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 beth@bethlambdin.net 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,

Family 2012 - Page 001

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 – https://bethlambdin.net/2013/07/27/lambdin-life-a-season-of-change/ and here – https://bethlambdin.net/2013/09/24/life-at-the-lambdins-the-latest-in-their-god-inspired-new-adventure/)

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!

open house

Always,

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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Life at the Lambdins: the latest in our God inspired new adventure!

We are….

…eleven weeks out from the fateful day that dramatically changed our lives with the receipt of a single letter

…blessed to have an abundant amount of people who are interested in our lives and who love, care and are concerned about us!

…overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness of so many who have poured into our lives financially, emotionally and spiritually

…daily receiving input, encouragement and inquiries into how life at the Lambdins is going

I decided that I should write out a post giving answers to the most often asked questions and for those who don’t follow our daily happenings on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, a little update as well.  But before I answer those questions….let me assure you that much in “Life at the Lambdins” is the same as it has always been:

946376_10152527147387662_2006469747_nWe are still enjoying the seasons of life, carrying on with family traditions that give us stability, security and joy in times of transition and change, and celebrating life in its fullness.  After all Jesus came that we might have life…and have it abundantly!  We are living an abundant life!

We love the fall…with all the wonderful warm colors, cooler weather (sometimes!) and yummy delights…and of course pumpkin spice latte’s! It is almost Apple Hill time.

1238875_10152489607817662_1557378914_nWe are still homeschooling our pre-high school children and loving every minute of it! (as we have since the fall of 1997…16 years of homeschooling completed and beginning our 17th year!)  Our Cornerstone Co-op is in full swing for our 9th year and we have 22 wonderful families participating.

We have our first field trip today…to where else but the beach! (of course…because some things will never change)

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We are still celebrating birthdays with three of them falling in September – I turned 51 on the 1st, Michelle turned 24 on the 7th and Rebekah had her big 18th birthday on the 18th. Michelle surprised us with a visit to California over the weekend of my birthday, which was the best gift I could have received!  We are thankful for another year of life and look forward to the God inspired adventure, in store for each of us, this coming year.

560537_10152522553167662_518737412_nWe are still doting over this “baby girl” the Lord blessed us with four years ago.  She is truly the center of much of our lives and garners a lions share of attention in our household. I tell her everyday the BIG things that God has in store for her life.  And yes, as always, Dan is still the primary hair stylist! (which I might add is no small thing for this beautiful child)

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We are still worshipping the Lord every Sunday at Lakeview Assembly.  In fact this month I celebrated my 30th anniversary as a member of this church. (formerly known as Lincoln Neighborhood Church before re-locating to its current property in 1985) Three decades in the same church…now there is something that remains the same.

And as always….we are loving life, loving one another and loving the Lord!  That will never change.

And now on to answering some of the questions many are asking or wondering about what is happening with  life at the Lambdins:

How is the job/ministry position search going for Dan?

The simple answer is:

Dan does not currently have a new career, job, or paid ministry position nor does anything any thing appear on the horizon at this moment. (we do know that can change in a blink of an eye)

The more complex answer is:

Dan has not found a job or ministry position to apply for that is within his experience, gifting, strengths and skill set. At this point he has not pursued any non ministry positions but is open to that option should the Lord lead him in that direction.

Dan is praying, trusting and waiting on the Lord for a clear direction. For type A, driven, “gotta have a plan” or “let’s make it happen” people (hmmm…like me), this sounds good in theory but in reality we think it is a bit crazy. Shouldn’t he be “doing” something? Come on…”God helps those who help themselves, right? (by the way that oft quoted thought is from Ben Franklin not the Bible) or “How long can he wait before his family is destitute?”  The world….and sadly many believers rely on this type of logic and wisdom.  But God has lots to say about not following our own ways or the wisdom of this world.  I won’t share all the verses on seeking God’s wisdom or not relying on our own or the worlds ….I’ll just give you one: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” 1 Corinthians 3:19

Family Album 2013 - Page 014Most likely Dan is doing exactly what God wants us all to do before hurling head long into something that may or may not be His plan – pray, trust and wait for the Lord to show you His ways.  Sounds like godly wisdom to me…albeit hard to do at times…although Dan is doing just that with grace, faith, hope and peace in abundance. Once again I am blessed to observe first hand and be impressed by his faithfulness and attitude. (yes mam…. I did get a “sweet deal” in this godly man as my husband, almost 27 years ago!)

And you may be wondering… just exactly what is he doing with all his “free time” this job loss has given him…besides praying and reading the Word? Let me tell you!  He is getting a bit of extra daddy time with his precious children including assisting in home schooling (they may actually learn math this year!) as well as completing some long overdue “G” jobs (guy stuff) in and around the house. He also has an abundance of non paid ministry opportunities including:

  • counseling and coffee appointments several times a week
  • mentoring our CASA kids
  • helping friends and family with car repairs, moving, yard sales, lawn care, loading & unloading objects & whatever else he is asked to do
  • pre-marital counseling & performing the subsequent wedding
  • motivating SAGU soccer players on game days through a text group he created
  • taking in seven year old twins for 10 days while their mama secures a job and housing
  • brainstorming ministry plans with a local pastor
  • and even continuing to minister to students who call, text and email wanting help, encouragement, wisdom and advice!

Yes…the ministry opportunities are still there in abundance and are a “full time job”!

How are the girls adjusting to their new school?

1239846_10152524903997662_834079844_nRebekah and Grace have been attending Capital Christian High School in Sacramento for about six weeks now and they are slowly adjusting and adapting to the many changes, unique culture and new faces.  Rebekah with her vivacious personality has jumped in and has a growing number of friends. She recently attended the homecoming formal and had a nice evening. She also has been taking advantage of some new opportunities that she didn’t have at her previous school by taking choir and weight training.  Of course she is missing her dear friends from JECHS, several of them went out of their way to help celebrate her 18th birthday, even showing up at CCHS to bring her lunch on her special day.  It was such a blessing to us all. While she has her melancholy moments thinking about what her senior year “might have been”, overall she is doing well. I anticipate by the years end she will have had the most amazing year and have memories that will last a lifetime!

Grace is doing well in her classes and likes her teachers.  As an introvert she is not making friends as easily as Rebekah. She is being a trooper and maintaining a good attitude in the midst of it all although the pain is apparent. We remind her often that perhaps her being at CCHS and not JECHS may have nothing at all to do with her happiness or experience but that perhaps God has someone there that she is to impact or influence this year. God has many ways that He works in and through us and we need to embrace His plan.

1235915_10152474952942662_750263207_nThe commute is likely going to be the greatest challenge for both the girls but God has miraculously blessed them even in that.  During the first week of school, we received a call that an anonymous donor had purchased us a 2007 Honda Hybrid for the girls to use in their daily 104 mile round trip drive to Sacramento! Not only is it the nicest car the Lambdins have ever owned…it gets great gas mileage and hybrids do not have to get a smog check! We are still blown away by this gift every time we get in the car. Rebekah is becoming a confident freeway and commuter driver and Mom & Dad are becoming prayer warriors for the girls safety! The other miraculous blessing is our sister-in-love, who lives just minutes from the school, graciously opened up her home to the girls to spend the night or come over in the afternoon before evening activities.  It has already been a “life saver” on several occasions.  God is truly in all the details…both big and small.

Of course we can’t talk about the girls school experience without telling you about the tuition provision! The Lord has been doing amazing things for these girls all along the away. After providing the money to get them enrolled, on the very day that they needed to pay for their textbooks to the tune of almost $1,000, a check arrived in the mail to cover their books as they were sitting and looking at the computer with their order in the shopping cart.  Rebekah’s Bible teacher, whom she had not even met, called to say he had heard a little about her situation and that he wanted to pay for her senior class retreat! Wow!  The girls have both been working hard – house cleaning, babysitting, serving at weddings and picking up any job they can to help contribute towards their school expenses.  One weekend Rebekah literally worked almost every waking hour. It has been refreshing to watch the tenacity and effort put towards working and fund raising.  When they began this endeavor just eight weeks ago they knew they needed to raise $16,000+ ….a daunting amount to most of us.  Yet Rebekah plunged forward with faith, hope and a commitment to hard work and just put one foot in front of the other. She even made the sacrificial decision to take responsibility for her younger sisters tuition as well…something that warmed our hearts and surely must have pleased the Lord.  As of today they are almost 75% funded…only needing $4,500 more to pay off the entire year! Almost unbelievable….but God!

Family Album 2013 - Page 013This weekend these girls are holding a two day “Will Work for Tuition” Yard Sale hoping to perhaps to make a serious dent in that remaining balance. If you are local and want to contribute things to sell or come over and purchase something, that would be great.  If you would like to make a donation towards their tuition goal….we have dear friends & former JECHS students who have set up an online site where people can donate. You can click here to contribute: http://www.youcaring.com/tuition-fundraiser/love-on-the-lambdins-/76233

We continue to stand in humble awe watching the Lord and His people work on our behalf. We are so often at a loss for words….

Is Beth looking for a job? (or that all new fabulous network marketing opportunity?)

It appears that many think that I am, or perhaps should be, looking for a job or income opportunity. While, we are very open to whatever God has for us…we decided over 18 years ago after the birth of our fourth child that our priority would be for me to be primarily in the home both raising and schooling our children. (although all of you who are my former Brookside students…you know first hand I always had my kids “in tow” even during my work outside of the home season of life) While I have brought in additional income to supplement Dan’s ministry salary over the years through various opportunities and a home based business…I felt in recent years that my “free time” (ha!) needed to be invested in ministry opportunities with or without producing income. I began a non profit – Inspire Ministries – and have been slowly developing this concept.

Since Creative Memories declared bankruptcy this summer …I have had no less than two dozen people approach me with wonderful ways to make money through network marketing. I am honored and humbled by everyone’s belief in my abilities, strength and success in network marketing!  And while I believe wholeheartedly in this industry and the financial freedom, independence and fulfillment it can provide (not too mention great travel opportunities, gifts, recognition & rewards…I love it!), I also believe that personally I am not suppose to be using my specific gifts and talents for anything other than ministry at this time in my life. 1275457_10152482746582662_29011719_oSeveral months prior to Dan’s termination, I was seriously considering joining a new upstart network marketing company but after much prayer and consideration I truly felt like the Lord was telling me He was closing that door of any network marketing opportunity for me, regardless of how fabulous it might be.  I do not believe that just because my husbands circumstances have changed…that God has changed his mind on this since we “need” money now.

So I will continue to be a stay at home mommy to my children (that “job” won’t end until 2027), homeschooling them as well as using my gifts and talents to minister to others and inspire us all to live a life of passion, purpose & praise!

Are you making it financially?

God is faithful and He is taking care of all of our needs according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus.  We are not worrying about tomorrow or how we will eat or what we will wear or where we will live. We are in perfect peace living one day at a time.  I can’t explain it…but it is definitely a “God thing”.

How are you doing?

We are doing well…..really well.  We have peace in our hearts, praise on our lips and are resting very comfortably in the shelter of the Almighty.

By saying that however…we are not inferring that there is not pain or sadness in our hearts at times…only that the Lord is bigger and stronger and He enables us to able to both feel deeply the pain that comes with a loss and yet still walk in His peace, joy and love each day. (another “God thing” I am sure)

1150528_10152484074507662_717799002_oYes, our human hearts do still ache for JECHS.  How could they not?  In a sense you could liken it to a human relationship. You do not end a 16 year long commitment without some angst, pain and regret.  Or perhaps better yet it parallels the hardship on a parent who still loves their child even though he or she rejects that love and turns away from the family relationship. Life goes on…but one never stops loving or praying.  We do pray for the school, staff, students & families often and we have a prayer of blessing posted in our home to remind us to continue to pray.

We are also still basking in the afterglow of the amazing evening  held on September 2nd to honor Dan for his 25 years of service in Christian education. We were truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kindness, compassion and generosity we were shown. Over three hundred people were in attendance that night and we continue to get cards, letters and messages of appreciation from others who were unable to be there to celebrate.  It was a wonderful reunion and coming together of multiple generations and friends from every era and part of our lives, to glorify God for what he has done in and through Dan Lambdin. My favorite remark after the evening was: “This just inspired me to be a better person and serve the Lord and others even more!”

We will never forget it!  If you want to see the photos you can view them on my facebook page by clicking here.  The evening was also video taped if you would like to watch any or all of the happenings (except the amazing worship led by Jason McEachron which was majestic!) –

Truly a beautiful display of the extravagant love of God towards His people.  We all experienced a taste of heaven that night!

1175635_10152484898767662_1389291714_nWell, if you made it this far…not only do you have tenacity and perseverance…you are now caught up with Life at the Lambdins! Please continue to pray for us and our future.

We love you all!

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God is in control!

I have a dear friend who’s sweet daughter has been diagnosed with possible MRSA…so incredibly hard to watch the child, you love more than life itself, be in pain, suffer or face a potentially life threatening disease. And yet…it seems to be a part of every Mom’s “parenting gig” at one point or the other.  And if you are blessed with more than one child, you will likely walk down this path multiple times.  And as we are currently experiencing watching our two high school daughters emotionally suffer at the hands of others, it is not any better, and perhaps at times worse, than watching them physically suffer.  I decided it was time to post something I wrote years ago in my “faithbook” when I was faced head on with the possibility of losing my child. It was a “faith” defining moment n my life.

In the fall of 2005, our precious two and a half year old, Joy Danielle contracted a serious life threatening staph infection.

IMG_2372Joy went from a carefree, energetic, happy toddler one morning to a tired, lethargic, very sick baby with a high fever that evening. We noticed a large, extremely tender abscess on her lower back and took her to the doctor who lanced and cultured it immediately, as well as putting her on a strong antibiotic. The diagnosis was MRSA. She began to show improvement but then a few days later suddenly took a turn for the worse. IMG_2374The doctor declared her a “treatment failure” and made the decision to admit her to the hospital for surgery and a dose of intense antibiotics through an IV drip.  She informed us that if that did not work there was nothing more they could do. It was an emotional evening for the entire family, filled with tears and anxiety as the sisters kissed  Joy good-bye and prayed for her healing.

I however, was in Oklahoma City on a speaking engagement with only my daughter Kristen when I received the devastating call from Dan relaying the news about Joy. I was gripped with fear! After calling my Mom and sister and then cancelling the next leg of my trip to New York with Michelle for her 16th birthday…I lay in bed desperate to do “something” as the next flight I could get home was early the next morning. I did pray feverently and yet still felt anxious and restless that I could not do “more”. I was able to speak words of faith from scripture that helped calm my fears but it did not stop me from wanting to do something…anything to make everything ok.  It was a long sleepless night of tossing and turning and coming face to face with the reality of my “control issues”…once again! You see, my wanting to do something more than pray and trust in the Lord was a clear sign that I was wanting to be in control.  I realized in that moment that in my “mommy heart” I actually believed that I somehow had the power, or the love, or the sheer will to make things better.  I thought “if only I was there…I cold make it all better”. (ha!) As I lay in bed staring at the ceiling with tears pouring down my cheeks, the Lord oh so gently pointed out to me that I actually had no control at all…ZERO! IMG_2373The power to heal and restore lives is His and His alone. Yes, I repented and once again gave Him control and why may I ask is this my lifelong battle…when God has always proven Himself faithful to me?) I am simply called to live this life trusting Him, believing His word and praying (and yes prayer is doing enough!)

After 16 years of parenting at that point (and 24 now), I had never experienced having a child so ill that the outcome could result in losing my baby. I had to settle in my heart and mind that my children were the Lords. God had blessed us with them and we in turn had dedicated to them and placed them back in his everlasting arms. But did I really believe that?  What if the Lord chose not to heal Joy? Would I still love and serve Him? Would I be able to say… “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away…blessed be the name of the Lord!”…like I sang in church many a Sunday morning?  I had to answer the question yet again…Will I trust the IMG_2375Lord to be in complete control of every area of my life?  As I flew home that next morning I said …”Yes Lord….I give you complete control”  The next four days were filled with doctors, nurses, medication, monitors, IV’s, blood draws, hospital gowns, masks and gloves….but most importantly the were filled with faith, trust, prayer and peace because I relinquished control to my Lord! Praise the Lord in His mercy He chose to completely heal Joy and we rejoiced in His loving-kindness.  The Lord used this time in my life to bring me to a new level of faith and trust in God.  He is in control of everything and I can rest in that.

Since this season eight years ago I have been given multiple opportunities to test my faith and trust in God. (We went through this same scenario three years later with Daniel but that time I “passed” the trusting God to be in control test – you can read it here)  Each time it gets easier and I respond more quickly in letting Him be in control.  In fact during this recent upheaval of our life and ministry and finances that we are still going through…we have been able to completely trust in the Lord with all of our hearts from day one….with only one minor glitch, which once again had to do with the “parenting gig”.  As we watch our girls suffer emotional pain of rejection and navigating through adult hypocrisy we once again have to give it over to God to heal them, restore them and now allowing them to come to a place of trusting God to be in complete control of their lives themselves…something we hope they grasp ahold of early in life!

God is in control of our lives!  He is not caught be surprise in any of our trials, tribulation or suffering.  He has a plan…and it is for our good! He will be faithful to keep us in His safe & everlasting arms until that day where we see Him face to face.  You can count on it!

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An Evening of Honor for Dan Lambdin!

DSC_0023As promised in my “Seasons of Change” post….here are the details that I have been asked to send out by the event chairpersons for this special evening to honor Dan for 25 years in Christian Education.  I am so filled with gratitude to this group of people who desire to honor my wonderful husband in this way.  He truly is a man of character, integrity, faithfulness, commitment, humility and service to others and our Lord….not too mention an amazing husband and father. He is the same man in public that he is behind closed doors and besides adoring him as my beloved, best friend and partner in ministry,  I have deep respect for him as a man of stellar character and tremendous genuine faith! If you can be there to honor him on September 2, I know he will be blessed beyond measure and if you can’t make it there are ways mentioned in the letter below that you can be “virtually” involved in the celebration. Everyone is invited!

Dear friends and family of Dan Lambdin,

We are excited to send you an invitation to a special event to honor someone you know and love…Mr. Dan Lambdin.  Some of you are family who have known him his whole life, others are lifelong friends from his youth, college or church family and many of you are former youth, students, athletes, parents and co-workers who he has faithfully loved, discipled and ministered to for decades. All of you have one thing in common: you know that this special man of God has committed his life to serving and loving others!

Dan has recently been released of his Bible Teacher/Chaplain position at Jim Elliot Christian High School, the school he & Beth founded and that he worked at for the past 16 years. If you had not yet heard this life changing news, you can read about it on Beth’s blog at this link.

A group of us who know first-hand the character, integrity, faithfulness and commitment of Dan Lambdin, have decided to come together and honor him for 25 years of serving the Lord and others in Christian Education. We hope that many of you can join us for this evening of praise & worship, thanksgiving, appreciation, testimonies, special music, photo presentation and a corporate prayer of blessing over the Lambdin family. A time of fellowship & refreshments will follow the service where you can personally greet and show love to the Lambdins. We will also be taking a love offering to bless them and help provide for their needs during this big transition as they seek God’s future direction for their lives.

We know some of you live out of the area or will be unable to make it that evening for various reasons.  We plan to video tape the event for those who would like to watch. We also would invite those of you who can’t be there but would like to participate through sending your own words of appreciation in a card, note or email to do so at the addresses posted below.  Also, if you feel led to contribute financially to the love offering for the Lambdins, you can send a check (made payable to Dan Lambdin) or you can donate through paypal online here. Thank you for being a part of this very special evening for a very special man!

Sincerely, Kelly Hale and Monica Martinez

“An Evening of Honor” Chairpersons

Mailing address for cards, notes and donations:         

  • Kelly Hale
  • 10762 Pleasant Valley Circle                                                              
  • Stockton, CA 95209
  • ATTN: Dan Lambdin

Email Address for messages to Dan or questions about event:

invitation

 

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First Day of High School: Grace & Great Expectations

My dearest “sweet baby” Grace,

Today was your first day of high school!

….and simply nothing about today happened according to our long held expectations.

The year you were born was an amazing time in our lives.  It was filled with both struggles and challenges as well as great joy and miracles. One of the reasons that we named you Grace was because that particular year – 1998 – we had experienced an abundant outpouring of God’s amazing grace in our lives.  Of course, as you know the most significant event of that year was the miraculous beginning of Jim Elliot Christian High School.  A Christian high school we had dreamed about for years, had worked tirelessly to get started and rejoiced greatly when they opened their doors.  You were there that first day of school – September 2, 1998 – safely hidden in my womb as the board president handed us the Founders Plaque at the opening day chapel. Our dream had become a reality! baby grace

Several months later during the Founders Banquet you joined in the celebration proudly wearing a button I made you proclaiming – “Future Elliot Eagle Class of 2017”.  It brought smiles to everyone who saw you as well as a few raised eyebrows from some who thought perhaps the school would never make it past its first year.  And yet….it did!

Over the following years you watched as each of your big sisters began their season at Jim Elliot.  You got up and had the traditional back to school breakfast with them on the first day of school and DSC_0991drove with them to take the traditional “first day of school” photos in front of the Jim Elliot sign . You laughed and listened to them groan with protest, yet knowing that mom would get that photo taken reminding them…”someday you’ll thank me for this”.  You watched as they played sports as a Lady Eagle…being drug all over Northern California to cheer them on with gusto. You saw the excitement of spirit weeks, dress up days, homecoming, school camp and a host of other student activities that you looked forward to participating in when it was finally your turn to start high school.  You admired their beauty as they dressed up for Winter Formals and Proms. DSC_0133 You listened to the stories they would share about life at school, Dad being “dad” and both the blessings and challenges of being a “Lambdin” at the school your parents founded.  You stayed up with them as they studied late into the night for exams and you cheered them on as they donned their hunter green cap & gown and walked across stage to receive their diploma’s and become JECHS alumni.

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And yes, you expected that you would one day do exactly the same thing.

But those expectations did not come to pass.

Today…..

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…..there was no traditional back to school breakfast

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…..there was no photo in front of the JECHS sign

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….there was no Dad (aka: Mr. Lambdin) starting the school year  with prayer at chapel

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….there was no familiar faces or places

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All that you had hoped for, dreamed of and expected to happen for years did not happen. Your expectations were crushed and shattered and you were forced to give up your hopes and dreams of attending JECHS.

We all have expectations in life from our very earliest memories.  We universally expect to be nurtured, taken care of and loved by our parents. As children we expect to fed, clothed and have a roof over our head. (and in some families the children expect to receive an allowance, a car when they turn 16 and a fully funded college account…but alas you were not born into one of those families!) We all expect to be treated fairly. (or why else would every child I know at some point exclaim – “that’s not fair!”) As parents we expect that our children will behave a certain way, in our marriages we ex[pect that our spouses will treat and love us like we want to be treated & loved and we all  expect friends, family members, leaders, teachers and pastors to be, do and act according to the way we believe is right.  And of course we all have a different definition of what that “right” might be.

I have known many people who have let both unrealistic expectations as well has unfulfilled and unmet expectations destroy their lives and their relationships.  I have seen them get deeply depressed, bitterly angry, allow important relationships to deteriorate and even turn their back on God all as a result of expectations not being met.

You have an opportunity in this moment to learn a great lesson in life…one that many believers have still not grabbed hold of after two, three or even four decades of life. The lesson is…while having expectations of life, people and even yourself is perfectly normal…at some point you will be faced with the potential reality of the depression, anger, bitterness, chaos, and damaged relationships due to unmet expectations.  So what is the answer to this Grace?

Have expectations in your Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone!

He alone is faithful and true! He alone can meet your every need! He alone can give you perfect peace in the midst of the storm! He alone loves you with a perfect unfailing love!

What does the Word of God say that you can expect?

  • You can expect trials and tribulations in this life! (John 16:33 1 Peter 5:12)
  • You can expect God to give you the power and strength to overcome everything you face (Philippians 4:13 Psalm 68:35 Isaiah 40:29)
  • You can expect to be loved completely and fully by the Lord (Jeremiah 31:3 Romans 8:37-389 John 3:16)
  • You can expect the Lord to do abundantly above and beyond all you can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
  • You can expect to receive eternal life through your trust and faith in Jesus Christ who shed his blood for your sins (1 John 5:13-14 Romans 6:23   1 John 5:13)

So as you start your first year of high school in a new school with new people and new events…remember to put your expectations only in the Lord.  He will always come through every time and fulfill your greatest expectations.

And today give thanks for what you did have but perhaps did not expect…

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….Daddy at home (instead of at school) this morning to pray for you personally and bless you as you left for your first day of school
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…a big sister to be be your side as you together navigate this new experience at Capital Christian

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….a lunch at Chick-fil-a to celebrate the first day

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….and a Christian school where the administration all knew you by name this morning and are so excited to have the Lambdins as a part of the CCHS family. A school whose state of the art facilities, amazing fully developed programs, athletics and events; and  whose solid academics are enhanced by staff who love the Lord as well as a school whose desire is to glorify God in everything….this is exactly what your Mom & Dad dreamed of all those years ago when we were blessed with you…our sweet baby Grace!

Have a year filled with great expectations in what the Lord is going to do in and through you!

I love you!

Mommy

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Lambdin Life: A Season of Change

Dearest  friends & family,

 season

This sudden announcement may come as a bit of a shock to you…as it certainly did to us!

We have loved ministering at Jim Elliot Christian High School.  From its exciting beginnings back in 1997 (which many of you were a part of and for that we will always be grateful), through all the challenges and bumps over the years, to watching it grow and prosper to what it is today,  we have seen God move mightily in and through the school. Some of the best and most memorable years of our lives have been spent at JECHS and the blessings of deep friendships in students, staff and families have been abundant!

It is with both joy and sorrow that we announce that our season at Jim Elliot has come to an end. Sorrow as we will greatly miss ministering to students and their families who we love so dearly; but great joy as we watch God open up the door to new opportunities to use our gifts and talents to pursue our next dream. We know God is up to something really big and it is exciting to be part of His plan!

As we depart from our beloved school we are striving to walk in love, integrity and glory to God! We do earnestly pray that the Lord will continue to prosper and grow the school and bless the wonderful staff (whom we love dearly) as they touch and impact students for Christ!

Always in Jesus,

Dan & Beth Lambdin

faqFrequently Asked Questions

As word has leaked out, we have found that we are being inundated with questions. Thank you to all of you who have been so loving, supportive and concerned. We thought it best to answer the most common ones with this announcement.

1.       Was it your choice to leave Jim Elliot Christian High School at this time?

No. We had always thought that we would minister at Jim Elliot for life. Dan received notification on July 9, via certified letter, that his contract to teach for the 2013-14 school year was being rescinded.  There was no reason given.   

Despite Dan’s desire to stay and teach, disciple and mentor students, we believe that the Lord uses leadership to move us in the direction He wants us to go and we trust that the Lord has used the board and administration to accomplish His ultimate purpose in our lives. For that we are sincerely grateful to our Lord, as we know this will prove to be one of the greatest blessings of our lives!

2.       What about Rebekah and Grace who are enrolled as students at JECHS?

Of course as parents, of utmost concern are our precious children, every one of them gifts from God.

Rebekah and some of her classmates at a Senior Class Retreat this summer.

Rebekah and some of her classmates at a Senior Class Retreat this summer.

Rebekah was to be a senior at JECHS this coming year and was very excited about her position as student chaplain, continuing to lead “The Movement Club” (a student advocate group for orphans); and of course her passion – playing soccer for her final year at Elliot. She has also developed strong friendships over the past three years and was looking forward to graduating with the JECHS class of 2014.

This is Grace at the JECHS Founders Banquet in 1999.  She is wearing a button that says "Future Elliot Eagle  Class of 2017"

This is Grace at the JECHS Founders Banquet in 1999. She is wearing a button that says “Future Elliot Eagle Class of 2017”

Grace was to enter Jim Elliot as a freshman this year and after nine years of homeschooling was so very excited to enter the world of JECHS: to take new and exciting classes, playing sports, making friends (in addition some of her closest friends who would also be starting as a freshman there) and just being immersed in the Christian high school experience. Of course getting to hang out with her Dad every day was going to be a bonus too!

The board and administration at JECHS recently decided that our children were welcome to attend Jim Elliot providing they met the qualifications and that we paid all the tuition and fees. (One of the benefits of staff members at Jim Elliot is free tuition so this would be a new expense in our lives)

While we would love to have our children sit under the godly mentorship of the teachers and staff at JECHS, be with their friends, as well as have the opportunity to attend a local Christian high school whose goal is to glorify God.  First, let’s state the obvious…with Dan already sacrificing financially to work at a private Christian school where the teachers generally make 30-40% less than public school teachers, there was never any extra money to pay tuition, which is one of the reasons Christian schools often offer a tuition benefit to their staff.   Now with no income at this time…it’s pretty easy to do the math…even if you aren’t great with numbers.  (0 income minus $14,000 in tuition equals negative $14,000)  That said, we know God’s math is very different than ours, and if the girls wanted to be there, we know the Lord would provide the finances to make that happen.  Sadly, both girls already feel that “all eyes are upon them” and there is underlying awkwardness between them and the school.   They have decided that at this time they do not want to be “under a microscope” at JECHS as well as deal with questions about their Dad.  They have both grieved greatly over this ordeal and we are trying to help them walk through this major life change with the proper godly perspective and without allowing bitterness to get a hold of their hearts, as we know that could damage them for years if allowed to grow. It is a daily decision for them to walk in grace and forgiveness and yet we know that the Lord was not caught off guard by this and He will use it greatly in their lives!

Whew!  That was a lot of background information to answer the question so many are asking about Rebekah & Grace: “Where will they be going to school?” There is no easy answer.  As Grace said recently: “None of the options are good, Mom.”  We have made a spread sheet, written out all the pros and cons, sought counsel and of course, prayed.  At this point they are leaning towards attending Capital Christian High School in Sacramento (and yes, that is 52 miles from our doorstep…oh my!)  There are so many details that would have to be worked out: tuition (again that would take a God kind of math!) , transportation, athletic eligibility and jumping through all the admissions hoops in record time, not to mention a huge challenging life change for us as a family, having kids creating a life in an entirely different city.  We are confident that if it is the Lord’s will, He will work out all those details, even if it is hard, because God often calls us to do hard things!
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Please pray for our girls as they navigate through all this in the upcoming weeks and throughout the year. They are pretty amazing young ladies but we know Satan would like nothing better than to use this to destroy their lives and have them question God.

3.       What will Dan do now?  Does he have a new job?

No, Dan does not have a job or any potential jobs at this point.  This question is perhaps the hardest to answer because of the differences between a “job”, “career” or “profession” and a “ministry”, “calling” or “vocation”.  But we will try.

First …our commitment to Christian education goes far beyond simply a job or profession. We realize perhaps for many Christian school teachers it is more of a career choice or job that pays the bills; which is perfectly acceptable, but for us that has never been the case. Christian school ministry and the discipleship of students is our passion and something the Lord called us to over 26 years ago.  We believe it is a high ministry calling and our vocation.

Secondly…Dan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies, an ACSI teaching credential and is a licensed minister. He has been a Bible teacher for 25 years.  Prior to completing his degree he was a youth minister for two years.  This is all that he has ever done.

With that said…it is obvious that his options within his calling, his training and experience are limited. He teaches Bible – not history or English or math.  He has no public school options as many assume he might. (Unless we are unaware that our public schools are now offering Bible…would love to hear about that!)  He also has no options in San Joaquin County to teach Bible at a Christian school.  That leaves outside the area.  But let’s be real here – it is July – there are literally no job openings for Bible teachers this close to the start of a new school year.  Best case scenario IF he is to continue teaching (and that IF is there) is that he finds a Bible teaching position out of the area next (2014-15) school year.

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Now all that could sound pretty depressing or discouraging right?  Well sure maybe….if you don’t know that our God is bigger than any obstacle, that He has orchestrated all of this to complete His ultimate plan for our lives personally; that He is in complete control,  has a wonderful plan for our future and that He is our provider as always!  But we do know all of this about our awesome God and we put our full faith and confidence in Him. There is complete peace and freedom in knowing God!

Please pray for us as we seek Him for the answers to these questions:

  • Lord, are you calling us out of Christian education at this time and leading us to a new ministry calling, or do we seek to find a new school to continue to minister to and disciple young people?
  • If we are to stay in Christian education, Lord how do you want to provide our basic needs for the upcoming year until we can secure a Christian school job for the 2014-15 school year?
  • If we are being called to a new ministry, what is it Lord?  Pastoring?  Missions? Christian Youth Camps? Some type of Chaplaincy? Going full time speaking and counseling with Inspire Ministries and raising monthly support?  We want to use our unique gifts and talents for His glory!
  • Lord, are you calling us out of full time paid ministry and into secular employment?

We know that the Lord promises generous wisdom to all who ask him and we certainly need wisdom!  (“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5) We also know that the Lord will provide for all of our needs – financial, emotional and spiritual – according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19) We hope to be able to communicate with you all very soon what exactly the Lord has for us to do next.

4.       Will there be any type of recognition or acknowledgement  from the school for Dan’s part in founding the school and his subsequent 16 years of ministry there?

We have been told that the school officially has no plans at this time.  We have no expectations or disappointment.  In fact, we have always been so blessed to be showered with love and appreciation by those that we have ministered to over the years that our hearts are filled to overflowing!  We could ask for no more than the amazing love and support we have had from all of you over the course of our ministry. We should be thanking you as it has strengthened, encouraged and kept us going for decades!

The plaque we were presented on September 2, 1998, the first day of classes at JECHS

The plaque we were presented on September 2, 1998, the first day of classes at JECHS

However, a group of friends have recently asked if they could do something special to give recognition and honor  to Dan for his 25 years in Christian Education.  That event will be held on Monday, September 2, 2013  which is exactly 15 years to the day that Jim Elliot Christian High School began their first day of school with a beautiful chapel service. What a perfect day to honor Dan.  Everyone is invited! More details to come out soon. We hope that many of you will be able to join us in this special time together to thank the Lord for what He has done in and through Dan Lambdin, and to celebrate the great things he has in store for the future!

To God be the glory!

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