Sunday, 30 November 2008

Wiggle-Butt

Dariah has learned a new dance this past few months (not sure from where!) that has kept us laughing so hard, we almost pee our pants every time. It's a combination Hawaiian hula dance, belly dance and mosh pit slammin'. We just call it the wiggle-butt.

Here is just a small taste of what she can do. Notice how her hips seem to have a mind of their own - seems like she almost dislocates them with her rubberband-like moves! Doesn't it look like she's got invisible strings attached to both sides of her hips and that someone is yanking on them randomly?? And of course, she gets some encouragement from Taliah and Zachie Boy...

PS - turn up the sound to get the full effect.
PPS - click on the play button /arrow if it doesn't play automatically.

Wiggle-Butt

Dariah has learned a new dance this past few months (not sure from where!) that has kept us laughing so hard, we almost pee our pants every time. It's a combination Hawaiian hula dance, belly dance and mosh pit slammin'. We just call it the wiggle-butt.

Here is just a small taste of what she can do. Notice how her hips seem to have a mind of their own - seems like she almost dislocates them with her rubberband-like moves! Doesn't it look like she's got invisible strings attached to both sides of her hips and that someone is yanking on them randomly?? And of course, she gets some encouragement from Taliah and Zachie Boy...

PS - turn up the sound to get the full effect.
PPS - click on the play button /arrow if it doesn't play automatically.

video

Friday, 28 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are off to my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving and my mom's birthday - just happens to fall on the same day this year! Pray that you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with family, friends and whoever else!

And hey, I am thankful for all of you - thanks for your prayers, support, help, advice, encouragement, care and love! Love you all!


Happy Thanksgiving!

We are off to my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving and my mom's birthday - just happens to fall on the same day this year! Pray that you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the time with family, friends and whoever else!

And hey, I am thankful for all of you - thanks for your prayers, support, help, advice, encouragement, care and love! Love you all!


Sunday, 23 November 2008

God Trusts Me?!?!

From the previous post, I thought God was done speaking to me on that passage in Hebrews. But as I have been thinking about it a bit more these last few days, I think He's not done yet. In fact, I know it. Something else just 'occurred' to me...

When the author of Hebrews says 'the race that is set before us', it also implies that God has GIVEN us this race or this life, right? Or rather, that He has ENTRUSTED us with it. Ponder that for a moment. I did and it truly encouraged me. Think of it, God TRUSTS me enough with this life to live, with this race to run that He has set it before me - has given it to me, has entrusted it to me.

In Christianity today, aren't we so often bombarded by these haunting questions - 'do you trust God? Do you trust God with your salvation, life, finances, family, career, etc.? Where is your trust in God?' It is almost cliche-ish, isn't it? Of course I do, why do you have to keep asking me? Now then, doesn't it blow our minds to realize that God trusts us?!?

For example, my kids aren't quite old enough, but I can imagine one day entrusting my car to one of them to use (not that we have our own car at the moment). Imagine what they would feel like - 'wow, my dad trusts me with his car! He's gonna let me drive it!' They would be on cloud nine! Elated, excited (well, at least until they start paying for the gas themselves ;-) ). Simply by the fact that I set my car keys before them, saying to them - I trust you with what is mine.

Now turn that around and apply it in our relationship to our Heavenly Father. He trusts us enough to run this race that He gives it to us! He has set this race, this life before us, saying to us - 'go ahead, run the race, I trust you to run it well! Live the life I have created you for - I trust you with what is mine.' WOW! GOD, the Creator, the Almighty trusts me, a loser! Whooohooo!

How would that make you feel? Cool, huh? So don't worry too much that your trust in God isn't as strong as you would want it to be (or as strong as someone else's). Rest and rejoice in this - God trusts YOU, He's shown it already by giving you a race to run, a life to live, a faith to walk.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

God Trusts Me?!?!

From the previous post, I thought God was done speaking to me on that passage in Hebrews. But as I have been thinking about it a bit more these last few days, I think He's not done yet. In fact, I know it. Something else just 'occurred' to me...

When the author of Hebrews says 'the race that is set before us', it also implies that God has GIVEN us this race or this life, right? Or rather, that He has ENTRUSTED us with it. Ponder that for a moment. I did and it truly encouraged me. Think of it, God TRUSTS me enough with this life to live, with this race to run that He has set it before me - has given it to me, has entrusted it to me.

In Christianity today, aren't we so often bombarded by these haunting questions - 'do you trust God? Do you trust God with your salvation, life, finances, family, career, etc.? Where is your trust in God?' It is almost cliche-ish, isn't it? Of course I do, why do you have to keep asking me? Now then, doesn't it blow our minds to realize that God trusts us?!?

For example, my kids aren't quite old enough, but I can imagine one day entrusting my car to one of them to use (not that we have our own car at the moment). Imagine what they would feel like - 'wow, my dad trusts me with his car! He's gonna let me drive it!' They would be on cloud nine! Elated, excited (well, at least until they start paying for the gas themselves ;-) ). Simply by the fact that I set my car keys before them, saying to them - I trust you with what is mine.

Now turn that around and apply it in our relationship to our Heavenly Father. He trusts us enough to run this race that He gives it to us! He has set this race, this life before us, saying to us - 'go ahead, run the race, I trust you to run it well! Live the life I have created you for - I trust you with what is mine.' WOW! GOD, the Creator, the Almighty trusts me, a loser! Whooohooo!

How would that make you feel? Cool, huh? So don't worry too much that your trust in God isn't as strong as you would want it to be (or as strong as someone else's). Rest and rejoice in this - God trusts YOU, He's shown it already by giving you a race to run, a life to live, a faith to walk.

You Running YOUR Race?

Have you ever read a passage of the Bible so many times it almost loses it's impact? And then one day you read it again and wow, it hits you hard! Like a sledgehammer against a windshield? Well, it happened to me this past week with a passage that I know I must have read over 50 times. In fact, I have even taught on it and preached from it several times. But it just spoke to me yet again. So now that you're wondering what passage it is...

Hebrews 12.1-2 - 'Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.'

All these years as I read it I focused on the endurance part of the first verse - that the Christian life is like a long marathon that we run with endurance. And in order to run the race, we must get rid of all that hinders us. And that is true. But I never really noticed the last phrase of verse 1 - 'the race that is set before us'.

Now maybe you are thinking - 'so what, isn't it obvious?' Well, it wasn't so obvious for me until just recently. The point is that we are all given a race to run that is different that any one else's! We can't run our neighbor's race nor can he run ours. God will only count us faithful when we run OUR race. So it's no use to compare our race or life to someone else's; it's no use to try to copy someone else; it's no use to try to be/become someone else - to please God. It should stop us from thinking or saying - 'if only my life (or faith, walk, race, etc) were more like his / hers'.

This really encouraged me this week to run MY race well and with endurance. Not to get depressed because others might be further along in their race and also not to get prideful thinking I am further along in my race than others! The key is that I am looking at Jesus (not others) and running MY race (not others').

Just like Jesus ran His race - all the way to the Cross. Just like Paul ran his race. Just like Luther ran his race or Jonathan Edwards or William Carey or Hudson Taylor or Moody or Spurgeon or anyone else. In fact I want to say like Paul at the end of his earthly life - 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith' (2Tim 4.7). Amen.

Are you running YOUR race - the one that God has set before you? Or are you still trying to run someone else's race? Or are you trying to be someone else? Are you even in the race? ;-)

Friday, 21 November 2008

You Running YOUR Race?

Have you ever read a passage of the Bible so many times it almost loses it's impact? And then one day you read it again and wow, it hits you hard! Like a sledgehammer against a windshield? Well, it happened to me this past week with a passage that I know I must have read over 50 times. In fact, I have even taught on it and preached from it several times. But it just spoke to me yet again. So now that you're wondering what passage it is...

Hebrews 12.1-2 - 'Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.'

All these years as I read it I focused on the endurance part of the first verse - that the Christian life is like a long marathon that we run with endurance. And in order to run the race, we must get rid of all that hinders us. And that is true. But I never really noticed the last phrase of verse 1 - 'the race that is set before us'.

Now maybe you are thinking - 'so what, isn't it obvious?' Well, it wasn't so obvious for me until just recently. The point is that we are all given a race to run that is different that any one else's! We can't run our neighbor's race nor can he run ours. God will only count us faithful when we run OUR race. So it's no use to compare our race or life to someone else's; it's no use to try to copy someone else; it's no use to try to be/become someone else - to please God. It should stop us from thinking or saying - 'if only my life (or faith, walk, race, etc) were more like his / hers'.

This really encouraged me this week to run MY race well and with endurance. Not to get depressed because others might be further along in their race and also not to get prideful thinking I am further along in my race than others! The key is that I am looking at Jesus (not others) and running MY race (not others').

Just like Jesus ran His race - all the way to the Cross. Just like Paul ran his race. Just like Luther ran his race or Jonathan Edwards or William Carey or Hudson Taylor or Moody or Spurgeon or anyone else. In fact I want to say like Paul at the end of his earthly life - 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith' (2Tim 4.7). Amen.

Are you running YOUR race - the one that God has set before you? Or are you still trying to run someone else's race? Or are you trying to be someone else? Are you even in the race? ;-)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

CCM Spanish Fellowship

I have only been serving as interim pastor in the CCM Spanish Fellowship for a few weeks now, but it seems like we have grown close relatively quickly. The people are wonderful - so hospitable and loving. They have accepted us as the pastor family fairly quickly and are just grateful that they can continue as a ministry. They have become dear to our hearts as we are getting to know them more and more.

I wanted to thank those of you in Germany who have been praying for them as they went through the church split. They are on the road to healing and are truly taking steps forward as a fellowship. And the people of the Spanish Fellowship also thank you for your prayers - they are so amazed that you are praying for them!

Anyways, here are a few fotos of the 'new' Spanish Fellowship. We had a great day today as we got into God's Word and were challenged to reach out to people like Jesus did. And after church, gathered for a meal together. I pigged out on authentic Mexican food - my favorite! I had 3 tostadas, lots of fiery hot salsa, chips, a hot dog with jalapenos and jabenero chiles and a yummy cucumber and jicama salad (sorry I don't remember what it's called). Man am I stuffed!



Marco - one of the deacons and my translator





















CCM Spanish Fellowship






Miguel - another deacon and translator



















Mmmm - lots of Mexican food!

Monday, 10 November 2008

CCM Spanish Fellowship

I have only been serving as interim pastor in the CCM Spanish Fellowship for a few weeks now, but it seems like we have grown close relatively quickly. The people are wonderful - so hospitable and loving. They have accepted us as the pastor family fairly quickly and are just grateful that they can continue as a ministry. They have become dear to our hearts as we are getting to know them more and more.

I wanted to thank those of you in Germany who have been praying for them as they went through the church split. They are on the road to healing and are truly taking steps forward as a fellowship. And the people of the Spanish Fellowship also thank you for your prayers - they are so amazed that you are praying for them!

Anyways, here are a few fotos of the 'new' Spanish Fellowship. We had a great day today as we got into God's Word and were challenged to reach out to people like Jesus did. And after church, gathered for a meal together. I pigged out on authentic Mexican food - my favorite! I had 3 tostadas, lots of fiery hot salsa, chips, a hot dog with jalapenos and jabenero chiles and a yummy cucumber and jicama salad (sorry I don't remember what it's called). Man am I stuffed!



Marco - one of the deacons and my translator





















CCM Spanish Fellowship






Miguel - another deacon and translator



















Mmmm - lots of Mexican food!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Sí Señor, Le Seguiré! (Yes Lord, I Will Follow You!)

Well, after another week of serving the Spanish Fellowship (and Becky was able to be there this Sunday to meet the people), we decided to say 'Yes, Lord - you opened the doors and so we will follow You'. So for now, I am the pastor of the Calvary Chapel Murrieta Spanish Fellowship! I still think God has a great sense of humor taking us from Germany and now allowing us to serve Him in SoCal, with the Hispanics! So until God calls us out somewhere else, we are serving here in this capacity. So I guess we better start learning Spanish.

As you know, when the previous pastor was asked to step down, he left and took a bunch of people with him. That was why I was asked to come in as interim pastor. My church was ready to shut down the ministry, but I asked them to give it one more chance. They agreed, but only if I and only I would lead this fellowship. So here we are.

It was encouraging to see that today the Spanish Fellowship is still healthy and growing. There were more people in service today than last week. And there were several new people too. But more importantly, it was a blessing to see people jumping in to serve. When the previous pastor left, he took the worship leader and one of the deacons. So there was quite a few holes in the ministry team. But last week and this week, I saw people just stepping up and serving. One man will start doing worship, while his wife does sound. The remaining deacons will rotate and translate Wed and Sun for me. Another young lady took over as greeter. An older man (in his 80's) helps out with ushering. Another couple brings coffee and snacks every week so we can fellowship after service. That to me is the body of Christ pulling together! So pray for us as we start this new adventure!

Oh, and to clear something up that some have asked - this is not a paid position, I receive no salary from the Spanish Fellowship. I just want to help them. I work full-time doing construction type work Mon-Fri, (40-50 hours a week). Then I teach at the Spanish Fellowship on Wed and Sun and try to meet with the Spanish men on Sat mornings. Becks and I also have a part-time job doing inventory on the weekends. This is not so regular but it could be a lot of hours at times (just depends on the season). And we still teach the kids/youth at the Arabic Fellowship on Friday nights. So that is life for us in SoCal at the moment. It's not what we expected, but then again, I had never expected to be in Germany either! ;-)

Sí Señor, Le Seguiré! (Yes Lord, I Will Follow You!)

Well, after another week of serving the Spanish Fellowship (and Becky was able to be there this Sunday to meet the people), we decided to say 'Yes, Lord - you opened the doors and so we will follow You'. So for now, I am the pastor of the Calvary Chapel Murrieta Spanish Fellowship! I still think God has a great sense of humor taking us from Germany and now allowing us to serve Him in SoCal, with the Hispanics! So until God calls us out somewhere else, we are serving here in this capacity. So I guess we better start learning Spanish.

As you know, when the previous pastor was asked to step down, he left and took a bunch of people with him. That was why I was asked to come in as interim pastor. My church was ready to shut down the ministry, but I asked them to give it one more chance. They agreed, but only if I and only I would lead this fellowship. So here we are.

It was encouraging to see that today the Spanish Fellowship is still healthy and growing. There were more people in service today than last week. And there were several new people too. But more importantly, it was a blessing to see people jumping in to serve. When the previous pastor left, he took the worship leader and one of the deacons. So there was quite a few holes in the ministry team. But last week and this week, I saw people just stepping up and serving. One man will start doing worship, while his wife does sound. The remaining deacons will rotate and translate Wed and Sun for me. Another young lady took over as greeter. An older man (in his 80's) helps out with ushering. Another couple brings coffee and snacks every week so we can fellowship after service. That to me is the body of Christ pulling together! So pray for us as we start this new adventure!

Oh, and to clear something up that some have asked - this is not a paid position, I receive no salary from the Spanish Fellowship. I just want to help them. I work full-time doing construction type work Mon-Fri, (40-50 hours a week). Then I teach at the Spanish Fellowship on Wed and Sun and try to meet with the Spanish men on Sat mornings. Becks and I also have a part-time job doing inventory on the weekends. This is not so regular but it could be a lot of hours at times (just depends on the season). And we still teach the kids/youth at the Arabic Fellowship on Friday nights. So that is life for us in SoCal at the moment. It's not what we expected, but then again, I had never expected to be in Germany either! ;-)