Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
They have expanded a lot in size and started sprouting.
While we took a swim today the postman came and dropped off my baby's first five year old birthday present! Oh the time flies. Thank you Aunt Jane for this fun tea party set. We had water, sugar, tea, and apples. We also had LOTS of paper towels. We decided next time the party will be in the kitchen. :0~ They crack me up.
This is our best experiment-The front set of doors in our living room lead out to a very small deck attached to our house. MANY spider webs are home to the outside of this door. We never use this door because the deck off of it is too small and a big tree blocks any view from it. So naturally, I never get around to cleaning it from the outside. Spiders have taken notice of this and choose to set up house there. There are 12 spiders living on the small windows seals currently! Now that sounds disgusting that I have typed it. But it is the best science experiment we have been a part of yet.
There is one of our spiders. He's got a big meal there. a big moth.
At night when we leave our living room light on and the curtain open we get to watch these spiders in their best action. It is very educational and so much more than we can get from books. It still creeps me out though. I think it does all of us but it is so worth it and it gives me more time in avoiding cleaning them out of there! I had to post a pic of what I am talking about because I think the way it is typed sounds rather gross!
After I watched and heard Obama's speech last night I was hoping for something like this. Should be an interesting week in politics.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
There were only three of you who commented so it was an easy random drawing and the winner is Kay. Also, if you want a good read go check out her blog.
When you are out of the country it seems hard to catch up on things. So now I am participating in this tag that I got from both Amy and Micca.
These girls have both been such a blessing to me and my life. I praise God for their friendships and the different things that each one bring to me and my life. I am better off for knowing them. I would have to call them iron because after any time with either of them I feel sharpened. They are a true treasure. The kind that God just allows to fall into your life. The story of how I met each of them is so like God. Maybe I will share it one day. I think that is an especially funny story since they both tagged me at the same time! Anyway, check out their blogs it is well worth your time. They both are women who deeply love God and you are just better off being around them.
Here are the Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you-I did above.
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up
Now for six random things about myself:
1. I love all things international. I would learn every language if I had the time and brain power to do it.
2. A really funny thing to me is that most people say I just exude joy. People also say I am really easy to talk to. Now the truth about what is going on on the inside is I am so stinking nervous to talk to anyone! I am a introvert extreme. However, God always has plans to get me out of my comfort zone!
3. I am realizing that my Starbucks Mocha kick may not be the best thing. It is comparable to a cigarette addiction.
4. I love history. Especially Bible history and all things Old Testament.
5. My favorite music type is Hip Hop so I am so glad for Toby Mac and the like. A girl's gotta get her groove on.
6. This is so sad to admit but the biggest regret I have about being in Malta is that I missed the final episode of "So You Think You Can Dance." That is really sad to admit but I am a SERIOUS fan. :)
So, I am now tagging six people.
Kay at Thrive Christians. Kay has such a heart for the Lord and for people. She is such an inspiration to me. I was blessed to meet her at She Speaks this year.
Susan at Adventurous Living is always a blessing to read. I always come away wanting to grow closer to God. I am interested in her random things.
Mariel at Growing in Godliness is always challenging me to dive deeper in the word of God. Her blog continues to bless me and challenge me to grow in Him.
Sanya at Beams of Light is a real life friend I have met as well. I met her at She Speaks the first year I went. She was glowing Jesus. I will never forget her face. Beams of Light describes her well.
Cheri at Just Another Day In Paradise is always fun to read as well. She is such a good mom, wife, and sister. It is always encouraging and a blessing to read about her family and life.
Susan at Fab Five is a brand new blogger but a real life friend. She is such a blessing to me and has moved away from our area. I do hope her blog will keep us updated and in touch. Go show her some bloggy love.
So no pressure but if you want to do this then I am interested in your responses!
God used Malta to mold me more into His image. It is funny that going across the ocean is what was needed. It really wasn't but God appointed this time for me. I always knew I would be prayer walking nations. That is just one thing that God has called me to. It is a privilege to be able to do this work. I love it so much and to me there is no better thing. But God had even more in store.
When I was looking at the idolatry and the severeness of it, I grieved at first. But unexpectedly and all of a sudden like it always appears came a flood of anger. Now, righteous anger is okay for this stuff does grieve the Holy Spirit that lives within me. But how we handle that emotion is key. I started to get angry with the people who were engaging in this behavior as I typically do. As we were walking along and I was talking to God about it all of a sudden my pastor turns and says, " For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). (My pastor started a series on prayer when we returned and it is really good-you can get the podcast here.)
We were not talking when he said this. He had no idea what I was thinking and feeling. He doesn't know me well enough to know this continual struggle I have. Those words penetrated my heart in a very new way. Not only was God trying to get my attention but He had those words spoken aloud to me through my pastor. I confessed and started seeing those people through God's eyes.
Next I then started beating myself up like I always resort to it seems. God does not want that either. I know this was all more intense because prayer is a big deal and the enemy does not want us praying. I think that is one reason why there are so many distractions when it comes to prayer. Just my thoughts here.
Another day while we were on the island of Gozo where we knew this idolatry was practiced even more strongly, I met this man named Peter with a place called the Jesus center. He was so humble and again God sent him to speak right into my very heart. Though there were several of us with him he starts telling a story to us about how he used to get angry with these people and then what God showed him. Man, get the pattern. God was removing that layer.
I was also reading the book, "Beach Dreams" that I reviewed below. This book also was speaking to me in these issues of love. God will not let up will He? I would have it no other way. It is time for me to shed this layer. In doing that I had to come face to face with the pain I have been dealing with over relationships that have betrayed me. Hard stuff but I feel much lighter. God is good to never let us stay the same. He is good. I praise Him for another measure of freedom to love better. Perhaps others will see more of Him now instead of so much of me. Oh Lord please let this be.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I do not know if you click on this if you can read it any better but this church and in the pic above I am pretty sure is one that is dedicated to Publius who tradition states was the first convert to Christianity on the island. That was really neat. It speaks of Paul's shipwreck too. If you read the account in Acts that is the name of a man who took Paul in.
Here is the fellowship area of the Baptist church. The last night we all had a fellowship pasta meal. These three guys are three that went from our church. There were five of us.
This is an interesting picture of the roads. They really are this narrow everywhere. Very crazy compared to what I am used to. Plus they drive on the opposite side of the road. The bus drivers were the most scary. Man, I am praising God we made it. When you can light a cigarette, make change, print a ticket, and drive all at the same time on these narrow roads I think you have arrived! :) I kept thinking of the Scripture Narrow is the road that leads to life and Wide is the road that leads to destruction. Help these precious people find the narrow road Lord.
Here are some more from Tennessee-a precious couple who made this trip their anniversary present to one another. How precious! Also, the couple in the middle are on full-time duty in Malta. Love it! They were so neat to get to know.
This is our group going into the 24/7 prayer room for the baptist church. It was such a neat room. Prayers were written on the walls and it was neat to see all the places they have been praying for around the world.
Here we are dining with a big group from Tennessee. Great conversation and food. I met a beautiful woman whom I felt like I have known for years! She is a precious mother of three.
Here is another picture of the fellowship area. The worship area is just behind. It is pretty bare bones but they seem to have all they need. They are refreshing because they are on fire and just glad to have other believers around them.
Here is a shot from the international day of prayer services. It did not come out that well. It was a great time. These people's hearts are so precious and they so desire God.
Here is a beautiful shot of the bay. Also somewhere over there is a movie studio. They filmed Count of Monti Cristo and Gladiator among others here. It is so beautiful. The whole island. Love the rich history and people. They really are hospitable like the Bible described in the days of Paul's stay.
This was in a city called M'dina-they make the M'dina glass. Beautiful stuff. But this is a picture of the Maltese cross which is a well known symbol to these people. It became well known when the knights of St John were on the island.
Here we are in one of the biggest cities, Valetta. The view here is so wonderful. You can see so much of the island. A great prayer point. There are many of the Tennessee peeps in this photo too. I think there were 18 of us in all.
This is the big white van-our transportation a lot of the time! We were treated with air-conditioned cars on rare occasion! :)
Here is the tin man-the original (so he says on his card) from the streets of Chicago, USA-There is just something strange about me and a need to take pics with these kind of figures. This girl was the other one on our trip. We had fun together. Big hair and all! :)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Not only was this book a great blessing to me but they also are doing a contest along with the tour. If you participate and the author picks your answer to the following question you not only win a free signed copy of the book but also stuff relevant to the book. It will be a blessing indeed. So I encourage you to participate here.
Just write your answer on your blog and link up to Mr. Linky at the link above.
How has God used a mistake you made-big or small-for His purposes?
Now answering this question for me could take many turns but for this contest I will just say that as a young Christian I married an unbeliever. This is not ever what God desires but through many rough years God used it to mold me and make me more into His image. As I transformed my husband took note and like 2 Peter states, he was "won over by my actions." So he decided to get his life right with God. Now 9 years later he is the head of our home and we both are in ministry work. God used what seemed like a failure and made it for His glory. By His grace. He is so good to us. I praise Him for that. :) So, the part about the sea glass in the story I could really relate to.
Now it is your turn. Would you support a fellow Christian writer? You can check out her website here.
You can order your own copy of the book here.
Check out the other blogging tours here.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Take this pic, sleep deprivation, feeling sick, then loss of luggage and you can see where that post came from! I was delirious I tell you-delirious. But God had amazing things in store on this beautiful island of Malta. More to come. These kind of posts will probably make it easier to explain my trip and all that God showed me during it.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Well I will be back from Malta shortly. Please leave comments and I will review them all upon my return. I really hoped you enjoyed this Bible study. Please do leave me any feedback you have. I am going to start offering Bible studies more often so stay tuned.
To end this one I want to do a giveaway. I think we learned just how important the Word of God is. Because of that I want to give away this book, "How To Study Your Bible" by Kay Arthur. She is my inspiration and has taught me so much about how to study your Bible correctly. This approach to the study of the word is so fulfilling. Also, I will be throwing in one of my devotional books, "Standing on God's Promises" Devotional for Women. Also, I will be giving away some prayer bracelets from Voice of the Martyrs reminding us to pray for China AND a souvenir that I pick up from Malta.
Now all you have to do to enter is lift up a prayer for missionaries around the world and leave a comment. You can enter even if you did not participate in the study.
Regarding, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoiachin, Joseph, and Mary:
1-Name some things that made these people ordinary.
2-What were their main challenges?
3-Of all of the people we learned about though this family line, who can you most relate to and why?
4-Who can you least relate to and why?
9-Take a moment to share you personal testimony with the group.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Well, I guess I can rule out daddy as the culprit.-who could it be?
Interesting strategic laying of the screwdriver and metal piece.
Must have needed a close up. Interesting. Still not sure.
Nice blur pic of random items placed under a table. Still not sure.
Oh could it be-CAUGHT! I know know who did it. I wonder if we have a budding photographer on our hands.
She did really ask me if she could use it-I didn't realize she took so many pics though.
I love you family! I will be home soon.
Monday, August 11, 2008
It is so amazing to see God at work. He is so good to us. Especially in America.
Lord-please forgive us for taking you for granted. Help us to see you in all things.
Did I tell you I love this island. It is so nice here. Everything about it. The one thing that is not so good is it is not good for my hair! This big hair girl cannot go anywhere without a ponytail. Good thing I brought some holders!
Love you all and thanks for praying. Our first day at work was great. Very interesting things going on. I am really loving these people. I can now understand why God "made" Paul stop here. It is a privilege to continue the work.
Me:See we are going from here all the way to here. (using my finger to trace the path on the map.)
Kid: You taking a boat?
Me: Oh, no-we are actually taking an airplane-(impressed by kids thinking.)
Kid: Well you better wear a life jacket.
Me:laughter-(very impressed kid noticed all the water we are flying over and knew for water safety you must wear a life jacket!) :)
Can you guess whose kid this is????????? Sorry only if you live near me you would know I guess. :)
I cannot wait to get back and post all the great pics I know I will have! I am sure I am having fun. If you haven't guessed this was posted before I left as a scheduled post! :)
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Just wanted to let you know all is good. Today was a great day.
We got to go to a Baptist church here. We also got to take communion together.
It is amazing how international this place is. Every tongue, nation, and tribe like Heaven.
Thanks for your prayers-keep it up. You all rock!
We start our work tomorrow.
Friday, August 8, 2008
God is showing me so much and I am journaling it. Thank you for partnering with me in this work by your prayers. God has great things.
Tonight we participated in the international day of prayer services-The first half childcare was divinely appointed to me. I was so blessed by these little ones-Each one so precious. The second half I got to sit in on precious worship and prayer. It is so neat to hear others singing to our Lord in their native languages-every nation, every tongue. The people are so friendly and nice and love the Lord. Please pray for us as we walk the towns to know God's very heart for these people.
Tomorrow we have a free day to relax and see some sights.
Sunday we will get to particpate and worship in the local churches.
Monday we start our walks.
That is all for now.
A Father's love today is rare.
Despite the odds you were always there.
Over the years you truly cared
Even through the decades of
pigtails, pony tails, braids, and big 80's hair.
Girl world can be scary
especially when people stare
but not for you-my rock
who always stood solid and fair
I would not be the woman I am today
if you didn't dare
to be the Father who would show me
everlasting love and unconditional care.
Thank you Dad! I love you-Happy Birthday!
I am in Malta at this time so please discuss among yourselves. The next week's will be posted next Friday as well but I will still be out of the country. I will be excited to see what your thoughts have been.
Regarding Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah:
1-What were some things that made these people ordinary?
2-What were their main challenges?
3-Does it surprise you that throughout this week we saw kings that were so very different? why or why not?
4-Whose kingdom most reflects our nation in your opinion?
5-These kings were very different, but from the same blood line. Do you have an example of how your family line is very different from one generation to another?
6-Do you realize that you are on one side, either God’s or satan’s? Ever think about it that way? Why or why not?
7-Is there anything you need to do to be certain you are on God’s side?
8-Have you ever had your faith tested? How did your respond?
9-Did you think to look at a trial as a good thing? Why or why not?
10-Do you see now how trials can either draw you closer to or further from God?
Give an example of either of these instances in your life.
11-Do you see how the people responded to the leaders?
What are your thoughts about this?
Based on what we learned, how important is it to have godly leaders?
So we arrived yesterday and so far I have to tell you I have learned one thing about myself-I am SPOILED. Seriously. I hit a very low point around 6pm Malta time. If you were praying then I so needed it. I was running on over 24 hours of no sleep only to find my luggage not greeting me at the final destination. Oh no! Is that what Jesus meant when He told the disciples to take nothing with them when He sent them out? But I am a GIRL. :(
All was okay at first. Seriously it was only stuff but then I had to go and starting thinking about it. Not a good thing. Then I started to cross over the crankiness barrier. Oh help me now. Finally I hit the almost no return self-pity place of comfort. I seriously wanted to die.
Things so far have not been as I expected in my Pollyanna mind. Yet God has things He is breaking me still from. Every thing is not PollyAnna and it is about time I start realizing that.
I love all things international. International and PollyAnna do not quite mix. I am learning. So. I FINALLY make it to a bed and start some more thinking. Self pity feels good.
I am able to get alone with God and journal my feelings-dangerous no one wants to tread there. But God is good and He is good with it.
I finally get ahold of my man who I am convinced is my perfect gift of a rock of God in the flesh. Just a piece of Him to me. I think I may change his name to Peter. Anyway, I get ahold of him and he prays with me and speaks to me in the only way any one person in the world can. He points me back to my Father and reminds me of this call He gave both of us for me to be here. God has some big things I have to believe by faith because most likely my eyes will not see them. Oh Lord forgive me for my lack of it. I love my man!
God has given me so many blessings along the way to help with the sleep deprivation factor. Precious people and children. He is so good.
This morning I awoke up to a phone call-it was my bag! Yes. It was worth the migraine complete with aura I had to wake up to. Oh this body of mine!
So if you have beared with me on this crazy rambling post-I want to let you know all is well and it would have been luggage or not. But a new set of clothes is good and I was not looking forward to the underwear I washed by hand in the sink and blow dried! SPOILED I tell you.
Okay well, some serious sides of prayer.
PollyAnna thought that since this is a English speaking country it would be like home. Well I was greatly mistaken-it is so much harder to understand. That is nothing with God so please ask Him to break down that barrier.
Our team was operating on exhaustion-help us to love one another and have one heart and Spirit.
Help us to maintain unity in this work. Five different personalities can present some difficulties.
Pray Satan will be hindered from anything else to distract us.
Pray for the hearts of these precious people and our divine encounters.
Okay well I love you all. I hope you could make sense of my ramblings AND I am not even proofing or spell checking this today-so your getting it raw today.
Bye for now and hopefully I will be back later in the week to post again. Until then I do have some scheduled posts going out!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Thank you all,
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Please pray for safe travels.
Freedom from any illness.
Quickening of the Spirit.
Safety and health for our families.
We will be an encouragement and light to all we are around.
We will be a united team.
That we will overflow with the love of Christ.
We do have a 10 hour lay over in Chicago-pray we will know what God has for us there.
I will be updating you all with pics when I return.
If you are in the Bible study keep on coming back-I have scheduled posts.
Monday, August 4, 2008
This is my man's recreation! If it is not goofing with his family. Then it is playing video games. This is a picture of him in action-it is intense! When he is on he is on. No getting his attention. It is so funny. He is really good though to only play when it does not interfere with the family "most times" :).
This is his stress reliever. I am so thankful for it because when he plays he does with other Christian men who love the Lord. They are a fellowship who use video games as an opportunity of outreach in that environment. The ministry is called Christian Gamers Online. When I say ministry I mean it. They host Tuesday night Bible study across the country and prayer nights once a month. The majority of them are men but there are some women involved. It is a great place for him to be.
To see what others are saying go here.
BTW-if you are wondering about the beautiful background in the gaming pic I will explain. That is our Hawaiian theme pink wall paper (NOT what we picked out but moved into-the bedroom seriously have pink fizz(real name) long haired carpet that we instantly replaced!!) and we try to tear a bit off at a time but it is hanging on for dear life! I think they put it up with super glue or something I have never seen a wall paper hang on that tight before.
We did redo that little room with the toilet and shower behind it but this space with the pink and falling down paper strips is the last we have to finish! I am so ready to do it. I too contribute to the clutter with my massive number of hair products because of my HUGE head of hair. :) Not the neatest looking place but no one ever sees it but us-now welcome world!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
“All Together-Chipped Toe Nail Polish and All”
We were heading out for the wedding. I was dressed very nice. Hair was fixed great. Makeup good. All was in order or so it looked. On the outside things looked all together but were they really? If you examined me closely you would notice one thing undone-my chipped toe nail polish. Very visible because I wore sandals.
Read more here.
My stats came from the book "The Last Christian Generation" by Josh McDowell
Scriptures on Love:
2 Peter 3:9
Scriptures on His Word:
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Ephesians 6-Armor of God reference
Scripture on Modeling( not fashion modeling! :)):
2 Timothy 2:5
Reference to Chip Ingrim message
Legacy Lyrics Nicole Nordeman.
Hope that helps and please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions! In the trenches with you!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
These big boys are pretty scary looking. They are about five feet long. Sandbar and Sandtiger sharks.
Daddy and daughter ready to pet the baby friendly sharks and stingrays-yes this is the same place we took a swim in awhile back. Not intentionally! :)
Here is the shark mouth hand dryers! What a neat place to have a school day.
It is interesting to me that it falls right in line with what we have been studying through our Abundant Grace:Lessons From The Family Bible Study! God's timing is amazing!
Friday, August 1, 2008
You guys are doing a great job continuing on with this study. I just love the rich truths we are learning from each of these lives. God is so good.
Regarding Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, and Asa:
1-What are some things that made them ordinary?
2-What were their main challenges?
3-Are you starting to see the picture of God using ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things? Explain.
4-Does this give you hope?
5-If you could ask God for anything, what would it be and why?
6-How can you prevent your heart from being led astray like Solomon’s?
Psalm 119:9 may help you answer this question.
7-Does it surprise you that consequences of your choices could carry on to the next generation?
8-Do you see how the father’s (or mother’s) sins carry on to the next generation unless someone breaks the cycle? What needs broken in your family cycle or what has been broken?
9-List some ways you can make your heart fully devoted to God.
10-Is there anything in your life that keeps you distracted from God?
If so, what will you do about it?
11-Since nothing is impossible with God, give an example of something that was made possible in your life only by the power of God.
12-Share with the group what person in this week’s lesson stood out the most to you and why. Can you relate to any of them?
13-Notice how Solomon and Asa both took down the foreign altars in the beginning of their reigns but left the “high places.” What impact do you think that had, if any?