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We have split this blog into three sections. Rather than jump right in, we wanted to give a little overview of what will be in each section. So first, we decided to explain what all will be in the most important section on both this blog and in our lives: Faith in Jesus Christ.

Bubba grew up going to church with his family until his parents got divorced. At that point in time, his grandparents faithfully called and invited him to church every Sunday morning. One particular Sunday morning when he was 8, he woke up to get ready for church. He went in to tell his father that he was leaving and noted, “Dad, I’m going to get saved today.” It was truly as simple as one day coming to realize that he was a sinner in need of the grace of God. So when his grandparents came to pick him up for church, he told them the same thing. That morning, Bro. Charles Bell led Bubba to the cross of Christ.

 As he grew up, God slowly started fading in importance to what many boys in South Arkansas consider their god: hunting. Rather than going to church on Sunday mornings, Bubba spent every chance he could out in the woods. Casting Crowns sings a song titled “Slow Fade,” and truly, that’s what it was for Bubba. There was no big event that was the catalyst for Bubba deciding that God was not going to reign supreme in his life, it just slowly happened.

Fast forward to 2004, Bubba went to college at Southern Arkansas University (SAU). God placed two very special suite-mates in his life that first semester. These two young men were avid followers of Christ and members of the campus Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). They loved Bubba as Christ would. This included cleaning up his mess after coming in one early morning very sick from partying and drinking the night away. They never pushed, but consistently told Bubba that he was loved by Christ and invited him to the BCM. 

The next year, he decided to get his life in order and started to truly live for the Lord. He ended up meeting me (read more about our story in the Intro to Family Part One blog), and pursued the Lord with everything he had. He lived at the BCM as the caretaker and was able to spend a lot of time getting to truly know God. 

Before I move on to our ministry together, do you mind if I back up and briefly tell you my story? I did not grow up in church, but had many people in my life that loved the Lord. When I was eight years old I was invited to a presentation of “Heaven’s Gates, Hell’s Flames” at a local church. It was that night that I gave my life to Jesus. I really did not know what all that entailed, but I knew I wanted to live for Him. 

I would go to church off and on when I could get someone to take me until I reached the age where I could drive myself. I struggled with self image and who I was in Christ. I had parents that loved me, almost every material thing I desired, and loving friends with whom to make memories. But there were times when I felt as though I was drowning and just could not get a grip. 

When I turned 16 I got baptized and faithfully started attending church. That was when I really got on fire for the Lord. Through prayer journaling and daily Bible reading, I started to recognize myself as a creature created and loved by God. I was special to Him, loved by Him, and purposed for His plan. When I went to college at SAU in 2005, I immediately became involved in the BCM where I grew in Christ by leaps and bounds. I met Bubba through band, but our relationship was cultivated at the BCM.

We got engaged on Christmas Eve 2006, and started together in the ministry almost immediately. Bubba has been a student pastor and we also worked as state side missionaries at a camp in Montana. Currently, we are serving at Three Creeks Baptist Church in South Arkansas. Bubba is the Associate Pastor here and works with some amazing students. 

Without God, we truly would be nothing. (If you would like to know more about who God is and the saving grace that He offers, please click here.) Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” We try to match up everything we do to that verse by asking the questions, “Is what we are doing glorifying to God?”, “Could we somehow change what we are doing to glorify Him more?”, and “What else could we do to bring Him glory?” 

Now that we have two beautiful little boys (read about them in Intro to Family Parts 2 and 3, coming next week!), we also try to live as closely as possible to the She'ma. This is a passage of scripture that comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9.  In everything we do, we now try to show our children Christ. In later posts we will explain a little more about how this looks and works in our family.

It’s so hard to truly tell our stories in a short blog post, but what we want for you all to understand more than anything, is that our lives completely revolve around Christ. Therefore, you will see our faith explained and lived out through the entire blog. However, we felt like we needed an entire section that’s purpose was solely to explain our faith. Future posts in the Faith in God section will include notes and links to sermons Bubba preaches, our thoughts on relevant Biblical issues, book reviews, and anything that we believe has benefited us and pray may benefit someone else.

Most of our posts will not be this long, but we felt it was important to try and explain the essence of who we really are as the Gurley family. Come back in a couple days to read about how Brandon and I fell in love!

--Ashley



 


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