Wednesday, October 31, 2012

beautiful friendship

 We are treasuring these special times with dear friends.
I wish we had a photo for each of those times...

But even if we didn't capture all of it in photos,
we're collecting lots of special memories of you.
Somehow knowing our time with you is temporary
makes us treasure it even more.

nervously waiting together for an examination

“. . . the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power 
over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.”
Mary Shelley

it's so good to be with you for a little while, friends!!
“Words are easy, like the wind; 
Faithful friends are hard to find.”
William Shakespeare

out to coffee...

and a birthday lunch! thanks, friends!
 “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
C.S. Lewis
Tim and Michael at the hayride; photo by Kay!
“A friend is one that knows you as you are, 
understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, 
and still, gently allows you to grow.”
William Shakespeare

publicly professing your faith...what a wonderful day!
 “May your adventures bring you closer together, 
even as they take you far away from home.”
Trenton Lee Stewart

happy belated Birthday, Cindy!! ♥

“…I'm so thankful for friendship. It beautifies life so much.”
L.M. Montgomery

and girlfriends at the thanks to Kay!
Thank you, friends,
for adding so much beauty to our lives.

“In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. 
In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, 
a few more miles between certain houses, 
the choice of one university instead of another...
the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--
any of these chances might have kept us apart. 

But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, 
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," 
can truly say to every group of Christian friends, 
"Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." 

The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste 
in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which 
God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
C.S. Lewis

Monday, October 29, 2012

roaring and tumult

 O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth

and of the farthest seas;

who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth 
are in awe at your signs.
Psalm 65:5,7 and 8 

Standing in awe of God's power today, as Hurricane Sandy hits 
the east coast of the United States 
 and we are reminded again of Who is really in control.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


...once more, for those of you who are praying with us (THANK YOU!!)

We are giving thanks that my sister, Lois, came through surgery successfully. 
 Please pray for her continued recovery.

We are also very thankful to have heard that
Kuya Ronnie has been released from the hospital, and is slowly recovering at home.
Please continue to pray for healing for Ronnie as well.

“I have been driven many times upon my knees
 by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. 
My own wisdom and that of all about me insufficient for that day.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Monday, October 22, 2012


Please pray with us today for our Filipino friend, Kuya Ronnie
(pictured below with Michael)
who is in the hospital right now with dengue fever.

Ronnie is in a very critical condition with an extremely low platelet count, 
and needs a blood transfusion.
But the blood bank is closed for another 6 hours.

10/23 - Ronnie has been receiving transfusions today, 
thanks to blood donations from some of the others in the church.
We still don't know if his platelet count is rising, so please continue to pray!

Dengue is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus, and is spread by mosquito. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles.

In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening fever, resulting in bleeding (Ronnie's gums are bleeding) and low levels of blood platelets like in Ronnie's case.

Please pray with us also for Barbara's sweet sister, Lois, who has been in the hospital for a week.
She was admitted with blood clots in her lungs,
but has stayed on with other complications including heart issues.

Lois and Barbara in June 2012
Thank you so very much for your prayers.
We know He hears...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Friday, October 19, 2012

feeling ready

"Just twelve more weeks!" they said.
I think that means that our children are feeling ready to return to our home in the Philippines.

And their readiness helps mine.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

then and now

Yesterday our family took a day-trip down memory lane
to Jekyll Island, a spot that we enjoyed so very much in years gone by.

Not only did we have a fabulous time soaking up all the beauty,
but we found so many happy memories there...
and we made even more to take home with us!
Years ago we started bicycling the island with three year-old Michael in tow behind us. (Top L)
This time we loaded up borrowed bicycles in a borrowed truck (thank you, Mr. and Mrs. V!)
and Michael was the one to unload them and pop the front wheels back on. (Top and bottom R)
We must have biked 15 miles yesterday.

We stopped at Driftwood Beach,
a mysterious graveyard of dead wood
that always held a fascination in younger years (Amy, 7 years old, top L)
and is still fun to explore today!
We just had to pause for a round of mini-golf, 
and we all agreed that it's more fun now than ever before.
(Even though Mark won, like usual...)
At low tide we went down to the beach,
looking for the sandbar we remembered that seemed to stretch out for miles.
It was still there.
And it's still gloriously beautiful.
Last but not least,
we paid a traditional visit to the Island Sweets Shoppe,
on the grounds of the breathtakingly lovely
for an ice cream cone before heading back home.

Very sweet memories!

... all our thanks to you, Mr. R. for the gift of this special day!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

He did good

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

We woke this morning to chilly temperatures...
a reminder that autumn is truly here.

 It's our first real autumn in four years,
and the leaves, just beginning to change color,
look all the more vibrant;

pumpkins painted by Amy
 autumn crafts are all the more special,
warm sweaters are cozier,

 and autumn smells and tastes are that much more delicious
because we haven't enjoyed them for so long.

How thankful we are for this opportunity to experience all over again
this stunning idea of God's,
the change of seasons...
reminding us of His unchanging faithfulness
through the passage of time!

"...He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, 
satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 
Acts 14:17

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

presuming on riches

How little it takes sometimes
to bring a bit of joy to a child's life.
As we've worked to build bridges of trust and of kindness
with little ones who come to our gate in Davao,
we see faces light up, and smiles beam.

But kindness
is sometimes taken as a right.
Thanks are neglected.
More kindness is demanded the next day.

How do we impart something of God's love
without creating unhealthy expectations?

We have no easy answers.

Then I read in Romans words that humble me.
Words revealing that God faces
the exact same challenge with me.

Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness
and forbearance and patience,
not knowing that God’s kindness is meant
to lead you to repentance?

Romans 2:4

How often does He also bring joy to my life,
prove Himself trustworthy,
demonstrate kindness?

And yet I, with ingratitude and with an attitude of entitlement,
presume to look for more, and more, and more from God
instead of responding with thanksgiving
and a change of heart and action.

In His faithfulness He uses even this
to teach me more of His goodness...

*edited from the archives 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

powers of good

Last Friday my family helped me to celebrate another birthday;
one more milestone along this path;
a spot to pause and look back with reflection 
on God's goodness through the year.

My girls went out for a special coffee with first Pumpkin Spice Latte ever! ♥ yum!
What a celebration!  Even delicious Dominoes pizza!
And my two men serenaded me with a Happy Birthday was fabulous, guys!
Two stanzas of a poem written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
found in a biography I just finished on his life,
keep rolling around with all the reflections in my mind...

Powers of Good
 With every power for good to stay and guide me, 
comforted and inspired beyond all fear, 
I'll live these days with you in thought beside me, 
and pass, with you, into the coming year.

While all the powers of good aid and attend us,
boldly we'll face the future, come what may.
At even and at morn God will befriend us,
and oh, most surely on each newborn day!

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, December 1944

                                     May we all celebrate His nearness with each newborn day!