2020 has the award for the slowest year ever but now 2021 seems like it is literally flying by! We are thankful for all the opportunities we’ve had so far this year! Every opportunity to encourage people, share Jesus, and equip the Church! Woohoo!
2019 has been an ongoing celebration of milestones. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in October! 2019 also marks the 20th year of full-time ministry for our duo. So, to add to the celebrations, the release of our first ever Christmas album – ‘LOVE IS HERE’ – happened on December 1st!
‘Love Is Here’ is a collection of Christmas songs both old and new. The title track – Love is Here – is an original written by Russell and clearly shares the wonder of Christmas and the reasons to celebrate the wondrous gift of Emmanuel, God with us!
In addition to the album, we set out on a Christmas tour. The ‘Love is Here’ tour made stops in… Houston, TX Katy, TX Lindale, TX Texarkana, TX Fort Smith, AR Van Buren, AR Myrtle Beach, SC Murrells Inlet, SC
Every stop on our tour was an opportunity to share the Hope we have in Christ – The Prince of Peace coming as a child to save the world! Wow! Aren’t we thankful for Heaven’s Perfect Gift – JESUS!
I learned something from my dog, Rivers, this morning…well, really from God but through my dog. We were out on our morning walk and I kept doing as I always do, nudging her to keep walking and she did as she always does, kept right on sniffing areas for way too long in my opinion! This time, though, I was reminded of the fact that she hadn’t been out on a walk for several days due to rain so I was trying to be a little more sympathetic and give her a few more seconds of sniffing pleasure.
That’s when it happened…I felt my Lord saying to me, “Why the rush? Rivers isn’t rushing and what do you have pressing that requires so much rushing through this time? Enjoy this.”
WOW! How many times do I have to be reminded to just stop rushing?! I KNOW this but I don’t act on it. I know that there are not people that say on their death beds that they wished they had rushed through life just a little more. NO…truth be told we probably all need to stop rushing through life and “stop to smell the roses” (to use an old adage).
Sometimes, too, we will be able to hear the Lord speaking a little more clearly. As I was just reminded at beachCHURCH this past Sunday through our pastor, Todd, God doesn’t speak with a loud, thunderous voice. He speaks in a gentle whisper.
Thank You, Lord, for using Rivers to show me how to enjoy moments You give us. Thank You for helping me to see that time already flies so fast that I don’t need to miss it. Help us all to let up on the leash just a little bit and allow You to speak into our busyness, allow You to help us enjoy life just a little more. Thank You for loving us even when we’re rushing and loving us too much to let us stay content in the rat race. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
The other day I was getting ready in our bathroom and I “felt” the Lord speak to me…
I have always been a person who wanted to do things ‘by myself.’ My family always kidded me, “Oh don’t try to help Kristi open that jar. She wants to do it by herself!” It’s true. I wanted to open the jar, the can, the whatever, by myself. I guess, in this way, I wanted to be independent. I wanted to feel the accomplishment. I wanted to be proud of what I could do alone. I’ve always looked as this personality trait as a plus, something I was kinda proud of, something that meant I would always give everything to try my best. I still think it can be a positive trait; however, as I felt God speak to me the other day, I started to think of it in a different way…
I have a daughter who is the same as I was (am) in this. Sidney wants to do everything ‘by herself.’ She wants to be independent when she wants to be independent, if you know what I mean. I’ve told her many times over the years that she’s just like me. Lately, though, I have seen Sidney not wanting to ask for help, even from the Lord. She seems to think she doesn’t need to ask for help.
Maybe I was thinking about this the other day or maybe God just needed to tell me while I was in one place doing one thing, brushing my teeth. He impressed on my heart that even though I’d always wanted to do things myself, He never created us to be alone. He created us to be in community, to need others…most importantly, to need Him.
WOW! I had never thought of my need to do things ‘by myself’ as a form of pride…until then. I had never thought of my need to not ask for help as something that was keeping me from allowing others the privilege of helping someone…until then. Until then, I had prided myself in the fact that I had always wanted to do things, sometimes over and over again, with no one’s help, mind you! God spoke, though. He told me it’s okay for me, and Sidney, and you, to want to try to do things on our own. It’s okay to even try to do them over and over again, as long as we know that we know that we know we need others, most importantly, our Lord and Savior, to help when we struggle.
We were not made to be alone. In Genesis 2, God even said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”