Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You are a treasure!!

For those of you with children, I have to recommend an amazing Bible. It was actually brought to my attention by one of my sister-in-laws and then Luken received it for Christmas from Auntie Randi and Uncle Jake.

The stories in this Bible are amazing and all are Jesus focused. I read Luken one this morning and I wanted to share it with you.

Treasure hunt!
(from Matt. 13)

One day Jesus was telling people about God's kingdom. "God's kingdom is wherever God is King," Jesus told them. "It's wherever God is in charge. It's where he fills your heart up with his Forever Happiness and you stop running away from him and you love him."

But sometimes people couldn't understand things very well. So Jesus helped them by telling them stories called "parables."

Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like a hidden treasure!" and then he told them this story ...

Once upon a time, there was a man working in a field, digging. So there he is digging, but what he doesn't know is that in that field there is buried treasure. So Dig, Dig, Dig ... Klink, Klank, Klonk. UH-OH! His shovel bumps into something hard. Hello, what's this? He picks it up, dusts it off - it's a chest. It's rusted and locked but - C-R-E-E-A-K - he pries it open. What he sees inside takes his breath away: beautiful, glittering, gleaming, twinkling, sparkling, precious jewels! It's a treasure chest!

He wants that treasure. He needs to get the treasure. He must have that treasure, somehow. Even if he has to sell everything he has so he can pay for it. He quickly buries the treasure again, runs home, and sells everything he has. He takes the money from the sale and goes and buys that field. Now he owns the field - and the treasure that is buried in it! He runs back and digs up the treasure again!

Jesus said, "Coming home to God is as wonderful as finding a treasure! You might have to dig before you find it. You might have to look before you see it. You might even have to give up everything you have to get it. But being where God is - being in his kingdom - that's more important than anything else in all the world. It's worth anything you have to give up!" Jesus told them. "Because God is the real treasure."

God had a treasure, too, of course. A treasure that was lost, long, long ago. What was God's treasure, his most important thing, the thing God loved best in all the world?

God's treasure was his children.

It was why Jesus had come into the world. To find God's treasure. And pay the price to win them back. And Jesus would do it - even if it cost him everything he had.

Remember today that you are God's treasure and He sent Jesus to find you and pay the price that you might come to live in God's kingdom.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Refried Beans

I have a sister in law, who has become quite the Martha Stewart. She is making many household items and foods from scratch. Her name is Ange and I quite admire all that she is doing.

One thing that she has made that I thought I could do is re-fried beans. Well, I tested that thought yesterday. I am not sure what I think. They are rather bland and I am not sure how to fix it. My kids are not big on spice, so if anyone has suggestions, please let me know

I am going to continue my foray into the unknown world of making things from scratch. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Gia has been spending more time outside. She is just too big to be inside and prowling. She has started to let us know when she is ready to come in. She will do this. This is her way of telling us she has been outside too long.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Bit of Snow

Saturday last week we got a bit of snow. When the girls woke up, they got all dressed to go play in the snow. They were only out for about 45 minutes before it had started to melt. They have been very disappointed by the winter we had this year.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Camcorder

With our tax return, we purchased ourselves a camcorder. We have been wanting one for quite some time now, but especially once my parents moved to Kenya.

Our camera has a setting that it will detect smiles and take a still. Here are some of the stills it took on its own.

A couple of weeks ago, it was observation week at the dance school. These are stills from what I recorded there.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dirt is Food

The other evening, Luken and I were home alone. I had moved most of our plants up, but there was one still on the floor. Up until this point, he had left it alone.

I was in the kitchen doing something and I can back to see him picking bits of dirty out of the pot and eating it.

I took him away cleaned him off, but the moment I turned my back, he would be back at it.

He thought it was quite tasty and fun.

I have since moved the plant.

He has also decided he enjoys our stairs. The pictures of that I took did not turn out. If I catch him again, I will put some up.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Word from Dutch Sheets

Today, I just pass along a message from Dutch Sheets. I was first introduced to Mr. Sheets through his book, Intercessory Prayer. It is an amazing book and helped me develop a deeper prayer life. I would encourage you to read the below word. It was recently published on the Elijah List. "Steve" is the publisher of the Elijah List, which is a website that publishes prophetic words. I do not read all that the publish, but I have found Dutch Sheets to be very accurate and trustworthy.

Dutch Sheets:
An Important Message from Dutch Sheets
Dutch Sheets

Dear Steve,

It is 5:00 a.m. I have been up all night praying and agonizing over the condition of America. While praying for the nation in general, and also concerning a gathering this summer to cry out for awakening in America, I felt drawn to the book of Joel. While reading it, this word began to stir in me for our nation. I know it is lengthy, but please read it prayerfully. Not since October of 2000 have I been so burdened for America. At that time I issued a call to prayer, which, due to the favor and anointing of the Lord on it, went viral. Millions received it and prayed. My heart cry is that the same thing happens with this word, for I am actually more burdened now than I was then.

America is in a horrendous crisis of monumental proportions, a season much like Israel in the days of Joel. This Old Testament prophet warned of devastating judgment coming to Israel, but laced the warning with hope and God's mercy if certain things occurred. That is precisely where we are in America. We Americans are a confident and optimistic people, which is often good, but can also create a dangerous denial and crippling passivity. This is happening with many. But please do not be deceived by those who are saying everything is fine. The truth is that we, as a nation, are in serious trouble. Listen to these words from Joel—they are accurate for us today:

What a day! Doomsday! God's judgment day has come. The strong God has arrived. This is serious business!...Shake the country up! God's judgment's on its way—the Day's almost here!—Joel 1:15, 2:1 (The Message)

The State of the Nation

If God brought corrective but serious judgment to Israel, we are horribly deceived if we think it will not happen to us. If something doesn't happen to lessen this judgment—and it can be lessened—we are headed for very difficult times. The economy is going to be devastated. The stock market will go well below where it went a few months back—a crash is coming, and soon. More terrorism and violence will occur in our land, perhaps even war. In my spirit I've seen buildings crumbling and cities burning. Devastating natural disasters will take place. In general, hard times will be prevalent. Why is this so? Because we have turned from God and His ways. Consider the true condition of America. This assessment is bleak but accurate.

1) Our government is in decay. The current leaders of Congress promote homosexuality, abortion and socialism, while arrogantly ignoring God and the wishes of the people. They are proud, power-hungry, self-serving, career politicians, not the statesmen/women we so desperately need. Our President fits the same description. Along with the above, while honoring—in the White House—the Muslim day of prayer, homosexual activists and a coalition of atheists, he refused to honor the time-honored traditions surrounding the National Day of Prayer. And along with Congress and the President, we have many Judges with no regard for God's Word, the Constitution or our true history. The predictable verdict is in: America is in a moral and spiritual crisis of such magnitude that it is almost unbelievable.

2) What does this look like practically? From my grandparents' day until now, we have gone from 65% of Americans having a biblical worldview to now 4% of today's young people sharing these beliefs. This is staggering! Apart from an absolute miracle, which I believe is still possible, we have lost a generation of Americans to satan and secular humanism. Generally speaking, we are a narcissistic, self-loving nation that has accepted a culture of death, perversion, drugs and violence. We have murdered 51 million babies in the womb, and to satisfy the cry for a toleration of immorality and perversion, we are ready to throw away 6,000 years of honoring God's definition of marriage and family.

3) The Church, which is supposed to be salt and light for this mess, is neither. Though a remnant has remained faithful, for the most part the Church of America has become totally irrelevant and completely ineffective. We have produced lukewarm Christians and a generation that doesn't know God or His ways. Our pulpits are filled with smiles, not tears; entertainment, not passion; and self-help stories, not prophetic truth. Our feel-good messages and mega fun-centers have anesthetized us to the reality of our condition and, as opposed to offering solutions, are actually part of the problem. We, the Church, are not changing our world, we're being conformed to it. It's easier to find the truth about our condition as a nation on talk radio than in our churches. We have left our first love and abandoned our cause. In short, an apostate church, an ungodly government and a culture of death, perversion and self-centeredness has earned us an appointment with judgment.

There Is Still Hope for America

But there is still hope. God desires to bring a Third Great Awakening to America. It can be truly amazing—millions saved and delivered; all of society impacted in a huge way; the youth of America finally introduced to the true Christ in all of His power. But please hear me when I say this: Our prayers and actions will determine the magnitude and timing of this awakening; and the level of awakening will determine the magnitude of our judgment. Again, the hope-filled words of the prophet Joel are very pertinent:

But there's also this, it's not too late—God's personal Message!—"Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!" Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here's why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot. This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe. Who knows? Maybe He'll do it now, maybe He'll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all's said and done, there'll be blessings full and robust from your God!—Joel 2:12-14 (The Message)

What powerful words of hope! Re-read them. Our God is so ready to show mercy. But not to the proud and indifferent! The prescription to turn a crisis such as Joel warned of and that which we face today, and the trigger that releases the spirit of awakening to offset it have never changed: repentance, humility, prayer and fasting. Please hear me: This is our only hope for a reduced sentence. Judgment cannot be fully averted, but it can be lessened.

A Joel 2 Gathering: Wilderness Outcry

With this in mind, I now believe more fully than ever that a strategy recently given to some colleagues and me is from the Lord. There are and will be numerous opportunities for Americans to gather corporately and cry out to the Lord, but this is one that I know God has ordained and will use greatly. Through dreams and other confirmations, He has spoken and directed several national spiritual leaders to call for a "Joel 2 gathering." We are calling for tens of thousands of Believers to join us this June 14-18, for five days of worship, prayer and some form of fasting (a meal a day, etc.) in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. (Though we will have worship Monday and Friday, the heart of what occurs will be three days, Tuesday through Thursday.) Listen once more to the words of the prophet Joel—he articulates what we are calling for:

Blow the ram's horn trumpet in Zion! Declare a day of repentance, a holy fast day. Call a public meeting. Get everyone there. Consecrate the congregation. Make sure the elders come, but bring in the children, too, even the nursing babies, even men and women on their honeymoon—interrupt them and get them there. Between Sanctuary entrance and altar, let the priests, God's servants, weep tears of repentance. Let them intercede: "Have mercy, God, on your people! Don't abandon your heritage to contempt. Don't let the pagans take over and rule them and sneer, 'And so where is this God of theirs?'"—Joel 2:15-17 (The Message)

A Call to the Entire Nation

Can you hear the passion and desperation in these words from the prophet? One translation says: "Sound the alarm." No one was exempt from Joel's call: spiritual leaders had to come; young and old had to come, even nursing babies; honeymoons had to be postponed! No one was excused. And this sweeping appeal is no less appropriate today. I plead with you to hear the call: We have come to a Joel 2 time in America! So much hangs in the balance! How we respond to Him today will decide what America looks like for the next 50-100 years!

This Joel gathering will be led by individuals who have truly been mantled by God for such a time as this: Lou Engle, who carries the greatest mantle of our day for solemn assemblies and Nazirite consecration, will lead much of the gathering. Lou feels this could launch the next phase/generation of the Nazirite movement that was embodied in TheCall gatherings of the last 10 years. (Please go to to read a dream one of Lou's spiritual sons had about this gathering.) Karen Wheaton and Damon Thompson of the Ramp will also be leading the gathering with Lou and me. Without question, the Ramp has the greatest mantle of/for awakening that I know of anywhere. They will be releasing this anointing. There will be approximately 25 very anointed worship leaders joining us—the worship will continue 24 hours a day, pausing only for a few short messages—as well as other national leaders from around the nation. This is not a concert and it isn't a festival. It will truly be "presence" driven, and the Holy Spirit is going to hover over us for these special days and nights as we humble ourselves before Him. Can you imagine what it would be like if thousands of people from all 50 states did this in one accord for several days? I don't know if there has ever been a gathering quite like it.

Many of those attending will be camping in tents and campers on the land. We have room for 35,000-40,000 people to camp on this incredible property. (Go to to register for a site.) Many others will camp in nearby campgrounds, and for traffic flow reasons, be bussed back and forth throughout the day and night. Still others will stay in nearby hotels and also be bussed in. Even if you have to stay as much as an hour away, I assure you that these days will be some of the most significant of your life! And just think, in Joel's day they walked for hours—probably days—to join the gathering.

Please come! It is not too late for America. Together we can release the transforming effect of a Third Great Awakening. If Woodstock 40 years ago could change a nation, what could thousands of Believers crying out to God for several days accomplish?! We would like to have people from all 50 states, all ages and all walks of life. We can do this! (We already have a group coming from Hawaii.)

It is a small thing to ask for the Lord and the future of this nation. Help us sound the alarm. Even if you absolutely cannot attend, spread the word. Send this email to everyone you know.

I hope to see you in Poplar Buff, Missouri, as together we answer the call and cry out for mercy and awakening. Here is a final quote from Joel that states what I am believing for, not just through this gathering, but because of the many prayers and the true repentance that I believe will take place in the coming days in our land:

At that, God went into action to get His land back. He took pity on His people.—Joel 2:18 (The Message)

May it be so, Lord!

For awakening and reformation,

Dutch Sheets
Dutch Sheets Ministries


Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunday Morning

We had also done a little shopping on our trip to Spokane. Everyone got one new outfit.

I wanted to get a picture of each outfit, so I pulled out the camera Sunday morning. What you will see is only Makayla's, because most of what we bought will have to be returned. We bought it at Ross and I did not want to take the time for everyone to try it on. Hence Makayla's was the only one the fit.

Above is her outfit. She is just so cute.

She always wants to have her picture taken with her brother. Luken is looking at his dad sending a subliminal father/son message - HELP ME!

Luken has had enough and Makayla wants just one more.

Then Makayla felt she needed a group shot.

This is Luken sending a subliminal mother/son message - "Mom, do I have to wear my shoes?"

The rest of these pictures were taken by the girls.

Gia knows she is going to be left behind.

Sammy wanted her own picture even though he outfit did not fit.

Oh look, it is the same face Sammy gave just a few pictures ago.

This is us in a nutshell on a Sunday morning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our Next Stop - Lunch

Our next stop was lunch. The girls are watches of PBS and PBS is sponsored by Chuck E. Cheese. Every time they have seen a commercial they say, "I wish we could go to Chuck E. Cheese". So we decided that because there was a Chuck E. Cheese very close to Cat Tales, we would stop there for lunch.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by it. Around here the only places we have to resemble it is Bumpers. One thing I do not like about Bumpers is that it is very dark. It is more teenage focused.

Chuck E. Cheese was very different. It was very young child focused. It had big windows and was very bright. It was also much cleaner than I anticipated. We are talking a place for hordes of kids.

If you have never been there, they have all sorts of arcade games, a play place, and some small rides. The girls had a great time trying everything out.

Luken had a good time hanging out and watching everyone else play the games. The game he is standing by is a ball rolling game and is actually my favorite. Why - I cannot tell you.

It is also a pizza place, but it is not the best pizza. You are definitely not going for the food. It would equate to Pizza Perfection pizza, if you have ever had that. They are going for quantity, not quality, but it was okay.

There was no complaining at this table. Everyone was just plain hungry.

And last, but not least, the little girls got their picture taken with Chuck E. Cheese. They were so excited by this. There was a school there having a party and he came out to them first. Our girls were thinking he might not come out to the main area and it disappointed them. When he moved out to the main area, they could hardly contain themselves.

Another fun moment in our family history.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Friday Getaway

When our tax return money came in, we promised the girls we would take a day trip to Spokane. Jeremy got the day off Friday, so we decided to head to Spokane.

Our first stop was a place called Cat Tales Zoological Training Center. Jeremy had come across their website when we took our day trip to Spokane in October.

Above is the Siberian Tiger, Zeus. He was so beautiful. You see these animals on tv and in pictures and they look beautiful, but they are incredible to see in person.

This is a Bengal tiger and I cannot remember his name. They were all named after gods. They are very impressive.

This is an Asian leopard.

This is the other one's brother.

Now, here is the "king of the beasts". I have seen lions in zoos and this gentleman is definitely the most distinguished fellow I have seen. They were in process of getting him ready to have a root canal and he was taking notice of all the proportions that were going on around him.

Cat Tales is a place that has a one year program for people to become zookeepers, so they have students that will give you a guided tour and tell you about each animal. Our guide's name was Keegan and he was a very pleasant fellow. We enjoyed his presentation very much. He was the one who took this picture for us.

The girls and I thought these signs were hilarious, especially when Sammy saw the lion and immediately started to run toward it.

These are pictures Bailee took. She got some great shots.

Below is a puma or as we all know it, a cougar. If you have never heard the sounds these cats make, go to the San Diego Zoo website. They have sound bytes of different animals. The sound the cougar makes is very disturbing. I know if I were out in the woods and heard one I would be very frightened.

If you want to see more information about, Cat Tales here is there website. You might think it is sad to see these marvelous creatures in these cages, but the stories the guide told us were very disheartening. Humans can be so thoughtless. Many of these animals were rescued from very sad circumstances.

We had a great time seeing a part of nature we do not often get to see.