Wednesday, June 17, 2009

33 Miles/Kimber Rising Concert from May!

Two Louisiana Boys! Geaux Tigers!
Kimber Rising (Amanda, Brianna, and Danielle) with my neice, Maggie
33 Miles With Maggie

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Condo Story

In March 2008, we spent spring break at Ormond Beach where my parent's have a condominium. Mike had been prompting my mom to let him know if any unit became available in a particular building that he watched being built back in 2002 that had always peaked his interest. She made a call and arranged for us to look at some units in a couple of other buildings but not the one he was truly interested in. So we met with the realtor and had fun "looking" at a couple of condo's that were on the market. We inquired of Mike's dream building and found out that that there was one unit for sale in the 14 unit building. She arranged for us to see it later that afternoon. Molly and Kevin went with us and we were very blessed to see the beautiful 3 bdrm, 2 and 1/2 bath oceanfront unit. Honestly, we were not completely serious about purchasing the place because the price was extremely inflated and it did not make good financial sense. I had no peace about "investing" in such a place because it was so expensive and I ruled it out immediately. Mike began to ask God to take the thought of this place away from him as to not be preoccupied with anything that was not from Him. Over the next few months Mike said he continued to ask God to remove the thought of this condo from him and take it captive but it kept coming back to his mind. He asked for my support in prayer so I honored him and also began to pray for God's will. In July, he looked at the realtor's website and saw that the unit dropped $100,000. He mentioned it to me and I pondered it a bit and thought that was somewhat significant but still not really in our range. Nothing else was mentioned about it until four months later when I received a phone call from Mike in Nov., 2008, while I was attending the Lifeway Women's Ministry Forum in Nashville. Mike excitedly told me that he felt led to check out the condo scenario online and found that it had dropped in price another $100,000. I immediately felt some excitement as I believed that it was now in a reasonable range that could warrant investing in. He asked me to fervently pray. He was beginning to believe that God had not taken the thought from him perhaps for a good reason. After I got home from the conference, we discussed the matter and we both continued to ask God if He was leading us to do something like make an offer on the condo. At this point in our lives, we did not want to step outside of His will for anything after the work He had done in our lives. We wanted to be smack in the middle of His plan for us no matter what. We were not about to make a move unless we heard crystal clearly from Him. Well, He spoke on the evening of November 20th!!! I had driven to Morehead to have dinner with Molly on that day which also happened to be what would have been Jason's 27th birthday. God had always done something super special for us on significant "Jason" days. On what would have been his 25th birthday (11/20/06), He allowed us to get a new flat tv screen for the khaki room (Jason would have wanted us to have it we told ourselves, haha). And around Christmas of 2007, we wanted to get a wii but couldn't seem to locate one because at that time they were at the height of their popularity peak and there was a big supply and demand problem. But later we realized that we weren't supposed to have one yet because God wanted to bless us with one on the day He chose in order to reveal His precious love to us. So on the 2nd anniversary of his death, we found out that the South Point Walmart had 5 in stock. Mike even finished work unusually early that day so were able to go immediately and pick it up. By His grace, we connected the dots! Now back to Nov. 20, 2008! After returning home from my evening with Molly, I spent some time with Mike before I jumped on the computer to read the Beth Moore blog. Her blog that day was a video of her thanking the people who prayed for her and the "Breaking Free" re-taping that had taken place in New Orleans the week before. I took the "thank you" personally because I had just been in New Orleans the weekend before she and the Lifeway team came to town and I, too, had prayed. At the end of the blog video, she read from Isaiah 61. She prayed these words over all who had prayed. "Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs." Isaiah 61:7 I immediately thought of the condo and that a condo could be a type of "double portion." I went upstairs to get Mike and I told him that I thought I had just gotten a Word from God on the condo. I replayed the video for him and after he heard it he said, "I think you might be right." Actually, we knew God had spoken to us through Beth's video. The Holy Spirit made sure that we didn't miss the word! We prayed and the next day Mike had peace about making an offer. I began to look into the "double portion" concept and my NIV study bible said this: the firstborn son received a double share of the inheritance which was interesting because the word came on what would have been Mike's firstborn son's 27th birthday. I knew God was blessing us but I didn't and still don't understand it all. But without a doubt, God gave us a green light to purchase the unit. It took almost 2 months before the deal was finalized but all throughout the waiting period we were patient. We didn't manipulate the situation by making phone calls when it seemed that the owners were taking a long time to respond. We had put it all in God's hands and really didn't think too much about it. In His time, they accepted our 2nd offer which was exactly the price Mike believed God had revealed to him that we would get it for. And it was actually below the market value so it was a good value as far as investments go. We closed on it in mid January of this year. We are ecstatic and excited to see how God is going to allow us to use it for His glory. He gave me a "condo" word to keep me in check as far as decorating and potential "overshopping" were concerned. It says, "The time is short.... those who buy something, (use it) as if it were not theirs to keep, those who use the things of this world, (use them) as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." (1 Cor. 7:29b-31) Trust me, I needed this word to lead me through the process of furnishing the place and it did! I was able to make decisions without having to explore every option on the market which was uncharacteristic of me (I pondered new kitchen countertop options for our home in Ky. for 3 years before I finally decided to go with Ceasarstone quartz).
I also should mention that in my spirit, I knew this new place had a bigger purpose than just a great place to vacation and rest with family and hang out with mom and dad. I believe that God wants me and Mike to pray for a Daytona revival to take place in the area (from Palm Coast to Port Orange). I mentioned this to Mike on Feb. 21, 2009, which was the first time he and I actually stayed in the condo together since we bought it. The very next day at FBC Daytona, the guest pastor, Dr. Paul Vasquez spoke out of Jonah and talked about reviving this entire city!!!! Talk about confirmation! God gave us a place to live there because we will be working for Him there! We went forward that morning in church and prayed with Jerry Webb about the revival and our part in it.
One other part I feel led to divulge is that when Mike told me a few years back that he was feeling led to do medical missions, I thought in my heart that we would end up in Africa. Mike never got the Africa word. That was all me. I struggled with this for approximately 3 years before completely surrendering my life to God wherever He called us. At the Lifeway National Women's Ministry Forum in Nashville last Nov. 2008, I heard Kelly Minter speak on Abraham's "fear God" test in Genesis 22. Long story short, she talked about how Abraham had gotten some of the details wrong. For instance, he told Isaac that "God Himself would provide the lamb for the burnt offering." When in all actuality God, in Abraham's case, provided a "ram" for the sacrifice. Right then and there God spoke to me. When she said that Abraham had gotten some details wrong, the thought occured to me that I, too, had possibly gotten some details wrong. Maybe God had never said the "A" word. Maybe that was just me speculating. I believe God made sure that my detail confusion had been cleared up just in time for the "double portion" green light word so I would have peace to proceed. Because for the longest time, I kept thinking how could it be God leading us to buy a condo in Florida if we are eventually going to end up in Africa?! Didn't make any sense. But then it did and I realized that God had "passed me" on my "fear God" test. I agreed to go wherever and if it meant my death in Africa for His Kingdom, I finally said I was totally cool with that....similar to when Abraham agreed to sacrifice his one and only son, then God knew he had Abe's heart and Isaac was off the hook and Abe didn't have to go through with it. God only tested him to see if he would. Once he had made up his mind to follow God no matter what, the issue was settled. This was a huge work He accomplished in me over a 3-4 year period that delivered me from my fear of death. At a Michael W. Smith concert in 2008, he sang "Healing Rain" and on the chorus where it says, "I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid" I belted it out as God was driving the "fear" out of me. As it turns out, Mike is doing medical missions--from his very office. His practice is a mission field and He certainly points people to Christ and prays with them daily since God began spilling over into his practice back in 2001-ish. Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest! (John 4:35)

Jeremiah 32:8-9a "I know that this was the word of the LORD so I bought the field (condo)."