April 26, 2010

Awesome Missionary Quotes

I am such a missions freak. I don't know how you can be a Christian and not be! I have to copy and paste ALL of these because the Church and Body of Christ NEEDS to read them!

(from http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/slogans.htm)

"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light" — John Keith Falconer

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply" — Hudson Taylor

"God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him" — Hudson Taylor

"The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed" — Hudson Taylor

"If I had 1,000 lives, I'd give them all for China" — Hudson Taylor

"God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him." — Hudson Taylor, missionary to China

"Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God" — William Carey, who is called the father of modern missions

"To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map." — William Carey, pioneer missionary to India

"Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?" — William Carey

"The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become." — Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose" — Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950's trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador

"We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it" — P.F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene

"In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been" — Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?" — David Livingstone

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." — David Livingstone, missionary to Africa

"Can't you do just a little bit more?" — J.G. Morrison pleading with Nazarenes in the 1930's Great Depression to support their missionaries

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." — Keith Wright

"The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible" — Ralph Winter, missiologist

On the importance of mission education: "God cannot lead you on the basis of information you do not have" — Ralph Winter, missiologist

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." — C.T. Studd

"If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him." — C.T. Studd

"Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible." — C.T. Studd

"No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once." — Oswald J. Smith

"Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist." — Oswald J. Smith

"The mission of the church is missions" — Oswald J. Smith

"We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first." — Oswald J. Smith

"This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!" — Keith Green

"There is nothing in the world or the Church — except the church's disobedience — to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility." — Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement

"If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king" — Jordan Grooms (variations of this also credited to G. K. Chesterson, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

"If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn't it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death." — Dave Davidson

"World missions was on God's mind from the beginning." — Dave Davidson

"In our lifetime, wouldn't it be sad if we spent more time washing dishes or swatting flies or mowing the yard or watching television than praying for world missions?" — Dave Davidson

"Let my heart be broken with the things that break God's heart" — Bob Pierce, World Vision founder

"No reserves. No retreats. No regrets" — William Borden

"If ten men are carrying a log — nine of them on the little end and one at the heavy end — and you want to help, which end will you lift on?" — William Borden, as he reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among unreached peoples in China

"The reason some folks don't believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn't worth propagating." — unknown

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages." To that, Calvert replied, "We died before we came here."

"Someone asked Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved? It is more a question with me whether we — who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not — can be saved." — Charles Spurgeon

"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time" — Carl F. H. Henry

"Our God of Grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop." — Kurt von Schleicher [ Apple pickers' parable ]

"Missions is the overflow of our delight in God because missions is the overflow of God's delight in being God." --John Piper

"God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose." — John Piper

"Go, send, or disobey." — John Piper

"You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving." — Amy Carmichael, missionary to India

"Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence." — Unknown

"As long as there are millions destitute of the Word of God and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will be impossible for me to devote time and energy to those who have both." — J. L. Ewen

"The command has been to 'go,' but we have stayed — in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth ... but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland." — Robert Savage, Latin American Mission

"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted." — Nate Saint, missionary martyr [ devotional thoughts ]

"We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." — John Stott

"Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story." — K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society

"Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ." — Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan

"The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity." — Mike Stachura

"The true greatness of any church in not how many it seats but how many it sends!" — Unknown

"'Not called!' did you say?
'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.
Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world. — William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army

"It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not." — Peter Taylor Forsyth

"If God's love is for anybody anywhere, it's for everybody everywhere." — Edward Lawlor, Nazarene General Superintendent

"Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge." — Robert C. Shannon

"People who don't believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South." — J. Howard Edington

"It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions." — John R. Mott

"In no other way can the believer become as fully involved with God's work, especially the work of world evangelism, as in intercessory prayer." — Dick Eastman, president of Every Home for Christ (formerly World Literature Crusade)

"What's your dream and to what corner of the missions world will it take you?" — Eleanor Roat, missions mobilizer

"We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer." — Wesley Duewel, head of OMS International

"Love is the root of missions; sacrifice is the fruit of missions" — Roderick Davis

"Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love" — Roland Allen

"I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ." — Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf

"If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the covers" — Nina Gunter

"If the Church is 'in Christ,' she is involved in mission. Her whole existence then has a missionary character. Her conduct as well as her words will convince the unbelievers and put their ignorance and stupidity to silence." — David Bosch

"Missions is not the 'ministry of choice' for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church." — Unknown

"The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man's personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian." — James S. Stewart

"The average pastor views his church as a local church with a missions program; while he ought to realize that if he is in fact pastoring a church, it is to be a global church with a missions purpose." — Unknown

"The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world." — A. B. Simpson [ missionary hymns by Simpson ]

"Prayer is the mighty engine that is to move the missionary work." — A.B. Simpson

"The will of God — nothing less, nothing more, nothing else." — F. E. Marsh (also attributed to Bobby Richardson)

"If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small." — Pat Morley

"If missions languish, it is because the whole life of godliness is feeble. The command to go everywhere and preach to everybody is not obeyed until the will is lost by self-surrender in the will of God. Living, praying, giving and going will always be found together." — Arthur T. Pierson

"The history of missions is the history of answered prayer." — Samuel Zwemer

"'Go ye' is as much a part of Christ's Gospel as 'Come unto Me.' You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth." — J. Stuart Holden

"A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation." — Ted Engstrom, World Vision

"To stay here and disobey God — I can't afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed." — Amanda Berry Smith

"I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!" — Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand

"God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit." — George W. Peters

"The best remedy for a sick church is to put it on a missionary diet." — Unknown

"The Church must send or the church will end." — Mendell Taylor

April 23, 2010

The Layman, On Church Building, and the Way of a Wife

Bored and unmotivated, I tried to redeem the day by sending the kids outside to play, as I sat down in the sun to read some poetry. The idea was that I would read poetry to the kids, but, as sometimes happens, great ideas get blown away with the wind, as the kids all run in different directions. Sigh.

Oh well, since I scored a GREAT FIND at the local library book sale, I settled back into my plastic Adirondack chair to check it out, coffee mug by my side, and sun on my face. Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest. EVERY POEM in this book is fantastic! I probably paid 50 cents or a dollar for 937 pages of early 1900's American Poetry. My cheap heart rejoices over stuff like this!

This poem reminded me of why the Body of Christ is so important:

by Edgar A. Guest

Leave it to the ministers, and soon the church will
Leave it to the women folk; the young will pass
 it by;
For the church is all that lifts us from the coarse
 and selfish mob,
And the church that is to prosper needs the layman
 on the job.

Now, a layman has his business, and a layman has
 his joys;
But he also has the training of his little girls and
And I wonder how he'd like it if there were no
 churches here
And he had to raise his children in a godless

It's the church's special function to uphold the
 finer things,
To teach the way of living from which all that's
noble springs;
But the minister can't do it single-handed and alone,
For the laymen of the country are the churches

When you see a church that's empty, though its
doors are open wide,
It is not the church that's dying; it's the laymen
 who have died;
For it's not by song or sermon that the church's
work is done;
It's the laymen of the country who for God must
carry on.

After taping not one, but two pages, back in (graciously ripped out in rapid succession by baby - sigh again, nothing is sacred!), I read on. So, since this week our church shared plans to build a many millions of dollars facility, the following poem caught my eye....


God builds no churches! By His plan,
That labor has been left to man.
No spires miraculously rise,
No little mission from the skies
Falls on a bleak and barren place
To be a source of strength and grace.
The humblest church demands it price
In human toil and sacrifice.

Men call the church the House of God,
Towards which the toil stained pilgrims plod
In search of strength and rest and hope,
As blindly through life's mists they grope,
And there God dwells, but it is man
Who builds that house and draws its plan;
Pays for the mortar and the stone
That none need seek for God alone.

There is no church but what proclaims
The gifts of countless generous names.
Ages before us spires were raised
'Neath which Almighty God was praised
As proof that He was then, as now.
Those sacred altars, where men bow
Their heads in prayer and sorrow lifts
Its heavy weight, are Christian gifts!

The humblest spire in mortal ken,
Where God abides, was built by men.
And if the church is still to grow,
Is still the light of hope to throw
Across the valleys of despair,
Men still must build God's house of prayer.
God sends no churches from the skies,
Out of our hearts must they arise!

(You kind of have to read it at least twice to get it, or at least I did.)

When I laughed out loud at the following one, Mr. Nosey wanted to know what I was laughing at, so I told him this is what his Papi would say of me and read him the following:


She wasn't hungry, so she said. A salad and a
cup of tea
Was all she felt that she could eat, but it was
different with me.
"I'm rather hungry," I replied: "if you don't
mind, I think I'll take
Some oysters to begin with and a good old-
fashioned sirloin steak."

Now wives are curious in this; to make the
statement blunt and straight,
There's nothing tempts their appetites like food
upon another's plate;
And when those oysters six appeared she looked
at them and said to me,
"Just let me try one, will you dear?" and right
away she swallowed three.

On came the steak, and promptly she exclaimed:
"Oh my, thats looks so good!
I think I'd like a bit of it." The game is one I
I cut her off a healthy piece and never whimpered
when she said:
"Now just a few potatoes, dear, and also let
me share your bread."

She wasn't hungry! She'd refused the food I
had been glad to buy,
But on the meal which came for me, I know she
turned a hungry eye.
She never cares for much to eat, she's dainty in
her choice, I'll state,
But she gets ravenous enough to eat whatever's
on my plate.


April 20, 2010

Why I Want To Be a Missionary

I've been trying to think of what I would answer if someone were to ask, "Why are you doing this? Why do have to leave? Why not just stay here?". No one has asked that yet, but let me just answer that in case anyone is thinking it.

Since I've recently entered the blogosphere, I've been reading a few of the blogs out there. I've mentioned KissesFromKatie before, so last night I was reading her archived posts and came across one of my reasons. She basically put it into words for me. This, by the way, is just one of the many, MANY reasons "I want to be a missionary" (such a cliché phrase, but unpacking that phrase is a whole entire post unto itself, which I will leave to a later date). Katie, 21 year-old missionary in Uganda, writes:

"Angelina is seven years old and barely weighs 15 pounds. You remember that picture that was made popular in the 1980's during the famine in Ethiopia of that little girl (who looked like a bag of bones) curled up next to a vulture? That girl doesn't look nearly as sick as Angelina. Her mother has not had any food to give her in over four months. When Angelina musters enough energy to let out a cry of hunger (she is far to weak to walk or even hold her head up on her own), her mother gives her some locally brewed alcohol to keep her quiet. For four months, keeping her a little drunk has actually probably been what is keeping her alive. The dirt floor where she has been laying her whole life accumulating bedsores is covered in waste, animal and human. Jiggers burrow deep into her little feet causing them to crack and bleed. She is naked, filthy, and cold. It is far worse than appalling.

I bet right now at this moment your heart is sad for her. Is it as sad as it would be if Angelina were your daughter? Angelina is God's daughter. His heart aches for this perfect, wonderfully made child of His. Her circumstances do not surprise Him, but I have no doubt that they grieve Him tremendously.

And it's not just children, because we are all children in His eyes. Grace is maybe 60 years old but looks to be pushing 100. She can't weigh more than 85 pounds. Grace is a mother to six children, but 4 have died of AIDS and the other two have deserted her for a better life. She lives in a 4 by 4 foot room that is pitch black, but she doesn't mind; in addition to being to weak to walk, Grace is blind. She NEVER has any visitors. At night her bones ache against the hard dirt floor and her feeble body shivers with cold. A cough racks her body and her stomach rumbles in hunger making sleep impossible.

Its sad, huh? How sad though? Sad enough that we want to do sometime about it? Sad enough that we will remember Grace tonight as we snuggle down into our beds or next month as we pay the bills? Maybe. But maybe not. Because it hurts, but it doesn't hurt that much. It doesn't hurt the way it would if Grace was your grandmother all alone there in the dark. It does for God. Because Grace is His."

Big A when he weighed 15 pounds, at 3 months old

Sigh. Tony and I prayed for that little girl last night, but she may already be dead by now. Maybe she's not. Maybe there is a happy ending to her story, we'd love that to be the case. But whether there is or isn't, knowing about stories like hers, having the opportunity to go and make a difference somewhere, and NOT going is just not an option anymore for us. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. I can't stand before God someday and say, "Oh, but God, I didn't know!"

It just makes me sick to my stomach to think about that little girl, and the fact that I still live HERE. It makes me sick to my stomach that I have an extra 5 pounds around my waist and I whine about it as she withers away to nothing.

So really, the question is not, "Why go?", but, "Why not go?".

April 16, 2010

An Update on Preparations - April 2010

It's been two months since we started this blog, so here's an UPDATE on how things are unfolding towards the Big Move To Missions...

PRAYER: We continue to pray daily about the "vision", as Tony has come to call it. I guess it is. God does that. Gives you an idea, lays something on your heart, puts something in your mind, gives you a dream, or just gives you an all-consuming passion for something. A vision. It is so neat to hear my husband, who used to persecute me for my faith, pray every day about serving the Lord with his LIFE. It's just awe-inspiring to me. Following God is so not boring. Except when you're washing the dishes. That's boring.

BREAKING THE NEWS: My mom still doesn't know about our plans. She's the only one! We went for a visit over a month ago to tell her face to face, but it was clearly not the right time. Her husband (my stepfather) had been declining physically, and she was barely hanging in there as his full-time nurse. I just couldn't bring myself to tell her. The timing was wrong and way off. A week later my stepfather died. :( They were married 25 years. I definately can not tell her now! Not yet. She needs time. So, for now, we're just praying for her, praying for the right time, and praying that, in the meantime, no little birdies accidentally leak the news. It's sweet when we ask the kids who they would like to pray for and they say, "Mom-mom".

MISSIONS ORGANIZATIONS: We are looking at the whole "missions organization" thing again. In talking to people, going with an "umbrella" has its benefits. So we're researching it some more. We don't read where it's a biblical requirement to serve Jesus, but we will certainly go with an umbrella if that is what is best. We would also love to go with the support of our home church, so Tony is in the process right now of sharing our plans with them. However it works out is fine with us, all we know is that God has made His plans clear, so we are walking forward. The details are in the Lord's hands, the best and most safe place they can be.

PEOPLE'S REACTIONS: It's been funny to see people's reactions. At first, it wasn't funny, but kind of discouraging. You always want people to be as excited for you as you are. That, of course, is not always the case. It does seem crazy. It is crazy. It was crazy when we took our young kids to Ecuador to do missions alongside us, where there just happpened to be an active volcano spewing ash all over the place. Who does that? Not many people, I guess. The reaction was the same back then. Not everyone reacts hesitantly, and no one says anything, but you can tell when the eyes momentarily bulge and a look of shock, then disbelief, then concern, sweeps over their face. It's still just so weird to me that some Christians think forsaking all to follow Christ is crazy or WEIRD. I never get used to that. And hope I don't.

here are the kids playing underneath the active volcano with their gas/ash masks on

BUT, many people have been very encouraging. I especially appreciate this. Tony doesn't seem to be affected so much from people's reactions, but he's a guy. And a natural born leader. He does what he needs to do regardless of what anybody says. That's what leaders tend to do - that's part of what makes them leaders. Regardless of the reactions we get, whether good or bad, nonetheless, the commands of Jesus still stand: go into all the world, preach the Gospel, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the fatherless, visit those in prison, suffer little children to come unto Me, love your neighbor, etc., etc., etc.,... well, you know them.

TRAINING/EVANGELISM: Tony has been evangelizing as he is able, which isn't all that much when you have a job working with the same two or three guys all the time. Precisely why I encourage him to try not to think he "has to" get a job in Argentina (although he is willing to do this). It's leaves little time for anything else. The other week he took the kids into town to pass out invitations to the Spanish church to as many Latinos as they could find. They knocked on doors, handed out tracts, and talked to every Latin person they saw. Which seems to be a lot lately down on Main Street. Tony is one of those people that has no fear of man. He'll talk to anyone, and he does it so naturally.

SUPPORT/PROVISION: And, since we can't do all this without MONEY, I've begun planning a "Moving to Patagonia" Yard Sale. We have to get rid of a lot of STUFF. Whether we leave the rest in storage or take it with us remains to be seen, but I just can't believe we actually have to downsize after 9 years in the States. We started with our underwear in cardboard boxes because we didn't have furniture! All the proceeds will probably be put towards plane tickets or supplies. Also going to do a Fundraiser meal at some point, as well. Mostly just sharing with people one on one and spreading the word for now.

DEPARTURE DATE: Many people ask WHEN we're leaving. At the earliest, next Fall (their Spring). At the latest, when the baby is 4 or 5. Although I don't see us leaving that late, you never know.

ON THE HOME FRONT: More of the same: homeschooling, preparing meals, washing dishes, washing clothes, changing diapers, lots of Bible study... the occassional fun field trip. In addition to doing a lot of research regarding the Big Move, I've been praying to just NOT LOSE FOCUS. For both of us. It's so easy, especially for me (since I grew up to be an "independent woman of the '90s", not to "waste" my life staying home with kids) to forget that my first God-given ministry is to my husband and my children. If I fail here, I fail (this is my opinion and conviction). It doesn't matter how many people we reach for Christ, if we don't reach your own family first, our own children that God has given us, we've failed. If we lose our own kids for "the ministry" or "the call", we lose. It is very easy, and a subtle slip, to start putting "ministry" or your perceived "calling" ahead of the one you've already been given: your own family. That is the temptation when I think about living in Argentina as missionaries, where the need is SO great. I pray that God always helps me, helps us, to always keep our priorities straight.

I think that's all for now.

PS - posted another pic on Tony's Adoption Story :)

April 14, 2010

Star Size

(don't forget to turn off bloggy ambiance)

I always appreciate how science encourages faith. How small am I, and how BIG is the God of the Universe?!?


April 13, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Today I decided to count my blessings. Literally. And actually write them down, too. I'm sure I can easily come up with at least 100. God IS good, right?


I am thankful...

1. that God saved my soul.
2. that he saved my husband, too.
3. for Jesus.
4. for 3 healthy children.
5. that we have food on the table every day.
6. for clean drinking water.
7. for my super comfy bed.
8. for heat in the winter.
9. for hot running water.
10. for toilets.
11. for toilet paper (you just have to have spent time in 3rd world countries to get how important this is).
12. for awesome friends that are such an example to me.
13. that my husband is my better half.
14. that my husband is my best friend.
15. for my family.
16. for my husband's job.
17. for my Mom who gave me life.
18. for my Dad who gave me life.
19. for the Bible, the Word of God.
20. for doctors.
21. for modern medicine.
22. for Tylenol.
23. for Ibuprofen.
24. for Tylenol with Codeine.
25. for morphine when all else fails (I'm thinking migraines here, folks, if you're wondering :))
26. for books.
27. for the air I breathe.
28. for my husband's stupid and funny jokes.
29. for microwaves.
30. for our cars.
31. for inspiring blogs.
32. for the internet.
33. for the Holy Spirit.
34. for God's provision.
35. for prayer.
36. for miracles.
37. for answered prayer.
38. for free will.
39. for God's promises.
40. for cool, autumn days.
41. for airconditioning.
42. for my dishwasher.
43. for my automatic coffeemaker.
44. for free clothes.
45. for freedom in Christ.
46. for an inheritance that never fades.
47. for the joy of the Spirit.
49. for newness in Christ.
50. for legs that carry me.
51. for trash picking.
52. for chocolate.
53. for the Church.
54. for comfortable jeans.
55. for cozy fleece.
56. for baby kisses.
57. for baby hugs.
58. for the smell of clean baby.
59. for showers!
60. for hot tea on a cold day.
61. for coffee!
62. for the goodness of God.
63. that I was born in the United States.
64. for the power to overcome.
65. for having been set free.
66. for Spring.
67. for pretty, sweet-smelling flowers.
68. for the opportunity to eat out.
69. for take-out Chinese!
70. for a cold Coke on a hot day.
71. for the Lord's long-suffering.
72. for love.
73. that God has never left me.
74. for babies in Heaven.
75. that God sets the solitary in families.
76. for sunshine.
77. for our new, fast computer.
78. for the copier/printer, so I don't have to go to Staples with 3 kids.
79. for the roof over our heads.
80. for the $10/month gym.
81. that God works all things for good to those who love Him.
82. for Christian music.
83. for classical music.
84. for fellowship.
85. for God's creation.
86. for an education.
87. for hope.
88. for a future.
89. that God knows the plans He has for us.
90. for the color blue.
91. for yellow!
92. for encouraging words.
93. for fine art.
94. for homeschooling.
95. for Co-op.
96. for God's mercies.
97. for all the years the Lord has given me so far.
98. that Jesus is returning.
99. that I don't have everything I want.
100. that I have everything I need.

Whew. I had to think a bit towards the end there. I'm sure you could find 100 things to be thankful for, too. Try it!

"In everything give thanks..." ~ 1 Thes. 5:18

"...abouding therein in thanksgiving." ~ Col. 2:7


April 10, 2010

Bloggy Fun and Encouragement

I just entered the blogosphere very recently, but have been having tons of fun reading all these BLOGS! There are millions! Just found this one yesterday, thanks to the Blog Queen (she will remain nameless, and has assured me she is not, in fact, Queen of Blog; but the nickname may just stick, anyway :)).

From His Hands His Feet Today:

"Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion! "

Mark Batterson
Book: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day


April 9, 2010

The Faith Train

(okay, my black background totally throws this off, but you get the point :))

I am SO having a Faith Train kind of day. I would totally prefer to disconnect my "feelings caboose" today and just move on (her name is Peace Baby, haha ~ which, by the way, is one cosmic joke because she is ANYTHING but peaceful!). I am SO glad someone told me about The Faith Train way back when. Thank you Campus Crusade for Christ! You keep me sane at moments like this. They are doing such a great job reaching the lost for Jesus.

Here is as an excerpt from their website explaining the Faith Train:

"Do Not Depend on Feelings

 The promise of God's Word, the Bible - not our feelings - is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship among fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).

The train will run with or without a caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, as Christians we do not depend on feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word."

The train will run with or without a caboose. Amen and thank you, Lord, for that!

April 8, 2010

A Sense of Urgency

Tony and I feel a sense of urgency. We're not the only ones, I'm sure. This guy does, anyway (he preached an entire message called "The Gospel Demands a Sense of Urgency"... haven't listened to it yet, but the others I have listened to in this series are great). Even non-Christians sense something, as well. Recently my dad, who would not claim to be a religious man, even said, "I don't know, I feel like something bad is going to happen. Something is in the air, something really bad."

Most people sense it. There are so many apocalyptic movies these days. We just watched 2012 this week. It was the first movie I have watched in its entirety in I don't know how long. Although well done, it was scary, and I can't say I liked it. Too many people dying in a global end-of-the-world catastrophe was enough to make me pull out the Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer Extra to calm my agitated and wildly beating heart. No more movies for me for a while.

Jesus answers the disciples in Matthew 24 when they ask what will be the sign of His coming, "...and there will be earthquakes in divers places...". There are other signs, of course, this is just one. We're no Bible scholars, but we can read, turn on the news, and put two and two together. The increase in wickedness the Bible also talk about is all around, and just increasing exponentially.

So, being the Geology geek I am, I just had to look up all of the (major) earthquakes that have ever occurred and been recorded in world. Here's the list if you are interested.


I guess there's really no safe place in the world if you can have big quakes in Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri, Iowa, and... Delaware??

Tony came home last night from work, we sat down to dinner, and he said, "Did you hear about the latest quake in Indonesia?".

"Yeah...", staring at him.

Then we do what we seem to do a lot of lately. We look at each other and one of us usually says something like, "And why wouldn't we go?"

Yes, we definately feel a sense of urgency. What are we waiting for, Jesus to come back before we make a move? It'll be too late then. I suppose we won't care when we see Him, we'll be too happy, but it'll definately be too late then to do all those things we sat around for years saying, "You know, we should..." and, "Why don't we...?".


April 7, 2010

Tony's Adoption Story

A lot of people don't know that Tony is adopted. But he is. It's a CRAZY story. Amazing crazy. In a good way, I guess. It just shows the hand of God on his life. He used to not like me telling people, so I didn't for a long time, but now he's okay with it, and he freely tells people himself that he is adopted.

Tony was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the seventh out of eight children. His mother and father had moved from the country to the city, both looking for work and a better life. His dad "rescued" his mom, who was barely 19 or 20 at the time, from an abusive marriage, and took her to live with him. She already had two daughters. One day the girls went for a visit with their father and never returned. The father had disappeared with them. She never saw her daughters again. 

Tony's biological mom

She went on to have eight more children with Tony's dad. Tony's oldest sister tells of how she remembers when their mom started getting "sick". One day she found her mom standing in the kitchen talking to someone that wasn't there. No one knows what she had, but it sounds a lot like post-partum depression turned psychosis, or schizophrenia. Some say it was because she never recovered from losing her first two children. No one knows because no one payed attention to those things back then. With each baby she got worse and worse. By the time Tony was born, she was completely unable to care for her children or for herself. The oldest daughter, Carmen, was taking care of her mother and all 7 children by the time she was 8 or 10 years old.

One day their 18 year-old cousin, Vilma, came to visit and was appalled at the conditions in which they were living. She told Tony's father to just give her the 8-month-old baby, she would take of him. So he did. Just like that.

Vilma says that she had to shave Tony's head because he had fleas.

His adoptive family was actually his uncle on his dad's side. They already had six children of their own. They didn't have much to offer by way of material things, but they did have love, and they welcomed Tony as one of their own.

They didn't tell him that he was adopted until he was 12. I'm sure that, at the time, they thought they were doing the right thing by keeping the whole truth from him. But Tony says that when he learned the truth, it just completely blew his whole world apart. He had often wondered, when they had gone to visit his "cousins", why he looked more like them than his own "brothers" and "sisters". After his adoptive mom told him the truth, she asked him not to tell his younger brother, who they had also rescued three years after they rescued Tony. He kept that secret from his brother for three long years, until someone else slipped up and spilled the beans. To this day they think that part of his brother's problems (of which he has many) is due to his inability to deal with it all.

Several years ago we were all able to go back to Argentina for a visit. We sat at Carmen's table for hours as she related some really amazing, cover-you-in-goose-bumps kind of stories she remembers from that time.

She said that when their mom got sick, their dad just went downhill. He went from hard-working, happy, and in love with his wife, to drinking, playing cards, and barely working. He just couldn't handle what was happenning to his beautiful wife. The money he did make he squandered on alcohol and gambling. Sometimes the kids only had flour mixed with water to eat. His mom was eventually institutionalized. The neighbor lady, who could see what was going on, would bring them food. Some nights their father wouldn't come home at all. He would just disappear for days, leaving them all alone in their one room, dirt-floor house with no food. Carmen recalls how scared she was. She said every night a white dog would appear at sundown and sit down across the street from their little house. He would just sit there and stare at the house. All night. The dog scared her, so she would throw rocks at it and yell at it to go away. It wouldn't, and would just continue to sit there calmy looking at the house until dawn. When Tony's dad would eventually come home, it would disappear.

Another time their grandmother, who had nothing of her own with which to help them, was trying to care for the children. Carmen tells of one day when Grandma was standing at the well scrubbing clothes between her hands praying out loud because she had nothing to feed them, "Oh, Lord, what am I going to do with all these children? What am I going to give them to eat?". Now, Grandma had 10 or 12 of her own children, all grown. One of her sons was a big drinker, gambler, and just all around not a kind or generous type of guy. They owned a small store. At about the same time Grandma was praying, her son, who was not exactly known for his generosity, suddenly stopped what he was doing bagging groceries, looked at his wife, and said, very uncharacteristically, "Go take these groceries to El Nene's house (Tony's dad's nickname)." He had never before done anything like that, nor did he ever do anthing like that again.

Looking at Tony today you would never know he comes from this. Physically he amazes me. He suffers no apparent signs of malnutrition or poor health. He has the most beautiful teeth I have ever seen. His immune system is amazing. He almost never gets sick.

Emotionally and spiritually the wounds were there, but the only one that seemed to see them was me. After I got saved, I used to tell him that he needed to forgive his dad and not hold onto any anger he had towards him for what he did or didn't do. At the time, Tony did not yet know the Lord and was unable to extend that kind of forgiveness to his father. Afterall, his father had never repented, never apologized, and never seemed to show any remorse or bad feelings whatsoever. Then his dad died. A year later Tony came to the Lord. To this day he regrets not forgiving his father while he was yet alive. Since then, Jesus has healed his heart, enabled him to forgive his father even in death, and show him how He works all things for good to those that love Him.

Sometimes we wonder why the Lord rescued him (besides the obvious: that He loves him), and for what earthly purpose. Really. What are the "good works that God hath foreordained that we should walk in"? (Eph. 2:10). "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works...". What are those good works for him, for Tony? I often think of a question someone posed once, "So, if God saved you to be with him, why do you think he left you here?". Tony often talks about and prays for all the children in the world that don't have a mother or father, or food to eat, or shoes to wear, or toys to play with. For many years he has talked about working with street kids and orphans. Wouldn't that be great? A life redeemed in order to redeems others from the pit.

"God setteth the solitary in families..." ~Psalm 68:6

*When I find the box the pictures of Tony are in, I'll post them. Hopefully this century. :)

UPDATE 4/16/10: Found ONE picture so far :)

Some of Tony's biological siblings: Carmen (the oldest), Rosana,
and Pichi (the look-alike "cousin")
{notice the clock says 1:40... that's AM, folks, Argentinians live at night, it's crazy;
 this b-day party probably lasted til 3 or 4am}

April 6, 2010


This WORD keeps coming up. Over and over for years. Just doesn't go away.

I haven't had anything to say lately (shocker). Or maybe I haven't had time. It recently took me three whole days to clean the house. Then Easter, then back to the grind. And for some reason God gave me a baby that screams and screams and cries A LOT and doesn't nap. 15 months and still wants me to hold her ALL day like a newborn. Weird. And time-consuming. Good thing she's CUTE.

So, I'm double-dipping... I mean re-posting. Stealing someone else's post. I have much more on my mind about this subject, but for now I leave you with this incredible story. I know so many more.



April 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning and Tire Swings!

I hate cleaning. But I've been inspired. With the warmer temps and sunny skies, and after a loooong winter, I threw open the windows, shook the rugs out, and cleaned the house from top to bottom. Well, almost.

That was yesterday. Today, only half way done, I ran out of inspiration and steam. And everyone seemed to be getting in the way of my grandiose plans to thoroughly clean this pig pen! Baby needy, kids not dressed, baby clingy, M needs shorts all of a sudden (which box are they in, anyway?), Big A now wants (?) to do Math (and doesn't seem to know I have called off formal schooling for the day), Peace Baby is hungry AGAIN, I still need that shower, phone rings, now I'm hungry... oh, look, it's already time for lunch!

And I didn't even do any cleaning yet! No wonder this place is always a mess.

So this is what we did instead: the kids played on the new tire swing SuperPapi made last night after taking the kids on an HOUR LONG TRIP to Home Depot (it was glorious). Sometimes you just need some sunshine and vitamin D after a long winter couped up with each other:

So I was able to count the following for school (this is for those of you that live in strict homeschooling law states like me):

*Physical Education (tire swing)
*Math (check)
*Science (Land Before Time video inspired quite the discussion between Big A and Little M about Cretaceous/Jurassic/Mesawhatever as opposed to Creation, as well as all sorts of "Well, no, I think it's an Allosaurus and not a Giganotasauraus because...")
*Social Studies (check: doing laundry, folding clothes, cleaning, and toddler care are Life Skills they teach in High School, right?? I put that here for now.)
*Language Arts (check: almost every day I have to tell them to put the books down and go. have. breakfast!)


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