Saturday, September 26, 2009

Art as ministry

I have been reading this great little book on homeschooling. Totally recommend it. It's called Christian Homeschooling Foundation & Practice by Christian Liberty Press

In the section titled A Biblical View of Culture, Art, and Technology I underlined this long section
"Every gift should be used to reflect the wisdom of its Creator and imitate the beauty and usefulness of His creative work. The humanistic worldview sees culture, art, and technology as existing only for self-expression, human enjoyment, and selfish vanity. The non-Chrisstian uses culture as a way to revolt against God and glorify himself He thinks that he can create out of nothing something totally original. When man creates, he is not creating something absolutely new, but merely discovering a potentiality which has existed from the beginning. Its proper use becomes a blessing form God for the benefit of men, while its misuse becomes a curse for the destruction of men."

This section (which I pretty much underlined the whole passage) goes on to say
"the student should be taught to enjoy art and produce technology that reflects the glory of God's creation and ministers to others.

So I hope the pictures I create reflect God's glory and minister to those who come across them.
Thank you.

From Seth to Papi

A little gift from one boy to another. We were pretty impressed with his artistic ability. Drawn by Seth age 4.

Love letter from my hubby

So thankful for God's love manifested to me through my amorcito Tim. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

Dr. Paul Rees said, If you want a picture of success as heaven measures it, of greatness as God views it, don't look for the blaring of the bands on Broadway; listen, rather, for the tinkle of water splashing into a basin, while God incarnate, in a humility that makes angels hold their breath, sponges the grime from the feet of His undeserving disciples.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good for the heart

this picture is like medicine to my heart

("This is a picture moment. Let me go get the camera"-Papi
So glad he did.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Verse of the Day

"It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them." Psalm 44:3

May the light of your face shine upon me. For I am loved by you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A song on your birthday

self portrait on our Mac

self portrait on our Mac

self portrait on our Mac (My little misternary)

Photo taken in our little cabininn (My sweet boy)

My dear little Seth turned five today. He is a sweet, creative, caring, intelligent, curious, musical, silly, shy at times, cuddly, and tender hearted little boy. I love him so much and am so very glad God thought of him. I pray that Seth will grow up to be all that God created him to be. I pray that I will be the mother God wants me to be to this little boy. Lord I dedicate this boy to you again today. I remember that He is in your hands. I ask that you will help us both to continue to grow in You. I entrust his life to You.

Here are the lyrics of a song I dedicate to my Sethsito today:

I'd like to remember
I'd like to know all you are
I'd like to know everything you'll be
Where will you go? What will you do?
When the world's right in front of you

When I think of how slowly life passes by
Then I'll blink and you're growing
No longer a child
What I can do, to capture this moment in time
Is to sing you a lullaby

I like to watch you dream
I like to touch your face
I like to hold you in a sweet embrace
When will you laugh? When will you cry?
When you need a special place to hide

When I think of how slowly life passes by
Then I'll blink and you're growing
No longer a child
What I can do, to capture this moment in time
Is to sing you a lullaby

When I think of how slowly life passes by
Then I'll blink and you're growing
No longer a child
What I can do, to capture this moment in time
Is to sing you a lullaby

Artist: Plumb Album: Blink Title: Blink

Mission Trip Announcement

Click on image to enlarge.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

When kids get in the way, Repent.

More of my mind from the last video posting.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

As I was picking up toys in the kids room for the umpteenth time that day I had one of those moments where your thought kind of just take you away to a place where you can hear a word of correction and direction from the Lord. Believe me that I am not one to say that God spoke a new word to me, but actually that He was reminding me of something he had once told me already through His word. It was something I needed to be reminded of though I did not even know it at that time when I was doing a menial task.

Let me go back a little bit to what had been going through my mind a few weeks and days ago. First, I had been thinking about our upcoming mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico. We have taken our kids down on this mission trip from the time they were still nursing. I was thinking about how we might be growing in our leadership of these trips and might need to reconsider taking our kids along. You see kids really slow us down. (If you've ever seen us trying to get somewhere, like from one place to the next, you will know what I mean.) Plus I can't really just lead something perfectly well when I have a toddler on my hip. I was thinking that if a new person from a new church would join our trip they would see how completely disorganized our trip seem to run (and how I live my life like a chicken with its head cut off about 97.8% of the time). So yes I was thinking that if I was going to be an efficient missionary group leader I better check my kids off at Grandmas' before I boarded the van to worldwide evangelism.

Then to further convince myself of how children get in the way of missioning I conducted a test (not on purpose). You see I had this great mission project idea about asking our Sunday School to join us in raising money to buy school supplies for a refugee family with 7 children. Then I invited any of them to join us to go shopping for these kids: we would take the refugee school age kids to Walmart and find them school uniforms, and children were invited to join us (as our kids would be going). Finding the right size uniforms while corralling my three little ones was harder than expected. "Mami, I need to go to the potty." "Mami, I am hungry." "Selah come here." "No. Seth don't do that." "Stop bothering your sister" I hope you get the picture. It was an adventure. I was getting pretty tired as were the kids.

So I came home from the missions project feeling like things didn't turn out the way I expected them to and that maybe next time I should consider finding a babysitter so that I look like I am managing my missioning a little better.

Now you find me sitting on the floor picking up stuffed animals, shoes, and balls off the floor. God reminds me of Deuteronomy 6 and how I need to be teaching my kids about loving God and loving people. And I got it immediately. Yes Lord, sorry. I was wrong. I think... what better way to teach my children but by my example. Yes, children do slow us down, but hey maybe we are moving too fast. I think about how my children have so many times opened the door for me to start conversations with complete strangers. I feel that sometimes my children have helped me be more approachable. A child will bring a smile to a face. Sydney will go around Walmart in a cart saying hi to everyone she meets. I could come back from my missions project and tell my kids what happened, but it wouldn't be the same as if they had been there.
I feel that somehow America today has programmed me to believe that kids just get in the way of things. That small thought multiplied is what has caused the adoption of abortion as a viable option to reign in our society. You hear even Christians say "Oh we are not ready for kids" "We can't afford kids" "I want to get settled in my job before I have kids" "We want to travel and enjoy ourselves before we get bogged down." All of these thing have the same underlying selfish and faithless thoughts of the world.

The world seems to be screaming at me, "Woman get a job, get a ministry, get a hobbie that will free you from the ever draining task of motherhood!!!" Now I am not saying that you have to be with your kids 24/7, believe me I know there are times when a break from the kids is a necessity. But I think we need to be spending as much time and effort to pass the faith to our children. Oh how God has pleaded with us in Deuteronomy. "THIS IS IMPORTANT PEOPLE" "YOU HAVE TO DO THIS EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY" "TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT ME" "PLEASE TALK TO THEM ABOUT ME."

I sit corrected Lord.

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another." John 15:12-17

Jesus, help me to love my children. Help me to teach my children your ways. May they learn it through my words and through my actions. Help me to lay down my life for my children. May my children be the fruit I bear and the fruit which abides in you. Lord you gave up the glory of heaven to come to earth and die for me. Help me to carry my cross and follow you. Thank you for the love and strength that you give me to walk each day. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's not Science at all and prayer request

Yesterday I was at the pregnancy center talking to Dana, DPC nurse, and a fellow volunteer about some pretty sad stories of people with cancer, one who had passed away recently and another person, a very close friend of Dana's, who is rapidly declining in health. And still another recent client who is pregnant, with possibly terminal cancer who is now having to make adoption plans for her children because she is a single mom. As they were talking I had a knot on my throat. Sickness and death seems to be right around the corner from everyone. The Bible says that our life is but a vapor so this news should not come as a big surprise, but it does.

As I listened to the stories I wondered how I would handle cancer and death. With my blog obsession I recently came across the story of David Wensel. His wife is a totally cool photographer. They both are awesome Christians who are going through the battle of cancer. David was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and may or may not have about 10 years to live. I have read some of his posting since they received the news and this section of one of his postings really stood out to me...

3. It's not Science at all.

The reason I am telling you all of this is because by reading this, you have expressed interest in following God's story that happens to include me. (And thinking about it like that, this story already includes you too - hope that's cool) But if I were to leave out specific parts of this story, you might miss an important plot point that God is sharing. So by not telling you that I may (or may not) have 10 years to live, I would be holding back information that God thinks is important for this story. So, we move forward together with full disclosure. Cool?

It's somewhat difficult not to lie in bed after receiving news like this and begin to wonder where I may fall on the 'Oligo Bell Curve O' Survival'. These verses have been such a comfort to me:

"My *tumor was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

Your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be."

- Psalm 139:15-16

* ('Tumor' was definitely tossed in by me. I think it's a funny addition. Originally was 'frame')

How freaking beautiful is that writing, not to mention what it actually means!

I'm so glad that God knows me more than Dr. Awesome knows me. While I openly appreciate Dr. Awesome for his knowledge and passion to save lives, he simply didn't know about my tumor until he saw it on an MRI. God knew about this tumor from the beginning. While case studies anticipate life-spans, dietitians predict results and doctors offer scientific reasoning, I trust God knew exactly how many days I had on this earth before even one of them came to be.

It is so comforting to know that God has (for some time now) been designing this new thing in my life. And He is currently orchestrating the climax of this story for His benefit, not mine. If I were to live my entire life with this type of understanding, with this clarity, what type of person would I be? How would I treat people differently? How much more often would I kiss my wife?

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." - Psalm 90:12

-David Wensel from I may (or may not) have 10 years to live, June 24, 2009.

I pray that I like David will hold steadfast to God's word and His promises whatever comes my way.

Now the real reason that I decided to write about this is that I just received an e-mail from a couple in our Sunday School who just received news that the husband Kevin has colon cancer. Kevin has battled cancer before. Here is a copy of the e-mail I received...

Today, Kevin and I found out that he has cancer again. This time he has colon cancer. I am still a little shocked that this is happening, but am asking for your prayers right now. Kevin has a consult with the surgeon on Monday and will hopefully be scheduled for surgery on Wednesday of next week. It is not yet known how aggressive the cancer is, so we do not know yet if he will need Chemo, radiation, or both. Please pray for our family as we have another challenge to face. The power of prayer is so strong as we all know. I have prayed that the Lord gives me strength and guidance through this time. Thank you for all your love, care, support and prayers.
In Him,
Please be in prayer for this precious family as well as David and Amy. There are so many people who are hurting. Praise God for those who have Christ in their life helping them through the hard times. Pray for those who are hurting and are without Christ that they may seek for Him and find Him.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September Abundant Marriage Missions Project

Thank you to Abundant Marriage for making this mission project possible. Here are some faces to put with the stories.

Big sister Sharon and little brother John

Making new friends

Jesus loves the little children

Exploring the apartment complex

Landen and the blue drink

One very cute missionary

Danny boy

Holly and Kathryn helping Esther find just the right size

Tim and Danny

A full shopping cart and we hadn't even started shopping :)

Esther playing peekaboo with Landen

reading one of their new books

Jada (a beautiful young missionary)

missioning is hard work