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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Praise and Coffee Girlfriend's Night Out!

One coming to a town near you!

I've been thinking and praying about how to better encourage women as wives, moms and women of God.

There are many different ways to help us in our walk with the Lord. Things like family time, church involvement, Bible study (personal and as a group), times of serving our “neighbors” and fellowship to name a few. All are vital to our walk with the Lord.

I wanted to focus on fellowship and encouragment. Getting women together outside of the 4 walls of the church...
rubbing elbows, hugging necks, telling our stories, laughing and even crying together.

We are relational! And with that in mind, together with my affection for coffee and coffee shops....I came up with the idea of Praise and Coffee Nights.

I talked with the owner of a local coffee shop (that is only open daytime hours) and she agreed to open in the evening for a Praise and Coffee Night Out! They offer specialty coffees (decaf for me that time of night) and other refreshments along with plenty of sweet goodies to keep us all happy.

I would love to have you all come out to my group (jump on a plane if you have to!) but if that is not possible for you, then I think it would be great if you start Praise and Coffee nights in your community.

Just invite some girl friends out once every couple of months to a local restaurant or coffee shop and go from there! If they let you, play praise music for some great atmosphere and fellowship.

My nest Praise and Coffee Night Out will be on:

Thursday, January 15, 2009
At The Plainwell Coffee Mill
717 E. Bridge St. Plainwell, MI 49080 MAP
7-9 PM

There will be coffee, refreshments and sweet treats all available for purchase.

I will be speaking on "Never Stop Dancing"

You are all invited, even you lurkers who read but never comment on my blog! :)

Praise and Coffee Nights Schedule

November 13, 2008
7-9 PM
Tim Horton’s
4140 W Vienna Rd, Clio, MI
Hosted by: Hope at Monkey Giggles (I will be attending and sharing a few words of encouragement)

November 20, 2008
7-9 PM
The Plainwell Coffee Mill
717 E. Bridge St. Plainwell, MI 49080
Hosted by: (me) Sue at Praise and Coffee

November 20, 2008
7-9 PM
Panera Bread

Pembroke Pines 11029 Pines Boulevard

Pembroke Pines, FL 33026

Hosted by: Melissa at Mel’s World

January 15, 2009
7-9 PM
The Plainwell Coffee Mill
717 E. Bridge St. Plainwell, MI 49080
Hosted by: (me) Sue at Praise and Coffee

Let me know if you plan to host one in your area. I will post it and if possible, I will come!

Eccl. 4: 9-10 (Message)
It's better to have a partner than go it alone.

Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,

But if there's no one to help, tough!

Let me know if you are starting one in your area and I will advertise it too!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

With God...All Things Are Possible!

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me and sent me such sweet notes.
The surgery went really well, and my wrist is recovering nicely.

My husband did however take the opportunity to mess with me as I came out of the anesthesia. I was talking to him and he just kept looking at me saying that my mouth was moving but no words were coming out. He did this several times and I was just baffled because I knew I could hear myself but I thought that I must be delusional because of the meds. Finally as I was trying to slowly but loudly speak to him so that he could hear me, he burst out laughing!
What a guy! Hard to tell where my son (that does stand-up comedy) gets it!!!

So, I slept most of the weekend while Mark kept the little one busy...or is it the other way around??? Then we spent yesterday with family at the lake for a fish fry. It was so good to have all the kids together having fun.

I ran across this video and just had to share it with you. It's a golden oldie, but I love it just the same. It's words are timeless and the message so powerful!!
Listen again as if for the first time....

All things are possible with the Lord!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My surgery is today

Hey girls,
Just wanted to let you know that I am having carpal tunnel surgery done today on my right wrist. I am not sure how long this will keep me from my computer, so I'll talk to ya when I can!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What does the Lord require of me?

Mic 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Mercy cost Jesus everything...
if we are doing it His way,
it will cost us too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Fireproof Your Marriage


Remember Facing the Giants?? Well, they're doing it again. The movie making ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church have produce another movie.
Has Your House Ever Been On "Fire"?
The truths presented in the upcoming Fireproof, set to release September 26 in select theaters, will likely have an effect on everyone who sees it considering 90% of people get married. Fireproof is far from a chick-flick about an empty romance, and marriage is at the heart of its message. It’s about unconditional love and the transforming power of Christ in the lives of husbands and wives. “Most movies are about relationships that lead to marriage,” Catt said. “Fireproof picks up seven years into a marriage headed for divorce.
And the question is: Why stay together?”
“This movie is about fireproofing your most important earthly relationship,” said Jim McBride, executive pastor of Sherwood and executive producer of Fireproof. Doing so is much like adhering to the firefighter’s credo: “Never leave your partner behind, especially in a fire.”
For more information and codes to post this, go to:
Fireproof My Marriage

Let's promote this movie all over our blogs!!

I'm praying for our marriages,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Fluff and other random happenings...

It's been a while, but I had a few things to throw out today, so here goes.

Do any of you with little ones have to lock up your tape?

I mean, it might as well be a loaded weapon the way I have to hide this stuff!

First of all, I don't want her to get cut on the dispenser, but worse of all is where she puts the tape. I still have yet to find a razor blade to get it off my glass sliding door, and the dog is none too happy about seeing her coming with a big wad in her hand and a skip in her step!


Over the 4th of July we were at a Pro National/Amateur motocross race. It's kind of the "Woodstock" of motocross.
As these things go, people do some very crazy things. Two very beautiful young girls decided to make some money and do some advertising for the vendors. They donned their tiniest bikini's and used the uncovered space on their bodies to write the names of vendors and walked around all day..."advertising."
I was sitting at our picnic table with a group of little boys when they walked by.
One of the boys said, "Did you see those girls??!!"
I thought, oh no, here we go.
Another said "yeah!"

Then, "that is PERMANENT MARKER!!!"
I just had to giggle.


Ok, this would go under know you're having a bad day when:
Woman Gives Birth on Front Lawn


When we brought Lauren home from China a year and a half ago, she was two years old. Due to the cleft palate, she did not speak much at all. She understood Chinese but couldn't speak it.

She quickly caught on to understand English, but still could not speak it well. So I started one word at a time teaching her sign language. She picked it up right away and would tell us when she was hungry or wanted milk, etc. We made up a lot of signs for things like family members and she made up a few of her own signs for other things.

We have been taking speech class this year and her speech has improved dramatically. I can understand most of what she says and will interpret for others if they are not sure.

For her Dad, she calls him "Daddy-o" not sure why the "o" but now we all call Mark "Daddy-o."

For the word OK, she says "oh-day."
And it is usually said with a big sigh attached as she asks for a treat or to do something fun and I tell her, "later."

Lately she will come up to me out of the blue and say...

"I me-member you!"

The other day we were in a public bathroom and someone walked into the stall next to us. This is usually the time that she says loudly..."who that?!" To which I try to quiet her and get about our business.

However this time, I was able to head her off and I motioned her to be quiet.

She leaned forward to peak under the stall and then looked at me knowing that she should be quiet and signed the word "shoes."

(I promise, I did not take this picture!)

It was so funny because she hasn't signed that one in a long time and I wouldn't have thought she remembered it, but she did and she couldn't hold back some sort of response to our neighbor in the bathroom.

Now that she's 4 we've been working hard on teaching her to say the word four because everyone asks her how old she is. The letter "f" is a tough one for her, so we sit in front of a mirror and practice. Now, when asked how old she is, she says fuf-fuh-fuh...door!

One more thing about that...the other day we ran into and old friend of mine so I introduced her, and Lauren's first question was, "how old are you?"
I guess she figures, that must just be the right thing to say when you meet someone!

Hope you have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

China Prayer Band Pastor Arrested

From Voice of the Martyrs (link in sidebar):

Inspiration for Olympic Prayer Band Arrested

Pastor Zhang “Bike” Mingxuan, known for traveling across China on a bicycle to evangelize, was arrested by Chinese police just two days before the Olympics began. Pastor Bike was the inspiration for the recent partnership between The Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association to create the Olympic Prayer Band.

Pastor Asks for Prayer BandEarlier this year, Pastor Bike pleaded with VOM staff to ask Christians to pray for persecuted Christians in China during the Olympics. The pastor voluntarily preaches the gospel openly in China despite being persecuted. He has asked for his identity to be revealed to bring continued attention to the persecution of Christians in Communist China.

Thanks to Pastor Bike’s inspiration and the commitment of concerned Christians across the United States, more than 800,000 prayer bands have been circulated. On Aug. 6, Pastor Bike was arrested while trying to deliver medicine to his ailing wife. His wife and another pastor were also arrested. We have also learned this week that Chinese officials are opening a full investigation of the Olympic Prayer Bands that were distributed to house church members within China. Despite this increased pressure from Chinese authorities, Chinese Christians continue to ask for prayer and to make their plight known.

Order your Prayer Bands today!As the Olympics goes on, the harassment of Chinese evangelists continues to increase. Please help remind others to pray for persecuted Christians like Pastor Bike by ordering your prayer band from my sidebar !

More about Pastor BikePastor Bike, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, rode his bike more than 10,000 miles, visiting 24 Chinese provinces to introduce nonbelievers to Jesus Christ. Armed with a Bible and his business card, which declared “Believe in Jesus, Earn Eternal Life,” Pastor Bike brought the gospel to thousands of people. He and other Chinese evangelists have been repeatedly harassed by Chinese officials during this Olympic year. Please pray for the release of Pastor Bike and his wife.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Thank you!


My friend (and next door neighbor!) Sheila sent me an email about today being "Thank You Day."

I thought it would be a perfect topic for todays TSBO!!

I will make it short and sweet, I know we've touched on this before, but it bears repeating.

Let's be thankful today especially for our husbands and families and let's tell them "Thank You"!

Here are a few quotes she sent along:

I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.
~Author Unknown

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
~Mark Twain

How beautiful a day can beWhen kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~ Thornton Wilder

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
~William A. Ward

I love this verse!
Heb 12:28-29
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom
that cannot be shaken,
let us be thankful, and so
God acceptably with reverence and awe,
29 for our "God is a consuming fire."

I'm praying for our marriages today!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The August Praise and Coffee Winner


The winner is:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Delight yourself!

The Webster's definition of "delight" is:
1: a high degree of gratification : joy; also : extreme satisfaction
2: something that gives great pleasure
3: archaic : the power of affording pleasure

Don't forget to enter the drawing from August 1st!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Commitment


I've been thinking alot lately about how my role in respecting my husband influences our whole family and those around us. I know that seems like a no-brainer, but I feel so strongly about the significance of respect and forgiveness in marriage. It really does make a difference in yours and your children's lives. Between life and tv/movies, I am grieved by the attitudes of people towards their spouse.

I was recently with some people and the wife completely embarrassed and tore down her husband right there in front of me. It was an unprovoked attack that left me very uncomfortable (as I'm sure he was too) so I stepped out of the room.

And there is nothing like the look on the face of a child whose parents are fighting. It breaks my heart. I've been there. I've been that child. It is a horrible feeling. Parents are a child's security blanket, they need us to be stable and strong together. I don't care how many of their friends parents hurts a child to see Mom and Dad not getting along. It's unsettling and it will show up in all different ways in their lives.

I know there are men who are very hard to respect. They don't live honestly or respond to us lovingly, but we are called to be helpmates. We are called to honor their postition in the family.

Eph 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-

30 for we are members of his body.

31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

32 This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church.

33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Notice there are no "ifs" in front of this verse.
No "if" he deserves it.
No "if" he is a Christian (or at least your version of one).
No "if" he does all the things around the house that I've asked him to for 2 years!

God made us a team. He wants us to live like a team...not like competitors.
Seeing who can be right and how we can make our spouse look foolish and ourselves seem like the honorable one.

NO ONE wins that way.

Marriage is not a competition, it is a commitment.

A commitment to love.
A commitment to care.
A commitment to serve.
A commitment to lift up.
A commitment to uphold.

I am so happily married. Maybe you think..."oh you're just one of the lucky ones, your husband is one of the few..."
And of course that is true! :)

But seriously, I have made a commitment in this life to die to my own selfish needs and desires and to serve this man with all my heart.

Before you think I'm making myself out to be some sort of martyr, you need to realize, I am an extremely happy woman!
My husband treats me wonderfully. But it was not always this way. Mostly because I was a selfish brat (and I can still wander into that attitude if I'm not careful!).


I guess what I am ranting about thankful for the husband that God brought into your life. Whatever the situation that brought you together, God can make a beautiful thing out of your marriage if you let Him.
However, He is going to require some things of you...#1- your life.

I've heard it said that many women who struggle with honoring and serving their husbands have to picture Jesus standing behind him and imagine they are serving their Savior instead.

I've been there, I understand that, and if that helps you through the bitterness, that is great. But I want to tell you that if you will lay down your life, truly forgive your husband and respect will no longer need to have that picture in your mind.

I can remember praying after a much "heated discussion" with Mark early in our marriage. I prayed with tears in my eyes and anger in my heart-
"God, I know I have to forgive but I don't want to, he hurt me...he was wrong! God HOW can I forgive THAT?!!"
The response came so quickly to my heart...forgive him like Jesus forgave.
Then I thought of Jesus on that cross when He said...


Luke 23:34
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Ok....I said in my heart...but what does that look like? How do I act when I get home? (I had left after our argument to go to the store). And His response to my heart was, if you will forgive him, you can go home and act as if you would if he had never said those things to you.

I have to tell you...our marriage was forever changed from that moment.
It was not "happily ever after" but it was different. I was different and because I was different, he changed too.

There was no longer a power struggle in our home. We became partners and have been growing together as partners ever since. Making plenty of mistakes along the way...but with a commitment that is solid as the Rock it is built on.

I am incredibly thankful for my husband, he is my best friend.

I'm praying for our marriages,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Home from Tennessee

We are back from 10 days at Lorretta Lynn's Ranch in Tennessee.
It is the home of the biggest amateur national race of the year.
We had so much fun and our Team Allegan boys did so good. Here are a couple of pictures of them.

Lance swept the title with 3- 1st place wins to become the fastest jr. rider in the nation!
I love this little guy!

This is my friend Kel's boy, Chase.
He won 4th place overall in the sr. class.
See that little face behind him??
Always in on the action.

My friend Karen's son, Clay, won 1st place overall in the sr. class. I was bawling my eyes out when this boy won, it was an amazing race!!

What would a post be without shots of Lauren?
This is she and my oldest Matt (in the hat) searching for crawfish in the river.

And the next one is her with a cheese stick!

It was a very HOT week! I don't know how ya'll do that heat and humidity like that, this Michigan girl just about melted!
We hung out with lots of friends and had such a great time.
Our life will be much less busy for a little while now, so I am looking forward to being home a little more.
Thanks so much to my sister-in-law Ali for keeping the posts that I set up going.
I am trying to catch up on email, comments and your blogs.
I love traveling, but it's always good to be home.
Unfortunately, I had no internet, satellite tv or phone service!! It was like we were in a black hole! :)
I really missed ya'll!

Friday, August 1, 2008

August Praise and Coffee Giveaway


This month I want to give you the CD of an amazing woman, she has lived through tragedy far worse than most of us could dream.
Tammy Trent grew up in my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI and I knew her husband's family.

She is putting out a new CD this month and it's sure to be amazing!

I love the title, "Stronger," I hope it inspires you too!

A short bio of Tammy's incredible story:

Tammy's story is one of despair and unexpected grace. In September 2001 she and her husband, Trent (from whom her stage name comes from), spent a few days in Jamaica - part mission trip, part vacation.

On September 10th, Trent went diving and never returned. Tammy spent the rest of the day with rescue divers trying to locate her husband with no success. She woke up the next morning in the home of strangers to discover that the whole world had gone mad. As she waited for news of her husband, she watched the news as two planes plowed into the Twin Towers in New York City - later that day she had to identify the body of her husband.

No one in her family could get to her as flights were canceled. She was held captive in Jamaica for ten more days waiting to return to her family. Tammy's story of God's grace in the midst of such pain, fear and loss touches everyone she ministers to.

It is one thing to call the Lord shepherd - it is another to be carried by Him when you can no longer stand. Tammy is constantly amazed by our Lord's commitment to us in the worst moments of our lives.


Comment to this post if you would like to win this CD and a bag of Starbuck's coffee.

Let me know if you have my "giveaway button" in your sidebar and you will be entered twice. Thanks to all of you that do!!!

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