Monday, October 27, 2014

long ago and far away...

Long ago, on an island far away, a man named John wanted to be able to read God's Word in the language he knew best. It troubled him that other Christians could not read it at all; that only very educated men could read the Bible in the elite Latin tongue. John recognized that false teaching and theology were rampant in the church, and realized that the ignorance of the common people was causing serious problems for the Christian faith. 

Even though John’s own language was considered inferior and vulgar, John firmly believed that the Word of God, as the only norm for Christian faith, should be accessible to the poor and less educated people as well. The religious men of the day labelled John as a rebel, as he and like-minded friends translated the Bible into the language that we now call English around 1384.

"Englishmen learn Christ's law best in English.
Moses heard God's law in his own tongue;
so did Christ's apostles."
-John Wycliffe

Aren’t you thankful that John Wycliffe was willing to brave public opinion in order to translate the Bible into our language?  Can you imagine only hearing the Word of God in Latin from the pulpit each Sunday morning, waiting for someone more educated to explain its meaning to you?

Today, more than 600 years since John gave us the Bible in English, 
there are still over a billion Bibleless people.  

 Stop and think about that.  

 One billion people who have yet to read God’s Word in their own language,  
or to learn for themselves the truth of the Bible as the only rule for Christian faith.

May we be faithful not only to share the Gospel, the saving knowledge of Christ with the world, but the whole counsel of His Word, the only means by which the church will grow in faith and obedience!

"Christ and His apostles taught the people
in the language best known to them...
believers should have the Scriptures
in a language which they fully understand."
- John Wycliffe

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


"Are you all settled in?"
The question is in place of knowing what else to say to a family 
who has reappeared in the community after a long absence.
Settled in? 
Well yes, in terms of physically being settled in, it really didn't take us long,
 since we brought so little with us!

In other ways we feel a little less settled.
This house is our dwelling until the summer;
after that, we are waiting to see how and where God leads us.

Mark is on a learning curve as he begins his new work,
and we're all learning to adjust to a very different family dynamic with Amy and Elise at college.
Life here is good!  
It's not quite so varied and unique as it was in the Philippines,
so our blog posts have been few and far between.

But look soon for a new emphasis here at the blog, 
as we begin to focus a little more on the new work that we are doing, 
and on the people God is touching throughout the world.

 For today, just a quick update of what we've been up to in addition to our work...

Michael and Mark stormed the Dollar Tree for sheets of foam board,
commandeered the dining room,
and engineered new r/c airplanes during the lengthening evening hours.  

Then they flew those planes last month at an r/c event that they'd been looking forward to all year.

 Michael had the opportunity to help in a larger community build during the event
in which they actually flew a microwave.  
Ask him about it!  
Or watch a video about it here, in which you just might see Michael
 in a sped-up filming of the wing build!

As well as more riveting home school studies like Geometry, Grammar, and Geography,
Michael is also learning some Electronics during his first year of high school, 
mastering the soldering iron in his most recent lessons.

 Elise and Amy (above) are studying hard, making new friends, 
and learning the football culture of the south as they attend college football games
and participate in the RUF intramural flag football team.

 Meanwhile, Michael simultaneously learns about the football culture first-hand,
playing the season with a local Christian school's flag football team (above, Michael's #6).

The guys practice at the gorgeous Forsyth park in downtown Savannah...

where they played and prayed together, and enjoyed an undefeated season.
Way to go, guys!!

Amy and Elise with friends at a university fellowship retreat this month

God is good, and we're giving thanks for this season...
And i've been dabbling in watercolors...just for fun...

...settled in the unchanging, steadfast love and grace of God
which remains firm and sure despite all other change!

How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
Psalm 36:7

Friday, October 10, 2014

another year of His faithfulness

It's that time again, to mark another year of God's faithfulness.
Two weeks ago I celebrated another birthday...very different from my last one,
but still so very good.
Michael's gift to me was a beautiful flowering plant...thank you, Michael!
By Amy's request, I'm recording some of it here for posterity.
How blessed I was by the loving remembrances of so many...
from my amazing extended family, 
and cherished friends who showered me with love.
I am unutterably blessed.

Thank you to each one of you who took time to send
 fun emails and texts and cards, singing to me at church, 
making time to spend with me, and all the other creative ways you found to bless me...
One of my most treasured greetings came from the O. family in Davao (above)
whose only way to contact me was to message Michael on facebook
and to tell him to wish me a happy birthday.

 To top it off, that evening Mark, Michael and I drove over to have dinner with Amy and Elise.
After dinner at the school cafeteria, we came back to their dorm room for cake and ice cream.

The subtle sign above (Happy Birthday to you in Tagalog!) 
greeted us in the hallway outside their room.  :)

And inside they had supplied more decorations.
That's my girls! ♥

 Together again

 And though without transportation, these girls had found ways to bless me with gifts...
a cute mug for my morning tea (thank you, Lise!)

 and a water color rendering of one of my favorite verses (thank you, Amy!)

Mark was behind the camera for most of the time, but Elise did catch us together too...

 NO CANDLES are allowed in the dorms,
so we got a little creative with glow sticks... ;)
Fun memories.

 It was over too soon,
but then, most good things are.

I am blessed,
content, and grateful.

"To it all we say, by His loving enabling, I trust.  
Let us be content with our Lord's will, 
and tell Him so, 
and not disappoint Him by wishing for anything He does not give."
~Amy Carmichael