Friday, January 8, 2021

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! I know it's already been a crazy year already and we are only on day 8, but God is in control and we can trust in Him. It seems people are just waiting for the world to be "normal" again, but I believe we are living in the last days, and we may not see things get back to "normal." No matter what happens or does not happen -- serve God! God WILL win! 

Stay encouraged! I hope to post more soon. Not sure altogether who reads this blog, but I hope I can be a help and encouragement to you with my posts.

God Bless!


Thursday, December 17, 2020

They Shall Renew Their Strength

I wrote the following poem this past summer during a particularly challenging season of life. Life has honestly been so challenging for me personally this year, but I felt God gave me this poem one morning and I want to share it with you all. Maybe you, too, are learning to trust. Our God is so trustworthy. We won't always understand His ways, but we can trust His heart.

My heart is sick of a hope deferred
It aches from the weary delay
But I know that those who will wait on the Lord
They shall renew their strength

I’ve been told that He’s long been at work
On some beautiful master plan
And to me, it’s assigned to keep walking by faith
To trust, and to hold to His hand

The heavens seem silent, forgotten I feel
Yet I know that He sees where I am
And I’m learning to trust with all of my heart
And lean not to how I understand

For His ways are higher and so beyond mine
So I’ll trust and hope just as I should
For He says if I love Him and if I am called
He’s working all things for my good

I’m learning to place all my hopes and my dreams
Into hands, still scarred from cruel nails
For if Jesus could conquer sin, death, and hell
I know that He surely won’t fail

He knows how it feels to surrender His will
To be crushed, and bruised and smitten
Yet great victory came when He died and arose
And fulfilled many promises written

My heart is sick of a hope deferred
It aches from the weary delay
But I know that those who will wait on the Lord
They shall renew their strength

Written by: Jennifer Connell
June 7th, 2020

Monday, December 7, 2020


 On Thanksgiving Day I set aside time to pray and simply thank God for all that He has done this year. Looking back over 2020, it's been quite a rough year for most due to obvious reasons, but also due to personal reasons in our own lives. But, as I began to pray I felt so very thankful because God truly has done so many amazing things this year and answered so many prayers! He has been so faithful, He is answering prayer, and He has never left me alone in the middle of all this craziness! 

COVID-19 and all of the lockdowns have not stopped people from repenting, being baptized in Jesus' Name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost! My family has been praying for a young man in prison for a very long time, and on November 2nd at about 11:30pm, he received the Holy Ghost while praying in his prison cell! God has provided financially, healed people, drawn backsliders, and the list goes on. Although it seems there are so many bad reports these days, there are also so many GOOD reports all over Pentecost! Just yesterday we had a boy from the foster care system receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave him the utterance. Bible studies are being taught. People are hungry and searching. It's time to shine! It's time to get this Gospel message out!

This year God blessed me with a new car right when I needed it, and I was able to go on an amazing missions trip to Peru and Honduras before the lockdown and had layovers in Panama and Texas. That's going more places this year than most people have been able to! I've had personal prayers answered! I started a new Bible study. On November 5th, my mom and I celebrated our birthday together and got to go to a restaurant before they shut them down again. LOL (Yes, I was born on her birthday!) The list can go on. Big things and little things -- I just have so much to be thankful for. Yes, this year has been very hard, but look what the Lord has done! What is something God did for you this year? Feel free to share!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Picture Post: Mexico

In December 2019 several days before Christmas, I was able to visit the new work in Ensenada, Mexico. This work started from what seemed to be a bad situation, but God turned it around for good. He's good at that! A newer brother from Bro. Villegas' church in California was deported to Mexico and therefore not able to be in his home church any longer. Long story short, this brother started witnessing. A group was gathered, and his pastor Bro. Villegas started driving across the border and holding services with these people. God is doing a work! Since this post they finally got their own church building and should be having a building dedication in the beginning of December, Lord willing. Bro. Villegas travels down to Ensenada very faithfully to do the work of God -- may God bless him for his sacrifice! This was a whirlwind of a trip; very short, but very memorable. My parents went, along with my good friend, Cara.

This little church building we saw on our way to Ensenada was so tiny and cute! For those who haven't noticed, tiny usually equals cute. At least to the ladies. :) 
Cara and I

Cheyenne and I took a picture with this cute little boy outside. There was a group of Apostolics that went on this trip and all met up. We had a blast!
A view from the hotel
Cara, Mike, and I. This building was where they were renting at the time. It was an empty room at a hotel. What a sweet move of the Holy Ghost we had in that building that night.
Part of altar service. I have more pictures somewhere, but if I remember right, I couldn't get some of them to upload. Bro. Fontanez preached and did a great job. He is so anointed and I love hearing him preach in Spanish!
Cool story about the above picture. The first day we were in Mexico we were invited over to the house of a couple that had recently been in contact with the new church. What sweet people! They invited our group over for dinner and fellowship and we had a good time. Before we left, Bro. Frazier wanted us to all pray over the home and over this couple. They really wanted children but were not able to have children, so we all began to pray, and the Holy Ghost moved into that living room and touched them beautifully. Less than a year later, she is very much pregnant and they are expecting their first child soon! God is a prayer-answering God! They are growing in God and being a blessing to the church, along with her younger sister, Flor, who is now singing and playing the piano in service!
Had to take a picture of the well known wall.
Cara and I.
This picture was taken when we were waiting in the LONNNNNNNNGGGGGG line to get back into the states. There are a lot of people begging at the border, selling things, performing, etc. Many people just trying to make some money. Many of them were disabled in some sort of way, and I noticed several people who were very clearly blind, shaking tin cans with coins, calling out, "un ayudar!" That's like saying "a little help!" So many people in need of Jesus. There is a lot of spiritual hunger in Mexico. Please keep this new work in Ensenada in your prayers!

These pictures and snippets don't even really scratch the surface of this trip, but I least wanted to share a little something! I hope to go back sometime in the near future, Lord willing. 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 9, 2020

Picture Post: Honduras

 As I've mentioned in a previous post, I've been to Honduras 3 times in just a little over the space of one year. The last time I went was just this year in January, and the time before that was last year in May. I have some pictures I would like to share, and I believe most of these are from the January trip. This year it was a highlight to not only have my whole family go to Honduras, but also my good friend, Courtney. I usually stay at the Schreckhise's house, but this time Courtney and I stayed at one of the little, colorful "cabins" with my parents. 

The path we walked down to get to our cabin was so pretty and tropical looking! Pretty plants, cute cabins, and yes -- bugs.

Our little purple house was cute. Court and I shared the room on the left side, and my parents took the room on the right. I believe my parent's room was painted a turquoise color, while mine and Courtney's room was purple, close to the shade of the outside of the house. I heard that certain cells in prisons are painted pink and purple to help calm individuals who have escalated emotions. This is because these colors are known to have calming effects. I believe it -- our room was SO calming and peaceful!
After we got there and headed to the Schreckhise's house, we all ate there and hung out, although we were totally exhausted from traveling that day. This is Francis, their adopted daughter. She has such a sweet spirit! I love this girl!
Sarah Schreckhise, Francis, and I at the campground. You can read more about Honduras on Sarah's blog, entitled "Grace in Honduras." It's on my sidebar -- check it out!
This is the campground where they host their camps and conferences! Good memories at this place!  

Every time I'm in Honduras, the hunger of the people is evident. They just keep on going. Many times pre-service prayer just goes on and on, with people being filled with the Holy Ghost and getting renewed before song service or preaching. 

Children's church in Honduras is so fun! The Scrheckhise family does a fantastic job with Sunday School and children's church. They bus in TONS of kids and work so hard to create meaningful lessons and props, and everything is saturated in prayer.

Allana Schreckhise, my sweet, talented, beautiful, dedicated, hardworking friend! She is a gem!

So many precious little kiddos! And Charity Schreckhise (pink dress) just LOVES the babies! 
I'm not supposed to have favorites, but Isaac is one of my favorite kiddos! He has an adorable voice and infectious smile and is so smart and talented. God's hand is already upon this little one.
Courtney and Charity
Charity and Isaac's younger brother, Matias.
Funny story about the picture above. The owner of the cabin had gone in to do some cleaning while we were out, and if I remember right, she locked the door but not the screen door. Well, apparently the key we had was for the screen door and not the white door, so when we arrived back at the cabin sometime around midnight, we found we were locked out. But, we didn't realize that and thought that the lock had broken, because the knob had actually been loose. I was able to get a hold of one of the Schreckhises who then called down to get a hold of some people on the grounds where we were staying. My dad was like, "I NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM!" Nothing like being locked out with a full bladder! Ha! We sat there on the porch with the hungry mosquitoes, waiting. These guys showed up with a kitchen knife. LOL The man in the blue shirt thought Courtney was my aunt (we look NOTHING alike), so I asked him how old he thought Courtney was, and after thinking a minute he said, "forty-five." We fell out laughing - all except for Courtney, that is, who gasped in horror and stared at the man. I should also mention that this man in blue used the kitchen knife to scratch his toes in front of us, and I think his face, too. After about 30 minutes, we were finally able to get back inside. It was quite the memorable evening.
Just a view of a random street ....just 'cause.
This is my brother, Paul, along with 2 of the Schreckhise boys, Nathaniel and Josiah. They have some similar features and some people think they look alike, so they swapped hats and all posed this way as I took a picture. I posted it on the photostream for our trip and asked people to guess who was who. The guesses were hilarious! Most people got it wrong, including my parents. And just so you know, from left to right is Nathaniel, Paul, and Josiah.

**Update after this post was published -- it's actually Nathaniel, Josiah, and then Paul. They look so much alike posing this way that I got it wrong even though I already knew the answer. LOL 
Some tasty food provided by the awesome saints at the campground before service!
The first time I went to Honduras back in 2016, I met some neighbors of the Schreckhises and have since developed a friendship with them. The mother's name is Merary, and she has 3 kids - a daughter and 2 sons. Both of her sons are Autistic, but the older one faces more challenges than the younger. I work as an RBT with kids on the Autism Spectrum, so we hit it off! Every time I go, I always make it a point to visit them. This is me with the youngest son, Gabriel. 
And lastly, this is Paul and Josiah pulling some last-minute shenanigans at the airport before we headed to Peru, which I wrote about a few posts back. I hope you enjoyed, and remember to keep Honduras in your prayers!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Discussion: Lies

I came across this earlier this evening and started thinking about it. Is it possible to lie without speaking? Is a lie a story that is not true? Or is it any form of deceit? Dishonesty can be very tricky. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear, and you can comment below.

Friday, September 18, 2020



Incapable of being separated, parted, or disjoined: inseparable companions.

Psalms 85:10 - Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 

An inmate at a California prison recently told me they had been asking people within the prison (correctional officers included) a question: if they had to choose peace or righteousness, which would they choose?

They relayed that the majority, if not all of them replied "peace." This inmate has repented and been baptized in Jesus' Name while in prison and is currently seeking the Holy Ghost -- and has a lot of time to study and think. "I don't understand why they would choose peace over righteousness," they said. They went on to explain that if you have righteousness, the end of that is peace. Righteousness brings peace, ultimately. I agree, and it got me thinking and looking at some Bible verses. It seems to me that righteousness and peace are pretty much inseparable. 

Isaiah 32:17 - And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

James 3:18 - And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Psalm 72:3 - The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

Living right truly brings peace. You may have troubles and trials, but if you are living uprightly - that is, in right standing with God, you can have peace in the midst of the storm. Knowing that you are right with the one who holds your very life in His hands brings peace like nothing else can. Peace and righteousness simply go together hand in hand. 

Romans 14:17 - For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

This also made me think of another pair in the Word of God: mercy and truth. Mercy and truth are pretty much inseparable in the Scripture! If there was no truth, why would there be a need for mercy? And if there was no mercy, I don't see how truth could prevail. Mercy and truth are mentioned together in Genesis, the first book in the Bible. (See Genesis 24:27)

Psalm 25:10 - All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 57:10 - For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 61:7 - He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

Proverbs 20:28 - Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

Righteousness and peace, and mercy and truth -- two amazing, inseparable pairs. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Lima, Peru, 2020

 Returning once again to the beautiful country of Peru this year was such a blessing for me. This was my 4th time spending time in Peru, so it is now quite a familiar place to me, as I'm sure you can imagine. It was great to see friends again that I hadn't seen in quite a while, visit with them, and pray together in the altar. It was also great to have 4 friends accompany me! Courtney, Allana, Cara, and Jackie made this trip such a blast; we made memories that will last a lifetime. If you look on my sidebar under "other bloggers", Cara's blog is listed there. She's a great poet and photographer! 

Our first full day in Lima, which is the Capitol of Peru, we were able to do some sightseeing. A brother from the church was kind enough to drive us up to a lookout point where we could see the coast of Lima and get some pictures. It was beautiful and so nice to sit up above the city, feeling the sea breeze and simply taking it all in. We did sightseeing throughout our stay in Lima, and here are a few pictures of our adventures.

                                                           South American coastline
                                                                  Myself and Cara

We saw a little planetarium closeby our lookout point and had to stop and take pictures! The stretching clouds backdropped by a soft blue sky seemed to be the perfect background for the planetarium. Cute little place!
                  We were able to tour some ruins one day that were left in the city of Lima
While in Mexico in December 2019, Cara and I bought matching huaraches and took a picture of them on our feet with the Mexican coast in the background, accompanied by the Raspados we bought (I'll make a Mexico post later). We decided to make it tradition when we travel together, taking pictures in our huaraches in different locations in the world. This was the second one we took, overlooking Lima. Hopefully next time we will have some zebras and huts in the background...Ha! Cara took this picture.
We also went to see the changing of the guard at the Presendital Palace in Lima. This was right around the elections in Peru, which sometimes results in political unrest. As we were watching, a riot broke out behind us. It dispersed pretty quickly, but we got to see some action that day! Maybe it was just to prepare us for the ongoing riots of 2020 in our own country. (Photo creds: Cara)
The National Convention was preached by Elder Kenny Godair this year, and what a conference it was! The ordination service, the sweet moves of the Holy Ghost in the altar, the kids seeking God so tenderly; it was beautiful. 
Elder Nix, a true servant. Leading by example, he washed the feet of the ministers being ordained. It was humbling to see. What a pure spirit! (Photo creds: Cara)
                               Johnny and my brother, Paul praying together in the altar
       Taken from the platform during choir. Us girls were invited to join the choir and were able to learn some new songs in Spanish. I'm not sure why, but sometimes songs just seem so much more beautiful when sung in Spanish!
      The Holy Ghost broke out during the preaching and some of the ministers began to shout and praise God in the altar. You can't trade moments like these for anything in this world!
Sis. Godair taught a ladies session and Sister Nix translated. Two sweet, awesome ladies! I enjoy being around them both.
                                         We went to Sarcletti a few times. Such tasty food!!
                     This is Lomo Saltado, a traditional Peruvian dish. SO good! (Photo creds: Cara)
                       Sam, mi sobrino Peruano! He's grown so much since I last saw him. 
A view of the street taken from (I believe) the second or third story of the church. (Photo creds: Cara)

Annnnnd lastly, Cara and Jackie had quite the terrifying "adventure" on their way home to Arizona. They lost cabin pressure in their airplane, the oxygen masks dropped, and they had to make an emergency landing in the country of Ecuador. They were stuck in Ecuador for a day. Needless to say, it was quite a crazy experience for them. However, they did get to meet and witness to several people that were on that flight AND, they can also say that they have now been to Ecuador. Haha! Everything happens for a reason (Photo creds: Cara -- She really took most of these pictures, maybe more than the ones I gave her credit for! But we all took pictures so it's hard to remember who took what).

This is a very brief summary of the trip, just tidbits, really. But, I hope you enjoyed! As mentioned in an earlier post, please keep Peru in your prayers. Many of them have not been able to see anyone else from church, even people in their own families, for 6 months. They have not been able to gather together in the church. COVID-19 restrictions are very prohibitive in Peru, much more so than they are here. They are longing to be able to see each other again and be together in the house of God! God is able.

Thanks for reading!