31 July 2010

It's ALL THEIR fault!

...it really is... but it sure is good to be HOME!

The dear couple in this photo with us are a big part of the reason why we are in Niger... and we were so glad we got to visit with them for a few short hours before we left Michigan. We are so blessed, with an overabundance of amazing friends!

29 July 2010

"Lost" Photos ~ TEN ~ Baking Adventures

One fun part of furlough (for me, at least) is experimenting with new recipes... new baking and cooking recipes and techniques. Here are a few of the things I tried this year ... this particular batch all happened around Christmas, which I'm sure you could tell right away!

27 July 2010

Off We Go... Into the Wild Blue Yonder...

... and hopefully, that is the only thing our trip back to Niger will have in common with that song... although.... we won't be facing the thunder of bullets and attack aircraft, we will be diving back into a fierce spiritual battle. Please pray for our family as we travel the next 2 days... for uneventful travel and for God-given patience and endurance, especially for the children... and pray for us as we begin to settle back into life on the backside of the desert.

27 JULY: Leave Indianapolis at 4:23 PM, Land in New York at 6:40 PM

27 JULY: Leave New York at 10:00 PM, Land in Casablanca, Morocco at 10:25 AM

28 JULY: Leave Casablanca at 9:30 PM, Land in Niamey, NIGER at 1:10 AM

26 July 2010

Multitide Monday - 1000 Gifts - Headin' for Indy

As we were driving down to Indianapolis today, the kids were all sleeping (they were exhausted - it has been a both busy and fun, but wild and crazy week), Tim was listening to his Ipod and I was spending some time just thinking and reflecting on the so much that has happened in the last week... and this year of home assignment. We have been totally overwhelmed by God's provision and by the love He has manifested on us through His people. This year, the Lord has truly knit our hearts together with some amazing friends, blessed us with time with our incredible families and refreshed and encouraged our hearts as we've participated in and enjoyed the ministries of over 30 different churches. As I was thinking on all these things, the Lord brought to mind two passages: one I hadn't thought about for quite awhile... maybe a few years; the other is one I return to often, but I'd certainly never connected the two before.

And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, "Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few."

And his armourbearer said unto him, "Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart." ~1 Sam 14: 6-7


Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God...Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints... to make known the mystery of the gospel... ~Eph 6: 10, 11a, 13-18, 19b
The function of a biblical armor bearer was to assist, even to the point of carrying the shield and other implements of war right into battle, right into the fray, with the warrior they were serving. It is those who are supporting our family with their love, their prayers, their sacrificial giving in time and in financial support... it is those folks we think of as our armor bearers and we couldn't be in Niger without them. We also strive to be armor bearers for them, in the battles they face and fight, continually lifting them before the throne of the Most High, trying to encourage with our lives, with our words, with our own sacrificial giving in time and in finances... all for the ultimate goal of glorifying the Lord in making known the mystery of the gospel.
#280 amazing armor bearers who haven't hesitated to enter right into the battle with us

#281 friends who love my family as though they were their own

#282 special times with family this past week, climbing sand dunes in Michigan before we head back to the desert (we appreciated the irony in that one)

#283 a rained out baseball game that turned into a birthday celebration

#284 laughter while canoeing down a river

#285 mischevious cousins

#286 a black cat named Victor, loved and adored by our little one

#285 safety as we traveled many, many miles

#286 text messages and fb chats that help us and our kids feel not so far away

#287 sunshine while we traveled with most of our luggage in the back of a pickup

#288 parents who are willing to let their children go... who sacrifice to make sure that we can

#289 grandparents who are willing, even though it breaks their hearts, to see their grandbabies go

holy experience

24 July 2010

Making Lemonade... figuratively!

...you've heard that saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, we did that the other night, in a figurative sense, when a group of about 30 friends and family gathered to watch a baseball game... and it was rained out. And that was when the fun really started. After a couple of hours, the game was postponed so we moved the party, picking up pizza, birthday cake and ice cream along the way.

It was...
MARVELOUS mass mayhem
fantastically FABULOUS fun!

23 July 2010

~ She's got the look ~

Shhhhh... they almost got booted out of Claire's for taking photos in the store...


(Many thanks to Ashli for the fun photo!)

22 July 2010

What's been on my nightstand these days? LEAD LIKE IKE, by Geoff Loftus

...well, besides my Bible?

I recently picked out a different-for-me-kind-of-book to read - Lead Like Ike: Ten Business Strategies for the CEO of D-Day. Author Geoff Loftus takes a detailed look at Dwight Eisenhower's management strategies as the commander-in-charge, responsible for leading the Allied forces, first in North Africa and the Mediterranean, then at the Normandy invasion, and finally as they crossed Europe to defeat Germany. Examining those strategies and situations, he extrapolates, identifying ten effective tactics necessary for effective, competitive leadership in the world of business and industry.

In general, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and looking at key events and campaigns as well as little known World War II occurences from a different perspective, that of the CEO,d through reading it. The different anecdontes and examples, real stories of Eisenhower's leadership strategies, challenges, successes and failures were fascinating and their valuable application to the business world, or to anyone who finds themselves in a position of leadership (i.e. pastors, teachers, parents) was easy to see. I not only learned about the war; I was also challenged to consider my default tactics for the many times I am in a position of guiding and managing people.

It did take me a long time, however, to truly get interested in the book, primarily because in his attempt to validate the application of Eisenhower's leadership strategies to the business world, Loftus looked at and continually referred to strategic command as a huge corporation, D-Day, Inc. The terminology and repeated references tried my patience until I was thoroughly hooked into the story of how Eisenhower handled himself in his difficult and challenging position. Because of that, when asked to rate the book, I give it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quotes:
  • "The doctrine of opportunism, so often applicable in tactics, is a dangerous one to pursue in strategy." ~ Eisenhower, in Crusade in Europe
  • "Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends." ~ Eisenhower
  • "...an ounce of motivation is worth a pound of monitoring." ~ Loftus
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Sneeze as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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