Thursday, July 31, 2014

in our new nest

Do you remember the little bird
who built her nest outside our kitchen window in May,
just as we were vacating our home and preparing to move back to the US?

The day before we returned our house keys to the landlord,
I peeked inside her nest, and this is what I saw:

She had found a place to stay.

And now we, after what seems like a very long time,
also have a place to stay,
a home for this year; 
a place composed of bits and pieces lovingly gathered together
by dear friends and church family members who prepared this 'nest' 
as a warm welcome for our family.

We were overwhelmed and blessed by their care for us,
and reminded all over again of our Heavenly Father's provision
of exactly what we need to make a home.
Just like He provided the twigs and feathers, grass and vines for the olive-backed sunbird,
 so He has, through His people and their kindness,
supplied just about all we need for this new nest.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not of more value than they?
Matthew 6:26 

We hope you'll stop by for a visit!

Amy and Elise Skype with 3 friends at once in their new room
 Now that we're back, we'd love to spend some time with you.
You've heard all about us5 through our newsletters and blog,
now we'd love to hear about you, 
and how God has demonstrated His goodness in your lives!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

hard rock

The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, 
and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation...
2 Samuel 22:47

When Mark suggested a stop at the Carlsbad Caverns in NM,
I was delighted.
It's always seemed to me a beckoning, mysterious sort of place.
Mark, Amy, Elise and Michael enter at the Natural Entrance

...from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. 
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I...
Psalm 61:2

Mysterious, yes.
Other-worldly, worship-inspiring.
Almost everyone inside spoke in whispers, and I'm not convinced that it was just out of obedience to the park ranger at the entrance who encouraged us to talk softly. 

 The sheer magnitude of this subterranean world is truly awesome.

Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:4

No lens could do it justice.

Even in our God-less age,
His handiwork is still reminding people everywhere of His eternal might and glory!

I won't be down in those caverns again...
at least not anytime soon.
But  His handiwork is all around me,
every day,
if I'll only notice.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

declaring His praise

"Behold, I am doing a new thing;

now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The wild beasts will honor Me,

the jackals 

and the ostriches,

for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for Myself
that they might declare my praise."
Isaiah 43:19-21 
Declaring His praise as we see the wonders of His hand across our nation,
and as we wait to see the new things He will do...

All photos above from Joshua Tree State Park, CA, and the Desert Museum of Tucson, AZ
(btw: yes, I do realize that those are NOT jackals and ostriches!  but they're close enough!)

Monday, July 7, 2014

on the road

We finished up our time in Seattle with more good byes,
thankful for the opportunity to spend time with so many we love.
Then on July 31st we began our journey south.

We experienced just a little bit of adventure in northern California
as our alternator gave up the ghost on a barren stretch,
but with the help of a good Samaritan
and a convenient garage, we were quickly on the road again.
 Near Sacramento we attended a baseball game for the college team of Barbara's nephew.
It was a perfect slice of high scoring game with amazing fireworks at the end.
Proud of you, B!

We also spent a night with Barbara's eldest brother who taught us how to eat artichokes.
 We had so much fun looking at old photos, we totally forgot to take any new ones with you guys!
But we left with great memories...thank you, C and D!

Then we trekked on further south where we spent the fourth of July weekend
with more family, more fireworks, and more great memories.
For pictures of some of the crazy fireworks Barbara's brother helped Michael to set off in his driveway on the 4th, check out Elise's newest photos here.
THANKS, S, B and W, for a great time with you guys!

We also had some special fellowship with a local supporting church here in town yesterday; 
we are encouraged by such love among the people of God.

Today we turn eastward, continuing our cross-country journey,
looking forward to how God will continue to lead in the days ahead...