Monthly Archives: December 2010

Geminid showers make me feel poetic by Corynn Godwin


Good Morning!  This morning is cold, crisp and gorgeous!  I love to see the sun glistening off of the snow in the morning light.  It is a bit too cold, even for this northerner, so I will stay inside today!

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of my 29th birthday and it was also the best evening to view the Geminid showers.  At 10:30pm last night Corynn and I decided to take a drive out to Dinwiddie Church to do some stargazing.  We do this every now and then and we always find new spots to view from.   We stopped there and then crept down the road to view from a nearby field.  We saw about 10 comets in a 20 minute time period.  It was so much fun to hear the “awws and oohs” coming from the passenger seat!  When I finally saw my first one I just about jumped out of my seat.  haha.  There is nothing greater than seeing a falling star.  That is one love that Corynn and I share.   We both love, love, love creation.

It all started with my parents.  They are  lovers of creation and my sister and I both share this love for the power of God through nature.  Mom and Dad always took the time to point out the little things to us, like flowers blooming and bees buzzing.  Dad used to be a beekeeper and I was always amazed at the honeycombs inside the box.  Still am!  As kids they took us here and there- always showing us new things.  I remember many Sunday afternoon rides with no destination in mind, but many adventures!  It usually involved ice cream!  :):)  Still does and now it is on 2 wheels with our kids!  Thanks Mom and Dad!

I also have to thank Rick Powers and Sussie Slaugenhaupt Hitt for this love of creation -they taught us well in SS!  Thank you obedient servants!  Your teachings live on!

Anyway- when I got up this morning there was this beautiful poem written by Corynn posted on Facebook.  I just had to share it with you all.  She is a young woman chasing fast after God’s heart and I admire her more and more everyday.  So I hope you will take the time to ponder the words, and hear her heart.  Have a blessed day and take some time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation this winter.

Many blessings,


Geminid showers make me feel poetic

by Corynn Godwin

i watched the clouds

race their heavenly forms

across a midnight sky,

and i dreamed.

sometimes i like to pretend

that i am as beautiful as the stars,

as normal as the moon,

and as rare as Haley’s Comet.

somewhere amongst the stars and cosmic dust,

the Milky Way is my homeland,

the Cat Eye Nebula is my New York City.

i like to dance with the Aurora Borealis,

calling them by name

until daybreak chases my waltz partners away.

i like to paint with the sunrise,

coaxing the sun from its hiding place

with colors so fabulous

even the mighty Himalayas praise God.

and i smile,

for His artwork is far greater than mine.

as my fears drop like shooting stars,

they burn like comets.

now, i am as free as Orion,

although i was never really chained to begin with.




I  am reading ” Captured by Grace” by Dr. David Jeremiah.   In the chapter titled ” The Converting Power of Grace” he speaks about the Prodigal Son and how we each see ourselves in this powerful story of love and forgiveness.  Do we see ourself as the son or the father?   I have seen myself as both.  Carefree,young and naive as well as wiser and older!  ( Note that I am still carefree-maybe not as much-but it is still there!  Cort says I am a free spirit and he is a nerd.  haha.)   The son needed much grace and the father was able to give it.  Just as I have also needed much grace and my Father has given it.   He  is true to His Word- “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”   

This is an excerpt from the book:

   ”  No one can help  but see himself  in the narrative. ( of the prodigal son.)  The painter Rembrandt was transfixed by the picture he found painted in the words of Luke 15.     Early  in his career , the artist was known to be an arrogant and pleasure driven young man, and he painted himself into his version as the wandering son from the story, found in the shame of an Amsterdam brothel.   Then, at the very end of his life, a wiser man, but ailing one, Rembrandt returned to the story again, this time painting himself into the parable as the loving father, embracing his child.  Light emanates from the tender face of the father in a scene of raw emotional power. 

The resulting masterpiece, ” The Return of the Prodigal” reached through the centuries to change the life of the Christian writer, Henri Nouwen, who spent days silently meditating upon the spiritual resonance of the scene.  As a result, Father Nouwen wrote a masterpiece of his own, a book namedafter the painting:  The Return of the Prodigal.   Nouwen observes in his book that early in life, Rembrandt had responded, like many people, to the story of the son.  As an older, wiser man, he sees the story in a new light.  It has become for him a story not of the son who sins, BUT OF THE FATHER WHO FORGIVES.”  

Luke 15:11-32

 11Jesus also told them another story:

   Once a man had two sons. 12The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons.

    13Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. 14He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat.

    15He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. [b] 16He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, [c] but no one gave him a thing. 17Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! 18I will go to my father and say to him, `Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’ ”

    20The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him.

    21The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.”

    22But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals [d] for his feet. 23Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate. 25The older son had been out in the field. But when he came near the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants over and asked, “What’s going on here?”

    27The servant answered, “Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father ordered us to kill the best calf.” 28The older brother got so angry that he would not even go into the house.

   His father came out and begged him to go in. 29But he said to his father, “For years I have worked for you like a slave and have always obeyed you. But you have never even given me a little goat, so that I could give a dinner for my friends. 30This other son of yours wasted your money on prostitutes. And now that he has come home, you ordered the best calf to be killed for a feast.”

    31His father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we should be glad and celebrate! Your brother was dead, but he is now alive. He was lost and has now been found.”

Let us be glad and celebrate!

  Thank you Lord!

Telling the story…



I took today off from everything else to spend time in the studio getting ready for Christmas.   I am so tired of the commercialism and marketing of Christmas- aren’t you?  Buy this, gimme that, no payments until 2099, free credit for Christmas, hidden fees galore.  Have we lost it?  Our  one true treasure is in knowing the Lord Jesus Christ and WHO he IS!  Not trinkets and debt!

So, I decided that all my decorating this year would point people to Christ.  I am trying really hard to use all natural things and to make everything myself.  I did buy two bright red decorated stars for the garage and I am sort of regretting that purchase now.  Luckily they were inexpensive, but they don’t go with the rest of my theme.  BUT-with a glue gun and some sandpaper I can do anything!  haha!



Wednesday we visited the Billy Graham Library and in the building they had a tree that was decorated with homemade “looking” ornaments, all from nature.  Sticks, twigs, raffia, pinecones, wood, etc..  I really liked them because in each one I could see Jesus.  So, that tree was my inspiration for these ornaments.  Of course you could buy them there- but they were very pricey-more than I could ever afford.  BUT!  I was determined that I could make them just as well theirs were made!  You see I have the “Sutterby” gene in my blood and that gene says, ” I can do this myself!”  haha!  Thanks Dad!  So, rather than having the normal glitzy ornaments I am going “back to nature” this year with my Charlie Brown tree!  It’s little, it’s cute and it’s all about Jesus!

This is the first ornament I made….


The tree at the Library had star shaped twigs but mine are different.

I didn’t have to buy anything but the ribbon and that was a buck!  I had all this stuff hanging around between my studio and the wood shed.

I think this star is my favorite.

Then I graduated to some simple outdoor decorations under the windows.  Greenery, sticks and hearts, stars and crosses.  I had all these things lying around here and there!  This heart actually came off my barnwood birdfeeder that a bear ruined a few years ago!  Everything has a story and I hope you see the story of Jesus in these creations.  Smell the greenery?  Feel the love?  See the light?  Hear the hope?  It’s there…look harder!

Jesus came as a baby-He is the light of the world!

Our shining beacon of hope!




Joy….it’s EMPTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Lord, for reviving my Spirit, for making me listen when I don’t want to, for putting people in my path who help me see what is really important, for your prayer warriors and most of all for coming to earth to show us how to love each other.  Today I love you more than I ever thought possible.  Each day my love for you grows stronger and stronger and that makes other things fall away so that I see you more and more in everything around me.  Thank you for holding me, for being persistent, and for loving me to this beautiful place.  Help me to do the same for others, to put myself aside and you first.  Thank you so much Lord.

Boone- here we come!



In about 10 hours we will be traveling to Boone, NC to work in the Shoebox Distribution Center for the afternoon.  While there we will be checking the contents of the boxes for things like chocolate and bubbles-things we all love but things that don’t travel well in a box going thousands of miles across the world.  It is an amazing time of fellowship and celebration.  For all of us it has become an important part of our Christmas.

I would like to take a minute to give thanks for the heart that God put into our very own  “Shoebox Lady”  for leading this ministry of ” love in a Shoebox”  at our church.   Her motto is ” It’s all about the baby” and it is!  God came down from heaven, as a baby in a manger to show us how to love one another all those years ago.  He was THE gift to the world, wrapped in cloth,  and smelling like straw-just waiting to be unwrapped!  That was thousands of years ago!

Here we are today, in 2010, sending Jesus across this great earth in a box.  A box waiting to be unwrapped by little children all over the world.  There are many other things in the box, such as socks, crayons and baby dolls.  But the most important item in the box is something we can’t even see.  It is the Spirit of God- alive and well between the pages of a gospel tract written in their language.  The love of Christ is offered inside each box.  God knows where every little box is going before we ever begin packing it.   I beleive this with all of my heart because of the stories that come back to us.  Like the story of a person packing a box with nothing but socks in it.  They listened to the Holy Spirit and sent it just as it was.  The person checking the box in also listened and left the box as it was.  Many months later that box arrived to it’s destination.  Where?  To a child who was having problems with his feet and was in need of socks!!!!!!!!  People don’t do that- GOD DOES!  We listen, obey and act.

My friend, the Shoebox Lady,  does this well.  She puts her heart and soul into the work that we do all year long for the Shoebox Ministry.  She has taught me much about what a commitment means and what passion is.  She IS older than me- so she does have a little more wisdom under her belt than I do! ( Teehee)  So, as we depart from Hillsville to Boone and Charlotte this week, please send up prayers of thanks for this ministry and for every child that receives a box,  because inside that box is the greatest gift of all- the love of Jesus Christ.

I thank God for you, Shoebox Lady and I thank God for enlarging my heart through this ministry!  Thank you Church for your support!  Now let’s go out and “Give this Christmas Away!”

Polar Express


One of my all time favorite movies is the Polar Express!  Here a few scenes to tickle your tummy!

Try NOT to smile as you watch this….this is one of the coolest scenes in the movie!  Turn it UP!  This is for YOU Elizabeth!   Thanks for being such an avid reader!  I love you!

and here’s another favorite…remember to turn it up! Think of the Hobo man as Jesus-this is what he does for us everyday!  Everytime I watch this I get goosebumps!  What awesome teamwork!

Enter Into Worship



We are all so excited!!!!  OOTBWC is 16 hours away from the first preview service!  This morning we gathered together downtown  to move things, clean, wash windows, decorate, sweep, mop, vacuum, put together, rearrange, arrange and even paint!  My first glance said, ” hmmm…there’s a lot that needs to be done here before morning.”  But God is in the plan and He is the Master Engineer!  When many hands come together to do God’s work, with the right talents, tools, gifts and wisdom, a LOT of work can be done in a little amount of time!  Here are some pictures to show you what I mean!

Footsteps….”Where you go, I will follow you…”



Downtown Hillsville.


As you can see from the picture it was snowing!  Snow is cleansing.  How appropriate for this day!  We were cleaning God’s House!

Here we are, waiting for directions on what to do first.  You have to have a plan!

You have to have the right tools too!

Without the proper tools you can’t get the work done!


This jumble of tools are a lot like all of us…we each have a specific purpose in God’s plan.  Some cut wire, some turn bolts and some remove screws.  We can’t use a wire cutter to remove a bolt or a screwdriver to cut a wire.  In order to get the job done we need a lot of different tools.  Just like us- each persona has a unique purpose in God’s plan and He has brought us all together at OOTBWC to reveal that plan to the world.  The plan is all GOD’s- not ours.  We are told to “follow Him” and that’s what we are all doing.



Here are some of the workers taking care of the stage area.


This is the hallway entering into the sanctuary.  You know I am reminded of the Tabernacle as I write this.  In the OT you couldn’t just enter the Tabernacle without being a Priest and without going through many rituals.  One of those rituals was a sacrifice.   The first born.  Everything had to be performed to a certain standard, or else.  Then Jesus came.  He changed all of that when He died on the cross.  He was the first born, pure and Holy, unblemished.  When he died the veil was torn and the power of God was revealed through Christ’s amazing transformation in His Resurrection.   It is because of that sacrifice that we can enter into worship with God without going through all of those rituals and sacrifices.   All we have to do is ENTER IN.  That’s it.  Just come on in and fellowship with us!  God is anxious to meet you where you are at.  He loves you the way you are.

Come on in….




We’ll help you find your way around and get you a great seat!  We can’t wait to meet you!


Our impromptu/recycled signage.  haha.  Hey- it works….like I said the right tools for the right job….just don’t take a ruler to it because we didn’t have one!  We used a pool stick as our yardstick!  LOL

Merry CHRISTmas Hillsville!


I will follow you…

Thanks for all the hard work, prayers and dedication!  ALso- to the Holston Conference and Wytheville District- THANK YOU for your support and prayers!

We are blessed to be a blessing to others!

Thank you Lord Jesus!


Birthday’s and blessings



My 29th birthday is coming around again for the 20th time!  Every year for the past 4 years I have gone to help with the Shoeboxes either in Charlotte or in Boone.  I consider this my birthday present to self.  This year I am going twice!  On Monday we will be going to Boone and then on Weds. to Charlotte.  I can’t wait!  The trip to Boone is super special because we get to take a tour of Samaritan’s Purse Operation Center.  I went last year for the first time and I was in awe of how much SP is involved in worldwide.  I don’t think there’s anything they don’t do!  I would love to be able to work there all the time and I am thankful that I can volunteer there once a year.  Today, at the Shoebox center in Charlotte they had a Christmas celebration.  It was live on the website and I watched most of it.  I got so excited when I heard Franklin talking about the kids and the boxes.  He is ALL about the kids receiving the gift of salvation through the giving of a shoebox.   It is obvious that the Lord has blessed this ministry.  In fact He has blessed it so much that this year 8 MILLION boxes will be going out to 110 countries worldwide!

I am reminded of Abraham in Genesis 12.  Listen to these words from God to Abraham:

The Call of Abram

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.[a]
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”[b]

4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him;


During the celebration on the live webcast the mayor of Charlotte, Anthony Fox,  came on and spoke these words: ” Let’s work to be a blessing to someone this holiday season.  God has blessed us and we extend our blessings across the world through the Shoebox Ministry.”

I know I talk about Bethel a lot and that just happens to be my “thing” right now, but there hasn’t been one day since I started taking this course that God has not brought what I am learning about the scriptures, through Bethel, to my mind.  This is one of those things.  Abraham was obedient to God’s call and he went.  He didn’t go alone, he took his family with him.

Franklin Graham has been obedient to God’s call on his life also.  He listened, he obeyed and he acted on what he heard.  Today there are many children all over the world who have been blessed to hear God’s Word through a shoebox and Franklin didn’t do it alone-he did it with the help of the church.  All churches everywhere!  It took prayer, time, patience, finances, blood, sweat and tears for both men to fulfill God’s calling on their lives.

Today, both men are still in action.  Abraham is no longer physically with us, but his obedience and  legacy lives on in God’s Holy Word and in the world.  God said GO and he went.  In doing that he was blessed by God and in turn we have been blessed. ” I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse;  and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” Without the obedience of Abraham we wouldn’t be where we are today and I don’t even want to think about that and I am glad I don’t have to.

In our Bethel study we have concept pictures and the one for Abraham shows Abraham kneeling on the earth, looking up,  holding a prism in both hands.  A shaft of  light from above hits the prism and the colors pass through Abraham and extend outward over the earth.   I would love to show you the picture but since it is copyrighted I cannot do that here, but if you’d like to see it I’d be happy to show you in person!  Just ask me the next time you see me!  Anyway-the picture is an awesome illustration of how God has blessed us through Abraham’s obedience.   When the light hits the prism it goes everywhere- the blessings of God are all around us and we have Abraham to thank for that!  God promised Abraham that he would bless him if he did what he asked him to do.  God does not break a promise.  I’m not saying it was easy and you can read more about it in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and the rest of the O.T..  In fact, I urge you to get your bible out tonight and say a prayer, before you begin reading, ask God to show you the way through the scriptures-to point out in your mind what He wants you to learn and He WILL!  You may even find it to be a delight to your soul!  I know I do!  It may even be like a breath of heaven!  🙂