February Family Prayer Update

Anthony is an Ordained minister!

Great news! On January 26, 2017, Anthony was Ordained to ministry in the PCA by the Rocky Mountain Presbytery. We’re grateful for God sustaining us through the grueling study and examination process. We are also excited that Anthony has had the opportunity to spend time in study under great tutors and that God blessed his efforts and was glorified.

With Ordination completed, Anthony will be Installed as the Assistant Pastor of Great Plains Gathering on February 12 and looks forward to stepping up his responsibilities in that position. The prayer items below these photos will give you an idea for the types of ministry work he and Remley are involved with in Montana.

This month, please pray for:

  • Children/Youth Program. While Anthony has been teaching at our Kids Club (for kids 6 and up) every Monday evening, he will ramp up the program this spring and needs to develop a philosophy for the church’s ministry to that age group. He will also be developing a calendar of teaching and activities to support this philosophy. Please pray for Anthony to have wisdom and creativity throughout this process. Please pray that the program will be biblically sound, culturally relevant, and engaging. Please pray that Anthony and the students to continue to learn, love, and live out the gospel in service and respect to others inside and outside the church.
  • Assisting with Campus Native Outreach. One of the new roles Anthony will take on is volunteering a few hours a week to the Native Outreach department at the local university. He’s been helping there sporadically since we arrived in Billings and seen much fruit in relationships and trust. Please pray that God will continue to give Anthony favor in the eyes of the Native peoples on the campus. Please pray that Anthony’s time there will be helpful to the Outreach Coordinator. Please pray that he will be an ambassador for Christ and His Gospel, a good liaison for GPG, and that God will bless this work so that a prayer group might take root.
  • Family/Church/Work Balance. Remley has recently taken on several exciting new work projects. We thank God for these amazing opportunities and ask that you pray that God will be honored in her work. Also, please pray for her continued work at GPG, that she can be a helpful member of the church. Please pray that, in all of this, Remley is able to serve the Lord well and balance her responsibilities effectively.
  • Special Attention for Tamasin’s Education. We have recently discovered that Tamasin shows many of the early warning signs for some learning disabilities. Since Anthony has several, we knew she would be at higher risk and are familiar with many of the coping skills and techniques. Please pray that we are able to finish the enrollment process for Tamasin in a local school that will complete the screening process and provide the needed therapies. Please pray for Tamasin, that she has patience and trusts God through this process. Please pray that we continue to trust in God’s good plan and lean on Him in prayer for peace.
  • Prayer and financial support. We’re excited to announce that we are 76% funded for the next year. That’s 22% more than the last time we wrote! God is so good to us and we are thankful for all who have donated to support this ministry. Please pray for people to partner with us in prayer and funding.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; Incline your ear to me;
hear my words.”
– Psalm 17:6

funding-progress-022017

If you’re interested in donating to help fund Anthony’s apprenticeship with Great Plains Gathering, you can donate online by clicking through here. Any amount is appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of your contribution goes directly to this project.

December/January Family Update

Even though it’s January (of 2017! Wahoo!), I still wanted to be sure and cross-post our December update here since the prayer requests are all still in play. Want to get these delivered to your inbox? Subscribe here.


Happy New Year!

Since we last wrote, a lot has been going on. Anthony preached his first 3 sermons at Great Plains Gathering, he turned in his final written PCA Ordination examinations (only one more step until Ordination!), he also continues to teach on Monday nights and that kicks back up again in January, GPG held another successful Family Night and a special Christmas party, Tamasin turned 5, Remley opened an Etsy shop, and God brought us many opportunities for discipleship, fellowship, and evangelism.

Oh! We also had The Great Polar Vortex of 2016 come through. It left us with almost two feet of snow and a weekend of frigid temperatures but we had no accidents and had a warm home.

We thank God for all of his good gifts.

We wanted to share a few pictures from the last months below. Under that are our December/January prayer requests.


This month, please pray for:

  • Anthony’s last month of Ordination preparation. Only one month until Anthony goes before the Rocky Mountain Presbytery for his final oral examination in order to be Ordained int ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America! (YAY!) All of us are excited to see this step in the process completed but thankful for all that God has taught us in the journey. Please pray that God would sustain Anthony and the rest of our family over the next month with patience, joy, and diligence. Also, please pray that this final examination would go well and God would be glorified.
  • Anthony’s preaching. Anthony preaches again at GPG in February. Please pray that God will help him prepare well for preaching, that he will teach the people at GPG to the best of his ability, and that God’s message would be heard.
  • Prayer and financial support of planting. We’re excited to announce that we are 54% funded for the next two years. That is more than the last time we wrote! We are thankful for all who have donated to support this ministry and have been moved by how God brings a little bit more each month. We now just need 16 people to give $100 a month to meet our fundraising goal. Please pray for people to partner with us in prayer and funding.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
  Romans 12:11-12


We need your help.

We are over half of the way to reaching our funding goal!

If you’re interested in donating to help fund Anthony’s apprenticeship with Great Plains Gathering, you can donate online by clicking either the button below or through here. Any amount is appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of your contribution goes directly to this project.

Know someone who might be interested in supporting this ministry work?
Please share this update.

A 2015 Review, Several Days Late

2015-Review
I probably don’t have to point out that this is past the mid-point in January and while most reviews are done in the days leading up to the New Year (oh yeah, Happy New Year guys!) or in the few days following, this one is belated. Maybe classically belated if I’m honest with you about my typical tardiness when it comes to these sorts of things.

So here is a (slightly late) apology for an extended absence from this blog and another (slightly late) apology for this review you never asked for in the first place. Cheers!

2015 was a spectacular year and that’s not an exaggeration. It’s not that there weren’t difficult times (there most definitely was) but it was an overall great year for us.

Together we learned a lot about friendships, family, culture, life, death, spiritual growth, spiritual disciplines, work, and perseverance in ways that I’m grateful for. He was and is faithful.

Some of the highlights:

  • We got lost in Mobile, AL and got to adventure around there for a weekend. This was a much-needed break after a hectic year in seminary and we were surprised at all of the exciting things we could see there and the lessons the Lord had for us. You’d think that after moving across the country for seminary, we’d be pros at being independent and confident and that we wouldn’t feel pressure to conform to an invisible expectation of…whatever. But looking back, this trip was one way that God would “regroup” us. We were never to conform to some invisible societal pressure of… whatever or to be confident in our own independence. We were to be confident in the sufficiency of Christ and root our identity in him. This trip sort of set the tone for the entire year.

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  • Tam started at school. This was harder than I’d like to admit sometimes but it was really what was best for her. Her vibrant, sociable personality didn’t have a good outlet at home with her somewhat-introverted mom. It also wound up being better for everyone else, too. This was a huge lesson for me in humility about knowing my limits and trusting in God that he will take care of Tam.
  • First Presbyterian Church celebrated 160 years. First Pres Crystal Springs has become a wonderful surrogate family for us in the last 3 years and we feel so honored to have been able to be here for such a momentous occasion. It was a great chance to reflect on how we stand on the shoulders of faithful saints who have gone before us.

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  • Anthony finished (another) semester at RTS. So much could be said about how proud I am of all that Anthony has accomplished at school and how relieved and celebratory we were that he had completed his third year at seminary. His schooling is a huge blessing but it’s hard work. We hold mini-parties at the end of every semester and this one was no different except that there was a sense of excitement to it all: he only had one more year to go!
  • Rowan’s 1st Birthday. So much could be said about how this little guy has burrowed his way into all of our hearts and how much we’re touched by his curiosity and sweetness but I’ll stop short of writing an essay and say that he is loved but it’s not been a very difficult thing to do.

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  • We’ve been married 7 years. This one is hard not to gush about but I’ll save that for a later post. Let’s just say that there’s a line in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of the Island where Anne tells Gilbert, “I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.’ I will always say this of Anthony. Always.
  • Anthony and I went on a vision trip to England. It was wonderful and beautiful and we fell in love with the place and the people. We are very thankful for both the trip itself and the people who helped us go. Anthony  wrote up a summary of our trip that you can read but I’m sad to say that the Lord led us away from working with the church there. We still pray for the church in England and we’ve applied so many of the things we learned from our brothers and sisters there to our lives that it wasn’t wasted.
  • We got to try the best fried chicken ever made. This might seem out of place on the list but if you’ve ever had the chicken at The Old Country Store in Lorem, MS you’d know it should make a yearly review. Confession: I never cared for fried chicken before living in Mississippi (chicken strips are another story) but this stuff is the stuff of legends. If you want to know more, they did a special video on the Mississippi Public Broadcasting about it.
  • Anthony got Licensed. No not licensed to drive or shoot but licensed in his presbytery to minister. If you’re not Presbyterian, the process might seem confusing (it still seems confusing to me some days!) but here’s a short diagram of the process for a Presbyterian minister to become Ordained:
    Under Care -> Internship (1 yr minimum in most)-> Masters of Divinity somewhere in here -> Licensed -> Ordained
    See?! He’s only one step away from Ordination! Praise God!

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  • I finished my 1st year at Dead Reckoning. I’ve been working for these awesome peeps for a while as Director of Digital Marketing and Strategy and am happy to say that I reached the one-year mark and am still going. It’s been a blessing for me in many ways.
  • Tam turned 4. When did I become a mother of a 4 year old?! She’s so delightful and I’m encouraged by the inordinate amount of love and kindness she has. She teaches me how to be a better person daily and we cherish her.

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  • We applied for the PCA MNA Church Planter Assessment Center. Yup. Church planter. More on that later but it’s pretty exciting.

Was is all candy and roses? No. There were nights of tears for all of us either from spiritual weariness, physical exhaustion, emotional upheaval, or somebody took our toys (that was usually the reason Rowan was crying) but it was a good year.

I’m very excited to see everything that God is going to do in the coming year especially since 2016 means that Lord willing, Anthony will graduate from seminary (!!!) and we will continue to pray for opportunities to serve the Lord.

BIG (International-Sized) News!

Hill Top Chapel, Sheffield, UKI can’t shake the smile off my face from all of the excitement!

I know I shouldn’t be surprised when God, in his goodness, steps into our lives in big ways. But I am. After years of grace and mercy from Him, I still get taken aback when He moves in a way that only He can.

So here I am, still (completely and utterly) surprised that I’m writing this. I mean, is this all really happening?!

Here’s what’s up:

We are going to England!

Anthony and I have been praying through the last few years that God would grant us opportunities where we can best serve him with our gifts and it looks like He has provided an amazing chance to minister.

Anthony and I have been invited to explore the possibility of serving in Northern England for an initial 2 years after he graduates from seminary.

This “exploring” thing means that we’re heading to England for a 10-day Vision Trip in July to meet the established churches that are a part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales (EPCEW), get a taste (both literal and figurative) of the English culture, get to know and pray with the leaders of our host churches (Gateshead Presbyterian Church and Sheffield Presbyterian Church), and see if our family will “fit” while ministering there in a long-term context.

United Kingdom MapI’ve not been bashful about my love of English things in the past, so some of my excitement is because of the location but most of it is because this gives us both a chance to spread the gospel in a context that’s less-churched than our current one.

We want to tell people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ who don’t know the story.

We want to:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That doesn’t mean ministry in places like The South isn’t necessary or worthwhile! We’ve spent the last 3 years in one of the most religious and most churched states in the United States and know the benefits that come with having a culture that embraces the general precepts contained in Scripture. I have a deep admiration for the ministers who have spent their lives faithfully ministering here and I’m extremely thankful that my earliest parenting years have been in a place where children are valued and respect and kindness is common.

All of this to say, we need prayers. Lots and lots of prayers. I’ve been returning to this favorite verse often as we prepare for this trip:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

It would mean so much if you’d join me in praying for these things:

Pray for God to reveal whether England is the mission field he wants us to serve in. We will be praying for God’s will throughout this process but it would mean so much to know that you were praying along with us! We want to serve God and glorify him with our gifts. We would love to serve him in Britain but we want to be sure that the choice is made with much prayer.

Pray for the church in Britain (and specifically the EPCEW Presbytery). Pray that they trust in the promises of God and that they are used to preach the gospel and disciple the saved.

Pray for safe travels for us. Also, please pray for Anthony’s Mother who has graciously volunteered to watch our children, Tamasin and Rowan, over her vacation while we are on this trip. In the meantime, we are in the middle of the passport application process; please pray that our passports will be received in time.

Pray for God to provide the means for us to go to Britain full-time. If this vision trip goes well, that’s the next step. We know God is generous and faithful to provide for his church and we’re praying that He will raise the funds needed to support our family on the mission field while we preach the gospel to the lost, help plant churches of growing Christians, and minister to the existing believers.

Also, if you want to take a look at the letter we’ve put together for our friends and family about the trip or print it out and pass them out, you can check it out here. AND if you want to donate to help off-set the costs of the tickets, we’ve put together a crowdfunding page.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, so let me know if you have any and thank you so much for your prayerful support!

Remley

Three Years Down and One More to Go!

It’s so hard to believe that:

  • We’ve been through 3 (THREE!!!) years of seminary and there’s only one (ONE!!!) left.
  • So much has happened in the last three years and there’s so much to come!

I say “we’ve” been through seminary but it’s really been Anthony doing all the studying and paper-writing while I just try to keep up morale but it’s certainly been an adventure for us and God has done some amazing things.

  • We’ve been blessed with some really awesome and probably lifelong friendships here through the seminary and in Crystal Springs and I wouldn’t trade any of them for a cooler summer in Montana. 😉
  • Anthony has received invaluable experience through his internship at the Presbyterian church here. There have been many opportunities to apply the lessons he’s learned in the classroom to ministry in Crystal Springs that couldn’t have been done elsewhere.
  • Rowan was born here! Our little guy is a Mississippi native and will always be able to claim this state as his home and for that we’re grateful.

I won’t continue with my list because I anticipate reflecting on it some more over the next year and having one that’s more robust. You get the point for now.

It’s been a great year and we have been greatly blessed by God!

– Remley