The Bates Family

Turning Hearts

by Kelly on September 19, 2011

bontreger

We attended the Labor Day Turning Hearts Celebration hosted by the Bontrager family in Kalona,Iowa. It was a sweet time of fellowship and music.  Gil gave two encouraging messages for strengthening families: “Beware Where You Stare; It May Become a Snare” and “One Failure No Family Can Afford to Make.”

It was exciting to see such a large crowd of young people with a desire to serve the Lord. The Bontra_MG_1045ger’s labor of love and sacrifice for this event will undoubtedly yield much fruit in the hearts and lives of those who attended.

It is a testimony to all of us how the efforts of just one family can impact hundreds! May we each follow their example in giving of our time, talents, and treasures to be a blessing to those around us!

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{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah September 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Hey, Kelly
How are you doing? When is the baby due?

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Dear Hannah,
Valentine’s Day is our due date! Love, Kelly

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Michelle September 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Dear Kelly,
I just love all the pictures of the music! They all look like they are having a blast singing and playing together! I can’t play any instruments myself, but sometimes ill get carried away and strum on my air violin/piano in the car! Your family is so great..Im turning 21 in october and your older girls are very encouraging to me because I can relate to them more than anyone! I also love to read your answers to the questions people ask, its like im getting to know you personally! Im also from TN and hope to someday meet your amazing family!
I do have a question.. Is it hard to go out, say like to the grocery store, because people recognize you and want to talk? I know you would probably always say hey and talk with them but with small children that would seem tough to balance!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my comment! And I hope the pregnancy is going great! (Im praying for you!!) Also do you have any baby names picked out??
Love, Michelle

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Dear Michelle,
We don’t get recognized too often to intefere with any schedules. We love people and usually people are very respectful of our time and we enjoy the opportunity to meet. I do not spend any time on the phone, though because it could be a real time stealer and I limit the time I use to answer post and mail (which is why I’m always behind). Love, Kelly

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Anna September 19, 2011 at 10:35 pm

What is the one failure that no family can afford to make?

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Dear Anna,
I’m sure there are many, but the one Gil was referring to in his sermon was anger because of the desructive consequences it has on relationships. Love, Kelly

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Brandi C. September 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Sounds like yall had a wonderful time! We had the opportunity to see the Bontrager Family last year; they were a real encouragement!

Take care, Brandi

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brittani September 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm

at least your family and the bontrager’s familes had fun for the labor day weekend

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Kay W September 19, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Since I have a very good friend who is a Christian and lives in West Point, Iowa, I was very tempted to attend if she would agree to go with me. Then I got sick, so whether she would go with me became a moot question. Anyway…if a person wants to attend how do you go about registering, paying, camping?, food, etc? Is this an annual event? Do you have any ideas for Isiah’s or Katy’s birthdays? There must be something they would really like to have. I know what to get a pregnant woman for her birthday, been there, done that. Love to all of you. Kay

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Dear Kay,
I think the Bontragers have a phone number and information about attending. It is an annual event, but it was our first time to go and to meet their lovely family. PS – You don’t have to send any birthday presents, silly Kay! Love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe September 19, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Dear Kelly,
I love the pictures you post. Looks like ya’ll have so much fun!

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Brittany-Joy Morris September 19, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Dear Mrs. Bates,
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the example that you and your family set. My life has been changed (like, dramatically!) because of ya’lls love and encouragement. You don’t know how blessed I am and what a difference you’ve made for me. Thank you so much. :)

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Brenda September 20, 2011 at 12:12 am

I agree Kelly it is so important to set examples for other families!My husband & I are involved at our church working with young parents who are bringing their children for baptism- giving witness & encouragement. We also work with engaged couples as they prepare for marriage.
I was wondering if you or Gil could give us a brief summary of his talks? The titles really caught my attention!
I hope you are feeling well.
God Bless. Brenda

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm

My favorite message that he preached in Iowa was “Beware Where You Stare; It May Become a Snare.” The text was from Genesis 13:10… He then gave the background of Abraham & Lot’s journey through Egypt, their conflict & separation, and the dangers Lot faced as consequence to his unwise choices. I’ll add the 5 points to this reply as soon as I get them from Gil. Basically, Lot had set his affections and appetites on things he had seen in Egypt. Those appetites led him away from the godly influence in his life (Abraham). He moves further away… at first he is only facing Sodom, but finally he is living in Sodom and is a leader in the city. His appetites caused him to choose wrong priorities over his own family relationships. In the end, he had lost the respect and hearing of his family… Along with many other consequences he experienced. Love. Kelly

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Sarah September 20, 2011 at 12:37 am

Dear Kelly,
I was woundering what the busyiest time of year for your family is?
God Bless Sarah!

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Dear Sarah,
Summer is probably our busiest because that’s when we travel for preaching/singing. Next to that would be holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We still travel in school months, but only to short trips that can be done in a weekend. School keeps everyone pretty busy during the weekdays! Love, Kelly

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Lili September 20, 2011 at 1:19 am

What a wonderful event! What a blessing that so many were able to hear the Word both spoken and sung and enjoy the Fellowship.

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Nicole September 20, 2011 at 2:29 am

They look like a wonderful family! I wish I could hear a bit of their singing. Their family picture is beautiful, I LOVE the colors!

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Peggy September 20, 2011 at 3:18 am

Kelly,
I know you have been asked this question before, but is there a way to get a copy of Gil’s preaching? Is it on youtube, or anyplace else? Is there a written copy available? I would love to hear him preach!

Peggy

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Dear Peggy,
We have 2 messages that he shared at a homeschool conference that I’ll be glad to send you. Mr. Bontrager is going to put us in touch with a gentleman that filmed one of the messages in Iowa… If we can get a copy of that, I’ll be glad to send it. Love, Kelly

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Kay W September 20, 2011 at 6:21 am

I found the Bontrager web site and apparently it’s fine to just drop in for the day. Looks like quite a place and a nice looking family, too. Maybe next Labor Day weekend. God Bless, Kay

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Sheri George September 20, 2011 at 10:20 am

It was a wonderful time, and we are so grateful that your family was willing to travel there. Gil’s message was just what we needed and we appreciated it so much! We knew God wanted us to drive down there (from our home in Minnesota) so off we went to hear what He had for us. Was nice to meet you and your family. You met so many people, you likely don’t remember us. But our son Dylan really liked playing with Jackson. Thanks for your faithfulness – it’s encouraging in more ways than you know! Hope your trip home was smooth sailing – that’s a long drive!

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Brenda September 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I was just wondering, is Kelly still pregnant? I’ve read conflicting reports and I didn’t know whether she unfortunately miscarried or not. Hopefully not!!

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Gil September 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Dear Brenda,
Yes, we should go for a 20 week check-up next week. Love, Kelly

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Kaley September 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Do you have any baby names picked out yet?

Anyways, I was reading some of the answers you were posting on there to people and I was wondering, is Alyssa really close to one of her siblings? I noticed that you said Erin and Tori were very close and Michaella was very attached to the younger ones, what about Alyssa? Love, Kaley

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Gil September 22, 2011 at 3:47 am

Dear Kaley,
Alyssa spends a lot of time with Zach. She also spends a good deal of time with Erin each week. Love, Kelly

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Hope September 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

That is so cool! So the Bontragers have ten children? Funny, because I am 15 and we have ten kids in our family! Just thought that this was interesting…
I agree with a lot of the comments regarding baby names… do you have any picked out?

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Gil September 22, 2011 at 3:45 am

Dear Hope,
No names picked yet… that’s the really hard part for us! Love, Kelly

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Lora R. September 20, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Dear Kelly,
I saw your husband and you in a picture with Josh Duggar holding a sign that is in his house now, “To Have and To Hold”, was that a wedding gift to Josh and Anna? If so where did you get it, I know a lot of people have asked about that sign.
Here is the picture to jog your memory:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ja20com/Engaged#5390926676824000354

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Gil September 22, 2011 at 3:44 am

Dear Lora R.,
I think that sign came from Knox Rail Salvage (Where we also bought a lot of our house building supplies). Hobby Lobby has a large selection of similar signs. Love, Kelly

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Anita September 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Dear Kelly: I’m writing from Argentina, and we salute you with peace of our Lord Savior Jesus Christ. I share your opinion of how important it is that the family is in good standing, anywhere and in any event, because with our attitudes we can bless others or we can divert. God wants us to be light in this dark world and our Christian walk we talk and make more faithful to the ranks of our savior. I wonder if you could mail me some preach that Gil did in Iowa, we are open for listening to preaching, provided they are based on the Bible, which is the only truth, because in these times there are many false preachers who say know everything, and then realize that they are all lies what they preach, God save us from them, as some profit from the word alone. I hope your pregnancy goes ahead, may God continue using us as to serve and follow Him. BLESSINGS, answer me as soon have the time.

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Dear Anita,
I’ll be glad to send one if you can mail your address with a note explaining what you want to PO Box 544 Lake City, TN 37769. Love, Kelly

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Patti September 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I am wondering if you have read The Purpose Driven Life? I’ve been slowly working my way through it and have found some very thought provoking things there.

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Emma Culverhouse (England) September 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Hello Kelly,
I am so thrilled to hear you are approaching your 20 wk scan, may God continue to bless your pregnancy. God is still working well in my life, though I faced some challenging behaviour from my daughter on our holiday, I would really appreciate any advice you can give me for typical 6 yr old strops!! I am also discovering that I have a servants heart and have been helping out where ever and whenever they need me at church.
Love Emma x

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Dear Emma,
There is a wonderful set of parenting tapes called Growing Kids God’s Way by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. We really got a lot of help from those tapes. Remember a consistant, loving, just, and understanding response should be included in your correction. Love, Kelly

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Christy September 20, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Oh Kelly! If you get any copy of the preaching that Gil did, we would LOVE to see/hear it as well!
Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!
Christy

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Dear Christy,
Can you send your address to my PO Box… PO Box 544 Lake City, TN 37769 and a quick note that you would like a preaching CD? Love, Kelly

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Kay W September 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Dear Kelly, I know I don’t ‘have to’ send birthday presents, but I want to, which is a whole different thing, am I right? Of course, I am. You have a special family that has a special place in my heart. Not that I am saying you are a faith healer, wouldn’t that be an uncomfortable position to put you in, but since your prayer, I have had no serious breathing difficulties. It cleared up that very night. So you keep on praying when you can, I know your family has developed quite a following, so I don’t want to be selfish, and I’ll try to imagine gifts for Katy and Isaiah…see I learned to spell after my last comment. God Bless you all and love, Kay

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Dear Kay,
You must be one of the most thoughtful and attentive ladies in the world! Erin loved her horse!! Love, Kelly

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Michelle September 21, 2011 at 4:19 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question! I’ve been reading your posts and I think the questions are excellent!(I’ll read one and think “Man that’s a great question, I wonder what she’ll say??)Through your connections with the Duggars and their growing media attention have you met alot of people that your now close with/ or met people you otherwise wouldn’t have met? I saw on one episode where they met Kirk Cameron.. That would be incredible!!

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Dear Michelle,
Zach would answer an enthusiastic “yes” to meeting special people since the Duggar show since the Duggars introduced him to Sarah Reith (the girl he is courting) during the filming of one of their shows. Love, Kelly

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Michelle September 21, 2011 at 4:43 am

Actually… I have a different question (your so sweet to answer them, I hate to burden you with several!) Do your older girls (or boys) ever go out with friends? If so what do they like to do? I love getting coffee or ice cream with my friends (depending on the weather!) so I was curious.. Thanks!!

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Gil September 22, 2011 at 3:41 am

Dear Michelle,
Our older girls some times have a shopping day out or lunch with friends from church. The boys have get togethers at one of the church family’s house to play football or instruments. Love, Kelly

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sonja petersen September 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Dear Bates,

how did Gil become a preacher? Where did he learn to preach?
I hope your new coming baby is doing fine, you too!
Greetings to all of you,
Sonja P.

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Dear Sonja,
Gil was preaching when I first met him in college and has been every since. He is not the pastor of a church, but enjoys speaking when asked. Love, Kelly

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Kay W September 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Me, yet again. As I told you my cell phone went throught the washer in the pocket of my shorts so I no longer have Michaela’s cell phone number and I often have questions I need to ask her. Could you email it? Today for example I have ordered a flower print fabric and I generally send 5 yards of contrasting print, as well, but fabric.com only has 2 yards of the contrast so I needed to ask if that is enough for maybe collars and sleeves for dresses. Thanks, Kelly, Love, Kay

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Gil September 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Dear Kay,
I’ll have her e-mail as soon as she gets home from her baby sitting job. Love, Kelly

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Christy September 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

yes! asap! thank you so much! :) Christy

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Kay W September 22, 2011 at 1:10 am

Thanks, Kelly, And look who is talking about ‘attentive and thoughtful.’ You are in the major leagues and I’m on a high school team. Anyway, Glad Erin was pleased. Kay

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christy September 22, 2011 at 3:58 am

Kelly
Do you use consequences? If so what kind? I.m always trying to respond in love but sometimes I get so frustrated because I don’t know what to do and I yell. We work on character constantly and they are only 4and 6. Anyway, just throwing that out there for some thoughts :) love ya! Christy

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Gil September 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Dear Christy,
One of our favorite resources for parenting tips is Growing Kids God’s Way by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. Gil just preached a message to encourage parents not to respond in anger… If you’ll send your name and address with a note requesting the sermon on anger, I’ll be glad to mail it to you! Remember, the most effective parenting is preventive… teaching BEFORE an offense occurs. Also remember, ALL discipline should be done in LOVE with the mindset that this is not punishment for an offense, but more importantly, it is protection from a future harmful attitude or response. The goal is to HELP not HURT. Correction is necessary at times, but your attitude during that correction will make all the difference in the quality of your relationship with one another. How do you want your child to describe your parenting to others when he/she grows up one day? Love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe September 22, 2011 at 4:21 am

Dear Kelly,
I already sent my letter back to you, and forgot to ask you if there is anything you need for your new baby? I absolutely love shopping for my friend’s new babies and would love to buy your little one a cute outfit ect.

Hope you don’t mind me writing you back and forth :) I love it lol!

God Bless,

Lauren

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Tryge and Jodi Jepson September 22, 2011 at 5:25 am

Dear Bates Family,
We were so blessed to of met you! We are still doing our ABC’S!! We talk a great deal about that message. Have a beautiful day in the Lord. The Jepson’s ( Tryge and Jodi) We were the family with the 2 boys Chris and Chance and the 3 Haitian children..Fabson, Sophia and Julia

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makenzi September 22, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Dear bates family…i LOVE you all so much!! i cant even begin to tell you what good examples you set for me..im 14 years old and it is hard to find Christian girls like your daughters..we have alot of the same interests and beliefs..my dad is the pastor of Blessed Hope Baptist Church in MD..i was wondering if your girls have ever participated in ‘Bright lights’? by sarah mally..or if they have ever read her book before you meet prince charming..it is an amazing book! anyways my other question is how erin does her hair! I LOVE IT! i have natrually straight hair ..i wish it was curly :) is her’s natural? or permed? how does she style is! it always has such beautiful volume! and i love when she pulls it up too!! i would love if you could write me back..i love your family! thanks for being an example..<3 kenzi..
I Timothy 4:12.KJV

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angela September 23, 2011 at 12:51 am

hello bates family! as i was reading my Bible i was wondering what chapters i should read, how many, where…can you give me any suggestions? what do your older girls do?

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Gil September 27, 2011 at 4:49 am

Dear Angela,
My children use a read through the Bible checklist chart (Many types are available online). If you’re new at reading, some easy to read and very applicable books to begin with are Galations, Ephesians, Plillipians, and Colossians (They’re short also, so you feel like you’re making progress!) Some action packed books are Genesis, I Kings, II Kings, and Acts. A good overview of the Bible would be beneficial. (I like one by John Phillips called Exploring the Bible.) Some of my girls also use a devotional book along with their Bible study. Love, Kelly

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Lora R. September 26, 2011 at 3:59 am

Dear Kelly,
Do you know what time your family will be performing at the Tennessee Fall Homecoming? I am hoping to go since I am only less then 4hrs away. When I saw that your family and Southern Raised were performing on the same day I was very thrilled.

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Gil September 27, 2011 at 4:35 am

Dear Lora,
I’m sorry I do not know a time. I know we sing on Friday, though. Love, Kelly

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Bontrager Family September 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Dear Bates Family,

Aw, what a sweet post! We were SO blessed to have your family join us for the weekend! Ya’ll were a huge encouragement to so many!
We also posted about the day over at our blog, http://www.bontragersingers.blogspot.com

Blessings to ya’ll! Hope to see you sometime during our southern tour next year! =)
Chelsy, for the Bontrager Family

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Lauren Sharpe September 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Kelly,

Did you see my message? I am going shopping in a few minutes and am thinking about getting your little one a sweet outfit. Is there any particular size you would like me to get? :)

Lauren

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Gil September 28, 2011 at 4:15 am

Dear Lauren, I must not have seen your message yet, but you do not have to get us anything… that’s a sweet thought! Love, Kelly

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Christy September 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Thanks Kelly! Yes I sent it a few days ago.. you sent me your PO BOX number on a different post. :) Thanks!!
I will get that! Yes, you are so right about being proactive and not defensive. We are 100% against hurt!:) But I have been convicted about looks I give them somethings in frustration and words that are meant to help but may come across harsh. I had signs all over my house that said “speak softly” and “smile!” haha they helped a lot! Mostly because my boys would point to them and remind me! haha
Thanks again! I’m always looking for ways to be a better Wife and Mom. You should write a book on both! :) My husband just designed a book cover, for a different Christian lady, about encouraging your children. I look forward to that when it comes out.
Thanks again!

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Gil September 28, 2011 at 4:14 am

Dear Christy,
I’m afraid if I wrote a book, it would be mostly on my mistakes! But the good thing about grace is that forgiveness follows it, and as we humble ourselves we receive both grace and forgiveness! And I agree with you and also pray for strength to have the right looks and tones! They are just as beneficial or as damaging as our words can be… maybe more so! I’ve forgotten a person’s exactt words when I have well remembered their stern or menacing looks. Love, Kelly

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brittani September 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm

hi bates family at least your family had fun over the labor day weekend and the bontrager family are going to be in michigan

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Emma Culverhouse (England) September 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Dear Kelly,
Thanks for the advice on both the bible & parenting skills, I feel like I’m just sucking it all up like a sponge!! I served this wkend in church in the 1-2 yr old room which was such a joy.
Hope you are all keeping well,
love Emma x

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Heather September 28, 2011 at 1:10 am

We were at the Bontrager’s that day with you! My daughter, Alexa, played the entire day with Karlin, Katie and Josie. She had so much fun. I really felt impressed to meet Mrs. Bates but prayed I would cross paths with her and never did so I will leave it up to God! :) Thank you for blessing us and speaking right to our hearts. We have 12 blessings from heaven and we are trying to raise them according to God’s word in this CRAZY world. With opposition from all sides and being a first generation, quiverful minded family, it is not easy and the trials are so tough sometimes but God is so faithful!

Blessings to you and thank you for all you do for the kingdom of God! It shows! Hope to meet you again soon!

Heather J.

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Jennifer September 28, 2011 at 1:22 am

Kelly,
I’m so glad I was reading through these comments tonight. Your response to Christy was a good reminder to me. I have been working very hard at not responding in anger to my children and have been successful largely because of how young they are. Now that my oldest is over three and starting to whine and “negotiate” more persistently I find that exasperation wearing at me. I’m going to brainstorm on some ways to teach these communication skills proactively.
If it’s OK I’d love that sermon on anger as well. I also wonder if he has ever spoken on resentment or if you (or anyone else) know a good sermon or devotional on that topic? I’m thinking of the kind of resentment that comes from those proverbial socks on the floor and other things that are just part of living with others. (being a recovering perfectionist doesn’t help!)

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Gil September 28, 2011 at 4:06 am

Dear Jennifer,
I’d be glad to send a sermon, but I’ll need you to mail your address and request to our post office box: PO Box 544 Lake City, TN 37769. Search on SM Davis’s website for a sermon on resentment. I recently posted about a sermon on bitterness by Pastor Jim Schettler, but it was more about bitterness that stems from an offense someone has made. Love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe September 28, 2011 at 4:42 am

Kelly,

I would love it though! If you don’t mind :) I will just pick out something really sweet and either send it in the mail or when we hopefully see ya’ll!

Lauren

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Kay W September 28, 2011 at 7:41 am

Dear Lauren, Just buy whatever outfit you like and send it to the Bates post office box. I have been sending things for over a year and never once, not one time, would Kelly, or Michaela, give me a clue as to what they might like. We know we don’t ‘have to’ buy things, but sometimes we want to. I like shopping for baby things, too. Babies grow fast so I would think maybe a size 6 months? Please excuse me for interrupting here, but I thought you should know that you will get nowhere asking. Kay W.

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Carrie from NJ September 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hi Gil and Kelly,

Is Gil recording any of his messages? I would love to hear ‘One Failure No Family Can Afford To Make’ The other message sounds great as well.

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Gil September 29, 2011 at 4:06 am

Dear Carrie,
Yes, IBLP recorded the message at the home school conference this year. Love, Kelly

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Ann September 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Hi Kelly,
I hope and pray that Erin’s hand is doing better!
I had a quick question that I was hoping either you or her could answer. She plays such beautiful (and seemingly challenging) arrangements of many classical hymns! I was wondering where she got these arrangements from (or if she just improvises them herself). I am particularly interested in a more challenging arrangement for How Great Thou Art. Any help would be gladly appreciated!

Thank-you!,
Ann

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Gil September 29, 2011 at 4:03 am

Dear Ann,
Erin does arrange her own pieces. She recently received some piano books from a man named Greg Howlett that she spoke very highly of. Thanks for asking about her hand; it is still stiff and sore, but further surgery may make it worse… so we’re praying it will loosen up and heal over the next few weeks. Love, Kelly

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Jerene September 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Kelly,
Thank you for your willingness to share on a God-Centered Motherhood. I am so encouraged by other mothers who share their successes and mistakes in motherhood. Hebrews 3:13a Says “Encourage one another day after day…”, I think I am a sponge in this area just soaking it all in ;) .
I just mailed off a note to you today requesting Gil’s Labor Day Weekend teaching as well. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Jerene

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Lauren Sharpe September 29, 2011 at 3:25 am

Kelly,

Do you know of any accredited online Christian colleges? I am wanting to get my degree in religion. I am unsure where to start looking.

Lauren

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Gil September 30, 2011 at 1:01 am

Dear Lauren,
I haven’t checked on too many colleges. You might try Crown College, Bob Jones University, or Pensicola Christian College. You might consider College Plus also. Hope you find one! Love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe September 29, 2011 at 4:25 am

Dear Kay W.
Thank you for the help :) I appreciate it! You seem really awesome! :) I love meeting new people and making new friends. If you would like to email me you’re welcome to! PurpleDragonFlies1126@yahoo.com. Just tell me who you are because if I don’t know who it’s from I don’t open it. :)

Lauren

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Kay W September 29, 2011 at 6:03 am

Thanks, Kelly, I figured it might have slipped your mind since you only have about a thousand things on your mind every day! Love, Kay

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Caroline September 29, 2011 at 8:54 am

Hi Bates Family,
We are from Tuscaloosa County,Al. Our lives were forever changed by a tornado that ripped through our town. I have two young girls 12 yr and 8 yr. My husband recently got back for Iraq with the Alabma National Gaurd. He is a police officer for the City of Tuscaloosa. We are huge fans of the Duggar’s. That is how we came to know ya! Both of my girls are homeschooled and God is the center of our family. Your family has been such an encouragement to my children and myself. We would love to send a baby gift for the new baby! I want to know if I send it to the P.O Box will you get it there? I also wanted ot see if you may could mail my girls an autographed pic of your family! Please keep Alabma in your prayers as we continue to rebuild. Caroline

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Gil September 30, 2011 at 12:58 am

Dear Caroline,
I’m humbled because we should be sending you gifts… as a thank you for your husband’s service to our country! Scratch our gifdt and instead enjoy a meal with your hubby and tell him thanks for all of the sacrafice he’s made on all of our behalf. Our military and police workers deserve so much more recognition and appreciation than we sometimes think to give them! May God bless your family and we will pray about the storm damage recovery! Love, Kelly

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Christy September 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm

oh Kelly the book would be awesome!!!!!!!!!! Truly. The gems you have to share would be life changing for so many. I would help in anyway I could! I’m not a professional writer but I know one. My husband just helped lead worship at The National Christian Fiction Association Conference in St. Louis and helped film a promo for it. He met the CEO of Thomas-Nelson publishing company and others in the business. I know Jim-Bob and Michelle have fantastic connections but I would really love to help if I could in anyway. :)
Pray about, well I know you would. Haha. Sorry. Just saying. :)
Love ya!

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Gil September 30, 2011 at 12:54 am

Dear Christy,
You’re so sweet, but I’m afraid we’re still in the learning category ourselves! Love, Kelly

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Kay W September 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Can you ask one of the kiddies which animals the pillows are? I know there was a lion and a tiger, but I can’t remember what the other one was. Now I see a giraffe, but I don’t know whether it’s different or not. Thanks, Love, Kay

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Gil September 30, 2011 at 12:52 am

Dear Kay,
We got a lion, tiger, and giraffe pillow… And Katie loved her presents and Isaiah has been bouncing all day and blowing up balloons! Thank you! And everyone wanted my frog, but it had to stay in my room! Love, Kelly

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Kiahna September 30, 2011 at 12:04 am

Kelly,
Is Gil’s name short for “Gilvin” or “Gilbert”? What is his middle name? Is your maiden name “Jo”? Or is that your middle name? If it is your last name, what is your middle name?
THANK YOU so much! Love, Kiahna

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Gil September 30, 2011 at 12:48 am

Dear Kiahna,
Gil’s full name is William Gilvin Bates, Jr. and my name is Kelly Jo Bates. Love, Kelly

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Caroline September 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

Thanks so much for your response.I will say once again the inspiration from your family is so uplifting. The love for God and each other that your family shows is uplifting. My girls were so excited when they found out you had responded. We really want to send the baby something. Do you know what your having yet? Can we send it to the P.O Box? Once again do you think you may could send them a autographed photo? They would be so excited to get!! Caroline

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Gil September 30, 2011 at 2:39 am

Dear Caroline,
If you will send a note to my PO Box with your address and a note asking for a photo, I’ll be glad to send one… our autographs are nothing special, however… We’re just normal people with all the normal problems and failures that anyone might experience… We do have a loving God to turn to that can make something beautiful of our blunders, thankfully! Love, Kelly

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Lauren Sharpe September 30, 2011 at 1:35 am

Thank you Kelly! I will check out the colleges you listed. I pray I find one too!

Lauren

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Carita September 30, 2011 at 2:19 am

I truly enjoy your show. I can not wait to see who the new little one is. It is awesome how your young people are choosing courtship in their relationships in marriage. I grew up in an atheist home and have grown to be a Christian as an adult. God Bless you! If you are ever in Wisconsin our home is open. We have 5 acres and plenty of room.

~CARITA~

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Kay W September 30, 2011 at 2:59 am

Thanks a lot, Kelly, what is better than putting a smile on a child’s face? Guess the giraffe is not new after all. God Bless, Kay

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Caroline September 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm

I will send the note!! We also will be sending the baby a gift with the note!! We are coming to the mountains sometime in the fall? Does your family do any singing/music appearances? If so let me know. We usually stay in Pigeon Forge or Seveirville! God Bless You and God Bless Our Country.. Caroline

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Christy October 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Kelly!! I just had to write and tell you! I looked up “Growing Kids God’s Way” and it looked great, but out of our budget for sure. Then today I was packing up some books (we are getting ready to move) and I came up to a stack that a dear lady had given me but I hadn’t really looked through and THERE IT WAS!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited I called my husband at work! haha!I believe the kit comes with videos but at least I have the manual! I am just so thankful to God!!! He is so very good! Aahhh I’m just so excited! Anyway just had to share that with you! Love you! Christy

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Gil October 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Dear Christy,
The set we listened to was audio cassettes (That tells how old we are), so maybe audio will be cheaper than video. If I can find my old set, I’ll be glad to send them. I’m so happy God encouraged you in that way! He is so faithful… Love, Kelly

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Christy October 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Aw! You are so sweet! Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to listening to Gil’s message too.
Blessings!!
Love you!

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Christy October 6, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Kelly, my husband is looking for a family devotional he can use to help lead our family Bible time. Does Gil have one he likes or used in the beginning to get started?

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Beanie November 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I’ll be passing through Tennessee with my family on my way to Kansas soon. I wish I could stop by for a visit! That would be kind of crazy, since we don’t even know each other. Besides, my Daddy probably wouldn’t want to. Well, maybe when I’m older…:) I’m only on the barrel of the gun (refering to Florida’s gun shape). It’s something to pray about, at least. :) Later!

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Gail November 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm

May GOD bless your family as you are an inspiration to so many people. Congratulations on your new baby. I so enjoy the Bates family and the Duggars as you all have made me appreciate what blessings I have been given from GOD. I would rather watch your lives instead of the other reality shows as you all are about being nice and not showing how nasty people can be to each other. Those shows make me sad and I wish you all had a show like the Duggars. What a double blessing that would be! Your show could be on when the Duggars are on hiatus. Thank you and your family for sharing yourselves with all of us. Love from my family to yours. Gail

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Beth December 11, 2011 at 8:45 am

How does your family come up with names for the children?
I know how the Duggars do.

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Gil December 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Dear Beth,
We try to look at the meanings and give the child a sense of purpose through that meaning. In some cases, we thought of the purpose we hoped to impart to the child first, then chose a name with that meaning. For example, when Trace was born our goal was that he would have a desire to witness and share the love of Christ. We discovered that Trace means “harvester” and Whitfield means “white fields’… so a harvester of the white fields is the result! Warden means “watchman”, so Warden Justice takes on the purpose of “a watchman for justice.” Love, Kelly

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