Monday, December 28, 2009

Growth!

I was reminded by a brother in Christ (Matthew Schnarr from Mission Year in Atlanta)that growth doesn't only take place above the surface. Here is a quote from Matt's newletter. "I get discouraged when I feel like I am not growing. ...growth doesn't always occur above ground; growth isn't always seen right away. The experiences and hardships that come this year allow my roots to grow deep."

As believers we tend to measure growth by what we see above the surface. However, in that process we neglect to see how much transformation and growth is taking place beneath the surface.

When you plant a seed in the ground it actually grows beneath the surface before it sprouts above the ground.

I have felt much like Matt, however I now realize that is because of the growth beneath the surface. God is establishing me in many areas so that when the winds and the storms come I will be deeply rooted in Him.

I encourage you to seek the Lord for deep roots, not just a pretty flower.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Because of Christ!

I answer you
I care for you
I listen to you
I love you
I am kind when I am within my right to be rude

WHY

because Christ hears the cry of His children.
because Christ cares for me.
Because Christ listens when I call.
Because Christ first Loved me!
because Christ was spit on, mistreated and abused, and ultimately CRUCIFIED and had done no wrong!

I can be ONLY because of Christ who dwells in me!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Don't Get it Twisted!

"I am doing real ministry for the Lord. Look at the sacrifices I have made. Oh, and don't forget my kids. I mean they are in the cold, the heat, and anything in between all for the sake of the gospel. I have given up my plans for the holy sanctuary with new carpet and perfect seating for metal fold up chairs, poop on my shoes every other week, no covering and random communications that don't often register in my realm of understanding. Man, I am deep. It doesn't get any more like Christ than this!"

I don't for a second want to remain in that thought process. Because I can look at the person next to me and think I am doing more than them and so God is pleased. Whether you serve people in a trailer, on the street corner, in a house, in the smallest building or the largest, at the end of the day the Lord looks upon your heart(1 Samuel 16:7)! While we may look at ourselves and say "I am doing great things praise the Lord," God is looking at the heart of the matter. What is our heart speaking when our outward actions are all correct? This is the point.

I am ever before the Lord asking Him to keep me humble and looking to Him. That what I do as a result of my relationship with Christ is simply that... A Result, A By Product Never the Product Itself! The product itself.... intimate relationship with Christ, forgiviness of sin from the Father, a pardon and an embrace. Christ is the product. So, my prayer is don't get it twisted, Nicolle! I look through scripture and I see people who got it twisted because they looked at the by product. See Matthew 7:21-23. People were coming to the Lord saying "look we did this and that in your name". They thought because there was a result they were good. However, the truth was their hearts were FAR FROM GOD.

Such a dangerous place to be.

I think it is dangerous because you can be fruitful like the individuals in the text Matthew 7 and God's response could still be "DEPART FROM ME! I NEVER KNEW YOU!" That is very heavy to me. At the same time I know God used a donkey. So the Lord's purpose will be accomplished no matter what. The question is, "Are you a tool or a child?" I could pick up any tool to hammer a nail. My goal is the nail not the hammer. However I can't just pick any one to be my child. I only have three. As of this date that number is set and was set before the beginning of time. I have love and great concern for the child and not so much with the tool. The other difference between the child and the tool is relationship.

So I say to you and especially to me, "DON'T GET IT TWISTED!"! Continue to seek relationship with Christ so that your service to others is properly placed. It is a by-product, NOT THE PRODUCT ITSELF!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jesus Christ is Born!

Glory to God in the highest! And on earth peace among those with whom God is pleased!

Luke 2:14

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Beginnings!

Today is the first offical day of Phil in full time ministry! It was a strange thing going to bed last night knowing my husband is not getting up at the crack of dawn and driving 30 - 45 mins. (with traffic) away and not returning until after dusk. The Lord has done marvelous things thus far and I am looking forward all He has in store. Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to follow the Lord's leading in this urban missional ministry.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We've been married 12 years now!

So today was a blessed day. Phil and I have been married for 12 years. I can say with the utmost confidence..."there were days, weeks, and months that caused me to believe we would not make thus far". However by God's grace foreknowledge and purpose for our lives we are standing together strong, with great joy, and completely in love!


I just want to add this little note. We went to a Christmas party with some friends it was all couples and adult only (that was fun!). Anyway a question was put on the table for all to answer. What has your spouse done for you that you will never forget, or was super cool, something you loved etc etc? I answered the question but when I got home I realized I missed the thing my husband has done for me that has meant the most. He preached a sermon to me and me alone when I was struggling through some biblical understanding. In the moment I did not realize all the effort he put into explaining through scripture. But afterwards, like an hour and a half later I realized he put as much effort into helping me as he would a congregation of 1,000 people. My walk with the Lord is that important to him. Not only that, he was not able to study for the week and then come back with a layed out message. God just used him as a willing vessel to speak truth and understanding into my heart. For that I am so very grateful.

I am enjoy the rest of this evening reflecting on God's grace for both my husband and I. It would be normal to spend time with your spouse but my husband is sick in the bed (in sickness and in health right!). Gotta love the gift of marriage!

Here are some recent pictures we took. ENJOY!








Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Special Thanks to...

Chi Alpha of UCA (Matt Carpenter, Jennifer Barnett, Jennifer Schiefer, Tony Williams and the rest of the leadership staff) for helping organize and gather people to help demolish the trailer on Saturday November 21, 2009. I want to say thanks for sharing the load with us! May the Lord richly bless this partnership for His Glory and Name Sake!

Trailer Pictures to follow...



An awesome testimony came from that experience. Rebecca a member of the City of Hope Outreach who resides in the trailer park came out to help with the demolition. On Sunday she shared that while tearing down the trailer she felt the Lord speaking to her about her purpose. That she is a helper. She also spoke of how as she was hammering at the trailer it was as if Christ was hammering away sinful strong holds in her life. Praise the LORD that was an awesome testamony!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Cheer Squad!



Just wanted to share pictures of my first little cheer squad! If you are wondering why they are wearing pants and not cheer skirts the answer is... I did not want my daughters showing off their butt cheeks! I personally feel that is unneccessary. I cheered in college and the skirt was short but my butt cheeks did not hang out as a matter common place. That really makes me sick. Like what is the purpuse of all that? Okay sorry to go crazy because the point of this post was just to show off my squad. It was fun! All the girls were cheering for their big brothers on the Broncos football team. Again it was really fun!

Monday, November 16, 2009

THANKSGIVING OUTREACH

THIS IS THE BIG WEEK BEFORE THE THANKSGIVING OUTREACH!

We need volunteers to....

1) Send money to purchase 100 food boxes
2) People to help shop on November 17, 2009 @ 10:00am
3) People to assemble food boxes on November 19, 2009 @ 10:00am


Let us know how you would like to get involved!

Thanks

Sunday, November 15, 2009

MARRIAGE

1. How do you and your husband work together?
2. What is your conflict resolution method?
3. What does submission look like in your home?
4. What are things that you as the wife do and what are the things that you as the husband do?
5. Who leads family bible study? Do you have family bible study?
6. If you are going on a long trip who drives and why?

Here are my answers...
1. I am the social network lady (as my husbands says..."the social butterfly" while he is the overall visionary...in most areas. You could say I am the Captain and he is the Commander.

2. We talk things out almost to the death! Of course after we internalized our own position. I think we try to not speak out of pure fiery anger.

3. We make decisions together however God has given my husband the authority to make final decisions and I submit to that. We don't function like barbaric cave people, "YOU Woman, Get Food!" as some would suppose submission to mean. My husband loves me and seeks to honor God with the gift (me) that he has been given. In fact my role in submission is pretty easy because God called him to be a sacrificial servant leader. Really, who wouldn't want to submit to that type of leadership.!?!

4.I do most of the interaction with people and lots and lots of administration stuff. Phil works, helps around the house, pays the bills and he gives our family its style, tone and direction.

5. Phil normally leads family bible study. I will lead if it is just the kids and I but if the whole family is together usually Phil leads.

6.Phil drives on a long trip almost 100% of the time. Why??? because I will go to sleep in the car usually after 5 minutes on the freeway. Remember we are talking about long distance trips. If figure if I go to sleep we will get there faster and avoid arguing about his driving technique. It is a win win. He listens to sermons and delights in the Lord!

What is your marriage like?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Urban Missionaries

"There's a dude on the corner thats out there smoking weed,that need to hear the TRUTH because the TRUTH will set him free. There's a baby in the building that don't got no food, cause her mama on the block trying to get it from them dudes. Aint nothing wrong with you going over seas, but there is people on your same street that need to be free, if you want to do a mission you aint gotta look far, there some people need to hear the TRUTH in ya back yard.....at the bus stop, girls are the beauty shop,dudes at the barber shop, the people at the car wash, the dude sitting next to you at the coffee shop, we suppose to hit the hood until it look like God's block...." -Thisl Urban Missionaries

I read this from Nicole's blog Rebuild the City, and it hit me. This is my heart. I can't explain why it is that many are so driven to foreign mission and forsake the urban mission two miles down the road. I am specifically speaking to the residents in the city where I live. I am sure this message goes beyond that of Conway Arkansas, but none the less this is where I am.

I have often wondered Lord why this place? Then I see the needs of those hurting around me and think oh it is because of these. These that have been ignored in many circles. We have been pioneers in this town and for that I am thankful. Yet my heart desperately longs for a family that God would call to this urban mission in Conway Arkansas. However until such time I will take great heart and joy from the individuals the Lord has and is bringing our way. In addition to that I will receive encouragement from all the other urban missionaries around the U.S. that have blogs I can find! Thanks again Nicole I found a host of wonderful urban missionaries that Lord has used to encourage me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

IS this a GOOD SIGN?!

About a year ago a family (let's call them the Wild's) moved into the trailer park. Mr. Wild and Mrs. Wild's would come out to the church gatherings we would have. It was really nice to have met them. It was funny because Mr. Wild did not have long pants and it was very cool at this time. So he would listen to the Sunday gathering from his trailer with the window lifted. Phil and Mr. Wild would often have conversations back and forth to make sure he felt as much apart of the fellowship as those sitting right there. Mrs. Wild and their son little Wild would physically join the group. Again it was our delight and pleasure to help and serve them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ as well as some physical needs (food, clothes, conversation etc.).

Mrs. Wild began attending the women's bible study on Tuesday afternoons. She was really interested and excited to learn about the Lord. I felt like she was eating it up. Then she fall ill. She was placed in hospital care for about a month. While she was there the only person to visit her was my husband. She was so grateful. Then she came home and things seemed odd. Mr. Wild was into drugs and things of that nature. Mrs. Wild was strange in behavior. Phil and I picked that there was physical abuse taking place. So we prayed and waited for the Lord to lead us. Then Mrs. Wild called me over to another trailer to talk. She was hiding out from her husband. She wanted help but was very afraid. I suggested the woman's shelter here in town and gave her the information she needed to get that taken care of. For her protection as well as her sons. There was verbal and much physical abuse toward both of them. Neighbors who helped were fearful of their safety in this situation.

After about a week. I don't see her and I made contact with the shelter and find that she is there. She calls me, we talk, it is going well for her there. We attempted to get together and have her come to "Friday Morning Coffee" but that never worked out. Time passes and I find from the director that she found a place and is moving out. Both the shelter director and I were concerned that this was not the best move for her. However, she was following all the move out rules. Again about a week passes and I see her in the trailer park with Mr. Wild. WHAT?! I was at a complete loss. To top it off Mr. Wild is acting a pure fool about how we took his wife and put her in the woman's shelter. So here begins my personal struggle with the flesh and the spirit.

This couple now ignores our very existence. I have spoken to both of them together and individually and they both would look me in the face and not say a word! REALLY? Okay. So I thought she is in a prison controlled by Mr. Wild and I will back away and simply pray for this family. Let's add a little more light to this subject. If the church would have a feeding they would show up, only for the food part. They would also speak to me then, but not any other time. Again my thoughts are REALLY!?!? FAST FORWARD!

This past weekend was the medical outreach and regular Sunday gathering. Phil knocked on their door and invited them to the medical outreach. They came out with great excitement. Mr. Wild was talking to Phil and saying I am so glad you are here and really glad you got that trailer....(PAUSE)

The day I got the keys for the trailer Mr. Wild started talking all crazy towards me, "You are going to hear from me! That trailer is mine and you can't have it. I'm going to raise hell about that!" HUMMMMMMMMM! Lord seriously what is going on? Now we knew he had no rights to the trailer. He was talking loud about nothing, so I ignored him with a smile. (Okay press PLAY)

It seemed that things may be getting better. Maybe the Lord was healing some wounds and things were looking good for them. So Mrs. Wild walks over and joins us for Sunday gathering. Now I am a little shocked but I was also excited to see what the Lord was doing. She stayed the whole time and then at the end of our time together Phil partnered individuals to pray for our families.

He came from Mark 6:14-29 highlighting our sin effects not only us but our whole family. So as a conclusion we were to pray for each others families. It just so happened that I was partnered with Mrs. Wild. So I prayed for her family and she prayed for mine.

Then Mr. Wild came outside. He walked right up to her and said, "You need to come inside. Your phone has been ringing and this is a waste of time. You don't need to be brainwashed by these people!" REALLY! So she sits with me for a few seconds more. Then he yells to her again from his trailer. As he is yelling for her to come, I look directly at him or rather into the spirit that is at work in him. I said nothing out loud but very clearly stand my ground in the authority and power of Jesus Christ. Then he says "I don't like her!" repeatedly. Mrs. Wild was in the home being abused verbally because she came to gather with the saints for worship. Mr. Wild then began to call us all kinds of things other than children of God. Now some were un-nerved and shocked. Most were unaware of what was taking place. My husband, Mr. and Mrs. Wild and one lady from the church and I were the only ones aware of this situation. I praise God for that. However I would ask that you would sincerely pray for Mrs. Wild. That she would be set free, and that Mr. Wild would receive Christ as Savior!

Now that you have the story. I ask myself is this a good sign? I think of the scripture that says, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 I think of that as a one up for me. Then I am reminded of Romans 12:14 "Bless those who persecute you:bless and do not curse." There is the balance. I am asking the Lord to help me to bless and not curse, help me remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against rulers of darkness. Help me Lord to love like you love and not withhold. Pray for wisdom with my whole family.

Some might ask are you afraid. The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact I might more bold than I should be. I fully trust the provision and protection of God through the Holy Spirit and in the natural, my husband. I am not a victim but a victor in Christ so my identity comes from Him and not that of fear of man.

Okay I just added that little note. Here is my completed thought in regards to scripture.

In John 15:18-27. Mr. Wild and Mrs. Wild's response was and is simply because they do not know Christ. In the end that is why we are serving in this community. I will add to this post next week beginning with the passage of scripture in John. If you have any thoughts to share please feel free to comment. I would love to hear what words the Lord would give you in regards to this whole situation.

Friday, October 30, 2009

What are your potential IDOLS?

We all know that not everything is an idol. Many things if taken out of proper prospective became idols before we even realize them. I am riding this horse from my husband's blog post. He listed areas of potential idols. I will list mine....WHAT ARE YOURS!


1. Husband
2. Children
3. Serving the Poor
4. Righteousness
5. My Shortcomings
6. My Successes
7. My gifts
8. My love of helping others
9. Being a good Mother

I think we wave our banners of:
this is what I do good or
this is what i do bad and
then we worship those things (by giving them our full attention and sincere devotion)
thus creating idols.

Thanksgiving Outreach Around the Corner!

October 27, 2009

Dear Partner in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,

The City of Hope Outreach is a non- profit ministry of Conway, Arkansas. We are an urban mission’s church that seeks to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through teaching and service to the community at large. Our ministry with your help is planning to provide Thanksgiving Boxes to 100 low income families in the Oakwood Mobile Home Park, Sunday November 22, 2009. This is our third year to serve this community with Thanksgiving Baskets. We are delighted to have another opportunity to bless men and women with these boxes and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no better hope anywhere! There are four ways you can get involved in this effort.


You can purchase a complete box for a family with the items listed below. The approximate cost is $80.00 per box. If you choose this option we need to know the exact number of boxes you will bring by emailing thecityofhope@gmail.com. You may join us for distribution and worship that Sunday November 22, 2009 at 1:00pm, or you may drop your box(s) off at 2652 Bruce Street Conway, Arkansas on Thursday November 19, 2009.


The second manner in which you can participate is by financial contribution. You may write your check or money order payable to “City of Hope Outreach” and notate in the memo section: Thanksgiving Outreach. Please mail to P.O. Box 11474 Conway, Arkansas 72034 in enough time to be received by November 16, 2009.


The third manner which you can participate is in donation of any of the following items:

1. 1 Turkey
Turkey Bag
2. 1 Ham
Canned pineapples
3. 5lbs Sweet Potatoes
Butter
Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
nutmeg
vanilla extract
4. 5lbs Regular /or Red Potatoes
Milk
5. Green Beans Casserole
5 cans Green bean casserole
1 container French onions
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
7. 4 cans Ol’ Glory Canned Greens
8. 4 boxes Macaroni & Cheese Velveeta creamy mix
9. 4 boxes Corn Bread mix
10. 1 (12 serving) Dinner Rolls
11. 4 boxes Stuffing Mix (Stove Top Stuffing)
12. 4 bags Mrs. Cubbinson's Cornbread Dressing Mix or Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing Mix
2 Onions
1 powdered Sage
1 Stalk Celery
13. 2 Desserts
Ready Made Pies


The fourth manner is actual labor. We will need people to help shop, organize, and assemble the boxes. Shopping will take place November 17, 2009 organization will take place November 18, 2009 assembly into boxes will take place November 19, 2009 times TBA.


All donations will be used for the sole purpose and benefit of the poor and hurting in the city of Conway, Arkansas. We will distribute these items on Sunday November 22, 2009 immediately following our usual worship gathering at 1:00PM.


If you have any questions, you may contact Nicolle Fletcher at 501-499-1043 or thecityofhope@gmail.com Thanks you in advance for your consideration and support.


For His Name,

Phillip D. Fletcher
The City of Hope Outreach

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Prayer

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation
THIS MAN SURE HAS A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY!
'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics... We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!'

Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's Fall! I'M BACK......I THINK!

So I have not blogged in what seems like forever. I have been busy living the life and answering the call God has for me. That being said I couldn't even imagine sitting down and putting finger to keyboard, until now. Of course at this point I think I have lots to say however, it would be a matter of finding the time and the right words to express them.

I will begin a series of questions and random thoughts that I would love to hear from you about. So check me out at least twice a week so you don't miss out!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summertime Fun Review!

As I reflect on the summer I realize we accomplished a tremendous amount of things. The kids and I learned how to work together in our home to accomplish tasks. They were wonderful at relieving me of the complete burden (oh I meant joy) of household chores and meal preparations. It was really a blessing, so much so that we spend one to two hours on house stuff (daily) and had the rest of the day for whatever else. We had art days, jam making days, farmers market days, Friday coffee days, sleepover days, swim days, vacations days, gym & fitness days, doula days, ministry days, family days, and friend days. We really took the time to hang out and get to know ourselves and others.

One piece of advise I would share with mothers of boys. As your boy gets older and bonding seems awkward....like he wants to do this and you don't (video games etc.). I found a wonderful healthy source of bonding with my son this summer. It was exercise. Boys love to be physical. I found that working out with my son drove me to be awesome and him too. I mean doesn't every woman want her son to think she rocks at cardio or weight lifting? We were able to encourage each other along the way. These were some of the sweetest days of summer.

Now it is back to school with schedules, homework, football practice, cheerleading, and the list goes on. My main goal is to keep the intimate connection with each one of my children throughtout this school year. Our heart is to continue to develop godly character and smart kids! :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

This is a repost...for ENCOURAGEMENT!

I am reviewing my thoughts from the beginning of this year. I am using my own words to encourage myself. I pray that this imformation is timely for you as well.

NOW IS THE TIME...IT'S 2009

Happy New Year to each one of you! With every passing year most of us take time for introspection and reflection. As I sat and thought about this past year, my heart was overjoyed and sorrowful. There were many great days, many times the Lord showed Himself, many days I was graced with godly wisdom and insight, many days of joy with family, many blessings in friends that proved to be true. In 2008 there were lots of transitions. The ones I am most grateful for, I was unable to accomplish alone. For instance the growing desire to seek the Lord in prayer. Prayer for my husband, children, and neighbor from all locations. I believe my heart has changed toward human kind in general. I am more loving and gentle with people, increasingly bold, and confident in Christ ability to work through me. Again, none of this could have been accomplished without the grace of God in Christ Jesus worked out by the Holy Spirit. So there is a summary of the joy.

Here is the summary of the sorrow. While dramatic and even drastic changes have taken place for the glory of God, some areas have remained unchanged and even worse. I wondered how could these things be? How is it possible in one breath to grow so much and then in another not move at all or even be worse? Through my introspection and reflection I found that I lacked focus and faith in those areas. I don't mean name it and claim it, or speak and it will be so. I simply mean not believing that the Lord would do this or that in me.

You know when you have a goal, your eye is on the prize. Of course along the way there will be pitfalls but when you are fixed on the goal the pitfalls serve as building blocks. However, when you lack focus and faith, pitfalls are huge holes that cause one to look back. I have said this many times in 2008...the Children of Israel complained and wanted to go back to Egypt because it was easier to trust and have faith in what they could see versus trusting the God whom they could not. Many of us have condemning attitudes about the Israelites but given similar situations we would do and often actually repeat the same actions.

Okay back to the main point..I am sorrowful over my lack of faith in some areas throughout the 2008 year. That lack has me looking back and saying " I am in the same place in this area...oh, and even worse in that area". The truth is, I have learned to seek the Lord and know full well that He always hears the cries of His children. Now whether or not He answers in my time is another topic all together. The Lord's delay can not be the pitfall that deters me. The Lord's delay should be the building block that drive me, and in due time His answer will be my delight.

So the title Now is the time...it's 2009 comes from a cool rhyme, but ultimately from the thought that now is the time to trust the Lord like I have not before. Now is the time to believe what seems impossible, now is the time to walk fruitful in Christ, now is the time to believe that dreams deferred can be realities in Christ. Don't let pitfalls or delays lead back to Egypt but let them lead to Christ. So for me it is time to pursue Christ and see Him manifest awesome things in this vessel of clay.

I would encourage you to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you, yourself. Are you longing for Egypt and lacking faith in Him?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

School Supply Daze!




It seems like school was just out yesterday. The City of Hope is planning a school supply drive for children who will be in grades K-4 that live in the Oakwood Village trailer community and attend Marguerite Vann Elementary.

This year we are hoping to supply every child in Oakwood with everything they need for their back to school backpacks. We are using the school supply list from Marguerite Vann Elementary School (also available at Wal-Mart off Dave Ward Drive). We have attached the list for your information. The cost to build a complete school list with backpack is approximately $35.00. You must indicate on the backpack what grade level the items are for. You may drop the backpack(s) off at our home or bring them with you to help distribute as noted below. It is important that we are made aware of your intentions that every child from Oakwood be covered with the supplies they will need.

If you can help with any of these supplies and/or distributing these supplies please contact Nicolle Fletcher at 501-499-1043 or by email thecityofhope@gmail.com. We will be distributing the supplies at Marguerite Vann Elementary School on the first day of school which is Wednesday August 19, 2009. Please give us a hand in assisting children back to school with items they need to enhance their learning experience and most importantly display the love of Christ to them and their families.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Special Note for Parents

Okay so I have been teaching my children to help in managing the home this summer and that has helped us to enjoy many other pleasures. Here is one of my first huge mistakes.

I told my daughters to get all their underclothes together (underwear, socks, t-shirts and wash one load of clothes with those items. They needed to make sure they washed it, dried them, folded them and finally put them away.

I told Nicollus to gather all the towels from everyone laundry basket throughout the house and wash one load of towels. Well, later when I went to check the wash after the girls had moved their things, I saw the load my son did.

The washing machine was full full full full of all the towel from every laundry basket in the house! When I told him what to do I did not mean for him to wash every towel in one load. I just wanted him to be responsible to wash one load of towels from the pile he gathered.

I opened the washing machine and his load of towels was complete however they were soaking wet and full. You how laundry looks after the rinse cycle? They are completely rung out. These were completely soaking wet because they could not get rung out. I ran the spin cycle two more times to drain the water.

My heart broke looking at the washing machine attempt to high spin 100lbs of wet towels! Anyway all is well. The washing machine is still working. The clothes are clean. I understand I must be more detailed when I give instructions. My son understands that you can't put all the dirty towels in one wash. Funny Fletcher story from this week!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The cure for arguing in kids!

People I have found the cure for arguing if you have more than one child.

Here is the stage...

We just returned from the gym. The kids were looking forward the next activity. It was water week at the gym and we did not know it so the kids did not wear swim suits thus they did not want to get wet. All that to say, they went to the gym to sit on their butts while I experienced burning pain and sweat. :) Anyway, we were home and the girls were fighting and Nicollus was stirring to pick a fight of some sort. I was basically not going to have it.

So I sent Nicollus to mow the yard, and the girls to wash my van. LOVELY Problem solved. They needed something to keep their hearts and hands busy. Nicollus came in drenched in his own sweat. I also received a text from the neighbor who wants to hire Nicollus to mow her yard as well! SWEET!

The girls were very focused and worked well together while washing the car. The reason for arguing is often boredom and the solution is directed activity. While I do realize the importance of a child's ability to self entertain and manage their own behavior at a particular age...it is also important for us to "get in front of" negative behaviors. That means don't wait until your children are failing apart to do something with them...PREPARE for them. We need to be PRO ACTIVE with our children and not reactive. While I was certainly reactive in the situation above. I have since learned to "get in front of" potential negative behaviors.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Peace Lutheran Retreat

I had the privilege of dancing at a women's retreat earlier this year. The theme was "From Worry to Worship". The title alone says it all. We need to rest in Christ and not let worry rule us but trust the Lord so fully that we simply worship!

I danced to the song "Held" by Natalie Grant. Here are some pictures from the dance.









Monday, July 6, 2009

FAMILY CAMP 2009


Finally, I have something to say and time to write about it! This weekend we went to Covington Tennessee to visit my husbands family. We had a wonderful time together. It was wonderful to see three generations all together. I'll post pictures at the end so keep reading. Anyway as we were driving down we began to think on family activities from last year. It was at this very same time last year we went to Voddie Bachaham's family camp. So we pulled out the blackberry did a google search and found....they are doing another one! This year it will be in St Louis, last year it was in Corpus Christi, TX. We were so excited to know that we have not missed it. Dates are July 31-Aug3. Click the title to get all the information.

So here is my family camp promotion.....

We loved it! We loved it! We Loved It! Why because there were so many families who understood the importance of family. We as believers are called to change the world by the lives we live. The first step in doing so is our family. Husbands must be strong leaders of their homes. By strong I mean making every effort to lead in the word of God. "Going to Church" should not be the first and only time your family is instructed in the word of God. Fellowship with other believers should support what is already happening in your home. When you serve others your family should serve with you. If your not in that season of life then slow down and work on your family and in due time the Lord will allow to go out and change the world for His glory and His fame!

Family Camp is exactly what it says. We camp as a family. We don't send the kids away to kiddie camp while the adults get a break and others teach the kids. It is our responsibility to train and disciple our own children. Imagine if all believers had that same mindset. Our world would look different...the Hebrew children certainly understood the law. Why did that happen because of this verse right here.....Hear O Israel: The Lord our God the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command to you shall be unpon your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:4-7. Let's be found teaching our families the way of the Lord...not handing that great job to someone else.

Go to family camp 2009 and learn how to do this yourself!


Najee' teaching Nicollus to pose like the kids in WalMart magazines.

Nicollus doing his Walmart pose!

Three generations of Fletcher men! Phillip Nicollus, Phillip Demond, and Phillip Lee Fletcher



Attempt number 1!

Attempt number 2!

Nicolle and Phil finally getting our photo together!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Scripture for today!

For he says,

"In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you."
Behold,now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2

Love this scripture! Allow this word to minister to your heart today. If you have time pick up to word and read in full context. Enjoy the word of the Lord this day and everyday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Time


Just wanted to write about how we are thoroughly enjoying the summer. We go to the gym, hang out with friends, clean house, clean yard (well not yet), swim, serve and minister....it's totally awesome!

I have to say this would not be such a wonderful summer if I were still nursing! Why you ask? This is why....
We can fold three loads of laundry, put them away, unload the dishwasher and reload it, sweep the kitchen floor, wipe the table and counters, vacuum the floors and clean a bathroom in 30 to 45 minutes all by working together! I love it! I am not sure what took me so long to see I have help in the house all the time!

Just a word of encouragement ladies.............

EMPLOY YOUR CHILDREN TO WORK ALONGSIDE YOU! You will both benefit greatly in the long run. Don't make the mistake of thinking, "I could do it better by myself." In the end you and the kids will suffer from not being able to spend much time together..... because you have to do it all. Hint hint...you can't do it ALL! Let me rephrase that.... you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. In Christ, strength is wisdom and for home maintenance wisdom would say allow your children to help!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Scripture for the day!


Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24

Friday, May 29, 2009

HOMEMAKER MOMENTS!!!!


visit: http://www.homemakerchronicles.com


So many things to share where do I begin....
How did I fulfill my role as wife, mother, and worshipper of the True and Living God?

As wife I took time to look outside myself an view a disagreement with my husband from an outsiders perspective. I spend a lot of time counselling, mentoring, and walking other women through struggles and joys in their life. What I have found is that an outside perspective is usually much clearer and more accurate because it is not based out of emotion or personal baggage. So that is what I applied to my own life. I was able to understand why I felt the way I did, but I needed to evaluate the way my husband was feeling and why. As women we often take the "he doesn't understand, or he doesn't care about me" route. When more than likely he understands what he needs to and he cares above what we think. I know for my husband in particular he looks at the BIG, LLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGG term picture. While I am pretty much the small (I want it now), and quickly picture. As a result I (with the power of the Holy Spirit) have and are choosing peace, and patience. I praise God for that....evidence of the work of Christ in my heart, mind, and soul.

As a mother I have decided to STOP NURSING MY CHILDREN! I have a 10, 8, and 7 year old. I cook all the food (most days), I clean all the rooms (most days), I wash all the laundry (most days), I clean my own car...van actually, and on occasion I do the yard work. Now as I read scripture there was a King who was 8! As I look at other countries kids are holding it down in labor. When I went to Tanzania, Africa there were children younger then mine carrying the five gallon bucket of water on their head. Now why are they able to do this and not mine? Oh, it is because of expectation. These children are expected to help in their home...in fact they have to. While I work to the bone and allow my children all kinds of freedom and privilege. This week I have STOPPED NURSING MY CHILDREN! Have you seen a woman breastfeeding a 4, 5, or even 6 year old? Trust me it happens and is completely ridiculous. There is some twisted fulfillment the mother gets out of that because there is not real need for the children to breastfeed at those ages. So it is with me. What twisted fulfillment am I getting out of nursing my children in regards to laboring around the home? Maybe the thought of I am really doing this, or some appreciation from them or others that I am freeing you and I will be SUPER CHRISTIAN MOMMA....who takes care of home, husband, and children. The thought of my husband and children not have to lift a finger around my house. Those thoughts are sinful, prideful, and arrogant. The reality is I do need them to help. Not just for me but to help them capable functioning adults, and children who are respectful and grateful, and know how to take care of things. I gave assignments, instructions, and I stepped back to watch. We also added this....You how when Jesus was on the cross and He cried out "It is finished", well that is a statement of a servant returning to the master that the job is complete. We talked about that and I explained that they need to follow Christ example and let me know when the job is done.

As a worshipper of the Most High God I really spent time seeking the Lord and being thankful for Christ on the cross! Christ was mangled for me! Christ took on my sin! Christ is in all ways wonderful. Words fail to express how thankful I am to God who revealed Himself through Jesus Christ. I Love HIM!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homemaker Moments



This homemaker moment is different from the others in the sense that my focus is not on how I was able to fulfill my role but how other mothers are fulfilling their role and beyond!

This week I experienced a very long birth. This month alone I assisted with three births two of them were scheduled for other months. Anyway, all that to say I am so grateful to God for allowing women to be all they need to be in their home and still have enough to bless someone else.

Here is my shout out! To HaleHole3, thanks for bringing cooked lasagna, and strawberry cake to my house, after a midweek birth. To the J.W., thanks for picking up my kids and hanging with them after school for a few hours. To Servingthesaints, thanks for teaching my kids to make strawberry preserves and praying for me during a difficult labor. Finally to my Homemaker Chronicle, thanks for holding it down in prayer, dinners, and sanity contacts!

I would be remiss if I did not give it up to the super duper woman, Impressions that Last! This is my mother who lives next door and is always there. Thanks for taking care of my family from the "sun up to sun down Saturday birth". I couldn't stop laughing as my mother reported, "your family has been at my house all day they don't know what to do without you." I left the house for this birth at 6:00am and returned at 10:00p.m or so. As I was driving home and talking to my mother, thinking they had gone home by now (surely)....No they were still next door at her house hanging, eating her food, watching her television, and whatever else they needed. This was not the first and won't be the last time I am certain of that fact!So again thank you momma!

Homemakers all over the world this goes out to you! You spend many days and nights building your home, your husband, and your children. Most times this includes a to do list that is out of this world. Yet, some how it all gets done, or at least the most important of those things gets done. I love you sister in the Lord and I know without a doubt that our Father in Heaven loves you even more than I ever could! Continue to walk in the grace afforded to you by our GREAT GOD AND KING! Serve well and strive for excellence in all you say and do, making sure that above all else He is satisfied with your act of service to HIM!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Almost there!

Just wanted to give an update on my doula business. I am proud to report that by God's grace I have assisted 5 women in giving birth since February. I count it a privilege and an honor to help these women achieve their birthing goals. This morning was my longest labor yet. This momma was a 2x C-section, who strongly desired to have a vaginal birth. We went to the hospital prepared to refuse C-section if there was no damage to momma or baby. No doctor in our area would approve her doing a vbac (vaginal birth after cesearan)after two cesearans, so this was an intense situation. Then to top it off we were at a hospital whose cesearan rate is 60% way above the allowed national average. Through the prayers of many believers, and almost 24 hours of labor this momma had her vbac. All is well with momma and baby! Praise the Lord for He had done marvelous things.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Your steps are still ordered by God!

Okay so is God ordering our steps or what? On Tuesday of this week I dropped off the kids at school. Well as I about the drive away "Mr. Hustler's girl" honked at me. Let's call her X for the purpose of the blog. Anyway I thought she was just going to say hi. She pulled over and we talked in the school parking lot for at least an hour. Then we went to my house and talked for about another 40 minutes. Then she was hungry and wanted to take me to McDonald's and have breakfast and talk some more! Just saying hi turned into a 3 hour ministry opportunity. God is awesome. He is faithful in all things. I am grateful that the Lord orders our steps in His perfect will not according to us but according to our schedule.

The Lord graced me to share the gospel and about imputed righteousness. That we are all sinners and by the grace of God in Christ Jesus he ordains some to walking in righteousness given them by Jesus Christ! It was fun and fabulous! n She was totally open with me and by open I mean OPEN! So again I am very grateful that the Lord would see fit to grace me to carry his word to another. Please pray for X.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

YOUR STEPS ARE ORDERED BY GOD

Friday night Phil and I were going on a date to see a movie. This was a time we were both looking forward to. It was "our time", and we both needed it. Let's set the stage. Phil came home from work hung with the kids for a while. While playing with the kids he asked me which movie theatre were we going to? I wasn't very sure, so he asked me to look it up. While he was in the shower I told him I remember which theater, because I saw it earlier that day. So we travelled to movie theater that I remembered seeing the sign at. Okay it was the wrong one. There are only two theaters in Conway so it wasn't a big deal to go to the next one.

Remember how I said your steps are ordered. Well, as we were on our way to the other theater we saw a man walking. This man looked just like a man who lived in the trailer park about a year ago. His name is Rusty and he was married to a woman named Julie. They had a child while living in the trailer park, we had a showering of gifts for the baby. This couple was one of the first we actually invested in at Oakwood. To give a little more history, I would often go to their home and help with the baby and Phil would spend lots of time with Rusty. Then one day they just moved out of the state. They had talked about it but did not give notice or anything. We were surprised and of course sad because we did not feel the work was complete. Now you are up to speed.

We see this guy who looks just like Rusty. Phil looks at me and says do you want me to call him and see? I said yes. Then Phil cautions me, if I call him we need to commit to whatever happens after that. Reminding me of the fact that we are on a date and I can't complain if we move in a totally different direction. I thought for a second and I was really happy to see if this was him and meet his need. Phil yells out from the car. He responds. It was Rusty! So we turn around and pick him up. He looks us over and calls Phil's name. He then gets in the car. He was on his way to his mother's house. He had just arrived in Conway about 10 minutes ago. He had been travelling for two weeks from Louisiana (by bus, foot, and car etc..). So I began to ask him about his life and where is Julie. He then proceeds to tell us they are divorced. She tried to microwave the baby!?!?! He tried to kill her?!?!?! They lost custody of the baby girl and she is with a good family in Arizona. He goes on to tell us how the Lord has been good to him even though he did not deserve it at all. He told us the God finally delivered him from drugs and alcohol. Now I want you to clearly understand these were the words coming from his mouth...not us! There was a look of sheer horror on my face mixed with an odd delight. God was working in his life amidst ALL KINDS OF CRAZY!

We then arrive at his mother's trailer. Yes I said trailer! We found a whole new trailer park that we had not even known existed. Rusty explained that this park is full of displaced Katrina victims. This park is different in some ways from Oakwood in that there are tons more people. It seemed like every trailer had two or three cars in front and families living in groups. Rusty's mother had three young boys in her trailer. After we dropped Rusty off and exchanged phone numbers, we took a trip around the park. Many of the people were living in campers, trailers, or whatever. It was certainly the Lord who lead us in this direction. Rusty was excited to reconnect and we are too.

So we were able to take care of Rusty, locate more "souls" to hear the gospel of Christ, and get to the movies on time. All in all we had a wonderful time!

Again our steps are ordered by GOD! This is the second person the Lord has brought back that we may continue to serve. I am very excited about what the Lord is doing and going to complete.

Friday, May 8, 2009

HOMEMAKER MOMENT!



It has been weeks since I have posted a homemaker moment. So with great joy and excitement I am searching for a moment to share with you. oh I remember a very cool moment! Here goes....

It was one Sunday night we were just hang out in our bedroom with the kids. I had a talk with my daughter about puberty earlier that day. It was awesome, she was very receptive to the conversation. I have to set this up in order for you to understand the family dynamic. In instructing my daughter about the days ahead (specifically menstrual cycle) we needed create a training drill. This was learned by all the drills and field time from the military. Holla, if you know what I am talking about (military wives). I gave her a pad and showed her how to use it. We actually put it on and let her wear it around and I would later teach her how to discard. Discarding is a very important step, please instruct your girl carefully!

Now to the family conversation.

Have you ever wondered what your children are actually learning from you? Well, I have. That night we asked them what they see in us.

My question was from three specific marriages whose would you like yours to be like and why? Our son was the first to answer. He said, "Yours because there is lots of affection." Then my oldest daughter chimed in with the same response. Our youngest daughter said, "Yours because I see lots of respect." Can you say WOW! I was relieved, thankful, blessed and amazed! I mean you want your children to get the message you are instilling, but you don't really know if they are getting it. So it was awesome to hear them articulate in their own words.

"We ask what nice or mean things do you hear dad say about mom, and vice versa?" Our son, first responder once again, states "Dad is always saying that I have the hottest wife and that moms a fox and stuff." The youngest states, "Dad calls you his queen." Of course that was what both girls identified with. Najee' is striving to overthrow me by calling herself a queen or at least one in training. Nichelle, however fully understands that she doesn't get the title queen until we find the king God created her for. What does mom say nice about dad? The room went silent! :0 Nichelle goes into how mom is always doing something nice, like cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, grocery shopping, going to the school, giving birth with people and taking care of everyone.

It was funny how she hit the nail right on the head. In regards to my family I am all about getting the job done. Clearly that has shown up as well. I have been seeking the Lord about opening my mouth with praise more often towards my husband and my children. I don't desire them to be only workers.

Anyway, then we start talking about what they would like to be and or do as adults. Nicollus says, "I want to preach the gospel in a mobile home like dad." Then all of a sudden my daughter walks out of our bathroom and announces that she took off her pad and put on a new one! Phil looks at me and I look at him. Then he says, "You forgot a few details!" In that moment I realize she is using material that I will actually need! "Hold up little sister! First you don't announce your business, second you don't get to keep putting on new pads because I will need them." I responded. With a look of sorrow she says, "okay". However that was just after she put her finger over her mouth and said, "shhhhhhh" to everyone in the room as a sign of privacy.

If that was not funny enough, we continue talking. Nicollus starts preaching a sermon about how the man has to work to provide for his family. The wife and children get to enjoy the benefits of the mans labor. Then it goes on and on. I am praying now for the mobile park my son leads...they are in for some long winded sermons!

All that to say, by the grace of God we are doing our job as parents. I can't boast in anything but Christ. He is working all these things in us as well as our children. I know the homemaker moments are to "brag on yourself" but in this case I really can't. It is by God's grace ALONE that all this is taking place. I am sure we all understand that as we post our homemaker moments but I thought I'd make that statement in the event someone thought this was my or Phil's wonderful parenting.

I hope this encourages you as moms and even dads to seek the wisdom of God in all things. Remember those little people that live in your home are watching and absorbing everything. Pray they absorb Christ in the end!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Question and Answer Series

There are many things we run into ministering in the City of Hope. So this is an opportunity for us to discuss somethings that we deal with. Much of this comes from people in "Christiandom" always arguing church form and function, theology and the like. However you are not going to have those conversations when your feet are on the ground runnin!

This question was the very first late night call I received....What would you say to this?
This woman and her children had been faithfully coming to the worship service we held in the park on Sunday afternoon. She claimed to be a christian. And this was the phone call. My husband whom I love asked me to have sex in front of him with another guy who lives in the trailer park. I did. In fact I have done that several times. But now he is calling me a hoe and a slut. I only did it because he liked it and took pleasure from it. I really did not think anything was wrong with it, because he liked it so much. I think he was really drunk this time and he hit me and walked out. He is also questioning if the children are his. I don't know what to do. Can you help me?

What would you do and or say?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WALKING THROUGH OPEN DOORS AND THANKFUL FOR THE CLOSED DOOR!

Hey all! Last night we had dinner with Mr. Hustler, his momma boo, and his two children. It was a wonderful time. We listened and learned. We taught and educated! We encouraged in Christ and opened our home. The kids all played together very well. I was concerned about the dinner (as shallow as that seems). This a family who normally eats soul food. I don't cook soul food very often. My plan was for my mother to cook it but she was unavailable. So we had normal Fletcher food which they all enjoyed. The silly things we get stuck on?

We talked a lot about the depth of hurt each one has felt and is presently feeling. Boy oh, boy was it deep. Would you pray for salvation and deliverance for this family. That God would radically transform their lives into His image! Mr. Hustler is very intelligent and would be a mighty warrior for the Kingdom of Christ! Again please pray.


Also the other family that actually asked for us to counsel them. Has moved away! I talked to them on Friday of last week and they had moved out of the park to some city far away. I am happy to report they received what they were really looking for. I pray that the Lord would bring another to proclaim the good news of Christ to them right where they are.

Blessings!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

OPEN DOOR!

This past Sunday a man we will call "Mr. Hustler" came to Phil and made a sincere request. Mr. Hustler has two daughters and one son. We have spend many days conversing and showing Christ love to Mr. Hustler. One of his daughters is in school with my children, and the other goes to another school and then his son will start next year. Mr. Hustler has made several comments about how do you raise these kids and meet all the deadlines pertaining to school and other stuff. Well finally a huge door opened. Mr Hustler while smoking some substance pulled up and asked my husband could we help him with his children. They are being negatively influence by peers, and struggling in school. Would you let my kids hang out with your kids sometime? Okay and now for the mouth drop! Did he seriously ask us to help him with his children? WOW!

While this is a fabulous door open I must confess we did not expect this kind of door opening. We are strong advocates of family integrated worship, parent training and disciplining their own children, and the church just helps the parents fulfil their role. We are against parents abdicating their responsibility to someone else. With all that said we are asking the Lord to show us how to go about this. At this point we believe we need to invite Mr. Hustler, the girlfriend, and the kids over for dinner. During dinner we will live our life before them and then detail some areas that will help him....CHRIST! SO we ask for your prayers as the Lord is opening unexpected doors.

There was another door opened as well. There was a lady and her husband who asked could we help them "marriage counseling". This couple has been opposed to us being in the trailer park for sometime now. They are not aware that we know but this was the couple that called the police to shut down the medical outreach. So again imagine my "what?" when the husband asked for us to counsel them.

It is clear the Lord is working some things out. We desire your prayers that we would hear the Lord and follow His direction and not our own!

Monday, April 27, 2009

HIS WORD SPEAKS TO ME!

Here is the word or actually words from scripture that have encouraged me.

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come,then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.


Christ secured our eternal redemption by His own blood! Then He sat down next to the Father in Glory. I am so thankful that our redemption is eternal and secured in Christ RIGHT NOW!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

News



Isn't it lovely! This is the trailer that will serve as the headquarters for City of Hope (formerly Berean Christian Ministry). We are excited to have a space right in the trailer park. We will continue to serve and love the community of Oakwood as we always have. This building will be used for afterschool tutoring in the fall, marriage and family counseling, Sunday morning worship when the weather is too cold or hot outside etc. etc.

The trailer is being gutted and restored on the inside. So it will be one or two months before we actually move in. Thanks for all your support.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Medical Outreach Pictures

We held our first medical outreach on Sunday April 5, 2009. It was a wonderful time together. Dr. Todd Ghormley of Conway organized the medical staff. There was one doctor, four nurses, six faithful prayer warriors who prayed with everyone that came by. We also had six face painters, one hairdresser, a barber, tons of college youth playing games and working activities with all who came through. I am blessed to be apart of such a wonderful ministry. We are seeing men and women be served with the two handed approach. The GOSPEL of Jesus Christ in one and physical helps in the other!

I am going to list a few things that took place that you may Glorify our Father in Heaven.

A lady of Mormon faith has a son in a wheel chair. They moved from one side of the trailer park to the other. However they were unable to move the ramp from their old trailer to the new one. About five of people serving with the medical outreach got together and moved the ramp to her new trailer. We were witnesses for Jesus Christ the true and living God for this woman. I later saw her and she remembered the act of kindness that was shown to her by this Christian ministry.

A man who has been a faith member had an abscess on his stomach. He was able to be checked out and taken later to the doctor's office and the abscess was removed! He is doing very well!

An older lady (55), who is often bruised from falling. Received medical treatment, face painting, and somehow my daughters gave her my absolute favorite pen and a journal. (that was not a part of the outreach) As she was walking away she (the older lady) was thrilled about how she was treated and the pen and journal she got. As she showed me the stuff the girls gave her I could only smile because she had more joy from those items then I ever would.

Many more things took place but those we some of the highlights! Click here the title to view the pictures from the outreach.

THE EMPTY TANK

Here is a story that I can share with you now that it is over. I have a very bad tendency to drive around on E. The first time this was revealed to my husband was while travelling across country (Kentucky to California). We were some place and I had taken over. My husband went to sleep, but before he dosed off he stop at the next station for gas. I said Okay with much glee and fully intended to follow his instructions. Well I passed several stations feeling very confident that I would make it to the next one when I needed to. By now I am on E, in the red, etc. etc. Phil wakes up sees the gas hand and is NOT very happy. Now remember I'm the wife of a SOLDIER! So I am feeling good about the whole thing telling Phil it's cool I know my van. Well needless to say we ran out of gas but were about to make in by the skin of our teeth...or shall I say my teeth. After that Phil made it very clear that was not to happen again. ROGER that!


So last Monday was a very busy day for me and the kids. Oh I have to add that Phil has been on me about riding on E while living in Conway. He has called it sin, false pride, and arrogance but it seems odd to use those terms in relation to your wife who is only trying to save gas $. :) Anyway back to Monday, I was on E, I needed to pick the kids up from school, meet with a client on the other side of town, then go home, and get two of my children ready for soccer practice in a whole other direction. Of course I was running and pushed for time, so that left no room to get gas. Alright I made it to all my destinations. Phil met us at the soccer field as usually to watch the rest of practice. After about 40 minutes at the field together Phil suggested I go ahead to get dinner on the table. I was more than happy to do that because it was FREEZING at that practice. In my van turn the ignition and nothing! OH MY WORD! Have I run out of gas!? This is not good! Phil watching from the distance. I tried again..NOTHING! So I took the walk of shame back to him to say "I ran out of gas". He looks in silence and gathers to troops then we go home. On the car ride he says you are going to learn not to do this. You have to fix this yourself as a lesson. I say okay because really what could I say. We get home and I ask my dad (who lives next door) for the gas can. He agrees after repeat the embarrassing story. He then comments I know where you got that from your MOMMA! Just after that Phil walks in, only it was more like a storms in. He ask my dad to ride with him to fill the car and get it back home. Again my dad agrees and off the two guys went.

The kids and I remained home in warm weather conditions while my husband and dad froze because of my negligent behavior. I apologized to Phil for being difficult, dishonoring and disobedient. He of course forgave me, but made a point to point me to the Savior. Christ bore punishment for sin He never committed. The sin I committed Christ carried and I walked away free. That day I ran out of gas and did not have to lift a finger to fix it. My debt was paid by innocent men that day. I am very thankful for the pictures of Christ that are reveled in our everyday lives.



On a side note...
How many of us are riding on spiritual fumes? It is time fo fill up!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally the actual Confession

Okay so it has been several weeks now that the Lord revealed this to me. I still feel compelled to share it with you. I was working on a praise dance to this song called "YES". It basically ask the question will you say yes to the Lord even when He reveals what His will is for you. Are willing to give to the Lord when He is requiring more than you think you can give? At that same time I had a conversation with a sister in Montgomery who is laboring in similiar ways as we are. There is one very distinct difference...this woman and her family live in the community where God has called them to serve.

And there my friends is my confession. My husband mentioned to me over a year ago about moving our family into the Oakwood mobile home park (the place we serve). When he asked I said NO, when others asked I have said NO. But if God asked would I still say NO? That was the question I was faced with. It became very clear to me that I was holding apart of myself from the Lord. Yes I am willing to go and serve the Lord any and everywhere, but to make those places my home uh NO! There I said it! The filth in my heart revealed and on the table for all to see! Truth be told, it doesn't even matter that you can see. What matters is God saw and because of His love and compassion for me He showed me my heart. People understand this is DEEP!

So you ask where I am today? I have no desire to move to Oakwood. I desire to love and serve the people that live there and point them to Christ. As far as the requirements of the Lord. If He wants us there we will be there. Just as He was gracious to reveal my heart He can change it too!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Homemaker Moment (a little late!)


This is a really cool moment. My youngest daughter is a READER! She loves books. The school was having a book fair. Of course she wanted books, books and more books. Well, our budget was....you must read and re-read the books you already have because we don't have book money right now. I just flat out told her I would love to buy you books but we can't right now. She was fine with that and seemed to move on (well a little). I told here that during parent teacher conference I would be more than happy to walk her through the fair so she could look at the books, but again there was no budget for purchasing books.

So, I was in a conference with Nicollus' teacher. Just towards the end Nichelle bust out her glamour glare jewels jewelry sets and ask the teacher would she like to buy some. Now understand I met my children at school (they did not come home). Which meant she packed up all her jewelry sets and brought them to school with the intent on selling during conference time. WOW! She sold two full sets to two different teachers (during my conference times) made $16.00 and purchased the books she wanted from the book fair and gave money to her brother and sister! Can you say oh my goodness!

Allow me to help you feel this like I did. I was totally unaware that she was planning this. I am not really sure her siblings knew. This is my 7 year old! She came up with this whole plan all alone. I am just in awe!

After she was able to purchase the books she wanted and gave to her siblings. I praised her for sharing with them and for her entrepreneur skills. We brought it home by acknowledging the Lord's provision amidst it all. God gave her the wisdom, He gave the teachers the money (right amount in cash in their purses...I never carry cash even if I do have money), and God gave them the heart to spend it on her business. Praise the Lord...He provides even for the littlest of these.

Last thing, Nichelle the youngest has a talent for finding money outside. Well one day they wanted something. I told them to pray that we find $5 outside somewhere. So they all prayed and we did not find anything that day. But two days later we went to Kroger. While in the store with the girls trying to find the best deal on cereal that the family likes I looked down and saw a coupon. The coupon was for a free box of Special K 16.9oz (Nichelle's favorite that I never buy because is cost $5). We usually eat that cereal when my mother buys it. She lives next door so we know when she has it. ;) Anyway, there we were in the store with a free coupon for cereal that cost just over $5. Next lesson God may not provide what we want the way we want it and when we want it...but He will show up! When He does it will be for HIS glory, and it will unmistakeably be HIM! Praise God!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

CONFESSION! (part 1)

This song has been on my heart. The Lord has reveal some GREAT truth to me about what is in my heart. I believe I need to share that with you. So first I will share this song called Your Mercy by Blessed. Read the Lyrics as the song it being played.

Confession is good for the soul they say
Well now it's my turn
I'm willing to share all I've learned someday
But somedays not willing to learn

I don't always like to be told
What's right from wrong
I'm selfish sometimes when I don't want to be
How can you stand me?
Oh Lord, why do you hold on?

Chorus:
I'm always talking about the way you blessed me, oh yeah
I'm always singing about how good you are
But I don't always tell
That it's despite of myself
You know I haven't been good
Somedays I don't do what I should
Yet your mercy somehow endures.

There's no other love that compares to yours
It's hard to understand.
How you never repay me what I deserve
I think you that you're not like man
(Not like man)
See sometimes I desire to give hurt for hurt
Yet I know that's not like you
Yet this old flesh of mine tries to win everytime
I'm grateful your word is true
You faithfully see me through

Chorus

Your mercy (Is good and it's kind)
Your mercy (Is brand new everyday)
Your mercy (Is ever lasting)

The Lord's Plan

As many of you (locals) know the medical outreach was postponed due to weather (raining). I am reminded that we plan but the Lord establishes it. There were two different families who recieved "house calls" from the doctor. It was the coolest thing. We had two people in true need of medical care, and were presently without insurance. God gives many of us talents to be used for His glory. One of the families are walking with the Lord solid belivers and needed help. The Lord provided! The other I am not so sure, but the Lord provided! AMEN!

God has a plan greater than ours and His is perfect. We have rescheduled the outreach for April 5. Pray the Lord's will to be done during that time. Thanks All!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

DING DONG DITCH.....

You remember playing this game as a child? I do but only with my friends who knew we were playing it. I mean it is a fun game and all, but I was not trying to get the neighborhood all mad at me for a few moments of fun. Here is how it works if you don't know. You basically walk up to someones door (quietly) ring their door bell or knock on the door, then run away before anyone can see you. Get it Ding Dong Ditch!

Last night we were ding dong ditched but it was the coolest thing. The whole family were sitting around the table just after dinner. We were going through scripture explaining and discussing the work of the Holy Spirit and ultimately the God head. When we heard the doorbell ring. Now when my husband is teaching at home he is not the interrupt kinda guy. So the door bell rang and he kept talking. Now of course the kids and I are thinking is he going to answer the door or release someone to answer it????? After a few seconds he told our son to answer the door, while he reached around the side and looked out.

My husband says there is chicken at the door! Then my son starts this whole thing about poison and people trying to get us! Of course Phil tells him to chill out and open the door. He does and there was about three or four bags of groceries. We brought them in and thanked the Lord for His faithful provision.

We were ding dong ditched. We never saw the individual and I love that! In that the Lord receives all the glory. Christ is provider for us and the family or individual who gave. May God bless you openly for what you have done in secret!

Friday, March 6, 2009

HOMEMAKER MOMENTS!!!!



I WILL POST MY HOMEMAKER MOMENT LATER TODAY! DON'T FORGET TO GET YOURS UP....SEE HOMEMAKER CHRONICLES ON THE LEFT SIDE AND CHECK OUT WHERE IT ALL STARTED!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Berean Christian Ministry Newsletter Intro.

Welcome to the newsletter of Berean Christian Ministry(BCM). This quarterly publication is meant to inform our families, friends and fellow laborers as to what the Lord is doing in Conway, Arkansas. In each quarterly issue, we will look at Oakwood where the Lord has built a small gathering of people to know His name. We will profile believers who are serving in Oakwood, testimonies of those who have come to faith and whatever else is happening in Oakwood.

Secondly, you will gather some great insight from Wives in Touch, a prayer ministry for women to pray for their husbands. Lastly, you will learn about an exciting ministry where believers are given the opportunity to express their gifts in the arts.

Poetheology is BCM’s attempt to spread the name of Jesus Christ through the arts and provide redeemable images of arts to the city of Conway.

In summary, we desire that this newsletter would inform you to the great work God is doing through His people. It will also serve as a tool to assist you in praying for us as we proclaim Jesus Christ in our city.
Jesus Christ stated we should be a city on a hill, a light to those around us. BCM is endeavoring to be that small city in the city of Conway, Arkansas where families and individual believers live lives reflecting the work of God in Christ.

Phillip and Nicolle Fletcher

NEWSLETTER CONT


BCM had its first session of POETHEOLOGY during the month of February. Believers gathered at the Faulkner County Library and were treated to poetry, dance and painting by believers living in Conway. Poetheology is a ministry dedicated to presenting redeemable images of the literary, performance and creative arts to the city of Conway, Arkansas. It is our hope, that believers in Jesus Christ will have the opportunity to express the glory of God through their gifts and at the same time interact with others in the context of the art culture. In each of the successive newsletters, we will profile believers who have a gift in relations to the arts. Our hope is that as you would hear the hearts of these people that we all would enjoy Christ more in how He uses men and women through the arts to declare His name. If you are interested in participating or serving please contact us.

The “City of Hope” is the best way in which to describe the ministry that occurs on a weekly basis in Oakwood. The community of Oakwood is located in the older section of Conway, Arkansas literally on the other side of the tracks. Here at the City of Hope we seek to not only bring the Gospel of Christ in word and deed but also equip believers to minister to the least of our city. We have partnered with two college ministries CHI ALPHA and Elevation, as well as Conway Celebration Church, affectionately called the Barn. Working alongside these believers has not only strengthened our relationship with believers throughout our city but provides the people of Oakwood with Christian examples in their lives. So what happens in Oakwood? On Sundays we gather to preach the Word of God, sing songs, pray and love on the people of the community. The first Sunday of each month is dedicated to meeting the people of Oakwood in their homes, praying with them and building
relationships. Tuesdays, Nicolle and older women meet with women in the community for prayer, Bible Study and fellowship. Finally, we have started to meet with the kids on the first Saturday of each month to play games and look for mentoring opportunities. Lord willing this summer the City of Hope will begin a tutoring program for kids in grades K-12 and also start a mentoring program for young adults and married couples. All of these are meant to be avenues to share the Gospel and have a sustainable presence of Christ in the community.

Wives In Touch is a ministry developed out of the need for women to earnestly seek God on behalf of their husband. As a believing wife and mother heavily involved in ministry, I found myself doing “drive by” prayers for my husband. The term “drive by prayer” is simply what it sounds like. The prayer that takes place while washing dishes, “Lord, bless my husband at work” the end. That is a drive by prayer. I realized that as women we are willing to pray for everyone and everything all the while failing to pray earnestly for our husbands. If the husband is sick or something is wrong then prayer is easy because we need God to do something, NOW! Wives In Touch is about women in touch with the need to seek Christ for their husbands walk with Christ, daily strength, encouragement, leadership, parenting, and marriage. We want to be proactive, laying our husbands at the feet of Christ. We meet in homes once per week and pray for one hour. In our prayer time we focus on one attribute of God, define it and read scriptures in accordance. We use the four steps of prayer method. The first being Praise, we praise God for who He is. The specific attribute helps define our time of praise. The next is Confession. This time can be silent or open. Then we honor the Lord with Thanksgiving. We remember the prayers answer and that builds our faith in the True and Living God. We know that He hears and He answer the cry of our heart. And finally we make request or supplication unto the Lord. The four steps are Praise, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. It is a wonderful and sweet time of prayer. For the wife, submission does not come easy. I have learned and understand that sacrificial servant leadership does not come easy to our husbands either. So as help meets created by God, we need help our husbands in prayer.

Berean Christian Ministry is dedicated to equipping and edifying believers and evangelizing those within the urban areas of the city in order that many would see the glory of God in Jesus Christ. It is our endeavor that God’s name be known to all as we proclaim the risen Savior and serve all He brings in our lives.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Saturday March 7, 2009 Poetheology at the Faulkner County Library, 6:30 pm
Saturday March 21, 2009 Medical Outreach in Oakwood, 11:00 am
Sunday April 12, 2009 Spring BBQ Outreach in Oakwood, 1:00pm