Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Prospero Ano Nuevo!

Well, I hope you all had a much better and healthier Christmas than we did - we were hit with the stomach flu. All of us, in one form or another. I think I got away with the lightest case of it - just an upset stomach and in bed a whole day. All the kids had the up-chucking and 3 of them had the runs also.

But we are all healthy now for the most part. And looking forward to a great New Year's Eve service - the Spanish Fellowship will bring in the New Year at our house. We'll have a potluck (yes, lots of authentic Mexican food made by real Mexican moms and cooks!!! woohoo!!). Then I'll share a short message, we'll do some worship and then bring in the New Year with prayer. And of course, there'll be lots of fellowship going on in between all of this. We are looking forward to tomorrow night (and not just because of the food ;-) hehe).

Anyways, we wish you all a great start in the New Year and may you all experience the joy, peace and grace of our Lord Jesus more this year than ever before! Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

To All a Blessed CHRISTmas!

I just got this song from the parents of my godchild in Germany. They are musicians and wrote this song based on the real meaning of CHRISTmas - Immanuel, God with us. The text is a summary of Luke 2 and Matthew 2, talking about Jesus the Son of God coming to earth as a little baby and how the shepherds left everything to come to worship Him and how the wise men from far away followed the star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Him.

I normally am not the sentimental, mushy type around Christmas time, but this song truly touched my heart. It is a beautiful and artistic reminder of what Christmas is really about - Immanuel. Thanks Kaufmanns for this awesome song!

The fotos are of Becks's olive wood nativity set/collection - it's a tradition with us that I get her a new piece or two every Christmas (we've been collecting them for a few years as you can tell). They come from the Christmas market in Freiburg, Germany (thanks to Jacque for this year's piece!).

Enjoy the song (sorry the text is only in German, but read Luke 2 and Matthew 2 and you got the idea!).

Friday, 26 December 2008

To All a Blessed CHRISTmas!

I just got this song from the parents of my godchild in Germany. They are musicians and wrote this song based on the real meaning of CHRISTmas - Immanuel, God with us. The text is a summary of Luke 2 and Matthew 2, talking about Jesus the Son of God coming to earth as a little baby and how the shepherds left everything to come to worship Him and how the wise men from far away followed the star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Him.

I normally am not the sentimental, mushy type around Christmas time, but this song truly touched my heart. It is a beautiful and artistic reminder of what Christmas is really about - Immanuel. Thanks Kaufmanns for this awesome song!

The fotos are of Becks's olive wood nativity set/collection - it's a tradition with us that I get her a new piece or two every Christmas (we've been collecting them for a few years as you can tell). They come from the Christmas market in Freiburg, Germany (thanks to Jacque for this year's piece!).

Enjoy the song (sorry the text is only in German, but read Luke 2 and Matthew 2 and you got the idea!).

video

Sunday, 21 December 2008

How's My Witness?

Last week, one of my co-workers said something that really got me thinking. He normally is out in the field installing fire sprinklers, but last week, he was working in the warehouse with me. We have never worked together before so this was the first time we spent anytime together. After working together all morning putting together metal warehouse racks/shelves that go up almost 3 stories high (yes, that was fun climbing up that high!), he turned to me that afternoon and said he's never worked with anyone like me before. My first thought was - 'uh-oh, what did I do? Did I do or say anything to offend him?'

I asked him what he meant and he answered - 'there is such a peace about you. I never worked with such a good man.' Obviously he hasn't seem me get upset at my kids yet ;-)! I laughed and said - 'I am not good, no one is good. I am a sinner, a bad man. BUT I have received the grace and forgiveness of God and that's why I have peace.' I went on to share the Gospel with him, just telling him about the grace of God that can change lives and bring peace into lives that were once in turmoil. His only response - 'yeah, all you guys (meaning Christians, I assume) seem to have peace and be at peace.' But before I could go further, we were interrupted and I never got the chance to talk to him that day again. And he's been out in the field again so I don't know when I'll see him again. Please pray for him - he's obviously been touched by God's Spirit.

In any case, what he said really made me think about my witness - so often I don't think I share the Gospel enough, but obviously something is getting through to people! This man noticed something different about me. In fact, that was almost exactly how I was introduced to true Christianity - it was though a co-worker 14 years ago who didn't have to share his faith verbally but simply by his actions, I had noticed something different about him. That opened the door for him to talk to me. And so it is with this man - by my actions (directly or indirectly, I don't know) he noticed something and that opened the doors for me to speak about my Savior Jesus.

So don't be discouraged if you don't seem to be sharing enough or that no one seems to notice your faith. Live full-on for Christ, do those things that please Him, be holy/set apart from the world and be ready in season and out, and He will open doors for you to witness for Him.

How's My Witness?

Last week, one of my co-workers said something that really got me thinking. He normally is out in the field installing fire sprinklers, but last week, he was working in the warehouse with me. We have never worked together before so this was the first time we spent anytime together. After working together all morning putting together metal warehouse racks/shelves that go up almost 3 stories high (yes, that was fun climbing up that high!), he turned to me that afternoon and said he's never worked with anyone like me before. My first thought was - 'uh-oh, what did I do? Did I do or say anything to offend him?'

I asked him what he meant and he answered - 'there is such a peace about you. I never worked with such a good man.' Obviously he hasn't seem me get upset at my kids yet ;-)! I laughed and said - 'I am not good, no one is good. I am a sinner, a bad man. BUT I have received the grace and forgiveness of God and that's why I have peace.' I went on to share the Gospel with him, just telling him about the grace of God that can change lives and bring peace into lives that were once in turmoil. His only response - 'yeah, all you guys (meaning Christians, I assume) seem to have peace and be at peace.' But before I could go further, we were interrupted and I never got the chance to talk to him that day again. And he's been out in the field again so I don't know when I'll see him again. Please pray for him - he's obviously been touched by God's Spirit.

In any case, what he said really made me think about my witness - so often I don't think I share the Gospel enough, but obviously something is getting through to people! This man noticed something different about me. In fact, that was almost exactly how I was introduced to true Christianity - it was though a co-worker 14 years ago who didn't have to share his faith verbally but simply by his actions, I had noticed something different about him. That opened the door for him to talk to me. And so it is with this man - by my actions (directly or indirectly, I don't know) he noticed something and that opened the doors for me to speak about my Savior Jesus.

So don't be discouraged if you don't seem to be sharing enough or that no one seems to notice your faith. Live full-on for Christ, do those things that please Him, be holy/set apart from the world and be ready in season and out, and He will open doors for you to witness for Him.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

A Place Without Pain, Tears, Sorrow...

First, we want to say sorry for not posting more often but life has gotten really busy for us here. Becks started working a second part-time job - she works as one of the janitors at church (besides still working for the inventory company). So between the two of us, we work every day of the week, plus homeschooling and ministry on top of that! But the Lord is faithful and has given us strength and endurance for this.

Anyways, I wanted to share a little bit about something that happened last week after service in the Spanish fellowship. During the service, one of the deacons got a call from the wife of a man who is dying of cancer. This deacon had been visiting this man weekly for the last 4 months or so. I went with him 3 weeks ago to visit the man. He has colon cancer and basically the doctors sent him home to die - they said the cancer was so bad that there was nothing they could do for him, except give him pain medication. So he has been dying slowly for the last 2 years. In any case, during service, the wife called and said he was really bad off and that he literally was breathing his last breaths.

So after service, I and 7 other people from the fellowship went over to the man's home to support his wife and family (he's got 2 daughters 10 and 12 I think). We simply prayed, shared some Bible verses and comforted them. Then the deacon who had been visiting weekly had it on his heart to preach a short message. Even though I didn't understand much of Spanish, I could truly see that the Spirit of God was upon him (this man truly has the gift of evangelism) and it was awesome to see God using him. And the fruit - one of the ladies present accepted the Lord with much tears and repenting. Just remember that all the people there are hard-core, traditional Catholics so this was truly a huge step for this lady. So praise God! We know that the angels in heaven are rejoicing over this one sinner who has repented and accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The man, we believe with all our hearts, is saved though. When he was able to talk months ago, the deacon had shared with him many times and he has accepted the Lord. And the wife also, we think, but can't be sure with her. Well, the day after we visited, last Monday, the man went home to be with the Lord. He is now in a much better place...

A place where 'God will wipe away every tear from [his] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. ' Revelation 21.4

This was the first time I had been with someone who was so close to death, yet it truly was also a joyous occasion as we celebrated with the man as he stepped into the presence of His Lord and King, Jesus. I am reminded once again of the brevity of this life here on earth. And what a privilege we have to be called sons and daughters of the Most High God.

Of course we also mourn with his family as they will miss their husband, father, brother and friend. But we can comfort them with the fact that he will never know pain and sorrow and tears again. So please pray with us as we minister to this family. Pray for them - for comfort and healing but also for salvation for those who don't know Jesus. Pray that the Lord would use this death to bring new life into the lives of those left behind.

A Place Without Pain, Tears, Sorrow...

First, we want to say sorry for not posting more often but life has gotten really busy for us here. Becks started working a second part-time job - she works as one of the janitors at church (besides still working for the inventory company). So between the two of us, we work every day of the week, plus homeschooling and ministry on top of that! But the Lord is faithful and has given us strength and endurance for this.

Anyways, I wanted to share a little bit about something that happened last week after service in the Spanish fellowship. During the service, one of the deacons got a call from the wife of a man who is dying of cancer. This deacon had been visiting this man weekly for the last 4 months or so. I went with him 3 weeks ago to visit the man. He has colon cancer and basically the doctors sent him home to die - they said the cancer was so bad that there was nothing they could do for him, except give him pain medication. So he has been dying slowly for the last 2 years. In any case, during service, the wife called and said he was really bad off and that he literally was breathing his last breaths.

So after service, I and 7 other people from the fellowship went over to the man's home to support his wife and family (he's got 2 daughters 10 and 12 I think). We simply prayed, shared some Bible verses and comforted them. Then the deacon who had been visiting weekly had it on his heart to preach a short message. Even though I didn't understand much of Spanish, I could truly see that the Spirit of God was upon him (this man truly has the gift of evangelism) and it was awesome to see God using him. And the fruit - one of the ladies present accepted the Lord with much tears and repenting. Just remember that all the people there are hard-core, traditional Catholics so this was truly a huge step for this lady. So praise God! We know that the angels in heaven are rejoicing over this one sinner who has repented and accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The man, we believe with all our hearts, is saved though. When he was able to talk months ago, the deacon had shared with him many times and he has accepted the Lord. And the wife also, we think, but can't be sure with her. Well, the day after we visited, last Monday, the man went home to be with the Lord. He is now in a much better place...

A place where 'God will wipe away every tear from [his] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. ' Revelation 21.4

This was the first time I had been with someone who was so close to death, yet it truly was also a joyous occasion as we celebrated with the man as he stepped into the presence of His Lord and King, Jesus. I am reminded once again of the brevity of this life here on earth. And what a privilege we have to be called sons and daughters of the Most High God.

Of course we also mourn with his family as they will miss their husband, father, brother and friend. But we can comfort them with the fact that he will never know pain and sorrow and tears again. So please pray with us as we minister to this family. Pray for them - for comfort and healing but also for salvation for those who don't know Jesus. Pray that the Lord would use this death to bring new life into the lives of those left behind.