Archive for June, 2010

Southern Midwest

June 28, 2010

As much as we log hours counseling, investing in family integrated churches, and seeking to spread the gospel, we also log hours refilling our tanks for the long days ahead.  We are in the southern midwest, where believers abound, and where Christians reading God’s Word around cafe tables are a common sight.  There is still great need for sharpening one another, and for encouraging believers to total surrender to Christ.  Please pray that God will raise up more workers for the ripe fields in the far north.

Making Ends Meet

June 23, 2010

God surprises us with the many ways that He provides funding to keep the mission going.  Last week, one of the children was asked if he would crawl under all the cabins at the campsite to turn off the water valves.  In return for his work, our remaining nights at the campsite were free.  Thank-you Lord!!!

Faithful in the Little Things of Life

June 15, 2010

Some days I feel like everything I do is just a little inconsequential thing. 

If God gave me those little things to do, am I being faithful in the doing of those things, and in my attitude towards doing them?

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” (Helen Keller)

Finance Friday Report

June 11, 2010

This morning, Colleen and I had our regular Friday finance meeting and looked over what we needed to see come in to the ministry to make budget and to clear all of our normal operating expenses.

This afternoon, a packet of forwarded mail arrived:  just what we determined was needed is what arrived!  It has been a week of much prayer and we are refreshed in our awe of the great loving Father who hears our prayers and knows our every need.

Beyond our normal operating expenses, we still have $3,800 owing medical expenses from our recent illnesses. Today’s mail included $500 designated for these expenses.  Thank-you to our sending church for this generous gift.

 Thank-you to all of you for your continued prayerful support.  We are abundantly grateful to God for taking care of us.

Does your thank-you equal your please?

June 9, 2010

This morning I finished the budget I had been working on for one of the boys.  He’d asked me to put together a parent’s view of a budget for an “18 and older” guy.   Putting together a budget for the boys was an interesting project;  the discussion that followed the budget presentation was even more interesting.

What’s important to this post though, is not that we hashed out a good budget;  what’s important to me is that he expressed buckets of gratitude that we’d done that for him.   He’d asked several times for our input,  and I had his request on my to-do list,  but I had not gotten around to it for more than a month.  He still expressed buckets of gratitude.  Later, when I left to go to town for something, he came by the vehicle and said “thank-you sooo much” again.

Do I do this with God?  Does the intensity of my “thank-you” equal the intensity of my “please”?  Not that there is a formula here, nor that there is a set number of times to say thank-you or to forgive or to request something and then your duty is done.  No, but the enthusiasm of my gratitude towards God for His answer (whatever it may be), and that overwhelming desire to say thank-you to Him again and again is a symptom of the state of my heart.  When our hearts endlessly bubble thank-you praises to God, He does not see them as unnecessary babbling.  We know that God heard us the first time and He loves it just as much when our hearts well up within us and we say thank-you a second and third time.

And a fourth and a fifth and a sixth. 

This is more than the obligatory thank-you card, more than perfunctory praise. This is heart stuff.

And He’s not getting tired of this much praise.

Are you Sharpening your Saw?

June 8, 2010

Six weeks with a splint, and Todd’s mallet finger should be cured (provided he does not at any point remove the splint – if he does, the doctor says the 6 week clock starts all over again).  It was a pricey cure, but a good one, as it means that Todd’s finger will not be bent forever.  There is still a piece of bone broken off and loose in the finger, but he is not feeling any pain.  We are immensely grateful for your prayers for what seems like such a little thing in the big picture of life.

The splint is not keeping Todd from working.  This is a big week of saw-sharpening for us and amongst a great many other things, we are packing the pile of boxes with which we left California:  winter season clothing and books for seven people, a small heater and other assorted goodies that we took out of storage and from the hands of kind friends for use in Quebec (we significantly downsized our California storage).

Saw-sharpening by definition (courtesy of Stephen Covey), which he says is the proactive “habit that makes all the others possible”:

Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree.

“What are you doing?” you ask. “Can’t you see?” comes the impatient reply. “I’m sawing down this tree.”

“You look exhausted!” you exclaim. “How long have you been at it?”

“Over five hours,” he returns, “and I’m beat! This is hard work.”

“Well, why don’t you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?” you inquire. “I’m sure it would go a lot faster.”

“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw,” the man says emphatically. “I’m too busy sawing!”

A Broken Finger

June 2, 2010

Pneumonia is over! Conjunctivitis is over! Bronchitis is over! Flu is over! Rash is over! Today we have only one broken finger, and possibly not even broken at that. Todd has gone to get an x-ray as his finger is currently bent and blue. Thank-you for all of the emails and the prayer and the $500 towards medical expenses!! We are excited to see what God is doing through you.

Summer Memories