Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Lord is My Strength - Guest Post

I don’t know how you see God at work in your life, but in mine He seems to reveal His will to me in a re-occurring fashion. Whenever I find myself passionate about a ministry opportunity and begin the steps of faith to move in that direction, I find myself being reminded that God has been preparing me for it from my past. I typically don’t see this right away but more as a confirmation afterwards. As Terri and I continue in our training for cross-cultural mission to unreached peoples, the opportunity that we sense God is leading us towards is one that will require great physical stamina. To fully serve the Lord in His calling we must prepare in mind, spirit, and body.
Growing up I was tall, thin, and terribly un-athletic. I was the slowest kid in junior high coming in last in the 100 yard dash. I remember the coach just shook his head when I finally crossed the finish line. In high school, I dropped out of football on the second day because I was too sore to move after the first day of training. After graduating high school I took a very physically demanding job as a roughneck on a drilling rig in south Texas. The experience taught me that while I lacked speed and strength, I found I had great determination and endurance. I stayed the course for 5 years, after which, I left the physical demands of the oilfield and took a job in the printing industry.
At age 30 I weighed 145 lbs. and allergies kept me sick most of the time. I actually thought I was dying. Determination kicked in and I decided that I wouldn’t go without a fight. I joined a gym and began working out. I went almost every day. I read books on weight lifting, drank gallons of weight gainer and protein drinks, and developed a very rigorous workout routine. Once again, I stayed the course and at age 33 I had an athletic build and weighed in at 180 lbs. I spent the few years training in different gyms until I took a job in management. The time required for my job took me away from the gym and basically ended my workout routine. Several years have passed since I’ve seen the inside of a gym.
Now at age 48, there is stirring in me the desire to get back into shape. I have to admit that my earlier motives were entirely selfish. Now, having hopefully grown in mind and spirit, my desire to be more physically fit are rooted in Kingdom purposes. As Terri and I have began working to get in better shape, we realize that it is not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of those whom we are called to serve. The front room of our home is now the training ground for the physical demands of cross-cultural missions. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed a good workout. All of my past experiences are coming back as I develop a routine for better fitness. It is like coming full circle but with a new perspective, His perspective.
I hope you find encouragement from this brief testimony of how the Lord has been working in a very practical way in our lives. More importantly is how He has been working inwardly to show us His heart and desires. As Terri and I continue to prepare we know it is not in our strength but in His. Our service is founded in our love for our God. Psalm 18:1 says it very well, “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.” We are learning to lean upon Jesus as our strength and reminded how He can take the fullness of our lives and use it for His glory. So how has God been using your past to prepare you for His future?


Friday, February 11, 2011


While so much has been going on, I can honestly say that we are still taking baby steps most of the time. God is showing us only small bits at a time. He has been opening some doors for us and we are being faithful to walk through those open doors. So much is also still unclear. I believe God is doing that so we can show Him we trust Him and believe that He will bring about the purpose and direction in our lives in due time.

Our personal lives and those of our children seem to go from good to bad and back again on a minute by minute basis. While so many things seem to be falling apart we can't help but look on it as a possible "fresh start" and a time to begin again with a clean slate. John called a "family meeting" two weeks ago so we could sit down and share with each other where we were in life. It was mostly for the four adults in the family (did I say 4? Wow, when did that happen? In a blink of an eye, we have two grown children in our family. Time passes so quickly. Enjoy each precious moment of your children's childhood. Then have a blast with them as adults.) because the two younger kids just kind of listened and Star Princess feel asleep in my lap. "Dad" shared the things going on in our life with the mission stuff and with his work. Our older two are going through some hard times, major growing pains. But we took each one and tried to find some positive things that could be done and to look at it as an adventure. Also, some things we needed to pray about as a family for each other. He wanted them to know that we are a family, always will be a family AND will always be there for each other, no matter where we live. It is my hope that we will continue these and even when we are overseas, maybe we can S*kype our family meetings.

While we wait upon the Lord to open more doors and make more things clear on the mission side of our life, there are things that I know I must get done. We are always working on school for the kids. Plus, I have many things around the house that must be done. Part of my downsizing is to get the extra scrapbook supplies and fabric cleared out. But not in the way you might think. I am not just getting rid of it. I am using it. I have many pictures that need in books to prepare for storage. I have much fabric that needs to be made into things instead of stored. I have promised quilts to each of my children. Those MUST be made before we go overseas. I have set that as a goal. I can't wait to work on them and post pictures of each.

My writing has been non-existent with the exception of my blogs. That is my own fault. I just have not taken the time to sit down and work. It is work. Anyone who believes writing is easy is in for a shock. But it is still something that is inside me trying to get out. I must obey that command at some point and let the voice inside me speak. I pray I can overcome the barriers that hold me back and that the voice will be free to venture forth to share with all of us what messages God has given it.

Our "next step" is a training class coming up in March for a week. It is for water well drilling. I may or may not get to go. I have to find "childcare" for the two younger kids and so far, I haven't. Then I need to raise money somehow (be it donations, garage sales, etc...) for a mission trip for all four of us, which can be pretty pricey. We would need about $1,500, which would include the trip, passports, visas, shots, etc...  That is something we are required to do before we are commissioned by our church to go out. If you have any fund raising ideas for me, feel free to email me the details. We need all the help we can get. Of course, once we do that, it will be time to start raising the money for long term. God is good and will provide, I have no doubt.

Until next time...blessings to you. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our Daniel Boone Unit

This school year we have been using a wonderful program, Trail Guide To Learning: Paths of Exploration. We have fallen in love with this program. It is great for me, the teacher, because everything is laid out so clearly. Everything comes in your "backpack" of supplies with very few exceptions, like colored pencils and the like. For the kids it is great because it is fun and interesting. It includes all the subjects but math. We are able to do so many extra things with each unit. There are six units that take six weeks each. This year we are learning all about exploration of the United States, starting with Christopher Columbus. Next year we will be doing Paths of Settlement. They are supposed to keep making more to this series that will continue all the way through high school. I think that is awesome!

We are having such a great time with our Daniel Boone unit. We have been doing lots of reading about him and I purchased a DVD with some of the Disney TV shows from long ago. We watched one of them last night. It was different from the true story in a lot of ways but truth was mixed into the story line. I could tell where they changed it but still kept truth in it as well. For instance, he had a new child almost every couple of years, but on the show he only had two kids.

We have learned how Daniel Boone lived and explored many different places in the United States. We also learned a great deal about how the battle for independence impacted the settlers in ways we never knew. The British paid the Native American's to kill the settlers because they were trying to gain that independence from them.

We are also learning a lot about honey bees. Did you know that they are disappearing? And if we can't find a way to get them back and keep them we will lose a lot of our favorite fruits and veggies? I am not sure what we can do about it. We found the information by looking up Colony Collapse Disorder, which was first realized in the U.S. in 2006. If you and your kids are studying bees, this would be an awesome subject to check out. The reason we are learning about bees is because when the settlers got to America there weren't any honey bees. I didn't know that.

Most people had a snow day today because the weather is so odd for Texas. It has been below freezing and snowing lightly all day. The kids have gone out twice although I don't see how they can stand it. I stand at the door to check on them and freeze within seconds. Kids are so funny that they can stand things we can't. I am glad they are having a good time but hoping they don't lose any fingers while they are having fun. I'm telling's cold! We did have our school time today. They got their math done before they went out the first time. Then they came in for lunch and our Unit Study time. Now they are back out there freezing. I took these pictures of them when I braved the cold for the few minutes it took me to get them to come off the playground to pose for it.

That is our progress report for today. Thanks for stopping by.