So Cal Harvest 2015

How I forgot to post this I have no idea!!

Yes we went to Harvest again. I loved it as much as I did the first time I went!

This time was special though because we got to bring some friends with us :)

Super sweet girls who are friends of my daughter wanted to go and see what Harvest was all about and have the chance to see Phil Whickham live!

Major bonus to have Citizens and Saints performing there too!!

We got there early. It was hot. Oh my goodness, I really do not enjoy the hot at all. Nope, I do not. I was not going with a joyful heart knowing I was going to have to walk far and stand in the sun to bake to a sunny California crisp. God was so good though. Parking was perfect! Uber close to the Stadium and I could throw a ball (well almost, maybe with a tennis racket) to where we would line up.  Then He was even more good and gave us a spot in line in the shade, at least enough in the shade, that this is the first year I did not turn a delightful shade of crimson in line!! Whoo hoo!!

We were blessed again. Look how amazingly close we are to the stage! Man these girls got shade and great seats!!

076I watched the seats while the girls went out shopping for shirts.

You can’t go to a concert and not get shirts.

The stadium began to slowly but consistantly fill. It was a Friday night so we were not planning on there being a ton of people, but there were quite a few!!

What do you think? Not bad for a steamy Friday night in Anaheim!

I have no problem being wrong. I was elated as to the number of people that turned out that night!

079I love seeing so many people gathered praising God!!

Yes, I got teary eyed.  Especially when the music starts and I hear all the people worshiping the Lord, my cup runneth over.

083Oh my gosh, I forgot THIRD DAY was there too!!

Pastor Laurie was fabulous as usual. I enjoy hearing him speak.

I was hoping the girls we brought did too.

Then came the alter call down to the field for those who wanted to make the public profession of faith.  I was so excited to get to see all the people flood the grass in their new found joy when…”Would you mind if I went down to the field?” came a few seats down from me. ” What sweetie?” I asked. ” Would you mind if I went down to the field?” she asked again. Then another girl “I wanna go to. Is that okay?”

Oh dear sweet Jesus!! I had missed them accepting the Lord into their hearts!! I thought they were just there for the free concert!

“You know it!! Come on, I will go with you!” I cried. We all went down to the field, me trying to contain my emotions. I wanted to cry. I wanted to cheer. I just wanted to hug those girls so hard!! I had to focus on getting them to the field though.

087Here we are at the back of the stage praying with Pastor Greg. In the front again. Perfect for these girls!!

Two of the girls we brought gave their lives to Christ that night. The other girl rededicated herself to the Lord.

I let the tears flow and so did the girls.

Oh we got them their start bibles, we prayed and I hugged them so tight!!

What an unexpected blessing that Friday became in my life! You never know how God will work, but if you heed His calling, He does all the real work. We just planted the seed and He made it grow.

Then to wrap their night up with a bow, we got to meet…

090Citizens and Saints!!

Yes, it was an unforgettable night.

Thank you God for letting me and my family be a part of Your plan.

Grab Your Kleenex!! This Christmas Story is Precious!!

CHRISTMAS AT THE GAS STATION
The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last h…our and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.” “Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”
Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. “You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.
“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”
George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ’em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to
himself. So he put a new one on.
“Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”
The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”
George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked. “None for me,” said the officer. “Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.
“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.
“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”
The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”
The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”
He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.”
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”
George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”
The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.” “Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said. George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”
“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.
Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
“That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued. “Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”
Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”
“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”
George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”
“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”
George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.
“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”
“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”
“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”
“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”
The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.
The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.
“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”
The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.
“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”
George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”
Merry Christmas!!

(Author Unknown)
This story is better than any greeting card !!

. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:11-14)

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

 

Getting Ready for the Parade (on Veteran’s Day)

 

 

 

 

phonephun 055 phonephun 056 phonephun 057 phonephun 058These kiddos got up so early!!

They were at the VFW by 7 am on their day off of school, decked out in their dress blues, ready to march.

Then they were off to the parade site.

I am so glad we changed Michael’s division. This group does so much more to serve the community. Service to/for others is monumental in raising good adults. Here all the cadets WANT to serve too.

founders da parade 4 founders day parade 3 founder day parade 2 founders day  paradeLove watching this kids.

They are amazing.

The conduct they have, the pride they have in our country is admirable.

These young men and women are focused and determined and are going to make a difference in this world.

So proud that my son is part of the United States Naval Sea Cadet program.

 

Just Had To Share

Have you ever had that day,  when you just KNOW the Lord is at work and you are blessed enough to be a part of it??

 

I am so having that day today!! It is amazing to see how great God is and how intricate yet wonderful His plans are.  Without giving too much information out, yesterday I was praying for a specific friendship. I did not know if this person was really busy or if they kind of were looking for a way to kindly avoid friendship with me. Which is fine. I just wanted to know if I should pursue this persons time. The Lord knows if this is a friendship for me and my family to advance on.

So today, as I am arriving at a planned event, I somehow had this person pull into the driveway of the parking lot, behind me and actually park next to me. Wow Lord!! Okay, lets do this! So I climb down from my van and this sister in Christ is there waiting for me asking if I would pray for her. She was having a bad day. She was a bit flustered and just under attack. I asked the Holy Spirit for guidance quietly in my mind. I spoke calming words to her. I dropped off my kids and then we dealt with her attack from the enemy. It was really easy for me, but I know this was a place she was not accustomed to and she just felt out of control.  God is so good though!! Here, this sister was at this place to do volunteer work, but she had some things that needed to be done ASAP. God placed another one of my friends, Dawn,  there randomly. Dawn had just served in the same capacity in the same place the day before and she just happened to be right there with nothing to do for a few hours. Asking for her assistance, she so kindly covered the volunteer position so that I could help my friend with her situation. Is that not cool?? I could just see God all over this attack from the enemy, with a positive solution. He had the solution planned so far in advance of the attack, I could see all the little pegs falling into place correcting the stressfulness as the attack was escalating for my sister in Christ. The enemy was getting shot down before it could even blow things apart. God is so good!!  The enemy did not win at all!!!

 

Positive results: My friend got her situation taken care of, so no stress for her. Dawn was not bored waiting for her kiddos for a few hours. Me, God showed me this is a sister in Christ that is important for me and my family. I got asked to pray for someone in need and that always makes my heart happy and I feel trusted.

 

I am so thankful that the Lord used me in this moment. I feel so blessed.

family table

We always have dinner at the table.

We wait till everyone is there and seated before we start.

We hold hands and have family prayer. Dad starts, then each of us gives thanks or praise for something that happened during our day.

Then we can eat.

We talk or play a game,  usually charades or the ungame. Some days we continue the game after dinner.

Then you ask to be excused.

You push your chair in and take  your plate to the sink.

Dinner is over.

 

 

At our house, I like to think of dinner as a time for getting to really just relax and communicate.  Not “how was your day son?” and the typical teen response “fine.” Wow.  Learned a ton about him there. No, I mean more like “Hey, that new game you got, how are  you doing at it? I saw you really ringing up the points! Looked hard really hard to me!!” Then let him try to answer “fine” because I will just keep pulling more out till you are having a conversation with me!  I can really listen to my kids and find out what they are really interested in, a new video game, a new song, a craft they found they would like to try, or cookies they might want to create this weekend. My husband and I sit across from each other. This gives 2 kiddos his ear and 2 kiddos mine. They feel heard on many levels. Some days we just have fun and bond together. We play silly games that do not require pieces just maybe a card to read. Questions like: What color reminds you of the person on your left and why?

Here is one of the  silly games we play at our table. We have a little pail of questions that we pull out randomly then we all have to answer.

Here are some of the questions in our pail:

Why do you think God loves us so much?

What is your favorite joke?

Can you describe the most beautiful place you have ever visited?

When  you think of God, how do you picture Him?

Is there anything  you are afraid to try or do, and if so, what are your fears?

What have we done in the past that you would like to do again?

If you were given one chance to travel back in time, what event would you like to see?

What is one thing you prayed about today?

If  you had a robot, what would you have him do and why?

If  you could change 3 things about yourself, what would they be?

Is there anybody in history that you have read about that you would like to meet?

Where should mom and dad go for their next “date”?

 

 

I never really thought about how different everyone’s dinner routines are.  I was learning that some of my friends thought it was odd that I insist when guests come for dinner I have them included in the prayers.  I make sure kiddos set the table. Everyone participates from conception till completion at our dinner table. I just figured that was the norm.

My friends homes had rules not at all like mine. Some , the rule at their home is to have the kids be silent and only mom and dad can talk. Some didn’t think that manners were important at all (oh in my house they are!!). Some of them only have family dinner for Christmas and Easter. So many different families with so many different styles for dinner.

Who knew something as simple as a dinner table had so many various norms?

 

It struck me that it is kind of like being a Christian isn’t it? We all practice and have the same basic “table” or bible but we all treat ours differently. Some just “eat” there on Sunday, holidays, or with appropriate company. Others sit there at the table but use it only for themselves, they never invite others over to “dine” with them. I have seen the homes where the table is just there to look pretty. We need our homes to have tables that are openly used and have plentiful “food”.   God’s Word is manna, or food, for the soul. It is through daily feeding on the Bread of Life that we obtain the strength that we need for the trials ahead. It is by having God’s Word in our hearts that we keep from sinning against Him. Jeremiah said “Thy words were found and I did eat them: and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jeremiah 15:16)  The bible also says in Deuteronomy 8:3 ” Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”  It is also  written in Romans 10:17 that
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.  Putting that all together to me means that we should not only consume the Word of God, but we need to share it with each other, have a welcoming and well used “table” in our homes.

 

There is no better place to start, than at our own family table.

 

 

Have a blessed day friend!! Hope you have a wonderful day at your family table!

My Challenge

I love my husband.

He is my blessing from God.

He is a gift that I can hardly believe is mine and is more, much more than I feel I deserve.

My husband is a good, patient and loving man.

He is so much more than I deserve.

God is so good.

Since I am so blessed, I am going to challenge myself this year.

The Lord knows that I think Valentine’s Day is ridiculous.

That being said, my handsome man kinda gets jipped on February 14th.

I am going to remedy that this year!!

Here is my challenge:

I am going to give my husband 14 days of crazy over the top amounts of  little silly love notes, cards with things that I love about him written inside, pictures (maybe hand drawn) of things I want for us to get to do together, that kind of thing and then end the whole chi-bang with dinner out! We will be with friends, see a comedy show and have a wonderful dinner.

That being said, I have a few ideas of things I will be doing.

I will be posting them also to keep me honest and focused.

So…what do you think?

I think every good husband deserves this.

Not because it is Valentines Day am I doing this. It just happens to be February tomorrow and this has been on my mind to do this for him for a while. Why not serve my husband a little extra for a few weeks?  He is worth every little extra thing I can do for him.

Do the challenge with me!!

You know you want to!!

Honor someone, your husband, your sister, your Aunt, your best friend! Just put your mind to it and flood them with joy that they give to you every day!!

You don’t have to post like I am.

Just do it!

We have till tomorrow to come  up with our first great idea….

This is going to be

FANTASTIC!!!