Wow!!!  After being gone for so long, I almost forgot how good it is to be home!!!  From sleeping in my own bed, to being able to work on the farm, and everything in between, home is just really amazing after a long trip.  You know, if this is what it's like here on earth, our Heavenly home-going is gonna be un-imaginable!  However, we really did have a great trip; it is so rewarding to see people's hearts turned towards God, and to realize that He is still doing a great work in America.

       Also, thank-you so much to everyone who has prayed for us; your prayers have been felt!  God has has really blessed us these last three months, and has protected us in our travels.  Here are a few of the ways that we have really felt God's hand of protection-

       #1.  Since we left home, none of us have been what I would call "sick" (i.e. throwing up, etc), except for Rebecca!  Health is such a blessing, because it just isn't much fun to sing when you are sick (and also because we travel in a forty-five foot bus, so when people get the flu, well, you get the idea!)

       #2.  While traveling in Northern Georgia one night, we crossed some mountains on the Appalachian Trail, which we later found out is nick-named "The Dragons Tail"!  (and appropriately so, since this twenty-four mile stretch of road has lots of hairpin curves!)  Well, we were all sleeping except for our faithful bus-driver (my dad), and the snow was just beginning to fall, when the bus started its trek up the mountain. After pain-stakingly working his way around curve after curve, dad finally guided the bus to the top of the mountain and looked down...... but wait, where was the bottom?  Was it actually those lights waaaaay down below?  Needless to say, we crept along as we made our descent, and eventually DID make it the whole way down.  We later told some friends who are First Responders and live near there, about our traveling the Appalachian Trail; they were shocked!  They said that motercyclists ride that road in the summer, and, well, some of them never make it the whole way through!  God was definitely taking good care of us that night!  So thank-you all for your prayers; we definitely felt them!

       Well, this is just a brief synopsis of our trip; for more highlights, check out our family's blog or my sister Chelsy's blog.  And for now, it's home, sweet, home for me!!!


Giving God The Glory

       I recently read 2 Chronicles 32:24-25, which reads, "In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the Lord: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.  But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem."  The reason that God was angry with Hezekiah was that Hezekiah's "heart was lifted up."  God had healed him, but he didn't give God the glory!  How foolish and prideful we humans are sometimes; we ask God for help, but when He helps us, we take all the credit for ourselves!

       Another story that goes along with the theme of giving God the glory is found in Acts 12:20-23.  This story tells of a time when King Herod gave a speech to the people of Tyre and Sidon.  The people responded by shouting, "It is the voice of a god, and not of a man." (v. 22)  Verse 23 goes on to say, "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."  Herod died because he didn't give God the glory!  Apparently, God wants to get all the glory!  As Psalm 107:8 says, "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"


Praising The Lord

       "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men."  (Psalm 107:8,15,21,31)  I read Psalm 107 recently, and these verses really spoke to me.  One reason I noticed them was because the exact same words are used in FOUR different verses in the same chapter.  The writer was obviously trying to get a point across!  The other reason I noticed them was because of what the rest of the chapter says.  You see, Psalm 107 talks about how God delivers us.   What struck me was this- when God gives someone deliverance, He wants praise in return!  Tonight I am thankful to God for delivering me from an eternity in hell, and giving me a mansion in Heaven!
So, if God has delivered you from something, take a minute to praise Him!

How To Have A Blessed Life

       "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."  (Psalm 1)

       This chapter starts out by telling us what we shouldn't do - get counsel from ungodly people, stand in the way of sinners, or hang out with scorners.  It goes on to tell us to delight in God's Word, and to meditate in it day and night.  This seems fairly simple, but if we just follow the advice given in this chapter, we will be blessed!