Calling All Hinson's

"…that they should seek God…" Acts 17:26-27


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A Community Saturated With God

This morning I had a few hours of quiet time in the car. I have started praying out loud in the car so I stay focused and my thoughts don’t drift off so easily. Grant always prays out loud–and I thought he was crazy–but I guess I’ve joined the ranks.

And you know what?? It works!

My prayers seem to be more passionate. More centered. More confident. More effectual.

As my prayers flowed, my neighborhood came to mind.

I prayed for realization. I prayed for repentance. I prayed for revival.

Revival:

“An extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.” Richard Owen Roberts

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I prayed that hearts would know that God loves them and they would surrender their lives to Him. I prayed that hearts would be curious and drawn to Him. I prayed that hearts would acknowledge Jesus as Lord and live for Him.

I prayed for revival in Countryside.

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Revival:

“A community saturated with God.” Duncan Campbell

That in the midst of tragedy and heartache, God’s name would be glorified and magnified and lifted high. In the middle of family crises and financial troubles, He would be exalted. That in the center of the darkest pit, God would be called on to be The Savior.

After praying, God told me He was listening. He told me through song that He is able and He is working.

Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save!

And right after that, He showed me a picture in the next song.

Holy Spirit You are welcome here,
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.
Your glory God is what our hearts long for,
To be overcome by Your presence, Lord.

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I am so very thankful that the Creator hears my prayers. He not only hears, though. He hears and remembers his promises and stays faithful to His Word that says

“…He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

He desires revival in Countryside. I’m not asking Him to do anything that is out of character for Him. I’m asking for new life to spring up in this place and true worship to abound.

Will you join me in praying this today?

God is so good and so loving and so patient. I can’t wait until we see the answers to our prayers.

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It isn’t supposed to be this way

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 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

A sweet 15-month-old neighbor is resting in the arms of Jesus tonight. It just isn’t supposed to happen this way. She is supposed to be here, with us, with her mommy and daddy and family. She is supposed to be smiling and toddling and sticking out her tongue. She isn’t supposed to have endured that tragedy today.

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We loved Malaya at our house. She made Asher and Evan Grace so happy. They would always ask about her when they saw her mommy or daddy. They begged me to go get her so we could play. They held her and fed her and loved her and played with her.

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But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I called to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. 2 Samuel 22:7

Now she is singing and dancing in Heaven at the feet of her Savior. We don’t understand it at all, but we can find Hope. Somewhere in the midst of the tears and the questions and the unfairness of it all, there is Hope. The hope comes when we realize we will get to see her again in Heaven. The hope comes when we realize that God works all things for His glory. The hope comes when we see that this tragedy can change lives. It can loosen chains. It can refocus. It can turn eyes to the Giver of Hope.

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Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:12, 15, 21

Pray with me tonight for our friends. Pray for our neighborhood. Pray for Malaya’s family that she leaves behind.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

May God receive much glory in this terrible heartache,

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Those things expire??

So, I told you yesterday about Grant’s experience at Intensa in Costa Rica thus far. Let me tell you a few neat things that led up to this adventure.

A few months ago Grant came to me with that look. I knew something was up. He said “Hey, I think God wants me to go somewhere to learn Spanish.” He wasn’t too thrilled with this proposition, but he knew it was something God wanted him to do. We have lived here for a year and a half now and our Spanish is not as good as we would like it to be. About HALF of the families in Countryside are hispanic. We have seen 20 people accept Christ as their Savior.

Can you imagine the floodgates that will open when God allows deeper communication with that 50% of Countryside?!

So, I was all for it. I felt peace about him going from the moment he told me. It doesn’t make much sense–for me to be okay with staying here for a month alone with a 3 & 4 year old, but it was, somehow, okay.

The prayers went up, the schools were reviewed, the plane tickets were purchased.

Wednesday (4 days before take-off), we decided to start gathering some important stuff to take to Costa Rica, i.e. Grant’s passport. I don’t think I will ever forget the silence that came after Grant opened his passport and read aloud “Expires March 2014“.

*crickets chirp*

It’s okay, honey. I finally broke the silence. If I didn’t I was worried he would pass out. I’m sure you can get a new passport in two days. 

(Well, I wasn’t really sure that would be humanly possible, but I had to say something. It would have been more likely for me to scratch my ear with my elbow.)

Panic set in quickly, but we stopped and prayed. Lord, we know you have set us on this journey. We need a miracle now.

Grant made a few phone calls to the passport agencies and found out that he could present his application in person in Atlanta with hopes of getting one on time. It just so happens that our missionary friends are home on furlough in Atlanta.

So Grant left at 5am Thursday morning for an 11am appointment at the Passport Agency. He was able to pick up our friend and they hung out together all day. He even got a home-cooked meal for supper. But the fabulous news is…

God made a way and he left Atlanta Thursday with a passport that is good for 10 years!!

I am so glad we serve a God that can move mountains. He can work with our failures and our shortcomings. He can work with our distractions and our lack-of-attention-to-details. He shows us that He will take care of us every second of every day. He continues to amaze me.

And one more thing–the night before Grant left he wanted to weigh his suitcase. He said over and over, This thing is WAY more than 50 pounds! He hopped on the scale with the suitcase and guess how much it weighed?

50 pounds on the dot.

That’s my God!

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Grant’s where??

So, I know a lot of you know that Grant is in Costa Rica. And I also know a lot of you are praying for him. But I think some people are wondering what in the world he is doing there and why. I thought I’d give you an idea of what he’s gotten into and how he’s doing. So, here are a few FAQs about that…

*Grant’s in Puerto Rico right?

Well, no. Costa Rica. It’s in Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama. He is a student at Intensa Language School. He is studying 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. He has morning and evening sessions with tutors and is learning so very much!

*So, he went on a mission trip to tell people about Jesus?

Well, no. His sole focus on this trip is to learn Spanish by immersion. He is not there to work or serve, but to instead allow God to open his mind and pour in some español. Now of course he is a child of God and when opportunity presents itself he will be glad to share Jesus, but the purpose of this trip is to learn. He has a unique opportunity to be alone and in a quiet environment and we are excited to see what he gains!

*Oh, why couldn’t he just get that Rose…Rosa…Rosetta Stone?

We have it. We tried it. It works just fine. But there is nothing like immersion in a culture to learn the language. Our neighbors help, too, but we couldn’t spend hours upon hours with them. He is going with a basic knowledge and good comprehension, this is just a step above in order to really grasp the language.

*Why does he need to speak Spanish?

Oh this is my favorite question! Because we LOVE our neighbors! The hispanic folks that live all around us are so very kind to us. They love us and care for us and share with us. Our hearts love their culture and language. We can communicate on a basic level but we wanna get to the heart level. We want to talk to them about their fears and worries and heartaches and joys and salvation. We find ourselves having the same conversation over and over with them–how are you? how was work? your food was delicious. We trust that God wants us to go deeper with those friendships, too. That’s why He’s made a way for Grant to be in Costa Rica.

*Is he safe and taken care of?

You better believe it. Marlene, his hostess, has fed him so good that he may not want to come home. Marlene and her mother have a large house that they use as a hotel and rent out rooms. He has a few roommates–one even from Japan who is teaching Japanese at the Costa Rican school. How cool is that!? His house is only one block from the school so he is able to walk there. He also has wi-fi at the house and at school so we are able to FaceTime a lot more than we anticipated–which is nice!

*How does he like it?

He is delighted with his experience so far! His housing is great. His teachers are great. Their teaching methods are great. The food is great. And God is great!

*Tell me something cool God did before he went.

Well, I’m so glad you asked. :) I actually have two things. And I’m gonna share them tomorrow. Sorry, but they deserve their own blog post.

Hasta mañana!

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Testimony Tuesday {Jennifer Edition}

Can you even imagine?? Jennifer and Jeff were our neighbors in North Carolina. Both were diagnosed with cancer in 2013. We watched their battle from next door, supporting as we could and praying daily. I’ll never forget seeing Jeff in the hospital after he was diagnosed. His faith and strength was incomprehensible to me. I saw him sit in a hospital bed after surgery while his wife was too sick to come visit–and he praised Jesus Christ for his trials!

I am so thankful that their story continues on today. That they are able to share their story with you today. They have touched so many lives with their courage, strength and love for The Lord. May you be encouraged today!

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For When I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong!

2013 was a challenging year for my family. My husband, Jeff, and myself were both battling cancer. I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Jeff was diagnosed with colon cancer. We were already in a financial crisis before we got sick. We had no health insurance, our home was in foreclosure, our dog died, and the list goes on and on. I could not see an end to this nightmare. My daughter, Sarah, was a junior at Liberty University. She moved back home to do online classes and take me to my chemo treatments. My son, Jeremy, was a sophomore in high school. Sarah and Jeremy were strong, but they realized that they could lose one or both parents at any time. I believed that God would take care of us. I had to keep my focus on Him.

There were times when I could not see anything changing for the better. I praised God anyway, because He is worthy to be praised no matter what the circumstances may be! I knew that I was close to death a couple of times and I was not scared of dying. Some days I asked God to let me die because it was so hard to just get through the next hour. I knew that there would be no sorrow and no pain in heaven. Some days I was so broken, and in pain, and so sick from the chemo, I didn’t even have the energy to pray, so I would just say, “Thank you, Jesus, for my salvation!”

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I didn’t give up, but just kept trusting and believing. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). I believe in God’s promises. Reading the Bible and praying continually kept my hope alive. I kept going back to Habakkuk 3:17-19 which says, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls – Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.”

Even though we didn’t have enough money to pay the bills, and I was getting sicker, and my husband couldn’t work for many weeks because of his surgery to remove the softball size tumor, and we didn’t have any health insurance, and our house needed repairs that we could not afford, etc.; I still praised the Lord. My joy was in the Lord. My strength was in the Lord. He gave me such peace even on my worst days!
God blessed us so very much through all of our trials in ways I never would have imagined. God’s promises are for real! He still does miracles. Our family was so good to us. Our church family supported us in so many ways. They brought us meals three or more times a week for several months, helped take me to chemo, and they prayed and prayed and prayed for us. God provided a better home for us through a church member. A couple of awesome people provided us with dependable transportation to get me to treatments. Some wonderful friends held two benefits for us to help with our bills. The whole community came together and supported us with prayers, encouragement, gift cards, food, money, etc. There were so many people in several different states in the U.S. and people in Canada, Germany, and Israel praying for our family. My husband got a new job with health insurance. Jeff and I were both healed from cancer. And, the blessings continue to pour in. God is forever faithful and he makes all things work together for our good! Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV)

by Jennifer Price


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Oak Island 2014

After a busy summer we needed a break. We thought it was a good idea to make sure all of our neighborhood kiddos got to and from school on the first day and we excitedly talked to them about how they like their teachers, then we loaded up the car and headed east.

Oak Island is our vacation spot for many reasons, the main one being that it’s free for us to stay there. :)

But there are many, many special things about this island that make it so perfect for us. We love that the beach is so quiet. We love that there are 124 ice cream shops to choose from on the island. (I made that up, but it’s gotta be close.) We love that I used to come here to Fort Caswell every summer as a youth for the baptist church camp and have many memories here. We love that Southport and Wilmington and Fort Fisher Aquarium are not too far away. We love the food. We just love the place.

We looked forward to our getaway. When we moved to Countryside we surrendered to ministry as a family. That’s not just Grant (as I have heard many say). And it’s not just me and Grant, either. Our precious two Littles are in full-time ministry as well. And that’s one of the reasons we were so excited to just be alone. To love on each other and pay attention to each other. To talk about our life and our dreams and what was on our hearts. To snuggle and laugh and play games and go outside in our underwear. (Well, not all of us did that.)

And we did all that and more. Here are some highlights from our trip that I never want to forget…

Asher running full-speed, being so excited that he didn’t know what to do.

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Rolling in the grass without a care in the world.

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Talking to every dog owner…

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And even walking some of their dogs.

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Riding our bikes to the beach.

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And washing our bikes (in our underwear).

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Asher and Grant going on 2 hour bike rides because there wasn’t traffic and we had nowhere to be.

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Sleeping in my king-size bed–that was our first purchase as a married couple. It is the most comfortable place in the world to me.

I don’t have a picture of the bed, but I should. I should have it framed.

The crazy faces my children would make each time I said Smile.

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Painting our toenails and playing with dollhouses.

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Splashing in puddles.

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Evan Grace saying over and over, I so glad we at da beach!

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Asher wanting to dress like his Daddy every time we went out.

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Eating ice cream.

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And growing closer as a family.

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We were so thankful for our time of rest. We came back recharged and ready to roll!

Hasta luego Oak Island!

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Summer Bloggin 14 of 14 {Wrap-up}

Well I guess you have been waiting on the edge of your seat for this post. I did, after all, post 13 of 14 FIVE days ago. Sorry to leave you hangin’.

This post was meant to be just a general wrap-up, but I decided to get a little creative. Hope you like it.

The youth group from Alabama kicked-off our summer

They set a high standard–the summer wouldn’t be a bummer.

Next we took kids to Covenant’s Bible School

Where they learned to be a Super Hero, like Jesus, so cool!

The following weekend NCC came to share God’s love

They taught the Countryside kids about the One in Heaven above.

Immanuel VBS was next, you see,

The kids learned a lot through Agency D3.

New Hope’s VBS was next to attend

And it was the same theme: Discover, Decide, Defend.

It was at this VBS that a young girl was saved,

She gave her heart to Jesus, her heart was no longer enslaved.

God was showing up in wonderful ways,

We were thrilled and full of sincere praise!

Little did we know our hearts would praise more

As we walked into Crestview’s door.

Their island-themed bible school taught the kids a lot

Because five more sisters learned they were bought.

They gave their hearts to Jesus that day

Praise rang out because they had found The Way!

The Spanish church set up for a service of praise

To the Heaven’s they shouted with hands raised.

Their worship was full of love and devotion,

The way they worship shows so much emotion.

Second Baptist Church came to lead some more fun

We played kick ball and got hair cuts and learned about God’s Son.

Dan the Animal Man was next on the list

The kids learned through those animals that God does exist.

The python and porcupine and owl behaved

No kid was squeezed, stabbed, or pecked away.

Thumbs Up Thursdays were spread throughout

Churches came in to share what Jesus is about.

We finished up with a prayer walk through Brooklyn Springs

To bathe the school in prayer with the peace that God can bring.

Through each event God’s love shone bright

These kids heard about how to live right.

Many seeds were planted and lots of love was shared,

I’d say it was a good summer, after all, God’s name was declared!

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