Saturday, May 19, 2012


Okay, so we were in Australia for five, yes, five weeks.  It was an amazing, exhilarating, fulfilling and somewhat life altering experience. 

We were privileged to see lives restored to their original purpose in Christ, hearts mended, minds renewed, and people brought into right relationship with Jesus. 


Biker Man preached.
He brought the Word.
It was awesome.

One message he gave was called “How To Be A Failure In Ministry.”
I could see some individuals scratching their heads, until he explained that to most Christians and the Church today, Jesus’ ministry would not be considered successful.  He picked His disciples in their workplace.  None of them were chosen by their local rabbi to pursue further ministry study at the synagogue, they were told to go back home and pursue their father’s trade.
Jesus had to, on more than one occasion, bring correction to his followers for lack of faith.  
Jesus’ disciples all forsook Him in His deepest hour of need, one betrayed Him, another denied Him, and they all went into hiding after His death.
Yet, He is the Model we are to follow.
After His resurrection and ascension, Jesus sent them the Holy Spirit, and His disciples became the world changers He called them to be.
True discipleship.  Living out our faith for others to follow.  Lovingly bringing correction where it’s needed.  Giving of ourselves again and again, willingly and freely.  Pouring out the water on dusty feet, even the ones who will leave and betray us.
Because it was never about Him.  Jesus told the ones He healed, “Tell no one, but go and show yourself to the priest.”
Why?  Most ministries today would proclaim, “Check it out!!  Healing ministry taking place!!  Come and get it!!”  (Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you get what I’m saying.)
(and this was the part Biker Man drove home)
Jesus’ ministry on earth was never about bringing glory to Himself.  Jesus was always pointing the people to His Father.  Jesus wasn’t glorified until after He was raised from the dead!
And it’s not until we are crucified with Christ and raised to new life in Him that our lives can in any way bring glory to the Father.  We live for Christ, to bring others into relationship with Him, and build His kingdom.  Not to build a “mini kingdom” of our own.

That’s not the entire message, but it’s in a nutshell what was preached.
Really good, right?
I loved it.

So now we’re back in the good ol’ US of A.  It’s great to be home.
Except it has taken over a week to get our clocks back on USA time.
Australia is 16 hours ahead.  Sixteen.
For a few nights, Ellie and Drummer Boy would be wide awake at three am.  Hungry.  Really.  Hungry.
Because it was six pm in Australia.  Dinner time.
“Well, it’s not dinner time right now,” I would calmly and deliriously explain, with one eye peering at them.
“But mom! We can’t sleep!  It could be a bedtime snack!” 
“GO.  TO.  SLEEP.  NOW.”  (Waaaayyyy easier said than done.)

Those nights are behind us now.
Thank you so much for praying for us as we traveled.  We are so grateful to be part of such a wonderful family like Crossroads, and an even bigger family of believers like you!  Thank you for keeping us held up in prayer!  More testimonies to come, sooner than later, I promise.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And we're off!

After months of phone calls, fundraising, and prayer, we are leaving.
In one hour.
For Australia.

We are so excited!

We will be partnering with pastors and ministers over there, traveling, leading worship, and teaching.
The pastors' conference in New Guinea was cancelled, due to two earthquakes, and some unrest in the country. Pray for the Bible college and churches there.

We thought that cancellation would give us some downtime during which we could hang out with my parents (whom we haven't seen in two years!).
But, almost immediately, those slots were filled within Australia. The wonderful news is that those services are in Toowoomba, where my parents are! God definitely has a plan in us going at this time.

Ellie and Drummer Boy wanted to start a blog/club, as they cannot have a clubhouse at home. They just aren't here that much. Please go check it out and leave an encouraging message for them. There are games for you (or your kids) to play, and they will be posting pictures from the road (or foreign country). Check it out here.

Also, our itinerary is up. It's still missing some details, but you can see when where we will be in your area, so come see us! And please visit our website, and pray for us.
I will post pictures and news as I can.

Here we go!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012's a secret.

(I also posted this for the Joli blog today, so if you've already visited there and read this, my apologies.)

The other day, my son, Drummer Boy, told me something funny. You know, the cute stuff kids say when they’re the ripe old age of seven-almost-eight.

“Wait, repeat that!” I told him while grabbing my phone to capture this moment for posterity.

“No,” he replied nonchalantly.

“What? Why not?” I asked, phone in my hand, ready to win this round.

“Because, you’re going to put it on Facebook or something, and I don’t want it to be where everyone can see it,” he stated, bluntly, and innocently forcing me to re-think my integrity as a parent.

Long story short, I didn’t post it to Facebook, the internet, or my blog.

It was left between Drummer Boy and myself.

A moment.

One of a series of moments that make up the story of our life together.

A moment that will be shared with his dad, his sister, his grandparents.

But not with random strangers he doesn’t know.

There is an entire blog I could devote to the subject of how fine a line there really is between sharing cute stuff your children do, and exploiting them for entertainment. But this is not that blog.

I saw something in what my son said that spoke to the very heart of why I do ministry, and what motivates my teaching.

How often do I take something God told me in the Secret Place and use it in a teaching or a song?

Too many to count, really.

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Unless, God wanted to speak to my heart a secret for only me.

A secret no one else should know right now.

Many times in Jesus’ ministry He did a miracle, or revealed a secret about Himself, and then would say, “Tell no one.”

The shepherds ran to the manger and saw the Baby Jesus. They knew He was the Messiah, they heard the angels’ song, heard the angelic proclamation. They left the stable to tell everyone that Jesus was born.

What did Mary do?

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

Sometimes, God gives us secret things to treasure and ponder in our heart.

God promised me my husband would come back to his first Love again.

Biker Man was angry at God. After the death of our son, he wanted nothing to do with ministry, or even deeper relationship with Jesus. He didn’t even know he was mad at God, actually.

I knew. And so many times over the next several years, I wanted to tell him, to show him how wrong he was in his response.

But the Holy Spirit said, “Be quiet. Say nothing. Stay out of it. This is his wrestling match with the Almighty. Before it’s over, I will touch him and his walk will never be the same.”

(for another story like this, read Genesis 32:22-32.)

So I bit my tongue, prayed more, and in the process of pondering, learned my husband’s love language in a way I never would have, had I blabbed my word from the Lord.

And now, he walks with a limp.

I’m in awe of the overwhelming power of the love of our Heavenly Father.

He will keep His promises.

He will fulfill His Word.

He is faithful.

And sometimes, we have to keep it a secret.

Ponder it, pray over it, and wait in patience for the promise to be fulfilled.

It is so worth the wait.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ellie's Birthday

Here are some pictures from Ellie's birthday party a couple weeks ago.

I know, I know, long time between posts.

Well, we are currently in Dallas, Texas, at Christ For the Nations.

Busy busy. So I think I'm doing pretty well, considering.

As guests arrived, they wrote in a small book some advice or encouragement for Ellie's tenth year.

I put the book in a small suitcase with a note,
"Please write a note to the birthday girl. Thank you!"

Guests served themselves from the snack table using these cones I made from scrapbook paper, twine, and hot glue.

Drinks were served from a BIG Mason jar in little Mason jars.

I set up a photo booth on on end of the playroom.
I got these blackboard birds on a string at World Market, and wrote "P H O T O" on them.
Cute, right?

Some of the photobooth backdrop. Paper flowers with buttons, paper birds, and hearts strung on twine.

With the girls.
(They had an old trunk with boas, aprons, beads and dresses to choose from, and an old hat box with hats I've collected from the 30's 40's, etc.)

Silly pose.

Me, Nichole, & Teresa. I love these ladies!
Ellie's little cousins.
Each girl made her own flower headband using fabric scraps, lace, buttons, and a hot glue gun (which I operated, I'm aware burnt fingers are a sure fire way to get branded worst birthday party ever!).
Ellie's Papa (Biker Man's dad) placed a prayer shawl over her and prayed a blessing for her birthday, as we all gathered around in agreement.

Then we released balloons with glow bracelets inside them.
It's really hard to see here, but they looked pretty cool.
I think next time, we'll use fatter glow sticks, rather than the skinny bracelets.

Drummer Boy helped her open gifts.
Even when she wasn't asking for his help.
He's sweet that way.
And that's pretty much it!
Ellie's friend, Katy, stayed the night because as a fellow homeschooler, she was the only one who could take off Monday.
I set up a tent in the living room with twinkle lights, and they camped out there.
obviously, I had the flash on, but, you get the idea.

Happy Birthday, Ellie girl!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm not going to lie, I've got butterflies.

Okay. Most of you know we started a non-profit, No Compromise International, back in September.

We are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received in our start up process.
For real. Overwhelmed.

Back in September, our worship pastor, Coy Watson (prolific and insanely gifted songwriter) approached me about doing a night of worship to raise awareness about NCI, and take up a love offering during the event.

Well, that night is tonight.

I've led multiple times.
I've taught on worship, and the heart of a worshiper.
But tonight Biker Man and I are presenting to our home church the vision God has given us.
(Well, Biker Man is. He's the one speaking before the love offering. I'm just worshiping and inviting others to do the same.)
This is the call God laid on my husband's heart when we got home last summer.
He had a burning bush experience with the Almighty.
And our family will never be the same.

(Did I mention he just got back Saturday night from Kenya?
He was there for 10 days with the team from Crossroads and our wonderful pastor, Jeff Ables.
I will be posting pictures of that trip soon.)

But back to this evening...
Pray for us.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to grip hearts.
For the conviction and love of God to change lives.
For us to only say what God wants us to say.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wake Up

I have come to my garden, my sister my spouse;
I have gathered my myrrh with my spice....

I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
"Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night."

I have taken off my robe;
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet;
How can I defile them?
My beloved put his hand
By the latch of the door,
And my heart yearned for him.
I arose to open for my beloved,
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
My fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the lock.

I opened for my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart leaped up when he spoke.
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.
(Song of Solomon 5:1-6)

I was reading this a few weeks ago, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
How many times does God ask me to do something for Him, and the timing seems off to me?

I sleep, but my heart is awake....
I'm settled.
My prayer life is lacking in fervor.
I know God is speaking, but it seems distant, far away.

I have taken off my robe; how can I put it on again?
I have delegated out what God told me to do.
It's getting done, but I'm on auto pilot.
I'm tired of the responsibility of leading.
I have lost passion, and am no longer walking in God's authority.

I have washed my feet, how can I defile them?
I'm in the groove of doing ministry on my own terms, and what God is asking doesn't seem ideal.
I'll have to get my feet dirty to walk where He walked.
To touch the untouchable.

My beloved put His hand by the latch of the door, and my heart yearned for him...
I see evidence of God's power.
I'm finally moved to action.
I'm ready to go where He wants me to.

My hands dripped with myrrh...on the handles of the lock.
I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone.
I miss God's timing.
I miss receiving His myrrh, His anointing on my life, which He already has waiting for me to walk in once I open the door.
I want to bring along all the stuff I was already doing for Him when He called.
All the works I had "anointed" myself.
I can't open the door He's wanting me to, because my hands are slippery with works of my own.

I have to drop everything He hasn't called me to do, in order to go where He calls me to go.

And I must fall in love with Him daily.

I'm ready for His myrrh, His anointing oil to flow over me as I sit at His feet and listen to His voice calling me His beloved.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Focusing On What Matters

I have been listening and listening to new songs lately.
Mostly because I'm getting ready to launch into January, the month of practice practice practice.
With XMC students.
Preparing them for Tour.

So, I have been immersing myself in new worship music.
My friend Kristin, from CFNI, has been very helpful.
So have my students.

This is my favorite song of the moment.
One of them.
I have quite a few right now.
But this song is incredible.
It focuses on what matters most in our lives.
The blood of Christ.
Without it, there would be no salvation. No hope for eternity.

God is faithful, by Whom you were called
into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
(1 Corinthians 1:9)

Jesus is the only PROOF we need that God is faithful!!

Enjoy "Blood So Beautiful" written by Jonathan Lewis.