Friday, May 30, 2014

For the Love of Duct Tape

 Somehow, I have only managed to take one picture today. You are probably wondering what it even is. Well, the little straps that hold on the car seat cover on the baby's car seat were stretched out and kept coming lose. I decided to tie knots and duct tape them so they wouldn't move anymore. I took this picture for my daddy. I knew the ingenuity would make him proud.

My car seats were out of my car because we had to take the car into be looked at. My car was handling funny in the rain the other day, but I thought it was due to extreme nature of the thunderstorm. Then, as I was driving it around during the week, my brakes went out. I mean, pedal to the floor, coasting to a stop went out. I have never had that happen before so it shook me up a little. Brake fluid flushed, new brakes, new tires and six hundred big ones later, I'm on the road again driving like a dream.

As you may know, Charlie and Dottie Duke gave the car to us after we hit the hog in the Honda. It's more of a car people who are older and don't have small children would have. It's not cool, but I am in love with it. First, it has a moon roof. Charlie walked on the moon so it makes me laugh and reminds me to pray for him. Second, I like to pretend I am undercover in a CIA car like an Angelina Jolie movie where I'm under the radar because it looks like a government vehicle. Third, it is a Mercury Sable so I like to sing that Alan Jackson song Crazy About A Mercury pretty much every time I get in it.

Do you know what is so good about Jesus? He equips our hearts to love people. I mean, deep down, crazy authentically love people...and be loved in return. Both things are hard. We are unable to do either thing in the flesh. We are called to break down the walls that keep us from true intimacy in Christ. Do not let the enemy discourage you from pressing into the hard-hearted with grace, and warmth, and hospitality. Let your prayers be rich with intercession for those who cannot love. Press on in the sweetness of a faith that delivered you from an inability to love. Be warm. Be caring. You are the fragrance of Christ to those who believe, but are stuck in their sin. 

Today I am grateful for sweet fellowship.

Speaking of people we love, the Cherry family loves Cat Clemons. He was on the news yesterday playing with Rosie and the Ramblers. I'll share the video and ask that you pray that God continues to bless and use our extremely talented friend for His glory.

Love y'all.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Heart Wide Open by Shellie Tomlinson

I finished Heart Wide Open last night. I wanted to like it more than I did. Who wouldn't? Look at that cute dress on the cover. Who doesn't want more intimacy with Christ? I did think the book was chock-full of great thoughts on intimacy. I gleaned some lovely things from it's pages. I was slowly digesting it and enjoying it and then about thirty pages in, the author tells us that she a blogger/radio host of something called The Belle of All Things Southern. I think this raised the bar of what I was expecting from this book. I started looking for warmth and charm and the ear marks of a good Southern story teller. Those things just weren't there. The book is more instructional. Even though I thought the book was full of good information, I didn't fall in love as I had hoped. I read some of her blogs and I thought they were great. So check those out. You might read this book too. Just don't go into it looking for Southern charm.

*Her other books look really funny.

This book was graciously provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cherry Swag Wednesday

So, hey y'all. I already asked my husband what day it is four or five times today. It's Wednesday. In honor of this hump day, I will share some great things. First, I follow these funny people on the Instagram called talkingfood. They post pictures and then use the Over app to add words. I would like to share with you one of my favorites. Try not to sing it all day.
In the news of other cherry swag, Miss Rya came to visit us yesterday with her precious mama. Please see her repping the Cherry family with her onesie. Lulu actually came up with her name. 
The Children of the Day week Two...y'all!  Swoon.  It'll preach.  I was so encouraged by Paul's suffering. I know that sounds odd, but when I read the words "had suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi," it breathed life into me. Such treatment is common to the saints. The next line said that they were bold to declare the gospel anyway. When we encourage, share, or love, the enemy wants to come in swiftly and make us feel like a failure. He wants us to walk around with unchecked condemnation. Don't make decisions out of perceived defeat. Let me do some quoting of Beth for you.

" Did we do the will of God as best as we perceived it? Were we authentic before God and man?
If He didn't do something with it, did He do something with you?"

We speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 
First Thessalonians Two Four

We all sit under the shade of a tree that someone else planted.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

Last night, during the loveliest thunderstorm, I curled up on the couch and finished off the delightful fare that is The Nesting Place. I really did not want this book to end. I kind of wished book number two was out and I could cruise right on into that. This book made me feel at home and comfortable. It was much more about enjoying who we are and what we have than decorating. The creative beauty comes out in each of us when we let go of our need for perfection.

As I read through her pages of her rental homes and giving up her dream home, I thought about how unwelcoming a perfect home tends to be. We have stayed in some homes where the hostess obviously wanted everything in its place and was staunch about you not touching her stuff. Basically, all that makes a person want to do is hide out in their room or take extra long bathroom breaks to get away from their condemning eye.

I loved how she just put together thrift finds and clipped up curtains to create beauty. She tells us that it is better to frame a child's original artwork than buy big box store artwork that all of your friends and neighbors have as well. Get comfortable in the skin/home your in. 

I'd give this 5 stars on my "would I lend it to my bestie" rating system.

Look at the #4 house they lived in. It looks like Gomer's House!
This book was graciously provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday. Monday.

Hello, friends. I'm going to attempt to blog from my ipad since this crazy rain keeps knocking out the power. I don't want to accidentally toast our iMac. It was an intense drive to camp today. I was driving myself, but it was making me a nervous wreck. Denbigh drove us from the halfway point. It's wild. There are tornado warnings all around. I'm thankful to have arrived here safely. 

We headed home on Saturday and took care of some things around Gomer. On Sunday, Denbigh led worship at our church home. It was nice to see our church family. After an outdoor lunch, I convinced Denbigh to let me take the ol' John Deere out so I could mow the yard. He loves to mow, but it was his only day off until August. He caved and let me mow. Our zero radius mower is so fun, y'all. I liken it to getting to drive a go cart around the yard. You can't help but smile the whole time. It mows our property in no time. We are so thankful for it. Thanks for being awesome, John Deere. Thanks for the gift, Jesus. 

As you can see, Chayah saw the mower and thought she would ride it like a boss. ( No, it isn't on.)

Is it pouring where you are? 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Is it Friday?

Our friends are here, y'all. My heart is so full. I cannot tell you how much their presence is ministering to my spirit. I have already cried multiple times. They led worship with Denbigh and the Holy Spirit was so palpable. Today I watched as they loved on and listened to staff. Adoption stories were shared. Love has been poured out. It's beautiful, y'all. I wish I could bottle it up and give you some.

My sweet little girls are still transitioning to being here. The spiritual warfare is pretty intense and they often get nightmares as we begin our summer. If you think about it, say a little prayer of peace and protection over our girls. May Jesus pour out His Spirit on them. 

There is a sweet stirring of anticipation in my soul, y'all. I'm really poised at Jesus' feet wondering what He is up to. I will let you know what unfolds before me. Thank you for your kind words to me as I share my heart here. Your prayers are the most precious gift I could ever receive. Thank you again and again. 

Love y'all.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I'm Saving Lives

Last night I was sitting at the table reading a book and chatting with Austin when a man came out of his room and asked me for bug spray. I was concerned about his bug problem and went on the hunt for some spray. I came to find out that the problem was a spider. I offered to kill it for him expecting him to say, "no no." He said, "If you wouldn't mind." I went into his room and killed a wolf spider menacingly perched on his sink. The spider did look corn fed. I joked about saving his life. I won't tell you his name, but he is the premier apologetics speaker in the nation. There you go. If you want to know what I am doing here at camp ... I'm saving lives.
I'm saving lives, y'all.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

All Things Southern

I couldn't really sleep last night so I went ahead and got up early this morning to pray and read. I went to sit outside because my husband keeps it so cold in our room that you could hang meat. I told him he would be all the rage with the hot flash crowd. If you know any menopausal women, send them over. I periodically just step outside to thaw out. Look at where I was thawing this morning. It never ceases to amaze me that I get to sit here and look at this every day for three months.

I've been reading Heart Wide Open and The Nesting Place. One is on my iPad and one I have a real life copy of. You might call it a hard copy. I prefer the term "real life." I'm loving The Nesting Place. It reminds me of my friend Amy. Her house is quite charming. The lady who wrote Heart Wide Open has a blog/radio show called The Belle of All Things Southern. What! We are practically soul mates. More to come on all of that.

Denbigh shared at chapel this morning. It was lovely. I was blessed to spend the morning with a friend here. After lunch, I passed out with my girls. These are the days of my life. Friends are coming to visit me tomorrow, y'all. Im excited. Im sure you will hear much about it. Love y'all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Wine Cup: a Wildflower

Yesterday was pretty exciting here. By exciting, I mean insane. I spend most of my time keeping my youngest from scaling things. Last year, the middle girl fell here and knocked herself out on the tile floor. Eyes rolled back in the head...the whole nine yards. As you can imagine, I am extremely cautious about the baby scaling tall bar stools. Lord help me. Also, the one year old followed her sister to the potty and stuck her hands in it when she was finished going. You know the fun doesn't stop there. She stuck those fingers in her mouth, y'all. To finish up the night, she pooped in the tub. Clean the tub. Rebathe. Is that a word? It should be. I do it often. 
This one is a tub pooper. 

You are thinking I live a charmed life. 

I am here at camp cruising through Beth Moore's Children of the Day. I am on Day Five. I am in love. I keep crying about the deep love of Christ for us in the book of First Thessalonians. I want all of you to do it. Come sit with me. Bring coffee. The word of the Lord is rich, friends. It is flawless. 

I walk around a lot here. Sunday, I clocked twelve miles. I love searching for my favorite Texas wild flower, the Wine Cup. This is the only time of year they are in bloom. Y'all,  these flowers preach the gospel to me. As you may know, they put the real wine in the cup at our church. Oh my. So, the wine cup bears great significance to me. It is about communion. The Eucharist. Thanksgiving. Christ tells us to think of Him every time we drink it. 

When you drink of this cup, think of Me.

He tells us to anticipate His yearn for Him. 

Every time you drink from this cup, yearn for Me.

This is the gamut of my mind on a daily basis. Crying because of poop. Crying because of the Thessalonians sharing the gospel. Crying over the Wine Cup.

Love y'all.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dive Deeper by Jennifer Jernigan

 I just finished up the second book in the Inscribed collection. Unlike the first book, I really enjoyed this one. It was full of great material. I was impressed by the full gamut of topics it covered in its 270 pages. I would definitely give this to someone new to the faith or a friend in need of encouragement.

Jennifer covers some great topics such as our identity in Christ, our role in the body, worship, family, and warfare. I loved it. I found myself sending little snippets of the book on to friends. I think this is my number one gauge for how great a book is. Would I text any of it to my besties or beg them to read it and share it with me. Yes. Maybe I should make that a rating system. Would I give it to my bestie? 4.5 stars of likelihood.

It is a study and it is designed as a study.  There are verses to look up and answers to fill in. It is engaging and encouraging. Grab your copy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's Sunday, y'all.

As I began typing this post, "It's Sunday, Y'all," I flashed back to the time I bought the Fly Lady's days of the week dish towels. I thought they were just perfect. Well, Denbigh Cherry would always put the wrong towel out for the day at hand. Can you imagine? He also switches the Mr. and Mrs. pillows to the wrong side of the bed on occasion just to mess with me. He is a full blown rebel.

As you may know, I started working out six days a week a year and a half ago to rectify some health issues. At home I jog and hop around on my rebounder. I needed one at camp so we picked up one at Target. Let me tell you something. Do not buy a rebounder at Target. It is impossible to put together. We returned it and bought one at Walmart. It comes mostly assembled. (My original one has a bar and came from Academy.) Any who, I love it. My goal each day is around 17,000 steps or seven miles. The average person moves less than 3,000 steps a day. That presents a playground for a host of issues that we can alleviate if we just move. *The rebounder helps with adrenal fatigue if you're tired. (side note- My husband started referring to me as Charles Barkley after I purchased the rebounder.)

I don't get to go to church here at camp, but I heard my man leading worship at chapel and did my Bible study. One of the questions from today asked what topic can move you to tears in a sermon. The saints loving each other, y'all.  It gets me every time. John 13:35 is one of my favorite verses. "They will know you belong to me by your love for one another." Authentic love is a rare and beautiful gift.

One of my favorite things here is the scene when all of the new staff show up. The resident staff go crazy. They are jumping up and down and shouting, "You're here. We've been waiting for you." Oh that we would translate that kind of warmth into our daily meeting with the saints. May our brothers and sisters be encouraged by the very present love of Christ in us.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Little Bit of This

It can get a bit lonely here at camp. I know that sounds odd. There are obviously thousands of people here. I just long to have deep and meaningful conversations. I do give counsel and I do visit with people, but y'all, its crazy busy. People are running from one thing to the next. People are pouring their hearts out to serve and love and give. I have only been here a few days and I already have trouble remembering what day it is. It is a solid rush of activity. One thing I do to help me feel stable and connected is to go through a Bible study.

I downloaded Beth Moore's new study on to my iPad. Have y'all seen it? As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to get it. It's called Children of the Day. It covers 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. Ive only gone through two days and I am already understanding the draw. In the intro Beth is speaking about the time when Paul and Barnabas sever their relationship and how Silas comes alongside Paul. She asks if there has ever been wounding in your life. I think about that quite a bit. I want to come alongside the hurting and broken. I am sure you will hear much about it. I hope to blog about my adventures each day to help keep some sanity here. Today is Saturday. I looked at the calendar. 

We took the girls to a splash pad with some lovely friends today. There was a magnificent rainbow cloud that took my breath away. Denbigh said it reminded him of the verse after Jesus is baptized that says the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove. It looks like a wild bird. 

I'm posting videos and pictures of our hi jinks here at camp on Instagram. Follow along.

My girls are under there. They were cold.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reconnaissance Prayers For Me

Here we are. This is the twelfth year I have followed Denbigh Cherry around as he leads worship. We are a people always together. Family. For about five or six months every year, we walk out of our day to day lives and link hearts with people who are desperate to share the gospel. They are beautiful people. Of course, there is a messiness and brokeness to all of the saints of God. That mess reminds our heart to lean breathlessly into Christ. Our mess preaches the gospel to us. We need Him.

As we have traveled and partnered, we have seen some tabloidesque things happen within the people of God. We have been wounded. We have seen the pain driven in. We have had to share some terrible things with the beloved. Through these years of being behind the scenes and watching these people who are hurting serve, I started praying some specific things. I thought I would ask you to pray them with me. 

I pray Isaiah 61. Of course to bind up the broken hearted and to rebuild the ruined cities..the places in people long devastated. That is one of my favorite verses in Isaiah 61. I have seen it come to pass in my family. Generations of hurt healed and beautiful. May Jesus restore the places long devastated.

I pray Psalm 34:18. It tells us that the Lord is close to the broken hearted. My prayer is to be there with him. I want to notice and come along side. Let me be close to the broken hearted. May I see through their masks and the Christian charade to the pain and bring love.

I pray to be like the bird that fed Elijah when he could go no further. Jesus, let me deliver the sustenance.

I keep Romans 2:4 on repeat in my head all day long. It reminds us that it is God's kindness that leads us to repentance. I should echo that. It is refusing to react to people behaving badly. It is resisting to judge others moral imperfections or depth. To me, Romans two four meets people, all people (especially the ones who refuse others grace) right where they are. It sees through the action to the pain and binds it up with grace.

Let me be a woman who builds up and lavishes love on her husband as he leads thousands of people in worship. Worship is such a healing battleground. Pray for him and for our band. Pray for my girls and we adjust to life here. 

I pray to be a woman of prayer that is wide awake to the spiritual world around me. Pray that I will rise early and pray over this property and for these people. 

During the next few months, we will have an amazing opportunity to minister to hundreds of the staff here. They have been recruited from all over the nation. I am personally looking for those that are burnt out, hurting, broken, and ready to give up. We want to bring Gomer's House to them. We are running a search and rescue operation for wounded saints. We are looking for refugees. May we pass into enemy territory with the gospel of hope in Jesus Christ. To God be the glory for the things he hath done.
Thank you, sweet friends. You are a gift.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Just a Little Hole Diggin'

Hey y'all, it's been full of life around here and I haven't had a chance to write. Let me catch you all up to speed. Over the past weekend, we had our Spring Work Day. About thirty-five people showed up to work. Tons of work was being done. They cleared about half of the brush and trees (some 45-50 foot tall) along our back fence line. They even cut a few things up for our neighbor. That may have made me get a little watery eyed. They completed the sheet rock in the guest room and most of the second floor dining room. My friend Amy provided all the lunch. It was fantastic. It made me cry as well. So, there you have it. Lots of people giving and serving as I weep.

On Sunday, some of our favorite people were baptized and there was an after party. Who doesn't love a Holy Spirit after party. Then we went back to church to have a night of worship. It was wonderful and you could just sense the presence of Jesus in His beauty all around.

Sunday night, our dear friend Charles came and spent the night. Perhaps you know about our bed debacle. I bought this 120 year old Louis the IV bed for the guest room. The box spring was a half inch to big for the bed. I had to laugh about it. What are the odds? One of the men who came on Saturday is a woodworker. He took the bed to his shop, fixed it, and drove it back to our house the next day. Can you believe the generosity of the saints?

All of that to say, Charles had a bed to sleep on. We enjoyed him immensely and pray for him daily. He splits his time between inner city New Orleans and Thailand. He is currently preparing for his eighth trip to Thailand and would covet your prayers. Please pray also for his funding and support.

On Monday, my family that I adopted came for a visit. You can read about them here. We rented a mini-excavator and dug a hole for our trampoline. Stephen and Denbigh had the greatest time on that heavy machinery. It was the giddiness level of girls heading to prom. They just went around the yard looking for things to dig up. It was nice to get all of our old stumps pulled up.  They may have dug the hole twice as deep as they needed and ended up having to fill it back in a bit. Oh the fun that was had. I was looking at the hole and became completely convinced that we could put in a pool. Maybe one of those fancy swimming ponds. Order the adirondack chairs, y'all. Lets dig another hole.

Stephen also climbed a tree to fix a broken swing. My brother gave that swing to Lulu right before he died and it hurts me to see it laying in the dirt. Thankfully, my sweet brother hung it back up.

I was asked to make this huge tree to go into the new hospital in New Braunfels. The staff are going to put thumbprints in green ink to make the leaves. I stayed up past midnight finishing it up. You can tell this by the fact that the bags under my eyes are touching my chin.

On Tuesday night we had 19 people (12 kids) here eating and watching Frozen in the yard. What a great night of love and fellowship. 

Help us love people. Give to Gomer's House.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Sanding an Old Mansion

You know, we bought this old mansion to use as a no cost retreat center for pastors and missionaries. Denbigh is often too busy to work on it. He is always doing work for church or traveling around playing his guitar for Jesus. That leaves me to rehab the house. You can easily come to understand why I am deeply grateful for volunteers. There are so many things that I just cannot do. I am excited for the volunteers coming this Saturday. I cordially invite you to come join us from 8 to 4 this Saturday. There is something for every skill level. If you can keep my kids from running in the street, you can volunteer.

I have been filling in the cracks on the floor in our guest room with twine and putty (a trick I learned from This Old House) for months. I did it in my spare time. That's about 7 minutes a day. I could never seem to get it done because there are always people in there. I did it, people. Praise the Lord. It seems like a minor thing, but I bet I have a good cry over this floor before it's all over. Between the three girls, running a business, and traveling 5 months out of the year, time for projects is hard won. This is a victory. My goal is to finish sanding this floor before Friday. Let it be, Lord. Let it be. 

There is one wall left to hang sheet rock on in here. Then we bead board and mould out the ceiling. If you can come on Saturday to help us make this a reality, I will be ever grateful. Bless your heart and what not. 

This is why I get no work done. The red-haired power to draw me to snuggle is legendary.
This is the chaotic state of my living room whilst I rehab the guest room.
Give to Gomer's House.

Miscarriage | Infertility | Hope

I encountered Jesus as a young child in a church pew in the balcony of an old country church. Through a lifetime of trial, I knew he was the...