Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our New Journey...Following God's Call

My House Shall be Called
Since the fall of 1999 we have dedicated ourselves to equipping, encouraging and raising up houses of Prayer that are passionate about crying out before the throne of God day and night.

Back to where it started!
It was August of 1999, when I went out to Cedar Rapids and had an encounter with the Lord that forever altered the course of my life. After having a vision of Prayer Rooms being raised up in the Spirit of the Tabernacle of David I was set on a course to help establish, grow, foster and plant houses of prayer all throughout the mid-west and Florida. Now we’re excited to share how the Lord has taken all of the passions and skills of our family to be planted and utilized in one place. The Midwest Prayer Center in Cedar Rapids, Ia. Back where it all began...

JAWA at Wind and Fire Ministries
In the spring of 2010, the Lord begin speaking to me about gathering together a collective group of artists and musicians to equip and empower them in prophetic arts that release the justice of God's heart upon the Earth. After a deep journey into scripture and prayer the Justice Academy of Worship Arts was birthed. As a true academy, our goal is to train artists and musicians in understanding the power of prayer that is released through the arts and how it can powerfully affect our culture. After years of serving in prayer ministry and helping to fight Human Trafficking here in Florida, the Lord introduced me to Ric Lumbard of Wind and Fire Ministries. Located in Cedar Rapids Iowa, the ministry has a vibrant prayer room that embraces the freedom and creativity of the Holy Spirit and also is a pioneer in rescue and restoration of Human Trafficking victims. With a recording studio and a mature staff of believers trained up in prayer and servant evangelism the Midwest Prayer Center is fully equipped to function as a place of refuge and a mission base that sends people forth throughout the Earth to truly equip and prepare the body of Christ for the Lords return.  In November of last year, the Justice Academy was formally adopted as the primary tool for training, equipping and producing artists able to make a meaningful impact upon the Church and our Earthly Culture. Needless to say, when I was invited to join staff it was clearly a perfect divine fit for both of us. As Director of JAWA, I will be working with young an old alike teaching and training people to use their giftings in prayer and the arts with a focus to see God’s Justice manifest here on Earth.

How You Can Help
Now, more than ever, we are trusting in the Lord for monthly ministry partners willing to labor along side with us as we make the Justice Academy of Worship Arts a reality. In our preparations to relocate our family we are in need of raising $3,000 to cover truck, gas, hotel and utilities. Also, as we birth this vital ministry in the Midwest we are trusting in the Lord for monthly partnership equalling $3500 per month for our family of 9 while developing an economic model for JAWA to continue to grow. As intercessory missionaries, our support is dependent upon partners such as you, churches, and organizations that share the vision we have. Please consider making a one time donation to help cover the costs of our move and become a monthly partner with us with donations $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 or more per month. We also need prayer - intercession for peace in this time of upheaval and for a home to be provided in Iowa, as well as for JAWA to come forth as God has intended.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for ministry or prayer needs. If you would like to donate toward our move online, please do so on our blog (using Paypal) and you can give monthly by sending to WFM Missions Base P.O.Box 126 Hiawatha, IA 52233 (Nick’s acct. is #4051 to enclose in a note.) We are so grateful to you for your support.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just a note to let you know... I am sorry that I haven't been blogging. I have missed it, and will be posting more as our life takes another tumultuous turn. God is in control. I don't worry about a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be okay, o-kay-ay.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Counting My Blessings

I'm pretty blessed. I've been doing "30 Days of Thanksgiving" for my Facebook posts all month (today's the last day!) and it has truly made me turn my gratitude meter UP. I was even thankful for my dog one I know a lot of furparents who love their pets like their children. I even know some people who care more for their dogs than their own flesh and blood. But, that is not me. I like having pets, I think there is definitely a purpose and reason people love animals. Like, maybe because God put us humans in charge of them. We name, watch, and generally steward them - usually from afar. But, I think getting our dog was a little bit of a mistake. It's like having a perpetual toddler that you can't actually take with you when you leave the house. Plus, the black dog hair everywhere is a pain frustration. However, there is no denying the comfort of that big black body sleeping beneath my feet in the evening and the "high alert" status he goes on at night. Protector of the house!

I hope to continue this atmosphere of gratitude and well-being as we enter the Advent season. Keeping my eyes and, by extension, our children's eyes set on the heart and person of Jesus Christ will definitely help. I'm thrilled to be preparing to take the journey of Jesus from Angelic Proclamation to His flight to Egypt. Talk about an Advent-ure! I'm thinking about getting a small tree to feature the children's special ornaments they're going to be making from Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands this month. I definitely need to prepare the special calendar with each day's focus to explore. I hope you will all go on the journey with us. Amanda is offering her incredible e-book for only $4.99 and it is full of great ideas, beautiful crafts your kids can actually make, and moments you'll always treasure. Consider joining the fun on the Tinsel Facebook page too!
We're working on our special "custom" advent calendar right now; we'll (of course) use our Lego one too. ;)

What special preparations are you making for Christmas?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Convicted....and Consecrated

Our amazing pastor, Blake Lorenz, at Encounter gave a great message on Sunday featuring Romans 12:1,2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Of course, I am familiar with this passage, and have studied and prayed on it before. My body is a sacrifice to the Lord. Not only my body, but my entire life. I truly proving the perfect will of God if I hold part of myself back? Always before, I'd dwelt on whether I was treating my body as an acceptable sacrifice. Wondering. Does that mean I should exercise more? Eat less sugar? Get up earlier to read the bible, pray, make the kids breakfast?

Now, on Sunday, I found God convicting me on a different level. Don't get me wrong, He is happy with me. He loves me with a LOVE unbound. Unfathomable. However, He likes to teach me in gentle whispers. He wants me to be aligned to His perfect will. After the birth of our 7th child, I made the decision to have an IUD implanted in my womb. At the time, it made sense. We'd considered tubal ligation, vasectomy, the essure procedure, but figured the IUD worked with the body's natural system best. Plus, it was good for years. I should have known it was a mistake right away. The midwife put the wrong IUD in. She used the Mirena, which uses chemical hormones (like the pill) as well as the IUD technology, and I knew it was wrong. She said to give it a try, and if I didn't like it, they'd take it out. I was 6 weeks post-partum and just wanted my life back to "normal." It seemed to. After a few months, I didn't even have a regular cycle. However, after I stopped nursing when Sabina was just over 1 year old, I started putting on more weight. I hadn't heard that the Mirena did that. Out of laziness, I guess, I never did anything about the thing. It's been 4 years.

Now, God is directing me to think about trusting Him. I need to present my ENTIRE body as a living sacrifice to Him. It's time that I stopped being conformed to the world in this ONE way. Stop holding this part of myself back from Him. God is our provider. He is our caretaker. He hasn't let us down yet! I have to be willing to submit and prove what is good, acceptable and within the perfect will of God.
It's time to consecrate myself, my WHOLE self, to God.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Truth About the Truth in the Tinsel (Review!)

I'm super excited today. Not only am I blogging again, which has strangely burned within me for the past few months of hiatus, but I'm starting it all off with the beginning of the Holiday Season. As a extra bonus, I've been asked to review the new e-book The Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands by the awesome mom-blogger after God's heart, Amanda White, of Impress Your Kids! Click here to visit Impress Your Kids.

It's always on my heart to make the advent season purposeful and focused on Jesus in the midst of the hype. This book is a perfect way to carve out a small part of the day (only about 30 minutes) and create something with your child(ren) that will make it easy to share the birth story of Jesus in a way that will be sticky to their hearts and minds - and maybe even their hands sometimes. What got me truly enthusiastic about The Truth in the Tinsel is this part of the section How to Use This Book: "The key to this entire advent celebration is to have a daily focus and meditation on God’s greatest gift. Your children will learn the ins and outs of the story because you’ve facilitated a time to discuss, play, and create. And in those moments, God will speak to their hearts and yours. 
The little Baby is no longer in the manger but alive and sitting on a throne—waiting to have a relationship with you and your children. Help your children get to know Him this Christmas!"
I almost cried with JOY!

Each day of December preceding Christmas has a small ornament craft planned around scripture verses. The sections on each page "Read it Together", "Make it Together", "Talk About it Together", and "Do More Together" make it easy to glance at and find your place in the midst of artsiness and - let's face it - noise. The accompanying photos show the materials needed, step-by-step shots, and the finished product hanging on a tree branch. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I love the idea of reading the bible together and then talking about it while creating. Amanda White has planned this activity book to reach pre-school through middle elementary aged children, but I'm pretty sure all of my kids will want to make these cute ornaments (with the possible exception of my 13-year-old) and participate in the scripture reading and discussion. For days when we have extra time to spend on this, we will definitely be exploring the activities in the "Do More Together" sections; these can be additional scripture, picture books, singing, play-acting, and bringing others in on the fun!

In the weeks to come, my family and I will be exploring and creating The Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands, so make sure and check back here to see all the fun we're having getting to know the birth story of Jesus a little better. I know you'll love it and TODAY ONLY Amanda is offering this beautiful gem for only $2.99! After today, the e-book will retail for $4.99, so don't wait! GRAB THAT DEAL. Then, you can use the supply list at the beginning of the book and take full advantage of the fabulous coupon you got for Michaels, or Hobby Lobby, or JoAnn's. Make this Christmas season the best ever - be intentional and share God's heart with your little ones. They need know that He loves them than Santa Claus ever could.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Under Construction! I had all this great stuff planned out to revitalize and renovate my blog and then I got on to update and found everything on Blogspot had changed. So sorry! Until I get it all figured out and fixed, things are going to be a bit weird around here. Be patient and check back soon! :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Time to Continue this Drama called Life

After a week camping in the Smoky Mountain National Park, "roughing it" with no showers (!), we are home again. We spent a day cleaning out the van, doing laundry, and catching up on phone calls. Cecelia spent some quality time with her parrot, Storm. He was so happy to see her that he did NOT want to go back in his cage. Then, today we packed the girls off to church camp. I was sorry to see them go after only a day home, but I know God opened the door on this for His purposes. On another note, we got the call this morning that Nick's grandma passed away last night. She has been suffering for some time and we were praying for her to be healed by God - she was ready to go home to Jesus and we're happy that she is free. She was 91-years-old, lived a good long life, and got to encounter Jesus in an amazing way two years ago. Please pray for the peace of the family as they celebrate Marcella's life and mourn her passing.
If this had happened 2 days earlier, we probably would have all driven up to Nebraska with my parents straight from Tennessee. The kids are sad, but they all (except the youngest two) got to visit her within the past few weeks during their visit.

So, Nick is prayerfully purchasing airplane tickets to fly back for the memorial and funeral services, to help his mom who has bravely been the caretaker for Marcella for the past 5 years. He is going to his first staff meeting at Encounter House of Prayer tomorrow (Monday), we're celebrating Carlo's 7th birthday on Tuesday, Nick's teaching Encounter's youth group that evening, then he's flying out on Wednesday morning. We'll have to delay celebrating out 16th wedding anniversary until he gets back next week. (It's Saturday.) Of course, there are many other things we're dealing with in the meantime. Transition is never easy. I need to finalize plans for homeschooling this year as well as finish up the kids' evaluations for this past year. There are MANY people I have to touch base with and get together with this month. And my internet is down right now. I'm typing away in Starbucks. Thank goodness for free Wi-fi.

I've been through an eye-opening, thought-provoking, life-changing weekend through the amazing Bethel School of Supernatural Evangelism hosted at OHOP just last week! My whole perspective on Holy Spirit and our lives as Christians has been shifted. How blessed we are by God who wants to BE with us! He wants us to know how much He loves us and He wants us to share it with others! He loves us all much more than we know. And you know what? Jesus wants His money's worth - He died and rose again for more than a feel-good moment here and there. He sent us Holy Spirit so that we can do more miraculous things than He did! Isn't it time we walked that out? Are you ready to get out of the boat?! I AM!

By the way, the Warrior Prayers 21 Days of Prayer for Sons is already planning on a fall session toward the beginning of September. See you then? I am in the process of writing and praying out a similar prayer focus time for Daughters. Any suggestions on focus that you would like? God has given me some great words. Look forward to sharing with you all soon and posting some great pictures soon from our recent adventures.