Monday, January 31, 2011

Crash . . .

Today we wait, we watch the skies, count the hours and keep a close eye on the weatherman! Will it rain, will it ice, will it snow? It seems we are on some sort of "line" that could go any or all of the above. Either way -- it's looking like an upcoming mess!

Either way -- we are fine right here at home and if we have to cancel tomorrow nights mission class we will just do so and schedule a make up date.

But for now . . . we wait!

I, on the other hand, have just returned from an unscheduled doctor visit! Since November I have had 3 bouts with some sort of sinus "something" and when it hit again last evening - this time like never before - I caved in and made the visit to the local walk in clinic. I'm not one to go the doctor let alone take prescriptions -- but there comes a time! If I didn't do something I was convinced my entire head just might explode! Really!

The doctors conclusion? My sinuses have been affected by all the "stuff" we breathe in while in the field of disaster work! Okay, so we are around mold of a thousand kinds, dust of unknown origins, lead paint, fungus "stuff" from water and waste and muck --- but --- I guess coming home brought about some new "seasonal" things that have my sinus area raging!!!! So a couple of prescriptions -- one donated sample since we have no medical insurance -- and some heavy prayers will hopefully bring me back to somewhere near normal! I don't do sick very well - just ask Monty! :) I guess there really is a reason to wear those masks when checking houses!!!!

Speaking of Monty -- his grandmother is doing well and might have been released from the hospital today? If not, any day now. She was starting some rehab therapy and for 86 years old she's one tough lady!

Please continue to pray for Pastor Martie as she might be facing surgery on her broken shoulder and arm breaks! I was hoping to get an update at Bible Study in the morning but . . .

Until next time . . . blessings to all!!! Be safe!!! Susan and Monty

Friday, January 28, 2011

Air travel and weather don't mix sometimes

Yes, we thought we had 8 of the Ecuadorians in flight headed to New York yesterday morning - and then the phone rang! Due to the enormous amount of snow in New York no flights were going in! That left us with 8 Ecuadorians at the Indy airport -- with none of them speaking English!

The next group flying out was to arrive at the same Indy airport around 2:30 and they did just that and all was worked out. Amazing how things can change in a flash!

Last night Monty and I started our Spanish classes. I sure hope you can teach an old dog new tricks -- or atleast a new language! The class was great -- supposed to have a capacity of 8 people enrolled but there were 18 there! Yes, there is a great need for all of us to know how to communicate with each other!!

This morning, before my feet hit the floor, I got word that my youngest daughter was on her way to the emergency room with severe stomach pains. She was diagnosed with the flu yesterday and sent home on bedrest. I hurried there and after doing alot of blood work and filling her with fluids they decided to send her home for today and have her come back in tomorrow morning for an ultrasound to hopefully rule out gall bladder problems. Please keep her in your prayers. She has been training for a fitness competion for months and is only 4 weeks away from the actual competion! Satan -- BACK OFF!!!

And now we are at the edge of the weekend. We hope you all have some time to enjoy each other and get a bit of rest.

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And today they leave . . .

Very first -- Monty's grandmother is resting comfortably. She was having chest pains yesterday but we have no further word as of this morning. No news is good news!
I'm going to do the best I can to describe the past couple of days -- bear with me!!
Tuesday morning we had regular Bible study -- but -- it was anything but regular! Pastor Heidi had the message for us and it was power packed! She went back into the Bible into Samuel and brought the message from God then --- to now -- and what a blessing for all of us!
Tuesday night Monty and I had our first "real" missions training class -- and we already had a new student! Kayla decided to follow God's call on her life instead of her own and she enrolled in class and is ready to go. Our first lesson was on "Why God thinks He can use you" and everyone left with a different and new prospective on missions and themselves as a vital part. They were even anxious to start on their homework! :)
Wednesday is always my day with my grandchildren - a day I love! My 5 year old grandson just can't get over the fact that the radio in my truck doesn't work. Yesterday he broke down and told me he would buy one for me -- with the one million dollars he has in his piggy bank! I have to have his mother check that piggy bank!!!! :)
Last night was church back in Bedford. Monty was a bit under the weather and our neighbor, Shelley (who majored in Spanish in college) went along with me. Another student from our class, Chad, also met us there. It was fabulous! Four of the Pastors were ordained under the covering of Stonegate Faith Center - at their request! Stonegate is soon to be renamed "Stonegate Faith Center International" -- and for good reason!
Pastor Ramiro gave his testimony and once again Pastor Angel delivered the message. One not soon forgotten! He challenged us all to watch what comes from our mouths and to step up and face our fears knowing that all we are going through is training!
Well --- Pastor Martie must feel like her "training" has been taken to another level!!! Yesterday morning she took a fall in their garage at home and broke her arm in 2 places! She spent the entire day in the ER at the hospital and refused to let them set her arm as she had to be at church last night! She will be returning today. She was strapped up and in pain but she was there to bless these Pastors and their wives and to hear the blessings they had for she and Pastor Jan!
Pastor Angel has already invited Pastors Jan and Martie to come to Lima, Peru in March to preach and also mentioned going to the Congo! When they were told years ago that they would "go to the nations" they had no idea --- but God knew the plan and it's only just beginning!
You can see all the pictures above. They only touch the surface and cannot possibly relay all that has been happening over the past days. It was so sad to say goodbye to them last night but we know God holds the Plan and all we need do is stay alert and stay obedient and it will all come to pass and be above and beyond anything we could possibly imagine in our feeble human way of thinking!
So, to Pastor Angel and his wife Cathleena, Pastor Ramiro, Pastor Hosea and his wife Isabella, Pastor Ortorro and his wife Sandra, Pastor Caesar and his wife Blankeeta, Pastor Edison and his wife Teresa, Pastor Henry and his wife Heidi and son Haneinell ---- we say thank you, bless you and you have changed our lives forever! We so look forward to God's Almighty Plan!
God's peace go with you as you travel home today!
Until next time . . . "we're going to the nations" -- God's way!!!! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This is a special blog -- more about the Ecuadorians later today (hopefully) --- but for now ---

Just as Monty and I were preparing to leave for the dinner for the Ecuadorians last evening he received a phone call that the ambulance was on the way to his Granny's house. Her monitor had been set off and they could get no response from her.

The next call said they were taking her to the hospital by ambulance and doing chest compressions along the way.

He headed to the hospital and through text messages back and forth let me know that she was indeed having a heart attack and the cardiologist was on the way.

Late into the evening they did a catheretization and found 4 blocked arteries. They were able to place stents into 3 of them and clear (mostly) the 4th. They decided enough was enough as she is 86 years old and want to carefully monitor that 4th artery before proceeding further.

When Monty left late last night she was resting much more comfortably and we did not receive any phone calls during the night -- praise God!

He will be returning this morning to visit with her and hopefully give her encouragement as he went through this same procedure at the young age of 39!!!! He has 2 stents in his heart and his doctor told him he should live to see 90!!!

Please cover Granny in prayer -- along with the doctors and nurses caring for her. She was quite frightened and although it's "over" for now -- she needs plenty of prayer and we know just how powerful all of you are in prayer!

Bless you and thank you and I will do my best to keep you updated.
Until next time . . . in His love and healing power. . . Susan and Monty

Sunday, January 23, 2011

God - Ordered Time

At tomorrow nights dinner I WILL take pictures!!!

A church service like none other -- a good way to describe this morning and into the afternoon!

Pastor Ramira (don't hold me to these spellings), Pastor Angel and his wife Cathleena, Pastor Hosea and his wife Isabella, Pastor Caesar and his wife Blankeeta, Pastor Ortorro and his wife Sandra, Pastor Henry and his wife Heidi and son Hanienell and Pastor Edison and his wife Teresa were all at Stonegate Faith Center this morning. It was a God - ordered time!

Ecuador and Indiana are now in a Forever Covenant! Pastor Jan (Stonegate) was even awarded a special military pin honoring he and Pastor Martie as "spiritual parents" for Ecuador!

After introductions and a short message from each Ecuadorian Pastor and their wives Pastor Angel had a Word for all of us. He had been sitting on the side lines waiting to give his message and was nearly ready to burst at the seams as God was pouring forth "big time." Pastor Angel proclaimed to all of us that this is a time where God wants to open the skies on our lives. He asked us each to receive this revelation and not let the enemy rob us of this blessing.

He took us back to the Bible where God spoke of the land of Canaan as the "land of plenty, of fruit and honey" -- and told us we were to take the promised land for ourselves. As a symbol and promise of that land he and the rest of the Ecuadorian pastors brought out grapes and a bowl of honey. We all took our turn of taking a grape and dipping it in the honey. He asked us to be brave, work hard and persevere!

Pastor Angel blessed Pastor Jan and Pastor Martie with a plaque in thanks for their coming to Ecuador and pledging to continue to help them, pray for them and that this was just the beginning of God's Divine Plan.

All the Ecuadorian Pastors lined up in front of the church and asked that we all come up for prayer. Pastor Edison prayed over Monty and I and even though his prayers were in Spanish it made no difference. I could feel his hands shaking as the Holy Spirit poured out through him into both of us. He prayed for "refilling" -- little did he know . . .

They continued their praying for all of us and closed with focusing in on one gentleman who is in a wheelchair, Michael. God poured through all 7 of those men from Ecuador and as they helped support Michael he got out of his wheelchair and took enough steps to get him to the other side of the church! The cheers roared through the walls, the praises rang out as though the ground was shaking. Michael was in tears -- tears of sheer joy!!!

Pastor Angel proceeded to give his wrist watch to another gentleman in the congregation who had a special prophecy over this day -- long ago!!!

It was an amazing day! It was a blessed day! It was a day ordained by God, scheduled by Him! It was a day I am so blessed to be a part of!

Pastors Jan and Martie and just getting started! They are so humbled that God chose them - a small church in a small town -- but He chose them!

Today we stood in God's Plan! I plan on taking today and keeping it in my heart forever! I don't know what God has in mind for the next step --- but one thing I do know --- it's going to be beyond anything we could dream or imagine and I will do (go) whatever (wherever) He calls!

Thank you Pastor Martie (and Sus) for being obedient and taking that first step of going to Ecuador. You had no idea -- God had THE idea -- and He still does. He's just getting started and we should all buckle up --- it's going to be the ride of our lives!!!!

Until next time . . . I look forward to tomorrow nights dinner where each Pastor from Ecuador will be sharing their testimony around a meal fit for kings!!!! Thank you Lord! Thank you!
Susan and Monty

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ecuador sees snow!!??

I forgot to take my camera -- so sorry -- but there WILL be pictures over the next few days so bear with me!

All of the Ecuadorian Pastors, their wives and even a 9 year old son arrived at the Indianapolis airport yesterday. When we arrived they had their bags and were ready to go --- they thought! When we opened the doors to the outside they all shrieked --even the men -- at the single digit temps!!! We had brought along extra coats as we knew some only had a light jacket on. They were doubling up with coats and even then were freezing! We all learned the Spanish word for freezing first thing! :)

We had a 15 passenger van packed to the seams and an additional truck pulling a tool trailer that had all their luggage inside. The trip back to Bedford was close to 2 hours and they kept thinking that when we got to Bedford they would then be in Indiana! I'm not sure they ever truly understood that they were already in Indiana!

Pastors Martie and Jan were standing in the doorway of their home ready to welcome everyone! The screams, the smiles, the tears -- all of it God annointed! Ms Jerri had been there most of the day preparing a variety of delicious soups, meats, cheeses, breads and desserts! Everyone eagerly dug in and had such fun trying to talk to each other with interpreters here and there -- on overload! But as we have seen so many times -- God steps in and all barriers are broken and conversation comes easy!

They brought along DVDs of their experiences in Texas at Kenneth Copeland's annual conference -- all were so touched by the Holy Spirit and Kenneth even came and individually met and blessed each one! Tears of joy were endless!

We also got to see videos of their homeland, their churches and their congregations! The beauty of Ecuador was breath-taking. It is the goal of Stonegate Faith Center -- a small church in a small town in Indiana -- to build a church -- in the mountains -- for these people!! The excitement -- the committment -- the blessing -- the joy -- is uncontainable and without a doubt is a command from God. You can feel His annointing, His blessing and His will all around! Monty and I are so excited, so thankful and so blessed to be a part of this Divine Plan!

By the time we left they were all being divided among the 3 households caring for them over the next few days. The little boy was just awaiting another play time in the snow!! Somehow I imagine him knee deep in it first thing this morning -- learning what sledding is and covered in snow from head to toe! God has to be smiling from ear to ear!

Tomorrow we will be heading to this little church in Bedford to hear what God has for all of us. The Pastors are going to speak along with messages from Pastors Jan and Martie so I think I may need to pack an energy bar in my purse as who knows how long we will be there worshiping and praising and thanking God for this "God-guided adventure."

Please keep everyone in your prayers -- the nations are here -- and "with God, NOTHING is impossible." Be blessed. Susan and Monty

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow to Zero -- God's Timing

Even if I were to post a picture it would be pure white! It snowed and it snowed and it snowed some more today! I lost count of how many inches after I measured 6 in our yard. I don't know who gave a count to the weatherman but they need a new tape measure! I got enough exercise to last for a week! After getting us cleared off (atleast 4 times) I cleared off the driveways and walkways of 3 of our neighbors. Remember -- we live in what is mainly a retirement community and since I love to be in the snow and it's not healthy for them . . .

Anyway, the snow caused our first Spanish class to be cancelled! The Parks and Rec department is offering beginning Spanish and we both have wanted and needed to know this language for a very long time. But now we'll have to wait until next Thursday to get started!

No school today and in some areas still no school tomorrow. The temps are to drop to zero tonight and the high tomorrow only in the low teens! Brrrr!

But God . . . tomorrow I will be riding to Indy to help pick up the 6 Ecuadorian Pastors and their wives and bringing them to the area. Thank the Lord that wasn't scheduled for today! Not only did the snow cause problems but the road we would take to the airport was closed due to a large accident! So . . . in all the snow and freezing temps and closings . . . God has it all under control and all we need do is trust in Him and leave all those details to Him!!!

I'm very excited about tomorrow and will let you know how it all goes!

The nations are coming to us!!!!! The mission field is right here!!!!!! All we need to do is step out our door!!!! Thank you Lord!!! We're ready!!!!

Until next time . . . be blessed. Susan and Monty

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And we're off . . .

Last night was great! Our missions training school is officially off and running!

We have 6 students, 6 students who want to be there, who want to learn more about missions and who are committed to reading the lessons, doing the homework and listening to God's call for their lives.

Pastor Dave and Pastor Bruce and his wife, Karen, Chad and Del from our home church and Mary from my Tuesday morning Bible Study. A great group of people!

Our orientation is complete and their books are being shipped this week and should be here in time for our first official class next Tuesday. It's exciting for Monty and I to see their excitement and we are actually looking forward to going through the classes ourselves since it's been 4 years! God always has something more to teach us and just because we did it once doesn't mean we learned it all -- a far cry from it!

Please remember to keep us all in your prayers. God has something special for each class member and He always has something far better and more special than we can even imagine!

Also --- another winter storm is on the way and we are expected to be pounded with quite a bit tonight through tomorrow!!! Good ole' Indiana winter at it's best!

Until next time . . . blessings to all. Susan and Monty

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Missions Training School


Please keep us in your prayers as tonight is our first night of our satellite branch of our missions training school.

We have been working on this for the past who knows how many months and it's finally here!

We are excited about this "God-guided adventure" and ask that you keep us in your prayers -- and those who will be our students.

Will let you know how it all goes!!!

Until then . . . missions = outreach! It's that simple! Susan and Monty

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy

Happy 80th Birthday to my Daddy!
What a milestone! What a blessing! Where did those years go?
Well, looking at the picture of myself and my 3 brothers you can see that none of us are teenagers so I guess some of the years went there!
Yesterday we all got together and had a wonderful time helping him celebrate. Even his two sisters stopped in for some cake and ice cream punch. My youngest brother and sister in law have a house on one of the local lakes and we all had fun remembering, laughing, laughing some more and of course -- taking pictures!
Some of the grandchildren had written letters to Grandpa telling them how he has touched their lives. They were fantastic, so personal and so filled with love. I think we all make the mistake and wait until it's too late to let our families know how much we love them.
With our family it always seems like there's the "funny of the day" thing and yesterday didn't disappoint us. Just as one of my aunts sat down with her piece of birthday cake the dog decided he needed that cake more than she did and in less than a blink of the eye . . . yep, cake was everywhere and the dog went from helping us celebrate to having to sit in the car as punishment! You just have to laugh!!!!!! And we all did until late in the evening! My aunt took it quite well and after all was cleaned up even she was smiling!
It was a great day -- mainly because God has blessed us with a great daddy. So great that my brother who lives in Florida flew in to celebrate. All my life my daddy has been the picture of true "love" as God talks about in the Bible and I am so thankful for that!
Today is his actual birthday and all I can do is thank my eternal Father for giving me such a great and loving earthly father!
Until next time . . . love you Daddy!! 80 is SUCH a blessing!!!!!!! Susan and Monty

Saturday, January 15, 2011


They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- if only they could tell you just how cold it is here!!!

Last night was incredible and powerful beyond imagination! We had times of worship and praise with songs, times of intense prayer, more praise and worship, teachings and more teachings, healings and through it all God was "in the house."

We got it all started around 8:00pm and I made it till nearly 3:00 am. I should have stayed for the duration because even though I came home and went to bed there was no sleep. God kept waking me up every hour on the hour until I finally gave up and got up around 9:00am. So many things were going on in my head and in my heart. The entire night was so powerful for me and brought me so much closer to God. I am so thankful to be a part of this small yet mighty church! I know the folks in Ecuador felt God touching them because we felt Ecuador and their prayers touching us. Yes, they also held an all night prayer session last night -- for their Pastors who are now here in Texas and for the miracles they know will come from their visit.

Be sure and stay tuned as those Pastors arrive here next Friday and I am blessed to be able to go along to the airport where I will meet them and have a bite to eat with them on the return trip home.

But now -- my focus shifts to my family -- my dad. Tomorrow we are celebrating his 80th birthday. His actual birthday is Monday but tomorrow is our celebration. I cannot believe he's 80 --- what a blessing to live that long! My brother from Florida is here, flew up so he wouldn't miss the celebration. My dad isn't really the celebrating type -- he just wanted a quiet time with family -- like our family is quiet???? He's lost more hearing than he thinks!! :) We are excited to be able to get together as a family again and my thanks goes out to God for choosing such an amazing family for me to "land" in!! I hope to have a few pictures to share with you later.

Until next time . . . celebrate your own family and thank God for the power of prayer!

Susan and Monty (and Bitty and Samson)

Friday, January 14, 2011

An all nighter?

Night time snowfall is beautiful!

I know I have mentioned attending Bible Study each Tuesday morning and how special that morning is for me. This church is just getting started in the mission field and it's so exciting. The Pastor and one of her friends spent a month in Ecuador and the long range goal is to build a church there, up on one of the mountains.

In the meantime -- God touched that country so greatly that 6 of their Pastors are now in the United States attending Kenneth Copeland's conference in Texas and next week they will be here in Indiana for nearly a week! They have brought their wives with them and one brought their 9 year old son. It's so exciting to see what God has already done and even more exciting to know He has so much in store for all of us!

Tonight I am attending an all night prayer vigil for these Pastors and all involved. It should be awesome and I hope to have a full report over the next couple of days.

Monty and I have made ourselves available to be of any help possible in this new God-adventure! We know from experience that all God asks for is our obedience -- He has all the plans!

Please join us in prayer. The nations are coming to us!!!! We CAN change the world! We WILL change the world --- with God's help!

Until next time . . . be blessed! Susan and Monty

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One Week

When we went to bed last night the grass was showing, the roads were clear and the skies poised for change. Change it did!

We awoke this morning to I don't know how many inches of snow covering the ground and it hasn't stopped all day long. The beauty is hard to describe! As I stood outside around 7:30 this morning listening to the muffled silence, only the sound of birds could be heard, I thought of God's beauty and how He says we are as white as snow in His eyes. All the "yuck" gone and replaced with pure white beauty! Won't heaven be incredible!

Schools here and all around are closed. But we are one week away from the first day of our missions training school and I am so excited to see who God brings to fill the seats! From day one Monty and I have placed our trust in God to bring those He wants to bring -- those interested in learning more about missions and their calling on their own lives. One week -- 7 days -- and we are ready!

Thank you, Lord, for seeing us as pure white--as clean--as sinless! You are a great God!

Until next time . . . Susan and Monty

Saturday, January 08, 2011

35 Years????

Yep -- once again we awoke to a winter wonderland! Everything covered in pure white! And of course our pileated woodpeckers very thankful for the suet feeder on our tree! Good thing I made some fresh just the other day and good thing I got more shortening from my Mom to keep making more! Thanks to my Mom and my brother, Mark!
Yesterday was quite the day for me! Memories! Big time!
I attended a Lutheran elementary school from grade 1 through confirmation in at the end of grade 8. All through those years, through middle schools 9th grade and through graduation from high school there was a group of us girls who were always friends and practically lived at one anothers homes. Yesterday one of those girls buried her mother and I was blessed to be able to go to the funeral home and see her. It had been nearly 35 years since we had seen each other --- WAY too long! She has lived in Tennessee for years and we all know how time and distance and life in general takes us all our separate ways. Quite sad, actually.
I wasn't sure if we would even recognize each other and I was right. We both did double takes and then weren't sure until we saw each other smile and heard the voice. Even though the years have taken their toll on all of us -- that didn't matter! I think it will be that way in heaven, for sure.
She had 2 cousins that were also our same age and ran in our same crowd. I had seen one of them a couple of times over the past 5 years so he and I recognized each other. But the other one -- it had been over 35 years and we both had to hear the voice and see the smile to know for sure. It was amazing!
God revealed some things to me in that short hour. One -- heaven is going to be a great place because He promises we will "know our own" and I believe that to be family and friends. Oh how I look forward to that! A reunion like no other!
Two -- God tells us life is all about relationships (with Him and with others) and I have missed alot of past relationships. Yes, we all have some we would like to forget -- but those don't matter. It's those ones that bring back such smiles that some would think us "not proper" in a funeral home setting! There was no way we could catch up, no way to even try. A few quick questions amid trying to visit with everyone at once -- impossible. Third -- we need to do whatever it takes to try and maintain as many friendships as possible. Not one of us has too many friends! No matter how many, not enough!
So . . . I decided to expand my horizons on this computer thing even more. I finally went on and entered my information. Maybe there are others out there that I can reconnect with, others who have memories that will bring smiles to my face and joy to my heart. Goodness knows we all need to smile more and have more joy inside our hearts! So let's see what happens!
And so it was a great day, a day that centered around a room in a funeral home. Not where you would expect but yet where God planned it. And I also know that her mother, even though laying so still in her casket, knew we were all there, knew we got a chance to reconnect (even if for a very short time) and knew she was the one who brought us all together.
Thank you Ms Elsie -- thank you! And may you be reunited with all your family and friends in heaven and may God throw you an awesome party of celebration!!!!
Until next time . . . let's all cherish our families and friends a bit more! Susan and Monty

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


This was taken when Rhonda and Jordan came over for Christmas dinner and he's thrilled with his new toys!
The past couple of days have been very busy ones. With less than 2 weeks until we start our missions training school there's alot of follow up and preparations to get done. I have called all the Pastors we visited before the holidays to remind them the time is nearing and to see if they have any questions or anyone who has signed up. That takes some time as I wait for voice mails to be returned. I do have another local church requesting information so tomorrow I can drop off a packet to them. Phone calls back and forth to Alabama at the main headquarters have been helpful and we are counting down the days! Please keep us in your prayers.
Today was my day to take my grandson to preschool and then stay with my granddaughter through the afternoon. She can't understand why I didn't put a truck radio on my Christmas letter since mine in my truck doesn't work! She's convinced I need to get a "pink one."!!!!! I love those grandkids so much!
My mother called today to say one of my closest high school friends lost her mother. It will be a good opportunity for me to go to the funeral home and see her. I hate to admit but it's been atleast 25 years -- she's lived in southern Tennessee for I can't remember how long! Her mother was 87 years old -- but she's still her mother!!!
I also received a phone call from one of our past volunteers this afternoon. We had a nice long talk and they were concerned about the homeowner whose home they had worked in back in the fall of 2009. It was great to talk with them and in doing so they asked for some extra special prayers. They have a 15 year old who is into drugs and having an extremely tough time. Rehab hasn't seemed to help much so please keep this entire family in your prayers. I can't imagine how difficult that would be! Thank you Lord for sparing me and my children from walking that dangerous path!
Until next time . . . let's all count our blessings! Susan and Monty

Sunday, January 02, 2011


I told you I would have photos of Christmas and here they are. From my parents to my nieces to my son, my daughters, my grandson and my granddaughter -- it was amazing and we are so thankful to have been able to be home with all our families!
And now we are in the new year -- new expectations, new plans, new "do overs", new resolutions, new this and new that . . . the old is gone! For some this is a relief and for others it's a bit scary. How about you?
Pastor Dave nailed it this morning in his message! He entitled it "A Year of Hope" -- how appropriate. There were times during his message that I wanted to stand up and shout in praise! It might have startled him a bit and most definitely the rest of the congregation but . . . Romans 15:13 (NIV) says; "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overlfow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
It was when he asked us if we'd ever seen anyone without hope that I wanted to shout the most! Working in disaster situations brought so many folks to my mind! All has been lost and hard as they have tried they eventually have hope fade away and sometimes it's lost completely. But . . . God . . . I have literally taken photos of a homeowner upon the arrival of the very first team of volunteers --- and then returned at the end of the week and took another photo. That homeowner is different, so different that it shows in their faces. Most of the time they don't even look like the same person. The team hasn't really accomplished all that much in that first week --- but --- they brought hope --- they were hope! In fact, they were "overflowing" with hope! And it spilled out all over the homeowner and everyone they met while on their trip!
Their hope brought excitement and anticipation to the homeowner. The team may not have known what they were going to be doing or felt as though they couldn't really do anything important or worthwhile. But they trusted that God was walking before them and had already prepared the way for them. It was that trust that brought about their hope which filled them to overflowing which flowed out on others. A wonderful and perfect chain reaction!
That hope also brought joy and peace -- to them and to the homeowners. That hope brings that same joy and peace to everyone who will receive it! Everyone! Even you!
My question? How are you facing this new year? Are you trusting in God? Are you looking back to all the times He's been with you? Are you standing on those times, filled with trust that reassures you He is still standing with you? Are you overflowing with hope for this new year?
Joyce Meyer wrote one of the most wonderful and worthwhile books ever -- The Battlefield of the Mind. Our minds are where our hope is born or dies. What is your mind focused on? Are you positive in your thinking? Are you negative in your thinking?
I challenge you to read your own version of Romans 15:13. Read it, think about it and maybe even write it down and paste it to your bathroom mirror -- right in front of your face!
Then believe it! Stand on it! Base your very life on it! You'll be glad you did!
I, for one, believe 2011 is going to be an incredible year! God is going to move in the greatest and most powerful way we have ever seen or experienced! He has plans -- for me and for you! I want to be open and ready and waiting to fulfill those plans! Joy! Excitement! Anticipation! I want to be overflowing with all of those!!!!
How about you?
Until next time . . . bring it on 2011 . . . Susan and Monty
PS: Thanks Pastor Dave! Thanks so much!