Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giving Thanks

For provisions: among them the venison that fills our freezer(so far Mike got two out of the four allowed) along with the duck meat he brought back from Idaho (the yearly water foul hunting expedition with brother and nephew).

For health: coming down harder than ever with a sore throat and a head cold makes me appreciate the good times even more.
For family: a recent bonding activity has been around the potter's wheel, reminding me of the verse in Isaiah: "We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." Those members who have attempted to make something resembling a pot have found out how difficult it can be!
Nevertheless, these same family members built an outdoor kiln on Thanksgiving day. They are not about to give up.
Another passage comes to mind as I watch the family potterying: "So I went down to the potter's house [the lower solarium in our case], and I saw him [or her] working at the wheel. But the pot he[she] was shaping from the clay was marred in his[her] hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him[or her]."
I am grateful that God will not give up on us either. His purpose for our lives will not be thwarted.

For friends: We have been so privileged this year to extend hospitality to old and new friends coming through. On Thanksgiving Day we were joined by two from India: Stefan Eicher and his 'adopted' brother Upendra Kumar (currently studying at Taylor University),

and an OM friend from way back, Jack Rendel. Another interesting connection is that Jack went to school with my cousins in Nigeria.

Chris Le Roux from South Africa, who was with us back in April-May to woo his lady friend, returned a couple weeks ago, living with us again but, of course spending Thanksgiving break with Rachael and family in Ohio.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Epocas de la vida=Seasons of Life

epoch=a period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event

Sunday we celebrated our asked-of-God-Samuel's 30th birthday. It was a fun, hilarious time. Our rendition of the birthday song has become infamous famous. Comments that followed: "I never heard a family make such a noise." "No one sings the birthday song quite like we do. And the lovely part is that it's different every time. It never gets old. (:" "Next time we should record and post on YouTube!"

The 'fixed point or event' that marked the beginning of Sam's 30 year epoch happened on November 6th, 1978. He was brought forth to the light (the concept behind the Spanish expression for delivery or birth--dar a luz) by a surgeon in a planned Caesarian operation. The doctor said the procedure was so routine, he'd done it so many times he could probably do it with his eyes closed. (Did he think that thought would comfort me?!)

Of course, that was a very expensive way to enter the world. Samuel was, however, a good and perfect gift from above, so God footed the bill through his people of the Omro, WI, church we were attending.

Then a couple weeks later we began another long journey, as a family we rejoined Operation Mobilization, this time as part of the M/V Doulos crew. Baby Samuel and I flew to Norfolk, VA, while Daddy and his two older siblings drove crammed into a vehicle with all our earthly possessions. Somewhat of a rough start to that epoch of our family life, but it's safe to say the rest of the family felt it more than the pampered babe.

The next big move took place when Sammy was almost five and we left the ship to settle in Upland, IN. The adventures of the intervening 25 years could fill several chapters or blog posts, so I will move on to comment on other epochs.

Another memorable celebration: Billy Graham's 90th birthday. Anyone touched by his life and ministry was invited to write a message. I wrote about Mike's mother, my mom-in-law, who gave her heart to Jesus at a very precise moment after reading one of his books.

Another epoch: after 40 years, our friend George Verwer was allowed back into India a nation very much on his heart and the focus of so much of his ministry.

Here on the homefront, this week marked the return of an earlier house guest, Chris from South Africa. He will be with us a few months to continue courting Rachael, pictured in an earlier post. There's 'a time to love,' said Solomon.

This fall season has been unusually mild and beautiful. We are now moving into cooler rainy weather...and I have a sore throat...ughh.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Indian Summer and Ww

Another wonderful Sunday!

First of all we got to sleep in longer, with the time change (end of Daylight Saving Time).

We were in charge of leading the Sunday School discussion. Today it was about Ww, God's WISDOM and man's wisdom, from James 3:13-18. Much food for thought in those few verses leading us to ask ourselves where and how we might be buying into the wisdom that is earthly/worldly, natural/fleshly, of the devil/demonic?! The kind that is 'reasonable' but not from above.

Yesterday I attended a conference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), my new area of work. And I was reflecting on God's Ways, not always our ways. I wouldn't have chosen to change career paths, but I can trust His leading. So, I learned some, and was encouraged and was loaded down with materials and ideas.

Back to our day TODAY... After church we got to talking to Rachael, MK from Cambodia, Chris' girl (he's the South African who lived with us six weeks in order to stay in the area, get to know and woo this maiden) and Upendra, from India (adopted son of our friends the Eichers). And then continued our conversation over a meal on our deck.

Mike needed this leisurely time. He's had a rough week and a half: leaks in the heating system, both water pump and heater needed to be replaced; research and order, wait, install; trips to find more parts, try again, not right yet; meanwhile on colder nights start up the wood boiler; car breaks down has to be towed, fuel pump replaced to the tune of 100s...Oh, and the ongoing demands of the robotics team, his 40 hr. a week job, and his wife. ¡Pobrecito!

I, on the other hand, had an entire week off for fall break. So, what did I accomplish? Un montón de cosas, a whole bunch of things, a list of tasks that make me happy but wouldn't interest y'all very much.

You might like this one: I went with Mother and Dad to the Senior Center during my one day visit, after all I do qualify. It was the monthly Fun Day. The theme was Western Wheel of Fortune. Most were wearing cowboy attire--hats, boots &/or the whole works--very colorful, indeed. They called three people up at a time to spin the wheel and answer trivia. The only one I knew was the singer referred to as the Man in Black. (Anybody know the name of Roy Rogers' ranch?)

So, I sat at their regular table with them and met some of their friends and had a free meal provided by...uh...I forget the name of the business that donated their time and food this month. Free food, fun time, a beautiful day...not bad, eh?

Well, I've rambled on and time is running out. Back to work tomorrow. Life goes on. They say this Indian summer is going to last through most of the week. But change is a comin' and I'm not talkin' weather now, folks. No matter who wins the election this week, there will be change.

In GOD we trust.