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“…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”

1 Corinthians 10:31

Have you ever really considered this verse?  Whatever means what?  Everything?  Perhaps.

That is how I am thinking of it.  Everything I do, I should do it all for God’s glory.  Before I left Costa Rica a young lady friend asked me, “Do you only listen to Christian music?”  And I replied yes.  I began to think on that.  And my reasons behind that.  Then thinking on my life…. Do I do all things as if I am trying to do it to bring God glory?  Quite a challenge.  I worship through music for His glory.  I assist others for His glory.  I live in Costa Rica and serve the Ticos, teams and my family for His glory….. but what about other things?  Little things?  Quite a challenge and I would extend that challenge to you as well.  Just to think about this mandate from Scripture.

That brings me to this weekend.  As many of you know, this time last year I was barely able to walk across a room.  When I walked, I walked very slowly and more of a waddle.  Last March we took the kids to CharlesTowne Landing and I had to have my kids and Jacob push me in a wheelchair to make it through the park.  When the Cooper River Bridge Run came around last year, I realized it was something I had heard of my whole life.  I always thought, “I am going to do it one day.”  And I wondered, “Is it too late?  Will I ever be able to walk like that again?”  My next appointment with Dr. Gary Gilkeson I asked him if he thought I would ever be able to do something like that again.  It was hard to even get the question out of my mouth and I was on the verge of tears anticipating his answer.  At that time, I was in physical therapy 3 times a week and I was relearning balance…. relearning to put my pants on without sitting down and lifting my legs up with my hands….. relearning and regaining strength in my legs, shoulders and arms.  When he replied that he thought I would be able to do that, I was relieved and shocked.  I hoped…. I dreamed…. but never would I have imagined that only 1 year later……

Cooper River Bridge

Cooper River Bridge

This past weekend was a major milestone for me….  Over this past year I have followed all instructions given to me by my doctors and taken all medicines prescribed.  And I walked and walked our driveway in Costa Rica.  But bigger than that, I had God encouraging me and lifting me and gradually taking my pain away.  There is no cure for dermatomyositis and interstitial lung disease.  Some people live with these diseases without ever being fully out of pain.  I had given my body to the Lord.  Followed instructions.  Left my progress and pain relief in His hands and His timing.    In God’s good timing and plan, He has used my doctors and modern medicine and really worked wonders in my body.  A couple of weeks after the last chemo infusion that I received on October 31st, I woke up one morning and realized I had NO pain.  I was in shock and praising God.  I was breathing easier and able to get around and do all of my everyday tasks so much easier.  God was so good and is so good to me!!

As we got closer to spring, I remembered my question to Dr. Gilkeson last year about the Cooper River Bridge race and realized that we were going to be in SC during the race and I knew immediately that I wanted to get in good enough shape to do it for God!!  I let my friends and family know my plans and asked if any wanted to join me.  Sure enough, my mom, sister Monica and friend Donna Porter wanted to join me.  We trained and practiced and all met up Friday to get set up for Saturday.  Saturday morning came and our goal was to finish the 10K in 2 hours.  We got up early and drove over to Mt. Pleasant.  We got into place and the race started.  As we finally got going, a little ways past the start line we saw a man on the side of the road having pacemaker problems and I thought, “Can I really do this?”  But pushed the doubt aside and pushed forward.  We walked and walked and walked.  Before I knew it, we were on the Charleston side of the bridge and the crowds were there cheering everyone on saying the finishline was right around the corner.  And then, there it was…. right there!!  The finishline!!  10K behind me!!  And not only did I finish, but faster than my goal of 2 hours.  We finished in 1 hour 49 minutes!!  Thank you Donna, Momma and Monica for doing this with me!  Many people were praying for me and us and I truly appreciate it.  God was honored and answered our prayers!!

I can honestly say that me doing that walk was not about me.  It was not about dermatomyositis and interstitial lung disease.  It was about God.  He is so amazing.  He has taken me from extreme pain and hardly mobile to no pain and able to walk 6.2 miles!  And even when I was in major pain over this past year and a half, He carried me.  He gave me grace to endure and persevere.  And He gave me the umph I needed to push through the pain and continue to workout and restrengthen my muscles and praise Him all the way.  He was the one that I wanted to walk for and do to bring Him glory so that others would see what an awesome God He is.

So that brings us back to our verse.  And my challenge to you and to myself is to do all the things we do daily for the glory of God….. making breakfast, washing clothes, disciplining children, being a serving/loving/helping spouse, employee, …….watching the sports game, shopping, spending money, giving money away….. all for His glory.  Tougher than it sounds.  What a big challenge in such a few words.

Here are some pictures from my big, glorious day walking the Cooper River Bridge for God’s glory 🙂

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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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End of March Update and Prayer Requests

Hi guys!!

It’s been another great week here in the States!!  All of our meetings and speaking arrangements have gone wonderfully!!  Highlights were the IABC Conference, speaking at Mt. Airy missions meeting, getting to see Dr. Gilkeson and meeting Will Browning!! Thank you for your prayers!!
This coming week’s activities include….
1.  My mom, sister Monica, friend Donna Porter and I are doing the Cooper River Bridge walk Saturday April 2nd.  This is to give glory to God for Him bringing my body so far in the last year that this is even possible!!  A year ago I could not hardly walk a block …. 6.2 miles would have been impossible!!  We have the dermatomyositis and the interstitial lung disease under control and we are praising God for this!!  This will be exciting and emotional all at once.
2.  We will be returning to the Upstate to share with the elders of Mount Moriah Baptist on Tuesday night and then Philadelphia Baptist on Wednesday night.
3.  In anticipation that my body handles me walking 6.2 miles on Saturday, I am going to attempt to go down on my Prednisone next week.
Thank you for keeping up with us and continuing to pray for us!
We love each of you!!
Court
Me and my love!
 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Roadtrip turned aggrivation, turned to surprise blessing!

So a couple of days ago, we decided to go for a drive with the kids out of our area to just have some relaxing time as a family.  In all our time here on Irazu, we have never taken a day to spend time with the kids and relax.  We decided that we wanted to take the kids through the mountains that we can see on the other side of the valley.  It is easily done and we were into the mountains within about 15 – 20 minutes.  It was a beautiful drive, one that went up to over 10,000 feet in elevation.  Then it went down the 10,000 feet to the other side of the mountains.  We all were having a great time.  We relaxed and played together as a family.  Then, when it was time to head back, the car started having BIG problems!  We knew we were not going to make it back over the mountains.  We could hardly get out of first gear and the car had a ton of black smoke pouring out of the back and it sounded horrible.  We tried just buying some coolant and more oil, hoping that would help.  In God’s providence, the new bottle of oil spilled all over the floorboards and never got into the car and we were in desperate need of way more help.  So we found a safe place for the kids and I to stay while Jacob went in search of a mechanic.  We had known for a while now that we were going to have to replace the motor, but we had been putting it off.  And sure enough the mechanic said that our crank shaft had broken and it was a HUGE fix, so we started praying about replacing the motor.  We called my parents, thinking we did not have the funds to do so and thought that we could borrow the money from them until we had the funds and would repay them.  We called Johnny and he said to just call Global Outreach and see if we had enough funds to replace it.  So I called Marla at GO and I was so nervous.  However, Marla was excited!!  She said that I would not believe how people had responded to us letting them know about our financial situation!!  She said that before our February paycheck, insurance and taxes had come out of our funding, we had received …… brace yourself ….. almost $11,000!!  Guys you are amazing!!  GOD is AMAZING!!  God knew we needed a new motor, He knew we needed our paycheck, He knew, He Knew, HE KNEW!!!  So needless to say, our account has already taken a hit, but to quote Johnny, “God never gives us extra.  He gives us what we need.  Sometimes He provides when we need it, sometimes after a need arrises, and sometimes before we have the need!” 

We now have the car fixed!!  When I drove it yesterday, it was amazing.   We still have to tweak it a little in that it is a newer motor in an old car, but all in all, it is fabulous!! 

As far as our financial situation goes, we are so amazed, humbled and blessed by your giving hearts!  We are so encouraged and thankful.  Our prayer is that the Lord would raise up more monthly supporters so that we will not get back into the situation we just found ourselves in.  Please join us in that prayer.  If you would like to become a monthly donor, please contact us or Global Outreach to let us know so that we can account for it in our planning.  For all of you that have faithfully supported us, THANK YOU!!  You guys have been there for us financially, spiritually, prayerfully…. we could not be here without you!! 

Eph.  3: 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Here are some photos of our breakdown!  These were taken at a temporary mechanic’s shop out in the countryside as we prayed for the Lord to get us back to the nearest big city where we knew we could get major help for the car!

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Mount Moriah Baptist Church Costa Rica Team 2011

If you would like to check out the photos we took during Mount Moriah Baptist’s trip to Costa Rica, check them out at this link…..

https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=111674&id=1241408466&l=548fd79615

We were so blessed by this team coming to serve with us in Costa Rica.  Not only did they share their testimonies of our Lord’s  glorious work in their lives, conduct Bible studies, lead singing and play with the children, but most importantly, they shared God’s love with the Ticos and our family!  What a joy and privilege to have them!

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Quick MMBC Update! :)

We have had a great week so far with the group from Mount Moriah Baptist Church!  They have been sharing their testimonies and leading Bible studies!

We had a great Sunday! We had over some of the people attending Jacob’s Bible studies. We had a big chili lunch! Everyone gathered around our big picnic table and ate together like a family! We all chatted together and it was really neat to see everyone interacting! The kids then played and ran around the yard and all the adults sat around and talked and shared and got to know eachother better! Really a time of growing as a family! 

Saturday we had the women’s tea! It went really well. I translated, which went better than I expected and everyone seemed to have a great time! Lizzie and Sophia had made a cake and brownies which the ladies seemed to really enjoy! None of them had ever had brownies before and they ate them all, which made Lizzie and Sophia really happy with their accomplishments!! I have been taking them around with me to buy groceries and showing them how to pick out the good veg and fruit and teaching them to bake and cook, so they really enjoyed others eating their food! Lynn and Shelia had baked with them the night before the cake and the brownies, so it was fun all around. The team seems to be having a great time and are really encouraging us!! We have really been blessed by them!

Oh, and we played with the kids in lower Cipreses Saturday morning. Everyone had a great time, however, Greg seems to have pulled his hamstring and is hurting pretty bad. I am sure that he would love your prayers for less pain and healing. Tomorrow Gus, Shelia, Greg and Lynn are going to Orosi and the rest of us are keeping on keeping on. 

Such an exciting week behind us and ahead of us! I tried out my lesson on them for the conference. They seemed to think it went well. But I am continuing to work on it! OK, that was alot!!

Please keep us all in your prayers!  Please also keep Jacob’s sister Lynn as she was hospitalized last week and the doctors are still trying to figure out what all is going on.  She is back home now.

As far as our financial situation, we will not know anything until we get our financial reports from Global Outreach at the beginning of March.  Thank you for all of your prayers and encoragement!  We love you all!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A night we will treasure and our week with Glenwood!

Not sure if I can adequately put into words the experiences of this past week!  But I will try.  🙂

A team of 14 arrived from Glenwood Baptist in Easley, SC this past Tuesday.  They immediately set to work with a visit to Victor and Melba’s (the orphanage we work with) and we all met up to firm up plans for the week.  Through out their week, they did prayer walking in different villages, led Bible studies with families we currently already have studies with, visited with new families, played with the children near the Bible studies, worked in our house with different projects and worked on our car.  We also planned a time for all of the people that Jacob does Bible studies with each week to get together for the first time to meet eachother and worship together for the first time.  We have had this on our hearts for some time, but for one reason or another, have not been able to do it.  I wrote up invitations and as Jacob and the team went out, they passed out the invitations to those he has been working with…… Dale McCoig (pastor of Glenwood Baptist and this team’s leader) wrote about the days events.  I am going to paste it here….

God’s work IN us today has been – according to everyone on the team – INDESCRIBABLE!!!
 
So because of that here are just a few details from our day.
 
Today we sought to be a blessing to the Guzman children by providing Happy Meals and a fun time at “the ranch.” But, since there were twenty-six very precious children and Mrs. Melba, we were outnumbered and were the ones who were truly blessed!:)!
 
This evening we had an amazing worship experience! Jacob and Courtenay were not the only ones shedding tears of joy and praise as more than fifty Tico’s from different home Bible study groups worshipped together for the very first time. Included in the experience were Marco, who became a disciple of Christ on Tuesday, and Luis, who became a disciple of Christ yesterday! It is impossible for most of us to do. But just try to imagine becoming a new follower of Jesus – leaving behind your sin, your family’s beliefs, and a lifetime of tradition – and having no church family to love you, encourage you and help you grow in your faith. This is the reality of the new believers who come to Christ here on Irazu. This desperate reality is what caused Jacob and Courtenay to be given the vision by our Lord of tonight’s worship celebration. We are praying that the connections made tonight will be used by God to birth a church for His newly adopted children in this area.  
PLEASE PRAY…because “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”!
 

This night was the culmination of many people’s work and years of it.  It has been on the hearts of many that a church will one day be created here on Irazu.  There are so many people that I wish could have shared this night with us.  But I know that you were with us in spirit and prayer.  I hope I never forget this night.  Thank you to all of you that support us prayerfully and financially so that these people can continue to grow in the Lord and one day develop a church.  Our prayer is that this is just the beginning. 

Psalm 67

 1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
   and make his face shine on us
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
   your salvation among all nations.

 3 May the peoples praise you, God;
   may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
   for you rule the peoples with equity
   and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, God;
   may all the peoples praise you.

 6 The land yields its harvest;
   God, our God, blesses us.
7 May God bless us still,
   so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

  Glenwood Team Jan 2011

 

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Costa Rica Christmas 2010

Please watch our newest video!

Many of you know that we work with very special orphanage in Costa
Rica run by Victor and Melba Guzman.  Well, this past September Scot
Farris and I discussed how we could bless the orphanage for Christmas!
And boy did many of you guys answer our call for them!!  I have made
a video of our Christmas at the orphanage!!  We were able to not only
buy each child their very own toy, but also purchase them new blankets
and pillows and treat them to KFC (a big treat because there are 38
people in the family, not to mention the volunteers!), and we got them
a new set of bunks for one of the boys room!!  It was one of the
funnest things we have been a part of and you guys made it possible!!
Thank you to all of you that participated and for all of you that
support us so that we can be there and help facilitate ministries and
blessings like this!!  God is so good!!

Here is a link to watch this video!!  This is my first attempt at
putting videos on YouTube!!

Isaiah 9:6 (New International Version, ©2010)

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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