Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore…or California…

On Monday evening, my cousin, Willie and Uncle Jerry flew in from California. They were here to visit my family and grandma for a week. Tuesday, May 24, was Willie Rose’s 22nd birthday, BUT she got a very different birthday present, because on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, multiple tornadoes tore through Oklahoma leaving at least eight people dead and dozens more injured. The main massive twister left a trail of damage 50 miles long.

Read more: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-tornadoes-8-dead-60-injured/article/3570916#ixzz1Nq4qTAJy 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Willie Rose! We were planning to take her to dinner and celebrate, but the weather changed our plans. She experienced the scare of Oklahoma weather. AND she still wants to move here and live with us! Amazing! BUT there were not just tornadoes in Oklahoma, but Kansas, Texas and Arkansas as well, all on the same night. Storms raged through Dallas and Denton, and also Hugoton and Great Bend, Kansas.

On Wednesday evening, our Lifegroup went out to Piedmont on Northwest Expressway and helped a family of 6 clean up debris and try to put their life back together. We assisted the Piedmont Church of Christ group at this home.  The sweet man who lived there spoke very little english, and every time someone spoke to him, tears welled up in his eyes. It was so surreal and sad to speak with him but see the appreciation on his face to have the help with the cleanup. (Photo below by Eric Urbach)

(Photos below taken by myself)

Lifechurch-OKC had several families who attend our church and live in Cashion, that lost everything and our church has rallied together and provided shelter, food and cleanup the past week and will continue to do it throughout the coming weeks. I am in awe at the servant hearts of our church members. Praise God for each one of them. (Photos below by Sunny Thomas)

The devastation that stretched across our state was unbelievable and I pray for each family and life that was affected by these massive tornado storms, prayers for strength as they rebuild their lives and thank God for the ones who survived! Thoughts and prayers for each family that lost loved ones for comfort and healing.

Getting past your past…how hard is that!?

There is a series that Craig Groeschel is preaching right now about getting past your past…and he shared an amazing lesson last week, the first week of the series, Breaking the Labels that Bind. We all have a label or labels that we have been given. If this had been years back I would have been reluctant to share my label (s). But by being a member at Lifechurch, I have learned to be transparent and real because I am not judged or ridiculed by doing so.

I have been labeled: Melissa the Rebel, Melissa the Blacksheep and Melissa the people-pleaser. I have a very sad but victorious past, and those are my labels that I have heard others call me and I have called myself. If its something rebellious, I have done it. “You can’t make me follow your rules, I am my own person.” Hmmm…I needed to listen to God’s rules, and not try to set my own. With the people pleaser label, when I was young, I wanted everyone to like me, so I tried to do everything in my power, good and bad to please everyone, but was not pleasing to God, who is the most High and the only one I should be worrying about pleasing.

So. as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, …anyone who belongs to Christ has become a NEW PERSON. The old life is GONE; a new life has begun. (NLT).  That is what I have in Jesus Christ! A new life!

The day that I heard Craig talk about this, I thought that he was talking one on one right to me. It was so close and personal to my own experiences that I had to sit and thank God for his grace and mercy that led me out of that pit into HIS light. And then God is going to use those experiences to  save others, I just know it.

The next day, I was listening to K-Love and the DJ was reading out of a devo book that they are doing every day. I had the book and started reading along with K-love as they go on this journey. The book is Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. In this book, Sarah takes scripture and puts it into easy words, words from Jesus talking to you. This is what was on the next day, Monday, after I heard Craig speak on Labels.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to ME. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design. Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. TRUST ME, AND WATCH TO SEE WHAT I CAN DO! Romans 8:28

Powerful! Trust God and see what He can do in your life!!

When you feel inadequate or discouraged, just remember this..God has always thought of you as precious and He has a very special purpose in mind for you!

He has great plans for you!! Jeremiah 29:11

Forgetting what is behind…Philippians 3:13-14

How could a mom be any more proud…

As a mom, we always dred the day that our children grow into their own person…or do we long for it?

I want my daughter to be her own person, not to listen to what others have to say but to rely on what God thinks and says. I want her to have her own faith and relationship with Jesus. I believe that she is doing just that…being a fully devoted follower of Christ. On February 19, 2011, my husband John, baptized Callie Anne. She is 14 years old and she is walking in His light.

Because this past weekend at Lifechurch, OKC, her and 5 other Switch kids lead worship for the Loop. The Loop is a worship place for 4-5th graders, a step below Switch at Lifechurch. They led those kids in worship and to a place where God is. It was amazing to witness! They led me into a place where God was, and I was just there to watch Callie sing. Our Youth Pastors, Sean and Tim are teaching these kids how to love the Lord with all of their heart and use their gifts to bring praise to His name. But it is also important for these kids to get Godly training and instruction at home. So God instructs us to lead by example. I just pray that I can do my best to serve Him and be the example to Callie that I should be so that she will continue to grow in the Lord.

 I am so proud of the young woman that she is becoming…and I pray for her relationship with God everyday.