Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sell Tacos Not Children!!

CDF has wristbands and t-shirts for sale.  

 The wristbands are $5 and the t-shirts are $20.  

If you are here in Belize you can get a wristband and a t-shirt at our Youth Fest on Saturday!

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thought for Today...Praise the King!

Sunsets always inspire me to praise our glorious Lord.

Only He can create such magnificence.  He paints a masterpiece each evening with the most brilliant and vibrant colors.  He alone is worthy of all praise.  May honor and glory go to Him forever and ever!

What inspires you to praise Him?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

the gift of holiday memories...

This past Thanksgiving was another holiday with just the two of us.  Tom and I do our best to celebrate but we still miss having Nathan and Spencer at home for the holidays.  Nathan is living in Seattle and Spencer is on a mission trip in Mexico.

As I was feeling low late Thursday evening about the guys not being here I got a message on Facebook from a friend who was doing some reminiscing with her children.  They were going through photos and she sent one of our family.

As you can see it is not a Thanksgiving memory but a Halloween night at the church we were attending in Costa Mesa.  I am grateful for the memories we have of those years when the kids were little.  We may not own much materially but we are rich with treasured times spent together.  Even when one or both of the boys were not thrilled about being at the event...we are still able to look back fondly and be glad we survived the tough times and came through with our family still in tact.  

I am grateful that both Spencer and Nathan will be with us for Christmas this year.  It will be our first Christmas together in five years.  Just thinking about it makes me smile.  And I am counting the days!

1061.  old photos
1062.  friends to reminisce with over days gone by...
1063.  looking forward to Nathan and Spencer home at the same time
1064.  planning a Thanksgiving meal for Spencer and Meesha when they return from Mexico
1065.  going over old recipes and the memories attached to them
1066.  gathering with over 60 people for this year's holiday dinner here in Belize
1067.  starting new traditions
1068.  Tom and I eating our Thanksgiving lunch at Wing Stop for the third year in a row
1069.  completing the 30/100 challenge
1070.  surviving my first Zumba class
1071.  walks at sunset with Tom...

What holiday memories are you grateful for?

If you would like to read posts from others in the gratitude community just click on the box below.

Friday, November 23, 2012

30/100 Mission Accomplished!

When I go out for my walk today I will have reached my goal and it will be the end of this challenge.  This past week the question most asked of me has been "what are you going to do on Day 101?"...and the answer is "I will keep walking".  It just won't feel like it's a have-to.  It will be a want-to!  Still not sure how to celebrate this milestone.  Because today it's all about walking off the extra calories I ate yesterday!!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thought for today...gratitude!

As Thanksgiving in America draws closer many of us are giving thanks for the gifts God places in our lives.  Make sure that your list includes people you love, special moments, and treasured memories.  I am so grateful for our family, our friends, the people we get to serve, and those that we work with.

I thank God for every one of you that He has allowed us to spend time with over the past year.  And I am grateful for all of you who read this journal of mine.

Joy and Blessings to you!!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...Gluten Free Cornbread

This will be my first Thanksgiving since I began eating gluten free.  I enjoy eating stuffing and don't want to miss out this year.  Each year here in Belize there is a large group of Expats who gather on Thanksgiving to share a meal. We all bring a dish and have a potluck dinner. 

I want to be able to partake in some of the traditional foods so I decided I needed to figure out how to make a few things that I can eat and hopefully others will enjoy as well. I remembered that my grandmother always used to make a bread stuffing along with a cornbread stuffing back in the day.  So I found a cornbread recipe that I think will work...I am looking forward to trying it out!
click on the title to find the recipe.

 I am still looking for a good pie crust recipe so I can make a sweet potato pie and a peach cobbler.  Not only will we have a Thanksgiving meal on the actual holiday but I also promised Spencer and Meesha that we would celebrate again when they get back from I have plenty of time to practice!

So are you trying anything new this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 19, 2012

the gifts of a holiday weekend...

Today is a holiday here in Belize.  Garifuna Settlement Day.  It is wonderful to have a three day weekend.  And since Thursday is an American holiday we get another day off this week as well.  Our schedule can get very hectic so we are grateful when free time comes our way.  I am not complaining about the work we do...just acknowledging the fact that holidays here are truly a gift. 

I will gladly count this holiday weekend among my blessings...

1050.  packages of goodies from the U.S.

1051.  friends and family who bless us in large and small ways.

 1052.  market day bargains found during the rain...

1053.  adding 'new to me' clothes to my wardrobe

1054.  Tom and I getting to church early to help with set-up in the new location
1055.  90 people packed into the upper room at Omega's restaurant on our first Sunday there

1056.  the faithfulness of the leaders Bethel Disciples International Church
1057.  fellowship among the congregation
1058.  Pastor Han's messages that teach and inspire
1059.  being reminded that "it's not the leaves that are's the fruit!"
As we focus on making disciples and not just filling the church.

1060.  baskets from Sharon that take our pantry from this...

to this!

So what treasures are you grateful for this week?!

If you would like to read posts from others in the gratitude community just click on the box below.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Seven days to go!

Today's walk will be Day 93.  I am so close to this goal and can hardly believe it! I do plan to keep walking after the 100 days are up...I cannot imagine a day without it now.  The stress relief and the pain relief I get from this simple daily walk is vital to my overall sense of well being.  Perhaps I'll add something new to my routine.  I have heard about a Zumba class here and am thinking about giving that a try!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Figuring out Facetime!

Last month I  figured out how to connect with Nathan on Facetime.  We use it to video chat with him as well as send messages.  We had not seen him since our family time back in June.  So seeing him on the video was truly a blessing.  For some reason Facetime works here in Belize but Skype doesn't.  

The thing I have not mastered yet is how to.take a screenshot using Tom's iPad.  I had to use my camera to get this shot of the screen!  Thankfully Nathan is coming to visit for Christmas so he can teach us more about what the iPad can do.

So what new things have you learned to do?!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

thought for today...His Direction!


Being a follower is not always easy.  It means that someone else is in control.  Someone else is setting the pace. Someone else is charting the course.  Our Bible study group is working through a series based on the book Not a Fan.  The premise is about being a true, devoted, follower of Christ and not just a fan of his.  One of the first things we were challenged to do was to define our relationship with God.  We had to ask ourselves if we are a fan or a follower.  

The point for me was driven home on Sunday.  Pastor Han asked me if I would sing a hymn with him after his sermon.  The title of the song?  Where He Leads Me I Will Follow.  It was not a coincidence...I'm sure of that.  

I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
"Take my cross and follow, follow Me."

Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
Where He leads me I will follow,
I'll go with Him, with Him all the way.

As I have meditated on being a follower these past few days this song has been on my lips and in my heart.  Over the past 30 years Tom and I have been led from Kansas to California, from California to Russia, and from Russia to Belize.  And when I sang the words "I'll go with Him, with Him all the way" it brought tears to my eyes.  Because I am still willing to follow...wherever He matter where the path takes us.  

Now, I am not saying that everyone has to be willing to go to Russia and back because we are not all called to the exact same places.  Your path might lead to your neighbor's house, or to back to work, or to care for someone who is ill.  The point is being willing to follow His lead.  

                                May our desire be to follow His path every step of the way.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...Skillet Taco Pie

Saw this on Pinterest...I think it's time to give it a try!!

Are you trying anything new this week?

Monday, November 12, 2012

the gift Genograms...


For the past six Saturdays 12 students have met weekly for the fourth semester of the Christian Counseling Class that Tom is teaching at Belize Bible Center.  This past Saturday we took our final exam.  After the exam was over there were three students who chose to do an extra credit project called a Genogram.

I chose not to take photos of the presentations because it felt too intrusive to do so.  These students were sharing difficult and private things about their families and it was evident that this was more than just another was major step in their growth process.

The presenters came from three different people groups here in Belize and yet as we listened to each speaker common threads emerged.  They were each putting together family puzzles, uncovering patterns, evaluating what it all means, and determining that they will be the change-maker in their was inspiring, amazing, and humbling to hear their stories.  I am grateful that I was in the room to share in those historic moments with each one of them.

As I continue to count the gifts that God has placed in our lives I will surely ponder that precious class time and treasure it in my heart.

1041.  students who give up their Saturday mornings
1042.  Tom being able to use his gifts of experience and knowledge to train others
1043.  being one of the 12 students
1044.  our time of fellowship when the exams and presentations were over!

Morality Matters
1045.  Amy returning to Belize to teach Morality Matters again for CDF
1046.  and the participants who was great to see so many men in attendance

Pastor Han
1047.  Pastor Han's message from Mark 11.  Exhorting us to be like the colt...bearing burdens in service to the Lord where and when we are needed.
1048.  learning two new worship songs before the service began today.
1049.  eating, laughing, and hanging out as a church family after the worship service.  

If you would like to read posts from others in the gratitude community just click on the box below.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Buy, Sell, Trade in Belize...

I just learned that there is a Craigslist here in Belize! 

After two years we are still discovering services we didn't know existed here.  How awesome is that?!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Thought for Today...Respecting our leaders and praying for them!

Congratulations to President Barack Obama!
Let everyone be subject to governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves.  Romans 13:1-2 NIV

I pray that all who claim the name of Christ will choose not to denigrate our president any longer but will instead commit to praying for him.  God has appointed him for a second time as the President of the United States.  All throughout this election process the things I have read and heard Christians say about the president have truly hurt my heart.  I grew up in a military home.  The Commander in Chief was always respected by my father and mother no matter which party he was from.  I cannot even remember my father talking down President Nixon when everyone else around him was doing so.  His signature is on my dad's honorary discharge papers proudly on display in my parents home to this day.

President Obama needs our prayers not our insults or condemnation.  I know that as I write this there are those who are celebrating and those who are grieving. It is important to remember that God was in control these past four years and He will continue to be in control for the next four years and beyond.  There are devoted, Bible believing, Christians in both parties.  Christ is not fully represented by either party.

One party focuses on protecting the unborn and preserving the Biblical view of marriage.  The other party focuses on caring for the least of these...educating, feeding and providing medical care for the poor and disenfranchised.  All of which are godly values.  There is a great article I read entitled 7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics.  You can read it by clicking here.  As I read through it this quote stood out for me:
The political process is dirty and broken and far from Jesus. Paranoia and vitriol are hardly attractive accessories for the bride of Christ.  Rather than engage in the political process, Christians have a duty to elevate it. Like any other sin, we are called to stand above the partisan dissension and demonstrate a better way. Should we have an opinion? Yes. Should we care about our country? Yes. Should we vote? Yes. But it’s time we talk politics in a way that models the teachings of Jesus rather than mocks them.

So whether you celebrate or grieve today...let's all pray together for the hearts of our government leaders on the national, state, and city levels.  And as believers let's remember to be loving, kind, and compassionate toward others no matter how we or they voted.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

mmm tasty...the juice chronicles!

Since our arrival to Belize two years ago we have tried a variety of fresh juices...

Papaya juice

Orange juice

Lime juice

Pitaya, the darker color, and watermelon

Pitaya, or dragonfruit as it is more commonly known, is considered a superfruit and supposedly has many health benefits.  It does not have much of a taste though.  For me it was like drinking purple koolaid that didn't have enough sugar mixed in.

Mangerine juice, a cross between tangerine and grapefruit

The mangerine juice was interesting...our waiter described the taste as a 'manly tangerine'.  And it was! 

When you come to Belize be sure to ask what fresh juices they have available and take a chance on something new.

Monday, November 05, 2012

the gift of Facebook statuses...

How many of your Facebook friends are using their statuses to express what they are grateful for? 

A number of my friends are doing it.  And their thanksgivings are such a joy to read.  Of course we all know that giving thanks does not have to be limited to month of November.  It can become a way of life.  Taking time to value the love gifts that God brings into our lives on a daily basis can transform the way we think.  It can breathe life into the spiritually stagnant areas of the heart. 

What are the treasures of daily life?  It can be something as simple as the laughter of a child, or the first taste of morning coffee (tea for me), or even your favorite song coming on the radio as you start the car.  It doesn't have to be a major event.  Sometimes the simpler the better. 

In the treasure box of this week I found:

1023.  the joy of having the DTS team from YWAM Banana Bank in our home.
1024.  cooking borscht for them and watching two large pots of soup, two and a half loaves of bread, two containers of sour cream, and three dozen cookies disappear.
1025.  sounds of hysterical laughter as we played games before dinner.
1026.  listening to them as they tried to learn a few Russian phrases.
1027.  the delight on Spencer's face as he shared our Russian experiences with his friends.
1028.  being able to order some gluten free cookies from a friend who was raising funds to help with a little girl's cancer treatments.
1029.  a counseling client expressing a desire to work specifically with me on a few issues.
1030.  being trusted with deep and painful memories in our counseling office.
1031.  new found confidence that comes from conquering all the excuses that I held dear as to why I couldn't possibly exercise everyday.
1032.  our supportive and loving church family.
1033.  seeing the progress being made on the church building project.
1034.  singing again
1035.  each moment we get to spend with having Meesha and Spencer here with us.
1036.  prayer time with the CDF team.
1037. 12 faithful students in Tom's counseling class at Belize Bible Center.
1038.  watching the teams on the Amazing Race find their way around sites in Istanbul.
1039.  looking back fondly on our time of being stranded in Istanbul as we waited for news on our Russian visas and realizing that it was a once in a lifetime gift.
1040.  knowing for certain that God closing the doors for us in Russia opened doors for us here in Belize.

If you would like to read posts from others in the gratitude community just click on the box below.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Morality Matters!

Morality Matters is coming back to Belize! 
If you would like to attend just call the office at 633-7010 to let us know you will be there.  

Thursday, November 01, 2012

22 more days to go!

78 days ago I embarked on this challenge.  It is so weird to even say that number.  I have reached the point where the total number of days I have gone out to walk far outnumber the days I have left to go!  And I am shocked that I made it this far.  And to be honest none of the people that I began the challenge with were able to keep going.

I could have dropped out too.  But, I kept thinking that I would hang in there for as many days as I could until something got in the way.  I thought the weather would do it...but so far I have only walked in the rain three times...and this is the rainy season.  I thought maybe having guests or conferences would interfere but I was still able to get out there.

Perhaps it's because of the heaviness of our work load.  The things we hear in the counseling office are oftentimes overwhelming.  When I go out to walk I can leave all the stress out there.  As I lace up my shoes and then walk out the door I feel a lightness come over me.  If I am in a bad mood I know that walking will lift it.  If it's been a great day then the walk feels like the icing on the cake.  If I don't feel well physically walking relieves the pain.

I cannot imagine giving up this habit.  It has changed the way I feel, think, and look.  It has given me an inner confidence, shown me that I can accomplish a goal if I set my mind to it, and filled me with peace.   And for all of that I am so grateful.  22 more days to go!