Thursday, 28 February 2008

Sorry...

Hi all, sorry we haven't posted much in the last couple of weeks. Things are moving at lightning speed here and after this Sunday, we can share a bit more about the changes going on here. But do pray for us. We need and covet your prayers! Thanks for your understanding.

Sorry...

Hi all, sorry we haven't posted much in the last couple of weeks. Things are moving at lightning speed here and after this Sunday, we can share a bit more about the changes going on here. But do pray for us. We need and covet your prayers! Thanks for your understanding.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Voices

Do you hear voices? Or rather, should I ask 'what voices DO you hear?'. We all hear voices. The important question is which voice do we LISTEN to. Obviously I am not talking about little voices in our head (although if that is the case with you, maybe you should pray about getting professional help!).

I am talking about the 'voices' all around that scream to us throughout the day. 'Voices' that come from our culture, the media, our circumstances, our fleshy nature. But there is also the voice of our enemy, the devil and his gang. That can't be ruled out. And of course the most important voice is that of God's. The voice of truth.

I was listening to Casting Crowns' song - 'Voice of Truth' and it got me to thinking. Part of the lyrics talks about Peter stepping out of the boat onto the water and walking ON the water WITH Jesus. Obviously Peter obeyed Jesus' voice when He said 'come'. But did you ever think about all the other voices Peter could have listened to? Here are a few...

1. Voice of the other 11 disciples - 'don't do it Peter man! Don't be a fool! What are you thinking! Stop showing off again! You just want to be teacher's pet!'

2. Voice of logic, reason - 'they're right, what are you thinking of? This is totally illogical! You're a fisherman - you know this is impossible!'

3. Voice of Fear - 'you're gonna sink and drown! This is it - the end, finito - hope your last will and testament is up to date!'

4. Voice of Shame - 'when you do sink, what will the other 11 think of me now? Worse, what will the Master think - Peter you did it again, idiot!'

5. Voice of the enemy - 'go ahead Peter, do it. Don't listen to them, not even that guy Jesus. Just do it, you know you want to, show them what you can do, you're better than them. Just listen to your instincts. Or better, listen to me - have I ever steered you wrong??'

6. Voice of circumstances - as Casting Crowns so aptly sung...

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
you'll never win."

And then there was the voice of God, the voice of truth. As Jesus said 'come' I am sure that awoke in Peter indescribable feelings. I believe that one word from Jesus drowned out all the other 'voices' around Peter. And Peter listened and obeyed. And he experienced the greatest feeling of all - and I'm not just talking about walking on water (although I have to admit that would have been pretty cool). I am talking about the exhilaration that comes from walking by faith and not by sight!

Isn't that what we are all called to do? To simply listen to Jesus, obey Him and walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor 5.7)? But first we must listen for His voice, don't we? Are you listening? Can you hear the voice of truth?




If the video isn't working or the wrong video (it should be the Casting Crowns song), here is the actual link to the video.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Voices

Do you hear voices? Or rather, should I ask 'what voices DO you hear?'. We all hear voices. The important question is which voice do we LISTEN to. Obviously I am not talking about little voices in our head (although if that is the case with you, maybe you should pray about getting professional help!).

I am talking about the 'voices' all around that scream to us throughout the day. 'Voices' that come from our culture, the media, our circumstances, our fleshy nature. But there is also the voice of our enemy, the devil and his gang. That can't be ruled out. And of course the most important voice is that of God's. The voice of truth.

I was listening to Casting Crowns' song - 'Voice of Truth' and it got me to thinking. Part of the lyrics talks about Peter stepping out of the boat onto the water and walking ON the water WITH Jesus. Obviously Peter obeyed Jesus' voice when He said 'come'. But did you ever think about all the other voices Peter could have listened to? Here are a few...

1. Voice of the other 11 disciples - 'don't do it Peter man! Don't be a fool! What are you thinking! Stop showing off again! You just want to be teacher's pet!'

2. Voice of logic, reason - 'they're right, what are you thinking of? This is totally illogical! You're a fisherman - you know this is impossible!'

3. Voice of Fear - 'you're gonna sink and drown! This is it - the end, finito - hope your last will and testament is up to date!'

4. Voice of Shame - 'when you do sink, what will the other 11 think of me now? Worse, what will the Master think - Peter you did it again, idiot!'

5. Voice of the enemy - 'go ahead Peter, do it. Don't listen to them, not even that guy Jesus. Just do it, you know you want to, show them what you can do, you're better than them. Just listen to your instincts. Or better, listen to me - have I ever steered you wrong??'

6. Voice of circumstances - as Casting Crowns so aptly sung...

But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win,
you'll never win."

And then there was the voice of God, the voice of truth. As Jesus said 'come' I am sure that awoke in Peter indescribable feelings. I believe that one word from Jesus drowned out all the other 'voices' around Peter. And Peter listened and obeyed. And he experienced the greatest feeling of all - and I'm not just talking about walking on water (although I have to admit that would have been pretty cool). I am talking about the exhilaration that comes from walking by faith and not by sight!

Isn't that what we are all called to do? To simply listen to Jesus, obey Him and walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor 5.7)? But first we must listen for His voice, don't we? Are you listening? Can you hear the voice of truth?




If the video isn't working or the wrong video (it should be the Casting Crowns song), here is the actual link to the video.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

God's Waiting Room

Have you ever had to wait for something or someone? If you're like me, it drives you crazy. I admit it, I just don't like to wait for much. That's why they invented microwaves, instant coffee (blah), instant messenger, instant cash machines, direct push email (that delivers email to your mobile the instant it comes into your account), dsl/cable to give you instant access to the 'net. Instant gratification for our instant world.

But what about when it comes to God making us wait? What do we do? Get angry, bitter at Him? Give up? Turn to the world and its ways to get what we want? Doubt God's goodness?

Have you ever stopped to think about why God allows us to wait? And what it is actually good for? Here are some things that I learned while waiting upon the Lord in this last year.

1. Waiting develops our character. God works on our humility, endurance, patience while we wait.

2. Waiting increases our trust in the Lord. Gives us time to seek Him, to pray, to develop our faith in Him.

3. Waiting prepares us to receive what God has for us. And it might not be what we wanted in the first place! Waiting allows us time to evaluate what we are waiting for - is it from God? Will it benefit our walk with Him?

4. Waiting causes us to come to end of ourselves, our resources, our abilities. And yes, sometimes even our dreams, desires, wishes, hopes. And that is when God enters the picture!

Waiting isn't just about WHAT we are waiting for. It's about what God wants to do in us WHILE we wait on Him. It's about who God is making us into. Sometimes being in the very process of waiting is the reason why God allows us to wait! Hard to believe but it's true - ask Moses, Joseph, King David or Lazarus. Ask the disciples. So how do you see waiting on God? Are you in a stage of waiting now?

Be encouraged by the Chinese bamboo tree. After the bamboo seed is planted, one sees nothing the first 4 years. Seems like the seed is dead, a dud. But in the 5th year, that bamboo seed begins to miraculously grow and shoots up 90 feet or so! So what was happening in those 1st 4 years? Ahhh, hidden to the eye, the seed WAS growing. It was developing an immense root system that would be able to sustain the 90 feet growth later!

And that is what God is doing with us when He makes us wait. He is developing a root system - our character and faith. And one day we will shoot up tall and mighty. And be able to stand the storms and wind. Because we have waited on the Lord.

What We REALLY Talk About in Pre-Marriage Counseling















So I added another session to our church's pre-marriage counseling process. It's called 'You, Your Spouse and Your Blog'. I think it has really helped many couples blog about issues they would never talk to one another about! HAHAHA! Just kidding ;-)

God's Waiting Room

Have you ever had to wait for something or someone? If you're like me, it drives you crazy. I admit it, I just don't like to wait for much. That's why they invented microwaves, instant coffee (blah), instant messenger, instant cash machines, direct push email (that delivers email to your mobile the instant it comes into your account), dsl/cable to give you instant access to the 'net. Instant gratification for our instant world.

But what about when it comes to God making us wait? What do we do? Get angry, bitter at Him? Give up? Turn to the world and its ways to get what we want? Doubt God's goodness?

Have you ever stopped to think about why God allows us to wait? And what it is actually good for? Here are some things that I learned while waiting upon the Lord in this last year.

1. Waiting develops our character. God works on our humility, endurance, patience while we wait.

2. Waiting increases our trust in the Lord. Gives us time to seek Him, to pray, to develop our faith in Him.

3. Waiting prepares us to receive what God has for us. And it might not be what we wanted in the first place! Waiting allows us time to evaluate what we are waiting for - is it from God? Will it benefit our walk with Him?

4. Waiting causes us to come to end of ourselves, our resources, our abilities. And yes, sometimes even our dreams, desires, wishes, hopes. And that is when God enters the picture!

Waiting isn't just about WHAT we are waiting for. It's about what God wants to do in us WHILE we wait on Him. It's about who God is making us into. Sometimes being in the very process of waiting is the reason why God allows us to wait! Hard to believe but it's true - ask Moses, Joseph, King David or Lazarus. Ask the disciples. So how do you see waiting on God? Are you in a stage of waiting now?

Be encouraged by the Chinese bamboo tree. After the bamboo seed is planted, one sees nothing the first 4 years. Seems like the seed is dead, a dud. But in the 5th year, that bamboo seed begins to miraculously grow and shoots up 90 feet or so! So what was happening in those 1st 4 years? Ahhh, hidden to the eye, the seed WAS growing. It was developing an immense root system that would be able to sustain the 90 feet growth later!

And that is what God is doing with us when He makes us wait. He is developing a root system - our character and faith. And one day we will shoot up tall and mighty. And be able to stand the storms and wind. Because we have waited on the Lord.

Friday, 15 February 2008

What We REALLY Talk About in Pre-Marriage Counseling















So I added another session to our church's pre-marriage counseling process. It's called 'You, Your Spouse and Your Blog'. I think it has really helped many couples blog about issues they would never talk to one another about! HAHAHA! Just kidding ;-)

Happy Birthday Becks!!

Becks celebrated her birthday this past Tuesday - she spontaneously had a few of the ladies over for breakfast (homemade cinnamon rolls - ummmm). I took Zachie to town and had a 'father-son' day so Becks could have a quieter (Dariah was still home) breakfast with the ladies. We also picked out a card and got some flowers for Momma. Little did we know that everyone else had the same thought and brought flowers too! I think she got 6 bunches of flowers!

Tulips are 'our' flowers and most people know that (it has to do with how we met 11 years, became friends and how God confirmed for us that we were meant for each other - maybe one day I'll post on that). Anyway, Zachie got to pick out his own flowers to give to Momma (the yellow tulips in the orange vase on the left) and got to help pick out the birthday card - can you guess which one he picked???

Yes, getting old(er) makes your body do weird things. I just noticed this year that I am getting hair in places that there should be NO hair! While other guys lose hair where they SHOULD have hair as they age! Hmmmm, go figure. Maybe if I could invent a process to give them my hair - would make a fortune! What are your signs of aging?

Happy 6th Birthday Taliah!

Last week (06.Feb) Taliah turned a big whopping 6 years old! She was soooo excited because now she has to pay when she rides on the streetcars (kids under 6 don't have to pay). It was her transition from little kid to BIG kid. I wasn't so excited - now we gotta pay for her AND Jesaiah when they ride!!!

Momma made 2 cakes - one for her kindergarten group as they had a little party for her. And one for us at home - we just had a quiet, family birthday party. Nothing big, but very special. She got a pretty pink princess dress-up dress and a pink toy 'handy' (German for cellphone). Can you tell that pink is her favorite color??? We can't believe how fast these kids are growing up! Next it will be real handys and real make-up and real 'in' clothing and real drivers licenses and real guys (not in my lifetime!!).

Oh well, you gotta let them go sometime I guess. But knowing that God has them always in HIS hands is comforting at least.




Thursday, 14 February 2008

Happy Birthday Becks!!

Becks celebrated her birthday this past Tuesday - she spontaneously had a few of the ladies over for breakfast (homemade cinnamon rolls - ummmm). I took Zachie to town and had a 'father-son' day so Becks could have a quieter (Dariah was still home) breakfast with the ladies. We also picked out a card and got some flowers for Momma. Little did we know that everyone else had the same thought and brought flowers too! I think she got 6 bunches of flowers!

Tulips are 'our' flowers and most people know that (it has to do with how we met 11 years, became friends and how God confirmed for us that we were meant for each other - maybe one day I'll post on that). Anyway, Zachie got to pick out his own flowers to give to Momma (the yellow tulips in the orange vase on the left) and got to help pick out the birthday card - can you guess which one he picked???

Yes, getting old(er) makes your body do weird things. I just noticed this year that I am getting hair in places that there should be NO hair! While other guys lose hair where they SHOULD have hair as they age! Hmmmm, go figure. Maybe if I could invent a process to give them my hair - would make a fortune! What are your signs of aging?

Happy 6th Birthday Taliah!

Last week (06.Feb) Taliah turned a big whopping 6 years old! She was soooo excited because now she has to pay when she rides on the streetcars (kids under 6 don't have to pay). It was her transition from little kid to BIG kid. I wasn't so excited - now we gotta pay for her AND Jesaiah when they ride!!!

Momma made 2 cakes - one for her kindergarten group as they had a little party for her. And one for us at home - we just had a quiet, family birthday party. Nothing big, but very special. She got a pretty pink princess dress-up dress and a pink toy 'handy' (German for cellphone). Can you tell that pink is her favorite color??? We can't believe how fast these kids are growing up! Next it will be real handys and real make-up and real 'in' clothing and real drivers licenses and real guys (not in my lifetime!!).

Oh well, you gotta let them go sometime I guess. But knowing that God has them always in HIS hands is comforting at least.




Sunday, 10 February 2008

Missionary-Blogs.com

Just saw that the post below about Fasnet or Fastnacht here in Freiburg was featured as part of their Spotlight on Germany, along with some other fun reads. Go here to the Spotlight on Germany or here to the Missionary-Blogs.com website. Check out some of the other missionary blogs listed - I found some other missionary bloggers I know, maybe you will too!

PS - thanks Jim C. and team for the Spotlight. Great work!

Missionary-Blogs.com

Just saw that the post below about Fasnet or Fastnacht here in Freiburg was featured as part of their Spotlight on Germany, along with some other fun reads. Go here to the Spotlight on Germany or here to the Missionary-Blogs.com website. Check out some of the other missionary blogs listed - I found some other missionary bloggers I know, maybe you will too!

PS - thanks Jim C. and team for the Spotlight. Great work!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Fasnet or Fastnacht or Fasching

This week was again the annual Fasnet parade and celebrations - a German tradition that has its roots in paganism and dates back to the Middle Ages. Sadly, it has been integrated into the Roman Catholic church over the centuries. Part of it includes driving out the winter spirits by dressing up in hideous, grotesque costumes. It's kind of like a week long Halloween party. There is a lot of drunkenness, debauchery and outright immorality. In fact, in other parts of Germany, it's called 'Carnival'. Like in New Orleans with its Mardi Gras / Carnival.

As many know, the 40 days before Easter, the period of Lent is a time of quiet reflection upon the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sin of the world (you know I had to get that in there!). During Lent many Catholics would fast from certain foods, there would be no drinking, wild behavior, etc.

So the night before the start of the fast they would go wild and 'get everything out of their system' so to speak. Hence the name 'fastnacht' - 'the night before the fast' (nacht is German for night). Eating and drinking, rowdy behavior, indulgence in the lusts and sins of the flesh are all acceptable ways to 'get it out' before the fast. It's kind of like purging yourself through partying. In fact, did you know that the word 'Carnival' comes from the Latin word for flesh - carnis? Yep, this is a time where the sins of the flesh are allowed and accepted and even expected!

For example, a female friend of ours was riding on the streetcar in town several years ago during Fastnacht when a guy rudely propositioned her sexually. She replied "no, never" and that she was married. And his answer was "well that's ok, it doesn't matter, that's what Fasnet is for!" So you can imagine the mindset and attitudes of people during this 'holiday'. It's just another excuse (as if they needed any!) to get drunk, get girls/guys and 'let loose'.

Fasnet or Fastnacht or Fasching

This week was again the annual Fasnet parade and celebrations - a German tradition that has its roots in paganism and dates back to the Middle Ages. Sadly, it has been integrated into the Roman Catholic church over the centuries. Part of it includes driving out the winter spirits by dressing up in hideous, grotesque costumes. It's kind of like a week long Halloween party. There is a lot of drunkenness, debauchery and outright immorality. In fact, in other parts of Germany, it's called 'Carnival'. Like in New Orleans with its Mardi Gras / Carnival.

As many know, the 40 days before Easter, the period of Lent is a time of quiet reflection upon the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sin of the world (you know I had to get that in there!). During Lent many Catholics would fast from certain foods, there would be no drinking, wild behavior, etc.

So the night before the start of the fast they would go wild and 'get everything out of their system' so to speak. Hence the name 'fastnacht' - 'the night before the fast' (nacht is German for night). Eating and drinking, rowdy behavior, indulgence in the lusts and sins of the flesh are all acceptable ways to 'get it out' before the fast. It's kind of like purging yourself through partying. In fact, did you know that the word 'Carnival' comes from the Latin word for flesh - carnis? Yep, this is a time where the sins of the flesh are allowed and accepted and even expected!

For example, a female friend of ours was riding on the streetcar in town several years ago during Fastnacht when a guy rudely propositioned her sexually. She replied "no, never" and that she was married. And his answer was "well that's ok, it doesn't matter, that's what Fasnet is for!" So you can imagine the mindset and attitudes of people during this 'holiday'. It's just another excuse (as if they needed any!) to get drunk, get girls/guys and 'let loose'.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

How to Fold a Towel Monkey

This post is for Brian and Kelly. No words needed. The whole article is here (click to go there), go try it out for yourself! Here's an excerpt from the article...

This towel monkey is a cute addition to your bathroom and an incredible way to impress your guests! Depending on the color of the towel, it can also pass for a rubber chicken. Cruise lines and bed and breakfast motels use these quite often.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

How to Fold a Towel Monkey

This post is for Brian and Kelly. No words needed. The whole article is here (click to go there), go try it out for yourself! Here's an excerpt from the article...

This towel monkey is a cute addition to your bathroom and an incredible way to impress your guests! Depending on the color of the towel, it can also pass for a rubber chicken. Cruise lines and bed and breakfast motels use these quite often.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Umm, Fresh, Minty-Smelling....Feet?!?



Do you have this problem? Come on, you know you've had to deal with it at least once in your life! That one moment when you take off your shoes and suddenly the atmosphere (no pun intended!) in the room changes - conversations stop, people get antsy and can't sit still. They begin glancing furtively at one another, not sure what to do or say. And then there are those that just refuse to make eye-contact with you. Yep, that's when you know you've got stinky feet! So here is your answer - never again have stinky smelly, ripe feet. Get these inserts and do away with them FOREVER (or at least 6 months at a time). And if you act NOW, we'll throw in this handy-dandy, at-no-extra-cost-to-you, delivered-to-your-front-door.... You get the picture.

Check out the video - I think you have to have flash player installed in your browser. Oh, and check out the restaurant owner at 1:00 minute into the video - she's got some guts to stick her face into someone's boot! Hope she got life-insurance! And the guy at :50 seconds - isn't he kind of well, you know, hmmm, well - 'gentle'? Know what I mean?

PS - the video is from Reuters thru HowStuffWorks.com - here's the link.

PPS - you have to click on the 'play' button at lower left to play the video, it doesn't start automatically.

Umm, Fresh, Minty-Smelling....Feet?!?

video

Do you have this problem? Come on, you know you've had to deal with it at least once in your life! That one moment when you take off your shoes and suddenly the atmosphere (no pun intended!) in the room changes - conversations stop, people get antsy and can't sit still. They begin glancing furtively at one another, not sure what to do or say. And then there are those that just refuse to make eye-contact with you. Yep, that's when you know you've got stinky feet! So here is your answer - never again have stinky smelly, ripe feet. Get these inserts and do away with them FOREVER (or at least 6 months at a time). And if you act NOW, we'll throw in this handy-dandy, at-no-extra-cost-to-you, delivered-to-your-front-door.... You get the picture.

Check out the video - I think you have to have flash player installed in your browser. Oh, and check out the restaurant owner at 1:00 minute into the video - she's got some guts to stick her face into someone's boot! Hope she got life-insurance! And the guy at :50 seconds - isn't he kind of well, you know, hmmm, well - 'gentle'? Know what I mean?

PS - the video is from Reuters thru HowStuffWorks.com - here's the link.

PPS - you have to click on the 'play' button at lower left to play the video, it doesn't start automatically.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Thank You!

Just a quick, long-overdue 'THANK YOU!' to all who have given and supported us financially through this blog - whether through PAYPAL or other means. We weren't sure at first about putting up our support info on the blog. But so far we have only had positive responses and several people have actually used the PAYPAL option to send us support. So thanks to all - you are a blessing to us!

PS - for those in Europe wanting to know how to give, email us at david**at**phamilynews**dot**com and we'll give you our bank info (replace '**at**' with '@' and '**dot**' with '.' in the email address.' Makes sense?? Just trying to protect us from spam. Thanks!

Thank You!

Just a quick, long-overdue 'THANK YOU!' to all who have given and supported us financially through this blog - whether through PAYPAL or other means. We weren't sure at first about putting up our support info on the blog. But so far we have only had positive responses and several people have actually used the PAYPAL option to send us support. So thanks to all - you are a blessing to us!

PS - for those in Europe wanting to know how to give, email us at david**at**phamilynews**dot**com and we'll give you our bank info (replace '**at**' with '@' and '**dot**' with '.' in the email address.' Makes sense?? Just trying to protect us from spam. Thanks!