Ethiopia update

We’re 1 week away from leaving and while we’re excited, we are also experiencing some resistance.  From what I understand, there has been a change in the political leadership for the city we’re going to & it seems like they might not be as receptive to everything we have been planning.  Additionally, it seems like there’s some tension between the Orthodox church & the Evangelical churches – this has been going on for quite some time.  Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible to benefit the majority of the people of the city where we’re ministering.  I’m not interested in accentuating any tension, but rather how we can make the improvements for the people. 

Please pray that our time in Ethiopia is fruitful: 

  1. that we are peacemakers,
  2. that we have wisdom,
  3. that we have tremendous team unity
  4. great display of God’s power
  5. that Jesus is glorified

Most of all, please pray that we please God – 2 Cor 5:9 & 1 Thess 2:4

yaaaaaaaa whooooooooooo!!!

I’m giddy excited, thrilled, ecstatic, delighted, . . . . . . pick an adjective of your favorite liking & insert here!  The fantastic mark thomas wrote a song & has posted it – prepare to have your eyebrows blown back.  Go to http://denverintranslation.com/ and listen to, “its your love”.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about God’s presence on this song!

4th of July

Last year was the 1st year that any of our kids got to stay up late to watch the fireworks – it was more fun to watch & listen to Isabell’s reactions than to see the fireworks themselves!  4th of July is classic summer – grilling, hot, family, fireworks, freedom, punks, barefoot, watermelon, relaxing . . . .  it’s good to be in summer.  On this day we celebrate the founding of our nation – a great nation.

What are your fav memories from the 4th of July?  What things do you most like about our country on this 4th of July?

Does anyone have a good smokey gazpacho recipe?  Also, we finally got benji’s passport after going to the post office 2x, acquiring his birth certificate from the safety deposit box in the bank, filling out the new forms since the others were old & expired, paying $85, and unfortunately being grumpy at the 1st post office worker.  There are times I wish I would be a nicer person.

passport

Today, we’re taking Benji to get his passport renewed.  As a kid, they only last 5 yrs before expiring & he’s about due for his new one.  His old one has a pic of him when he was about 4months old – extremely cute & almost all of the pages are filled w stamps from various countries.  I looked at the passport yesterday & was extremely amazed that this little guy, who is not even 5, has been around the world – AMAZING!! 

Anyways, the passport renewal / application process for kids is pretty extensive because there have been instances of divorced parents “stealing” their kids & moving them overseas.  All that is to say that both Reece & I get to go to the postoffice with Benji & all of the documentation & a check for $70 to renew his passport.  It will probably take about 2months to get his new one.  We do lots of interesting things for our kids & this starts the minute you find out your pregnant (including giving up coffee).  I wonder what other interesting things we’ll be doing for and with them as they grow up. 

preparation

As I’m writing, my kids are getting ready for their swim lessons today:  swim suits, goggles, flip flops, towels, sun screen etc.  Reece always says, “proper prior planning prevents poor performance.”  This is extremely true for swim lessons.  When I don’t prepare well, they get sunburns, have stingy eyes and ride home grumpy – an all around bad experience that could have been good, if I had prepared better. 

This is a great lesson in life – preparing for what’s ahead.  Now my kids don’t always know what’s going to be happening & its my responsibility as their mom to do my best to make sure they’re ready for what’s around the bend.  They need to be adept at various skills before they can move onto to the next challenge (even if they don’t know what the challenge is).  Same with God.  I think He’s always preparing us for what’s next.  Thankfully, we can trust Him even more than ourselves, that He will keep us prepared for what’s coming – even swim lessons.  😉

extravagant, spectacular, fantastic and divine living

I’ve really been nestling into Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5-7.  I’m finding them to be extremely revolutionary when I give them more than the cursory scan.  Consider Matt 5:44-48, when He says ” . . ., love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,  45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?  48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.  NKJV
In these verses, Jesus is comparing our behavior using 2 measurements – the tax collector (a definite low life in Jesus’ society) and God our Father.  I find it interesting that He challenges us to live in the big-ness of our Heavenly Father.  Consider this:

  • there’s nothing spectacular about living at the lowest common denominator
  • there’s nothing extravagant about doing as little as possible
  • there’s nothing fantastic about getting away with as much as we can
  • there’s nothing divine about doing the same thing as everyone else

Jesus’ words compel us to revert to our genetic predisposition as Christian – to live large, extravagant, generous, kind and simple lives.  He calls us to not flirt with how much is enough, or dance as close to the sin line as we can without getting caught or burned.  Jesus calls us to greatness because of the greatness our Father has put into each of us.  Be extravagant.  Be spectacular.  Be fantastic.  Be a chip off the old block.

 

 

today is my mom’s bday

Happy BDay to mom!  I’m kind of excited for my mom’s bday because aside from doing all of the regular bday routine, I’ve got a surprise for her that she doesn’t know about.  🙂

Here’s my plan.  My mom always talks about how her mom made these great parkerhouse rolls & delicious buttermilk biscuits and she’s totally right.  My gram could throw down a GREAT meal – fried chix, greens, pies of any variety, mashed potatoes & mouthwatering gravy, fried okra . . . . .   Holy cow, she was an incredible cook!!  Anyways, I found the recipe box from my gram & in it, I found her recipe for buttermilk biscuits that I’m going to make for mom tonight as a surprise – pls don’t talk with her about this until tomorrow.  Help me keep this a surprise.

Furthermore, please protect the fragile nature of my cooking ability.  They could turn out awful.  In that event, I won’t have to serve them & there won’t be any disappointment.  Or I can get my kids to help me, so if they turn out bad, I can say it was a family experiment – there are lots of ways to skin a cat.  🙂

Anyways, wish me luck & maybe even shoot up a quick prayer for divine intervention and grace.