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.

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.

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