Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Blog...Blog...Blog

Looking through our archives I just realized today is our 'Blog Birthday!' Yes, a year ago today we joined the world of blogging. Can you believe it's been 150 posts since then?! This has been such a fun way to keep in touch with ya'll!!! [smile]

So to 'celebrate', would you drop us a comment to let us know you visit!?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

First Christmas

Three months old already! And still growing so fast.
(As you can tell, she made a sweet center-piece for our manger scene!)




Monday, December 25, 2006

Behind Bars

I once heard a man share, "It is impossible to outgive God."

This statement has rung true more times than I can count this year. And this Christmas especially.

A big "thank you" to each of you who were in prayer for our prison service today. Once again I regret there are no pictures to share, but sufficient to say it was another precious and unforgettable afternoon.

And to give you a bit of the story --

Entering a prison is always a sobering event -- guards, metal detectors, razor-wire. But this time, once we passed all the security checks, walked through the large courtyard, and set up our equipment in the cathedral-style chapel, it suddenly seemed our most overwhelming hurdle was still ahead --

"What?!? Stephen always starts this song with mandolin? How are we going to fill in for that?!"
"Um, I have no idea what Elizabeth sings for this harmony part!"
"Do you think you could play something on the fiddle to take the dobro's place?"

Yes, only we oldest 5 were able to enter the prison -- leaving lots of holes, not only in our physical numbers, but in each song. We never quite realize how much we rely on eachother until someone is missing. Especially 8 missing!

It was a mad scramble for a short while as we had a few minutes to practice. Then time was up and we gathered for prayer. Our feelings of inadequacy had to be given to the Lord. It was once again that we realized "without [Jesus] we can do nothing." (John 15:5)

And on that note the service began -- with around 80 men in attendance. From the first carol to the last 'Amen', they were almost on the edge of their seats. Yes, we missed a few notes here and there -- but the Lord's grace was so evident and the men seemed genuinely touched. At the end of Dad's gospel message, around 15 men responded to the gospel. Their warm handshakes and 'thanks' told us what we shared was taken to heart.

It was exciting to visit with the chaplain as we packed equipment -- to hear how he is active in getting new believers discipled in the Word. We're looking forward to hearing continued reports & keeping these men in prayer.

As we loaded up the bus and drove away, we were in awe at the Lord's working -- and the great encouragement the service had been in our own lives. Truly, "you can't out-give God!"

"Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church through Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, Amen." Eph 3:20-21

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Prayer Request


Well, the cookies have been baked (and eaten), the Christmas cards opened (and read), and the carols sung yet again. How quickly the month has flown -- it's almost Christmas!!! As I probably won't be blogging here over the next couple days, I wanted to jot a quick note with a prayer update:

This past July we shared with you the testimony of the Lord's work in a WI prison. Well, since then we've been in touch with the chaplain, and have been very encouraged to hear reports of continuing fruit. Just a month ago they had 8 new believers baptized, and there are currently more 9 men who have shown serious interest. We praise the Lord for His work in these men's hearts -- and for the chaplain who has been investing in their lives.

To make a long story a little shorter, we will again be sharing at this prison -- on Christmas Day. The men are very excited and as of tonight, 93 have signed up for the service (a record attendance). We are grateful for this huge opportunity -- and recognize our great need for prayer.

If you think of our family around 2:00pm on Christmas, please lift us before the throne -- and pray for the hearts of the men who will be attending. This will be especially challenging for us, as only 18+years can enter the facility. We never quite realize how MUCH we rely on the younger ones until we have to share without them!

Thank you in advance -- and we'll look forward to sharing more soon!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bus Work

As the countdown 'till Christmas continues, so does the race to complete our latest bus project -- a new transmission. Around midnight last night we girls made a surprise visit to the shop to survey their progress.

Now, due to my lack of mechanical skills, I can't give you a detailed report (sorry to all you menfolk!!), but it did appear that alot of the tubes and 'thing-ies' seemed to be connected -- which I assume is a good thing. And the engine looked like it was in the right spot. Besides that, there were lots of smiles and good-natured conversation taking place, so upon that evidence, I'm guessing we're getting pretty close to the finish line.

And it's a good thing, 'cause we leave tomorrow!!!


Working hard in tight places.

As you can tell, they get really excited about their work, right Andrew?!!?

And big projects like this are always best as a team project. Many thanks for your help, Ragnar & Ron!


Update:
The bus is done and ready to be loaded in the morning! Just in time. [smile]

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Come and Worship

Another Friday night has passed -- and with it, a host of treasured small-town memories and traditions re-lived. Thank you to all of you local (and not-so-local!) friends who bless our family by joining us for an evening of music and carrage rides. Each night is such a special part of our family's Christmas season! What a precious thing it is to set aside time to reflect on God's wonderous gift -- Jesus Christ.

And now we look forward to one final Friday. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to you all -- and come early for carriage rides and a harmonica lesson! [smile]


Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight or' all the earth.

Ye who sang creation's story, now proclaim Messiah's birth!



Come and worship, come and worship...


Worship Christ the newborn King!

The "Friday Night Harmonica Choirs" continue to grow. Our guys have been thrilled with how quickly these boys and girls learn!


"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Luke 2:14

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Announcing.....

"They're HERE!!!"

With 90 minutes to go before our Christmas concert this afternoon, we received 'the call'. Although we're a 30 minute drive from Lincoln, it was agreed I should hop in a vehicle and bring the boxes home. (And yes, I did make it back with a few minutes to spare!!!) What jubliation!!! A huge 'thank you' to all of you who have kept this project in your prayers!

"O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise...for Your mercy is great."
Psalm 108:1&4

And now we begin the project of mailing out all our pre-orders to get them to you by Christmas. If you'd like to order a CD or cassette, there is still time. With thanks to our webmaster, our online ordering store is up and running again. For Christmas delivery, please place your order yet this week.

Order on-line here!

Answers in the Bible :: Going Home :: Fountain of Life :: Fret Not :: He'll Make a Way :: At the Cross :: Amazing Grace :: Follow On :: The Blood is Still There :: Rejoice :: It Won't Be Long :: The Bible Stands :: Who Will Go to America :: Above All

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Harmonica Choir

Last night we had a precious moment.

It was our first concert at "The Lights" -- Seward's annual light display, and we were asked to try something new. Something to help other young people get excited about music. Armed with a box of harmonicas, our boys gave some quick lessons to 3 willing brothers before the service started. They proved to be real quick learners, for when we asked for our 'harmonica choir', they jumped right up there and gave it one hundred percent.

I only wish we had recorded those sweet strains -- "Silent Night, Holy Night".

The joys of learning and sharing together.

Christmas Joys

You can tell its that 'Christmas-time' of year in the Wissmann household when...

pine branches and bows come out...



...along with the manger scenes...


pretzels get dunked...



the nut cracker gets used...



and Grandma's sugar cookies get baked. Mm-m-m-m-m!!!

ONLY 16 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Baby face


No fair! Here I plan all day on blogging a 'Charissa post', and my sister beats me to it! [smile] But can there ever be too many pictures taken of babies!? At the risk of being redundant, here are a few more pictures of our bundle of joy. And to add a fun history twist, do you think she resembles an earlier Wissmann baby?!
















(Oh -- top photo compliments of Andrew -- would hate to leave out the credits! [smile] But really, I was the one making her smile. And Bethany's camera took the picture.....okay! I guess everything we do turns into a family project!!!)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Oops!

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an expert at this 'blog-thing' yet. And I may as well admit it, as the evidence is beginning to show itself! Today as I updated to this new Blogger Beta, I somehow managed to merge Bethany's blog with our family blog (since we share the same e-mail address, it now recognizes us as one and the same -- thus, Bethany's profile shows up here).

So-o-o...... Thank you for your patience as we get this sorted out. And if any of you can figure out how to fix my problem, I'd love to hear from you!!!! [smile]

Update: Thanks ya'll for the suggestions! We're getting closer to our 'individual status', as you can tell by the updated profile picture. Ahhhh......... the joys of technology!!!

Tis the Season!



I'm coming to the conclusion that Christmas must be my favorite season. Leave all the commercialism and reindeer behind -- but give me the wonder of God Himself leaving the glories of heaven. Let me experience the awe of our Creator and Almighty One as a helpless babe -- and imagine the glory song as the angels proclaimed it; with more joy than our human voices can muster. Wow. What a beautiful -- and true -- story!!!

As if to kick off our month of Christmas concerts in this spirit, we were able to share in a special 'Walk Through Bethlehem' last Saturday. Literally drawing us into the story, the actors portrayed the announcement, long journey, and stable scene of Christ's birth (interrupted by a few shepherds and soldiers along the route!!!). It was a special event, and we were so grateful to play a small part!!!

And now for the promised pictures......


Our friendly tour guides!

"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;"
Is. 9:6a

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quick Update


Has it really been a full week since my last post?! I guess I haven't done well at updating here! Yes, there have been a couple clever (or so my sisters tell me) posts dancing around in my thoughts, but I guess as of now they haven't materialized! So for this morning I'll just leave you with a quick note.....

As I write, the bus is parked near our house and various ones are finishing the last minute packing -- getting ready to pull out within the hour. We just finished with two days at home -- getting caught up with mail, house needs, and those various 'post-trip' projects!

And now as we re-load, we're looking forward to the opportunities of the weekend -- a church outreach called "Walk through Bethlehem", and a couple services along the way. Hopefully I'll be checking back in soon with pictures!

Oh, and a happy December to you all!!!


"I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together."
Psalm 34:1&3

Prayer note:
A couple of us (okay, mostly me!) are battling a nasty head cold this week (*sniffle, sniffle*), so we'd appreciate prayers for a fast recovery -- and for the healthy ones of our bunch to stay healthy! A full 'Wissmann epidemic' is not a good thing!!! [smile]