Overcomer – Elizabeth Gaddis

Want to introduce an overcomer –Elizabeth Gaddis

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This past year was very tough for Elizabeth and her family.  She grew up at Second Baptist Church, and as a student in Highschool she started leading worship in the student ministry. She has really grown in her leading and as a true worshipper of Christ with her life.  As a worship leader she is one of the most authentic and amazing worshippers I’ve ever been around. I want to share her story of this past year, this truly is an amazing woman of God.

Harvey

In August as she was away at school in Nashville she had to sit and watch Hurricane harvey wreak havoc on Houston, and her home.  These posts from her Instagram are heartbreaking.

 

Anxiety

After Harvey she had a serious bout with Anxiety and fought this for some time. She prayed and has worked hard to overcome this with prayer and scripture.

Vocal Rest

She then was diagnosed with cysts on her vocal chords, which has placed her on vocal rest for this past year. Will have to have surgery soon to get these cysts removed, with a long recovery.

Overcome

Through everything she’s been through this year – she continues to worship with her life.  She knew that she would not be on stage leading music this year at camp, so she decided to come and lead a condo of girls.  Wanting to se

rve in any capacity she can!  Her heart is amazing for Christ, she doesn’t care about the lights or the stage. She cares about bringing glory to His name no matter where or what is happening in her life.  This is a picture of her worshipping from the crowd surrounded by the teenagers that she chose to pour into all week.

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Here is a song she wrote during Harvey –

 

I always thought I’d show my kids this room

I always thought that Gran’s piano would be tuned someday

And I’d sit on that bench and sing of things that always stay

 

Like baby pictures

And grandfather clocks

Favorite dishes

And old dusty college year books

 

These memories now rotten

Overnight they leave but aren’t forgotten

Oh how we will grieve these losses

Our baby pictures

 

I always thought I’d get to say goodbye

I always had this picture in my mind

Of how I’d walk down that hall without a single thing left behind

 

Like baby pictures

And grandfather clocks

Our favorite dishes

And old dusty college year books

 

These memories now rotten

Overnight they leave but aren’t forgotten

Oh how we will grieve these losses

Our baby pictures

 

Breathe

Just breathe

Breathe

Just breathe

It’s all being made alive

 

 

 

 

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Engagement Pictures

Engagement Pictures

Engagement PictureAs I scroll through my social media feed I am very encouraged  to see powerful photos of life happening!  Some of the best are the pictures of a family photo session, as they are all laughing and looking right into the eyes of their loved ones.  Love seeing a father  holding their kid high in the air as their precious kid is smiling looking into their fathers eyes.  A newly engaged couple doing an engagement photo shoot is almost always a joyful session.  As the newly engaged couples looking intently into each others

View More: http://kristenbrookephotography.pass.us/padgett-fameyes, showing the excitement about their life together.  These pictures are so captivating because it is rare to see this in our everyday life outside of social media.

The engagement pictures that are starting to really stick out to me are the ones where we are totally disengaged from life.  The ones where we walk into a restaurant and their is a family and each kid has an iPad with headphones on while the parents are on the phones at same time, and no one is talking or smiling.  When kids are trying to get the parents attention and we are on our phones and we “can’t hear them.”  When people walk all around with their heads down not engaging with anyone. them Disengaged

I am not saying I have this figured out, but it is something that I do work on and try to engage with people as much as I can.  I find this to be very fun and exciting to see the reaction of people when you start to actually talk to them.  I believe that for us to be as effective as we can for Christ, this is a way to open the door to someones heart.  Since we are called to we make a difference in this life then we need to engage others face to face.

Breakfast

People are not prepared for you to talk to them, they don’t know what to do when you are in an elevator with them and they are starring down at their phone, and you ask them how they are doing?

When your waiting in line at the coffee shop or grocery store and you have a conversation with the people in line.  You never know what will happen when we start to engage with the people God puts in our path, or even our own family.  When you look at the engagement pictures of people without devices vs the ones with devices look how much happier they look.  It truly is heartbreaking at times to see so many people missing what is around them for the device in front of them.

There is no doubt that we need human interaction.  Not only could this change someones day for the better, it could change their life for eternity.   I challenge you to leave your phone in your pocket or at your house and go out into the world and have some real engagement.

Scariest day yet as a father –

Scariest day yet as a father –

Jan 7th 2018 –

Our 16mth old daughter Copelyn had to go to an ER Clinic that morning due to high fever of 104. They released her and said she had an ear infection and told us we can pick up her RX and let her rest.

Erika takes her home while I am at church with our two other kids. She lays her down and then starts to hear some noises coming from Copelyn’s room. She goes in and Cope is not responding at all and is very limp. She then calls our friend Sherry (ER Nurse) and Sherry tells her to call 911 immediately!

At the same time this is happening we are on our way home from church & stop to pick up the RX. We get home and Erika runs out holding Copelyn and crying hysterically and tells me she’s not responding and she’s called 911.

I quickly get out of car and take Cope from Erika and have her run across the street to our neighbor who is a police officer – with no luck.

Copelyn is still not responding – as I’m holding her and praying over her our friend (Sherry, who Erika had called earlier) all of a sudden drives up and takes Cope from my arms and starts to work on her (I had no idea how she even knew where we lived or how she knew) I was in shock, but so thankful.

She then tells us to leave and she will watch our other kids as we drive to Texas Children’s Hospital before the ambulance arrives.

Copelyn is still very non responsive the whole drive with her eyes rolled back into her head. It’s a horrible feeling seeing her this way with your wife holding her crying.

We get to the hospital and they immediately start working on her and they tell us these are “febrile seizures.” She then has another seizure at the hospital – which was again horrible, but we were glad to be at the hospital when it happened. This seizure caused the ER team to run many tests.

All the blood work came back clear and after hours of being at the hospital they discharged us and asked us to watch her very closely. They asked us to work hard to keep the fever as low as possible to avoid anymore seizures.

As we have been home she is acting more normal, although her fever has gotten to as high as 105 again. We are praying over her and seeing progress in her.

These few days have been hard on us as we’ve seen our daughter in a way that we never want to see again. It’s truly horrible – although we are so thankful for all the prayers / hospital visits / friends, family and neighbors watching our other kids while we were with Copelyn.

I want to shed light on these febrile seizures.

These are absolutely horrible, but a little more common than we first expected.

This is the best link I can find on them. Please take time to learn about these Fever/Febrile Seizures.

7 Amazing Years!!!!

7 Amazing Years!!!!

I love my sweet wife so much!! She is an amazing wife, incredible mom and super hard worker. We have had an outstanding 7 Years together and I thank God for all of it.

We have had some fun times the last 7 years. So for the next few days I will share some of those fun memories right here.

Here is one of our favorites from a vacation we took 2 years ago.

Simple Invitation

Simple Invitation

I am very excited to share what God has been doing in our student ministry at Second Baptist Houston West Campus this year.

We have really focused this year on creating an environment that teenagers get excited to invite their friends to.  Both on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights at LIVE.

LIVE is our “Open Door” to our student ministry that happens on Wednesday nights.  We have created a space that students can invite their friends to, and can experience God in an amazing way.  We do this through worship; with Biblical teaching and a variety of music led with a full band.

The goal of the entire night is that God is glorified through all that we do, from the lighting cues during the walk in, to the final song they hear as they walk out.  We have worked hard to be excellent in every detail of the night.  We believe that the more prayed for and prepared we are for each night the more opportunities we have to see God move.

Each and every space that we have people come into we do an invitation for people to accept Christ for the first time.  Then we meet with each student as well as follow up with them and encourage them to take their first step in obedience to the Lord through baptism.

So far this year from October 1st we have seen 222 teenagers baptized on Wednesday nights & Sunday morning.  We also have an amazing summer camp called Beach Retreat that we saw 244 students baptized.

Baptism

This year total evangelism Student ministry at Second Baptist Houston – West Campus since October 1st.

Junior High – 123 BR  – 137 outside Beach Retreat Camp
High School – 121 BR  – 85 outside Beach Retreat Camp

222 – Total Outside of Beach Retreat                                                                                                  244 – At Beach Retreat Summer Camp                                                                                           466 – Total Baptisms 

This is has been an amazing year so far, and it is all through the students inviting their friends to church and God changing their life.  Then those who accepted Christ and started to invite their friends and the ripple effect continuing on.

This video shows it perfectly, these are students from our ministry who have personally seen God work in their lives, through a simple invitation.

 

 

 

Response to Falling Short

Response to Falling Short

Have you ever been passionately heading in one direction, only to look up and be sorely off course, in a completely different place than you had originally planned? Often times, we set out to do something and we’re 100% in, we’re super excited and confident that we’re going to make it happen.  This could be a work opportunity, a moment in our relationship with our family, or even our walk with the Lord.  In the moment we feel as though everything is going great, then somehow, someway we realize that we are in a different place than we had originally planned.

We’ve been tripped up and there we are, on the ground staring up and wondering what in the world happened.

This is normal, although this is something that no one is talking about.  This is not the most popular Instagram post. People don’t tweet about how they’ve fallen or failed to be where they thought they should be. It’s not the most liked Facebook post.  People don’t want to admit or share that they’ve failed or fallen. Some just want their life to look perfect. When in reality, life is hard and people fall and experience pain.

The question is, what is our response? Some stay in the failure and in the pain, never getting up from the spot where they were tripped up.  The best response is to stand up and start running with all you have again!

Philippians 4.13-14 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

In Philippians, Paul commands us and teaches us through his life. He shows us that we need to forget the past, and get up and GO! We need to strain onto what is AHEAD, and forget what is behind.

This video of my son is a perfect example of this. Yes it’s funny and it’s ok to laugh. I think it’s neat to see that he didn’t stay down and cry in his pain, and he didn’t allow the laughs of the other kids to stop him.  Notice how hard he was running, he got tripped up, but got back up and continued on to destroy the goal that he originally set out to get!  Then he jumps with all he has to where the other kids were sitting.  He was pumped that he crushed the reason he first started running.  Let’s stand up and start running again, start today!

 

 

 

 

Light

Light

Who are you…
When no one is looking, when no one is around when no one can see you….. Except God (Never forget He is ALWAYS there)

Who are you, are you the same as when you are with your wife, your kids, your friends, your job, your God?

We are to be the same all the time, there is no down time, we are to be like Christ every day every minute. So many people have a secret life that is killing them, it is a life of destruction and death. There is nothing good that is coming from your life in the dark places. God says that we need to live in the light. Living in the light will always prove to be the better place to live. You never have worry or be scared about anything ever. Not sure who is reading this, but if you are a different person in private than in public, you need to pray. Ask for God’s forgiveness and that He will give you the strength to worship Him in private the same way you do in public. There is to be no difference.

Ephesians 5.8-14

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

 

 

Dealing With Loss

Dealing With Loss
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Brett and Sydney Hystad

I have been so excited to share this blog with you (whoever “you” are).  This is from one of my best friends who is the worship leader for our Student ministry as well as two of our main Sunday services.

Sydney and Brett Hystad are one of the most amazing couples I have ever been around (Yes I did their pre-marriage counseling so that is probably why… Ok prob not, but forreal) they are consistently shining Christ! When you are around them, their message is Christ!  They have recently endured a massive loss, in their son Carson Brooks Hystad.

The blog that Brett wrote is very powerful about dealing with this loss.  This writing will change you, challenge you and push you.  When I read this all I could think of was something that I heard years ago “Your message is loudest when you hurt the most”

Please join me in praying for this sweet couple, as they continue to deal with this.

Please click here to be redirected to Brett and Sydney’s Page.