Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vow Renewal

We renewed our vows! We had a very small ceremony at Christ Cove with a very small group of friends and family. There was not a lot of space, so we only invited our immediate families and some friends who were present during some very transitional times in our lives (a marriage retreat, a marriage bible study and Patrick's trip to Mexico). It was great! Pastor Greg "officiated". Before we came out he sort of explained why we were renewing our vows (it was not an anniversary) and let everyone know that we wanted this to be a time of worship and welcomed them to worship with us.

We walked into Rita Springer's "You Are Still Holy". Kelsi and Josh (my 22 yr. old step-son) were first, then Keeli and Mason and then us. Pastor Greg prayed and then we began.

Here is a copy of the wording of the ceremony:

Patrick and Kristie, God has established marriage as the symbol of Christ’s perfect relationship to His Body, the Church.

Ephesians 5: 22-33 says: Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church—His ‘body’ of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy; cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain, wrinkle, or any other blemish—but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church—for we are members of His ‘body’. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Patrick, God has ordained the man as the spiritual head, as the responsible provider, and as the initiator of love in this marriage. By His enablement, your strength must be Kristie’s protection, your character her boast and pride, and you must live so that she will find in you the love for which the heart of a woman truly longs.

Kristie, it is God’s purpose that you be a loving wife, that you respond to Patrick’s love in tenderness with a deep sense of understanding, through great faith in Christ who brought you together. By His enablement you will bring Patrick good and not harm all the days of His life and be a beautiful crown upon his head.

Christian marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve God. Seek His kingdom first, and His righteousness, and He will add all other things to you. Do not expect perfection from each other, perfection belongs solely to God. You need not minimize each other’s weaknesses, but always be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths and see each other through kind and patient eyes.

God will lead you into such situations as will bless you and develop your characters as you walk together. He will give you enough tears to keep you tender, enough hurts to keep you compassionate, enough of failure to keep your hands clenched tightly in His, and enough success to make you sure you walk with Him. May you never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that wonder that exclaims “Out of all this world you have chosen me.” When life is done, may you be found, then as now, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May you ever serve Him happily, faithfully, together until you return to glory or until at last one shall lay the other into His arms.

Will you please, as an expression that your hearts are joined together in love, join hands.

Pastor Greg (to Patrick) – Patrick, this woman whom you hold by the hand is your wife. She has given you one of the most sacred things under Heavan: a woman’s life, and a woman’s love. You may bring her great joy or cause her deep sorrow. It is not what you bring her in a material way that will make true happiness – riches without love are nothing. The gift without the giver is bare. The practice of those virtues as husband that you have shown her in love, will keep her heart won to yours.

Would you repeat after me: (to Patrick)
I promise, before God who brought us together, to love and cherish you, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, to lead you, and share all of life’s experiences with you, by following God through them. That through His grace we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

Pastor Greg (to Kristie) Kristie, this man whom you hold by the hand is your husband. Upon your life, your love, and your devotion he will lean for strength and inspiration. He is going to look to you for encouragement, for cheerfulness, and for confidence. No matter what the world may say or think, people may forget him, lose confidence in him or turn their backs upon him, but you must not. May your life and love be the inspiration that will constantly lead him to greater dependence upon our Lord.

Would you repeat after me:
I promise, before God who brought us together, to love you and to cherish you, to submit myself to you in all things, to honor your goals and dreams and help you to fulfill them and to follow you through all of life’s experiences as you follow God, that through His grace we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

You both stand before us as children of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ through your trust in Him, and His substitutionary death for your sin. You have recognized that your love for each other is a gift from God. Have you asked God to be the center of your home?

Patrick and Kristie – We have.

Is it your purpose to maintain a home that is truly Christ-centered, where the Word of God is read and obeyed; a home that is welded together by prayer, in which the Holy Spirit is your guide?

Patrick and Kristie – It is.

1 Corinthians 13 says: If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move---without love, I would be no good to anybody! If I gave everything I have to the poor, and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear. It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.

Pastor Greg –(to Patrick and Kristie) Do you pledge that you will work to make your house a home full of love, not only for yourselves but also for others; a place where Christian love is shared?

Patrick and Kristie – We do.

At this point we had Pastor Greg thank each of the people who were present that have poured into us and helped to facilitate the change that has taken place.

After that Patrick stopped him and totally surprised me with a beautiful diamond ring. I was completely speechless.

At the end Pastor Gretchen came up and prayed over me and the wives and Pastor Greg prayed over Patrick. We walked out to Rita Springer's "When I Think About the Lord".

Everyone joined us inside for a super yummy supper of soups and desserts. My sister-in-law and a friend surprised us with a wedding cake (they are sooo sweet).

Then Pastor Greg's son Spencer lead us in an awesome time of worship. Boy is he talented. It was AMAZING!

I will post pictures soon. A super sweet young lady came and took our pics and I don't think I will have the disk until the end of next week.

So, you may be wondering why we renewed our vows, and I would love to tell you. When we married we were truly not living for the Lord and honestly I'm not sure either one of us knew exactly what that meant. We both called ourselves saved because we had both walked down an aisle and been baptized and we both believed that Jesus was our Savior and occasionaly prayed, but we didn't go to church an certainly didn't live lives that were pleasing to the Father. When our girls were born we really had to lean on the Lord and His provision during that time was unbelievable and undeniable. So, we began going to church while they were babies and have been in church ever since, for most of the last 9-10 years. During the first 9 years I dealt with a tremendous amount of bitterness and anxiety. My family truly paid the price for that. Patrick was a good husband, but definitely not a Godly one. About 4 years ago the Lord delivered me from anxiety. Many things lead up to that point, many people planted many seeds that were watered and growing. At that point I really began to yearn for Him and started working really hard a getting to know Him, at living for Him and allowing Him to live through me. I began to work at finding out what a Godly wife really was and what did submission really mean and I began to walk it out. Little by little, baby step by baby step and as I did, the Lord began to do a work in Patrick. Coming to The Rock has really changed everything. The Lord has become so much more tangible to us. Largely because we are seeing Him alive in the people around us. These people are so real. So willing to be honest about their weaknesses, but share with you their victories. We have been taught so much and God has truly changed our household. We just began to really feel that this was something the Lord wanted us to do. To make a vow to each other that was authentic, that expressed what whe truly felt about the kinds of spouses we are called to be. We also felt strongly that we needed to make a covenant with the Lord, vowing to Him to walk out what He has called us to. So that is just what we did and I am so thankful. I hope some of this inspires somebody in some way. We have an awesome Father and if we just trust Him and do what He asks of us, we may go through some tough things, but we will experience that peace that passes all understanding and a joy that is truly unspeakable!

Be Blessed!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cuss Words ;)

Houston, we have done something right.

So, the other night we were in the van and my kiddos were telling me about a movie (animated, but I can't remember which one) they had seen at their friends house. Mason, my 6 year old, said it was a really good movie and it didn't even have any cuss words in it. That phrase peaked my interest and concerned me. So, I asked him, do you know any cuss words and he said yes. Here is his list. Once he started telling us, he kind of got on a roll and we eventually had to tell him to stop.

1. Shut Up
2. Stupid
3. (This is the worst one of all.) Cr*p (He informed us that he learned that one from Daddy)
4. Dang It (Said he got that one from Daddy, too.)
5. Shoot (Apparently that one is my fault)

The most impressive thing is that my 10 year olds pretty much agreed with that list. Wonder, how long we can get away with this list. A really long time I hope.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No One Else

I hope that it is okay that I reprint this. I received it in an email and really wanted to share it. I think that the heading gives due credit. I believe most Mom's would find this helpful.

No One Else Named Mom
Kari Lewis
Home School Enrichment
She looked directly at me, talking intently. I felt increasingly uncomfortable and distracted. The baby in her arms was fussing loudly and batting at her face. She deftly darted her head around to miss the most direct slaps from his tiny hand and talked on. Her 3-year-old was pulling on her skirt and calling to her loudly. Still she talked on. Her 5-year-old was out of her range of sight and hearing, doing who knows what. Still she talked on.
I tried to see if I could help the 3-year-old with something. He glared at me and kept tugging on his mom. Still she talked on. I smiled at her baby and offered him his pacifier, to no avail. Still she talked on, the conversation frequently punctuated by her exasperatedly saying a child’s name, trying to get one or the other to settle down. But it didn’t work. It never worked.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only time this scene played out over the years. As my friend’s children got older, they did more and more audacious things trying for Mom’s attention—all while she talked on, doing her own thing.
There was nothing wrong with the things my friend talked about. She was a Christian lady who wanted to make a difference in the world around her. She loved to minister to others and share her knowledge and godly insight on things such as her ministries in the church, why homeschooling was important, abortion/pro-life issues, healthy eating, creation vs. evolution, and a host of other truly vital, important topics.
Though there was nothing inherently wrong with the things my friend talked about or the ministries and activities she was involved in, something nonetheless was terribly wrong.
What was wrong in my friend’s life? She was living out a proper, Godly focus at an improper season of life! She desired to be used by God, but failed to see that her most important ministry at this stage of her life (and for many years to come) was her home and her children—not the church or the world. The right thing at the wrong time equals the wrong thing!
Tragically, my friend’s heart was not truly and fully at home with her children. Yes, she was bodily at home much of the time, she talked to her children about the Lord, she homeschooled and used Christian curriculum, and she and her family were faithful church members—present every time the doors were open. But her feelings of joy and self-worth were derived from ministering to others, not from raising her children. Her children knew it and responded in kind. Home was chaotic and miserable.
I wish I could say her family has had a happy ending, but they haven’t—at least not yet. In the grace, mercy and love of God, they still may; but during the 25 years we’ve known them, things have gone from bad to worse.
There have been broken relationships and confusion in abundance. The parents love the Lord and are worried, perplexed, and even ashamed.
Most of us have my friend’s problem to some degree or another. We all want significance or acceptance, and we have a natural tendency toward selfishness. We have hopes, dreams or plans, whether that means we want to do something big and important like reaching a whole continent for the Lord, or whether that means our greatest desire is to take a nap this afternoon
If we’re truthful, most of us would admit that occasionally we have a teensy-weensy tendency, no matter what we say with our mouths to the contrary, to feel that children are messy, noisy distractions to be endured during our quest for “meaning” or “life” as we want it to be. (Was that said too honestly for our comfort, or did I pretty much hit the nail on the head? Ouch!)
But how does God parent us? Is He distant and involved in His own thing? Do we have to pester or become obnoxious to get His attention? Is He concerned with mature Christians rather than new Christians (older, more “useful” children rather than younger children)? Is He touched by our infirmities? Does He stick closer than a brother? Did He die for us?!
A slight rewording of John 15:13 may be helpful for us Christian moms: “Greater love hath no mom than this, that a mom lay down her life for her family.” Laying down our lives doesn’t sound fun, but Jesus said that whoever loses his life for God’s sake finds it—and the life we find in Him is abundant! What perspective, hope and blessing!
Matthew 18:10 says, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Wouldn’t it please God and show Him that we don’t despise our little ones—no matter how old they are—if our faces and hearts were easily and freely beheld by our children? Motherhood is time consuming; it takes vast effort, thought, care, creativity, and selflessness to be done well—but the blessings of fulfilling that high calling are well worth every sacrifice!
The world and even the church clamor after us about this activity, that cause, or this ministry. Often these activities are worthwhile and God-centered. As Christians, we may be interested and want to be involved—other times we’re made to feel that we just don’t measure up if we don’t get involved. However, we need to prayerfully and carefully determine God’s will for our families. We don’t want to sacrifice His best for something that is only good!
Our ministries and mission fields are in our homes and children. Our highest calling is in the baby that cried off and on last night seemingly just because he loves to hear his voice reverberate through the quiet house. It is in our 3-year-old when she asks her trillionth “why” question of the morning. It is in our 6-year-old as he uproariously spouts off yet another knock-knock joke. It is in our 10-year-old as he struggles with math. Our ministry continues to be vastly important throughout the pre-teen years and beyond, as our children’s natural talents and bents for the future become more apparent, needing more specific prayer, affirmation and direction. Our ministry is in continually learning to know and read our children correctly so we are able to address their heart issues. The heart is vastly more important than outward actions, but takes considerably more prayer, time and effort to see and address properly.
Our ministry is learning to take immense pleasure in being with our children, laughing, working, talking, praying, learning and playing—no matter how old or young they are. The other stuff of life doesn’t matter nearly as much—others are out there doing those things.
My dad once shared a poem with me written by Charlotte Fiske Bates. I’ve never forgotten it:
Duties are pressing upon me,And the time for work is brief,What if with purblind vision,I neglect the very chief?What if I do with ardorWhat a thousand could maybe,And leave undone foreverWhat was meant for only me?

A Missionary Family In Need

P, just went on and returned from a mission trip about a month ago. They were in and around Cuetzelan, Mexico. There are two missionary families there. One of which came to our church and preached. He and his family have been missionaries for quite some time and there finances are fairly stable. They have many faithful financial backers.

The other family is in the opposite situation. They have only been missionaries for a few years and some of the churches that were backing them stopped, when gas prices began to escelate so much. I'm sure this was because the people at their churches were not giving as much. Anyway, this family has 4 children and really need help in the area of finances. All of the guys gave him money before they came home, but we would really like to do more. I'm trying to come up with ways of raising funds for them so that we can help them in a big way. Please let me know if you are interested in helping them with a one time gift or monthly support and I will get you the information you need, also please let me know if you have some fundraising ideas.

Thanks and be blessed!

Friday, November 7, 2008


What in the world would possess a dog that we have had for 3 years and has never been a real problem to start pooping in our house the last few weeks and to decide in one day that peeing on beds is a good idea? We got home today and discovered that one of them had peed on my bed and now at 4:00 A.M. my girls come down because one of them just peed on their bed. I am disgusted! Nastiness!!! Looks like somebody is going to be in the crate everytime we go somewhere and every night. UGHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I want to start by reminding/encouraging everyone to go out and vote.

Now, for the good stuff. The Lord has really been laying the word TRUST on my heart lately. So, we are learning about trust in our house. If you feel like there are some areas of fear in your children, I encourage you to work diligently with them on that. I spoke with my children very vaguely about how things in the coming times could be difficult and how we cannot be assured of the Lord's protection/provision if we are allowing fear to keep us in bondage, to keep us from walking out His will for us. We studied about Ruth and how she was King David's great-grandmother and in the lineage of Jesus and how important it was that she made the decisions that she made, even though they weren't easy things to do. She had enough faith and trust in the Lord to step out of her comfort zone, to become a lower class citizen in a land she didn't know, among people that she didn't know. Pretty amazing stuff.

I just want to encourage everyone to get in the Word.

Before you vote check this out:
Proverbs 3:5-6 In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
He will show you who to vote for.

Consider why you are voting for the candidate you have chosen. Are you being selfish?
James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
If you are voting out of selfishness, out of your own wants and desires, If you are voting purely for economic purposes then the Word clearly says that you will find disorder and every evil practice.

And lastly I want to add that He is in control. He knows what is going on and what is to come.
Daniel 2:20-22
“ Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.
The Word says that He changes the times, He removes kings and raises up kings, He knows what is in the darkness and He is where the light is. Sometimes things have to happen that don't line up with what we think should happen in order for His will to be done.

I don't know what is going to happen today. I know what I want to happen, but above all I know this: God is in control. He has made us many promises and I choose to rest on those promises and trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.