Tag Archives: dreams

Believing in Other People’s Dreams

“God will put you in a community of dreamers: people who support the dream even if it takes a while for it to happen. He will surround you with a unique tribe of God-following, dream-chasing, stargazing, Promised Land dwellers.”
Havilah Cunnington, Eat Pray Hustle; Dream Chasing God’s Way.

I was speaking at a women’s conference in Colorado. We had stepped down from our position as Children’s Pastors almost a year prior at that point. We were trusting God for the impossible. We had a dream- a big dream. I remember not wanting to write part 3 of my talk until right before the women’s retreat because I didn’t want to share my story on dreams until I could wrap it up with a pretty bow- you know, the answered dream part.

But I waited…. And God didn’t answer our prayers….

To read the rest of this article, go to God-Sized Dreams!

To Dream or Not To Dream

 

to dream or not to dream

Allow me to introduce myself. I am originally from Northern California. I was raised in a single-family home with just my brother and myself. The environment around me pretty much crushed any possible dreaming that could have come from a young girl’s heart. I grew up in a toxic home. Perhaps you can relate? My mother was an alcoholic, and although no one ever said dreams are for fools, it was much implied. Life felt heavy, and my goal was to survive and get out of the house. Not sure that classified as a dream.

To read the full article, go to God-Sized Dreams…

I Love You More & I Choose You

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photo credit @Fathers Heart Ranch

*******I wrote this post towards the end of 2012 and realized this morning that I never published it because it was choppy and still needed lots of editing. And as I read it this morning I realized I have to post this before I share what has transpired over the past 24 hours. So I’m going against all the writing rules and sharing this with you- sometimes when you share your heart it’s not going to be perfect and clean.. it will be messy. So here’s my messy, transparent heart from 3 years ago. Updated blog post to follow. ***

I put out my final holiday (fall) decor, before possibly moving out of our home. It’s been wonderful living in a brand new 2 story, spacious home. We have really enjoyed it. But sometimes, when God places a dream on your heart, you will have to lay some things down in order to see the bigger picture. We’re laying down our positions as Children’s Pastors which has in some strange way been a part of our identity for more than 15 years. We are going to be without a set paycheck starting in January, and will be pursuing our Fathers heart, Father’s Heart Ranch. That being said, we will be putting our new home for sale, moving in with my in laws, and.. pulling our kids out of private Christian School to home school for a season (we think). Are we crazy? Quite possibly.

After a recent talk with our children about the possible changes, my daughter approached my husband in the kitchen. “Why can’t we just be like other normal people and just work at the same place and live in the same house and go to the same school forever?” Her question was innocent enough. Kind of made me chuckle- normal people. Huh. And then my husband told her that sometimes in order to follow God, there will be things we will have to sacrifice. We always seem to want God to drop this huge thing in our life, but are we really able to give up our lives to follow after Him?

My boys will have to move away from a neighbor that is like a brother to them (Carlos). Joel has the best little friends he’s ever had and will not be able to see them everyday anymore. My daughter has a best friend she is inseparable with. I love living one house down from my brother and sister in law and baby niece. We go for the occasional walk, we drive to the gym together 3 times a week (at 5:30 am), we are always exchanging coffee, cheese, or sugar. And I love our neighborhood- it’s all new.

And as all of my crafty friends are working on fun things from Pinterest for their home, I can’t right now. No more adding holes in the wall, no painting fun designs from those cute Martha Stewart stencils. No more worrying about trying to decorate my naked wall. In a matter of months, everything will be put into storage.

I’ve always wondered if I had minor ADD, but these particular changes have sent my brain into overdrive, where I actually feel like I’m getting less done than more. This is my brain on change: Ranch, speaking, media kit, writing, kickstarter, boxes, home-school, moving, kids choir, kids choir (see?!), kids church, my children, curriculum, teaching, homework, meals, writing (or lack there of), Jesus, help me… You see what I’m saying here? Over load. 🙂

And my mother in law was a teacher for over 15 years and at different points in their lives home-schooled her kids. My sister in law was an amazing teacher. I think if I need it, my support is there. Honestly, I heard very clearly from Him that this home school season wasn’t just about finances, it was about their hearts. I feel I’m fighting for their hearts.This is a part of our story.

And no one told my husband to quit his job, or told us to sell our house. We are just realistic and know it’s going to take some laying down of things to get there. Some sacrifices. And really, if we didn’t sacrifice anything, then our level of gratitude wouldn’t be very high. Cool- Got a ranch. Right on. But, man, when you give up something- to follow after what God is calling you to, how much sweeter will the reward be? How much more do we appreciate something God has done, when we allowed Him to take us through the process of building our faith. And that’s where we’re at. Faith is being built. We believe that God has been preparing us our entire lives for this (that will be a whole other blog) and this is way bigger than us.

So, are we crazy? Maybe. This is part of our story that God is writing for our whole family. It’s bigger than us. And I believe it will not only cause our faith to increase, but many others- to start believing God truly is who He says He is. This is a chapter that will have lots of stickie notes and yellow highlighter on it. The pages will be worn. But the story will be worth it.

What about you? What dreams has God placed on your heart? A dream is like a relationship. Sometimes, It can be kind of scary to open your heart back up if you’ve been hurt or let down by the way things turned out. But I believe God has placed it deep with in us to dream- and that our dreams are things that will bring Him glory and further the kingdom- deep desires, tucked away beneath our hearts. Ask Him today to show you if there’s something still locked up in the chambers of your heart that you’re afraid to let out. What if people laugh? What if people think you’re crazy? Or (and this is big) what if we thought we heard from God and put it all out there, and God didn’t show up? What if….. Just remember dear ones, God is always using our situations for the good as we keep our hearts on him (and continually, ask Him to check our hearts & motives). Romans 8:28- And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.    

So here goes everything, we’re diving in- keeping our eyes firmly focused on Him, trusting in faith that He has good things planned for us and will cause our faith to grow even more through all of this.

Mark 9:23- “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Yes, do it Lord.

My Prayer…

Lord, I love you more. I love you more than this temporary discomfort. I love you more than wanting to decorate and fix up my house. I love you more than wanting to stay comfortable and in the same place. I love you more than the need to buy new things or buy clothes. I love you more than this world although I will be the first to admit I am often lulled in at the first sight of color and the smells of seasons. At times I give in to the lie that “this new item is all I need” when I know you are vying for my heart. I choose you- even though the distractions are loud and they come from every direction. I choose you. It’s a daily choice. But since you are the author of this story, every time I try to take the pen, will you gently remove the pen out of my hand, and allow your Holy Spirit to write a far better story than any I can write.

I choose you.

What Holds Us Back From Our Dreams Part 2

Celeste-podcastcelestebarnard.com

In this podcast I continue talking about those things that hold us back from our dreams. The ‘what-ifs’, our negative thoughts, and our past. In this podcast I also share some of own my personal testimony. The enemy does not want us to dream because when God gives us a dream, and we step out, He gets all the glory and lives are changed. May God speak to you this week about some things He’s asking you to step out into.

Romans 8:28 (NASB)- And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Stay The Course- Featuring Brave Journal

Katie Reid Brave Journal

My friend, Katie Reid, wrote an article on God-Sized Dreams from the ‘Staying the Course’ series where she shares about having a place and space for your dreams to fly. She wrote a great post about dreams and shared about journaling. We also did a giveaway for one of my Brave Journals!

She wrote, “Be Your Best Brave is a focused journal by Celeste Barnard. It contains verses and quotes about bravery and lots of inviting space to pour out your hopes. This journal is an inviting landing place for those dreams that keep you up at night (no, it’s not water-proof for those shower epiphanies but you can put it next to your bed for the 3am revelations). Celeste encourages the dreamers in all of us to move forward, one brave step at a time.”

To read article in full go to God-Sized Dreams!

To order a Brave Journal go to Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Be-Your-Best-Brave-Journal/dp/1501036823/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430223635&sr=8-1&keywords=Be+Brave+journal

What Holds Us Back From Our Dreams- Part 1

Celeste-podcastcelestebarnard.com

In this episode I talk about the things that hold us back from our dreams. We’ve all been given different gifts, talents, and abilities. And God will place dreams in our heart, but there are things that keep us from seeing those dreams fulfilled. This is Part 1. Enjoy!

Zechariah 4:10a (NLT)- Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” Henry David Thoreau

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Our Big Red Adventure

Big Red Adventure

…….We sold our brand new house that we were so blessed to live in for a year, we moved in with my in-laws (thinking maybe for 6 months), we pulled all 3 kids out of private school and I started doing what I said I would never do, home-school. It was our dream to get a particular piece of property and live there and run the ministry from there year-round (and by the way, that part still is our dream). But finances didn’t come through. We ended up living with my in-laws for a whole year, and what was off to an exciting start turned into, “What have we done?”…….

To read more about our Big-Red Adventure, go to: God-Sized Dreams

Digging in & Dreaming in 2015

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Goals and Dreams

Lamentations 3:23- Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I’m all about having a fresh start. I like re-do’s, 2nd chances, and do-overs. I, like many of you, had a list (whether a mental list or perhaps something more concrete, like a written list). And at the end of 2013 we began to rev up our engines with anticipation of what 2014 might look like. We imagined more weight loss, less distractions, more living with intention, perhaps people before projects. And it came. And it went. Like a flash in the night, 2014 is all but about done. And many of us reached those goals and took steps closer to our dreams. And there was beauty in the discipline. And some of us look in the mirror and aren’t comfortable with what’s reflected back. We’re hard on ourselves as to where we should be by now. And some of us look into the reflection of our hearts and realize that many (most or all) of our spiritual goals never got met. We look at our blank journal, our pile of books we wanted to read, and the guilt of unfinished business haunts us. “I should’ve done more,” we say. “I should’ve worked harder” or done this or done that or said this or said that. And we actually are repulsed by the three words ‘New Years Resolution.” We hear the critical voice creeping in saying ‘I don’t care.’

I had some goals and dreams this year. And I had some come to pass and it felt incredible. And then I had some other things I had hoped to accomplish that I was just not able to do in 2014.

Guess what happens on January 1st, 2015? We get a re-do. We get a do-over; a fresh start. Instead of the carrying the regrets over from 2014 into 2015, let’s make peace with that fact that we are human and not perfect! I love goals and dreams because they give us something to look forward to and to work towards. Some people are afraid to dream because when you step out and dream you risk the chance of getting hurt. It’s true, you might have unmet expectations or something that happens on the way to your dream that might be hurtful. And I assure you, there will be many great things that happen on your way too. We have become a society that is so focused on self-preservation and protecting ourselves and not getting hurt that at the same time we think we’ve protected ourselves from pain, we’ve also protected ourselves from the feeling of intense joy and satisfaction through hard work and perseverance. It is my hope that we can leave 2014 with not only some good memories in our heart, but that we can echo the song from Frozen and let it go. We can’t change the things we wished we had said or done. We have held ourselves captive long enough on our guilt trip. And it is a long and lonely road. Like Taylor Swift says, it’s time to shake it off.  Forgive others and forgive yourself and begin to dream again for 2015.

My Word(s)

So as I was praying almost 2 weeks ago the Lord gave me this and has since confirmed it. My words are ‘Digging In and Dreaming in 2015’. Digging in- I used to study (dig) the Word all the time. I have my concordance, my Bible study tools, systematic theology, and a few other study favorites. I could sit for hours and chew on just a few scriptures at a time. And as I reflect on this past year, I realize that I haven’t made that a habit. And the Lord is calling me back to that place of not just reading His word, but making time each week to study for myself the Bible (digging in). Dreaming- I have dreams, I do. And I use to shy away from saying that because I thought it sounded boastful or proud. It almost felt selfish. But I am convinced more than ever that these things in my heart are not from me, they’re from Him. And that these gifts are not just for me, but God will use them to bless the body of Christ. We each have a part to play. He has given each of us gifts, talents, and abilities to bless and further the kingdom of God. And who gets the glory when we commit something to Him and it comes to pass? To God be all the glory. I know that all that is good within me is from Him and without Him I can do nothing. The enemy would love for you to remain stagnant and comfortable, remember that. I spoke at a retreat in October and talked about dreams. It’s amazing to me how many women are just waiting to hear that it’s okay to dream. YES, it’s okay to dream and have goals and take baby steps towards that thing that God has placed in your heart. And we will fall, we will misstep, and we will make mistakes. He can handle our mistakes, dust us off and help us get back up. And we are never too lost for Him to help us find our way back.

Thank you for taking this journey with me. I am so blessed by everyone who reads and follows my blog. I surrender it all to Him- to God be all the glory!! He’s doing a new thing in 2015. Make time to quiet your heart before Him. See what He’s stirring in you or preparing you for. (And please, from one journal gal to another, write it down!!)

My New Years prayer for you:

Lord, I pray for each person reading this. Praying that they would forgive quickly and often. That You would give them a fresh start, a re-do and a do-over. I ask Lord that as they take some time to seek You, that you would give them a word (or words) for the New Year. Release the heavy burdens that they’ve been carrying from 2014 and remind them that whatever happens in 2015, that You are with them and that they are never alone. Above all, may their time with you be sweet. Refresh and renew in 2015. We surrender 2014 to you. Not our will but Your will be done.

Isaiah 43:19- For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

 Here’s to digging and dreaming in 2015!!

Fathers Heart

Mal. 4:6 (NLT)- His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Break my heart for the things that break yours. That’s always been my prayer. Lately the Lord has been answering my prayer and I’ve opened my heart and allowed Him to break it. I’ve been weeping with a broken heart, but He’s shown me today that it’s nothing compared to what my sisters have had to go through. It’s nothing compared to what these young boys have had to go through. So today I’m just a fountain of tears, broken for the things that Jesus’ heart is broken for. Heavy on my heart and I’m not sure what to do with it. So, I do what I always do when my heart is heavy- I write.

My heart is going out today for all of the unsung heroes that no one writes about. No one makes a movie about them. No one see’s their pain. No one see’s them working day after day, coming home completely exhausted and just getting started with their children. I am crying out and broken today for my single mom friends. I see you. I see you trying to make a life for you and your children. I see you going to school and working to better your life. I see you trying to be a mom and a dad. I know you don’t have enough money to provide sometimes just for the basic necessities. I see your heart breaking when you notice the other dads with their kids. But more importantly, I want you to know God sees. And his heart is broken too.

Let me just start by saying this. I have had more conversations this month than I can count on two hands. Here are just a few of their stories. They are my heroes. One of them shared how her son said, “Mom, will I ever have a dad to play sports with me or take me hunting or fishing? I’m in high school and I feel like my time is just passing me by.” Another single mom friend desperately wants to get plugged into a Bible Study for women but needs a place for her boys. Another mom told me she would love to have her boys learn about stuff like hiking, fishing, and camping & guy stuff.  Another friend said her sons’ dad lives out of state, but when he comes into town, that he doesn’t even come to see his own son. A different friend said that her kids’ dad has never had a relationship with her kids and this summer said he wanted to see them. These kids opened their hearts up with the hopes of starting that relationship with their father. He came and only wanted to see their mom and never even had intentions on building that relationship with them. He said IN FRONT OF THEM, “Coming out here was just a waste of my time.” When he left they wept with a wound so deep, grieving for the father they never had.

I asked. Break my heart Lord for the things that break yours. “You know not what you ask,” He answered. I almost couldn’t leave the house today. My heart was overwhelmed, not only for my dear sisters, but also for their children and the thousands of children that are out there crying out. Not sure what to do with this pain. One little boy in my son’s class makes up doing stuff with his dad- I believe it’s because the desire is so deep, and he hears all the other little boys talking about what they get to do with their dads. He wants it so badly.

My heart cries out for all the kids that see kids like mine with a daddy to go fishing with. I see it in their eyes. When they have Daddy-Day at school and their daddies don’t show up. This happened once in my son’s class in Colorado. It was Parent-Day. All the kids had their work lined up on their desks. The kids had worked hard all week on their special projects. One little girl bragged about how her daddy was going to come and she couldn’t wait (her parents were divorced and she lived with her mom). Time passed and the teacher quickly realized her dad wasn’t coming. The little girl started to cry. She blurted out to her teacher, “But my daddy said he was coming. He promised.” The teacher held her and rocked her and told her how beautiful her work was.

My heart cries out for these boys when they see all of their friends going camping with their daddies, and they wonder why they didn’t get picked to have a daddy. When they wonder in their little hearts if they just weren’t enough, if there’s something wrong with them. God’s heart is broke. This was not His plan.

There are so many things my heart shouts today. It shouts, “Dads, please, step up and be the man and father God has called you to be.” My heart screams, “Will you be the one to break the cycle of absent dads in your family?” “When will you seek out help and counseling and stop seeking out the desires and selfishness that wraps itself around your heart?”

And oh my goodness, my heart just wants to tell these little ones, “You are enough, it is not your fault, you didn’t do anything wrong.” “You are so loved by your heavenly Father and I am so sorry on behalf of all of the dads that just can’t seem to figure out how to be there for you.” I am sorry; you are right, it is not fair.

And for all of my friends that are reading this that just stopped by thinking it was just another lighthearted devotion from me, can I ask for your prayers? Will you pray for all of our unseen heroes out there and for their children? We know that we have hope in God. He can restore and heal the broken-hearted.

And second (and this is big)- will you pray for our family? God began stirring something over 20 years ago in my husband’s parents’ hearts for a Ranch called Fathers Heart Ranch. That vision was transferred to his sister, Faith. And that vision has also been transferred to us. It is a huge need out here. We would love to have a place for father/sons, Mother/daughters, and kids that would normally never get an opportunity like this. We would love a place for boys to be mentored by men. To have a ministry in our church called Fathers Heart. We could provide a place where one Saturday a month these godly men could volunteer from our church to fish with them, swim, hike, ride horses, and speak into their lives- make deposits, pray with them and encourage them to keep going and fight the good fight. We would love to have a place that would provide resources for families- speaking, training, DVDs, and videos- to strengthen these families. We want to be an extension of His hand, reaching out to His kids.

We announced yesterday that we are stepping down as the Children’s Pastors at Good Shepherd Community Church. This has been something completely soaked in prayer since the beginning of this summer (2012). Our heart is still for kids and families (and we LOVE our kids here at this church). Our pastor and staff have been completely amazing and we could not be more honored and humbled by their support. We are not leaving our church (we love it here), we are merely moving into a new area of ministry. It’s definitely stepping out of the boat for us. Sometimes we want to know exactly what it’s going to look like, how it’s going to work and where the finances are coming from. But sometimes God will place a dream on your heart that’s bigger than you. And after a period of preparation and much prayer it requires stepping out in faith. I am so thankful to my in-laws who have laid the foundation for SO many years and have had their hearts broken for this way before us.

I believe it’s the Fathers Heart. I truly do. Pray for everything to fall into place, pray for favor, pray for more than enough in the area of finances, and that we would be able to hear from God for every step we need to take- we cry out for wisdom and are very careful to not take any steps without His guidance and direction.

Thank you for listening to my heart, Celeste

Mother Teresa was once asked how we can restore peace to our world. Her answer was simple: “Go home and learn to love your family.”

Lessons on the Run

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.”
-Les Brown

My running lately has been very up and down. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I don’t. Ironic thing is, I love it. Not every single moment. But love the feeling, especially when I’m done. It just feels good. Sweat dripping off my face, heart rate going through the roof, God downloading to me messages through the music.

Today was no different just a quick 20-minute run. I even caught myself tearing up through Black Eyed Peas “I got a Feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good good night” (Hey, don’t judge, it gets me running! And I once heard Shelia Walsh came out on a Harley to that song!). Needless to say, I can’t write out everything God showed me on that run, because some was personal, but He gave me some lessons through the run I wanted to share.

I had already planned on it being a short run, with all I have on my plate today. And I allowed myself to have an easy run, because after all, I haven’t been running a lot lately. The Lord asked me if I could run fast and hard even if just past one house. Would I allow myself a little discomfort instead of always letting myself off the hook? Okay Lord- but just one house. I ran hard, through the grunting and discomfort, I actually ran myself hard past several houses.

Lesson #1- Spend time with the Lord, even if it’s been a while. Just like our work out routine can sometimes feel like a roller coaster, our time with the Lord can too. But don’t let that stop you from pressing in and pressing on! I’ve heard people say, “Why start working out now, it’s been years?” One day is better than no days! You have to start somewhere. Take a few minuets today to read His Word and hang out with Him. Don’t listen to that voice that says it’s been too long, what’s the point? You will be so glad you did!

Lesson #2- God wants to use you. He wants you to be able to push yourself sometimes to see what you can really do. I knew the Lord was with me. I knew it was something He was telling me to do. That’s key. Don’t step out unless you feel like it’s him pushing you out of the boat.

I then was telling myself I was just going to do a quick run, so I saw my house ahead and was mentally preparing to stop. The Lord asked me if I could just do one more block. I knew I had not run to my full potential, but I was okay with that, because, after all, I had much to do. The Lord said again, “Will you do just one more block?” “Okay, but I’m really okay with being done.” So I did one more block, which turned in to one more, which turned in to… you guessed it, one more.

Lesson #3- Don’t take easy street. Sometimes we get so use to letting our self off the hook and taking the easy, comfortable road that we never really see God’s full potential in us. He showed me this morning that the things He has for me are far greater than anything I could ever imagine, but I’ve got to stop letting myself be okay with all of my many excuses. “I’m too tired. It’s too hard. It’s too uncomfortable. There are so many people already doing what I feel called to do, am I really even needed? Maybe I’m just making these things up in my head and I should just be happy with where I am at and stay here.” He never calls us to easy and comfortable- but He has promised that He will fulfill the desires of our hearts. Psalms 37:4- Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. And will this journey be pain free? John 16:33- I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

What is it that the Lord’s been asking you to do that might be uncomfortable? Are there steps that He is asking you to take that will require a dying to self and a sacrifice? Are there dreams in your heart that you have specifically asked, “Lord, if this is not from you, please take this cup from me” but still find those dreams burning with in you? The Lord is asking you today, “Will you run the extra mile?” “Will you go the distance?” “Will you keep going even when you’re a little bit uncomfortable?” “Will you trust me and run this race just a little bit more and see what I can do though you?” And ultimately, “Will you trust me?”

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us- Hebrew 12:1

These Dreams

When I first thought

The perfect life

I imagined comfort

I imagined a place that

Was predictable

And everything was known

A place that was run by a schedule

And all was made

To fall into place

Like clockwork

The checks would come in

Exactly the same

Each month

You in your office

Me in the house

Our roles perfectly

Worked out

Clock in

Clock out

Day in and day out

The life would be quite

Simple

With little change to fear

But as the years have gone by

I realized God made you differently

A box could not hold you in

As much as you tried to make it work

I realized that your walls were caving in

Breathe, you could not

As the walls became more constricting each day

I realized you could not

Be put into a box

And your dreams were bigger than

I thought

I enjoyed my security

While dreaming of what stepping out

Might look like

And you took me there

To dream a dream

Bigger than my eyes could see

Bigger than my fears and insecurity

The shouts of the naysayers grew louder and louder in my head

You’ll never make it

In this economy you need more than a dream

You should be happy with a decent paying job

You’re in ministry

That’s what you want, isn’t it?

In this economy, are you crazy?

But I had to know that God was calling us

To something different

Not necessarily bigger or better

But different

Fitting for the mold that He had made us to be

It’s not an everyone mold

And it certainly isn’t safe

But I realized that trying to hold you down

Holding us down

Was not the answer

And we weren’t called to comfortable

We were never called to easy

We can’t live someone else’s dream

We must step into our own

Why did God give us dreams bigger than ourselves?

Why would He do such a thing?

Because He knows it will have to be Him that

Ultimately fulfills these dreams

Through us

It gives me no greater joy than to

Take this journey with you

And explore whatever

God has for us