Tire Depot — Grayson, GA

This post could be named several things. “You know not what a day may bring forth.” “Trusting God… on the side of the road.” “Smoking tire on way to baby shower.” But, “Tire Depot – Grayson, GA” seems the best. Why? Because the Lord really blessed us through this business.

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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being lost (well, thankfully we weren’t completely lost) with a smoking van tire, 123 miles from home. Yet the hand of the Lord was so beautifully seen in each mile of the journey. Knowing the presence of God in the midst of a perplexing situation is truly beautiful. We laughed. We almost wanted to cry. We stood in amazement. We made phone calls (lots of them).

The Lord’s plan is always perfect…

…even when you don’t know the extent of the car problems you’re having on your way to speak at a friends baby shower, traffic is terrible, it’s 104 degrees outside, and the shower is supposed to start in 30 minutes and you’re at least 20 minutes from your destination.

Ah, but it’s then that you know you’re helpless. And get ready — because it will be then that you’ll see the power and love of God in fresh, exciting ways.

To make a long story short…

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We had a brake problem. The smell was typical of brakes: strong and distinct. We formulated “plan B” so we could arrive at the baby shower (almost) in time. Several mechanically minded friends checked out the situation, and so the next morning, we got back on the road, knowing that, based on the diagnosis given by our friends, the problem may arise again, but hoping that it wouldn’t. A few miles later, that distinct smell was back. We called Dad (who stayed home on this trip to work) and he said, “Find the nearest garage that will work on brakes.” It happened that we were at the intersection with Tire Depot. We pulled in, and the service we received was top notch. The kindness shown to us by the owners and employees of this family-owned tire business put us at ease. They gave us a shady parking spot, prompt, courteous service, told us to go to the air-conditioned office (it was 100 degrees outside…. at least it was cooler than the day before) while we waited for the part to arrive (which only took 20 minutes), and within the hour we were back on the road, driving a van that was running beautifully… better than it has in a long time.

So, to all of you blog followers in the Atlanta area, we highly recommend Tire Depot.

And to those of you who seem to be “broken down” on the journey of life, take comfort! The Lord is nigh them that are of a broken heart, and His strength is most clearly seen when we feel utterly helpless. Cling to His precious promises, and behold the works of the Lord! He doeth all things well.

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Here are a few pictures from the shower. What a delightful evening! Such a  joy it is to celebrate the anticipated arrival of new life: a precious soul to nurture and to teach the boundless love of God.

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Bridal Shower & “Groom Shoot” | Derrick & Jennifer!

June has begun, and with it an intense season of busyness for the Team! (One of our dear littles gave us a good giggle when, on the evening of May 31st, she calmly told us all to “get ready, because in a few hours we [were] entering the month of no sleep.”) The month of May, though, was also quite packed… hence the prolonged blog silence. Smile But over the next several weeks, we will do our best to stay up to date with you all.

A few weeks ago we were thrilled and delighted to take a trip to VA to host a bridal shower for our dear “sister” Jennifer. The LORD blessed the day immensely – such a sweet, precious gathering of ladies to fellowship and share the joy of what He has done in bringing Derrick & Jenny together.

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A few games brought quite a riot of laughter and smiles…

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Dear, sweet sisters-in-law shared from their hearts to the lovely bride-to-be…

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Precious fellowship… lots of hugs… tears… smiles…

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While the bridal shower was taking place, the men gathered outside for a time of target shooting, fellowship, exhortation, and encouragement. The poor gentlemen… things suddenly changed for their afternoon activities when the dark, gathering clouds burst open and the rain poured down! Everyone kept a cheerful outlook on the unexpected situation, though, and simply moved to the porch (declaring as they did so that they, the men, had had the REAL shower… literally). Smile

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Additional shots…

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We are so, SO happy for you both, Derrick & Jenny, and praise the LORD for the beautiful, wondrous work He has wrought in bringing you together. In the years ahead, may He use you – as one in Him – to point many others to Himself, for His own glory.

We love you dearly.

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Simple Truths

Recently I was inwardly questioning the progress being made in my walk with Christ, because it seemed that, rather than continuously learning “new” things and receiving “exciting” insights from the Word, I was dwelling upon what seemed to be considered simple things… truths such as His love.

That is so basic… something that I have heard and understood ever since I can remember, I mused. While I had been receiving immense comfort, joy, and encouragement through many different passages related to this subject, I still wondered if I would someday look back and regret spending so much time on such “simple” concept.

It may sound silly to some, but thoughts such as these came as a substantial concern to my mind.

While zipping through the house one day, endeavoring to accomplish some pressing projects and check things off of my [ever growing] to-do list, the question resurfaced. Right then, the LORD brought a passage to mind that I had read several weeks before.

“For this cause, I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; the ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Suddenly my heart was at rest.

The LORD used these verses to show me that, if to know the love of Christ results in my being filled with more of Himself (which is a part of the means in which He carries out His purpose of conforming me into His image, for His glory), than an eager quest to know more of that great and wondrous love is one of the best pursuits that can be made. Basking in His love is what I am supposed to be doing on a moment-by-moment, every-day basis! My reason for perpetual joy and rejoicing, no matter the circumstances I am encountering or the feelings that are raging in my heart, can and should come from the truth that He loves me.

So graciously, my heavenly Father reminded me that it is indeed right, and glorious!, to spend much time meditating on what may have (sadly) become “commonplace” or “simple” truths.

 

“…God doesn’t typically comfort you with something strange and unfamiliar. He usually comforts His people as they prayerfully meditate on the basic truths He has revealed about Himself… Don’t [always] look for comfort in ‘exotic places.’ Look for it in the theology that four-year-olds can grasp. Assume that you need to experience more deeply what you [think you] already know. J.I. Packer says it so well: ‘We must turn each truth that we learn about God into a matter of meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God’ (Knowing God, 23). God comforts you with simple, prayerful meditation on Himself.” Joe Tyrpak (Gospel Meditations for Prayer)

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A few pictures from a recent family photo shoot… such fun!

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“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Jeremiah 31:3

Promises

Spring has arrived, and with it many elements of beauty created by our Heavenly Father. The buds on the trees are ready to burst into full bloom. The tulips are brilliantly arrayed in their colorful petals. The mountains are about to break forth into a vibrant shade of fresh green as the leaves begin to appear on the trees. These things, among many others, suggest the promise of spring’s arrival.

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God has given us many promises in His Word. His promises are more sure than the arrival of spring. We can trust them.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” Hebrews 10:23

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“The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

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Look for these promises. Some are conditional promises, and require us to take action in order to receive the promise. Some are unconditional promises, and relate to God’s unchanging character.

“The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.” Proverbs 10:3a

“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” Psalm 5:4

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“…Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” Psalm 58:11

As we discover and meditate on the promises of God, we will grow in the knowledge of our infinite, holy God and Savior and be drawn ever nearer to Him. What more could we desire, than to deepen our relationship with the One Who has “saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9)?
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“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 2 Thessalonians 5:24

Search the Word for these blessed promises. Claim them. Seek the Lord’s will through them, and delight in the will of your heavenly Father, knowing that He “only doeth wondrous things.” (Psalm 72:18b) This is a promise.

Words of Encouragement for the 100th Day of 2015

Today (April 10th) marks the 100th day of this year! Here are the words of a beautiful hymn, as well as some Scripture passages, that the LORD has used to bless and encourage my heart recently; I pray they will be used thus in your lives as well.

 

All the Way
Fanny J. Crosby

All the way my Savior leads me – what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me – cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before, lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me – oh the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings it’s flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.

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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. Isaiah 41:10

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32:8

2015 NC FEW Conference | Part 5

A “FEW” final shots…

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May the LORD Find Us Faithful
Mac Lynch

God hath not given us the spirit of fear,
But has given us the strength to obey.
With power and sound mind, with love, the unfailing kind,
O be not ashamed of His way.

No man that seeketh after things of this life
Is a soldier who passes the test.
Be faithful, be working, be running, be serving,
Be searching His Word for His best.

Living or dying, may honor be Thine,
From this wretched life You loved and forgave.
A life that is on fire, be only our heart’s desire.
Be faithful from now to the grave.

Refrain:

May the LORD find us faithful.
May His Word be our banner held high.
May the LORD find us faithful
Every day, though we live, though we die.

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2015 NC FEW Conference | Part 2

Sessions – a time to hear from the LORD through the preaching and teaching of His Word

“Living in Jesus’ Name”

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“The Journey of Love” (Ladies’ session)

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Young People’s Testimonies – “An Attitude of Gratitude”

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Children’s Session – “In EVERYTHING Give Thanks!”

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Chalk Talk – “Eagles and Expectations”

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Project Day | 12 Reasons for Gratitude

Last Saturday was another family work day. Funny that this should be the second post I will have written about days like this so far this year, but to be very honest… these types of days are rather rare commodities.

The vast majority of our weekends are filled with guests, ministry opportunities, and various trips to various places, seeing various wonderful people… and we LOVE it that way. We wouldn’t change it for anything, and are continually reminded what a tremendous blessing it is from the LORD to have our days filled thus.

But an occasional day at home all together to catch up on projects can be a nice change of pace, and that is what we enjoyed this past weekend.

What a day it was! The time flew by as project after project was tackled and accomplished by various Team members.

As the hours passed, however, it was as though the LORD was telling me to PAUSE; to pay attention to the immense number of blessings that were surrounding me; to observe the beauty that He has created…to truly, in every thing, GIVE THANKS.

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It brought such delight to my heart. There are so many blessings, so many reasons for gratitude. Here are a few:

1. Glorious, beautiful sunshine! I love winter, but coming inside at dusk with a light sunburn felt most pleasant.

2. Aqua-blue sky wisped with cirrus clouds, which speak of the creativity of our Father (Can you imagine the joy He must get out of designing new cloud formations for us to view every single day?!)

3. Dad, up on a ladder pressure washing the house, with two stalwart helpers beside him, moving equipment around and running errands for him

4. A sister who faithfully weeded around all of the trees, bushes, and shrubs in the yard; and another sister who followed her for hours with a backpack sprayer making sure the weeds stayed away!

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5. Mom, and yet another sister, who stayed inside for the majority of the day (thus, we failed to document any of their activities on camera Sad smile) accomplishing sewing projects, preparing meals, cleaning the house, reaching a deadline for a computer project, etc.

6. Black, rich, beautiful dirt… and chubby, wriggling earth worms. I’m not really one of those people who just loves gardening for it’s sake alone… but the LORD has given me so much joy the past couple years in taking on the position of “garden manager” for the Team, that I have actually come to get excited over such things. Black dirt really is beautiful… and fat worms are a sign of healthy soil… and so, despite the initial connotations that come to mind regarding them, they both hold immense reasons for gratitude.

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7. A manly brother who kindly got his commercial weed-wacker up and running and let me operate it

8. The humor of explaining the difference between rebar and rhubarb to a little sister (and yes, she smilingly gave her permission to post that Winking smile)

9. Adorable little green houses in which to start some early crops, and the educational fun of constructing them with sweet team of helpers

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10. Cold, juicy clementines – the perfect “pick me up” snack

11. Dinner around the fire pit, riding the go-cart, and cool evening breezes

12. Gratitude expressed and displayed by my dear family throughout the day, encouraging me to find and take note of even more of the bountiful evidences of the LORD’s goodness

There are so many other things that could be mentioned… but just remember, as you go throughout your day, to PAUSE and take note of the beautiful things that surround you. Your life is beautiful… because your Heavenly Father has designed it, and He does all things well. May you discover many reasons for rejoicing as you GIVE THANKS for His abundant goodness.

 

Special thanks to Susanna for capturing the day for us with her camera!

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