Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nathanael

Happy 6th Birthday, Nathanael!


Hey, little man! Happy birthday! You are such a blessing to our home. It's been fun to watch your eagerness to work with the 'big boys' grow over this past year -- you learn so much from them! We enjoy your thoughtful little gifts and eager questions. You're getting so close to reading on your own and keep up the diligent work on your math, too! May you grow in your love for Jesus this year -- reading His Word and building godly character in your life. We love you bunches!!


"that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowldege of God." Colossians 1:10


Little known facts about Nathanael --

  • He was born early on Sunday morning...and Dad still made it to church in time to preach the morning message
  • He's the only Wissmann with a nick-name: Buddy
  • He learned to walk in our old '69 bus (and has great balance!)
  • His favorite food is yogurt.
  • He's saving his pennies to buy an airplane

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hello, Ohio!

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth; Over and around us lies...

...Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour, Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon, and stars of light...


For each perfect gift of Thine, To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine, Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven...

...Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise!

For the joy of human love; Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above -- For all gentle thoughts and mild...


Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
this our hymn of grateful praise.

Special thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Metzger for the wonderful tour of their farm!

Goodbye, Michigan

Yes, we've said our goodbyes and headed south. But not with out many sweet memories of fellowship, the Lord's working, and some good ol' family times. Oh, and lots of pictures to document the events. Here are just a few....
Matthias' demolition job -- our guys enjoyed working on 'Saturday' projects with our friend, Mr. Jaster.


Loading clean laundry

Enjoying a cozy 'indoor' afternoon!

The Flint Children's Museum -- a special treat for the birthday girl

Dad & Charissa try out the firetruck display.

And everyone pitches in to create a magnetic ...er.....masterpiece!?!

Thank you, Jaster family, for such a blessed time of fellowship!

"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."
Philippians 1:9-11

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Answered Prayer

Finally! The post I've been wanting to finish for a long time! But this is just one of those posts that begs for a few pictures, thus it has been several days in the making. [smile]

As many of you have probably guessed, our amazing answer to prayer involves our previous 'treasure hunt' post. We now have the fourth skirt to complete our new autumn outfits...with yet another testimony of our God's gracious provision:

After what seemed like a hopeless search (even hunting on E-bay left us empty-handed), we crossed into Canada. Discouraged, it looked like it would be a long time before our prayers would be answered. (After all -- they don't even have Christopher & Banks stores in Ontario, do they?!??) We drove to Port Burwell and had our first session of the family seminar.

The next morning during family devotions, Mom specifically prayed that we'd find the missing skirt. "Yeah," we thought, "and have it waiting at the USA border when we return!" [smile]

But to our amazement, that same evening a group of smiling girls walked into the church -- carrying 'the skirt'!!! It turns out these Canadian sisters travel to the states periodically to shop at American stores. They had the missing skirt in their closet and were willing to part with it. Thank you all for your prayers -- and a huge thank you to the Whitney sisters!!!

And we finally finished the younger girls' dresses -- only two minutes before heading out to wear them at a financial banquet. Nothing like sewing 'till the last minute!

"Come and see the works of God;
He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men...
...Oh, bless our God, you peoples!
And make the voice of His praise to be heard."
Psalm 66:5&8

Monday, October 22, 2007

Alaythia

Happy 8th Birthday Alaythia!

May God bless you today, our little smile-girl! Your cheerful giggles add such joy to our family -- your enthusiasm is certainly contagious. Over the past year you have grown in so many ways, most especially your willing helpfulness with Charissa's needs and teamwork on the kitchen crew! And Mommy especially appreciates your motivation to complete your schoolwork and learn piano. But most of all, we are glad to see you growing in a love for God's Word -- both reading and memorizing it. May you continue to abide in Jesus as you seek to walk honoring to Him in the coming year! We love you dearly!


Little known facts about Alaythia --
  • Her name is the Greek word for 'Truth'
  • She enjoys gymnastics and can do cartwheels, round-offs, and handsprings.
  • Our only left-handed daughter
  • Is Bethany's little 'twin' -- look-alike and personality!
  • The day before her home birth we had over 70 surprise drop-in guests. The next day: none!
  • loves making (and eating!) carrot/raisin salad
  • At age 6 she memorized Prov. 31:10-31 to surprise Mom

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ontario


Sitting with a young couple enjoying their precious baby boy. A teenager plops on the grass beside us.
"This man loves the Lord" remarked the husband. The teenager looked at me and quickly replied, "Ah, my friend here loves the Lord -- and I love him for it." The sincerity rings in his voice.
:: :: :: :: :: ::
Walking into the kitchen to grab a drink of water while three young men stand around talking. "Ya know, the other day I was reading in Matthew..." Scripture filling the conversations as they stirred one another on to love and good works.
:: :: :: :: :: ::
A group of over a dozen girls gathered around the piano. Our voices lifting together in song as one by one they call out the names of our favorite worship songs. Hearts rejoicing after moments of fellowship -- and even some one-on-one prayer time. Hugging goodbye.
:: :: :: :: :: ::

Without a camera to capture these priceless moments, this is a glimpse of our weekend with Gospel Lighthouse Church, located on the Ontario shore of Lake Erie. We were so abundantly blessed by the spiritual eagerness, warm fellowship, and generous hospitality of these dear friends. (We miss you all!!!)

And since Bethany did take some pictures of the weekend I can't complete a post without a few of her great shots...


We're thankful for one of our smoothest boarder crossings ever. An answer to prayer as we were tight on time!

Getting close to the waves of Lake Erie.

Charissa enjoyed her first 'tree climbing' experience.

The ever-favorite game: volleyball...

...with soccer a close second (for those with lots of energy)!

Daddy sharing the 'Family Life Seminar'. Often during his teaching sessions we older children are involved with a companion children's ministry, so are unable to hear him. This weekend was a real treat for us as we were able to listen to all four sessions. I was personally challenged to hear the principles that were shared -- and once again reminded how thankful I am for the commitments my parents have made over the years.


Again, thanks to everyone for your prayers. We have really sensed the Lord's blessing over this past week. God is at work in Ontario -- and now we look forward to returning to the States soon.


"Our Lord calls us to no special work--He calls us to Himself."
--Oswald Chambers


Note: The Lord also provided an amazing answer to prayer over the weekend. We're still working on the final details to share with you, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hightlights

It has certainly moved from the 'cool-lemonade' sort of days here in Michigan to the 'hot-apple-cider' kind. Br-r-r-r! But the fellowship has been warm and we've captured a few moments to share with you; highlights of the week....

As Bethany recently posted, our weekend together in Omaha went incredibly well. It was a full schedule, considering all the wedding preparations and ceremonies that surround such an event. We were so grateful to know that you were holding us in prayer through each step of the photography challenges! To check out some of the results, visit here.


As her assistant, I was able to capture a few shots
of Bethany 'in action'! Love ya!

Sharing at a local retirement home.

We've also had the opportunity to meet and fellowship with new friends here in Michigan. These families treated us to a delicious meal -- completed with a powerful rendition of two themes from the 'Messiah'. What a memorable evening!

Some of us were able to help serve supper at an inter-city mission here in Flint after the service of music and preaching.

And -- as always -- school and study projects continue. The Lord brought someone across our path who is working on a few bus repairs for us this week -- and some dear friends here have let us 'move in' to their basement until the work is completed. (Thank you, Jasters!)

And finally, I was encouraged by the lyrics to the following song today -- and reminded that no matter our location, occupation, or situation, when we know Jesus, our calling remains the same:

Praise the Savior, ye who know Him
Who can tell how much we owe Him?

Gladly let us render to Him
All we are and have.

Trust in Him, ye saints,forever,
He is faithful, changing never;
Neither force nor guile can sever
Those He loves from Him.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Requesting prayers...

Before the sun rose on the horizon this morning, Bethany and I were dropped off at the Detroit airport for a grand 'adventure-of-a-weekend' -- starting with a layover at O'Hare before landing back in our home territory, Omaha.

Aside from the joys of experiencing all these new sights and sounds together (and a yummy airport breakfast), we are looking ahead with a common goal towards tomorrow.

Wedding photography.

I marvel at the talent and photography skills the Lord has given Bethany -- and am just thrilled to be her assistant in capturing the priceless moments of our friends' wedding day. There are so many details that go into such an occasion. Would you join us in praying for the day?!

Also, the rest of our family is back in Michigan preparing to share an evening service without Josiah, Bethany, or myself. They'd appreciate your prayers as well! [smile]

We'll keep you posted....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Fruits of the Garden

Being the master gardeners that our grandparents are, this week has been filled with enjoying the outdoors.....farm style! On Monday some of our crew headed for the garden with a pitch-fork and buckets in tow. Although heavy summer rains claimed half the crop, they found plenty of spuds for some tasty home-cookin'! Mmm-m-m-m!!

Searching for 'hidden treasure'!

Susanna spreads them out on the grass.
Hannah gives the dirty 'taters a chilly bath.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth picks some tasty berries for dessert. There's just nothing like eating a 'home-grown' meal! Isn't God good to give us so much variety for our table fare?! From the hard, white potatoes growing underground, to the bright, juicy berries in the sunshine -- His creativity and order is beyond my comprehension!

"Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
There He makes the hungry dwell,
That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,
And sow fields and plant vineyards, That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
Whoever is wise will observe these things,
And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD."
Psalms 107:31,36,37,42

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Celebrations

Happy 53rd wedding anniversary, Grandpa and Grandma!

Some occasions are just too beautiful not to celebrate.
So glad we could join in the festivities --We love you bigger!

"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."
Song of Solomon 6:3

Monday, October 01, 2007

Weekend Snapshots

With the cool, gentle breezes of autumn blowing through northeast Iowa, yesterday was a beautiful afternoon for a concert in the park. The trees are just starting to show the faint promise of brilliant reds and yellows -- and as we carried the instruments across the sidewalks, the sound of crunching leaves made us smile. I just love the changing of the seasons!

And in addition to the weather, we enjoyed the warm fellowship of local friends and our dear grandparents. You should have seen us dash from all areas of the park to be the first to give Grandpa and Grandma a hug!

And guess who we discovered sitting in the front row?! Yes, it didn't take long to recognize the familiar smile -- nor for the younger ones to claim his lap in between songs. Josiah is back! Well, at least for the weekend. He is working a job in Wisconsin this week and arranged his schedule to include a stop at the park. We'll certainly miss him the next several weeks as he works toward his goals on the homefront.

We even surprised him and had him join us for a song!
Thanks, Josiah! We love you!

...And so the trip continues. Today we are at our grandparents' farm -- working on school, sewing projects, garden and kitchen tasks, bus maininance and playing games with Grandma. Reminding us once again that 'whatsoever ye do...' means the every-day tasks, too!


"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow." -- Martin Luther

A Treasure Hunt

Our semi-annual 'treasure hunt' has once again commenced. Combining the search for colors, sizes, styles, and over-all coordination -- this hunt for new singing outfits is certainly not your 'everyday' shopping excursion!

Thankfully, we already have most of the pieces from a previous 'end of season' sale -- and the fabric has been cut out for the younger girls' dresses to be sewn this week (thank you, Bontragers). But we're still praying for a missing piece to be discovered. A autumn/floral skirt to complete the trio we have already purchased.

We have had this situation before with one of our favorite outfits. Searching the original stores brought no success -- after all, who would have the missing piece several months after it'd been clearanced? After praying about the situation, we finally discovered the missing skirt for sale on e-bay!


So this brings us to one of our 'most unusual' blog posts ever -- both a prayer request and an invitation to join in our search! Here's what we are looking for: this Christopher & Banks skirt [pictured below] in any size (we have our sewing machine along)!



Thanks in advance for your prayers and help! Aren't you grateful that our God cares about even the little needs in our lives?

See?!? I warned you this would be our most unusual post ever! [smile]