Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I guess I "grew out of it"

So, I write this for two reasons:
1) To show the Glory of Jesus through healing
2) To show the power of faith over fear.

Today I had a check-up at the Arrhythymia(100% sure I misspelled this) doctor for my heart, and I am so excited to say that for the first time in a very long time, I had a normal EKG! YAY. Praise Jesus, who is THE God of healing, and loves us so much to work miracles (even small ones) in our lives. I guess I can finally confirm that I think I have finally "grown out of it," like they kept telling me I would. I know in my heart though that this goes way deeper than "growing out of something." 

God can use anything and everything to get our attention about issues in our lives that don't bring Him honor. This heart flutter thing, which really, in all reality, was never a huge life-threatening deal, has held me in so much bondage over the past year. After feeling light-headed and tired 24/7 last summer, I passed out one night around 4 am, freaked my husband out, and rode in an ambulance to the hospital and run tests all day. I had to go back the following week because I passed out again, and that time, they kept me overnight to run tests while I was sleeping, or trying to sleep. My heart rate never went above 40 when I was sleeping and 50 when I was awake. My blood pressure was crazy low, and my heart was doing these weird flutter things that I could feel. I was told that it would be something that would go away with time, that I just needed to eat/drink more salt, workout less, and stay better hydrated, and that was all I could do. So, me being the control freak that I am, tried to take the matter into my own hands, and I made the decision to live in bondage over this for the past year. There have been times in which I've been with a group of people, and I would have these weird panic attacks that I was going to pass out and not wake back up. I would especially have them if Daniel wasn't there with me. A lot of times I felt like I could barely feel my heart beating, and I would feel like I was just floating around. Anyway, it was a little scary, and it was based on real symptoms. But I truly feel like I took what little symptoms I had and acted out in fear. I knew the whole time that I had a choice--to either act out in fear, or take a deep breath, pray (literally out loud and ask Jesus to be the strength of my heart). Many, many times I acted out in fear and allowed it to paralyze me from fully experiencing amazing opportunities and situations that God put right before me. I've heard a wise man say that "what you fear reveals where you trust God the least." This was definitely true in my life. Hebrews 11:6 says that "without faith, it is impossible to please God." :) My faithless heart did not please God.

 Well, I went to my Arrhythmia doctor 3 months ago, this past May, and I still wasn't feeling 100%. My heart rate was still around 45, and I had low blood pressure. After I went to Peru a couple of weeks after that, in June, some cool stuff happened that made me realize the power of prayer and believing in Jesus' power to heal. I really made a decision to start receiving that healing that Jesus desperately wanted to give me. That has been my prayer for the past couple of months. I prayed hard, persistently, and boldly for awhile. I have been relentless. There have been several times since June that I would be in bed and I would have those feelings, and with Daniel by my side, I would cry out to Jesus, saying that I received His healing, and the spirit of infirmity had no hold on my life. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in consistently calling out to Him. There is healing in that!! Jesus was just waiting on me to give Him control and show Him that I had faith that one who actually made me could actually heal me of this! Psalm 139--He made me and He knows me way better than I know myself.

The last time that I can truly say that I have had an "episode" was around July 20th!! Since then, I have felt like I had a heart that didn't flutter. I have been able to workout, run, and enjoy life without living in such dumb fear about my heart. I can confirm that as of today, my EKG didn't have any issues, my heart rate was 62, and my blood pressure was normal! :) That's actually really weird. Another cool aspect behind all of this was today, since my appointment was in the afternoon, I saw the nurse practitioner instead of the doctor. There is a really sweet nurse there that also works in the cardiac department at the hospital. She and her family made an impact in Daniel's life while he worked at AnMed, and we both really look up to her. When I was in the hospital a year ago, I was really scared, and she knew that I believed IN Jesus, so she prayed with me before I had to have some weird test done to make me pass out. Her praying with me brought me remarkable peace. That meant so much to me, and I will remember that for the rest of my life. Well, she just recently became a nurse practitioner with the doctor I went to today, and she did my check-up! So cool, Jesus!

I know that it's not like God raised me from the dead. I know that compared to what so many people have been through and experienced, this is so small. But this has been my reality for awhile now, and Jesus has answered me. Glory! I've made a decision to live by fear, not by faith. I know Jesus' truth and His promises. Last week was a little tough. Honestly. I told God last Monday when we were driving back from Myrtle Beach that I felt like my life was too easy--that it has been way too easy to be content lately. Well, he definitely shook some stuff up last week, and in the midst of that, I could feel this anxiety about my health creeping back in. I had to make a decision to trust God's faithfulness over my fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says that He hasn't given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Live that out.

We have to get to a point in which we trust God no matter what the circumstance may be. God > current circumstances. He is my strength. Psalm 73:26 says: "My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever." I am filled with His faithfulness, and I am going to make the daily choice to believe that Jesus is greater than my fear. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

"For when I am weak, then I am strong"...and new opportunities

In exactly one month I start probably one of the biggest opportunities that I have ever been presented with! Our church has started a 9-month, full-time, apprenticeship program, and I am so incredibly humbled beyond words that I would even be one of the people chosen for this, and to say that I am excited is an understatement! I have felt called into ministry since my sophomore year of college. I have a huge desire for people to experience true healing--the kind that only Jesus can give! My desire is for each and every person to know 100% that their life has meaning and purpose and that they mean the world to Jesus. I want my passion for that to be contagious. However, I know that there are areas that I lack in as a leader, so I am so pumped to have the opportunity to learn from the coolest, most influential people. I would start tomorrow if I could. Like I said, I am so unbelievably humbled that I get to be a part of this. I know that anything great that God calls us to is only because of His greatness, not ours. But I am human, and there are particular areas of my life that I feel like don't match up to others--areas that Jesus and I have a lot to work on--weaknesses

For example, I'd be lying if I told you that I have a way with words. I feel like I am actually the opposite. There are many occasions in which I have a difficult time putting into words the glorious thoughts that are running through my head. I usually stutter because I get so excited when I talk, and I try to say about five different things at once, and then it just sounds like gibberish!! Basically, you can call me Alison Moses Stall.  Moses tried to talk God out of sending him to rescue the Israelites in Exodus chapter 4, although God had clearly revealed Himself to Moses in chapter 3 and laid out His whole plan for him! Like Moses, I have seen the power of God numerous times in my life! I have seen full out miracles. God has done miracles in my life. I have seen Him as healer, provider, sustainer, redeemer, etc, etc., but I still sometimes struggle with who I am IN Jesus. It's easy to feel like I don't match up to others in areas like wisdom and confidence in my ability to do what the Lord has called me to do. In Exodus 4, we see that Moses tried to talk God out of His plan--all because He was unsure of His ability to live out what God had so clearly called him to do!!  

So, it would be really dumb for me to stay in this place of beating myself up because of areas in which I fall short. Like Moses, I battle with God over the cool opportunities He puts in front of me. (Although He hasn't called me to rescue a group of people and bring them to a promised land) But I have to be aware of the fact that my Jesus completely trumps these feelings.  His Spirit resides in my heart, and that should be enough. Yes, I must know that without Him I am weak, but I must turn those thoughts into ones that glorify Him---just like Paul did in the first half of 2 Corinthians 12(specifically verses 9 and 10!) Only with Jesus, when I am weak, I am strong! For example, I went to a preview for an upcoming Theology Class at church last week. It.was.so.awesome! However, about 10 minutes into the class, I was blown away by how much I have to learn about my creator. I worship Jesus. I am in love with Him. But I don't fully know Him…yet! I could have left there feeling set back, but instead, I choose to feel challenged and encouraged because of the fact that I have a God who is impossible to fully understand, and that is awesome! He is just that good!! This makes me continue to seek Him out. This is growth! When I was 18 years old, I got a tattoo put on my foot so that I would have to look at it every day and be reminded of Philippians 3:13-14, which says: "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." I press onto know Him more, and follow Him each and every single day.

Ya'll, Jesus is meticulous. He does not make mistakes. He made you and me with PURPOSE. As His children, we are not accidental, we are God-intended!!I have to trust Him and know fully that He is a master creator. Psalm 139 says that even before I was born, He "saw my unformed body" and all the days before me were written in His book (v. 16). I look back over these past 24.5 years of my life, including the 6 years that I have believed and trusted in Him, and I see clearly how HE has worked everything out to make me into who I am today.--All of the JOY, all of the PAIN, all of the MISTAKES, all of the RIGHT CHOICES, and all of the REJECTION-- Everything I've done and all that I have experienced has prepared me for what He has called me to do during this season of life! Only Jesus can do that. That's awesome.

I am constantly in awe of who my Jesus is and all that He is doing in my life, despite my weaknesses. Before you and I were born, God had a plan. Just like God called Jeremiah (Jeremiah ch1), He gave me an assignment and called me to just live it out. I live it out by remembering each and every day WHO I live for, and WHY I live for Him. Each day I have to be thankful that I am alive, I must give Him praise for all He has given me, and then i have to die to myself so that He can be seen through me.  The truth is, we never really feel ready to do what the Lord calls us to do. He doesn't call me to feel ready; He calls me to simply just follow Him, one step at a time, all the while doing my best to make Him look good, no mater what I am doing. I know that I am constantly growing, and that is what He desires of me-- that each and every day I will continue to mature because of who He is IN me! He is only getting started with me. 

My prayer is that each and every day, no matter what I am doing, Jesus is seen clearly through me. My desire is: 1) For my joy and passion for Jesus to be CONTAGIOUS 2) That He will continue to form me into someone who is worth following. I also know that my calling before anything having to do with ministry is to be a wife, and to be a dang good one at that because Daniel needs and deserves to see Jesus in me. I love Him, and I know that if I fail as a wife, then my ministry will fail as well.  That is my #1 calling after being a child of God. And besides that, he is the one who works his butt off, deals with people in a hospital, and yet he still has supernatural patience and love. I admire him for that If I am not faithful in the small things, I will fail in the big things. Jesus is constantly making something beautiful out of my life, and I am loving the journey. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Soul Detox

About two weeks ago, I listened to two sermons that rocked my heart and gave me a fresh perspective to look to dealing with my own brokenness. Both sermons were by Craig Groeschel, pastor of Life Church.tv. Both sermons were actually from him speaking at Elevation Church in Charlotte. He spoke on: 1) Toxic thoughts and 2) Toxic words --both subjects coming from his new book, Soul Detox. He says in each sermon that "we are not a body with a soul, but a soul with a body."

Well, I finally bought the book, and I am so ready to dive into it.

I feel like the thoughts that go through my mind and the things that come out of my mouth must be the first to change if I want to experience true liberty in Christ and live out an abundant life. 

Toxic thoughts are truly the thorn in my flesh! They eat me up. I know that I am supposed to fight the devil with scripture. I can recite 2 Corinthians 10:5(demolish thoughts that don't match up to Jesus, and take every thought captive, and make it obedient to Christ) and Romans 12:2(Don't conform to the ways of the world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your MIND) over and over, but I find it so much harder to apply them to my life. I'm sure you could agree that you are guilty of this in one area of your life or another. Jesus hates that for me. He gave me His precious word so I can match my life up to it. I am the one who has to decide if I am going to obey the Spirit or obey my own fleshly desires and thoughts. So many times I have lost at this because I continually beat myself up with my thoughts. I think the worst about myself, and sometimes other people. 

There are two steps to purifying my thoughts:
1) Ask God to help me identify the toxic thoughts that are so damaging to my soul.
2) MAKE THE CHOICE to actually reject those thoughts, and then REPLACE those thoughts with His truth and His promises.
Romans 12:2(NLT) says it perfectly: "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

Looking to Jesus' truth, instead of those dumb voices in my head, will allow me to know His plan for my life. Which is good, pleasing, and perfect!! -->love that! Negative thoughts will make me a negative person, and God-centered thoughts will make me a Godly person. I need God's help, but ultimately I am the one who has the ability to choose what I believe! Praise Jesus that He has given me free will. However, I need to use that for my advantage, to glorify Him. I want Jesus to be glorified through me daily, but I can't do that if I am always thinking about my own limitations, and not in the power of God that lives in me. I am weak, He is strong. So that means that with Him as my Savior--Him living in me--I am strong. 

Next, we have toxic words

Proverbs 18:21: The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Words can create or destroy, they can build-up or tear-down.

Proverbs 15:4 says that gentle words bring life, and a deceitful tongue cruhes the spirit.

Proverbs 12:18 says that the words of the wise bring healing. 

Daaanngg. Solomon was wise.

There are three things to consider when we think about the power of words: 
1) I must guard my heart against toxic words. Unfortunately I cannot control what other people say about me. However, because God has given me free reign of my thoughts, I can control what I believe. Proverbs 4:23-24 says to above all else, guard my heart, and to stay away from corrupt speech. I love this warning---that it is so important (above all else) for us to guard our hearts against the corruption and evil words that we may hear. We hear them everyday.
2. I am called, as a believer, to speak life-giving words to others every opportunity I am given.Any time I think something good about someone else, I need to say it. He is quick to point out that this may mean shutting my mouth, and only letting what is led and ordained by the spirit out of it! --ooohh that's good! It's important to not always find fault with someone or something. Sure, we are called to call each other out, but we must realize that there is a difference in calling someone out in love and criticizing someone. This drives me crazy! I personally don't feel like this is what Jesus wants us to do. We are called to encourage each other whenever the Holy Spirit tells us to.
Ephesians 4:29 says: " Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." 
The Holy Spirit prompts me to send encouragement, whether it be a text, phone call, email, fb message, tweet, or my favorite, a personal hand written note. It's important that we realize that when we don't obey this prompting, we are robbing someone of a blessing--the encouragement that they need. I realize that this is so important in my marriage to Daniel. He needs my encouragement, and I need his. If I constantly knock him down with my words, he may eventually begin to believe them, and that would be terrible. 
3.  I need to speak life-giving words to myself and to my circumstances
Mark 11:23 says: "I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart."
Groeschel says to don't just talk to your mountain, tell your mountain to move. We do this by aligning our words to God's truth and saying what His word says. I must also believe that God can use my words to change my circumstance. Words have power, and words backed up by the Holy Spirit can, and will, change a situation for the good!
Recognizing and changing toxic words and toxic thoughts is just the beginning of this process of detoxifying our soul. Issues like toxic thoughts and toxic words lead to deeper spiritual sin in our lives. I can't wait to read this book! It came in the mail yesterday :) I'm praying that Jesus will point out the things that are currently tearing my heart, mind, and soul away from Him, and that I will make the decision to change. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Peru June 2012

*"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."-John 3:30*

*"We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."-2 Cor. 10:5*

*"What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"-Romans 8:31*

Another short-term trip to Peru has come and gone, and of course, it was not long enough. I savor any time I am able to spend there, and the Peruvian people mean so much to me. This time was different because Daniel went to, and it was our first mission trip together! So, a team of us went to San Juan de Lurigancho Peru, one of the poorest and populous districts in.the.world. These trips that Alison and Chuck lead are so awesome, yet so refreshing at the same time. We go, go, go in the short time that we're given, making the most of each and every opportunity! Everyone has the opportunity to pour out so much, yet we are constantly being refreshed by Jesus in them!

I don't care if it's a long-term trip, or a shorter one, our God is big enough to move in big ways, but He's also personal enough to do amazing things in everyone's lives, when we let Him! We have to give Him permission and authority to do what He wants in our lives and through us. However, I feel like on these shorter trips, Jesus does way more in my heart through those Peruvians than I could ever be used in their lives. We witnessed and had the opportunity to be a part of miracles, and we were also able to see the FRUIT OF PAST MIRACLES! That's always soo cool and special to me! People gettin' healed and findin' freedom ya'll!

I could talk forever about each and every experience, but it would take so incredibly long, so I'll just hit on some highlights.

The team was so awesome! Selfishly, I was kinda nervous before we left because I felt like I was going to be the awkward middle aged, 24 year old girl on our team, since most of the girls were so young, and some were a good bit older than me.  But I really feel like our team meshed so well, and I loved how open everyone was. There was so much healing that took place in each of our lives because of how open everyone was. I think people were confessing things that were holding them back from fullness in Jesus left and right! This allowed for Jesus to heal out hearts and use us to be His healing to them! It was such an honor to experience Peru with each and every person on the team, and it was encouraging to see so many girls who were younger than me be so bold, selfless, and full of love and compassion. He sets up these teams perfectly! There was a man named Tory who was an electrician, and was able to fix so much at Pat's Place. Also, there was a woman named Janet who has such an amazing gift to sing, but she can also speak out Spanish so naturally...such Jesus shining through! There were also several people who had experienced such awful abuse, and they were able to testify to God's sovereign goodness. We had pastors that could bring the word of God. I respect Mr. Chuck and Alison so incredibly much! Their love is contagious, and they continually pour out on these trips! Perfection!

We had the opportunity to spend so much time with the women and children at Pat's Place, the abused women's shelter. I really treasured the time spent with them on our down times, before breakfast and before dinner. One of my favorite people ever is a 17-year old named Betsy. I remember when I came to Pat's Place for the first time in November 2009, and Betsy, who had recently turned 15 and came to Pat's Place, had a 5-day old baby named Josias Wilbur. I've always called him Wilbur. Although she had been given a fresh start in this new home, she was so sad, and with much understanding! It's been so awesome to see her grow happier and more hopeful each time I see her. I remember June 2010, when I was there by myself for 3 weeks, and I was crying because I was homesick, and she took me to her room and painted my nails, and just spoke comforting words to me in spanish. She has grown up so much, and Wilbur is now 2 and a half years old! He is a crazy, precious mess and Betsy is going to school! So much hope at this place! I love it! I love everything about Pat's Place.

We were able to spend a couple days at an girl's orphanage, Hope House. Probably one of my favorite moments of the trip was when a sweet girl on our team named Felicia shared her testimony with the girls, and it opened up a door for us to spend time getting them to open up about their broken homes. All had crazy, terrible situations going on, and most are without a father. We prayed over all of them, and then the men on our team went around to each girl and lovingly embraced them the way a father should; the way Jesus continually embraces us. I don't think there was a dry eye in there. Daniel and I fell in love with them, and I wouldn't be surprised if one day (a long time from now) Jesus calls us and makes a way for us to be at a place like that. I would love that. I really hope He does!

Daniel and I were able to spend some time with the Urbanos on Tuesday. It's always such an awesome time to catch up with them (or try to, because of the language barrier). They always pour out all they have, and Mama Leo can sure cook.

Each night, we spent time with 3 different churches throughout the nine days. One day, we went out into the streets and did dramas, and total I believe there were over 100 people who made that important decision to give their heart and soul to Jesus and make Him their savior. So awesome to think about how each person that made that decision is so precious to Jesus, and we were able to direct them to one of the churches we were at so that they can become part of it and get poured into.

Jesus worked hard in my heart the whole week pertaining to fear of the future, fear of being alone, and fear of my health.---such bondage I've been allowing the devil to put me through!  Long story short, He opened up a way for me to cry all of that out one night...you know, those nasty, ugly cries that you hold in for a really long time, and then it just comes out all at once? Well, I know He wants me to trust Him in regards to those things. I think deep down, it all comes down to knowing just how crazy He is about me. I've been focused on the power of prayer during this past season, but it's still been challenging to pray with that faith! Matthew 17:20 says: "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."  That's the faith Jesus wants from us. We prayed a lot, and saw a lot on this trip! We had a medical clinic in which the whole purpose was to meet with individual people, try our best to give them medical help, and then pray for them to receive total healing! Ok, so for me, it's easy to pray for these things for other people, and really truly believe that Jesus hears it and answers in the way that glorifies His best, whether in Peru, Anderson, or wherever else it may be. But it's a lot more difficult to approach Jesus in prayer for myself with that faith! Well, Jesus wants none of that, and He showed me on Friday afternoon that I don't have to live in that bondage. Ok, so before I type anymore, I have to say that it wasn't like I was dying or anything, and it's not like I was paralyzed and then was healed to walk, but I still faced something that was so real to me..a fear that had been on my mind a lot. I have this weird heart flutter thing, and yeah, it's caused me to pass out in the past, and yeah, I hadn't been feeling 100% myself lately because it throws my body off when it flutters and it scares me. But I had this fear that I was going to pass out in Peru, and that I was going to be left hopeless...dumb I know, although we were in the midst of a third world country with a lot of chaos.. However, the scriptures say over and over again to not fear! How can I truly fear with Jesus as my Lord? And how can I fear after all of Jesus' promises that I know in my heart? Well, honestly, I'm human, so it's a struggle to not fear, but I have to allow it. So, guess what happened...I ate some chaufa( i love Peruvian chaufa) on our sight-seeing day, and not too long after getting on the bus to go back to San Juan, I looked at Daniel and said, "I'm either about to throw up or pass out" and then, I became wayyy out of it. Daniel is the bomb when this happens, and apparently he just talked to me over and over again, saying things like, "keep your eyes open. Don't go to sleep. Stay with me. I love you. We got this. Me, you, and Jesus, we got this." I couldn't see or hear though, and I don't remember that. Ok, so here is the incredible part: apparently Alison was praying right there with us, and she, I'm sure, was voicing some incredible truth. Then she told me to say, "I receive my total healing, in Jesus' name." I do vaguely remember saying that. But right away, I could see Daniel's green shirt, and my hearing began to come back, and my hands started tingling A LOT, I guess from the blood starting to circulate. Praise the Lord! He did a miracle IN ME. Ya'll, He is amazing, and I just got really emotional because of His undeserving LOVE for me. God can use any situation to show us HIS power to do only what He can....and for me, that was what it took. So, long story, short, I have learned the power of my words and the power of prayer. Jesus wants me to declare that He will never leave my side, and that He wants healing and fullness for my life.
Psalm 16:8-11 is so comforting to me, and Daniel actually read it earlier on in the week while we were in Peru: " I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever."

He is good all the time. There is no sweeter name. I know He did great things during our time in Peru, and we had the opportunity to be used by Him. He also did so much in my life, as He always does when we stretch ourselves and get out of our comfort zone. I will not fear about the future, but instead, I will declare what He has freely given me.

Muchas gracias Peru. TE AMO! Dios te bendiga!No hay otro Nombre- Kari Jone

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Confessions of a 1 Year Married Woman

So, it's been a year. I don't think I have, or will, ever get over the fact that God has given me this incredible blessing of being a wife. I am so thankful for Daniel, and for how God continually shows His love, grace, and mercy through him and this gift of marriage. When we were engaged, we focused on Ephesians 3:20 for our marriage "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." I don't think there is a day that goes by in which I am in awe of Jesus' grace and love, despite how incredibly weak I am. Marriage makes me need Jesus. You can't be selfish and be a good wife, and I'm not exactly the most selfless person I know. 2Corinthians 12:9 says, "Each time He said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." I need Jesus to show Daniel love and grace. I have come to the realization that each and every day, I have the wonderful opportunity to show Daniel how much Jesus loves Him....I mean, He chose me for that! That's awesome. When we were married, we knew that we wanted our marriage to be an encouragement to others. We want to keep it real, and figured that maybe it will help someone.

 After May 7th, 2011, our lives changed a little bit. We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon, and then we moved to Anderson together, right when we got back from our honeymoon, knowing maybe 5 people here. It was crazy! While we miss everyone in GA far more than we could have ever imagined, we have seen daily why God wanted us to move here. Moving here has allowed us to really have a "newlywed season" in which all we had was each other for a little while! However, we prayed and asked for friends, and we have found amazing people who have been such a encouragement to us. We both have jobs that we love and are thankful for. God has provided for us abundantly, but to the point of where we know we still have to rely on Him for provision. We bought a house, which has brought on more responsibility and bills than I could have imagined!

We've been fortunate to have been poured into by several couples who have so much wisdom! We joined a church that we would be lost without. We're able to serve there together and individually, and we've met so many people, of all ages, that have built us up and we've had the opportunity to love. NewSpring has been such a vital part of our marriage. We've been able to join a body of passionate people. We have homegroups that mean the world to us. We've been able to serve, with me having the opportunity to do Care and Growth class, and together, in Kidspring! We've also received free financial counseling and marriage counseling that has helped us not go broke or kill each other during this first year of marriage. I could write about how easy,natural, and beautiful every single day has been, but every married person knows that isn't 100% true. Don't get me wrong, this wonderful, amazing life that I have, being married to Daniel Stall, far outweighs anything that hasn't met my high expectations I had pre-marriage. I have had to be intentional over the past year about making changes in my life. I have had to learn what it means to submit to someone out of reverence for Jesus (ephesians 5, 1 peter 4). However, I've been blessed to have a husband that knows that we are a team, and we need to make decisions together. Ephesians 5:21 says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.".

 Learning about my husband is a day by day, growing process, and vice versa. I'm sure he'll probably never figure me out, and I don't blame him. We've had to make conscious efforts to make adjustments in our lives in order to not become too frustrated. Just some little things to mention: Daniel loves going to sleep early, which has been so challenging for me because if you knew me in college, I was the walking zombie that never slept! Daniel has had to learn that it's not cool to just leave his clothes laying around the house. Obviously these are small things, but they still force you to change. Something else that has been hard for me is to take on the role as helper (Genesis 2:18). I feel like I have always been a very independent person, so it's been a transition trying to fit into that role. I haven't always been the most secure person in different ways. I thought that getting married would solve all of that, but while Daniel affirms me more than a normal person probably should, my mind still battles with this intensely!! If anything, it may have even grown worse since marriage! I'm pretty hard on myself, in the way that I look, what I do, the craziness that comes out of my mouth sometimes, and even little things like what I cook. My mind is a battlefield, and it's something that a husband can't help, only me being intentional to follow the word and not my mind.

 In December and January we hit a little bit of a wall. To be honest, it is easy to just go through the motions, take one another for granted, and give into what the world offers. We hit a stumbling block that set us back a bit. Together, we had to change our perspective on some things. I think every married couple is going to have that time in which they have to be honest with themselves, each other, and God, and realize that Jesus has to be the center of the marriage at all times. It sounds so cliche, but we need Him. There was something ugly between us, and we had to take some intentional steps in order to turn it around and allow the glory of marriage to rise above the lies. The following months, we soon found that Jesus really does make beautiful out of our mess. I learned that it's not necessarily about what comes your way, it's about how you handle it. A close friend, and mentor, told me shortly after we got married, that no matter what happens, to hold onto what brought us together and keep that deep in our hearts!!!! I love that.

 I can honestly say that I am more in love with my husband today than I have ever been. God really has made something beautiful out of our messy lives. I am beyond blessed. There is no other way to put it. As I have gotten to know Daniel more, I have seen that he needs my affirmation and he needs my time: quality time, in which he gets 100% of my attention. He has seen that I need his affirmation, as well. Sometimes marriage seems to come naturally to me, and some days it does take work. (I'm just being real). I'm not an amazing cook, sometimes our house is a wreck, sometimes I don't build Daniel up like he needs, sometimes he loses his patience with me (which is rare). But at the end of the day, Jesus knew that we need each other. We are a team, and I truly do feel like the best is yet to come for Daniel and me. We have dreams...the same dreams that we discussed before we were married, but they are starting to develop here in Anderson.

 I figured I would wrap this all up by stating some things that make me adore Daniel even more... Daniel loves Jesus, and he is a leader. He makes time to get up extra early with me and spend time together reading and praying. I feel like he has more and more of a desire to do this every day. He has goals for his life and our life together. He wants to make peoples' lives better, and he wants to help people help themselves. His goal is to ultimately have a ministry called "Go Love" started in which really cool fabric bracelets are sold to raise money. It's a long story, but it is something that he has been trying to start with his best friend, Matt, from Statesboro. He serves at church. He serves in a ministry through KidSpring, called Spring Zone, where he gets to usually hang out one-on-one with a kid and pour into them. I saw how good he was at it, and his love for those kids was so contagious, that I started serving in the same service as him. It is such an amazing feeling to look and see him pouring into kids. He is also the guy at target/walmart that you'll see talking to all the kids. This could look like a creeper, but I promise he's not. Last, but not least, Daniel works so hard to provide for us. He has goals within his job, and he has already taken steps to pursue those goals. He works hard, and I am so appreciative of that. It is only because he works hard, that I am able to work less than 30 hr./week and I am able to volunteer during the week at church. I will never take that for granted.

 Anyway, thank you to everyone who has poured into us during this 1st year of marriage. We are forever grateful for you. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."--*Ephesians 3:20*

Wednesday, April 11, 2012



I just wanted to write a blog to celebrate one of my best friends, Colleen Cowart. Last May, Colleen left for a 6 month trip to Guatemala to live at New Life Children's Home. During those 6 months, she had to give up her own way of doing things and completely take on their way of life...UNCOMFORTABLE! When she returned, not only did she know Spanish from 6 weeks of language school and so much time spent around the people there, but it was like Jesus grabbed a hold of her heart and laid out who she is in HIM! Don't we all want that? In the midst of her closest friends getting married, getting engaged, getting "big girl jobs," Colleen took a step of faith a couple weeks after she graduated college and went.

Since she has been back in the states, she has known that it's only a matter of time until she is back there again with a commitment to stay for awhile. A couple weeks ago, she had the opportunity to go back and see her babies there. Well, while she was there the Lord confirmed that her next step is to make a 5 year commitment!! And she leaves in JUNE!!!! Crazy. Jesus calls us to do things that make us uncomfortable, and we have to make a choice if we are going to believe Him and follow through.

She has been such an inspiration in my life over the past five years.It seems like it was only yesterday that we were sharing crazy stories together in the Miami airport, during an 8 hour layover, after a mission trip to Honduras, going on and on about from where Jesus had brought us. She is crazy, and she has made me laugh so hard I peed myself many times. She also has some trendy plastic, clear high heels that she pulls out every now and then.Colleen is such a beautiful person, and it is so amazing and inspiring to see someone so close to me living the dream and fulfilling the purpose Jesus put in HER heart long ago. I know He is going to continue to make her story so beautiful!

Here's a recent update she sent from facebook today. You should check it out, be inspired, and pray!:

Colleen Cowart
Dear Sweet Friends I am so excited to announce today about my commitment to become a full time missionary at New Life Children's Home in Guatemala. I am making a 5 year commitment (though in my heart I believe it to be forever). I realized during my internship in Guatemala that more than anything I missed COMMUNITY, encouragement, and friends remaining informed of whats going on. In Statesboro I am having a supporters lunch to share what I will be doing and prayer/financial needs. If you live in or near the Statesboro area and would like to come to the lunch (its free!) please let me know you are interested along with a mailing address

For those who cannot attend I want to send a letter. I am asking God to show me a way of forming a support group that isn't about money but about me praying for you and you checking in on me and the ministry. If you are interested in being apart of that group please send me your address and I would LOVE to mail you information and put you in my ring of online blogs and newsletters.

If you have a small group that would be interested in hearing me speak I would love to do that as well

I am starting mission school in San Juan Texas this June so all of this is happening quickly, but clearly in Gods perfect timing. Thank you for who you are and what you mean to me!

In Him,

Monday, January 30, 2012

PERU June 2012

Our Peru Support Letter:

January 20, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

2011 was an exciting year for us! We have enjoyed starting our lives together, and God has blessed us abundantly. Everyday is an adventure We are believing even bigger things in 2012. With that being said, we feel that our next step in faith is to serve together in Peru this coming June. We have both been all over the world, and we have been fortunate enough to partake in some amazing, life-changing experiences. However, this will be our first mission trip together as one, and we are pumped!

On June 1st through June 9th, we will be going to Lima, Peru with Crosspoint Ministries(based out of Statesboro, GA). The area we are serving in is a suburb of Lima, called San Juan de Lurigancho. San Juan de Lurigancho is Peru’s poorest, most populous district. This will be Alison's fourth time going to Peru over the past three years, and it has been amazing to witness and take part in all that Jesus has done there through Crosspoint Ministries. A unique bond has already been formed there, and we are excited to step into that in June, and as a team, we will be building on the relationships and ministries that have already been formed, as well as meeting new people.

The majority of the trip will be spent serving and ministering to physically and sexually abused women and children at a shelter and a girls' orphanage. Abuse is very prevalent in Peru, and it has greatly affected the majority of the people there. Victims have endured a lot of pain, but because of God’s grace and mercy, they have been given hope through the ministries down there. We want for them to continue to see that God hasn’t forgotten about them and that He loves them abundantly and unconditionally!! We’ll also get to visit and help out at a medical clinic, take part in several construction projects, and we will get to hang out and minister to kids around the poorest parts of the city. Finally, each evening, we will be putting on a conference at a church that Crosspoint continually ministers to and serves with.

Once again, we are so excited about this next step in our lives! Acts 20:24 says, "But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God." God has given us a strong desire to love and serve His people, both in the U.S, and in Peru, and we are anticipating and expecting Jesus to do miracles in and through us, and for people to receive hope! We are certain that Jesus is going to change us during that week and the time to come.

We would love for you to consider being on our team. We are asking you to consider praying for us! We are depending on God to equip our team, to prepare the hearts of the people in Peru, and for safety. Also, the cost to cover the ten-day trip for both of us is $3,000. We need to have the entire amount raised by the end of March. Whether it is praying for us, giving financially, or both, we are asking that you would pray about being on our team. If you have any questions you can call us or email us. Our contact information is below. Thank you so much, and Happy New Year!


Daniel and Alison

**All Checks are Tax Deductible, and should be made out to Crosspoint Ministries.

Our Address is: 125 Duraleigh Rd. Anderson, SC 29621

Daniel: (864) 634-1799 ; Danstall@gmail.com

Alison: (912) 660-2305 ; Alison101887@bellsouth.net