Archive for June, 2010

In case you haven’t heard, my daughter, Stephanie, is leaving for Nigeria on July 22nd with a team to assist in a vacation Bible school.  Please pray for her and if you’d like to contribute to help her financially, it would be greatly appreciated.  She gives more details below:

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Hey everybody!

I am going to be joining a team from Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood that will be traveling to a small town in southern Nigeria called Ikot Ekpene at the end of July, and the purpose of our trip will be to assist in a vacation Bible school for what we are expecting to be over 1000 kids! In 2004, Nigerian pastor Aniefiok Udo launched Fellowship Bible Church, Nigeria. It began with 12 members, including his family of 5. Now the church has grown to almost 200 members and the church facility is also used to host many conferences for area pastors and leaders. At the first city-wide Vacation Bible School in August of 2008 they expected to have 200 kids and over 500 showed up! Now, this event has become a community-wide endeavor and the expectations are very high that many will be reached with the message of the Gospel!

Pastor Aniefiok has expressed great desire to have help from international teams to pull off this community outreach, and I am excited to be a part of this mission! I’m writing to ask if you will consider partnering with me in this significant assignment. My role will be to prepare and go as we serve the children of Nigeria. Your part would be to help me get there, and pray!

If you want to join with me financially, please go to:

http://www.fellowshipnashville.org/globallocal/global-outreach/give/ to make an online donation. You will need to choose the “Nigeria Inversion Trip” and create an account to contribute online. It is a very easy process that only requires information for tax deduction purposes. If you would like to write a check, please mail it to me, but make it payable to “Fellowship Bible Church.” Also, put my name and “Nigeria” on the memo line.

Please know that your contribution is tax deductible. God is touching lives for eternity all over the world. I am thrilled to be a part of extending His love to the people of Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria this July. Thank you for your prayerful consideration about partnering with me (please don’t feel obligated to give financially- your prayers are needed and appreciated just as much!).

If you want to see a short video from the Nigeria trip last year, go to http://vimeo.com/10970648.

Let me know if you have any questions. I am so excited to see what God has in store for this trip and for what He is going to teach me through this experience!

– Stephanie

This picture is from the Inversion trip last year.

CRICKETS AND FROGS

Posted: June 20, 2010 in Roots by the River


Growing up on my Grandparent’s farm
was a wonderful childhood experience.  My childhood home was in downtown Pensacola, but we “lived” at the farm.  It was a working farm in all respects.  The only reason Grandma went to the grocery store was to purchase items like cooking oil, sugar, flour and a few odds and ends.  Everything else was grown on, or provided for, by the farm.

There were chickens for eggs and those terrific fried chicken Sunday dinners, pork for the best bar-b-que in the south, beef for steaks and hamburgers, and a lake full of all kinds of fresh water fish.  The vegetables were year round and so fresh.  Not to mention blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, peaches and pears.  We not only had fresh fruit in season, but Grandma made the best jellies and jams in the local area.  She was known for her culinary expertise.

We didn’t have to worry about gaining weight, because there was so much work to do any excess pounds would not hang around for long.  We worked from daylight to dark and everyone had their own chores.  It didn’t matter how young or old you were, Grandma made sure everyone had something to do.  We worked hard and played hard, and at the end of the day we settled down to quiet time with a good book or board game while Granddaddy watched, (slept through, HA!), a ball game.   

My favorite time of the day was in the late afternoon just as the sun was going down.  Life on the farm began to slow down.  I would retreat to the Florida room where Grandma had bunk beds for all us kids, and climb up on the top bunk, look at the lake and listen to the outside noises.  In the summer we would leave the windows open, because Granddaddy didn’t believe in air conditioning.  He believed it was bad for a person to not breathe fresh air, so we had the pleasure of fresh air all through the evening.

As the sun went down, I could hear the crickets and frogs begin their evening serenades.  The darker it got the louder they got, until all you could hear was their music, and all you could see was the light from the moon across the lake.

I cannot describe to you in words the peace and security I felt there on that farm especially when the crickets and frogs began to sing.  We were all together, with our tummies full, our bodies tired from a good day’s work, and the music of God’s creatures to sing the nighttime lullaby.

 The farm is gone now.  It has been replaced with a large subdivision of beautiful homes.  The family members I grew up with are all safe at home with our Lord.  But the music of God’s creatures follow me wherever I go.

Late in the afternoon, I can hear them singing.  It reminds me, that no matter where I am and what I have been through, I am forever protected by the presence of my heavenly Father.  The peace I knew as a child covers me and strengthens me to face another day.

Our Father tells us in Isaiah 26:3-4, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.  Trust ye in the Lord forever; for in the Lord God is everlasting strength.”

Dear Father, help me to remember to open the windows, turn off the air conditioning, and listen to the music you provide.  Help me to slow down at the end of the day and listen, to know you are forever with us and the music you send is a reminder of your constant protection, even to the lullaby of peace, courtesy of the crickets and frogs.

Ann Cason

2/16/05

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Endless trails for the go kart!

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Videos

You may have heard of Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Middle Tennessee that sits on 900 acres but you probably don’t know about the additional 8,100 acres next to it  that is operated by the Forestry Division as a State Forest.  Wade and Cindy Edwards knew how to get to it but we almost got stuck getting out, even with their jeep!

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Swooning

Posted: June 11, 2010 in Candle Lights

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Fainting or swooning can often be caused by sudden fear, illness, exhaustion, or great hunger.  Just as our physical bodies can experience fainting spells, our spirits can go through times when we feel as if we are going to faint.  We feel weak and lose courage.  Our roots are spread by the River, but our leaves are withering (Psalm 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8).  Maybe we have received bad news and fear strikes our hearts.  Lingering illness may be getting us down.  Perhaps we need to come apart and rest awhile.  It could be that we are not staying in the Word, and our spirit is hungry.  Whatever the cause, we feel like fainting trees.

If our physical body feels faint and no one is around, it can be frightening and dangerous.  But, when we feel faint in our spirits, the Holy Spirit will remind us that we are not alone.  The Holy Spirit whispers for us to fix our hearts on the Lord and trust Him then we will not have to fear “evil tidings” (Psalm 112:7).  He encourages us by telling us that the Lord gives “power to the faint” and increases strength “to them that have no might” (Isaiah 40:29)  He reminds us that there is strength in being still in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 46:10 & Isaiah 40:31).  He helps us to remember that we do not live by bread alone, “but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4).  The love and care of the Lord will cause fainting trees to become trees that hope.  Wrapped in the love of God, dry, withered trees with no joy will become rejoicing, clapping trees.  Thank you, Lord.

Psalm 119:71  “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statues.”

Diane Padgett  3/9/2010

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My son, Brian, learned to play the guitar in secret for a year, then surprised his wife with this song on her birthday.  His sister, Stephanie, is singing with him.

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