As the entire world is being held hostage by this terrible virus, we began praying and brainstorming about how we could connect with people to share the Hope of Christ through music and encouragement while being stuck in our homes.  We felt that the best way to make that coneection was through social media, and so… We launched a Facebook Live Event that happens three nights a week for the foreseeable future!  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – 7pm Eastern time!  The response has been fantastic!  We could all use some encouragement through this season of uncertainty and seclusion.  Our hope is in Christ alone!  Please join us and invite some friends.  You can even host a watch party through your Facebook page!  You can find our live videos here…   You can even watch previous episodes and you can share those as well!  Be sure to like the Russell and Kristi Facebook page to get all the updates concerning the Livestream.  

Russell and Kristi Facebook Page

We hope to see you soon!
Russell and Kristi

1 Peter 5:7
“Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you.”

The other day I was getting ready in our bathroom and I “felt” the Lord speak to me…

I have always been a person who wanted to do things ‘by myself.’  My family always kidded me, “Oh don’t try to help Kristi open that jar.  She wants to do it by herself!”  It’s true.  I wanted to open the jar, the can, the whatever, by myself.  I guess, in this way, I wanted to be independent.  I wanted to feel the accomplishment.  I wanted to be proud of what I could do alone.  I’ve always looked as this personality trait as a plus, something I was kinda proud of, something that meant I would always give everything to try my best.  I still think it can be a positive trait; however, as I felt God speak to me the other day, I started to think of it in a different way…

I have a daughter who is the same as I was (am) in this.  Sidney wants to do everything ‘by herself.’  She wants to be independent when she wants to be independent, if you know what I mean.  I’ve told her many times over the years that she’s just like me.  Lately, though, I have seen Sidney not wanting to ask for help, even from the Lord.  She seems to think she doesn’t need to ask for help.
Maybe I was thinking about this the other day or maybe God just needed to tell me while I was in one place doing one thing, brushing my teeth.  He impressed on my heart that even though I’d always wanted to do things myself, He never created us to be alone.  He created us to be in community, to need others…most importantly, to need Him.
WOW!  I had never thought of my need to do things ‘by myself’ as a form of pride…until then.  I had never thought of my need to not ask for help as something that was keeping me from allowing others the privilege of helping someone…until then.  Until then, I had prided myself in the fact that I had always wanted to do things, sometimes over and over again, with no one’s help, mind you!  God spoke, though.  He told me it’s okay for me, and Sidney, and you, to want to try to do things on our own.  It’s okay to even try to do them over and over again, as long as we know that we know that we know we need others, most importantly, our Lord and Savior, to help when we struggle.
We were not made to be alone.  In Genesis 2, God even said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for him.”
We were not made to be alone.
We need each other.
Let’s help each other.
Let’s let others help us.


REST

Rest.  What a seemingly simple word.  It is only four letters.  But, oh, the implications it can have on a life that actually does it!
My husband, Russell, will often say to me, “Sit down…rest.”  There’s that word again.  It’s sometimes, (I’m being a little too easy on myself), it’s often difficult for me to sit down and rest.  We homeschool our children, Will and Sidney, and this year is the first of many years to come of a lot more to do.  Me and our 2 amazing kidsWill is in eighth grade and Sidney is in third grade.  Their workloads are only increasing from here.  So, as I write this, I am looking back on yesterday – a Saturday that we were actually home and not out on the road doing ministry.  I had a terrible day because I couldn’t seem to rest. There’s that word again!
Saturdays, in my mind, were meant for catching up on the things you couldn’t get done during the week.  Well, because I homeschool, I had laundry, tons of emails to go through and send, and just the normal cleaning.  What I needed more than anything, though, was to rest.  There’s that…you get the picture.
Jesus had a few things to say about resting.  He tells us to come to Him, all who are weary and burdened and He will give us rest.  He says our souls will find rest.  He told His apostles to come away to a quiet and desolate place and rest a while because there were so many people needing them that they hadn’t even had a chance to eat!  We are to “be still and know that He is God.”  We are to rest.
I have to realize…it’s okay to rest.  Our bodies are designed to rest.  We can’t function properly without it.  Sometimes we just need a day, or even a few hours, doing things that instill joy into our lives:  playing games with our kids, watching a movie, or just napping or taking a long bath.  Maybe you haven’t just sat quietly and waited for the Lord to speak.  Tell yourself, “It’s okay to rest!”  Say it with me, “It’s okay to rest!”  One more time, “It’s okay to rest!”
Now, I wonder if your family will notice?  I think they will.  I think mine will.  When we’re rested, we can hear The Holy Spirit’s voice louder, easier. We can feel the joy that He intended for us.  I think our Heavenly Father will smile as we take time rest.
Now, can you count how many times I used the word REST?  Oh stop it…go rest!!
Kristi 🙂 

About three years ago, we began meeting with some other couples about a potential marriage event in Myrtle Beach.  At the time, there were no other marriage enrichment events in the Myrtle Beach area, but we felt that God was leading us to begin this ministry.  We have been extremely blessed to be a part of so many great marriage events over our years of ministry, like Lifeway’s Marriage Impact, where we will be again this summer, and God has continually presented us with opportunities and intersections for encouraging marriages. Out of the initial meetings, the Adore Marriage weekend was born.

Earlier this month, we held our second year of Adore Marriage at the Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation.  I can truly say that God is good and has blessed this ministry immensely.  When the conference team had done all that was humanly possible, we know that God took the next five steps that only He could.  To Him be the glory for all that happened during and around Adore Marriage.  God presented us with a new ministry team partner, Theresa, whose contacts and skills propelled the conference forward by miles.  And in addition to that, we ended up with about 30 couples from 6 different states who attended the conference.

Most exciting for us is the prospect of adding a second Adore Marriage event each year.  With the Myrtle Beach weekend, we sought to keep costs as low as possible and make sure that the most value was given to couples for the costs they paid.  We have tried to keep the costs as all-inclusive as possible, as well, so that when a couple commits to attend, there are no hidden costs.

In the weeks leading up to our Myrtle Beach weekend, we were presented with an opportunity to take Adore Marriage out to sea on Royal Caribbean later this Fall.  While we weren’t actively looking, the opportunity came up and fell into place through God’s divine plan.  So, at our conference earlier this month, we announced an Adore Marriage Cruise setting sail October 19-22, 2012.  We are very excited to see what God has planned for the future of this ministry.

We have a busy summer of marriage events with our ministry partners Lifeway and the North Carolina Baptist Convention.  We will be leading worship for two Lifeway Marriage Impact events later this summer and those events are always fun.  Hosted at Lifeway’s Ridgecrest Conference Center, the weekends offer a great marriage getaway to the North Carolina mountains, along with all sorts of activities in the area.  We will also be traveling to Ft. Caswell to lead worship for a Pastor and Wives event sponsored by the NC Baptist Convention.

For all of our upcoming events, please visit our Concert & Events page.

God has allowed us to see his great works in marriage enrichment throughout our years and it is certainly a passion for Russell and myself.   We have all too often seen people we love and care deeply about devastated by divorce and by major problems in their marriages.   And like all other couples, we struggle from time to time in our marriage, as well.   So, after several years of talking back and forth about marriage events, we decided to bring one to our home town – I mean, where better since we live in a resort town, right?

So, we are pleased to present the Adore Marriage conference in Myrtle Beach on March 4th through the 6th.   The conference will be at the Hampton Inn and Suites Oceanfront, located at 18th Avenue on Ocean Boulevard.   We are very happy that Eddie and Janet Thompson have agreed to come and lead the teaching portion of the weekend.   Eddie and Janet are amazing people who we met through retreats where we led worship at Fort Caswell in North Carolina.   These two share an amazing passion for marriage and work full time for the North Carolina Baptist  Association leading marriage retreats to bring couples closer to Christ and to each other.

We would certainly invite you to come for this wonderful weekend of marriage enrichment.   For more information, see the event website at www.adoremarriage.com or call the Adore Marriage information line at (843) 560-9449.   The cost for the conference is $149 through February 4 and we have discounted room rates through the same date.