Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winter Smiles

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there, But water the earth"

"And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater."

"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."


[Isaiah 55:10 -11]

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blogging Birthday!


This month has flown by with each of my blog posts seemingly a couple days behind! But, nonetheless, its better late than never! [smile]

Sunday was our blog-birthday! Little did we realize only four years ago what a blessing this blog would be to our family. For through this blog we have met so many of you readers, made many more dear friends, received invaluable prayer support and encouragement, and now have a consistent record of the Lord's hand at work in our lives.

How fun it is to peek back in our archives to see how much the younger children have grown. How many special memories! How many prayers have been answered, joys have been shared, and family changes have happened. And through it all we see the Lord's faithfulness anew each day. We dearly hope this is the golden thread that weaves its way through this blog. It's not about us. It's all about HIM! And we so enjoy the opportunity to share in this small way.

So to celebrate this, our annual blogging birthday, would you leave us a comment to let us know you stop by?! It's really quite painless and lots of fun. I'll start...

Rachel
Nebraska
I discovered your blog by...well, okay, so I WRITE the blog!! ;)


See?! Now it's your turn...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Christmas has been celebrated for almost a full week this year -- interspersed with a wedding and extended dates in Branson, Missouri. But as Bethany and Dan were with us for some of the festivities, she captured a few pictures to share. (Yes, I really don't know what I'm going to do without her once the honeymoon is over, we say our goodbyes, and they head for Virginia!)

With all the changes, schedules, and adjustments, this has been a very different Christmas than in years past. Almost all our family's beloved Christmas traditions had to take the 'back-burner' for practicality sake. But more than ever, we rejoiced in the Lord's goodness, the gift of family, and treasuring the simple things of life.

We actually celebrated our family Christmas on December 23rd, as the newlyweds gave us a delightful surprise -- they took a day out of their honeymoon to surprise us and spend a whole day together!! We had such fun!

Daddy reading the Christmas story

Smiles!

A family tradition: the youngest member of the family gets to pass out the presents!

Notice Mom's creativity -- she helped the younger ones make a 'paper-tree' and ornaments for our one night at a Branson condo!

Sisters!

The sweet newlyweds

Swimming

As most everything in Branson was closed down around Christmas, we enjoyed an afternoon in a friend's swimming pool.

Swimming with Daddy

And yes! Kori visited us from Florida for a week around the wedding and for some of our Christmas festivities. Our family continues to grow and we are so thankful for each one!


"Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of
great joy
which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11

Mr. & Mrs. Dan Beasley

What great things God has done! We're still smiling with the priceless memories of last Saturday. Has it already been a week since the wedding?!

Dan and Bethany's photographer did a fantastic job capturing their special day and we were thrilled to see a preview of several pictures already. Click here to view them on his website!

"I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."
Psalm 9:2

Monday, December 21, 2009

Praise God from Whom...

...all blessings flow!!


Saturday was a day of joy, beauty, encouragement and blessing. We were overwhelmed with the Lord's evident hand of blessing on each aspect of Dan and Bethany's wedding!!

And now we, too, are eagerly waiting and watching for more pictures so I can do an official update! While we did capture a few good pictures on Bethany's camera, it was whisked off to the honeymoon with the newlyweds, so we're left without any pictures to share!! *sigh* Thankfully, Megan posted a sweet picture, and we're hoping for more in the near future!

As for the rest of our family, we're already back in Branson for the remainder of the month, sharing the Christmas show daily until December 30th. We're looking forward to what the Lord has ahead, missing Bethany, but oh, SO happy for them both!!! We covet your prayers for a strong finish here in Branson!!

"Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart;
for consider what great things He has done for you."
1 Samuel 2:24

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Concert....

...in Seward, Nebraska! For those of you who haven't been able to make the trip to Branson but would enjoy an evening of music, family fun, and rejoicing in this season, we're bringing our Christmas show to Seward!

Sponsored by the Seward Chamber of Commerce, we're looking forward to sharing this special evening in our hometown community. It'll also be a 'reunion' concert as Josiah and Abi join us -- as we treasure our last performance with Bethany before the wedding on Saturday.

So bring your friends and join us as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!


Seward Highschool Auditorium
532 Northern Heights Drive
Tuesday, December 15th
7:30 PM

NOTE: This is a ticketed event. Please contact the Chamber at #402-643-4189 for advance tickets. Tickets are also available at the door.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New CD!


It's here! And just in time for Christmas!

Last week a package arrived at the Branson theater and we tore into it with great excitement -- the new CD had arrived!

We were so blessed to work with the Bright Lights ministry this summer to record this CD. It contains many of the uplifting worship songs they use during their conferences. With the addition of the Malley girls' skilled harp playing, this project has been an answer to prayer from the beginning. We're excited with the completed product and pray it is a blessing to many!

For those of you who are curious about the recording process, you can view a fun video on the Bright Light's blog.

To order this CD, visit our store!


"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
Colossians 3:16

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pictures


As my internet happens in small moments here and there, I thought I'd post a quick update with some of the pictures Bethany has captured in the past weeks.

So much has happened, and we have so MUCH to be thankful for. As we look ahead to celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, the encouragement and prayer support of you dear friends -- many whom we've never even met -- is going to be high on our list of gratitude. Every day we see evidence of people praying for us. People genuinely touched during the show as they leave with tears in their eyes, giving us hugs. Continued favor with local businesses. Strength and health. And the list could continue!

Tomorrow, as is our Thanksgiving tradition, we'll sit down as a family and write out a list of gratefulness. As we look back on the past year, our hearts are overflowing at the Lord's faithfulness. Yes, there have been hard times. In many ways we've had some new and deeper struggles this year. But we've seen how the Lord is continuing to grow us. To draw us near to Him. And so we're full of thankfulness! God is so good!

And enough of my ramblings for now. I'm currently at the theater and some of the other kids will be here soon to pick me up to head out to restaurants. We estimated we spend an average of 15 hours each week in restaurants, singing and inviting people to the show. Yes, the days are full! [smile]

This past week we've had several special friends visit, so enjoy the following pictures of a variety of afternoon activities....


Yes! Our grandparents visited for almost a whole week!! Such fun!
We love you, Grandpa and Grandma!


Alaythia and our friend, Alatheia

Smiles!

At our all-time favorite theme park -- Silver Dollar City.

Time for some afternoon football with Daddy and his girls!
(Trying to decide which play to run!)


RUN!!

The happy players

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms."
Psalm 95:2

Work Projects...


In addition to our morning shows, our family has also had the opportunity to help our Cinnamon-roll-making-friend prepare his new store front for business. Lots of painting, trimming and cleaning!


Of course, Matthias had to add a bit of 'personality' to the wall in the process of painting! [smile]



Smiles!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Requesting...

...special prayer for this morning! It's our yearly "Area Appreciation Show" where Branson and area locals get free admission. We've been getting good feedback all week are a praying for great and mighty things this morning! Thank you for joining us in this prayer!

More updates to come....


PS -- And YES! My sore throat is completely healed and I was able to sing through every show this week. Praise the Lord!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Eph. 3:20-21"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pictures!...

Finally! The promised pictures are uploaded! We're so grateful for your prayers this week...it's been a very full schedule but we've been so blessed by many ways we've seen the Lord working! Here is a quick update along with pictures from the show...

Last week we were blessed with very good health. With a full schedule, we were grateful for everyone being able to run at full strength! I'm currently fighting a sore throat, so would appreciate prayers. Thankfully, everyone else is doing well!

We've been blessed with great crowds this last week. We've averaged about 70 people at each show thus far, and having a couple buses already has helped. This is an amazing number when you consider that we're only here seasonally and are fairly little-known. Praise the Lord for drawing many to come!

We've been praying that the Lord would enable us to be a blessing to our theater hosts, the Horn family at the Circle B. This month they have had the largest crowds all year and have needed lots of extra hands cooking, serving, and cleaning up after their evening supper show. And guess what?! We have lots of hands! Its made for many extra hours at the theater, but we have great fun doing food in such a 'big' way! And its another specific answer to prayer!



We've also specifically prayed for good conversations with our crowds. Although a Branson show is usually a 'come and go' event (most people don't hang around and visit afterwards), we've seen small ways that God has given us a glimpse into our guests' hearts as we share.

For example, a lady shook hands with Mom yesterday after our show saying, "You sure have earned yourself a place in heaven for having all those kids." She seemed very shocked when Mom replied that nothing she could do would merit heaven, but it is only through Jesus Christ and His work on the cross that makes her right with God. We continue to pray for seeds that are sown each day!



As most of our advertising takes place in restaurants, we've been praying that we find favor with the staff and cooks of these establishments. We've seen amazing ways that this has been happening. Yesterday I got a call from a manager at IHOP saying that they'd missed our visit that morning and just wanted us to know that they love having us come! As these are people we interact with every day, it was such an encouragement to know they look forward to our visits. We're praying for more opportunities to share Christ with them!




Again, we thank you for your prayers. As we gather for family devotions each morning, we think of you all and thank the Lord for you. We know much of the effective work here and blessings that we're experiencing is due to your investment. Hopefully these short updates are an encouragement to you and help you know more specifics on how to pray! May the Lord be glorified!


"Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations,
"The LORD reigns."
1 Chron. 16:31

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

This week...

...has been flying! A huge thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. We have seriously sensed that in a special way the past few days. Bethany took a bunch of pictures this morning, but unfortunately I've been unsuccessful at getting the camera, computer, and internet all in the same place. So pictures will be coming soon. [smile]

In the meantime, we ARE up and going with the Christmas show. Our first day was filled with small glitches and less than desirable challenges from our point of view -- broken guitar string, sound equipment trials, etc... But in spite of ourselves, the Lord seemed to really minister to the people in the crowd.

After a family meeting at Subway, a few adjustments, and some earnest prayer, we were very thankful that Tuesday's show went really well. Today we had over 80 guests and were encouraged by the conversations and interaction with them. We continue to pray for the seeds that are daily planted as we share the gospel message!

The days are full and I hope to fill you in with a "Day in our Branson Life", soon, but till then, hopefully this short update will suffice!

Again, we greatly appreciate your prayers and we daily see them having an impact! Thank you.

"Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power."


NOTE TO ALL BLOG READERS -- If you're planning to come to our Branson show, please ask for our "Old Thresher's Discount" on your tickets! We'd love to have you join us! [smile]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Its that time of year again!

Branson preparations shifted into high-gear a couple weeks ago, but since we've arrived in the city filled with Christmas lights and action, life has been especially full! Practice and preparations have filled the hours and we've already seen so many answers to prayer.

For example -- although we've been battling sickness in our house for the past two weeks, as soon as we arrived in Branson on Sunday everyone has healed up and we've had no new 'cases'. Ah, the blessing of all being healthy!

We've also seen the Lord's hand in finalizing the songs and program for the show. We'd been praying about new songs for this year, new arrangements, new dialog. And day by day we've seen the Lord's faithfulness. Although we have a few big days of practice ahead, things are starting to take shape and we're really excited about the message for this year!


Next Monday starts our first show. As we think ahead to the opportunities, we're often reminded of God's mighty work last year. People are still marveling at the number of people who came to that first-year show. It is really unexplainable except that people were praying and I know that includes many of you. We heard numerous times from you blog readers who prayed for us every morning and we cannot adequately express our gratefulness.

And as we're starting a new year, we're again requesting your prayers! There are so many open doors here and so many people who are open to hearing about Jesus Christ during this season. May our lives truly be 'salty' as we share the message of why He came! May His joy radiate from our faces and conversations. May HE be exalted and many hearts touched during this special season. That is our prayer!

We look forward to keeping you posted on what God does in the coming weeks. What JOY we have to share!!


"to be ready for every good work,
to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle,
showing all humility to all men.
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy He saved us."
Titus 3:1,2 &5

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nathanael


Nathanael Loren


“God has given” :: “ Laurel ”


One who is diligent, trusting God for the victory.


“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:56-57


Happy 8th Birthday Nathanael!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sewing Days

If you've wondered what else our days have been filled with recently...its been mostly spent behind the sewing machines! With both Branson and a wedding to sew for, we calculated that in the past two weeks we've sewn 21 dresses and 10 skirts!

I'm so grateful for grandmothers who patiently took time to teach us the art of making clothing. If you've ever tried to coordinate a family with our range of sizes, you'll know that's its nearly impossible to find formal outfits [in decent price range] without spending quite a bit of time behind the machine! So to any of you who are patiently teaching a life-skill to a child -- be encouraged -- it could greatly bless their life someday! [And many thanks to our patient grandmas!!]

We're also grateful for friends who lent us extra machines for the week!

With both wedding and Christmas -- red is the 'in' color! [smile]

And once again, our dear friend, Anna, came to our rescue with her sewing skills! Thanks, Anna -- and her sister, Esther, too!

The stack of dresses needing hems and zippers are gradually shrinking as the 'done' rack grows!


So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:12&17