Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Here's a photo of Dave in Vernonia during some better days for that community. We were there for a good friend's 50th wedding anniversary held at the Vernonia Community Church.
Just last week Dave organized a work crew and the kids and I were in the same town, in front of that same church scooping mud and cleaning sidewalks...it was a privilege to serve Jesus and Vernonia together with my family.
But the whole thing came about when it did because of Dave's initiative to pull together the "fastest service/mission trip ever!" That, and many volunteers willing to drop everything, get muddy, and work very hard!
I love Dave!
What a gift his is to me,our family and our big church family too!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Tomorrow my kids and I are joining the team Dave is heading up to go scoop mud out of people's homes in Vernonia. Yes, it's the busiest time of year...yes my kids should be in school, yes there are a number of reasons why it's not my job...
But Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. And if myself was living in a cold house that had just been flooded so I couldn't even turn the furnace on to keep my kids warm, well, I would hope someone would come help -- and soon!
Sound like fun? Come join us tomorrow! Just email Dave at:
ps. this photo from: http://www.davezilla.com/2006/11/21/winner-2006-not-my-job-award/
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Our church is hosting a toy and coat drive, and I've been asked to interpret for the families that don't speak English. What an honor! Because of where we live I get to use Spanish a lot. But this is different.
Hoy is a chance to warmly greet someone in their native tongue. Hoy is a chance to look at someone in the eye, and smile. Hoy is the opportunity to extend honor, dignity and friendship to people who might otherwise be hesitant to walk through our doors. Hoy is the day that someone might step a little closer to Him because of me...like I said, what an honor!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I'm not much for the smell of incense...especially that stuff in mall that silently sneaks out of it's store, assails my nose and punches me in the stomach as I walk by...but I have to believe that the incense of Psalm 141:2 is different than all that cheap mall stuff.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Then again in Revelation:
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.
The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand.
Yes, our prayers are pleasing to God. And I long to please Him. I don't know what "incense" smells like to God, but when I think of pleasing smells, fresh baked bread comes to mind! Yes, I love it, at the right time it can even make my mouth water. Sometimes I want bread just because it smells so good. Do you think it's possible that our prayers can be that kind of aroma when offered up to God?
Monday, November 19, 2007
Oreo strikes again! When the kids and I came home from choir rehearsal tonight, we found Dave scolding Oreo, and a blue polka-dotted home -- yep, Oreo discovered ball-point pens! Both floors of the house, all down the stairs, and even on some furniture...keep in mind we JUST HAD THE CARPETS DONE!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
...and for those of you who know what this means: yep, Dave got the mouse a little riled up!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
For me it started way back when our church's Vacation Bible School changed its name from VBS to SSS which stands for Super Summer Spectacular. Please don't get me wrong, I'm all for change (stop it Dave) and I "get" why we change the name of things -- in this case it was important because our church ministers to kids in a truly spectacular way. Our children's ministry is very creative and SSS much better represents what really happens that week in the summer. But then this amazing tidal wave of changes started.
It's not just our church, it's sort of a nation-wide thing. Churches in general started changing their names and establishing new identities. I remember when a wave of new "Community" churches started...in the same buildings with the same people as the Baptist Churches used to be. (Hey, I grew up Baptist, so I get to talk about this!)
When I first started attending our church here in Portland, what I grew up calling "Bible Study" was called "Home Group" and sometimes "Small Group" and now changed again to "Life Group." Last year our youth "Retreats" changed to "Advances" (See, it's a GOOD thing I know, I'm not saying it isn't I promise!)
Just for fun, I call Christian Supply (the local Christian book store) "Supply" just because it will save me a step later...you know, one less thing!
Well, I propose we extend a little more grace to each other when we accidentally use the old name for things. Remember, some of these names of things I've been using here in Portland for the last 12 years! Other names of things I've been using since I first started attending church at age 3yrs. I am getting older you know, and change happens a little more slowly. Hey I know, I propose that you laugh at my mistakes and I'll laugh at yours! Maybe its not so much an overload of change, as it is that other dreaded disease: Correction Overload
Thursday, September 20, 2007
It's interesting having a 7th grader in the house. They do lots of dissecting of things in Science class. It's also interesting how easily I get queasy in my old age.
The last two days have involved transporting "extra credit" (road kill) to my new daughter's science class. One day a mole, the next a rat -- they were donated by my very helpful neighbors. Both days I had a stomach ache -- any correlation you think?
Last night we passed a dear in the middile of the road on the way home from youth group, "Forget about it!" I declaired in my best New York accent.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
My kids started school this week and this paragraph just about illustrates their excitement! "My class feels just like a family!" exclaimed McKenzie. "I have so many friends already!" shared T.Michael with great enthusiasm. That was the FIRST day.
Yesterday, day two, McKenzie shared, "My teacher said she went to bed at 8:30pm." (Poor dear) And then T.Michael reluctantly shared, "I...um, have to sit by someone else tomorrow." (Hmmm)
Here we go with real life already!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Here's a copy of the email sent by the Director of the orphanage in Honduras to Rona who is our U.S. contact person:
Thankfully we are all fine. Just a bit of rain.....we are blessed that Felix veered south after hitting land. The children and staff are fine, and school should resume as normal tomorrow. The community stepped up to the plate, offering assistance, water, etc.....Our internet is down at Hogar, even at our house the service comes and goes, as does the electricity.
Please spread the word.
Thanks for your love and prayers,
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
First he told me how he couldn't speak at the funeral. "I mean I didn't know I was expected to speak in front of those Army men," he said, "They had guns! BIG guns! So I wasn't gonna talk, huh-uh. Noooo way!" But then he followed up with, "But I did have a few tears, I mean he was my Grandpa. He was family!"
After reassuring him that it was okay to cry when he wanted to, I asked him if his Mom spoke at the funeral. "Yes she did," he replied, "And she asked people afterward and they said it wasn't sucky." (Hey, well at least we've got that going for us!)
Saturday, August 25, 2007
At first I didn't feel "qualified" to help. But you know, I realized that because I know Jesus personally -- I am qualified! I thank God that He left us His Word to refer to, that gives us counsel and comfort in times like these! With some suggestions from our friend Pastor George (for which I am very thankful), we were able to come up with something she feels will be good and comforting to share.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Thanks again for documenting these amazing memories Dave!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The Parable of the Lost Coin * Luke 15
8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
I am so much like that lady. When I lose something I can drive myself and my poor family crazy looking for it. I have been known to "sweep the house" and stay up late looking for certain things. Like one time last year I lost the grocery money. (oops, Dave, didn't I tell ya?) This was especially bad because we keep a cash envelope for groceries and that meant things were going to be real tight until the next paycheck. I searched for it with such intensity. I yelled at myself too, "Did I actually lose the grocery money?!" I couldn't believe it!
Well last month I lost a very rare and valuable coin. Only this time it wasn't money. This time my "coin" was a teenager that my whole family has bonded with and grown attached to for many years now...this particular coin is a person who planted a tree for me in the yard, who gave gifts to and spoiled my kids, someone we love very much, care about and even spent some of our well-protected "family time" with. You get the idea. The truly sad thing is this coin was not only lost, it ran away.
When this coin got lost...I had such an intense reaction. I surprised myself how driven I was to find this lost one. I did things that, because I'm shy, don't come naturally to me. Things like make phone calls (all my closest friend will tell you this is NOT normal for me), talk to school officials, even talk to the police. Things I didn't really have the "right" to do. Then I thought, "Hey, I'm like that lady in the parable about the lost coin." Even to the point that when the coin was found I wanted call people and rejoice! (of course due to confidentiality sharing this joy with others was not appropriate)
The only problem is, this coin didn't want to be found. Not yet anyway. So I continue to intercede and pray for this one...and encourage the family as much as I can. It's sad and difficult and we all feel a real hurt about this.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I remember thinking, I've got to get my head in the game! I felt too distracted and stretched too thin, and my family was suffering for it.
Oh, most of what I was doing looked real good to others, you know -- things in church, working with youth, volunteering at the school, meeting after meeting, & the occasional things "just for me." I was running fast, spinning my wheels, feeling stressed and getting old too quickly.
When gradually I felt that longing to seek out a better life. Not just for me, but I knew the ripple effect of my choices would be great. I felt that tug on my heart to get my life re-focused on Jesus, and put Him first, again. And again. At the time I was studying James and read about the "double-minded man, unstable in all he does." And I thought, "That's it! I have got to get single-minded!"
Seeking God and reading His word, I just couldn't deny how clear it was that my husband and children are my ministry priority. Everything else, including church and community, get my "left-overs." And God gets the glory in my dedication to His priorities. As much as I like to make other people and myself happy, it's really His approval I'm looking for.
Now before you accuse me of backward thinking, be reassured that following His guidence has resulted in some of the wildest roller-coasters this life has to offer. People think you'll "miss out" when you walk close to God; but I've experienced things like: personal rest, peace at home (I find these are rare here in America), great adventures including international travel, and most of all a growing relationship to the One who gives me life.
Here's that verse I was talking about in the book of James:
1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
Trials and Temptations 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Its been about 3 weeks of eye drops and worry -- drops for her, worry for me -- and still there are blurry spots in her vision. I feel sad about this blurry vision, as a Mom I just want to fix it.
The doctor said this type of infection is caused by a virus that is dormant in the body until triggered by stress. In this case the virus was triggered by sun and stress. Sun, because we live in Portland and it can be strange and a shock to the eyes to find oneself suddenly in its bright shiny presence. (Honduras was very hot and VERY sunny!) And adding to the stress was the high fever she had five days in a row during our trip. Yep, that'll do it.
For now we pray and continue to follow medical advice. And because I'm a Mom, I get to worry...its part of the Mommy-package. I've been thinking of this vision thing in terms of how it relates to life, with the life being full of stress and sometimes resulting in scare tissue and blurry spots. And just like with McKenzie's eye, prayer is a big part of restoring that clear vision.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
"...in Jesus' name, amen." Is how I usually end our prayer at dinner, but tonight T.Michael interrupted me with, "No, not amen. Jesus, thank you that Jackson is with you in heaven, and that now he can praise You there...in Jesus' name, Amen."
You see, earlier today I had to let T.Michael know his little buddy Jackson from T-ball last year passed away because of cancer. I was so nervous to tell him, because he's been having some of his own anxiety about death and loss. Jackson's Dad had explained how to share the news, he encouraged me to present the facts and see how T.Michael wants to process it.
So, today was the day. I showed him Jackson's photo, and told him about the cancer, and that Jackson's body died. And he said, "Okay." And walked back to play his video game. I wasn't sure if he understood, but after hearing him pray with such confidence and peace, I know he gets it. I didn't mention anything about Jackson praising Jesus in heaven...he just knows.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
She inspired me to blog again, so here I am! Until Shawn talked to me I was suffering from a wierd kind of writer's block -- really it was "writer's fear." I had read another friends blog last summer and, well, I read something that hurt my feelings. Then I thought, wow, what if I offend someone in my blog?...and all this resulted in writer's block. Until Shawn reminded me to pray before I post. Hmmm. Sounds basic enough. Why didn't I think of that?! Thanks Shawn!