Moms

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2011 by jlankford1

This Mother’s Day, I celebrate with one mom while missing 2 more.  God has given me the most incredible life partner to journey and raise a family with.  Those that know Courtney know what I’m talking about!  After 11 years, I still sit  blown away by how she loves us fiercely, nurtures us tirelessly, and manages this home.   I love you Court!

Mother of my kiddos...WOW!

God also gave me the most amazing mom.  The love and dedication she gave to me now permeates everything I do.  Her love for our Lord draws me back to my mission when my flesh wants to stray.  She provided me with the foundation I now build on.  I love you mom!!!

Mother to Me...WOW!

I also miss, love, and appreciate my mother-in-law today.  I am truly grateful for the impact this woman has made on my life. Like my mother, she raised Courtney with a love that is now foundational to everything we do!

Mother to my wife...WOW!

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Can He just take me to Tennessee?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 6, 2011 by jlankford1

Tonight, the 2 big kids went to a pajama party at their school.  After dropping them off, Courtney, Barron, Bristol, and I came home and Court went to put Bristol down while I got Barron ready for bed and prayed with him.  In my prayer, I said, “Lord, as Barron sleeps may he know that his dad loves him and that Jesus loves him.  May he know that Jesus loved him so much that He came to earth, died on a cross, and is coming again someday to take him to heaven.”  As soon as I said that, Barron interupted me and said, “Dad…Can He just take me to Tennessee?”  We laughed  and I said, “Barron, I’m sure Heaven will be just like Tennessee.”

These memories of the journey, I never want to forget.

Tennessee's Finest!!!


Devastation…..

Posted in Uncategorized on May 3, 2011 by jlankford1

On Monday morning, we got word that a fire had broken out in Masi overnight and many had lost their homes.  After breakfast, we decided to go check on our friends who live inside the township to see if they were affected.  What we saw when we arrived, I simply can’t explain…

Devastation beyond description....

Doing all I could do.....LISTEN and GRIEVE

After walking around and loving on a few of those affected, we left overwhelmed by what we had observed.  Later in the day, I joined other Living Hope volunteers at the Masi Baptist Church which had been set up as a food “drop point”.

Today…we arranged and delivered approximately 1000 cucumbers from our “Tunnel Project” to add to the food already collected.

1000 of our Cucumbers delivered for fire victims

The boy above grabbed me and simply wouldn’t let me leave.  In his broken english he said, “Please help me find more clothes.  I have nothing else and I get cold at night.”  Words simply can’t convey my feelings as I reflect on the magnitude of what my family and I have witnessed these last 2 days.  Our God continues to provide the strength we need to continue this journey even when we fill like we would rather retreat.  Please pray for our neighbors as they try to rebuild their lives.

“Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.” ~Psalm 31:24

Can’t take the African out of the girl….

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 by jlankford1

Bristol does some things that just scream "African"

People have often used the phrase, “You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy” when referring to some of the crazy stuff I do. (Shoe fits so I wear it proudly!)

Anyway…as we journey with Bristol, we notice periodically that she does things that simply don’t come from us.  Even though her family is white American and most of what she sees reflects that, she stills shows flashes of her African heritage. (and we love it…)  One such instance was captured in the picture above.  As we were steaming the crayfish Saturday, I caught Bristol hiding out and gnawing  on a smoked snoek skeleton.  Uncle Mike was so proud that he requested I take this picture of him and her.  Bristol has taught us so much about life and love in the few months we have been together!  I am excited to see what God does through her in the future.

I feel better now…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2011 by jlankford1

Picture of my sweet Briley loving on people...She shows the love of Christ like few people I have ever known!

Tonight, we hosted our first “spend the night” guest.  Briley’s friend Jena came over late this afternoon.  After playing for a while, they came down to pop popcorn and watch the new Karate Kid movie.  I began tinkering with the fire across the room as it is now time to heat our home here.

Shortly after it started, the scene where Jaden Smith leaves Detroit for China came on.  In that scene, there is an exchange between he and his best friend where they say their “tough” good-byes.  Jena quickly said, “I would be sobbing if my dad got transfered and I had to leave all my friends.”  Briley quickly replied, “I know exactly how they feel Jena but I feel better now that I have you as my friend.”

Wow…talk about a lump in your throat!  My wife and children have been so faithful in traveling this road with me.  Their willingness to push into Christ to the point of pain has blown me away!  God has given each of us those “I feel better now…” things to keep us going.  For Courtney it is the ocean and the sunrises, for Briley it is new friends and new adventures, for Braxton it is rugby and his school, for Barron it is fishing, knives, and guns, and for me it is new people to journey with and new opportunities to explore. Thank you God for knowing and being concerned with the intracate details of our lives!!!

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!  How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been His counselor?  Or who has ever first given too Him, and has to be repaid?  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things…To Him be the glory forever. AMEN.  ~Romans 11:33-36

GAME-CHANGER!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2011 by jlankford1

“In strength you reign, forever let your church proclaim…Christ is risen from the dead trampling over deaths by death. Come awake! Come awake, come and rise up from the grave!   Christ is risen from the dead we are one with Him again. Come awake!  Come awake! Oh death, were is your sting?  Oh hell where is your victory? Oh Church come stand in the light.

 Our God is not dead…He’s alive!  He’s Alive!!!

 Christ is Risen by Matt Maher

“Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb.  He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow.  The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.  But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  HE IS NOT HERE!  FOR HE HAS BEEN RESURRECTED, JUST AS HE SAID.” ~MATTHEW 28:2-6

I like the way that the angel briefly referenced the past before proclaiming the undeniable reality of the present.  “He is not here!  He has been resurrected…”  I got chills as I typed those words.  WOW…What a game-changer! Can you imagine the desperation the enemy must have felt when he got hit  with this Hay-Maker?

This Easter….If you are reading this and you are not a Jesus follower…”Lift up your face, SALVATION IS CALLING YOUR NAME!!!!”

Happy Easter and May God bless you on this wonderfully, victorious day!

THE CROSS

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2011 by jlankford1

This morning, I am up early before the family and reflecting on the significance of this day and what Christ did for me.  I wanted to be intentional about  focusing on the cross this morning where ” pardon was multiplied to me and where my burdened soul found liberty”.  Hallelujah!!!  My soul rejoices this morning because it truly has found liberty at the foot of the cross!  May God sear the depth of this reality onto our hearts and minds as we journey with HIM today!

“You need a place to be your sancuary…Follow me there, come on and follow me there!  Where you can lay down all the burdens you carry. Where love like a river flows, peace like you’ve never known, and joy never ends in pain!  A place where faith finds a hope that will never die…. Come on and follow me there! Where the lost can find salvation, and the lonely finds a friend, where a sinner finds forgiveness….Won’t you follow me there!  ~ Follow Me There by Third Day