Archive for July, 2008

Salt Lake City

July 28, 2008

After a few short weeks in California, we are again on the road, and we feel refreshed by the kindness, enthusiasm, generosity, and fellowship of so many likeminded believers. We wish that we could have seen everyone on our list, or even everyone on our short list, but in the end, we answered as many specific invitations as we could, and we determined not to stress ourselves with more than 5 appointments in any one day.

The post-California discussions on the road have been terrific. I will include snatches of these in subsequent posts.

On the George Mueller front, we have gas and food for the day, and we are resting in God’s leading. Last night, as we sat around the little table in our trailer, the door open to bring in the evening breeze, a camper from the UK at a site close to ours came over to ask if he could give us provisions since he and his buddies were taking a flight the next day. We’d never met the fellow, and I’m sure he did not know what a blessing this unexpected “manna” was! This morning, he came by again (twice) with more food. God has blest us with more surprises than we could ever imagine on this journey, and the more He provides in this way, the more I realize what a mistake it is for us to ever feel anxious.

Praising God for His attentive care,

Heading into the valley

July 11, 2008

An update by one of the boys:

We leave in a few minutes to head west and south, and should be at our base before dusk.

We’re anticipating a couple of hectic weeks in the central valley, filled with ministering, reconnecting, and refueling for the work ahead.

Yesterday we woke to a fine mist of smoke that worsened into a pall by late afternoon. The tangible smell of smoke and the dull red glare of the sun spoke of the destruction of forests afar, and we were glad to settle into our trailer for the night, safe in the protection of our Lord.

A few nights ago, we awoke to the ominous groaning of the trailer blocks; the trailer was slowly creeping forward. We were out with flashlights in a jiffy, and realized that the trailer, parked on a hill with too few blocks, and unhitched from the sub, had begun to shift. The blocks under the front jack were groaning on a 45 degree angle, with the wheels halfway over the only wheel block. We managed to lower the front onto the sub’s hitch, and from there, stabilized the trailer, reblocked, and turned in for the night. We’re continually grateful for the Lord’s hand on us in situations like these.

The flowers of good

July 9, 2008
flowers from the farm in Indiana

flowers from the farm in Indiana

The children were gone on errands with Todd for much of yesterday afternoon. They came back with stories of how hot it had been (the sub said 113), where they’d “eaten out” (some place with an “incredible salsa selection”), and what they’d talked about. In between pages of Wills & Trusts, and discussions of rock climbing, there was still much to talk about from the morning’s Matthew.

Today, mid-way through breakfast, Matthew 22 came up again. More talk about election, calling, are people in forgotten jungles called?, can you resist grace?

From our base in Placerville, Todd goes out tomorrow for two meetings: one in Sacramento; one north of here along a country road that flanks the Sierras…we will talk him into being home for birthday dinner. He and I sat on a picnic table under dark, hazy skies last night, reconnecting soul to soul, making plans.

All plans are under the Master’s watchful eye. We await His approval, His provision. In our fridge is food given from the generous hand of another of His children, and in our vehicle is petrol which could never hold a price too high for Him to provide.

We are abundantly, overwhelmingly grateful to Him for His calling.

Eyes on the Shepherd

July 8, 2008

Eyes on the Shepherd

Eyes on the Shepherd

And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know his voice…My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…

Eternal direction for the day

July 8, 2008

So very much to do today and only so much time to do it in. I am reminded that for the homeschool parent, who has no space in the day in which children are whisked off by a yellow bus to a vast institution of learning, every minute is a minute to breathe life lessons into the eager minds of our children. And because there is a limit to our time, we must wake each morning with a plan –His plan, for these are His children we have been granted the stewardship of; to know His plan we need to know Him. To be in touch with Him. To seek His face daily, hourly, to know the purpose He has for each child, for us. I must etch His plans into my calendar, penciled so deep, with such intentional pressure, that I do not lose sight of them and fill up the minutes of my day with busy, important, but not eternally important, memories. I want to be so close to Him that I can hear His heart, that I hear in His voice those things that make Him sigh, that I can rest in His presence, not hurried to get out and about to do the myriad tasks my brain has listed while scurrying through yesterday.

His Day. The Lord’s Day, everyday.

We are in Placerville, basking in the heat of California’s summer. Around the breakfast table, we talked about Matthew 20, whether or not the Jewish people were part of the elect, and what our agenda for the day held.

Thoughts on the Road

July 8, 2008

We spent the night in a big open field under a smoky California sky. It was hot –really hot– and the mountains felt close. In the late evening, when the air began to cool, I walked on the field with a child, and we turned over the soil of her heart and planted fresh seed.

One of the blessings of long days on the road is the time to think. Children studying in the back seat; Todd driving and praying; I am caught between list-making, reading, thinking, and it is the latter that changes my life.

Someone recently asked me what we do for family worship. Family worship? We don’t have it. Not in the conventional sense of a set-apart time every evening — a tradition that I respect highly. We do something different, something that works for our family. We weave God in and through our day. He is there in the early hours when I come downstairs from our peaceful sleep to find a collection of children on the chesterfield, each with open Bible. He is there in our conversation when Todd reads the Bible at the breakfast table, and He is there when the children seek to understand their many theological questions –questions and comments that twist through the pass-the-salt and the what’s-on-the-agenda-this-morning bits and pieces of the first and second meals. When a boy picks up a guitar at mid-morning to pick out notes that minister to my soul, or when dinner at dusk turns into a discussion of political news filtered through Scriptural principle, and evening read-aloud gently morphs into biblical discussion, I see the needle of God’s handiwork piercing the fabric of our lives in ways we could not manufacture on our own. This is our tradition, letting God guide us through a practicing of His presence in all the little and the large moments of our days.

In ministry news, we are beyond Mariposa, travelling north along the Sierra Mountains. Our bills are paid. We have much for which to thank God.

In Visalia

July 6, 2008

We woke up this morning in Visalia, after a very full day in the Central Valley.  Highlights of the day:  visiting with great friends in person!, finishing exams, seeing baby Joe (the one we wrote about who is in hospital)!, and getting our mail. 

We’re going to be in the southern end of the valley and in the foothills for the next few days, and then we’ll head into the Modesto area by Friday, Lord-willing.

On the Road Again

July 3, 2008

Living the Word, breathing the Word, letting it settle into the crevices of our souls. God is shaping us through daily reliance on Him. We often do not know from where He will supply the “manna” for our days, but we do know that He will provide, and that He has promised to lead those who trust in Him.

Three cheques have come in since we last wrote. Three cheques from people who do not know each other, and who did not know the amount of our unpaid bills. When the third cheque (a direct wire to our bank) came in this morning, we eagerly pulled out our worn accounting book to record the entry: the total of those three entries came to $10 short of what we needed. How incredibly close, we thought. Then I remembered the $10 cash in my purse. God is so faithful to meet the needs of those who cry out to Him.

Tomorrow morning, the 4th of July, we will arise to sounds of an early alarm clock…we’re on the road again.

Content in His will

July 3, 2008

Content if we are here, content if we are on the road heading south to loved ones.

God has blesst us with several financial gifts today, and though our bills are still not paid in full, our hearts are full of love and gratitude.

Thank-you friends for your many prayers!

The Kindness of Friends

July 2, 2008

One of the wonderful gifts in the recent box from friends was a capo. When you live on isolated islands on a shoestring budget, you get used to being grateful for every little thing you own, including a piece of wood discarded by our landlord that could become a makeshift capo. Also utilized in its construction: boot strings and a section of the boot bottom. Boots that were once all over Clark’s Fork, the California Buttes, and Del Puerto Canyon were carefully dismantled, so that the leather could be used for a knife sheath, and the rest for the capo.