Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wow! I am standing amazed!

I know I keep saying this over and over again in this blog but... I stand amazed at what God can do or better yet what he does.

It touches my heart in so many ways with all the support we have received either in money or prayer. It is amazing just how God moves his people to give. I am happy to report that all of our first deposits have been met. Praise the Lord. We are half way there. Isn't it just so amazing? Why do I doubt so much.

I told my mom just this weekend, that I know God is teaching me patience. I told her I would not be surprised if our passports and our deposits showed up on the last day of February. Well, I guess God wanted to show me just who was in charge. He paid our deposit before March 1. Before even February 1st. How great He is.

Now let's just pray that our passports come before March 1. If you ask me tomorrow will be fine.

The next time you see a flashlight or change a light bulb, I want you to look at it as if it were you. Light bulbs and flashlights come in lots of different sizes and shapes just like us. Some of the bulbs are bright some are dull. Just like us. Why do we use flashlights or light bulbs? That is easy, we need light in dark places to see. Jesus referred to himself as light. But it is up to us to spread His light to others. So get a light, maybe use a mirror so it reflects even more into this world.

Praise the Lord, how great He is.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Well Done! Good .....Puppy! :-)

Some of you know that we have a new family member he is a 7 1/2 week old miniature pinscher. We named him Benson (after the creek in Kentucky). We wanted a big dog name for a 3 lb puppy. This week has been an exciting one.

As I am working on Benson's behavior I wonder sometimes if God sees us as a disobedient people. At least I know He probably sees me that way. Trying to teach Benson to walk on a leash is rather comical. He stands up on his hind legs and flops around reminding me of a fish out of water. The research I have done on Min Pins says that they are willful but so want to please. Of course when Benson does something wonderful I praise him. One day when I meet Jesus face to face I just want him to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant.

I think my own will gets in the way of pleasing God. Sometimes he pulls me in directions that I don't want to go and then I flop all over the place trying to get right again.

My mom was a little disappointed in the choice of dog that we now own. She told me that they were one owner dogs. Which is my desire for my life in relation to God. I want to serve only one master. So is belonging to one master so bad. Maybe there is a lot to learn from dogs and puppies.

My cat isn't so sure as what to think about this "little bit of a mess." I think she has brought home "rent" that is bigger than Benson. But she too is learning to deal with him. Mainly by avoiding him.

I will keep you up to date on the things Benson is learning. I am sure our house will not be the same for a while or maybe ever. I still miss Oscar terribly and wish everyday that he was still around for me to love. He will always be in my heart.

We are singing praises today for our support checks. We have received two more. We are only $550 away from our March 1st goal of $1800. Isn't God good. Shouldn't we follow His lead, when He asks shouldn't we just go without any pulling back or flopping around. Still my biggest fear is that we will not raise the support we need. I know my doubting disappoints God.

God has taught me so many things during this part of the journey. I can't wait to see what He will show me while we are in Haiti.

I just ask for prayer that God will rain in the support that is needed and that our passport will arrive on time (before March 1).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Leaning Side

It was great to visit family and friends in Kentucky. The only thing I did not like was the temperature. Cold very Cold.

While we were there I was given the third support check. This check comes with lots of mixed feelings. I know this check was over and above just giving, it was a sacrifice.

Music has always ministered to me, I am not sure if it is because growing up I would hear my brother playing the guitar just outside my door or if the Lord has just used music to touch me. There is a song sung by Third Day the words go "your faithfulness reaches into the heavens," I think that God sees faithfulness and sacrifice as a form of worship. So words can't describe the faithfulness that I have seen during this journey.

It is also so amazing to see God ministering to me through different situations that come up. Of Course we went to church on Sunday, we went to my father-in-laws church and while I was there he preached on God is able. The key verse was Ephesians 3:20"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." He talked about a barn that was leaning and was propped up with lumber on the leaning side. I realized that that barn is me. I made a reference to a friend of mine just last week that I need God to keep his hand on my back. I was actually meaning that I was needing him to keep pushing me because if I really sit down and think about going to Haiti---I actually get scared to death. It is a dangerous place, I am just a person, a very insignaficant person. Why me? Wouldn't it be better for God to send someone worthy of telling others about Him. I know that althrough life God has used ordinary people. I told some of my family in Ky that I was excited about our trip-- which is true but really I am scared to death but also excited to see God. I know it will be life changing. So God's Hand does needs to be on my back because I would probably not go. However, I know that God has had his hand there all along and I will be obedient to Him. God has my leaning side.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

As most of you know I am a teacher. I have often said I was going to write a book about all the things that happen in my class. Well, this really isn't a book but a blog will do.

Yesterday, when I received a text from Joel telling me that we had received a second support check, I was sitting at my desk when I felt my phone vibrate. Usually I don't pick up or check my phone during school hours but for some strange reason I stopped working with the student that was standing next to me to read the text. After I read the text, with tears in my eyes, I hugged the little guy standing at my side. Well needless to say my class just thought what in the world had happened to me. Even the guy I hugged asked me why I had hugged him. I took the time to explain then to my class about going on a mission trip and trying to get the money to go that far away was hard. One of my other little boys told me that he would bring me $2.00 tomorrow. Guess what, this morning he did. I told him thank you very much but I wanted him to save his money. "No." He said. "I insist." I of course didn't take it from him. However, he ask me later why I didn't take it. I explained that although I appreciated his thinking of me in that way that it just wasn't right. At that he really didn't understand what wasn't right about it. He told me that I was doing what God was wanting and even though he wasn't old enough to go he wanted to help me. To help me go and do God's work. To help me, to help me, to help me, do God's work. I just sat there again with tears in my eyes,(that happens a lot lately),wondering how do these little children get it and as an adult I still struggle.

How precious are all of His little children.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Heavy Heart -- Lifted

As I sit here in the Lancaster County library my heart is very sad. Elise and I dread going home. You see Oscar who is our family Lhasa Apso is being put to sleep probably as I write this. We have had Oscar for 17 years. He was bought for me for my graduation present in 1991. He has been a good dog. He has given us a lot of good years and we will miss his Aroo, roos. As sad as I am about Oscar being put to sleep I know it is the right thing to do. I know that God will give up the strength to go on.

Last night as the darkness closed in I was very down because I knew this time was near. Robbie, our youth pastor called to report on their trip to Haiti and update us on our trip. It seems that at times I can actually be floating on cloud nine seeing God work. He was so excited because of our first support check had come in. I was doubting with every part of me that God could actually provide the support we need. It seems so unreachable. I told Robbie this and he again reassured me, that God would provide. After I hung up from him I just went to bed with a heart that felt as it weight 100lbs.

As always, God doesn't leave us down like that for long. You see we received our second support check today. And well, we have gotten enough support where one of us can almost go.
So as I felt the vibration from the text that Joel was sending, I checked my phone and read just how God lifts us when we most need it.

I ask that you will pray for us as we will probably have many ups and downs on this journey. I also ask that you will pray for the following requests:
1. support will pour in a mighty way
2. the passports will be in before March 1- passports are taking 6-8 weeks to be processed and we processed in week 7.
Again I stand amazed at what and when God does things. How great You are, Lord!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

God's Hand

It is very interesting to see God's Hand in your everyday life. As some of our family and closest friends already know, God has tugged on my heart in the past about going into the mission field. Granted, I know I work in one everyday. However, I have always felt God's tug to do more, to go farther. However, he was always met with a resounding "No". We never will have the money to go into the field, travel far, or Elise is too small, I can't do that are you kidding me. Well, God always redirects and directs again.

The story starts like this. I can remember, it seems like 20 years ago now when we were still in Kentucky laying in bed ( we didn't have Elise yet, and Joel was always working nights) praying my heart out to the Lord to open doors for me to teach at a Christian School. I had applied and interviewed several times at a Catholic School but was always turned down because the main reason I am not Catholic nor was I planning on becoming one. Well, there was one night that the nun that I had been interviewing with called and again and told me she would love to hire me if I was only Catholic and needless to say I was again praying. Lord, I want to teach for you, tell me where to go what to do and I will go. As God always does he answered my prayer 10 months later when we found out that we would be moving to South Carolina. You see even though I couldn't at that exact time see that God's Hand was laying the path, I again made a resounding: "Are you kidding. My family is here. I have a job. What about Elise, she is just a baby.' A good friend of mine told me that if our move was truly from the Lord that by the time the moving van pulls into your driveway I would go without any complaints. And by the time the van did pull in my driveway I was ready. You may be asking yourself what does all of this have to do with the opening of this blog. God brought us 400 miles away from everything I have ever known to teach me lots of things. When we moved I felt a little like Abraham not the righteous part of him but the part about him leaving his father's land. As God was faithful to Abraham he has been faithful to us. You see God moved us here for me to teach for Him here in South Carolina at a great school. He also led us to a church that doesn't just sit, we send. It can be in our own community or as far away as you can imagine.

Fast forward about 12 years and here we are again watching God's Hand move, the mission field.... in June of 2007 our youth director was talking to Joel and I about a mission trip he was planning for the youth for the summer of 2008. He said to us that he would let Elise go if she had parents that went with her. It crossed my mind then that maybe we should go. But again, what about the time off, what am I going to do over there, do I really want to expose Elise at that age to cultures like Haiti, and how much does it cost? I probably thought about it for a few days and again, Sorry God.... that is not for me. Well, just like he put Jonah in the belly of the whale for three day he put me in the hospital for four days with a pretty serious illness. As I laid in the hospital bed I kept asking myself "Why didn't I die?" So many people have had blood clots in their lung and died. Why didn't I? Not that I wanted to... but the question would always return. I guess when you have an illness that could have been fatal you really stop to examine your life. I know without a doubt that the guy I married,the move we made,the job I hold, the church I attend,the people He has put in my life especially in the last year are only because God has paved the way to this point. Well, the youth director that I spoke to back in June started to talking to Joel and I again in the first week of December about going to Haiti. This time I didn't answer with a NO but a maybe, we had to let Robbie know by January 1 whether or not we would go. I was still so unsure now it was not only the other things that I mentioned first but also I am medically sound to go? What happens if....? I have a thousand ifs but God has a thousand I Knows. I just wanted to let those of you that know us be a part of this wonderful experience that gets more exciting everyday. These are the things that God will do for you, if we will look past our noses to the other parts of His world.

Dec. 11- there was an informational meeting at church about the Haiti trip Robbie hands me a packet of all the paperwork need saying to me "the Holy Spirit told me to give these to you." My response was "I am glad He is talking to you because I haven't really felt Him yet." When really I had I was just so scared I didn't want to listen.

Dec. 16th- my prayer was God if we are suppose to go to Haiti make it very clear one way or the other, knowing that the two of my biggest concerns were the money and my medical condition, within two hours of that prayer a friend from church called that had found out that we were thinking about going and told me that his father was donating money toward the trip not in our name but in the big pot.

Dec. 24th- I finally confessed to Robbie that I was so scared that we would not get the support we need for our whole family to go. His response was" Tracey, God owns cattle on a thousand hills why would he not provide." I also heard God at that time speaking to my heart "Why do you have so little faith, have I not provided what you have needed thus far." Well that really hit home and that is what I am cling too.

Jan. 4th Praise !!!!! we received our first support check

Jan.6th- Joel and I both have to be together when we get passports because Elise is under 16. We both have to sign the passport request, so it finally worked out that we can both go on Thurs. Jan 10. We begin filling out all the paperwork for the trip itself as well as our passport application, seeing we need our birth certificates we start looking for them. We find Elise's (that was easy), Joel's, but mine, not a chance to be found. Panicking I called my mom, she worked her magic(God used her hands) and for a process that was supposed to take 7 days., my birth certificate was here on Tuesday...so the plans for Thursday are back on.

Jan. 10th Passport Day

Our plans were for me to leave school at 3:30 pick up Elise and be back into Lancaster County at the Court House by 4:30, they don't close until 5:00 that should plenty of time to get our applications processed. Well, as things go Joel decided he would go to the court house early to do his and save time for us. I get a phone call at 2:30 as I was walking my students out to pick up, it was Joel saying that we had to be at the court house before 4:00. What? I will never make it..... I have to get Elise still which is a miracle in itself because the traffic at pick up time. My assistant grabbed her purse, said I've got the class, I called the other campus (someone actually picked up and it didn't go to voicemail which is another hand of God)and ask them to pull Elise out of class, meet me on the street so I don't have to go through the parking lot at pick up time. I left school thinking OK if this doesn't work, is this God's way of saying wrong path.....oh me of little faith. Do you know that not only did I pull through the parking lot at Elise's campus but there was an empty lane to get in and out of. And we made it to the court house in plenty of time.

That brings you up to date on our Journey to Haiti--- I am so excited about seeing God work and I stand in amazement in front of Him only now I am not resounding with a No but a Yes Lord Yes!!!

So tonight I am giving thanksgiving for His all knowing power, friends, a persistent youth director, family, Joel's thoughtfulness,God's timing, assistants,overnight delivery,the school in which I teach, the people who have traveled to Haiti before us to prepare our way, the many of you that will give financially,prayer warriors,pod casts,and the days to come that will only strengthen our faith in God. Let His Glory shine!!!

We will keep you posted on the wheres and the hows of God in our lives, but may He be in yours, that you see Him everyday.

SC Denney's are Haiti bound!!!