R adiantA uthenticC heerfulH onestE ncouragingL oving
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
And as we go behind the prison bars, we see that life-changing power at work. We've experienced it in our own lives. We see it in the eyes of the few inmates who have found Christ in prison and are living radiant, God-honoring lives behind bars. We see it in the tear-filled faces of men and women weeping at the alter. Its that Amazing Grace! And may we never lose the awe of it -- or of the One who sacrificed so much to give it to us.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Last night we had a priceless moment at our concert in Cleveland, Tennessee. During that afternoon Charissa came down with the stomach flu. We felt so bad for her, trying to relieve her stomach while driving through the winding mountain roads.
After setting up sound equipment at the church, I asked Charissa if she felt well enough to sing with us. “Maybe another time” she whispered, still feverish. We figured out a way to work our music so Mom could spend the evening in the bus with her. Even as we prayed for the service together, she was sick.
We started the service -- and without Josiah, Bethany, Andrew, and now Mom and Charissa, we seemed like such a small family! Suddenly, right in the middle of sharing “Daddy’s Song”, I noticed Mom bringing Charissa into the back of the sanctuary, dressed in her matching dress. Mom whispered something and then Charissa took off down the long aisle, arms outstretched towards Daddy. Her face was pale, but glowing as she climbed the steps to the platform and ran into Daddy’s arms. She arrived just in time to be swopped up and sing her part of the song -- “And I your little girl”.
It was one of those moments where we all suddenly had to struggle to keep singing. Her little gesture was so precious as we all knew the effort she was making.
We later discovered that while Mom was caring for her in the bus, she mentioned we were probably getting ready to sing “Daddy’s Song”. Charissa suddenly perked up and said, “Daddy needs me!!” Then, after she shared her song, Mommy took her back to the bus and she promptly got sick again.
The little trouper. [smile]
Today we head south to Alabama in preparation for sharing in several state prisons this coming week through the We Care Ministry. We covet your prayers for each of the evening services as we go behind bars to share the message of Hope.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
- Dad and Andrew just came in from changing oil on the bus -- and heartily covered with the evidence!
- Ruth is helping Alaythia finish her sewing project. She has been eagerly learning how to sew and recently cut out matching jumpers for herself and Charissa. Aside from zippers and hems, she's completed the projects herself with little help. She's very self-motivated...yes, like Bethany. [smile]
- Elizabeth has been heading up much of the kitchen preparations today with chicken cooked and frozen, burritos made, and granola baked. Our 'staples' for the bus kitchen.
- Matthias and Stephen have been practicing music and packing the bus.
- Hannah is now in the kitchen baking cookies for a friend -- and a few extra for us, too.
- Susanna and Nathanael have been helping on all fronts and Charissa is taking the action in stride.
- Mom is overseeing the variety of action and activity while catching up on "thank you notes"
- Oh, and I'm giving pre-trip haircuts and catching up on everything that needs attention while we still have internet...including -- blogging!
I know we have many mutual blog readers with Bethany's Blog, but just in case you haven't visited her site for awhile, I encourage you to pop over there. This morning Bethany posted such a sweet post detailing their precious wedding day. Isn't it amazing how the mere mention of certain dates brings a smile to your face!? December 19th is certainly one of those dates.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Add two gallons of milk to a large stockpot. You may use whole, 2% or skimmed milk. Heat the milk slowly over a medium heat (not so hot that it burns on the bottom). It may need stirred a couple times depending on the quality of the stockpot. Heat milk until the temperature is 180*F. It is not necessary to boil the milk.
Note: Use a sturdy, heavy stockpot to heat the milk. It will avoid scorching the milk. We are so thankful for the high-quality stainless steel cookware Daddy got for our kitchen many years ago! Thank you Daddy!
A double-boiler can also be used to heat the milk, if a stockpot is thin.
When the milk reaches 180*F, turn the heat off and let the milk cool to 110*F. Putting the stockpot into a sink of cold water will quicken this step. Otherwise, this is a good opportunity to move on to other projects for a bit!
When milk has cooled to 110*F, add 1 six ounce cup of Yoplait yogurt. Any flavor can be used, because it doesn't flavor the entire two gallons very much.
With a wire whisk, beat the milk & yogurt starter for a minute. It is important for the starter to get completely dissolved into the milk. The milk mixed with yogurt starter is now called inoculated milk.
Once thoroughly mixed, pour the inoculated milk into the desired jars. Fill to the neck of the jar. We use gallon jars - however, for the smaller family - half gallon or quart jars are much easier to manage and work just as well!
Put lids on tightly and place jars into a cooler. It is helpful if the jars fit snugly into the cooler - it all stays warmer and turns to yogurt faster. Warm water [110*f] can also be added to help stabilize the temperature.
Place the lid on cooler and set in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The yogurt is done when it has jelled. This can be easily checked by gently tipping the jar to see if it is milky or firm. If the milk has not become firm in 4 hours, the cooler may not be quite warm enough and it will just need a few more hours. When it is jelled, place in the fridge overnight to completely cool down and set.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Early in my Christian walk this verse in Proverbs became very special to me as I remember this being a new thought. I was not to base my life on my “own” understanding but rather acknowledging Him, which I believe involves recognizing His Lordship. Now this truly results in a walk of faith… especially when your human reason is telling you one thing and God’s Spirit through His Word is telling you another!
This past year has once again been one of these experiences. Many of you are aware that over the years of our family traveling, I have also had a sandblasting and painting business that I have tried to keep going… many times from a distance. This last winter was especially difficult as we were gone from September of ’07 through March of ’08, only being home 3-4 weeks through that time frame. As we got home in March I could see the business had really suffered from lack of attention and I started seeking the Lord concerning all this. At that point, the Lord gave me Jeremiah 33:3 as a call to seek Him. It states:
‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
As I pursued the directive stated in this verse, to “Call upon Him,” a few days later in my devotional time, God kept drawing my attention to Luke 12:33 which states:
Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
That following weekend Gloria, I and some of the children went out to South Carolina to visit Andrew. Saturday night as we were preparing for a nights rest, I shared these verses with Gloria. I wasn't sure what they all meant for us, or what God’s time table would be for closing our business of 23 years. We went to the Sunday evening service with Andrew that evening and after the worship time the pastor turned on the overhead to Luke chapter 12! He then stated that verse 33 would be his theme verse for the message that evening. Now that got our attention. Let me state that while I believe it can be dangerous and misleading to be led by circumstances, I do believe that God confirms what He has spoken to our hearts through His Word by directing “circumstances”.
We returned home from that trip and over the next couple of weeks, due to circumstances out of our control, we proceeded to “lose” about 3/4th of the contracts that we had lined up for the summer. At that point my salesman walked into my office and stated, “All I can say is that God is in this… there is no explanation for what has happened except God is supernaturally directing in all this!” I agreed. We then left to be a part of a couple different camp/revival meetings in North Dakota and Montana. The first night at the camp meetings in North Dakota, the speaker preached on the rich young ruler in Luke 18, where Jesus instructed to, “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Then, when we went to the revival meetings in Montana, we heard the message on the man who found the pearl of great price who, “went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Have you ever felt like God was using a speaker to speak specifically to you!?
As we returned home, we made the commitment to have an auction and close the business. To be honest, we had very little work scheduled on the books at that point anyway… it seemed the Lord had made our future direction with the business very clear. This season of life was done and it was time to move on. On August 26 we auctioned the equipment off through an internet auction company. The economy as it is, I was very concerned about how the equipment would sell, but the Lord was very gracious and gave us a good sale which was very helpful to cover some of the financial losses we'd encountered last winter.
So now what?… That seems like an appropriate question at this point. We are presently seeking the Lord concerning that very question! Many assume this will mean a greater amount of time on the road -- which might be true to an extent, but we are currently spending at least two-thirds of our time out on the road. We also feel we need to have a certain amount of time for “normal” home life to maintain this type of itinerant ministry on long term basis. At this point, my goal is to simply deepen our walk and message. Our desire is to be more effective with our time when we are out on the road. I have an ever increasing burden for families and we’ll see if God would open more doors for opportunities along those lines. I want you to know that we greatly appreciate your prayers on our behalf and to let you know we daily see the fruit of those prayers.
May God Richly continue to bless each of you!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
With our final weeks in Branson behind us, we headed the bus north -- but instead of stopping in Nebraska, we turned to Iowa for a much-belated Christmas celebration with Mom's side of the family. Even though it was past Christmas, they kept the Christmas tree lit, baked fresh Christmas goodies, and we all had a jolly good time!
And after a great weekend, we're back in the bus again -- and guess where we're headed!!?!