Happy New Year!
“Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:2)
TRUST: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.” Isaiah 26:3
REST: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
PEACE: “Even Though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4
We held tightly to these verses this month. He is good…no matter what comes our way!
•New Years Eve Worship & Wait Service
•Lori’s (surprise) Medical Journey
•Chris’s Surgery & Follow-up
•Barak’s Prayers Answered
•SDRTL 50th Annual Hour of Reflection
New Years Day!
New Years Day we led worship at Destiny Foursquare Church for their “Worship & Wait” service. The congregation gathered with us to usher in the new year at the feet of Jesus. The children joined us in the service and colored pictures, waved flags, and danced. Many were touched by the presence of the Lord and received a personal word for 2023.
Lori’s (surprise) Medical Journey
Due to some things being out of balance in my body, I (Lori) had some important medical appointments to rule out endometrial cancer and breast cancer. I was informed of these newly needed exams before Christmas so I felt strongly I was to rest over Christmas until these procedures took pace in January. I spent about 10 days marking scriptures that had to do with rest, trust and peace. I stopped all activities outside of our family. In this time I learned to grab ahold of Jesus in a way I had not done before.
I had an internal ultrasound and an endometrial biopsy on a Friday and a breast biopsy the following Tuesday. Interesting piece to my journey: I had my biopsy at the exact same time Chris had an unexpected surgery! Details on that in the next section.
Even though I dealt with the emotions and the “what if’s” during the waiting time, I kept believing I would walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death and it was only going to be a shadow! Deep down inside peace had ahold of my heart.
A few days after my ultrasound and endometrial biopsy the nurse called and said my results came back normal! A couple of days later I found out my breast biopsy came back benign! PTL!
I am so thankful God has my life in His hands. I learned a lot about myself in this time. I learned the importance of rest/sabbath. Also, how to recognize and stop anxiety and/or panic attacks. And being careful not to take too much on, which leads to burn out. I don’t want to walk that road anymore. My body and my family need me to keep peace close by!
After working through many limitations from breaking my leg in June, it was great to enjoy some snorkeling in Hawaii and then be able to play some sports outside with the kids after getting back to Rapid City in November. In December, I noticed my hip becoming increasingly sore. It wasn’t something I could pinpoint, just the feeling something was getting worse instead of better. I scheduled an x-ray right after Christmas (This was due in late Sept, but I never got to it and now I’m glad it was delayed). We settled into resting and focused on enjoying a break and some holiday family time. As I prayed about all this and the coming year a couple things stuck out to me- 1) Don’t make any decisions about the next season until after the x-ray 2) Plan to track somehow with ATD in the coming year (more on that later). Neither of these impressions made sense at the moment, but I settled to follow through with the ideas. Cooperating with such impressions can be tricky, but it’s so important to listen to and obey the “still, small voice.”
My x-ray was Dec 27th and showed a screw had shifted and broken through the ball of my hip bone. Yikes! The next day I got a CT of my hip. Then came an appt. with a surgeon Jan 6th. Early that morning I was awake and reading Genesis 32 about Jacob wrestling the angel. As I was looking at the word “prevail” (Hebrew “yakol”), one of the definitions is “be victor.” When I read that, it hit me that it was exactly 6 months to the day since breaking my hip. I’m still believing for complete victory in all this! Part of that victory has been to choose to trust in God and abide in His peace. The surgeon felt urgency about fixing this issue and surgery was scheduled for Jan 10th.The surgeon said the it looked like the bone fragments from the initial break were about 50% healed. They need to be completely healed to avoid future complications/ surgeries. Both upper screws in my hip were removed in surgery and 2 shorter ones were put back in. This will ensure support while the bone continues to heal. Everything went great and I was discharged the same day. Despite the pain from the surgery, my hip felt better that very evening. Most of January was focused on rest and recovery. God has shown His great faithfulness day by day and I’m so glad I cooperated as He prepared me for all this. My natural inclination would be to fill the schedule and push myself in spite of being in pain. Thank you for your prayers and support during this time. It is a priceless treasure to have family and friends who partner with us in the “off” season!!!
ANSWERED PRAYERS and Team Member Spotlight
Barak is 3rd born and our keyboard player. When he plays you can feel the nearness of the Lord. As soon as his fingers play the atmosphere in the room changes. Even when he was younger and beginning to play, if he sensed tension in the house he would play some simple, old hymns. Soon the strife and tension left in exchange for peace. As we travel and minister, many have testified that anxiety, depression, anger and heaviness lift when he plays.
God has given him a gift that he has been faithfully using and growing in.
Barak is 19 years old and has been playing keys for 8 years. He has produced an instrumental album and a couple of singles. He is currently a sophomore at IHOPU. Barak told me a highlight this semester is his class that is teaching him more about producing and recording music.
THANK YOU to those who invested in Barak! We’ve been praying for this computer for quite some time. The new computer arrived in the mail the same week his classes began. He has been creating, mixing, and mastering ever since! Stay tuned for his new song! We were even told he might be singing on this one! Shhhhh… 😉
Check out Barak’s instrumental keys album here! Add it to your playlists! 🙂
50th Annual SDRTL Hour of Reflection
We had a wonderful time in Pierre, SD with SDRTL for their 50th Annual “Hour of Reflection”. There was about 250 people who participated in the “Walk for Life” portion (in 5° weather) and roughly 3-400 people who came to the hour long session. Several SD representatives attended as well as the National Right to Life Director from Washington, D.C.
We were invited to lead a couple of worship songs for those in attendance. In addition, we joined in celebrating the sanctity of human life and the overturning of Roe V. Wade. We were educated on ways we can continue to advocate for life in our state.
Afterwards, we were given a standing ovation and were greeted by many individuals who were blessed by our family. It was a wonderful time together!
One of our greatest needs is monthly partnerships at any amount. Would you prayerfully consider becoming a monthly partner in 2023?
We plan to continue on our Monumental Worship Mission this year with fervency and diligence. As we move forward His plans are beginning to unfold. So much is stirring and we look forward to what the future holds…
There will be more details about our 2023 strategy in the next update!
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
Chris, Lori and family