Thursday, July 28, 2011

Be Still and Know That I am God


As "bad" things happen in our lives we as Christians can choose to get bitter at God or at others or we can choose to let God make us better.

No not everything that happens in life is good, but God never promised us that it would be, His promise is that He would work it all out for good.

We can use these seemingly bad things to draw us closer to Him and to each other, or we can let them drive a wedge between us.

We can let these events get us down or we can use these events to help us to look for others who are hurting and reach out to them.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4


The Lord is so precious, and loves each one of us so much that he sends things into our lives to make us more like Him and to increase our fellowship with Him.


How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Psalms 139:17
Samantha sang this as a church special the day before we found out that our baby's heart had stopped.
Hearing this song sung by Samantha, brings a calming peace to my heart.

I know that I can be still and know that God is God.
-----------------------------------------------

Wednesday night at church I was looking through the Births page in my Bible and found something I wrote a long time ago (see caption). Then as I was sitting there it was almost as if God whispered in my ear, "Even to heaven, Adam" Immediately I wrote that in and peace flooded my soul.

Children: You have to be willing to let them go where ever  God calls them, because they are God's...even to heaven.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Grace Is Sufficient


Sometimes things dont go exactly as we plan. But no matter what comes our way we KNOW that God is in control and that God is ALWAYS good. It is with a grieving, yet hopeful heart I write this.

Today Samantha and I were scheduled to have our 10-week pregnancy exam. We were scheduled to meet with our doctor to see how our baby was progressing. It was suposed to be a quick doctors appointment with a few errands to run afterward.

Instead, during our exam, the doctor was not able to locate the heartbeat of our baby. This worried us because we were able to hear it so strongly at 6 weeks. After a few minutes of trying with the handheld speaker device, she decided to take us in a room with an actual ultrasound machine. But she was still not able to find the heartbeat.

She immediately sent us to an X-Ray and Ultrasound specialist that confirmed what I believe our doctor already knew. Our little baby's heart had stopped beating. We had a miscarriage.

The whole way to the specialist I tried to comfort Samantha, I was worried too, but I wanted to be strong for her. I kept thinking well maybe they just got the weeks wrong and they think they should hear/see something that is not quite developed. But after I saw the screen I knew that what I was seeing wasn't right. It broke me, and it was all I could do from breaking down into tears right there. Samantha must of been able to see it in my face. I could see the screen but she couldn't.

From there we were sent back to our doctors office.

This was some of the most painful new I have ever had, and I know it was especially hard for Samantha. I think it is for every mother. The felling of loss is almost unbearable. I know that she was so very excited about being a mommy. And I know that she had already developed a special connection with our baby. All we could do was cry and praise God through the tears and hurt.

Everyone at our doctors office was so kind and gracious to us, the really were a blessing during this time, they were patient, comforting, gentle and genuinely compassionate, as they explained everything to us.

Now as I write this, it still seems like a bad dream. It really doesn't seem real. I think of all the planning and preparation and it hurts, it hurts a lot. I miss our baby.

I am so proud of Samantha, I know she is hurting but she turned to God in faith and claimed the promise of Romans 8:28-29 and as we both had done before, we told God once again, "This baby is yours. Your will be done."

I want to say thank you to all those who already heard about it, for your kind words and prayers. Please continue to pray for us, and especially Samantha during this time. We trust that God knows what is best and we believe that He will send us a baby in His perfect time.

Adam and Samantha

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9


PS Little one, we are excited to meet you in heaven.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Family Night - At Isotopes Park


Every month Mom and Dad Leeder try to have a time where all of the family gets together for a time of food and fellowship.


With everyone's busy schedules, families of their own, and either in ministry or the work force, it can be hard to get everyone together. This week we were all able to meet for a fun time at our local minor league baseball team's game.



It had been some time since I was at a baseball game, and it was really a lot of fun.




Check out this lady's cane!! It's a baseball bat.

GO TEAM! GO!!


Little Roddy running the bases at the end of the game.
We were all tired and ready for bed by the end of the game.

PS sadly our team lost 5 to 8, but it was a fun time anyways.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sam The Sergeant



Sam Hunter is twenty-four and is out to obtain the perfect life. After successfully landing a great job with the electric company and purchasing a brand new house, he feels sure no one will ever discover his carefully guarded secret. But when things start to go wrong, he realizes God isn’t done with him yet. As a last attempt to escape from his past, Sam joins the Marine Corps and becomes bent on ranking sergeant. Not until he learns to make God Sergeant of his life, is Sam able to reap God’s blessings – including the wife God has chosen for him.
This book can be found at Local Church Bible Publishers








Running From Your Past

Everyone has made mistakes in their life. Things we wished we could rewind the hands of time and fix. Often, it seems like those mistakes constantly haunt us. They seem to follow us around like a shadow, no matter how fast we run or how well we hide, we know its still there.

If our mistake is a known mistake, by that I mean if it is something that others know about. We live with the constant feeling of failure. We feel like everyone has already labeled us as a liability or as a failure


We feel as if we can never fulfill God's plan because we have messed up so badly. We feel as if we have disqualified ourselves from God ever using us again.

If it is an unknown mistake, by that I mean something that we have kept secret. Something that we did, but no one knows about it. We live with the feeling of fear. 


Fear that at any moment someone will discover what we have done. So we try so hard to not let that happen. It's exhausting.


 We let this mistake and the fear of being discovered cause us to live a lie, a facade and pretend to be something or someone we know we are not.

If your mistake is something that you have never come to Jesus about, then now is the time to get it right with Him. To seek true repentance and forgiveness. 

You might be thinking "Adam, you have no idea what I have done." Well your right I dont know what you have done, but I do know that no matter what you have done, Jesus can forgive you and still use you.

If your mistake involves another person, you might need to go to them and ask them for forgiveness as well. For some of you, you might need to go and tell your parents, pastor or spouse. Scary! I know it is, but trust me it's worth it. There is nothing like having peace with God and peace with others.

Don't let the past, hold you back from having a future. Get your heart and life right with God, accept what ever punishment comes and thank God for Him loving you enough to chastise you. With your mistake under the blood let God use your life. He has a calling and a plan for you. Don't run from it!


Lastly, learn to forgive yourself, If you have received forgiveness from God, others, but you feel like you just cant let it go. Then you need to learn to forgive yourself.


Let this mistake make you more aware of sin, and become a spokesperson for how easily it is to get caught up in sin. Let God use your testimony to help others avoid the same mistakes.

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:6



Running From Your Calling

Because those past mistakes seem to haunt us. They make us think that we cannot serve God any longer. So instead of seeking a life in the ministry we seek a life in the world.


Now I'm not saying that we seek an evil, sinful profession. But we seek a job outside of where God would have us. The thought constantly crosses our mind, "I guess I will just have to be a good laymen. I can no longer do what I was called to do now."

If this is you, you know God has called you to the ministry and instead you feel you have so messed up that you must head in another direction for your life.

It is true there are some sins that destroy our ability to serve in certain positions. They make us no longer fit for certain positions of authority. But 99% of us DO NOT fall into that category. Most of us have made mistakes that God can and still will use you life.

A lady who has given her body to man, can still be used of God.

A man who had given his body to drugs and alcohol can still be used of God. HOW?

The key is having true repentance. Coming to God and making things right, going to people and making things right, once and for all. Having an attitude that you are so sorry for your sin, and not just sorry for the consequences. To be sorry for hurting God and not just sorry that you will have to face some judgment.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest.
Psalm 51:4

Sometimes it can be a pride issue that makes us run from God's calling. Pride? Yes pride.

I know what it is like to be a twenty something year old, still living at home. Still under the authority of my parents. Serving God where He put me, until God moves me.

But at the same time I know what it is like to have all of my lost family and even some of my saved, think "You should be out on your own by now, your already in your twenties."


I have experienced being made to feel like a failure because I was not married, not living on my own, not off at college. Working at my local church on a small income.


 And I have felt what it is like to have extended family make you feel like you are a bum or a freeloader for still being at home. (If the Lord blesses us with daughters I would like them to stay at home until God brings them the one.)

Now don't get me wrong, I knew I was in the perfect will of God, I was working, I was helping out at home, I was being a faithful soul-winner, I was trying my best to be an asset to my family and not a liability. But there is a very real sensation and even pressure that says, "I need my own place, I need to get out on my own. I'm already getting old."

And there is nothing wrong with stepping out on your own, but if it not God's will you might be putting yourself in  world of hurt. 


In the story Sam the Sergeant, Sam is faced with the very same decision, forced by pride and self will, to get out and start his life. He needs to prove himself to the world.

Beware of this trap of Satan, he desires  to get you out of the will of God, and he doesn't care how he does it. He would like nothing more then to get you out from under your parents authority. I know that anytime a person steps out of the will of God they are headed for trouble.

But there is something extra dangerous when a young person moves out of the house on their own. There comes a host of temptations that were never there before. Why? Because under the watch and care of parents, the reality of getting caught would squash those temptations in a second. But now as the saying goes, "When the cats away the mice will play."

By the way this is also a very big danger for Bible college students. With the watchful eye and accountability of parents, young adults have a easier time resisting temptation, but at college, with a lot more free time, and much less personal accountability, the encouraging of pairing up, and the ability to go off campus and not have to report as strictly, to where and with who you are going. Satan takes full advantage and does his very best to draw you away into sin. If it is God's will for you to go to college then go, but be aware of his tricks.

Stay in the will of God, no matter who makes fun of you!


Sometimes its fear that keeps us from doing what we know God is calling us to. I have spoken with many a young person who, I know, they know and God knows they are called to do something, but for some reason the fear kicks in and keeps them in a spiritual state of paralysis.

It can be scary to surrender your life to Christ, to surrender to do and go where ever He wants you to go, with out knowing the details. But that is how God grows us, (as my pastor often says) "from faith to faith". 


God will reveal a little bit to you and then you have the choice to obey or disobey. To step out by faith or to shrink back in fear. But with each step of faith we take, God then grows us and prepares us for the next step. Then soon God reveals to us another piece of the puzzle. And again we are placed at the fork in the road of "obedience or disobedience".

For a few years I knew God was calling me to the ministry, to preach, but I was afraid, and a little greedy and didn't want to have to "live like a preacher".  I had dreams of having houses, cars boats, ect. And I really didn't see how I was going to get all of these things if I was a preacher. I told God, "Thank you for the offer, but no thanks." (Insert Pride and Ungratefulness)

And that started a downward spiral of pain that I wish never happened. My testimony is that once I told God "no!" that one time, it became so much easier to say no to God in other areas. It became so much easier to say yes to the flesh and sin.

By the end of it I was very much like the prodigal son, ready to come home, but not sure how. I had already had a taste of the world and my flesh wouldn't give up that easy. It was a battle to come back. You see when you let sin get a hold of you it wont let go until it is finished with you. So many people think they can fool with sin and then when it gets to bad they will walk away from it. Not so.


Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
James 1:15

I was afraid to let God direct my paths, because I knew exactly where God would lead me, and I (thought) I didn't want that.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Don't run from your calling! The day I surrendered was one of the greatest days of my life. I quit my job and had the desire to go and do what ever God wanted me to do. The day I surrendered God set in motion some pretty amazing things. Now looking back on my life, every great thing that has happened to me was because I choose to obey God.

The good thing about it is, that God never let me go, he let me be miserable, he kept convicting me, he kept using people to prompt me to get right with Him. 


To know God's will and not do it will make you the most miserable person in the world. You can try to drown out the feeling with money, possessions, people, music, video games ect. but it just wont work, nothing will make you happy until you obey God.

Running for Nothing


If we are not careful what will happen is we will get Saved, go to camp or to some revival meeting or a regular church service, hear a message preached and go forward at the altar call. Knowing that God has called us to a specific area, (to preach, to be a missionary, to teach a SS class, to be a preachers wife, ect) then through some sad circumstances we will fall into sin, and live with the shame. 


The the Devil who is the great accuser of the brethren, comes and whispers in our ear "look how evil you are and how much of a hypocrite you are. You want to serve God after all you have done!" And in our hearts we know what he  is saying to be partially true so we run from our call. 


We either dismiss it altogether and think it never happened, or we feel we have messed up so much that we couldn't possibly follow that call. And so we end up running in a different direction. 

Where once we were running for Christ, now we are running from Christ. And end up with a life that the world might think is successful, but find out that once this life is over and we stand for Christ we truly ran for nothing. We missed the call and wasted our life, because we missed God's PERFECT will for our life.

Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Well What about Psalm 37:4?

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

"That verse isn't talking about God giving you what you desire, It's talking about God giving you what to desire. New desires"

God has changed my desires, He has given me His desires. Or better yet His desires have become my desires. I had never desired to be a preacher, a SS teacher, or a youth director, but now I can think of nothing better I want to do for the rest of my life.  I no longer want to run my life for nothing.



Right now you might feel the same way. You don't want to do _____________(you fill in the blank), even though you know God is calling you to do it. I would challenge you to delight in the Lord, and let Him make His desires your desires. God says what ever life you could dream up for self, God has an ever better plan for you, if you will only let Him give it to you. But you have to do it HIS WAY!

 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.I Corinthians 2:9

You will never regret surrendering to God.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 1:8



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Week 8 - Baby/Mommy update



Not a lot has been happening to my body on the outside, but on the inside however, I can tell our little one is growing and growing fast! 

This past week I was in Arizona visiting my memew with my mom. We had decided to go maternity clothes shopping, just us girls!

But on the way down there, full blown morning sickness had kicked in. I really thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones who didn't get it. But not so :(

My "morning sickness" has been more of an "all day sickness". I will be fine, then all of the sudden I will get nauseous, then after a while it will go away, then sneak back up on me. I have found that if I eat little snacks all day long it helps. Also one thing that has been helping is the little mints you get from Sonic. 

But now that I think about it, I am kind of glad to have it, because it reminds me not to over exert myself. It has also helped to ease my mind and remove some of the fears and questions that had been popping into my head. Questions like "what if my baby isn't healthy or growing right?"

I have been reading the book "What to Expect When Your Expecting" and it has been helping me understand what my little baby is doing and what he or she is doing to my body. I got my copy on e-bay for pretty cheep but I have included a link for Amazon for the book for anyone interested.

I would love to know if any of you (or anyone you know) have ever read this book and what you thought of it. My version is a little older and has a lady in a dress. I liked that! :)

See you next week!
God bless,
Samantha


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

IT'S VBS TIME...AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?!?!?

Excited kids screaming at the top of their lungs!
Extremely exhausted workers!
Great food!
Sweaty bus drivers and even sweater kids!
Penny offerings!
Pie in the Eye!
Great preaching!
And of course lots of precious little souls saved!!




Boy we sure had a great time this year! I think I can speak for everyone, when I say, we had a great group of kids and a lot of fun!

My fun group of kids on "VAN # 3!!!!!"



Scale for penny offering
We were able to raise quite a bit of money through the penny offering.

For those of you who do not know what the penny offering is, it is a competition between the boys and the girls. Each night kids bring in what ever money they have and exchange it for pennys to be placed in a balance.


Look how innocent she looks!!! :-)
Each night several men and women are chosen to represent the boys or the girls. With the loser of the penny offering (boy's side or girls side), the adults get pied in the face, by the adult team who won (Men or Women).

This night our boys lost, but on the bright side the pie was pretty good...and I'm soooo glad I didn't have to pie my sweet wife.



In four days the total amount for the penny offerings were a little over 3000.00 dollars, Each year the money raised gets sent to Haiti to a national pastor, Bro Wilner, who has a Vacation Bible School just outside of Port Au Prince.


Each year they use the money raised from VBS to supply the food for over 150 children for the entire week. The remaining money will go to missionary David Fox, who has served on the mission field for over 10 years in the country of Haiti, to help supply some of his family's needs during the aftermath of the Earthquake and the building of his home. I think right now their biggest need is a well. Right now they are having to transport water.
Here is a link to a story I found on them.
 VBS in Haiti




This year we had Pastor Don Rice and his wife come down to help us with VBS. Pastor Rice and his wife were a great blessing and each night Bro Rice brought a great message on true treasure.






In all our highest attendance was about 120 kids. With over 60 kids makeing professions of faith.



Another great blessing to me was that some of our teens were able to talk to kids about the Lord for the first time because there were so many kids that went forward the last 2 nights.




Two teens that I personally worked with both got saved and were extremely excited.



What an exciting time this VBS was. Can't wait for next year!




But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Mark 10:14

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Setting Up A Tent...A Rather Large Tent!

This past Saturday I had the privilege of helping some of the men in our church set up a big 'circus style' tent for Pastor Paul Jones. Pastor Jones pastors The First Baptist Church of Costilla County. This church is located in San Luis Colorado.

Before Samantha and I were married I had the wonderful opportunity to preach at his church while he was on a mission trip.

Pastor Jones is going to be using this tent for a Revival Service and Vacation Bible School.

Each year our church sends a group of men to set up the tent and to later take it down. 

I had made the trip a couple of times to help take the tent down, but this was the first time I got to help set it up.
It really was a lot of fun.


Now for a little walk on the tent?!?!
Yup Me and two other guys went up top to help close the Velcro rain flaps. It is pretty amazing how strong these tents are!
Me hanging on to the top pole!

I know I look goofy, But I was using one hand to hang on and the other to take a picture!



 We also had to drive about 15 miles away to load up all the chairs and tables from the church building and bring it over. Once we got it all set up it was ready for men and women, boys and girls to get preached at and SAVED!

 There is something very special to think that, we will have had a part in some boy or girl getting saved, because we helped to set up a place for them to come and hear the Gospel preached. 
Eternal riches!

The Little Town of San Luis