Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Took a Walk in the Rain Today...

It was so beautiful out with the rain pouring down. I've been wishing for rain like this. I went out by myself while the boys were playing games (big boys included) and walked up the hill, into the woods. I went without a hat, the better to feel each lovely giant raindrop falling on my head.

I was fortunate enough to come upon our ravens. Usually they are extremely wary and don't let a human anywhere near them. I guess the rain muffled the sounds of my coming enough that they stuck around a while. I leaned against a tree and enjoyed the many calls sounding nearly over my head. There were answers a ways off, the other half of the pair. Did you know ravens mate for life? Or that they have over twenty different vocalizations? Or that they have tested smarter than chimps in intelligence tests?

Standing in the rain, listening to the ravens, watching rainwater flow down the glistening orange madrone trunks, breathing deep, acknowledging the creator of all with my joy was as spiritual an experience as praying for my friends in church this morning. Different, but not more or less. It was what Madeleine L'Engle calls "being'' time. Just listening, just "being".

I felt a tingling, an awakening in my being. Perhaps the beginning of a Story.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Treasure Hunt!

Went on my first "Treasure Hunt" last night. Now, you may be thinking of chests of jewels or other surprises but this is something entirely different. The treasure we are searching for is people. People who need to know they are God's treasure. We get together with a group and pray and worship a while. Then we split up into small teams and fill out a clue sheet, we pray for clues to the people God wants to touch, locations, people's appearance, names, things they may need prayer for etc. Once we have a number of clues we set out to search for them.

Here's an example from last night:

We went to a particular street corner that was on our list and started walking from there. We came upon a young man leaning against a brick wall (on our list) who was wearing a red shirt (also on the list) and had red hair (also on the list). We explained the treasure hunt, showed him our clues and told him he was God's treasure. We asked him if he needed prayer for anything, he said no he was happy and had a good life. Then he said he really could use a new job. We talked with him a while (I should say, Bear talked with him, the rest of us being entirely too quiet) and he said he grew up in a Christian family but finally decided he couldn't believe something just because his parents did. He told them he was leaving their religion and if they really believed what they said they did they'd better start walking it out. To his dismay his parents "walk" changed dramatically after that, for the better. He was searching for the truth, saying he didn't know what to believe. We told him we'd pray for a new job by next week, which he said would completely freak him out if it happened. We said, that's the idea! :)

Down another street we found two girls sitting on a bench, one of them had a pink tote bag which was one of our clues, so we stopped to talk to them. We told them about the treasure hunt and that they were God's treasure. They said, well that's sweet. Then we started reading the list of prayer needs, the first one was a knee problem and the first girl said, hey i have a knee problem. The second girl responded to another need on the list so we prayed for them both. The girl with the knee problem couldn't straighten her knee all the way. After we prayed for her she could straighten it further than before. They, also, had left their parents church because "we didn't believe some of the stuff they were teaching".

We next went to Rite Aid, which was another location on our list as was a name tag with the name Jennifer. We greeted the girl behind the counter as we came in and she mouthed that she had lost her voice. We went over to talk to her. She could whisper a little and told us she had woken up with a sore throat and at 6 pm (it was 9 pm) had completely lost her voice and her throat was hurting really bad. We asked her name (her name tag was under her sweatshirt), it was Jennifer :) We prayed for her and she started to cry. Then she had a couple customers so we waited. When we talked to her again she was starting to get her voice back, we told her about the treasure hunt and told us she goes to a church in town. We asked how her throat was and she said it was about 50 percent better. We prayed again and by the time we left she was talking in a normal voice and her throat was about 80 percent better. Yay, God!

So, super fun stuff! It's so great to see people getting healed. So great to see them light up, usually with surprise, to be told they are the treasure we are looking for. All around good fun :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

LOTS of Pics of Playing in the Park

Uncle Matt teaching Joshua to throw a Frisbee. Joshua was an amazingly good throw right from the start.
Ultimate Frisbee

Kick the can, only they called it kick the stump ;-)...
"Hiding" on the roof of the dugout--not the greatest spot. How is anyone supposed to reach you to 'unfreeze' you??? Since "it" can tag you with a ball or their hands...

Run, Joshua, run!!!
Frozen! Unfrozen! Frozen! Aaaahhhh...
The "Its" counting. Bear is laughing because he is trying to count and Joshua is counting too, to his own rhythm...It was one of those moments where you wish for the video camera for the sound effects :)
Xeno and Cameron cleverly talked Joshua into joining the "good" side just long enough to unfreeze them while Bear was safely out of reach on the other side of the building. Joshua was enticed by the big boys talk and agreed, rather gleefully, but cautiously...
The point was rendered moot less than a moment later when Zachary dashed to the rescue!
Chasing Mr. Scott is always good fun :)
Alisa, the other photographer
Silly big brother...
Elijah turned on this gorgeous smile for his mama and just happened to glance my way, Yay! :)
Joshua waiting patiently on base all alone.

I think Spencer is in trouble
Elijah and his mama, watching all the fun. I love that funny little happy expression of his.
Mass mayhem...Love this one
A peaceful ending to a very fun afternoon

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Boys In the Park

Just a teaser. I'll probably post more pics of ultimate frisbee and "kick the (stump)?" tomorrow :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In The Rain

"Listen, Job; stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God! Do you know how God controls the storm and causes the lightning to flash forth from His clouds? Do you understand how He balances the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill?"

"We cannot comprehend the greatness of His power...yet He is so just and merciful..."

Monday, January 11, 2010

How Great Is Our God!

Job 37

"My heart pounds as I think of this. It leaps within me. Listen carefully to the thunder of God's voice as it rolls from His mouth. It rolls across the heavens, and His lightning flashes out in every direction. Then comes the roaring of the thunder--the tremendous voice of His majesty. He does not restrain the thunder when He speaks. God's voice is glorious in the thunder. We cannot comprehend the greatness of His power.

"He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down. Everyone stops working as such a time so they can recognize His power. The wild animals hide in the rocks or in their dens. The stormy wind comes from its chamber, and the driving winds bring the cold. God's breath sends the ice, freezing wide expanses of water. He loads the clouds with moisture, and they flash with His lightning. The clouds turn around and around under His direction. They do whatever He commands throughout the earth. He causes things to happen on earth, either as a correction or as a sign of His unfailing love.

"Listen, Job; stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God! Do you know how God controls the storm and causes the lightning to flash forth from His clouds? Do you understand how He balances the clouds with wonderful perfection and skill? When you are sweltering in your clothes and the south wind dies down and everything is still, He makes the skies reflect the heat like a giant mirror. Can you do that?

You think you know so much, so teach the rest of us what to say to God. We are too ignorant to make our own arguments. Should God be told that I want to speak? Can we speak when we are confused? We cannot look at the sun, for it shines brightly in the sky when the wind clears away the clouds. Golden splendor comes from the mountain of God. He is clothed in dazzling splendor. We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty, yet He is so just and merciful that He does not oppress us. No wonder people everywhere fear Him. People who are truly wise show Him reverence."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What A Weekend :)

We had a marvelous weekend. Yesterday morning we went for a family bike ride in town. We parked on a little dead end street and set out to find a canal trail to ride on. We found a little paved bike trail on our way up the street and checked it out. It didn't go very far but we found out that there is parking at the end of it, so next time we can park there instead of on some random cul-de-sac, except...

The canal trail was nice and scenic, but less than a half mile up it we came upon a padlocked gate blocking the way. So, next time we will have to try a different spot.

The boys were getting over a cold, so they were exhausted by the time we got home. After lunch I got them settled down for a nice, cozy nap. Mama got to get dressed up all snazzy for a wedding we were privileged to attend last night. The boys stayed with Grandma Karen because we knew the wedding was going to be very crowded. And it was. The groom kept inviting everyone he ran into long after the invitations ran out :) It was a sweet, sweet wedding. There was so much love and peace filling that building it was tangible. The Holy Spirit was an honored guest and many who don't yet know Him personally said "something big is going on here tonight, there is something amazing in here." The bride and groom were absolutely radiating love and peace all over everyone there. The whole evening was beautiful.

My "adopted" older brother did the honors. While we bugged him a bit over the little mishaps, just because you have to tease the people you love best...he really did a fabulous job marrying our friends. It was a night full of smiles. We were very honored to be a witness and part of the celebration.

After the wedding we picked up our kiddos and went to Bear and Lorna's house for some late night prayer. The boys crashed in their sleeping bags on the dining room floor. We had a mellow, couple hours of soaking, prayer, and chatting. I kept thinking of our first all-night prayer meeting that was a huge party at Janis and Rowdy's house. I think a couple of us had something a bit more lively in mind for last night, but the mellowness seemed just right at the time. Then, around 12:30, we just seemed to be done. We ended up visiting a little longer when some friends of Bear's showed up to crash for the night on their way through town. Nate and I decided it would be better for us just to crash on the floor along with the boys rather than waking them up for the longish drive home.

We very much enjoyed our breakfast of oatmeal with our friends, then all headed off (a bit late, but no worries:) to church. We got there in time to enjoy the last half of the worship service. It was a short night and all four of us were tired today. The boys enjoyed children's church which they have twice a month (the other two Sundays they sit in with us), where they practice praying for each other and speaking words of encouragement, just an extension of what we do at home.

We ended up staying for the once a month potluck after church and the boys had a great time wolfing down a few bites of food, then running and yelling with their friends. After that we headed home to drop off clothes and guitars that were packed for last night and pick up little bikes. We headed to one of our favorite parks and took a long walk, well Joshua rode his bike with training wheels. He was too cute in his biking gloves and face mask(it's like a knit one you would wear skiing but thin so it fits under his helmet but keeps his face warm), zooming around.
At one point he didn't make a corner and went over his handlebars and face-first into the blackberry bushes. No harm done though. Mama ran and scooped him up from where he was stuck face down in the bushes, he had suffered only a single thorn in his face mask--right on the end of his nose. He hopped right back on his bike and off he went.

Now we are home, all very glad to be here, eating coconut ice cream and watching a cartoon. I'm pretty sure it will be an early bed-time tonight!

I am so thankful for all our wonderful family and friends. What a beautiful blessing our life is. Thank you, thank you God, for everything You have done and all You are to me. I love You!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Rainbow On New Year's Day

An auspicious beginning

My sweet munchkin. So glad he is feeling better today.

Love the quirky smiles :) They were having so much fun playing in the seasonal stream that runs down our hill.