Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Courtney-home to a beautiful heart.

Courtney... This sweet girl's story is the one that touches me the most. Some things I knew about her: 15, lived with a foster mom, no family that she told me about, I gathered that she had some kind of small mental handicap, and last of all.... she had a beautiful heart.

When Smokey-our youth minister-made the invitaiton to become a Christian there were alot of kids that got up and came to talk to one of the students! Praise God! I saw this girl that I snagged to talk to. Her name was Courtney. I began to tell her about Jesus' death on the cross and what it meant for us as sinners. She asked me alot of different questions and I was able to answer her questions-but was leaving it up to God to let her understand what He wanted her to know. I was afraid for most of the time that she really didn't understand, because there was some sort of small mental handicap that I noticed. I didn't let that get in my way of talking to her, I just tucked that away. So after I lead her in the prayer, I told her that it was her birthday. This look of confusion just swept over her face and she was like "What? really?" and I just said "Yes! Today is your spiritual birthday. The Courtney from yesterday is a different Courtney from today. You are a new person!" she just looked at me with this look of wonder. Then I looked at her and said "Do you know what else? I am your sister now. I am your sister in Christ!" Yall, she was SO excited..... so then I proceeded to say "Do you see all the boys and girls out there wearing yellow and blue tshirts?-(everyone on tour had yellow and blue shirts)- They are all your new brothers and sisters in Christ!! You have been accepted into the family of God, and He loves you!"
She started crying.
Immediately I started asking her why she was crying, because it wasn't just eyes tearing up-but full out bawling. She looked me in the eye and said:

"I have never been accepted before. Now I am accepted into a family!"

can you imagine how much I started crying?!
So I started hugging her and I just didn't let go for the longest time. The whole time that I am hugging her, she was saying "I want to come home with you! I want to go home with you!"
wow... again with the crying SG, snap out of it!
So I get Courtney calmed down and the first thing she asks me is if she can pray for her friend Scott. WOW!!! How selfless! She just learned about how she is a new child of God and how God can do ANYTHING for her, and her First Prayer is for someone else!

I end up having to go back up to the stage to sing and finish out the rest of our concert while Courtney is sitting on the first seat of the back row in the middle. She can see everything very clearly and very well! After our Human Video to Avalon's You Were There in which we have a representation of Christ dying on the cross for us, I can hear Courtney crying... I see her in the back and one of our chaperones is trying to calm her down. I went over to her before our very last song started, and took her over to the side to talk to her. I looked at her and asked her why she was crying, her response is what killed me (in a good way)
"I'm crying because Jesus is ALIVE!"
-there I go crying again. so amidst my tears, i slapped on a smile and said "Courtney, that's a good thing! Jesus is alive, we have nothing to be sad about, so why are you crying?"
again, another response that hit my heart.
she said, "These are tears of JOY!"

In that moment, I knew that whatever mental handicap she had, did not prevail here. She understood fully the commitment she had made.

I tried to find her later, after we had fed the people that attended, and someone told me that she had left.

God blessed me so much with her. His love shone through her to me, and I learned so much from her!! Especially her beautiful prayer for her friend. What a beautiful heart.... Courtney is the home to one of the most beautiful hearts I have ever seen.
Praise God for my new sister.

Rick Bobo and Carl Graham

So this isn't exactly Saturday night-but I do have a story! 2 actually!

Wednesday-June 17th. I was paired up with a man named Ron Clement, wow I was lucky! What a great man of God! We came to a house about 10:30 and the door opened to a man named Rick Bobo and his stepson Carl Graham standing there waiting for us to say something. Immediately Ron hands Rick a flyer for the church block party that weekend and following that a Gospel Message tract. Using his evang-e-cube Ron begins to share the Good News. At one point during the conversation Rick felt comfortable enough with us to come outside and sit on the porch! So I sat down and listened to Ron speak to Rick while I patted the seat next to me for Carl to sit in; he ran inside then came back out. I was holding the evangecube and Carl, who is 10, began to ask me questions.
"What does this picture mean? Why does it look like that?"
Questions like that! So I pretty much get to re-explain the cube to Carl-in kid terms while Ron is still speaking with Rick! The two are talking for quite some time, so I even got to go through most of the tract with Carl, telling him about sin and what Jesus' death meant for us. So I asked Carl if he thought he wanted to say the prayer that accepted Christ's death as a payment, saved him from his sin and death, and gave him eternal life in Heaven with God. He said yes... wow... Praise God, he said yes!! So Ron, still talking to Rick, perks up when he hears me saying this to Carl! I'll just type out the next part of the conversation-it's not word for word or exactly the same but here it is!
Ron: "Did I hear you say that Carl wanted to ask Christ into his heart?"
SG: "You sure did!"
Ron(to Rick): "Would you like to make this commitment with Carl here today, and the two of you can make it together?"
Rick: "I don't want to do this so that he will." (He thought he was going to be the reason Carl was going to ask Jesus into his heart... If he did then carl would-he couldn't be more wrong!)
Ron: "Oh no, Carl has already made his decision, it's your turn! Do you want to do this today with Carl or some other time?"
Rick: "Okay, I guess I will do it today!"

They decided to read the prayer out loud together that was in the tract. That moment there were 2 new brothers added to the family of God!

To add to the story-at one point while we were standing on the porch talking, Satan attacked us! A man carrying a walmart bag walked up to the house and stood at the bottom of the stairs for about a minute before finally turning around and leaving! Our ICE partners across the told us later that they saw us talking to Rick and Carl then saw that man walking up. Immediately Jeff (who was across the street) began praying that whoever that man was, Satan would not be able to use him and that this man would stop where he was and leave. LOOK AT THE POWER OF PRAYER, because that EXACT thing happened! He stopped and stood there then left! Wow.... We serve such a mighty God. Nothing can prevail against Him!!

I am so lucky to be saved by and serve the God of the universe and the Savior of my heart....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Colossians 4:2-6

So I texted Patrick last night and was like 'hey Pat! Give me a verse-something to think about!' His reply was: 'Colossians 4:2 think hard about it!'

2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Wow. What a slap in the face!! God pretty much just whacked me upside the head! It was like He was saying
'You asked for something to THINK about and I'm TELLING you that you don't talk to Me enough-think about That!'
Next, I started thinkin about what I needed to pray for and it struck me within maybe one second of my "deep thought".... I'm going on choir tour next week and the mission group I am in is the "door-to-door" ministry. I'm pretty scared by it! I can make a friend with just about anyone but when it comes to "Hey do you know Jesus?" I think I might pee my pants. But that's what I needed to pray for! Thus concludes my thoughts of verse 2. (Well, I had more thoughts I just don't want to type them all out.) Then I decided to read on. There it was!! I was supposed to pray that God would be opening the door and preparing the way for me next week! I am fully convinced that there is SOMEONE I will meet next week that is just waiting for me or me and my ICE partner! God really is paving a road for someone's life and all I can do right now is pray. Pray that He will give them a trial or hardship or something that forces them to seek Him; or forces them to realize that they need something-someone.

I am also praying that I can come back to this on Saturday night the 21st and post again telling you about what has happened!!

Monday, June 1, 2009


For as long as my 17 years have been up and rolling, my life has been filled with friends. From Annakay, Elise and Hannah some older friends, to Carol Anne and Patrick who have become so special to me recently! My life would certainly go on if I did not have these awesome people- but I know for sure that had it not been for them, I would not be the girl I am today. Each of these friends have influenced me in so many ways and shaped me into the person I am now. God, in His sovereignty blessed me with trials then blessed me with friends to help me get through those trials.

Hebrews 12:1 says

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

The Hebrews writer knows and almost makes it seem like a given fact that we are surrounded by friends. He says witnesses, but friends are always with you and see most of the things you do so that would classify them as witnesses. I love this picture though. When you think of running a race-say if you go to a cross country meet, there will always be friends and family who stand along the edge SO proud that you are still going and that you will finish! This is one way you can see life. It is a race that has ditches, streams, and obstacles but you have cheerleaders! Yet another visual-friends are cheerleaders. While everyone thinks that cheerleaders do nothing to enhance a game-who can get the crowd to start yelling when there is a dead moment? That dead moment becomes a new oppurtunity for the players because they have a renewed desire and feel more confident. Friends-just like cheerleaders can encourage you and give you a new desire to finish strong.

Without my friends-I would not be where I am today. I would have quit running and started to walk it out. They truly are the best blessings God has provided for me.

I love yall so much and I want to thank you for helping me through all of the things that have tried to be obstacles in my life-but thanks to you guys I have been able to go over them without even looking back.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Life would be amazing if friends could fix my problems. But life is a struggle!! God's idea of fixing a problem is to make it worse. He only does this though so that I can shine for Him and show everyone that problems don't weigh me down... but free me more!

God has chosen to give you another day of life. 
Since you don't know the shape or feel of today,
 or where tomorrow will go... 
Stick your chin up, 
stare adversity in the face, 
pour love out on one who needs it 
and take joy in that 
He has given you life this far!