Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yes, we still own a house

We went to the beach for a day this weekend and closed out VBS on Sunday so life is a little crazy, so come back in the next day or two and I'll post something a little more meaningful but wanted to give you an update - we still own a house and the family who was interested we've been told is still interested, just not quite ready, so we continue to wait and to continue to praise God for still being God.

By the way, the house is showing again tomorrow - keep on praying.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


...and yes, we are continuing to wait.  Only word from the last lookers at our house is that they have not made a decision yet, but yes our house is still a possibility.  Will keep  you posted and you keep praying.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Showing Update

We continue to pray that God will sell our house today, but we have also found great comfort and peace in knowing that there is a purpsoe for the delay.  We showed the house to a family for a second time tonight.  They called with some great questions that indicate they are seriously considering the house.  When told why we were trying to sell they indicated that would mean a lot to them.  Wouldn't that just be the icing on the cake to sell our home to a fellow believer who saw the purchase of our house as a way of reaching those in Spain!  We now wait and trust.  If this is the family for our house, I will give God all the praise.  If this is not the family for our house, I will God all the praise.  I may be disappointed and I may wish in my humanness that there was a different answer, but I will rest in the peace and comfort in knowing that God is still God.

Monday, June 21, 2010

2nd Showing Perhaps?

We think tonight's showing of the house is a 2nd showing - so keep on praying! 

We have 325+ children now registered for VBS - keep on praying there too!  It's gonna be a blast!

One more showing

House showed Friday, Saturday, and is showing again on Monday.  I'd love to say that it was showing all three of these times to the same person, but it isn't, but it IS showing!  Keep praying.

VBS starts tomorrow and we expect 350+ children.  We use an online program for our registration management and the server went down early this morning.  It's 8:00 on Sunday night and it still isn't back up.  Pray that the tech people get it back up before too late tonight.  Pray for a smooth morning tomorrow, even if we don't have all all our paperwork in line.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


House showed yesterday and we have another showing at noon today.   Please continue to pray that if this is the time that God has ordained for the sale it will occur.   I am ready for it to sell, but would rather it be in God's perfect timing than mine.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A God Designed Appointment

It is VBS crunch time!  Monday morning more than 300 little children will arrive at Cornerstone ready for an exciting week of music, crafts, recreation, Bible study, and more.  I am responsible for seeing that it is all ready.  I have a great team of volunteers and I couldn't do it without them (although they could probably do it without me).   Yesterday was workday - people were in and out all day and my to do list seemed to be growing instead of shrinking. 

Then at 4:10 I was challenged to get my priorities in line - is VBS about showing the lost the truth of Jesus Christ or about a big production that gets me compliments from the congregation and my boss?  Because amidst the long to do list walks in a beautiful young lady asking to talk with someone about God.

For the next hour plus I got to talk and share and answer questions about the one and only true God that is able to change lives and heal pasts.  She was raised in another religion and has many scars from her past and what was claimed to have been done in the name of "god."  She is searching and scared to trust God or people.

She took a Bible with her and is coming back next week so we can talk some more.  Pray for her today.  Pray that God reveals who He is to her in a way that she can only see as an answer to prayer.  Pray for the courage for her to return next week.   Pray for wisdom and insight on my part to know exactly what to say.  Pray for VBS to be calm on Tuesday so that I can set aside the "to do list" and focus on a hurt and lost heart.  

Thank you God for the reminder of why we really do VBS.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What can $50 buy?

Hannah has her driver's license and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I hear myself constantly saying "Hannah run to the grocery store.  Hannah run get Alex.  Hannah..."  She also has a VISA Buxx card (parents - this is a perfect way to let kids learn about wise use of a credit card without them really having a credit card).  Her allowance is automatically deposited onto this card and I have the ability to transfer funds to it from any computer.  It is very convenient. 

She has been saving for her Honduras trip so her balance on her card had begun to accumulate until I began to send her on errands.  I say "just use your card and I'll reimburse you" but I am slow on the reimbursing side.  Yesterday, I realized she had done two errands for me and I owed her $50.  All she had bought was some painters tape and one bag of groceries.  Really?  How could that equal $50?

$50 sounds like a lot, until you realize how little it actually buys at the grocery store or how quickly you can spend it without ever noticing.  The average monthly supporter for SEND is $50/month.  It sounds like a big sacrifice to find $50/month in a budget to commit to financial partnership.  For some of you reading this it might as well be $500, but I dare say for the majority of those reading this, you too would be surprised what kind of sacrifice it requires to give $50 per month.

I sat there pondering what does $50 look like and here are a few things I came up with for my family:
  • One tank of gas
  • My Direct TV bill
  • Matinee movie for four of us plus a shared popcorn and drink
  • Dinner at Chic-Fil-A twice 
  • A pair of shoes
  • My Sunday night Zaxby ritual 1 1/2 times
  • The four hanging pots on my front porch - that by the way I have already killed
We've had to ask ourselves repeatedly through this journey what kept us from supporting other mission ventures in the past.  The answer we gave was we didn't think we could afford it.  I am slowly beginning to realize that perhaps the real answer was I wasn't willing to sacrifice just a little. 

Will you prayerfully consider becoming a financial partner with us?  We need 208 partners at $50/month.  We have 30. 

Everyday someone dies in Spain without ever hearing the truth about Jesus Christ.  Mormons and Muslims are aggressively reaching Spain with lies.   We are having to cut those things listed above out of our budget to be in the financial situation SEND requires of us.  We're in this together and we understand the cost of this sacrifice.

What about you?  What does $50 look like in your family?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Will we ever grow tired?

Believe me, that title question has nothing to do with physically tired?  Because I crashed last night and do not remember anything that happened until this morning and could still be asleep if it wasn't for our psycho cat that insisted on being accompanied to her food bowl and the fact that I have to go to work.

Instead, I lay there wondering if we will ever grow tired of sharing about the great need in Spain.  We were privileged to share last night with Gate City Baptist Church about our journey and the need in Spain.  As we talked you saw so many people learning for the first time about the desperate need to reach Spaniards NOW.  It was fun and energizing.  Each time we shared we were reminded why God is allowing us to go to.

I could talk about it forever.  At the moment we never grow tired or bored (although those around us may) with answering questions and sharing our journey.  Maybe that is why God directed us to a route different from our original plan?  This route requires us to talk and talk and talk some more about Spain.

Anyone wanna hear a little more?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Father's Day a Little Early

Next weekend is VBS Eve - in other words, starting about Thursday this week I might as well take my blanket and pillow to the church, because I will be there more than at home until VBS is over.  I love VBS and can't wait, but it does require me to do a little planning in advance.

For example, Father's Day is next Sunday - so we decided to celebrate it a little early.  Scott suggested we try the Virginia Creeper Trail again - last time we did it in a downpour.  We waited until Friday to make reservations based on the weather report and then on Saturday morning got up and checked the weather again.  It said 70% chance of rain so no bike riding for us, or so we thought.  We were trying to decide what else to do so we checked it again and it was only 30% - figured if it was dropping it would be just fine for us to go - uh no!

We got ready to go and we were in the car in 15 minutes.  Drove three hours and got fitted for bikes and life was looking good.  Loaded the bikes on the trailer and sat down in the shuttle van and all of a sudden the bottom fell out - it not only started raining, it poured and thundered and poured some more.

By now we were committed (or perhaps should have been committed) so on to the top of the mountain we went.  Then down we came with all the mud we could carry.  It was fun - but it was wet.  People promise me it is even more fun when the sun is shining.  But here is the question - after two tries in the rain will we ever try a third time?

Oh well - we had a great time together as a family and celebrated Father's Day a little early.  Days like yesterday are for memory making - but I must say I am reading for some sunny memories.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dessert and the Journey

We had three families over last night for a sampling of Spanish dessert and a time of questions and answers.  We weren't sue what to expect, and I guess they probably weren't either.  But it was a lot of fun.  We got to talk about Spain, the people there, the journey so far and the journey ahead, and to encourage a young man in his own journey.  I can't wait to do it again.

We served three desserts which Hannah made for us - two were big hits, so below are the recipes for you to try at home.  But here is the fun and interesting thing about Spain and these desserts - these would actually be served as breakfast in Spain.  Cakes, cookies, pies are breakfast foods (see why I can't wait to get there?) and fresh fruit style dishes are served as dessert. 

Magdalenas - Spanish Cakes

Magdalenas are small sweet cakes that are rich-tasting, but light and fluffy.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 4 oz. stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 2/3 cups Unbleached White Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Centigrade). Measure 1/4 cup sugar into small bowl and set aside.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the eggs with 3/4 cup sugar. Beat until the mixture is light. Add Melted Butter and Lemon Zest  In a small sauce pan, melt the butter on medium on the stove top. Or, melt it in the microwave. Make sure that the butter cools slightly and is not bubbling. As you continue to beat the egg mixture, slowly pour in the melted butter, making sure to mix thoroughly. Stir in the lemon zest and milk.  Measure out the flour into a separate bowl. Add the baking powder to the flour and mix thoroughly.  While stirring the egg mixture, add in the flour mixture. Continue to stir until all ingredients are mixed well. The batter will be very thick.  Place paper liners in to cupcake pan. Use a large serving spoon to spoon batter into pan, filling each one half full. Batter will more than double in size when baked. Use a teaspoon to sprinkle each Magdalena with a bit of the reserved sugar.


Place pans on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until Magdalenas have turned a golden color. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before taking out of the pan to cool further.


Orange Cake

Orange cake is a typical dessert recipe from Valencia, where the best oranges are produced.

  • 25 oz cream cheese
  • 6 oz biscuits (biscuits are shortbread style cookies - we used a butter cookie - the kind as kids you used to stick on your finger as a ring)
  • 2 oz butter
  • 2 oz of sugar
  • 3 fl.oz orange juice
  • 10 oz of mandarins or preserved oranges
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Smash up the biscuits and mix them with the melted butter. Put the mixture in a loose-bottomed tin greased with butter and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.


In a separate bowl, beat the cheese, the sugar and the orange juice until you get an even mixture. Pour this mixture into the tin and put it back into the fridge for four hours.


Decorate the cake with pieces of mandarin and chocolate shavings.





Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Positive Feedback so Keep on Praying

We received positive feedback on our house showing yesterday (no, not an offer), so keep on praying.  We are trusting God for his perfect timing and yet at the same time would love for his timing to be today.  I'll keep you posted and you keep on lifting up the sale of our house in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Powerwashing and Prayer Walking

The house is being shown tomorrow and I decided that the front porch, back patio, and wall right outside the sliding glass door needed to be power washed.  So at 5:30 I borrowed a power washer, finished cooking dinner, and at 7:00 headed outside to attack it.

When I first started I was grumbling that it was going to be a late night (as I really needed to be paying bills and folding laundry) but somewhere along the way the Holy Spirit took over (yep, God is even present in power washing) and I began to pray over the house, giving God each spindle of the front porch, the door knobs, the garage door (which I also decided needed washing), the flowers that I had to step around, the water faucet, the chairs I moved around, and more (I'm sure you get the gist of it by now).

Amazing!  By the time I was finished it was dark outside and bills weren't paid and I still will have to go to the garage tomorrow morning to find clean clothes - but I was having a good old time.  I had a whole new attitude about the time I had spent outside and am at peace with the house showing tomorrow and got a clean house to boot!

Perhaps I should try this with all my housecleaning.  :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Convert Baptisms up 81% in Spain

Don't go celebrating that headline yet.  It's not referring to Evangelical Christian baptisms, but the Mormon Church saw an increase of 81% in their baptisms from 2008 to 2009 in the Barcelona area.  It boasts that 2009 was it's most successful year in 20 years.  There were more than 402 baptisms that year.  In addition to the Barcelona area, their other focuses in Madrid and Malaga have celebrated great success.  (information taken from a LDS blog)

Are we ready as believers to wake up and get busy reaching the world?  Or are we too comfortable in our own homes and belief that someone else is doing it.  Well, guess what - someone else is doing it and it isn't Christians.  We are at a crossroad - we either need to get serious about sharing Jesus or admit that we don't care that false religions are winning the world for hell.

Now before you think I am preaching to you, here's the truth - I am preaching to me too.  Yeah, we've surrendered to missions and we are trying to sell our house and prepare to leave for Spain.  I've been in casual mode - no urgency to get there, no need to do things outside my comfort zone - just kind of sit back and let life proceed at its own pace and we'll eventually get there.  But as I pondered that blog I realized everyday that I sit here waiting on progress someone is being convinced that a lie is truth. 

It's time that I get busy - so be prepared. I promise no Amway style tactics, but we need partners and the only way that happens is for people to either volunteer or be asked.  We made less than 5% progress towards our financial partnership in the last 6 weeks.  At this rate, we should reach Spain around 2015.  There is a greater urgency than that.

How about you?  Are you ready to reach the world with the truth or continue to let the Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and other lies get there first? 

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15

Friday, June 4, 2010

ALL your cares

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall" 
Psalm 55:22

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 
1 Peter 5:7
Carefully read those two verses.  We Christians (or at least me) tend to miss an important part of these two verses.  We teach about who to cast your cares on and we teach about why God is trustworthy of your cares,  but I am firmly convinced we make these verses so "churchy" that we miss the "what we are to cast." 
I know I tend to keep some things for myself, not because I think I can handle them on my own, but because they aren't "spiritual" enough to be cast upon the Lord.  There are times I have cares and anxieties that I need help with that have nothing to do with faith, worship, belief, miracles, or anything else we talk about in our "christian lady circles."  There are times I have cares and anxieties about the details of my daily life and I forget to cast them on God.
Today I was reminded that God does care about ALL our cares.  We had arranged with a company to work on our wood floors.  I talked with the owner.  I talked with the estimator.  I read reviews online.  I went and saw a house where they had done the same kind of work and I agreed to have them come today.  I arranged to work from home and Hannah had to go to church for childcare so this allowed for a wonderful blessing - an extended, uninterrupted quiet time. 
I had awoke with an unsettled feeling about having the floors done but figured it was just because I am a tight wad in regards to what we are spending to try to sell the house.  I even had time to write out my prayer time this morning and I asked God to stop the floors if it wasn't something we should do.  I felt guilty asking for it, but since I have surrendered the house to Him it hit me the floors were already his anyhow.
I felt guilty because I have so many other needs right now related to growing my faith, directing my path to the mission field, what to share on Sunday with the children, and more.  But I asked for there to be a miraculous stop of the work if it wasn't the right thing to do.
And then he began to move - the tech called to say they were going to be about an hour late and had thought the owner had actually already called.  I hate late service techs.  I find it very unprofessional - especially when I am the first call of the day.   This being late prompted me to do a little more research and I found some reviews that were not real promising.
Then the tech finally arrived.  He looked at our floors and told me there was a 50/50 chance we would be unhappy with the outcome of the process on our floors and that our only option at that point would be to totally rip up the floors and start over.  He then says "if we don't do your floors today we won't get paid for working today, but I think you would be making a big mistake to have them done."
I realized right then that God does care about everything - not just what we consider spiritual stuff - all the yucky cares and anxieties.  My hope is that I never miss that part of either of those verses again.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quote to Ponder Today

Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.(Let the Nations Be Glad, Piper 2003)

Missions exists because there is no worship in all nations and tribes in the world.

(quote taken from Scott Talley's Blog)