Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hard to say GOODBYE!

Two weeks ago at the end of Refuge, our high school ministry, we had to say goodbye to yet another one of our students.  This is something that is all to common in ministry to the military.  You see, having grownup as a military brat, I am somewhat used to it.  Although, it is still tough.

When you invest your heart and life into working with people, there is always the heart strings that get attached.  When the heart strings are attached, there comes a time when they are stretched, wound so tight as they join you close. They are interconnected with others.  They strengthen you when you are down and sad.  They hold you when you are discouraged. They are tightened during adversity and tough times.  They spring and bounce when joy and happiness is celebrated.  You see heart strings are the binding agent that connect us with people.

Well, on that night of Refuge, our heart strings were pulled on hard.  You see, "G" was leaving and moving back to the states. (the term is PCSing/Permanent Change of Station).  He would no longer be there on Wednesday, at the Christmas Dinner, at Spring break camp...and you see for us, spring break camp was big...that is where "G" met Jesus for the first time in a real and personal way.

He simply trusted Jesus with his life and gave control of his life over to Jesus.  "G" began to grow in his relationship and sought to understand the Bible and learn about his new friend, Jesus.  Their heart strings were eternally connected!

"G" also was connected with the other students at Refuge and his high school.  They enjoyed hanging out with him, playing video games, talking and just spending time with "G".  You see, "G" was connected.  His heart was attached!

When someone leaves our youth group, we take a time at the end to have them sit in the middle of the room on a chair and we speak words of life to them.  We share with them what they have meant to us, how they impacted us, how they changed us and how we will miss them.  Of course, it is tough and yet, it is a heart felt time of investing and encouraging.  Tears flowed as friends and classmates shared of "G"'s impact in their life.  When we were all done, "G" said, "Can I say something?". Of course I said yes and as he spoke of how he would miss all of us, he challenged the students that were there to stay in youth group, grow in Jesus and me an encouragement to each other.

WOW!!!  What a powerful thing to say to his peers and friends!

So you see, it is hard to say GOODBYE and yet, knowing that lives are being changed and impacted and that they will go out and make a difference after leaving here, well, the goodbyes are a tad bit easier.

If you would like to receive our email prayer updates, feel free to email me and I would love to include you into Team SHACKELFORD updates!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A bit of NW Humor


• If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don’t work there, you live in Oregon.
• If you’ve worn shorts, sandals and a parka at the same time, you live in Oregon.
• If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Oregon.
• If you measure distance in hours, you live in Oregon.
• If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Oregon.
• If you have switched from ‘heat’ to ‘A/C’ and back again in the same day, you live in Oregon.
• If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both doors unlocked, you live in Oregon.
• If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Central, Southern or Eastern Oregon.
• If you design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a 2 layers of clothes or under a raincoat, you live in Oregon.
• If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow and ice, you live in Oregon.
• If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Oregon.
• If you feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash, you live in Oregon.
• If you know more than 10 ways to order coffee, you live in Oregon.
• If you know more people who own boats than air conditioners, you live in Oregon.
• If you stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the “Walk” signal, you live in Oregon.
• If you consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain, you live in Oregon.
• If you can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Dutch Bros, you live in Oregon.
• If you know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon, you live in Oregon.
• If you know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Clatskanie, Issaquah, Oregon, Umpqua, Yakima and Willamette, you live in Oregon.
• If you consider swimming an indoor sport, you live in Oregon.
• If you know that Boring is a city and not just a feeling, you live in Oregon.
• If you can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food, you live in Oregon.
• If you never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho, you live in Oregon.
• If you have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain, you live in Oregon.
• If you think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists, you live in Oregon.
• If you buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time, you live in Oregon.
• If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your OREGON friends, you live or have lived in Oregon.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A new church adventure

Today the three of us had a new adventure!  The entire garrison closed chapels due to the snow fall that hit early this morning dropping 4 to 5 inches of beautiful snow on the ground.  Making the road conditions to RED.

So, instead of driving in to post for chapel, we walked about 30 steps from our front door to the door of the local evangelical church right outside our windows.

We had been there before mid week to view the architecture and the beautiful murals that are on the ceiling.  The church dates back to the 12th century and is pretty impressive.  Marble columns, stained glass windows, cathedral altar area gated off to the public, preaching points where even Martin Luther is to have visited and preached.

As you can imagine, it doesn't look anything like the churches in the states or even on post here. It is unique and beautiful.

Well, part of the adventure was that the entire service was done in Deutsch including the 6 songs we sung. It was interesting trying to catch words and phrases we know and understand but the fun was the hymn numbers. Instead of saying one hundred and sixty two, they say the two then the sixty then the hundred and by the time my mind reversed it all, I forgot the number...oh well...thankful for the Rosetta Stone we were blessed with and need to keep working on it.

The other interesting adventure was we were never verbally greeted by anyone there. When we walked in, we were handed a hymnal and a song sheet. We greeted them with the standard, Guten Tag, meaning Good Day. No response back.

We made our way to three seats and sat there. No one greeted or acknowledged us. When we left, no one thanked us for coming except for one man that I approached and initiated a conversation in some Deutsch and mostly english.  Even at that, it was all business about the question I asked.

My take away from this adventure, it is crucial to greet people, welcome people and engage them in conversation when at church.  The isolation that I felt in a church that didn't speak my native tongue and did things differently, was very not inviting or welcoming.  That makes me aware of what I need to do when I see someone at chapel that I don't know or have never met.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What's in a box?

Just yesterday, our boxes that we shipped over in the two crates that some great men of God built for us ARRIVED!  A 40' tractor and trailer backed up to stairs to our flat. Myself, Randy Adams, Dan Haas and Chris Johnson began to unload 72 boxes!!

Up and down 41 stairs, we finally completed this in about 48 minutes!!

With the arrival of our stuff that we did ship, mind you we left our furniture and other boxes in the states, Julie, Debbie Bickel and Monica Brown began to open boxes, sort and yes, put things where they were to go!!

Melanie and I had to leave just shortly after all the boxes were unloaded to go to Refuge, our youth group that we have the privilege of leading.  What struck me the most was that, although we had an inventory list, we still wondered..."What was in the box?"

It reminded me of the days as a boy that my folks would get us each a box of Cracker Jacks and we would excitedly open the box just to see, "What was in the box!!"  Well, we have that same feeling going on in our home now...

I am reminded though, you can't tell what is on the inside of the box by how it appears on the outside.  It takes us opening the box, looking at the contents to truly know what is in the box.

You know, the same is true with our hearts!  We may look all put together on the outside.  We might say the right answers and attend the right church or chapel.  We might even give our money to the church and all but, the question is really this..."What's in the box?" In this case, "What's in the Heart?"

If we fill our heart with everything that is superficial, that is what we are.  If we fill it with all that we desire, then it will be empty and used up.  However, if we fill our heart with the ONLY TRUE ONE that can FILL IT, we will find, peace, hope, joy, love and the void that was there, will be filled.

What's in your box?  What is on the inside?  Have you looked lately?  We know that the world offers so much blink and distraction and yet, God offers fulfillment and so much more.  If you haven't recently reflected on what is in your box, I challenge you too.  If you know what is there and yet, you aren't feeling the fullness of His Joy in your life, take a moment and confess that to Him.  Ask Jesus to fill that void and emptiness and to make Himself real to you once again.

Only HE, JESUS, can fill our heart!!!  He is waiting to do that!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boy is HIS timing ever good!!!

Copied from my recent post on Facebook regarding the travels of my ladies and how God uses the lessons of the week during my sermon prep to see Him Move!!!  The girls were unable to get on the first two flight options. Looking at about a 8 hour wait for the next flight that was full, the counter staff at Delta said, "we can make it work!"

In doing that, they fly from PDX to St Paul then to Atlanta!!  There in lies the Here and Now!!  HE had it planned along and God met them there at the airport and met a heart felt desire and need for Julie to connect with her mentor and life coach!!  WOW....That is great!!!

To God be the Glory!!!

Here and Now!!!! Just saw the Lord working...Julie wanted so badly to connect with many of our friends and all but time, pressures and house consumed her time, energy and focus. Then preaching the sermon God gave me today titled Here and Now, I see why they didn't make their flights. Her life mentor and coach is in Atlanta and she really wanted to see her and her husband. The only way that would happen is if she missed her flight and had to stay over in Atlanta...well, they board at 3ish Sunday afternoon via St Paul to arrive at midnight and then spend most of the day with Mary Pinkerton and Mike!!!!!!! God is so GOOD!!!!! WOW...Here and Now!! Julie McCaw Shackelford you get a blessing to see them!!!! Thank you Lord!!!!

Just had to share this with those that don't have Facebook but read our blog!!

Here and Now!

Today I had the opportunity to preach at one of the Chapels on post. The title to the message the Lord gave me was Here and Now.  We looked at Psalms 13, John 14:1-4 and Philippians 3:13-17.  In all three of the texts, the writer is either experience a traumatic or life changing event.  They are encountering difficulties that Here and Now are big to them.

As we worked through the passages, it was evident that in our times of needs, difficulty, struggles, trial and LIFE, the only constant thing that we can hold on to is...THE LORD IS FAITHFUL!!!

He is our Rock! He is our Fortress! He is our Salvation! He is our Refuge! He is our Anchor! He is our GOD!!!  He is EVERYTHING!!!

Because He is, we can rest in the uncertainties of everyday living and life.  Julie and Melanie are flying back home to Idstein on standby and even though they didn't make the flight as it was full, I KNOW that the Lord Knows!!  I know He is working it out!!  He has something else planned that right now we don't see but tomorrow or next week or next year, we will know exactly why.

What is your Here and Now moment? Do you see His hand on you? Leading you? Holding you? Taking you through the times is His opportunity to show Himself a little more to each of us!  His will and His way for HIS GLORY!!

I trust that you will find encouragement in the lessons of life as you seek Him for the Here and Now!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When ministry is not only a blessing it is FUN!!

Ministry comes at you in so many different ways and sometimes it is extremely difficulty and challenging.  Other times, ministry is not only a blessing it is FUN!!  Today was one of the latter!!

After a full morning of PWOC for the ladies in my house and running ministry errands and doings some last minute paperwork, we borrowed a friends suburban and drove home.  Now, yes, for a moment I felt like I was back in the states driving a full size suburban and it was FUN!!

Once we arrived at home in Idstein with the suburban, the three of us began to help our german neighbor moving a large armoire as well as her paintings and other boxes.  She is moving after living there for over two and half years.  We have only known her for four months and it has been great!

We have had several opportunities to practice our Deutsch with her and she her english with us.  We will miss that!  One thing though, Julie has had the opportunity to have a couple of spiritual conversations with her.  She has experienced a lot of heartache and pain but despite losing her son to be with the Lord a couple of years ago, she knows that he is in heaven.

Knowing that, at the end of our day moving and literally wrestling the armoire down 6 half flights of stairs, we made it and got it set in her new house.  We really wanted to give her something and I remembered that our friend and team mate, Randy Alcorn and given me copies of his Heaven book and  Grace and Truth books in Deutsch.  We presented them to her and as she left the flat on final time, she pointed to the title of the Heaven book and said...when I leave here, I will be there too!

With hugs and tears, we really found that ministry was FUN!!!!  Hard and emotional but FUN!!!  To know that she knows our Jesus, was a real thrill!!  We will miss her and now, praying that the Lord brings another good renter to the small studio that Brigett has left vacant.  Wish Melanie could rent it...that would be fun for her!!!  Oh well, the Lord knows who He wants there that we can minister to as well.

So the next time you think about reaching out to your neighbor, do it!!  It is FUN!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Offsite office time in a familiar place!

This morning we found ourselves getting up at 0300 hours to take a dear friend to the Frankfurt Hahn airport about an hour and fifteen minutes from our house for a flight he had to England.  Well, we brewed a pot of God's brew and went out the door.  We made it on time, he made it on time and all is well.

We decided though that we would take the opportunity to have the girls spend the day with a team member of our ministry in Kusel.  We stopped in this morning early, caught up, visited and then they were off for a girls day!  Window shopping, lunch, thrift store visit and then dinner.

Now you maybe wondering what this has to do with an offsite office time for me...well, I did say "girls time" so I made my way to the Java Cafe where sixteen months ago, it was my office! Coffee, quiet time, ministry prep, sermon prep and just some good old office work!!

That is right, I made my way back today to Baumholder, Germany!  Where we began the physical part of our ministry journey to Germany!   So, only fitting that after some lesson prep, planning time for the upcoming fall events and a sweet time of Face to Face (F2F) that I would do some office time here!

We were truly blessed that the Lord would allow us to come here over a year ago and be ministered to, minister to others and find a new start to a season of life that is exciting, ever changing and fresh!  Ministry with the military has been and will continue to be a solid passion and commitment we are engaged in!

During my prep time, I was reminded that the Lord is faithful in all deeds to all of His people.  We have experienced that in so many ways!  We know that He is and always will be FAITHFUL!!

Thank you Lord for always being constant, faithful, loving and real!  Thank you for allowing us to have this time in our lives to serve You, Your people and those that need to know you! Thank you for the opportunity to minister in so many fun, unique and wonderful ways!!  We are Yours and we are glad that you choose to and want to use us!

Middle school boys Bible study in Baumholder

 Overview of the town and installation of Baumholder

Some of our students from Baumholder 2011

From an offsite office, thank you ALL for being a part of what the Lord is doing in our lives and the lives of our students and their families!!!  Without each of you on our team, Pray, Play and Pay, we couldn't do this!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Only in Germany....

would you find what we did after working at VBS today in Wiesbaden, Germany!  We left the post and were heading home on the B455 where they are doing MAJOR roadwork.  As we drove into the construction zone, we saw a working sitting in the back of the little BMW station wagon with the hatch open jumping in and out checking on things on the side of the vest, no hard hat...just street clothes...

Then just a bit further up the road, we encountered an amazing site!  A worker in his bright orange overalls signaling the oncoming traffic to proceed towards us on their side of the road.  No biggie you are hard hat, no sign and they were driving UNDER the arm of the excavator as it was parked on my side of the road...reaching across the oncoming lane...digging up dirt for them to lay in the concrete curbs...YES...I said...they drove under while the operator of the excavator had the arm out...working and moving as if there was no one driving under him.


Oh well, when I go back on post today, if they are still there doing this, I will definitely take a picture and post it.  None of us could get our cameras ready in time before we to were flagged on the other side to drive...UNDER the extended and working arm...

Could see that happening in the US???? I don't think so!! I don't believe my friend Dave Turin with Mt Hood Rock would ever do that while working on the highway!!  What a site it was!

Just had to share this with you all!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A classic way to start a movie!!

The other day, Julie, Melanie and I went to the movie theater the other night to watch a show.  We were so impressed with how clean it was in there. We also were so used to having the ads running on the screen for all kinds of things.  Then all of a sudden, an ad came up stating that when the National Anthem was placed, it is required by law to stand at attention, remove any head covering place your hand over your heart.

We just figured that was a way that they were telling everyone what to do. They also showed the statute for it and all.  "Well that is cool!" we all said.  Then we decided that, they should run that ad in all theaters.  As a public announcement.  Then, out of the blue, the lights went out, the screen went black, then a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem came on with fantastic pictures of the states, people in the military and civilians!! It was amazing...oh and everyone in the theater stood at attention, quiet, sober and with much respect for the flag and the patriots that did, do and will defend it!

Now, imagine if that was something that happened in the very country that we in Germany at Wiesbaden Germany were paying our respect too!  I have a feeling, that the country might begin to respond the way it should!!

Oh well, I am thrilled to be an American and proud to say that!  So the next time you visit a theater, imagine them starting the movie that way!!!  We do here on a military installation...only wish they would back home!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Process...

We have just past the mile marker of being in country doing ministry for just over 3.5 months.  It doesn't seem possible but with the help of our Lord and many team members, we are!!!

Just the other day Melanie and I were driving on post to check the mail and then to meet with one of the  chaplains we serve here.  Melanie said, "Daddy, when you were a boy driving on post with your daddy, did you ever think that you would be serving on a post when you were older?"

In the process of time, life and events, I never ever thought that I would.  We love the idea of ministry to the military and with our exposure in years past with Cadence International (formerly Oversea Christians Servicemen Center how I grew up knowing it) I never gave it a thought.  As I turned to her and answered I said, "Never crossed my mind!  I did always love the fact that my daddy got a salute from almost everyone on post/base because of his rank and that made me feel good and proud!"

I miss the days of riding with my dad on post and having time spent with him.  In fact, part of the process of growing up and our military childhood was the Saturday morning trip to the PX, commissary and also the barbershop.  For only 50 cents, we would get our buzz cuts and were GI ready.  Just the other day, part of the process of living here is finding a barber to cut my hair.  So one morning I ventured on post to the PX, went to the barbershop, pulled the customer service ticket and waited for my turn.

Around me were 3 soldiers getting their 'High and Tights' while a dad had his two boys with him.  Thought of the days as dad and my 2 older brothers went for our cuts.  As I watched them all get their haircuts, I realized that it was just like the process of life...growing, changing and becoming who God wants me to be.  Well, it was my turn to sit in the chair and no, no High and Tight for me but the thought did flash by for a minute. As I sat there, I reflected on the process God has and is taking us through to make us who He wants us to be.

In no time, my haircut was done and I was off to do ministry.  Now as I look back, even that days event was part of the process we are in.

The process of becoming the children He wants us to be.  The process of serving the chaplains He has over here.  The process of serving the students and their families each week and daily with ministry.  The process of learning to depend on Him more and more.

All in all, the process of being a child on a military installation over 35 years ago, did and has marked me for the ministry we are in!  Thanks for being a part of such a vital and crucial ministry.

A bit of a random post today but trust that you can follow the flow and know we are all in the process as we follow Jesus through our lives.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hear the Sounds of Church Bells Ringing!

As I woke up this morning, I (Julie) began to go through our little home and open all the windows to this beautiful day when suddenly the church bells began to ring out in celebration for what seemed like a long time.

I told Jeff, "something special is happening!"  So I went to the window to see many people dressed up and pouring in the church right next door to our home.  "Something is happening and it is calling everyone to church", I said again.

It's "Shavut!" The Jewish second Pentecost.  In Germany this Holy day is called, "Whit Monday"

The first one was where Moses came down with the 10 commandments, where God gad given him the written Word and he found the children of Israel in disobedience to God worshipping the golden calf.  3000 people died that day.

The second Pentecost is where Jesus instructed the disciples to remain in Jerusalem and 50 days after Passover, Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to descend on them with tongues of fire and 3000 came to the Lord and were baptized!  This Holy day of Pentecost is where God wrote His Word upon our hearts.

May we remember our Lord and thank Him for giving us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us!!

This is the church next door to us...our home is the top third and fourth floor of the wood structure next door to the Protestant Union Church of Idstein.  The dormer windows are our house!  "Hear the bells ringing!!!!"  Yes we can!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A great week at camp

Many of you know that Julie, Melanie and I joined our CSM staff in Europe for a week of camp ministry. We were in Italy at a large sports camp with over 220 of us!  Students from five different military communities and from all different walks of life.

We had a great time there in fun and fellowship. Our speaker was Todd Arnett from California and did he ever do a great job connecting the dots from the WORD to the lives and hearts of our students.  His desire to share with them was evident every time he taught and spent time with the students.

The three of us were part of our community from Wiesbaden as small group leaders. Julie also used her decorating skills to turn the program room into a look of our theme...The Illusion!  With the help of Becke, Delilah and Julie, they did an amazing job!

I had the privilege of helping Dan out with games. We planned them from our living room in Oregon and their living room in Wiesbaden and then once we arrived in Germany, we began to put the final pieces together.  God was good in working out the details to it all.

One day on our final event, we did a 9 event Great Race and ended with....ANGRY BIRDS!  It was a ton of fun and will do it again!

Thanks for praying for us and the ministry here in Germany!

Friday, April 6, 2012

First week in Deutschland & Good Friday!

It is hard to imagine that on the 8th of April it will have been two years since the Lord began to direct and guide us to begin our new adventure in ministry with Cadence International and the Student Ministries team in Germany.  Who would have ever thought that!

Well of course if you know the whole story, Julie did. You see over 31 years ago while living in Frankfurt, Germany, the Holy Spirit prompted Julie to begin to pray for the students of the US Military serving here in Germany.  This vision to see them reached for Jesus began in 1979 and it would become a seed that would grow, be watered, cultivated and then now, years later, come to LIFE!  It is after years of prayer, passion and patience that we are serving and doing what Julie earnestly prayed for.

Little did she know that God would answer her prayer back in 1979 at the same time, direct Cadence, then OCSC to ask Dick and Margaret Patty to leave Kaiserslautern and move their family to Frankfurt and see if there was a way to reach the students of the military.  Cadence (OCSC) was working with with the military through the hospitality houses and had yet to work with the students.  Well, scripture tells us, "that the prayers of a righteous person, avails much."  Her prayers and the Patty's prayers and their ministry team then and now see the benefits of constant and passionate prayers.

As we have just finished our first week of ministry in our new adventure, we are still seeing the Lord answer dozens of prayers! We see Him working in and through us as we meet new people, start ministry, look for housing, secure a vehicle, get ID, acquaint ourselves with live internationally and a myriad of other things.  God is good and moving to bring glory to His name for His kingdom sake.

To finish a bit more of the story of a 19 year old girls prayer, we are doing Student Ministries just 20 minutes from Frankfurt on the Army post in Wiesbaden,  WOW!!  Is God ever good! He does provide and He does answer prayers!

As we reflect today on the fact that it is Good Friday, we are thankful for God's provision of the perfect Lamb sacrifice for your sins and mine. As we reflect on the gift that forgiveness is, we rejoice that we get to share that with the students, families and others here in Germany.  Together, with His leading and help, we can see the dreams of a young girl answered and come to life!

Praise be to the Lord Most High...who was, and is and is to come!  Oh Lord, we thank You for all You have and will do!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Two years in the making...

This journey we are on now, 28 May 2012, started before time began in the plan of the Maker of all things.  We also know that because the Word says that.  We also know it, because He has been directing every step of the past two years to get us to this place.

Sitting in the airport in San Francisco, I am amazed at the journey of our life and ministry that started 8 April of 2010. God began to set somethings in motion that would redirect our lives.  With the redirection come refocus and with refocus comes a clearer picture of what He wants for us.

With the tool set that God has given us and the team that is backing us, we are launching out in a new ministry and journey that will land us in Wiesbaden, Germany.  There, Team Shackelford, you included, will begin to build relationships with the military, their family and their students.  We will serve there and provide for them an opportunity to become acquainted with our Lord and Savior. We will also work towards building relationships where we can disciple them in their walk with God.

What a joy and opportunity it is! We are blessed to know that the Lord wants to do some great things that has been two years in the making.  A lifetime vision to see the lives of students introduced to Jesus that Julie had 31 years ago is now about to happen!

Holding on to His hands and committed to Him, we are excited to see what He is and will do!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Building Crates For the King

This morning four men, "Friends" came and built 3 wooden crates for us to ship our household items to our new home in Germany!  They were building crates for the King. Not me...the King!!  In less than two hours, Mark Kost, Steve Banister, Bill King and Jeff Dickey took a trailer full of wood and made some amazing crates that are now filling up with household items.

One is completely full and the second one is 1/2 full.  In the next few days, the house will be emptied, painted and the containers will be at a warehouse awaiting our arrival and new house being found.

WOW!!  It is simply amazing to see what these men did as well as what the Lord is doing! We are truly blessed by each and every member of our team as well as what He is doing in and through us!

You are all amazing those that pray, play and pay as part of TEAM SHACKELFORD!  Thanks for following His leading in your lives for His sake and His people.

As Melanie, Julie and I prepare to leave on the 28th, we want you to know how much we value each of you and all you do for us!

Thanks men for your help as well as being available to be used by Him.  Thanks to all of you for all you do as well!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What a life!!

I recently attended the 90th birthday for a special and dear friend!  She is one of those people that when you are with her, you not only feel like you are the most important person, you feel her love and acceptance.

It is because of nothing that I have done, it is because of who she is! She is a Child of the King!

The King has made her so special and she radiates that to those that come in contact with her.  Her demeanor and her personality is so attractive and her attitude is one of making sure you know her King and that you are of value.

When you look at Margaret Hovey, you see not only the beauty of a love for Jesus, you see the beauty of a life transformed and of real value.  Her beauty is rooted deep inside and it is there for all to see.  When you talk with her over a cup of tea, she always communicates her love for the King and her desire for you to know Him and love Him too.

It is infectious and it is so real! How do you get there? Ask her and she will tell you, "He finds me of value and worth and that means, so are you!"  WOW!!  That is a life lived out in all ways.

It was an honor to be there with my friend and also was an honor to pray a blessing over her from the King, our King on His special daughter! What a life!  Oh, that I would have a life that would do the same.  Is your life radiating the King?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How to hear from God

Last Sunday I had the privilege of teaching at our home church in our Sunday School class.  The Prime Mover class is such a great class and they are a real blessing to us and so many.

As I sought the Lord for what He wanted me to share it became apparent that the lessons of the week were for me to work through and live out His topic for me.  So as I prayed and prepped, I found myself searching the scriptures for those who had either learned the lesson or didn't learn how to hear from God.

Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Elijah, Jonah, David and Paul just to name drop as well as to know, that everyone that follows God, has to learn how to hear from Him.  The key two ingredients to this I found was that we have to first be clean before Him.

Secondly, we have to stop, be still and get low before Him.  When our lives, circumstances and chaos is always going on, we are distracted and then, we don't always hear.  When we put the advise and counsel of the world and others, that can and does distort the way we hear and listen to the Lord.

I also found that His desire is for me to Be Still!  One way I found that was through the scripture as well as a song by the group Selah titled, Be Still.  It moved me to tears all week long as I reflected on the Word and the lyrics to the song.  You can find it on YouTube and I would encourage you to take a moment and listen to it.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you can find it linked on my wall too.

So, in the middle of life, chaos, heartache, disaster and even in the calm, we all need to practice a bit of being still so we can hear from God.

Thanks to the body in Prime Movers that let me share and allowed me to just be me and teach His Word from my own life experience.  If you would like to hear it, here is the link to the download. once there, scroll down to January 29th and you should see my name.

May the Lord bless you as you hear from Him!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another Year!!!

Well, we made it some may say.  Others start out the new year with a new resolution.  And then there are others, like me, that make no resolution but desire to see a new and different year.  Either way you do it, we are in a new year!

Just looking back over the year, we are so thankful for all that the Lord did.  Provisions in so many ways, direction in life and ministry, opportunities to share and teach His Word, mentorship opportunities for both of us as well as time just to see His beauty.

As I write this, I am so thankful for the beauty of His creation outside my office window.  His creation sings of the newness and freshness of His hand.  His power and might shown in so many ways,  The trees, the lawn, the flowers, the sunset and the list goes on! Thanks Lord for all you have done!!!

I am also grateful for the time that we have had with our family! The Lord has provided many opportunities to be together with them.  The holidays were all special this past two months and the joy of being together was so fun! Meals, movies, games and even just sitting around the living room.  What a great thing.

As I reflect on these few thoughts, I am mindful that the Lord is so much in control of all things and it requires me to know that, accept that and rejoice in that.  He knows all things and He is in control of all things.  My response, thanks for the new year to service Him!  Thanks for the time I have that He gives so that I can make a difference.

May the Lord bless you as we serve Him together!  What will you do for Him this new year?