Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Great Words by Mother Teresa

I had heard of this great speech by Mother Teresa (Speech of Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC, February 3, 1994) and had actually read some short quotes from this speech.

Last Sunday I was reminded of the speech by our Sunday School Teacher, Rudy Fernadez, and it made me want to read more.

I am going to share some of this great speech which I think needs to be heard by everyone. You can read its entirety by clicking here.

" And God loved the world so much that He gave His Son - it was a giving. God gave His Son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with Him? As soon as Jesus came into Mary's life, immediately she went in haste to give that good news. And as she came into the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, Scripture tells us that the unborn child - the child in the womb of Elizabeth - leapt with joy. While still in the womb of Mary, Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist who leapt for joy in the womb of Elizabeth.

And as if that were not enough, as if it were not enough that God the Son should become one of us and bring peace and joy while still in the womb of Mary, Jesus also died on the Cross to show that greater love. He died for you and for me, and for that leper and for that man dying of hunger and that naked person lying in the street, not only of Calcutta, but of Africa, and everywhere. Our Sisters serve these poor people in 105 countries throughout the world. Jesus insisted that we love one another as He loves each one of us.

Jesus gave His life to love us and He tells us that we also have to give whatever it takes to do good to one another. And in the Gospel Jesus says very clearly: "Love as I have loved you." Jesus died on the Cross because that is what it took for Him to do good to us - to save us from our selfishness in sin. He gave up everything to do the Father's will to show us that we too must be willing to give up everything to do God's will - to love one another as He loves each of us. If we are not willing to give whatever it takes to do good to one another, sin is still in us. That is why we too must give to each other until it hurts.

It is not enough for us to say: "I love God," but I also have to love my neighbor. St. John says that you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor.

How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live?

And so it is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them. This requires that I be willing to give until it hurts. Otherwise, there is no true love in me and I bring injustice, not peace, to those around me.

It hurt Jesus to love us. We have been created in His image for greater things, to love and to be loved. We must "put on Christ" as Scripture tells us. And so, we have been created to love and to be loved, and God has become man to make it possible for us to love as He loved us. Jesus makes Himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless one, the unwanted one, and He says, "You did it to Me." On the last day He will say to those on His right, "Whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me," and He will also say to those on His left, "Whatever you neglected to do for the least of these you neglected to do it for Me."

When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, "I thirst." Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.

I can never forget the experience I had in visiting a home where they kept all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them into an institution and forgotten them - maybe. I saw that in that home these old people had everything - good food, comfort- able place, television, everything, but everyone was looking toward the door. And I did not see a single one with a smile on the face. I turned to Sister and I asked: "Why do these people who have every comfort here, why are they all looking toward the door? Why are they not smiling?"

I am so used to seeing the smiles on our people, even the dying ones smile.

And Sister said: "This is the way it is nearly every day. They are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten." And see, this neglect to love brings spiritual poverty. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried. Are we there? Are we there to be with them, or do we merely put them in the care of others? Are we willing to give until it hurts in order to be with our families, or do we put our own interests first? These are the questions we must ask ourselves, especially as we begin this year of the family. We must remember that love begins at home and we must also remember that "the future of humanity passes through the family."

I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: "Because there is no one in the family to receive them." Our children depend on us for everything - their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So the children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child which is where love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace.

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion which brings people to such blindness.

And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere - "Let us bring the child back." The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things - to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.

But what does God say to us? He says: "Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand." We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Call it love

sisterly affection at it's best.

Sometimes I wonder how Selah and Sydney will treat each other as they grow up, but for now I just try to enjoy watching their relationship blossom.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Conference/Vacation Pics

show at Magic Kingdom

Seth loved the rides

One of Seth's & Selah's wishes come true, meeting Mickey Mouse

Selah meets "Sleeping tootie." Love Seth completely focused on her

Seth and Belle

Selah trying to tell Belle she's two years old

Cinderella giving Seth her autograph

love this picture from fireworks show at Epcot

another pic from Epcot's awesome fireworks & laser show.

before 3-D show at Epcot which Selah ended up not caring much for

train ride at Magic Kingdom

posing at Epcot

posing outside Lego store. Checking out the Lego artwork

Sydney at the Disney Resort playground where we stayed

Lego Dragon & Princess Selah

Tim posing

Seth and Selah kinda posing in garden works at the resort

Selah playing with sand at the resort

The hammock

cool picture taken at Downtown Disney

Monday, December 15, 2008

Annual Christmas Cookies at Grandmas fave pics

Artwork by Grandma Carpenter & Carpenter Grandkids
photographed by Rebeca Carpenter

Selah trying to convince Cathy to give her a cookie

You've never heard a sweeter "Pleeease."

I love this picture of beautiful Halle

Construction by Christian Carpenter
materials provided by Grandad & Grandma Carpenter
with permission of previous owner Tim Carpenter

Christian gets totally into it

Papi Carpenter holding Seth's Carpenter's artwork

Cookie decorators Selah & Christian Carpenter

Cookie Expert Decorator: Halle Carpenter
Cookie Operations Overseer: Cathy Diffee Carpenter

Cookie decoration with serious attention to detail

picture by Tim Carpenter with serious attention to the angles

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I heart UMHB

There is a not very good picture of me and a quote by me on the UMHB website. (The picture was taken during camps when we were interviewed for an article. and my face was cropped from a family group shot.) If you click the "speaking from experience" button on the bottom left and click through the stories you will find this quote.

"One of my favorite memories was spotting our president, Dr. Bawcom, at school events with a camera. He was like a father taking pictures of his children. He always looked so proud and excited to see his “children” participating at UMHB. After an Easter Pageant, Dr. Bawcom stopped me and a friend to take a picture of us in our costumes. Later he sent me a note and a copy of that picture. Dr. Bawcom made an impact on my life!"

Seth on National Geographics Kids Website

Back in a post from October I had this picture taken by Seth and called it Seth's first National Geographic photo. I was kind of joking but had actually sent it to a photo contest by National Geographic kids. Well, a month later I received an e-mail that said this:

CONGRATULATIONS on being a winner of the "My Favorite Animal Photo Contest." Your picture taken at the Dallas Zoo was chosen by our judges for its originality and creativity.

Your winning photograph is attached.
In recognition of your great photographic skills, you have won: - 1 Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera (ARV $75) - 1 Fisher Price Kid Tough FP3 portable music player (ARV$70) - 1 Fisher Price Kid Tough portable DVD player (ARV $150) - 1 annual subscription to National Geographic Kids or Little Kids magazine (ARV $15) - 1 Mama Mirabelle It’s Movie Time DVD (ARV$15) - 3 Mama Mirabelle books (ARV $25) "

I was so excited for Seth. Well, Seth's picture is now up on the National Geographic Kids website and so I am doing a little bragging on my very original and creative kiddo. To find the page please click
here. His picture is the second one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Of Passion and Patience

I don't know if it is just me but sometimes the more passionate I am about something the more impatient I become with those who don't see it like I do. Take for example missions. To me missions trips are a must for every Christian. I am not saying that everyone has to go on a mission trip though I would advise it to anyone who could. I am not saying everyone has to go to Africa, but hey Africa is in our backyard through Refugee ministry service. But I think people should get excited to support missionaries, mission trips, evangelistic activities in prayer, financially, and through participation.

I remember for example when I talked to my friend Tim (yes. The Tim) about missions and my jaw just about dropped to the floor (not because I was googoo gaga about him just yet but) because he told me he had never been on a "real" mission trip. Of course I did something and took him to Mexico as fast as you could say "give me tacobell". Today he would tell you that trip changed his life in more ways than one (because obeying the great commission will change you).

So why? Tell me why!? do you practically have to drag Christians feet to take a little drive or flight to another place to serve on a mission trip. Can you hear me getting impatient.

Yes! I don't get it! Please pray for me. and also pray this with me:

"Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37,38

Pray this in-light of our upcomming mission trip. Though none go with me I still will follow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Birthday my Sweet

eating her birthday cupcakes

eating sand on her birthday

taken in Monterrey
also taken in Monterrey by Papi

To my dearest Sweetest Sydney,

Today we celebrated your first birthday. It's kind of fun how Papi's first camp conference to attend was at Disney and that we all got to go with him and celebrate your birthday with style :) What other 1 year old gets to have their birthday at Disney World.

Well Sydney I want to celebrate you everyday. You have been such a sweet blessing in our lives. You remind us how quickly days turn to weeks and weeks to months and then to years. Seth is four, Selah is two, and now you are one. Already you are so grown up. You've been walking for a month, you say mama and today you said "babay" (goodbye). You are growing too quickly and I miss you baby already. I know papi and others will worry to hear me say that you make me want to have another baby. You make me want to have another you because you love so sweetly.

You cuddle with me. You have been a mama's girl more than any of my baby's so far. You love to hold on to me (mostly my hair and though I don't like you pulling it, I think it's so sweet). You have the cutest smile. You make me smile and laugh already with your precious personality. It's fun to see Seth and Selah interact with you. It's funny to see you letting them know who's the boss around here (mostly you). You're cute when you suck your thumb (though I hope you are able to quit soon).

Sydney, I pray God's blessings on your life. May you continue to be a loving person and a little light of love to those around you. May people see what an awesome Creator God is through you. May the love you receive from your Papi, Seth, Selah, and I fill you up to overflowing. May you remember that God loves you the most of all. I pray God will help us as parents to help guide you in the way that God intends for you to go.

Here are some verses I picked out for you my little walker.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
"How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7 (NASV)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

28 things

pictures taken late on my b-day

Today on my birthday I want to list 28 things that have happened in my life that I want to thank the Lord for.

1. My salvation at age 5 (the worst thing that could happen to a person cannot happen to me b/c Christ is my personal Savior.)

2. My parents (Being raised in a Christ fearing home is something that made my life great)

3. My family (Parents, sisters, Great grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins, and then some are the best)

4. Becoming involved in mission trips in Jr. High (A Fire and passion for the things of God at that age is one of the best things that can happen to anyone)

5. Attending UMHB (Lots of great memories and where I met Mr. Wonderful)

6. Being a part of Focus on the Family Institute (Love them and of course Dr. Dobson)

7. First boyfriend Tim Carpenter. Loved dating him and marrying him.

8. Getting Married to Tim Carpenter (Five years down till death do us part)

9. Getting involved in Pregnancy Center Ministry (Have led people to saving knowledge of Christ, become more passionate about life, salvation, helping a hurting world, and the people I have met there are awesome)

10. My In-Laws (I am thankful for the family I joined through marriage. Mom and Dad Carpenter, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Bro. & Sister in-law, niece, nephews, they are the best)

11. Church ( I am so thankful for the church families I have been a part of. I have been blessed and encouraged by believers I have been close to from childhood into adulthood.)

12. Baby Shiloh (You came and went so quickly like a blink in my life but left such an imprint in my soul. Don't know why God created you to leave before I met you but I thank God for you and what your imprint means to me.)

13. Seth Taylor Carpenter (My dream came true in you. So glad you happened in my life)

14. Selah Breanna Carpenter (You are my silly goose princess. Such a gift from God.)

15. Sydney Elizabeth Carpenter (Your smile melts me. You are my baby sweet.)

16. Raquel & Ruth (It's been mostly fun being your big sis)

17. International ministry at UMHB (Opened my eyes to the world and friendship evangelism)

18. Hidden Acres (From the first summer after marriage to now I see how God can use this ministry for His glory)

19. Leading mission trips to Monterrey (It is a privilege to join God where He is working)

20. Did I mention my hubby (I love him and he is good to me)

21. Did I mentioned my kids (They are my favorite thing after Jesus, and my hubby)

22. Being bilingual has been great and loved being a translator for mission groups through High-school

23. People Blessings I cannot mention all the awesome people I have met along my life path. I just know I have been utterly blessed

24. learning the Bible (I am thankful for God's Word and all the teachers who have helped me learn the Bible and love the Bible. I think I take it for granted when there are a lot of people who don't even own a Bible)

25. Becoming a Missionary (Thank you God for this calling in our life)

26. Our supporters (The people who support us in prayers, thoughtful notes, through words of encouragement, and financially are people who just make our day.

27. marriage ( can be hard but I love having a team mate to share life with)

28. health (so far no crazy things have happened to me physically and I don't thank God enough for that.)

God is good all the time. All the time God is Good!

As I look at this list I am reminded of the verse: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" Luke 12:48b.

And a prayer I pray for myself. "we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).

Joining Hands in Prayer across the globe

We have been working with a refugee family from the Democratic Republic on Congo. We have grown to love them and have through them made a connection with the people of the DRC. When I read this e-mail forwarded to me by Elijah Brown who has traveled in several places in Africa and has a heart for all people I had to spread the word of the great need for prayer.

Information Service

Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications

Neville Callam, General Secretary

Baptist World Alliance

December 4, 2008

For Immediate Release

Congolese women pray for country

Washington, D.C. (BWA)--Baptist women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have invited Baptists everywhere to join them in prayer for their country on Saturday, December 6.

The special prayer emphasis is in response to the recent upsurge in fighting in the DRC between government forces, Mai-Mai pro-government militias, and a rebel group, the National Congress for the Defense of the People.

“The war is true and sad. People die day and night,” wrote Anne Ponzi, vice president of the Baptist Women’s Union of Africa, who lives in the DRC. “Those in refugee camps are in very bad conditions. Those left in towns, villages and hiding in forests are raped and maltreated. Young people are forced into the army. All these lead to diseases and epidemics,” she said.

“We the Congolese Baptist Women are planning a day of special intercession for war victims. The day is December 6, 2008,” said Ponzi.

At least 100 civilians have been killed, and an estimated 250,000 persons displaced by the latest round of fighting. Millions were already displaced in the DRC and bordering countries such as Uganda , Burundi and Rwanda as a result of the Second Congo War waged between 1998 and 2003, as well as other flare-ups since the official end of that war. The Second Congo War resulted in the deaths of an estimated four million people.

Baptist World Aid, the relief and development arm of the Baptist World Alliance, gave a grant of US$30,000 in November to provide food, water, and shelter for displaced persons in the DRC.

Don't Mess with Texas

I was sent this forward. I think it's a fun idea to think about.

"Please note that Texas is the only state with alegal right to secede from the Union . (Reference the Texas-American Annexation Treaty of 1848.)

We Texans love y'all, but we'll probably have to take action since B. Hussein Obama won the election. We'll miss you too.
Here is what can happen:

#1: Barack Hussein Obama becomes President of the United States , Texas immediately secedes from the Union .

#2: George W. Bush will become the President of the Republic of Texas .
So what does Texas have to do to survive as a Republic?

1. NASA is just south of Houston , Texas . We will control the space industry.

2. We refine over 85% of the gasoline in the United States .

3. Defense Industry--we have over 65% of it.
The term "Don't mess with Texas ," will take on a whole new meaning.

4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of Texas will need for the next 300 years.

5. Natural Gas - again we have all we need and it's too bad about those Northern States. John Kerry will have to figure out a way to keep them warm....

6. Computer Industry - we currently lead the nation in producing computer chips and communications--small companies like Texas Instruments, Dell Computer, EDS,
Raytheon, National Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel, AMD, Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Miconductor, Dallas Semiconductor, Delphi, Nortel, Alcatel, etc, etc. The
list goes on and on.

7. Medical Care - We have the largest research centers for cancer research, the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world, as well as other large health centers. Dallas has some of the best hospitals in the United States ..

8. We have enough colleges to keep us going: University of Texas , Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Rice, SMU, TCU,University of Houston , Baylor, UNT, Texas Women's University, etc. Ivy grows better in the South anyway.

9. We have a ready supply of workers. We could just open the border when we need some more.

10. We have essential control of the paper industry, plastics, insurance, etc.

11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the Texas National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard. We don't have an Army, but since everybody down here has at
least six rifles and a pile of ammo, we can raise an Army in 24 hours if we need one. If the situation really gets bad, we can always call the Department of Public Safety and ask them to send over Chuck Norris and a couple of Texas Rangers.

12. We are totally self-sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs, and several types of grain, fruit and vegetables, and let's not forget seafood from the Gulf.
Also, everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they taste good. Don't need any food.

This just names a few of the items that will keep the Republic of Texas in good shape. There isn't a thing out there that we need and don't have

Now to the rest of the United States under President Obama:
Since you won't have the refineries to get gas for your cars, only President Obama will be able todrive around in his big 9 mpg SUV.

The rest of the United States will have to walk or ride bikes.
You won't have any TV as the Space Center in Houston will cut off satellite communications. You won't have any natural gas to heat your homes, but since Mr. Obama has predicted global warming, you will not need the gas as long as you survive the 2000 years it will take to get enough heat from Global Warming.

Signed, The People of Texas

P.S. This is not a threatening letter - just a note to give you something to think about!


Monterrey Exhibit 1b

Just a few more pics. This Exhibit will be continued next year when we return from our"Annual After Christmas Mission Trip to Monterrey"

My Tia Blanca with two boys from the Boys Home

Group shot outside the boys home. Gregorio on the right is one of the leaders there.

This picture is of the only little girl who lives there because her mom who is a widow lives there along with her son.

Before I forget

Seth wants to be a farmer when he grows up. Well he's growing up to be quite the comedian. Sometimes I wonder who he is going to grow up to be. I want to write this funny before I forget it.

Out of no where while we are eating lunch Seth says, "I think when we see someone on TV and we don't know their name we should call them Bobby"