Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summer Days Driftin' Away...

Home Group this week was with the Kavy's. It was a night of pizza, Corn in the Hole (as Abbs calls it), Canasta, and frisbee (which is why Tofer is on the roof and Sara and Lily are "watching so he doesn't fall")
We decided this summer to just do fellowship nights. We've been rotating homes and sharing meals, and bringing our whole fams. It's great for those of us who are beyond babies because we get to snuggle and kitchy-coo the wee ones. Kalen Charles (seen here sporting he polar bear unionsuit!) is a fave because he wants you to feel you are doing well and encourages you with tons of smiles.
When Maizy passed away, Per and Sue immediately bought Abby-girl. She is finally big enough to come up to play with us. Still very much a puppy and not ready to do the hike but, frisbee - ball - wrestle - etc ... Ready, willing and able!
We got to go to our first Bozeman Farmer's market. In comparison to where we came from, it was produce-lite (actually it was like a gnat's eyelash) but it is early still, and so we remain hopeful. Yummy Butterheads, and some nice garlic, but most everything else was crafts. I'm hoping to go again on Tuesday at the park instead of the fairgrounds.
Scott and Sadie had us over for some serious grub. They feed you well (or as Scott would say, "Feed you well - in a mug! You know what I'm sayin'?! Ya, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout right there!") Ribs, black bean salad, corn, acorn squash, baked beans... and I brought Scotty's favorite dessert ~Triple Berry Crumble. I literally felt like I was going to pop.
Dan, Jess, Doug, Kaitlyn, Minda & I took in Montana's Shakespeare in the Park this week also. It is the best performance of MacBeth I have ever been too and the first one that was free! It was fantastic! Of course, it was also gory, demonic, and a testament to pride and the true nature of man ~ but that is the best of MacBeth! And they did it so well that you walked away saying, "God keep me from myself! Let me always look to You alone as my source." Scary stuff.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The greatest is love ...

So, I'm trying to let God speak to my wounded heart. Wounds don't like to be spoken to. None-the-less, Holy Spirit is speaking and even getting through somehow.

Having Holy Spirit speaking and moving is humbling. I am constantly at the verge of tears it seems. A few days ago these verses were running through my head :

I Cor. 13: 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. - - 13 ...Faith, hope and love will endure, but the greatest of these is Love.

I've also been re-reading A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, & A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'engle. I came across a conversation in A Wind that cut to the quick. A Cheribum is giving a lesson to a human girl-

"To be named is to be known, & to know who you are meant to be. be known you must be loved. If someone knows who he is, really knows, then there is no need to hate or envy. (Satan) is an Un-namer -- causing people to not know who they are -- causing hate."

"If I hate someone whenever I think of them, am I naming them?"

"No. You are un-naming." You are a tool of Satan.

"How do I name someone/thing I do not love or find lovely?"

"Only love makes a person know who they are. You are full of love, but you do not know how to stay within it when it isn't easy. If you fail to name someone, you yourself are open to being un-named. You must find something worthy of love & begin there."

"Loving makes us wholly ourselves as well as making others whole?"

"Yes, Meg-let, whole and real and alive..."

How many have I kept from Life by not choosing to find something worthy of loving? What have I gained from witholding protection, trust, and hope from others?

Have I un-named myself by not giving others a name that declares His love for them?

At the end of the day faith, hope and love abide -- at the end of life will I be known for the greatest of these?

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Life Questioned ~ edited

It is our own heart, and not someone's opinion of us that forms our character
Frederich Von Shiller

Our church is making cutbacks. Money is a rudder. It isn't a storm, or the helm, or even the sail or the wind in the sail. It just makes all those things way more obvious when it is lacking. Sadly, it does turn the ship. It creates panic and unrest on board when you know that one little piece of wood has been cracked, damaged or removed and you no longer have the power to control the ships movements.

It has been an emotional week. Our dearest friends, and the associate pastors of our body (the Murrays) have been let-go. We are heartbroken, discouraged, at-a-loss, and reeling from the blow. I don't understand the decision, but what I do know is that these are some of the most God-honoring people I have ever had in my life. God is for them. He is completely able to turn for good something that doesn't look that way in the natural. I know they will let Him lead them into the next glory beyond what He began here, as they look to Him. My heart will be bowed low for a long, long, time ~ both in prayer for understanding & comfort, but also because that is the only place it can be right now... low, at the foot of the cross ~ in sackcloth and ashes.

Don and Jen, River and Mo, we love you way up to the moon and deeper than the ocean. We will miss having you by our side everyday. Thank you for being our friends. This is one of the most difficult things we've ever experienced.

(J felt that I shared a bit too much, so I have edited this post. Please forgive me if I helped to start a root of bitterness in any of you, and please, please know that wasn't my intention. I journal here. Sometimes I forget that others even read it, so I must be more careful in content. Thanks for understanding. ~D)
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Baby Bliss

Getting lots of opportunities to capture all that baby pudge! More babies on the way (Daum's, Rassi's, Summerford's, Coat's, Mann's), so I'll be posting those as they arrive and get their moment of stardom before the lens! Cameron

Noah and Mama

Lily and Noah


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Birthday Duet

We had birthdays in May but waited until it actually looked like May outside before we took our anual shot!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful men in our lives! What a blessed day of relaxation and joy we had honoring our favorite guy! To express in one day our love and adoration for this man is insufficient, but the kids did an awesome job.
J had his normal pastoral duties, but he loves being a pastor, so it never seems quite like work! And our whole family was involved in the service yesterday, lending our support and pride for who he is in Christ! :o) He came home to BBQ Bratwursts (spicy and greasy!) and chips and Tiger Woods leading the US Open. After lunch he took a nap while our landlords and I tried to figure out the mystery creature living in our wall. (I'll tell you later) Then Tof BBQ'd 1.5" thick steaks, and I made Green beans and Taaka Marsala Noodles for dinner while J opened cards and gifts. We gave J $$ for a new pair of dress/casual shoes, & Tof took us to see Kung-Fu Panda! (Totally, Freaking Funny movie!) .

Saturday we had a farewell party for some friends. Spring weather arrived Friday. I hope it decides to keep smiling upon us for more than just a day or two.
I get to cross off another accomplishment on my life list~ Friday we arrived home to find a fawn walking up our driveway. She was still damp from being born, probably an hour old. Mama watched her at a close distance while I stroked her little head and scratched under her chin. :o)
Friday we also went to a Party. This one was to celebrate with our friends, Sam and Sara, over Sam's National Title as Champion in Cycling ~ Gold Medal, baby! If you would like to read more about Sam's journey from avalanche survivor to national champion click here, here, here, or here.

This has been one of the busiest weeks I have ever experienced. God's grace and love has been so evident through it all, though. I feel strangely energized and happy. (and thankful another week like this one is not facing me in the future!)
I have a friend here who is the director's wife of the campground we spent the week at for VBS. She has not had a day since January (other than the week she spent in Africa working with patients at Bongalow Hospital.) that she hasn't had to cook for 60 - 150 people. 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. I can't even fathom the weariness that would induce. Please pray for her and for help/relief to arise.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More Power to Him

More from VBS!!
Quarentined Lepars.
Every Move I Make.
Ben is Brave!
Cheese Its!
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the POWERS Christ gives

I'm photographing VBS this week, so I won't be posting a whole lot.... Bunch of Mad Science goin' on as we test out and discover the Power from Christ to be thankful, to help others, to be brave, to live forever, and to tell others about Him! Our whole family is involved and it has been a blast the past few days - except for the 6" of snow out at YAA campground where we are holding it!

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Conner's Visit

We Meet At Last!

Anna, Conner, Mom and Dad drove over from Moses Lake for a short visit this week! They got in Saturday and we didn't waste anytime getting to know our little man. Sunday J preached and they all got to be a part of that! It was very poignant to have our family join us and J honored Mom & Dad by thanking them for the Godly heritage they bestowed on him.
I'm so grateful they made the 8 hour journey! Shaun had to fly back to San D to finish out his final 2 weeks in Coast Guard and we missed him, but we are so blessed that didn't stop Anna from comin' on ahead! We'll get Shaun over here yet!
We had lots of floor time. Conner army crawls everywhere. We alternated middle names with him throughout the weekend ~ Conner "Poops-like-a-man" Oliver; Conner "Danger" Oliver; ... He liked James and Tofer best. He seems to know instinctively "I'm one of them!" and he watched them with great interest. Especially if Uncle Yimmy went into one of his special Arias.
We did Frogmore ~AGAIN! It's just such a great communal meal! Mom bought a special wine (viognier from hermit crab vinters) that perfectly set off the seafood and oldbay seasonings. Later we played Apples to Apples and teased one another mercilessly.
I would go so far as to say that family has to be the greatest invention of all time. God fleshed out in love and relationship, laughter and tears, hugs and kisses...
It's just plain awesome.

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