Category Archives: Devotional

100216 – 100516: Hard Days

Everyone knows that a Pastor has a lot on his mind at any given time. They know that when crisis strikes, generally the pastor is one of the first to know. 

A side note to this: We as his family are in this with him. 

We are a pastoring family. I don’t like calling myself a pastor, but in a sense, I guess I am. 

We were exhausted after Johnpauls departure, just the overwhelming need that they have and our lack of knowing what’s going on, on that side of the world. And we were so blessed by his visit, but it was a little draining. We’d welcome him back in a second though. 

Once he left for his next stop, we took a deep breath, and tried to get back to normal. 

That lasted a few days. 

We got a call Monday morning that a dear friend of ours had been in a car accident. He was one of our church members, and we had recently asked him to come on as one of our deacons. He was always growing and learning and was a devoted husband and father. It was a shock and still is that he is no longer with us. 

We had a vacation planned and now that everything is finished, our goal is to just think about our family and be grateful for them. 

Thank you for your prayers in lifting up his family, that will be grieving for a long time to come. Pray for your pastor, whoever he might be, because he deals with so much more than you’ll ever realize. 

092216 – 092616: Johnpaul has departed

We’ve had quite the time here with Johnpaul. We’ve enjoyed his company and his stories. We’ve learned so much about his ministry and our heart for India has grown and hopefully we’ve helped ignite some others too his ministry as well. 

We’ve learned a lot. And we’ve seen now that our part in his ministry is truly just beginning. We have people that we help here, but he has an overwhelming need. 

And he’s up against an active enemy. The enemy here is much more passive. He’s done more work here so he sorta sits back. But in India, they see witchcraft and demons and spiritual battles daily. They see so many different gods that are being worshipped. And they see actual persecution. Real persecution. 

Pray for Johnpaul and his family. Pray for the widows he helps. Pray for the orphans. Pray for the other pastors. And if you’d like to donate, please let me know. A few dollars goes a very long way in India. 

091816 – 092116: Johnpaul has arrived

We’ve been quite busy since the arrival of Johnpaul. We’ve had a lot of speaking engagements and different things to do and we’ve just had a busy week with ministry itself as well. On top of our already packed schedule of homeschool and regularly services. 

But it’s been great. 

Both of our campuses now know Johnpaul more than just a name of a guy from India. They’ve eaten with him, they’ve laughed with him, they’ve learned about his pressing desires. And hopefully we will start being able to share the burden of what he carries daily. 

No access to clean water, having to support and pray by faith for his pastors that he leads (100!) and the widows he cares for (100 as well, 50 each at different locations). And his orphanage, that has 35 orphans. Also he helps lepers and people diagnosed with hiv. The Hindus do not have anything to do with lepers, hiv positive or the widows. They are all classified the same: untouchable. He is the main source of food for these people. And a lot of them go hungry a lot of the time. 

We’re trying to get people to commit to making a monthly donation. Consistent help is better for them than random amounts throughout the year. So that’s our goal. Little amounts make a big difference. A BIG difference. 

The orphans need about $25 a month- that supplies food for a month, a new pair of sandals, clothes throughout the year, school supplies, and other misc things they need (like toothbrushes and toothpaste). 

The same amount sponsors a widow, who gets less extra stuff, but needs more food. He said most of his widows eat once a day. 

$50 sponsors one of his pastor families. A lot of them are young families, and they have small children. They face serious persecution. Radical Hindus knocking on their doors in the middle of the night, some of his pastors have been beaten and stabbed. None have been killed. 

Even Johnpaul’s family has faced a lot of persecution. His son, Isaac, who attends a Hindu school, is constantly forced to sit on the floor instead of a desk because he’s a Christian. One of the teachers who hates Christians even hit Isaac on the top of the head with a piece of metal, and Isaac required 6 stitches. When they went to the school to ask what could be done to the teacher, the administration said there was nothing they could do about it. 

What a different world. 

Please be in prayer for Johnpaul and his ministry and if you’d like to give, one time, or a commitment, please let me know. 

111715 + 111815: Syrian Refugee Crisis

I rarely ask this on my blog, but this one is important:

Do not start reading this blog post unless you intend on reading all of it. 

Continue, if you will read this in it’s entirety, otherwise, close this window and go back to scrolling Facebook.

Not quite three weeks ago, my Facebook news feed was full of #CollinsForChrist and people standing up for what I believed was Christ. Now.. Maybe it was just a bunch of lights that they stood up for.

Every time I hear the word REFUGEE, this is the image I see.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.47.05 PM


That image, right there.

That small, tiny, little boy, laying in the sand. Washed up on shore, with his little shoes both still on and his little wet clothes stuck to his still, lifeless body. That little body is what I see when I hear the word REFUGEE.

This little boy, Aylan Kurdi, was a refugee. He was 3 when his parents and his brother (5 years old) left on a boat, attempting to make it to Greece. The Father made it. He lost his wife, who was 32, and his two sons on his trek away from his homeland of Syria.

His situation was so unbearable, so fearful, that his parents thought, “It is better for us to risk death at sea, than to stay where we are and risk public amputation, caning, whipping, beheading, death…”

I see his body and then I look at Judah and….I have to hold back my tears. I’m usually unsuccessful.

Everyone has an opinion about this crisis and the way it may or may not impact the United States.

The refugee crisis is in full blown media mode at this point. But here’s the thing – the Syrians started fleeing and became refugees back in 2011. They aren’t suddenly deciding to become refugees. They’ve been running from ISIS for years.

And the ISIS terrorist that we are all afraid of sneaking into the United States with them? Believe me, they’d have an easier time sneaking in the US in ways not related to refugee asylum. Trust me.

Did you know…

…There are over 750,000 refugees already in the United States, that have trickled in since 9/11?

…none of which have ever been arrested on terrorism charges?

…the most violent extremists in the U.S. are actually natural-born citizens?

Yeah. That’s FACT.

Did you know that the pictures/news posts you’ve been spreading around about the 10,000 new refugees coming to the US isn’t a picture of what will actually happen?

The refugees will not be walking off of a boat in a group of 10,000.

It takes 18-24 months before they are allowed to enter the US. It’s a long and drawn out process, a process which most terrorist probably don’t care to go through. More than likely, the terrorist will sneak into the country like the rest of the illegals do. Also, if you don’t believe ISIS is already in the United States, then get your head out of the sand.

The refugees come in small groups- groups of their family. Usually, one family at a time. Here recently, New Orleans saw some come in. Somehow the news got everyone believing it was a flood of folks. Actually it was 2 families, with a third coming in soon.

Ok, before you toss me out…

I’m NOT saying we need to accept any and every refugee.

I’m NOT saying we need to trust everyone who applies to be vetted to the United States.

I’m NOT saying lets get stupid with our rules and start opening the flood gates.

I’m NOT saying let our guard down.


I believe we need to be strict and careful.

I believe we need to be cautious and aware.

I believe we need to do what Christ has called us to do, as a Nation built on his word.

What does Jesus tell us?

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me inI needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25:35-36

That is JESUS’s words. Following Jesus isn’t easy.

He calls us to do things that require actual faith in action.

Jesus never called us to a calm and mundane life, and if you think that, then you need to dust off your Bible and start reading it again.

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 10:34

Jesus isn’t calling us to be stupid and hasty about letting the refugees find refuge here, but I do believe that he is calling us to help them in any way that we can.

Jesus is love.

He loved that little boy whose body washed up in the sand.

We need to help these people in whatever method or manner we are capable of.

What I’ve been seeing is this:

“We will stand together united to keep some lights up on display, but when it comes to standing up for people who are afraid and lost and praying for a place they can flee to, away from public executions, away from public beheadings, away from having a body left out on display for days afterwards so people know that ISIS is serious… When it comes to offering these people a place to live and live freely, we say NO. You are not allowed to enjoy in our FREEDOM. Because we are scared of what could happen. God isn’t big enough to protect us. We want to do it ourselves.”

That is what I disagree with. Fear of the what if, and that fear not allowing us to help thousands of people who are just like ourselves, but born on the other side of the world.

If you don’t think any refugees should be brought into the US, that’s fine. It is what it is. But PRAY for them. And don’t just say, “Oh, I’ll pray for them, but they need to stay where they are…” That’s not love. That is NOT love. And that sort of prayer doesn’t help.

I pray that you consider your freedoms and the grace that God has given you, and the mercy he bestowed by allowing you to be born into this great free Nation. Look into what ISIS is doing to these people, and you’ll see much more of the freedoms that we have.

If nothing else, realize how blessed you are.

Thank you for sticking with me til the end of this post.

I’m going to go hold my Judah now.

110515: Gratefulness

It’s so funny how God works with stuff, right? Ever been going about your life, then you see an uncanny pattern and you’re like, “I see what you did there, God.”

That happened for me. After we left the zoo, Lucy had her usual list of I-wish-I’s. “I wish I got to ride that carousel. I wish I had got a hot dog.” Etc, etc. Every parent has heard some of these.

It’s our greedy flesh nature in action. 

And today, my bible verse was this:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Isn’t that awesome. I told Lucy that it’s better to look at the things we did get to do, and be thankful for those, instead of just what we missed out on. Craig Groeschel said this, “Gratitude turns whatever we have, into enough.” That’s so good. 

So on our ride home, we took turns giving “I’m thankful I got to-” statements. And it blessed my heart. 

I even told her that there are a lot of time I want things I can’t have, but it’s good to be grateful for the things we do have. 

I was encouraged to tell someone what I’m thankful for. 

I’m grateful for my husband who is an awesome provider, noticer of when I need a break, mechanic, and fixer-upper. (He does the fixing-upping, he doesn’t need fixing-upping.)

Im grateful for my children, who are happy, healthy, balanced, and so very themselves all the time. 

I’m grateful for my Church which continually surprises me and keeps me saying, “Man! God is good!”

I’m grateful for my ability to stay at home and work different types of jobs instead of a traditional 8-5 job where I would miss so much of my life. 

I’m grateful I get to homeschool my children. The thought of leaving them with other people all day, and just trust that they will educate them to their needs scares me to death. I know, trained professionals and all… But I’m one of those professionals. And I love the fact I can do this for my children. 

There are so many more things I’m grateful for; it’s a list I can’t put in one blog post or it would weigh down the Internet. My new Keurig, our rabbits, my Jeep, goodness, my Jeep again because I really love it so, breezy evenings on my front porch, my recently remodeled bedside tables, clean sheets, my favorite pair of jeans, the feeling when my head hits my pillow after a long day. I could go on. 

Let’s try and have a grateful mentality today. Gratitude turns whatever we have into enough. Let’s live like we have enough. Because we do. We are so blessed!