Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brother-Sister Send Off...

Well, the U-Haul has sat in our driveway for two days; it is almost all packed up. Grant and Laura head north tomorrow to say hello to a different city and home for 3 years while Grant attends Texas Tech Law School. I have absolutely adored having them 'home' at my parents house with me this week as they have picked out new paint colors, ran errands, made phone calls, and set up utilities and other things at their new home. The really good thing is that they will live only three hours away and still in Texas. Laura will teach 1st grade at a local elementary school. Grant will devote his days to law books, reviews, and hours in a classroom. I am so excited for this new chapter in their lives, their marriage covenant, and in our life as a family. We have known this day would come but now that it's almost here, I find myself asking the Lord for more time together.

Thankfully, we will have that time in a week-long vacation to our favorite spot: Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We Cunninghams adore Colorado. Grant has a passion for fly fishing, hiking, and getting lost in the beauty and scenery in that place. Daddy, Mama, Laura, and I love to poke around Pagosa, take it easy, and just be together. I have a feeling that there will be lots of hugging, savoring time, and just immersing ourselves in one another. I can't wait. Grant will continue to work for my dad throughout the rest of the summer and go to his new home on weekends as Laura stays behind creating their new home and acquainting herself with the new city they will call home. Really the Lord has led every single step of this journey with them. I am so thankful for the evidence He has given to let them know that they truly belong there for a short season. That is what this whole law school thing is: a season of time where Grant and Laura make their own lives and begin to live out of reputations they create and maintain for themselves. I know the Lord has wonderful purposes, desires, and gifts for them as they have totally devoted this entire journey to His glory. It's just hard to say 'goodbye'. The really neat thing that brings me a lot of peace is that they are God's people and they do not belong to me, they belong solely to each other and to the Lord.

"Where you go, I will go. Where you sleep, I will sleep." Ruth 4;16

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Days...

I am loving this summer. My family and I have already been quite busy and, to be honest, I like it that way. My mom has been traveling her little heart out, my Daddy has been working, my brother and sister have been tying up loose ends in Abilene to move to Lubbock on Thurday, and I have been enjoying great times with family, friends, and my Jesus. Truly, I have made great memories so far. The fun is far from being over.

This weekend should be tons of fun. I am attending a prophetic conference at FUMC in Abilene beginning on Thursday afternoon and it will conclude on Saturday evening. I am so excited about the lady who is coming in from Catch the Fire Ministries based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her name is Isabel Allum and she centers her individual prophetic ministry out of the father heart of God. Then, on Friday evening, I will hop from FUMC's conference to go to a Chrysalis team meeting for the Girl's Chrysalis I'm working in July. There are so many people I love working on this team. My heart and spirit should be feasting all weekend. God has truly poured out His goodness in the season I'm experiencing right now in the deepest parts of my soul. I'm being filled up so much so that I can be poured out for the glory and purposes of Christ. That just excites me like nothing else. Please say a prayer for my mom as she is traveling through Vienna this week. She will return on Saturday morning.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


First of all this is my completely precious and servant-hearted Daddy, Rob. I absolutely adore him and I could not even imagine my life without his godly influence and his commitment to living in humble excellence. I am so enbebted to him for many many things. I am a product of grace and anything I am is a direct result of God's goodness and my Daddy's Spirit-filled example of an earthly father.

Let me introduce you to my Pa, Bob Cunningham, my Daddy's dad. This man is one of my heroes. When I say hero, I mean a spiritual giant in my life. I just love him to pieces. I am so glad he's in my life. I have such precious memories of growing up spending time with him. There is no way I can repay him for all he's done for me. I guess I'll just have to wait until heaven so that God can repay him. That sounds good to me.

This couple ladies and gentleman, are my grandparents, Jerry and Stel Elmore. My mom is their daughter. I have learned more about the character of Jesus from these two people then they know. There are no two people who know scripture like these two. I know my grandfather as Papa. He and my Grandma moved to Abilene 5 years ago from Bakersfield, California. He served as an elder in their home congregation for 40 years. That's quite a heritage. I am beyond blessed to have Papa in my life and in my journey with Christ. I'm thankful.

(I couldn't find a picture of my Papa and me) I hope you've enjoyed this little family tour. There is nothing like family. I believe it is one of God's most awesome instituions and creations.

One Busy Weekend...

My friend and freshman roommate, Jordan, got married this weekend. I only made the reception. My Saturday was booked. She was a radiant bride. I was so honored to be able to celebrate her. God has used her in my life to speak truth, to encourage me, to challenge me, to pray for me, and to spur me on to higher things in Him. I am so thankful for and excited about her newly authored marriage covenant to Brent. What a lucky guy. I wish Brent and Jordan every blessing that God has to give. They both have waited a lifetime for this new adventure

I also was beyond blessed to attend an outdoor wedding on Saturday evening full of people I love. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I've been to in a while. It was so relaxed, laid back, and full of the personalities of both families involved. The neice of one of my most treasured mentors was the bride. My mentor's husband performed the ceremony and it was chalk-full of personal touches and stories from the lives of the couple. It was wonderful. I loved it.

Today, my family had a Father's Day celebration at my cousin's house. It was fun. My Mom and Daddy were not there but I made sure to call my Dad and wish him a happy day. I always enjoy times with my family. There are so many precious moments in the lives of families. I am blessed to have a great one.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Prayer Warriors Unite...

Please pray for baby Eydie Paige Stover. She was born yesterday, June 18, 2009, to Brandon and Kate Stover in Abilene. She is in the Hendrick NICU having difficulty breathing. She shows signs of improvement as of now. Please pray for Brandon, Kate, Eydie Paige and family members as they wait. Pray specifically for restoration of breathing and for Eydie's lungs as she is weaned off of the oxygen. Pray that the Great Physician would breathe on this precious little girl as He holds her in His hands.

Also please be in prayer for Reuben Whitfield, Jody Reese's father as he is on life support in Austin after suffering a fall off of a ladder. Jody, Lynn, and Kathy are all on their way to Austin to be with him and their mom, Naomi. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hot But Blessed...

It has been oppressively hot in Abilene this week. I am constantly thanking the Lord for air conditioning and for lukewarm showers in the middle of the afternoon. I have been remided of the Houston heat this week and I have a very tangible sense of what my friends the Thompsons and Sargents must live with throughout steamy-hot South Texas summers. I truly have a new-found appreciation for you guys. I honestly don't know how you do it day in and day out.

Those who are close to me know what a stuggle I have in extreme heat. I HATE it. It takes major determination to fight my flesh and combat the heat and my desire to give into the temptaiton to complain and be miserable in the midst of being hot. I much rather perfer cold weather any day. Right now, I am wishing my family had a pool that I could just jump into any time I felt the urge. Last week it got up to 102 degrees.

In the midst of this heat wave that has come over Abilene, the Lord has also provided much-needed fellowship with mentors and other sweet friends. I am so glad I don't ever have to be in this life alone. There is SO much value in friendship and the journey of discipleship. I have been humbled, corrected, extravagantly loved, and nurtured this week by many dfferent outlets. I am extravagantly and immeausrably blessed.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart; with all your soul; with all your mind; and with all your strength for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus." - Deuteronomy 6

Monday, June 15, 2009

Spirit, Train My Tongue...

Words contain unspeakable power. I learned that this weekend. My tongue needs to go back to school to be taught to be used. I desire to speak and invoke blessing over people's lives and I fail that desire so many times. I desperately need the power of the Spirit to teach, cultivate, and grow the words and works of my mouth. I am asking the Lord to set a guard about my mouth and to refresh and reuse the filter that He created. I think I just need a complete rehaul in the area of my speech. Thankfully, I serve a God who is more than willing to guide, teach, and mature what comes from my spirit into my mouth. I was reminded today in my prayer time that God gave me two ears with which to listen and one mouth to speak. I think He wants me to listen twice as much as I talk. That is SO hard. But, I know I can do it with God's help. I am asking the Spirit to employ the 10-second rule when I speak meaning that I desire to think about what I say for 10 seconds before I allow it the authority to come out of my spirit or my mouth. That is going to take work but I can do it. I praise the Lord that he redeems, forgives, wipes clean, and restores us as His vesels. I am thankful for courageous people to come and correct and tell me when I have done something wrong or something that is completely ungodly. I need that in my life. I want to be a spring of blessing. I want to be a safe place where people can share their hearts and know that what is said will stay in the strictest confidence. God is good.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cultivating a Lovely and Gentle Spirit...

I desperately yearn to possess a lovely and gentle spirit in the sight of the Lord. I can't say I'm all the way there. Thankfully, we are never quite where we want to be in our relationships with Christ. It is a process. It takes time. That is something that the Lord has had to teach and show me as I have grown in my walk of discipleship. I am so grateful that He has made a covenant promise to me to walk beside me and guide me by the power and promptings of the Holy Spirit. I always have to remember that grwoing in loveliness and gentleness will never be finished as long as I walk in this earthly life. Don't get me wrong, I make mistakes. My flesh shouts almost daily. I am the clay He is the Potter..., I am the clay, He is the Potter...

Boy, am I glad that growing comes in stages and that the Lord constantly is promoting us onto greater things in His kingdom. Being promoted and matured in a fruit of the Spirit comes as the Lord figures us out and tests us in order to see if we are being real and not skipping anything He has in store for us. We cannot miss one of His purposes because He uses each one to make us stronger, sharper, and more into the image of the One who is eternal and steady. Our innermost foundation MUST be established in the reality and certainty of Who He is. He must author everything that we are about in order to be fully known in us by the world.

"Let your beauty come not from outward adornment, but let it be found in the beauty and authenticity of your inner person, the person of your heart. A gentle, lovely, and a quiet spirit is of great worh in the sight of the Lord." - 1 Peter 3:4

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Make Me a Warrior Woman...

I want to be a warrior-saint. I want to go boldly into places of darkness and lack in order to envelop and illuminate them with the light of the Lord. I want to make the devil cringe. I want him to know my name and to have my number. The Word says that if we resist him long enough, he will get bord becuase he realizes that we are not going to be put of course. He knows our gaze is fixed and firmly established to the One who is victorious. I love that. I mean seriously, I want to be that invested and focused on heavenly and excellent things. I was listening to a prophetic word on CD by one of my favorite people, Graham Cooke, and he said this, "The devil repelled by authentic, relentless, and reckless praise." Graham also shared this little tidbit, "Fear or anything contrary to the nature or character of God attracts attack and demonic activity." Wow. That is some hard-core truth. To be completely honest, I'm still in the process of sifting through, in my mind, much of what I heard on the CD. There was so much that was beyond my mind. But, I still opened up my spirit and received what Graham called forth and spoke over my heart. It truly fed my spirit. It was as if God was pouring His goodness and His deep abiding revelation into my being.

There is absolutely nothing that is more precious to me than intimately communing and spending time with my God. It really is the only way I will ever be who I want to be, a woman completely yielded and wholly abandoned to the purposes, passions, and heart cries of my Savior. I take such joy and faith in the fact that the Lord knows my reputation with men and in the heavenly courts. I take comfort in the fact that I am fought for in the battle that is raging all around me in the heavenly realm. I am hidden in the secret place with Christ as God fights my battles and calls forth my destiny. I want to give Him absolutely everything I can so that He can sharpen, shape, and create in me the person and eternal being that He has had in his mind's eye since before the foundations of the earth were put into place.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Reason to Love...

I have enjoyed a wonderful weekend. Friday night, my family and I enjoyed great time with very close family friends. Saturday morning and afternoon were spent with my best friend besides Jesus, my precious Mom shopping, running errands, and having my sister help us pick out my Mom's new glasses. Saturday evening my family and I went to a wedding at one of my favorite chruches in town. I love to witness weddings. I teared up many times as is very common for me. After the wedding my Mom, Daddy, and I enjoyed a coffee date with another very close couple to our family. It has been a wonderful couple days, for sure.

My favorite part of the weekend came this morning as Randy Harris gave the message to my church body. I was very convicted as I sat listening and feverishly scribbling down notes. It was excellent. His message was taken from Luke 10:25-37. I loved the title of his message, "The Menimally Decent Samaritan." He focused on the fact that the Good Samaritan showed the injured man extravagant compassion, mercy, and kindness. This guy went the extra mile in excellence and provided for the injured man. One thing that Randy said that I loved and paraphrased was, "Jesus is calling all His disciples and servants to a radical ethic and way of living." Another thing that I caught was the idea of the Lord wanting us to go beyond ourselves and our flesh and to live beyond menimal decency, but to love extravagantly and to lavish the grace and love of God on people. I absolutely love that idea and I pray that my life embodies that in my everyday existence.

All in all it was a rich, soul-satisfying time of encouragement and being sharpened and challenged to go deeper into the character and call of Jesus on my life as His servant. To top it off, my Daddy and I got to eat a wonderful home-cooked meal at my brother's house one last time with my grandparents before my brother and sister-in-love begin their move to Lubbock in the next two weeks. Grant is beginning law school at Texas Tech in August. Laura will teach 1st grade at a wonderful, innovative elementary school in August as well. Please pray for them. This entire process has been one-hundred percent Spirit-led and the Lord has really provided and led every step of the way.

I'll leave you with a concept that I paraphrased from today's message in worship:

"A Gospel-formed love can only come forth out of a person who is intimately acquainted with the radical, extravagant love of Christ Jesus first before it can go beyond us and help usher in His Presence and his purposes for His ultimate glory in all things seen and unseen."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Earnest Honor...

I pray everyday in my spirit that I will live in earnest honor of the Lord. I know this is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not something I can achieve on my own. I need to be constantly immersed in a power that resides in Someone higher. If it were left up to me alone I would live in the low place of my flesh. Honor is a concept that has gotten lost in our present day society. It seems like every aspect of this society is centered around demeaning or destroying something in order to recieve honor and respect. I really strong dislike that. I want that mentality to change. I have the power to decide whether or not to live that way. We all have the power to make that decision. For that I am grateful.

In my mind honor means serving another person in some way. It means loving another person more than I love myself. It means blessing them in order that they may go out and bless, edify, and encourage others to seek higher things. Honor is something that is earned. It deserves reward. The funny thing is, if you seek the right honor, the reward comes after denying yourself and walking in selflessness and humility. This is extremely hard. It definitely requires power that we in our humaness do not possess. I earnesly pray that my life depicts an earnest honor in all areas. I want to go beyond myself; to serve others passionately in order for them to see Jesus in my life and to attract them to the One to whom honor is due.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Rough-and-Tumble Sophie...

This is my Westie, Sophie, whom I love very much. Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to own a Westie. I have always thought they were just adorable. Sophie is spunky, mischievious, smart, and a complete joy. She definitely makes life fun and interesting. I do believe she has THE most ear-piercing bark I have ever heard in my entire life. I'm so thankful she is part of my life. I seriously love the fact that God created dogs. I think He realized what sweet companions they are. There will never be a day of my life without a dog, that is for sure.
Sophie lives at my parents house and I go home and visit her every weekend. It really works out well because she adores my parents and they have two other dogs, a fence, and a big yard for her to play and dig in. I wish she could live with me, but I live on a very busy street and I'm afraid she would get run over. I have really enjoy her I-will-not-be-ignored personality. My mom kids me all the time about how different Sophie and my personalities are. She always tells me I should trade Sophie in for a Maltese, but then my precious Westie does something endearing and the teasing stops. I wouldn't trade my Sophie for any other dog. I'm glad she's mine.