Friday, November 30, 2007

Girl Time

Last night was the conclusion of our Girl Time group for the semester. We ended our relationship study with bang having a nice "sex talk" together understanding God's view of sex for marriage.

This semester has been one of the most fruitful times for me in my history of leading small groups (7 years!). Since last April I've been praying, studying, and writing for this study in hopes that girls' minds would be open to what God desires for them in marriage and how they can be blessed beyond their wildest dreams if they pursue His will for their life. Looking back on this semester I'm amazed at the number of girls that participated, the friendships that were formed, and the truth that God revealed to these girls.

I've been truly blessed by all of these girls this semester and have really enjoyed getting to know all of them. In the midst of everything going on in my own life this semester (having my 2nd baby!) thursday nights were the highlight of my week. The leaders were incredible and did an amazing job leading their table groups each week. They stepped in when I went into labor (the night of small group!) and made it possible for me to be able to teach this study.

I hope and pray that this isn't just the end to a great semester, but the start of something bigger that God is doing within our community of girls at Genesis. I'm a believer that girls can come together, love one another, support one another, and encourage one another. I see it happening and it's awesome!

Thanks girls for an awesome semester...looking forward to January!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Peace of God!

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7.   

This is were I'm living right now.  Fighting worry with prayer and experiencing God's peace.  His peace overcomes my worry.  For most of you that don't know yet, life is hard!  Sometimes we go through hard times and I mean hard times but when we stop and pray about them God can give us His peace and then they are do-able.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I've been reminded lately of the type of worship that really pleases God. In my devotions I've been going through Isaiah and this past week I got to where Isaiah prophesied that there would be a day when God would say "these people honor (worship) Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me".

Wow, think about that. There is worship going on, but it's worship that does not honor God. Maybe another way to say it is the prophecy said that there would be a day when people will go to church, sing songs, speak like they belong to God, hang out with Christian friends, act like they are worshippers, BUT their worship will be a farce - fake!

Man, the worship that honors God is worship when our hearts are near to Him. If we serve Him more than we love Him, it's pointless. This reminds of the importance of what some people call P.S.D.: Personal Spiritual Disciplines. The only way to keep our hearts close to God's heart is by having the daily personal disciplines that draw us near to Him: fervent prayer, deep study of His Words, fasting, worshipping privately, silence, etc.

Let's do it. Let's be real worshippers - with our hearts near to the One we worship.

God's teachers

Hey everyone,

I'm Tracy and I would like to share a small little moment of thought with you. I call this Post "God's teachers".

I want to paint a picture of seasons for a minute.

I am a gardener. I love flowers, color and spring and the season of planting. Spring and Summer are times that I anticipate with joy their coming. I get energy, feel full of life & fun. There is beauty and color everywhere so enjoyable to look at, breathe in and even take part in with all the summer activty. I love to get my hands on as many flowering plants as possible to decorate my yard with.

I was looking at my yard the other day and realized that I have no real desire to plant right now because the winter season is coming and most flowers won't survive. Everything looks brown, yuk, dead, dormant, cold and lifeless. The growing season is over and the cold will set in soon.

However, the weeds that I so hate in the spring and summer die at this time.

The winter seems to pull us back a little bit. We stay in more and seemingly somewhat dormant inside awaiting the next season when we can get outside and engage in lively activities again.
OK here is the "moment of thought". First, God uses everything he created to teach us about him, us and our relationship with him.

There are seasons in my life that feel like spring and summer, harvesting lots of growth. It feels like smooth sailing. I have worked hard at something and then I see the result as being very beautiful, full of life and even fun. THEN The winter sets in and the life seems to go blah. Maybe even feels a little void of that growth, fun, smooth sailing, colorful time.

I am always amazed at what God uses to teach me. He knows what He is doing! He has taught me so much through the corniest and simplest situations in my life.

Like..... it is the Winter season when God is actually killing off those hateful weeds in the ground. The ones that try to choke the life out of what is beautiful or distort what was planned in my garden. He naturally takes care of so many things in the winter that are pests in the summer. He is doing a work. Sometimes in our lives He does the same with us. Maybe we feel somewhat dormant in our spirit at times but God is still at work sometimes cutting out those weeds in our life that can distort His original plan for us. It may feel cold and lifeless for a while but - We just have to open up our eyes and see that God is in the middle of the winter. Be faithful even when it is not very exciting or pretty. Glorify him in it. Anticipate with expectation what He can do with you and for you in the dormant times.

Although God is magnificent and extraordinary - Remember he speaks to us in the simplest of ways.

Open your eyes next time you garden or engage in any other simple activity in your life - God may be speaking into you, to teach you something! Then share it with someone else!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pleasing God

This subject has really been in my mind this week. I have certainly struggled with it this week too. It is hard sometimes to remind myself that everything I do should please God and not others (people). I think that we can get so consumed in getting the approval of others so that they like us and think we are cool or just so that they won't criticize us.

This past week with all of the preparation for the Turkey Outreach, I kept on thinking how many people were not going to receive a meal because we were only giving out 2,000. But at the same time I had to remind myself that out of those 2,000 families many people were going to be impacted in a mighty way. I have already started to hear some stories about it and it is awesome to know that people appreciate what you do.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Turkey Outreach

WOW!  Holy Smoke Batman!  God is so huge.  Ok, here's the story.  2,000 Thanksgiving Meals were given out today!  
  • 2000 turkeys - 24,000 lbs (12 tons of bird)
  • 2000 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing
  • 2,625 lbs of green beans
  • 2,625 lbs of corn
  • 2000 cans of cranberry sauce (WHY?)
  • 2000 boxes of cake mix 
  • Gravy, mashed potatoes, rice, Mac n Cheese
Thank you - 
  • GOD!
  • Northwood Academy for giving us 1,150 boxes of food 
  • Northwood Assembly for buying the Turkeys and food delivery 
  • The Lowcountry Food Bank for the food hookup 
  • CSU for food and for helping us deliver food 
  • GENSIS - you guys ROCK my face off - food, delivery, money, passion
  • SAMs club, Walmart, BI-LO
  • Seacoast N. Charleston for being an amazing example 
  • MY STAFF - Filipe, Maria, Mandy & Tracy - "Adrian, Adrian, We did it!"
I'll be blogging about stories that I hear about later! 

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Baby

Wow, I just experienced another miracle - I did not pass out while my wife was giving birth to our new baby girl. I got light-headed a couple times, but I made it through. But really, the miracle was seeing LIFE come out of my wife! What an experience to see that little girl come out with all the details of her body - my own flesh and blood.

We named her Caylin Grace Santos. Caylin means "pure", so "Pure Grace" is what she'll hear every day of her life. If you want to add Santos in there, it means "Holy", so that makes it "Pure and Holy Grace". Our prayer is that she'll passionately know and spread this amazing grace everyday of her life on this earth.

After experiencing the birth of a child, I cannot understand how anyone would question that their is a loving Creator who is concerned with each detail of our lives. Think about these things:
  1. From an egg and a sperm - a little person is formed inside the belly of a woman.
  2. The umbilical chord - provides all the nutrients the baby needs while in the belly.
  3. The breast milk - the first 3 days of life the baby doesn't need milk, just some other fluid that the mom just happens to provide before the milk comes in. After that, the breast milk works as food, drink, medicine, snack, sleeping aid, and everything else the baby needs!
  4. The baby bones - are still flexible in the beggining, so that clumbsy parents that drop their babies don't brake their bones.
  5. Preparation time - the "making babies" process was designed quite wisely. Before the baby is born, you have 9 months to prepare (thank God) for your life to change - no accident there. And for the first few months of life, they sleep 16-20 hours a day giving the parents time to prepare and learn for the toddler years.
  6. Size - humans mature in proportion to their growth. Before they know danger, they can't crawl. Before they know fear, they can't walk. When they are learning to walk, they are still small so that if they fall, they won't get hurt as badly. It goes on...

Man I could go on forever... David was right when he wrote is Psalm 139 "you knit me together in my mother's womb". It was intentional - every detail of every person - designed for a purpose by a loving Creator. Think about that.