Monday, February 26, 2007

Toast with Nutella. Breakfast of champions. (For those of you who aren't familiar with the delicacy - Chocolate-Hazelnut spread. Like chocolate peanutbutter, but with hazelnut.) Mmmm... and a tall glass of cold milk. Why start the day any other way?

So, this past week or so we've been in: Little Rock, AR, Memphis, TN, Coldwater, MS, Chicago, IL, Seattle, WA, Nanaimo, BC and Houston, TX. (And, back to Little Rock, AR) We didn't spend any time in Chicago or Houston, but the airports gave us a pretty good sampling of the populace there.

I really should blog every day so I don't feel like I have to catch up on life's events. Sigh. But, I'll do my best here.

Derek had an interview with a small, fantastic, loving church in Nanaimo, BC, Canada. Sweet hubby had no idea what to expect from Canada, but was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful country with absolutely dedicated christians who seek truth in God. Ah, what a wonderful trip, what wonderful people! We'll know later this week what God's will is as far as an employment opportunity there...

Our whirlwind trip went like this: ice, plane, snow in Chicago, colourful houses in Seattle, little black rental car, ferry ride to Nanaimo, late check-in, really good people, visit, questions, visit, meeting, eating, visit, really good people, Wii boxing, class, bible study, questions, funny people, old friends' parents, waterfront, islands, walking, clams, laughing, kitchen on fire, great chinese food, bible class, shopping, questions and answers, potlucks, Canasta, bible class, packing, praying, ferry, sleep, Seattle, Pike Place, fish market, sleep, Houston, Home, sleep, Mississippi, kids!, Youth Rally, church, talk, sleeeeeeep (finally!), blogging. Sigh.

See why I haven't blogged?

We have so much coming in the next few weeks. Homeschool testing, Tulsa Soul Winning Workshop, more interviews, resume's, telephone calls, etc.

God is good, and though we have seen some really rough times these last few months, God has shown his goodness, his faithfulness to us - though we are so undeserving.

Though there is one thing now that I pray for: I want life to slow down. This past month we have had illness, a Mexico trip, hectic church work, a job interview and a youth rally, conflict resolution and though it doesn't look like much on the screen - it really has consumed our time. And, I'm afraid that it was our children who made the sacrifice. So, I have scaled back my involvement with things, and I am staying true to my first ministry: my home.

Having said that: I gotta go. Kids are nearly done with their morning work, and homeschool is on deck.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Arkansas' a trip.

You know how your church will hold an outreach event... something that will reach out to the community - meeting people at the point of their need? A VBS in the summer (helps with wandering school kids), a bible camp, Parent's night out, the usual.

Our church, this last Sunday afternoon, held a Big Game Night. No... not games as in Monopoly, RISK or Clue. Big game as in Deer, Hog, and smaller game as in wild turkey, duck, fish and squirrel. We had a potluck.

Each of the hunters in the church brought in their finest game dishes and the ladies brought side dishes and dessert. The place was decked out in camoflouge, mounted deer heads, a hog head, deer hide, beaver, fox, bobcat... No, I'm not joking! The centerpiece was a boat tied to a tree, with a Bambi standing on "water's" edge.

The food included: battered and fried Crappie (no, it's pronounced "Croppie"), Deer Stew, Wild Turkey Casserole, Duck with Dressing, Smoked Deer with BBQ sauce, and Squirrel Dumpling Stew. I brought a fresh salad. When asked what I killed - I told them "Lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. I was brutal. Took no prisoners."

We ate dinner with our hunters and their "unchurched" friends. What a mix of people! First of all, I've never seen so much camo in my life! Each carefully planned outfit was topped with a farmer's cap. As we finished eating, they started a duck calling contest. People used all kinds of sticks and mouthpieces and flute-looking things.

There was a fella there who topped the experience for us. He was a red-head, about 6'2", and looked like a white Mike Tyson. He got up and started making his duck call, but needed no such instrument. He used his mouth to make a slurping duck sound. He was having some trouble, as he was missing a tooth right in the front and center of his mouth. (His "spittin' hole" as he called it.) After a few nervous chuckles, and a downright belly laugh, he got it. And the crowd was amazed. (I had to take his word for it - I had falsely believed since preschool that ducks said "quack".)

I came as an observer. I was kicking myself for not bringing my video camera. This stuff is real, folks! When they were all done with dinner, the fellas all went out back to smoke. And truly - every once in a while someone would loudly exclaim "Git 'er dooonnnne!"

After the cleanup was done, we all went in for evening church services. Many still dressed in camo. Our preacher (my brother in law) apparently owned no such camo, and wore a flannel shirt and torn jeans. He preached his heart out about being the "hunter" and not the "hunted". Fantastic lesson. He used fishing analogies, old hunting stories, called the devil's tricks "hooks". Really connected with our hunter's friends.

All in all, it was a good thing. Not a Martha Stewart "good thing", mind you. However, it really did reach out to the community. A different, often ignored part of our Little Rock community. As strange as it was to me, I can see that the folks in the room were on cloud nine. And, I was truly happy for them.

And as for me? I got to write about it.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mmmm... just when you think it's hard. It gets harder.

What a walk of faith we've had this week.

I haven't - believe it or not - had time to address the sorrow that came to us last week. Posting scripture seemed to be all that I could do at the time. Even now... I wait.

This week, however, brings a new challenge. New difficulty. New sorrow.

Oh, I wish I could share it. But I do not delight in making show of other people's sin, shame or sorrow. But.. I hurt.

Yet my faith in God is stronger. How is that? Who would understand that?

Am I blind? Am I completely brain-washed? Have I lost all sense?


There is something truly wonderful that happens when a Christian ditches "Churchianity" for Christianity. When you bow to God at the altar, and not at the altar itself, there is a new awakening. My physical life is full of strife now, but my relationship with HIM - the Creator - soars. A Peace that passes all understanding. It's real. And, I have experienced it this week. Oh for that Peace for eternity!

Not that I have it all figured out, mind you. This has been my journey. I have so far to go, and so many have made it here so long ago.

I had an old friend call yesterday. We chatted for a while, wrestling with a few pretty heavy issues. Heavy to us anyway. After we said our good-byes, I rested for a moment. And, was amazed at the family system God put in place for our benefit. The church. The family. The Word from the Father. To edify, to be edified. To encourage, to be encouraged. And, all under the umbrella of the family. God is so good.

Without sounding preachy I want to say this: Where would I be without God? How would I live? Where would I go for wisdom, consolation, hope? There is none outside of the Father. I know this is true.