31 August 2008
29 August 2008
28 August 2008
...to a friendly, organized, conscientious, only sometimes loud, enthusiastic, studious, tender hearted young "little lady."
Then, this morning at a prayer meeting, the following scripture (Psalm 92) was shared... at least I think it was that Psalm. I didn't make note of it at the time, but the verse highlighted below really jumped out at me...
(Ps 92:1-15 - Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust.)
It was the word, "thrill" in this particular translation that captured my attention. This is probably stating the obvious, but consider the following synonyms for the word thrill: EXCITE, DELIGHT, OVERJOY, STIMULATE, ELECTRIFY, STIR... When I looked up the original word translated thrill, I found: probably to brighten up, i.e. (figuratively) be (as in to make or cause to be) blithe or gleesome...
I don't think that lately, I've been allowing the Lord to thrill my heart... I've been more wrapped up in circumstances and busyness, looking forward to things I'm NOT looking forward to, not taking the time to be still before Him, to remember all of the gifts and blessings He showers upon me, upon our little family - EACH moment! Salvation, strength for today and hope for tomorrow, a history of walking with Him and watching Him work and provide, a tender, loving and godly husband, beautiful children who are learning to love Him (like even today, as I was reflecting on how Nadia has grown and changed), His Word that encourages and feeds me...
When I was still just a young 'un, my mother used to fuss at me. I loved to read and would escape away into books, using them to avoid people and doing things that might stretch me or make me uncomfortable. She was called to school by my 4th grade teacher - because I read too much. It wasn't hurting my grades as much as it was hurting my opportunities to socialize. And I can see that the same thing has been happening lately - just on a different plane. He longs to thrill my heart with Himself - and I've had my head down, my nose stuck in my circumstances and my eyes glued to this story that is my life - and in the process, missing out on so much more....
Original word meaning from: Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
27 August 2008
26 August 2008
25 August 2008
24 August 2008
Picture of Fred Astair, my epitome of a "gentleman" from my favorite movies when I was a little girl growing up!
21 August 2008
From My Utmost for His Highest, Jan 31st entry.
"Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the Gospel of God. The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality. Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness, nor heaven, nor hell; but Redemption; and the need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker to-day. As workers we have to get used to the revelation that Redemption is the only Reality. Personal holiness is an effect, not a cause, and if we place our faith in human goodness, in the effect of Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes."
Paul did not say he separated himself, but - 'when it pleased God who separated me...' Paul had not a hypersensitive interest in his own character. As long as our eyes are on our own personal whiteness we shall never get near the reality of Redemption. Workers break down because their desire is for their own whitness, and not for God. 'Don't ask me to come into contact with the rugged reality of Redemption on behalf of the filth of human life as it is; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.' To talk that way is a sign that the reality of hte Gospel of God has not begun to touch me; there is no reckless abandon to God. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul is unconscious of himself, he is recklessly abandoned, separated by God for one purpose - to proclaim the Gospel of God."
20 August 2008
19 August 2008
15 August 2008
Millet and peanut field, photo from hobotraveler.
Road construction by villagers - the road to Lilato; photo taken by Catholic Relief Services.
Ladies getting ready to ford water, right beside one of these underwater bridges, photo taken by Dan.
14 August 2008
13 August 2008
12 August 2008
King is an 11 year old gelding. A few years back, Anna was really struggling with a lot of fear and anxiety, but loved horses. At that time, King belonged to another missionary family who used him to give riding lessons, and we arranged for Anna to take lessons with one of their daughters. We've really seen Anna blossom as a result. When that family decided to sell King a little over 2 years ago, we took advantage of the opportunity to purchase him and it has not been an investment that we have regretted. Anna has continued to make great strides in her self-confidence and willingness to try new things. And that's not to mention that her preoccupation and love of horses and all things equestrian has only continued to grow.
For much of the past two years, we've been able to find folks to continue working with the girls on the horse. However, we've not had anyone to work with them in recent months, the price of feed has increased (along with all the other staples here in town), Tim has had to pick up extra responsibilities again this year, we've just decided that Richelle will be returning to the States for the delivery of this baby, finding time to exercise and give him the attention he needs is scarce and the girls aren't old enough/mature enough to safely do so on their own, we are looking at a furlough next summer and we'd need to find some place to board and people to care for him for the year... for these reasons among others, it seemed a good time to sell him - he's in good health, a gorgeous animal and still worth something. We've mentioned this in our last prayer letter because it was important to us and the girls that we try to find him a good home (i.e. we didn't want to sell him to someone who just wanted to run him into the ground out at the race track).
We want to let all who've been praying for this request that we did find what we hope will be a good home for King. Two young men affiliated with the equestrian club down the hill wanted to purchase him as a gift for their father, and they came to take him to his new home last week.
The girls (Anna especially) are sad, and we all miss his exuberant greeting (or was that a desperate demand for food) when we'd walk by the door in the wee hours of the morning (his stall was where he could look right through the front door into our hallway), but we hope that this will enable us to allow her and Rebekah to take riding lessons down at the equestrian club, with those have much more experience than either Tim or I.
09 August 2008
He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And He must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water.
Jesus saith unto her, “Give Me to drink.” (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”
Jesus answered and said unto her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.”
The woman saith unto Him, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?”
Jesus answered and said unto her, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
The woman saith unto him, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”
Jesus saith unto her, “Go, call thy husband, and come hither.”
The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said unto her, “Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.”
The woman saith unto him, “Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”
Jesus saith unto her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
The woman saith unto him, “I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.”
Jesus saith unto her, “I that speak unto thee am He.”
And upon this came His disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, “What seekest Thou?” or, “Why talkest Thou with her?”
The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him… And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, “He told me all that ever I did.”
So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of His own word; And said unto the woman, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
The first thing was the statement that "He must needs pass through Samaria." Why was Samaria such a big deal? I decided to do a bit of research on why there was such an animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans. Here is a summary of what I found out:
- After the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel divided into Judah and the 10 tribes of Israel.
- Those 10 northern tribes instituted their own system of worship and created their own places of worship, something that clearly went against what God had commanded them with the building of His temple in Jerusalem.
- The 10 northern tribes were ruled by a succession of evil kings, who did not seek after the Lord and who engaged in and encouraged the people in idolatry.
- As a punishment, God sent the nation of Assyria to conquer them and to remove them from their land.
- However, there was a small remnant who remained. The Assyrian king was worried about this remnant, so he sent several foreigners in to intermingle and intermarry with the remaining Israelites.
- This mixed group of people abandonned all faith in the Eternal, chosing to worship and adore idols.
- Troubled by savage lions, the people asked their then king (they were now ruled by Babylon) to send them a Jewish priest to instruct them in the law and the proper worship of God.
- The Babylonian king agreed, so they relearned some of what Moses had originally taught God's chosen people, but they also kept many idolatrous traditions and practices which they intermingled with remnants of Jewish faith and practice.
- The nation of Judah, which had also been led into captivity by the Babylonians, was allowed to return to their Promised Land.
- The mixed remnant of the northern tribes of Israel (or the Samaritans) offered to help in the reconstrution of Jerusalem, but the people of Judah refused, knowing of their idolatrous practices. This was the beginning of much animosity and anger between these two groups.
- It was the Samaritans, led by Sanballat and Tobiah, who were responsible for much of the attacks on Nehemiah and those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
- Afterwards, the Samaritans decided to create their own temple on what they deemed the true holy mountain, and their own priesthood, totally separate from Jews.
- Their land, Samaria, became a place of refuge where religious and political refugees, as well as Jewish criminals, were welcomed. Thus the Samaritan population of those disgruntled with the Jewish nation grew.
- The Samaritans refused to accept anything other than the 5 books of Moses (the Torah) as God's Holy Word.
06 August 2008
05 August 2008
Several weeks back, Tim was leaving the studio and noticed that a mama margouillat had laid a bunch of eggs, right behind the back tire of our car, so he figured he'd bring a little surprise home to the munchkin set. He carefully gathered them up (in the sand where they'd been laid), found a large plastic container and brought them home so we could watch and see if they'd hatch. Several weeks passed... we watched and waited... all the baby lizards outside started hatching and were everywhere... some of the eggs started to dry up... but the kids tried to remain optimistic about 5 or 6 of them... and we continued to wait. Then, I heard that scream the other morning. I think it was Nadia - but they all sound really alike when they are doing that high-pitched, girlie squeal sort of thing!
Out of habit, they had checked their eggs - and found 4 baby lizards instead. In one of the other containers, was another baby lizard. I, personally, find these lizards rather ugly - but the kids all think they are just "adorable" when they are babies. They promptly scurried down the hall to show me - and then they decided to let the babies go so that they could find something to eat. All in all, the girls were quite proud of their success in "incubating" this particular clutch of lizard eggs. Too bad they didn't actually see the critters hatching!
04 August 2008
02 August 2008
- crops of millet and beans all over the city makes our town look like a veritable garden,
- the sky is often a bright blue with white, puffy clouds formed from evaporation,
- lots of birds (finches, parrots and other colorful winged creatures regularly visiting our yard and garden,
- and the herds of animals wandering around actually look content and well-fed.
This particular day, it had rained the night before, so the day started off lovely and cool. A couple of Brendan's friends came over to play games - good guys who are so kind and very patient with all these girls and the younger ones who like to watch (and interrupt) their games. So everyone was having a delightful time. After lunch, Tim played a quick game of Risk with the boys before heading back to the studio; the girls watched TV for a bit and Richelle put Elsie Mae down for her nap... and about 3, the wind started to pick up, the temperature dropped (all the way down to the low 70s), and a storm blew by bringing sand, a delightful breeze... but very little actual rain. The gang of kids all went running outside and started playing tag and other similar games in the lovely cool and we rather quickly decided to forego the planned trip to the pool and enjoy the time out on the porch/in the yard.
A few minutes later, Tim showed up - home very early from the studio. The power was out (we didn't realize it since we were all outside). He figured since he wasn't really able to accomplish anything at the studio without electricity, he might as well come home and enjoy the afternoon with his kiddos... after all, their summer vacation is rapidly drawing to a close. And, he knew that Bren and his buddies were here... maybe they'd get another game of Risk or something going. However, he came to me after a few minutes, a very sad look on his face. Then he said, "You know, those boys would rather chase our girls around the yard than play a board game with me..."
Should we be surprised? Is this a different type of preview, ...of things to come???
"Clouds over a Millet Field" by Steve MillsLord of the Rings Risk photo from funagain.com .