Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Biola Softball

Bible Institute of Los Angeles

That is the University and this is
their softball team.

 Jesus and Softball: my two passions!

I was so excited and honored to speak
at their retreat where they had high
school softball players as well.
The theme was "Shine Your Light"
and I shared how much God had
changed my life and truly used
a teammate who was shining
brightly for Him.  God does not
discriminate- He will use anyone
who desires to be available, obedient,
and wants to honor Him.  And yes,
God can even use us on the softball
The coaching staff was wonderful!
I connected with them and love
their hearts and passion to spur
this team on to be an example
to all they compete against. 

I am always encouraged after I
speak when I get to talk to
some of the girls I spoke to.
I loved the light I saw in their
eyes and was so excited when
they shared about how they
believe God prepared them for
what I shared that morning. 
At the end of the day, I am
just thankful for each opportunity
I get to use the shiny Gold Medals
to tell people how God helped
me get them!  We all have a
purpose and we all have different
talents/gifts.  What we do with
them is our choice!  I hope we
all will choose to use them to
shine God's light wherever we go!

Seeing God do Big Things

Last week I prayed, "God,  I want to
see you work in mighty ways in
my life.  I want to experience you
doing something only you can do."

That same night I went out to feed
our homeless friends at the park.
A couple powerful things happened
that night.

First, "Big Mike" as we call him
(pictured below), has not been
doing well the past 10 months.
He has had stomach cancer
that has returned and had lost
37 lbs.  He didn't look good lately,
and we could tell that he felt
really bad.  He couldn't eat much
at all and said he coughed up blood
each morning. 

When we got to the park, he couldn't
wait to share some good news.  He
told us that on Saturday, he could
not get up at all.  But on Sunday
he forced himself up early and
headed to a local church.  He
said he went to the pastor and told
him that he wanted to be prayed
over by the 7am, 9am, and 11am
services.  He told us that the people
gatherer around and laid hands on
him and prayed for God to heal
him.  Afterward he went to get
some scans done and really wanted to
see the results but had to wait until
Tuesday.  When he finally saw the
x-rays, he said his body showed
no cancer!  I am praying that is
the case, but I will say that there
was noticable difference in his
spirit, in his physical body, he
said he hadn't coughed up blood
since Sunday, and he could eat
regular food again.

After we fed everyone, we decided
to do something different.  Normally
a friend who is a pastor gives a message.
This time we all joined hands and
anyone who wanted to was invited
to pray out loud.  It was so amazing
to hear the prayers of those we come
to feed as well as those of us who
serve.  God does a work when people
minister to us and also when we are the
ones who serve and minister to others.
Also, I noticed that "Big Mike" (who
usually stutters when he talks) did not
stutter one time when he was praying!!
I thought that was so amazing.

There was also another special incident-
there is a man named Kevin who has
been refusing to eat and is drinking
alcohol all the time and hasn't been
doing well for a long time.  We hadn't
seen him for months.  He was at the
park last week with a walker and
looked very bad.  I found out he
had just got out of the hospital
because he was having seizures.

When we were praying, he left the
park to where he was going to
sleep.  He could barely walk so
one of his friends helped him.
A few of us really felt like we
needed to talk to him and tell
him that if he dies, he needs to
be ready to meet God.  We
got down and talked to him and
told him that it did not matter
what he had done, that God
wants him to give his life to
Him.  We told him God loves
him and forgives him, but that
he has to make a choice to
choose God or face his judgement
one day if he doesn't choose Him.

As 3 of us shared from our hearts,
and we were in this dark place
with this man who has given up
on life, I couldn't help but feel
that this is exactly what Jesus
would do.  He goes to those that
are so lost to tell them that He
offers hope that you can't find
without Him.  It still comes down
to a choice, but I am so thankful
that I know that Kevin has heard
the good news that is offered to
all.  I don't know if he'll get better
or the end of his life is coming soon,
but I pray that when he closed his
eyes that night, that he has chosen
Jesus like we shared with him.

I asked God to work in big ways,
and He answered in a big way!

Friends are Friends Forever. . .

if the Lord's the Lord of them. . .

That is a line from a Michael W. Smith
song and it makes me think of some
friends of ours who moved away
a few years ago and just came to visit.

The Lopez Family with their 3 kids,
spent a weekend in So. Cal and
after hanging out with them for
a couple days, it was so awesome
to be able to still be connected to
them.  Distance makes it hard to
stay close, and even those who live
nearby start to drift apart when
schedules get busy and kids start
growing.  It seems like we start going
in so many different directions and
you only get time with those you are
intentional about making plans with
or if your kids are involved in the
same things.

Sarah and I used to be in the same
Bible study and I always loved her
wisdom, even though she's much
younger than me :).  Our bond in
Jesus is something that always
keeps us connected and it was fun
to see their kids because two of them
were very young when they moved

It brought back a lot of memories.
Friends are a true blessing in life.
I am so grateful that God has brought
some very special women into my
life who are examples to me, who
are there for me, who I can laugh
and cry with, and who have Jesus
as the most important thing in
their lives!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back to the Bible Study

Bible study started again this week and
I was ready for it.  I love being a part
of a group of women who are like
minded and who desire to grow in
the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

This Beth Moore study about the life
of John is another great one.
It has been great to see Jesus
through the eyes of one of
the youngest disciples and who
was so very close to Jesus.
To think it all began when Jesus
said, "Come and Follow Me"
and John did just that.

I can relate to how much God
changed my life when I
"went and followed Him."
My life too was dramatically changed
and I saw things from a new
perspective.  Thankfully, we never
"arrive"- we will always have room
to "grow and change" when becoming
more like Christ.
These are the women who God has
chosen to put in my path for
this chapter in my life.  We can relate
to all the "mom stories" and other
things that women go through!
I am so very thankful for these
They are not only beautiful on the outside,
the shine brightly on the inside for
the Lord!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 is in full swing

Happy New Year!  I hope you are having
a great start to 2013.  The first week of
this new year has flown by.  The boys
started school yesterday again, but the
flu has been hanging around in our house
for the past week.  Luke had high fevers
for a few days and now it's Drew's turn.
Both have bad coughs and Tommy had
3 days of feeling really bad and now is
congested.  Not such a great start but
we still count our blessings!  I am praying
I avoid this bug this time around.

My first trip of this year is this upcoming
weekend. I fly to northern California
to speak at Nor Cal Girls Softball
Conference.  I'm looking forward to
encouraging the coaches in that area
to impact the girls in this sport because
I know how much I was impacted by
the coaches in my life!

Tommy and I celebrated 14 years
of marriage on January 3 (the
same day as my mom's
Birthday)!  I am amazed
at all we have experienced together.
We have been so blessed and I know
all the glory goes to God!  I am thankful
for the fact that I have a husband that
loves God and  that we are teaching our
children to love Jesus with all their
I am excited for what this year will
bring and yet I know that the Lord
holds all things in His hands.  He is
the One who knows what tomorrow
holds, so I will hold on tight to Him
and His truth.  My boys and I are
starting the year off with memory
verses.  The first one this year was
Matthew 6:33:

"But see ye first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness and all these
things will be added to you."

Our second is Matthew 5:19:

"Let your light shine before men that
they may see your good deeds and
glorify your Father in heaven."

I hope you are seeking God because
He says if we will seek, we will FIND.
I am so encouraged when I pick up
the Bible and realize that when I get
to busy, I miss out on the blessing
and truth that I receive from reading
it.  God's Word is living!  Let's read
it and live it and then people will see
the light of Christ in us and glorify
God!  Happy 2013!