Monday, December 20, 2010

Watch Our Devo!

Why We Like Coffee Shops So Much

Today I figured out some reasons why our family likes coffee shops. As I pay $1.50 for a kids hot cocoa, I sometimes think ,"Why am I paying this much money for this drink that I could make at home for a fraction of the price?". Honestly, some days, it makes no sense. But on other days it makes all the sense in the world.

#10. It feels like we are going to a restaurant, but everyone can get something and we can spend less than $10 and still have a sit down experience (without having to pay gratuity).

#9. I think the smell of coffee helps me relax and calm down. Great music in the coffee in the the coffee shop can help with this one.

#8. Enjoying a cup of tea or coffee by myself, even if just for 20 minutes, provides a great break in a hectic day.

#7. We have great conversation when we go out as a family. The kids get to practice their restaurant manners, like keeping their bums in the chair, drinking nicely, wiping their face with the napkin (instead of their sleeves), and keeping their voices low.

#6. The kids also get to practice their conversation skills. You know, social skills are really important. My girls like this one. I ask, "So how are you doing today?" and then I wait for their response. It can be quite amusing to watch them try to communicate like grown up's.

#5. I don't have to prepare anything!

#4. It's a cheap date. We went to Starbucks to celebrate our 6th anniversary. I'm just trying to say! When you only have $8 to celebrate with, a free babysitter and 2 hours together can make quite the date!

#3. SUGAR! (enough said)

#2. It's s great way to warm up in the dead of winter. It warms you up from the inside out. Even just holding the cup warms up my hands. I love that!

#1. It's another fitting place, other than home, that we can enjoy one another and friends.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brrrrr! It's Cold!

Although it has not snowed yet, it is freezing cold! You know the annoying cold where you can't get warm no matter how hard you try? Well, that is how it's been in MO the last couple days and I can barely stand it! The worst sensation in the whole world is being cold and not being able to get warm. Sometimes the only thing I can do to thaw out my feet is take a warm shower.

It is even cold indoors! I am going have to start taking an electrical blanket to keep me warm wherever I go. I think I might even have to wear multiple layers under my clothes. All the Missourian say, "Yup yup!"

Missouri has this crazy moist wind that cuts right through you. I don't remember Colorado feeling this cold until the temperatures were super duper low.

Oh Maui, how I miss your temperatures :). Ok, that's enough ranting for now. I'll just have to suck it up and stay close to the fire. BTW, tomorrow we have a high of 22 degrees and a low of 10. Oh the joy ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I just wanted to take some time to recognize people who usually don't get none Smile Everyone raise your glass to the babysitters in your life!!!Party smile  Salud!  What's that?, you don't need babysitters yet?  Well one day you will, and when you do, remember this blog. 
During this last year, we have needed so many babysitters.  Much transition, many meetings, quite a few "not-so-kid-friendly" environments that we have had to be in, like hospitals, etc.  As a mother we come into times where I want the best help with my children while Uelese and I are loving on people, and I pray, "Dear Lord, please provide the perfect person to help me with my kids!"  And you know what?, He does! 
These ladies are bond-servants, people who work because of LOVE, not money or compensation.  They give without expecting in return, but they are receiving an eternal reward from Jesus.  Our hearts have been forever woven into theirs.  Our life paths have been knit together, and I'd have to say I am honored to be in these ladies' lives.   Its not even that they loved us that much in the beginning, but they have served us out of their love for Christ.  I feel so much dignity and gratitude when I am being served by women with this kind of attitude.  Let me tell you, the love has grown!

They are to me the beauty queens of the kingdom of God.   It's grown to the point that they are no longer just babysitters or friends, they have become sisters.  If the greatest in the kingdom of God is the servant of all, then these two are tied for first place!  They sparkle and shine with gentleness and wisdom.  Not only do they watch my children, but they nurture them.  Not only do they oversee my kids, but they train them.  Not only do they pass time in my house, but they clean it, fill it with love and bless it when they leave.  I respect their input into my family life.  Many women have done well, but these two ladies surpass them all!  With that being said, (drum roll please.....)

(I hope the many others who have served won't be offended ;o) Destiny, Vanessa, Fedisa, Nano, Sarah, and others I might have left out.)

First,  Aunty Jenn!, what can I say?  Even as I am typing now, it is because she took my daughters out on a special date to watch a movie.  I love the way you have befriended my kids.  To have the positive input you give is so priceless.  You always affirm and reinforce our authority.  You give so freely.  Your sacrificial dedication is so humbling.  How many pairs of slippers have you bought them?  At least 20!  Fun surprise runs to Peach Wave and Starbucks (mommy includedWinking smile).  You've helped us form the femininity in the girls and the masculinity in my son.  You teach them how to clean and keep things organized!  Who does that?  Only someone who see's that they are investing into the most precious thing on earth, a human soul.   I love hanging out with you!  I could write for hours of all that you've done.  The years keep piling up and the weekly blessings are amassing quite a weight of glory for you in heaven.  Thank you so much!

Second, Aunty Savannah!  She came on the scene when my son was just born, probably one of the most turbulent seasons of my life as a mother.  You served because you felt the nudge of Holy Spirit.  I don't know what my life would have been in that season without you, but I want to tell you thank you.  You gave sacrificially, and although I was a bit too numb in that season to realize how precious your sacrifice was, I realize now.  There are days when I am wading through the laundry room "sea of cloth" (LOL!) and I realize what you did week in and week out for months.  Not one complaint, not one criticism, just a faithful gaze and a steady heart of support.  Thank you for not giving up on our relationship.  Thank you for always personifying the love of 1 Corinthians; patient and kind, always hoping and trusting that God would work it all out for all our good.  This last visit reminded me of how much I enjoy you.  You are a very dear friend.  I miss you and I love you very much.  Aloha!

So Lord, would you crown these two women with more dignity than they have crowned me.  Will you bless them with peaceful homes, loving husbands and children who will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.  Pour out a hundred fold return on them for every time they have given.  Use our family as a perpetual house of blessing and refuge for them.  Keep them safe in the shadow of your wing.  Let their childrens' children serve and love you all their days, even to the 1000th generation.  Help me to love and serve them better.  Give them grace for an easy transition into married life when that time comes.  Thank you Lord, AMEN!

Harvest International Church Nov. 4-7

These meetings were great!  Nestled in the "backwoods" of Missouri on I-70, is this little church with a big heart.  Their purpose was to encounter Jesus face to face.  We lead worship in the evenings, and it was so sweet to express our hunger for the Lord together and watch Him respond to our worship.  I feel like the meetings kept getting better until Sunday, the last morning,  was powerful.  Towards the end of worship, after singing "Lord I Come To You" by Darlene Zschech, what a great song, I transitioned into a song I wrote called "You're Beautiful".  The verse and chorus is:

Your face is so refreshing
Your love is so assuring
Your voice it brings me safety
And when I'm with you, I can do anything

You're beautiful, so beautiful
And You're precious to me

It ended up being kinda like a theme song.  On Sunday, Holy Spirit broke in during that song and we started weeping.  Pastor Lonnie opened the altar for people to recommit their lives to Jesus because of His beauty and worth.  The altars filled up with weeping worshipers.  It was beautiful.  The message that followed by Dr. Dan Bohler was on the new song in Rev. 5.  It was a melodious offering from a seasoned friend of God.  I was on the verge of tears for most of it.  It made me want to joyously give every remaining day of my life to Jesus as a song of obedience and love!  I was so blessed to be there!  Thanks Pastors Lonnie and Lori!

President's Hotel Nov. 7

Ho wow!  This wedding was amazing.  Reagan and Beckah tied the knot at the President's Hotel in downtown Kansas City a couple weeks ago.  Me and Uelese and our awesome band did the music for their reception.  Reagan, you were such an awesome, genuine, sweet and happy groom.  Beckah, you were STUNNING!  Super model status.  And what can I say... two thumbs up for bi-racial marriages (wink wink).  Only cute babies you guys goin' have!! 

We kicked off the reception with some of our originals as background music during the dinner.  The night got really fun as the crowd from Hawaii sang along as we sang oldies but goodies from the islands like "Drop Baby Drop".  I spent hours trying to figure out those ukulele licks when I was in high school :o)  The food was so 'ono and the location was pristine! Towards the end of the reception, Reagan did a dance of gratitude to Jesus.  It was powerful.  We were all in tears.  It was so cool to see this man so openly worshipful of his Lord and Savior at such a crowning moment in his life.  It was an honor to serve you two! 

I have included some pic's of the bride and groom, but we are gonna get more pic's of the band playing soon.


My sister and family are missionaries in Mozambique.  Right now they are in the middle of their summer.   While it is boiling hot over there, it is starting to get really cold over here.  So in my geeky engineer styleNerd smile, I thought it would be cute to post a little chart showing the contrast between here and there.  Analyze it and Enjoy!

Beira, Mozambique 
Partly Cloudy
79 °F
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 72%
Dew Point: 71 °F
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: 30.03 in
Visibility: 9.0 miles
Elevation: 26 ft

Grandview, Missouri
36.5 °F
Windchill: 36 °F
Humidity: 78%
Dew Point: 30 °

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Testimony Bout Jesus--Jon Thurlow Set


It has been so fun to worship with a team again.  It is one thing to sing at home with the guitar, or even perform our own music, but there is NOTHING in the world like praising Jesus with like-minded believers.  Jon is a very humble, yet strong leader and we count it a privilege to be on his team. Here's a little clip where the team challenged me to step out on a limb, and by the spirit of prophecy, and totally impromptu, share my testimony about Jesus.  I only heard the Lord say one phrase before I started.  He said, "Sing about Sam".  I had about 1 minute to think and then this is what came out!  If you've lost a loved one recently, I pray that you would be encouraged.


First, I would like to praise the Lamb for making this trip happen!  God provided the gas money through the ministry we were invited by (Thanks Jon and Gina).  He provided an awesome Ford truck to travel in through Ross and Mandy Johnston (thanks guys!).  He provided love-filled homes to stay in while we were there (yummy home-cooked meals included- we ate so much!).  He provided extra cash along the way from people who just handed us money!  The church we preached at took a generous and surprise offering for us.  He provided a whole new winter wardrobe for our kids, including shoes!
(Thanks Moore's)AND after all of that... our supporters in Missouri and Africa sent their support in to the IHOP office and our rent was already covered when we got home from the trip!!  Now that is what I call supernatural provision! Laugh Living in faith never felt so fun.Originally, we went to Colorado to minister at 1 ministry, and when we got to the state, we got 3 more invitations!  We also got to meet up with a bunch of friends that we love in Colorado and enjoy them while we were there.  Here are more details...

First stop, Pastor Christine's Blazing Holy Fire Church where they were hosting a team from "The Lord's Church".  It was amazing!!!  Pastor Kim and his team are from Korea.  They began having all night prayer meetings a few years ago, and the Lord opened their spiritual eyes and took them on visits to heaven and hell.  They lived to tell about it and their lives were never the same!  We lead worship at one of his meetings at the Blazing Holy Fire church in Denver.  WE will NEVER be the same after listening to them testify about their experience with the Lord.  A funny story - The meetings went from 7pm to 5am!!!  I know, crazy!  We ended up falling asleep with our kids in the kids room at the church the first night around 1am.  We drove 12 hours from MO and then pulled right into the church at 7pm to be at the meeting.  We woke up the next morning so full of God's joy.  We were laughing at how radical life in Jesus can be AND how crazy we must have looked to the people who saw us. LOL! We we baptized again with blazing fire and our eyes were opened more!  For reals! I just finished reading his book, "Baptize By Blazing Fire" and it rocked my world.  This the link to the website you can go to for more information. 

Our next stop was a leadership retreat for the young adult and youth ministry at North Rock Church in Thornton, Colorado.  We were hosted by the young adult and youth pastors, and hilarious friends Jon and Gina Horner.  The retreat was held in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at the Horner Country Inn Winking smile just west of Ft. Collins.  Absolutely beautiful!  The perfect fall colors were in full display.  The group was so filled with joy!  They burst into the living room to worship with laughter.  After some time in unified worship, we sang our songs to them the first night and shared our testimony in between each song.  Jesus was there ministering peace and gentleness to the group the first night.  The next morning we taught on how powerful praying in the Holy Spirit is, and encouraged the team to do that daily.  We also shared a prayer tool on how to FELLOWSHIP with the Holy Spirit and how important it is to read the Word daily.  Finally we wrapped our part of the retreat up with a quick overview of the Song of Songs and we told the group how the Lord defines them.  The group loved it!  I think their favorite part was when we handed out a free copy of our cd as a gift to them!!  I wish you could've seen them jump out of their seats to have one! LOL!  Here's some pics of the group and our good friends Jon and Gina.


After leaving the retreat we went to a small church in Denver lead by Pastor Dan and Jenny Yeakly.  We lead worship for this fiery church of hungry and aggressive forerunners.  We felt right at home when we flowed in the prophetic.  God gave us timely word about being rooted, grounded and established in His love.  That was probably the most hilarious way we have ever preached the Song of Songs!!!  It ended up being real powerful at the end and the oil of God's joy brought deep healing that night.


We had SO MUCH FUN visiting with people.  It started with a hilarious breakfast at Sweet Tomatoes with Olivia and Betsey, then Uelese and Mana went to watch football with Jose and Sam while Olivia, me, Lei and Aloha had great girl time. The next day we spent the morning with Francis Dupuis and then headed up to Ft. Collins to hang with Ethan Labadie,  Josh and Amy Horner and then stay the night with John and Sarah Moore. The next morning Sarah and I went to a cool restaurant for breakfast while Uelese took the kids to one of the many posh playgrounds in the city. Sarah and I had a great time talking (and shopping! Thanks Sarah and John!) Next stop was Loveland where we visited with Mark and Kyle Anne Lucks. Then we hung out with Zach Bumgardner, the Hilarious Hartwig Family, and jaunted over to hang with Kurt and Emily Chamberlain.  We stayed the night in Greeley and awoke to drive down to Colorado Springs where we met up with Jerome and Hilda Bernard and lead a devotional set at the Colorado Springs House of Prayer. We stopped in Castle Rock to have dinner with John and Karen Blessing and then stayed the night in Denver.  That last morning we visited Brian Albin at Starbucks where he works (what a convenient stop :o) We did one more service at TheHill at Resurrection Fellowship, the young adult ministry there in Loveland. We finished the trip with a sleep over at the Chamberlain house with the Faagutu's and the Bernard's and a yummy homemade breakfast. What a trip!

People really matter to God. Every single person matters. Every single relationship is a blessing and has purpose. We finished the trip with such gratitude in our hearts for connecting us to the people he has. The richness of our times together filled us up with so much joy! God works through relationship. The stronger our relationships are, the more God can do through our lives. You might wonder why we included so many names... it is to prove our point that life in God's kingdom is impossible outside of relationship.  Each of the families mentioned above could have been casual acquaintances that faded in and our life, but they are not.  Without these people and many others that were not mentioned, this trip would not have happened and our life as a missionary family would not exist...FOR REAL!  Jesus is making this happen through all of us.  It's not a one man show... it's a community of believers, loving Jesus, loving each other and reaching out to those who need His love.


Uelese, Rachel, Lei, Mana and Aloha