"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
Sunday, August 27, 2006
It was a full weekend in eastern Iowa -- but from one opportunity to the next, we had reason to rejoice and praise. As we share the message of Jesus Christ together, we're again reminded of the majesty and glory of the God we serve. Even if we'd lift our voices in song from morning till evening, it would be but a small offering to Him Who deserves our all!
"Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good." Psalm 135:3
"But I will hope continually
And will yet praise You more and more
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day
For I do not know their limits
"Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King, the triumph of His grace!"
"Make a joyful shout the God, all the earth
Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God, "How awesome are Your works!"
Friday, August 25, 2006
Some things have definite times and seasons. You can tell spring is around the corner when the crocuses peek from the snow. When the sound of the lawnmower engine revs up you look forward to the aroma of freshly cut grass, and just when you get all the clean laundry hung on the line, you can almost count on a sudden downpour of rain.
And for our family, we can tell it is time for another trip when Elizabeth rounds the corner of the pantry carrying our big 5-gallon pail of oatmeal. The granola process begins!
Because this has become a predictable family tradition, we thought you might enjoy a glimpse into our 'pre-trip' preparations. Yesterday we spotted Elizabeth again at her post with some little helpers getting ready for departure today -- our last big trip before taking some time off for 'baby month'! [smile]
Elizabeth's Granola Recipe
In a large (note: large) bowl, combine the following --
22 cups oatmeal (we use both quick and old-fashioned)
In a large saucepan, heat the following, then add to oatmeal mixture. Blend thoroughly --
3 cups shortning (olive oil, cocunut oil, butter, ect)
2 cups honey
1/2 cup molasses
2.5 TBSP vanilla
Add cinnamon, raisins, nuts, dates, assorted dried fruit, sunflower seeds, ect...to your liking.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool.
Note: This makes approx. 2 gallons of granola, so for longer trips we find you may need to make mulitple batches.
Monday, August 21, 2006
This afternoon we returned home from extended weekend sharing in eastern Wisconsin at a couple churches, an outdoor music fest, and an ol' time 'Hootinany'. [smile] What an encouragement it was to see 'every-day people' stepping out to have an impact and initiating these events! We know there were many unsaved invited, and continue to pray that the seeds planted will bear fruit.
And along with the singing opportunties came some special fellowship moments -- Spending time deepening friendships with a couple families who were so gracious to have our whole crew over (thanks ya'll!).
"Fret Not Folks!"
"And this is eternal life, that they may know You,
the only true God
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
What a delightful surprise you were for Dad and Mommy's third anniversary -- and all these years you have selflessly shared the day by finding ways to make it special for them. But today we'd like to especially take the opportunity to say how grateful we are that God sent you to our family!
Watching your deep commitment to be in God's Word first thing in the morning -- and usually before anyone else is up -- has been a personal challenge to the rest of us. You have truly 'sought Him early' and we rejoice in the fruit that has brought forth in your life.
We're thankful for all the delicious meals you serve, for your orderly ways, and for your heart to minister to the practical needs of others.
And on a personal note, I'm grateful that at the young age of 18 months, God sent me you for a best friend! We love you!!!
"Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:4-5
I could never promise you on just my strength alone,
That all my life I'd care for you -- and love you as my own.
But the love inside my heart today is more than mine alone --
So I stand before you now for all to hear and see,
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit:
for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
For 'us kids', canning and freezing has always been a fun team-work project. A job that can't be done unless everybody pitches in to help -- from the older girls doing the slicing, to the little ones on 'washing & sorting' detail, and Matthias & Stephen carrying all the heavy loads.
There's just something about working together, whatever the project or task. It's amazing how much we need eachother -- not only siblings in a family, but in the larger picture -- co-laborers in Christ!
And for those of you who enjoy seeing pictures of the job en-progress:
Pickin'...and grinnin'... ...takes lots of concentration, you know!
Apples -- all loaded up and ready to head for home.
Cutting and cutting and more cutting...
Our 'crank' man!
Ahhh....124 quarts of applesauce later and we're done!
"For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be,
and it shall be well with thee."
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
A big thank you to everyone who prayed for Stephen and his arm -- what a blessing it is to have him all back and healed!
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Thank you for your prayers -- in all aspects it was a good trip. Safe travels, good health, and most of all -- encouraging services. One of the highlights of the week was sharing in Gettysburg, PA on Sunday morning. The pastor has such a passion and heart for prayer -- we were told that someone would be praying for us during the entire service. What an honor to fellowship with a group so hungry for the Lord.
And a since a post just doesn't seem complete without some recent pictures.....
A Texas longhorn -- in Pennsylvania territory!
Anxiously watching as the herd comes at their owner's call...
"Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
Saturday, August 05, 2006
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another."
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Yesterday we experienced another answer to prayer. The past 10+ years our family has looked forward to 'corn day' each summer. Those of you who enjoy canning and freezing probably know what I'm talking about: the full day of picking, husking, de-silking, blanching, cutting and bagging dozens of ears of corn. And then piling it all in the freezer with the pleasant thought that this will taste so-o-o-o-o good during the winter months!
Well, this summer it was beginning to look like we'd be unable to get any in the freezer -- first, our friend, who always planted extra for us is no longer farming. And secondly, even if corn was available, we haven't been home enough to have a 'corn day'.
But the Lord surpised us -- not only with corn, but with friends to work with! We were so blessed to be able to spend yesterday with a dear family near Kalona, Iowa, and as it all worked out, we ended up with a 'corn day'!!! A good reminder to us that there is no request too small for the Lord to hear and answer. Another evidence of His love and care!