Thursday, December 30, 2010


No posts for a couple days - the crud has hit.  I do not remember the last time I felt this bad - heading to bed and plan to stay there for at least a day, maybe longer.  Had planned to clean and sort all day tomorrow - oh well, best laid plans don't always go my way.

Pray for a quick recovery and for no one else in the house to get sick.

See you in a few days.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Muslim and Geography in a Spain Classroom

One more reason why Christians are needed in all of Europe....

an article regarding a recent incident in a geography class in Spain

Gladys Aylward

A friend told me to read the biography of Gladys Aylward, that  I would relate to parts of her story.  She was one phenomenal lady.  She was told that she would not make a good missionary and that the missionary board would not take a risk on her - too many risk factors that she would fail.  So, convinced that she was doing what God called her to do, she set out to find a way to be obedient.  Once she reached the mission field she was determined, creative, and most of all - stayed intimately connected to her Savior.

Looking for a good book to read while the snow melts - find a copy of one of the many versions of her biography or get the movie to watch and be inspired to serve the Lord in a whole new way!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Day of Nothing

We have nearly 6" of snow on the ground and here in North Carolina when it snows the world stops.  Last night all services were cancelled for church today so we had a slow, morning and actually slept in (Hannah slept until noon).  The rest of the day has involved watching church on TV, playing Phase 10 with the kids, eating more junk food, the boys going out in the snow, and consideration of a nap.

All, in all, it has been great to just stop and enjoy family and let my body catch up with rest and refreshment.

Here are a few pictures of the view from our front and back door (pictures compliments of Alex - I still have on my pajamas and thus no picture taking for me).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Two Little Boys

Yesterday I had the opportunity to encounter the Holy Spirit in the parking lot of Costco. Yeah, I know it was two days before Christmas and I should have been avoiding Costco at all costs and that the Holy Spirit is the last thing you would expect to find in the parking lot - but our God is creative and perfect!

Wednesday I got a call from a friend I haven't seen him in a few months, but the last time we had talked he had said he was praying for creative ways to involve his children in our going to Spain. Money was tight and he wanted it to be someway that his young boys (age 5 and 7) understood and were a part.

What he had to say when he called left me overwhelmed with how much God loves me. You see, as a family they had been talking about our journey to Spain and how they could be a part. The boys decided to give up some presents in order to become financial partners. We decided to meet yesterday in the Costco parking lot (half way between our homes) for them to bring me their gift and for me to give the boys prayer cards of their own.

And on the outskirts of the parking lot, I encountered the presence of the Lord. I had never met the wife or boys, but instantly I knew that we were joined together through a love of Jesus. The boys drew us pictures (see below). I gave the boys a letter telling about Spain and life there. As they left, the family promised to regularly pray for our family and for the people in Spain to want to hear about Jesus.

I don't need any more presents tomorrow, this was enough. It wasn't about the size of the check, but instead about the fact that the savior whose birth we will celebrate tomorrow brought two families together in a Costco parking lot for a moment of worship and an encounter with Him. There is nothing sweeter!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is that really in the Bible?

Ever have one of those phrases stuck in your head that you pull out at times of need thinking you are quoting scripture only to find out it really isn't?

Yesterday we got some disappointing news and all day long I kept telling myself to keep my eyes on the goal... even had long conversations in my head about what was the goal - reaching Spain or a relationship with Christ that was deeper and more intimate (yes, I knew the answer was relationship just had to keep reminding myself).  So this morning I decided to find the verse I was so terribly butchering since I hadn't memorized it, only to find out that it was no verse at all.  It was proverbs from life (which of course I butchered too). 

Oh, there are plenty of verses that tell me the same thing - but just one more reminder that memorizing scripture is essential to life - otherwise, all kinds of things that do not necessarily line up with scripture will take it's place.

Hebrews 12:2  "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Praise, Prayer, and Partnership

Our newest Praise, Prayer, and Partnership went out electronically last night (with a few hitches, but got them fixed).  If you didn't receive it electronically, send me an email and I'll make sure you are on the mailing list.  Yes, you can continue to just read it here, but there will be some prayer requests that will not be wise to share on a public blog and I'd hate for you to miss those. We are dependent on your prayers as this journey would be impossible without you!

Watch for our next newsletter in January and follow our first trip to Spain right here on the blog.  This is an incredible journey!

Dec 2010


Ok - so today I decided it was finally time to start getting ready for Christmas - yes, I am aware it is only one week away.  I went to the new Tanger Outlets in Mebane and was quite disappointed.  Found Zach a pair of tennis shoes (he was with me so I'm not spoiling a surprise) and then left for Alamance Crossing.  Found much better deals there!

I had the whole day to myself.  I felt no pressure to hurry up and move on.  There were no crowds.  I was not trying to out give or check names off the list.  It was fun to look for gifts that would mean something personal to each person I was shopping for.  I had saved and budgeted for shopping so it was nice to know what I could spend, not fret over it not being enough, and find good deals.

I must say this new perspective on Christmas and it's real purpose had returned the fun!  Try it - you might like it - a Christmas about memories and meaning - not one about stuff.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Odd Spot in Life

I'm struggling with Christmas this year.   It's an odd season of life I find myself in.  I don't get it and people around me don't get it.  I'm not sure what "it" is.  Christmas, as we have done it in the past, has lost some of it's glitter and glimmer.  Hannah, my Christmas-aholic, is subdued this year.  Alex is content with what he has.  When I've asked them why its different this year, they just say their focus has changed.  It's almost like something has died.

But what is it?  Why is there this feeling in the bottom of my stomach?  Why have tears come so much easier than laughter this season?  Am I losing my mind?

I was listening to the radio in the car and praying to God to give me the words for a narrative I am writing today.  Asking God to make the words that match His heart and the real meaning of Christmas.  Asking God to give me words that those at the service will understand, really understand, why we even celebrate Christmas.  Then the song Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath came on.  I had been praying that exact message when the song began.  I have been praying that God would allow me to see the world around me from His eyes and to be able to put it in words.  I realized God has been answering that prayer and that is part of the season of life I have entered.

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

I have begun, and only begun, to glimpse the world through God's eyes.  I have so far to go and yet just this tiny glimpse has changed my life. 

Most of you think I am referring to Spain.  Yes, I have seen a country of lost people in a way I have never seen before.  Not because I wanted to see Spain that way, but because God answered my prayer.  I keep sharing statistics with you, but I see so much more than numbers.

When I recently learned that Spain has the highest rate of cocaine and heroin addiction in all of Europe I cried.  I saw people who have no hope who have turned away from the only true source of hope to death.  If you know me, I'm not usually all that emotional, yet the tears flowed.  I was just glimpsing at them through the eyes of Christ.

More recently I have discovered a population right here in Greensboro.  The refugees from Vietnam, Burma, and the Congo.  Did I ask to see these people?  No, I asked to see the world from God's eyes and He opened just a tiny window. 

Oh - don't get me wrong.  As I have asked to see the world and people through God's eyes I have seen so many precious things - beautiful creation, the voices of children, the laughter of mistakes, the arms stretched around a hurting one, families, voices of worship, and more. 

The problem with this prayer is that it has shook my world.  My priorities are changing (even more than before).  My heart's desires are shifting.  My calendar looks different.  I feel like I no longer "fit in."  It's just an odd spot in life.  When I began to pray to see the world from God's perspective I am not sure what I expected.  I wasn't prepared to begin to feel like an outsider in my normal circles of life.  I wasn't prepared to be as heartbroken as I am.  I wasn't prepared to become so tender hearted. 

And now I sit, less than two weeks from Christmas, trying to figure out how it all fits together. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Financial Partnership

We received a new monthly financial partnership commitment today.  God is faithful to provide and to meet our needs - in his own timing in his own way.  In addition two new people gave one time gifts.  When all these gifts are registered, we will be at 27% monthly and 40% outgoing.

It is exciting to see how God is continuing to provide.  I haven't talked about financial partnership in awhile, but it continues to be an essential part of our reaching Spain.  We have to be at 100% in both accounts before we can go to Spain. We are still continuing to pray that God will be provide for 50% before we leave for Spain on January 16.

Just a few reminders -

  • SEND is a 501c3 organization - meaning your gifts are tax deductible.  If you are looking to make some final year end donations, would you pray about the possibility of partnering with us?
  • Your monthly partnership does not have to begin immediately - you can turn in your partnership commitment form now and indicate that the partnership begins at a designated time in the future.
  • Your partnership does not have to be monthly - you can partner monthly, quarterly, or annually.  Perhaps each December you would be able to give a predetermined amount or perhaps each April after taxes?  
  • Direct Pay - you can choose to have your partnership automatically withdrawn or you can mail a check.
  • This is partnership - not a bill.  We do depend on your on-going partnership, but we also believe that God knows today what tomorrow holds.  We are trusting that if God impresses upon your heart to become a partner, He knows what financial hurdles are ahead of you and will provide - either for you to be able to give, or for a new financial partner to join us if things get difficult.  No one will be sending you a bill or tracking you down if life changes for you.
  • The partnership form is easy to find on the blog.  Feel free to give the form to us and we'll mail it in for you, or you can mail it to SEND directly.  If you do not turn in the form, it is difficult for SEND to count it in our official partnership.
Thank you for prayerfully considering how you may partner with us.  We look forward to the day that we will land in Spain, with all of our material possessions, and begin a new life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Psalm 25

In you, LORD my God,
   I put my trust.
 2 I trust in you;
   do not let me be put to shame,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
   will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
   who are treacherous without cause.
 4 Show me your ways, LORD,
   teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my Savior,
   and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
   for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
   and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
   for you, LORD, are good.
 8 Good and upright is the LORD;
   therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
   and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
   toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, LORD,
   forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
 12 Who, then, are those who fear the LORD?
   He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
   and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The LORD confides in those who fear him;
   he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD,
   for only he will release my feet from the snare.
 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
   for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
   and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress
   and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies
   and how fiercely they hate me!
 20 Guard my life and rescue me;
   do not let me be put to shame,
   for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
   because my hope, LORD, is in you.
 22 Deliver Israel, O God,
   from all their troubles!

Way of Man or Way of God?

Well, I can stick my head in the sand and I can feel that pit in the bottom of my stomach or I can cling to the fact that the God I serve works according to His ways and not those of man.  I will choose to believe, regardless how much the world and Satan whispers in my ear.

It is not always easy to trust when God's ways are different than man's, but there is such great assurance that comes from knowing I don't have to understand His ways nor trust man's ways. I pray that the day will come when I automatically trust and don't fret first.  What a slow learner I am!

I am reading the book I Will Carry You, The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith (wife of one of the member's of Selah).  It is a book about the relationship she has with her Heavenly Father through the lost of her daughter.  There are moments in the book when I have to stop reading because of the tears of sadness and there are others where I have to stop reading because of the tears from the lessons God is teaching me through her story.  I have never experienced the great grief she is walking through, but I have questioned God in circumstances.  She says at one point in the book "I am pretty comfortable saying He is in complete control until the ground grows weak beneath me.  At that point I tell Him what He should do to fix it.  While I know there isn't anything wrong with asking God to intervene, there is a gentle surrender that I was drawn to in this story (story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus).  Recognize who He is - kyrios (denotes sovereignty) - and tell Him the problem.  Leave the rest to Him.  ..... there is always room for doubt wherever God has made a way for faith."

What about you?  Will you allow Satan to whisper in your ear or will you recognize who you serve?

Monday, December 6, 2010