Archive for May, 2009

Moving Update

May 30, 2009

It was 3 a.m. when at last I was ready to call it a day;  there remains much to be done, though the quietness of the wee hours of the morning was balm to my soul as I sifted through that which was to stay and that which should be packed for our summer circuit.  There were only a few remaining boxes to sort, but each one took significantly longer than expected, and the thinking and praying-through process was sweet indeed.

Today is booked tightly, and all should flow smoothly if we stay on task. Pray that we would each “practice the presence of God” through this last day of tidying loose ends.

Our target date of departure is Tuesday.  The boat leaves at 8, and we will be in line wiping away a tear or two by 7.  We are very grateful to those of you who prayed with us that our kind landlord would grant us an extra day here at Yellow House.  She emailed her “yes” this morning, and we are all breathing a sigh of relief.  The children are talking about perhaps having a bonfire on the beach Monday night, something we’ve not done before but have talked about doing “some day”.

We will not leave, however, until all bills are paid.  This is the green light to go which we have been praying for, and about which we have been writing recently.

A few thoughts follow from a book by a missionary to India:

The devil does not care how many hospitals we build, any more than he cares how many schools and colleges we put up, if only he can pull our ideals down, and sidetrack us on to anything of any sort except the living of holy, loving, humble lives, and the bringing of men, women, and children to know our Lord Jesus Christ not only as Savior but as Sovereign Lord.

Every work undertaken in obedience to a divine command, whether the work be that form of conflict with the powers of darkness that we call prayer, or whether it be the action that follows, leads sooner or later to a new demand on personal devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Thoughts on Prayer

May 26, 2009

Prayer gives us the significance of front-line forces, and gives God the glory of a limitless Provider.  The one
who gives the power gets the glory.  Thus prayer safeguards the Supremacy of God in missions while linking us with endless grace for every need.  (John Piper)

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Things to pray for…

May 26, 2009

This morning the island grasses are brilliant green, though there is a chill wind blowing and walkers have resumed their parkas. The week’s focus is a combination of local ministry, mainland counseling by phone, and further preparation to leave our beloved home.

For those of you praying for us, please remember our children during this time.  Because our landlord is reoccupying her house and plans to live here long-term from this point, this means that we are preparing to say goodbye to our home of five years. Our children have made many sacrifices in these five years, and they have had a tenuous sense of home; our rental house by the cliffs has been an anchor in our family life and work. Knowing we cannot come back here is not only heart-rending, but it makes future residence on the islands uncertain. We look to the Lord for His leading,  provision, and shepherding of all of our hearts.

George Mueller Report:

We praise God for His sovereign care as we wait for April’s bills to be paid.

Windows of Contentment

May 25, 2009

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In our days, there are windows of contentment.  In these moments, we see God in what He has created, in the grace He has bestowed upon our family that our children should be this kind one to another, in the remembrance of all the times God has provided for our needs when we least deserved it.  We are trying to remind one another to “practice the presence of God”, so that in every moment, however mundane the task at hand, we are aware of His goodness, His truth, His bounty.  We take joy in those moments.

In the midst of economic hardship for so many across America, the windows of contentment are free.

George Mueller Report:  The weekly mail drop came today, with $184 and no new bills among the envelopes! We are immensely grateful for every gift of every kind.

The Blessing of Packing

May 23, 2009

Today we made great progress towards completing the annual packing of the house.  The number of decisions we have had to make this week boggle my mind, and now most of them are made.  Most of the decisions involve either creative thinking or emotional release, as well as a lot of number-crunching, space-measuring, itinerary-studying. Can the children do without bicycles or roller-blades for four months?  What about badminton rackets, fishing rods, craft supplies?   

 Some of the easier decisions included figuring out what curriculum to bring for each child, where to put our belongings, how many babydolls and teddies the youngest can take (2 and 1).  Clearing out physical clutter acts as a significant catalyst to clearing out mental clutter.  In the process of removing things from this house, and especially in paring down our life to the bare basics that will fit into a travel trailer, we have to face what is most important in life.  For us, the annual jarring realization that we feel dependent on having books, music, clothing, curriculum, recipe books, photos and so much more at hand for our comfort, growth, or identity moves us to think hard about the possibility of gaining the world we want, but losing our souls to distraction.

Getting rid of distractions frees our souls to breathe. It is a blessing to be called upon to think through one’s possessions to fit a higher calling.

I just came back into the house from a visit to the trailer where Todd and the boys are inventing clever places to put our pared down belongings, and I was told that we’ll need to cut back some more.

Thoughts from a Firstborn

May 22, 2009

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It has been a big year here on these islands. Last night, I lay awake, catching a few moments to think quietly and to pray after the day’s work. I gazed out my window, past the cliffs dropping silently to the beach below, past the lighthouse blinking its faithful light into the vast darkness, to the great shadowy sea beyond, stretched like a blanket beneath night’s velvet sky. Many times I’ve taken the beauty of the islands for granted, but last night, my heart was ful as I drank in the peace and quiet, the slow lapping of the waves against the rocks, the soft sighing of the cool breeze coming in my window, smelling of salt and fish and life. And I thought about the lighthouse, about its endless rotation, round and round and round, sending its comforting beam out into the fathomless night even when all life is stilled in silent slumber. Then there is none to see this light, and none to watch it shine out over the rippling waves; there is none to see it glance upon the glistening rock and know its warning and love the faithful little lighthouse, standing alone atop the dark red cliffs.

As I look back over the last five years, I know that God has been at work, seeking to mold and make us into His own lighthouse; to conform our will to His, so that we might be filled and we might overflow with His light….

Todd is Back!

May 21, 2009

 

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Thank-you for your prayers!  We often do not know who is praying for us, but we know this, that some of you are praying, and that God is answering your prayers. 

The George Mueller Report has been missing from this blog since the praise of March’s bills being paid in full.  April remains to be paid, and now there is May to pay before we begin the summer circuit.

A few thoughts on prayer:

Dr. Roseveare, whose books I have been reading recently, recounts this story: “The night of October 28-29, in the Congo uprising of 1964…at the height of the awful horror of that night, when I was taken, beaten, brutally humiliated by the guerrilla soldiers, I was briefly tempted to cry out, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Weeks later we were rescued.  Months later, after I had spoken at a meeting, a lady came up to me. “I don’t want to distress you, doctor,” she started hesitantly, “but do you remember the night of October 28-29?”  I certainly did. “Were you in special need that night?”  Most undoubtedly I was.  “I went to bed early that night,” she continued, “with a headache. I woke about 11:30” — one-thirty where I was, as the rebels set about to beat me up– “and your name was in my mind.” She did not know me. So far as I know we had never met before, but I was a name on her prayer list. “I got out of bed and down on my knees to pray for you. I went to get back into bed but had no peace, so I woke my husband, and we both got on our knees and prayed for you. Again we went to get into bed but again we had no peace. We stayed on our knees praying for you till one thirty”–three thirty where I was. “We felt the burden lift, and were enabled to return to sleep.” 

“God had met with me in the early hours of that morning.  There had been no special vision or blinding light, just a sudden overwhelming consciousness of His presence and power, a great certainty of belonging to Him and of His concern for me and of His ability to undertake for me, no matter what the circumstances….”

To those of you who are children, perhaps praying for the Adams family in your morning circle time, or in your evening family worship hour, thank-you for your prayers.  And please share with us how we can pray for you, too.  Our God answers prayer.

Out of the heart, the mouth speaks

May 19, 2009

“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love…for a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water however suddenly jolted.”  (Amy Carmichael)

God Answers Prayer

May 18, 2009

 Thank-you to all of you who prayed earnestly about our situation.  God gave us the miracle we asked for! — Todd has his passport and has an airplane ticket for tomorrow morning.  I have been in immigration offices and passport offices on numerous occasions with Todd and have never experienced the kindness and the efficiency of the office Todd experienced in the Regional Passport Agency office  this morning in New Orleans.  He wrote in his enthusiastic email, “The people at this government office were like folks at your local church….” and he went on to say how courteous they were to him.  

Thank-you to our Almighty God for answered prayer!

A Costly Mistake and a Special Prayer Request

May 17, 2009

We’ve made a terrible mistake:  this morning, as Todd checked in at the Nashville airport to fly to Montreal for meetings, he discovered that while he was in Tennessee, his passport had expired, thus the airlines would not allow him to get on the plane. There followed a flurry of phone calls and internet research, both from his end and from our end, to explore his options.  The upshot of all this is that he rented a car to drive 500 miles to the nearest Regional Passport Office (in New Orleans) where he was able to arrange an appointment for tomorrow morning to see about getting an expedited passport renewal.  We’re hoping for a miracle.  The miracle is that he’d be able to get everything taken care of Monday (and not wait up to 14 days, which is the standard time line for an expedited passport), and be able to catch a flight Tuesday from New Orleans to Montreal, then from there use his original ticket for the final leg from Montreal to the islands.  This would truly be a miracle and we earnestly ask for your prayers.  If you know anyone with whom he could spend the night in the New Orleans area, please let us know!

We are to be out of this rental home in 13 days…