Monday, January 26, 2009

Praise Him! Praise Him!

I have been quite overwhelmed in the last ten days to say the least. If you've been following Kelly's blog, then I'm sure you have been to. When I saw this picture for the first time today, it was a celebration! I was trying to figure out a way to sum up the past ten days, but then I read Jacquie's post over at Middle of Eleven, and she said it well. So go here, and take a look.

One exciting thing for me since Harper's birth, has been the opportunity to teach Jaiden more about praying, and for her to see her prayers answered. That little girl prayed her heart out with us for days! For several days, we kept "How Great is Our God" playing on my laptop with a picture of Harper up. Jaiden would crawl up in the chair and reach her hand out to the screen and pray to God to "help her feel a lot better," "let her come home," and "take the wires off of her." She would ask "God please heal Baby Harper in Jesus' Name."

Every day she asks me if Harper is home yet. There were several times that we would worship and "praise dance" to the song How Great is Our God in the kitchen and living room. We'd praise a while, and then we'd get down on our faces and pray. Most of the time Jeryn was right there with us with both hands in the air turning in circles and making himself dizzy, but he was getting his praise on too! When he ran out of the room toward the bathroom, Jaiden ran after him yelling, "Bubby! Get back here, this is a time to praise God, not go play in the toilet!" Sadly, that's what he was headed to do.

She prayed at dinner, she prayed at Sunday School, she prayed in the car, and she prayed in the bed. So you can imagine when I called her to the computer tonight to show her Harper's recent photo of her eyes open for the first time. Her face lit up and she was so pleased! I said, "You see, God has answered the prayers of His people." She was astonished. There was a little song that I remember from when I was a kid that went "Praise Him! Praise Him! All ye little children, God is Love, God is Love! I was so excited for Jaiden to get to pray for something specific and witness God's unfailing love!

So far there have been four people that have accepted Christ in the last several days as a result of what God is doing through the Stamps and Martin families, and I'm quite certain that there have been many lives changed, and hearts touched...I know mine has been. Thanks to Kelly&Scott, and your precious families. You are an inspiration and we continue to pray Harper!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Calling All Prayer Warriors

There are no words to describe the deep concern that I have right now for a precious family that means so much to me. I know a lot of people do not read this blog, but if you do, please fall to your knees and plead on behalf of Harper, Kelly and Scott. My heart is so heavy but I know that God is in control and he hears our prayers. You can go here to stay updated.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Year (2009) is Here!

Well, since the last post, the pink eye spread into the other eye and we are still doctoring, but hopefully have it whipped! 2008 came to a close, and we are off and running in January 2009! New Years Eve was fairly uneventful for us. We went to dinner, and then went grocery shopping!

Exciting, eh? Well, it gets better...Recently we let Jaiden watch the last half of the movie Cast Away with us. It was on late one night and she had been out of school so we let her stay up with us. It was the only thing I could find on tv, and I figured she would be bored out of her little mind...hours of a hairy man on a isolated island, struggling to survive. She was fascinated! And she is still talking about "Wilson." If it's been a while, or you're like me and have never watched it in its entirety, Wilson is the volleyball he paints a face on so that he will have a friend to talk to.
Back to the point...J asked me a ton of questions about coconuts after seeing him eat/drink from them in the movie. Why did he eat coconuts? Where do you get coconuts? How do they taste? Why do they have milk in them? and finally, "Can you buy me a coconut?" I had kind of forgotten, but when we pulled into the parking lot at the grocery store, she began chanting, "CO-CO-NUT! CO-CO-NUT!" So we spent our New Years Eve shopping for coconuts and then breaking and eating one.

Jeryn couldn’t figure out what was going on, but I loved this picture of him with the milk dripping down his chin:

Friday, Mom & Dad made a trip down to spend the day with us. You can read about our fun day on my sister’s blog by going here. My parents got J and her cousin Rhett each a pair of roller skates for Christmas. She was appreciative of all of her presents, but hands down, I think the roller skates were the most prized. She loves skating and I am so proud of her for trying so hard!

As for 2009…I am a firm believer in writing down goals. Each year, Mario and I make it a tradition to spend some time writing down our goals and praying together about the year to come. I am embarrassed to say that we have not made time to sit and WRITE down goals yet (hopefully tomorrow), but we did pray together at midnight over the upcoming year.

There are several goals that I have for the new year, but there is one that I want to share with you, because I want to challenge you to do the same! I’m calling this the 12x12 challenge. Mario and I were talking one day about how easy it is to talk about the Lord and share your faith with other believers, but how much more difficult it is to witness outside of that box. We discussed how we would both like to be responsible for sharing and leading people to Christ on a regular basis. Please understand that I am not saying in any shape form or fashion that I have been ashamed to share the gospel, it's just that I find that a very challenging thing to bring up with a total stranger or someone I know very little because it is so personal.

It really hit me after a sweet young girl had been working in our office for a short time. I rarely had the opportunity to visit with her one on one, but I really wanted to talk to her about Christ.
Meanwhile, I came back in to the office to learn that she had worked her last day. I regretted not making a way to talk with her, and still wonder if she knew Him or not. Then, one night Jaiden asked me when Jesus was coming back.
"Well, sweetie, I don't know. No one knows. It could be today or it could be ten years from now."
"Or it could be three years from now," she added.
Maybe the Lord's way of speaking to me through a child to prompt the question, "What am I waiting for?!"
So one night while I was thinking about all of this, I realized that just like anything else, I need to set a goal. First I'll start with 12 people in 12 months. That means that once a month, I am making it a point to step up to the plate, and get personal with someone. I will ask them what they believe, and if they are born again! If they're not, then I am praying in advance that the Holy Spirit would move in their hearts and that they would allow me to share the plan of salvation with them.

Sounds easy, right? Well, I know that for me, this is a challenge, but I really want to follow through with it. Hopefully, with a little practice, I will one day work up to 12 people a month for 12 months...but for now, I am stepping outside my comfort zone by sharing with at least one person each month. If the opportunity does not present itself, then I will have to go out and find someone to share with! How about you? Anybody game to take the 12x12 challenge with me? If you're not, then maybe you need a few scriptures to get you going:

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise." Proverbs 11:30

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:2-6