Monday, June 29, 2009

It's been a while...

When you are waiting, it really does feel like a while. But, God is continuously working, even in our waiting. One of the things he has done for me is to make me thirst, make me hungry, make me not want to settle for less than Christ and knowing him, his love. I am reminded of a Misty Edwards song..."happy am I to live a hungry life, blessed am I to thirst..."

Circumstances have not changed too much, but I have decided to gradually step back from children's ministry at Shades Valley, to allow me to better focus on prayer. It seems like a shift is taking place, but in God's gentleness, He has been working this for over a year. I told our staff at church just this week and their response was very encouraging.

Now, we are praying for the finances to appear that will make this all possible in our day to day life. I have a peace about it all that I know is from God, because normally I would be freaking out wondering how we will make up for the loss of my pay at Shades Valley. This past Sunday, the sermon was on trusting God, and it really confirmed it all for me. Please, LORD, allow me to continue to rest in this place of obedience You have called me to.

I am excited to be able to focus more on praying with and for our body, and I will try to keep any of you who keep up with us clued in!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What are we doing now, you may ask???

Well, it has been a while, I know. It seems as if we are in process always. The LORD is faithfully crushing us and molding us... I know, does not sound like fun, but it is really good.
We actually had a great weekend. Jeff is going to be 40 on the 31st, and last night we had a surprise party for him. It was so fun, and a total surprise. He was very encouraged, and it was soo good to see some friends we have not seen in a while. It was neat for me to look around the room and be greatful for the people we have shared our lives with over the last 14 years...(wow, that's a long time)... since we moved to Birmingham.
So, we are trying to have teachable hearts as the LORD teaches us to be faithful in the little things, and we are trying to make the most of each day... attempting to be present to "I AM" and each other, our family, and friends.
We will keep you posted. Jeff is hopeful about this year of 40!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What next.....???

We are pretty familiar with waiting as a family. Sometimes things are so clear and sometimes it feels as if we are in a fog and can only see where we are but not where we are headed. Well, we wanted to let you know, as much as is possible, what is up with us now and our immediate future.

Well, it has been 3 months since we got back from IHOP, and during that time we have really focused on making prayer a part of our every day. I have integrated into our school time by having the kids listen to worship music (or watch it online at IHOP) and praying/ journaling for 30 minutes before school every day. Then, usually after the kids go to bed, Jeff and I try to spend an hour praying, sometimes together and sometimes I get done early (like when Jeff is at Starbucks). When we are in town, it is pretty consistent, but out of town is harder. It is really a struggle to do it sometimes when all the other responsibilities are pressing in on us, but The LORD is gracious, and the peace we experience when we are consistent is a good motivator.

We had thought we would be going on staff full time with Lonesheep, but it seems that is not exactly what God wants for us now. Jeff is still planning on traveling with Beau, but not going full-time. Beau and Ashley are a huge daily part of our life, but is seems like we are supposed to continue to be for them in every way, but not "with" them as far as staff goes. This was kinda hard to realize, communicate, etc. But, we still feel that it is the right choice. We are praying for more people to help Beau in some of the daily ways that he needs it.

Now... we are waiting again. About 6 weeks ago Don Ankenbrandt approached us about heading up a prayer room for Birmingham. He would like us to be full time with his ministry (Alliance ministry) and our main responsibility would be to get a 24/7 prayer room started. We have had some meetings with him and other people interested in that vision. It feels huge, and yet, it seems like this is the road we are to walk in. It involves more waiting, but, again, we are used to it. Please pray for us, though, because sometimes we feel as if things will never change. We have felt like Jeff's time at Hillcrest is short since last May, but our short is not exactly the Lord's short, I guess. Pray that Jeff will wait well.

We will keep you updated.

He's Back...

Jeff is back from traveling. They actually had to cut the trip short because Beau needed to come home. But, he had an incredible time. He said it was good to continue relationships with vendors that he had met on previous tours. He actually spent several hours talking with a child of one of the vendors, whom he had met last year. They talked about God, Jesus, and end times just to name a few topics.
Jeff and Beau slept in the truck top camper (until pretty stinking late if you ask me... but that is because they did not usually go to bed until the wee hours of the morning). I have attached a picture of the camper and of one of the vendors street at the Charleston shows, I believe.
The trip was cut short, but they were able to go to Tallahassee, Charleston, and St. Augustine. I am hoping Jeff will add a blog entry to give you more specifics soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Here he goes...

Well, it is that time again- fall tour, and Jeff is very excited about going. This week Beau and Charles will head to Atlanta for some Widespread Panic (WSP) shows, but Jeff can't go because we have a ton going on this week (like a lil boy turning 10!!!). But, next Tuesday Jeff will leave with Beau to go on a southeast tour following WSP from Charleston, SC, to Miami, FL to New Orleans (and a few other places along the way). They will be traveling in Beau's truck top camper.

My prayer is that they would be an incredible place of "rest" for the weary they come into contact with. The Lord is pursuing us all the time, to bring us into his Sabbath rest, a place of peaceful power, where we get filled up instead of worn down. Pray that the LORD would be in their mouths, and they would be hands and feet also, being Christ visibly to the people they come into contact with.

On another note, we had a very generous gift that is enabling Jeff to be gone these next 2 weeks (which is a huge answer to prayer because we really did not know how he was going to travel but felt like he was supposed to). Thank you very much; you know who you are!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

On the road again...

Well, Jeff is getting excited ... because it is almost time for fall tour with Lone Sheep. Last year was the first time that Jeff was able to really travel and build relationships with people on the road, so he is looking forward to going again and hopefully re-connecting with some of those people. This year he would like to go for a total of two weeks, but that will be broken up a bit. October 15th would be the first show in Memphis, and the last will be New Orleans on November 1st; a total of nine shows in six cities in the south east. It was fun to see Jeff get so excited about going. We have really enjoyed stepping into Lone Sheep little by little. In some ways, we have eased into it so gradually that we didn't realize how "deep" we are in it, and how our hearts have been moved; God's heart is for these nomadic people who long for community- the LORD desires to walk among them, and for now, at least, he is inviting us to help be his visible hands and feet, and knees as we pray for and with these incredible people who live a lot of their life on the road. As I said, Jeff will need to be gone for about 2 weeks, which means we have to raise support for that- to cover him missing work and traveling expenses. We still have a little money saved in our Lone Sheep account, but need more. If you would like to help us out financially, please let us know.
If you want to give by a check, please make it out to Lone Sheep and memo: Stalcups and then send it Beau (call me for his address) or you could make it out to SVCC and memo it Lone Sheep-Jeff Stalcup. Thanks for sticking with us on this journey- we are blessed by your presence!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thank you to our Supporters!

Our summer was indescribable in so many ways, but I will give it a shot. Jeff would say that one of the biggest things to him was that now he could call Jesus friend. That sounds like not a big deal, but think about it a second, let it sink in... friend. Jesus really opened Jeff up to who he is and how much he is in love with Jeff. We where both overwhelmed at times with glimpses of the glory of the LORD and the sheer awesome-ness of our God. Because we live under so much grace, sometimes we forget who this Holy God is that loves us so. I found myself at times just whispering "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come..." over and over. For me, the Lord grew my heart for intercession and assured me that I could do it, and that even in the midst of motherhood, that me and Him could carve out sweet time together. Also, for me the Lord showed me how manic my mind was, and he quieted it for me and he is still helping me with that area. Let's see... God dealt and continues to deal with us on how we look to people not God so often (that it is ridiculous!!!). Sometimes I was in tears by realizing how distracted I am by my desire to "know", whether that be knowing others or being known. Jesus wants us to gaze at him, to lock our eyes with him, and to behold no other. When we do it, it is glorious... to be so loved brings tears to my eyes even now!!
Well, I am not sure what else to say. We where refreshed, encouraged, built up, broken down, and built up again. We know that this was a part of the process of our life and a part of the preparation for whatever is next. We are establishing rhythms in our home now of prayer and fasting, and we are beginning to extend that into our time at Shades Valley, at the Birmingham Prayer Furnace, and to our future with Lone Sheep. Jeff has traveled with Lone Sheep a few times over the past year, and we have been praying for a while about what is next there. So... you will hear more from us on that front soon (jeff wants to travel with beau again this fall), but for now THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! we can't get over the fact that we where able to soak in KC for the last 2 months because of the LORD through you!! Our prayer is that somehow you have also been blessed. we love you :)