The Grinch Can’t Steal Christmas When Jesus is ALL You Need!

The Grinch can’t steal Christmas when Jesus is all You Need

As we were driving through Brunet we saw that Main Street Bethlehem was open and it wasn’t raining. We got in line – in the first 50 people.  As we were about to go in, it began to lightly mist, so we quickly walked through the line.  The kids were so excited! (We had QUITE A BIT of Bethlehem bread)  It was very cool.

We had dinner and then headed to the camp.  We unloaded and had a brief devotional …

We are comparing the Grinch and Zacchaeus – and how Jesus sees what others do not

(Cindy Lou could see something about the Grinch that others could not)

 

Tonight we are reading   Matt 9:36   about the compassion of Jesus, and Luke 19:1-10   – The story of Zacchaeus

When the story of Jesus intertwines with ours … when His story becomes our story, we have the ability to treat the helpless and the rejected with kindness and give value to their lives.

Tomorrow we have the privilege of helping at the Meals on Wheels facility, preparing the meals to go out into the community and we will be helping to sort and wrap over 100 presents for the clients for Christmas.  The gifts we wrap will be the only gift most of them get. We will pray over them and have a wonderful time working together. We will also meet client that come to the center to eat.  So we will have the opportunity to show God’s love and kindness to them. To show them they are valued.

After lunch we will head to the Rehab Center and Nursing Home and sing Christmas Carols with the residents and then play bingo and do Christmas crafts together. It will be a full day.

We are going to have many opportunities to show kindness and give value to those we meet. To show God’s love  to those that still have never received God’s amazing grace.  We get to bring smiles to the lonely and hopeless.   I am so excited to be able to partner with your students tomorrow.

Pray for us to look for the good in each other and in others that we meet. Pray we will be an encouragement to them. Pray that we will bring Jesus to them in our words and actions.

Pray that that we all will see that Jesus is who we need. He is all we need!

 

Bless you

Mrs. G

 

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Tuesday – Another Great DAY!

We had another great day of serving Tejas!  We are back in the tunnel of lights again. Doing some repair and then starting a second strand (something different from last year)  Our kids are so meticulous it is impressive.

Again, we work so fast they are constantly scrambling to get the next thing ready for our kids to do. Summit 8th grade class is a blessing!

The group that is working on the cotton ball strands (yikes) have diligently been plodding along. Finally, we decided to kind of start over with the remaining pile.  We got supplies and just cut out the hundreds of knots and we’re re-stringing.  Work smarter not harder.

Mrs. Lundin joined us today so after lunch we had a surprise birthday party, or rather parties! We filled 3 piñatas for Mrs. Lundin, Blake and Anna!  It was a fun time!

Mr. Dare also joined us for dinner and then gave the final devotional at the campfire!  We took our lists of disappointments and burned them up asking God to help us learn to trust him in each and every situation. He’s a good good father … that’s who He is … and we are loved by him … that’s who we are!

Holiday times can be fun and holiday times can be NOT fun!  We have all kinds of family dynamics, don’t we? I pray that whatever your circumstances are that you will allow God’s tender love for you to bless you, heal you, help you to extend grace to others so they will be drawn to the ‘Jesus’ in you! May we strive to glorify God in every situation we find ourselves in.

We have a half day tomorrow to get as much done for Tejas as we can.

Again, thank you for allowing your student to join us on this trip. It has been fun working side by side!

We will be at the campus between 3:00 – 3:00pm tomorrow afternoon.  We will see you then!

Have a great Thanksgiving week!

Mrs. G

 

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We always cheer when we hear Summit is coming!

tejas-bb-courttejas-canoe-racestejas-cotton-ballstejas-free-fall-jumptejas-prayer-1tejas-trees-2tejas-trees-3tejas-treestejas-worshipWe always cheer when we hear Summit is coming!

We were told that statement three times today.  What a compliment toward your students, and a compliment to all former classes coming and serving before us.

Our team leader this morning prayed with us and said, “We love Summit! When we are in our meeting going over the agenda and we say, Summit will be here on Monday, the whole team cheers.  We know you are going to work hard and Summit always has great leaders and great kids that are ready and willing to serve.”   Then our team leader prayed and we got to work.  An hour and half later I texted her to let her know we were done and were already vacuuming the room from putting together MANY Christmas trees and where did she want us to serve next.  The reply was … oh my, you are kidding?  Would you like some free time?  Then she called me and said, “Seriously, we thought it would take you all day.”  Awesome!  These kids have worked so hard.  We spent time praying for the people who would come into that building to hear the gospel of Jesus.  I was so proud that almost everyone said a prayer. It was very moving.

Tejas  had to figure something out for us to do!  I love that.  So, we actually had free time early and  after lunch we hung lights by wrapping the trees behind the pond and very quickly ran out of lights. We. Are. Fast!

Time for another break so we headed to the  Coffee shop and free fall tower then back to the lights in the trees after they brought more lights.  It was a fun afternoon.

Tonight during our devotional time, we continued on our topic of expectations  and disappointments – When things don’t turn out how we wanted or felt they should, this then brings doubts/disappointment/frustration/anger  in our relationship with God.  –  All of us spent time privately  writing down those things in our lives that did not turn out how we wanted them to .…  We each folded up our list and those lists are in a jar that no one is going to look at, and we will throw them away tomorrow.   We spent time in prayer and worship.  It was a sweet time.  Afterwards we went as a team to the tunnel of lights  (the entrance to Lights of Tejas) and we prayed for the people who would be walking through that tunnel. We prayed for people that would have the same disappointments, frustrations, worries, fears that we struggle with and that they would allow the God that created them, to touch their lives and heal them. We prayed again for those that would hear the gospel for the first time and for those that have turned away from God, that they would be drawn back to a relationship with him.

Free time!   Then back to the cabins at 8:30 –  showers, quiet time, sleep zzzzzzzzzz !

These kids are hard workers and it is an honor to be here with them.  Thank you for allowing your student to come and serve Tejas!  Tomorrow will be another great day of serving!

Be blessed!

Mrs. G

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We have a story to tell

We made it to Camp Tejas so here we are, for the next 3 days, serving Camp Tejas for their Christmas outreach, ‘The Lights of Tejas’!  It opens the weekend after Thanksgiving and goes thru then end of December. Thousands of people come and have fun   playing lots of games, enjoying the food, zip lining, special entertainment but the most important thing going on is their telling the story of the Good News of Jesus Christ with lights, lazers, and all kinds of special effects.

After dinner we had orientation, going over the ground rules.  Then, what a blessing, Jacqueline blessed us all when Coach Taylor got his guitar out and asked the kids which song they would like to sing from chapel… many shouted, “Oceans”!  Coach said, “Okay, if Jacqueline will come up and sing it”!   Everyone cheered!   What a beautiful voice singing an amazing song about God’s grace and how we can trust him.  A perfect lead in, to our evening devotional.  We have a story to tell – the story of Jesus! Sometimes our story gets sidetracked or completely derailed because of circumstances, disappointments, unmet expectations, etc. Pray for all of us as we serve and pray for the people coming to ‘The Lights of Tejas’!  Pray that during these next days we will allow God to touch our hearts, give him our disappointments and trust him with our hearts desires… after all… He has a hope and a future for each of us … we can trust Him.

The people that will be coming to the LOT (Lights of Tejas)  need to know that too.  We will be praying for them, to experience the hope and the healing that is available through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Mrs. G

 

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Dangerous Decisions

2 Dangerous Decisions – To stay in the boat or to get out of the boat

I don’t think I can adequately tell about today, but I am going to try.  The kids rocked this morning.

I was so proud of them.  They were all so nervous right before they started sharing but they pushed through and really spoke words of encouragement.  Each one did their part well and allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through them.  It was a team effort and each time of ministry was a time of fun, truth, encouragement and blessing. Doing the craft time with the Primary students was so much fun.  The students loved hearing our students try to talk ‘British’.   But there were also moments of sadness.  The few children left were sad that they would no longer be going to this school after this year and they missed their teachers.  For the teachers, they told me it has been a time of something they love collapsing and they are grieving.  Our hearts were broken.

We made reservations at our own hotel for a FISH and CHIPS dinner for those who wanted it.  The chef held back 6 dinners for us and made us a small ‘reserved’ corner in the VERY small dining area!  It was delicious!

While at the school the administrative secretary came up to me right before we were leaving and handed me a piece of paper.  It had written 2 things on it.

  1. The directions to a set of cottages that had been built in 1609 right down from our hotel
    1. Just a place of history and interest – she lived in one and she said she would invite us but it was so small she could not fit our whole team in there.
  2. She invited us to a monthly worship service at the United Reformed Church. It would be an hour of praise and an hour preaching. It started at 8pm

I thanked her and told her we would try to come for the worship and might be a little late because of our time the chef was going to cook for us.  Also, we needed to pack and debrief for the evening so that might be a little late to stay for the whole thing.

Don’t you just love how God sets things up?

We go see the cottages.  We have our fish and chips, lamb, etc. etc.  Then we go over to the church.  We are 20 minutes late and make our way in.  The worship was coming to an end and I start coughing so bad I have to leave.  I can’t believe it but I’m seriously choking and coughing.  I get it under control.  Am walking back in, and am motioning to the kids so come on let’s leave.  About that time, the minister says, I hear we have a group from Texas?  Will you stand?  The kids all look at me…. I walk to them… we stand… everyone claps… the kids all look at me again … I say… we’re staying, everyone have a seat.  They shake their heads, they know… we shouldn’t leave.

The speaker is a national speaker in England encouraging the church.  He got the microphone and it is hard to describe the rest of the service.  Powerful would be one word.  He would make you laugh as he challenged your heart to the very core.  Every point he made… was one of our points that we felt the Lord had given us to encourage The Kings School.  The kids kept turning and looking at me like… whaaat?  Did he just say that?  It was a divine moment for each one of us.

Let’s just say that tonight’s debrief was one of the most powerful ones I’ve ever led!  Everyone trusted each other and shared their hearts. God affirmed and confirmed. God challenged and blessed.

We want to be a people that will

  1. Go deeper with God
  2. Dream bigger
  3. Go together
  4. Understand it is all through Him.

Then he said “It is a dangerous prayer to relinquish control of your life. Picture Peter in the boat with the disciples. There were 2 decisions being made. Both decisions were dangerous.  To get out of the boat was dangerous … but to stay in the boat was equally dangerous.

 

I pray, that your student will always have a heart that is willing and wanting to go deeper with God

I pray that your student will make dangerous decisions … to get out of the boat of comfort, complacency and self-service.

I pray that they will understand that when God made them … He was showing off!

They are created to do BIG THINGS in the kingdom of God!

I pray that they will feel God’s pleasure when they do what they were created to do… and in doing it… they glorify God

They could hardly process, it was one of the longest debriefs ever.  Pray that they will not lose what happened to, through and in them.

Give them time… they might just talk your head off… or they might just need some rest and then will be able to talk.

Through prayer, I am joining you and praying that the Holy Spirit seals the work he has done in them thus far and he will continue the good work that He has begun in them.

In debrief Dr. Founta said something like this, “It’s really obvious that God talked to us today. All of this shows His word is powerful. We see what it does to people. We came on this trip with our prayers and a message for the school.  But this sermon today was speaking to us to show us, God really heard our petition. It’s not surprising this is really what he wanted us to talk about to the kids. His spirit gave us the words, and through the words shared tonight, he taught us that he heard us . He will answer our prayers,  it means that whatever will happen with the school,  is better than what we think will happen. Tonight was him talking to us, he will do something about it. Prayer works.”

Yes, yes it does!

We are coming home tomorrow!  Pray for safe flights, good seats, luggage to arrive, easy passage through customs and maybe some sleep.

(Bobby – that would be an unsweet tea tomorrow night… and a pound of bacon on Sunday morning, and Mexican food on Sunday evening!) Ha!

Thank you for allowing me the honor of being with your students…

 

Mrs. G

 

 

 

 

 

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Sight seeing – Practicing

This morning started with a hearty English breakfast ( I don’t care what the boys say, the bacon does NOT look like pig’s ears – well, it does sort of ).  We then went to The Kings School and met with Russ Beese ( the head teacher) and talked about tomorrow morning.  He showed our students where they will be doing the ministry with the Primary and Secondary students.

Returning to the hotel, we spent the next hour and half praying and going over the 2 programs “Run the Race”.  The students are going to do great.  For some it will stretch them and I am really excited for them to see they have the ability to speak life into others’ lives. The school is going to have to close and it has been a very sad process for them.  They have been in operation for 35 years. Financially they cannot continue. The school has lost many families that have already left to find their new school home.  A homeschool group is forming from the parents that know it will come to an end.  They are trying to keep just a small group for the next school year so those students can pass their exam, having worked for many years with these teachers.

I do believe the scriptures and the words we are sharing are for the teachers as well as the students.

When we finished we headed to the train station and got our round trip tickets to Winchester! We got there 7 minutes before the train left.  AWESOME!

Our time in Winchester was really fun.  We went to the Cathedral first and got a quick tour, then headed into town for lunch and shopping and sightseeing. When that was done, we headed back to the train station, and as we were going through the gates we realized the train was coming in 3 minutes.  Just in time again!

I have been bragging about this little place on the same street as our hotel where Mr. Marks and I both had the best fish and chips last year.  So I take all the students there… we find enough seats for us all.  About 5-6 students want fish and chips.  They only have 3 servings left… WHAAAAAAT?  So he tells us to quickly go down to Angel’s theirs is just as good and they will surely have enough, as it is a much larger restaurant.  We hurry to Angels, the first person orders, and they are out of fish and chips.  Unbelieveable, inconceivable, unimaginable, unthinkable!  Soooooo, we’ll try again tomorrow.

We are about to practice again for tomorrow.  Please pray for us!  We want to be a blessing.

2 hours later:

The practice was long – in a hot room – which makes it so hard to stay focused… but they did great!  I am so proud of all of them.  I think we have a great message of hope and encouragement.

We’ll let you know how it goes!   Please pray for the kids that are speaking, leading the games and crafts, sharing stories, and praying.

  1. I am not alone
  2. Defeat the hurdles
  3. Keep my eyes on Jesus

Mrs. G

 

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Basingstoke – Winchester

We are in Basingstoke! Ready for the next adventure.

We started our journey here on the ferry – a 3.5 hour ride.  There were a few of us that struggled with the ‘movement’ of the boat… I’m not sure the gift shop still has any seabands left.

We landed in Wales and then took a 5 hours bus ride to Basingstoke!  Woohoo!  The kids were great and even though we were 8.5 hours on the move, we still managed to check in, go to the huge mall next door, shop, eat dinner and then meet together getting ready for our ministry time at The King School on Friday.

Pray for the students as some of them will be sharing in front of everyone. We will share the theme running the race, scripture, and the stories of Derek Redmond and Eric Liddell.  We will be encouraging and challenging the students AND ourselves, to run the race with endurance.

  1. Others have gone before us and their testimony can encourage us
  2. What keeps us from running well – what or WHO stands in the way?
  3. Fix our eyes on Jesus

Shelby, Trevor, Danielle and Tyler will all be sharing the points above and the stories of Eric and Derek.

Troy will be our main meeting prayer leader

Max, Robert, Cody, Gabby, Amber, Laura, Justin will each help lead a game or crafts and they ALL will be with the students in the small groups encouraging and praying with them.

Tomorrow morning we go to the school so SCA can see where they will be, we will come back and rehearse in a meeting room in the hotel. After that we will head to Winchester and then in the afternoon, return and rehearse.

Please pray for our students.  Last year it was a huge blessing to the students and the teachers.  This year it will be the same. We appreciate your prayers that SCA will just be relaxed and enjoy sharing the the stories, scriptures and the encouraging word  …   we run to win the crown of life!

In the world of sports, only one wins the gold …. In the kingdom of God … we ALL can win –  Jesus has already won the victory for us … we just need to be Christ followers, keep our eyes fixed on him.  Prov 3:5-6   Lean not on our own understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge him and He will direct our paths…. That path leads to eternal life!

Cheers!

Mrs. G

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It’s hard to leave Ireland

Tuesday – We finally got a full debrief tonight!  We have had such amazing days but we come back to the hotel with no ability to think.  So tonight was catch up night, all of us together, not at separate tables and not being rushed.

It was hard for many to choose a favorite place we just have been blessed by the ability to see so many new beautiful sites. Here are some highlights:

  • Being overwhelmed by the beauty everywhere.
  • The architecture in the towns is fascinating. Driving through some small towns you realize if you could just remove all the modern day cars, you could be glimpsing into the past.
  • The roads … when the roads have been single lane roads and you have to stop before you cross the bridge or round a corner to make sure you aren’t going to meet traffic coming the opposite direction.
  • Listening to the Irish local band last night and instead of us seeing someone do the Irish jig… we were asked to show them how to do a line dance. HA! That was fun and funny!
  • The beauty at the top of the Cliffs of Moher and a guy was up there just playing an accordion.
  • The passion that our tour guide Michael has to share the stories and history and the desire to continually know and learn more. He is amazing!
  • I really might want to move here. I love it. The people, the places, their accents, I have loved it all.
  • I really like hearing all the history – how far back everything goes. In America it’s like something happened 200 or 300 years ago… here the story is ABOUT  the YEAR 200AD  or 300AD
  • Being near the islands where the latest episodes of Star Wars were filmed… seeing the artist there… it encouraged me while I am trying to discover how am I going to keep this art in my life.
  • Learning about the sheep herders and how their business has changed and now they have to depend upon tourists.
  • Being able to pray for the woman on the plane and giving to the homeless guy. It’s the first time I had even seen a homeless person.  I was glad to be able to help
  • I feel so blessed to be able to be here and experience all of this beauty
  • Visiting the small village with the homes and the thatched roofs. I was moved at how fragile their lives were – depended on just a few things –  1 cow and 1 pig –   but to lose one the whole family would starve – and lose everything.
  • It has been a time of personal revelation. Very powerful!
  • The small village and the story of Bridget’s cottage. Unbelievably sad.

I always love this time of hearing what touched their hearts. It gives insight to those things that are hidden until someone decides to share special moments.

The theme we are going to use in Basingstoke is ‘Running the Race’.  It fits wonderfully with where they are in their life right now.  Are they going to continue the race with Christ and eternity as the goal?  They can only do it with their eyes fixed on Jesus. Is anyone keeping them from the race? What is hindering them? Who is hindering them?  We all have those things or people in our lives that turn us away from a relationship with Christ. Are we allowing it?  If we want to be successful in this race will there be decisions that will be tough yet the best decision we might make?  Separate, stop, don’t go that way, go this way.  These students are truly talented wonderful young men and women. They have the potential to do great exploits that bring glory to God and who he created them to be.  I pray they decide to ‘run that race’ that has been set before them. It will be hard. It will be fun. There will be disappointments and times of great satisfaction. There will be great friends that will come along side. There will be friends that maybe shouldn’t be friends. But I pray they become persevering overcomers ready to run and run hard. We read the following scriptures. Pray that their heart desires to get a crown that will last forever.

 

I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

1 Corinthians 9:23-26  (NIV)

 

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 emarked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter ofour faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.                

                                                                      Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

 

(This is the one that gets me the most)

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth

Galatians 5:7 

We are sad to leave Ireland early tomorrow morning, but I am excited for the team to experience Basingstoke and Winchester and to serve The Kings School. Pray for us to continue to be healthy and our hearts to be open to everything God has for us!  (Pray we hear our alarms, we can’t miss our ferry ride to Wales, then our coach ride to Basingstoke)

Mrs. G

   

 

 

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A Beautiful Day on the Kerry Ring

The Kerry Ring – A tour around the county of Kerry!

The weather of the day turned out perfect!  We started out overdressed, so we wouldn’t have a repeat of the day before. The skies cleared, the wind was not there. Prayers answered … beautiful day!

The scenery is beautiful and I must warn you parents.  Many students say they are coming back, or they are going to live here.

What we’ve seen: The mountains, the flora, particularly the Gorse which is a yellow flower that smells like coconut (for real), the rivers, streams and bays, the Atlantic Ocean again, the rocks (limestone), the ruins, houses with thatched roofs, the castles, the Muckross House, the rock garden, the ice cream, fish and chips (okay, not everyone on the fish and chips), the sheep dog, the sheep, the dog rounding up the sheep, the baby lambs. And we did it all in 8 hours!  It was a LOT of things to take in, however, our tour guide’s knowledge of Ireland, and the many back stories is amazing. He told us when he had retired and told him he would be a great tour guide, and we can see why.

After a delicious dinner it was time to go hear real Irish music.  Our bus driver/tour guide showed us the best place to go to hear authentic Irish music. And he advised us to get there a few minutes early to get a seat. So we got there, ordered our 7-ups and Cokes and coffee and the band starts showing up.  One of the kids says, “Hey, is that Michael, our tour guide?”  HA, no wonder it was the best group in town. There he was, a guest musician playing with the band. There was a little line dancing and a lot of laughter!

Jumping back to dinner…  At my table we were reflecting on what made the most impact on us.  There were different moments for different people.  Ireland’s history can break your heart. Just taking the potato famine in the 1800’s almost half of Ireland’s population was gone by the end of the devastation.  The injustice to the Catholics for hundreds of years and the conflicts between the Protestants and Catholics were heartbreaking to listen to.  The fairies and the underworld, it is serious business here. Our tour guide doesn’t believe anything. There are many things to pray about. Just standing and looking at God’s creation and letting him speak to your heart.

Tomorrow is another day of touring. Blarney Castle and those that want to, can kiss the “Stone of Eloquence” as they call it.  We will visit the Blarney Woollen Mills and then on to Waterford.  We’ll stay the night there and then Wednesday morning we will take the ferry from Rosslare to Pembrokeshire, Wales. We will hop aboard our next motor coach and head to Basingstoke and The King’s School and an afternoon in Winchester.

Closing with an Irish Blessing

“May the blessings of each day

Be the blessings you need most”

Mrs. G

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The weather … it was something Fierce!

A windy wet day in Ireland … actually a gale and icy rainy day at the Cliffs of Moher…  Fierce Weather they say!

Our guide was waiting on us … Michael, our very knowledgeable guide and driver.  He gave us more than we had actually planned on which was great. So we got to see more of Ireland’s landscape. The Burren, a geological beauty with blue limestone, plants, bird life and insects.  The wind was so strong, we could hardly stand up. (This ends up being the theme of the day). The boys in shorts … not a good idea.  They were given the chance to change their clothes, however, they chose poorly! Tomorrow will be another day. No choice given.

RUINS

All over Ireland there are ruins everywhere; churches, farm houses, castles, (Red Mary’s castle –  chunking John Cooper off the top) fences, barns, etc.  Some places were abandoned from the potato blight devastation, from political uprising, from confiscation.  If the weather had cooperated we would have stopped more often.

FERRY RIDE

We crossed the Shannon River on a ferry to make our way to Killarney!

Heading to Killarney High Tower Hotel   to check in, have dinner and hopefully an early evening.

Everyone SHOULD be tired!  (in fact fell asleep writing this, woke up to post it) Talk to you soon!

Thank you for your prayers!

Here’s to tomorrow!  Praying for another wonderful day with a little bit more warmth and a lot less wind!

Mrs. G

 

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