Hello. Welcome.

I'm a very determined kind of individual. Sometimes my determination is misplaced and things get very ugly. But, sometimes my determination leads to laughter, deep thoughts, and words on paper.

I write everything. I'm not very good at filtering ... so you will see it all. Maybe there will be a little inspiration for someone else along the way. I hope so. My sister also likes to guest blog and I'm sure you will appreciate her wit and wisdom.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Here I am, feeling a mix of Walden Pond, hippie, gypsy, dusty road, crisp lempira bills, the tantalizing smell of fresh bread baking, disgust with things material, these keys under my fingers, the sunset view from this thatched-covered rooftop.

It's not supposed to make sense.

Have you ever felt inextricably bound? Have you ever felt you simply couldn't do without ______ (you fill in the blank) in your life? After a couple days in Copan Ruinas, home of the ancient Mayan civilization, my sleeping philosophy is quite alive. So, here I am on this thatched-covered rooftop, typing away my thoughts on life while the little town buzzes many, each with their own story.

Right now, I'm reading two more Elisabeth Elliot books. The first, "Slow and Certain Light" has been both challenging and punctual. It seems to leaves question marks in my life where I was satisfied with periods. The second, "The Shadow of the Almighty" has left me feeling a bit depressed about the progress of my pilgrim journey. The things Jim Elliot thought about and wrote about make my faith seem very small.

But, the sun is setting now on this little town of Copan and tomorrow I'm going to leave my 'ruins' here (get it - Mayan Ruins) and start new.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Secret Life of Bees

Last week, amidst almost constant power outages, I was searching for a good novel to drink in with my endless cups of tea and decaf coffee. My roommate lent me, "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd and within pages I was hooked.

I fell abruptly into the room of an awkward adolescent who was dealing with trauma too great for her tender spirit and just kept turning pages. I met the brokenness with a dull ache for all things wrong in the world. The loud, bold anthem of "justice rolls down like a mighty water" fought against the things little Lily faced in her family, culture, and within herself.

But, as much as I resonated with the brokenness seeping off the pages, I couldn't help but hurt most for the proposed solution, a confused picture of religion.

Now, I finished the book in three short electricity-absent days, so you must understand that I do appreciate the cleverness with which it was written. Every time I turned the page, I seemed to rub shoulders with one of the characters and resonate with their search for meaning and most importantly, hope.

Lily, the main character, is forced to look beyond her circumstances, prejudice, tradition, and her own fears to find something that's worth living for. She ends up in a delightful, loving, bright pink home outside small-town Tiburon, South Carolina. From the remnants of her little, broken life, we see a splendid new girl emerge.

I struggle, though, because in the end I see Lily just as lost as in the beginning. She has found a place where she feels loved, wanted, and treasured. But, I can't say that she has truly found hope... a hope that does not disappoint. She ends up putting her trust and faith in this idea of virgin Mary - seeing her in everything and believing she protects and guides. But, I know that no one - not one person - is found to be without sin, even Mary. And to put our hope in a human will certainly lead to disappointment.

This post is shorter than my true thoughts on the subject, but I have a funny feeling that the more I write the less sense I will make. So, I invite your thoughts - for those who have/have not read this book. What do you think of the message woven throughout the pages?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A New Kind of Thanks

I so cherish the thanksgiving traditions of my growing up years... family gathered together from all across the countryside to celebrate the many blessings. Even if I tried to hide it in my adolescence, I loved the closeness created in the crowded room, stomachs full with Aunt Jill's infamous mashed potatoes, Aunt Shirley's stuffing, and hearts glad with conversation.

Well, this year I am enjoying a new tradition. We met last night with the staff to give thanks for the blessings of the past year. I'm still learning, but sitting down with Hondurans and listening to visions of justice and change made me think about the clash of cultures at the first "thanksgiving."

I know it's completely cliche, but I resonated a bit last night as I listened very closely to the inflections of my Honduran brothers and sisters. I continue to pray God will prepare the way for greater understanding in the language as well as the culture. Because He is moving here, where his creation is crying out for redemption.

I am so very thankful for who God is, and the more I see of His creation, the more my heart is to bring Him praise!

What are YOU thankful for today?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Apartment C-3 Makeover


I would be lying if I said we were completely done with our little home makeover, but let's just say we went from zero to 60 this weekend. Tonight at 10 pm I cleared as much as I could to take the final photos. I still have some creative touches to add, but here are some pictures of the past few days and the "final."

This is the closest to "rust" we could find. Before we were finished, I'm pretty sure some of my joints actually rusted from overuse... is that possible?

My favorite Heather phrase from the past couple weeks, "I'm easy." Now, don't get the wrong idea... by "easy" she means that she could go along with anything. Like painting... she would walk in the room and say, "Put me in coach." Umm... pretty awesome!

I'm not sure if this was Friday or Saturday night, but either way it was the last few strokes before we cleaned and crashed... as you can see from the excitement on my tired, painted, dirty face!

You might wonder if we got ANY paint on the walls.
We did, slowly but surely.
And then, we started looking around to see what else we could paint. These cabinets, which were so delightfully colored purple and blue, were a strange sight to greet a morning wanderer in search of breakfast in the morning... which is why we decided to mix a few colors to find chocolate brown. Who doesn't like something chocolate?

We couldn't leave the project without making our mark. So - here are the initials of the 2008 girls of apartment C-3.

So, remember on Saturday we were having a hard time locating a ladder? Well, I tracked one down. The only problem emerged when the ceiling was about another ladder's worth high. Did that stop us? No. Neither did this cautionary sign on the top of the ladder. I think it's more of a suggestion than anything.

This is the inspiration for our entire common space. I picked up this piece of fabric a LONG time ago in a scrap pile at the fabric store (which, as it turns out, is not any cheaper than the normal piles!) and they are now our kitchen curtains!

Here's the piece where my creativity got a chance to run free. Since my roommates didn't care, I let loose! I drew a tree on an overhead projector and then painted it right into our kitchen. I'll add leaves eventually, but for now this is it.

I wish you could see the sweat on these walls! But, you CAN see the amazing, fabulous "wall words" now stuck to our living area wall. There really couldn't be a more fitting verse for us to see every time we enter our apartment. Thanks, Shelli, for sending this great addition!

Well, there you have it. We're almost done. A few touches... like a subtle hint that we'd like our furniture re-upholstered (or get slipcovers), curtains for the living and dining areas, and something to make those metal doors a little less... well, metal.

C-3 Makeover 2008

We spent way too much money on paint, laughed way too hard at very lame jokes, danced to Mariah Carey, Hanson, Switchfoot, Frank Sinatra, and the WICKED soundtrack, went crazy several times from the fumes, giggled without reason, and FINISHED a very big job, despite minor and major setbacks!

If YOU have a crazy remodel story - share it with us!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekly Lineup

Last week, we tried something a little different. We asked YOU to submit a blog to post. Of the generous outpouring of clever submissions, we found a gem (which we quickly published). If you didn't get the chance to write something... please do! We're not like those crazy people who don't have enough time to read what you're writing. We will read it and love it!

So, this week here's what you can probably, most likely, maybe see up here on musings.
Apartment C-3 Makeover
Read about the finishing touches on our apartment remodel. It was a combined 4 days work, 3 girls, 7 gallons and two pints of paint, 8 walls, 6 furniture pieces, several chocolate and tea breaks, and a LOT accomplished. Look for pictures!

Secret Life of Bees
Many of you have probably read this. Some of you are maybe curious. Well, I was looking for some good fiction to read by flashlight last week during power outages and borrowed this from a friend. Read my thoughts on this interesting novel.

When I was younger, we would go around the table and list the things for which we were thankful. I know we kind of bemoaned the practice as kids, but I secretly loved it (maybe not so secret... I bet if you asked my siblings they would say I was as cheesy as Mom when it really came down to it). So, what new Thanksgiving traditions do you make on your own?

Watching God Work

I've given up. Of course, I've given up before, but I'm hoping this sticks. I hope that this time, when I give up control it will be lost somewhere deep under the mudslides of this mountain with no hope of retrieval. God is sometimes curious in His might... but the more I behold, the more I desire to "treasure these things" as Mary did and trust God for Who He is.

There may be more, may be less. Feel free to chime in though, at any time!!

Love from C.A.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

weekend inspiration

So, my roommates and I have long lamented our strange, bare, cement walls and dreamed of a paint makeover. All sorts of obstacles loomed in our way: getting the paint from the hardware store to the mountain without a car, explaining a vision for the color rust, recruiting everyone to see the same vision, finding the perfect color from 16 cheap choices to somehow fit the vision, carving out time to tear up our common space, being crazy enough to just do it.

Well, as you can see from these pictures, we somehow overcame every obstacle and right now are in the middle of the transformation.

If you are wondering why we are painting only to about 8 feet, it's because we have not yet located a ladder and we thought a straight line would be nice until we can find one to finish.

The obstacle of being "crazy enough" ... well, let's just say that as the night progressed our craziness only increased, to the sounds of Relient K, Def Leppard, the Now and Then soundtrack, and Coldplay.

Halfway through our fume-filled evening, I noticed our countertop had accumulated a curious mixture: paint cans, spinach, grapes, 70% cocoa chocolate, half-drunk mug of tea, placemats, potholders, camera case. Also - what you don't see - fresh pumpkin bread, and several multi-purpose tools.

Color two went on pretty well, until we realized we were painting with two different colors. Yes, that's right. Apparently, in Honduras, you should never assume that two paint cans of the same label are actually the same paint. Things are just a bit different here.

But, we made do.

And, if you remember, way, way back when I wrote about buying fabric and being inspired.... well, it's finally going to have an outlet! After we finish the coats of paint in the kitchen and living area, I'm going to do a little experiment inspired by Christina's posts awhile back.

I'll post the finish product for you to see!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

crazy routine - delightful and unexpected (guest writer!)

So, our mom took the bait and has shared this little gem. Hop on over to her blog to read more about her crazy, routine adventures!

Crazy routine - delightful and unexpected

Two phrases stuck out to me when reading this blog last night:

"..delightful, unexpected, life things..."

So, because she was asking for guest writers for this week (and it's already Thursday), and because I am enjoying a wonderfully relaxing day while my students are at an honor choir, I am sharing this tiny space of ...space... with her.

At some point in everyone's life, if they are productive and passionate and purposeful, (please note alliteration- I worked very hard at that), they find out that, oddly enough, routine and crazy actually work out very well together. The key is realizing that each have their time and place, and knowing when to roll with routine and rock with crazy. Flexibility! Those of us who are control freaks have a hard time with this, but believe me it's one of the most valuable lessons to learn in life. Side benefit: aids in learning to trust our Heavenly Father!

Which leads to the second phrase rolling around in my head. If we are flexing, trusting, rocking, and rolling, we will discover "delightful, unexpected, life things!" Those serendipitous moments that push us out of our routine and into crazy. Those "out of control" things that happen when we least expect it, but we learn to cherish because of their infrequency. Things like unexpected compliments, deep conversations, touching compassion, random acts of kindness, surprise encounters.
Enjoy your crazy routine, my daughters. In it you will find the delightful and the unexpected.


The mountain finally has power! After three days, my mountain has electricity. I heard a transformer blew, but I'm wondering if it might be because of a little confusion in the wiring.

I don't know, I'm just saying.

So, the past three days have been a mix of chilling rain and murky clouds on the mountain and blue, bold skies in the city. I thought I would share a few pictures of other things that make me think of sunshine:

Pictures of Myla Paige French

The thought of my family gathering around to sing, "Count Your Many Blessings," next week in Iowa.

The half painted walls in our apartment ... which means it's becoming our home!

These are just a few things - what makes your day sunshine?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

line-up, change-up

Well, this week is out of the ordinary... and late, of course.

Why? You might ask. Well, for starters, for two straight days my mountaintop has been without power. The winds rattle the walls and windows all night and darkness greets our mornings.

Needless to say, my routine has been a bit crazy.

Several thousand miles away, I haven't talked to the other (more creative genius) half of this blog in awhile and I don't want our next conversation to be about this blog.


Because of these delightful, unexpected, life things, I was wondering something...

I was wondering if YOU could be our lineup this week. Respond to this post with suggestions for future blogging, things you are thinking, questions you are pondering, blessings you are thankful for... pretty much anything goes (that you think my mom would also approve and enjoy :).

So - let's see what you got, my lovely readers. But, you've got to write it down!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

nobody wants to be lonely

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be included. I'm not sure if it's because I'm immersed in junior high drama, counseling around the ins and outs of friendship circles, or if it's because I'm still getting used to the idea of being a resident and not a foreigner in this land.

Either way, today I'm reminded of the song, "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely" that was popular when I was in junior high/high school, sung by Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera. (Come on - I can't help the ridiculous songs that get stuck in my head!)The song is thick with illustrations of exclusion, interwoven, of course, among heartsick expressions of "love and longing."

I'm trying to find a way to fit all these things together... to make some sense of my thoughts on the stronghold of self-pity in relation to my experiences of the necessity of human interaction.

And what I've come up with is this: the world likes it when we feel lonely, excluded, outcast, disregarded, cut down, ashamed, and worthless. I say the world, but what I really mean is the king of this world, our enemy satan. The tricky thing is the world is both the source of all these feelings and the seeming solution. Somehow, satan positions himself in a way that, though he deceives us first into feeling this way, he also manages to deceives us into thinking only he can get us out.

Am I making sense?

It's kind of like that old, old story of the two people who were deceived into thinking they could become like God. Nothing good came of their being deceived, but their first line of defense was to cover up with some flimsy leaves, thinking they could hide the feelings of shame.

It's frustrating. The world promises all sorts of things, like: thinness, self-confidence, wealth, fame, friendship, love, and satisfaction, but when it (inevitably) fails to deliver, there are endless worldly antidotes, like: therapy, diet pills, luxury vacations, divorce lawyers, ice cream, and get-rich-quick schemes.


I suppose I'm no closer to understanding junior high drama, nor have I captured completely my transition. But, I do know that the schemes of our enemy satan constantly seek to frustrate my Creator's plans of redemption.

I can be frustrated - the righteous indignation kind - but I must know and believe that, though the world will fail us, God will not. And His plans will not be thwarted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quitting Church

Listen in to this edition of White Horse Inn, where the author describes this new phenomenon of people "quitting church" in modern day America.

Click here for the quicktime podcast.

Let us know what you think.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ordinary vs. extraordinary

saints, humanitarians, martyrs, healers, preachers, prophets, me, kings, prodigies, celebrities

One of these things is not like the other things.
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you guess which thing is not like the other thing
before I finish my song?

(Just thought I'd flash back to the old "Sesame Street" days)
Well, you probably guessed it by now... it's me!

Awhile ago, I dove headfirst into a novel by the renowned Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoevsky. The dive was delicious. And, as I followed the main character Prince Myshkin across the Russian countryside, Dostoevsky often contrasted the lives of the ordinary with those of the extraordinary.

He made the point that we simply will not all be extraordinary. We cannot without altering the very definition of the word "extraordinary". I know - roll it around in your mind a bit.

As Americans, we are really put off by the notion that we will not be extraordinary. It's some kind of right we fellow Americans think we will always enjoy. Hm.

Well, as I think back on Dostoevsky's assertions, it doesn't take long to decide where I fit in. I wake up each morning and so far nothing in my life has set me apart in a way that will show up in history books. Believe it or not, no one is knocking down my door to ask to publish the words on this blog or hidden in my journals. Each day, I wake up and go about the life of breakfast and teeth-brushing and penciling lesson plans and struggling through parent conferences in Spanish.

All these things and nothing to distinguish me against millions and millions of others doing similar, seemingly insignificant tasks.

Could we make the argument that we are extraordinary as Christians? Sure. I'm sure someone will.

But, I really believe that after Adam and Eve sinned, their daily toil would really not make a catchy headline. Day-to-day life normally isn't.

I am also encouraged by the people between the lines of history. Those people that didn't make it into the pages of the Bible, save for a few lines where they were found in a crowd or village. Those people - they are ordinary.

I'm an ordinary soldier - an ordinary sojourner - who is learning to be satisfied with the gift of ordinary days. Our service to the Holy King makes Him no more or less great... for He is the extraordinary One and dependent on nothing.

I'm just purposing to do 'ordinary' excellently.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Being a Christian isn't about being good and nice

I was thinking about this after doing a bible study with my girls group a few weeks ago. We had been talking about the tongue, and how to keep our tongues under control. It was a decent discussion, but some of the girls' take-away thoughts left me thinking, "wow, they really don't get it..."

That got me thinking... the worst thing that can happen from this Bible study is that these girls go away, not gossiping, not slandering, not complaining... but not KNOWING the God who created the universe. You know? Because although one less gossiper is better for the world, the girl is no better without Christ.

WHICH got me thinking... you know, being a Christian isn't about being good. It really isn't. And I think that the fact that people have gotten it all a little confused has messed up a lot for God's Kingdom. The confusion between goodness and holiness, the confusion between being a good persona and being a sold-out soldier for Christ, this has not done good things for God's cause.

For really, we should not be known for being boring and good.
We should be known for our mercy, our love, our sacrifice. We should be known for sold-out service for our great King. We should be not good, but a revolution of Christlikeness.

And my Christ? Well, he was definitely not just nice. He changed the world.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In the News...

Today is so full of joy (for many reasons)!

In his first season as head coach at South Haven, our brother Samuel, will be playing his third playoff game this week. His success (in my opinion) depends greatly on his dedication to his team and the sport as a ministry. For those of you skeptical of sports and the impact that can be made there, talk to my brother.

Ever since he first started taking on responsibilities at Holland Christian while still in college, his heart for reaching young men through the sport of football has impressed some of the most convincing skeptics. I remember sitting in the stands with Bethany at some of the early games (several losing seasons) and watching Samuel encourage and inspire his team. Many times after games he would be in tears.

Now, after taking his first head-coaching position, I know that his passion for the sport and the young men has only increased. I haven't been able to talk to him much about it, but luckily the Holland Sentinel newspaper wrote a story on the upcoming game. Click here to read it!

If you still want to know more, you can click here to read another article, in the Kalamazoo Gazette. If you still want to know more, you can go over to his blog (which I'm sure he's having a hard time updating with all this excitement!).

Basically, today is one of those days my pride could burst my buttons. Congratulations, bro!

Weekly Lineup

This week has been interesting. I'm late getting out the lineup because of a crazy weekend (and I'm excited to hear about Christina's weekend too!). But, praise the Lord because there is blue sky and sunshine again in Honduras! Thank you for your prayers - things are drying out and the vitamin D is doing wonders.

This week should be great - here's a sneak peek of what we think we'll write about ;). Be blessed today!

Blitz Update
So, you heard the exciting news from Caroline's busy week, but follow up Christina and her busy Friday. By the numbers looked exhausting, but I'm sure the Lord worked in marvelous ways!

Ordinary vs. Extraordinary
Read Caroline's thoughts on how God calls us to live each ordinary day as unto Him. Not all of us are called to be Mother Theresas. Sometimes God ministers through the most ordinary of people in the most ordinary of ways. What should our lives look like if we're not extraordinary?

Being a Christian is not always about being good
Find out what Christina has to say about this... I'm interested to know (still!).

the stronghold of self-pity
The world loves it when we feel bad about ourselves. There are all sorts of antidotes - movies, chocolate, gossip - but none that satisfy.

After the Election
What to do now? What's done is done and now we face again our responsibility as citizens to be active participants and keep our government accountable. Where do we go from here?

GraB bAg
As always, look for things out of the ordinary!

We love to hear from you, so keep those comments coming!

Friday, November 07, 2008

there's a party going on right here

While Christina is serving the Lord and the students at the concert and lock-in, I am going to share a mini story about the amazing redemption the Lord is bringing here, to Pinares.

This week was spiritual emphasis week, as I wrote earlier, and the topic was spiritual warfare. I didn't know this until today, but the students were expecting flashing lights and dramatic skits, because in the past teams from the US have come down for the week. Well, the week wasn't flashy or elaborate, it was just plain old teachers standing up to testify to the spiritual, unseen battle.

Daniela is one of my 10th graders who has rolled her eyes at me more than once. Her attitude is unpredictable and she can be moody. But, tonight the Lord did an amazing work in her life that was even surprising to her. We had an outreach for the high school kids tonight and after worship the students had a chance to share a testimony. The very last one was Daniela, who shared that just minutes before during worship, she accepted Christ into her heart.

Through tears she told of how the Lord had been working in her life throughout the week, nudging and encouraging. By her own admission, she has a temper and is frustrated easily, but God persisted and she is the cause of a glorious celebration in heaven tonight.

Praise God for the work of redemption and restoration!

Tonight by the NUM3ERS

Tonight by the numbers.
1 Me.
450 Junior Highers.
15 Churches.
1 Major Band Concert here at the church.
4 Venues opened up around town, for our traveling lock-in.
1 speaker sharing the gospel with 450 kids.
12 hours of up-all-night fun.
5 cups of coffee I'll try to find around town.
4 times my boss woke up last night thinking of things that needed to be done.
1 ipod shuffle donated for a prize (wow- parents are amazing!)
10 phone calls I need to make today, to find more volunteers
100 pizzas delivered throughout the night

1 girl who's really excited to see what God's going to do in these 12 big hours.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Race Relations

Here's something I found over at the Boundless web-zine. Check out this article about race relations and let us know what you think.

whose side are you on, anyway?

This morning, I spoke in chapel to 7-12 graders about the spiritual battle we find ourselves in every single day.

Today the theme was, “whose side are you on, anyway?” and it really forced me to do some thinking. To be honest, I’m not sure why I spoke today and not someone else. I know there are teachers on staff much more capable. But, last night, as we were praying in the 212 room, I felt like I needed to just be obedient and trust the rest to Him.

The previous days focused emphasized that we are "in a battle," we've been "called to fight," and we are "equipped."

Today, as I asked the question, "Whose side are you on, anyway?" I focused on these four points:
There’s no middle ground
The battle is BIGGER than you
God HAS WON the victory
You are redeemed for a purpose

I just want to share the final point with you today, as it is fresh on my mind and pressing on my heart.

redeemed for a purpose
"When Jesus redeemed sinners, he didn’t say, “Sit here and don’t sin.” NO! He said GO! and sin no more! (John 8:1-11) You are His ambassadors, as Paul writes to the Corinthians, as though Christ were making His appeal to the world THROUGH YOU. God is making His appeal through you - do you think his plan is for you to be silent? Is that why you’ve got all this armor?

What are you going to do with your redemption?

2 Timothy 2:3-4 says, "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer."

When a soldier wakes up in the morning, he doesn't ask "what do I feel like doing?" No, a soldier doesn't meddle in civilian affairs - he is concerned only with pleasing his commander. Be ready, soldier, to endure hardships, be ready to pass on Truth and teach others. Be ready, soldier, to please your commander.
But, to please God you have to know God and what it is He requires.
Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. But to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

If you claim to be in the Lord’s army - then your commander requires you to ACT.
do justice
love mercy
walk humbly with God.

Justice is bringing the fairness of God to the unfairness of the world.
Mercy is not getting what you deserve. We don't deserve salvation, but God has offered it freely. How can we do the same?
To walk humbly we must truly believe that we are unworthy of this relationship with an Almighty God, but honored to be enlisted in His service.

This morning, some of you know that you have not placed your faith in Christ as your Savior. You know that you are walking around without any armor, unsure of your allegiances.

Some of you may have said the words of a sinner's prayer hundreds of times, but your life bears no fruit.

Some of you have that personal relationship, but you not really sure what to do about it.

Wherever this morning finds you, know that there are only two choices - to fight for God or fall prey to Satan. Take your pick. This morning - whose side are you on, anyway?

I showed this short movie, featured on the 24-7 prayer website, shows an example of someone doing what our commander requires.

Monday, November 03, 2008

New Honduran Horizon!

One more month has passed - can you believe it?

I certainly cannot! I admit, this newsletter was more hastily finished than any of the previous, but I wanted to get it out in time for Spiritual Emphasis Week to encourage you to pray (if you're not already!). Just click on this image below or go to my webpage: Adventures in Tegucigalpa.

Without giving too much away, this has been both a wonderful and a difficult month for me. The Lord is constantly refining me and reminding me that there are no promises of ease as His ambassador.

I am daily encouraged by Christians around me and also by the opportunity I see in students and the surrounding area. God is moving and I am learning to expect His presence... to believe that He is mightier than anything the devil brings to battle.

Praise God for the victory we find in Him alone.

Hallo-when you gonna tell us what you were for Halloween?

My honorary nephew and God-son (Tina said I could call him that if I wanted... I definitely want... dang those protestants for not assigning God-parents!)was a sock monkey for Halloween.
I could just die from his cuteness. I love him so :)

What were YOU for thanksgiving? Post your costume ideas with pictures! We'd love to see them! :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Weekly Lineup

What were YOU for Halloween?
So, there's this crazy holiday called Halloween. It's origin and evolution are great debates, but the fun involved in dressing up and pestering grown-ups for candy is definitely not in question. What were YOU this year?

Being a Christian is not always about being good
Find out what Christina has to say about this... I'm interested to know.

To Worship and To War

This week is 'spiritual emphasis' week at Pinares (If you think of it, please pray!). I'm slated for the Thursday chapel to speak under the theme, "Who's side are you on, anyway?" We'll see what the Lord can make of it.

Grab Bag
As always, look for things out of the ordinary!

Cold Days - getting creative on blustery days
So, even though it's hard to believe, it gets pretty cold here. Several weeks of rain and cloud are good motivation to find fun 'indoor' things to do. Here are some that I suggest!

We love to hear from you, so keep those comments coming!

Favorite Spots in the Sea

Asking a person who loves books about their favorites is like asking a sailor about their favorite part of the sea. A friend asked me yesterday what my favorite books are, and as much as I love books, I hate that question! So I've been thinking about that question for the last day or so. I don't know about favorites, but books that have, literally, changed my life are:

The Treasure Principle, Randy Alcorn (Made me graduate college early!)

Stop dating the Church, Josh Harris (Helped me fall in love with God's bride, the church.)

A Woman after God's Own Heart, Elizabeth George (showed me what it's like to be a truly Godly Woman- def. not there yet :) )

Wild at Heart, Eldridge (I know it's weird, but it helped me understand my guy friends/ brothers/ etc. a whole lot better! :) )

Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning (Made me realize it's OK to be a mess, if I do it for the Lord)

For the Love of God, DA Carson (The only "devotional" that I ever could really get into. This is hard-core stuff for Christian growth. Awesome.)

The book of Romans, God (spent 6 months studying it, verse by verse, in preparation for a summer mission trip. Life-changing.)

What the Bible says about Healthy Living, Rex Russell
(Started me on all-natural cooking and eating, 7 months ago!)

Check them out!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

first day of sun

Well, today marked the first day of sunshine in a very long time! I know - it seems strange. You might think that, being in central america, it would always be sunny here. That is simply not the case! I have been bundled in several layers, drinking hot tea and decaf coffee for several weeks straight it seems as the winds and rains whip at my window.

But, as I said, today there was sunshine! We went down into the city to get groceries and the temperature difference was between 12-14 degrees! On the way back up the mountain it felt as if we were entering a different climate completely.

In any case, after we got re-acclimated (and I bought some fresh fall-color flowers on the way), we joined other students and staff in the 24-7 prayer room to hear a short concert and testimony from Benny Prasad. I can't tell you what a treat it was to hear how the Lord has blessed this man with an amazing ministry that he takes all over the world. Check out his website to read more!