We should be posting several other video clips over the next few days, if you'd like to see additional bits and pieces of the program (featuring our gang, of course... please excuse and forgive my brief slide into the abyss of maternal pride!)
30 June 2008
The office is now in the master bedroom (giving me a place to scrapbook, if I can ever get Tim's computer stuff straightened out and put away); the playroom is in the little girls' bedroom, since they were the ones (plus Jonathan) who used those toys most of the time anyway. We've used (or are in process of) furniture, curtains and shelving to give the girls their own space that is cool and relatively private, plus we are all enjoying the new look.
All of this moving around of stuff allowed us to discover some clutter, things we no longer needed and instead for which we needed to find new homes, and that has enabled us to clear a few things out of the hallway that we kept there... simply 'cause we really had no other place to store it.
27 June 2008
And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent. And Moses told his father in law all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the Lord delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. And Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. And Jethro, Moses' father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father in law before God. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. (Ex 18:7-24)
2) Moses' humility and Jethro's wisdom also stood out to me. Often, it is easy to discount the advice of those we don't think are as qualified as we are:
- they don't have the experience,
- they don't have the education,
- it is not their area of expertise while it is mine,
- they are so young,
- old they are out of touch and "don't have a clue,"
- they are brand new believers,
- I don't see anything in particular that impresses me about their individual walk with God,...
and the list of excuses could go on and on... This is something that has often frustrated me in dealing with people here. It is quite accepted and normal, even encouraged, to have a type of "oligarchy" where if you have education and/or position, you are automatically "superior" to those who don't and thus can lord if over these others. The "boss" can treat those who work under him like dirt because of his position; yet those who work for him must never forget his elevated and more worthy position. We, in our family, are often treated favorably simply because of the color of our skin - and although at times, that is admittedly nice (like the times I have't had to wait "my turn" to see the doctor, or when Tim is bumped to the front of the line at the bank), I must also say that the principle behind such behavior bothers me and I usually try to discourage it.
- Jethro hadn't heard God's voice directing him specifically,
- Jethro hadn't been leading the whole nation of Israel,
- Jethro hadn't personally confronted Pharaoh,
- God hadn't used Jethro's hand to perform His mighty acts in Egypt,
- Jethro's relationship with God wasn't as intimate as his own...
- He kindly, respectfully, clearly and gently (i.e. he could have used words much stronger than "not good") stated what he saw as the problem and why.
- He spoke precisely and wisely, recognizing Moses' special position before God (that had been given to him by the Lord) and before his people - probably knowing that it was not something that Moses had desired, sought or initiated, but rather something to which God had appointed him.
- When giving his guidance, Jethro offers a short prayer "May God be with you," recognizing that Moses couldn't just accept what Jethro said carte blanche without first seeking God's counsel.
- And in his last comment, he then specifically encouraged Moses to seek God's guidance before accepting his words.
25 June 2008
24 June 2008
22 June 2008
20 June 2008
19 June 2008
PLEASE NOTE: Devotional taken from Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest, January 11.
"They laid hold upon one Simon . . . and on him they laid the cross." Luke xxiii. 26.
If we obey God it is going to cost other people, more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything,it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people's plans are upset, and the will gibe us with it - "You call this Christianity?" We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be paid.
Our human pride entrenches itself on this point, and we say - I will never accept anything from anyone. We shall have to, or disobey God. We have no right to expect to be in any other relation than our Lord Himself was in (see Luke viii. 2-3).
Stagnation in spiritual life comes when we say we will bear the whole thing ourselves. We cannot. We are so involved in the universal purposes of God that immediately we obey God, others are affected. Are we going to remain loyal in our obedience to God and go through the huiliation of refusing to be independent, or are we going to take the other line and say - I will not cost other people suffering? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but we shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences with Him.
Beware of the inclination to dictate to God as to what you will allow to happen if you obey Him.
"The Cost of Greatness" is the second of 2 plays often performed by the Academy of Arts Christian School recounting the life of Adoniram Judson. If you'd like to find out more about the Academy, check out their website.
This tree is a pomegranate tree. It actually produces fruit - not a lot, but the kids love this seedy fruit and argue over who gets to eat it until they finally go ahead and decide to share.
This morning, however, our garden resident was hiding in the tree. Look carefully and see if you can spot him. Can you find and identify him?
Jonathan saw him - that's his hand pointing him out! If you still haven't discovered one of our most interesting "pets" in our current menagerie, follow the line of his finger and see if you can... and leave us a comment if you do!
Barring internet issues (always a possiblity here :-) ), we'll reveal (or confirm) the identity of our little buddy in the next few days with lots more pictures!
18 June 2008
17 June 2008
16 June 2008
-from "Intercessory Introspection," Jan 9th's reading.
"And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless." I Thess. v. 23.
"Your whole spirit . . . " The great mystical work of the Holy Spirit is in the dim regions of our personality which we cannot get at. Read the 139th Psalm; the Psalmist implies - "Thou art the God of the early mornings, the God of the late at nights, the God of the mountain peakes, and the God of the sea; but, my God, my soul has further horizons than the early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of the earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature - Thou Who art the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot trace, dreams I cannot get at - my God, search me out."
Do we believe that God can garrison the imagination far beyone where we can go? "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin" . . . We do not allow our minds to dwell as they should on these great massive truths of God.
13 June 2008
06 June 2008
05 June 2008
6) As I'm scrambling for an idea, a friend suggests that we just go ahead and let it freeze as is and the ice cream sandwiches will end up more like frozen milkshake sandwiches.
7) But then, I'm running into a logistical nightmare - how do I get to the alternative freezer where the "ice cream" is freezing to make the sandwiches and get them back in the freezer - since it isn't my kitchen and I'm not wanting to be more of an inconvenience to those who've been helping than is absolutely necessary?
8) Finally, I gave up on the idea of ice cream sandwiches and decided to do brownie sundays - using the cookie part of the sandwich as the brownie and the ice cream as the ice cream! All that remained was to buy cheap plastic cups and spoons to serve them. Unfortunately the store closed early (i.e. earlier than stated business hours, wthout warning) that night... and we ended up having to run back out to get them on Sunday.
9) Fortunately, not a single one of the kids seemed to mind... in fact, several of them said they enjoyed those brownie sundays when they came to say "Thank you!" We even had enough left over to invite friends to swing by the house and join us for some rather soupy brownie sundays/milkshakes later on Monday night!
10) Unfortunately, this series of unfortunate events continues into the next week and will need to continue into another post, as I've got laundry calling my name....
One fun project Tim recently completed was editing a recent production by the drama class of Sahel Academy. We've included a tiny clip here because we felt the kids did a great job, not just in acting but in coming up with sets/props/etc... it isn't so easy here where we don't have a Walmart or a Home Depot to run to. Additionally, a good number of the students participating in this elective class were in grades 7-9 and several are Brendan's friends and classmates. It gives you just a little picture of where he is going to school! Hope you enjoy!
One other little detail - tonight is graduation night. Brendan will be playing with the school orchestra/music ensemble ("Pomp and Circumstance," of course.) We'd appreciate prayers for the event, and that God's name would be glorified through all of the fun, excitement, activity and sadness of goodbyes as people move on.