Be Brave

I was recently asked to speak at a mother’s group I am a part of, but was unable to do so because my daughter got sick, so I thought I would share my story here, since I was unable to do so there. I have been honored to be a part of the Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS, group at our church. I love that it offers a community to mothers, where we can come together and not feel so crazy, like we often do while trying to raise small children.

I have 2 children, a 6 month old son, Brayden, and a 2 year old daughter, Sharles.

Anyway, I was asked to speak about this question: what is something brave you can do in the next 6 months or so? When I thought about it, the answer seemed pretty easy to me and probably even to most people who know me, but when I really began to think and process after she asked me to speak, the answer was different than even what I thought it would be.

I began to study what brave and it’s synonym, courageous, mean. Let’s not blow past this definition. Let’s spend a minute here really thinking about being brave is. It is not only using your mind, but also the Spirit to help us face difficult days, tasks, events. Bravery helps us overcome dangerous situations. Even when harm comes our way, we have to be brave and push through it. Bravery helps us deal with pain-physical, emotional and spiritual pain-and it helps us push through it. But most encouraging, bravery helps us overcome these things without fear! Especially when we have God with us, the Spirit I mentioned earlier, we can more easily face things without fear. There are many frightening things each of us have to endure, and I know many of you have had to bravely walk through things in the past, whether they be issues with family, working on your marriage, fostering children, adopting children, getting baptized, attending church, making a new friend, talking with a stranger, having surgery, saying goodbye to loved ones, taking care of sick children, dealing with a strong willed child, and the list goes on and on.

My family and I are moving to Bangkok in less than 2 weeks. It is even crazy to say that out loud because it doesn’t seem that real to me, but in 2 weeks, I am moving to a country that I have never even visited. My family and I are moving to Bangkok, Thailand with our church. My husband will become the pastor of our campus there. To me though, that isn’t what is brave because I have moved to a different country before. Last year, my husband, daughter and I lived in Haiti, which was a much scarier place than where we are going to in Bangkok because it was a third world country. The poverty rate is incredibly low and it used to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world. So to me, following God’s lead to move with my husband and family to a different country isn’t new. It was actually a relief when God started to call us out of Haiti and for him to send us to Bangkok.

We faced many hardships while we lived in Haiti-from poverty, to language barriers, cultural barriers, superficial faith; it also took its toll on our marriage and our family. I don’t share this with you to be cynical or depressing, but I share it to say at times it was difficult, but I made it through it. There were days, especially nearing the end of our time in Haiti, when I thought I just couldn’t do it another day, but i did. I pushed through it with courage, and I did it. I must have done it better than I remember too because God is sending me another country! Even though it was sometimes difficult, sometimes dangerous and sometimes even painful, I bravely conquered it, and it made me stronger.

But to me, it doesn’t seem like I was brave because God is the One who helped me through it. But, of course, I am still nervous in my flesh and have all the “What if?” questions running through my head when I think about moving with 2 small children to Bangkok. Have I mentioned I have never been there before? But I can be brave because I know God will handle it because that is what He has called me to do.

Even though I share all of that, it’s not the bravest part for me. You see, I am a mother, like some of you, so I like to be in control of things. You all know what I mean, right? Sharles do this and Brayden do that. No, not that way, this way! Right? So when we move this time, I will have 2 small children, and that means I have to move as a mother 1st and do ministry 2nd. I know that my kids are my first priority, and must teach them about God before I can even begin to focus and teach others about Him.

When we moved to Haiti, I was involved in many things. We ran a children’s home. I taught them English and the Bible and discipled the ladies who lived with us. I was involved in several other of the ministries there too. I was able to do more things because I only had 1 child, and we lived where I did most of my ministry, but in Bangkok this will be different. We will have our own place and ministry will have to be more intentional. It will also be more difficult because Thailand is only about 1% Christian and about 90-95% Buddhist, whereas in Haiti, it was about 80-90% Christian.

So knowing that I have 2 kids to take care of and disciple them first, I have had to take a step back and be okay with finding my place of ministry when we get there. I have had to let go of being in control and know that God will lead me when I get there. Even though I am moving to another country that I have never visited, and it seems like there is so many unknowns with that, I have moved to another country once before and I have friends in Bangkok that can help me understand what to expect, but I have never not known my place in ministry. From the time I became a Christian, I have always known my place in ministry. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, I know God will show me when I get there because there are so many ministry opportunties, but it is hard for me not knowing now, and not being able to prepare before I get there.

So the bravest thing I will do in the next 6 months is let go of my control, try to be patient, and let God lead me without being fearful of the outcome. Remember the definition of brave I shared earlier? It says being brave is facing something without fear. So, that is what I am trying to do-face the many unknowns that lie ahead of me without fear, including letting God lead me in the plans He has already prepared for me in Bangkok.

Psalm 27:14 sums this up nicely for me:
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

I just have to keep reminding myself to wait on The Lord. I have to be strong in Him. The whole chapter talks about fearing others and the evil that is in the world, but I just have to keep reminding myself to be patient and have courage that The Lord will bring me through anything and everything.

I would like to ask you to pray for me as I transition there, and find my place of ministry and to also be okay if my children are my only ministry opportunity there because that may be the only thing God has called me to there. I would also like to encourage you to think about how you want to be brave in the next 6 months. It may be difficult, but if you make a plan to get through it will be much less scary and much easier to conquer it.

The motto for MOPS this year is “Be Bravely You”, so that is what I encourage you to do.

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25 Days of Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Dyers!

We hope you have had a blessed Christmas and were able to celebrate the reason for this joyous season-the birth of Jesus, our Savior!

Christmas is an anticipation of the coming of Christ, not only His birth, but what follows-His death and resurrection! Christ gave His life for us. God gave us His son to redeem us.

Because of this, we want to teach our daughter about giving in this Christmas season. We always want to teach her about the Bible and especially about loving others. This Christmas, we taught her about loving others through giving and through kindness.

Many of you have asked and commented about pictures you have seen of her this Christmas, so I thought I would share our idea of our 25 Days of Kindness.

Parents Caution: Santa Spoiler…Our friend Kris, who we are living with in this time of transition, actually got the idea started, so the credit goes to her for this idea. I did not come up with idea on my own. It was mostly because of her that I decided to do the 25 Days of Kindness. She saw an idea called “Kindness Elves” and wanted to do it with Sharles. I thought and debated about it for a while because we don’t do Santa at our house. We have always said we never want to lie to our kids, even if the truth is hard to tell them. Not to mention, how confusing is Santa? You give a man in a red suit all the characteristics of God and let him take over for a month…well, that’s a different blog all together (maybe another time)! Anyway, the idea of an elf didn’t sit well with me since it related to Santa, and since it was a made-up character too! So we just decided to use her toys to help her find her hearts we created each day.

So once we decided on the idea of the 25 Days of Kindness, I came up with a list of several different things we could do to be kind, share and show love to others. Some involved costs and others did not. I will share some of the things we did later in the post! Each day, I wrote what we were doing on heart, so she would know what she was looking for and put them with one of her stuffed animals or toys, so they would be easier to find. I also added Bible verses on some of them to correspond with what we were doing that day. I put them out in plain sight where she could find them every morning. If I had something that corresponded with the day’s activity, I went ahead and put it with the heart and stuffed animal. Also, if I had a stuffed animal that went with the activity, I I tried to use it too. For example, the first day, we made cookies for the neighbors, so I used a Nutcracker with serving tray to hold her heart and sat it beside a mixing bowl with cookie mix and a spoon in it. She got so excited when she found her hearts and would tell me, “Mommy, read it!” We both had fun doing the activities daily!

We hope this encourages you to start new traditions with your children to teach them about the true meaning of Christmas and develop Christ-like qualities in your child, such as loving others. Our main objective in raising our children is to do just as Christ told us-to love God and love others.

I hope you enjoy our ideas and pictures and be sure to share your own too! We will likely continue this tradition next year, so if you have any other ideas, please share them, and we will add them to our list. We also plan on continuing this tradition throughout the year. Maybe not as frequently, but we will definitely continue giving to others throughout the year and making sure they know we love them.

My intention with this post is not gain personal glory in sharing our ideas. I have had several comments about this idea, so I thought I would share it here. My goal is to glorify God in all I do and raise my children to do the same!

Here are some ideas and pictures of the things we have done for the 25 Days of Christmas!

Make cookies and share them with the neighbors
Call a friend to say “Hello!”
Write a note to a friend, who is sick
Leave a note for the mail carrier
Make a card for someone you love
Donate treats to the animal shelter
Donate food from the pantry to the Rescue Mission
Make treats to share with our friends at school
Send a care package to someone
Donate coins from your piggy bank to an organization
Bake cookies and donate them to an organization
Support a family in need
Donate some clothes that don’t fit anymore to a friend
Put a dollar on a Dollar Store toy, so someone else can buy a toy
Make a Christmas treat for our family
Read the story of the birth of Jesus to someone

Merry Christmas!

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Jesus is Lord

Jesus is Lord. Do you know what that means? As stated by Webster, lord is a person who has authority, control or power over others. So do you give Jesus the authority over your life? Do you give Him control or do you take control over your life? Do you give Jesus power when you are making decisions?

If you were to die today, would Jesus know you? I’m not talking about “know you” like you know your child’s teacher or the girl that bags your groceries at the store, but does Jesus know who you are? Does he know your vulnerabilities, your heart, your being? Do you allow Him to know you intimately?

Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples, obviously held Jesus at a pretty high regard, or he would have never followed Him as fervently as he did, but in the Bible, Judas never called Jesus his Lord. We can see this play out as Judas betrays Jesus and turns him over to the authorities, who later beat and kill Jesus, but Judas never gave his life to Jesus. He saw Jesus as Rabbi or teacher, but not as Lord. So do you see Jesus as a teacher or do you see Him as your Lord?

Possessive of Possessions

When I think about preparing to move to another country and all the things I need to pack to take with me, I am reminded of the story of the woman who anoints Jesus with her perfume in Matthew 26.

The woman had a precious perfume that was usually used for acts of devotion. It had been valued at about a years worth of wages for an average worker during this time period. She poured a years worth of wages and her special perfume on Jesus’ head! Why in the world would she do that?

You might be thinking, “What does this have to do with you packing up your things?” Well, it reminds me that things we often think are important are not so important in the grand scheme of things. But more importantly, it reminds me that all of our things should be used to glorify God.

As I go through my things and decide what I should and should not pack, I have to really ask myself, “Why is his so important to me?” But more importantly, I need to ask, “Can I use this to glorify God?”

What are some of your possessions you have used to glorify God?

Talent Search

What are your gifts? How are you using them?

Remember the great story in the Bible of the 3 slave men given talents by their master? Well these aren’t talents, as in gifts, in this story. This story is talking about money. He gave the servants money, and they were supposed to invest their money in order to make more money. Well, 2 of them did just that and the other one did not.

This story has so many great principles in it! Let’s just hit on the greatest 2 I can point out right now.

First, God gives us gifts, or talents as He uses them in this Scripture, in order for us to use them to share the Gospel. We should invest our gifts in other people in order to make more disciples. Let me rephrase: We are not making more disciples, but God is using the gifts He gives us to make more disciples through us! What a gift He gives us to allow us to be apart of growing His kingdom! Using the gifts God gives us is a vital part of discipleship, and if take advantage of those opportunties, we will be rewarded with additional opportunities to expand God’s kingdom.

Second, faithful stewards, who use the gifts God gives us wisely, will be given greater responsibility in both this life and the next! Not that we use our gifts because of what we will be given, but we truly use our gifts for the sole purpose of spreading God’s Word, then God faithfully rewards those who are faithful to Him! How gracious is He! This means we should be faithful in all things God has given us-our money, our time, our skills, our marriage, our children, everything!

So let me ask you again…what are your gifts and how are you using them? Has your answer changed?

Shout It Out

We should always be looking for the return of Jesus and living out the Great Commission!

Have you Ever have a bad day? Well, that’s a silly question, isn’t it? Don’t we all have bad days? What makes it a bad day? Your child colored all over the walls? You have a massive leak in your kitchen? You spilled ketchup all over your brand new white dress shirt? How do you overcome these bad days? Some days they may even seem too overwhelming to overcome.

But then there is Jesus! Paul’s life wasn’t easy. It was hard, but Jesus overcame it all through His death and resurrection.

We have been reading in Acts at our church, and Paul gives us a great example of what it means to live sent. Paul used every opportunity to expand the kingdom of God. Paul knew his purpose, and his purpose was sharing the Gospel. Even though we may get frustrated or down right angry about where God is telling us to go, we still have to be obedient to go. God may be telling you to go to your best friend, but you may be thinking, “He won’t be my friend any longer.” He might be telling you to go to your work, and your thinking, “I might get fired.” He might be telling you to go to a different country, and you think, “I might be killed.” Didn’t Jesus put it all on the line for you? Didn’t He die for you? So what if your friend doesn’t like you any more. God used you to plant His seed in him. Isn’t that much more gratifying than having him as a friend?

Although we are not responsible for the salvation of others, we are responsible for going and telling others about Jesus.

What purpose does God have for your life? God can use any circumstance you have been through to bring Him glory. So my question to you is, how can you live out what God has called you to do? The lost of the lost can be saved. Not because of you, but because God is with you and sent you to share His love and His Word with them.

Our sole purpose should be about sharing the Gospel. Everyone deserves to hear about God’s saving grace, and it is our job to tell them about it. Don’t expect people to come to you. You should run to them proclaiming God’s love and saving grace because He has saved you! And don’t just live it out, shout it out too!

What are some ways you are being called to actively share your faith and the Gospel with others?

The Blessing of Children

I am really excited to move to Bangkok, Thailand. The more I talk to the friends and people we know already living over there, the more excited I get. The more I talk to people about it, the more excited I get! I know this is a blessing from God because I have quite a bit of apprehension moving from one country to another, especially so quickly!

As I talked to my friend in Bangkok, she assured me there is much to do in Bangkok, especially with my children. This is much different than in Haiti. She talked about meeting ladies at the park and developing friendships with them. Again, this reassured me and calmed my fears and anxieties about moving yet again to another country. But the point she made was even bigger. It is something I thought about while I lived in Haiti, but something I was unable to accomplish on the fullest level. Perhaps it was because I didn’t have the opportunity or perhaps it was because I didn’t act on the opportunities I was given.

Our children are a gift from God. He has entrusted them to us to raise them up in His Word and to be great leaders for His Kingdom. But He has also given them to us to make lasting friendships that open up doors to share the Gospel with those who do not know it or to help others deepen their faith by talking through it with someone who is going through some of the same things in life and can walk along side them. The Bible says so!

In Matthew 19, Jesus blesses the children and passed on the blessing from one generation to the next. This is where we must pass on our knowledge of the Bible and raise our children to know the Word and be warriors for the Kingdom of God. We also must not underestimate the power they have for the Kingdom. Whether through meeting others or sending them to school or them talking to their friends about Christ, we must remember that they are a gateway to sharing with others the love of Christ.

I know my friend has done a great job ministering to others through the relationships she has built through her children, and I pray I can use every opportunity God gives me to do the same. I am excited to go to Bangkok and fulfill God’s plan in this. BUT I also have to remember God has placed me here in the States for now, so I have to use the opportunities He has given me now too. I hope to encourage those of you who have children, both moms and dads, to acknowledge the opportunities God has given you to share the Gospel. And even if you are not a mom or dad or your children are grown, then still look for the opportunities God places in front of you to share His Word.

Brittany

Who We Are

My husband and I were married in July 2007. We started attending LifePoint Church around the same time. About 1 year after first attending LifePoint, we joined a small group. Fast forward to October 2011, when our church did a church wide study on David Platt’s book,

Radical

The book challenged us to go on a short term mission trip, so with another couple from our small group, we went to Haiti in January 2012. We had a great time on our trip and really felt like we learned so much, but never did we consider becoming international missionaries. Upon returning from Haiti, we got pregnant with our first child. Then in April 2012, our church held an event for a time of fasting and praying and just a time to figure out where God wanted to use us next. Through attending this event, we felt God calling us to move to Haiti. Our daughter was born in October 2012, and then we moved to Haiti in May 2013.
We lived in Haiti for a year. In Haiti, we helped with a discipleship program, had a Children’s Home with 13 children, and aided our organization with getting children life saving heart surgeries. We learned so much from living in Haiti and know God was using it as a time to prepare us for what He was calling us to next. As we prepared to come home to have our second child, we felt God calling us home from Haiti. The more we prayed about coming home from Haiti, the more we were met with the answer to move to Bangkok, Thailand.
Our church had approached us about moving to Bangkok with our church plant there, but when we were approached, we still believed we were called to live in Haiti, but God’s perfect timing opened up, and He eventually called us to Bangkok anyway.
We returned home from Haiti in May 2014. Our son was born in July 2014. We are taking some time to live in the States to adjust to being a family of 4, work on our marriage, visit with family and friends, raise support and prepare for our move to Bangkok. We will be moving to Bangkok in February 2015. We are excited about our new journey, and we are excited to share it with you too!
In Bangkok, we will be working with our church to raise up local Thai leaders to serve in the church. We will also be teaching English as a means to share the Gospel with the Thai people in our community. We also have a Cafe at the church that we use as an opportunity to share God’s love. Also, we will be partnering with an organization, ONEless, that ministers to ladies working in the red light district and caught in the sex trafficking industry. Also, we will be using the relationships we build through our children to share God’s love. Please pray for this to be fruitful! Our visa will be a Thai learning visa, so pray that we will be able to learn Thai quickly and effectively!

We hope that you will follow along here and hear about our journey and read some of our thoughts while we embark on the unknown journey God is sending us on in Bangkok, Thailand! Please pray for us as we continue to prepare to move to Bangkok, and when we move our labor be fruitful in a country that is only about 1% Christian. Pray that we continue to seek God in every decision we make. Pray that everything we do points back to Jesus, so that people question why we are the way we are! Pray for our staff that is currently in Bangkok.

We will update often as we prepare to move and after we move, so please check back often to keep up to date with everything we are doing!

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