Tuesday, 30 September 2008

If You Wanna Walk on Water...You've Gotta Crawl First

I can relate to this at the moment - we've gotten outta da boat, but it sure doesn't feel like we're doing any water-walkin' yet. Just a few inches of crawling. But at least we're not sinking...yet.

Anyone else feel like I do? Anyone? Hello? Am I the only one who feels like this? I can't be the only one outta the boat?!

Anyways, have a great day! We're flying out to visit Becks' parents for a week or so. Don't know if we can keep up with the posting from there.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Evolution or Creation

After church, at lunch while we were eating pasta and basil pesto (mmmm, one of my favorites), the kids and I got into a lively discussion about evolution and creation. I really don't know how we got onto that topic, but we really got deep into the discussion. Well, as deep as a 4, 6 and 8 year old can get. It was so awesome to hear them getting all excited to outdo one another to see who could come up with reasons why evolution isn't true and creationism is.

I just listened and encouraged them to think about this or that, plus I had to often (very often) 'exhort' them to also EAT! And to NOT talk with their mouths full of green, orange and yellow pasta -imagine with me what that would look like all mashed up with basil pesto, mixed with a little apple-berry juice and sometimes dribbling out the sides of their mouths and you can see why I had to interrupt and tell them to finish chewing and swallowing before speaking! ;-)

Anyways, we finally finished and summarized our findings. They came up with 2 good reasons why we can't believe in evolution...

(1) because there is really no proof. Jesaiah hit the nail on the head when he asked, 'if we came from monkeys, then who made the monkeys?' Of course we took that even further back - 'if we came from single cell life, then who created that?' Good question. No good answers for evolutionists.

(2) and because it takes God out of the picture as our Creator. Wow, can you imagine that coming from kids!? They understand it! Taliah said 'people don't wanna worship God so they make statues to bow down to and worship and that's not good because God said in the Ten Commandments not to worship statues.' RIGHT! And I love Zachie's response to that 'yeah, and God is gonna get angry! (But you gotta see it with the hand motions he was doing - just imagine Zachie, at his most excited, loudest and pumping his left arm up and down like he was gonna karate-chop someone to pieces!). But He will still love them and will never leave them and stay next to them.' Ahh, out of the mouths of babes...

I can't remember who said it first, (maybe it was me!) but it was pointed out that God created us because He wants to love us. And if we take God out of the picture and out of our lives, then we miss out on God's love! That's one to chew on.

And Dariah's response to all this? 'Spoooon! Spoooon! Daddy, mo juss, mo juss' - in English that would be 'please pick up the spoon that I dropped (actually it was a fork, but hey, she's not even 2 yet). And please may I have more juice, Daddy?' Or maybe that was what I was hoping she would say. ;-)

In any case, it was a great Sunday afternoon dining table discussion. And you just gotta cherish moments like these when you can say - yes, they do understand what we (and others) have been teaching them. And yes, it is all worth it.

Evolution or Creation

After church, at lunch while we were eating pasta and basil pesto (mmmm, one of my favorites), the kids and I got into a lively discussion about evolution and creation. I really don't know how we got onto that topic, but we really got deep into the discussion. Well, as deep as a 4, 6 and 8 year old can get. It was so awesome to hear them getting all excited to outdo one another to see who could come up with reasons why evolution isn't true and creationism is.

I just listened and encouraged them to think about this or that, plus I had to often (very often) 'exhort' them to also EAT! And to NOT talk with their mouths full of green, orange and yellow pasta -imagine with me what that would look like all mashed up with basil pesto, mixed with a little apple-berry juice and sometimes dribbling out the sides of their mouths and you can see why I had to interrupt and tell them to finish chewing and swallowing before speaking! ;-)

Anyways, we finally finished and summarized our findings. They came up with 2 good reasons why we can't believe in evolution...

(1) because there is really no proof. Jesaiah hit the nail on the head when he asked, 'if we came from monkeys, then who made the monkeys?' Of course we took that even further back - 'if we came from single cell life, then who created that?' Good question. No good answers for evolutionists.

(2) and because it takes God out of the picture as our Creator. Wow, can you imagine that coming from kids!? They understand it! Taliah said 'people don't wanna worship God so they make statues to bow down to and worship and that's not good because God said in the Ten Commandments not to worship statues.' RIGHT! And I love Zachie's response to that 'yeah, and God is gonna get angry! (But you gotta see it with the hand motions he was doing - just imagine Zachie, at his most excited, loudest and pumping his left arm up and down like he was gonna karate-chop someone to pieces!). But He will still love them and will never leave them and stay next to them.' Ahh, out of the mouths of babes...

I can't remember who said it first, (maybe it was me!) but it was pointed out that God created us because He wants to love us. And if we take God out of the picture and out of our lives, then we miss out on God's love! That's one to chew on.

And Dariah's response to all this? 'Spoooon! Spoooon! Daddy, mo juss, mo juss' - in English that would be 'please pick up the spoon that I dropped (actually it was a fork, but hey, she's not even 2 yet). And please may I have more juice, Daddy?' Or maybe that was what I was hoping she would say. ;-)

In any case, it was a great Sunday afternoon dining table discussion. And you just gotta cherish moments like these when you can say - yes, they do understand what we (and others) have been teaching them. And yes, it is all worth it.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Forbidden Fruit

Thought this was pretty funny. I like the warning at the bottom - hahaha.

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Forbidden Fruit

Thought this was pretty funny. I like the warning at the bottom - hahaha.

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Kid's Ministry

Now I am not talking about Children's Ministry with that title above, but about kids actually getting out there and ministering to others. So often we think that kids can't do anything, that they can only receive (i.e. in a Children's Ministry setting for example). We think that they are too young, not able or simply don't want to minister. But in all actuality - they can and do want to!

I took the two older kids with me this week when I went to help out at the Feeding Ministry. This is the second time they went with me and had been asking for the last few weeks to go again. So right after they got home from school, we went out to help set up. They helped get the tables set up, then the tent / pavillions set up. When the truck delivered the food, they helped unload and sort the food. And lastly, they stood for an hour handing out food to the people who came thru. Taliah handed out cat food and Jesaiah got to hand out bags of something that I have no idea what it was! But they loved it!

My desire was for them to see how blessed they / we are - we have food, clothes, beds, shelter. And to be thankful and count our blessings. And I think they are beginning to see that more and more. They really were good helpers today. Next time, I will take them with me when we pray for the people - as the people are waiting to get the food, we go down the line and ask if anyone needs prayer. Then we simply bring their request before the Lord. It's interesting the people you meet - this week I met a lady in her 70's who had eye surgery (cataracts) - and guess what, she's German! She married an American (Ammie to you Germans) and has lived in the USA for the last almost 50 years! And her husband died back in 1972 (I think - anyways it was a long time ago) and she has been alone since.

Another lady I met was a psychologist for the State of California, but is out of work now. Two years ago, one of her patients got angry and tackled her from behind, injuring her back. The State gave her 2 years to recover / be healed and come back to work. She didn't recover in time so they laid her off. She now has no house and lives in her truck with her dog (a GERMAN shepherd). Wow.

So yes, we are totally blessed and can and do count our blessings every day. All I can say is 'but for the grace of God, there go I'. Or you. Have you counted your blessings today? Today, have you thanked God for the food you ate, the bed you slept in, the clothes you wore (and got dirty) the friends and family you have around you or the life you have? Conviction.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Kid's Ministry

Now I am not talking about Children's Ministry with that title above, but about kids actually getting out there and ministering to others. So often we think that kids can't do anything, that they can only receive (i.e. in a Children's Ministry setting for example). We think that they are too young, not able or simply don't want to minister. But in all actuality - they can and do want to!

I took the two older kids with me this week when I went to help out at the Feeding Ministry. This is the second time they went with me and had been asking for the last few weeks to go again. So right after they got home from school, we went out to help set up. They helped get the tables set up, then the tent / pavillions set up. When the truck delivered the food, they helped unload and sort the food. And lastly, they stood for an hour handing out food to the people who came thru. Taliah handed out cat food and Jesaiah got to hand out bags of something that I have no idea what it was! But they loved it!

My desire was for them to see how blessed they / we are - we have food, clothes, beds, shelter. And to be thankful and count our blessings. And I think they are beginning to see that more and more. They really were good helpers today. Next time, I will take them with me when we pray for the people - as the people are waiting to get the food, we go down the line and ask if anyone needs prayer. Then we simply bring their request before the Lord. It's interesting the people you meet - this week I met a lady in her 70's who had eye surgery (cataracts) - and guess what, she's German! She married an American (Ammie to you Germans) and has lived in the USA for the last almost 50 years! And her husband died back in 1972 (I think - anyways it was a long time ago) and she has been alone since.

Another lady I met was a psychologist for the State of California, but is out of work now. Two years ago, one of her patients got angry and tackled her from behind, injuring her back. The State gave her 2 years to recover / be healed and come back to work. She didn't recover in time so they laid her off. She now has no house and lives in her truck with her dog (a GERMAN shepherd). Wow.

So yes, we are totally blessed and can and do count our blessings every day. All I can say is 'but for the grace of God, there go I'. Or you. Have you counted your blessings today? Today, have you thanked God for the food you ate, the bed you slept in, the clothes you wore (and got dirty) the friends and family you have around you or the life you have? Conviction.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Arabic Fellowship

No, I am not learning Arabic nor am I leading the Arabic Fellowship / Church! But we as a Phamily are doing the Children's Ministry for an Arabic Fellowship that uses our church's building on Friday nights. The Fellowship / Church consists of about 10 Arabic Christian families who meet to worship, study the Bible and fellowship - basically they meet as a church body.

During this time, we minister to their children - about 15 kids from between the ages of 4 and 15 years old. So Becks takes the younger kids (under 6 years) and plays with them while I take the over 6 and do a Bible study. It's been fun (also challenging) because this is something we can do as a Phamily. Jesaiah and Taliah go with me and the older kids while Zachie and Dariah go with Becks.

So please pray for these kids - most come from Christian or Catholic homes, but few actually know the Lord as their Savior. They know about God, about Jesus, about the Bible, but I don't think many actually have a personal saving relationship with the Lord. So last week, we went over how to know the Lord (or how to start a relationship with Him) and also how to be sure we know Him. We would love to see them come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord!

And to top it all off, we get paid a little bit by the leader of the Arabic fellowship to do this, so it covers the materials we use with the kids and a part of our food cost for the week. So that is a blessing to us. But to be honest, I think we would do this anyways, even if we weren't paid - we really want to serve this fellowship and especially these kids. We want to make an impact in their lives - for the Lord and His glory of course. Wouldn't it be awesome to see these kids develop a personal relationship with Jesus!?! So pray for us and them each Friday night.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Arabic Fellowship

No, I am not learning Arabic nor am I leading the Arabic Fellowship / Church! But we as a Phamily are doing the Children's Ministry for an Arabic Fellowship that uses our church's building on Friday nights. The Fellowship / Church consists of about 10 Arabic Christian families who meet to worship, study the Bible and fellowship - basically they meet as a church body.

During this time, we minister to their children - about 15 kids from between the ages of 4 and 15 years old. So Becks takes the younger kids (under 6 years) and plays with them while I take the over 6 and do a Bible study. It's been fun (also challenging) because this is something we can do as a Phamily. Jesaiah and Taliah go with me and the older kids while Zachie and Dariah go with Becks.

So please pray for these kids - most come from Christian or Catholic homes, but few actually know the Lord as their Savior. They know about God, about Jesus, about the Bible, but I don't think many actually have a personal saving relationship with the Lord. So last week, we went over how to know the Lord (or how to start a relationship with Him) and also how to be sure we know Him. We would love to see them come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord!

And to top it all off, we get paid a little bit by the leader of the Arabic fellowship to do this, so it covers the materials we use with the kids and a part of our food cost for the week. So that is a blessing to us. But to be honest, I think we would do this anyways, even if we weren't paid - we really want to serve this fellowship and especially these kids. We want to make an impact in their lives - for the Lord and His glory of course. Wouldn't it be awesome to see these kids develop a personal relationship with Jesus!?! So pray for us and them each Friday night.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Sign Spinning - New Olympic Sport!

Okay, I had to add this video - this guy is gooood! Man, if only the last Summer Olympics included sign-spinning! I bet at the next Olympics, the opening ceremony will include sign-spinning!

PS - read the previous post first.


'Dream' Jobs - Reloaded

So here are a few more 'interesting' jobs that I have applied for or am really considering applying for! So, as you can guess, still no luck in week 6 of the job hunt. I am kinda gettin' desperate, as you can tell by my selection of jobs. But I am not losing hope - yet. Especially since my godchild is praying I get a job real soon!

1. Healthy Athletic Joggers to hand out flyers. Must be able to maintain a light jog for 3 hours continuously. Yep, that's what the ad said. I love this one - maybe I can combine the daily exercise and make some money doin' it! Oh I think they pay something $0.10 per flyer handed out / put on doors or cars.

2. Clicking on Ads - yep, I actually signed up for this one. You click on ads and visit websites claiming to help you make $2,000 - $10,000 monthly online. For a small fee of $49.99 of course. And did you notice how all these websites basically say the same thing. And how they go mad with their highlighter. And how the site is like 15 pages long and you have to hold down the 'down' scroll button for 1 minute before you get to the end of the page. In any case, I made $1.00 (about 0.65 Euro) so far clickin' ads! Wooohooo! Now we can save towards that van that we need! And that vacation to Hawaii (sorry all you Freiburgers - we're going to Hawaii first! J/K ;-) )

3. Sign Spinners -yes, there is such a thing as a Sign-Spinner. You get paid by local businesses to stand on the corner of the street and hold a sign shaped like an arrow with the name of the business on it. And you have to do whatever you can to attract the attention of drivers as they whizz past you talking on their mobile (illegal!) and drinkin' their Starbucks triple latte (over-rated).

Check out the vid to see what I mean. I hope to be as good as this guy one day. Then maybe someone will make a video of me and post it to YouTube! And yes there are a few people who do this professionally and will train you to become a better sign-spinner. Maybe they have one of the websites mentioned above. I'll have to check it out next time I go clickin' ads.


(as usual click on the 'play' button at the bottom left to play the video)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Sign Spinning - New Olympic Sport!

Okay, I had to add this video - this guy is gooood! Man, if only the last Summer Olympics included sign-spinning! I bet at the next Olympics, the opening ceremony will include sign-spinning!

PS - read the previous post first.


video

'Dream' Jobs - Reloaded

So here are a few more 'interesting' jobs that I have applied for or am really considering applying for! So, as you can guess, still no luck in week 6 of the job hunt. I am kinda gettin' desperate, as you can tell by my selection of jobs. But I am not losing hope - yet. Especially since my godchild is praying I get a job real soon!

1. Healthy Athletic Joggers to hand out flyers. Must be able to maintain a light jog for 3 hours continuously. Yep, that's what the ad said. I love this one - maybe I can combine the daily exercise and make some money doin' it! Oh I think they pay something $0.10 per flyer handed out / put on doors or cars.

2. Clicking on Ads - yep, I actually signed up for this one. You click on ads and visit websites claiming to help you make $2,000 - $10,000 monthly online. For a small fee of $49.99 of course. And did you notice how all these websites basically say the same thing. And how they go mad with their highlighter. And how the site is like 15 pages long and you have to hold down the 'down' scroll button for 1 minute before you get to the end of the page. In any case, I made $1.00 (about 0.65 Euro) so far clickin' ads! Wooohooo! Now we can save towards that van that we need! And that vacation to Hawaii (sorry all you Freiburgers - we're going to Hawaii first! J/K ;-) )

3. Sign Spinners -yes, there is such a thing as a Sign-Spinner. You get paid by local businesses to stand on the corner of the street and hold a sign shaped like an arrow with the name of the business on it. And you have to do whatever you can to attract the attention of drivers as they whizz past you talking on their mobile (illegal!) and drinkin' their Starbucks triple latte (over-rated).

Check out the vid to see what I mean. I hope to be as good as this guy one day. Then maybe someone will make a video of me and post it to YouTube! And yes there are a few people who do this professionally and will train you to become a better sign-spinner. Maybe they have one of the websites mentioned above. I'll have to check it out next time I go clickin' ads.

video
(as usual click on the 'play' button at the bottom left to play the video)

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Pictures....Finally!

Ok, for everyone who's been asking here are some picture for you all! Sorry it has taken me so long to get around to doing it. I am just going to put up the ones of our time since getting to California. I haven't take too many pictures since we got here, I will try to do better from now on! The first album are just random pictures of the kids around the house, the second one is from Jesaiah's birthday, thanks to Eric for all the really good pics from that day!





Jesaiah had 2 birthday parties this year! One with Davey's family and one with friends. This is the dinosaur cake some of you may have heard about. I had to prop his head up at the party because it kept breaking off! I will have to experiment more next time and hopefuly get it right!

Pictures....Finally!

Ok, for everyone who's been asking here are some picture for you all! Sorry it has taken me so long to get around to doing it. I am just going to put up the ones of our time since getting to California. I haven't take too many pictures since we got here, I will try to do better from now on! The first album are just random pictures of the kids around the house, the second one is from Jesaiah's birthday, thanks to Eric for all the really good pics from that day!





Jesaiah had 2 birthday parties this year! One with Davey's family and one with friends. This is the dinosaur cake some of you may have heard about. I had to prop his head up at the party because it kept breaking off! I will have to experiment more next time and hopefuly get it right!

Monday, 15 September 2008

We're Up and Running!!

Ok, thanks once again for your patience - so we are finally up and running with internet at home! Woohoo, we're jumping for joy!! Ok, maybe it isn't that much of a life-changing thing, but hey, we got internet at home!

So, now we can make more regular posts here (we hope) and keep everyone updated. And we can call overseas (we hope), now that we have a landline (festnetz). So for those of you in Europe, you might be getting calls at 3.00 in the morning when we forget that it's 9 hours ahead in Europe!


We're Up and Running!!

Ok, thanks once again for your patience - so we are finally up and running with internet at home! Woohoo, we're jumping for joy!! Ok, maybe it isn't that much of a life-changing thing, but hey, we got internet at home!

So, now we can make more regular posts here (we hope) and keep everyone updated. And we can call overseas (we hope), now that we have a landline (festnetz). So for those of you in Europe, you might be getting calls at 3.00 in the morning when we forget that it's 9 hours ahead in Europe!


Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Are Christians Allowed to Feel Despair or Depression?

This past week as I was helping out with the Feeding Ministry from our church, I talked to the lady I mentioned in the last post - the lady who had her hours at work cut back, her utilites shut off, her car almost repossessed. Well this week she was really mad - at me, at God, at people, at the world in general. She said that since 2 weeks ago, when I prayed for her, things have gotten worse. And she blames me, God, the world!

I tried to talk to her and encourage her, but she refused to listen, refused to be prayed for. In fact, she said she wished that someone would just kill her! Then she would be out of this world. And she didn't care if she went to hell or not - anywhere would be better than here! Wow, such despair!

You could really feel the anger and despair and hopelessness and yes, even fear in her. But she refused to be comforted. All I could do was encourage her to continue going forward, continue to put one foot in front of the other and to see what God will do. She listened to that at least. But whether she will actually take that advice and do it is another thing.

Have you ever felt such despair and depression? Even to the point of wanting to give up. Even to the point of wanting to die. It's ok if you have, even if you are a believer. You're not alone - think of David or many of the prophets or even the great Apostle Paul. They felt such despair.

I read this passage in 2 Corinthians as part of my daily reading.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life (my emphasis). 2Cor 1.8

Here is the migthy Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, author of a huge chunk of the New Testatment, perhaps even the greatest Apostle that ever was. And yet, he writes that he and his companions despaired of life, that they were burdened beyond measure. He admitted it. He simply told the Corinthians how he really felt. He didn't pull any punches, didn't try to put on a 'face' and tell them that he was 'ok' or 'fine'. He told them his true feelings.

It's so easy for us as Christians to try to always have on the joyful, happy face, even in the midst of trials and suffering. I know I do this - when someone asks how I am doing my automatic response is always 'fine' no matter what the circumstances might be. But inside I might be full of frustation, fear or even despair. I am learning to be more honest in this particular situation -
to tell people that I am not doing well, but that I also know and trust that I am in God's hands. That's what Paul says.

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many. 2Cor 1.9-11

So I believe it is ok for us as believers to feel despair and depression in certain situations and to admit that (now of course I am not endorsing self-pity or going around looking like death warmed over). But I also believe that we as believers have a greater hope and deliverance. And that we CAN rejoice in this. I love how Paul states that even during this trial, he trusted in God 'who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us'.

So no matter what the situation, no matter how desparate you are, no matter how depressed you are (and it's okay to be so), no matter how much despair fills your heart, trust in God and rejoice in the fact that you are in His hands. I do.

Are Christians Allowed to Feel Despair or Depression?

This past week as I was helping out with the Feeding Ministry from our church, I talked to the lady I mentioned in the last post - the lady who had her hours at work cut back, her utilites shut off, her car almost repossessed. Well this week she was really mad - at me, at God, at people, at the world in general. She said that since 2 weeks ago, when I prayed for her, things have gotten worse. And she blames me, God, the world!

I tried to talk to her and encourage her, but she refused to listen, refused to be prayed for. In fact, she said she wished that someone would just kill her! Then she would be out of this world. And she didn't care if she went to hell or not - anywhere would be better than here! Wow, such despair!

You could really feel the anger and despair and hopelessness and yes, even fear in her. But she refused to be comforted. All I could do was encourage her to continue going forward, continue to put one foot in front of the other and to see what God will do. She listened to that at least. But whether she will actually take that advice and do it is another thing.

Have you ever felt such despair and depression? Even to the point of wanting to give up. Even to the point of wanting to die. It's ok if you have, even if you are a believer. You're not alone - think of David or many of the prophets or even the great Apostle Paul. They felt such despair.

I read this passage in 2 Corinthians as part of my daily reading.

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life (my emphasis). 2Cor 1.8

Here is the migthy Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, author of a huge chunk of the New Testatment, perhaps even the greatest Apostle that ever was. And yet, he writes that he and his companions despaired of life, that they were burdened beyond measure. He admitted it. He simply told the Corinthians how he really felt. He didn't pull any punches, didn't try to put on a 'face' and tell them that he was 'ok' or 'fine'. He told them his true feelings.

It's so easy for us as Christians to try to always have on the joyful, happy face, even in the midst of trials and suffering. I know I do this - when someone asks how I am doing my automatic response is always 'fine' no matter what the circumstances might be. But inside I might be full of frustation, fear or even despair. I am learning to be more honest in this particular situation -
to tell people that I am not doing well, but that I also know and trust that I am in God's hands. That's what Paul says.

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many. 2Cor 1.9-11

So I believe it is ok for us as believers to feel despair and depression in certain situations and to admit that (now of course I am not endorsing self-pity or going around looking like death warmed over). But I also believe that we as believers have a greater hope and deliverance. And that we CAN rejoice in this. I love how Paul states that even during this trial, he trusted in God 'who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us'.

So no matter what the situation, no matter how desparate you are, no matter how depressed you are (and it's okay to be so), no matter how much despair fills your heart, trust in God and rejoice in the fact that you are in His hands. I do.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Filling Empty Hands and Hearts

In this time when I don't have a job and have more free time, I have been helping out with our church's Feeding Ministry. It's an awesome ministry - the volunteers gather food, household items, clothes and other stuff donated by local stores and hand them out to needy families in our area. And you would be amazed at how many families come to take advantage of this. On average about 130 families come to receive material help, but also to receive prayer, encouragement and counseling when needed.

While the food is being handed out, there is a team of people who go through the lines and ask people if they need prayer and pray for them on the spot. Also, the pastor who leads the ministry gives a short message before the food is handed out. A couple weeks ago, about a dozen people came forward to accept the Lord - AWESOME!

In this period when the economy is down, this ministry has really helped to supplement and support these families. I talked to one school teacher who has had her work hours cut back and is making less money now. Her utilities (water, electricity, phone, etc) have been shut off because she couldn't pay the bills. Her car will be taken away soon if she can't pay the bill on that. And without her car, she can't get to work to make the money to pay her bills! What a vicsous cycle!

Another young lady I talked to has been looking for work for a while now but no luck (I know that feeling!). One young man just returned from Iraq - he did three tours of duty in the Marines. But now he isn't working, lives with his parents, feels totally disoriented, doesn't fit in and just wants to talk to someone (wow, we have a lot in common!). I had a good talk with him - we hit it off quickly and he wants to meet again to talk more. Pray for him! Maybe God will use his difficult situation to bring this young man into a relationship with Him!

I truly can feel for these people - I understand to some degree the thoughts, fears, worries, anxieties that they go through. I know they wonder how they will feed their loved ones, where they will live, what they will do tomorrow. I know because I have the same thoughts and worries. I know where they are coming from.

But I also KNOW that I have a Savior who loves me and will provide for us. I KNOW that my Savior will never leave me nor forsake me. And this Savior can do the same for them. And that is the message we share with them every week.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Filling Empty Hands and Hearts

In this time when I don't have a job and have more free time, I have been helping out with our church's Feeding Ministry. It's an awesome ministry - the volunteers gather food, household items, clothes and other stuff donated by local stores and hand them out to needy families in our area. And you would be amazed at how many families come to take advantage of this. On average about 130 families come to receive material help, but also to receive prayer, encouragement and counseling when needed.

While the food is being handed out, there is a team of people who go through the lines and ask people if they need prayer and pray for them on the spot. Also, the pastor who leads the ministry gives a short message before the food is handed out. A couple weeks ago, about a dozen people came forward to accept the Lord - AWESOME!

In this period when the economy is down, this ministry has really helped to supplement and support these families. I talked to one school teacher who has had her work hours cut back and is making less money now. Her utilities (water, electricity, phone, etc) have been shut off because she couldn't pay the bills. Her car will be taken away soon if she can't pay the bill on that. And without her car, she can't get to work to make the money to pay her bills! What a vicsous cycle!

Another young lady I talked to has been looking for work for a while now but no luck (I know that feeling!). One young man just returned from Iraq - he did three tours of duty in the Marines. But now he isn't working, lives with his parents, feels totally disoriented, doesn't fit in and just wants to talk to someone (wow, we have a lot in common!). I had a good talk with him - we hit it off quickly and he wants to meet again to talk more. Pray for him! Maybe God will use his difficult situation to bring this young man into a relationship with Him!

I truly can feel for these people - I understand to some degree the thoughts, fears, worries, anxieties that they go through. I know they wonder how they will feed their loved ones, where they will live, what they will do tomorrow. I know because I have the same thoughts and worries. I know where they are coming from.

But I also KNOW that I have a Savior who loves me and will provide for us. I KNOW that my Savior will never leave me nor forsake me. And this Savior can do the same for them. And that is the message we share with them every week.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Play Ball!

Jesaiah and Taliah got to see their first baseball game tonight! It was a night of American culture education (or shock). A friend took us to see the Lake Elsinore Storm (thanks J!) tonight. They are a minor league team (semi-pro) and their home stadium is about 20 minutes up the freeway. It was a lot of fun, but then again I love baseball. David stayed at home with the two younger ones...they would have been bored before the game even got started! Jesaiah and Taliah had fun though. They weren't quite sure what to think of all the yelling and singing and clapping, but they got used to it! They also learned why it is important to always keep an eye on the game...those foul balls go up really high and come down really hard! They got to eat hot dogs and cotton candy...ok I confess I ate most of the cotton candy, it was a bit too much for them : ).

All in all it was a good experience and now the kids know the basics of one of our true American sports. And of course the 'home team' won! Now they just need to work on learning the words to "Take me out to the ball game" so they can sing along during the seventh inning stretch! They even made it up on the big screen during the seventh inning stretch.

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately...I will try to work on that..at least David is doing a good job of updating every now and then. I will try and get some pictures up soon, several people have been asking and I will get on that soon!

Thanks to all you who have been writing and praying for us (on both sides of the big pond) it means a lot to us! We are truely blessed by all of you!