And the winner is ...

Lauren - congratulations on winning this beautiful wristlet clutch!!!!!!!!

If you will contact me as soon as possible, I'll get you in touch with the shop owner :)

T O   E V E R Y O N E   E L S E  :

Stay tuned for a VBS recap post + a Friday night fellowship postAnd 

In HIS grace, Alisha


Rhey's surprise party

This past Saturday, my parents and I threw Rhey a surprise party in honor of her 14th birthday!  We all had a fantastic time of fellowship!  Nooow ... here are the pictures from the party :)

Rhey loves bright & cheery colors, so mom thought that the tie-die decorations would be perfect!!

Rhey loved the flowers I bought her :D

The guest of honor has arrived ;)

Most of the adults talkin'
L-R: Mr. B, Larry, Mrs. B, Mr. L, Mrs. L

Most of the kiddos - Rhey is MIA lol
L-R: Matt, Sarah, D.J, Beth

Mom getting instruction from Mrs. B in how to make garden mint tea
L-R: Mom, Mrs. L, Mrs. B

These three could affectionately be referred to the Three Musketeers ;)
L-R: Sarah, Rhey, D.J

Mom & Dad got her a Bible
L-R: Matt, Sarah, Rhey, D.J

Rhey loves chocolate - can't you tell by her face??? ;)

"Now I didn't know what to get you, but I figured you'd like what I decided to give you" - D.J
L-R: Matt, Sarah, Rhey, D.J

D.J painted Rhey a scenic picture - she loves it :D
L-R: Sarah & Rhey

Matt, Sarah, & Beth got Rhey plants - Rhey loves plants (so of course she loves her new additions)!
L-R: Rhey & D.J

So folks, that wraps up this post!!!!!!
Have you ever thrown somebody a surprise party??

In HIS grace, Alisha


Practicing hospitality

Mom loves being hospitable – and this summer, God has given her plenty of opportunities to open our home up.

For two weeks in July we hosted a grand total of three missionaries – one steady (Kevin), two temporary (Pastor Gabriel and Arvin) – from the Philippines.

We all had such a good time of fellowship, making a joyful shout to our Lord (there was lots of music those two weeks), and eating Filipino food (Kevin, Arvin, and Mom were the chefs).

 So without further rambling here are some pictures from the two weeks :)

When the guys arrived, the four of us played an intense game of Super Scrabble :)
 L – R : Pastor Gabriel, Kevin, Rhey

Pastor Gabriel and Kevin were able to join us when we sang at the local nursing home
 L – R: Pastor Gabriel, Kevin, Pastor Fred, Rhey, Miss Reba

We treated Pastor Gabriel and Kevin to Sonic :)
L – R : Kevin, Pastor Gabriel, Mom, Daddy, Rhey
yeeeah I don't know these craaazzy people haha

L – R : Me, Kevin, Rhey, Pastor Gabriel
there we go, now those three are back to normal haha

We all went hiking at Crab Tree Falls
 L – R: Kevin, Rhey, Me, Pastor Gabriel

Yeeeeah the three of us are goofballs haha
L - R : Kevin, Rhey, Me
sorry for the poor picture quality :P

Well folks, that is it for now (due to the fact that I don't have anyother pictures available right now)!

Stay tuned for the next post - "Welcome to Team Jesus" (oooooooooh yeeeeeaah!)

In HIS grace, Alisha


I need YOUR photos!

At nine years old, the Lord called my parents into the mission field – and that mission field was foster care. For 11 years now, orphans have a special place in my heart – a place I didn't know existed! Sadly our family is no longer doing foster care, due to changing seasons of life! However, that doesn't change the fact that I want to help out fatherless children – in some shape, way, or form.

Which leads me to the point of this post!

Do you remember the photography contest announcement that I made??

I would love to use the winning photos in a 2016 calendar – and all proceeds from selling the calendars will be going to Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman's ministry Show Hope!

The ending date will be October 7th, 2015 – I want to have the calendars done and ready to be sold by December 1st (they will make perfect Christmas gifts!).

What is Show Hope??

Here is the bio from the website:

“ Show Hope is a movement to care for orphans, restoring the hope of a family to orphans in distress around the world. Founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth, this nonprofit organization is helping to make a difference for the millions of orphans and waiting children around the world. Primarily they do this through Adoption Aid financial grants that help give orphans families and Special Care Centers in China that help orphans with special needs. Through programs like their Advocates, Student Initiatives, and Sponsorship, they are truly mobilizing a movement of individuals and communities who show hope to children in need. When the Chapman’s adopted their daughter Shaohannah Hope in 2000 from China, they desperately wanted to do something about the millions of waiting children who still needed loving families. In February 2003, they started the organization Shaohannah’s Hope, now called Show Hope, as an official 501c3. Show Hope’s mission is to engage the church to care for orphans and reduce the barriers to adoption. Since its inception, Show Hope has helped provide forever homes through Adoption Aid grants for more than 5,000 orphans from 53+ countries, including the U.S. In addition, more than 2,000 orphans with special needs have received critically needed medical care through Show Hope’s Special Care Centers.

With this photography contest, there will be 12 winning photos – and they will be judged according to :

- composition
- lighting
- individuality
- *does it tell a story?
*the story behind the photos should be mission mindedness

Each participant is only allowed to submit one photo!

If you wish to be a part of this exciting project or have any questions, please email me at:
pureprincess95 (AT ) gmail ( DOT ) com

In HIS grace, Alisha


Being Mission Minded << giveaway - Sweet Pea Totes wristlet clutch >>

I am so thankful that Mary agreed to do a giveaway for the blog party this year :)

The lucky winner will receive beautifully made wristlet clutch from Sweet Pea Totes!

So ... what are you waiting for???

Here's how to enter to win :

- comment telling how you minister to your siblings (1 entry)
- post about this giveaway on your blog and email me the link (2 entries)
- post this on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and email me the link (2 entries)
- share this on Google+ and email me the link (2 entries)
- sign my guestbook [ if you haven't already done so] (3 entries)
- follow my blog [ if you haven't already done so] (4 entries)
- follow Mary's shop  (4 entries)
- like Mary's shop (4 entries)
- purchase something from Sweet Pea Totes (20 entries)

The winner of this giveaway will be announced Thursday, August 13th, 2015!!


And the winner is ...

Toria - congratulations on winning this beautiful leather Bible!!!!!!!!

Being that I already have your address, I will try to get this out to you as soon as I possibly can :)

T O   E V E R Y O N E   E L S E  :

Stay tuned for a giveaway + a review!!

In HIS grace, Alisha

Are you married to God or the church?

In today's culture you have a diversity of people, and therefore have a diversity of beliefs on church attendance.
Some believe you shouldn't go to church at all
Some believe you should only go to church for the Christmas Eve and Easter services
Some believe you should only go to church on Sunday morning (excluding Sunday school)
Some believe you should only go to church on Sunday morning (including Sunday school)
Some believe you should only go to church for Sunday morning and Wednesday night
Some believe you should go to church for Sunday school + Sunday morning + Sunday night + Wednesday night + go soul winning every Thursday night + all the fellowships + bus ministry.

It baffles me that the last four are so different!  I mean, we all read the same Book and notice how the early church (in Acts) met for worship (which should be the way we do it today), but yet we bend the views to fit whatever we want to do.

Just the other day, a friend asked me what my view of church attendance is, and I thought that I would share it with you.

I believe that believers need to have a place where they can be encouraged + uplifted + worship together in one accord + be edified.  I believe that each individual believer is the church … and that the body of believers is the church – not the building … because the building won't stand forever.
I believe that you don't need to go to church for Sunday school + Sunday morning + Sunday night + Wednesday night + Soul Winning + bus ministry in order to truly love the Lord.
When Paul said “do not forsake the gathering of fellow believers” (see Hebrews 10:25) he was talking to the Hebrews.  They weren't going to church, because they were afraid of the persecution they would face.  It wasn't a matter of not going all the time, it was a matter of not going at all.
I truly believe that this one verse (which happens to be the only verse that talks about “church attendance”) is taken out of context!

Do I think it's wrong if a young couple wants to go to church every time the doors are open?  
No – unless it gets in the way of their relationship + is put before our Lord.

Do I think it's wrong if the same couple wants to go to church every time the doors are open once they have children? 
Yes – the church isn't called to rear up the children, the parents are.

But how can parents train up their children if they are always attending a church service?

After a while, the parents begin to wonder what went wrong.
“We raised our children up in church – why have they turned out this way?”
The parents were so consumed with church church church, that their children were thrown to the way side and left to fend for themselves.

How fair is that to the children?
It's because the parents have neglected their children that the children start to feel neglected + search for love elsewhere + feel depressed + leave the faith + rebel + try to kill themselves.

I truly think / believe that when children are involved, Sunday school + Sunday morning is plenty.
If the husband wants to be encouraged in his walk + get in the Bible more, then he needs to listen to sermons to and from work – and he also needs to start family devotions.  He doesn't need to make his family warm the pews every day of the week.

Most churches are so adamant on “family is the foundation of the church” - which is something I totally 100% agree with.  However, how can the family be strengthened, if the family is so consumed with church activities + church services etc.?

Are we married to God or the church?

I for one do not tend to be married to the church – but to my Lord!!  Which will you choose??

In HIS grace, Alisha


Coming soon!

Image from Pinterest

This new series will give you a fun / somewhat crazy glimpse into my life - a small-town girl gone farm girl.

Some things to expect are :

* farm life photography
* recipes
* tips on farm life
                       ... and much more!

So stay tuned :)

In HIS grace, Alisha


July goals + recap

Yeeeah so I haven't been keeping up with posting the goals + recaps like I used to, buuut I plan to start doing them again :)

Here were my July goals (recap is included)

*Blog more - so glad I can knock this off the list ;)

*Journal more - yeah this month I have not written in my journal AT. ALL :(

*Read Proverbs - Yeah I know I finish it every month, buuut hey - Proverbs is full of "hidden treasures"!!!

*Help in VBS - complete - served as the VBS photographer {pictures coming soon!}

*Take more pictures - I will try to post the pictures I've taken as soon as I can

*Write 1-2 letters a week. I actually got really behind in this ... totally forgot this one was even on the list ... I'm caught up now though lol :P

*Do some reading - I haven't read as much as I'd like, but I have read a couple books.

Hey, not bad - I knocked more off this list than my past list!!!

So now for my August goals :

* Plan an event

*Read two books

*Journal more

*Blog more

*Take more pictures

*Do a tutorial

What are some goals that you have for the month of August?

In HIS grace, Alisha


The Problem With Churchianity

I have had the hardest time in figuring out how to start this post, so I'm just going to begin with a warning:

The past three weeks have been p.r.e.t.t.y tough on my family me, so I really need to pour my heart out!

It all started four years ago … when we moved from Texas to Virginia.  You see, we had read that Virginia was a wonderful place to live!  It was beautiful … it had all four seasons … it had mountains … it wasn't too humid.  For our family – Virginia sounded fantabulous (don't get me wrong – I love it here in VA).  However, the one itty bitty detail on Virginia that wasn't mentioned was this:

“If you're a very conservative family whose mostly Anabaptist (with some Baptist and Charismatic sprinkled throughout) good luck finding a church!”

The past four years, my family and I have had the most difficult time in finding a church home – no joke!  When we think we've found “the one” we find out one of the following:

:: they don't mind women in leadership
:: we have to be in church every time the doors are open (otherwise we don't love God)
:: the Pastor isn't willing to agree to disagree and slyly asks us to leave the church
:: Daddy can't fulfill God's calling within the church because of something that happened in his past

The current church we're going to – is by no means perfect, but we call it home for now.  We love the people – they're genuine.  We're able to serve – however we are still limited.  The majority of the congregation is willing to agree to disagree – most of the time.

So why are you and your family having such a hard time finding a church?

Honestly … because we have a different perspective on church than what the majority of America has.  Because we can't find a church that has Anabaptist / Baptist / somewhat Charismatic beliefs.

You get one extreme or the other :
fully Anabaptist
fully Baptist
or … wait for it …
fully Charismatic

Just the other day, Daddy mentioned a word (that I didn't know existed) :

Churchianity.  What exactly is “Churchianity”?

Wiktionary.org defines “Churchianity” as follows:

“Any practices of Christianity that are viewed as placing a larger emphasis on the habits of church life or the institutional traditions of the church than on theology and spiritual teachings; The quality of being too church focused.”

As I continued reading, I found a quote from Charles Jenkins that I fell in love with:

“What is wrong with the world today is that we have too much Churchianity and too little Christianity.”

Churchianity is the problem with “church”!  People are so focused on what they can do for the church – that they put their family and God on the back-burner.  They make Churchianity their religion – their idol.

Don't get me wrong – I love serving in the church!  In fact this past week (July 13-17) I served as the VBS photographer (pictures coming soon).  But when it becomes my “life source” – then there's a major problem.  Serving shouldn't be my life source – Christ should!  I have to be careful not to let serving become my idol!
If my children tell me “the reason we've gone down this path, is because you've neglected your responsibility as a parent” – then I need to prioritize … am I going to continue serving the church or be the mother I need to be?
If I realize that I have a teenager who's struggling in her faith, but can't seem to find the time to talk to her – then maybe I'm spending too much time concerning myself with church.

Why is it we care so much about the traditions within the church, but we don't care about what the church is teaching our family's?

We've heard about a church that's splitting because they didn't want there to be a screen / projector.  Seriously??  Let's focus less on the traditions and focus more on important spiritual teachings (you know like modesty, purity, exhorting the younger men, teaching the younger women, etc).  Pastors today are so concerned about offending “their” congregation, that they avoid offensive topics – we attend a church with this exact problem.
Don't get me wrong, I love our pastor dearly – he's a wonderful man of God!  But when it comes to talking about modesty or preaching modesty … he would much rather pass the responsibility on to someone else.
We knew a pastor who wouldn't let a man go soul winning because the man wasn't a suit and tie.  Which if you think about it – when some people see a suit and tie they are automatically turned off (I've seen it happen)!  You need to meet people where they're at (using discernment) … you need to be genuine.  Do you seriously always wear a suit and tie (typically that's what you wear on Sunday)??  You don't need to be dressed to the nines – but you also need to be dressed in a way that speaks “hey I'm a follower of Jesus!”

Another problem with Churchianity is that in serving, churches limit themselves to their own denominations – Daddy calls this very problem “denominationalism” / denominational prejudice.
If we are all the body of Christ – and the believers are the church, then why do we say :

“Oh honey, we can't fellowship – we don't believe the same!”
“I can't help at that VBS – it's at a Methodist church … I'm Presbyterian!”
“I'm a missionary from the ________ and I'm looking for support!  I will only call Baptist churches to see if they will support me!”

If we are all the church, the body of Christ, and children of God – it shouldn't matter what church you go to or what denomination you decide to consider yourself apart of.  If your church preaches Jesus as the way to heaven, His mercy / love / grace, and that the law is our school master, then who cares who you fellowship with!  Who cares what VBS you help at!  Who cares what churches you call for support if you're a missionary!
On the day you stand before God, He isn't going to say :
“Great job!  You were supported by this many (pick any denomination) churches!  You helped in only (pick any denomination) VBS!  You only fellowshipped with (pick any denomination)!  You may enter into My Kingdom!”

Instead He'll judge you based on how you lived your life for Him!  Who you fellowship with / what churches support you / what VBS you serve in / what church you go to – all that won't matter (much like if you're a good person or not).  He's gonna judge you based on the Ten Commandments!

I know this post may make some people mad or better yet:
some people may think I'm a whack job who has gone off the deep end / who's mad at church – that's not the case.  I am by no means mad at church – I'm mad / fed up with Churchianity.

The only reason I posted this, was because I want others to know what I believe when it comes to serving in the church / denominationalism / Churchianity / etc.

I pray you all have a wonderful evening!

In HIS grace, Alisha