Sunday, June 14, 2009

This book was first mentioned to me by Janet Jerigan, Lynn Spivey's sister, a new friend at Hope. She had suggested it as one of our book club books. The second time it came up was with a conversation with Mitzi Mill, another new friend from Hope. (our builder) She had both this book and Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by the same author. I looked today and didn't realize this author has many books out there.

I picked it up Friday, when i sat in the lobby of the Colonial Country Club. Daniel and many other ACU staff arranged an ACU alumni luncheon in Ft. Worth. Do ask him about it, it was a great success. All of those Aggie mom's club meetings and Reveille Meetings paid off in giving the inspiration to this and other luncheons for ACU. I went along with Daniel to Ft. Worth even though all i really did was ride, read and ride back home. One of Daniel's love languages is together time. It was important to be with him as he rode over and back from Ft. Worth. I read three chapters the first time i picked the book up and have enjoyed the cheerleader type reminders of how important my faith is and how important it is to continue growing.

Since this is not my copy of the book, I took notes on the reading so i could actually process it all. Faith is something that impresses Jesus.

Luke 7:9 says Jesus marveled at the Centurion's faith when he said in v. 7..."just say the word, and my servant will be healed."
Matthew 15:28...Jesus answers the canaanite woman, "O Woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish.

Telling stories of God's activity in our lives is so important, this helps all of our faith increase. More often than not those stories come in the middle of some overwhelming difficulty. Author Jim Cymbala, says, "Faith grows best on cloudy days."

A focus on God's promises as Abraham did when God told him to "Leave." We must step out each day and believe God is good on His promises. It won't make sense at times. Even this week as I was going thru my Bible study on "Discerning the Voice of God" the fact that God works supernaturally and usually ask for a change in the course of our life was mentioned. This is faith that is described in....

I Corinthians 2:5 "that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God"

Jim Cymbala takes you as the reader through David's prayer in Ps. 51,asking things that only God can do in His life. (pure heart, steadfast spirit and willing spirit to sustain him). Cymbala also used Joshua's address in Joshua 23. (recall what God has done, v. 3, look to the future v. 5, take stock of obedience v. 6-8, love the Lord your God v. 11 and last but most powerful v. 14 NOT ONE WORD of God has failed)

At the end of this book i am resolved to pray for more faith. Faith that provides spiritual strength to obey.

Hebrews 4:2 "For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard."

II Peter 1:3 "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."

I Peter 4:11..."whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Because of Our Kids

Daniel and I have always had a large group of friends in our age group, but more often than not, we spend much of our time with younger people. God has handed many from a younger generation to us as good friendships. Many of these friends have come our direction as an outpouring of our girls' relationships. As if they went ahead of us and planted friendships that would then bless us at another time.

Mark Clancy was in Abilene this past week, and we were able to sit and visit and pray together. It was a great time to talk about Mark's transition from Costa Rica, to the states for a few weeks and then on to Lima. He is only a few steps behind our kids in arriving in Lima. As 2009 has developed, it is becoming clear that God's plan, and not the Lima team's, is for them to arrive in Lima in stages. (the Davidson's in Jan., our kids in May, Mark in July, Yoakums in August and the Fletchers later this year after the baby comes). It is always great to sit and visit with the Lima Team members. Somehow, it makes us feel closer to our own children in Lima.

Another couple of "kiddos" we enjoy are Jessie Reyna and Matt Worthington. Jessie and Hannah met the first week of school during their freshman year. A true jewel of a friend of Hannah's. Jessie and I have enjoyed meeting this past year and now she brings Matt along sometimes. Matt was also a friend of Hannah's. We met him the day they graduated, May, 2008. He has just received an assignment with Teach for America in Washington DC. We are excited to watch them enjoy the blessings of the next season of their lives. Jessie, you may remember for a previous post, is heading off to Seattle for graduate school.

All of these young friendships make us feel young and close to our own girls and Justin. What blessings God continues to hand us in Abilene. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Gift of Friendship

New friendships are part of the adventure God gave Daniel and I in moving to Abilene. I want to share with you one of the friends I met through Hannah. As Hannah moved to Tulsa I got to know Lael. As you listen to her words and her own journey of events you will understand what a gift she has been to me!!

From Lael:
I’m currently sitting on a plane, taking the familiar flight from Seattle to Dallas. We just passed a magnificent snow capped mountain beneath the right wing and there’s another, more jagged one, topping off the clouds in the distance. I miss these things like crazy when I settle myself down each semester at Abilene Christian University.

This will be my last flight to Texas as a student, and I’m quite excited by that idea. I’m finishing out my BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree with a 2-dimensional concentration and am anxious to see what’s next in life.

I entered into my art major with my technical drawing skills and discerning artistic eye tucked under my arm, never anticipating that I would walk out claiming photography as my niche, assuming the title of “photographer,” and needing to accommodate a collection of cameras in my suitcase.

In this picture (above) you see me standing with three photos at my senior art show, where my featured medium was photography. This series in particular was part of the preparatory process for a multiple exposure project I did with four rolls of film. Before getting started, I tested the idea of shooting through a roll of film, rewinding it almost to the end, reloading it, and then reshooting over already-exposed negatives. It’s not a highly original idea but there were some variables I wanted to test out, especially since I was out to capture several layers of images.

I’ll spare you the details, but I got a pretty good success rate (and 6 out of 24 is good). I tracked the entire project on a blog called Wanderlust Film, which involved the journey of a roll of film from Hawaii to New Zealand to Washington to Texas, through the hands of family and friends.

Speaking of blogs, I owe a lot to the genius who came up with this concept. It has become an unexpected networking tool for me since beginning my food (and thought and whatever else I want) blog in October of 2007. One Hungry Soul opened up the opportunity to intern for a great start-up known as Foodzie. Web-based but highly personal, this company is passionate about seeing artisan food producers and growers succeed in their small businesses. I play an (appropriately) unglamorous intern’s role, writing and editing copy for the new producers’ stores being set up on the site. However, in July I’ll be heading to San Francisco to work at the Foodzie headquarters, doing food photography and more complete writing assignments - all an extension of what I do through my blog and love so much.

My love for creating in the kitchen came from my mother and my love for capturing through a camera lens came from my father. My mom dedicated herself to raising us four children and allowed sewing projects and recipes to be her creative outlets. As soon as I was capable, she had me (and eventually my younger sister) in the kitchen helping cut vegetables for salad or stir mixtures in pots. Even earlier than that, we were setting the table and spending the hour before dinner hanging around the kitchen nagging her about when it was going to be done and what she was doing each step of the way. As I’ve observed college friends in the kitchen and tried to explain a bit of what I do and why, I realize that I learned a lot through osmosis – through simple observation – and the rest through battling through my own recipes (and reading a lot of Cook’s Illustrated).

Photography crept into my life in the most casual of ways, but it was my dad who really helped me gain an eye for the beautiful details in life and inspired me to capture them. When I left for college, he’d email me photos of the flowers in his garden or the sun setting behind Mt. Baker, taken from our front porch.

I’m hoping to take my continually developing skill-sets and find a niche for myself as a photographer, writer, food-lover, etc. as I head to Auckland, New Zealand in September (though paying the bills through almost any means will do at first). As much as this is a step forward with much newness, it is also a major step back, to a place where I spent my childhood years and haven’t set foot in fifteen years.

My family moved to New Zealand when I was four years old, as my parents had connects there that turned into a job opportunity for my dad. I spent four very formative years acquiring an accent that lingered barely a year once we moved back to the States. The memories began to blur within another four years, as talk of returning became more realistic and less hopeful.

It’s a dizzying sort of prospect to move back there, but I am growing in confidence in these steps being laid down before me. I am returning for an indefinite period of time and am going to intern for North Shore Church of Christ, through an ACU program known as Worldwide Witness, for the first four months.

I am itching to discover what is in store. My hunch is that it will be exhilarating, challenging, uncomfortable, humbling, refreshing, and everything in between. Still, I’m not hung up on any particular expectations. God continues to surprise, and he is ultimately trustworthy and good when all is said and done.


Friday, June 5, 2009

The Book of Ruth

Wow!! As I ran this morning i reflected on our book club night that the women of Hope (our church community) had last night. There were so many things that came out of this evening. First of all let me introduce the characters!!

Left to right - Deanna, Rachel, Shannon (in the back)Janet, (young girls of Corina) Rebecca, and Alyson, Kelli (in back), Me, Krista, Catherine, Corina ,

God just puts things together. When I arrived last fall, Janet told me they used to have book club nights but that she just couldn't get them organized and wondered if I would do that. I was new and love to read and so we did our first one on the Shack, the second one on Sacred Rhythms and our third last night on the book of Ruth. Kelli offered to facilitate and I offered my home. Shannon offered her wonderful homemade bread and I tried some new butter spreads and chili pepper jelly. As we all settled into our seats there were many comments about how wonderful the bread was.

Our facilitor, Kelli has a masters in divinity and has been teaching Bible classes at Hardin Simmons. She has just been accepted into the U of Oxford and we have all been praying for months about that next step for her. So we were in wonderful hands as we dove into this book.

What a wonderful book written from a woman's perspective. Oh, the conversation brought out all of our experiences and how they have effected us. We talked about suffering and compared Naomi to Job. We talked about the lovingkindness of so many characters in this story and the big turn Naomi did between ch. 1 and ch.2. We visited the topic of how we saw the gospel in this story. It really is all about Jesus.

Ruth 4:14,15 "Blessed is the LORD who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him."

When we drew to the end, Shannon ask, "Can we meet in about 2 weeks and do the same thing with the book of Esther?" So that is the plan. One of the thoughts I felt from the Holy Spirit this morning was that last night spurred on increased energy put toward our desire for God's Word and enjoyment of women fellowship offered at Hope!!