Thursday, November 28, 2013

A very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

What are you grateful for today?!

If you're blessed to be with family today add that to your list.  For those of us living abroad these holidays separated from family can be hard.  We miss our sons, our parents, and our siblings but are so grateful to have a community of American friends that we can celebrate the US holidays with. Have a Happy Thanksgiving one and all!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

Monday, November 25, 2013

End of Semester work...

Tom is grading homework and final exams! 

We had 35 students finish the semester.  It is exciting to see the changes in the students over the past six weeks.  And to hear about lessons that they've learned in class being implemented at their churches, organizations, and in their personal lives. 

The next semester begins in February...if you're here in Belize come on out and join us!
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

following hard after Him...

I read this verse earlier this week as part of a Thanksgiving devotional.  I'm still sorting out what it means for me to "follow hard".  Matthew Henry's commentary says that it speaks of "a very earnest desire and a serious vigorous endeavor to keep up communion with God".  And Charles Spurgeon says "we follow close at the Lord's heels, because we are one with Him."

My desire is to follow Him wholeheartedly, unreservedly, with determination

I want to be filled and saturated by Him.  

I want to worship Him with my whole being.

I want to follow hard after Him.  

My word for this year has been "Embrace".  Across the months my greatest lessons have been the most private and painful.  I've had to let go and grieve and I've had to embrace and accept. I suppose this is all a part of following hard.

As this year is winding down and I look ahead to the year that is coming I am setting new goals.  One of the things that I am looking forward to the most scares me and yet fills me with joy.  This too must be a part of following hard after Him.  I am learning that intimate communion with Him is the only thing that will carry me through each challenge that I am called to face.

Following hard is a calling.  
Following hard is a way of life.    
Following hard is a daily commitment.  

I know that I cannot accept this calling, embrace this way of life, or keep this daily commitment in my own strength.

The last part of verse 8 says "Your right hand upholds me".  Matthew Henry says "those that follow hard after God would soon fail and faint if God's right hand did not uphold them."  Isn't it a comfort to know that the divine power of God will hold us up and strengthen us as we determine to cling closely to Him and follow Him passionately?! 

May we experience the grace-filled strength of His right hand supporting us each step of the way!




Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving decor...


Had a burst of creativity this weekend while playing around with different fonts on my computer!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Thanksgiving Tree...

I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1

 Years ago in the little church I grew up in we would be asked to give a testimony about what God had done in our lives over the past week. People would stand up and give a praise or sometimes they would sit and just shout them out.  But each week I heard something about God's goodness poured out on someone. This tree of ours is kind of like those testimonies.  We are giving praise to God for the big and the small things He is doing in our lives for the month of November.  

The tree is not fancy.  Just a branch cut from one of the trees in our yard.
I used the same branch for Easter.  (just click the highlighted words to see the Easter Tree.)

Some of the leaves are bigger than others but that is just so that I have room to write more when I need it. I made a template and then printed them out on various fall colors of construction paper.  Each day Tom and I talk about what we are thankful for. It's been a blessing to share with one another a bit each day and not save it all up for the holiday. And each time I look at the tree I am reminded of how good God is!

There is always something to be thankful for...
What are you grateful for today??

Monday, November 11, 2013

In honor of all who've served...

To my father and all the men and women who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces.

I am so grateful for your service to our country and for all that you have sacrificed for our freedom!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Worship is...

This past weekend I watched this beautiful young Belizean woman worship God through praise dancing. There are so many ways to worship Him.  We can worship through dance, through song, through our giving, through the sacrifice of our time, through loving the unlovely, and so on.  Our lives can be lived out daily in a worshipful way. However God leads you to worship Him, do that.  

God put His breath into us and brought us to life. 
May we give Him back that breath in worship and adoration of Him.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Week 3 Course 1


 As I looked around the room while Tom was teaching all I could think of was how precious each one of these people are in His sight.  Age, race, religion, are all things that could segregate us from one another. However, dysfunction knows no boundaries and does not play favorites with one group or another.  How exciting it is that those called to be people helpers in this class come from various ethnic groups, cover a wide range of ages, and represent various churches found here in Belize.  What a joy it is to see such a such diverse group come together from around the country with the common goal of bringing hope and healing to others!

Please continue to keep Tom and these students in your prayers!!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Memories of St. Basil's Cathedral

In honor of All Saints Day I found these old photos from our trip to Moscow in 2007. 

I am still amazed at the places God has taken us over the past eight years.  Standing in Red Square that day I was overwhelmed.  As a child whenever I saw Russia on TV it was usually on the news.  And in black and white.  The vivid colors of Saint Basil's Cathedral are breathtaking in person.  And I feel so blessed to have been able to tour the inside that day with Spencer and his friend Andrew.