When my hubby first started having to preach, and prepare messages, he often felt the same way. He would have a great topic some where in I Corinthians, and start out by asking everyone to turn to Genesis... I guess a "brief" Old Testament survey never hurts, but it is hard to catch the "Main points" of a message like that. Such has been my life the past few weeks!
(And please know my hubby is a great preacher! He has since... and very effectively... learned less is really more in the aspect of a single sermon!)
So in the interest of brevity, I want to just hit a few hi lights.
Dan and I celebrated our 19 wedding anniversary. It was during the week Encounter Revival Ministries was here, and while we celebrated, it was far from in the traditional way. We took our kids and our hosted girls out to dinner- at Wendy's- and had only 20 minutes to chow it all down and get everyone to their respective obligatory locations... in separate cars. It was memorable if not romantic!
Olivia ended her soccer career as a high school student on an amazing high note. They were at the championship game in Cohocton on a lighted field at 8:30 pm one VERY.BRISK. October evening. The fans all wore snow suits and winter gloves and hats! Well, the rival team had an undefeated season, and only one of their wins was not a shut out. One goal had been scored on them the ENTIRE SEASON! Needless to say they were
Well after half time, no score. Zip-Zip.
After entire game, no score. Nada-Nada.
After not one but two 5 minute sudden death OT, no score. Fans were screaming and teeth were chattering. The waves of excitement could be felt **hundreds of miles** away!
The entire seasons Championship Title now rested on one goal keeper, and 5 kickers from each team.
First up for Rochester Rapids... my daughter, Olivia. No little pressure rested on her shoulders at that moment!
The ENTIRE crowd of fans became eerily quiet... it was 11:oo pm... and 31 degrees. She took two steps back... surely not enough to get the power behind it to
They shoot- miss!
We shoot- Katie makes it!!! Rapids are up 2-0!
They shoot- score... their fans give a brief cry of victory, but we are still up 2-1.
We shoot- miss. We are getting nervous.
They shoot - miss! We are getting hopeful!
We shoot- miss. They still could pull this off. They have two more tries.
They shoot- miss. Our side shouts in excitement of possible victory!
Our final kicker is our keeper still in the opponents net. She ran across the field to be our final kicker.
The crowd became silent so that even breathing stopped. The chattering of teeth was all that broke the deafening silence. Liz's cleats could be heard by all as they crunched onto the newly frosted grass... she took her few steps and belted it into the net! SCORE! RaPiDs WoN 3-1!!!!!!
I know all of this not because I was there... sad for me!!! Dan gave me a play be play on my cell phone! I was so bummed to have missed it as I was **hundreds of miles** away in Old Forge, NY.
"Why?" You might ask.
Well, a great friend from church has asked if she could head up the Ladies Prayer group for our family. Wow! That makes things seem so very real and close! Well she and her hubby have built an amazing Log Cabin in the Woods of Old Forge. (All caps because it truly deserves accolades!) It is a gorgeous setting and even more a stunning home. She whisked me away for a the weekend to really get to know each other, and to get a good direction for our prayer group! What a great time! I still missed "The Game"... but as you can see it was for a good cause! To top it all off, they are generously and without compensation offering this home to our pastoral and missionary families to use for a mini retreat if they should choose! WELL... if that is not a great offer!
It is a blessing that our church has such amazing support for our missionaries. Having been part of the "sending teams" for so long, I know what a blessing it is for those I have supported prayerfully and financially. I have heard them tell over and again how they would not be nearly as "successful" without it. Now as a family that is "going to the other side" and actually preparing to be one of the sent, I am even more aware of the power of prayer and the importance of consistency in my support- both financially as well as prayerfully!
My time spent up in the mountains really caused me to think again of all that our family has experienced these past few years. Dan and I have time after time felt the Lord confirming and encouraging us to continue on in this path. His word has been our source of strength when we feel discouraged or like we are treading water. He has sent people in our path that are veteran missionaries as well as people who are only a few steps ahead of us. We are so thankful to God that we have all of these people to learn from, to be encouraged by, as well as to be co laborers in the Great Commission!