Tom and Laura Clifton, serving as missionaries with FamilyLife, a ministry of Cru.

On our blog you can read the latest conference quotes, find out about new things happening within FamilyLife, keep updated with our family, find links to helpful sites, and also find out how to join our support team.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Redmond Weekend to Remember

May 4th-6th, 2012

Received Christ: 4
       Filled with the Holy Spirit: 43
  Rededicate Family: 61
Top 10 Comments:
·        We were sleeping in separate bedrooms before this weekend for about 5 months.  We were trying to keep it peaceful at home for the kids.  Both of us are Christians but just couldn’t seem to get it together but this weekend really spoke to us and hearing the transparent stories from the speakers showed us there is hope.  Our room had one bed so we had to sleep together, when we go home we will be moving our bedrooms back together.  We have committed to fight for our marriage. – wife married 9 years

·        We are newly married and my new husband has a past, which left him with a previous past of religion and a damaged father figure from his childhood which carries over to our new relationship.  This weekend has given him new skills to release some of that damage from his father and to become a husband  empowered to love God, find God again and to carry this love to his wife. – wife married 1 year

·        Gave us the foundation to start building our legacy.  Helped us realize how important the work we put into our marriage now will be for establishing healthy relationships for generations to come.  – Wife married less than one year

·        I came withdrawn, unhappy because we have been down this road before.  But at the end of the first night my heart softened.  I no longer wanted to be surviving in isolation.  I wanted living in oneness.  Weekend gave me the tools I need to get there.   Wife Married 18 years

·        I was becoming very detached and “numb” to my relationship with my husband.  This weekend I was able to realize the danger of my decision and how unhealthy this was to our marriage.  I was also encouraged to remember all of his qualities and strengths. – Wife married 9 years

·        This experience helped us truly focus on our marriage.  It gave us the opportunity to be more open and honest about issues within our relationship.  We received personal prayer from the  volunteer staff and leave feeling supported, encouraged and hopeful for our marriage.  – Wife married 5 years

·        Five months ago we realized we had problems and decided to work on them.  Since then we have gotten on the right path.  This event has been like an oil change to keep the vehicle of marriage rolling. – Husband married 5 years

·        Dan and I already underwent an intense marriage rewiring.  It was general in the same content, but THIS weekend really gave us specific tools and was so organized.  I look forward to going through my notes…for years to come! – Wife married 5 years

·        I just wanted to say thank you.  I know this Weekend to remember saved my marriage.  Friday I was ready to say that’s it.  Today I will do whatever it takes to save it.  So again thank you.  Wife married 9 years

·        The most significant change is that my husband and I have started up (again) our praying together.  I longed for it because God has really touched us through these prayers before.  So, having this started again is amazing.  Wife married 3 years

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pasco Weekend to Remember

Comments from the Pasco Weekend to Remember®

April 20-22 2012

Attendance 200

Decisions for Christ 27

Asked to be filled by the Holy Spirit 58

Recommitted their life and family to Christ 42

Wow!  Another incredible Weekend to Remember...200 people in attendance and 27 people prayed to receive Christ!  Not only that, we got a glimpse of God's redeeming work in the hearts and lives of the people that attended.  Check out the following life change stories! 

I feel this provided an insight into my marriage I didn’t know existed! This has truly changed my heart!!  After 15 years of marriage, I finally know what love for my wife really is!  Thanks be to God! Husband, married 15 years (husband of wife on following comment)

This Getaway was so important for my marriage.  We have recommitted ourselves to working on our marriage with God at the center. (wife of husband on preceding comment)

Allowing us to talk more about issues that get swept under the rug.  It’s so much easier to talk when we don’t have toddlers interrupting us every 30 seconds. Wife, married 5 years

It’s a great start—let’s let the work begin.  Husband, married 17 years

I wish we had attended many years ago.  We have been married 41 years and we now realize we have done many things wrong in our relationship.  I don’t really know how we stayed together—except through God’s grace.  But this weekend is indeed life-changing for me.

Wife, married 41 years

We did not know what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised by the teaching and practical tools to help with our marriage and parenting.  This seminar has had a rejuvenating effect on my heart.  It was like a Gatorade after running a marathon.  Husband, married 20 years

Instead of focusing on surviving our marriage, we now have the tools to succeed in our marriage. Husband, married 12 years

Came here not expecting to learn anything new—not really wanting to be here.  But God spoke to the core of my being.  Husband, married 29 years

We have been separated for over 2 months.  We have been working on our relationship, but this weekend has changed our relationship forever.  It cleared up misconceptions and helped us heal our wounds.  We are definitely on the right track now. Husband, married 19 years

Before the conference I definitely felt lonely and isolation set in as we were slowly drifting apart.  But now after the conference I feel so much closer to God and my husband.  We have re-connected in a way that touches my heart, brings tears to my eyes and makes us both want to honor God through our oneness and unity as we commit to him and to our marriage. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts J.  Wife, married 9 years

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bellevue Weekend to Remember Comments

This past weekend we had the privilege to serve at the Weekend to Remember Event.  What a blessing to see how God used the weekend to transform lives and families for His glory.  Here is just a snapshot of what happened...

Prayed to Receive Christ:    3 + 3
Prayed to be Filled with the Holy Spirit:   23
Prayed to Rededicate Marriage and Family to Christ:   34

Top 10 Comments:

We were at a crossroads where to go from here – fight to make it work or walk away.  After the weekend we realized how incredible what we have is.  We have neglected the second greatest gift God ever gave us.  Thank you! – Wife Married 7 years.

This conference was the most meaningful and life-changing marriage event I have ever attended!  I did not want it to end. – Husband Married 7 years

Even though we have only been married two months this getaway has completely changed our marriage and our understanding of marriage. – Husband married 2 months

We came back from our date night, did the last project, and began talking about some stuff that had been avoided for far too long.  The journey/conversation n lasted nearly all night and was somewhat of a roller coaster.  The end result is we’re in a much better place with a lot more clarity. – Wife Married 3 years

It has broken through so many walls.  We each realized how poorly we were treating the other.  We have so far to go but we have hope.  Wife married 30 years

It gave me permission to love my husband in a way that I hadn’t.  I always put the kids first and now I know that it’s healthy and okay to put him first.  Wife married 3 years

This is our second weekend in seven years and it’s just as new, fresh and powerful now as it was the first time we attended.  It has encouraged us to be open and vulnerable with each other which can only increase our love for each other.  Wife married 25 years

After 33 years of marriage, a physician’s schedule, six kids we home school and “life” we really had lost our oneness and have forgotten to “mirror” God’s image in the relational ways.  God has revealed how on the brink we were, sobered us and caused us to fall at His feel again.  Wife married 33 years

Before coming I was constantly thinking negative and destructive thoughts.  I was not even sure we could make it.  Now I have realized God can change my attitude and am excited that our marriage is forever! – Wife Married 1 year

I had just filed for a legal separation and my Husband told me he wanted to go and just made the payment and told me the date.  I am so glad he stepped up and did this.  These are things that every couple needs to hear.  This is really a major turning point in our 29 year relationship married 21 years on April 20th started dating 10 years before. – Wife married 29 years

Friday, March 9, 2012

Our Prayer Letter From February...

February 1, 2012
"QUICK! GRAB THE B-B-Q SAUCE!" I said to Caleb who had accidentally let it slip from his hands. Unfortunately it had landed on the floor vent with the cap off and b-b-q sauce was quickly spilling from the opened container.

The vent on the floor is perfectly situated for keeping us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Many times little feet can be found standing on it to warm up during the cold, winter months.  It does however, have a major drawback. Being so close to the kitchen table the vent also collects a lot of crumbs. Tiny pieces of scraps that fall during a meal, or that are inadvertently swept in the wrong direction by a careless child are quickly gathered into its depths.

After Caleb grabbed the bottle off the vent I took off the cover to wash it. What I found underneath the vent cover was disgusting! Crumbs, dust, debris had been slowly building up over time unnoticed. (Yes, it has been cleaned out several times before!) But then I began to wonder...how much of my life is like that vent?

Daily I go about my tasks letting little things slip in unnoticed...an angry thought, a disappointment, a frustration with a situation. Rather than taking it to the Lord, the crumbs fall into the hidden places of my heart and are forgotten.

Over time, my life may appear fine on the outside, but the inside is another story. The crumbs don't just sit there innocently. They cause the diseases of the heart to grow, to multiply. And those little crumbs don't just stay put. They come out in other ways...a harsh word, a lack of peace, discontentment, a critical spirit.

Just like the vent cover needed to be removed and the insides vacuumed out, so my heart also needs to be cleansed through confession of my sin and the work of the Holy Spirit.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."  Psalm 139:23-24

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from any unrighteousness."  1 John 1:9

How thankful I am for God's forgiveness and grace. Now, if I'd only remember to have Him check the "vent cover" of my heart a little more frequently!

Weekend to Remember
This Spring you can attend any Weekend to Remember Event for 50% off the registration cost by using the group code "TheCliftons".
Feel free to give this code to anyone else to save on their registration as well!

Prayer and Praise                                                                                                          
*We are so thankful for the way God used you to help raise up support in our staff account during the month of December!   We still need more partners to join our team and raise $1500 in monthly support, but for now we are over the scary part!

*In August Courtney will be joining the JesusFilm Project for a mission trip to Burundi Africa.  She will be part of a team going to remote villages and showing the JesusFilm.  We are so excited for this opportunity for her to take part in sharing the gospel to groups of people that have never heard!  Pray for all the details of her journey.  She needs to raise $4000 for her journey.  (If you are interested in helping support Courtney on this mission trip you can find out more on Laura's blog www.asnapshotofmotherhood.blogspot.com, or you can make out a check to Campus Crusade for Christ and write Jesus Film mission trip on the memo line and send it to our address.)

*Josiah, our 11 year old, believes that God is calling him to be a missionary.  When he heard about the mission trip to Guatemala from our church he jumped at the chance to go.  The trip is June 12-21 and has a medical focus, but Josiah will be working with the children.  He has such a heart for people to know the Lord we are excited for his desire to go.  Laura will go with him on this journey.  Would you pray for God to raise up the money for this trip?  They each need about $1800 for this trip.    (If you want to support this mission trip, make the check out to First Presbyterian Church and send it to our home address.)

*Spring is the beginning of the next Weekend to Remember Event season.  Pray for hearts and lives to be transformed as people hear and apply the truth of God's Word to their lives and families.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Josiah's calling

Josiah recently attended the World Vision 30 Hour Famine at our church.  He felt God calling him to be a missionary and this is his story...

During the 30 hour famine I learned how God can use just a little to do a lot, and how very little people in different parts of Africa and other countries have.  Often time in American we get caught up in all our own stuff and never take time to listen to God.  However, when we take time to listen we can hear God and listen to what He's calling us to do and to be obedient to follow.

So, as I was saying, when I did the famine at church I felt God touch my heart and felt him opening up my heart to listen to what He had to say.  I heard Him calling me to be a missionary and to open the Word of God to other countries. 

When I got home and then went to church on Sunday I saw the Guatemala mission trip in the bulletin and I thought, "This must not be a coincidence."  So later I asked my mom if I could go to the meeting.  She told me to ask her later so I did.
On Tuesday I asked and we both went and learned more about the mission trip.  We learned that we needed to raise $1800.  So now I would kindly ask if you would like to donate to help us be able to help those in Guatemala who need spiritual and physical help?  We would be grateful.



The mission trip to Guatemala is one led by The Webers from our church.  We will be going as part of a team.  The focus is medical, building, and going to the Palencia school.  Josiah's focus would be working with the children during the time that the adults are in the medical clinics.  The trip is in June

If you are interested in joining Josiah as a partner in the mission trip, you can write a check to First Presbyterian Church and send it to our home address.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On the Way to Africa

31 January 2012

Happy New Year! I can hardly believe that Christmas has already past and I’ve already started my second quarter at college. Last quarter, I became involved with Campus Christian Fellowship and joined a few clubs.  I also felt the Lord’s calling to apply for a Jesus Film mission trip to Burundi, Africa. Ever since the Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) US Staff Conference, I’ve had this incomprehensible urge to go to Africa, so I took one of Jesus Film trip brochures. Although finances were tight and I was uncertain of my future, I was convinced that God wanted me to apply.

About a month later, during Thanksgiving break, I received my acceptance email. I am going to Africa. Every time I say those words, this giant rush of joy and excitement runs through me.  I have no doubt that God has wanted me to go all along, and I am exited to see him working through me and the rest of my team in Burundi.

Burundi is a small African country surrounded by Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My team and I will travel to several rural villages there and put on showings of the Jesus Film in the native languages. Burundi has three official languages—French, Rundi, and Swahili—plus countless other dialects. I’m currently learning a bit of French, but we will have translators to help us communicate with the people. Some of the people we will reach will never have heard the gospel before, and I get to share that with them!

As excited as I am about Burundi, I cannot go alone. This trip will cost about $4000, more than I have in my bank account. I hope that you will pray about supporting me both spiritually and financially. A gift of $50, $100, $300—or however much you feel led to give—would help tremendously on my journey. Although you might not be able to go to Burundi personally, helping to send me there will transform lives.  

If you choose to send a check, please make it out to Cru and send it to my dorm address.

Thanks so much!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Growing in Thankfulness

Thankfulness is something that takes time and discipline.  After reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp I was encouraged to begin my own list of things that I am thankful for. 

However, as a mom, I wanted to cultivate this discipline in my children too...so this year we are writing in our journals to reach 1000 Gifts by the end of 2012.  Three gifts a day...three things to give thanks for and by the end of 2012 we will reach one thousand!  

If you would like to see more check it out at A Snap Shot of Motherhood.  Have a blessed day! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

True Greatness

Did you make a New Year's Resolution?  This year I haven't made a resolution, but I have changed my focus on what I am doing with my children.  As a mom, I want my children to succeed, to be their very best.  However, have I been challenged to think about raising my children for True Greatness and not success alone.  Want to hear more?  You can read more about it on A Snap Shot of Motherhood.  The title is A New Year, A New Perspective

Blessings to you in 2012!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Prayer and a New Commitment

One thing I have posted about recently on A Snap Shot of Motherhood is prayer.  It is one thing that is so important, and yet to me, it is one of my biggest struggles...especially praying intentionally for my children.

I have resolved this year to be intentional, to let God do His work in the lives of my children, rather than thinking a little better parenting will do the trick.  A great book that I am using to consistently pray for my children is While They are Sleeping  I have two blog posts about this book and the way I am using it this year.  Will you join with me in praying faithfully this year? 

Check out the posts A Confession and Kindness and leave a comment if you'd like to commit to prayer this year too! 

An Opportunity for Moms

MomLife Today is hosting a retreat for moms called MomLife Bootcamp.  How would you like a chance to Win a free registration too?  Check out the link and leave a comment on the MomLife site for a chance to win.   MomLife Bootcamp

An Unwelcome Visitor

We had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas as a family.  It was such a blessing to have Courtney home with us.  However, on Christmas morning we did have an unwelcome visitor that you can read about The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Christmas Breakfast on the A Snap Shot of Motherhood (Laura's other blog).

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