Sunday, June 27, 2010

A New Kind of Manna

You have heard of God providing Manna for his people, but Tasty Kakes???

I went to go pick up the mail the other day, and there was a BIG box for us. It said "Tasty Kake" on the outside of the box. I was curious as to what was inside. I opened it to find that it was from the Tasty Kake factory, and had 18 boxes of Butterscotch Krimpets! 18 boxes!!!

A loving friend of ours (Mary) remembered that this was Bethany's favorite flavor and overwhelmed us with an abundant gift. It felt like manna had poured down on us.

Thank you Mary, we are blessed!
God Bless you,
Jeff



Friday, June 25, 2010

The "F" Word

One of the phrases our kids have heard from us quite often is: "you will need to be flexible." They all come close to groaning and rolling their eyes when they hear that word. So Jeff and I have been joking that "flexible" has become the "f-word" in our family.

We are reminded of a friend of ours who would often say "Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cookies in Church

Our family had the pleasure of visiting a local church this morning, while we are here in North Carolina. The church had an element in the service that was new and different for our kids. Prior to the sermon, the children were invited to come and sit on the steps at the front of the sanctuary for "children's time". It was a special time to instruct the children in the presence of the whole fellowship. At first, our children were a little nervous to participate (well, except for one...you know who :). At the end of the short instruction, a basket of goodies was passed around and the kids were encouraged to take one. All of them looked at us like "can we really??? cookies in church?" They each selected a bag of cookies with a big smile. All of their initial hesitation was quickly appeased. They liked this new tradition, and they are hoping that our pastor at home is reading this post and thinking about implementing new traditions, hopefully with cookies :)

Posted by Jeff

Thursday, June 17, 2010

SillyBanz in Any Culture

Let me (Bethany) first say that the whole concept of "naming that insect" is NOT mine. The theory and post is ALL Jeff! LOL!

Who is familiar with the latest childhood craze--SillyBanz? My kids have them, they like them...I have even found myself wearing them. This past Sunday, our family attended a Spanish speaking church service. Noah, our VERY social and friendly child, flashed his wonderful smile to the man (a dad of a young boy) sitting behind us. I heard the dad speaking to his son. The only word I understood was "sillybanz". The next thing I knew, Noah had a new SillyBand on his wrist--a gift from the little boy sitting behind us. After the service, as best I could, I thanked the little boy "en espanol". I find it interesting that kids can share commonality regardlss of language. Kids, especially kids like Noah, can open doors in a new and different culture without much anxiety. I hope I can approach culture like Noah--bold, smiling and expecting to make a new friend.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Name that insect (or arachnid)

In order to lessen our children's fear and startle response (read: scream like a little girl), we are in the habit of encouraging our children to name the little critters they come across. This actually helped me just yesterday.

In the span of 3 minutes, I was greeted by "Harry" the spider sitting on my coffee mug. His name was fitting, because he was hairy with a body the size of a dime and legs that would span a 50 cent piece. Then "Cappy" the carpenter ant went scurrying across the floor, and as I looked up "Flo" the house fly landed on the edge of the sink. It was fortunate for me that I had the fly swatter in hand for all of my newly named friends. It felt like a video game, and I was waiting for whatever might come next. I had to wait until dinner when I met Steve the gnat (you would have to ask the kids why they chose "Steve"...I don't know). Sadly, Steve had already met his demise before meeting me, so our encounter was brief. He watched me eat my dinner from the sideline, and was polite enough to not interrupt during dinner (See picture below).

As I write this, "Fly" the fly (named by Noah) and "Mo" the Mosquito are still buzzing around our apartment...they seem part of the family once they are named; almost like pets. I must admit it is funny and a little odd to hear our kids yell out "what should we name it?" whenever they are startled by a creepy critter.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gotta be honest: Grocery Store Confessions

Okay, so in full disclosure, we did purchase another $100 of groceries this evening at the Super Wal-Mart. Granted, the cart had a high ratio of food to "oo, oo, oo, can we have's" (Reeses Pieces, Poptarts, Bag O' Chocolate, Gallon of generic Wal-mart brand icecream, freezy-pops, oreos). So let's say our grand total now is up to $425. Who will challenge us to "eat like missionaries"? With only re-stocking milk, yogurt, bananas...Can we do it? Can we seriously eat down the crazy amount of beans that we bought? Time and self-discipline (and maybe a bit of not wanting to lose the challenge) will tell.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

There is a God, and he loves me!

The people that I worked with at the animal hospital got used to hearing me say “There is a God, and he loves me!” I would often say this when I would accomplish a particular procedure called a cystocentesis. It is a procedure that is like throwing darts (please don’t tell my patients that). It requires some skill to at least get the dart on the board consistently, but whenever you get a bull’s eye you sense a little providential intervention. I would say this to remember that God is the source of any accomplishment whether skill or providential intervention, or both.

I have been reminded of this saying of mine, as we have been learning here at “missions camp” that there is nothing I can do or not do to make God love me more or less. I often operate out of the mentality that I can do things (obedience) that will cause God to love me more, or make me more "right", or OK with him. I need to remind myself that: There is a God and he loves me...period, or maybe exclamation mark!

So, the next time you are doing a cystocentesis, or playing darts, you can be reminded that there is a God, and he loves you!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Wolphin and Mercy

As you may know, the kids are taking their own classes here at Mission Training Camp. They are having a great time! They have art, playground time, movies, cooking, and field trips! Yesterday, Ella and Noah learned about Jonah. Noah retold the story to me at bedtime. "Jonah jumped off the boat. The Wolphin came and bit Jonah. The Wolphin spit Jonah out!"

The general understanding in this story is that Jonah got swallowed up by the "wolphin" because he had disobeyed God in not going to Ninevah immediately as God had instructed Jonah to do. It is easy to see the "wolphin" as an instrument of discipline...and honestly, there would be some unpleasantness sitting in the belly of the whale. But, as Andrew was able to see...the "wolphin" represents God's Mercy. God gave Jonah a second chance. God had a purpose and a plan for Jonah.

I am thankful that God has a plan for me & my family. I am thankful that He gives us new mercies each day and a lot of "second chances"...I am thankful that there hasn't been a "wolphin" involved in our journey so far.