The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Friday, September 16, 2016

Church family here too.

I went to United Reformed Church of Nampa for the second time yesterday. They're my new church family and the worship already feels like home and the rest will soon. I got home from church and pulled off my dress that I never used to wear to church because I knew I'd hold toddlers. I changed into jeans and a tshirt as fast as I could so that I could FaceTime my kids. 

The first held the phone from the beginning to end and I saw real smiles and heard her laugh, "Emily, there's something I need to tell you" and "I have friends in my class" and felt at home as she walked me around church home. She let me feel the wind on the swings and go down the slide. She told me about Gideon and his 100 men who helped him win the battle, and I told her that I'm taking a class at school so I'm learning about the Bible too.  

She asked me when I'll be done with school.
"I'll be here till summer." Four years seemed like an awful answer.
"When will I get to see you?"
"I'll see you at Christmas, and I can't wait."  

Then the phone got shaky for a second and I saw another set of huckleberry eyes behind little rectangular-rimmed glasses as she climbed on the monkey bars. She balances now and controls herself and my heart swelled with joy for her as she smiled.

"Do you remember me?" I hadn't seen her since July.
"HEY I remember you! Where you at?"

The first took the phone back and told me that she was going to look in the jumprope line for her brother because he usually jumps rope after church.
"Hey Emily! How's it going?!" were the first things out of his mouth and I barely had time to answer before little sister took the phone back.

I'm thankful for the love of these little friends. I'm also beginning to love worshipping with a new church family here where I'm blessed by all ages and thankful for the kind people who invite me into their home for lunch on Sunday.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Memorizing Scripture

I get really, really excited when I hear someone is memorizing Scripture.  Having Scripture in our hearts and minds is life changing.  The Word of God is living and active, as you know, and I believe our lives can be transformed when we have Scripture stored up within us.

This past summer the BYGE Hope Fellowship youth group (BYGE means Best Youth Group Ever) began memorizing Scripture.  I was pretty excited to hear they would be doing this.  Chuck Clevenger (he oversees the youth of Sacred Road) picked 11 verses for them to learn.  Each week there was a lesson at youth group and a verse to memorize that corresponded with the lesson.

The youth blew me away.  They began learning the verses.  Each week Chuck would review verses at the beginning of youth group and hands would shoot up around the crowd.  The youth would recite the verses aloud.  They were hiding God's Word in their hearts.  It thrilled me and brought a few tears to my eyes more than once.  Interestingly, school can be a challenge for many and some youth struggle to read, but they were able to retain some Scripture.

Love these gals from BYGE
At the end of the summer, the youth were rewarded with prizes depending on how many verses they could say.  In fact, there were 6 or 7 youth who quoted all 11 verses.  It was incredible!

Here are a few of the verses they learned:

"All who call out to the Lord will be saved."  Romans 10:13

"There is nothing truthful about the devil.  Everything he says is a lie."  John 8:44

"God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won't stop before it is complete."  Philippians 1:6

"Christ gives me the strength to face anything."  Philippians 4:13

God is doing great things in the hearts of these youth.  Please pray that the Scripture they now have in their minds and hearts will transform them, encourage them and bring them hope.

Romans 15:4 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Valentine's Day Party Recap

I have been meaning to write this blog post for a long time.  I know some of you prayed for the Valentine's Day party for my Sunday School class and I wanted to share with you how it went.

On a Monday afternoon, Darren and I drove one of the church vans around the reservation and picked up girls for the party.  As we drove, I looked over at Darren and said, "Aren't you so glad to be driving this old van around picking up these precious girls for a party -- rather than sitting behind a desk doing tax returns ?"  We both teared up a bit and agreed this is where we are supposed to be.

There were six girls who were able to come and we drove to our house where we frosted cupcakes, had pizza, made a craft and played a game.

During the party, one of the girls noticed our piano and asked who played it.  I said I played and she asked if I could play a song.  There was a hymnal open on the piano and she asked me to play that song.  The song was, "Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners."  I began to play and sing and she began to sing along with me.  Here were the words we sang together.

Jesus, what a Friend for sinners!  Jesus, Lover of my soul.
Friends may fail me, foes assail me, He, my Savior, makes me whole.  
Hallelujah, what a Savior!  Hallelujah!  What a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving, He is with me to the end.

My heart was so grateful that the Lord was allowing this special moment in the middle of the party. This girl's parents are both in jail.  She lives with her grandma and a bunch of children in the home. The house seems chaotic and stressful.  I looked at her sweet face as we sang together.  My heart was full. It was a moment I don't ever want to forget. 

Thank you so much for praying for this party.  I praise the Lord for how He orchestrated the whole thing.  Please continue praying for the girls in my Sunday School class.  Pray that they would truly know Jesus and what He has done for them.  Pray that they would have a strong faith and be deeply rooted as they face daily struggles, stress and pressures to follow the world.  I love each of them so much.

Singing around my great-grandma's piano