Monday, December 29, 2008

"Run, Forrest, Run!"

"Run, Forrest, Run!"  These were the words I said as I performed the wedding ceremony of Claudette (Hogan) and Forrest Sims over eight years ago.  I'm glad he didn't take my advice!  Claudette was in my youth group as I began my ministry over 15 years ago.  It's great to see her living out her Christian life as a Christian wife and mother of two beautiful children.  

They have just moved to Clarksville, TN and were traveling from Enterprise to Clarksville today.  We met them at a Chick Fil-A as they came through Nashville.  Christian and Preston had a great time playing on the playground with their daughter Riley (age 6)  and their son John Thomas (age 3).  It was great to catch up with them a little and reminisce about the days at First Baptist Level Plains.

Temple Baptist Church - White House, TN

For the past two months, we have participated when we could at Temple Baptist Church in White House, TN.  We have attended on Sundays  when I wasn't preaching or speaking somewhere else, and we have been every Wednesday night since October (except the week of Thanksgiving when we were out of town).  Our children have been embraced by this church as they have become involved in Sunday School, G.A.'s, R.A.'s, Children's Choir, and Youth Group.  They allowed Christian to have a part in the Christmas program presented by the Children's Choir, and John Robert is in Gatlinburg right now on a youth retreat.  This church has even survived Preston becoming partners in crime with the pastor's 7 year old son.  This church has truly welcomed our whole family and made us feel a part of their body. 

Yesterday, I had the privilege to preach in the morning service, and last night Charlotte and I shared about our call to missions and some of what we will be doing in Costa Rica.  God is using Temple Baptist Church to reach the community of White House, TN.  They took approximately 75 youth on the youth retreat, and the church is growing as people are coming to know Christ as Lord and Savior.  H.D. Jones is the pastor and it is obvious that he loves the Lord and he loves this congregation that he is leading.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spiritual Giant

Today Charlotte and I went downtown Nashville.  We went to the Souther Baptist Convention office.  In front of the office is a statue of Billy Graham.  In the picture you can see how he dwarfs us - not just in the sense of size, but also in spiritual maturity.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The People You Run Into

Last night the family went shopping for last minute Christmas gifts. We were at Target in the dollar area (family and friends don't worry we were not buying your gifts in that section) when Preston struck up a conversation with an older man. The man was 86 years old and a retired Southern Baptist pastor. He is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. When I told him I was also a graduate of NOBTS, he began asking me if I knew people that he went to school with in the 40s. He also was a pastor in New Orleans for 8 years in some of the areas that I have ministered in over the years. I really enjoyed talking to this man of God. I shared with him about going on the Mission Field to Costa Rica. He and his wife said that they would pray for us. They took down our information. It truly feels special that a couple that have had such an amazing life in the Lord will be praying for us.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

To South Carolina and Back

We packed a lot into this weekend. Charlotte and I left Friday afternoon headed to South Carolina where I preached today at Stone Bridge Church in Powdersville, SC. We left on Friday so that we could take an extra day to celebrate our upcoming anniversary which is December 28th. On the 28th we will have been married 17 wonderful years!

On Saturday we took our time getting to South Carolina. We stopped along the way to do a little Christmas shopping and then went to Greenwood, SC to visit Charlotte's aunt and uncle. We were also able to see her cousin and his wife and their two children. We had a great visit with them. We are trying to see a lot of friends and family before we leave for Costa Rica.

After visiting with them, we then went to Sammy and Melissa Clary's home in Easley, SC. We went out to eat with Sammy and Melissa and their 10 year old son Isaac. It was truly wonderful to see them. They have been through so much in the past three years. Isaac was very sick and had a bone marrow transplant in April of 2006. God has performed many miracles in their lives and Isaac is doing very well.

Today I preached at Stone Bridge church. Everyone at the church was so friendly. The church is a one year old contemporary church. It was awesome to see what God is doing in this newly formed body.

I also had the opportunity to attend the early service at another church - Marathon Church. My friend Sammy was preaching in their services today. This church is also contemporary and has three services. It was neat to see some new and unique ways they are doing worship.

We are tired, but had a fun weekend. We are now gearing up to celebrate Christmas this week!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Great Weekend!

This weekend, we were once again, "On the Road Again." This time we were in the Atlanta area. We had the opportunity to speak at Legacy Baptist Church Sunday morning in Dallas, GA. This church is five years old and meets at Chatahoochee Tech. The pastor is Rev. Alton Wilson, who is truly a man of God. This church welcomed us with open arms and allowed us to share with them. After church we had a wonderful time of fellowship with Bro. Alton and his wife Mrs. Jean, and Brian and Rebecaa Mize and their twin boys who are members of Legacy and good friends of ours.

That evening we had the pleasure of being at Olive Springs Baptist Church in Marietta, GA. This is the church that I pastored for four and a half years. It is the church that God used to confirm my call to missions in many ways. We had a wonderful time seeing friends who mean so much to our family. It was a time where I could share from my heart and let them see what God is doing in our lives.

I have a special prayer request that I want everyone to be praying about. While at Olive Springs, I saw a good friend of mind - Daniel Reyes. Daniel's life has truly been transformed. He has been through some hard years in his life and accepted Christ in prison. I met Daniel when his family began attending Olive Springs. Daniel began growing in his walk with the Lord. At one time Daniel was working for a man who had some illegal business activities. Daniel knew as a Christian he could not continue to work for this man. He quit without having another job because he knew that was the right thing to do. God did provide for him to begin working for a Christian man. Daniel works with the youth at Olive Springs and is now a deacon. He is on fire for the Lord. He shared with me that over Christmas his family will be traveling to Texas. They will be with family members who for the most part are not Christians. He has a greater motivation for going than just to spend time with his family over Christmas. He and his wife Adela are going to Texas to share the true meaning of Christmas with their family. They are going to tell their family about the changes God has made in their lives and they are going to tell them how they too can experience the joy of knowing Jesus Christ. I told him that I will be praying for him everyday they are gone. They will be leaving this Friday (12/19) and will be returning on Friday (12/26). Please pray for safety as they travel and pray that the Holy Spirit is already working in the lives of his family members to prepare them to be receptive to the message Daniel and Adela will share.

Let's all be like Daniel in being ready and willing to share the true message of Christ this Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Winter Time Blahs (posted by Charlotte)

It has been a rainy, cold and downright miserable week - at least as far as the weather goes. But isn't it funny how sometimes we let things as trivial as the weather affect our inward condition? This week has been somewhat slow. Cavin and I have done a lot of our secret shopping. We have eaten out, shopped at the mall, looked at motorcycles, and mailed packages - all to see how good the customer service was and to send a report in to the company. This is what we have been doing since we have been in Nashville to make extra money. We have had a lot of fun doing it, but (thankfully!) that is not our calling in life. We know that God has called us to missions, and we are very anxious to get on with it! It seems like we have been talking about it for so long, and yet here we still are! As Preston says, "We keep talking about it! Let's do it!" Yet, we know that God is preparing us. The lengthy process through the International Mission Board has helped us learn patience. We have not given up when things were hard. We are also having many experiences right now to speak to churches and individuals and help them understand about praying, going and giving - and maybe God is speaking to someone through us about what their calling is in regard to missions. We sometimes need to be reminded of what our calling is. Just today, God reminded me of my calling as I read Acts 10:34-36 "God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all." That's the reason missions is so important - so that people from every nation can know Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

On the Road Again... (posted by Charlotte)

"On the Road Again" seems to be our theme song right now. We have once again made the trek to Enterprise. Cavin will be speaking tomorrow at County Line Baptist Church in the morning service, and at First Baptist Pinckard which is near Dothan, Alabama tomorrow evening. It has been great getting to share with people about what God is doing in our lives. We will actually be speaking in four different states this month for four different weekends - Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This trip we left the kids in Tennessee. It really makes traveling much calmer and easier!

We got in kind of late this evening, but it worked out that we still had time to get together with some good friends - Jeff and Jeanine Fields. We had a great time talking and laughing with them. Jeff is the Minister of Assimilation and Small Groups at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Enterprise. He also went with Cavin on the trip to Costa Rica last month. Jeff and Jeanine truly love the Lord and are faithfully serving Him. It was great to spend some time with them.

Tomorrow afternoon we are going to get together with some other great friends - Holly and Parrish Dalrymple, and their two children Jackson and Will. Holly and Parrish are the type people who will do anything for you, and are always there when you need them. The day we moved from Enterprise, we called them because we had filled up the U-Haul and had no where to put the rest of our stuff. As always, they were willing to help. They came to our house and helped us load up everything and have been keeping it for us in their shed. They have meant so much to us over the past several years.

Yesterday was a good day, but a sad one if you really think about it. I had another birthday. I can't believe I have been around now for 41 years! I still feel like I should be about 21! But Cavin helped ease the pain by taking me to lunch at my favorite restaurant - Jim 'N Nick's Barbecue. It was great! Then we went shopping and he picked out a new purse for me that I really like! Then last night we had a birthday meal with the family at home! I also got a lot of cards, phone calls, emails and facebook messages. It was nice to be remembered by so many friends and family! I am truly blessed!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Getting out of the Christmas Spirit

The Christmas spirit has become a spirit of shopping, spending money, and being busy. I want to get out of the that spirit and focus on my Savior and Lord. I don't just want to celebrate His birthday but I want to celebrate my intimate relationship with Him. Over the next 22 days, I want to grow closer to Him than I have ever been in my life. I desire to celebrate the and worship in a more real and intimate way than ever before. Join me - everyday for the next 22 days - for one hour each day to pray, study, and meditate on Jesus - our Lord and Savior. If you will join me in this, I believe you will have a more real Christmas than ever before!

Monday, December 1, 2008

25 Days and Counting... (posted by Charlotte)

25 days and counting, and I'm not talking about Christmas. In 25 days (December 26), we will be officially employed with the International Mission Board. It has been a long process, and our lives have changed drastically since this time last year, and soon our lives will be changing again, as we go to Richmond for FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) which will begin on January 26th. There we will be living with many other families on somewhat of a compound. We will be sharing our lives for 8 weeks with others who have felt God's call to missions. We will bond with these individuals and families over this time, and then after 8 weeks we will all go to the corner of the world God has called us to, and we will literally have friends all over the world! We have already bonded with many of these people as we have met at Candidate Conference in Richmond which we attended for a week this past July, and we met others during our Appointment Week in Houston just a few weeks ago.

During this process, we have met so many wonderful people. Just yesterday, we shared with the congregation of Robinsonville Baptist Church in Atmore, AL. These people welcomed us warmly and assured us they will be praying for us. It is great to meet so many people who believe in what we are doing, and to know they truly are praying for us. And in doing so, they are going with us on the mission field.

I met a neat lady today at John Robert's school. Her name is Angie Tate, and she is the Office Manager at White House Heritage High School where John Robert has been attending these last few weeks while we have been living in White House, TN. I shared with her that we would only be here a short time, as we were preparing to go on the mission field to Costa Rica. She then shared with me how her small church is mission minded, gives to Lottie Moon, and does many mission projects. Again, God is reminding me that He places people just where He wants them, and He uses them right where they are. We just have to be willing!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Greetings from Whataburger!

In case you don't know, Whataburger has great hamburgers and french fries, plus they have free WiFi. We are writing this from the Whataburger in Pensacola, FL. We drove down here from Brewton to go to take the kids to see a movie. We thought we were going to a family Christmas movie, called "Four Christmases". As the movie began, we quickly discovered it wasn't appropriate for Charlotte and me - much less the children. In the beginning, we told ourselves, "It will get better." After about 20 minutes, we realized we had a choice to make. We could stay and expose our children to language and subject matter that they didn't need to see, or we could walk out and lose $36.00. We left, and I ran into the manager in the lobby. I told him that we went to a movie that was inappropriate for our family. He then gave us free tickets to come back later this afternoon to see the movie "Bolt 3D" Here is a picture of us with our cool 3D glasses on.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

We have been very busy over the last few days, and have not had a chance to post on the blog. We left White House, TN on Tuesday morning headed for Brewton, Alabama to spend Thanksgiving with Charlotte's parents. Tuesday night we spoke at Charlotte's home church - Catawba Springs Baptist Church. We shared the process of how God has called us to Costa Rica and some of the work we will be doing there. It was a great time to see people Charlotte has known all of her life, and some that remember her sharing as a 10 year old girl that God had called her to be a missionary.

After arriving back at Charlotte's parents home after speaking at the church, we were about to get in bed and I stepped on a needle. It broke off into my big toe, and the thread which was still in the eye of the needle was hanging out of my toe. It was 11:15 pm, and the needle was not coming out on its own. Charlotte and I notified her mother of what was going on so she could keep watch over the sleeping children, and we headed to the Emergency Room of D.W. McMillan Hospital in Brewton.

It was a slow night in the E.R. so I received attention quickly. The doctor turned out to be a very nice young doctor whose family is from Pakistan. I had an opportunity to share about what I'll be doing in Costa Rica. He was very interested, and even gave me a bag of medical supplies to take with me to use when medical teams come in.

They x-rayed my toe to see exactly where the needle was, and then the doctor numbed it and cut into my skin to get the needle out. He put a couple of stitches in, bandaged me up, and we arrived back at my in-laws at 1:00 am. Tuesday was a very crazy day!

Yesterday (Wednesday), we had our own family version of "Extreme Makeover." We got all the kids involved and redid the guest suite at Charlotte's parents home. We went to the brand new Walmart Supercenter in Brewton and purchased new comforters, curtains, pictures, and other supplies to give the guest suite an update! We couldn't believe the change, and thankfully Charlotte's parents liked it, too!

Today, we are gearing up for a great Thanksgiving. We will be having the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But more than that, we are reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for. God has truly blessed us. We have sold many of our personal belongings, but He is teaching us that that is not where the true blessings lie. Our true blessings lie in knowing Christ as our Saviour and knowing that our eternity is settled. This time next year will be very different for us. We will be in Costa Rica in language school. They do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Costa Rica so for them Thanksgiving is just another day. Yet, we will still take time to reflect on our blessings.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prayer for a Friend

I'd like to get everyone to pray for a good friend of mine - Sammy Clary. He is a pastor/church planter in South Carolina. God has been using him as he started Stonebridge Church just over a year ago. Sammy is probably one of the most creative, exciting people I've ever been around. God has given him gifts and abilities which blow my mind.

Starting a new church is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done. I just feel God placing Sammy on my heart to pray for him as he continues in the work at Stonebridge Church. Pray that God will give him wisdom, endurance, and encouragement. Also, pray for Sammy's family - Melissa (his wife) and Isaac (his son) as they go through the challenges of church planting.

Check out Sammy's blog - the link is on the right side of the screen. Also, check out the webiste at

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Are you a missionary?" (Posted by Charlotte)

Yesterday, I took Christian and Preston to the dentist. They needed to have a cleaning since we will not have dental insurance for a year after going on the field. When I entered the room where Christian had had her teeth cleaned, the hygienist asked me, "Are you a missionary?" The question took me somewhat by surprise, because I still don't feel like a missionary. Inside my head there was a conversation going on - inward voice #1 said, "No, you're going on the field next year; inward voice #2 said, "Yes you are - you were appointed last week." To my surprise, I heard myself say, "Yes, I am." I then had an opportunity to share a little of what we are doing and how God has brought us to this point. It's still a little overwhelming, and I certainly feel so inadequate. Plus, it still seems a long way away since we do not go to FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) until January.

Thankfully, the kids did not have any cavities. The dentist was a Christian and had been to Nicaragua on a mission trip. The dentist even told me he could help me get fluoride tablets if I need them. (In Costa Rica the water doesn't have fluoride in it). Everyone in the office was very nice, and the ones I met were all Christians.

Today, I had to take John Robert to the doctor. He has been sick for the past two days. Again, it was a great experience. The practice is called "Crossroads Medical Group" and their symbol is a cross. It has been great to experience Christians out in the world being a witness for Him - just like we are all called to do!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why I don't take pictures

For years I have said that I don't take pictures because it is better to remember it in your mind. Over the years I have found that I embellish a lot of my memories. That's ok - but I have started to feel guilty about not taking more pictures of special events and the kids. Take the IMB appointment service - I hold tight to that memory at the same time I will embellish the memory over the years. In 20 years, I will be sharing about the time that I spoke at the Texas Southern Baptist State Convention at First Church Houston. I won't remember the 103 other missionaries that shared and that we were only allowed to share 60 words. In my mind I I will remember that I was the keynote speaker.
As I get ready to go to Costa Rica, my plan is to take more pictures for the purpose of sharing what we are doing. But don't get upset if my story is different than the picture!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Community Thanksgiving Service

Today we attended Temple Baptist Church in White House, Tennessee. White House is located about 20 miles north of Nashville and about 35 miles south of Bowling Green, KY. It is just off of I65. Temple is a growing church that seems to be seeking God as a church body. This was the first week that Cavin hasn't preached since leaving The Church on the Circle. I think it was somewhat of a difficult day for him because he truly loves to preach and proclaim God's word. There have only been three Sundays that he has not preached all year.

Tonight Temple hosted the community Thanksgiving service for 10 churches. The church was filled to capacity which was a wonderful sight. They had to bring extra chairs in to seat everyone. Several pastors spoke. An African American pastor spoke early in the service and did an outstanding job. I wanted him to keep going, but he was only given 7 minutes. The main speaker was the mayor of the town, and that was a disappointment. He did not seem to have a deep relationship with the Lord, and mainly spoke about how "lucky" he had been all his life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sagemont Baptist Church - Houston, TX

Yesterday was another great day! We had a wonderful time with the people from Sagemont Baptist Church in Houston. We were picked up from the hotel by Randy and Nancy Alexander who were our hosts for the day. They are a great couple who truly love the Lord and were very hospitable to us. We had lunch at Texas Land and Cattle Company with some of the other newly appointed missionaries along with the hosts from Sagemont. It was an enjoyable time getting to know them, and seeing that they truly have a heart for missions.

Last night Sagemont had a Missions Celebration in which we participated. The format was similar to the Appointment Service, but they gave us a little longer to speak since there were not as many of us. It was great sharing with them, and being blessed to be a part of the service. I hope the church was able to see that there is nothing super spiritual about any of us. We have all had challenges and struggles and even times when we ran from God's calling on our lives. Yet, here we are - and I pray that God will use each of us for His glory.

Sagemont is a very unique church. The church was started in the 60's and has steadily grown over the past 40 years. The founding pastor is still the pastor. They say, "he's the best pastor the church has ever had!" The church has always been committed to being debt free, and never pass an offering plate. In spite of not passing an offering plate, the church is a very giving church. They have a sweet spirit which is obvious by spending time with the staff and lay members.

We were up very early this morning - 4:30 am - and left the hotel at 5:00 am. Our flight was at 7:30 am this morning. We were back in Nashville at 9:20 am, and I was eating lunch at school with Christian at 11:45 am for her Thanksgiving meal. Isn't air travel amazing!?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More thoughts about last night

We greatly appreciate all the people who were able to come to the service. We had our children, all of our parents, my brother Blake, Bud and Nancy Zebahazy who come from Lilburn, Georgia, Don and Amy Asdel and their children who live in the Houston area, Fonceil and David Blake - Cavin's aunt and uncle (Fonceil works for the IMB in Richmond), Greg and Lenny Glenn - Lenny is a cousin of mine who lives in the Houston area, Kenny and Lesley Vines and their new baby - they are currently in the appointment process.

Our parents and children left early this morning for a long day of riding in the car. Cavin's parents have our children and will be driving to Nashville which will be about 14 or 15 hours. My parents and brother are driving to Brewton, AL and have about a 9 hour drive. We are still here for another day. Cavin and I, along with some other missionaries, will be going to a Missions Celebration tonight at Sagemont Baptist Church here in Houston We will fly our early in the morning and will arrive in Nashville in time to go to lunch at Christian's school for her Thanksgiving lunch.

As we were practicing our testibyte yesterday, it was a little humorous to me. My first line was "God called an awkward 10 year old girl to GO TELL." Cavin's first line was "God called a crazy, teenage boy to GO TELL." As the kids heard us, Christian and John Robert said, "Are you going to say anything about Preston?" You see, they thought we were describing them. I said, "We're not talking about y'all!" I thought it was funny at first because they think everything is about them. But as I thought about it a little more, I realized that they truly feel called to what we are doing. The descriptions DO describe them. God spoke to me when I was a 10 year old girl - and now we are taking our own 10-year-old girl to the mission field. God spoke to Cavin as a teenager - and now we are taking our own teenage boy to the mission field.

They may be fussing and fighting in the car right now with their grandparents... But we've got GREAT kids!! I stand amazed!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We are officially "missionaries"!

It is 12:03 am and I am still dressed in my black suit which I wore to the appointment service at Houston's First Baptist. Tonight was one of those times when we are just on a spiritual high of what God is doing in our lives. It will be one of those times we will need to look back on when we get discouraged or are less than excited. I know those days will come.

Anyway, each couple and single gave a "testibyte" to share a little about what God did in our lives to get us to this point. Each couple could say 60 words, and each single could say 40 words. It was a pretty big task to say what we wanted to say with such a few words. But it was amazing how each couple/single captured in such a few carefully chosen words what God wanted them to share with the congregation.

This is what we said:

Charlotte: "God called an awkward 10-year-old-girl to GO TELL."

Cavin: "God called a crazy teenage boy from South Alabama to GO TELL."

Charlotte: God brought that couple together. While serving at a multi-ethnic church in Marietta, Georgia, God confirmed that calling to GO TELL."

Cavin: "We're that couple. We're Cavin and Charlotte. We will GO TELL the story of Jesus to the people of Costa Rica."

That's our story in a very small nutshell, but God has done so much more in our lives to bring us to this point. The Lottie Moon slogan for this year is "Go Tell." That's why we incorporated that into our testibyte.

The service was very powerful. There was a huge choir that sang, flags from many nations were brought in, everyone shared their testibytes, and Dr. Rankin (President of the International Mission Board) preached.

I am very proud of our children. They are excited and ready to serve God on the mission field!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Having a great time in Houston!

These last few days have been packed full. They are definitely keeping us busy while we are here in Houston.

Sunday we went to Houston's First Baptist Church. The service was very uplifting. Travis Cottrell was a special guest in the service. He sang and led the music. He sings with Beth Moore a lot at her conferences. In fact, we all had lunch with Beth Moore after the service. She is a member at First Baptist. Cavin and I were sitting just two tables away from Beth and Travis. She led a special prayer for all the new missionaries after the meal.

While at First Baptist, all of the appointees were asked to speak to various Sunday School classes. Cavin and I spoke in a single mom's class. They were very sweet and seemed to enjoy having us in their class! They asked if they could pray for us, and of course we said, "Yes!" We definitely need everyone's prayers.

This week we have been very busy going to meetings to prepare us for going on the mission field. We have also had a chance to get to know so many wonderful people. Our families and close friends arrived today. They drove many hours to get here, and that really means a lot to us.

The big night for us is tomorrow night for the Appointment Service. There are 105 people who will be appointed as missionaries to serve all over the world. This is the second largest group to be appointed at one time in the history of the International Mission Board. That's very exciting for all of us.

We are getting ready to ride busses to First Baptist for a rehearsal of tomorrow night's service.

Please pray for us tomorrow. It's a very BIG day for us!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We have arrived in Houston for Appointment Week!!

Hello! This is Charlotte writing! Cavin is finally letting me have a chance to write a few words!

We left Nashville yesterday at 12:15 pm and arrived in Houston at 2:10. We met up with several other appointees at the airport and rode together to the hotel where we are staying - The Hyatt Regency - which is in downtown Houston. We had met some of the appointees in Richmond in July, but some of the others were at Candidate Conference in August so this was our first time meeting them.

Everyone is coming in at different times. I think everyone should be in today. We are looking forward to reconnecting with friends we have met before, and also getting to know some new friends! It's great to hear how God has called each person and couple in unique ways, and how each has a passion for reaching people for Christ.

This morning we are up early because we have a training session at 8:30 am, which will last until 2:30. We are going to be pretty busy while we are here. They have a lot of meetings and training sessions that we have to go to. Tomorrow we are going to First Baptist Houston. We will be sharing in Sunday School classes. At this point, we haven't received our class assignments where we will be speaking.

The big night for us is Tuesday night (Nov. 11). This is the Appointment Service and will be held at First Baptist Houston. This will be a momentous occasion for us. We are excited that our parents, kids, my brother, and some other close friends are going to be here to be a part of it. They will be arriving on Monday. Cavin's aunt and uncle David and Fonceil Blake will be arriving today. His aunt actually works at the Board in Richmond and goes to all the Appointment Services. We are looking forward to seeing them. Cavin talked with a good friend of his from high school yesterday - Don Asdel. He lives here in Houston and he will be attending the Appointment Service. It will be great to see him.

We will try to write on the blog when we can this week, but may have limited internet access.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mission Trip in Review

God has given me a vision for the Tico people of Costa Rica. I believe that God has called the Cawthon family to go and make disciples in Costa Rica. There are many great churches in Costa Rica, but I believe as the IMB works with Tico pastors and existing churches in starting new churches then a great revival will take place in Costa Rica.

We have much to do before we are on the field seeing new churches started. First we are to be appointed by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The appointment service will be November 11, 2008 in Houston, TX at First Baptist Church Houston. We will be leaving for Houston this Friday. We will be there just less than a week. Many missionaries told me to cherish the appointment service because it will be something that we will look back on as a reminder of our call. Be sure that I will update the blog on the events during appointment week.

The next big step is to go to Field Personnel Orientation in Richmond, VA. We will arrive in Richmond at the end of January. The orientation will last about 3 months. The point of the orientation is to help us put behind the dependence on US culture. Missionaries have told me that we will learn things at orientation that we will use every day on the mission field.

After orientation will be going to Costa Rica more than likely the first of April. We will be going to language school for 1 year. During this time will be in deep study of the Spanish language. I am concerned more about going to school for a year than anything else. Please start praying that we will do well in school and learn Spanish as quickly as God would have us.

April 2010 will be the time frame of us starting to work with the Tico people and doing the job that God has called us to do. Don’t get me wrong - the work before this point is of God and important, but it is a long period of time before we get things going in country.

Seeing Costa Rica has given me a great understanding of the country, team members and work that is ahead of us. The country is beautiful and the people are so friendly. The culture is different than the US but you can see a lot of the US creeping into Costa Rica. Within two blocks of the house that we will be living in are Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and McDonalds. At the same time there are a great number of people without hope of the life that Jesus gives. Please pray, as we get ready for this great time of adjustment.

The team that we will be working with is a great group of God called people. They are from what I have seen a close group that are willing to help and encourage each other to see the work of the kingdom of God done. I look forward to working with each of them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday in Costa Rica

Today I preached at San Pedro Christian Fellowship. The church is an international church that is in English. They are without a pastor and need someone to fill the pulpit. The congregation is made up of people from all over the world that speak English as their first language. The leader of the church is Mark Bloomfield who is from Jamaica. He has lived in Costa Rica for 30 years. He is a retired Professor. Now he owns a Pizza place. The church is like many churches in the US.

Mark Bloomfield took us to his restaurant for Pizza. I am in Costa Rica reading a Spanish menu ordering pizza from a man that is from Jamaica. Is God not awesome?

Today is the last day in Costa Rica. I really miss my family and wish we could go ahead and move down here and start our work. I must wait on the LORD.

Charlotte is in Marietta staying with Beth Brantley. She went this afternoon to see Paul and Marcelle McConnell. They are members at Olive Springs that mean a lot to us. They are doing well and Mr. Paul celebrated his 90th birthday. Happy Birthday Mr. Paul! Yes, Marcelle, I will put more picture of the family on the blog.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Over the River and Through the Rain Forrest!

What a great day. We went into the rain forrest to meet some people that had started a church. The church is three years old and still going. The couple in the picture are a part of the church but have moved. They both accepted Christ three years ago and are going in their relationship with Christ. The man has cancer and three years ago was at the point of death but is doing better now. He gives God the glory for his health. He now has two jobs and his wife is able to stay home and work.

We got to see the rain forrest today. It is so amazing. The other picture is the mission team in front of a small water fall. When we left the jungle, the drive back lasted about 4 hours. Normally it last 1.5 hours. I am so tied of riding.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Talking to Pastors

The assignment for today was to go on the edge of the rain forest and meet with different pastors. We got to meet and hear some amazing testimonies about what God is doing. God is using these TICO pastors to see their communities won for Christ. We saw three pastors and each one of them have an amazing testimony of what God is doing supernaturally.

We also met with a couple that have sold everything in the US and moved to Costa Rica to share Christ. They are not sponsored and they are just living on their savings.

I talked to Charlotte tonight and she said that Preston has gone trick or treating three times this week. I am sure I will be able to con him out of some of his candy. For you all that think this is bad, its not. I am trying to keep him from being a glutton.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Church Search

Today the mission team went out into a large suburb of San Jose called Heredia. We were trying to find different Baptist churches and map them with GPS coordinates. We found a church called Primera Iglesia Bautista. The pastor is Jose Antonio Solis. He is a man of great insight and vision.

We also found three other churches. At one of the other churches, we came across an Independent Baptist Mission Team from West Virginia. It was amazing to see people that were from the states so far in the deep of the urban city that only has Costa Ricans.

Tonight we went to a meeting with all of the missionaries in Costa Rica. We had a great time of worship and prayer with the Costa Rican team. We are blessed as Southern Baptists to have the missionaries that we have working in Costa Rica. I am amazed at the stories that they shared about being on the field here in Costa Rica. They are HEROES.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Great Day in Costa Rica

Today, we went and met a pastor and his family. His name is Oscar Brenes. Their whole family is awesome. Oscar and his family are church planters outside of San Jose. He is starting a church in a Catholic village. They are being persecuted by their neighbors. People line up on the street when the girls go to school and curse them as they walk. People throw rocks at the family when they are in the town. God is doing great and mighty things through their work. They have started three churches in the area. Each church runs about 35 people. On Sunday Oscar and the family were returning home after the last service and were going by the Catholic church when their car began to smoke. At the same time, the Catholic church was having a party that turned out to be an orgy with Homosexual and Heterosexual people having sex in the middle of the street. When they saw that the car had Oscar and his family in it, the people tried to pour alcohol on the car and set it on fire. They got the car started and drove off before they could set it on fire.
Oscar was very upset when he told us the story. We all gathered around him and the family and prayed for them. It was a very powerful time of lifting another Christian up to the Lord. I felt very inadequate praying and counseling a person that is going through something that I can not even imagine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Possible House In Costa Rica

Where we are staying

front of possible house.

Day 2 in Costa Rica

Charlotte wanted me to make sure everyone knows the people on the trip with us. Gerry Davis is from First Baptist Church in Enterprise. Jeff Fields is from Hillcrest Baptist Church in Enterprise. Josh Keely is from County Line Baptist Church in Hiram, GA.

Today is day 2 of the 7-day mission trip. The biggest part of the day we went through training on the strategy and focus of the work in Costa Rica. The leaders of “Operation GO”, Mark and Kathy Kemper, spoke to us about place the Gospel of John in every home in Costa Rica. Mark and Kathy are true missionaries that are sharing the gospel with everyone they come in contact with. or .

I also got to see my possible new home here in Costa Rica. It needs to be renovated but I believe that it is a nice house. The next entries will be pics of the house, language school and where we are staying at now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Supper with the Duvalls

Tonight Gerry, Jeff, Josh, and I went to Steve, Debbie, and Hannah Duvall's home for supper. Steve is the strategy coordinator for the country of Costa Rica. Debbie prepared a wonderful supper. She is such a great host and made all of us feel welcomed. Hannah is in 5th grade, the same grade as Christian. I think they will be good friends.
Also at supper was a missionary named David Brown. David is part of the masters program with the IMB. He is from Michigan. We had a great time getting to know him.
We went to a grocery store that had all the American brands that you can find at any store in Enterprise, AL. They were higher than we pay but its nice to know when you need an Oreo you can get it.
The apartment that we are staying at is very nice. We have internet and cable. What more does a person need? We also have 3 bathrooms which will come in handy with four men.


We have made it to Costa Rica. We have internet service. More later tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting Ready

Today I am spending the day getting ready to preach the homecoming service at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Enterprise, AL. I am very excited about getting to share with people I know and love. I left Mount Pleasant in 2002, but I am still close to many of the members. The greatest thing about getting to go back to Mount Pleasant is getting to see the people, which will be the last time before we leave to go to Costa Rica.
Steve Bruce the pastor of the Mount Pleasant has been a friend for a very long time. Steve is just getting back from a mission trip to Moldova. God is really using Steve in a great way. He goes twice a year on mission trips to Moldova. They worked with pastors, in an orphanage and doing evangelistic work. I believe that God is using Steve to share an international perspective to the church.
Sunday afternoon I will meet up with Gerry Davis and Jeff Fields for our trip to Costa Rica. I am really looking forward to this trip. I believe that God will use it to help me to begin to have a more real vision for the work we will be doing in Costa Rica. Our flight is Monday Morning out of Atlanta. Be in prayer. I will have my computer so that I can blog while I am gone. I will also be posting pictures.
Charlotte and I have a neat opportunity tonight. We will be doing a “shop” at the Sheraton in Nashville. It is a five star hotel in which we have to order room service, use all the amenities and eat in their restaurant. This job of Charlotte’s is a rough one, but someone has to do it. If you do not understand what a “shop” is I will attempt to explain it. We are contracted to go to restaurants, stores, and hotels to critique the service and other attributes of the business. We are reimbursed the money for the shop and paid a small fee for the report. It is fun and we get to do some things that we would not normally be able to do. It does not pay a lot, but it is helping make ends meet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Great Day

We had a great day at Temple Baptist Church in White House, TN. The people of Temple are such good and caring people. I preached from Genesis 3 about playing "Hide and Seek." The pastor of Temple is a wonderful pastor and I can see why my parents love him and his family. We also went to church tonight and joined in on a study about prayer. It is nice to have a time of study with your dad, brother and with other Christian men.
I will be in Enterprise next Sunday at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What a WEEK!

Many things have happened since my last blog. My last Sunday at the Church on the Circle was last week. It was a very sad time as we said good-bye to all of our friends at the church. I know that God has great things ahead for everyone. We all must continue to seek God and be true to His will. Everyone at the Church has been, and will continue to be, a true blessing to Charlotte and me. Parrish and Holly had the church over to their house for a farewell lunch. We had a great time of fellowship.

Last Sunday night we had a great time at the ordination service for Slade Stinson at First Baptist Church of New Brockton. I believe that God is going to use Slade in a great and mighty way. I am so excited about what God is doing in Slade's life. I had the honor of preaching the ordination service. I went back to my old style of preaching. I had to - I was wearing a suit and a tie!

Last Saturday my lap-top crashed. No, I did not back up my files. All the work that I have done for the past 10 years is gone. On the positive side, I was able to get it fixed at the Apple store in Nashville. Apple took the MacBook, put a new hard drive in it and fixed the case all for free. I am a true believer in MAC. If you don't have a MAC you need to get one. It will change your life.

We have moved to Nashville to live with my parents until the end of the year. The kids will be able to go to school for nine weeks and they will get to see my parents before the big move. I have somewhere to preach until January allmost every Sunday. God is so good. We did not have a lot to move but it was one of our hardest moves. We loaded a U-haul trailor and the Expedition down. We could not fit another thing in either one of them. Wednesday was the day we drove up to Nashville. We unloaded on Thursday.

In Janaury we will move to Brewton, AL to spend time with Charlotte's parents. God has blessed Charlotte and me with good parents that are helping us during this time of transition. I believe that this time between Church on the Circle and the time we will go to Richmond for orientation will be a hard time of limbo. Pray for us as we are going through this time of adjustments.

It seems that our lives have been turned upside down. This is only the beginning. We will be going through much more change. I believe that God is using friends to help us get through it. On Thrusday Tommy and Robin Johnson came to Nashville to see Brent, their son, perform with his band "The Springs". We were able to spend about an hour and half with them. Today, Craig Lewis also from Enterprise, came to visit. We had dinner with him at my parents' home. It was a fun time.

I should be back into a regular rotinue of posting. Sorry for the time off. Pray for me tomorrow as I preach at Temple Baptist Church in White House, TN. I will be wearing a suit and a tie!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Have Been Cleared!!!!

I have recieved notice today that I have been medically cleared. We are on our way to Costa Rica as Career Missionaries. Our next big event is the appointment service in Houston on November 11. We will be in Houston November 7-12. This will truly be an exciting time. Thanks to everyone for praying.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Prayer time for trip to Costa Rica

This morning I met with Gerry Davis and Jeff Fields. We had a prayer time for our trip to Costa Rica. We will be leaving in 18 days for a 7 day trip. I know this trip will be a great one because of what God is doing in our lives before we even leave. I also can't wait to see where Charlotte, the kids and I will be living and the work that we will be doing in San Jose, Costa Rica.

This Sunday evening I have the honor of being a part of the ordination of a good friend of mine, Slade Stinson. Slade will be ordained at First Baptist Church New Brockton. I will be presiding over the ordination council and preaching the ordination sermon. Slade and I have know each other since we were in first grade. He has always been a good friend. The ordination council will be at 4:00 pm and the service will be at 6:00 pm. I believe the service will be a time of revival because of what God has done in Slade's life. I want to encourage everyone to come and be at this very special service.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Last night we went out to eat with some friends that I have known all my life. We had a great time at McLin's in Daleville, AL. The food was so good. The friends that we met were: Roy and Judy Byrd, Scott and Sue Byrd, and their daughter Anna Beth, Mrs Mildred Hall, Andy and Karen Maxwell and their daughter Lydia. All of these people have had such a major part in my life. It was fun and sad at the same time as we had fellowship. It was fun seeing each other, and sad because we won't get to see each other for a long time. One thing I do know, they will be with us in Costa Rica because of their prayers for us.

Today Charlotte and I went and saw Dr. Andy Maxwell at his office for an eye exam. Charlotte is getting old. She needs reading glasses. She is 40! Andy took such great care of us. If you live in south Alabama and need your eyes checked - go and see Dr. Andy Maxwell at Denney Vision in Dothan, AL.

We also ran into Roger Stone at LifeWay bookstore. Roger is the pastor at First Baptist Church Pinckard, AL. We had a nice time talking with him about what God is doing in our lives. He invited us to speak at his church on December 7th in the evening service.

Enterprise has had another tornado. It went through the middle of town hitting the civic center, town hall and Wal Mart. No one was hurt, but their is a lot of damage. The damage is nothing like the last tornado. The schools released the kids at 2:00. Four of the school were without power. The tornado went about 3 blocks behind John Robert's school. They were without power, but had no damage. You can imaging that there are many people who are shaken up over it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Shack

Many people have asked me about the book "Shack" This video by Mark Driscoll is the best point of view that I have seen about the book.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Park Ave Baptist Church

Last night I had a great time speaking at Park Ave Baptist Church in Enterprise, AL.  Park Ave is the church that I accepted Christ and was baptized.  The people of this church have had such an important part of my life and ministry through out the years.  It was such a special time that I will remember forever.
I shared about my family's calling into international missions.  At the end of the service they all gathered around my family and prayed for us.  Park Ave agreed to be our prayer partners while we are on the field.  This means so much to me as we face the challenges ahead.  
I also want to express my gratefulness to Leon Adams the pastor at Park Ave.  He is a great man with a heart for missions.  Leon also serves the North American Mission Board as a chaplain to the Coffee County Sheriffs Department.  

Friday, October 3, 2008

All the test are done? - I Think!

As of today I have been cleared by the Cardiologist, Gastroenterologist, and the Hematologist.  Now all I have is to be cleared by the International Mission Board Doctors.  Since my last blog I have had my small bowel x-rayed and met with the Hematologist.  The x-ray is clear with no problems.  The Hematologist said  the day that I went that I was not anemic, but he did see there was a problem from the other reports.  He told me that he believed that the consumption of tea was hindering the absorption of iron into my body. He told me to stop drinking tea and wine and I should not have any more problems with low iron.  He cleared me.  Pray that I will be cleared by the IMB within the next week.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Test Results

The doctor could not find anything wrong.  I have one more test tomorrow and then on Thursday I see a hematologist.  The hard part is behind me (no pun intended.)  I have pictures but Charlotte would not let me post them.

Test Day

Today is the day that I have my colonoscopy and enscope.  I have been fasting since Sunday night, and yes I am hungry. On the good side, I have lost about 8 pounds. I wish there had been a different way.  I will be having the procedure around lunch time.   Pray that the doctor will not find anything wrong.  
This past weekend was a great time.  Friday night the October mission team to Costa Rica met at Gerry Davis' home.  We had a great time of learning about the prayer needs of Costa Rica.  The prayer time was led by our wives.  We are so blessed to have wives that are so real with their love for Christ.  Even though they are not going with us on this trip, they are preparing the way for us through their dependance on prayer.  
John Robert's team played Troy last night in football, and Enterprise won 6-0.  John Robert started at tight end - yes, tight end!  He did a great job and made a key block for Enterprise to score the touchdown.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vision Trip Meeting

Gerry Davis , Jeff Fields, and I met with our families last night to prepare for our Vision Trip to Costa Rica.  We had a great time of fellowship and food.  The prayer time was a great start for us in preparing spiritually for the trip.  I believe that this trip will be an amazing time that will change our lives.  We also had a good time learning about Costa Rica and the work that God is doing.  Please continue to pray for the coming Vision trip in October.  We will leave October 27 and return November 3.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Major Prayer Need and Prayer Answered

Yesterday, I got a call form the doctor's office at the International Mission Board.  They are not satisfied with my information that I have turned in about my low iron in my blood.  They have asked that I do a series of test to find out what the problem is.  The big issue is that we have to have all the test done by October 10th.  I have to go to two different specialist to do the test.  If we do not get cleared by October 10th, then we will not be appointed in Houston.  Please pray for this situation to be resolved and that there is nothing wrong with me so that we can make it to the appointment service in Houston on November 11th.  
Preston has asked Jesus to forgive him of his sins and has made Jesus his Lord and Savior. Preston is not just my son, but now he is also my brother in Christ.  Praise God!  I will get to baptize Preston tomorrow morning.  If that is not cool enough, I will be baptizing Preston in the same baptistry that I was baptized in.  God is so cool!  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Email -

I have a new email address.
Charlotte and I are making plans to close out our email address. The new account will make it easier for use to use and check all over the world. Please make changes to our contact information.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Made It!

I made it through the yard sale.  We woke up this morning at 6:30 got dressed as fast as we could and opened the garage door.  There were about 10 people waiting for us.  While we got our stuff out people were going through it.  We did real well getting rid of stuff.  We did much better than I ever dreamed we would.  Charlotte found a way to get out of it for a couple of hours.  She took Preston to a "Birthday Party" for about an hour and half.  I got rid of a lot while she was gone.  The best deal of the day - Box full of Barbies for $7.  Charlotte was gone.  I made the deal.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One More for the Trip

Jeff Fields and I have been planning to take a trip to Costa Rica for about a month.  We are excited and looking forward to the opportunity to go.  I ran into Gerry Davis a long time friend that is the Director of Outreach at First Baptist Church in Enterprise.  God had put him on my heart several weeks ago about going on the trip.  When I saw him on Sunday at lunch I asked if he would like to go to Costa Rica in October.  He called me back on Tuesday to tell me that he could go.  I got his airline ticket right after I got off the phone.  The ticket was $10 less then the tickets I had bought earlier.  
I worked for Gerry back in High School, College and when Charlotte and I first got married.  He and I have spent many hours together.  I am really looking forward to this time with him.  One of my favorite memories of Gerry was when work was overwhelming and we showed up to work early on a Friday morning.  He came out with his surfboard and said, "Lets go to the beach!"  So we loaded up and went to Panama City Beach for the day.  We entered a beach volleyball tournament and finished 2nd to last, but it was fun.  
This Saturday I am going to have to do something that I hate with every fiber of my body.  We are having a YARD SALE.  I am not looking forward to this at all.  We started getting things together today.  If you like a good deal on junk come on out.  People call me crazy! I am crazy for the deals I will be making on Saturday morning!

Monday, September 8, 2008

We have been endorsed by the IMB Trustees!

Tonight, we found out that we have been endorsed by the International Mission Board Trustees to be missionaries to Costa Rica.  This is a major milestone on our journey to Costa Rica.  They told us to stay close to our phone in case they had any questions to be answered for the Trustees.  John Robert had a football game at the same time.  I went to the game with the phone in my pocket and my hand on the phone, so when it rang I could answer it.  At the start of half time the music was real loud.  Charlotte leaned over and said, "I hope they don't call right now." Before she could get "now" out of her mouth the phone rang.  It was Bob Dilks with the good news.  I ran to a far corner of the stadium and answered the call.  Bob's last words to me was, "See you at the Appointment service in Houston."

John Robert did win the game 32-0. GO CATS!  

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One of my oldest friends, Sammy Clary, is doing a sermon series for the next month.  He is going live on the internet for 24/7.  Uncensored pastor is the title.  You get to see everything, the good and the bad. Go to this site and see for your self:  Sammy is the pastor of StoneBridge Church in South Carolina.  The website is on the side of this page.  The church is one year old and God is doing amazing work.

The Fish Were Bitin'

Yesterday, we went to Brewton and celebrated Charlotte's father's 77th birthday.  Part of the celebration was fishing at the pond. Here are some pictures of the kids fishing.  We caught 12 fish.  We took them to a family that lives down the road from the pond and they enjoyed them for supper.  
We found out Friday that we will be voted on by the trustees of the IMB on Monday night.  They will be voting on us around 6:30 pm.   Please be in prayer for us to be approved. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crazy Couple of Days

On Monday afternoon the family and I did training for our work and life in Costa Rica.  I made all of us take a long walk.  I told the kids to get off the Xbox 360 and put on tennis shoes.  I told them we were going to walk to Smooochies for ice cream.  Smooochies is about 2.5 miles away from our home.  So all 5 of us started out on the adventure.  Everyone did really good.  John Robert was not sure if he would look geeky walking with his family.  It is kind of funny -  we ran into a couple of his friends.  After we saw the first one, I asked him if he was embarrassed.  He said, "a little bit".  But he did not complain or try to hide.  As we were walking I got to see people I knew and It gave me opportunity to share about our calling and God working in our lives.  
Tuesday morning I went out to my car and found that someone had broken in and stolen my GPS system.  I don't think that they stole anything else.  We found out that four other cars around us were broken in.  I believe that God allowed this to happen to prepare us for what might be in store for us in Costa Rica.  
Plans are starting to come together for my trip to Costa Rica in October.   Jeff Fields and I are very excited about going on this trip.   

Monday, September 1, 2008

Resting on Labor Day

The Family and I are staying around the house and resting today for Labor Day.  The big thing we are doing is watching the coverage of the Gustav.  I do not understand why so many people moved back to the bowl of New Orleans.  I really don't understand why the Seminary did not move 10 years ago to Atlanta, much less after Katrina.  
The weather here in Enterprise is not bad.  It is just overcast and windy.  
We had a good day at church. The worship service was good and small groups went great.  All the home groups met at the Dalrymple's home.  It was a good time of Bible study and fellowship. Thanks to Parrish and Holly for hosting the fellowship and the having the hamburgers for us.  
Reed and Jenny are back from their honeymoon in Dominic Republic.  They had a great time and had good weather most of the week.  Reed said that the worst it got was overcast for the first three days.  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Riding in the Car

Today, The Family went to Crestview, FL to take my cousin and her husband some of our furniture that we are getting rid of.  The ride there and back were some of the hardest riding that I have ever had.  It was not because of the SUV or the rough roads.  It was the kids driving me crazy.  It seemed that all three were taking turns fighting over the most stupid stuff.  Over the next couple of months we are going to be doing a lot of riding.  I hope I don't kill anyone!
We are really trying to get rid of everything.  We are not going to ship anything.  We are going to start over when we get there.  Charlotte is planning a couple of yard sales over the next couple of months.  I hope after the first one we have sold everything.  Even if I have to sleep on the floor for a couple of months it would be better than doing more yard sales.  

Friday, August 29, 2008

Trip to Costa Rica - October 27 - November 3

I have my plane tickets to go to Costa Rica October 27 - November 3.  Jeff Fields of Hillcrest Baptist Church and I are going to Costa Rica to do a vision mission trip.  I get to see what I will be doing in Costa Rica and Jeff will be seeking out God's leadership for Hillcrest to have some sort of partnership with the work there.  I can't wait for the trip!!!

Two Weeks and Counting

We have two weeks until we hear if the trustees of the IMB will approve us to serve as missionaries in Costa Rica.    We have not received medical clearance yet.  I hope we will hear something in the next couple of days.  Charlotte and I both had to do blood work and turn in the results.  We have not heard back from them.  We have to have medical clearance by Sept 5 (next friday!)  
Last weekend we were at my brother, Reed's wedding.  We had a blast.  The wedding was the best wedding that I have ever attended.  The reason that it was so good was not the ceremony, nor the union of a man and woman in love.  It was the food.  The food was the best food I have ever had at a wedding.  I get emotional just thinking about it.  Fried shrimp, fried chicken, roast, and chocolate brittle,  OH MY!!!
Reed and Jenny are in the Dominican Republic for their honeymoon.  The problem is they are in the middle of hurricane Gustav.  

Monday, August 11, 2008

Update on Heart

Today, I went to the Heart Doctor.  He looked at all of the results from me wearing a heart monitor for the last 2 weeks and he did another ekg and could not find anything wrong with my heart.  He has completely released me and said there is nothing wrong.  He said that I was in perfect health and even commented on my muscular body (Well he did say I was in perfect health.)  
My thought and question is this.  If the first ekg said that I had problems, but all the other test from that point on said I am fine, then was the first test wrong or did God do a miracle and heal me?  I must give God the glory!!!
Costa Rica is getting closer and closer.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

School Starts

Tomorrow will be the start of another school year.  The kids are soooooo excited about going (not!)  I am not looking forward to waking up the kids in the morning.  John Robert slept till 11:00 am this morning if you can call it that.  I know in the morning is going to be a hard and painful thing.  
Tonight we are kicking off the Wednesday night KIDS program.  The problem is we found out all the elementary schools are having open house at the same time we are starting the kids program. The school system made their decision a week after we had set our kick-off.  One of the many challenges of a church in today's society.    

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tommy Johnson for City Councilman

This morning I got the opportunity to help a good friend named Tommy Johnson with his re-election for City Councilman.  I went door to door handing out flyers telling about Tommy's qualifications.  I go door to door a lot but only for The Church on the Circle - or should I say for Jesus.  I was amazed how people were more open to talking to me about campaining than for sharing information about the church.  I believe this is an insight for our society and how there is a wall that comes up when you share anything that has to do with Jesus.   I enjoyed talking with the people but now I am downhearted after coming to this realization.  
Vote for Tommy Johnson for City Councilman District 2 - Enterprise - August 26

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Old Ticker

I am wearing a heart monitor right now. The Cardiologist asked me to wear it for 21 days.  He said that my heart is fine and that he has cleared me to go to Costa Rica.  Now the medical review board will have to make the final decision.  I hope we will know something in the next couple of weeks.  
We will still be going before the IMB Trustees on Sept. 9.  PRAY!!!
I have been amazed at the different people that we have met that have worked or are connected with the Mission work in Costa Rica.  Yesterday, my father met some people that are going to work in Costa Rica for a week with the missionaries.  God is really showing Himself in all of the connections that we are making.  
The kids start school next week.  Please be in prayer for them as they get ready. 
Pray for the Church on the Circle this week.  We are going to have many families out because this is the last weekend before school starts.  

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cawthons are going Costa Rica

This is the first blog of the Cawthons' journey to Costa Rica.  We are going to be serving the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  We have gone through Candidate Conference in Richmond Virginia.  We have been asked to continue with the process of becoming Missionaries for the International Mission Board.  Our next major hurdle is September 9 when we  go before the Trustees of the IMB to be approved to go to the appointment service in Houston TX on November 11.