Good News

Wow this month has been a challenge to stay in rest and believe that God is the one working things out on our behalf. Around here at BSSM it has been deadline days for everyone’s missions trips and ministry trips. There were many emotions that went up and down this past month with my Nana Ruby passing away, all 4 of us being sick with in a weeks time, and trying to keep up with how busy life’s pace has been lately.

The 5th was one of the most emotional days of 2015 and if you are my friend on Facebook you got to read some of those ups and downs. Needless to say by the end of the 5th we had had $1050 come in, in one day! That brought our total down to $1087 out of $5,300! That in itself is amazing! We celebrated but the idea of Ben being the only one of us to go didn’t sit right. A few more donations came in to pay off the rest of my money needed.

Fast forward a week and Ben gets a message from a friend saying that their mom wants to pay off the rest of his trip, how much is left?! So folks we are going to Ireland!! And not only Ireland but Ben got accepted on to a ministry trip to Alabama with his intern Jenn to go to her home town in June, which is already paid for!

Ok I just want to share some more good news. Our friend Hannah was also on the trip with us to Ireland. She poured her own savings in to secure her flight but then didn’t make her next deadline. Our leaders gave her more grace as more funds came in for her, slowly but surly she was down to $106 needed on Tuesday by 10 am, 2 hours later she got it! I am so proud of her for keeping faith and standing in what God told her about being a part of this team.

Another friend Debora was accepted to Ecuador and by the 20th she still needed $1400. The day came and passed. Just yesterday she posted that her trip was fully paid off, and not just her’s but everyone on the team that didn’t reach theirs!!

Here is another! Our dear friend Claire had previously been accepted on a missions trip but then didn’t make the deadlines which was a disappointment.  But then God made a miracle happen over Christmas and her and her husband Luke went to New York and the East coast for their own little ministry trip together. Then just 2 days ago Claire was invited to go on a ministry trip with Paul and Sue Manwaring to South Africa and she had 48 hours to raise $1400, which was even more than her previous missions trip that she had applied for. This was a very strict deadline as any grace periods that were there were now gone. Today she woke up to it being paid! She is going to South Africa and they are going to be so blessed to have her on the trip.

God loves working behind the scenes for those who’s hearts are towards Him. There were many times we had no idea how it was going to happen, but we did our part and He finished what He started. So many people gave, so many came forward with their support and belief in us and because of that we say THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!! We are so excited for what God is going to do in Ireland and Northern Ireland in us and His people! God loves His garden surrounded by the sea.

Here is a video that we put together to share our joy with you!

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It Is Well

I have been thinking over the fact that I have yet to share on the blog what my finished project was from my fall art class. I kept thinking, I need to share it but then something else would come out on the page. Well tonight is the night! And not only do you get to see it through bad iPhone photos but this beauty could be yours! This is the painting that we will be sending to one of our Ireland supporters!  It is a painting and a poem together. Here is a bit about the process that took place.

In class they told us to start thinking about what we would want our final project to be. God showed me a vision of this waterfall that would flow down to a little pool and then continue on in a stream. I sketched it out and it looked great as a sketch, which in itself took me about 3 hours. I couldn’t find a perfect reference picture for the life of me and as I tried to take parts from this picture or that, you could tell in size and shadows etc. This is the farthest I got as I over worked it and threw in the towel after 15+ hours of work.

falls1

I then found a reference that I liked, although it wasn’t the exact image I had in my mind. I really wanted to work on my skill as being able to do things more realistic looking. And I had one week to do it. I pushed.

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falls2

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falls final

Finished Painting.

[  It Is Well  ]

As I walk on the path less often chosen, I know you are with me.

Your hand and guidance is something I often see.

Even when I look out and feel the road is gone, I trust you.

When all that is around me feels hard, you bring strength like you always do.

You carve through those rough places leaving behind evidence that you were there.

You have always been inside and yet still everywhere.

Your grace is gentle and yet forcefully strong.

You wash over me with melodies and song.

It penetrates my being, the way you bring me life.

The love that you give, all that You’ve sacrificed.

Sometimes I wonder about my comfort and all my doings.

But in light of eternity those are all but ruins.

You are like a rushing river that does not end.

You bring me peace in the midst of every bend.

Heaven alone is not my goal.

It is only you with in me that can make me say, it is well with my soul.


Tell me more Joanna about how I can get a chance to win this?! Ok I will. For every person that donates to Ben or my trip to Ireland, you’re name will be put in a drawing to win either this painting or a copy of the new Bethel album/ film combination We Will Not Be Shaken! Scroll down to the bottom of the previous post for the links to give! We appreciate it beyond words and need your help!

Packing You In Our Suitcase

I finally found my cards yesterday so I could write thank you notes to the people that gave to our previous deadline for our Ireland missions trip. (I can be stubborn that way, I was almost ready to give up and buy more but then God reminded me where they were.)

While writing them out God gave me a vision in my mind of all those beautiful people, the ones who sowed into us, getting packed in to our suitcases with our belongings. It was such a cool picture of what happens in the spirit when you give to something that has eternal significance. Even if we could sit down and share all that takes place afterwards when we get back, it still won’t cover everything. Only in heaven will we see the full picture of what you are putting to flight by helping us go.

The vision also made me all the more curious as to who the anonymous donors were. So those of you who I can’t personally send a note to, know that we are so thankful for you! We had about $1080 come in with in 48 hours!

It has been pretty amazing to see people give that I didn’t even know by name, or old family friends, or even second cousins that we haven’t met in person yet. Makes me think about the great cloud of witnesses up in heaven cheering us on, but you are here. You are our tangible angels, ministers of the Lord strengthening us to do His works, and we are so grateful for everyone of you and the part you play in this.

We wanted to do something fun so for every donation that has been given or future ones for our up coming deadline, you will be entered in to a drawing for one of my original paintings or a copy of Bethel’s newest album/ film We Will Not Be Shaken.! Drawing will be announced after our goal is met, which hopefully will be by February 5th! So at least two people will win something.

Ok enough of the fundraising stuff, what has been going on in our lives. Lots of course and now that we are already 5 paragraphs in to this update I’ll try to keep it light.

Last week Randy Clark came to town to host his school of healing where he teaches on his theology and then sets the students and staff loose to pray for people. The testimonies are still coming in but the night Ben was scheduled for the evening service 108 people were healed just from words of knowledge. (When God tells someone what specifically is an issue that He is healing at that moment) How incredible is Jesus?! Another friend wanted to see someone walk that had previously been paralyzed and to shorten an amazing story, he did! Someone else that came who was in the final stages of Lyme disease after 37 years was completely healed! So many testimonies all the time, they are the bread we eat to sustain us.

Some other high lights was that Ben was asked to lead worship for one of the morning session sets for the conference which was a HUGE honor. We both didn’t really understand that until after it had happened and he had been live streamed. He didn’t know it was going to be streamed until a few moments before the start and he was wearing his Minnesota Gophers shirt. Haha, he got some flack for that from friends.

We also have had the joy of having Ben’s brother Ezra to stay with us for a week. It was sort of a crazy week as the schedule was so different with the conference but we found our moments to have fun and explore. We finally got out to Burney Falls which was fabulous and the pictures that we took would not do it justice. Imagine 100 million gallons of water flowing from a water fall every day! I tried to help Trinity to understand how much that was and she said but California doesn’t have a lot of water. I said you are right. (She’s learned from washing dishes and brushing teeth that we don’t waste water here) Then she pieced it together to say they have all the water up here! She is such a clever girl and very intuitive. Dropped off her application to kindergarten yesterday as well. That was a strange feeling.

Then last night putting her down to bed she said lets say what we want to be when we grow up. She started with wanting to be a king, but said but I’m not a boy. So I said that would mean you are a queen then, she agreed that that would be ok and that mommy should also be a queen. Then she said when I grow up I want to be a mommy too. So I said ok then I will turn in to a grandma. The thought of me turning in to something else made her very upset and sad so she cried. I tried to explain I would still be her mommy and not turn in to anything (like in Shrek when the girl is an ogre by night, I wasn’t sure where she was going with it though) We finally had to just pray and ask Jesus to take any ickies away and asked for God’s peace and angels to come and protect her. I could see the peace wash over her and I said there, all better. Then she started getting the giggles! Hahaha oh my sweet little girl, what a future you have a head of you.

Ruby and I are always busy running everyone here and there and getting things done. I will probably write a more personal blog about my life later on my lifestyle blog.

Praying for all that read this that you would find tremendous peace in the midst of life. To wish for a life with no challenges would be a dull life. But to walk in true peace and knowing that God is always working on your behalf if He calls you son or daughter is really remarkable.

Because people have been asking I updated this post with our links for giving and our current total needed by February 5th.

Joanna’s link. $1310.00 https://trips.ibethel.org/transactions/new/8093

Ben’s link. $1102.78 https://trips.ibethel.org/transactions/new/6381

Ireland Is In Our Sights

As Ben is in his second year at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) here in California, he is growing and learning SO MUCH as the leadership gives him more responsibility and challenges. The girls and I are growing lots as well as we have chosen to take the path less often chosen and submit fully to what the Lord has for us. I can’t believe there are only 4 ½ months left of this year’s schooling!

Just like in Ben’s first year of school this year also has opportunities to be activated on a missions or ministry trips. Ben and I are so excited that we both have been selected to be a part of BSSM’s trip to Ireland! Even though I am not a student, BSSM really works within relationship. Because of this and the fact that my husband is amazing and asked, I now get to be part of the team!

Ireland has been on my heart since I was 14 and for Ben it has been in his heart a long time as well. His family history can be tracked back and through Ireland so it has always been a country he has wanted to see firsthand.

Europe in all is part of the calling God has for our family’s lives and just another reason we are excited to have this opportunity. At first when I realized that our calling was to Europe I was a bit overwhelmed. It is one thing to go to a nation that has never heard the name of Christ before and introduce them to Jesus because they are hungry for Him. It is another thing to go to a first world nation and minister the gospel to people that may have hardened hearts. Both very needed, but I felt a bit lost as how to do it. How to show people who Jesus is and what His love looks like really well is something I am so excited to experience. I am so grateful that Ben and I get to experience this together as it will set us up to do more of what the Lord has for us.

We will be ministering up and down the Eastern seaboard of Ireland going to the cities of Dublin, Brae, Swords and Belfast. Our heart is to release hope and victory to the churches, schools and local streets. We will be partnering with a broad spectrum of ministries as God moves powerfully in this beautiful country. Not only is this trip going to be amazing for our team and those we interact with but it has the potential to reach the entire world. Our trip and 4 others in the UK are going to be filming a documentary called What Does Love Look Like. I will put a link in at the bottom for a clip from the trip that was filmed last year. Last year was the first time a trip was filmed for the documentary and has now been expanded to 5.  Bethel’s broad reach in to the world has the influence to impact many people’s lives by making this film.

As you can tell we are so excited for this opportunity but we do need help. Our next financial deadline is January 8th as we need to buy our plane tickets. (Our first payment was a deposit for them to be held) So we humbly ask would you please consider partnering with us in this adventure. We need finances, prayers and encouragement, any of which if offered we will gladly accept. All financial gifts are tax deductible. Some of you already have given and we thank you so much for it! We are not asking you again for support, just wanted to send this to you for more information in case we missed something in past communications. You are just as much a part of this as we are! We are all working as one body to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of how the website works Ben and I have separate accounts for giving.

 Ben needs $490 by the 8th ($1870 total left!) Click here to give to Ben’s account https://trips.ibethel.org/transactions/new/6381

 Joanna needs $500 by the 8th ($1880 total left!) Click here to give to Joanna’s account https://trips.ibethel.org/transactions/new/8093

The trip dates are March 18th-30th. If you are also wondering what we are doing about our two wonderful daughters, my parents are planning on coming out to take care of them. Prayers and finances for their trip to come here to be with the girls are also needed. So keep Henry and Leslie in your prayers as well please. It will be hard for us to be separate from our girls for so long (and for the first time away from Ruby) but I am very thankful knowing the girls will be in very loving hands.

Thank you for everything you already do for us and the gospel over all. We are blessed to be in this environment, gleaning and growing. Your support means the world to us and today literally is impacting the world! The future is bright when you turn on the light!

 Here is the link to check out a bit of last year’s documentary

What Is Ahead

walking tight rope

To get a sense of where we are going, we look to the past.

2013 was a year of stepping out on the water of the unknown, leaving all we knew and had behind as we said yes to the gentle invitation that God was putting before us. Knowing it would not happen on our strength alone, it would be all Him or nothing.

2014 was a year of learning how to walk on the water, may have sank down a little bit a few times but Jesus was always there to bring us back up. It was our first full year of being in a place of fully depending on God for every aspect of our lives. No plan B.

We have been in a wilderness season preparing for our promised land. We have related many times to the Israelites in this journey saying things like it was better for us back in Egypt, what are we doing here?! It has been trying more so than I share with most people, but in it there has been tremendous growth and dying of old mindsets.

Just like the Israelites the wilderness was a place of seeing miraculous provision for survival. They had a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, the cloud gave them shade and the fire gave them warmth as they walked through the desert. They complained to God that they were hungry and God answered their complaints with manna and quail. Miraculous yes, but it would be tiring to eat the same things every day for 40 years. Again they complained of thirst, and God brought forth water from a stone or by throwing a piece of wood in to a body of water that had been to bitter to drink which then made it drinkable. Miraculous provision, yes. (See book of Exodus)

We have had many times of being at a bank balance of zero, of having bills that we had no way of paying, of getting really creative with what is in the kitchen, and not knowing how we were going to fill up the gas tank. But God has not let us fall, He is our provider. And it looks different each and every time.

Why don’t we go out and find regular jobs like everyone else does? Because God has told us not to, He has told us to keep the faith. We are doing exactly what He wants us to, and fighting to stay in rest. Fighting to praise Him even though we may not want to, we are learning and growing in this wilderness.

Some people call us crazy. But we don’t want to be the same people we were when we left “Egypt”. (And no I’m not comparing MN with captivity, or saying where we were was bad.) We want to be able to walk in to our promised land with renewed minds. Albert Einstein says that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If we took what our old land had taught us was the way of provision and applied it here, expecting to have a renewed mind with little other change in that area, that would be insanity. That would defeat our goal and it would be disobeying God.

For those of you who have been following along since the beginning, you will remember a prophetic word that was spoken over us at the start of 2013 when we had no idea that all this was in store for us. For those of you new to our journey I will share again.

A part of the word was “Welcome to a walk of faith that makes walking across the Niagara Falls on a tight rope look like a picnic in comparison.” Can you imagine trying to take on such a task? The Niagara Falls that is about 36 miles wide and about 326 feet high. Crossing over that area on a tight rope, amongst raging waters around you and below you. Mist and water spraying in your face forcing you to focus on different senses as you are blinded and making your steps unsure and slippery. The roar of the water plummeting so deafening that you can not hear anything else. This is what God said would look like a picnic in comparison to what we were about to embark on.

Last Sunday I was thinking of that word again, and God showed me a picture of us walking that tight rope. There was a moment of clarity, and sunshine breaking through the mist. A rainbow could be seen in the sky and I saw that we were 3/4 of the way there. This gave me strength to know that an end to this season is in sight and I believe it will be in this new year.

This morning God told me that 2015 would be a year of advancement for our family. That we would be walking in to our promised land renewed and transformed. That we would be able to take what is ours. For the Israelites it took 40 years for the old generation to die off, taking the old slavery mindsets with them. The next generation was able to walk in, see the inhabitants and know that God would give them victory to take what was theres. What will it look like? How do we get there? One step, one day at a time and continue to listen to God’s voice. Staying faithful. He is our strength.

The Lord has been giving us more vision and clarity of what the future has as we take steps forward and we will be revealing more about what is ahead in future posts. This clip is a song that we have been singing a lot recently.

His Law is Love

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Last Monday I went to Ben’s school to watch him share the stage with someone who is a hero to us. Someone who has shared who she is and the relationship she has with God in her music, that in turn has brought Ben and I to deeper revelations of God. He had the honor of doing back ground vocals for Kristine DiMarco, his worship pastor in second year. It is half the fulfillment of one of his dreams.

With it being the last Monday of school before Christmas break started, worship was mostly Christmas songs. Some people don’t like using Christmas songs as worship songs for different reasons. We have a lot of internationals here and many of them don’t know any of them, or they are very wordy and are mostly telling a story rather than giving praise and adoration. But for me, I love it. Often I find myself too choked up with thoughts that the imagery paints in my mind and from an overwhelmed response to how good Abba is.

Then one of the inters that was co leading with Kristine, Sarah Gamble took the mic. She led O Holy Night, (which is my favorite Christmas song) and it was so powerful. So powerful in fact that the words His law is love and His gospel is peace continue to ring in my soul these many days afterwards.

Christmas time as a child was always magical but since moving in to adulthood there would be years where I would want to feel that again, but it never came. People say we do Christmas for the kids, which is great but there is more. This year, I feel the more. The magic has turned in to Emmanuel, God with us. Anytime I let my mind wonder to the nativity story or God himself, I feel something even better than I did as a child.

I believe it is a mixture of things. This is our first year ever as a family where we can’t visit extended family. This is the first year where we had no way of getting gifts for our family or girls. This is our first year where Christmas day’s forecast is 55 and mostly sunny. So many aspects going on and yet His grace is wrapping us up like a package. He is Emmanuel and His law is love and His gospel is peace.

He feels so close that this is also the first month where wondering how to cover this or that bill isn’t really a worry for me. The furthest I have been yet in my war against poverty mindsets. Why? Because HE IS FAITHFUL! We have more gifts for the girls that came from family this year than we know what to do with and have been letting them open one up each night since Friday. Not only things that we have needed to get them but also things that they desire, sometimes things even better than what they would have dreamed of; That is our God.

May this Christmas be a time where you can find Him as Emmanuel. For His law is love and His gospel is peace. Watch this video and hear the words for this first time again.

The Year of Jubilee

Here is an update from Ben! There were people everywhere in the hustle and bustle of what Bethel puts on every year called the Bethel Bazaar. People sell their homemade goods and different things like that, along with balloon animals for kids and face painting. I had both girls in tow as Jo was helping by doing portraits. I saw someone from my revival group, who was helping her friend at a table, greeting someone else from our revival group. I just stopped to say Hi to them and quickly realized that I knew the others at the table selling different signs and handmade journals. As I was talking to them and seeing what they were selling, I happened to notice a Bible they were using for some décor and I said, “Hey, that reminds me of a bible I used to have.”

REWIND //\\ Last year, in BSSM 1st year, on the second day of school, I had lead worship and had used my bible and my backpack to save my seat. When I came back, someone else was sitting in the seats I’d saved, my backpack was crammed under a seat, and my bible was gone. I was so confused, but thought maybe it will show up in the lost and found that we had there. I had searched it the remainder of that week with no success. My bible hadn’t sho wn up. I began to think that maybe it was stolen, “But who would steal a bible at a bible school? Maybe someone just needed it more than I.” I had thought. Frustrated and a little upset I started saying, “I want my bible back!!” over and over again and I shared my story with others and they urged me to keep checking lost and found and so I did faithfully, almost every day, believing for my bible to turn up. They also suggested that someone may have picked it up and thrown it into the back of their car and not realized it was theirs. So I forgave whoever it was and for whatever reason it was, but still wanted it back.

There was a person in my revival group last year that had heard my story, asked what kind it was and without my knowing it, bought me a brand new, NICE bible (NOT cheap)!! I was so surprised and touched by their generosity and I was now back in the game. I kept holding on to the belief that I would see my old bible again someday. I finally started taking notes in my bible and highlighting things and all that. You know, getting to know your bible and all that takes time. Well then a couple of weeks ago I went to the church service alone because Joanna had a class she was taking, so I saved my seat in the overflow room with my bible and I thought, “I hope it doesn’t get taken.” I was half joking and left it there and went into the main sanctuary for worship. After that I returned to see someone else sitting in my seat and my bible nowhere to be seen. Checked the churches lost and found and asked around that seat and no one saw it. “Could this really be happening again??” I told Jo and we were both in disbelief.

So now both bibles gone, I began to search online for another NEW bible. I would now have two new bibles in two years. Man, was I discouraged. I looked and looked but couldn’t find one that I liked online and thought I was going to have to go into a bible bookstore to look for one and probably have to pay overprice for it. I wanted to see if I could find one like my first one. I was going to go today but we were busy all day and now we were at the Bazaar. I also have Preaching Week coming up after Thanksgiving break so I need a new bible.

BACK TO THE BAZAAR \\// “Hey, that reminds me of a bible I used to have.” I said to my friend Rachel, whom I met before 1st year started. She said, “Yeah, it belongs to some guy named Ben Overly.”(I am not sure she knew my last name) I had thought she was just joking, and that it was hers. I looked at her, waiting for that punch line and she just kept looking at me. “Are you freaking kidding me?” I said. And she just said, “No” as she was shaking her head. I said it again with a little more disbelief, “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??” “If this is my bible….” I began to open up the cover and look for my notes and some pink sticky notes I had in there. As I opened it up and saw that first glimpse of pink my heart just leaped for joy!!! “OH, MY GOD!!” (I was really talking to Him). My emotions began to come out and I started to cry as I realized the faithfulness of a Father who returned to me what was lost. Oh, how I felt His love as I have been contending to “Wanting my bible back!”

I came to find out that Rachel had accidentally picked it up and didn’t realize that she had and she packed it into a book box that went back to Florida with her over the summer and happened to come back with her to Redding!… She found it 3 days ago in that box and didn’t think about it because there is a person in Florida with the last name Overly and was confused how it ended up in Redding.

I can’t begin to think about how this all came about, how I ‘happened’ to stop at the table because I happened to see a couple friends saying hi and deciding to say hi myself, they happened to use the bible for décor because she found it 3 days before, to looking at what they were selling and happening to see the bible, taking a second look and mentioning I had one like that, to Rachel saying that it belongs to “someone named Ben Overly” to me just looking and seeing if was actually true, and God bringing my bible back!! There is no coincidence here!!

This is not the first time this has happened. I heard this testimony about a guy who lost his pocket watch that had sentimental value and God brought it back to him. http://youtu.be/3tNZKUl4D5E (Here is the story). But I’ve had this happen with my wallet where I searched and searched for it when Joanna and I were out on day trip to one of the great lakes. I looked everywhere we had been. I tore the car apart, looked under both seats with my flashlight multiple times to make sure. We were heading back home and I said, “I want my wallet back!” and I felt an impression to check under my seat. I said, “No, God I already did check twice.” “Check again.” Came the response. As soon as I put my hand under the seat it hit my wallet. It was barely under my seat and there was no way it could have been missed the way I looked under there. It happened with a hat of mine twice and several other things that were lost for weeks and just appeared in plain sight!

So I believe this is a prophetic declaration and a time to call back things that were once lost (I’m calling back my debt free days. Haha!) This is the year of Jubilee and a restoration of things that were once wrong to be made right. The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. +Revelation 19:10 What He has done for me, he will do for you! He is so good!

Send me any testimonies you have like this!

 

I will give thanks to the Lord

            with all my heart;

I will tell of all Your wonders.

I will be glad and exult in You,

I will sing praise to the Your name,

            O Most High.

Ps 9:1-2