Monday, July 29, 2013

Chicago Love

What fun we had in the Inner City!!

100+ kids from the Chicago area came, heard and experienced God's love for 5 weeks. 

  The VBS Summer program at ICI (Inner City Impact) went for 4 weeks before we got there and GBC youth gave the children week 5. 

 Friday, the last day, was a fun day, with bounce houses,


and more fun!

No one really knew what to expect when we arrived.  A few of our kids were here last year and tried to fill us in on the details, but until you experience it.... there are no words. 

Being there and watching Ellie with her group was another piece of fruit in my harvest basket this Summer...

Ellie is in the bottom left holding the girls' arms in the air. :)

I was a little apprehensive when I heard Ellie would be with the older girls...but why do I worry!?  The girls loved her and her friend Maddison!  They were like big sisters to them.  Ellie was asked by one of the girls what the ring on her finger meant.  She was able to share about purity.  This was a foreign concept to all the girls.  Ellie and Maddison are missing "their girls". Praying seeds would be planted and bring forth a harvest we may never see until eternity...

When I signed up to be a sponsor, I was told I was a "floater", basically wherever Seth (our youth pastor) needed me, that's where I'd be.  He approached me the first day, just before it started, and said he'd like me to help Aaron, who had about 20 5yr olds.  In his group there's a boy with "brain damage", can you watch him?  "SURE!  I said..."

Christopher and I


We had quite the week of running here, there and everywhere.  Let's just say his attention span is almost as long as "the blink of an eye".
But underneath that little 5 year old skin, God is doin AMAZING things!!!!!  
Just when I thought Christopher was not understanding anything, and I couldn't catch my breath from running so fast, he picked up a piece of chalk and headed for the "chalkboard wall" in the entry way of the building and wrote.....


"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather 
rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" Luke 10:20

God used Christopher and the other children touch each of our hearts more than we could ever imagine....

"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,  that no flesh should glory in His presence."                   1 Corinthians 1:27-29

When I think of the love God gave me for Christopher and the other children, the Holy Spirit reminds me of how much He loves me...

"But thou, O Lord art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Psalm 86:15

Thank you Father for not dealing with me after my sins; nor rewarding me according to my iniquities. (Psalm 103:10)

Praising God for an amazing week none of us will ever forget and praying for each of the lives we encountered along the way...

"Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power..." Ephesians 1:16-19

Monday, July 22, 2013


The Lord has allowed me to attend and be part of our church's youth mission trip!

Ellie and I just traveled 13+ hours on a school bus with 29 other kids and 3 other sponsors to Chicago, Illinois to the Inner City.  Here we are on this first morning at Inner City,

Waiting on kids to arrive!

and we're ready to love on some little people!  
We will have LOTS of children from Chicago ages 5-13 come to go through the Bible School program our church brought.  Can't wait to see what the Lord will do on this first day! 

God has already blessed my socks off by meeting THE most precious janitor! 

Thad works hard to keep the facilities clean!

 Thad loves our Heavenly Father and you can see The Lord shine through him the moment he says "hello", and he sure does like his coffee and makes sure everyone gets their daily caffeine!

Here are some more group pics:

Getting ready for crafts

Each of these kids are such servants!  Always asking what they can do to help!
We are a blessed church!
They are such servants that 3 of them are celebrating their birthdays in Chicago, away from home and family!  Today is Brandon's 18th birthday!  Happy birthday!!

God is so good!  I am so blessed He has allowed me to be here...with my daughter, in this moment He had set apart for us before the foundation of the world in Chicago, Illinois. 

"Wait on the Lord; Be strong, and let thy heart take courage; 
Yea, wait thou for Jehovah." Psalm 27:14

Thursday, July 11, 2013

God Will Judge...

Do you ever feel like giving up, like the ungodly keep winning, like you're never going to see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Don't let satan fill your mind with those lies!  Don't choose to believe his deception!

I just received a message regarding loved ones in another country who are experiencing severe persecution because of the name of Christ.  I cannot imagine the pain they must be feeling.  How they may feel it is not worth the struggle to keep fighting for Christ. 
 But God's Word tells us who wins in the end! (Revelation is God's book of future prophesy)

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."                Revelation 22:14

 "All the horns (ray of light; power) of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted." Ps 75:10

God is the Ultimate Judge.  The wicked's time is coming...
OH, how I would hate to be in their shoes on Judgement Day!

"But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.  For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs (something preserved, i.e. the settlings of wine) thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them."  Ps 75:7-8

What is in the Lord's cup you ask? 
"The same (those that are not Christ followers) shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation (desire; violent passion; punishment; anger); and he (unbeliever) shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:"  Revelation 14:10

The cup of the Lord holds His wrath.  I do not want to drink from that cup!

 Revelation 6:17 "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"  
So how do we not drink from the cup of wrath and stand in the day of His judgement?  

"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."  Revelation 20:15
I will stand because when God sees me, He sees His son, I have come under the Blood of the Lamb and He has forgiven my sins.  

"Come now, and let us reason (correct) together, saith the LORD; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  Isaiah 1:18

My name IS written in His Book of Life.  Is yours?


So as you deal with the wicked people in your life, just remember... their day is coming.  (Which is why our LORD said, "pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" Matthew 5:44b, that they too may avoid the wrath to come).  You keep your life spotless with the Blood of the Lamb and let God be their Judge....

"Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations." Ezekiel 7:8

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Me a Warrior?

Yep, that's what God calls us when we surrender to Him!

This is what He told me this morning:

"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, (Gideon), and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, [Tonya] thou mighty man [woman] of valour..." Judges 6:12b

Valour= army, wealth, virtue, strength:- able, activity, (+) army, band of soldiers, company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, stron, substance, train, valiant (-ly), virtous (-ly), war, worth (-ily)

WOAH  did you read that?!  READ IT AGAIN!!
If you are a child of the King, you are an ARMY, a COMPANY OF GREAT FORCES and you are WAR WORTHY!!!!!  

So if you are weary in the midst of your battle, stand up and put on your holy armor and let's go to battle with the LORD!

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"  Ephesians 6:10-18

I hear it!  Just like in the movies, only greater....  the sound of voices being raised in battle cry!

"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

God is Doin It!

Anyone heard the ole' DC Talk song,

Thats the song goin in my head right now!  Reminds me of my tween years bouncin around in my room with a tape of DC Talk playin in my tiny pink boom box!  God loved me even then and was preparing me for my task at hand! 

God does not sit back and watch us struggle when the trials of our life are the most fierce.  In fact, that's when His work is most evident in our lives!  I can just hear and smell the war raging in the heavenlies, in the unseen world. 

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

As the war is going on all around me, shots are being fired at our family and my loved ones, but God keeps drawing me closer and closer into His arms of protection. 

"The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
He will thrust out the enemy from before you,
And will say, ‘Destroy!
Deuteronomy 33:27

Here is a picture of V's first day of work... He is loving it!

This getting up early (4:15am) to take Vitaliy to work by 5am, has been wonderful in making me get out of bed to spend quality time with my Father.  I have a place on the couch in the corner of our living room where I always go to read God's Love Letter (the Bible).  This morning after I took V to work, I so badly wanted to crawl back in bed, but I glanced over to the corner of the living room and quietly heard, "Come here my love."  Almighty God of the Universe, wanted to spend time with ME!   
He is so Romantic like that! 

"My beloved spoke, and said to me:
“Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away
Song of Solomon 2:10

So I opened up my Bible, my journal and my Pricilla Shirer Gideon study and away we went as He took my hand to guide me down His path.
"He restores my soul; He leads me in the pathof righteousness For His name’s sake." Psalm 23:3

  I do have to admit, later, I took a nap, but it is SO cool how God speaks to His people in His still small voice if they listen.

"And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." 1 Kings 19:11b-12

He loves us SO much and desires an intimate personal relationship with each and every one of us every second of every day!  Not just our once a week, 2 hr church service, but our HEART!

When I say every second of every day, it is so easy to get caught up in our to do lists, or the job at hand, but as Pricilla Shirer was saying in today's study, look for Him in the mundane!  As you are folding laundry, see His special blessing on your life as He has blessed you with: clothes to wear, electricity to make the dryer run, hands to fold the clothes, and bodies that are functioning to wear the clothes, even down to the breath you are breathing while you are folding the clothes!  God loves you so much!  He created you to have a relationship with Him!  Talk to Him, and tell Him thank you for His blessings as you are folding clothes!  ...every second of everyday!

Remember how I said I'm going to be watching for the fruit God brings to harvest in my life?  Well I see the buds on the trees turning to fruit all around me!!!!!  
Keep praying!  

"If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit and your threshing shall reach unto the vintage (inaccessible by height), and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing (planting) time; and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely."  Leviticus 26:3-5

Bring the harvest Lord!  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fighting the Good Fight

What a month June has been!  It all has flown by in such a whirwind and our Summer is half over!

I can tell you God has already allowed me to harvest fruit in my life from previous seeds sown!  SOO exciting!

I got to take my kids to Kansas City to watch the host kids from New Horizons For Children arrive at the airport and meet their host families!  It was so exciting to relive the moment I met Vitaliy!  (I don't think he was too excited to be there and relive the moment though. :)

The Children walking off the plane into their host family's emotional!

A family that lives just down the street from us is hosting and I got to babysit her the other day!  God's fruitful harvest from seeds sown!  I have prayed that others would host and look what the Lord has done...just 2 miles away from us!

  I love watching the Lord at work.  
And now I wait and see what the Lord will do...

I am also waiting to see what the Lord will do in another area of my life...Waiting, and waiting and waiting some more...

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strength thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."  Psalm 27:14

And while I wait, I don't sit by and do nothing!  I pray, pray and pray some more!!

"Is any among you afflicted? let him pray."  James 5:13

Satan is out to get my fruit and destroy it, so I must watch and be on guard 24/7.  As soon as it ripens I must harvest it and give God the glory!

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8

As I do my study on Gideon by Priscilla Shirer, God is strengthening my heart, my faith and growing me!  It is just what I needed to renew my strength as I fight this battle.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  Ephesians 6:12

So let's fight the good fight! 

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."  1 Timothy 6:12

 We have a Mighty Warrior fighting for us... He has and will prevail!

"The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies."  Isaiah 42:13