Monday, September 29, 2008

Cody Preaches

Since the Pastor of Nortstar has retired, the church is having staff members and a few members of the congregation, with preaching/pastoral experience take the pulpit! This week, Cody was able to teach about the Meaning of Life! I have a few pictures, sorry most are blurry--I really need a new camera!

Me and Eve, the Associate Pastor's Daughter!

Cody Preaching!!

Photo-Op with the Pastor!

Ash and Katie came to visit!

Outside of Olive Garden! So glad they came to see us!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Budget like a Gazelle

Cody and I received one of the most amazing wedding presents, a great couple in our church paid for us to take the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Small Group! So, for the past 4 weeks, we've attended (with the exception of this past Sunday night-the wifey wasnt feeling too good!) Anyways, it has been incredible!! Cody and I arent HORRIBLE with money, but we sure needed a lesson or two on how to stop managing and start being successful! Especially in the ministry, we wanted to know how to make our "dollars go farther"!

Well, this past week, we've been doing our Cash Flow Planning Budget! AH-MAZING!! To be quite frank, I (LaRae) have HATED budgets! I never wanted to feel like I was tied down financially and strapped to allocating my funds where they needed to go! But, this is an amazing budget! It even gives you a BLOW MONEY catergory-- so great for Cody and I! haha. The best thing is that we KNOW where our money is going now-not just looking at our monthly statement and saying, "WOW, how in the WORLD did we spend all this cash!?!?!"

Anyways, if you're in financial trouble or simply need help understanding your money-DO IT!! It's fabulous!!

Here is the link to Dave's Site:

Video Preview:

Hope ya'll enjoy!!

Love and Blessings,
C&L Davenport

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Church as a movie"

To say that the Lord allows things in my life to "get me through" each week, is quite the understatement! To be exact, and in simply day of the week order, this is what makes me happy about each day:

Monday: Cody's Day off, Cody cooking me dinner, The Hills at 10pm

Tuesday: The Furnace, Our College Small Group that meets at our house!!

Wednesday: YOUTH GROUP at the church office and Project Runway!!

Thursday: Cody leads worship practice at the BCM and I grocery shop and cook dinner :) *and soon to be "The Office"!!!

Friday: It's friday, let's be serious--that's reason enough!

Saturday: Blacksburg's Fresh Market, COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Sunday: Church at Northstar! Listening and Watching my Husband lead worship!

So, all that to say, my week (only after 8-5) is fantastic! But, it is usually at a few of these events that I'm truly fed! One of the most difficult things in ministry is that you're constantly being poured out, having to pour out to others that you have to SPECIFICALLY dedicate times where YOU are poured into (mentoring is amazing too! I'm desperately looking for one in Blacksburg!!) Anyways, one thing that has surprised me is how much Cody and I pour into one another--well atleast Him pouring into me, encouraging me and setting me "straight" when I'm getting out of line! I know that may sound shocking to y'all, but I didnt think it would be as intense as it truly is. Cody calls us each others "dipstick", where we check each other and help one another regulate our Spritial lives to keep us going strong!

Well, one Tuesday night in particular, Cody was teaching the college group about being a servant in life. He made a statement that rocked my world. "Let's stop viewing church as a movie. We show up 10 minutes before it starts to get some food, then we sit through "the feature presentation", maybe we'll laugh, cry or clap, but then we leave. Not engaging with fellow believers, not giving of ourselves for the body of Christ. We're just Church movie-goers".

I heard that and I immediately went to the Kitchen (where i keep a magnetic pad of paper on the fridge) and wrote it down. It struck a cord deep within me. I was a church movie-goer ALL through college, but i justified it. "I'm too busy", "I dont want to start helping out then leave them high and dry when i have to leave", "i dont know anyone". All just ridiculous excuses, but they worked for me. I saw Church as only a place for ME to get what I want! Not, for me to be filled and to give of myself.

It's funny how God truly puts us in our place. Now, i'm not only giving but I feel I'm giving more than I know I have. Being a "pastor's wife" is no easy task--you're under such srutiny and for someone who has just recently been thrusted in the position, it's somewhat offsetting. But, it's wonderful too!! It has made Cody and I as close as we've ever been, it's given us such confidence in our marriage and such love for one another; knowing were goign through the same thing and same trials and struggles. We are not simply movie goers anymore; we are the ushers, we are the popcorn stand, we are the theatre. I know that's slighly abstract, but when you truly engage in the body of Christ, you declare ownership. You understand that this life is NOT your own, that Christ using you will keep this body going, no one else. It's really quite liberating in your faith.

My father has owned his own business for 20 years, this year. He has said counteless times, "When the business is yours, you care so much more than if you're simply an employee. You have more to lose, more to give and much more at stake than one of your employees. Business owning is NEVER easy, but it's worth it because it's yours." What if we thought of our faith like that? It's never easy, but it's worth it because it's OURS! It's OUR Jesus they mock, it's OUR faith they strive to disprove, it's OUR religion they say is a crutch. I only pray I can fully grasp the ownership of my faith. I fail God each and every day by simply being His "employee", when in all reality... I'm a Co-Heir!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Fabulous Florida Affair!!!

My best friend, since we were about 6 months old, Bailey Smith (now Hulslander), got married over Labor Day weekend! It was great to be there for a week and spend time with my family and friends--sadly Cody couldn't come home with me this time :( But, It was such an honor to be one of her bridesmaids, as she was mine nearly 3 months earlier-- she had such a beautiful wedding and a fabulous party! Now, they're off to Hawaii for TWO WEEKS!! Congrats Ryan & Bailey--we love you both!!

Here are just a FEW of the pictures from the fantastic wedding weekend!

All the Bridesmaid's at the Rehearsal

The Bride's attire, day of the wedding!

Getting into the dress!

Looking fabulous in her dress

Contemplating the big decision she's about to make :)

The boys and Bailes

The cute flower girl and ring bearer!
*The dress was the one Bailey wore in her cousin's wedding*

The Bride, her grandmother and Bride's Mom

Bailey and Ryan opted for seeing each other before the ceremony-- this is Bailey walking in and them seeing each other for the first time--it was adorable!

They look like their kids!

Ryan and his parents walking with him

Her girls (sorry Lauren, we got cut off!)

Such a proud daddy!

Saying their vows (written by each of them!)

The cutest little first dance I'd ever seen!

Father/Daughther dance :)

Cutting the delicious cake--Key Lime filling!

Friends since High School-- Emily, Salome, Bailey & LaRae

(two down, two to go ;) ...just kidding)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Church Softball League

The winners!

Boogey on 1st base

Up to bat!

The team came back from a 3-10 defecit to beat the

big boys in overtime!! It was such a cool game!! Of course,

I forgot to take the final score picture!

It was so cool to see our Church represented in the community! Everyone was amazing!

Love and Blessings,
C&L Davenport

Friday, September 5, 2008

Northstar Women's Retreat

I'm slightly behind on posting about the Women's Retreat at Northstar, but it was such an awesome time we had this summer, I couldnt leave it out!! It was in the beginning of August and we had it at the local community center with about 25 ladies in attendance! It was such a blast! Here are a few pictures to show you about the retreat...

My mom and her new friend-Mrs. Rancourt

So excited mom got to hear me speak!! Such a cool experience!

Popping balloons for the amazing prizes!!

Writing prayer requests within the Crown of Thorns

JoAnn leading worship

My first nametag with my new last name!!

Erin (the women's ministry leader), me, Cynthia Rancourt (she gave her testimony) & Tonia Anderson (gave her testimony too--AMAZING!)

My cute mom!

Just a few of the ladies enjoying our Panera Box Lunches!

Love and Blessings,
C&L Davenport