Elijah Furtick Presents: The Easter story

Yesterday Elijah came up to me insisting that I give him the keys to our car.  There was something out there he needed to get, he called it homework from church.  I showed him how to unlock the car and let him retrieve his stuff and never payed much attention to what he was doing.  He came in and got to work coloring and cutting.  Eventually he moved on to other things.

Several hours later, after dinner, he announced that he had a puppet show to do for us.  This recording is his second go at it, I just had to get it on tape.  Everything he says, he learned at church.  I couldn’t have been more proud of our children’s ministry. 

So without further adieu, Elijah Furtick presents: The Easter Story…


Celebrating Easter

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One of the greatest things about having preschoolers is teaching them
the basic stories of our faith.  I don't want them to grow up thinking
Easter is a holiday about

bunnies and eggs.  We can have a lot of fun and keep the focus on

I bought a set of Resurrection
and did the first 3 last night.  My husband and Graham hid the
eggs and Elijah hunted them.  Each egg has a small representation of
the Easter story inside, and a corresponding page in the the book that shares scripture and talks about that part of
the story.  The first one is a donkey.

We had a great time.  You can buy these eggs at any Christian
bookstore, and I also found several links to making your own here and hereHere
is a link to a scavenger hunt with the eggs that is pretty good too.

Monday Morning Commentary


While my husband has continued to work on his book this weekend (don't worry he will be back for Easter) we continued our series with an amazing story of redemption from one of our own, Meredith Brock.

Meredith works as a producer at Elevation and is married to one our worship leaders, Mack.  Mack and Meredith have been such an incredible addition to our team at Elevation.   They have a do-anything type attitude and a special bond with our family.

As I have gotten to know Meredith over the past few years, I have heard bits and pieces of her story.  I was so excited when my husband came home several months ago and told me he wanted her to share her story with our church.

It's about a girl who is the daughter of a drug dealer and the granddaughter of a prostitute.  A girl who frequently went without water and power in her own home and often the only meal she got was the free lunch she was given at school. 

It's also about a good-girl who simply invited Meredith to her Young Life group.  And a young couple who, led by the Spirit, embraced Meredith and gave her a foundation on which to build her life.

And it is also the story of a God who stepped in, reached down and literally plucked this girl out of her bleak situation and raised her up for His glory.

The whole time she was speaking, this verse kept echoing in my mind…

Psalm 40:2-3

 2 He lifted me out of
the slimy pit,
       out of the mud and mire;
       he set my
feet on a rock
       and gave me a firm place to stand.

 3 He put a new song in my
       a hymn of praise to our God.
       Many will see
and fear
       and put their trust in the LORD.

I don't know if you who you are in the story… the girl who desperately needed the Lord, the girl who simply invited someone who she knew need Christ to her Christian club, or the couple who embraced a girl who was very rough around the edges simply because they knew that's what God was calling them to do.  But is is mind boggling to think about all the ways God is working around us for His glory, so that "many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." 

Ok, I've gone too long, thanks for sticking with me.  You can listen to Meredith's story (Part 6 Storytellers) here later today.

The rest of this week I'll be talking about Easter, its gonna be great.  Happy Monday!

I take my own pop quiz

Over the past 6 months I would describe my personal time with God as
C.  Inconsistent but occasionally powerful

Am I happy about this?  Of course not.  And that is a good thing.  I have this deep longing to do better, be more consistent, wake up before my children and spend 30 minutes in peaceful surrender to the Lord as I study His Word and spend time praying audacious prayers of faith for my life, my family, my friends and my church. 

Someone once gave me a great piece of advice concerning this…  She said I should look at my relationship with God like a bank account.  There are times when I am making deposits left and right.  Times when my relationship is real, and the Word is alive and I store up treasures in my heart.  Then there are times when I am making withdrawals.  When my world feels like nothing is clicking, when I can barely take care myself and my family and there seems to be time for nothing else, but a verse comes to mind, or a simple moment reminds me of the goodness of God in my life.

Some obvious times of withdrawal for me are the holidays or when I have an infant.  General times of deposit come more sporadic throughout the year for me.

The key is not to bounce any checks :).  One of the ways I keep myself from doing this is I stay accountable.  I try to always be in some type of  Bible Study.  I am also very open with my husband about where I am spiritually.

I am beginning to understand that my relationship with God doesn't have to fit neatly in a box.  For me to legalistically spend the first 30 minutes of everyday in prayer and study of the Word is not the main thing God wants from me.  God wants an eat-sleep-breathe relationship.  One where I am sensitive to the Spirit throughout the day.  Where I allow Him to bring a friend to mind and I pray for them.  Where I am aware of the things He wants me to change and I am obedient to what He tells me to do (like apologize to those closest to me).  

Yes, this flows from times of quiet before Him and knowing His Word, but it certainly doesn't end there.  James 1:23-24 says "For if your listen to the word and don't obey, its like glancing at your face in a mirror.  You see yourself, walk away and forget what you look like."

My prayer for you today is that you will stop trying to spend X amount of time with God and start trying to give Him your entire day.  And that you would somehow figure out how to balance between the two.

Pop Quiz

How would you classify your personal time with God-currently (last 6 months)?

a) Consistent and meaningful, almost every day

b) Consistent but dry, going through the motions

c) Inconsistent but occasionally powerful

d) Almost non existent, not the highest priority

a, b, c, d

Be honest…you might help someone else.

I'll give you my answer tomorrow.

Free Wallpaper

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Last week I posted this picture.  It was taken in our playroom.  I'm not sure if you noticed the background, but that's our wallpaper.

As with anyone who has kids, its really hard to know what to do with ALL the pictures they bring home from preschool, church, friend's houses etc.  Being the practical person that I am, I know that I cannot save everything.  I have also learned (albeit the hard way) that you have to strategically throw "artwork" away or I end up answering this, "Mommy, why is my picture in the trash?"

So to remedy some (I still secretly throw some away) of this problem, I just started taping up the boy's pictures around their playroom.  I know this would not be something you would see on HGTV, but I think its cute, AND I don't have to feel guilty for throwing even more away.

I also have frames for my favorite pieces, this, I know, is more HGTV approved.

In a few years, I may get in trouble for this post.  So Elijah and Graham, if you are reading this, first of all, congratulations on learning to read, and second of all, don't worry, I didn't throw any good stuff away.  Third, I love you.

Monday Morning Commentary

It factor My husband had the weekend off yesterday.  Woo hoo!  He's been working furiously on his first book entitled Sun Stand Still set to hit bookstores this September.  I can't wait to read the finished manuscript and will be exclusively giving one copy away as soon as it is complete.  That was a joke.  The part about giving one away, not the part about me being unable to wait to read the manuscript. 

Anyway, today one of my favorite preachers (besides my husband and my dad) hit the screens at Elevation with an incredible message on the It Factor.  Yep, Craig Groeschel.  

I have heard Pastor Craig preach this message three times at three different events.  Each time I heard the message God spoke to me in a different way.  I have not read the book but have heard that it's incredible.

One line in this message really spoke me.  I think it will stick with me for the rest of my life.  I think my children will roll their eyes every time they hear me repeat it to them…
    When you do what everyone else does, you can't do what no one else does.

Now that will preach.  Sometimes, being different is a necessary path to being greatly used by God.  I hope that I can model this with my life and pass it on to my kids.  

I'm wondering what the everyone else's in your life are doing that you need to break away from…
    Maybe its about not being like every other American couple who lives with consumer debt?
    Maybe its about not hanging out with a group of friends who have no spiritual vision for their life?
    Maybe its about being honest at your job when no one else is?
    Maybe its about loving someone that no one else loves?

You can listen to the message here later today.

You can listen to any of Pastor Craig's weekly messages here.

Have a great Monday.  Don't be like everyone else today.

Great Things: Focus on the Family Podcast

Focus on the family
I am starting a new category called Great Things.  I want to strategically tell you about books, sermons, websites and other resources.  So today I want to begin with the Focus on the Family broadcast.

Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family are a household name in Christianity.  They've been around for years.  I remember my mom listening often throughout my childhood.  She says Dr. Dobson played a very important role in how she parented us.

Dr. Dobson recently retired from Focus but their broadcast still continues.  Each day their 30 minute program covers a variety of topics including health, politics, parenting, marriage, finances and many more.

You can listen online or download their podcast free.  Their website is not the most user friendly but well worth it.  I suggest clicking around the website so you can read the subtitles of the various broadcasts.  Once I know the title and air date of the show I want, its super simple to search and download the podcast with my iPhone (Sorry I cannot help those of you without an iPhone.  Sorry that you don't have one.)

Some of my favorite broadcasts that I have listened to recently are

  • Train Up a Child with Dr. Kevin Leman, aired on 9-25-09 (Oh this one is good!)
  • The Barretts: Our Adoption Story, aired on 10-29-09 and 10-30-09
  • When Dreams Die (from the creator of Veggie Tales), aired on 10-23-09 (Our lead staff wives listened and discussed this one last month)
  • Leaving Planned Parenthood, aired on 1-21-10 and 1-22-10
  • Fighting for Life in Sudan, aired on 1-28-10

Go to this site to start your search.  Make sure you search shows under Focus on the Family Daily, then use the page numbers at the bottom right to go back into previous dates.

An evening with Mommy

DSC_0015  While my husband and Graham were out, Elijah and I decided to make some healthier chocolate chip cookies and watch a movie.  Soon Elijah got bored with the cookies so he settled in to start Where The Wild Things Are in our bed.  When the cookies were done, we enjoyed them in bed and watched some of the movie together.  Then I let DSC_0017Elijah fall asleep in our bed.  It was a great night!