Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Catching up!

Umm, it's been more than a week - yikes, and tomorrow it is December!  Time flies so quickly! I guess I just need to resign myself to the fact that I can only blog sometimes, and will just enjoy it when I can!

We are most thankful to have had Tim home for just over a week and a half.  He was so glad he could have been there, and be with family after his grandpa passed away.  It was pretty neat too that he was able to see snow for the first time in almost 4 years!  The girls were jealous - I wasn't!  ;)

Things around here don't seem to have slowed down much, but at least we're not bored!  Almost all the girls have caught the eye infection the little ones had, but thankfully it does seem to be finally (really) over!  This weekend we are looking forward to a weekend full of ministry on marriage by John D.  Many of the believers have only been saved for a few years, and Satan has been especially attacking recently this precious union God loves.  There were 4,000 invitations printed and given out around the hall as well, so we hope that many will come in and hear godly counsel from the Bible.  The meetings start tomorrow evening, then Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening, and then Sunday before and after lunch.  We have bought a couple copies in Spanish of Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs.  We have greatly appreciated the book over the last few years, and are thankful there are copies in Spanish that we can share with the believers here.  Amazing how God's way works best!

Monday night Alison and I met with a few of the new (lady) believers in Tirocapes to talk about modesty.  One of the ladies had been asking some questions, and so we thought we would prepare something that would benefit all of us.  Modesty truly begins in the heart, and what is in the heart, will eventually effect the outward appearance as well.  "...likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works." (1 Timothy 2:9,10)  A couple of years ago I found this blog that really helped me to see, in picture form, the outward form of modesty.  If you go to the blog, click on the Five F's of Fashion, and that will take you to the right spot.  I knew the basics of modesty growing up, but when I read the book, Every Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn early in our marriage, it really hit me how little I knew of modesty, and how inconsiderate I had been of my brothers in Christ.  While I am still in the learning process, we were thankful to be able to share with the ladies some of what we had learned.  We also used this link as well as this one to give practical tips in checking our clothing at least!

I do, amazingly, have a few pictures to share - which, of course, always makes a blog more interesting (at least for relatives!) =)
Tim is attempting to make sure Alisa grows up enjoying the Mexican national soda pop!!  =)
A creation by Mika
Tomorrow is when we will start working on Christmas decorating, but until then, the girls have only been able to do "winter" decorating.  Here they are making some snowflakes with Eva.  I had actually told them that we wouldn't be listening to Christmas carols until December either, but we've been enjoying them since Tim came back.
I love these snowflakes, and they're so easy!
Can't exclude Kyla having her picture with it!
Mika found a craft in one of her books how to make a penguin out of eggs.  This is after the egg had been cracked and emptied, washed and dried, sticky tack glued in the bottom, and now I was pasting them back together again.  For anyone who knows me (and knows I dislike anything "fiddly"), you know this is done out of pure love for my girls!!  =)
After the first coat of paint
This is their current state.  They are awaiting some white paint, that hopefully will happen soon.
My working crew came again!  Here's Mika cleaning the cupboard doors.
Shaelynnie washed walls - both she and Mika did an amazing job helping me.
Kyla and Vivian sweeping outside
My mom sewed 15 aprons for her daughters, daughter-in-law, grand-daughters, and their dollies!  The girls were very excited to open this pre-Christmas gift!!
My mom had also sent some crafts to do, so the girls enjoyed doing this one evening.
Working on some more snowflakes
One afternoon, Mika went over to Evelyn's, and Shaelyn woke up early from her nap.  We each got a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoyed a fun hour together.
We had matching cups, which was pretty neat, too!  ;)
I got out the camera, and Shaelyn thought of lots of fun poses she could do for it!  Here she is showing her great delight at drinking hot chocolate!!
And sighing with pleasure!
Then I got my picture taken
Shaelyn and Mommy together!  xo
A picture with the kitties
And why not upside down?
She took this one of Holly and Patches

That's it for tonight! Happy almost 1st of December - it's just about Christmas!! =)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jared!!

Today my nephew, Jared, son of my brother Jeff and Marianne, turns 7!!!
The Birthday Boy!
The whole family
Gracia (4.5), Lucas (2) and Jared
Jared reading to his Nana
Mr. Jared, you are such a dear, precious boy, and I am so thankful to be your auntie!  You have so much energy, and potential to be used by God for His glory!

I have just finished reading the book of Daniel, and I came across this verse:
"O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage." (Daniel 10:19) It's an angel speaking, and he says 3 times that Daniel is "greatly loved". Isn't that neat!?! You too are greatly loved. Loved by your Daddy, Mommy, Gracia and Lucas, by your grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends, but especially, you are "greatly loved" by God! He has such a special plan for you and your life, and I look forward to see what He has in store for you!

Lots of love from all of us here in Mexico! Happy Birthday, Jared!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Keeping the home fires burning...

It's been a while since I've done an update on what's happening around here. Not that there has been anything terribly exciting, but anyway... Vivian is getting over a week-long infection in both of her eyes. Thankfully she didn't need antibiotics or anything, but some eye drops seemed to do the trick well.

We found out Sunday that Tim's Grandpa W had passed away. Tim was able to leave Monday afternoon and catch a flight out of Phoenix late that night. He was able to spend several days with his family. Today was the funeral, and this is a little blurb of how Tim said it went: "An excellent service. Very touching, and reminds me of a great debt we owe God for grandparents He has saved and used. Dad told of the time Grandpa resigned rather than bump one of his men at work." Just a tiny glimpse for you of the sweet, godly man Grandpa was. Tim's sister Joia had a baby just over a week ago, so was unable to be at the funeral. Their brother Mark was able to connect with her on Skype and she was able to see most of the funeral! I am so happy she was able to still be a part of the day. Technology though! When Tim's mom's mom died many years ago in Congo, Africa, they didn't even find out she died until after she was buried!
Thankfully, Rebekah took this video of Tim, his dad, and 3 brothers (in order on the screen) Rob, Andrew and Mark, singing at the funeral. Tim's dad picked this song because Grandpa said several times just before he died that he was looking forward to seeing Jesus first of all.

Aren't they amazing!!! I so wish I could have been at the funeral, but I'm so thankful I got to hear this!

We got some serious tidying done today, with lots more cleaning to do tomorrow. With lovely white walls, it's definitely a necessity to scrub them down every month or two! I've called in my cleaning crew again (they're all blissfully sleeping right now), and we'll get to work after breakfast! =) I've been inspired recently with some other families, and how they get their young children to work, so we've been doing some extra "training" the last few days. The girls are doing pretty well, and even happy to do it, so that works well. Doing the same thing each day may be a little tedious, but you can definitely see improvement!

Alisa turned 8 months old on Wednesday - so hard to believe that much time has flown by! She eats a LOT, sleeps quite a bit, and remains to be a happy, contented baby most of the time. The other girls love her to bits and always want to be holding or playing with her. She is just now finally getting down to about 2 good naps a day, with sometimes a 3rd thrown in, depending when the first one happens.

Our girls were totally excited the other night (and every day since then) when Tim's youngest brother Andrew and his fiancee Bethany called to ask if Marika, Shaelyn, Kyla and Vivian would be flower girls in their wedding next June!!! I can't believe they actually went to sleep that night - they were flying pretty high!! There will be 7 little flower girls all together! =) Tonight Kyla was praying before bed, and asked the Lord to give us a safe trip to Andrew and Bethany's wedding! Guess it's always nice to have those requests in ahead of time, just in case you forget later!! ;)

Gotta go, and get to bed in good time! I definitely don't do as well the mornings I don't get to bed early the night before. I'm also not nearly as productive, and it's hard to encourage your children to be if you're not - at least, that's what I've found...

I've really been enjoying some unique phrases in Daniel, and so enjoyed this verse this morning, so I'll just leave it with you before I go:
"For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy." Daniel 9:18

Good night!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holding the Ropes

Here is the for website where I read this blog post - the article is called Holding the Ropes, and is written by a Baptist missionary in Greenland.  I have a blog post mostly written called, "How Do You Serve The Lord?", and it was based on the many people we know and their sometimes 'unconventional' ways that they serve the Lord.  Will have to get that one done soon.  Not one missionary I know thinks they are better than the believers "back home".  In fact, as this article infers, they are an integral and essencial part of foreign missionary work (besides the importance of gospel outreach work in their own area). We are so thankful for ones we know (and some we don't know) who "hold the ropes" for us in so many different ways.  Thought it was too good not to share.

William Carey is known as the Father of Modern Missions. He was a Baptist preacher who later started the missionary movement as we know it today. He coined the expression, “Holding the ropes.” After hearing a preacher say, “There is a gold mine in India; but it seems as deep as the center of the earth; who will venture to explore it?” William Carey responded, “I will go down, but remember that you must hold the rope.”

Holding the ropes is not showing up at a church building once a week, it is not putting in a couple dollars in the offering plate once in a while, and it is not occasionally lifting up a missionary’s name in prayer just before eating supper. Holding the ropes is praying earnestly for your missionaries. It is giving to reach the lost even when it hurts a little.

It is being actively involved in the missionaries’ lives. It is knowing their children. It is knowing their hardships and struggles. It is knowing their needs. Then, you are able to pray for them intelligently. It is keeping in touch with them and letting them know that they are not forgotten. Though you may be separated by an ocean, you can still be a part of the missionaries’ lives. They may not see you face to face, but they need to feel you holding the ropes.

Holding the ropes is Team work! You may not realize it, but those that hold the ropes are as important as those that go down into the pit. Most people don’t believe that, so they just walk away from holding the ropes. They think someone else can do their job. That someone else can hold the ropes for the Missionary Family. Missionaries may take all the risks, but that is precisely why we believe “holding the ropes” is just as important as going down into the pit.

If you stop holding the rope, what will happen to the one on the other end of the rope? He will fall to the bottom of the pit and die. He will no longer be able to mine the souls of lost people. The missionaries take many risks, but that is because they have entrusted their lives into your hands, the hands of the rope holders. Just as they cannot quit on the lost souls they are reaching, they trust that you will not quit on them! It truly is teamwork and that’s the way God intended it to be!
I hope you don’t quit your part because you have gotten comfortable living in the U.S. I hope you don’t quit because you have lost your job. I hope you don’t quit because you have become disinterested in church, or simply because you think that someone else can surely hold the rope and take your place. If you think this way, then the missionary may became another casualty in the mine!
The Goforths were missionaries to China. They told the story of a young missionary couple called to Africa, known at the time as “the White Man’s Grave.” This couple with much fear and apprehension said, “We are willing to face the risk if you, our home church, will hold the ropes for us in prayer!” Two years had passed, the missionary had buried his wife and baby on the mission field and now he himself was deathly ill. He returned from Africa unbeknownst to the church folk. He arrived late to the prayer meeting. After the service, the folks were sad to hear of his misfortune. The church folks were grieved even more when the missionary said the following: “This evening as you prayed, I listened anxiously for some mention of my name to see if you were keeping your promise. You prayed for everything connected with your own needs and for the church programs, but you forgot your missionary. I see now why I have failed as a missionary; it is because you failed to hold the ropes!”
The missionary is willing to be down in the pit as long as he knows someone is holding the ropes!
Chris Shull,
Missionary to Greenland

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembering Grandpa

This afternoon, Tim's Grandpa Wilf passed away.  Our girls call him Grandpa "Wolf"! =)   I am so priviledged to have known both of his grandparents, and last year, we were blessed to have been back in Canada when his grandma died.  Thankfully Tim will be able to make the trip up for Grandpa's funeral this week.

We'll miss Grandpa. His funny laugh, big smile and sense of humour certainly characterized him (his jokes have been passed down a few generations now!). We knew Grandpa prayed for us, and that meant so much to us. He has left a godly heritage, and wonderful memories.  "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,"  Proverbs 13:22

A couple of recent pictures, taken this summer by Rebekah:
Grandpa, Dad and Mark on the couch, with babies Alisa and Joshua
Woodford Family Photo - Summer 2011
As soon as I heard the news about Grandpa's death, this song went through my head - then I had to go look up the words to enjoy it completely!
Kept, safely kept;
My fears away are swept;
In weakness to my God I cling,
Though foes be strong I calmly sing,
Kept, safely kept.

Kept by His power,
Whatever dangers lower,
The strength of God's almighty arm
Doth shield my soul from every harm,
Kept by His power.

Through simple faith,
Believing what He saith,
Unshaken on my God I lean,
And realise His power unseen,
But known to faith.

Kept all the way,
E'en to salvation's day,
His mighty love ne'er cold shall wax,
Nor shall His pow'rful grasp relax,
Through all the way.
Written by William Blane

Grandpa was ready to go Home to Heaven. He was a Christian, and wanted to see His Lord and Saviour, so I don't wish him back again. He's happier now than he has even been. Please pray for his two sons, two daughters and their families who are missing a very special man.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Rob!!

Today is Tim's "middle" brother Rob's birthday!
Rob and Ada last Christmas
Rob, Ada, Brayden (2) and Joshua (5.5 months) - Oct 2011
Brayden loving on Josh
"Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?" (Proverbs 20:6) This is such an interesting verse! We see man's desires and God's standard in just a few short words. Man's way, of course, is selfish and conceited - but what does God desire? A person who is faithful. Rob, you have shown yourself to be faithful in many ways. We are so thankful for you, and your desire to please the Lord. We pray for you, and your sweet family, that you will continue to follow His way and His will - continuing "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:58)

We love you, Rob, have a wonderful birthday!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

We have a new nephew!!

Early this morning, Caleb Michael was born to Tim's sister Joia and husband Philip. Big brother Keenan and big sister Moriah are proud, I'm sure! =) So excited for you all! Can't wait to meet this sweet little man in person - but sending lots of love and hugs and smooches across the miles from all of us!

Caleb Michael
With his beautiful Mommy
With his proud Daddy

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Did I mention...

...that we're excited to announce there is another Mexican Jumping Bean on the way? =) This little one is due the beginning of May, Lord willing, and our girls are thrilled, of course! I've had two ultrasounds already, and the last one showed the baby bouncing all over. I was very tired and nauseated the first several weeks, but am finally feeling back to my regular self again.

We are currently in Phoenix, Arizona, where we came for a conference by Dr. Higgins. He spoke on the 6 times the Bible mentions, "And the child grew": Isaac, Moses, Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ. The meetings were encouraging and convicting - I'm so glad we were able to be here! We also were blessed to have the meetings held in the new hall - used to be Sunnyslope, but is now Orangewood. The believers have worked hard the last 2 months in getting everything ready, and it is beautiful! They did a super job!

We were supposed to leave tomorrow to head home, but I think we'll be staying one more day to finish up on our Christmas shopping. It will definitely be easier to shop on a Monday than on a Friday and Saturday!

I mentioned Tim's Grandpa Wilf a while back. If you could please pray for him and the family - he is very, very weak, and is now in Palliative Care. It doesn't sound like it will be very long before he goes Home.

That's it for now - hoping to get a wee nap in before we head over the the Spanish meeting tonight for Tim to preach the gospel there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don't Stop Praying

This is a "Bible Bite" from www.heaven4sure.com

Have you ever been severely disappointed with someone who has messed up big time? "Well, salvation or recovery or restoration is so unlikely I just figure I won't waste my time praying for her anymore. I only have a limited amount of time to pray each day so I will pray for others who are more likely to succeed. The first few times she did it, I faithfully prayed for her - but now, well - I'm fed up. I'm disgusted with her behavior. I doubt if she will ever change. I'm not even going to bother getting my hopes up anymore. She does well for a few months and then she takes another nose dive. I am tired of being disappointed."

When you read through the Old Testament you can only be amazed at God's longsuffering and patient attitude towards a nation that frequently and repeatedly nose-dived, disappointed Him and rebelled against Him. I appreciated Samuel's attitude towards the nation of Israel. They rejected Samuel as their judge. They rejected the Lord as their King and requested their own earthly king so they could be like the nations around them.

Samuel told the people: "Your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for a king." (1Samuel 12:17) These words were followed by a torrential rain and electrical storm that scared the people into a renewed fear of both the Lord and Samuel. Then Samuel says in verse 23:

".as for me,
far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD
in ceasing to pray for you;
but I will teach you the good and the right way."
(1 Samuel 12:23)
Just a second Samuel, are you saying that no matter what, you are going to keep praying for these people with such a miserable track record? "That's right. It would be a sin for me to ever give up on them and to give up on the Lord's ability to draw them back to Himself. I will not only keep on praying for them, I will also take every little opportunity to teach them what is good and what is right and then leave the results with the Lord. How could I ever write-off a people that God loves unconditionally?"

Psalm 147 reiterates that our God is the God of Restoration. He gathers together the outcasts. "He heals the broken-hearted; and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite." (Psalm 147:3-5) If He numbers and names the stars, how much more does He follow those for whom we are burdened and He does so with a heart that longs for their return, restoration, or salvation. He knows what they need. How partial and incomplete our understanding is! He sees the complete picture. His understanding is infinite.

Keep praying dear child of God. They may write themselves off. Others may write them off - but God never writes one of us off - no matter what!