#brennersgoyurting

Have you ever spent a week with a couple of older-than-you folks? Your relatives don't count. Neither do camping trips with your friends and their parents. Nor do I mean older by 5-8 years. I mean you {and your spouse if you have one} and a couple whose age states they have been walking this earth for more than 70 years. They have passed us by 50 years of life. If that isn't a blessing, a gift, a privilege...I don't know what is.

"Get all the advice and instruction you can,     so you will be wise the rest of your life." Proverbs 19:20

Loren and I were invited to go yurting with the Smiths for the first week of September. Their treat! And boy was it a treat. We shared the meal loads, we sipped afternoon tea together, and chugged coffee in the mornings. We roasted marshmallows, we ate chocolate, prayed, we ate, we read, we conversed, we played scrabble and runny cube. Was that the game? We hiked along the coast, we sat on the beach, we enjoyed blazing fires each night, and we learned about a man who built a mansion on the coast. We dreamed of the future, we dreamed of now, we cast visions and talked about what we love about life. What we should grow towards. Our hopes and aspirations. Mr. Smith very much encouraged us.

We asked for some wisdom and basically the key is: lean into Jesus, read His word and study it year after year. He will not fail us. He will always teach us more. He loves us deeply.

Did I mention the rose garden? Look at those colors!

rose garden collage, sunset bay, shore acres

Oh my friends, what a treat this was! After a jam-packed summer of go-go-go, this week was filled with rest and laughter. We filled our tanks up and gleaned wisdom from the Smiths. We will never forget this week. It was memorable because it will a gift given with such generosity at just the right time.

Yurting with the Smiths was refreshing. Sometimes I need to be forced out of cell-service and social media. The sense of peace that resided with us that week is unexplainable. I know it had a lot to do with our phones being off which meant our brains were able to fully rest while still awake, and enjoying things we love: reading, sitting, running, taking photos, praying... We spent a lot of time praying and reflecting. It was a week of humble-conviction for me, revealing the many ways I am messed up. BUT coupled with my messed-up-ness is the overwhelming love of Christ and reminder that He loved me before I messed up. He loved me before I did good and did bad. Overall, the week was refreshing for our souls.

Here is our week in Coos Bay, Oregon captured by my Canon:

the drive to coos bay

yurting at sunset bay, coos bay, oregon

the rose garden at shore acres the rose garden at shore acres the rose garden at shore acresred roses at shore acres in coos bayShore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos BayShore Acres TENNIS COURTS! Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos BayShore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay Shore Acres, Coos Bay

Did I mention we ran? It was absolutely gorgeous! Right along the coastline for 4 miles!

Running along the Oregon coast Running along the Oregon coast Running along the Oregon coastReading...boy did we read!

#brennersgoyurting #brennersgoyurting #brennersgoyurting

Did I mention the seal and bird and wave watching?

Seal watching in Coos Bay Seal watching in Coos Bay Seal watching in Coos Bay Seal watching in Coos BaySunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon Sunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon Sunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon

#totewell this camera bag has come on so many adventures!

Sunset bay, Coos bay, Oregon

We were blessed with rest and many nuggets of wisdom. Thank you, Smiths, for being a source of encouragement and His love.

ccEngage Youth Group goes Backpacking!

Loren and I were asked if our youth group could go back packing and we thought it would be a great idea, with the help of our 3 wonderful youth leaders. It was great, my friends. We fully enjoyed ourselves as we packed 40 lbs on our back and dug our heels up and down rocky terrain. With only one sprained ankle and two foot-cuts, the trip closed with honor! Memories were made that will never be forgotten. Example: Luke, Loren, Brenden and I decided to take a "short voyage around the lake before dinner time," because Tumble Lake is maybe 1-2 miles around the entire thing! Turns out, there is absolutely no trail to do this adventure with ease so we just made our way. Wearing shorts and t shirts, we carried Luke's pet rubber-boa snake through the elder trees, swampy mud, and stinging nettles that were 6 feet high. We passed by a hornets nest and only Loren was stung. We waded through the shin-deep swamp that quickly went to high waist-deep because of the sinking sand. Our 15 minute voyage turned into 2 and a half hours and that is a couple of hours I will not soon forget.

Our weekend had no shortage of laughter. I have a six pack of abs from my two tent buddies (Graice + Delayna). Talk about goof balls and silly jokes. SO much joy. We had campfires and roasted mallows and hot dogs. Loren and I both shared the speaking load. Our theme was walking with God. Our hearts were focused on walking in the Light of God and emphasizing the importance of falling in love with the Love Letter God himself has left for us (the Bible). We talked about walking in the darkness, tripping on roots and rocks; all we need is some light to expose the danger. As soon as we shed light on sin, it is not nearly as huge as it seemed. Like Kim always says, "mushrooms only grow in the dark." We talked about walking in the muck of sin - darknesses & sins like choosing to be selfish at home, seeking only our own desires, and never looking out for others. We talked about the purity of our mind and how being in God's presence will only do us good, make us more like Christ. That when we soak our souls in Him, sunbathe in His light, we radiate His love. We glorify Him and bless others. Its all about Jesus and all about spending time with Him and letting Him love you.

Changing this world begins with us allowing Christ to transform us individually.

As we spend time with Him, dying to our desires and yielding to His, we become more beautiful, more whole, more satisfied, more like HIM. We become light as our darkness fades away. We bring hope and joy to this world, but only by the power of His spirit. We are so un-incredible and He is more than incredible. His grace is sufficient.

One of our students is now planning to be baptized at camp in August! Praise Jesus.

We prayed together, and oh how I love praying with these kids. We prayed unity and peace, we prayed joy and love, that we may each see ourselves and each other with the eyes of Christ. That we would be humans of grace, because of His transforming love. That we would be a team standing tall on His promises, and bring the Kingdom of Heaven to our cities and schools.

Oh friends, it was good. Loren and I got home Tuesday around 4:15 pm. Put away all of our things by 5:30 pm. Sat on the couch staring blankly, then tried watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air..around 8 pm we slowly crawled into bed and slept for 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS! WE SLEPT IN UNTIL 8! It was beautiful. I was so blessed and refreshed and full of smiles.

We have some amazing kids here in Corvallis. Be praying with us! Our vision for the next year is to have a weekly bible study/prayer group in every school campus by the end of June 2015. This year, our Linus Pauling Middle School students started one after CIY Believe - began with 4 and grew to 14. FOURTEEN TEENAGERS MEETING TO PRAY! Every Monday! Can you taste the goodness and see the reach? Can you do the math? There are at least 6 campuses represented in our youth group. Pray with us that we can equip these students and build them up. That they would continue to experience the deep, unending love of Jesus Christ. That as they experience His love and grace, the result is to go out and make disciples. That is our calling, friends.

More is in the making, partnering with other small churches without youth pastors. Please be praying for Loren and I and for our beautiful church community. Pray for our youth leaders and for our students. We highly value discipleship. We have so many dreams and visions of what more it could look like. Pray with us; click HERE to read more about our fundraising and paying the bills.

We are so grateful that Loren isn't working full time at Trillium anymore. Thank you, team! We could not do it without you. Truly. Your investment is reaching many lives. Jesus is so faithful.

Enjoy the photos below of our backpacking trip from start of the hill to finish of the hill; if you happen to be a parent, you can save these to your desktop or cell phone. Let me know if you need help.

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So many huckleberries were eaten!

First glimpse of Tumble Lake!

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This is the "poop talk" ... you know, go dig a hole and cover it up!

The partnering in...yeahhhh

#ccEngage goes backpacking #youthministry

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Filtering lake water

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Evening musical worship

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Quiet times in the mornings

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so much laughter

#ccEngage goes backpacking #youthministry

so much laughter

#ccEngage goes backpacking #youthministry

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Luke's pet Rubber Boa, Moses #Mosesthesnake

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Oh no..

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Raspberry Picking

As we fall more in love with Oregon, we are adventuring into new places! Yesterday I had the chance to pick berries for a quick half an hour, checking out this local farm!

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I found the initial farm, and then was led on a scavenger hunt in search for the Raspberry bushes. A few signs and a 3 minute drive later, I arrived at this precious farm.

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There weren't many folks picking because it was drizzling, but I wasn't ready to give up! The cost of these u-pick berries is basically stealing if you compare it to what you pay for berries at the grocery store.

I was assigned my row and off I went!

 

 

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IMG_7995 As I picked, I was able to relax and pray out loud. No one was around, so that was great. Just a quiet morning, drizzling rain, and chats with Jesus. I prayed for my husband (10 prayers for your spouse) and for my work and my business (see that here) and for our ministry.  I am learning again how powerful prayer is - when I choose to fix my thoughts on Him, my worries and frustrations decrease. My mind is calmed and I am able to magnify Jesus, who brings all peace. What a gift.

It was heaven!

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Raspberry picking

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U-Pick raspberries, Oregon   IMG_8014

I filled my bucket, almost to the brim! I paid $6 flat. SIX DOLLARS!

I highly recommend this farm if you are in the area! It is very easy to find. You can call them morning of, listen to their voicemail & see if they're open for the day. (541) 757-7814

They are off of Highway 20 in Corvallis - turn onto Garden Ave.

I look forward to taking Loren here on Monday!

Do you have any local farms that you enjoy?