Hidden In My Heart — July 29, 2016

Hidden In My Heart

This post is part of Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Kate Motaung. I am enjoying being a part of this writing community and putting together these little posts and getting to know these wonderful people!

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00:00

When the car crashed.

When my son died inside.

When the visa was denied.

When an earthquake broke my home and shattered my security.

When the toddler suffered a 10-foot-fall.

There it was. Hidden in my heart.

Too shocked to seek.

Too broken to pray.

Too lost to ask for direction.

Homeless. Heartbroken.

Stuck in traffic en-route to the hospital. Trying desperately to keep her awake.

There it was. Hidden in  my heart.

Whispers of Holy words reminisced from Sunday school classrooms and quiet times with the Savior I had slowly gotten to know. I didn’t intentionally plant seeds of scriptural significance in anticipation of moments like these.

And, yet, they bloomed at just the right time.

Thank God, they were hidden in my heart.

05:00

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word…..Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous worksMy soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word (Psalm 119:11-16,27-28).

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Vision Baptist Church — September 7, 2012

Vision Baptist Church

Ok, it has been a crazy week! I am finally writing post 3 of 3 about the churches that have influenced me.

After 4 months of marriage, Paul and I packed up and moved from Middletown, OH to Cumming, GA. We didn’t know what our apartment was going to be like, where we would be working, or exactly what our lives would look like here. We did know one thing…we would be attending church and training for missions at Vision Baptist Church. Paul would be attending the Our Generation Training Center at the church where he would learn from Pastor Austin Gardner, a former missionary of 20 years, and other men in the ministry.

It was a hard transition at first. I missed my family and friends at home, and we were still newlyweds adjusting to our new life together. Paul dove right in, training and learning at the church. He often would stay later than he thought he would just chatting about world evangelism. I have to be honest, I felt like he had a new mistress! I will write more on this later. However, due to this time spent training and learning from these men, I saw the Lord working in Paul’s life. I was encouraged to become more involved, to be more faithful with my Bible study and my Christian witness, and to find relationships to help nurture my desire to serve the Lord, as Paul had found.

At first, I have to admit, I thought everyone at Vision were absolute lunatics. I felt like all anyone ever talked about was missions and strategy on how to win people to the Lord. It was like they were all caught up in some competitive game, but I wasn’t sure who they were competing with. Now, I just realize these people were all just super in love with Jesus and want other people to experience His great love! Now I know I am one of the crazies, and I could not be more proud to be associated with these loony-toons!

It was not long before I had found many friends at Vision, and I was feeling more and more at home every day. We began attending the young couples class, which at this time just had a handful of couples. After a few months of attending, the class had a “relaunch” that was all about reaching other young couples in the community. We became very involved in this class and its outreach, and this served as an incredible time of growth and learning for us in our marriage and ministry.’ I found that the sweetest bonds are made in service to Christ! This was true in our friendships within the church and between Paul and me.

After a year, Paul was entrusted with the responsibility to lead the youth group. I was not at all interested in leaving our class where I was comfortable to this, but, looking back, I can see how the Lord used this time to grow me as an example for him, teach me about discipleship, and strengthen my heart for youth.

I’m finding it difficult to describe in any succinct way how Vison has impacted me. I began to write a list so that I could expound, but I’m pretty sure no one is interested in reading a whole book in this topic, so I will leave it as a list. Since attending Vision, I have…

-been encouraged to read through my Bible (still working on this!)
-found incredible discipleship relationships. I have been discipled more than I have done discipling, but there was just a lot of work to do in my life! I cherish these relationships, and will continue these. This was at the heart of Christ’s ministry, and I believe it is within these types of relationships that Paul and I have experienced the most growth!
-met really awesome missionaries! I think sometimes we get this idea that missionaries are these poor, sad people, but I found just amazing people who love the Lord and are excited to be doing His will in reaching the world for Him!
-had an encouraging network of God-honoring wives and mothers to have friendship and accountability with. I am so thankful for these ladies’ investment in my life.
-been introduced to expositional preaching, in which the Pastor preaches right through books of the Bible in order. I have learned so much about the Bible this way that I never knew before!
-learned how important it is to have a humble spirit and a desire to learn
-learned that loving Jesus should be the motivation for everything I do.
-learned what it means to truly be a WITNESS in this world!

The most life-changing thing that Vision has done for our family is plant a seed in our hearts for the country of India. I explained how the Lord directed us to India in a previous post, but I will give a concise version here. Our assistant pastor, Trent Cornwell, had begun studying about India. He developed a passion for reaching this country that is obvious and contagious to all who meet him. After hearing his heart at missions camp last summer, we began fervently praying that the Lord would send workers to India. After many prayers, a request to send someone turned into a plea to send us. We were willing if he would send us, and we were desirous for the people of India to hear the gospel. The Lord continued to work in our lives through Trent and Stephanie, Jim and Autumn Roberts, and our pastors and spiritual mentors to encourage us to pursue the goal of getting to India with the intention to church plant. I can’t imagine where we would be or what we would be doing without Vision Baptist and its people’s investment in our lives. Because of my husband’s conviction, I believe we would be somewhere, serving Him, but I believe we are more excited and prepared for having spent these last two years at Vision.

We are very thankful for our “second church family” and for all He has done through Vision Baptist church in our lives and in lives of many all around the world.

Heritage Baptist Church — August 30, 2012

Heritage Baptist Church

This is part 2 of 3 in a series of posts about the churches that have impacted my life in big ways!

My family attended Heritage Baptist Church in Lebanon, OH from the time I was in fifth grade on. When we began attending the church, we met in a small home/store on Main Street. In the next few years, we would congregate in a school gymnasium, a store front, and finally, our own church building. Heritage was an exciting place to be! It was fun to be a part of a church that was growing quickly. The classes were small and intimate, and I was able to develop close friendships within the church. In junior high and high-school, I was a part of the youth group. Though in just 6 years I sat under the leadership of 3 different youth pastors and many different youth workers, each had great influence in my life. The youth group always had a great balance of fun/spiritual teaching that made me want to come back every week! While I may not have realized it at the time, this was a big learning time for me. I spent time in youth workers’ home just having a good time and being loved on like crazy! At the same time, I was being taught Biblical principles that applied to all areas of my life. I can’t imaging going through the transitional teen years without a firm foundation of truth in my life, and the teaching in the pulpit and in the youth group was just that for me at this pivotal time. I was able to see my parents get involved in the church, and the effects of this could be seen in my home on a daily basis. We were all truly being fed and growing as a family. I learned that being a Christian wasn’t about doing all the right things but that it was about wanting to do all the right things because you are so in love with Jesus!

The Lord also used Heritage as a time to warm up my heart towards a life lived for the sake of the gospel. I attended a short-term missions camp at King’s Domain with my youth group when I was a junior in high-school.The money we raised to attend this camp paid for at-risk urban children to spend the week at with us. This was the first time I witnessed a real, obvious need of the gospel. Most of the children knew nothing about the Lord. Many of the children lived in families where violence reigned and love was something they had rarely, if ever, experienced. My heart broke for these children, and everything inside of me wanted them to know Jesus. I was only able to spend a week with these children, but this week forever changed my life. I realized there is no better feeling than knowing God used you to bring someone to the knowledge of his saving grace. I realized that I can’t assume that everyone around me knows about Jesus, and I learned that serving Him with the right attitude can be FUN (even if it involves scrubbing toilets and cleaning up after 5 year olds). God used people I respected at this camp to encourage me to consider ministry in my future plans. Of course, I was already thinking about it because I was in love with Paul Taube who was going to the mission field with or without me! But this was just the thing I needed to encourage me. I never wanted to go just because of him. I wanted to want to go because of Him! And this week played a big role in changing my mindset about the mission field.

I continued to grow in my faith my senior year and developed a close relationship with the new youth leaders at the end of that year. I saw a church family come together with the loss of a teen just a few years younger than me, and, the Biblical truth that life is a vapor really became real to me. I needed to live for the Lord today, and I needed to live in light of eternity.

I am incredibly grateful for Heritage Baptist for caring for the youth like me when it seems like we don’t care about anything but ourselves. I learned so much during these formative years, and I was encouraged in my personal relationship with the Lord. I know He used my time there to help me to commit my life into His hands, to allow Him to do what he would with my life. Here I am, living the most rich, blessing-filled life I can imagine, and I can attribute being here, in part, to Heritage Baptist Church!

Grace Baptist Church — August 28, 2012

Grace Baptist Church

This will be part 1 of a 3 part series of posts about the churches that have shaped me in my Christian walk (Grace Baptist, Heritage Baptist, and Vision Baptist) and helped get me to the point I am today- with an ever-growing love for the Lord and a desire to serve and live for Him!

My family attended Grace Baptist Church when I was a child. I also attended the school there, Middletown Christian School. I enjoyed the children’s programs at Grace, and the Lord showed me my need for salvation in Sunday School. My mother was actually the one who led me to the Lord, but it was the teaching I received in class that allowed me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. This conviction led me to ask my mother how to be saved later in the week. While my family ended up following a family friend to a church plant in Lebanon, I continued to go to MCS where I was taught the Bible in each class and chapel services. I am very thankful for this rich upbringing, learning about the Lord and seeing ministry on a daily basis. I am thankful for teachers, who, like my mother, choose to teach in a Christian setting to teach children to grow up in the Lord and serve him with their lives.

After attending Heritage with my family, I was married and returned to Grace with my husband. Though I had been absent for a few years, the reception I received was very warm and loving. The people were very supportive of our goals in missions and made efforts to help us get where we needed to be. We attended the young marrieds class for four months where we learned precious truths to apply in our home as we learned how to live together and serve the Lord in our marriage.

Other than leading me to the Lord, probably the biggest impact Grace Baptist Church has had on my life is training my husband in the ministry. Paul was saved at Grace just like I was. He was able to work on the bus route and was considered oneof Pastor’s “preacher boys.” Bro. Max Fernandez discipled him and taught him about the ministry. Though he officially surrendered to missions at a missions camp, Paul had been involved in a missions-minded church which had prepared his heart for this decision. Grace nurtured his desire to serve the Lord in missions for years. Paul was also formally trained in ministry for three years at the Grace Baptist Bible Institute.  I was able to see him grow during this time, and I am so thankful to Grace Baptist for helping my husband become the man of God he has become. In addition to this formal training, Paul received much encouragement from his parents who sat under the gospel weekly at Grace and his brother and sisters who are living for Him today. Jake and Rebel are both missionaries, and he has been able to learn a great deal from each of them, both who experienced much learning and growth in the ministry at Grace Baptist Church.

I am thankful for each of the churches that have shaped me over the years and prepared me for a life of ministry. I am extremely thankful for Grace Baptist for teaching me about salvation at a young age, nurturing me in my faith in school, and cultivating and nurturing my husband’s desire to serve the Lord in missions as it has become my desire as well!

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