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.