Friday, April 27, 2007

When...

Jesus is
everything
to you, it is
impossible
not to speak of HIM.

"It is hard to keep the sun in your pocket."
-Randy Alcorn

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

California at random







I'm following Jesus one step at a time,
I live for the moment in His love divine.
Why think of tomorrow, just live for today,
I'm following Jesus each step of the way!



The pathway is narrow but He leads me on,
I walk in His shadow my fears are all gone.
My spirit grows stronger, each moment each day,
For Jesus is leading each step of the way.

-Redd Harper

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Source

"He who believes in Me...
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
John 7:38

A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received of His fullness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with the outflow -- "This is the work of God that ye believe..." God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is.

A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. You can see God using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do no seem to be of any use. Keep paying attention to the Source, and God will wither take you round the obstacle or remove it.

The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source. Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.



Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up marvellous truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has nourished in you mighty torrents of blessing for other.

~Oswald Chambers

Monday, April 23, 2007

In the garden of life...



All the
flowers
of tomorrow
are in the
seeds
of today.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Snapshots of today

Our new bus -- and home for the next 3 weeks! And yes, we did get on the road this time; thank you for all your prayers!

After spending 13 non-stop hours in the bus, (and knowing we have 13 more hours to travel!) it was an immense treat this afternoon to stop at a roadside rest stop in Utah.

Gott'a run off all that energy before loading up in the bus!

This is a typical picture of what I look like on our trips -- with the camera bags! Here I am using the video camera instead of my own personal one 'cause one of my brother's was using my camera.

Always good for a grin!


Having never been this far west before, the scenery was absolutely amazing! We all crowded in the front of the bus and 'ooh-ed' and 'aah-ed' at all the towering mountains and rocks.

The mountains proclaim it -- He is Lord!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Detours, road trips, and an e-card

If you've been following our family blog at all, you'd notice all the changes and adjustments we've been having this past week. We were supposed to leave over a week ago, but we still find ourselves in sunny Nebraska. Through all sorts of detours and set backs, our mechanics have persevered.

The bus situation has gone up and down, sometimes changing our plans several times a day. At one time, this e-card: "How are you feeling today?" came close to describing how we all felt! (Not near that bad, mind you, but it gave us a laugh as it was just a little bit close!) Go check it out if you are in need of a laugh today! I'm so thankful that God is in control, and though I don't I always see the big picture, this whole week of trials was no surprise to Him!

We have had things packed in our bus for over a week now. As we've tried to function and have fruitful time with the extra days at home, I don't know how many times I've heard (and had to say), "But that is in the bus!" And because we've stored so many things there, we all can't wait to finally load up in the bus and go.

As we were all excited about finally getting in the bus and being able to use everything we've sorely missed this week, the verse in Matthew 6:20-21 was mentioned. "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Having so many of our earthly treasures in the bus gives a whole new perspective to this verse. Because we know what is in the bus, we all can't wait to get there!

And as we lay up treasures in heaven and give for eternity's sake, our heart will follow. We should have the attitude of sending treasures on ahead to heaven, and anticipating the day when we finally get to go there. For oh -- the excitement of knowing what is in store!

And...one of these days we'll finally make it to our bus. [grin]

Hopefully tonight yet, sometime. West coast -- here we come!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For His good pleasure

This I saw, that when a soul loves God with a supreme love, God's interests and his become one.
It is no matter when or where nor how Christ should send me, nor what trials He should exercise me with, if I may be prepared for His work and will.
-David Brainerd

"I always do those things that please Him."
-JESUS (John 8:29 )

Monday, April 16, 2007

Can I eat spring?

Oh the excitement of experiencing spring for the very first time!

" Can I eat this?"

"Why not?!"

"What a pretty flower!"

"You mean I can't eat this either?!"


"...what IS spring for if I can't eat it?!"

"Maybe I'll like it, anyway!"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ready for His bidding?

It is easier to make great sacrifices when God does not ask them, but to give up our own in each detail of life is something far harder.
And this is what He does ask. To hold ourselves ever in readiness for His bidding -- to count no token of it to slight -- such is His call to each. Thus only shall we be ready for further service if He sees fit to lead us on to it.
-H. Bowman

"WAIT ON THE LORD.
Keep His way,
AND HE SHALL EXALT YOU."

-Psalms 37:34

Thursday, April 12, 2007

For a cozy day

...anyone care to join me for a cup?!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

He is worthy


"I will bless the Lord at all times:
His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Psalms 34:1

:: Praise is an expression of faith and an act of the will. It is not based on how we feel.

"Every day I will bless Thee;
and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever."
Psalms 145:2

:: Praise is not a response to our circumstances, which constantly fluctuate. Praise is a response to the goodness and love of God who never changes.

"By [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."
Hebrews 13:15

:: Praise demonstrates faith that God is bigger and greater than any circumstance we may be facing.

"My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:
I will sing and give praise."
Psalm 57:7

:: Praise is a ministry to God. Praise is first and foremost for God, not for us. The purpose of praise is to bring Him blessing and pleasure, not to make us feel good.



"Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His holy Name."
Psalm 103:1




Excerpts from: A Place of Quiet Rest
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Oatmeal Cookies

Tonight at the request of a brother, I mixed up a batch of these cookies. I hadn't made this recipe for a long time, and I'd forgotten how much I liked it! This is a dessert recipe that I really like using wheat flour...
Hm-mm-m!

3/4 C margarine
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
[for our family, instead of 1 & 1/2 cups of sugar, I'll cut it down to only 1/2 cup, and then add one or two tablespoons of molasses. Or substitute honey to taste! A much healthier alternative, and still plenty sweet!]
1 egg
1/4 C water
3 C quick oats
1 tsp vanilla
1 & 1/2 C wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 package chocolate chips (or m&m's; raisins; craisins; coconut; peanuts; ect...)

Beat margarine, sugars, eggs, water and vanilla until creamy. Add remaining ingredients, mix very well. (Add additional flour if needed so the dough is very stiff.) Stir in your choice of goodies, and form into large mounds.

Bake at 350 for 9 - 12 minutes. (Do not over bake! These cookies will bake a little bit after removing them from the oven, and over baking them makes them very dry...)

Enjoy!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Isaiah 57:15

"For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity,
whose name is Holy:
"I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit."


Submission is an act of faith in which we are trusting God to direct in our lives and to work out His purposes in His time.

-Warren Weirsbe

Input requested:


I was recently asked the question:

"Bethany, I was wondering if you would share with us what your favorite book on photography is and why."

To answer honestly, I haven't found it yet! So many books deal with some key issues of photography, but tend also to cover either in-appropriate topics, or use in-appropriate pictures to drive various points home, thus, I don't feel right recommending any.

So -- I'm asking for you input. If any of you know of photography books that you've learned a lot from and would recommend, I'd appreciate it if you'd share the book title, the author's name, and maybe what you enjoyed the most about that particular book?!

Thank you so much! I'm looking forward to hearing your answers. And know that I'll keep on the look out...as soon as I find a favorite, I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Love lustres at Calvary

At Calvary thy infinite attributes were magnified, and infinite atonement was made.

Christ was
all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell's worst that I might attain heaven's best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inherit glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light.


My Savior
wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,
groaned that I might have endless song,
endured all pain that I might have unfading health,
bore a thorned crown that I might have a glory-diadem,
bowed his head that I might uplift mine,
experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,
closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,
expired that I might for ever live.

O Father,
who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,
All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;
Help me to adore thee by lips and life.

Go forth, O conquering God, and show me the cross,
mighty to subdue, comfort and save.



-from The Valley of Vision

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Siblings are special


...especially mine!




How do people make it through life without 'em?


The most treasured heirlooms are the sweet memories of my family...


they remind me of how blessed I am to have siblings and friends like you...

...and you never know when we'll be making another memory!!

I smile because you are my siblings;
I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A true servant

"And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit own to eat'?

But will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink'?

Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.' "
-Luke 17:7-10

--- --- --- --- ---

As true servants, we must be willing to have one thing on top of another be put upon us, without any consideration being given us.

Secondly, in doing this we must be willing not to be thanked for it.

Thirdly, having done all this, we must not charge the other with selfishness.

Fourth, having humility to confess that we are unprofitable servants (that is, that we are no real use to man or God in and of ourselves).

Fifth, the admission that doing and bearing what we have in the way of meekness and humility, we have not done one stitch more than it was our duty to do.


Am I willing to be that servant?


-Roy Hession in The Calvary Road

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Treasured moments


Each MOMENT of the year has its own beauty -
a picture that was never seen before
and will never be seen again.

RWE

Monday, April 02, 2007

My weekend

My brothers and sisters and I were incredibly blessed to be a part of the NCHEA children's conferance this weekend. (Check out the family blog to see more pictures and details!) Late nights, early mornings, 220 excited children, songs, teaching, drama, taking pictures and oodles of other details could sum up the last few days.

The theme was "The Quest -- a young man's journey for the glory of the King." It was such a practical theme to work with, and the drama brought so many key points home that I know impacted me, and I pray the children as well.
A very exhausting few days, but so worth it. I sometimes feel that I go away learning way more than the children did!

I was blessed to be a team leader again this year. What a wonderful group of children we had!

Sixty staff came in to help with the weekend. What a blessing it is to work with the body of Christ for one common goal!

"Fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart;
for consider what great things He has done for you."

1 Samuel 12:24

(Check out more pictures here on Flickr!)

NCHEA: The drama

Long ago and far away, where knights still saved maidens and the maidens still wanted to be saved... there was a boy, Andrake, who answered the call to began the journey to become a knight under the King.

The requirements to become a knight were:
-- to be set apart from other citizens by rising to a higher standard
-- to honor those placed in authority over him
-- to guard his heart against all evil
-- to resist temptation
-- to love others more than himself
-- to use his skills to advance the Kingdom
-- to bring honor to the King in all that he does

Andrake had a wise teacher, Sir Conelly, who was the leading knight of his day. Andrake studied under Sir Conelly for many, many hours, and learned many, many things. One day, in rash behaviour -- declaring that "I know everything and am ready to start out on my own", Andrake ran away. He forged his master's signature, and was soon jousting with other knights.

But the law caught up with him, and he faced time in the stocks.

After that little mishap, Sir Conelly gave Andrake a book that would help him on his journey to become a knight. Andrake studied it intently, but soon ran into a peddler who had his own wares to offer:

"Ye know, that's an awfully big book to read. It will probably take ye the rest of ye life to read through the whole thing! But -- I have just the perfect solution! There's a brand new book that's just hit the markets. It would be perfect for ye! 'Easy Tips to Become A Knight' -- it takes all the best ideas from all the books written for squires and combines them into one handy reference that's easy to read and will help ye become a knight much faster."



Though almost convinced, Andrake remembers Sir Conelly's instructions, and resists the temptation to trade for the new fangled book, soon realizing his error in even listening to the peddler, and thanking God for his narrow escape.

Continuing to travel along, he meets a fellow servant of the king, Lark. Soon, the two of them come upon three [ahem] brothers, shall we say?! Bearing the lustrous names of Turnious, Itchecus, and Del.

(Insufferable timing for the three 'brothers')

Departing from their company, (and much against Lark's wise counsel) they stopped at a carnival. Andrake got all caught up in the toys and hats, spending his money ruthlessly, throwing caution to the wind.
Laden down with the pretty things, he realized that he no longer had anymore money for lodging that night -- and quickly learned the important lesson of using the talents and resources God has given us for the King's purposes and glory, not wasting them on temporary pleasures.

Weary and tired of traveling, they came upon a poor cobbler's house. He granted them permission to stay with them, and soon unburdened his heart to the young men. His beautiful daughter Delia had been kidnapped! Oh, how his heart was broken! He pled with Andrake to take up the search for his daughter.

Now many have reached a point in their journey only to find that the meaning of service to the King was something different than they had expected, and after much conversation and soul searching, Andrake decides that going to search for lost Delia is more important right now than finishing his quest to become a knight:

"One does not have to be a knight to serve the King. Serving the King is serving others. It's not something that a title can help me do. As hard as it may be for me, I have chosen to give up my search. I must stop this folly of trying to serve the King and do it."

Now this cobbler had two other daughters, who were nothing like the pure, winsome Delia. Jade and Azure were always in some sort of argument over anything and everything! In deep concern [ahem!] for their poor sister Delia, (and much to the dread of Andrake) they quickly announce -- "We're coming with you!"

So with all the extra bag and baggage, they set off to search for Delia. And as could be expected, Jade and Azure continued their arguing, and in fighting over a necklace, ended up upsetting the peddler's cart and wares.

Running from the troublesome girls, Andrake and Sir Conelly get hidden by a beautiful young lady...who turns out to be Delia -- also the young boy 'Del' whom they had met years ago! Oh! To see her father once again!

Andrake and Sir Conelly fulfill their plans to rescue Delia, and soon take flight. But not without a chase.
The guard leaped out the window to chase them down...the race had begun!

And like almost all knight and fair maiden stories, the good men prevailed. Delia was safely returned to her father's house.

But a message awaited Andrake -- he was wanted by the king!

Going to the great banquet, he was very surprised to be knighted. But the king commended him:

"You have withstood many tempations, my son. You gave up your whole life to serve me as a knight and then you gave up your Quest for knighthood, what you loved most, to save another's life. And though you have faced many struggles, and failed many times along this journey, your faithfulness to me has remained strong. You are full of wisdom. You are brave and kind and you serve those who are in need."

Andrake was then given a young boy for him to train in the ways of knighthood.

And thus, the quest continues.