Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time for my "other" family

I'm thrilled to link up with two great blogs today.  Of course, I'm linking-up with my buddies through  Company Girls. (see link at end of post).  These ladies are my sisters-in-Christ and like "other family" to me!!  (Hey Company Girls,  how cool would it be to have a Company Girl conference where we can all come together, meet and have Rachel Anne speak for us like she did at CiCi's?)   

The other blog I am linking with is over at Kelly's Korner for this post.  Kelly has asked us in Blogville to talk about our church.  Yay!  This is super exciting to me.  Not only do I think my Pastor is a hot, I also think my church (Community Christian Fellowship) is simply amazing.  (**insert a shout out to all my CCF'ers:  hey ya'll!!**)  As for the Pastor comment, no need for me to repent because I'm married to him!!  

I am reposting a blog post that I wrote for our church when we celebrated our 5th anniversary last year:

20 people + 2 dogs in a den = A church
Today is January 9, 2010.  It is a precious day to me.  Today is Community Christian Fellowship’s 5th anniversary.  So what’s the big deal?  Many churches have anniversaries.  That is true.  Yet-today finds me misty eyed and filled with gratitude for all The Lord has done.

About eight years ago, The Lord started speaking to me and Jim about starting a church.  To be quite honest, it freaked us out!  This was not the avenue of ministry we had seen ourselves serving in.   Missionaries in a foreign country, quite possible.  But a church?  Really God?  “Yes, really”, He said.    God had spoken and we must go forth.   Like the story of Abraham we had no idea where we were going or what would happen (and we still don’t!).  We just knew we were to leave what was comfortable and what we had known and “go”.  Regardless of the cost, we wanted to obey The Lord with everything in us. 
After years of praying, seeking Godly counsel, praying, praying (and did I mention praying)  on January 9, 2005 a group of 20 people and two dogs met in our den.  Community Christian Fellowship began.   The verse about God choosing the “unwise and lowly” of the earth instantly had new meaning!   A small group of people coming together with a vision.  We had no denominational support. No resources. Nada—not even a building.  But the one thing we had was the only thing we needed and that was The Lord.   This little group of 20 people believed that prayer was the engine that drives the church. No amount of planning or strategizing mattered if we were not on our face seeking what The Lord wanted from us.  So, together we cried out to Him for His guidance and direction.  He answered.

As with any church we have experienced our ups, downs and in betweens.  We have seen miracles, healings and provisions too numerous to count.  In October 2008, CCF  had everything we owned (in a trailer) stolen that was never recovered. However,  The Lord provided and replaced above and beyond what was stolen.   This is just one of many stories I could share of His faithfulness.
The Lord has shown us things that have left us in “awe” of Him.   Lives transformed, addicts delivered, people healed, babies born, marriages mended.   Of course, we have experienced loss.  Loss so deep our hearts broke.  Loss so deep we didn't think we would be able to keep going.  There were times we have asked “why?” but we still believed.  Through these times, once again, The Lord has left us in “awe” of Who He is.  He has kept us under His protective wing. 
I am thankful for the amazing group of people The Lord has placed at CCF.  Just a group of real and transparent people:
Men  and  Women
Old  and  Young
   Black and White
Married and  Single
Hearing and   Deaf
Tattooted and non-tattooted
Bald and Mohawks
 Educated and Uneducated

People from all walks of life.  Each with a testimony to share. Our common denominator is that we are all sinners in need of a Savior’s grace.  It is the bond of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, that ties us all together.  This is my family and I love them!   We laugh together, cry together.  Rejoice together, hurt together.  We bear with one another in love (thank you for bearing with me!).  I know if I have a need for anything that I can call on my CCF family and they would be here for me.  Why?  Because the love of Jesus is in them.  The Holy Spirit is guiding them.
Five years has come and gone.  Five years later we are still a group of people who believe in the power of prayer.  We continue to cry out to God for direction and guidance.  What an amazing journey it has been.   Even though we now have more than 20 people (no dogs--though an occasional one show up from time to time), we still have no denominational support, not many resources and still no a building (we meet in a school).  But these things are okay.  Together we have unity through Jesus Christ.  And He is the only thing we need. He will not fail us, nor forsake us.  He is faithful. As the world seems to have gone mad from time to time, we have each other to encourage and love on. 

Community Christian Fellowship is His work and He alone receives all the praise and glory.   As Jim has said many times through the years, “It is ALL God’s work and we just have front row seats!”

It is an honor and privilege to serve Him at CCF.  I am so thankful for the past five years. I look forward to the next five.  Thank you Jesus!

Have a blessed weekend!!  Feel free to join us at Company Girls!!  Here's our blog-party link:

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Zoo-wee Mama it's Friday

Yippee!!!!  It's Friday.  Finally.  Though when you are in the ministry (married to a Pastor) Friday doesn't really mean it is the start of the weekend with a few days off but it's more the start of the work week.  Basically Fridays=Mondays to those in the ministry.  Nonetheless, Fridays are still fun.  

This Friday in March finds me a bit excited.  Here's a few reasons why:

Excitement Reason 1:  I'll give you a clue:  Zoo-wee Mama. 

That's right Greg Heffley,  Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie 2 starts today!! That can only mean one thing.  Yep, a Burton family date night SOON!!!  I can already smell the movie theater popcorn.  Mmmmm. The first movie cracked me up and of course made me think back to those dreadful middle school years.  

When I was in Middle School "E.T" and "On Golden Pond" were on the big screen.  Olivia Newton John and Dolly Parton had chart topping songs and some of the fashion styles from the day have actually resurfaced in stores again, such as skinny jeans. (As a side note I don't wear skinny jeans.  I wore them plenty back in the day.  Been there.  Done that.  Had babies.  Enough said. )

Here's a little glimpse of my awkward middle school years:  


It was obvious I had no clue what hairstyle (or color) I was going for back then. 

Excitement Reason 2:  I'm getting stronger!!!  I bet you are too!  Recently, I've been talking to many who are going through challenging times and trials. My heart breaks for some of you all and your current situations.  I have been hit with some trials recently as well but I am to thankful that my morning devotional time reminded that we should not be surprised when trials happen but to actually embrace them. 

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world(1 Peter 4:12-13) 
I love the Message Bible's paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.
May we be reminded that these trials are being used to make us stronger (and more like Christ).  Speaking of stronger....

Excitement Reason 3: Have you heard Mandisa's new song?  I LOVE it!  LOVE it! 

Excitement Reason 4:  Coffee time! It's Friday so that means it is time to link up with my Coffee Girls over at Rachael Anne's Home Sanctuary.  I love these ladies and have missed the past few weeks.  (**Hey coffee gals, I'm curious--are any of you going to be at the Going Beyond conference in April at Lynchburg, VA??? Would LOVE to meet you in person.**)

Hope you have a blessed weekend.  You are loved and prayed for!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh The Thinks You Can Think

photo from: Amazon
I wish I could say I have been away the past 10 days on a cruise or island vacation and that is why I have ignored my blog.  But no!  No reason for the lack of blog love.  Yet, tons of excuses!  You know those times in your life where you feel like you are standing in the middle of an interstate and life is an 18-wheeler barreling down the lane at you?  Yep.  That's me.  I've thought about writing but couldn't seem to come up with anything.  Could it be a writer's block?  I actually  " puzzled and puzzed 'till my puzzler was sore" and still came up with nothing for a blog.  

Not sure why I was drawing a blank because  I believe: 

From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere. ~ Dr. Seuss
Then it happened. This morning it hit me and I thought of something to share.  

If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too. ~Dr. Seuss 

Jordyn just finished her first ever CTY  musical.  What a great time and experience for her. 

Of course she was sad when it was over, but I reminded her as best as a loving mother could:
Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss
Less than a week after the curtain closed on Aladdin, little Miss JoJo auditioned for another production with CYT.   This production is her last chance to be involved with CYT due to her age so she went for it, gave it her all and....guess what?  She's in!!   And I have to say I am a tad bit excited!  In case you missed the hints through the above quotes, Jordyn is going to be involved in ....(insert drum roll here)

Seussical The Musical!  

Ahh--good 'ol Dr. Seuss.  Since I was a child Dr. Seuss has been my all time favorite.  I'm sure my love for The Cat in The Hat comes as no surprise to you from the gobs of slang and colloquialism that make up my writings. 

Dr. Seuss doesn't have anything on me.  I have my own cast of characters too!  Jordyn is a Bird Girl and here are my very own Thing 1 and Thing 2 

Amanda and Jaelynn being silly girls!

In case you are like my precious man and you are wondering who on earth Thing 1 and Thing 2 are then here they are (aren't they precious?)

So, after a 10 day hiatus, I'm back on the bloggity blog cycle.  I'll be sure to file this post under the "really random" file but after all, that's me!  Really Random Rebecca.   

Photo from Etsy to order print click here

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Live It

I recently learned that  Dr. Richard Swenson will be one of the keynote speakers at our upcoming state homeschool convention in June.  I have heard of Dr. Swenson's books but have not read any of his writings (yet).  Yesterday I visited his website and found an excerpt that really hit my heart deeply.  I want to share the article with you on this day when all of our hearts are burdened by the devastation in Japan.  You can read the original excerpt here on his site

A Minute of Margin by Richard A. Swenson, MD

REFLECTION 1 - Priorities

One September Morning on the 103rd Floor
 If you attempt to talk with a dying man about sports or business, he is no longer interested.  He now sees other things as more important.  People who are dying recognize what we often forget, that we are standing on the brink of another world.  William Law
The skies were partly cloudy, the temperature was 68 degrees, the wind was out of the west at 10 mph.  A beautiful day.  At 8:45 AM, people working on the 103rd floor were pouring their morning coffee, straightening their desks, reviewing their Tuesday appointments, bantering with office mates, glancing at the harbor . . .  
One minute later, none of that mattered.  Twenty floors below, a 757 transected the building leaving the 103rd cut off, trapped, hopeless.  But not yet dead. 
When you have ten minutes to live, what are your thoughts?  What is important in the last seconds?  As a tribute to those nameless faces staring down at us from the smoky inferno, can we stop what we are doing long enough to listen to them?  Seeing death from this perspective is not morbid: on the contrary, it can help us see life.
Those who found phones called--not their stock brokers to check the latest ticker, not their hair stylists to cancel the afternoon’s appointment, not even their insurance agents to check coverage levels.  They called spouses to say “I love you” one last time, children to say “You are precious” one last time, parents to say “Thank you” one last time.  Through tears they called best friends, neighbors, pastors and priests and rabbis.  “I just want you to know what you mean to me.”  And surely those standing on the brink of another world thought of God--of truth and eternity, judgment and redemption, grace and the Gospel.
Imminent death has a commanding power to straighten life’s priorities with a jolt.  At such dramatic moments, people suddenly realize that priorities matter. Tragically, however, chronic overloading obscures this truth.  How we live influences how we die, and misplaced busyness leads to terminal regrets.  If we don’t move to establish and then guard that which matters most, the breathless pace of daily overload will blind us to eternal priorities, until one day we too stand at such a window and look down.  Perhaps with regret.
Rx: Slow the pace of living until you again remember that day.  If that were you on the 103rd floor, what would have been important?  Live it.  Don’t hide behind the excuse of overload.  Daily make space in your life for the things that matter most. 
The afternoon knows what the morning never dreamed.  Swedish proverb
None of us are promised our next breath. We can leave this world at any time and in any way.   I urge any of you reading this blog today to be sure of your eternal future. Make your final destination your first priority in life. Cry out to The Lord today.  Don't delay.  Romans 10:9 says, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

On another note, Today is Friday and that means I am linking up with my Company Girls.  Have a blessed weekend!

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Relentless 2.0

Today I am continuing to think about being Relentless in prayer.  I thought I'd share a personal testimony to provisions through prayer and then open the floor up to you to respond with your testimony.

To this day, I vividly remember a time in our life from 18 years ago when I was pregnant with Jordyn.  Jim, Amanda and I lived in a small two bedroom home.  We were struggling financially and living pay check to pay check.  (Perhaps this is where the family motto “Beans and rice and Jesus Christ" started.)   It was a Sunday afternoon and we had just arrived home from church.   I was in the kitchen preparing to warm up left over spaghetti, bread and salad from the night before.  It was a small amount of food but just enough for the three of us.  I heard a  knock at our door and much to our surprise it was  two of our friends who were hungry and in need of some food.   This precious couple was worse off financially than we were back in the day but we were close enough in our friendship that they felt comfortable coming by for an unannounced meal.    

I felt panic strike  as Jim invited them  in and warmly told them “we’d LOVE to have you join us for lunch!”  Jim was clueless to our lunch menu (and in that moment I wasn’t sure what was going to be on the menu either!).   I recall greeting my friends and then returning to the  kitchen looking at the small amount of leftovers .  Being eight months pregnant, I could have easily scarfed up the small portion of food on my own but I realized this food was all we had to offer and it would need to be divided between not only three people, but five!!    In desperation and with tears in my eyes, I mumbled a heartfelt prayer and asked The Lord to please help us.   To please help our friends who had no money  and to pretty please help our spaghetti.  (yep, I prayed for spaghetti).

We all gathered around the table as I served the leftovers.  Our small luncheon that Sunday afternoon was filled with much laughter, Scripture sharing  and precious fellowship.  It was not until the end of lunch when I started to clear the plates that I realized The Lord had heard my innocent prayer.  I was astonished as I saw leftovers from the leftovers!  We had each eaten until our bellies were full and we still had extra food.   I was in awe at our spaghetti -increasing God.  Not only had He heard my cry for “help” from my kitchen,  He had provided and multiplied our food that Sunday afternoon AND more importantly-- He had shown himself to me as Jehovah Jirah, our Provider.   

I knew He cared about every hair on our head (Luke 12:7) and that Sunday afternoon I learned that also He cared about every noodle on our plate.   

God wants to do great things through us if we would just step out in faith when He asks us to.  That’s why He lets us go through some difficult times.  Times when we feel weak and vulnerable.  He allows certain things to happen so that we will turn to Him.  It's in those times, when we are forced to pray in greater faith, that our faith and our lives are transformed.  
Stormie's suggested Prayer:  Give me faith so that I can pray in power.  Help me to pray and believe for great changes in myself.  Transform me by the power of your Spirit.

It's your turn! What has The Lord done to show Himself as Jehovah Jirah (Provider) in your life as a result to your prayers?

May we seek Him with Rentless prayers in all areas of our life.  The big things and the small things.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Philippians 4:6 NLT

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Friday, March 04, 2011

I don't know why you say goodbye. I say hello

My Mr. Brown plastic coffee thingy doesn't know why I say goodbye, 

photo from

Maybe it is because yesterday I found the perfect accessory for my purple pinky:

So, I say hello, hello, hello! Isn't she lovely?!  A perfect fit.  I've toted my brown coffee carry along for a year now (coffee in hand is a must..I admit I'm addicted to my caffeine).  I've seen pink and blue but never a purple Copco.  As you can only imagine it was love at first sight.  In addition, kudos to my local Kroger for having my new purple lovely on sale for just $4.99 this week! (Maybe I should have picked up more than one.....)

I love going green when it is so, well, so.... purple!

(During my little impromptu photo shoot, Zuzu decided she wanted to play with my new cup and hide her bone in it!)

My purple Copco is perfect timing for Company Girls Coffee! 

 That's right, it's Friday and I am linking up with that gals over at Rachael Anne's Home Sanctuary.  These gals are amazing!!  Feel free to grab a cup of coffee and join us.

**Oh one last random thing (you know me and random!)  I'm looking for a good recipe for healthy wheat bread.  If you have one will you let me know?  Thanks!
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Thursday, March 03, 2011


Last night, as I was preparing for bed I started feeling overwhelmed, tired worried, and fearful.  The Lord is leading me in a few new directions in my life.  While I am excited I feel a bit anxious and am battling the famous "what if I can't" thoughts.  I was prinking (my word for praying + thinking) about these new adventures when I had a vision (in my mind's eye) of being in the deep end of an Olympic sized pool.  Olympic swimmers were doing laps around me. I was unable to swim but was treading water with everything I had to stay afloat.  Treading left me tried and overwhelmed in the "deep end" of the pool.  In my mind's eye vision,  'swimmies' appeared on my arm to keep me afloat.  I stopped fighting and just started floating.   

Photo from 

I knew the Lord had given me this picture as He was reminding me that He alone is my help, my refuge and my strength if I will just stop fighting, let go and trust Him.

This morning my friend and prayer warrior buddy (Hi Cane!) sent me a link to check out.  It was very timely and it confirmed what The Lord was speaking to me last night.  

Blogger Sara (over at Gitzengirl ) is the guest writer today for  (in)courage.   Please take a second and hop over there and check out what she wrote entitled "Helpless".  I believe it will speak to you too!!

Have a blessed and happy "Thankful Thursday!"

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!  Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best.  Proverbs 3:5-7 The Message  

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Relentless 1.0

Relentless.   This word has been coming to my mind a lot the past few days.  The Learner’s Dictionary defines the word as: 1 : continuing without becoming weaker, less severe, etc 2 : remaining strict or determined 

My four pound Yorkie barking at the neighbor’s cat = Relentless
My baby girls watching toy commercials at Christmas time = Relentless
Telemarketers at dinner time = Relentless
Grey hairs popping up on my head = Relentless
My prayer life =                  

Oh, how I desire for the above blank to read "Relentless". 

My first experience with prayer was when I was about 8 years old.  My parents were diligent to take me to church every Sunday and teach me the basics of the Christian life. It was during this time I confessed The Lord as my personal Savior.  

My family had a precious friend (my dad’s best friend)that I called “uncle”.  Uncle Curtis spent every Sunday afternoon with our family, every holiday and family event that happened--he was there.  When he was not at our house, he would call to check on us.  He was single and he considered us his family.  We considered him part of our family too.   

As a child I didn’t truly understand the full meaning of the word "cancer" but that is the word my parents used when they explained to me why Uncle Curtis had been admitted to the hospital.  All I knew was it sounded scary. He was in pain and very sick. That made my child's heart sad.  I wanted to fix-it but something told me I couldn’t.  Deep inside I knew there was One that could help Uncle Curtis and I knew I needed to get “ in-touch” with Him and talk to Him about Uncle Curtis.  One night, I remember laying in bed and I decided to "pray".  I had heard about prayer at church.  Now it was my time to cry out in prayer as best as an 8 year old could. My prayer was as simple as it could get: “Dear God, please help Uncle Curtis feel better and if he can’t feel better please let Him come live with You”.   The next morning I awoke to our phone ringing and the next few minutes that followed hurt my heart deeply.  I could hear my mom crying as she told my dad the news.  Uncle Curtis had died early that morning.  My mind quickly recalled my prayer the night before.  I knew at that very moment that I had gotten “in-touch” with my God.  I had prayed and He had heard me.  That was just the beginning of my understanding about the power of prayer.

I have prayed countless prayers since that night when I was 8.  Prayers about everything.  Yes, everything.  Prayers for sick people, well people, sick animals, prayers for bills that needed to be paid, prayers for guidance, prayers for souls, prayers for peace.  I have even prayed for food to multiply (that will be the next blog post).  There have been many times when I didn’t know what to say or how to pray so I just cried out for help.  And He always heard me.  He has always answered.  He always will.

Prayer is a very important part of my life. Is my prayer life relentless?  I'm not sure I'd say "yes".  However, I do want to continue without becoming weaker and I want to be determined as the definition states. I need to improve.  I believe we all have room for improvement in this area of our lives.  

I like what Pastor Jim Cymbala shares in his book, Breakthrough Prayer:
"Because we are God's children...we can bring our needs to him with certainty in prayer.... Prayer is not some kind of heavenly lottery. Nor does the Bible counsel us to pray with an 'I hope this will work'...attitude. Instead...prayer brings us before the throne of grace as children seeking the help of their heavenly Father. That's the heart of breakthrough, successful prayer--the bold confidence that we are talking to the Father who delights to supply our needs. "   
I plan to write more about being "Relentless" in prayer.   I hope to share some of the things that I have seen The Lord do through answered prayers in my life and the lives of others as a means of encouraging you in your prayer life.   I will also share some of the resources that I have helped me in my prayer life over the years (books, prayer journals, prayer wall, etc).  I am not an expert in this area and I don't have it all figured out, however, my heart's desire is to share with openly and I pray that something I say (or have done) will encourage you to pray relentlessly too!   
Also, I'd love to hear from you too.  Please feel free to share your personal testimonies to the power of prayer and the faithfulness of The Lord in your life. 

May we be relentless together in prayer.  

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonian 5:16-18). 

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Today, I am linking up with Courtney at Women Living Well


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