Magical Moments with My Beloved


Last night…just for a moment…I was 22 again!

As I was kissing my kids goodbye (who were headed back to our home in Stockton) and jumping in the shower before tackling my long “to do” list of errands for my upcoming retreat, I put in an old ’80’s CD of Deniece Williams and as the familiar songs began to play (My Soul Desire, His Eye is on the Sparrow, I Surrender All) I found myself transported back to a time in my life that I affectionately refer to as my “Season of Singleness”.

It was during this time that I developed a deep intimate relationship with my Jesus without the distractions of being in, or even looking for, a relationship with any other man. He was exclusively my beloved and I nurtured and cherished that relationship and intimacy with lots of communication and time spent together in beautiful chapels, long walks by the water, afternoons at the park, warm cozy mornings wrapped up in a blanket with coffee in hand and sharing my heart with Him. I also had many a “date night” with my Lord…getting dressed up and heading out to dinner with Him alone. It was magical!

Years later when I was married and then began having children those special moments became less and less as I invested in the important and wonderful relationships of being a wife and mother. And while I still have occasional magical moments with my beloved Lord (in church during worship, sunrise service and midnight mass or the rare moment alone on a walk)…our relationship, while strong and healthy, often lacks the spark that happened in those years of singleness. (It appears 1 Corinthians 7 is correct – “One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how they may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how they may please their spouse and their interests are divided….singles can have undistracted devotion to God”)

But last night in an empty house l began to belt out “My Soul Desire” with my hands lifted high, dancing around the room with my beloved and felt that sweet whisper and nudge to drop the to do list, get dressed up and go out on a date with my Jesus! And that is exactly what I did…

…and it was <sigh>…. magical!

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The Ultimate Aim

Earlier this week, for 24 hours, I was completely alone….and I was practically perfect!

I mean really….I was polite, sweet, kind, loving to everyone I communicated with (at Starbucks, in the grocery store line, via texts home, emails and I even hand wrote a few loving letters)

And in addition I was never impatient, irritated, frustrated, tired, sarcastic or rude.

I felt so filled with the fruit of the spirit and well….so righteous and godly and even Christlike….

But then in a blink of an eye I wasn’t alone anymore as my family arrived a few at a time and before I knew it the lovely, godly me turned into the impatient, sarcastic, irritated, unkind, rude, ugly sinner that I can often be. And once again I was having to sacrifice and be unselfish – to cook, clean and watch littles when I would much rather be listening to inspirational sermons while basking in the sun on the beach deck drinking ice tea.

And today the conviction of that sin is as loud as the waves crashing down outside my window and I must repent…once again.

I have become more and more convinced with each decade I live that even in the midst of all the love, fulfillment and joy being married and having children has brought into my life, that the most important thing it has given me is a mirror into my sinful, selfish heart and all the ungodly character qualities that I need to continually lay down at the altar as I strive to be more like Christ.

What if the main purpose of our marriage and families is to make us holy….not happy? What if someone said to us when we were single…”Hey, guess what? When you get married and have kids you’ll have a front row seat to see your “sin on parade” every day plus a bonus: you will also get to suffer & sacrifice along the way even at the hands of those you love the most” (hmmm…that last part sounds a lot like what Jesus did)

Would we all just have said…”Oh good! I can’t wait…sign me up for marriage & kids!”? No…Most of us enter into marriage and parenting with the expectation that it will bring with it complete happiness, love and fulfillment. And while it may bring those things, wether in tiny bites or in large chunks….it is certainly not the whole deal. The reality is that marriage and children illuminates all of our sin and can at times cause us great suffering and sacrifice, which ultimately if we allow it…makes us holy and like Christ.

And isn’t that, for us who are believers…the ultimate aim?

holiness not happiness


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Everything Changes

February 29 – is our Leap Year Bonus Day!

Thanks to the Facebook app “On This Day”,  I get automatic reminders of what I posted each day in prior years.  Yesterday there were only 2 years to “look back” on (2008 & 2012) that include February 29th, as before that there was “slim to none”  social media in our lives.

My 2012 entry made me stop and pause….I was so clearly confident that one of the things that would be a “constant” never changing in our lives was our work and ministry at Jim Elliot Christian High School.

leap year

I wrote….

“since this will be her last “bonus day” with me here at the beach. (In 2016 she will be a 17 year old junior in high school and at home with Daddy on “bonus day”)”

It simply never crossed my mind that there was even the remotest possibility that Dan would not always work & minister at JECHS and that all my children would attend and graduate as an Elliot Eagle. I “knew” that we would be there until our “dying day” and that the last of our children would graduate in 2027. And yet a mere 17 months later from this confident post Dan was dismissed, Rebekah rejected and Grace a month away from beginning her freshman year, would never once be a student there.

This post on my Facebook has made me stop and think ….what things in my life do I consider absolute “givens”, unchangeable situations, rock solid relationships, jobs or financial securities or just things that will “always be this way”?

Even with so very many long term constants in my life:

  • 53 years as a daughter and little sister
  • 51 years as a big sister
  • 36 years committed to serving Jesus as Lord
  • 35 years living in Stockton, CA
  • 32 years at my current church
  • 31 years in ministry
  • 29 years married (to the same man)
  • 27 years as a Mom
  • 26 years living on Robinhood Dr in the same house
  • 17 years I was a Creative Memories consultant (ended in 2013)
  • 16 years with JECHS (ended in 2013)
  • 13 years renting the beach house (where I am currently writing from) every year for a “working” holiday and family time

I am starkly reminded today that EVERYTHING changes. You simply never know what is around the next corner or where you will be, what you will be doing and who you will be with on your “Bonus Day” in 2020! So….for those things in life you cherish and hope never change…savor the moment, appreciate the good, love and enjoy the people in your life today and….
…..if you are in a season of life struggling with how things are now (not having the job you want, relationship you desire, security you need or peace you hope for) hang on…EVERYTHING changes and your next “Bonus Day” may very well include all of those things and more!

Another thought to ponder this Leap year is just how many “Bonus Days” you have left in your lifetime.  If we all live to the average life expectancy (79 years is the current number), then we will likely have 20 “Bonus Days” in our lifetime. My baby girl just had her second “Bonus Day” and I enjoyed my….gulp….fourteenth.  Yes, that means if I live to be the average number of years I only have six “Bonus Days” left in my lifetime. That’ll get you motivated, focused on living purposeful and setting your priorities a right. I have decided by my next “Bonus Day” I will have written 4 books and I started towards that goal yesterday…February 29, 2016.

How many Bonus Days do you have left and what will you do with them?

PS – Instead of being home with Dad and sitting in class at JECHS as we thought she would be in 2012….here is how Grace spent her Bonus Day 2016 as a 17 year old home-schooled junior in high school…not too bad, right?


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Traditions Book…are you interested?

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For almost two decades people have asked us to please write a book about the traditions we have done; a manual that someone could pull out from year to year and quickly refer to as they are building their own family traditions. The problem has been that there is simply NO TIME between a life of beyond full time ministry for 30 years and raising our own plus size family, to take the uninterrupted time away from life to just write.

However we have an upcoming opportunity for Beth to spend up to two weeks AWAY within this next month (As it is impossible to stay on task at home between family responsibilities and the ministry.)…..just writing and working diligently on this time consuming project so that in 2016 the traditions book can become a reality. The only obstacle is the need for funds for that get away (lodging, fuel & meals)

If you are one of those people who have been waiting for that book (many who subscribe to this blog are friends from my Creative Memories days who were always asking for a book on traditions as well as inspiration!) , or you would love to see a traditions book become a reality you can make a donation towards that project here (no donation is too small!) –

Thank you in advance for your donation and we can promise you a signed (ohhhhhh me, oh my!) copy of the book when we get it published. (we will look for a publisher but will self publish if we cant find one).


PS – We would also love to come to your church, ministry or organization and do any one of these traditions conferences (your cost would be for our transportation, lodging, meals, cost of materials and other than that a love offering for the ministry)…just let us know!

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Two for the Price of One: Ministry Center & Ministry House – We want it!

Inspire Ministries wants something really big!

We began working full time with Inspire Ministries just over a year and a half ago. As part of the ministry we began having several events in our home to help inspire others to live a life of passion, purpose and praise.  These events included:

  • Titus Tea Time: a monthly sit down tea for moms to be refreshed, renewed inspire - Page 005and encouraged as they learned from mentor moms who came and shared with them
  • Passionate & Purposeful Parenting Workshops: Quarterly workshops to help parents raise godly children
  • Ministry House - Page 006Traditions Seminars: held three times a year to teach & inspire families to begin faith filled (and fun!) traditions as they raise their children
  • CASA Events: Several times a year we host informational events to promote the CASA program and how they can help foster children
  • Couples Coffee Club: a monthly Friday night “date night” for couples wanting to strengthen their marriages by learning Biblical concepts and connecting with other couples2014 Family Album - Page 033
  • Mom’s Night Out: A new quarterly event we were inspired to begin this summer to give single moms and their families a chance to be spoiled & pampered
  • Men’s Bible Study: a group of men getting together to study the word of God and grow in their faith

We are happy to report that these events have been successful in many ways and that several of them are “filled to the brim” with people!  God is using this ministry to profoundly impact lives not only through these events but also through multiple counseling and mentoring appointments; daily ministering to couples with marriages in crisis, young people looking for direction, discipleship and helping people break free from bondage. It truly is a life changing ministry!

BUT….here is the challenge! We do most all of these events in our home which means we continually have to move around our furniture (and sometimes put it outside) as well as “displacing” our kids while we host the events.

We do however want to keep the “home” feel of our events as we see a different atmosphere than if they were held in a church or community center (not too mention for some of the events …like the Tea Time… it would take too much energy, time and effort to lug supplies back and forth.)  We have often thought…

  • “Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we had a home we could use for all these ministry events?”

The answer is would be awesome!  Not only for the events but also for the multiple counseling sessions which we currently do at Starbucks, Peets, Boudin, Mimi’s or Panera’s. Overall, that is ok but just this month alone we have had requests for a “non public” meeting place from those needing counseling.  We usually resort to our home again…but with multiple kids running around it is often not very private. In fact tomorrow we are meeting with a couple who are struggling intensely with unforgiveness and pride and we want to do a foot washing with them…not exactly conducive at Starbucks.  There are many times to we need to really pray over someone which is uncomfortable to many in a public setting. And again we have often thought…

  • “Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we had a place where we could do counseling that was private as well as a more comfortable atmosphere than a sterile professional office?”

Again the answer is YES it would!

Through a very recent and providential turn of events….which we will someday share with everyone…we have found the perfect house to meet all these needs we have for Inspire Ministries.  It is in a perfect location on Ben Holt & Gettysburg – easy to find and with lots of parking including Lincoln Center right across the street.  It has…

  • a separate entrance for ministry events
  • large room for those events that could easily be reconfigured for teas, couples group, seminars & workshops
  • a “guest” bathroom easily accessible
  • a large storage area for tables, chairs, tea sets, coffee pots, drink containers and more (don’t even try to figure out how we currently store all that in our current home…just let me say there is not a corner of our home unused)
  • a kitchen that looks like it was made to cater large events (check out that refrigerator)
  • and multiple places to do private counseling.

We want it!

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But there’s more!

For many years now we have desired deeply to have a home – a ministry home – where we could house young people who have “aged out” of the foster system or single moms in crisis. We have committed a large part of our lives already to meganhousing people in these similar situations, but unfortunately they have had to sleep on our couches or pile in a room with many of our children as we helped them to grow, mature and teach them not only about the Lord but helping them navigate through this season of life until they can get up and out successfully on their own.  We have taught them everything from basic life skills – house cleaning, cooking, schedules, banking, budgeting, learning to drive, getting into 11060862_10154084539327662_4404830514176764473_ocollege, time management, interviewing for a job and more….to helping them learn to be a good parent, moral values, decision making, conflict resolution, goal setting, prayer, cultivating a relationship with God, attending church, tithing, giving and of course applying the Word of God in their lives. We have often thought…

  • ” Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we had a ministry house where we could have a safe place for these young people or single moms to not only live but to be purposefully taught all these things?”

And once again the answer is resoundingly…YES it would!

And believe it or not this very same house that would be perfect for Inspire Ministries events and counseling also would be the perfect ministry house!  The house wraps around the corner and has…

  • a separate entrance from the ministry door
  • the perfect location for these young people who usually have no transportation (the bus stop is literally outside the front door) with grocery stores across the street, multiple businesses for job opportunities and a great elementary school one block away and it is in a safe beautiful family friendly neighborhood
  • several bedrooms that could house a mom and up to two children or two single girls aged out of the foster system (we would not have a co-ed facility…but perhaps down the road we could have an additional home for young men)
  • a full bathroom to share
  • a family room for kids to play as well as having “family meetings” for the young people including Bible Studies, training times and mentoring
  • a dining room to share meals together (and of course that fabulous kitchen to prepare those meals)
  • and a master bedroom with bathroom to house an adult mentor mom or couple who would teach train, counsel as well as run both the ministry center & house (no we would not be moving our family into this house…it would defeat the purpose)

We envision a one to two year disciplined program for those that live here that would include a daily schedule & household responsibilities, a curfew, regular training & bible studies, church attendance and serving in the house through voluntarily working for the ministry events held there. This experience would be life changing and they would be well prepared to eventually move out and successfully live life in the community as a productive citizen, a good parent and possibly future spouse and above all a solid believer living out their faith daily. A program that would transform lives and provide practical hands on help, healing and hope for the future.

We want it so very desperately!

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Yes….two different and yet complimentary ministries in one house.  Two for the price of one.  That price is $399,000 for the house plus of course getting it furnished and raising the funds to pay the monthly expenses that come with owning a home (taxes, insurance,utilities) And even after that we would need to have a salary to pay the mentor mom or couple who would live here. (we know, we know…we are crazy to be talking about an additional salary when Dan still hasn’t received a salary from Inspire yet as we have only secured enough ministry partners this year to pay Beth as the Executive Director and for our monthly ministry expenses. But we walk by faith! And perhaps at times that is crazy)

So what will it take? The owners are new friends of ours and are moving to Tennessee as soon as they sell this house. (and until last week we had no idea they lived in this house) They dedicated this house to the Lord and they are committed to seeing it become our Ministry Center & House.  Their hearts lept within them when we shared our dream.  They want this to happen as much as we do.  In fact we are typing this in the kitchen at the house as they have already opened up the home for us to use as we need it! (and even just handed us a key to the house)

All we need is to purchase the house. This could happen in many ways and we are open to however the Lord wants to make it happen. Some ideas to consider (and maybe the Lord is causing your heart to leap within you right now because you want to be a part of this)

  • Someone could hand us $399,000 and say…go for it Inspire Ministries
  • Several someones could come together as a “team” believing in this idea and each donate $75,000 – $100,000 for us to purchase it
  • A dozen or more people could write a check for $33,000 each and make it happen
  • A couple dozen local churches could each contribute $15,000 as part of their mission to reach Stockton for Christ
  • Or how about 399 of you each donating $1,000  (or 798 donating $500 or 1,596 of you donating $250)
  • Someone could purchase the house and then lease it back to us for $1 a month rent (keeping it in their name but ultimately getting back their investment if they choose to sell it 10, 20 or 30 years down the road)
  • ___________________ give us your ideas (we are sure there are many many more)

We can’t wait to see how the Lord will use this post to inspire others to join us in this dream!  

We want it!  We really really want it!  

Do you want it for us?

Do you want it for the Lord?

Do you want it for Stockton?

Do you want it for all the people who will walk through these doors and be greatly impacted for life? (marriages & families healed, strengthened and living abundant lives, children in crisis cared for and ministered to, the homeless, hungry and hurting having needs met,  people of all ages and stages inspired to live a live of passion, purpose & praise)

We would love to hear from you about this ministry center & house…your thoughts, ideas and encouragement we welcome!  Obviously there is a time factor in all of this as the house is already on the market so please don’t “shelve this” or put in the “think about it later” category…we will need to move rather fast on this.  Email us  or text us 209-518-2653  or message us on facebook with your thoughts ideas & encouragement.  And please share this post with anyone and everyone you think might be interested.  Thank you.

If you would like to donate online towards this ministry house you can do this at our secure PayPal link –

Or send it directly via PayPal to

My current view from the kitchen table of this home...have faith! I believe my unbelief.

My current view from the kitchen table of this home…have faith! I believe Lord…help my unbelief.

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Marriage Blessings – 100 years!

image2Today – July 4,2015 – my siblings and I have reached an amazing milestone!  With the celebration of our youngest sister Cynthia and her husband Rob’s 17th anniversary today (yes, they married on the 4th of July…what a brilliant way to guarantee fireworks every year on your anniversary!)…the four of us Borden children have together achieved 100 years of faithful and committed “til death do us part” marriage!

The eldest sister Caroline has been married to her husband Mike for 30 years, Dan and I have been married for 28 years, our brother Cliff and his beautiful wife Lynda just celebrated their 25th anniversary this past week and Cynthia and Rob are on their way to Hawaii as I write this for their 17th anniversary!

30+28+25+17 = 100

Yes, between the four of us that is 100 years of marriage.  And honestly even just a few short years ago I wouldn’t have thought all that much about the mileage of marriage in our family.  But as we counsel more and more couples both prior to marriage, during a marriage crisis as well as those whose marriages didn’t make it and they are now trying to successfully navigate co-parenting, I am realizing how very rare lifelong marriages are becoming and how even fewer families have all of their parents and siblings marriages also intact.

So how has this happened? And can I in any way influence my own children to “go the distance” in their future marriages so that someday they can be celebrating 100 years of combined marriages as siblings?

Well to be honest with you, I am not sure…as much as my “make it happen” recovering control freak personality screams “Let’s do this”…  in reality I do not have much control over this at all for my children other than passing on the blessing of choosing a lifelong marriage for myself.   In many ways I believe that although the four of us did make good choices, we have also been the recipients of the blessing of lifelong marriage that has been passed down to us for generations!

momdad1The four of us Borden children were raised in a home and given the example of a lifelong marriage from our parents – Ed & Gloria Borden – who were married for 35 years until our fathers early death at 59 years old.  They both believed in marriage “til death do us part” and divorce or even separation were never mentioned in our home.  We knew that no matter what problems they went through that they would weather the storm together.  They never neglected their marriage relationship but nurtured it through regular date nights, attending church and worshipping as a family (this has much more staying power than most people realize), growing in their faith together, being a team in raising their children and running the household. They always communicated to us the importance of picking the “right” person to marry because outside of committing our lives to the Lord it was the single most important decision we would ever make.  It was also stressed to us that we needed to be “equally yoked” with a believer and that it would be wise to wait until after we earned our college degree to wed.

And we all did just that…took the decision to marry seriously, married believers and completed college prior to getting married.  And the most amazing thing (that none of us were likely thinking much about when we married) is that we all married spouses whose parents also had “til death do us part” marriages.  Mike’s parents have been married 61 years and counting, Dan’s parents 59 years and counting, Lynda’s parents were married 46 years until her mother went to be with the Lord and Rob’s parents 51 years before his father passed away.  When I realized this almost unbelievable feat I decided to take a look a little farther back and realized that almost all of us had both sets of grandparents who stayed committed to their marriage vows as well. (out of our 10 grandparent marriages only 1 was divorced)  At that moment I began to understand how much we had all been given of the blessing of lifelong marriage. While our personal choices do matter we all were divinely blessed, before we even married, by the choices and actions of our parents and grandparents!  Look at these impressive numbers!

image1 (1)

Mike & Caroline = 30 years

Parents Marriages = 96 years

Grandparents Marriages = 198 years

Total combined years of lifelong marriage commitment = 324 years

image2 (1)

Dan & Beth = 28 years

Parents Marriages = 94 years

Grandparents Marriages = 146 years

Total combined years of lifelong marriage commitment = 268 years

image2 (2)

Cliff & Lynda =25 years

Parents Marriages = 81 years

Grandparents Marriages = 188 years

Total combined years of lifelong marriage commitment = 294 years


Cynthia & Rob = 17 years

Parents Marriages = 86 years

Grandparents Marriages = 188 years

Total combined years of lifelong marriage commitment = 291 years

Wow! Wow! Wow!  That is a whole lot of years of marriage commitment.  How awesome that our combined 16 children (so far) will begin their married lives with that type of heritage and the blessing of lifelong marriage passed down to them from at least three generations.

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you!”  Deuteronomy 30:15-16

Our parents and grandparents choose lifelong marriage and because of that they were blessed and they created the firm foundation for their children, grandchildren and great children to be blessed!  Do not think for a minute that it has been easy or smooth sailing along the way…all of these couples including our marriages have experienced hardship, loss and struggle.  There have been times of sickness, disease, disability, the devastation of the death of a child, infertility, financial crisis, separation, deployments, anger, disagreements, displacement, job loss, career change, mid life crisis, rebellious wayward children and more.  But they and we have stuck it out…no matter what…and because of that we have received the multiple blessings of lifelong marriage.

 The blessings of a lifelong marriage are numerous…too numerous to count…but here are a few:

  • the blessing of companionship – having a person who is always there for you, a partner in every game and for every dance, a date for every event, a friend to share life’s greatest joys as well as disappointments, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, a warm cozy body to share your bed and someone to together bear the burden of the responsibilities and hardships of life
  • the blessing of shared memories – what a beautiful thing to walk with someone who remembers together all of your life’s greatest triumphs, happiest moments, beautiful vacations and trips as well as the overwhelming challenges and biggest losses. Someone who knew your parents or other loved ones before they died and who knows all the influential people in your life.  Photos that never have to be “cut out of” your child’s wedding slide show or your retirement party because you are no longer married to that person
  • the blessing of peaceful family get togethers – not having to worry about who to invite to what or who can sit next to who or potential volatile explosions between ex spouses (it must be exhausting!)
  • the blessing of solid security – knowing that your marriage is safe despite what is going on around you…this will always be there. Changing, evolving, growing…yes!  But stable, consistent and never ending.  This is a blessing for both the spouse and children
  • the blessing of fulfilling your vows to your spouse and to God – I believe keeping your vows is a pretty big thing to God and that He will honor that in ways we may not even see here on this earth
  • the blessing of obeying the Lord  – “You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:Your towns and your fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flockswill be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.” Deuteronomy 28:2-6
  • the blessing of looking back on a life well lived – we always encourage people to think about what they want to look back upon when they are at the end of their life.  What they want to see?  A strong faithful lifelong marriage or the devastation of divorce and all that it brings (no one has ever said “I’d like to be divorced”)
  • the blessing of giving your children, your nieces & nephews, your grandchildren and all those within your sphere of influence an example of a lifelong marriage to inspire and motivate them to do the same.

Yes, the blessings are clearly abundant…and sadly the curses of failed marriages are also abundant and painful.

❤ To my parents and grandparents I want to say THANK YOU for giving me the blessing, inspiration and example of lifelong marriage commitment

❤ To my children and nieces…do not take for granted your heritage and blessing that is being passed on to you. Pray, make good choices and ask for the Lord to continue this blessing on to you and your children and your children’s children

❤ To all who are unmarried….if you too have the heritage of lifelong marriage,,,give thanks! If not, break any generational curses of divorce that may be passed down to you and ask for the Lord to bless you with a lifelong marriage!  Choose wisely your life partner and be sure they love the Lord above all else

❤ To those already divorced…forgive, repent, make things right if you can, break the curse over your life, commit to living a godly life and ask the Lord to bless your obedience (and if you have children pray over them and break the curse as well)

❤ To my married friends…nurture your marriage daily, recommit to your vows and be faithful to your spouse, press on, stay the course, keep your eyes on the goal and if you are in need of help…get it NOW!  The blessing of a lifelong marriage will be worth it

celebrate❤ and finally to my amazing siblings and their wonderful spouses who I love dearly…Congratulations on our joint accomplishment and milestone.  I think this calls for a GRAND celebration sometime soon!


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21 Gifts of Guidance for my 21 year old daughter – Happy Birthday Kristen!

 My third sweet girl…Kristen…is turning 21 tomorrow!  She came into this world so quietly and sweetly in the stillness of those first few minutes of March 17, 1994 and she has been a blessing to me every minute since her arrival!

I can remember so clearly my own 21st birthday back in 1983 – I went to my senior classes at the University of the Pacific during the day and then was joined by several college friends for a small backyard birthday barbecue at Pastor John Butrin’s home that was also the culmination of my summer internship at Lincoln Neighborhood Church. I was loving my Lord and my life, surrounded by dear friends and excited about my future plans! I can still remember that day with joy in my heart.

As Kristen turns 21 she too is a college student kristenattending Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas.  She is a business major and soccer player who has many good friends there from both her hometown in Stockton as well as new Texas friends, who along with her sister Amy, will likely be celebrating her birthday after she attends classes & practice tomorrow. (She is flying back to Texas right now after being at the beach with us for Spring break) Kristen is truly a beautiful, gifted and talented young lady who has a bright future ahead of her and I could not be more thrilled with her godly character, her life choices and her commitment to her faith.

Several years ago when my eldest daughter turned 21, I wrote her “21 gifts of guidance” for her birthday instead of a gift of “things”. I wanted to give her my words of wisdom as she reached this new milestone in life, that here in the USA signifies a “coming of age” or adulthood. (although being the counter-culture family that we are…we have raised our children to enter adulthood much younger so in some ways this is simply another birthday)

Kristen…here is the updated just for you  21 “gifts of guidance” from your Mamma who knows that you desire to have a life of passion, purpose and praise that makes an impact on the world! May these 21 gifts encourage you, challenge you and inspire you to live that life!

1. Never leave your first love – Jesus. He is the most faithful friend, the best big brother, a passionate intimate beloved and warm, loving father. No one else will ever love you the way He can!

2. Never stop believing in and meditating on and trusting 100% in the inspired inerrant Word of God…it is the ultimate truth in life and it trumps circumstances, opinions and feelings.

3. Be thankful every day for the firm foundation you received growing up in a committed Christian home – it is truly an amazing blessing.

4. Let God be God…because you are not. The sooner you relinquish to Christ complete control of your life and your future the better off you will be.

5. Flee temptation…never was there a better word from God…and yet we often ignore it because sin feels good, tastes good and looks good. At the end of the day it never turns out to be good. Run Girl Run!

6. Remember it is NOT what happens to you in life that matters…it is how you respond. God is more interested in your response. Glorify Him!

7. You will truly look back at the tough times in life and be so thankful for what they brought you…so why not just be thankful in the midst of them?

8. God wants to meet all of your needs – physical, emotional, spiritual, mental – so trust Him and  just let Him.

9. Do not believe it when people say “it can’t be done” or “that will never happen”  – with God all things are possible!

10. Everyday God puts divine appointments right in front of you – don’t get distracted and miss them – it is one of the greatest delights of life.

11. Give, give, and give some more….you will simply be given even more to turn around and give more! Give to everyone who asks of you – your time, your talent or your treasure!

12. Wait for a man who is passionately committed to our God and who will be your life partner where together you will do more for the kingdom of God than you could have ever accomplished alone – there is simply nothing better than being married to a man who shares your love for the Lord and your life purpose.

13. Worship with full abandon…sing loudly, turn up the music, dance, clap, shout, raise your hands, bow before him, pour out your heart in praise, let His creation awe and inspire you. This is what you were created for!

14. Adopt!

15. Don’t buy into Christian “worldy wisdom” on children, safety, dating & relationships, retirement, material possessions, sharing your stuff or “praying about things” that are clearly commanded to do in His word. Many Christians in our current culture have allowed the worlds paradigms on these things to become theirs….don’t do it!

16. Don’t waste time in trivial pursuits – if it is not about God, relationships, people, service or ministry – do not give very much of your life to it.

17. Pursue friendships with those who will encourage you, challenge your faith and take you to a deeper level. (skip the shallowness of talking to your girlfriends about where to get your nails done, how much those jeans cost, why they are mad at their boyfriends/husbands, shopping or the latest “void of value” TV show).

18. Be faithful and true to your word, to the body of Christ, to your marriage, to your family & friends.

19. If you see a need…meet it! (you don’t have to be “called”)

20. If you are continually looking for ways to love and serve others…you will never have time to be depressed, bored or critical.

21. Compared to eternity…life here is so very, very…did I mention VERY short. Invest your life in eternity!

And in addition my dear Kristen… along the way in life – “shoot the moon” as often as you can! 🙂  I know that God has great plans for your life and I will be cheering you on!

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State of the Ministry – January 2015

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Dear friends, family and fans of Inspire Ministries…

Last year this month we were praying, planning and preparing for our first year of full time ministry with Inspire.  Here we are a year later and we are pleased to report of God’s faithfulness in 2014 to this ministry and the amazing ways that He has used us to encourage, motivate, teach, train and inspire people to live lives of passion, purpose and praise.  We have ministered to many couples, families, single parents, children in crisis, students and leaders…offering classes, workshops and special events as well as individual coaching and counseling.

Here are some highlights of what was accomplished this past year and what we hope for in 2015:

  • We held monthly events in our home for couples, moms and parents.  These events were well attended with more than 50 people walking through our doors each month to benefit from the things being shared by us as well as special guest speakers.  Moms raved about how blessed they have been by our Titus Teatime to encourage moms of all ages and stages of life as the journey through motherhood.  At our Couples Coffee Club not on only did we learn practical ways to strengthen our relationships but we enjoyed the wisdom and fellowship of other couples who desire to let the Lord be at the center of their marriage.  Both single and married parents were built up and encouraged while learning valuable parenting skills during our Passionate & Purposeful Parenting Workshops. And Dan met weekly with a group of guys to study the Word of God and challenge one another in their faith.

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  • We were thrilled to help families begin to establish family traditions that would be both meaningful and memorable through two different day long conferences – Family Faith Traditions gave ideas on traditions that would center on faith and spiritual growth in the family and Treasured Traditions was all about making the holiday season centered on the Lord in a fabulous and festive spirit.  We also spent countless hours video taping sections of the Treasured Traditions Conference for those who could not attend due to schedule conflicts or location. The response from all of these opportunities was tremendously enthusiastic.  We received countless texts, messages and emails sharing photos from those who were inspired to begin these traditions that are impacting their families in powerful ways!

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  • Our passion for strong marriages is the motivation we have for spending dozens of hours every month preparing and praying for, meeting and counseling with couples who come to us to help them prepare for marriage as well as those who need serious help to restore their marriages.  We had six couples we ministered to in 2014  and we saw amazing results with most of them. Unfortunately we were unable to help them all to succeed and this is heartbreaking for us. However when we recently saw a post on social media from a wife of one of the couples we counseled saying …”Inspire Ministries saved our marriage” we are very encouraged to carry on in this important facet of our ministry.

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  • Inspire Ministries was committed in 2014 to mentoring both the youth and youth leadership at Lakeview Assembly.  This was a very time consuming and yet rewarding part of our year.  We were able to develop a comprehensive youth program for the church, mentor the leaders and disciple the youth. We developed many relationships that we know will be have a  lifelong impact.  We also met with several of our former students throughout the year for monthly and weekly discipleship.  Dan and Beth also committed to teaching a few high school classes weekly for Cornerstone Co-op, a group of homeschooled students. We do love young people!

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  • 2014 brought us several influential speaking opportunities where we were able to minister to men, women and believers at retreats, men’s & women’s events and in churches.

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  • Life Coaching for individuals of all ages and life situations has been consistent throughout the year with a half a dozen people being helped to find their passion, purpose or direction for life. Some of these meetings are one time while others are weekly or bi-weekly as we work out a solid life plan for individuals seeking coaching.

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  • One of the areas of greatest impact we had this year was in the important ministry of helping children in crisis! Our hearts beat passionately for the lives of children both unborn and born, orphans and foster children as well as those young adults who were part of the system and were never connected to a “forever family”.  This year we accomplished much –
    • speaking  on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday and sharing our adoption story
    • Participating in the Walk for Life
    • Holding several informational events in addition to many individual appointments to recruit CASA’s for SJ County (we recruited 5 in 2014)
    • Researching all the” ins and outs” of foster care in SJ County to better help people who are interested
    • Advocating, Mentoring and Counseling a couple young ladies who have aged out of foster care and are trying to navigate life on their own
    • Taking a two year old child into our home through Safe Families to love and care for while her mom…a former foster child…stabilizes her life
    • Advocating, Mentoring and Loving our CASA kids through weekly get togethers, school open houses, meeting with foster parents, going to court and taking them out for special events and activities that they do not have the opportunity to enjoy as foster kids.

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supportAnd now for a support raising and financial update:

  • We raised 70% of our 2014 budget through monthly supporters and one time donations.  We deeply thank all of you who were a part of that support… TRULY we could not do what we do without your financial support, prayers and encouragement.  Consider yourself hugged! (and we do pray for you regularly)
  • We made it through 2014 in the black by staying on a very “bare bones” budget, which is the good news.  The bad news is that Dan was unable to draw any staff salary in 2014.  While this kept the ministry up and running, it put us personally in a very precarious financial state which we will not be able to continue  in the upcoming year.
  • The bottom line financially for Inspire Ministries in 2015:  In order to continue with both Dan & Beth full time in ministry, which we believe to be crucial to the effectiveness of what we do, we will need to rely on ALL our current supporters to give in 2015 at least the same monthly or yearly donation they did in 2014 AND we will need to add an additional $30,000 in donations for the year. (that could be 100 new donors at $25 a month OR 50 new donors at $50 a month OR 30 new donors at a one time $1,000 donation OR even 6 new donors at $5,000 or 3 at $10,000….however it can happen we will rejoice in it!)
  • We believe that there are people out there who believe in Inspire Ministries as well as many who love & support us.  We are praying that that faith, love & support will result in financial support so we can continue to press ahead with all that He has called us to do in this life.
  • If you would like to join our support team and can contribute any amount in 2015….we would be so very grateful!  You can email us at and ask us how to donate through a monthly credit card payment or check draft or you can donate online here – or you can mail a check made out to Inspire Ministries to – 313 West Robinhood Dr  Stockton, CA 95207

We are expecting the Lord to do GREAT things with Inspire Ministries in 2015!  We would love to hear from you with any words of encouragement or ideas and information that you have to help us continue to serve the Lord through this ministry.

May the Lord bless you all abundantly,

Dan & Beth Lambdin

Inspire Ministries



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A Big Milestone…let’s do this!

10850069_10153491686652662_2448920655812252555_nFive months ago this beautiful young single mom of a darling two year old girl was homeless. After having spent much of her childhood in foster homes, she aged out of the system with no family and no support system, forcing her to spend the past three years on friends couches, chasing down relatives who should have cared, or staying in various homeless shelters. In August she had run out of options and realizing she may be on the street with her two year old daughter she turned to Safe Families for help.  That is when we got the call from the Child Abuse Prevention Council asking us to house her little girl for an extended time period until she could stabilize her life situation.

We chose not only to embrace and open up our hearts and home to two year old Rosie but to come along side and help her mother, Megan as well.  In the five months we have counseled, mentored and loved her she:

  • ended a destructive relationship that was mentally abusive and controlling
  • enrolled in school to finish her high school diploma (and has perfect attendance!)
  • just began to work and received her first paycheck today
  • opened a bank account for the first time and is learning to have a budget
  • passed her written drivers test and is learning to drive
  • recommitted her life to the Lord and got baptized
  • has been attending church regularly
  • is learning positive parenting skills and what family life should really look like
  • AND has gone from homelessness to a shelter to a transitional living home and is now ready to rent a room and begin the path to full independence! 

Yes, beginning February 1st she will be renting a room from a strong Christian young lady who will be able to mentor her and provide a loving stable environment for her to continue to grow.  She also will be able to move in for a fraction of the cost and then increase her contribution incrementally as her income stabilizes with the goal of being able to carry the full responsibility for half the expense within a year!  It is very exciting to see what being connected to a family and community can do in such a short period of time.

apartmentMost of us can remember our first step “out of the nest” to live on our own…whether that was as a college student, moving out with friends to share a house or apartment or perhaps to get married.  It was exciting, fun and a bit scary all at the same time, not too mention financially challenging as we had to purchase things that we had often taken for granted in our homes growing up – everything from bedding to kitchen appliances to toilet paper & light bulbs.  The wonderful thing for most of us is that we had parents, family and friends to help ease the financial burden by purchasing items for us and even throwing a household gift giving party to allow our community of friends to bless us!

Now stop and think about how hard that would be with no family or community to help you?  No parents, grandparents, siblings or even friends who were there for you to give you a helping hand and bless you in this way. Most of us cannot even picture what it would’ve been like to walk through these milestones without family or support.  Yet, that is exactly this young single mom’s situation and this is where we can all step in and become her extended family. We have already asked her local church, Lakeview Assembly to help and they graciously offered assistance with a deposit, the Safe Families organization (  is purchasing her a bed, the local network at First Baptist in Lodi may provide a dresser and the Mary Graham Foundation was able to get some lamps and end table donated!

Now it’s our turn to help!  It’s our turn to be a blessing!  It’s our turn to be the family that she never had!

Here are some ideas for you:

  • Gift Cards to – Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Home Goods or even a Visa gift card
  • Personal care items – shampoo/conditioner, body soap, face wash, razors, toothpaste/toothbrush, feminine products, cotton balls, q-tips  (all of these types of things were provided for her in some way at the transitional living shelter she was living in)…oh and a hair dryer!
  • Laundry supplies – basket, detergent, softener, dryer sheets, lint brush, quarters for machines
  • Miscellaneous items that we take for granted – clothes hangers, toilet paper, personal room trashcan, light bulbs, bathroom drawer organizers, hand soap
  • Bedding – mattress pad, sheets, comforter, pillows, blanket, bath towels (contact me for her preferred color preferences or see registry link below.)

She and her future roommate/mentor, Tiffana, who is also moving out on her own for the first time have registered for items they will both need (ie: kitchen supplies, dining, bathroom hardware, cleaning equipment & appliances) at Bed Bath & Beyond.  This registry can be purchased from directly and sent to you or to our home if that is more convenient OR it can simply be used to get an idea of their needs and desires which could be purchased elsewhere or even donated if you have these items in good condition.  (many of the more expensive items were listed just to give you an idea of color preference not quality needed.)  Here is the link for the registry –

And what is a achieving a milestone without a celebration?? (Doesn’t happen without a celebration in my family!)  So we are having a housewarming blessing celebration for both Megan and Tiffana where you can come and bring your gifts and your love to shower upon them both! We’d love to have you stop by for a moment or hang out for a time of celebrating and praying for this great God inspired adventure!

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If you can’t attend the celebration….you can send cards, gift cards, gifts or greetings to our home at:
313 West Robinhood Dr
Stockton, CA 95207

Another option if you want to make a financial donation you can send it via paypal  –  or at this link  –  and we will be sure she gets it!

DSC_0692I’m so excited to see the outpouring of support for Megan as she realizes that she has an extended family and friends all over our city and country who want to love, support and bless her just as if she were their very own daughter, sister, cousin, niece or granddaughter!  (Because according to the Word of God we are all family)

And I promise to share the outpouring of blessing & celebration with you all via photos so that we can rejoice together in the great thing God has done!

Let’s do this!

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Merry Christmas from the Lambdins: The Greatest Gifts!

Merry Christmas from the Lambdin family!

Dan and I are currently enjoying the gift of a weekend away to celebrate our 28th wedding anniversary…

photo (10)Yes….it is a gift of a weekend together to celebrate our life, our love and our Lord during this beautiful, magical and festive time of year!  When we were asked during our pre-marital counseling what gift we wanted Jesus to bring to our wedding to celebrate our marriage (what a great question right?), after much thought, we agreed we wanted to ask him for the gift of a double portion of His anointing so that together we could accomplish greater things for Him than we could ever do on our own!

We learn in grade school that if 5×20=100 then 500×20=10,000.  But God says “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand…” (Leviticus 26:7) What?  That math does not make sense!  But God….

The Lord has indeed not simply doubled our effectiveness in ministry by bringing us together in marriage but he has multiplied it beyond what we could ever have imagined those 28 years ago on December 20, 1986 through the gift of children and the gift of ministry!

The gift of children

We never planned (as so many do) how many children to have and when we should have them…we left that in the much wiser and capable hands of God….who choose to give us the gift of eight children who have the name Lambdin and in addition many more who we claim as Lambdins!  Each of these children have greatly multiplied our effectiveness in God’s kingdom through their unique giftings, personalities, passions & callings. Here is a snapshot of each of their lives this past year.

Christiana is five years old already (how did that happen?) and began kindergarten this year at the Lambdin “life is school” Academy which is unbelievably in it’s 18th year of existence! (who would have ever thought what started out as a 10857947_10153481650317662_9053317499573850844_ntemporary homeschool year would still be going strong 18 years later?!) She just last week celebrated her first born again birthday, marking the day she first put her trust in Jesus!  She certainly has a life FULL of celebrations – her birthday, “gotcha day”, adoption day & now a born again birthday.  We know that the Lord has BIG things planned for her and that she is gonna do great things for Jesus….and we tell her that everyday! We thank the Lord daily for the precious gift of “baby girl” in all of our lives!

10410638_10153486171867662_7183234151649953084_nDaniel, our boy who is growing and learning everyday to become a man of God and a gentleman is seven years old and in the 2nd grade. He is constantly amazing us all with his love and knowledge of the Lord. He currently wants to be a policeman, join the military and be a worship leader when he gets older…but also wouldn’t mind being in a couple Broadway shows!  What a combination of passions…sure to be used by God. The gift of Daniel… a son and a brother…has been beyond all we could ever have wanted.

10665228_10153388859597662_80835601432952803_nJoy….our playful, happy, spontaneous, enthusiastic, talented gift from God! At eleven years old and in the 6th grade we are in the beginnings of those adolescent years that can be challenging. And Joy, as the “lone” Otter in the Lambdin home, helps to remind us all to “lighten up” and enjoy life! She continues to hone her God given talent in singing through participation in the Stockton Youth Chorale and sang the National Anthem this past year at swim meets and at her sisters collegiate soccer game. We know that with her joyous personality, loving heart and talent that the Lord will use her greatly in this life! (hard to believe in just a short six more years she will be ready to launch from our home)

1510420_10153459920732662_8872010840989322002_nGrace…just celebrated her 16th birthday this month in New York City! (a Lambdin mother/daughter tradition)  Life does not exactly look like what she had thought her high school years would be…and yet we know that the Lord is molding, shaping and preparing her for the future. We are taking her high school education one year at a time. After finishing up her freshman year at Capital Christian (which was amazing but with a 104 mile round trip commute and no driver along with the tuition obstacle we knew it was not an option) …she decided to homeschool this year. It is a new and challenging experience that we are still navigating.  Our homeschool co-op has added a high school division which has allowed her to have a couple more traditiDSC_0002onal classes including yearbook, leadership, Bible and History through Film…although they are taught by her Mom & Dad…she would probably like some variety. Grace began her year long Rite of Passage tradition in September and is excited to be mentored by many awesome women! She also has her drivers permit and will soon be Moms chauffeur for her brother & sisters!  Grace is a lovely young woman who worships the Lord with all of her heart and serves her family and others with humility and love. She has always been a gift to us…a daily reminder of the undeserved grace of God towards our family. As we enjoy these last few and precious years with her in our home we are excited to see all that God has for us!

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As you can see from the photo….Rebekah is traveling this year and for the first time ever all of our children will not be home to celebrate the Christmas season with us. It is really hard to write, in one short paragraph, what 2014 looked like for our 19 year old daughter Rebekah. Many of you have stayed on top of her journey…supporting her, loving her, praying for her and cheering her on through both the hardest and the best year of her life! We can’t thank you enough for being a significant part of her life.  Bek graduated with honors as a Capital Christian Cougar after being embraced with love & enthusiasm from the staff, students and administration. Her soccer team captured the section championship and she hopes to play again when she heads back to college in the fall.

She chose to spend this year traveling and ministering throughout Europe before going to college. Her home base is in Germany where she and her friend Nettie live with a dear life long family friend (Carrie Bracken Elliot BCHS ’91) and help her 10330303_10153038887442662_4368381966182666934_nas she lives the “single mom life” while her husband is deployed for 9 months. She has learned so much about the sacrifices our military and their families make for all of us living free in the USA. She has also been ministering and serving the Lord in various places this past fall and will be in both Romania and Amsterdam after the holidays working with orphans, single moms and helping stop human trafficking. She is also is getting to travel and see new parts of the world.  An amazing life changing experience to say the least! (If you want to read more about her experience or contribute towards her work you can do so here –

She will be returning home in May and hopes to attend The King’s College in New York City next fall where she will prepare to hopefully accomplish her life goal of changing the foster care system in our country! What an incredible dream….truly Rebekah is a gift not only to our family and the body of Christ but also to the world!

DSC_0302 (1)Kristen is 20 years old and well into her second year at SAGU in Waxahachie, Texas and is looking to possibly finishing in the Spring of 2016 (Mom is voting for this and a double college graduation with Amy….wouldn’t the photos be great?) She competed as a Lady Lion on the soccer team for her second year, is making strong friendships and is enjoying her classes. We could not be happier with her college experience. Many of you have heard us comment over the years about our “perfect child”, our number three, our sweet Kristen! God has certainly blessed us with the gift of Kristen….she has faithfully served our Lord, worked hard, loved others and given of her time, talent and treasure to bless others. I am continually amazed at her culinary abilities and the way she can make things happen in our home with precision, excellence and expertise. (one example…after six hours of traveling and jet lag she made and baked over 200 mouth watering delicious scones for our annual Holiday Tea in just several hours!)  Anyone interested in investing in a Ministry Tea House with not only delicious savories and sweets where you can enjoy lunch with friends or special celebrations but rooms for ministry (Inspire!) and a library where you can come read in a cozy intimate atmosphere….I am sure that it would be a great investment into the dream of this beautiful young lady!  I think there is already a name in the works – Kristen’s Korner. Dreamin’ big dreams for God’s glory! Yes, Kristen is a gift.10744931_10152781935085269_225162261_n

Our Amy girl just celebrated her 22 birthday the same week she played in her last ever collegiate soccer game and she received a most memorable gift!  Her daddy surprised her by flying out to Texas to escort her on the field as they honored the seniors and watch her 2014 Family Album - Page 081final game.  Tears of joy streamed down her face as she saw her dad walk into the team room that beautiful day! (It was a special birthday gift for Dan too as he was surprised the day prior to find out he was getting to go to this event that he so wanted to be a part of) Amy had a stellar four years as a SAGU Lady Lion soccer player. She played both offense and defense with intensity, determination and skill, was passionate about her sport and was an influential leader both on and off the field.  Her dad and I couldn’t be any more proud of this godly young lady!  She has overcome so much and is within a year of graduating from college with a degree in communications which will be well used as she lives a life that is both inspirational and influential.  Her God given gifts of leadership and influence have been greatly enhanced during these college years and we know that she will use these gifts throughout her life to impact others for Christ!

And you can’t capture the gift of Amy in just one photo!

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is 25 years already (could it be so?) and is truly “living the good life” in New York City!  She is still working for her alma mater…The King’s College…as the Housing Director.  She is greatly using her amazing gifts of leadership, organization, communication, problem solving and influence as she faithfully serves the students at King’s.  We recently saw a comment about Michelle from another staff member in a correspondence to a prospective student – “Michelle is exceptional at her job. We’re lucky to have her!”  It is such a joy to watch her be used so greatly and love her job.

Her “second job” seems to be a hostess par excellance and premier travel guide for the revolving door of friends and family who are visiting New York. She not only provides them with a place to stay (for free!) but helps them win Broadway show lottery tickets, tells them how to navigate the subway, the best places to eat in town and anything else they need to enjoy their trip.  And she does it flawlessly in the midst of working her full time job.  She is…and always has been…impressive!  10805577_10152844239733654_4187976719002253251_nShe chose to spend her holiday vacation with her sister Rebekah in Germany and we will miss them both greatly but are thrilled they can celebrate together! Michelle just began the first leg of her trip in London for a weekend sightseeing trip with Carrie. What a gift to Rebekah and the Elliott family.

Michelle is a beautiful and accomplished young woman with exceptional gifts and talents and the heart of a servant who is greatly making an impact in the world….such an amazing gift!

1491591_10153450579532662_3169023389610014315_nMost of you know Tiffana…an honorary Lambdin now for a dozen years since she came into our lives as a transplant from Chico via Radical Reality Summer Camp to JECHS. We love her as our very own child and she has been grafted into our family.  Tiffana moved back to Stockton this year which has allowed us to see her more often….a GREAT blessing to our family.  She is currently working at Grand Canyon University recruiting and enrolling students.  She is such a hard worker and is diligently chipping away at her student loans and medical debt.  She also became a CASA volunteer this year and is influencing and advocating for a young lady who will be soon aging out of the foster system.  We are so proud of all she has accomplished and we are super excited with her future plans of going to South Africa as a full time missionary.  65560_10152788295630449_6378688145815382565_nShe asked for and received approval from our board at Inspire Ministries to be under their covering and sent out to inspire the people of South Africa to live a life of passion, purpose & praise!  Our first missionary! We know her impact will be felt far and wide as she loves people and shares with them our precious Jesus.  She brings great joy to our entire life…such a gift to our family! We love you Tiffana!

610_4122And now we have 21 year old Megan and her sweet 2 year old daughter Rosie as a part of our family. (I guess that makes us grandparents! Whoooo hooo!) To make a long story short Megan came into our lives in August through the Safe Families program ( where we are signed up to be a host family. She, a former foster child, was homeless, hungry and hurting. We were asked to take care of Rosie while her mom Megan began to look to rebuild her life. We of course said “yes!” and Rosie began to live with us on August 28th. We also decided to do our very best to involve Megan in our lives and to help her in any way we could.  One day after her visit I walked her to the door and she said to me: “you know that day we first met and you said that now we would be family?” I nodded and adamantly assured her that was true. With tears in her eyes she asked: “Can I call you Mom?” I embraced her and said “of course you can!” She then proceeded to say “It’s been so long since I have called anyone Mom”. My heart was broken for her and yet filled with joy to have the privilege of being considered “mom” to another young woman!

We love Megan and Rosie as if they were our very own and it has been a fulfilling almost four months of getting to know them and embracing them into life at the Lambdins.  Megan has recommitted her life to the Lord and to our great joy was baptized in October.  She is attending school and will graduate with her high school diploma in May…what a celebration that will be! She just landed a job at Squeeze Burger and will begin work as a server at the first of the year with hopes of being able to make enough money to be able to rent out a room for her and Rosie or share an apartment by mid 2015. Just this past week she passed her written drivers test 610_4377and we will begin to teach her to drive!  So many exciting things happening for Megan right now….the greatest gift of 2014 for us!  You just never know how the Lord will grow your family, increase your influence and allow you to impact a life!  Keep your eyes open and your heart willing. 

The gift of ministry

inspire finalThe Lord has truly given us the gift of ministry our entire 28 years of marriage and we believe that our newest adventure, Inspire Ministries, is the culmination and pinnacle of all the ministry that came before this. Our time in both youth ministry and Christian education for 27 years as well as the season of ministry and speaking with Creative Memories all prepared us to be able to have the in depth comprehensive ministry we have today.  Without this preparation, along with raising children of our own in three different decades of life who currently range in age from 5 to 25, we would not have the wisdom, knowledge and experience that we needed to touch the lives of the multitudes of people God is sending our way.  It is breathtaking to us to see how intricately He prepared us for “such a time as this”.

In 2014 Inspire Ministries officially kicked off the year as our official full time ministry.  We stepped out in faith and the Lord has done amazing things through this ministry.  We have ministered to many:

  • families of all shapes and sizes who need inspiration, motivation & encouragement to be intentional about family life
  • moms in need of mentoring and refreshment as they navigate the often rough road of motherhood
  • couples in both healthy & growing marriages as well as those in crisis and need of reconstruction
  • couples looking to get married and desiring to build a firm foundation
  • men who want to be strong in their faith
  • foster children and other children in crisis who need love from a caring adult and role model
  • single moms who need emotional, spiritual & physical support
  • youth who want to know and live for the Lord as well as young people who need to know the love of God
  • leaders who desire to be more impactful and influential
  • home educators in search of support and information on educating their children at home
  • adults and couples looking for information on helping foster children through the avenues of CASA, Safe Families, Foster Parenting and Adoption
  • those looking to add meaningful faith traditions to their lives
  • people wanting life coaching as they move forward towards college, career, ministry or a life change
  • believers needing to know who they are in Christ and are ready to break free of bondage that is holding them back

It has been exciting, rewarding and at times exhausting.  We look forward to seeing where the Lord will take Inspire Ministries in 2015.  Thank you for all of you who have encouraged us, cheered for us, supported us and given of your time, talent and treasure to the ministry. You, our dear friends & family, are the reason we can keep pressing forward to help others.  As we end 2014 if you are looking for a place to invest some of your financial blessing, Inspire Ministries can really use some vital resources going into 2015.  You can mail a check made out to Inspire Ministries at 313 West Robinhood Dr  Stockton, CA 95207  or you can donate online here –    We promise to use your donation to continue to minister to people in need!

Also if you want to get our monthly updates via email….send us your email address at and we will add you to our list.

Merry Christmas from all the Lambdin family!  We love you and pray that you are blessed with the greatest gifts this year as you celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ who was born in a stable those thousands of years ago and hopefully has been born again in your life.inspire - Page 019

For those of you local….join us for our annual Christmas Open House.  We always love to see you and give you a heartfelt holiday hug.


As we close this annual Christmas greeting we want to remember three of our dear friends who are celebrating Christmas this year at home with the Lord.  We are still grieving over the loss of three important people in our life who we loved so very much and miss greatly. Please join us in praying for each of their families as this Christmas season is sure to be hard for them all.

10658837_10153363397152662_2965379629397846547_o10460278_10153077199742662_6317643498011866551_nAndrew Colton - Page 050


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So…’s it going? Inspire Ministries Update

The number one question we are asked lately is….

“So…how’s to going with your new ministry?”

The short answer is: There is NO lack of ministry opportunities and both our days and nights are filled to the brim with counseling, coaching, praying, advising, mentoring, discipling and hosting ministry events! Support raising however is lacking a bit as we are 33% funded and it is already 50% through the year. (yes that does mean we have not been paid our full salary from Inspire Ministries but we have been able to stay afloat and keep fully trusting the Lord that He will provide our needs.)

The longer answer is this report that we hope you will read, enjoy and be inspired to pray for and support us as we serve the Lord and others.  We are loving this ministry and all that God is doing in and through us!

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Introducing Inspire Ministries!

Here it is!

inspireWe promised in our Christmas letter that you would have more information about what exactly we are doing with Inspire Ministries and this post will give you a look at all that we have planned for 2014.  The newsletter below, that will go out in the mail next week, is an introduction to Inspire Ministries.

We have already begun hosting several of our scheduled events as well as meeting regularly with individuals needing coaching and counseling in specific areas of their lives. In just this first month of the year we have seen marriages strengthened, men encouraged, parents equipped, moms refreshed, individuals inspired to impact children in need and young people on the road to being set free! We can hardly contain our excitement as we use our decades of experience in ministry, education, counseling, mentoring, discipleship, speaking and leadership, combined with our God given unique gifts and talents, to impact those in our community and the world on a larger scale.

It is yet another dream for us coming alive! We could not be more thrilled and filled with anticipation for the future!

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And this is just the beginning of what we believe the Lord may have in store for this ministry! We have many dreams for the future:

  • We dream of ministry homes where we can really get in daily and help to mentor train & teach people how to live a life of passion purpose & praise — those in poverty, foster children aging out of the system, pregnant moms in crisis, single parents struggling to raise their children — who have not been given the firm foundation that many of us have
  • We dream of adding events, conferences & retreats to our annual schedule and growing from ministering to hundreds to ministering to thousands and Lord willing tens of thousands
  • We dream of bringing on passionate volunteers and staff who can both  minister with us and  take on entire areas of this ministry and add value and growth to our vision
  • We dream of having resources (books, videos, webinars, products) that will enhance our message and help others to live a life of passion purpose & praise
  • We dream of having an office and administrative staff to handle the business aspect of Inspire so we can focus our time and energy on ministry
  • And yes…we still have a big dream of owning a camp or retreat center where people can get away for a week or weekend and have a life changing experience with the Lord that will impact young people, marriages, men, women, parents & families!

732fcc7730dfe3d348d20e6444cf39bdAnd this ministry has begun with our stepping out in faith into what we believe the Lord has called us to do and with the prayers, encouragement and support of a couple dozen people who believe in us, our vision and in the value of Inspire Ministries!  We look to the scripture in Zechariah 4:10  – “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin!”  – as a source of inspiration and motivation to press on!

In order for us to pursue this as full time ministry, we are going to need our number of supporters and partners in ministry to grow much larger. Our board of directors has approved our financial goals and support raising plan for 2014 and it includes a budget of close to $100,000 for this first year of pursuing Inspire Ministries full time.  That budget includes administrative, office, promotional and ministry expenses (we are not charging for our events or to counsel, coach, mentor or train people…although donations to the ministry will be accepted), charitable giving and salaries for both Dan & Beth Lambdin as Executive Directors of the ministry.

We know that the Lord can raise that budget (and beyond!) in any way He pleases and we are trusting Him to meet our needs.  We are asking Him to give us at least 230 ministry partners who would commit to:

  • faithfully praying for Inspire Ministries and for the Lambdin family
  • giving financially to support Inspire Ministry. We are asking for either a monthly donation of $25, $35 or $50  OR an annual donation of $300, $420, $600 or $1,000.  That said, we will be blessed by any size financial gift to the ministry and are excited to see how the Lord will use His people to meet the needs.

ashley - Page 006As of today we have 15 ministry partners and we are praying that this blog, facebook post, email and our mailing next week will quickly add to that number, allowing us to move forward with confidence.

If you believe in us, our vision and the ministry of Inspire and would like to become one of our ministry partners, we would be beyond blessed, humbled and thrilled to have you join with us to impact people to live a life of passion, purpose & praise!

If you decide to become a ministry partner our response card is below.  You can respond via email with the information on this card –  or you can send us your address and we will mail a response card to you that you can fill out and return. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.  All donations are tax deductible.

To God be the glory…great things He has done!  We love you all and are so thankful that you are a part of our lives.


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It’s Adoption Day…Celebrate Life Together With Us!

Over 5 years ago a distraught young  woman found herself facing an unplanned crisis pregnancy. She was upset and conflicted.  She was unmarried, struggling financially and already had a one year old child.  Her friends told her to get rid of the “problem”.  Her boyfriend said that he could not support another child. Her grandmother told her if she had the baby that she could expect NO help from her.

So…when she walked into a place….just like our Pregnancy Help Center here in Stockton…she was ready to get an abortion. The counselors there lovingly talked with her, encouraged her and shared with her the options of keeping her baby and that they would assist her with resources to raise the child or to place her baby in the loving arms of a forever family through adoption.

After much counseling she made the decision to choose life and pursue adoption.

On April 3, 2009….she gave birth to a beautiful healthy 6lb baby girl.

  • A baby girl who just months earlier…could have been just another one of the 55 million casualties that have taken place since  January 22 1973…41 years ago when the Supreme Court  made abortion legal in our country.
  • A baby girl who could have been destroyed and torn apart limb by limb through the gruesome procedure we call a just a “choice”
  • A baby girl who tragically could have never taken a breath or given a chance at living the unique and exquisite life she was made to live
  • A baby girl who was not a mistake or an accident, but a planned creation of God.
  • A baby girl who was not a “potential” human, but rather a human with great potential.
  • A baby girl who never would have been placed into the arms of loving parents and been given a forever family to grow up in if her mother had chosen abortion

But praise be to God….and thanks to the counseling and prayers of the Christian staff & volunteers at a crisis pregnancy center…this baby girl’s mom chose life!

photo blurred to protect confidentiality

photo blurred to protect confidentiality

june 2009 036And on Sunday May 19….baby girl was placed into the arms of her adoptive parents who with love and joy overflowing from their hearts and uncontrollable tears streaming down their faces looked down into her beautiful brown eyes and said…”You are ours!”  The miracle of adoption!

The mommy in this picture is me and the handsome man is my amazing husband and “baby girl” is our precious daughter who was given to us by God through the unselfish act of love of her birth mother who choose NOT to abort her despite the obstacles she faced and instead gave her to a large, loving…. “church going family” (her only request for who would adopt her baby).

2010 Family Album - Page 0049 months later ….on January 22, 2010, the exact anniversary of that ominous Roe vs Wade decision to make it legal to have an abortion at any time during pregnancy, (and I do not believe it is a coincidence that the court “happened” to choose January 22 as her official adoption day….no God in His amazing providence choose to “redeem” this day through a child who was rescued from abortion and given life!)…we sat in front of a SJ County Judge and committed to love, care for and share all our inheritance equally with baby girl just as if we had given birth to her…and with the pound of a gavel, she became officially a Lambdin!


So today is officially “baby girls” Adoption Day!

  • We celebrate her life!
  • We celebrate and honor her birth mother’s loving choice!
  •  We celebrate being a Lambdin!
  •  We celebrate being a part of God’s family!

Happy Adoption Day to our precious “Baby Girl”

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A fight to the finish!

grace bekRebekah & Grace are down to the final semester at Capital Christian High School and we are so proud of them both for their tenacity, perseverance and endurance!

They get up at the crack of dawn every morning to head out the door for the 75-90 minute commute to Sacramento for school each day. They endure the long drive,  crazy traffic and loss of sleep and then head into a full day of classes before jumping in the car again to head home…missing out on some of the “normal” high school social activities of making last minute plans with friends after school or meeting up with them later for a “coffee chat” or the mid week basketball game that is so much harder to do when you live 52 miles away from campus. They arrive home, a bit mentally and physically drained, yet still with homework to complete (I know they often wish that they had those 3 hours of car time to study instead of drive) before going to bed and starting all over again the next morning.  Soccer practice begins with conditioning this month and then daily practice and games next month.  This will make their current schedule look “easy” and will certainly stretch them in even greater ways.

Yes they are troopers!

They have both excelled academically, are making new friendships and have been blessed by fabulous mentors and teachers at CCHS. We all know that the Lord was “in” this decision by the girls to attend a Christian High School this year and He has blessed them abundantly. We are really proud of them both!

Rebekah continues to work hard to pay for their gas expenses each week and she has been successful at raising tuition money for them both through the month of February.  If you have not been kept up to date here is why: Rebekah, knowing her parents had no income, committed last July to raising money for her and Grace’s tuition at CCHS through soliciting donations, working and holding fund raisers.  Yes…she a mere 18 year old senior in high school stepped out in faith and committed to this huge goal. To date she has raised and paid over $12,000 towards this goal. It is impressive to say the least.  Beginning March 1, she will have three more tuition payments of  $1216.00 each left to end the year. That is only a total of $3,648…a drop in the bucket compared to what she has done so far and yet I know (not because she ever says it but because I can see it on her countenance) that she is growing weary of working and asking for help.

Family Album 2013 - Page 026So, even though Dan and I are at the beginning of raising our own crucial support for Inspire Ministries, we thought we would come along side our girls right now and at the very least let everyone know how they might help them make it to the finish line at CCHS!

She and Grace will be holding another “Will Work for Tuition” yard sale the weekend of February 7-8. If you live locally and have anything you would like to donate….all items are welcome! They would love to have a bake sale at the same time if you would like to contribute some baked goods that would be fabulous too! Last time they did this, they raised an entire month of tuition!

If you would like to make a donation towards their last few months at Capital Christian, you can send a check directly to the school for their account:

Capital Christian High School

Lambdin girls account 139809

9470 Micron Ave

Sacramento, CA 95827

….Or if you want to send it directly to them, you can use our paypal account at and we can put it towards their account.  Another option that I know would really bless Rebekah, especially as soccer season begins and she has less time to work, would be a gift of gas gift cards, Safeway or cash to help pay her commute. If you are our personal friends and family…I can imagine that this would be the best early graduation gift that Rebekah could receive!

We look forward to celebrating with you all the Lord’s faithfulness as well as their hard work, faith and commitment as Rebekah walks down the aisle at graduation on May 30, 2014 and receives her well earned diploma! A diploma that will represent so much more than four years of study.  It brings tears to my eyes to think about as it will certainly be a day of unspeakable joy, great contentment, refreshing relief and a glory to God for the great things He has done!

Thank you for your part in making this happen for ours and God’s girls!

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Lambdin Family 2013 Christmas Card

Greetings to our dear friends & family,

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2013 has been quite a year for the Lambdin family.

We, as well as many of our dearest family and friends, have experienced much hardship, heartache, pain, sorrow and suffering. It began right at the beginning of the year when our dear friend who we affectionately refer to as “Granny Ann” tragically lost her 49 year old son on January 2nd. It was devastating and we helped her navigate through all the things that need to happen in the midst of her great grief. The month continued with one heavy heartache after another with friends whose spouses walked out of their lives, children being diagnosed with terminal diseases, mental health breakdowns, job losses and more.  We grieved with them, supported them and prayed with them. And that was just the beginning of our year! (Most of you should have received our email this summer sharing the hardships & heartache we experienced as well as our major life changes.  If not you can read about it here – and here –

well with my soulWhen I ordered this necklace a year ago I had no idea how much I would need to be reminded throughout the year….”It is well with my soul”.  As the song says (written by a man who in just several years lost everything he owned in a fire, lost his four daughters when the ship they were on went down, lost his business and life fortune and then lost his only son to a disease)….”Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say…It is well, it is well with my soul”  We are so thankful that the Lord gives us peace in the midst of the storm!

And here we are at the years end…and we are still surrounded by those hurting….and we are still supporting, grieving and praying with them. And personally we are still without a regular income. (although the Lord provides on time everytime thanks to the love & generosity of many of you!)

One of our favorite songs of the season is My Grown Up Christmas List. It is a more contemporary Christmas song that everyone may not be familiar with. You can listen to it at the link above but here is the second verse and chorus…

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree
Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And  right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up  Christmas list

As I listen to this song, with tears streaming down my face, I think of all the hurting people in our lives.

  • So many broken marriages and families
  • Diseases ravaging peoples bodies and lives
  • Grieving hearts that cannot be comforted over the death of loved ones
  • Those struggling with addictions and life controlling problems that are destroying their lives
  • Believers in bondage to the lies of the enemy
  • People in physical pain or disabilities
  • Our sweet CASA kids (foster children we mentor) who are in desperate need of a forever family
  • Our own daughters Rebekah & Grace who are still navigating through the pain and stress of their lives and friendships being “torn apart” with the termination of their fathers employment that resulted in major changes in their lives that can be a daily struggle

Add to that our heart beats with compassion for the widows, single moms, orphans, foster kids, hungry, homeless and hurting…even though we may not know them personally.

But there is an answer to all the pain, suffering, grief,  brokenness and sorrow!

And the answer is in that baby that was born on that first Christmas morning….Jesus!  Yes, Jesus came into the world to comfort, heal and give us love like we have never known, peace that passes all understanding, joy unspeakable and a blessed hope for the future. He has done that for us this year in amazing ways and He can do it for each and everyone of you!

The other answer is in us, the followers of Jesus, to be His hands & feet…to help those in need, to comfort those who grieve, to walk through life with the hurting, helpless, homeless and hungry.

As we enjoy these last weeks of the Christmas season, know that we are praying for you all and asking for a blessing of love, peace, joy and hope to overwhelm your life and that you in turn would bring that shining light of love, peace, joy and hope to those in need!

We love you and pray for a warm and wonderful Christmas celebration and a meaningful New Year in 2014. If you are local we would love to give you some Christmas cheer and a holiday hug at our annual Christmas Open House!

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Dan, Beth, Michelle, Amy, Kristen, Rebekah, Grace, Joy, Daniel & Baby Girl (aka: Christiana)

inspireP.S. After much prayer and waiting on the Lord…Dan has decided to pursue full time ministry with our non profit, Inspire Ministries in 2014.  We will be looking for 225 supporters either monthly ($25, $35 or $50 a month) or yearly ($300, $500 or $600 annually) who believe in our ministry of helping those in need and inspiring all to live a life of passion, purpose and praise.  You will all hear more about our plans in the upcoming weeks but if you would like to jump start Dan’s new adventure with a year end gift, you can either send a check to Inspire Ministries at 313 West Robinhood Dr Stockton, CA 95207 or donate online through our secure paypal account here – Inspire Ministries Year End Donation

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