Archive for March, 2015
A “FEW” final shots…
May the LORD Find Us Faithful
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.
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.
Discipleship game time – a great chance for the little ones to release their wiggles and for the older ones to invest into their lives! Such sweet memories are made.
Music – what a blessing to see so many young ones using their gifts for the glory of God!
Meals – the joy of fellowshipping together around delicious food!
Sessions – a time to hear from the LORD through the preaching and teaching of His Word
“Living in Jesus’ Name”
“The Journey of Love” (Ladies’ session)
Young People’s Testimonies – “An Attitude of Gratitude”
Children’s Session – “In EVERYTHING Give Thanks!”
Chalk Talk – “Eagles and Expectations”
We are often asked, “What is a Family Encouragement Weekend?”
In our culture today, many families feel alone in the walk of life to which the LORD has called them.
Many feel discouraged about a lack of likeminded fellowship.
Many wonder if following the commands, principles, and patterns of Scripture for home and family life is really worth the sacrifice it involves.
In short, a Family Encouragement Weekend (FEW Conference) it is a weekend conference organized with the simple goal of encouraging families who are seeking to follow a Biblical pattern of family life.
Because… we all need encouragement. We all need strengthening in the race we call the Christian life. We all need reminders that Christ, Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling (2 Tim. 1:9), is indeed faithful and has promised to bring to completion the good work that He has begun (Phil. 1:6).
2015 NC FEW Conference
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17
What a true joy it was to participate in the NC FEW Conference earlier this month! The LORD’s hand of blessing was abundantly evident, and for that our hearts are filled with gratitude.
Throughout the course of the weekend, whether in teaching from the Word, family prayer times, character-building activities, or fellowship together, a spirit of oneness in Christ was beautifully seen.
In the forthcoming series of posts, we hope to give you a little glimpse of the joyous time the LORD granted us together. May He receive all glory and praise, because He alone is worthy!
For information regarding the WV FEW Conference coming up this summer, please contact us.
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.
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!
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 ) 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.
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 )
9. Adorable little green houses in which to start some early crops, and the educational fun of constructing them with sweet team of helpers
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!
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate, larger bowl mix together the maple syrup, apple sauce, milk, and vanilla. Once the wet ingredients are well incorporated, add in the dry ingredients and mix well until combined. Cook according to your waffle maker’s directions. Serve with your favorite waffle toppings and eat with loved ones. Enjoy!
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe from allrecipes.com
Special thanks to our dear friends, the Wilkes Team, for giving us the most amazing Christmas gift of a double waffle maker! What once took hours-and-hours to make for a family of our size now only takes a few minutes! My sweet daughter and I had fun making them together.
Snow was softly falling from the sky in amounts that our area of the country had not yet seen this year. Eyes, filled with wonder and excitement, peered out the windows. “It’s snowing!! And it’s actually sticking to the ground!”
A few hours later, a young one came to me, nearly jumping up and down and quivering with excitement, while the words tumbled off her lips, “Guess what we get to do when we finish school?!?! Go sledding!!”
I was working in the kitchen, busily preparing food as the hustle and bustle of people gathering coats, gloves, scarves, and boots began around me early in the afternoon. I began to think how fun it was last year when I spent some time outside sledding and building snowmen with my precious siblings.
Continuing on with the task at hand, I thought to myself, “I really don’t feel like going outside in the freezing weather, and getting wet and soggy today.”
No, my idea of fun is to work on my to-do list.
But then something changed in my mind as I saw another sibling gathering the various paraphernalia needed for playing outside on such a winter day. I thought of how it would bless my younger siblings if I went outside to sled with them, even if it was only for ten minutes.
Relationships or to-do lists. Hmm….should there really be any comparison? Which will matter most a year from now?
I decided: I was going to go outside. I gathered the needed garb to brave the winter wonderland, and, with camera in hand, stepped into the snowy outdoors. Brrrrr, it was chilly, but the fun was well worth it! Sliding down the hill on a sled with other family members, taking pictures of all the adventure and fun, and eventually landing at the bottom of our hill nearly on my head…..it was such grand fun, but the best thing about it was that we did it together.
So, next time you’re tempted to work on your to-do list (and, there are times when that should be your first priority!), when your little brother or sister comes to you with longing yet twinkling eyes and says, “Will you play with me?” or, “I need a playmate,” I challenge you to step back and evaluate: what is really most important?
Treasure the moments, because the days are fleeting by! If you have the opportunity to strengthen relationships, don’t let work get in the way. Yes, work is very important. But, if you put relationships first, you won’t be sorry.
Go out and play in the snow for a while!
A great blessing in my life recently has been the reading of J.I. Packer’s book, Knowing God. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with it, as I was until a few months ago, this is one of those volumes that is so thoroughly packed with the glowing, vibrant truths of Scripture about the character of our God, that it is almost impossible to read more than a couple paragraphs in one setting. It is one of those books that I will need to read over and over again so that, by God’s grace, the beautiful realities it presents can be more fully grasped and integrated into my life. I would compare it to drinking out of a fire hydrant – catching as much water as I can handle with each effort to quench my thirst, but being nearly knocked over in the process.
For the past several days, I have been (wonderfully) “stuck” on this quote from chapter three, and wanted to share it with you with the hope that it will bless and challenge you equally as much.
“What matters supremely… is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it – the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.”
May your heart rejoice today as you meditate on the settled truth of your Heavenly Father’s intimate love for and knowledge of you.
Look around you, at the individuality and uniqueness of each snow flake, the magnificent beauty of the trees upon which they fall, the splendor of the pure whiteness of the covered slopes, and see the Creator’s power. Then ponder… that you are known of Him. No painful circumstance, no mental doubt, no uncertain future, can change that fact. His eye is upon you, watching over you and guiding you with perfect wisdom, unfailing faithfulness, and tender compassion.
How precious also are they thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:17-18
But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands… Isaiah 49:14-16
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39