Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Having a Vision for the Work of God...

A Picture from our Christmas trip to Disneyland! This is by the beautiful Christmas tree in the Grand California hotel lobby.



Thoughts from my devotions...

II Samuel 7:1-3
"And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee. "

I love this passage of Scripture! It is a reminder to always give our very best to the work of God and make sure all we do for Him is first class. The work of God deserves our very best in every area...time, talent, treasure, etc. This seems to be a challenge, a reminder that we shouldn't be guilty of giving God our "leftovers."

Thank you also, God, for the reminder in verse 3 that we should always be looking forward; always looking for what more we can do in our ministry. It is important for us as Christians to have a vision of what greater things You can do for others through our lives. We will never "arrive" in our Christianity if we are surrendered. You will always have something more for us to accomplish.

Thank you, God! I love finding these "nuggets" of truth in Your Word every day! It is an honor and privilege to serve You!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Forgiveness and Respect...

II Samuel 1:23a...."Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives,"

WOW! This is DAVID speaking about the life of Saul. He spends this entire chapter lamenting the death of Saul and Jonathan. Saul, in life, being the enemy who sought relentlessly for David's life.

We can learn at least 2 VALUABLE lessons from David's choice of words and attitude in this chapter.

The first lesson being that of forgiveness. If anyone had a valid reason to be upset with another, it could be David towards Saul. However, he chose the right way...to forgive and forget. He called Saul "lovely and pleasant in his life!" Wow! That is the right way to forgive! (Not the easy way, but the right way!) Not forgiveness with a grudge, but learning to forgive and move on with life. We can learn from David to look at the overview of the life of others and not judging their entire lives by one incident.

The second lesson being that of respect for the position of authority. David could have demeaned Saul's life after he passed on, but even after Saul's death David showed a respect and loyalty for his appointed position of leadership. MY! What a lesson our country needs to learn today and one of which all of us need to be reminded. The media publishes and blasts every little wrong doing of every leader in our country, simply for the sake of a story. God must long for us to return to respect for the position of our leaders. Even if we do not respect the person, we are to respect their position.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of these 2 great and important truths today!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The privilege of prayer...

WOW! Great weekend! God is good!

One of our teenagers, who has been involved in our ministries for 7 years and is currently a senior in our Christian school, finally got his mom to attend our church service for the first time 2 weeks ago. Yesterday, she accepted Christ as her Saviour, walked the aisle and got baptized! How exciting! Gives us the reassurance and reminder that we should never stop praying. We never know how long an answer to prayer may take.

What a privilege to pray! This was a great reminder to me to never stop praying for the needs of others. We have access to the Creator of the Universe, and the opportunity to speak to Him any moment of every day! WOW! May we never lose sight of this privilege and daily take advantage of the gift of prayer.

We also had our church-wide adult Christmas party this past Saturday evening. We had a great group of people there and LOTS of food! It was potluck, so we had a very yummy variety of foods and a fun time of games and fellowship.

Isn't it a wonderful thing to have "church family?" I cannot imagine the void it would leave if we did not have this wonderful extension of our family. It is a wonderful thing to center every aspect of our lives around Christ and the church. I am always grateful to God for the Christian family he has given me, but the gratitude is even more keenly felt around the holidays. The comfort and security of a Christian home and a husband who loves God is such a priceless gift.

May we stop to thank God for His many gifts to us!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thought from I Samuel 30...

I Samuel 30:6..."And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

(Just a side note: David could not even seek encouragement from his wife at this time when all others turned against him. His family was gone! David certainly could have pleaded the validity of his complaints to God!)

I have heard many sermons and lessons on this passage of scripture, but a certain thought hit me as I read it today.

David did turn to God in prayer over this situation in verse 7, but, interestingly enough, David encouraged himself BEFORE he thought to pray. The preparation of our spirit plays such a vital role in how we handle different situations that arise in our lives. (This brings to mind Bro. Hyles sermon from years ago called "Preparing for Winter.")

We must study what things or outward stimuli cultivate in us a happy spirit...certain happy Christian music, certain people who uplift us, certain things we read or listen to, certain type of preaching or teaching, a drive in the country, an activity we enjoy, etc. We ought to make an art of the study of our spirit and how it is affected. This way when the time comes, and no doubt it will at some point in our lives, that we feel we would much rather quit than deal with a situation, we can begin bringing certain thoughts or certain stimuli in contact with our spirit that will begin to encourage and uplift.

Thus the importance of every sermon and lesson we have the opportunity to hear. We never know at what time we will need to draw from the strength of its truth. How important that we pay close attention every time the Word of God is opened and taught, or when we ourselves open the cover and read those precious pages! We must learn, like David, how to pull from inside of ourselves the strength to encourage our spirit and go on in prayer.

We cannot help lead others to encouragement if we ourselves do not know where to find it. When our heart is extremely burdened or heavy, we may have to strengthen our spirit first in order to make the logical decision of going to the Bible or going to the Lord in prayer.

What a challenge, God! To make a STUDY of our own spirit; learn what outward stimuli affect it and how. Then, in time of hardship, it will be easier for us to draw strength from within to help us turn to the One above. He in turn can give us the strength to help others!

I hope I was able to write down my thoughts in a way that does not sound "scrambled!"

Thanks, God, for this great truth today!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Sweet Service...

I just finished watching online the "Heavenly Graduation" service for Dr. Don Boyd, my high school principal. It was a very sweet tribute to the life of a truly amazing and exemplary Christian. There were some tears, some laughter over sweet and fond memories, and a time to give God solemn thanks for the time we were privileged to spend under the influence of Mr. Boyd's life. The music, as always at First Baptist, was sweet and appropriate.

I tearfully watched as his family said their last goodbyes to Daddy, Sweetheart, Grandpa and beloved relative. Mrs. Boyd left her husband with a sweet kiss and a long hug. The actions and composure of the family were a wonderful testimony of their trust in God . There was not a spirit of despair; sadness, yes, but an obvious faith and trust in a God whose strength is bigger than our hurts. Even in death, Mr. Boyd's unwavering faith in God was evidenced by the sweet testimony of his family.

I wish I could have been there to stand as an alumni who was privileged to be under the leadership of Mr. Boyd while in my high school years. But, as stated in my last post in tribute, I will strive to say my thanks by serving God with my life and pass on the legacy of Christianity Mr. Boyd handed down to us. he was truly a friend to all he met!

Thanks, Mr. Boyd! I have so many precious memories from my high school years! Your life will not be forgotten. We love you!

A Sweet Service....

I just finished watching the "Heavenly Graduation" service for Dr. Don Boyd. It was a sweet tribute to the life of a truly amazing and exemplary Christian. There were some tears, some laughter over sweet and fond memories, and a time to give God solemn thanks for the time we were privileged to spend under the influence of Mr. Boyd's life. The music, as always at First Baptist, was sweet and appropriate.

I tearfully watched the family say their final goodbyes to daddy, sweetheart, grandpa, and beloved relative. Mrs. Boyd left her husband with a sweet kiss and long hug. The actions and composure of the family were a sweet testimony of a trust in a God who is bigger than our hurts. There was not an attitude of despair; sadness, yes, but an obvious reliance on God's grace and strength during a hard time. Even in death, Mr. Boyd's faith and trust in God was evidenced by the sweet testimony of his family.

I wish I could have been there to stand as an alumni who had the privilege of being under his leadership. But, as stated in my last post in tribute, I will strive to say my thanks by serving God with my life and pass on the legacy of Christianity Mr. Boyd handed down to us.

Thanks, Mr. Boyd, your life will not be forgotten! We love you!

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Tribute to a Great Man...

A Tribute to a Great Man...Dr. Don Boyd.

I was saddened to learn that my high school principal, Dr. Don Boyd of Hammond Baptist High School, passed away. He has been battling serious cancer and finally succumbed Sunday evening around 11:30 pm, I believe. He has now graduated to Heaven and I know he is happy and free from pain! I know his family must be deeply hurting right now and I myself so DESPERATELY wish I could be in Indiana for his funeral.

He taught me SO much and played a HUGE role in helping me become the person I am today. He was a man of amazing wisdom and much compassion. He so dearly loved the kids he served, and no one could deny that he was a servant.

He always had a "funny" or practical joke up his sleeve. Mr. Boyd was a man with always a spark of mischief in his grin, who made it obvious that he just loved to be around "his kids." He had a "quick wit" which, of course, is a necessity to work with teenagers! He could always dish out a comeback as quick as an insult was thrown; and anyone who works with teenagers knows that insults are always in rapid fire!

Even when Mr. Boyd lost his eye to cancer years ago, it never dampened or changed his spirit. I never one time remember him using this as an excuse to be pitied. He often turned his trial into something funny. I remember MANY a time he would touch his glass eye (or take it out! SICK!) and say..."Remember kids, I've got my EYE on you!"

Senior Seminar class was always one of my FAVORITE hours of the day! Whether it was watching one of the completely boring videos on electricity, plumbing (or some other "commodity"), listening to one of his wisdom-packed lessons, or working as a class to lead him off on a "rabbit trail" so we didn't have to learn anything that day...I LOVED Mr. Boyd! His kind countenance told each young person he met in the hallways of Hammond Baptist High School that he cared for them even if he spoke not a word.

Mr. Boyd poured his heart out in many a chapel message and always spoke with great fervor. He warned us with passion to avoid the wiles of the Devil. He had such a desire for his young people to see how wonderful and rewarding the Christian life could be! He taught us the importance of learning how to make the right decisions and choices in every little area of life. I am more and more thankful each day that I had a team of godly people investing in my life and pointing me down the right path. What a happy thing it is to serve the Lord with my life! Thanks, Mr. Boyd, for playing a HUGE role in teaching me this truth.

The absence of his spirit will leave a large vacancy, and I am saddened that the next generation will not have the opportunity to know such a man. I thank God for another godly generation of leaders who are leading the young people of Hammond Baptist Schools! I also thank God for the years I was privileged to spend under his tutelage. There was NO question...Mr. Boyd knew God!! This was evidenced in every single aspect of his life.

Mr. Boyd, if you are looking over my shoulder reading this from up in Heaven, I want you to know that I hope to repay your investment in my life by investing my life in others. Working with teenagers is a wonderful opportunity. I hope to pass on to them some of the many many things that you taught me in the halls and classrooms of Hammond Baptist High School. I am grateful for your selflessness and the sacrificial giving of your time. I learned as much, perhaps even more, from watching your consistent Christian life, as I learned in the classroom.

Mrs. Boyd, I want to thank you for sharing your husband with us. I know he must have spent many long hours and dealt with many situations that may have taken him from family time. I want you to know that I will try my best to be sure my life repays the debt I owe to a great man who will be sorely missed...Dr. Don Boyd.

Sincerely,
Helen Callaghan

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Busy Day in God's House...

Sunday marked the end of our Fall Program '09. Everyone worked SO hard to bring visitors these past 7 weeks. We had 8 visitors in the teen department and, I believe, 19 adult visitors! WOW! It is GREAT to see the house of God packed out on a Sunday morning!

I don't have the exact figures, but I believe we had 8 saved and 5 baptized on Sunday morning as well! God is good! One of our faithful church ladies won the prize for the most adult visitors...a new laptop computer!

Our teens did such a great job inviting friends and family to church and befriending the new visiting teens as well.

We also had our quarterly missions meeting this past Saturday evening and had a good turnout of about 25 or 26 people. We signed Christmas cards to mail to our missionaries and took a group picture to send them along with their card and love offering.

It brings to mind the verse in Psalms, I believe..."I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord!" I LOVE church! What a privilege to be a Christian!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanks, God!!

I just had to pause and thank God for a wonderful Christian home! What a privilege!!

We had such a wonderful happy family night. A warm yummy pot of homemade soup at the kitchen table...the sounds of a "Daddy and Darren" basketball game while I cleaned the kitchen...a few rousing games of "Hungry Hippo"...a few good "oldie" cartoons, 1937 Mickey Mouse and another old Chip and Dale...tucking my sweet Darren man into bed...enjoying a fire in the fireplace and a hot cup of tea with my Babe...The hardest working husband around heading off to work to provide for our family...and now the last bit of our nice fire with the end of an old faithful Hallmark movie and another bit of hot tea!

Ahhhh, why wouldn't ANYONE want to invite God into their homes?! We are so privileged to follow the sweet and happy will of God! What a wonderful, wonderful place to be! During every moment of our lives, good or bad, home with Christ as the center is a sweet haven!

Isn't it Great to Serve God?!

We had a great and busy weekend!


Saturday we had a Pizza and Game night at the church for the teens. We played some crazy games which they always love, and had pizza which they always love too (Some other snacks And homemade brownies of course!) We played human foosball, A survivor game and more. Lots of fun!

Here is a video clip of human foosball...



On Sunday morning, we honored our wonderful Pastor's wife as a surprise. Just thanking her around Thanksgiving time for all she has done. There was a church-wide reception following the service with delicious Filipino food. One of my FAVORITES since moving here! I never tasted it before I moved to CA! I could eat a whole PAN FULL of sweet sticky rice! Here is Pastor and Mrs. Callaghan with her special cake...(and one of our little men from the church decided to pop in the picture!)



Here is the "Lessons for Ladies" Plan I taught to my teen girls this Sunday morning. I teach a "Little Life Lesson" each Sunday...(The words that are in all caps are the ones that they fill in on their worksheets.)

A Faithful Woman…

I Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

• If we want God to entrust us with his blessings as stewards, we must first be found FAITHFUL.

• God doesn’t name certain areas; He wants us to be faithful in ALL areas.

• God will never be able to fully use your HUSBAND someday if you as a wife are not FAITHFUL to the things of God.

• The greatest ABILITY is dependability.

• Don’t ever date a young man if he is not faithful in his SPIRITUAL life and in his WORK; no matter how great he seems.

• Your future husband and children will not care how many TALENTS you have, they will care if you are faithful to your FAMILY.

• PRACTICE being faithful now in each area of your life.
(School, church, homework, household chores, family time, etc.)

• When you marry, never even JOKE about being an unfaithful WIFE.

• Being faithful doesn’t just HAPPEN when you become an adult. You must start NOW if you want to be a faithful lady!

Great Weekend!

We had a great and busy weekend!

Saturday we had a Pizza and Game night at the church for the teens. We played some crazy games which they always love, and had pizza which they always love too (And homemade brownies of course!) We played human foosball, A survivor game and more. Lots of fun!

On Sunday we honored our wonderful Pastor's wife as a surprise. Just thanking her around Thanksgiving time for all she has done. There was a church-wide reception following the service with delicious Filipino food. One of my FAVORITES since moving here! I never tasted it before I moved to CA! I could eat a whole PAN FULL of sweet sticky rice! Here is Pastor and Mrs. Callaghan with her beautiful cake...(and one of our little men from the church decided to pop in the picture!)



Here is the "Lessons for Ladies" Plan I taught to my teen girls this Sunday morning. I teach a "Little Life Lesson" each Sunday...(The words that are in all caps are the ones that they fill in on their worksheets.)

A Faithful Woman…
I Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

• If we want God to entrust us with his blessings as stewards, we must first
be found FAITHFUL.

• God doesn’t name certain areas; He wants us to be faithful in ALL areas.

• God will never be able to fully use your HUSBAND someday
if you as a wife are not FAITHFUL to the things of God.

• The greatest ABILITY is dependability.

• Don’t ever date a young man if he is not faithful in his SPIRITUAL life and
in his WORK; no matter how great he seems.

• Your future husband and children will not care how many TALENTS you have, they will care if you are faithful to your FAMILY.

• PRACTICE being faithful now in each area of your life.
(School, church, homework, household chores, family time, etc.)

• When you marry, never even JOKE about being an unfaithful WIFE.

• Being faithful doesn’t just HAPPEN when you become an adult.
You must start NOW if you want to be a faithful lady!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hmmmm...convicting...

Interesting thought from I Samuel 17:28-29
"And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?"

This statement (above in red) seemed to jump out at me during my devotions this morning. David's eldest brother was sure he knew the thoughts and intents of David's heart when, in truth, he couldn't have been more wrong! He also spoke out on his suspicions against David's motives.

This seems to be a reminder from God that it is not our job to judge the thoughts or motives of others. If we are given a position of leadership over any group of people, we must be VERY careful to avoid correcting others over what "WE think" they meant to do. We must learn to listen, of course with God's wisdom and discernment. If we fail to use God's mind in situations of judgement we could permanently damage or wound the spirit, and possibly the future potential, of a young person. Being falsely accused or judged for your motives can badly wound the spirit and mar the attitude of a young person (or anyone for that matter!). Oh, how we need God's wisdom every moment of the day!

Thank you, God, for this convicting reminder you sent my way!

Monday, November 9, 2009

WOW!!

I have an AMAZINGLY great report to post about our Sunday!

One of our teen girls has been praying for, I think, about 2 years for her mom to come to church and to be saved. She and her cousins convinced her mom to come with some family yesterday to church for the first time! We were SO excited. During our invitation time I slipped to the back of the auditorium where she was sitting and asked her if I could show her some verses from the Bible to help her in her life. She agreed and sat down with me right there in the back. I was able to open the Word of God and show her the only way to Heaven. She listened, bowed her head, and sweetly asked the Lord to take her to Heaven.

I was moved to tears as we prayed thinking that God would use ME to do such an amazing work in someone's life! WOW! If anyone ever says that serving the Lord is boring, they must not really be serving the Lord! The Lord's work is the greatest work in the world!

Thank you, God, for working through ME!

We also had a great number of teens there on Sunday morning, about 26, I think!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great afternoon with the teens!

Had a great day out Teen Soul-winning today. 17 teens in attendance and 7 people saved! Very good in view of the fact that we have very little time now that daylight savings is over. It is practically dark as soon as we start! We only had about half an hour out soul-winning. I was going to take some more pictures, but I forgot I had my camera till the last group of kids was getting off the bus! Anyways, here are a couple of our kids; we have such a GREAT group...

A few of our guys...Totally PUMPED, can't you tell?!...




2 of our young ladies ready to go win souls! However, they went with Dan and I. I regret to say that we picked the GRUMPY Street! A bunch of people who thought they didn't need God! Oh well, can't say we didn't try today!



Monday, November 2, 2009

Great Group of Teens!

We had a good Sunday in our teen department. Sunday school attendance has been up. We had 23 teens there Sunday morning and one visitor! That is a GREAT number for our small church. We have had a teen visitor in Sunday school every week of the program! One of them has come back for every Sunday morning and Sunday evening service since the first week! God is good. We also saw 2 saved and one baptized in the morning service.

Sunday night I had the privilege of playing the piano for one of our teen young men to sing a solo. He did such a GREAT job and it is so rewarding to see your young people choose to live their lives for God. I tell my teen girls often that I don't want to MAKE them become good Christians. I want them to have their own desire and make the choice. God wants our willing love and service.

My "Lessons for Ladies" this Sunday was on "Conformed Christian or Transformed Christian." I encouraged my girls to not only learn to "look and act" like a Christian on the outside, but to transform their hearts. When our hearts are transformed we will have no problem making the changes on the outside. I have such teachable young ladies! This is, I believe, one of THE most important character traits a Christian can possess! I LOVE what I have the privilege of doing every Sunday!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Picture of some of our kids...


Here is a picture that was taken a few months ago of us and the teens with Bro. and Mrs. Robertson from our church who recently moved to Oregon to take a Pastorate there. This is a good picture of them and the young people we love so much!

GREAT Soul-winning Story...

Yesterday, we took the teens out as usual. Dan was pretty tired as he usually is on Wednesdays due to lack of sleep! I was pretty wiped out too since Darren has NOT been sleeping much due to molars and a few bad dreams. We got everyone picked up and then dropped off in groups to go door to door. Then Dan and I went together yesterday.

The first door we went to was opened by a lady who just stared at us and did not say a word! So I handed her a tract and invited her to come and visit us at church sometime. She closed the door and we started to the next door.

Just then the door the lady had just closed swung open again. A young adult man come dashing out and said, "Wait! Can I have one of those papers? (our tracts) I am really having a hard time in my life right now." WOW! Talk about God opening up an opportunity!! Of course, we came back and Dan encouraged him for a bit. He told us how he and his girlfriend were really going through some trials. he had moved here from Louisiana 5 years ago and just now was able to get a job...guess where?...UPS! So he and Dan certainly had some common ground to chat about!

Dan then opened the Bible and showed him what things could be "For Sure" in his life...knowing he was a child of God! He sweetly bowed his head, prayed and accepted Christ as his Saviour!! I was moved to tears during their prayer.

Here is the amazing part...He did not live at that house and he had only walked in the door 5 minutes before we knocked! Also, he said he had been praying every night for 4 or 5 days for God to give him a sign and show him that He was really there!! Coincidence? Hmmm...I THINK NOT! Talk about making your day, huh?! Isn't it GREAT to be used by God?!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Weekend!

Great weekend at Arlington Baptist Church! Had a GOOD group of teens, I had 15 in my Sunday school class and Dan had 12 or 13, I think! We had lots of folks saved and several baptisms! Not quite sure of the number. I am glad to be part of a church where hardly a Sunday goes by that we do not see souls saved in the morning service and the baptismal waters stirred! I know God is happy when the Great Commission is being fulfilled!

We also had a Haunted Bus for all those who "DARED" to walk through! A few teens and a couple men from the church "haunted" the bus and did a good job. Most kids enjoy getting scared! I'm afraid I NEVER enjoyed that sort of thing when I was younger! But it was a good promotion and brought in a lot of people on the buses. I went through too; it was scary! They did a good job!

My sister-in-law and another lady from our church recently started a Patch the Pirate Club for the younger kids. This past Sunday night was their first Sunday to sing. They did a good job and were so cute! Tried to post a video clip, but it didn't upload after about 15 MINUTES?! So, I will have to try that one again later!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Interesting thought...

I Samuel 8:3 tells us that, sadly, Samuel's sons did not follow his footsteps, just as Eli's sons did not follow Eli's footsteps. Our children, it seems in most cases, will raise their children much in the same way that we raised them. Wow! What a sobering thought! We must be extremely careful how we make our decisions and pray for God's wisdom every step of the way. Young eyes are watching our every move and reaction, whether they be our own children or those around us that we influence. Only the Holy Spirit knows what each person needs in each situation. It seems the only way we can hope to have an eternal influence on a life is through the mind of Christ and influence of the Holy Spirit.

God, please walk with me every moment of the day and "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3). Every word I speak and action I take is so important! I LOVE serving You!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

God can use anyone with a desire to be used!

Every Wednesday afternoon we have the privilege of taking our teens out soul-winning. One of our young men who is only 13, I believe, just led his first soul to the Lord about 3 weeks ago. He has really gotten excited about this thing of soul-winning. Today he personally led 8 PEOPLE to the Lord! WOW! Makes us "accomplished" soul-winners stop and take a look at our zeal for leading others to Christ. While we were waiting for our last group of teens to finish up witnessing to a family, this young man and his partner ran around the corner to try to witness to one more person before we left!! May we never lose sight of the importance of going into "the highways and hedges" as God commanded and leading a lost soul to Christ.

I had the privilege of leading a young lady named Bruchea to Christ today and hopefully, with parental permission, she is going to be coming and visiting my Sunday school class this Sunday morning!

We had 14 teens (plus Dan and I) go out and...drum roll...20 PEOPLE SAVED!! WOW!! What a privilege it is to work with teens; we have such a GREAT group!! Thanks, God, for using us!!

Of course, there is the usual hilarity in the church van (we probably should have had the bus with 16 people crammed in that van!). Dan and I just laugh as we listen to the never ending interesting topics of conversation...Today, Hmmmm?!...The extra skin on your elbow, and how far can you stretch it...why some earlobes are attached to your head and some aren't...and the fun goes on and on!! Dan said we need to have a camera attached to the dashboard and just film some of the hilarious topics of discussion! Gotta love it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Job, Patriots...

No, they didn't win their basketball game, but they only lost by 3 points and they played a great game! Even some of those who weren't starters played a really great game. Always enjoy getting to take stats and watch our boys play basketball, my favorite sport to watch!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun with the Teen Girls!

Had a few of the teen girls over to my house. We baked some goodies and watched a Hallmark movie. Lots of fun! I have such great girls to work with! We made mini chocolate tarts with strawberries and whipped cream. Then they made snickerdoodle muffins and did a great job!

Here is a picture of them with some of their goodies!!



Here is the EASY recipe for Snickerdoodle Mini muffins

Snickerdoodle Mini Muffins...(Easier in mini muffin tins, but work fine in regular size muffin tins too! We did some of both.)

1 YELLOW CAKE MIX WITH PUDDING IN THE MIX
4 EGGS
½ CUP APPLESAUCE
SMALL BOX INSTANT VANILLA PUDDING
8 OZ. SOUR CREAM

MIX ALL INGREDIENTS WELL WITH MIXER. FILL GREASED MINI MUFFIN TINS ½ FULL OF BATTER. BAKE @ 350 FOR 10 MINUTES. TOSS IN BAG WITH ONE CUP SUGAR AND 1 ½ t. CINNAMON

Mmmm...Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Great Sunday in the Teen Department...

We had a good Sunday in the Teen Department, 26 teens, 6 of which were visitors! I had the privilege of leading 2 of the young ladies to the Lord and one followed the Lord in baptism! We had a great lesson on Psalms 126, talking about the importance of laughing and singing and the influence their testimony can have on others. I enjoyed teaching my girls what a VITAL role music plays in our lives. I enjoyed teaching them the importance of having the right kind of music, you can't just get rid of the bad; you have to REPLACE the bad with the good. And I also enjoyed teaching them the importance of singing out and not being embarrassed about letting others know they are a Christian. It is a privilege!!

Thanks, God, for the privilege of teaching teen ladies' Sunday school. I LOVE the opportunity!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Had a great day out Teen Soul-winning today. 17 teens in attendance and 7 people saved! Very good in view of the fact that we have very little time now that daylight savings is over. It is practically dark as soon as we start! We only had about half an hour out soul-winning. I was going to take some more pictures, but I forgot I had my camera till the last group of kids was getting off the bus! 






Wednesday, October 14, 2009

AMAZING the testimony a group of teens can have!

It is a PRIVILEGE to work with Christian teens!! Just thinking as we "took over" McDonald's today after soul-winning what a blessing it is to be with a group of teens who know how to have good clean fun together. Isn't it amazing how the presence of Christ in a young person's life can affect the way they act in all other areas of their life? We always get "looks" from people as we enter any place with 20 or more in our group. Usually that many teens in one place can only mean trouble. I love watching the change of expressions on peoples faces as they watch our kids behave like "normal human beings!" That alone is SUCH a great testimony for Christ!!

Of course, we have the normal "idiotic teen moments"...FREQUENTLY! Wouldn't be fun without those. Dan and I sometimes just shake our heads and laugh...did he really just say that?! Ha! But, as a whole, people are so impressed by watching our young people even for just a few minutes. We get good comments almost every where we go. Dan is such a great leader and teacher; training them and preparing them for how to act in each situation life throws them.

NO ONE can deny the difference God can make in a life!

Great time of soul-winning with the teens!

WOW! great group of kids out soul-winning today...19! We have a good group when everyone shows up at once! We also had the privilege of seeing 11 people trust Christ! Our kids are a blessing.

Ever hesitant to go soul-winning and need a recharge? Go with a group of teens! I love their zeal! One of our girls personally saw 5 people saved today! I love watching them get on the bus, as we go back around and pick up all the groups, and hear them talk about the people they talked to and their soul-winning experiences. It builds our confidence when we get to talk to other people about "what happened to me" out soul-winning. To be honest, I ALWAYS have to talk myself into going out EVERY time the bus stops. There is a little "shy Helen" inside me that would just rather stay on the bus, even after 17 years of soul-winning! However, once I make myself get out there and talk to the FIRST person, God lights that fire of boldness inside of me! Thank you, God, for the accountability of working with young people.

Good lesson from Pastor about Joshua at church tonight. We are studying different characters of the Bible. Great day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thought from I Samuel 2:30...

"Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before Me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from Me; for them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed."

Interesting thought...If I want to be highly esteemed in God's sight then I must first decide to honor Him with my life. God always expects me to be willing take the first step in every area of growth in my Christian life. He will not force Himself upon me. James 4:8a..."Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." God deeply desires our fellowship but is waiting for us to make the first move. Thank you, God, for reminding me of the importance of honoring You with every moment of my life today! I love You!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Great Service, Baptist Conference on Soul-winning!

We enjoyed the Baptist Conference on Soul-winning tonight at our church with Bro. Alvin Martinez from North Valley singing 5 wonderful songs and Dr. Bob Gray Sr. preaching an encouraging message on "Never, Never Turn Back." Had a great crowd of people from our church tonight, and most of our teens back in the service again tonight! Proud of our teens for their faithfulness!! Also, quite a few people from visiting churches. I think we had 6 visiting pastors and their people. What a blessing to have great fellowship with other Christian people!

Bro. Alvin Martinez singing his heart out!
Dr. Bob Gray Sr. telling one of his jokes!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Great Day at the Arlington Baptist Church today!

We had a great day at church this morning for the start of our Fall Program and Baptist Conference! We had 38 in our teen department for Friend Day! Exciting!! God is GOOD! Our teens worked hard the past couple weeks inviting their friends. We had breakfast and made some announcements in the teen dept. Then we all headed downstairs to hear Dr. Bob Gray Sr. preach a WONDERFUL Sunday school lesson on forgiveness. We also got to see 22 people receive Christ as Saviour this morning with 5 baptisms! Exciting to see God's people excited about bringing visitors to church.

We also had a great group of teens and church members back tonight for some great preaching. We did not get to take any pictures this morning, but here is a picture of some of the teens we had back tonight with Dr. Bob Gray. It is a GREAT privilege to serve the Lord!


Friday, October 9, 2009

HILARIOUS game to play!

Ok...if you ever take a bus ride and need a game to play or even in the teen center, etc, this one is SOO fun!

Animal Calls...
Cut up small slips of paper (as many as you have teens). Write an animal name on each, be sure there are at least 2 of each animal. (Ex. 2 slips of paper say rooster, 2 slips of paper say, sheep, dog, etc.) Give each teen a slip of paper. They may not open till you say go. Explain to them that when you say "Go" they are to open their piece of paper and begin making the sound of their animal. They may not make any hand motions or say any words. The first team to find the other person making the same animal noise wins!

We did this on a bus ride and just BUSTED up laughing! As soon as we said go, all you could hear was...MEOW MEOW, WOOF WOOF, Maaaaa Maaaaa, etc. etc. HILARIOUS! Gotta love teenagers!

Being married to a Youth Pastor is fun!

Dan makes things fun wherever he goes, and I always get to be there! We got to watch our Christian school basketball team, the Arlington Patriots, win a 49-23 victory over the Hopewell Huskies (Bro. Mike Ray's church in Napa. Always enjoy getting to see good Christian friends from other churches!) I get to keep stats, which I LOVE!! Dan keeps the scoreboard and keeps things lively with his iPod and speaker, playing college fight songs, and all kinds of other goofy songs...Charlie Brown, Jeopardy, The Price is Right, etc! The kids just love him!

I have learned so much balance from him. You can't be so uptight about your kids being the "perfect Christians" in their appearance to others, that you do not take time to be real with them. He has taught me SO MUCH about the importance of...just relax and have a good time. Build up your bank account of good times, so there is plenty of excess when you need to withdraw in reproof. This is such a vital lesson in reaching the hearts of your young people! Thank you, God, for the amazing man you have given me!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Friend Day is coming!

Our Big Day is just a few days away. Our teens are really jumping on board and inviting all their friends. We have to work like it all depends upon us and then PRAY like it all depends upon God! Please, God, prepare hearts and bless the efforts of our teens that we may see new faces added to our teen department and YOUR service because of this day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Busy, Busy Days!

Sorry, I have not put up a post in a couple days. We have been super busy around here! Our Fall Program starts this Sunday and we are having a Big Day in our Teen department, Friend Day. We are trying to break all our attendance records for the past 5 years in our teen department! We also have our Baptist Conference on soul-winning taking place this Sunday and Monday as well. Dr. Bob Gray Sr. is coming to preach for us. He will preach Sunday morning and evening and then Monday evening. Monday is when we will have people from visiting churches all around our area come. We also have Bro. Alvin Martinez from North Valley Baptist coming to sing for us!

Also, Darren is sick with a yucky cold and is not sleeping at nights, therefore neither do I! (And, of course, neither does Dan!!) So this will make for a MOST interesting few days, i feel quite certain! We are excited about a great weekend though. God is bigger than we are!

Anyways, I will be MOST busy the next few days, so for those of you who follow my blog, forgive me if I do not have time to post too often. I will try to at least post a quick note every day even if I don't have time for pictures!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Great Weekend!

Great weekend at Arlington Baptist Church! Had a GOOD group of teens, I had 15 in my Sunday school class and Dan had 12 or 13, I think! We had lots of folks saved and several baptisms! Not quite sure of the number. I am glad to be part of a church where hardly a Sunday goes by that we do not see souls saved in the morning service and the baptismal waters stirred! I know God is happy when the Great Commission is being fulfilled!

We also had a Haunted Bus for all those who "DARED" to walk through! A few teens and a couple men from the church "haunted" the bus and did a good job. Most kids enjoy getting scared! I'm afraid I NEVER enjoyed that sort of thing when I was younger! But it was a good promotion and brought in a lot of people on the buses. I went through too; it was scary! They did a good job!

My sister-in-law and another lady from our church recently started a Patch the Pirate Club for the younger kids. This past Sunday night was their first Sunday to sing. They did a good job and were so cute! Tried to post a video clip, but it didn't upload after about 15 MINUTES?! So, I will have to try that one again later!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Great Sunday School Class!

What a GREAT Sunday school lesson to teach from the book of Malachi! So many great foundational truths to give the young ladies this morning. Had 11 in Sunday school this morning! Great number. Hoping to PACK IT OUT next Sunday on our Big Day! Love my girls!

Great Teen activity!

Took 28 teens to Dell'Osso Farms in Lathrop, CA. They have an awesome setup for the Harvest season with so many awesome things to do with a teen group. Our teens were a great example and we had several of their staff comment on what a great group of kids we had. It has been AMAZING to watch God grow our teen group from 3 faithful (Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night) teens to 20 teens over the last 5 years. Please be in prayer for our Big Day next Sunday, Friend Day! We are praying to pack out our teen department and break all our records next Sunday morning.

Here are a couple pictures from our teen activity...













Friday, October 2, 2009

Just when I think I know what I am doing...

...A situation pops up to remind me that I am NOTHING without HIM!

Today, I am reminded how hard it is for young people, who attend Public school, or do not have spiritual support from home, or both, to take a stand in their Christian lives. I must change my mindset and realize that often they do not need my reproof, they need a loving reminder that they are somebody and God wants them to succeed! They need a "spiritual coach" so to speak encouraging them along the race when they get discouraged. They need to know someone is cheering for them and PROUD of their progress as a Christian no matter how seemingly small. I need not be the "yelling" type coach who hollers all the time when I FEEL they should be more spiritually mature in a given area. I am NEVER to make decisions with them that a parent should make, Mom and Dad are ALWAYS #1, no matter who Mom and Dad are. I can however coach them along when they ask for help and encourage them in their spiritual race. I reminded a young person just recently that it is ok if you feel like quitting, as long as you don't!


Thank you, God, for challenges; they drive me to my knees!


The more young people I work with from broken or un-churched homes the more thankful I become for my godly Christian parents. They were willing to sacrifice "extras" to see that I had the privilege of attending Christian school. They did their utmost to see I was raised up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Thank you, Lord, for my godly heritage! I love you, Dad and Mom!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

I love working with teenagers!

It is a great joy to work with young people! They are so vivacious about life. My husband and I have had the privilege of working with the teens of Arlington Baptist Church for 5 years now. It is certainly a WONDERFUL ministry. On this blog I will try to post at least once a day some thoughts or lessons that I have learned, sometimes the hard way, about being a youth pastor's wife. I reiterate that I AM NOT, nor claim to be, AN EXPERT! My husband and I simply would like to share little tidbits that we have learned.

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