Great clip on Youth ministry! Please watch, I know its long but its worth hearing...JMO!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
OKAY- prepare yourselves readers...I am ACTUALLY writing on my blog, not just posting pictures! ; ) I thought for those of you who do not know our testimony or even for those who do, I should post it publicly and praise God for the wonderful works he has done in our lives and for the swift steadfastness only the Lord could achieve! here we go....
We have been so blessed to have had the Lord change our hearts, minds and lives in the past two years. It has been an amazing journey from worldly driven, unregenerate individuals to Christ driven, regenerated souls. We have had many struggles and obstacles along this journey, none of course too difficult that the Lord could not persevere us! Our lives were as most pseudo-Christians. I worked outside the home in the county probate court, with big plans of becoming Judge and having a great career( a big deal in a small town like Dawson), I also had plans of not having children for quite some time or at least until I finished all the additions on the house (including our bar and entertainment room)! Notice the "I" in front of everything. I also was battling with a rebellious heart and feminist mindset, thinking I had to fight the urge of staying at home and being a "wife". Outside influences were telling me that I needed to be me for a while and enjoy myself and being a newlywed before having kids, they are expensive and you have to make big sacrifices like your nice trucks and your time off. Think of all the things you wont get to have anymore once that baby gets here they told me.
Not only that but my time at home with Jess was already compromised because of his hectic work schedule he kept, worked for a USDA research farm full time and also farming his own farm after he finally got home. If any of you know what a full fledged farm requires you will know this was IMPOSSIBLE! He and some not so big equipment had to do 100% of the field prep, planting, spraying, cultivating, picking and harvesting on 300 acres of dryland farm. This also included all night irrigation (irritation) every other night for his work. So what time we did spend together was spent with friends at our house EVERY night, friends who also farmed, our home had turned into a farmer frat house! So needless to say depression and anger ran our home. We had no limits to what we allowed in our home, we cussed like sailors and they drank in good ole boy fashion, and we always cleaned up by Sunday morning. As wretched as we were, we were still quite "normal" and actually well behaved in comparison to most of the world as we know it. "For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked." Revelations 3:17
We had an already failing marriage, slim moral values, and our feet were burning as we inched closer every day to our eternal damnation(which we rightly deserve!). Then did Grace appear. Many of my escapes from my new marriage was animals, I was quite the collector, always trying to find something to take care of and some way to produce more income. Although I didn't know at the time this was a God given yearning. I had almost any farm animal you could think of, except maybe...rabbits. So, I looked in the farmers market bulletin for any local rabbits for sale. Lo and behold, in Leesburg, GA there were some bunnies for sale! I finally got Jess around to going to look at them, "Why do you need rabbits Kelsey!" I remember hearing not just once. This is when we came upon the home of the Whiddon family, the nice Mormon/Mennonite/puritan family. (We all have funny renditions of this btw) This sparked a chain of "visits" to come back to see animals and talk for hours about this or that, always feeling refreshed, encouraged and sometimes convicted when we left. They always sought us to come to dinner or a movie night at their house, and we most of the time made up excuses of what we were busy with or that we were out of town. The thing is, I truly believe the devil will discourage and try his hand at keeping us down in his grasp when he see's what good things are changing in our lives. Some time had passed and we finally got a call from one of the girls asking if we would like to come to a church service one morning, and we did. We had never felt so encouraged and zealous for the things of God as we had listening to a Voddie Bauchum sermon that morning. The Lord struck a cord in our hearts and started calling us to him. As time went by our lives started to change, though we didn't know it at the time.
One particular night we were in the middle of a rather heated discussion, with me threatening to leave, only because I knew what made Jesse the most upset. I was sick of this or that and it wasnt fair, and he was tired of my selfishness and mean spirit towards him. While throwing curse words at each other like they were compliments and screaming fits with anger and frustration we made it to the bedroom, where I always retreat to because I could slam that particular door the hardest and loudest. We continued to argue when Jesse reached for his Bible and clutched it tightly while tears rolled down his face, begging me to stop it and stay that he was sorry for whatever he had done( he didnt know WHAT he had done and usually he hadn't done anything to merit my wrath) . This made me angry, I started screaming at him because he asked me if I was truly saved. I was now infuriated he would ask such a thing and with anger and upset emotion I said "NO I dont want to be!!!!" and just as I said that our bedroom light flickered off, it scared us both and caught us off guard in the heat of of battle. Jess then went outside and I stayed in our room crying, thinking about what just happened and what I said. I felt this intense feeling of guilt, shame and fear all the sudden. Some minutes passed, though it felt like hours, and Jess came back into our room and knelt beside me. He quietly asked for my forgiveness and told me he felt that we both needed to pray that the Lord would come into our hearts and save us. So we sat there quiet and for the first time in my life I prayed to the Lord, a real prayer from the heart, not a favor request or some fancy sounding dinner prayer, but a REAL heart cry! The Lord saved us that night together, in a union of love and mercy, God sought Glory from two lowly wretches that night.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
"O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!"
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me. Psalm 116 :3-6
Since that night, the Lord has done a mighty work in our wicked lives. through His word, encouragement of faithful friends and elder examples. Last year I left my well paying job, one step that was extremely hard to make. The Lord showed us that he has our womb and the lives produced from therein. We also felt led to have our baby at home surrounded by love and the Lord's will be done. We stopped listening to secular music, including country. We also stopped watching secular movies and tv, we cut off our sattelite TV and HBO. Why should we fill our minds with the things of the world? Fighting sinful lusts, anger, emotion, language and immorality is hard enough without these portals, let alone with them in our lives! "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone Loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the father but from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." 1 JOHN 2:15-17 We have both gotten rid of clothing that was immodest and certainly not God honoring. We have given finances over to the Lord and our worries and troubles too. Having a Sovereign God who will provide your every need leaves us with no "need" or want of these worldly things! And he continues to reform us and shape us, this weekend I was convicted by the Lord that I should delete my facebook page as it is just as much a part of the culture and world as these other things. Am I saying Facebook is inherently evil?? No, but I am saying it does not encourage my spiritual walk with the Lord, introducing me to words and pictures I am guarding my heart from. If I am a new creature in Christ, I do not want to hold up those same idols I did as a non believer. He has given Jesse and I a whole new love and respect for each other, understanding the importance of my submission to him and to God, not because he makes me but because that is God's beautiful design! I am from his rib, where he can keep me close to his heart, tucked safely under his arm for protection, and not of his head that I should rule over him and not of his feet that he should tread over me. Oh how I do love the man God has given me!! He has blessed us immensely for following his word, I cant begin to tell you all the blessings in a book we have full of unexplainable gifts the Lord has done for us- from making our finances more stable and reliable then when we had twice the income, to giving us TWO vehicles! Of the countless mercies he has given us, the story behind our Jeep is one of the most rewarding! God used the amazing faithful Lee family to give us a family vehicle out of an act of love, also allowing us to sell off a vehicle to pay in full our midwife who was not going to be covered on insurance and was to be an out of pocket expense! He has made so many things possible in our lives since following his lead. Praise God he saved a marriage and saved the two of us before our first child was born! We would not have sought this life on our own, it is truly the work a great and merciful God. What a gracious gift he has given us in his scripture that we may follow his word fully and uphold his law completely! I am on the edge of my seat to see what he has for us next!
We also cannot wait for the arrival of our first child, only 6 more weeks away! The Lord has been so kind to me in this pregnancy, I have had no issues or complications to date and so far all is going well. To think, this is our first arrow in our quiver! We pray for many more and we pray we can be wise, loving and compassionate parents. I feel like there is so much we left out that's important to our testimony but for your sake I won't include it all right now. : ) I hope this will leave you with a defined understanding of how the Lord brought us to this point, to be 6 weeks from delivering a child God created.
Thank you for reading,
~The Bolton family~
Also, I want to thank Mallory for taking these pictures! She always does such a wonderful job, and yet again has accomplished getting good pictures of US! (its not an easy thing to do!) though I didnt post too many pictures here are some!
...for such was your gracious will. Matthew 11:26
This was really just a fun one, with our ring bearer, Rooster!
one of our props, Sue two!
couldnt have a pic without the truck and a gun!
little man still needs a home :)
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of ones youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver full of them!
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127 : 3-5
"O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and
are acquainted with all my ways.
even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. " Psalm 139: 1-6
Monday, September 12, 2011
Last weekend we got the pleasure of having some of the Lee Boys and Sam out to the house for the weekend to pick up there pups. We had such a great time and hope we can do it again soon! God has been so good to us to put such dear friends in our lives. Whilst they were here we rode the horses a bit, shot some guns and spent time with the Whiddons some too! Also after the boys headed back to Alabama, Jess and I took ol Lieutenant out for the first time and I tell ya what he suprised us both when he treed a hot track all by himself! anyways, maternity pictures are soon to follow and enjoy some more randomness by yours truly!
Lieutenant and Jess with Lieu's first coon
looks a lot like his daddy in the last post huh!
that would be bark flying out of his mouth, he was chawin on the tree hard
black powder style!
Sam on Shooter
Jordan on Duece
Jordan, Sam and Josh
Josh and Sam headin out
Jacob and the 44 mag
josh forced into driving the 4 wheeler ;)
jess and his baby!
did you hear that?
Sam and his new toy
Jordan sighting in his brothers scope
Jess and Jordan with digger and shooter, and a tag along!
Josh got tired of waiting .....
He didnt get far so Sam thought he give it a whorl
good ol donk donk!