Posts from the ‘Erin’s Thoughts’ Category

Resolved To Be

Hello Everyone! I have started a new blog, Resolved To Be, if anyone is interested in reading it. I first began California Coates, later to become, Growing In Grace, to document our time in seminary for family and friends and to show what the Lord was teaching us. I always had the thought in my mind that I wanted my blog to be a legacy for my children to read their mom’s heart and the faithfulness of God. Overtime I feel I really lost sight of why I wanted a blog.

My new blog is going to be a little different, more Mary, less Martha. The blog is going to be a reflection of my devotional time with Lord and more of an explanation of His Word. I want to set the expectation, I have no idea how often I will be writing, I will not be writing on controversial issues for the sake of debate. I’d like to write about the time I spend in the morning with the Lord, sermons I am chewing on and prayers to my Father. I was asked the question yesterday who was my target audience for my blog, my answer, The Lord. I enjoy blogging but really want it to be for Him and if He chooses to use it in someone’s life, that is awesome but is not the intent of my blog.

I keep journals that are handwritten and would like the blog to be more of my electronic journal.

I will still use this blog for updates and pics of the boys so don’t fret my American friends!

My new blog:

For Christ’s glory alone,



A Year In

I am amazed. Awe struck by the faithfulness and lovingkindness of my Savior. It is only by His grace that I am sitting here typing this post. One year ago last night we landed in Edmonton and became a part the GRBC family.  Looking back on how the Lord pulled everything together to fit into His perfect plan blows my mind. One year ago we landed to smiling faces at the airport that took us to our new home that had been under a secret mission in the days leading up to our arrival, it was fully furnished and everything you could ever need was in our home, complete with transportation.

One year later, those same smiling faces greet us every Sunday as well as the days in between. Behind their sweet faces are passionate hearts on fire for Christ and His glory. Hearts that long to know the Savior and to live according to His Word. I am blessed, encourage, challenged at the love and zeal of our GRBC family. Each one is so precious to us. Words can’t describe how grateful we are for each one of you, how we praise the Lord for your lives and desire for holiness. The Lord shows His love for our family through His church.

We are beyond blessed to be serving under our beloved Senior Pastor Lyle and his wife Joan. Thank you for your amazing example of love. We have much to learn from you and pray for many, many more years in the ministry together.

I have had the blessing of watching James grow in his preaching and have to say there is no ministry that has impacted me greater then the faithful preaching of the one whom I love. It is crazy to me how much our family has grown by what the Lord has taught him. To watch him grab a hold of these precious truths and apply them to his life and family, there is no greater joy. His love for Christ, His Word and pursuit of holiness spur me on when I am weary. So many times I am in situations and reminded of the amazing teaching I received at The Master’s Seminary Wives Discipleship. What a value it has been to me in our first year and  I am so grateful for the leaders that poured into my life. The effects, I am sure, will far reach just our first year. My heart longs for the day we are altogether on our faces before the King.

Isaac had his 8th birthday, 8th! He is such a special young boy. Homeschooling has been so much fun as we see him really starting to grasp truth and ask questions. He is tender and loves and cares for his brother in away I have no yet come across. Caleb keeps me on my toes like no other. He has 10 times the energy Isaac had (which I thought was a lot). When his big blond curls hit my vision they always bring a smile to my face. He is an endless chatterbox which ironically at one point in my life was my name. I think he may be our future preacher. He is all boy and hates being anywhere without his brother. Watching them play everyday is one of my greatest earthly blessings.

It has been one crazy year but one I would not change for anything! There is so much more to say, who knows this may prompt another blog post ;-).

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Resources that have greatly impacted me this year:


Slave by John MacArthur

A Chance to Die the Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot

Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper


The New Man’s Mission (Prayer) by Pastor James Coates

An Introduction to Jonathan Edwards  Steve Lawson Resolved 2005

The Use of Your Time  Steve Lawson  Resolved 2005

A Fond Farewell

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me in continuing my blog. It was such a joy to know that the Lord could use someone like me to encourage other believers. But, it is time to say my goodbye. There are many reasons I am discontinuing the blog. Firstly, I have limited access to a computer. James’ office is in our home and he has the only working computer at the moment. Secondly, because I haven’t had access to the computer, I have tasted and seen my life with minimal contact to my blog and others, what’s the result?  I love it! I have had so much more time to concentrate on my boys, the home, hospitality and even getting into those books I have been wanting to read.

I didn’t realize the time I was spending on the computer looking at other’s blogs and how they did things was actually hindering what I was doing in my own home. I am so excited about the personal contact I have had with others because of limited access to blogs and email. I always thought that the Proverbs 31 woman had more hours in her day but she didn’t, she just didn’t have a computer!

We have entered a new season of our life. A season full of hungry and passionate people for the Word! This fall will be full of dates with my hubby, grade 2 fun, toddler chasing, Sunday school teaching, bible studies, fellowship and woman’s groups. This is my ministry not my blog. Though I really wanted it to be, the Lord has given me other desires, desires I am so excited about! He has answered prayers about the direction of my blog and devotion to Him.

Please don’t let this post discourage you, if you find enjoyment in reading blogs or having time to yourself, I am not condemning you this issue is mine. A weakness the Lord is wanting to build on in my life so He is continually number One in my heart and in our home.

I do plan on doing a family newsletter, so if you are interested please email with your address and I will add you to the list!

May GOD alone be glorified!


And Away We Go!

Today is the day! I am excited, scared, sad. When we left for California to attend seminary the goodbyes were emotional of course but it was temporary. We knew we would be returning. When we left California, there was tears but so much joy knowing these we the people we’d be spending eternity with, and a sence of awe that God had such special plans for these men and their sweet families! But some how the goodbyes are different this time, more final.

So that is why I am sad. Why am I scared? I realize the high calling of being in ministry. I realize my complete inadequacy. Handling people lives. Helping (and being helped) them to see who God is, what He expects of us, and what that looks like practically. I am not so scared about the fact that our lives are going to be much like a fish bowl. I am pretty open with people about my life, joys, trials, sin. If you remember please pray for us. Pray that the Lord would keep us from error. That we would rightful handle the Word with much fear.That every day we would honor Him. That He would be glorified with every moment of our lives.

Why am I excited?! Well 7 years ago if you had seen my life (you can read that here)you’d never believe that I would be where I am today. It is not me though. It is completely the love that my Savior has for me and His transforming work and power in my life. I am excited that the Lord could and would use someone like me. I don’t deserve it, I never want to forget what He saved me from and that my life was purchased at such a high price, the price of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’s life. Though I am far from friends and family, I am where the Lord wants me and there is no where I would rather be than where He has placed me. My life is not my own and there is no greater joy then serving my Master and King! I am excited because this is what my husband has worked so hard for over the last 3 years. There is nothing that gives him greater joy than the Word of God. He is amazed that this is his life, to study the Word, there is nothing better! I am excited about what I am going to learn from him! I am so excited about this church and the work the Lord is doing there.

Please again if you remember, please pray for our transition to Edmonton! I will be absent for a while as we get our home up and running, it is my first priority. I will do my best to reconnect to keep everyone updated! Thank you all for your prayers and love. Everyone that came to see us, pray for us, cook dinner for us. We are blessed.

For the glory of Christ alone,


Words of a True Woman

There are few in the Christian Community that have never heard the name Joni Eareckson Tada. A life transformed after a diving accident in 1967 that left her a quadriplegic. Our Mighty Lord has used her in unspeakable ways. I don’t think I have come a cross another women in my life that has suffered physically like Joni.

I wanted to share these words with you that were spoken after Joni’s most recent health findings. Joni has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

“I’ve often said that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, who loves us and wants what is best for us,” Tada said, according to the news release. “So, although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me. Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken [her husband] and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope and strengthen our witness to others.”

That is a true woman!

I hope if you are struggling today, whether it be big or small that you can find comfort and confidence in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Joni has and will continue to.

Please pray with me for our dear sister.

To see more of how the Lord is using this dear sister around the world visit Joni and Friends


Steve Lawson Throwing it down

This video is amazing, the power of the Word is so amazing! We are grateful for Steve’s influence in our lives. (Thanks Phil!)

It Will Cost You Everything but you gain the only Person worth living for!

In Your Faithfulness You Have Afflicted Me

Insomnia. Insomnia, did I say that already? It is going on 11 months that I haven’t slept for more than a 3 hour stretch. That’s on a good night. There may have been a couple of times where it was closer to 4 but that is unlikely. If anyone has battled with lack of sleep you know the effects it can have, mental, emotional, physical. It’s hard to focus. Battling my thoughts has never been harder because I am so weak sometimes.

I have to depend on the Lord for the smallest of things. I have cried, I have broken down, I have even been angry with the LORD, that is a scary place to be. When your wants would take over that you are angry at the lot the Lord has given you. As to say “my plan is so much better than yours. The plan you ordained before the beginning of time, just isn’t working for me, I want something else!”

Do I believe the Lord can take it way? In heartbeat! It is easy to fall into sin when you are so tired, so irritable, so selfish.

What have I done you ask? EVERYTHING! You name it (and you have 😉 ), I’ve done it. I have pleaded for 9 months for the Lord to take this thorn from my flesh, His answer: (2 Corinthians 12:9)

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

My reply: (most of the time)

Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

I love this promise:

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.~1 Corinthians 10:13

Who am I to question the Lord and His dealing with me? Sleep is a gift, a gift He has chosen to take from me. I might not be getting any sleep but I am thankful I am not getting what I deserve…eternal punishment and separation from my Lord because of my sin! Paul says:

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. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

My LIGHT affliction is temporal, but the work that the Lord is doing through it is eternal! This coming from a man who:

Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. ~2 Corinthians 11:24-29

These are amazing truths that have gotten me through. What else is the Lord teaching me?

~Trust in Him, He is equipping and sanctifying me for His glory and purpose.
~To have more compassion on people facing trials
~That the Lord has His plan in trials and when people are in them, it may not be a matter of what they are or aren’t doing.
~Stop unloading what “worked for me” on people facing trials and minister to their heart, encourage them, love them, pray for them, they will ask when they need it.
~Pray not that my trial would be taken away but that God would give the strength and grace to bear up under it.
~Pray that He would show me what it is He wants me to learn through my trial.
~Thankfulness in the things I take for granted.

There is so much more He is teaching me, if you have questions about facing your trials, please feel free to ask!

You have counted me worthy to be afflicted for Your name sake, may You be honored and glorified in my response!

Job 42
Job’s Confession
1Then Job answered the LORD and said,
2″I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3’Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
“Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
4’Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
5″I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
6Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”