Monthly Archives: January 2008

Our Story — Part 2

Throughout my freshman and sophomore years at King, I was very drawn to missions. When missionaries spoke on campus, I soaked up their stories. During one of our World Focus Weeks, I met a couple who were serving with New Tribes Mission. It was the first time I had heard about this organization. I remember speaking with them after a chapel service and asking questions. It was exciting to hear of missionaries who were looking for tribes who had never heard the Gospel and then translating the Bible into their language.

I also met missionaries with Wycliffe during this time. I even prayed for a specific tribe of people in Papua New Guinea for years as missionaries worked to learn their language and write it down and then translate the Bible for them. I can see now how God was giving me a burden for this specific type of missions way back then.

During those years of college, I told our Father that if He wanted me to go into full-time missions, I would. I wanted my life to be His. I studied English and secondary education and waited to see what God would do.

After classes started in the fall of my junior year, I kept seeing this familiar face in nearly every class. Patrick and I had the same major and minor, and so we had several classes together that semester. We began studying together, and we became good friends. In spite of ourselves, we even began dating (that’s another story!) in November of that year.

Patrick had a strong background in missions. As I said, he had been on the trip to Papua New Guinea that I was on, but he had also been on some spring break trips to places in the States. His home-church was (is) very missions-oriented, and so he knew many missionaries. His parents and siblings had also participated in some short-term trips. However, Patrick did not feel called to be a missionary. He planned to study technical writing.

When it became clear that God had brought us together and Patrick and I would marry, I gave up the idea of being a full-time missionary. God had wanted me to give Him my life and be willing to do whatever He wanted, so I did; but I was off-the-hook for missions. My mission field would be the students I taught and the neighborhood in which we lived and the youth group we helped with at church.

And that’s how it was. We got married, and Patrick attended graduate school at a secular university. What a mission field! I taught elementary students in a Christian school. We worked with the teenagers at church and participated in the college ministry. At one point, when I wasn’t teaching, I baby-sat a baby boy for 30 hours a week. His parents did not have a relationship with Christ, so their family was my mission field.

We supported missionaries through church. We prayed for missionaries. Friends of ours had a sign over the front door of their home that said, “You are now entering the mission field.” That’s how we tried to live, not that we always did such a perfect job. But that was our heart.

I’ll write more in Part 3. I have two little boys who are getting bored with books and toys and some laundry that needs folded.

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Our Story

I have been wanting to write down the story about what God has been doing in our lives. Until now, I did not feel the freedom to write. Now, I do. So . . . today I will begin.

This chapter of our lives actually started way back in 1990. Well, probably farther back than that. I’m sure God was working much earlier than that. But I’ll start in 1990.

I was almost 18 and had just started my freshman year at King College. One of the first weekends — maybe even during orientation — I was with a large group of King students at a local restaurant and met two students who had been on a mission trip to Morocco the summer before. They told me a little about the trip, and I was hooked.

One of those guys, David, and I started spending time together, and he told me more about the mission trip. I had to interview someone for a paper for freshman English, so I interviewed him about his time in Morocco. He told me funny stories and he told me how they walked around a city praying because they couldn’t freely share the Gospel.

Early in the school year, the chaplain shared one day during chapel about an upcoming mission trip to Papua New Guinea. I felt a nudging, as if I were being drawn to this trip. David, who by now had become my boyfriend, was planning to go. And though I know God used him as an influence toward missions and this particular trip, I did not choose to go only because a boy I liked was going. I felt compelled to go. I joined the PNG team and began to raise money for the trip.

In May of 1991, our team of 18 traveled to Papua New Guinea, where we spent one month. Another student named Patrick (now, my husband) was also part of this team. He and I were not particularly good friends at the time, but it is really amazing how God worked it out so that both of us experienced PNG.

In that one month, I fell in love with the people of Papua New Guinea. I fell in love with their singing, their generosity in spite of poverty, their laughs and smiles. Somehow, I even managed to fall in love with the smell of PNG. Later, when I was home telling stories of my trip and showing my photos and jewelry and bilum bags and string hat to family, I held the string hat up to my face and breathed in the smell. “This still smells like PNG,” I sighed with a big smile. My cousin took the hat and smelled it. “Ewwww!” He yelled. It smelled like smoke and body odor and probably beetlenut. But that smell took me right back to the people I had come to love.

I have written enough for now. I will continue this story in Part 2.

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What’s For Dinner?

What’s for dinner? Please tell us about your favorite meals.We love rotisserie chicken. Our favorite is the cajun-flavored chicken. I like serving it with white rice and roasted vegetables. It’s a very easy meal. I put a little olive oil in the bottom of the enamel roasting pan and then toss in some chopped veggies — zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, green peppers, red onions, red-skinned potatoes, carrots, celery, whatever you love. I sprinkle salt and pepper over the veggies and roast them at 375º for a couple hours. You can also roast them for a longer time at a lower temperature. It’s delicious and easy.We also love my friend Wendy’s Excellent Chicken recipe. Mix some melted margarine, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and parmesan cheese together with super fine bread crumbs. I just sort of wing it on the amounts. I put boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a casserole dish and sprinkle the mixture over it. Then I bake it at 350º for 30 or 40 minutes. We love having this with spaghetti noodles that have been mixed in with more of the same seasonings — margarine, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and parmesan cheese. Add in a big salad and some yummy bread, and you have a delicious meal. So, how about you? What’s for dinner?

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The Offering Of Disappointment

I recently read a paraphrase of something Elisabeth Elliot wrote in her book A Path Through Suffering. She writes of offering our disappointment as a sacrifice to God. The writer condensed it this way, “When . . . we sacrifice our will to accept His, it’s an act of worship that honors Him greatly.”

I think Elisabeth Elliot wrote this in the context of great suffering and major disappointments, but I think it is true for any suffering and what may seem like small disappointments. I think it’s true for the daily disappointments. Any time we sacrifice our will for His will, it is an act of worship.

When I lay aside my own disappointment and accept His will, I am affirming His sovereignty and His goodness and His ability to be in charge. My spirit is recognizing Him as Lord. And that honors God. It glorifies Him. And it is an act of worship.

What disappointment do you have to offer Him? How can you sacrifice your will for His today? I challenge you — look for ways to worship Him by being a living sacrifice today. (Romans 12)

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Music In The Sidebar

I created a Sonific playlist of Watermark songs. If you’d like to listen to music while you read here, you can just click the play button in the little Sonific widget to the right.

Hope you enjoy the music.

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Miscellaneous Monday – 1/14/08

Back by popular demand (or not) . . . Miscellaneous Monday.

Last week, my four older children began attending school. So today, I’m going to share 3 fun experiences from the first week of school.

1. During serious prayer time, some little boy in Caleb’s class prayed for “the clowns to have fun at the circus.” That little boy had to miss some recess time. Our question: “Was that little boy named Caleb?” He says no.

2. During another serious prayer time, some little boy in Caleb’s class burped really loudly. He too had to miss some recess. Again, our question: “Was that little boy named Caleb?” Again, he says no.

3. On the first day, Rachel got the class pet snake tangled in her hair. I think it will be her all-time favorite school memory. I just wish I could have been there to see it.

Now, it’s your turn. Do you have any great school memories to share?

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I Will Not Do Nothing

There is a quote attributed to Edmund Burke which says, “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Last week, an elder of the church we are attending was explaining an outreach the church is doing and offering the opportunity to be involved. He recited that quote and challenged the church with this — “Refuse to do nothing.”

That has been ricocheting around my brain all week.

Refuse to do nothing.

That’s really all we need to do. Something. Anything. Just not nothing.

When we hear about a family suffering through illness or grieving death, we can make a phone call or cook a meal or send a note. Any little something. When we hear about disaster striking — a house burning down, a horrible car accident, a flood, an earthquake, a hurricane — we can send money or donate blood or give our children’s outgrown clothes or start a food drive. Something. Just not nothing.

Because when we do nothing, the enemy wins. Evil triumphs. James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Refuse to do nothing. That’s my goal for 2008. I want this to be the year I refused to do nothing.

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