Archive for September, 2008

Sunday in Indiana

September 29, 2008

Autumn Gratitude

September 25, 2008

Geese wend their way south across the autumn sky. Tall corn stalks wave in the breeze, their leaves a golden brown. In a few days, we will be back in Quebec, our summer work done.

In the meantime, we are not slowing down. Todd and our oldest son came home after midnight from an excellent meeting here in rural Indiana. This morning, Todd is out again, meeting with another leader in town. These are invigorating meetings for a counselor who loves to see progress, and there is definitely spiritual progress happening. Thank-you for your continued prayers.

Good news still on the George Mueller front: there’s plenty of gas in the tank, food on the table, and gratitude towards God in our hearts.

In the early evening, as we sit around the picnic table outside, enjoying the cool air and the last of the season’s watermelon, our read-aloud has been The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How my Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less. There is much to point our hearts in a grateful direction: this book (despite its need for heavy editing), this weather, these people, and you.

Thank-you for being in our lives.

Cropping for Better Focus

September 24, 2008

This photo, of a little friend in Illinois, is a cropped photo. What you don’t see would have been a distraction. I am praying that God will help us to keep cropping our lives so that we see only Him and His goodness ahead of us and we would eagerly (and sometimes methodically) press on towards Him. Worries, peer pressures, desires for things, tomorrow’s bills are all distractions that keep us from total focus on the awesome power of God.

When we left the home of friends in northern Illinois, we drove to a parking lot less than 10 miles away to regroup. We had some gas money, but still nothing to pay the bills, and were we not going to wait to go on if the bills were not paid? My heart felt cluttered with distractions even as I tried to pray. There was a lot of discussion in the vehicle as we sat in the parking lot. Then Todd picked up the blackberry (thank-you church back home for this marvelous gift of a way to pick up our email en route), and read this message:

“I have to tell you a story that goes along with God’s provision for you. I only clicked the button once for a $200 donation. When the emails came back from Paypal there were two separate ones for $200 each. When I told [my husband], we both saw it as God’s will – He wanted you to have $400, so that’s what you got. We are always so amazed at what He does, it’s so fun to be His vessels. I pray you will get back home safe and sound.”

Thank-you, Lord, for your provision just when we needed it.

God has taken us safely to Indiana, where we will be until the end of the week. There are meetings planned for every day, including a very significant meeting of leaders tonight, for which we ask prayer. Todd is asking God for much wisdom as he speaks to the men.

The George Mueller Report is all good news! There is gas in the tank and there is still half a bag of fruit and other goodies given to us by the generous folks in Illinois.

The Eleventh Hour

September 21, 2008

Check-out was at noon today. Our two oldest sons had come back to the trailer from their study room 15 minutes prior to check-out, and we were discussing the topic of God’s will (again). All signs said, “stay”. Mail won’t arrive until next week, and there was no sign of any other gas money en route. Though gas money wouldn’t pay for the bills that came in this week, it would allow us to move 150 miles northeast (without incurring new debt) to a dear gathering of believers who have been on our heart for days.

Just as we were concluding that we should stay, and Todd was about to walk out the door to pay for another night, he checked messages. In the eleventh hour and the 55th minute, $200 came in via paypal. Thank-you God, and thank-you dear friends. We’re on our way!

Life on the Road: Part 2 – The View from the Ground

September 21, 2008

Whenever the horse is in the oat-free zone, we have space to think and to view the world from the ground level. There are great benefits to God-directed journey-stoppage: we have had opportunities for evangelism, discipleship, fellowship with new believers, and long-distance counseling hours that we would not have had with the horse well-fed. The life of the circuit rider is not completely a story about moving from place to place; it is also a story about life in between moving. The spaces in between road time try us because they test our dedication to truly having God’s plans (and not ours), and they stir the pot of discussion: issues like contentment, direction, relationships, God’s will, rise to the top of the pot. We discuss the principle-based life, the ebb and flow of funds, true tests of character, and examples of those who have gone before us. Why was Paul stopped from going to Asia? Why did God test George Mueller for a three month stretch? What would the Pent family have done in our situation?

The Pent family, made famous by their book, Ten P’s in a Pod, have been a huge example to us. One morning, as they were getting on the road again for yet another leg of the journey, Mrs. Pent said to her husband: “’Do you really think we have enough money to get all the way to Winnipeg? It’s fifteen hundred miles, you know.’ With both hands firmly grasping the steering wheel and shoulders squared, he set his countenance solidly and with only the slightest trickle of rebuke said, ‘My dear, we have enough money to go as far as God wants us to go. My calculations tell me we’ll get these eight kids and the three cars about half way. From there on, I don’t calculate, I just trust God.’”

The Horse Has No Oats

September 20, 2008

Who would ever have thought that we would find ourselves in this situation for the fourth time: first Klamath Falls, then Grapevine, then Arkansas, and now Illinois. Now, in the midst of September, with only two weeks to go before we reach the end of the summer circuit riding, we again find our horse with no oats.

So what does it all mean? What is God trying to teach us? — (all of us, for we are in this together, as our prayers meld into a single desire before God that we would be in the center of His will). The end of breakfast flowed into a fascinating discussion of God’s will, a not uncommon theme, as we have children nearing courtship age and we are walking a knife-edge-narrow path of faith in our ministry.

What then do we know for sure? We know that we have been called to worship Him who has saved us from our sins. We know that we have been sent into ripe harvest fields to give of our time to those to whom the Holy Spirit directs us. And we know that despite all of the hours we put into crafting our itinerary, and into anticipating appointments ahead with those who have requested counsel, our plans must be put aside – with grace – if God calls otherwise. This is where the rub is: do we have the grace to accept God’s plans over ours? (“For my plans are not your plans…” and “a man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps”) What is our response when God says “no”?

There are a million things for which we are thankful to God, and we are concentrating on those things.

Birthday Week

September 18, 2008

We are enjoying our family tradition of Birthday Week, which means that birthdays are recognized for a whole week instead of just a day. Our Littlest One, now 10, asked this morning if Birthday Week meant that she could do without Math until the week was finished?

Now she is sitting at the little trailer table humming, pencil poised over said Math book. Math is actually one of her favourite subjects, but it is sunny this morning, with a marvelous autumn breeze that makes children want to go outside to run and play.

George Mueller Report: We are still in the Quad-Cities with 58 miles of gas in the tank and more than 58 miles to our next location. If you live within visiting distance, please drop by as we’d love to see you (call or email for directions to this site).

Birthday Girl

September 18, 2008

Birthday Girl turns 10!

Life on the Road – Part One: Where the Children Study

September 17, 2008

Around 6:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, the boys move the vehicle contents into the trailer. Three narrow bunks become a warehouse for musical instruments, and two rows of vehicle seats become Adams’ Study Hall/Law Library.

We’ve had excellent meetings this month, and now we’re in the Quad-Cities area of Illinois.

George Mueller report: vehicle readiness: 132 miles worth of gas; bank status: living on the edge; expected mail drop: Wednesday afternoon.

Quote one of the boys showed me this morning: “My life is but the weaving between my God and me, I only see the colours He weaveth steadily. Sometimes He weaveth sorrow and I, in foolish pride, forget He sees the upper, and I, the underside.”

Verse to live by: Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.

Peoria, Illinois

September 14, 2008

We’ve made it through heavy rain to Peoria yesterday, and will fellowship with believers this morning. More news later.