Thursday, July 19, 2007


Please be in prayer for Laurie's dad, Jim, aka. "Doc" or "Papaw". He was admitted to Home Hospital last night with some pretty serious symptoms. He was recently in Brazil and may have picked up something nasty. He is up here visiting with Laurie and her family right now. God's timing is perfect. If I hear anything new I'll update this post.

****UPDATE: I just got a call from Laurie, and it would seem that her father has a mild case of malaria. Mild? Sheesh! They are treating him for it, and he will be released this afternoon. They are getting ready to do an ultrasound on his liver to make sure that no damage has been done, but they do not expect that it will be damaged. Keep them in your prayers. Garnet is tired from all of the "nursing". They are all in good spirits though.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ultimate Summer Highlight

The following is Anne's written testimony. After reading it, I'm sure that you'll agree that of all the fun we had this summer, all of the time that we spent together, this was by far the biggest highlight. Anne was baptized and became a member of Faith Baptist Church on July 8, 2007. Video to follow shortly!

My name is Anne Gray. I am 12 years old, almost 13.

I had prayed for a brother or a sister several times. I had a twin brother named Bryan but I Wanted another brother smaller that I could teach. God answered that prayer by giving us a special baby boy. After Betty had Jack I started to listen to the sermons. Every night I thanked God and prayed to Him. Then I realized I had questions. I asked my Mom and Dad about them.

After talking to my parents and reading some verses I realized that Sin keeps us from God. It has been said in the Bible, that NO sin should be in the presence of the Lord. And Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins.

So on that night, June 1, 2007. I confessed my sins and believed with all my heart and asked Jesus to throw my sins as far as the east is from the west, and to forgive my sins. And now I want to get baptized and spread his good word.

New Family Photos

Church Family Photo

Jack and Bampy

Bampy was very disappointed that he missed seeing the twins, but as you can see, he and Jack are getting along just fine!

To The Airport and Beyond!

I'm quite behind on all of my posts, so you can expect a flurry of posting activity in the next couple of days! For now, here are some pictures that were taken on the ride to the airport and after we got there (and before everyone started crying).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Life Goes On

Anne and Bryan got back to GA safely! They had a short plane ride and then a long drive, so they got home pretty late, but they are safe and sound and back in the land of peaches. We sure do miss them. Fridy was a weird day for us. Jack woke up and went straight to Anne's room. When he saw her bed made, he was shocked, and not just because she wasn't in it, but because I don't think he has actually ever SEEN her bed made (just a little teasing, sweetie)! He promptly turned around and went in to Bryan's room and stopped short, again. No Bryan. He then turned to me and whispered, "Bye bye". I don't think that he gets that they went "bye bye". I think what he was asking was whether or not HE was going "bye bye" too. Either way it was heartwrenchingly cute.

In the meantime, Bampy has come to visit! Yes, my grandfather is here visiting for a couple of weeks, and that has helped to distract us. We got some great pictures of Jack with Bampy that I'll post later. I am currently at my mother-in-law's house and I don't have the camera with me to post the pics! We've also got some great video footage of some summer highlights that we'll post as soon as we get a minute.

A & B, if you're reading today, we love and miss you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Making The Most

The time is drawing to a close. We don't want it to end so we keep drawing it out by staying up ridiculously late. The kids have only two more days left! Tonight they spent some good daddy time together in the hammock outside. I prefered to take the pictures and then beat it to a safe distance where I could look out the window from my air conditioned office :-)

We love you, Anne and Bryan! Although we adapt to our lives the best way we can, it's never the same when you aren't here. We will miss you greatly and pray for you daily until we are together again!

Cycling Emotions

I changed my mind. I take it all back. They'll just have to stay.

(Unfortunately my emotions are much like the weather. Just give me five minutes......)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dutton Update

I was given permission to post this letter from Mark Dutton. It is a great explanation of the things that are happening in their lives and may help to clear up any questions by people who were not able to attend last night's church service.

After much prayer and 18 years of ministry at Faith Baptist Church, I believe it is the Lord’s will for me to pursue a Senior Pastoral position. It has been my privilege to work under godly men like our former Senior Pastor, Bill Goode, and our current Senior Pastor, Steve Viars who has helped me to grow in areas of my life and ministry in ways I never imagined. I truly thank the Lord for these men and their influence in my life. The Lord has also used Bob Smith, and a host of others key leaders, who have strongly impacted my life and challenged me in my walk with Christ.

I’ve been praying about this transition for a long time and have tried to allow God’s Word to guide me. In fact, the Lord has been preparing me for this opportunity since September of 1989 when Laurie and I first came to Faith. I am thankful for the opportunities God has given me here in Lafayette, but I believe it’s time to “cross the Jordan” (Joshua 1) and move ahead for the glory of God! In fact, one of our Core Values as a church is “Strengthening Others” – that would include other local churches that could benefit from the teaching and ministry philosophy that God has provided at Faith Baptist.

The Lord has been so gracious and blessed the ministry here at Faith, but the principle of stewardship (Luke 12) motivates me to take the things I’ve learned and apply them to the kingdom work of Christ in another church, community, and city. You know the phrase that says, “to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). I believe that in order to give a good account at the Judgment Seat of Christ, this transition is important and the timing strategic.

I would like to ask you to pray for the ministry here at Faith as we undergo this transition over the next few months. I would also like to ask you to pray for the following requests:
1) For a church that would be a ‘good fit’ for me, given the philosophy and training I’ve received here at FBC. I would like to hit the ground running, if you know what I mean, but I’m open to whatever God wants.
2) For a timely transition – I would like to have this decision made in the next two to three months for the sake of our church family to stay focused on the ministry here, and for my family (especially the kids and the transition to another school).
3) For the sale of our house in a timely manner. We live at 308 Brookfield Dr., a subdivision next to FBC – 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a large backyard, a storage shed, and a real man’s fireplace (i.e. real wood – not gas!), and a deck in the back!

If you are aware of a church that is currently looking for a Senior Pastor, and you sincerely believe that I would be a good fit to provide pastoral leadership to the ministry, please let me know or pass my name on to them and ask that they contact me for a resume.

Thank you for your help and for your prayers. I appreciate your friendship and for your willingness to be a tool in God’s plan for my future ministry.

Reaching New Heights!


****Edit: It has come to my attention that some of my readers missed the announcement last night, so let me fill you in and this post will make a whole lot more sense!

Last night Pastor Viars announced that the Dutton's were leaving our church to seek a Senior Pastor position. Mark has always felt called to preach and teach in this capacity, and as a family they feel that the timing is best now for them to leave. There are no hard feelings, nothing hidden behind the scenes. This is just God's timing for them. That said, you can continue on to the rest of the post.......

Ok, now the cat is out of the bag--the Duttons are leaving and you are all reeling from the news. TRUST ME, I know. Go back and read my last post.

Can I just take a moment and try to put a little perspective on this? Each one of you who is feeling the pain of missing a mentor, friend, confidante, pastor, teacher, hero is doing so for one reason---because they invested themselves in you. Because they discipled you, counseled you, pictured Christ to you. Because they spoke the truth when you needed to hear it, even when you didn't want to hear it (sometimes). They invested their time, their personalities, their wisdom, their weaknesses in YOU. And now they are leaving. The gap is HUGE. Think of the people that they have touched in the last 18 years here. Who will continue? Shall we just stand around and look at ourselves blankly? Nah. We're going to fill the gap. We are going to invest ourselves in others. We will find the people that they would have reached out to, and we'll reach out to them. We will jump out of the boat and onto the crashing waves, and OUT of our comfort zones. After all, that's what they are modeling for us, right? This decision has not been an easy one for them, and they too, are missing us already. But they are out on the waves, where Jesus is, and the best thing that we can do, after the initial shock and good cry, is invest ourselves in them by praying for them. We can make this transition easier for them by getting on board and finding the ways to fill that gap.

I'm talking to myself here. Most of you cannot even know what this family has meant to me, or the panic I feel when I think of their leaving. But they taught me to rise above that, to not "park" in my sadness. I'm excited to think that I could be someone's "Laurie". Even just saying that makes me want to scream that I can't do it, but I can. I can stand in the gap for someone, because someone showed me how to do it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I woke up this morning contemplating my life, and processing through some events that have recently come into my life, and into the lives of my friends and loved ones. In the past month I've known people who have lost loved ones, lost babies, who are experiencing lonliness, who feel isolated from those that they love by large bodies of water (love you, G), and who are facing uncertain futures after taking huge leaps of faith. I was reminded just last night of the words to one of my favorite Casting Crowns songs, and the impact of the words "step out of my comfort zone into the realm of the unknown" and then these words "where Jesus is". Jesus is not in my comfort zone. He's not sitting in the boat with me, all warm and snuggly. He's out in the waves where the wind is blowing and the rain is pelting down, and all is a gray, blurry sea. He's holding out His hand. The question is, will I take it? For me there is comfort in holding on to the things that are dear to me--my family--my friends. Comfort is crying out like Jack does when I take something away from him. Comfort is indulging myself in a good pity cry when things aren't going my way. But that is not where Jesus is. Jesus is in the storm, arms open wide, bidding me enter it with Him. This thought-process lead me to another favorite Casting Crowns song. Sometimes God allows things to happen in our lives that we were not expecting, and we are "thrown" from the boat kicking and screaming" (insert a little smiley face here). It is good to know that Jesus is also there, again, in the storm. Just a little introspection from a sleepy mommy while her baby is napping.

The Voice of Truth (verse one)
Oh, what I would do
To have the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is,
And he's holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
you'll never win."

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "this is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Praise You In The Storm
I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Misc. Fun Pictures