Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the good (days), the bad (days) and the beautiful (babies!)

The last few days have been difficult. I am so thankful that the good days (in perspective) have far outweighed the bad ones. The good days are filled with awe at how much the Word is coming alive and knowing that the Lord loves me and is holding and guiding me with His mighty hand. I have gone back and forth between whether I am progressing normally, or simply in denial.

This week, my family came and organized some cabinets and a linen closet for me. It was a great help since my "giftings" definitely do not include organization! Scott was so sweet in that he never complained that 3/4 of the closet belonged to me and 5 out of the 7 drawers in our chest of drawers were filled with my things. His work clothes made their home in the hall linen closet. Occasionally he'd joke that Eliya had more closet space than him; although true, he meant it light-heartedly. So, my mom and aunt asked if they could organize the linen closet. The thought of his stuff being moved around did make me feel a little uncomfortable, but not to the point that I would say no. It will feel uncomfortable 2 months and 2 years from now as well. They boxed up his work stuff for the basement. I had them keep out a few of his chef coats that have "The Attic" written on them since this is what he wore the majority of our life together.

It wasn't until it was all said and done that the impact fell heavy on me. Scott is never going to wear those clothes again. He is never going to need his work clothes. Although this is not new information, something processed differently in me and it has been a difficult couple of days. I thought of a great analogy today for how it feels. When an amputee has the sensations for the limb that was removed they call it "phantom" sensations or pain. It is very metaphorically like half of me has been cut away, and my brain is pretending that it is still there. Although I don't consciously think "he's just at work", I know part of me has to be believing that. Like a wound that has just stopped bleeding and then you bump it, my heart aches more these days and that lump in my throat has returned. God is STILL good and will be my comfort through these days, and many more like these.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 62:5-8
My soul, wait in silence for God only. For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, o people; Pour out your heart before Him, God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 63:7&8 (the whole psalm is good though)
For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

I do have to say the biggest blessing is the two beautiful babies that God has given me. It's hard to be sad in their presence. First of all because there is no time! Secondly, because they are just so beautiful and sweet. Here are a few glimpses of the faces I get to see everyday.

Characteristic of Simeon's temperament. What a joy!

Playing with Eliya

What beautiful blue eyes both babies got from their Daddy. See how Simeon's hair is curling around the edges?!

So pretty and big!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Well: House of Prayer

The Well
House of Prayer

This writing is an attempt to put down in words all of God’s leadings and the workings that brought us to The Well in Demorest, Georgia. On December 3rd of 2004, Scott and Jennifer Mason opened a small restaurant at 888 Central Ave, in Demorest, Ga. By June of 2006, they had outgrown the location and moved to a larger one in Clarkesville. It was at that time that Scott mentioned the desire for the original location to become a house of prayer. That location was unoccupied for 15 months. During that time, the restaurant went on in Clarkesville. In the Spring of 2007, Jennifer waited on a couple with a daughter who was in high-school. The daughter had a dream that she saw a sign outside of the old restaurant location that said “House of Prayer”. It was sitting on the porch and she got the impression from the dream that it signified that a house of prayer would be coming there. Remembering that Scott had earlier stated his desire for this same purpose, it seemed a little more than “ironic”.
By October of 2007, the Demorest location was set to be rented out as a coffee house. The location was still listed for sale as an investment property, now with a two year lessee. In August of 2008, an investor made a contract on the location and it seemed set to go. THE DAY, more specifically, only hours before the meeting with the lawyers to legally sign over the property, Scott received a voicemail from the tenant stating that he would be closing the doors that week. Once the investors heard this news they removed their offer. It definitely seemed like either really bad luck or God’s timing. Scott then again said that he wished it could become a house of prayer. Jennifer remembered the dream that the girl had over a year ago and wanted to make contact with that family but didn’t know their names. It was the end of September when she started inquiring from people who might know them. Jennifer found someone who knew who they were and tried sending out a few e mails to get their information. These returned empty. The person helping had the right family in mind but the wrong last name. Jennifer went out of town in the middle of October and when she returned Scott told her that a woman had called asking about the possibility of renting out the location for Bible Studies and prayer etc. As soon as Scott told Jennifer about the phone call, she realized that it was the same woman they had been searching for. Although Scott failed to save the number, with renewed zeal Jennifer was able to find her by the weekend.
Brad and Jayne Bradley thought they would be moving to Tennessee after the summer of 2008. They are the family with the daughter who had the dream about the old restaurant location. Brad and Jayne spent some time in August – September in Ft. Mill, South Carolina attending conferences and a house of prayer up there. At one conference on 8/08/08 it seemed that God was speaking a theme of ‘new beginnings’ over their life; which is interpreted to be a pattern in the Bible as the number 8. They felt this had something to do with their coming move. During this time of being away, it became clear that they would be returning to Clarkesville for a season. Jayne felt confused thinking that she was sensing the Lord moving concerning this new beginnings theme. On her way back into town after spending 6 weeks in S.C. she passed the old restaurant location in Demorest. She too remembered her daughters dream and jotted down the phone number on the for rent sign. It was at this point that she called Scott, not knowing that it was those who had the restaurant that still owned the building. Jayne knew that the Mason’s were believers from some conversations they had previously had, like the one concerning the house of prayer dream. It was that next weekend when Jennifer called Jayne in amazement that SHE had called Scott, WHILE Scott and Jennifer were actively looking for a way to find her and her husband. The conversation lasted at least an hour and left both Jennifer and Jayne buzzing and wondering at what the Lord had in store. Jayne asked God for confirmation, because almost one year prior it seemed that God was opening the door for something similar and it ended up fizzling out. God’s confirmation to Jayne happened as she passed the location in Demorest and noticed that the address was 888 Central Avenue. She had felt God speaking a theme of new beginnings earlier and now with all that had happened, THIS was definitely a confirmation. Scott and Jennifer Mason and Brad and Jayne Bradley decided that there were enough God prompts and leadings to walk through this open door in faith. The Masons and the Bradleys met the week before Thanksgiving and Scott mentioned that he liked the idea of setting a date goal and liked the idea of December 3rd since that was the date the original restaurant “The Attic” had been opened by him and Jennifer in 2004. All agreed that even if everything wasn’t ready, we wanted to just get in there and start meeting with God.

On the way back from Thanksgiving travels, Scott and Jennifer jotted down a purpose statement from the discussions with the Bradleys.
To create an environment separated for and dedicated to the purposes of worship and intercession.

To provide a place that aids believers in our community to deepen in intimacy to Jesus through worship and prayer.

To be a place that will have an intentional spiritual impact on people in our community through prayer.

We were all able to meet together on Monday December 1st and make plans and pray over the House of Prayer. On December 2nd Scott had an accident while cutting trees for fire wood. On December 3rd, the day that he had hoped we’d be able to begin the House of Prayer, he was able to really worship in Spirit and in Truth for the first time as God decided to bring him home. In God’s putting all things together so perfectly, it should be mentioned that the place where Scott really pursued prayer for the first time was in a prayer ministry over the high school students at the church where he found a relationship with Jesus in Lawrenceville. The then high school meeting area has since been purchased by the International House of Prayer in Atlanta. So the very place where Scott spent hours interceding is now set apart for that purpose.

For those of you who are still wondering what it is that happens at a House of Prayer, we worship and intercede (pray). There will be corporate prayer themes when we will all focus on a specific prayer theme like ‘Lord make us holy’ or ‘help us to know you more’. During these people will read Scriptures relating to the topic or pray about this. There will also be places for individuals to bring their Bibles and simply meet with God in an undistracted environment. As often as is possible, there will be live musicians leading the worship. The main goal is that this place will aid believers in returning to the great commandment through knowing and experiencing God’s love for us. When we begin to know how great the Father’s love for us is, we can fall deeper in love with Him. Then we can love Him with all of our hearts, souls and minds (Matthew 22:37).

To see a video of part of Scott’s testimony, please follow this link

To read more about the Mason family go to

To help support what God is doing in Demorest and Habersham County in Georgia Please send a check to The Well, P.O. Box 1897, Clarkesville, Ga 30523


Sunday, January 4, 2009

It has been one month

How do I begin to put into words what the past month without Scott has been like? Whirlwind, shocking, overwhelming, painful… these words skim the surface. Today is one month from the day of the accident. The last time I saw Scott, he was helping me get Simeon and Eliya into the car so I could leave for work. I was running late which is a common occurrence for me. I woke him up and asked if he could help me. He did almost every morning (again because I was often running late). He dressed Eliya and carried Simeon out to the car. He came back around to Eliya’s side to open her door, kiss her and tell her he loved her. He always did that too. Sadly, I can’t remember if we exchanged a quick peck or not. I most likely said “I love you” because I always did. As I backed away, I saw him going back inside to sleep for a little longer since he didn’t have to be up that early.

I long for a little more time. I wish I could even just change our last 48 hours. I know it doesn’t work that way and one of the lessons I have learned in recent seasons is wishing things in the past had been different doesn’t lead to a life of contentment. I cannot change what is in the past and I am at peace with that. I am now learning that I cannot dwell on tomorrow. That is truly God’s. I have spent way too much time thinking, plotting, planning and dreaming about the future. What a waste that has turned out to be. Who knew Matthew 6:34 should and could be applied so literally, “so do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. Next month, much less five years from now is an overwhelming thought. I pray that I will never live for another day again.

In the midst of my deep sadness, I am so comforted when I think about what Scott’s day looks like, day in and day out. I am excited to know we can still have a shared experience. The more I am in God’s presence; I am, in a sense, where Scott is also. I am excited for him that he knows as he is fully known and that there are no hindrances for him that we still have to struggle with in our flesh and in this world. Those things really do bring great comfort, peace and even a sense of excitement. This life is like a vapor. Something I did struggle with was the fact that Scott laid in the woods for 4 and ½ hours dying. It really bothered me. I was playing back all of the things that I was doing during that time completely unaware. A dear friend reminded me that any momentary affliction is so small compared to the weight of glory that is on the other side of that. Oddly, God is using that for me as well. My light and momentary afflictions are going to produce for me an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

I know I have said it and I will continue to, I am so thankful in this season for the prayers of the saints, because God has so been pouring truth into me. I haven’t had to battle doubts, fears, anger and many of the things one would expect in these circumstances. I feel like God has every step along the way given me His truth and His words for me. In the beginning of this whole ordeal when I really just wished that I could hold Scott’s hand one more time and I thought, I’ll never get to do that again… God by His spirit said, “you can take mine”. I WILL.

Psalm 139: 7-10 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, EVEN THERE YOUR HAND WILL LEAD ME, AND YOUR RIGHT HAND WILL LAY HOLD OF ME!!”

I really have nothing else to say but God is good. Again, thank you for your prayers.
One of our favorite sermons is all the more applicable now. It is The Sufferings and Successes of Adoniram Judson by John Piper. Please listen to this and be changed.