Thursday, October 30, 2008

Give Honor to Whom Honor is Due

I just wanted to take a quick minute to let you know that all of these wonderful pictures from Balch Springs are the handiwork of Sis. Misty Strahan. She has agreed to be our resident photographer so these and any more like them are probably her doings! Thank you Sis. Misty! Keep up the good work!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wonderful Weekend!!!

I suppose I will begin at the beginning, which is Friday night. We attended our first sectional function as members of Section 7. It was wonderful because my husband was able to sit with me and enjoy the rally and not have to plan it or be up front! Some people may not understand this but it is wonderful to just go to something and not have to plan it! Anyway we were the new kids on the block, so to speak, but our church came out in force! For sure we had the largest representation according to our congregation size, but I really think we had the largest number of people there, period! We were soooo proud. We had elders and young people alike enjoying the rally, and afterwards the company of each other. We ALL went to eat at Posados and enjoyed a time of fellowship! Then bright and early Saturday morning, we began an awesome workday. We had around 47 people there to help do whatever!!! Someone told me that some of their family, who no longer attend our church, called them on Saturday morning to find out what was going on at the church. They are watching, and before too long, they'll be joining us! We cleaned out the Sunday School building, and by cleaned out, I mean everything! We filled up a 20 cu. ft. dumpster. It was wonderful to get it all cleaned out and ready for a good scrubbing and painting. Some of the men then went and cleaned out some of the storage rooms in the gym. We stopped and ate lunch, and then went back to work! I know work and fun don't usually go together, but Saturday they did! After all the work was over the men broke out in a good game of football, until someone got hurt! It was a minor injury and every one's okay now! The lady's all pitched in and helped out the current cleaning team to get their stuff done before that night! Can I just say there is nothing better than working for the kingdom of God with His wonderful people?!I think somewhere around 6:00 pm or so that most everyone left to grab a bite to eat before prayer. Then, at 7:30, we all came back for a time of prayer! I had told two or three different people that day that we were going to have an awesome weekend. I could just feel it! You can't be together with your brothers and sisters, and work in unity, without it effecting the move of God among you! I was right, the prayer Saturday night was beyond description. God met us in such a powerful way! Then in keeping with Greater Apostolic Tabernacle tradition we fellowshiped until somewhere around 10:30pm, it was wonderful! Arriving early for prayer on Sunday morning, you could just feel the undercurrent of the move of God! My husband preached one of the greatest messages I have ever heard. He has preached it before, and I feel it is one that every person trying to live for God should hear! He titles it "Overcoming...Me". He explains the difference between conviction and condemnation. One of the most powerful points in the message is when He explains how God can keep forgiving you when you seem to keep messing up in the same area. When God forgives you, He forgets your sin. His Word says He casts our sins into the Sea of Forgetfulness. Who are we to reach through the blood of Calvary and pull out those things that God has forgiven and forgotten? Conviction is from God and it brings repentance, but condemnation is self inflicted and causes us to shut down. We feel like we are failures even when we've been forgiven. My husband says it puts guilt on the forgiven and chains on the free. The difference between Peter and Judas was that Peter was convicted and Judas was condemned. People who are condemned in there own minds are never able to work in the kingdom of God. They always feel like they are a failure, or they dwell on their failure, rather than having faith in the blood of Jesus to forgive and cover their sins. After the service was over, one of the ladies who has been in church all of her life, and now has children of her own in their teens, told me that she had never really understood the difference between conviction and condemnation. She said, "While he was preaching, I realized why God can forgive me for the same sin over and over, because for Him it's the first time! He doesn't remember the times I've asked Him for forgiveness before!" Talk about liberating someone to walk in the victory of the forgiving blood of Jesus. All of this, of course, hinges on a person always striving to live for God and is in no way a license to sin. Sunday morning was a beautiful time in the presence of God, and we are growing together and becoming more like Him!
After a little afternoon siesta we came back for anther awesome service! The praise and worship was great and then the word went forth and it was .....I can't really think of the right words to do it justice. I have been so in awe of the way God has been using my husband. I know him like no one else does. I have heard every message he's preached in the last 9 years, and they have all been wonderful. However, the anointing that has come upon him as he is leading this great people is just causing my jaw to drop! God has given him different anointing for the different places and times of his ministry, and it is beautiful to see what He is doing now! He preached "The Hammer and the Sword." I can't tell you all about it but I will tease you with this little bit. When God called Nehemiah to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem, they were under attack of the enemy. Nehemiah instructed the builders to work with their hammer in one hand and their sword in the other. As a church trying to rebuild some walls that have been torn down, this is what we must do! We must build one another and use our sword to defeat the enemy when he comes against us. Another beautiful point that he made was we must have the wisdom to know when to pick up the sword, and when to put it down. Many young Christians have been hurt, and permanently damaged, by someone wielding the sword, when they should have been encouraging and building a brother with their hammer! Well, as I said, it's just a teaser because this post would be too long for anyone to read if I wrote it all. I suppose you could get a copy of the CD if you want it. After the message, we all went forward and joined with our families for a time of prayer. After some time, we were sort of moved out of the way for Angela to make her way to the altar. Angela is someone who has lived for God in the past and now has made her way back to God! She was sitting in the back of the church when she looked at her sister-n-law and said, "Will you go up front with me?" They had not much more than laid hands on her head when she began to speak in that heavenly language! She would stop for just a few seconds to utter through her tears, "Thank you God for giving me another chance, thank you God for another chance," and then she would once again speak in that heavenly language. I know all of heaven stopped, and the angels were rejoicing over Angela coming back to God. I know this is only the beginning, just a hint of what God has in store for us, but I am sooooo excited. I know our mission field is full of hungry people just like Angela looking for a second chance at God and life. Please continue to pray for us as we shine the glory of God in our city! I can't wait for Wednesday night. I know something just as powerful is in store for us! It is wonderful to have anticipation in your spirit about the things of God! I will do my best to keep you all informed, as it is encouraging to hear a good report!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Wonderful Weekend!!!

Pamela and Ashlyn matched Sunday and so we had to have a picture!
...and we're off and running! What an awesome God we serve! I am always amazed at how He does things. During our time of transition I often prayed and about where God would put us and about how we would feel when it was "right", but in all my prayers I never dreamed it could be so good! During this time of waiting we had another door open to us but I just felt yuck about it! I asked my mother if she had ever felt "NO" about a place that God had moved her and dad or had she always felt good about it and knew it was right! After thinking it through as she always does, she assured this was never the case for them! I continued to pray about things and I prayed God if it is your will for us to go there then you have to let me have joy and peace about it! Well that obviously never worked out and now I understand why I felt that way! God was preparing us and Greater Apostolic Tabernacle for each other! Thank you Lord! I can say that I am happy and I feel peace even amidst the changing in my life. I guess it's a woman thing that we kinda like everything to be settled, but I can truly say that in the middle of my current world (my home) being turned upside down I am happier than ever and I have a peace like never before! God is Good!
...back to the weekend. We had a wonderful service Sunday morning God really met us there and touched each of us in a special way. Then on Sunday night my husband started off by reading Palsm 150, we then went into a great worship service! During this part of the service a couple walked in and sat near the back of the church, a little while later they moved up to the second row. Come to find out the lady was a grand-daughter to Bro. Haney they really enjoyed the service and at the conclusion they said how friendly everyone was here and that they were looking for a church to attend regularly. We found out that they lived just across the street and would probably be back! That was exciting to everyone to have some candidates for the Holy Ghost in the building! Okay, back to the service. When my husband took the pulpit to minister he spoke a little about how our testimonies and a good report causes our bones to be fat. After a time of instruction on how to testify and BE POSITIVE!!! we had a good old-fashioned testimony service. It had a little twist to it that we used to do in Youth Services, we called it God bless. What this means is that after you finish you testimony you simply say God bless someone else and then they have to testify. A little while later our bones were sure fat and we had heard from everyone in the congregation! It was wonderful!
When I was blessed I shared a scripture that God had given to me and my husband during our time of seeking His will. It's found in Isaiah 41:10 I read it and talked about the strength that we had received from this passage and encouraged them to get a hold of this same scripture when they face a difficult time! I am sharing my testimony only because after church a couple of the ladies called me over and told me this: When the church in Balch Springs had been having one of there meetings concerning voting on us or not this lady had stood up and read that exact scripture to the body! Wow I am still amazed at how God works! Another of the testimonies was about how God sees us as pieces to a puzzle and He know exactly where to put each on to make the bigger picture! She said "God never gets a piece or person in His hand and questions where they're going to fit He already has the perfect place prepared". After service it felt like we had been sitting around at a family reunion hearing wonderful stories about our family! We felt so unified and such a spirit of love and camaraderie! I hope your weekend was half as good as ours, and I pray that next week is even better!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More about Balch Springs!

We had a wonderful weekend! My husband and I kept commenting on our "Happy" we feel! It's not a surface happy but a deep contented happy. Andrew told me on the drive home Sunday night that he has never been this happy in his life! WOW when God does it right He does it right! We are meeting with a realtor tomorrow and hopong to get the process going! So if you know anyone who wants to buy a house let us know. lol Mom Elms sent me some pictures that she had taken of the inside of the church so I thought I would post them for all of you who probably won't be seeing the church for a while. I also have a few from our first Sunday, I hope you enjoy!
Visit to make your own!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Birthday BABY!!!!

I want to wish the most wonderful man alive the happiest birthday ever! You are the love of my life and the answer to every prayer I ever prayed when seeking a mate! I hope today brings you much joy as you embark upon a new phase in your life! I am enjoying watching you pick up this new burden and begin to shoulder it as many have done before you! I know God has great things for you to accomplish! I love you! Happy Birthday!!!
Love You,

To Alayna our little Bundle of Joy who just won't stop growing up and having these silly birthdays, I love you and I am soooo proud of you! You are an obedient and very caring child even at your young age of "6". You are the cat that your sister never stops copying! I always tell you how important it is to always do the right thing because Ashlyn is coming right behind you doing everything you do! I know you will set a great example for her to follow! I love you and I wish you the best birthday ever! I know you'll have a great time with all your friends at you sleepover!!!!

I Love you,


Thursday, October 9, 2008

We're Moving!!!!!!

We just got word from the wonderful church in Balch Springs, Tx, GreaterApostolicTabernacle">(click link for a street view of the church...give it a second to load). They asked us to be their new Pastor and family! We are ecstatic to say the very least!

I want to share just a little of the story of how it happened for us, if I may. Well I guess it's my blog and I can do as I please, it's your choice wether or not to read it. LOL! Anyway....

As many of you know we have worked in Life Tabernacle in Wichita Falls for nearly the past 6 years. We have loved every minute of it. The people have been so wonderful, and we have friends that will be friends for life!!! After God moved the Elms and things happened in our lives, we knew God was preparing our hearts to move us. We just didn't know where we were going. During this time, we were at a bit of a low, and I remember saying to my husband, "God has people somewhere who need us." I really don't know where the words came from, but they sure comforted us during our time of waiting on and trusting in God. As we traveled home from Camp Meeting, we were talking about what God might be doing with us, and feeling a little frustrated because it felt like He didn't know where we were. I looked out the window of the car and read a church sign as we passed. It read, "Read Isaiah 41:10". We were in a conversation, so I reached down and got my bible and held it open to the scripture until we finished talking. This is what it says "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; Yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." We have held fast to this scripture during this time of waiting, knowing that He was our God and He did know where we were, and what He was doing in us.

We decided to take our little family vacation to Dallas this past Summer, and while we were there, we met up with the Elms to have a bite to eat. They had been in Balch Springs at the request of the church to help them during their time of transition. As we sat at dinner that evening, they began to share with us about this church they had gone to. I listened and we just enjoyed talking about what God was doing for them there. After we left the restraunt, Andrew told me that when Mom was talking about the church, he looked down at his hands to see if they were trembling. He said, "My insides were shaking so much, I thought my hands were shaking." As we drove that evening in a light shower, the most beautiful rainbow filled the sky. We just kind of said to each other, "It's a promise from God that He knows where we are!" A few days later we got a call from the spokesperson of the board in Balch Springs. He asked us to come and preach for them on a Wednesday night. We readily accepted. After being there on that night with the people, I have to say that we did fall in love with them. Love at first sight if you please! After being there that Wednesday, my husband woke up early and just had to go back to the church on Thursday morning. He sat in the parking lot and prayed. We left and came home, and began to pray and fast about what God would have us to do about what we felt! During this time we recieved another call about going to the Austin area, but we both felt a "NO" in our spirit immediatly. We still prayed about this door that had opened and honestly told God that we were willing to do whatever His will was. When the church in Balch Springs began to take resumes', my husband sent ours in and we just waited some more to see what God wanted. We were scheduled to go and preach in Balch Springs after two other men. The door in the Austin area closed and this made us feel even stronger about Balch Springs. When we went to "try out" it just felt so right, but we kept checking ourselves and saying whatever God's will is. Then, tonight to recieve the call and we were voted in by a large majority it just feels right!!! I feel humbled that God would choose us to serve in such a great way. If there is anything I have always wanted, it's to serve Him to the fullest of my abilities! We are honored more than words can ever express to have this priviledge. After having been on this journey with the Lord, He is even more dear to me than ever before! Now our house just needs to sell and we need to get there! I am not real sure how to end such a post, as I have never written one of this nature, lol. God is good, and He does know the right time and the right place for each and everyone of us!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

I just wanted to say a Happy Belated Birthday to Aunt Kathy! I hope you had a wonderful day! I love you!!!