Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Democrat Brain Trust

Each week I receive a short email from Green Watch America, a group of "pro-environment Conservatives exposing the lies of the radical eco-movement". A couple of days ago their bulletin popped into my inbox and I found the following report amusing, to say the least...

Most Egregious Claim of the Week:

Nancy Pelosi, appearing on Meet the Press this week, stated that the surge in Iraq has been a failure because, among a handful of other reasons, the Maliki-led Government has failed to pass a carbon law.

No word on whether she feels the same way about the Democrat-led Congress.

If you wish to read the transcript of the whole article, click on the link within the quote. Her assertion is about halfway into the interview. Amazing...

I truly wish to avoid political discussions here, but this was irresistible.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boys and their Toys!

Sending Jim and Alex to Lowes is like sending them to the grocery store hungry- impulse shopping WILL happen. Like, for instance, the makings of a potato gun. Oh, yeah, a potato gun. Relatively simple assembly, cheap ammunition, hours of family fun. Just watch where you aim it...

Okay, now we will take it out back instead of aiming at the neighbor's trees...

Now Alex takes a shot- ignore the bug on the lens at the end, merely a hazard with outdoor videography...

And Jim's turn. As you watch, please be aware that what you are about to hear has not been altered in any way.

Jim's turn, take two!

This new toy will now be brought out to entertain any visitors to our home. Already, Ben Hopp, Missionary to Haiti, has had a turn or two while he was here Sunday evening. Good times!

Making a Difference

For the second day in a row I must share something from another source. Through a roundabout way I found this article online and found myself transfixed by the story. When looking back at Hitler's Germany and WWII we see on one hand violence and unimaginable horror. On the other hand, however, we can also see heroism and glimpses of beautiful sacrifice. For one such story, follow this link.

The Difference One Man Can Make

Enjoy,... then pray. How can we each make a difference?

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm Not Getting Political Here-

But I just read this fantastic article linked from the Drudge Report, and had to share. Enjoy.

They're Paying Attention Now

(And, dropping this reference so casually makes me appear far more politically savvy than I ever will be...!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Once Again-

The second half of our weekend visit story is that Alex was able to drive up for a long weekend- to Kate's complete and utter surprise. (I went a whole two posts without mentioning Alex- directly- be proud of me!) Surprise seems to be a recurring theme with Alex and me, for Kate's benefit. The challenge to keep something hidden, while staying honest, is so much fun.

So he arrived Thursday night after driving much of the way in thunderstorms, walked into the house, right up behind her and rested his hands on her shoulders before she knew he was here. Jumping out of her skin does not adequately describe her reaction,... actually, nothing would adequately describe it. Needless to say, Kate was beyond thrilled. She'll be harder to surprise next time...

Having Alex here was neat since it coincided with our Missionary friend and much talk of the role of missions in today's church and local congregations. Knowing that he is seeing his beloved leave for a number of months isn't easy for Alex. Knowing that the call is from Christ and the purposes belong to the Lord helps.

Once again, Alex drove back to Ft. Bragg last night, as with every visit, too soon. By now he knows his way here pretty well. In between visits he and Kate will "skype" so they can see one another, which is neat. But nothing replaces a real visit.


What a blessing to see friends old and new. We have had the rare pleasure of enjoying both categories of friendship this weekend. Addison Soltau was a dear friend of ours in Florida; Associate Pastor at our church, Sunday School teacher, fellow Mission Committee member for Jim. Addison was born in Korea to Missionary parents, eventually served for 17 years in Japan as a missionary himself, and has taught Missions at various Seminaries. Our church invited him to come speak on missions this weekend since somebody on our missions Committee suggested him.

Addison arrived late Friday evening and Saturday we were able to steal him away for several hours of "touring' the area and reminiscing. Any tour during the Summer with us involves taking our "Amish run" down through upper Lancaster County for the purpose of acquiring locally grown produce, seeing the beautiful landscape and getting a glimpse of a simpler lifestyle. This Saturday presented us with absolutely perfect weather for our run and Addison was intrigued by the Plain people- though he has experienced many different cultures, they are rather unique.

Saturday evening John and Annie Sallade graciously hosted a pot-luck dinner for those of our church's Elders, Deacons and Trustees, with spouses, who could come. Also invited were the young missionaries who are soon to be launched to foreign fields from our congregation. After dinner in their lovely backyard Addison spoke to us briefly about being an "Intentional Missionary Congregation". The challenges to thinking missionally are many, and often difficult to identify from the inside. Quite thought-provoking at least, and has caused me to closer examine what I believe to be true of the Gospel and how my life reflects those beliefs.

Sinclair Ferguson once said that what we believe about God comes right out of our fingertips. Meaning, we live out moment to moment what we truely believe, whether it matches what we say or not. Do I really believe that Christ is sufficient to save the lost with whom I come in contact, or do I believe that my eloquence- or lack thereof- must play a role? Do I really believe that these neighbors of mine will spend an eternity in Hell if they die outside of Christ, or do I believe that their comfort now is enough? If others in generations past were driven to risk their very lives for the sake of sharing the Gospel with foreign tribes, can I step out of my "comfort zone", (how I loathe that term) and risk ridicule in order to tell my coworker that Christ is the only way to the Father? Is Christ- my Bridegroom- so lovely, so desirable, of such importance to me, that I must also introduce Him to everyone I meet?

Sunday morning Addison gave the sermon at church as well as speaking to the combined Sunday School classes. His text was from Jeremiah 1:1-5, concerning Jeremiah's call to prophesy not only to Judah, but also to the nations. For the evening service he expanded on the topic, looking more closely at Jeremiah's inadequacy to fulfill his call and God's sufficiency to equip him once called. This again struck a chord deep within. To what have I been called to do or be that I have felt adequate? Wife, mother, study leader, even friend- for each I am an inadequate vessel. Only by trusting Christ and clinging to His Word can I hope to do any of these well. Each of these callings are too important to do less than well, and my own best won't cut it. I must have Christ. I must.

The other delightful company we had this weekend will have to wait for another post. I've run out of time and must be responsible now to some of my many callings!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cherish These Days.

Rebekah is actually 16 years old today... Wow. She is going to be a Junior in High School this year and is lusting after a learner's permit so she can get behind the wheel of a gasoline-powered death trap. This summer she had a three-week vacation of her own in Florida with friends and then flew home with Kate- all without me holding her hand...

My little family has grown up so very fast. I used to hate it when old ladies in the grocery store would look at my little ones strapped into the cart and hanging onto my hands and say, "cherish these days, because they'll be grown before you know it". "Oh please," I used to think, "it's taking forever"! Now I'm the old lady who has earned the right to say that to young moms I see in the stores, their future clinging to their hands and crying for candy in the check-out lane.

The time has flown. I have one definitely out of the nest, another teetering on the edge, (with a fiance' ready to catch her!!!) two teenagers, and a ten year-old who surprises me every day with his non-baby behaviors and comments! Our family is still growing, but in the direction of in-laws now.

My middle child, my first blue-eyed blondie, with the angelic little smile and the gift for mischievousness beyond imagination is now taller than me. Her blonde curls darkened as she aged and she has colored them so many different colors,... cut them all off... sniff. She has always had a strong determination and a mind of her own. This used to find expression through painting the entire bathroom with toothpaste or maintaining a stoic countenance while on the receiving end of the wooden spoon.

Now at times her inner strength shows by her choices going in the exact opposite direction that Jim and I would like to see, while at other times she tenaciously hangs onto her family and beliefs. Her strength has scared me when expressed in ways that seem opposed to my own dreams for her, but it will be priceless for her when she is faced with pressures and influences once she is away from us. Her chosen field of the culinary arts chews people up and spits them out if they are weak in any way. God knew what he was doing when he gave her that iron core...

I pray that she would find her own faith in Christ, not merely what her parents believe, but a conviction out of which no alluring philosophy can ever beguile her. Being born into the middle of such a boisterous crowd could have drowned her. I pray that it has given her a sense of belonging and strategies for keeping her head above the waves. She shares many loves with me; reading, great food, quirky humor. I pray that we will always have a common ground where we can meet and understand one another.

You are beautiful Baby; never forget that you are loved, not only by your family who would die for you, but by One who already has...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Next Few Videos

And now again,... videos- The first few are still in Indiana. Once the clothing and targets change, it's Kentucky. Jina Mei was the camera operator for a number of the Kentucky shots... These kids sure know how to have fun! I'm sure they did more than shoot, but this is all that was captured on video...


Okay, here are the long-ago promised videos. Taken during trips to Indiana and Kentucky, featuring Kate, Alex, Isaac and Jina Mei, lots of weapons were involved in the making of these videos...

The first three now...


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Puritan Reading What?...

I have fallen so very far behind on the Reading Challenge that I must confess, I will never catch up to the current reading list. I have, however, been reading other things this summer: Emily Post on wedding planning; Each For The Other, by Brian and Kathy Chapell, (prior to giving it to Kate and Alex); Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent- an amazing Memoir which I highly recommend; and The Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer in preparation for leading a Bible Study based in part on this book.

My work schedule has increased to 4 days a week and will shift once school begins to include two evenings as well as two mornings a week. The Bible Study will begin soon after school starts and I will also be taking on the leadership of the Women's Ministry Committee at our church. I am fortunate that my job with Curves does not sap my mental or physical energy, but rather builds me up and gives me needed strength. Even to the point where I am getting outside to run three to four mornings a week. A pitiful effort I am sure, but I am up to a mile and a half as of this morning!

I will need much grace to accomplish all that God has set before me at this time; grace and wisdom. Reading deeper things may need to be set aside for a while as I focus on the study which I will be leading and the Bible, without which I would be a hollow and hypocritical vessel.

Life is full- gotta get changed for work!