Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Sunday at Lakeside Baptist Church

A couple weeks ago, we had the privilege of going with the Bates family down to Lakeside Baptist Church, in Clearwater, South Carolina. The church had requested that we share in music and testimony for several services during a weekend family conference. Mr. Bates preached some powerful messages and gave testimony of God’s provision in their lives. Erin and I were able to share with the young people how God had brought us together and some of the lessons that He taught us about waiting and trusting in Him for a future spouse. The church was so gracious and we were truly blessed by their encouragement and love for the Lord. We look forward to seeing how God is going to continue to use them in their outreach.

"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together."
Psalm 34:3

Freedom Ain't Free
Erin playing







Ellie is so cute

a kiss for me. =)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spring and Summer Months

 
   It always amazes me at how fast time is slipping by. I am reminded of that fact as I look at the date of my last post! But regardless of the passing time and lack of posting on my part, I still thought it would be great to post a little update about Erin and I, and what's been taking place these Spring and Summer months. There is so much that could be shared, but here is just a few of the highlights and some pictures.
   Though there are only two of us, the days seem to be filled from morning till night! As newlyweds, we want to make the most of our time...making memories, going on adventures together, special dates, hikes, bike rides, reading marriage books, road trips, games, fishing, swimming, swinging on our little hammock, and just learning more about each other. I know I've heard
the more you learn about someone, the more you love them, and I think we have both definitely found that to be true. Erin graduated in early May and has been teaching around 30 piano students, cooking meals, running errands, keeping our little cottage in order, visiting me at work (yay!), planning our weekly adventures, working out, spending time with her sisters, playing the piano for our church and other events, and the list could go on and on. I have been working at Noble metals, managing the office, as well other side construction jobs. The Lord has blessed me with a great employer and I enjoy working with him.
Everyday brings new excitement.  One of the best things that Erin and I absolutely LOVE doing is...ANYTHING TOGETHER! =)
  This Spring, Erin and I were able to go with the Bates Family and share about what God was doing in our lives with Park Meadows Baptist Church in Illinois. Erin played the piano and sang with her sibling's ensemble and family. The previous pastor, Dr. S. M. Davis, had a great impact on Erin and my life as kids, and we both have been challenged by his messages! We were grateful for the opportunity to minister through music and testimony.
   Erin was the most beautiful bridesmaid in Alyssa's wedding this May (coming from her biased husband GRIN). We both had fun together doing a short engagement photo-shoot with John and Alyssa before they were married!  =)
   Both Erin and I traveled out to Arkansas for Derrick and Jill's wedding. Erin played the piano and
did an incredible job! I was so proud of her! I was second photographer for their wedding, which was a real honor (I hope to post some pictures of the wedding as soon as I am able). While in AR. we visited my family in good ole' Oklahoma and spent a few days with them before returning to Tennessee. It was too short of a visit, but it was really special to see them all.
   We spent the 4th of July with Papa Bill and Mama Jane in the Carolina's, and celebrated Papa Bill's birthday! It was such a blast, and it was so wonderful to relax on the farm and spend time with Uncle Greg and Aunt Casey and their family!
 
 This is just a glimpse of what's been taking place in our lives these past few months. The Lord has been teaching us so much through our church, His Word, and each other. We are learning more of what it means to trust in the Lord in daily decisions, finances, and future plans. God has been so good to us. Even though there are valley experiences, He still remains faithful. He will not change.

"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass."
Psalm 37:5


Love,
Chad & Erin
Always, Forever ~ Psalm 121:1-2













Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Graduation Day

May 5th marked a big day for my dear Erin. After years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, Erin graduated from The Crown College of the Bible with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors as well as a Piano teachers certificate. I am so proud of my girl and I am so proud of all the effort that she has put into her schooling. She has done such an amazing job and I am thrilled that she has finished so well!
Erin plans to continue focusing on teaching students in the local area as well as potentially working on a new CD project hopefully soon!




Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Most Amazing Pianist...my Erin

Our Lil Piano
When I first met Erin, I knew that she played the piano, but what I did not know was how incredible her ability actually was. As I got to know here better at a conference in Texas, before we were courting...I was blown away! I can still remember the day that I watched her play, "The Love of God" and just marveled at her talent and finesse! She had never played the song before, yet she played that very day for a film crew! She completely captivated my attention and amazed me! She was absolutely incredible! As our relationship has grown, so has my admiration for her ability, her confidence, and her great humility and modesty when it comes to playing for others. She always strives to do it for the Lord's glory, whether it be for a handful of elderly folk at an assisted living facility or on stage with several thousand watching. She plays ultimately for Him...and I am so proud of her! I have not ceased to be amazed at the creativity that she comes up with as she pours her heart onto the keys. I enjoy hearing her play at our home on our Lil upright piano. She fills our home with music and I never cease to grow tired of hearing her play!
If you haven't heard her play you can find her Cd's online here. She has made two Cd's so far and I am encouraging her to make a third...we'll see! =)

PS...The above YouTube video was being filmed as I watched from a distance...little did I know that three years later I would be married to the girl that I was admiring that day!...and PSS....I also am slightly bias! =)
Erin's First CD
Erin's second CD

Sunday, April 6, 2014

...Spring...

As I stepped out onto our back porch this morning, I was greeted by the wonderful smell of Spring. The coolness of the morning made me appreciate the steaming cup of coffee that I held, as I listened to the birds sing their happy melody across the little valley that we live in. At the edge of our yard, a small stream flows by on it's stony bed, full of rain drops that we have been getting of late. Our little spring flows from the side of the mountain and pours into the stream further on down the valley. The flowers that are blooming around our little country house seem to exclaim that Spring is finally here. Everything is coming alive with a vigor that is nothing less than inspiring. Yes...I Love Springtime...and I LOVE spending it with my wonderful Erin.
 I just wanted to say thank you to all those who have commented on our last post. "Thank you" isn't big enough...and I really can't find any other words that would describe our gratefulness for the prayers, the encouragement, the songs, the unexpected cards...we are truly overwhelmed!! We love you all , and we are so grateful for the many friends that God has brought into our lives, even if we have never met you before! God is giving us grace through this time, and we are counting our blessings and choosing to look forward to the future with expectancy, for what He has in store for us.

~ hf ... Psalm 121:1-2

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our Little Angel

  There are many things that we will never understand this side of heaven. We have often asked God "Why?"...and yet there seems to be no answer. We have gone through heartaches and it doesn't make sense. We wonder why God allows circumstances that seem to have no profit and seem to only cause pain and we question God's goodness. I must admit that these questions have crossed my mind before. But I have come to find that when we don't understand, when we go through hard times, and when we have unanswered questions, and when we are experiencing pain there is only one thing that we can do, and that is simply trust Jesus. It's easy to say "Trust Jesus" when things are going well, when we think we understand what's going on in life...but it's so much harder to trust Him in the midst of pain and hardship.
These thoughts are fresh on mine and Erin's heart as we trust the Lord through the loss of a baby. We know that God knows what's best...and we are trusting Him for that even though it's hard, even through the tears, even through the questions...God is still good and He is still faithful. One day we will get to see our baby and maybe then we will understand God's plan more perfectly and more fully...but until then, we simply must trust Him!
Erin has a life verse in Psalm 62:8 that is very reassuring and gives us courage through this time.

"Trust in him at all times; ye people, 
pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."

Erin and I after the D&C
He is a refuge from the pain, from the doubts, and fears. We can trust Him because He is good. Erin and I are looking forward to seeing our baby one day, until then we know that it is safe with Jesus. When asked by her younger siblings what happened to our baby, Erin said that Jesus needed a little angel in heaven to play for Him...and He chose ours. I like to imagine what our baby is doing, but I do know for sure that our little Angel is safe in the arms of Jesus! Please keep us in your prayers as we learn to trust the Lord more fully even when we don't understand! He is good and faithful...and He loves us for sure! I don't know if you are facing anything that is painful or hard right now, but I do know that Jesus is your answer to everything that you are facing. He alone is the source of comfort and strength. Be encouraged to seek Him as your refuge...You can trust Jesus.

~ Chad <3 Erin...Psalm 121:1-2

Monday, February 17, 2014

Our Lil' Home

Nestled in a little valley, is a place that Erin and I call home. A few months before getting married, the Lord led us to this cute, country cottage that we both fell in love with. The house needed a little work and we were able to make small repairs and decorate it together just the way we wanted it. It was so fun! A little paint, texture, and decoration goes a long way in making a house feel like a home. Erin and I are so happy where we are and we wanted to share some pictures! This lil’ house is the perfect place for us!


As I was preparing this post, a passage came to mind that has been very meaningful to me throughout our courtship and engagement. It’s the parable that Jesus gave about building a house upon the sand or building a house upon a rock. The Lord gave me that passage the day that I began courting Erin, over a year ago. I wanted this passage to guide our relationship and be the key focus in our preparation for marriage. The passage is found in Luke 6:46-48.


"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock."

 An amazing analogy can be drawn from this passage in relating it to building a marriage. A marriage that is founded upon Jesus Christ (truth) will prove to be a marriage that will not crumble when the storms of life arise. I know that a marriage is never “perfect,” just as we as individuals are never perfect. There is always something to work on and there is always something to build in our lives and in our marriages. Our
foundation is Jesus and His Word and we are continuing to build our marriage together. The Lord challenged me with the realization that I needed to focus more of my energies into building our marriage. One area that God has convicted me in is my prayer life. I get so caught up in business that I forget to bring those things that are on my heart before the Lord. This past Sunday, in Sunday school, one of the teachers shared how prayer unites believers. One of the best ways to unite as couples is to simply have times of praying together. This really spoke to my heart and has given me a new fervor to pray with Erin and to make sure my priorities are right as we continue to build our house together. =)

~ hf...Psalm 121:1-2




Our Guest Room





Our Room...and yes...it's PINK! =)