Actions beat Words.

I have always been a person that pays more attention to someone’s actions more than their words. A couple weeks ago, I got to attend the Christian Youth Workers Conference (CYWC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a couple other youth volunteer workers along with our church Youth Pastor. It was an eye opening weekend to say the least.

This year I made several New Years Resolutions as I’m sure you’ve heard me tell you over and over. One of the many was that I would be more intentional with my time with Jesus and cultivate growth in my Faith. I want to be used by God. I want to trust God in every aspect of my life. One of the speakers at CYWC said, “You have to take steps of faith in the real world to allow your faith to grow! You have to trust that He has a plan for you, your future, and His mission for you in His Kingdom!” It is SO flipping easy to stay where we are comfortable. But we were challenged by this speaker to ask ourselves often:

AM I BECOMING MORE LIKE JESUS?

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.” – Colossians 1:15-23 (NASB)

Focus on that last part: “… He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation…” I know this can be such a “feel good passage” but I truly believe this is God showing us with both His actions and His words how seriously He wants us to take our faith. Yes, we can TALK the “good Christian” talk, but it means nothing if you aren’t representing Jesus with your ACTIONS. If you can’t prove what you profess, your words are empty.

“A disciple validates commitment to Jesus by persevering, continuing and nurturing a growing and sustainable faith.”

I want to encourage you to step up in your faith. Do not allow sin to fester in your life. Lay it at the feet of Jesus and establish yourself in Him. TALK to the Lord about it, and then ASK for His help to ACT on it. We need to focus on becoming more like Jesus everyday and that will not happen if we hold onto sin in our life or chose to not deal with sin. If we are entertaining wrong and thinking that Christ will take you deeper in your relationship with Him – You are tricking yourself. God WANTS to help us ACT. We just read in Colossians that God has already done the work and reconciled us to Him. Jesus has given us the power to overcome any sin in our lives and be free from it. Take hold of that promise from Christ that He is with you and wants to help you. Those thoughts have given me so much peace and hope right now, and I’m clinging to it.

 

 

– Stay Satidfied

 

 

Be Teachable.

I’ve always found the month of January to be the month of evaluation. That might be considered “late” to some people, because I think most people make December their month of evaluation considering that it’s right before the new year actually begins… but I like Christmas too much to do that 🙂 One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to be consistent and read my Bible and devotional book everyday. It’s always been my goal to do so, but this year I’m wanting to read them intentionally; praying before hand that the Lord would open my heart and eyes to help me dive deeper into my faith during my time with Him. Not just read my Bible and devotionals for the sake of saying “yup I got em done…” and not just being able to put my hand up at church when the pastor asks who was able to read their bible every day that week. It’s only been a couple weeks, but I am so encouraged how quickly God asks when we commit ourselves to Him!

Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness. Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind. As you focus your thoughts on Me, be aware that I am fully attentive to you. I see you with a steady eye, because My attention span is infinite. I know and understand you completely; My thoughts embrace you in everlasting love. I also know the plans I have for you: plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness to My presence.” – Jesus Calling.  by Sarah Young

Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Friends, 2018 is an untraveled adventure that God has already mapped out! He already knows of your success, your failures, your ideas and achievements, challenges and heartaches. God knows it all. This is a fresh start for Him to work in us and develop us into the people He intended us to be. I am so thankful for that. Society teaches us that we are the ones who chose our own path – I don’t believe that to be truth. “Think positive and positive things will happen” the world tells us. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m all for thinking positive, but I don’t believe that Christ is confined to our “good vibes”… The Bible tells us in the book of Proverbs, chapter 16, verse 9, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” As we go through life and both positive and negative events happen, I believe we need to remain soft heart-ed towards the Lord when things come to pass. We need to be open to the fact that God’s plan is far greater and more complex than we’ll ever know!

I think God watches to see how we react when events unfold. Success happens? Who do you give credit to? Do you become an air head? Or how about when failure happens? Do you get angry and throw a fit? Do you blame others? No matter what happens, there is always an area we can improve in our lives. And understanding this is the first step to allowing yourself to be teachable and moldable by Christ. Allow yourself to be open to Him changing you. No one is perfect, that’s why we need Jesus. All things that have happened in the past and will happen in the future is for a purpose chosen by God. God watches to see how we will handle everything that happens in our day and I believe He will either reward us or teach us based on our reactions.

I want to be teachable. I want to live my life with an open hand knowing that God can give and take as He pleases. I do not want to cling to old ways of life. Old habits. Old routines. I want to have a soft heart towards the Holy Spirit so that I can learn from Christ and over time, become more like my Saviour. New habits and new way of life! I want to be grounded in Christ so that when life happens, My foundation is always strong on Jesus. We cannot change ourselves – True changes happens through Jesus Christ and that is what I want for my life.

– Stay Satisfied

I’m Not One for New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year is my first year that I actually sat down and wrote a list of goals that I wanted to achieve and work towards this year. 2018 will be a year of development and growth for me! I took time to evaluate myself and pray about the changes that came to mind. Afterwards, I made a list of major goals I wanted to see positive growth in this year:


Setting big goals are important – Setting too big of goals is reckless. I was reading about New Year’s Resolutions and the best ways to achieve your goals and keep your motivation all through out the year; one recommendation that was stressed in order to accomplish goals was to break down your goals. Let’s say you want to healthily lose/ gain weight this year: What are you going to do each month in order to achieve that? What are you going to do each week, to reach success in those areas every month? Etc. After praying about 2018 and coming to these four goals, I broke them down into lists of what is realistic for me each month to accomplish them.

Philippians 3:12-15, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

I’m blogging about my resolutions as a reminder for myself. These goals are now public and I have you guys to help keep me accountable! That was another point that was stressed – Don’t be alone in these goals: Make your friends aware, get accountability partners and talk about your goals. Speaking things makes them a reality and not just a wish to yourself.

GROW SPIRITUALLY

• Read the complete Bible in one year
• Read everyday in my devotional book
• Write a prayer journal
• Volunteer in my church regularly
• Get connected in a church group and be consistent
• Be open to mentor ship

DEVELOP PHYSICALLY

• Take better care of my skin
• Take better care of my teeth
• No screens after 10:00 pm
• Do three cardio work outs a week
• Drink the recommended water amount daily
• Do not snack after 7:00 pm

EXPAND MY SKILLS

• Publish a blog post once a week
• Read one book a month
• Accomplish one task on my Bucket List a month
• Take risks in my career to grow & learn
• Learn to cook more full meals
• Spend more time doing activities that do not involve screens

CULTIVATE MY FINANCES

• Set up budgets in all of my spending categories and stick to them
• Record my income and spending weekly
• Give generously
• Think before spending
• Grow my savings

2018 will be a good year. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I am so thankful we don’t have to walk into each year alone. Christ is with us, Christ has always been with us and Christ will continue to be with us.

– Stay Satisfied

[ Andra’s Graduation ]

This lady is one of my best friends.
I remember running around when we were little, pretending to be princesses together with plastic crowns and way too much glitter On her graduation day, I was able to click the moment where she truly was a princess. My sister graduated this Spring 2017 and I was so lucky to capture a couple moments of her big day of success and celebration!
You are such a beautiful woman – Inside and Out

 


Her dress was absolutely breath taking – There was no other dress like hers that day ❤




One last walk past those old, locker filled hallways…

Having our brother as her grad escort was so much fun!

Seriously though… the details in this dress… her head band… earrings… lipstick…. She’s perfect ❤

I’m cheering you on lady as you approach this next exciting chapter ahead and all that God has in store for you!
Thanks for letting me run around taking photos of you like a crazy woman!

 

[ May • 2017]

 

 

 

 

Alchemy Flower Shop

One of my favorite projects from Interior Design school was probably the retail project at the very end of the program. We studied residential design for the first year, and tackled commercial design in the second year. When I was 15 my very first job was in a flower shop and I adored it. When I first started, I didn’t think of it any more than a job to make money and save for my future little green VW Buggy – but the longer I worked there and the more I learned about floral design, I saw myself becoming a florist professionally more and more! Now that I’m in Interior Design, I though it’d be ultra cool to design my own future flower shop! I have always loved the word “Alchemy” I don’t really know why… I like the shape my mouth makes when I say it and I enjoy hearing that word… it’s weird.

Alchemy [al•kuh•mee]

“A form of Renaissance chemistry concerned primarily on discovering a universal solvent and Elixir of Life. Or a magical process of transforming common forms into things of great value.”

My inspiration for my future flower shop was old English castles, waterfalls and redwood tree forests. I loved how these three things seemed to create the settling for a fairy tale! Essentially, I wanted Alchemy Florists to be a flower shop inspired by Mother Nature; bringing elements from the garden like fresh plants and running water, rough woods and a bright sky into the store. My goal would be to create a way to make floral arrangements a part of everyday life as well as make special events unique and brilliant. With the design of the flower shop, I  wanted to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor; allowing people to enjoy flowers and plants all year round! This is totally real dream of mine – I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve it, but who knows where life may take me.

img_0006Our assignment was to design a mall location store. The rest was only limited by our imagination. I was ecstatic! As my profs went through the requirements, guidelines and design rules I was already sketching my ideas down hoping to put them on paper before they got away! As soon as class ended, I felt like I was a racehorse bursting out of the gate – God was giving me so much inspiration! I thought this would be a fun project, also because I worked in a couple flower shops for several years. I knew things that worked, I remembered things that definitely did not work and there were design ideas I thought would’ve made work more efficient or practical – I was looking forward to developing, eliminating and creating a potential flower shop for myself in the future.

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Getting a floor plan down was the first step and envisioning what shoppers might see on the exterior.

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It was all coming together! I wanted the logo to be simple and organic.

alchemy-florists-logoAs part of the project we had to compile a complete specification sheet for our store including all of the materials and finishes, budget, floor Auto-CAD (ACAD) plans, electrical ACAD plans, + structural ACAD plans. There was a lot of work, but this was fun for me because I was a job that I related to and would want to work in myself! Below would be the exterior of the mall shop – it would be located on the corner which would allow shoppers to access from the side as well as the front. Along the hallway, there would be a window for convenient window shopping of fresh flowers and arrangements in the cooler.

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The ceiling of the flower shop, consists of LED light panels with a sky image. These lights would cast a soft glow through out the entire store to make it feel as it the shop was actually located outdoors. The suspended ceiling would have a pergola grid to hide the metal grid support system, which would enhance the indoor-outdoor experience.

alchemy-florist-4eIn the center of Alchemy Florists would be a fresh plant wall. The pillar would support plant life in the store without maintenance. The pillar offers privacy to the consultation and work areas in the back from shoppers passing by.

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The view of the front desk for floral wrapping, A water feature continues the indoor-outdoor experience and allows shoppers to hear the sound of running water as they walk past Alchemy Florists.

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A walk-in cooler allows shoppers to go in and pick the arrangement they want. Each floral design would sit on a stone Lazy-Susan which would allow them to view 360 degrees of the arrangement without needing to handle it. There would also be plants, gifts, and vases for shoppers to add to their order.

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Standing behind the front desk looking out into the flower shop.

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The consultation space for clients to meet one on one with the floral designers for custom work.

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The work center in the back. A large island with space to walk all the way around and full of storage areas underneath.

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The front shelf doubles as a storage shelf in the back to hold standard vases and designing materials. A large sink provides easy clean up and watering.

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The extra deep counters around the island provide practical work space for designers’ fresh flowers, cutting knives, floral waste, and finished design work.

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I really enjoyed this project! It took 100+ hours of design research, concept building, product searching, 3D computer modeling, Auto CAD drawings and photo shop to put the dream together but it was well worth it in the end! Maybe one day it will become real life!

 

 

 

 

-Stay Satisfied

Don’t forget to breath…

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” – Job 33:4

It’s been a while… but that’s ok. I feel like everyone goes through those highs and lows in their relationship with God. I know God hasn’t left me, He never has, nor ever will. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6. There are times when I know I should be doing “better” in my walk with the Lord, if that makes sense. It’s funny, I always know when I am not spending enough time with Him, because He talks to me more – telling me to spend more time with Him. Those times when life gets a little out of whack and you aren’t spending enough time in prayer and aren’t submerging yourself in His Word as much as you should be? I don’t know how the Devil does it, he’s sneaky, one thing leads to another and all of a sudden I’m trying to think back to the last time I brought out my bible and just sat in the presence of Jesus. As discouraging as this can sound, I personally find it encouraging. Through it all, Jesus is always still waiting there to spend time with me; to talk to me, to read with me, to listen to me. In my imagination, I picture Jesus sitting at an outdoor cafe in Paris in the summer time. Everything is colourful and full of life, He’s drinking an espresso and has an extra chair across from Him at a bright yellow wrought iron table. He’ll make eye contact with me, take a sip from a glass espresso mug and wave me over to be with Him. Always. It doesn’t change. He is always welcoming, always loving. Why is it so easy to drift away from this???

cafeThe other day I was reading in my devotional book. It has been the first time in longer than I’d like to admit. My devotional book is written in first person, as God speaking directly to the reader, “Seek My Face [God’s] and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible. “Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” – Philippians 4:7 MSG. Let Me displace worry at the center of your being. I am like a supersaturated cloud, showering peace into the pool of your mind. My nature is to bless, and your nature is to receive with thanksgiving. This is a true fit, designed before the foundation of the world. Glorify My be receiving My blessings gratefully! I am the goal of all your searching. When you seek Me, you find Me and are satisfied. When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life. I am still there, watching and waiting but you function as if you were alone. Actually, My light shines on every situation you will ever face. Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments. Let nothing dampen your search for Me!”

“When You said, ‘Seek My face” my heart said to You, “Your face Lord, I will seek.” – Psalm 27:8

I continued to look at the book. I reread the words and felt so loved. This was the most gentle “I Told You So” and I realized how badly I had needed it. I closed my eyes and imagined Jesus at the bright yellow table in Paris. “I love you Payton. I will always love you, but I want you to love Me back in the same way.” He spoke softly and sipped His espresso.

“You will seek Me and you will find Me, when you seek Me with all of your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

The next day, God continued to show me His patience and love. My devotional said, “Come to Me with a thankful heart, so that you can enjoy My presence. This is the day that I have made. I want you to rejoice today, refusing to worry about tomorrow. Search for all that I have prepared for you, anticipating abundant blessings and accepting difficulties as they come. I can weave miracles into the most mundane day if you keep your focus on Me. Come to Me with all of your needs, knowing that My glorious riches are a more-than-adequate supply. Stay in continual communication with Me, so that you can live above your circumstances even while you are in the midst of them. Present you requests to Me with thanksgiving, and My peace, which surpasses all understanding, this will guard your heart and mind.” I felt like God was walking with me, and reached down to grab my hand as we would walk together.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength, He makes my feet like the feet of the deer and helps me to climb the high places.” – Habakkuk 3:19

It is ultra cliche, but the importance of reading my Bible everyday has been refreshed in me. Staying in God’s Word and continually reading His love letter to us is vital to our walk with Him. I want to have feet that are able to climb the high places God may send me – but that will only happen if I spend time with God and allow Him to teach me and mould me so that when the time comes to climb high, I will be able to! If you’ve been feeling like you’re in a similar slump, I want to encourage you to grab your Bible and a coffee and go sit in a quiet room with lots of sunshine. Spend time with Jesus because He is already there waiting for you. God is patient and kind and softly nudges us to continue seeking Him. We are not perfect and the Lord knows that – so seek Him with all that your heart is able to!

 

 

 

 

-Stay Satisfied

Who knew a book would go so far…

I recently went through all of the photos I collected while I was in Rio during the summer. I’ll confess that I’m totally a photo album person. When I was little, I would print out photos, cut them into shapes and collage them into books with really cool stickers and fun paper; the whole shebang. Buuuuut now I go online and create books because they turn out way nicer than the ones I used to make… anyways, my photo album is ordered and on it’s way to me *Happy Dance* While going through all the pictures, I was reminded of more stories and miracles that happened in Rio! I hope you don’t mind yet another post 😉

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. “

On our first day on the streets of Rio, my sister Andra and I got the opportunity to talk with several young adults that were from all over the U.K. one girl was from England, two guys were from Ireland, another two from Germany and Scotland. It was super cool having so many countries standing in one conversation in Brazil! Anyways, this group was the first group my sister and I encountered; we were nervous and didn’t really know what to say. I’ve realized that before the first conversation you have about Jesus is always the one Devil puts up his greatest fight – because if you survive the first, the second and third come easier. Before you know it, you forget what you were originally afraid of! As we approached them I prayed that God would simply give Andra and I the courage to be real, the peace to be calm and the strength to be honest. Have you ever heard of the bread crumb theory? In a conversation, make a comment about God; going to church, your faith – whatever, say something in reference to Christ. If the person you are talking to comments or asks about it, make another small comment. When they ask and the conversation grows talk more and more about Jesus – not shoving the entire loaf of bread down someone’s throat; one slice at a time. You know?

Rio 1We told the group that we were from Canada and we were handing out these booklets to the people we met. “You came all the way from Canada to hand these out? Why??” the guy from Germany asked.

“We came with a group from our church to hand them out to the people we meet from all over the world!” First bread crumb.

“Why would you two come all the way from Canada to give us this? Which church are you from?” They ate it.

“‘We are here with 50+ other Christians from all over the world here in Rio to share Jesus to the people we get to talk to! It’s been so cool to see how many countries are represented here in Rio!” Second bread crumb.

“Why would you want to travel so far to tell people about God and hand out these books?” They ate it again.

So Andra and I began to explain our relationship with Jesus. We told them the story of creation and when sin first entered the world. “God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save the world He created from sin that will lead to death. For us to be saved from death, we must trust Jesus and live our life for Him instead of for ourselves…” As we continued to explain the gospel and salvation the group was listening and asking questions that allowed me to process why I was here. It was as if God was interviewing my sister and I through these young adults’ questions: Payton why are you here? Why do you want to tell others about ME? Why do they need ME? What have I done in your life? I had so much peace as I poured my life to these people. Andra shared her story about how Jesus has helped her in her depression. My sister and I shared about how all of us have sinned and need God, we shared about heaven and hell, about Jesus grace and mercy; after talking for nearly half an hour, one of them said, “You know, I think it’s cool how you both came all this way to share your faith. But just because Jesus works for you, doesn’t mean He will work for me. I think you telling me how Jesus has helped you in specific areas of your life – like depression and stress, helps me to connect with you and wants me to learn more about God. But when you come to me telling me that I’m sinful and going to Hell; I don’t want to listen to you. You should share more about how Jesus Christ helped you instead of Hell.” And with that, we split ways.

If you think of it, please pray for these young adults we talked to! God gave Andra and I 30 minutes to share Him and who knows where they ended up, but God can work through the booklet we gave them, and the conversation we had. Words can ring for years if they spoke to you. It was discouraging watching them walk away but my heart was encouraged because I saw how God used our encounter with that group to lift our spirits to press on and continue to share Him! With our first conversation on the streets being to grounding, I was excited to watch and see how God’s Hand would move during the rest of our time in Rio!

Rio 3A couple days later, another group from our missions team was at Copacabana Beach. Soldiers were everywhere in Rio. Almost every 20 feet were four soldiers with loaded machine guns. Being from Canada; where firearms are thankfully illegal, it was a bit unnerving to see so many firearms. As the team spread the gospel and handed out booklets to every one on the boardwalk they had opportunities to talk about the gospel, creation and salvation with people. After one conversation, my friend noticed that the guard he was near kept watching him after his conversation with someone else on the boardwalk. We had been told before going out not to approach the soldiers because they were on high alert and a stranger with a big backpack would not be the brightest idea. As my friend went about the boardwalk, this guard kept watching him! A few minutes later, the soldier left his post and approached my friend. He motioned for a book, said thank you, and returned to his post. My friend was in shock. Moments later, the guard went up to him again and asked for three more booklets for the other guards at his post; they all wanted one, but didn’t want to leave their post to get it! It was incredible to watch the power of God work in areas we could not!

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One last story! When my team and I were at Copacabana Beach, it was hot and beautiful and packed with people! I don’t think I had ever seen so many bodies in one place at once! I realized what immigrants in Canada were saying when they said there is so much space back home! Anyways, it had been a long and exhausting day, my team and I were running out of books when suddenly a woman ran up to one of the guys on our team, “Here! I don’t need this” she said, as she handed a booklet back to him. It was discouraging to see her going to the effort of returning the book. As he tried to encourage her to hold on to the book and maybe pass it on to a friend or family member, she said, “No! Someone gave me this book yesterday. I went home and I read it. I became a Christian!! This book saved my life! I want to give it back to you so that God can save another life!” I was dumbfounded. Sometimes we underestimate the power of God’s Word. He does not need our words. God uses us to get His Word to those He has hand picked for His kingdom!!

Praise God with me for the work God did in Rio, is continuing to do in Rio and all that is still to happen in Rio! I will be the first to confess that I was one of those people to not believe that tracks and bible booklets were effective for Christ’s kingdom. But God opened my eyes to humble me; having that lady come back and share her story made me remember and realize the reality of Ephesians 3:21-22, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” I am thankful for the time I had in Rio and the opportunity the Lord gave me to be used and watch His work unfold! God is still moving people! Stay close to Him and He will show you and open your eyes to see!

 

– Stay Satisfied