Into the thick of it!

We are all at war. We just don’t know until the war will becomes front and center in our lives. Most of the time, we just wake up, brush our teeth, shower, go to work, eat fast food, come home, watch some silly show on Netflix, go to sleep, only to do it all again the next day. Our lives are on repeat. But the war will one day call us out. The war will one day get our attention!!

That war has come once again for Kristi, me, and my wonderful kids. We are in the thick of it. When Lily was really little, she loved the Backyardigans. If you don’t know what this is, you haven’t lived! There was this one episode that pops out in my mind where the characters sang, “into the thick of it, into the thick of it…” Well, here we are!

We have no idea what’s ahead? We have no idea what hour by hour or day by day will bring. But we are going “into the thick of it”. Instead of Tyrone, Pablo, Uniqua, Austin, and Tasha, it’s Kristi, Ray, Lily, and Max. We are heading into the thick of it! And it’s no make believe magical “thick” – it’s WAR!!!

God has prepared us for this our whole lives. We have been through so many battles preparing us for the War.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. Start building your supply line early and soon!

A supply line in war is so vital that the front line warriors will literally die without them. The frontline warriors need energy, sustenance, motivation, encouragement, and to never be forgotten.

Many of us start off with the basics when we come into this world. Mom, dad, pesky siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and if we are lucky, grandparents.

What we don’t realize is that we are designed to build strong supply lines for moments of crisis and war!

Kristi has been so blessed to have a strong supply line locally, globally, and spiritually. She has touched so many lives over her short 46 years on this planet. She has left “almost” everyone with a good impression of herself. (Hey, she’s only human and I’m sure she has ticked a few people off! That’s their problem).

I am amazed at the outpouring of love and encouragement and “supply line” strength that has revealed itself over the last 24 hours. This did not happen by accident. She opened herself up to others. She walked with countless people. Opened herself up to heartache and made herself vulnerable to those around her. She has been building her “supply line” for 46 years!

How? You might ask?

It’s not overnight! It takes a lifetime. It’s unselfish. It’s not self-serving.

Start now. Build yours. Don’t wait a day longer!!!

2. Find your purpose.

The day I met Kristi, she was so full of purpose. Yes, she was beautiful and I thought she was the sexiest girl I had ever laid eyes on! But, she was full of purpose. She wasn’t going to let any lo stupid boy derail her. She gave up everything to pursue that purpose. She was headed to Africa or wherever God would let her serve.

Of course, she never made it to Africa outside of a mission trip, but Central America became her “Africa”. Her next “Africa” was raising two incredible children. And the am “Africa” called Yukon , Oklahoma. (No offense Yukon).

Find your purpose and you will do well when the war comes your way.

3. Trust God in all you do!

This one is the trickiest one. Our humanity tricks us into thinking that we can do anything we set our minds to. Sure, humanity is impressive. So creative. So powerful. But, we are nothing compared to the awesome power of God!

If we haven’t strengthened our relationship with Him, we will be scattered at the first sign of war. “God is in control.” “God’s got this.” We’ve all heard it. But it’s meaningless unless we know Him, believe Him, and truly trust Him. We are nothing without Him. We are a ship out to sea with no direction. We are lost In a desert with no water. We are living in a make-believe world like the Backyardigans.

Kristi has stepped into the second half of her life building a true and authentic relationship with the Creator God. This has been hard. It has been up and down. And she is still human. She may even drop a curse word here or there. (She’s going to kill me for writing this!! It’s ok, I’ll take her wrath!) But she deeply and wholly trusts God. She has an immovable faith in His Sovereignty.

God knew this war was coming. He has helped her build her supply line. He has surrounded her by her closest warriors (Ray, Lily, and Max). He has graced her with purpose. He has given her the command to FIGHT!!!

Supply lines ready, purpose at hand, God leading the charge…

Here we go…. Into the thick of it! WAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ray Rhoton

Kristi’s War

join the fight!

15 thoughts on “Into the thick of it!

  1. Scott snd I join in your prayers! When we learned of this battle, we talked about how incredible it is that we can spend a couple of weeks with people, (10 years ago in CR) and feel the impact for life. And how He weaves paths – we rejoice that y’all are close to the Tabers – Oklahoma has the BeST!
    We join in prayers.


  2. It has been a long time since we met you as missionaries raising support, but you continue to be in our hearts and minds. We want you to know that we are here ready to go to war by your side! You will be lifted up in prayer daily, and surrounded by God’s presence and His peace! We know this war will not be an easy one to fight, but we will be fighting right along side you! Hug your wife and kids for us! We love you!!


  3. When Ray first shared this at church, I was so anxiety ridden and sick in my spirit. Ever since I have been lifting you and your family up in prayer. Even though I have only known you guys for a short time, you and your family have been a great example of what it means to find and follow Christ. Today a great peace came over me when it hit me that God knows your name and you and your family are not forgotten. Isaiah 40: 28-31. I will continue to stand with you in prayer and in battle. We love you guys. Chad Wagner


  4. Thanks for sharing how Kristi has prepared for this unexpected time in her life, along with her family. We will continually lift you guys in prayer, trusting God. ~~Mona & Dennis Clark, Warner Robins, GA


  5. Lifting Kristi and your family up in prayer. Praying for earthly healing in the name of Jesus. Praying for strength, wisdom and comfort for you all.


  6. God IS good and He goes before us and prepares us long before we can even understand the importance of those actions. I love that you can see that at work in this situation. What a blessing to know God loves you guys so much He’s been setting you all up to handle this battle and to be victorious. 🙏🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼


  7. I love you guys so very much, Kristi is one of my special “ministry girls”. Praying continually throughout the day, each day. My heart hurts for her and all of you. Please God give strength day by day and your Presence moment by moment. Much love, Sharon Hoffman


  8. We here and ready to help you fight and win your battle. Whatever you need from us do not hesitate to let us know. We love you and your family and are praying for you all. ❤️🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼


  9. Just found out about Kristie today. I am so sorry to hear about that. Praying 🙏 for your family’s health and all of your concerns in God’s holy name.
    Jocelyn Wilbanks

    Liked by 1 person

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