Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Newsletter! And a Happy New Year

We recently published our Winter Newsletter onto Facebook and sent them via email (to those who have requested it). If you would like to receive updates to YOUR email, let us know! Just comment to this post or send us an email at

We love you! Yes, you! We hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family.

In my family, our New Year celebration carries the tradition of writing down resolutions and sharing them with each other. Something about new things spark hope and excitement in most of us. Our culture searches for "the Voice" (a TV show about finding musical talent), about music "coaches" (who are stars themselves) on a mission to find an undiscovered and untapped prodigy. Media tells us to try these new diets, new haircuts/styles, new outlooks, new attitudes as the key to unlocking our dreams for success.

I also embrace the atmosphere of "newness" at times. I strive to change the less desirable parts of my character, my body, my intellect, my finances, my social status... I desire to be more like those people I admire. Some of my ambitions may be unrealistic, some are merely difficult. But the new year offers new hope that maybe I will trump the odds and find balance in a state of "higher" living. There is nothing special about January 1st that makes it an easier day to begin the uphill battle of inner discipline, except the mere cultural fact that it marks the end of the past and the beginning of something untouched, undiscovered, and full of mysterious potential.

This year will hold some changes for us. We expect to leave for Kenya before the end of April (see our newsletter for more information about that!); and we will also be celebrating a lot of first anniversaries as a couple. Who knows what this coming year holds!

Since Christmas, I have been dwelling on what my New Year resolutions should be and how I can achieve them. Two I have brainstormed so far:

1) Read through the New Testament within the first 40 days. (You can find reading plans like this online if you want to do the same! Approximately 7 chapters a day.)

2) Develop in three ways: as a Christian, as a wife, as a person. This includes the plan of reading one book geared at the above every other month (a total of six books), and implementing my learning into practice the following month. I am still in the process of collecting potential books to study, so please feel free to offer suggestions!

..... Do YOU have New Years resolutions?


I would like to take this opportunity to share something else, on the off chance that anyone is encouraged by this simple truth.

New Years resolutions are great because for a short time they offer us the hope of change. But you don't need to wait until the first of the year, or the month, or the week to experience change. Jesus Christ, whose life embodies every good thing we seek to have and be as human beings, has already come to this world to SAVE us and make us NEW. You CAN be NEW right now simply by believing that Jesus has the power to change you and accepting Him as your change. The Bible says that if you believe in Jesus, and love Him with sincerity, then you are already in the process of becoming new from the inside out.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 
2 Corinthians 5:17

I encourage you to read ONE chapter every day, starting today, of the book of John in the Bible. If you don't have a Bible available to you right now, you can access it free online here. (You can also find the Bible on several other websites if you type "free bible online" and search). Read the Bible as if God meant it specifically for you, because that's exactly true. And email us if you have any questions! We are just ordinary people in love with, and searching to be obedient to an extraordinary God. We may not have all the answers to your questions, but we will do our best to serve you and direct you to someone or something that can provide the answers you need.

God bless you! Happy 2013!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thankfulness and Desire

Autumn is my favorite season. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

I am a materialistic person. 

Beginning the preparations for Thanksgiving I anticipate the taste of turkey, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls. I cannot image this holiday without those particular food staples. My plans consist of acquiring or ensuring that such foods are purchased, prepared, and ready for consumption come the fourth Thursday of the month. Only then does Thanksgiving feel like the holiday I have always known.

Immediately following Thanksgiving is the preparation of Christmas season. "Black Friday" is a household phrase; a wellspring of savings and fortune for some, an event to criticize for others. Come each Thanksgiving afternoon, I find myself idly thumbing through the stacks of ads from various department, toy, and supermarket stores; and it somehow sparks in me the obsession to find the perfect gifts for everyone.... myself included.

I struggle every year because of this. I feel hungry to buy, hungry to give, hungry to receive. Why? Am I less holy, less "put together", less Christian than the rest? Is it just a personal flaw I have? Am I a mere product of American consumerism, built-in traditions, childhood greed?

1 Timothy 6:6 - 16 addresses this. Seeking material comfort is not a cultural quirk or a personal battle. It is intrinsic in our selfish nature to seek comfort, to seek to build our own kingdom. In fact, it is so strong a desire in us that Paul, when writing to Timothy, warns him with undeniable gravity:

Flee from all this
Pursue righteousness
Fight the good fight of the faith
Take hold of eternal life
In the sight of God... I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame

It is a battle, a desperate call to arms, to abandon self and realign your innermost being to the voice of God. And like most wars of desperation, it demands sacrifice. It demands diligence, the will to overcome impossible odds, to fight a bloody fight of pain and tears and death.... so that self may die and Christ may take its place.

Today I am thankful. Thankful that God chose me to be in His Kingdom. Thankful that He has called me by name to take up arms and fight against myself, my desires and pride. Thankful that he handcrafted me in all my strengths and weaknesses to go beyond my own expectations and imagination to proclaim His story in a world that is starving to know who is Christ? This is the greatest gift of all.

1 Timothy 6:6 - 16 :

Godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Family of His Kingdom

The holiday season is underway which means family time. I'm used to everyone being localized in the Wyoming area for the holidays. This year is exciting since my family has grown and expanded down into the Texas area. We spent thanksgiving in Douglas and will be in Texas with the Loves for Christmas. I was thinking about how next year at this time we'll be very far away in Kenya and yet we'll still be celebrating with new friends. What a blessing it is to have such a large family in God's Kingdom! While in Douglas we had a great time sharing our missions vision with our family at The Gathering Place. It was awesome seeing old friends, meeting new people and seeing the holy spirit at work.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reflections on a Light Switch

This morning, as I was going back an forth throughout the house searching for this and that, I found myself in need of the bedroom light switch. I would turn it on, illuminate my surroundings, find my needed item, and return to the other room to resume my work. Over and over I did this, forgetting one thing at a time, until the task became a tedious one to set aside my laptop, walk down the hallway, turn on the much needed bedroom light switch, and find that one item which had been hindering my progress in its absence.

At one point, I peered around the familiar room trying to turn on the switch without actually watching where it was relative to my searching fingers. I simultaneously searched the nearby area intently while feeling up and down the edge of the switch, anticipating that magic touch that would suddenly awaken the bulbs ahead and allow me to see what I needed to see.

Almost a minute passed before I gave up this pitiful task of multitasking and *looked* in the direction of the switch and the blind, helpless fingers feeling for it. I was less than half an inch away from light, yet without the intentional turning of my head I may have been in the dark for an indeterminate amount of time.

It made me think: How often do I take a situation into my own hands, not focusing my attention on God, thinking I can achieve the goal on my own? How helpless I am without the light of God's mercy! As much as I tried, I could not find Him haphazardly. I had to surrender, to stop everything and focus myself completely on God and then *click* the path before me became clear.

People say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Hopefully God will allow me to recover from my blindness and rest more wholly in Him.

New Journeys

Welcome to our blog! This is a site dedicated to our reflections on life, God, and missions as we raise funds and travel to Kenya to honor our commitment to God and our love of people of all walks of life.