Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Anyone?

I'm guessing I have your attention, right?
Well, hang on just a minute and I'll explain.
First I'd like to share some pictures with you....

Caleb loves to play outside in the snow!
At the end of 2011 we had very little snow. 
The kids were anxious to get some so they could build snowmen, forts, have snowball fights, etc.

Sarah can usually hold her own with her brothers
Well, the new year brought snow.
Not as much as last year, but still plenty to play in. 

so strong!
After playing outside for awhile, the kids come in
covered in snow,
rosy cheeks, 
and red noses.

 We don't see the sun much in the winter, but when we do it is beautiful.

A few weeks ago, Ron took all the kids tubing.
Caleb was concerned about me staying home all by myself.
I quickly explained that I did not mind at all.

Andrew and Caleb getting ready to go down the hill
 I rode down this hill last year....it's a blast!
Remembering the fun they had last year, the kids were estatic to get to go again.
I'm so glad God gave my kids such an awesome dad!

A very fun day!
I think this is one of those things that will be a yearly tradition.

Now....back to the chocolate!

A while back a blogging friend of mine had a give away on her blog as she was heading back to the states on furlough.  Someone had the oportunity to win something special from her field.  Since I thought it was such a neat idea, I decided I would do the same thing.

How would you like to win a CHOCOLATE CANDY BAR from Estonia?

10" x 5" milk chocolate candy bar with almonds

All you have to do is leave me a comment.  That's it!  Just leave a comment about anything at all.  What I would be interested in mostly is something about yourself, how long you have been following my blog, and how you heard about my blog.

If you do not yet follow my blog, but you start following, you can let me know in a seperate comment for another entry for the candy bar.

For those of you who LOVE chocolate and want another opportunity to win, this is what you can do - leave a seperate comment with the promise to pray daily for at least one of these special requests:

safety as we travel to America on March 5th
safety as we travel through many states while on furlough
to raise additional support
our ministry we are leaving behind
new ministries we would like to start when we return
the salvation of Olga, Tonya, Valodia, Sylvia and others we are working with
Caleb's salvation
a family to help us reach the people of Johvi, Estonia

One more thing you can do that will give you an extra entry is add my new button that is on the right hand side of the blog. Now, I just did the button and I'm hoping it works. Please let me know if something isn't right.  Just to let you know, I may still experiment with the button when I have time.  If you have any tips or advice, I'm listening =)  Make sure you leave me a comment letting me know that you have added my button.

So, that is four possible ways that you can enter to win the CHOCOLATE CANDY BAR. 

The giveaway will end on March 5th at 9 p.m. (Pacific Time)
I will ship it to anyone that wins where ever you live.

I am also adding another chance to enter....if you put this giveaway on facebook.

Make sure you leave a seperate comment for each thing you do. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting Ready!

The countdown has begun.
In just 8 days we will fly to America to begin our furlough.

I am thrilled with all the things I have been able to mark off my list.  It has been nice to decluter, deep clean, and organize our apartment.    

We have one or two days of school left to finish up.  (I'll be glad to have that behind me.)  The kids have been working hard in school since July of 2011 so that they could be done by the time we  leave for the states.  The last couple of months they have also been working on specific things that they will enter in the   California Christian School Competition.  Our home church (Sequoia Baptist Church in Visalia, California) hosts this competition.  Our kids will be participating in piano, poem, spelling, singing, hand chimes, and Bible quiz.  This is a wonderful opportunity for them to develop their talents for the Lord.  They are excited to be involved.

I still have a couple of projects I need to finish before we leave.  One is personal and it's not big deal if I get it done or not....I would just like to if I have time.  The other project is something special for the children in the churches as we travel.  I'm off to a good start, I just need to sit down and finish.

Other than those projects, I should be able to focus on getting our stuff packed and ready.  We sure would appreciate your prayers this week as we finish getting ready to leave.  Your prayers would also be coveted as we travel.  Sunday, March 4, we will have a service and fellowship.  Then we will drive in to Tallinn and stay with fellow missionaries there.  Early (and I mean EARLY.....especially for me) Monday morning we leave for America.  So, Sunday evening (California time), if the Lord brings us to your mind, would you pray for safety as we travel?  We would be grateful. 

Caleb getting ready for church

With so much thought of "getting ready" to go to America, God spoke to my heart about "getting ready"for Home (Heaven).  Let's make sure our lives are clean and clutter free so we don't take a bunch of baggage with us.  It's so easy for "things"and the world to sneak in and clutter our mind, heart, and life.  Even if the "things'are not bad, they may be keeping us from serving the Lord with our whole heart.
What about people who are not ready for life after death?  Are we doing all we can to help them get ready?  Are you a faithful witness to those around you who are lost and without Christ?  Can you imagine going on  a trip without packing, planning, and preparing?  Of course not!  Yet life is a journey and so many are not prepared.  It's our job, Christians, to help the lost prepare and get ready for eternity.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Doesn't it feel good to be loved?

God has placed so many people into my life that pray for me, encourage me, and love me.  Of course, my hubby has a tender, passionate, and deep love for me that touches the depths of my heart.  I also have the unwavering love of my children that is so precious to me.  But that is not all...God loves me!  As I stop and consider God's love, I'm amazed that a holy, perfect, and righteous God could love a sinner like me.  He knows everything about me, yet He loves me.  Amazing! 

When our Ladies Tea was scheduled for February, just shortly after Valentines' Day, I felt that it was the perfect time to focus on God's love.  I want these ladies to hear and know that God loves them.  How sad that so many people don't know that.  My devotional dealt with God's love for us and that He wants us to love Him in return.  My heart's desire is to share God's love with my mouth and show God's love with my life.

"Thank you" to all of you who prayed for our activity.  God blessed with a good attendance.  Let's keep praying that God will work in the hearts of the ladies that attended.

yummy food to eat


making crafts

The ladies really enjoyed our craft - covering jars with silk rose petals. 
When a candle is lit in the jar the petals are illuminated. 

Each lady was also given a dish towel that says "God is Love". 

craft and gift
 Sylvia is a sweet lady that has attended all three of our ladies activites.  Although I continue to invite her to our Sunday services, she has not yet attended.  My prayer is that she will come to at least one service before we leave for our furlough. 

happily posing with her craft and gift

Total attendance: 13
First time guests: 6
Returning guests: 3
 faithful church ladies: 4

Ladies Tea ~ February 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012


The year was 1977.
God had called my dad to Visalia, California to start a church.

first Sunday of Sequoia Baptist Church - February 1977
The Sequoia Baptist Church was founded by Pastor Robert Benefield as a Bible-believing, fundamental, separated , old-fashioned,  KJV only, Baptist church. 

Now, in 2012 - 35 years later, my dad continues to pastor the Sequoia Baptist Church.  It remains an independent, Bible-believing, separated, fundamental, KJV only Baptist church.  The Word of God has been passionately preached every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night.  Many missionaries are supported and a week long Missions Conference is held every year.  Sunday School bus routes, a Christian school, a Bible Institute, Retirement Home services, and other ministries have all been started to spread the Gospel and train people to reach others.  Over the years people have been and continue to be saved and lives changed!

My mom, Kathy Benefield, has also faithfully served beside my dad.  She loves my dad and has his same passion for the ministry.  She has given her life  to serve the Lord and others.

Ladies Conference 2011

My parents are special to me for many reasons, but today I honor them for their faithfulness.  I am so glad that I have the honor and privilege of calling these two people mom and dad.  They have taught me so much over the years, but their example of  faithfulness is a challenge to keep on in good times and through bad.

I'm so glad that my parents listened to and obeyed God's call all those years ago.  Most of all I am thankful for my parents' faithfulness to God, His Word, each other, and the ministries of Sequoia Baptist Church.


I believe that when my parents stand before the Lord someday they will hear,
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mixed Emotions

In just under a month, we will be heading back to the states for a furlough.
Furlough stir up many mixed feelings.

It can be hard to leave your home, your bed, and the schedule and order your family is used to having.  We will also miss the long summer days that are so welcome after a long, dark winter.  Most of all we will miss the people that we minister to, serve, and love.  We are leaving behind some baby Christians, others who attend services regularly but have not personally accepted Christ, and a whole city of people who need to hear that Jesus loves them.  Please continue to pray for our dear people and also the preparations we are making for furlough.

While part of me finds it difficult to leave, another part of me is so excited I can hardly stand it.  Of course, it's not just me that's excited....our whole family is looking forward to our visit to America.  We fan each other's flames when we get talking about the special things that await us....most importantly is family.  I just know all those hugs waiting for us are going to feel so good.  Some of the other things I'm looking forward to is shopping (Walmart, Target, and other places), Thrifty ice cream, Root Beer, and sunshine.  Most of all, I am looking forward to church!  Singing the wonderful hymns, hearing a choir, special music, and great preaching.  I''m so excited to be in our home church and to be re-freshened spiritually.

Here are some things that the kids are especially excited about (besides seeing family):

attending Teen Camp with home church
going soul winning with Grandpa (a.k.a. Pastor Benefield)
not having to order off the kids' menu when he goes out to eat

going to church and hearing preaching
attending a Sunday School class
seeing his cousin, Austin

getting to play with other girls
seeing some of her pen pals
hoping to meet some of her pen pals

playing with his cousin, Josh

I guess it's a little hard to explain the mixed emotions that are in my heart right now.  Isn't it comforting to know that God understands?  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Child's Prayer

Caleb - age 5
"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for ours day and help us to have a good time.
Help us to walk in the Spirit.
Help us to be kind one to another.
Help us to obey mommy and daddy and do it right away.
Thank you for ours food.
In Jesus Name, Amen."


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