesecake that evening. but no forks. only coffee stirrers.
i got to see lindy dickenson at the conference!
and cindy (used to be) bell!
this is an easy guess...
i thought this was a pretty good drawing! crockett at joe t. garcias
he's always loved salsa

cute cousins

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

happy birthday to me!

My birthday is Saturday, and my mother in law just blessed me with an awesome outdoor furniture collection for the back porch! We were both happy because she got her porch swing back (the one that had an awful squeak and worn out cushions and no shade anymore)... but she loves that thing! Isn't it beautiful!!? and oh so comfy...

oh! and bear has been found! sure enough, he just showed up in one of the toy bins that we looked through yesterday at the gym... yea!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

lost bear

I'm sore. I am in the process of choosing a gym in town, so I'm taking my turns going once for free with several of my friends who are members at different places. It felt so good getting on the weight machines and burning some calories on the elliptical! The only sad thing is I think we lost bear. This is a very sad thing, I keep telling Deron that he's on a trip, that we'll pray and see if he makes his way home. This is not just his comfort friend, it means a lot to me too, in fact. I got this bear as a gift from a friend after our first miscarriage over 2 years ago, and Deron grew very attached over any other stuffed animal. It's sweet because I received a larger bear (affectionately named "dad bear") when I found I was pregnant (and later miscarried again) last winter. These 2 bears Deron loves over all of his "friends", but bear (or "brown bear") is definitely the most loved. I hope by some stretch he shows back up, all I can think of is some other child took him with them as they left the gym, or he is by some chance laying on the floor of Target waiting for us to come get him...

For those of you who may have not looked on your calendars lately, my birthday is Saturday! Philip and I are dropping the bug off at my parent's house and spending Thursday playing! Then Friday afternoon and Saturday we're going to a marriage conference at Gateway Church in Southlake. Did I mention we got reservations at a 4-star hotel for $50 bucks a night?! Woohoo! I'm so excited to spend time with my darling hubby and get some great teaching and marital fulfillment!

This afternoon at lunch Deron prayed this sweet (and funny) prayer:
Dear God, thank you for everything, thanks for helping me read my Bible, mommy's gonna be 26, helping me poopoo, bless it all. Amen.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Youth For the Nations

So we're back. And as anticipated, it was a week that truly will be a bookmark in my spiritual journey. The speakers were Pastor Benny Perez, a pastor who has one of the fastest growing ministries in the US, in none other than Las Vegas, and Pastor Jude Fouquier, a relevant speaker who has such a prophetic message for this generation. His church is in Kirkland, WA. I got to know Pastor Jude some last year, and was so privileged to hear him again this year. These guys are incredible!

But more about the camp... if only I had been exposed and taught about this stuff when I was a youth! To try to sum up what God showed me this year was that prayer is something so extraordinary. When you pray for something, don't ever quit until you see it come to pass! This camp is so incredibly successful because as soon as the last week is over one year, there is a team who begins praying and fasting and hearing from the Lord the entire year, just for those few weeks. And I'm not talking a few men here and there who set aside a minute or two every month to think about this camp. It is a highly concentrated season of prayer that goes into all of this. And you feel it as soon as you set foot on the campus. Worship, lead by JesusCulture and Kim Walker, a band from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Let me say something about the church they're from really quick... This church has a desire to see God's signs, wonders, and miracles, and are EXPECTED to see them brought by every member of the church to the everyday world and culture around them. And you know what? They DO! Testimonies of dramatic healings, salvations, signs of the Spirit of God coming and invading people's lives! How incredible is that!?Anyway, more about MY experience... I desire to see these occurrances in my life. To see people get up and walk after being crippled their entire life. To see broken bones come into alignment. To see people freed from their demonic oppression that has been hidden and dormant. To witness the Holy Spirit baptizing people on the street and their lives forever transformed. I witnessed much of that this week, and what He told me is it comes by much prayer and fasting. A small token to pay for such a grand Life poured out on people.

I am excited to go on now and bring the anointing that was present all of last week to my church, my family, and my life. I can't wait to tell more people about the red-headed kid who had gone to a deaf school in Kentucky, who wore huge hearing-aids because of his deafness, get miraculously healed and I saw him the rest of the week, and even talked to him in line as he joked and laughed with his friends, with no hearing aids, no yelling or signing. Wow. And this is only one story.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

What a blessed day today was. We had a dear friend at our church this weekend, Benite Jeune. He very well could be the president of Haiti sometime in the future. He has such a compassionate heart and a passion to see Haiti transformed out of poverty and perversity and into a glorious bounty of fruitfulness and prosperity- a plan for all of God's creation. His message was simple, but so deep.
One thing God reminded me of this morning that I think so many Christians don't know, understand, or believe is that we have the power to decree, to declare things into our lives. The authority we have is in Christ who created us, and He gave us the right and the power to speak things into existence. I know it can sound strange and the enemy likes to shroud it in the term "new-age", when new-age is something far more demonic in nature. But it's so true! We can actually say, "This is the time for prosperity (or health, or a 2nd car-in our case-)." And, if it lines up with the Word of God, watch and see Him do it! It's not just about us getting what we want (hence, lining up with His Word), it's about giving Him the pleasure to fulfill where you have put your faith. We've seen it over and over in our lives. A lot of the power comes because we speak it. Out. Audibly. For what is in your heart, where your faith lives and breathes and grows, will come out your mouth. (Matt 12:34) Which is why your speach, how you speak to your spouse, and your kids, and the grocery store clerk is so important. God created the World and everything in it by His words. How important then, is it to speak life (Prov. 18:21) instead of death? We carry such a tremendous responsibility. Ahh... there is a burden in my soul to see people everywhere using the magnificent authority given by the Almighty to change situations, and mentalities, and NATIONS all for the glory of God and His Kingdom!
I declare today, that I will be a beacon to those who are unaware of the power of the Gospel and by His Spirit I will share with them the Truth that is rooted inside of them, which is bound to the yoke of the Almighty. I will not be ashamed or afraid of my beliefs and my faith, because I know that greater is HE that is in me, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), and I have nothing to fear. Hallelujah! Isn't God so good??

On another note, tomorrow Philip and I leave for a tremendous week at Youth For the Nations at Christ for the Nations, Int. in Dallas. This is our youth camp, and it's incredible. We went last year as counselors and wound up being blown away by the power of the Holy Spirit and the way he moved in several thousand teenagers. We saw people healed of sprains and sickness and abnormalities, we saw Him breathe across an auditorium filled with teenagers who walk up and down the hallways of thousands of schools across the nation! Praise God that He is moving in and through and around teenagers - our future! And the worship.... let's just say I came back physically sore from it. I'm sure we'll be back with stories of not just how God showed up, but how lives of kids were CHANGED and TRANSFORMED into something they are happy to be living. We all know how dominant our culture is into the lives of (especially) teenagers. A culture that tells them they aren't worth anything, and the best thing might just be to compromise anything, everything for a false hope and a false happiness that doesn't satisfy like only the Lover of our Souls can. I'm so excited!

Ok, I need to pack. God bless you all. I love you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ta da!!

I hope this is not premature...
Deron is officially pottytrained! After only a couple of days in big boy underwear (while we stayed in the house and the backyard), something has finally clicked! I'm sure some thanks goes to the Hershey bar that he got a little piece of every time he did it right. Goodbye changing table, goodbye diapers, see-ya little backpack to carry diapers, syonara to pull-ups and wipes.

Ahhhh.... I never anticipated it to actually feel this good.