Holly Furtick

T-ball update

Elijah is having a great time playing t-ball.  Here's a little video of him sliding into home base for the first time.

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Graham has a great time too.  There are two boys on the team with 3 year old siblings. The three of them play hard at every game.  Many times, Graham comes home sweatier and dirtier than Elijah.

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My husband and I are having a great time too.  Who knew watching 5 and 6 year-olds play a little game would be so entertaining??

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Refresh

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Several months ago, God laid it on my heart to gather a small group of pastors' wives from all over the country.  I wanted us to come together and encourage and inspire one another.  Not a conference, a retreat.  I came up with a list of ladies I know and love, ladies I follow on twitter or blog, and ladies I wanted to meet and get to know.   And with the help of our incredible staff at Elevation, we pulled it off.

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Last week 17 of us met in Charlotte.  We ate great food, and spent many hours talking.  We talked about church, family, ministry and everything in between.  We stayed up later than I have stayed up since I was a teenager.  We worshiped together and prayed together.  It was truly refreshing.  And I was honored that these ladies would clear their calendar to come to Charlotte for two days.

Now of course, I could not have that much wisdom in one room without sharing it with all of you.  With the help of my very good friend, Tonia Bendickson, and the video crew from Elevation, I pulled each woman aside and asked them a question I thought you might like to hear the answer too.  Over the course of the next several months, once a week, I will be featuring one or two of their interviews.  They are great.  You will hear from people like Amy Groeschel on balance and Jessica Cornelius on how to handle criticism.  You will hear from Wendy Perez and Sheila Gerald on raising kids in the ministry, and many more great, godly women on very pertinent topics.

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Before I leave you I want to share one more thing from Refresh with you….
One night we had a time of worship.  I brought in my favorite speaker in the whole world, Pastor Steven Furtick.  He brought such a creative word to us that I had to share his main points with you.  He actually contacted several of the husbands of the women present and asked them what was one thing they needed from their wives.  He gave us 7 points, and although they came from pastors and were intended for pastors' wives, they really ring true for any marriage.

    1.  I need you to take care of you.
            -your health, happiness, your intimacy with God

    2.  I need you to believe in me.

    3.  I need you to encourage me.
            -I'm with you no matter what
            -I know you best and love you most
            -Who cares what they think

    4.  I need you to help keep me focused on what really matters.

    5.  I need you to make our home "base," a place where I feel safe

    6.  I need you to pray for me.
            -You know what to pray better than anyone

    7.  I need you to remind me of God's past faithfulness.

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Happy Birthday Graham!

Today is Graham's 4th birthday.  4 years ago today, Graham entered the world

Today Graham turns 3 years old.  I can't believe it.  I usually share snapshots on their birthdays but today I thought I would share some of my favorite professional shots of Graham.  These pictures were either take by Sean Lyons or Cheyenne Shultz.

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6 months
 
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1 Year

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18 Months

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2 Years

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2 1/2 Years

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Happy Birthday Graham!  Looking forward to many more adorable pictures of you and many great birthdays!

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Monday Morning Commentary

SssWhat a week.  My husband is a beast.  He preached 24 sermons in 24 hours (streamed live online) on Tuesday to celebrate the release of the book.  Then he traveled to TBN  studios in Dallas to be on their program, PTL, on Thursday evening (you can watch here, 9-23-10).  And then he knocked it out of the park this weekend with a sermon called "Why Bother."

The message was based out of Mark 5:35-43, the story where Jesus raises Jairus' daughter from the dead.  Jairus' servants told him why bother Jesus because his daughter was already dead.

My husband said, "The Enemy will always plant a why bother in the face of God's it's possible."  Why bother with my marriage?  Why bother with my weight loss?  Why bother with my finances?  Why bother with my purity?  Why bother with the vision that
God has given me for my life?

He then talked about believing God in the face of the facts.  The truth of who God is and what He can do, the truth of the promises in God's Word can drown out the facts that often cause doubt, fear, and insecurities to paralyze us from moving forward in obedience.

The message was amazing and inspiring.  You can listen to it here every hour on the hour this week.  After that, you can find the message, Why Bother, part 3 of Sun Stand Still, archived here.

I took an unplanned blogging break last week but I am coming at you in full force this week.  Happy Monday, see you tomorrow.

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Sun-Stand-Still-A-Thon

Sometimes my husband comes up with the craziest ideas.

Like the time we drove half the night to see if we wanted to plant our church in Raleigh.  When we got there at like 2 am there were no hotel rooms because of some basketball conference going on.  It took us forever to finally find a room.  The next day, when we drove home, we were disappointed because we didn't feel like Raleigh was it.  We decided to take the long way home through Charlotte.  That's when God spoke to us and told us to come here.

Or the time we (our church) dropped thousands of Easter eggs out of a helicopter.  We didn't know if 200 or 10,000 people would show up.  We had about 200 coming to our church at the time.  2,000 people showed up and the event was a huge success.

Today he is doing another one of those crazy things.  Today, at 12:00pm, in honor of the release of his first book, Sun Stand Still, he is going to preach for 24 straight.  Well, in his words,  "24 hours of preaching, and celebrating the fact that we serve a God who shatters our conceptions of what is possible."

You can catch it streaming live from 12 pm on Tuesday to 12 pm on Wednesday here at sunstandstill.org.  You can read his take on it here.

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a shameless plug….

Go and buy your copy of Sun Stand Still today, in stores everywhere and online.

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Monday Morning Commentary

Sss This weekend, my husband continued our series, Sun Stand Still, with a message on Abraham about the God who provides.

In Genesis 22, we find Abraham faced with the biggest faith test of his life: to sacrifice his only son.  Abraham goes to obey and God provides a sacrifice instead of his son.

The premise of my husband's message was between every peak of provision is a valley of decision.

He took us down memory lane as he recounted some of the tough decisions we (as a couple and as a church) have made in the past and the blessing that followed from those tough decisions.  He talked about how we must be faithful in the valley in order to see the provision of God.

He said, "Great men and women of God are not made on the peak, the are formed in the valley."  What a comforting thing to know that if God is testing your faith it's because He has somewhere He wants to take you.  God has to prove you before He can promote you.

You can listen to the message every hour on the hour this week at the Elevation Experience.  If you are reading this delayed, you can go here (part 2 of Sun Stand Still).

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Photo Journal: Let’s Play Ball

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First day of preschool

Last week my boys started preschool for the year.  We decided to wait a year to send Elijah to kindergarten since he just recently turned 5.  We are so thrilled with their school and their teachers this year.  I am also really glad to have one extra year with my Elijah.

At our preschool, the boys are asked to carry tote bags instead of backpacks.  I found theirs on Etsy.com and think they turned out awesome!

Here's a few pictures from the first day…

 
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And the winners are…

I know you have been wringing your hands with anticipation over the winners of my Kingdom Come giveaway.  Sorry it took me so long to post the winner.  I may or may not have forgotten that I did not post this.

Anyway, a big congratulations to the winners!  We will be contacting you shortly so we can get you copy in the mail to you!

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Monday Morning Commentary

SssThree years ago, my husband had the idea to do a series based around the Old Testament miracle, where Joshua prays for God to make the sun stand still (Josh 10:7-14).  It turned out to be one of the most influential series in the history of our church.  The series also inspired my husband's first book.  The book (finally) releases one week from tomorrow!

So in conjunction with the release of the book, we re-launched the series this weekend.  I have read the book and heard the message many times but my husband was able to make it fresh and challenging yet again.

I think part of the message that spoke the loudest to me was that when you have the faith to pray Sun Stand Still prayers, it presents you with a whole new way to pray.  Do you have any prayers that you have prayed so much that they have lost their meaning?  Like "God be with me today," or "Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies," or "Thank you for this day."  All of these prayers had meaning at one time in my life but eventually turned into something I would just say because I thought I needed to say something to God.

When you truly believe that God can make the sun stand still, your prayers take on more depth.  Like I don't want to just pray that God would keep my boys safe and healthy, I want to pray that God would grow them up to be the most godly men of their generation (safe and healthy would fall under that).  I don't just want to pray that God would bless my marriage, I pray that God would use my marriage to impact thousands of people for His glory.

It's the audacity to believe that God has bigger plans for me than I could ever ask or imagine.  And that not only does He want me to pray audacious prayers, He wants to answer them.

And now I have great news… If you would like to watch this message, you can now catch the Elevation Experience every hour on the hour all week long.  You can even watch it on your phone!  

I hope you have a great week!  I can't wait to share with you pictures from our first day of preschool and Elijah's first t-ball game later on this week!

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