Friday, October 31, 2008

I'd hammer in the morning.

It is Friday, Oct 31, on the weekend we go back to standard time, which of course gives us more daylight in the morning when we dont want it and less in the evenings when we need it. Nevertheless, Cathie and I will be up early on Sat, Nov 1, to go work at the home site. Right now, things seem to be moving fast, so it is really exciting to see the work progress. We have chosen to clean the worksite rather than paying to have it cleaned. WOW! What a chore. Enjoy the pics below showing more of the process.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

If I had a hammer . . .

After taking part in ACU's homecoming activities and watching the Wildcats win 37-17 to go 8-0 for the season, we headed out to the house site to check things out. Early on this past Thursday morning, Cathie and I met the crews pouring the foundation at 7:30am with the temp at 37 degrees. All the workers kept saying how this was the best weather to pour a foundation, so there you have it! The framers worked Friday and part of Saturday to really put a this is starting to look like a house look. (see pics below) Again, being able to see all this happen has really been a blessing for Cathie and I.

In the morning, Sunday, we are going to go to the worksite and have a devo together. We will write some scriptures in the front doorway frame and the 4 corners. Afterwards, we are going to begin picking up scrapes of wood, rebar, and trash to try to keep pace with the construction. We hope this will help us save some $ to not have a crew come clean up the site.

We plan to have a gathering with our Abilene family/friends in the next couple of weeks to have them write scripture on the framing. If any of you want, send us a favorite scripture and we will write it on the framing.

We covet your fervent prayers.
Daniel and Cathie

Friday, October 24, 2008

Part 2 - My Journaling Thoughts as I read The Shack

I jump from thought to thought in my journal as i read each page. There are many concepts on each page in some chapters. Below are just some thoughts as i read.

When the stains were no longer there on the floor, it made me think about how all is new with God. He makes it all pure. And the comment about God valuing the heart like a mom takes a child’s artwork. So true, so true. Do you think of God delighting in you??
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing

Daniel and I have tried to show God, Jesus, Spirit to our girls, we are human and so we are inadequate. I pray that we are able to let them have space to grow beyond our teachings in the home. We pray for no fear. Again free will comes into play.

The experiences I have had in life are so full of unconditional love - my parents and then Daniel. I do not have a hard time imagining that I am a delight to the Lord. Not that I’m just this wonderful person but that I feel loved with all of my mess. I have experienced that daily most of my life. It is not a new concept. Over and over I see God doing whatever it takes to have a relationship with us. Jesus understands us so well ….”we say I feel lost but Jesus says -- I’m sorry it feels that way, but you are not lost.” This reminds me of tender care, the description of Jesus in Isaiah 53:4 “.Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried.”

As the book speaks of pain I relate to the comments: it gets in the way, distracts at times, our eyes come to ourselves but then it can also turn our eyes back to Jesus. God knows when to give us space and I pray that I have this wisdom in my relationships. My most important relationship on earth, my partnership with Daniel, helps when I get lost in the journey, when maybe the pain grabs my attention and I get distracted. All of us do not want to hurt nor do we want others to hurt but do we really want for God to just fix it or are we after a relationship?

I have thought about our lives as a garden much more as I read about the Spirit working in my garden. A garden, my soul, so much work, but no rush, always being worked on, and the Spirit is happy to work on me, a pleasant job -- wow, do I feel like it is a pleasant job, is it a surprise the Spirit enjoys working on me? I enjoy the thought that "we have to take time to prepare the soil if we want to embrace the seed." All of these thoughts are just deep for me and I love to sit and think about it all. What has my journey looked like to Him? I’ve not kept walking so many times, I’ve stopped, I know it has been disappointing but He gives me grace. Think about the whole building process. "God is not impatient with building -- watching us as we build toward the time He knows there will be victory!!"

"Faith -- it doesn’t live in the house of certainty" -- this is what I loved about this book, it made me think about my relationships with God, my journey daily. God is so active. I remember going through the book of Acts and underlining all of the verbs attached to the Spirit. "God is a verb!!"

My last note to myself as I journal my thoughts with this book - “God is always working His way into our hearts so we see clearer each day.” I hope you feel deeply loved by God today. If you have any thoughts about this book I would love to hear them. If you haven’t read the book, try it…peace

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship." (p92, The Shack)

Howdy out there in blogland. This is my first post. Daniel got this going, and I guess I need to be supportive. What I want to post about are my thoughts as I read the book, The Shack.

The women of the Hope church of Christ, our new church home, joined Rachel Landolt and I for a discussion of the book. There were 16 of us enjoying tea and coffee while talking about our thoughts. We hope to start a new book soon. Try this in your circle.

Our good friends here in Abilene, Mitzi and Foy Mills gave the book to us as a gift for Christmas 2007. It took me until March of ‘08 to finish it b/c I wanted to journal as I read and process what I was reading. So much to say, but I will first say that my experience spiritually growing up was one of relationship. Doctrine was not the big end of all ends. Relationship was. So to walk through Mac’s (character in the book) journey of meeting Papa, the Spirit, Jesus, and a character representing wisdom was a very natural introduction of human meets God. One of the most rewarding experiences in life for me is to watch the journey of a person getting to know Christ, witnessing their acceptance of the blood sacrifice that God demands and supplies for sin, and encouraging them to let the Spirit guide them. I enjoy this process in my own life. So to walk along inside Mac’s mind and heart through this journey was very captivating.

What part of the Trinity do I feel the closest to?? I realized I felt more drawn at times to Jesus, but then realized it is the Spirit who speaks to me and guides me each day.

John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (Helper) to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth….He abides in you and will be with you.”

I also realized the part of my personality that doesn’t want to miss out on anything and that is how I feel about the trinity. I want to take it all in, my walk with each. I like to feel God relates to me in my humanness. I feel there was much about free will and I love the fact that God gives us free will. Parenting has helped me understand free will a bit more. What do I actually want to do??? -- when and for how long do I desire to be with God in my daily life on earth??

More in my next post!

Check out John Mark Hicks ministries and enjoy much deeper thoughts on The Shack than I can convey, but so felt as I read the book.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Been Awhile!

Well, it has been over a week since my last post, so here is an update. First, tonight ACU Wildcats are beating WTAMU (Div 2 football). The winner will be #1 in D2 rankings. As the 3rd quarter starts, ACU is up by 17 points.

Last weekend, Cathie and I had a great trip to Tulsa to see Hannah. It was a blessing for us to be around her for a couple of days and we are excited about having her here for Thanksgiving. Hope you like the pic.

On the house building side, the weather has caused delays, so our foundation has not been poured. We think it will happen this week.

We are enjoying an easy weekend, constantly in prayer for our kids. Justin, Alison, and Cailyn drove from San Jose into Panama for a weekend trip. I think it is an 8 hour one way trip. Hannah has activities going on and lots of study for grad school.

We are looking forward to Thanksgiving - our first in Abilene. We will be joined by several friends: Steve, Christopher, and Laura Smith; Foy and Mitzi Mills; Jason Grassie; and maybe others who need a place to eat.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Family Matters

A couple of things to share.
First, my mom, Alice, celebrated her birthday on October 8. I was fortunate to spend the night on Tuesday night and was able to see her early (5:00am'ish) on her birthday as I headed back to Abilene.

Second, my dad, Valentino, was informed that he had an annuerism in his stomach area. On Thursday stints were put in to alleviate the problem and he got to go home today.

Our prayers have been for their health and thankfulness for the lives they are living. We are always thankful for my sister, Becky Schafer, and her husband, Ted, for being available to go to doctor appointments and for hospital visits. NEWS FLASH: Ted has developed a taste for menudo. My older sister, Helen, has traveled to Bastrop for the weekend to visit our parents.

Travel to Tulsa - Hanging with Hannah

Cathie and I started out this morning just before 5am. A drive through some really beautiful countryside from Abilene, through Wichita Falls, Lawton, OKCity, and finally Tulsa. Cathie and I were really excited to get here and visit with Hannah, whom we havent seen since school started in August. We really missed her laugh, insight, and stories. It is good to be here with her. Her roommate, Jordan, has been gracious enough to lend us her room while she travels to San Antonio to visit with her parents, also friends of ours from Abilene.

After some errand running we had dinner at a place called Which Wich. Pretty good sandwich and a great concept. We enjoyed the meal and conversation and are now at the house hanging out. We are just going to enjoy the weekend and get as much of Hannah as we can!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Justin Luke Thompson

Cathie and I love Justin. This is easy to do for many reasons. He has shown a desire to pursue God over all other things and through this he has honored God. The blessings that Alison, Cailyn, and all the rest of his family and friends have experienced have been beyond our imagination.

So, we wish Justin a grand birthday celebration in Costa Rica. I browsed around for a picture and found this one from their wedding announcement and decided it would help you see the style acumen of this young man (note the 70s beads!). Both Cathie and I had similar beads in high school and college and it appears that Justin found them!

¡Feliz cumpleaƱos!