Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas, 2008

Here are some Christmas photos.
Here's my snowman Texas-style, with a cowboy hat.
Evan all bundled up in his carseat.
Evan with daddy on his first Christmas.
Evan also turned 7 months on Christmas day. He's sure growing up.
Cousin was also her 1st Christmas.
Evan and Audrey.
This was my first white Christmas. Here, with Laura and Paul's help, we built a snowwoman. That's a plastic bouqet of flowers in her hand and dead yellow plant leaves for hair.
The sun going down on Christmas day.
Great-Grandpa with his great-grandkids.
Uncle Paul, Aunt Laura and Audrey.

Following are some pictures of my family that is here now. Here's Evan with Aunt Becca. Evan and Grammie.
Here's some trees that had ice on them. It started snowing later on and we ended up with a fair amount of snow. I guess an inch or so.
Following are some Christmas videos for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas once again

Now, I figured out a way to get pics from my cell phone on the blog. So, here are a few for your enjoyment.
Evan says, 'Merry Christmas, everybody.'
Here's a picture of the group that we had at the Christmas party this last Sunday. We had 3 families and Eduardo and Ana come up from KC. The people here are the folks that we're starting with. We are praying that God will do some great things through this group in the Hispanic community.
These last three pics were taken last night at Christine's Grandpa's church for the Christmas Eve service. We really had a beautiful time.

This last one shows Evan trying to rip up the bulletin. He really loves any kind of paper. Well, I guess this is all for now save for a couple of observations from the Christmas story that I have noticed and wanted to share with you.
The first one is about the shepherds. The verse I want to use is Luke 2:17-18- "When they had seen him (Jesus), they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." These humble shepherds were some of the first evangelists. Now, when I say evangelists, don't think sweaty guys in suits that are on tv to hit you up for money. Evangelist means messenger of good news. That is what these shepherds were and I encourage you to be evangelists or messengers of the good news as well.
The next one is about the wise men. I want to start be clarifying that the wise men were not at the birth of Jesus. I hope not to burst anyone's bubble and I hope that you don't go and take the wise men out of your manger scene but they are an important part of the Christmas story. We're not sure when but they came along some other time but probably when Jesus was a baby or a small child. The thing I want to point out is found in Matthew 2:1b-2- "Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.' They came to worship him. How significant is that? How many people normally go to worship babies? This was no ordinary baby and this was no ordinary birth. Jesus was born as the Son of God and as the Savior of the world. The reason the wise men could worship Jesus is because that he was God. That is the thing that sets Jesus apart as the God-man. There were several other instances of Jesus being worshipped in his life. He never once stopped anyone from worshipping him. This is yet another evidence of his deity or the fact that he was God.
I guess I'll close for now. Once again, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Now that I figured out a way to get pics from my cell phone, I hope to put some more on later on.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

more great Christmas lyrics and your favorite carol?

Here's some more Christmas lyrics to a song that I've heard the last few days. It is pretty heavy and quite thought-provoking. As I post these lyrics to a new Christmas song, I'm wondering what your favorite Christmas songs are. My favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night. Christine's favorite Christmas carol is Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. So, what are your favorite carols? You can comment...this takes participation. We also traditionally listen to a Dolly Parton Christmas album that I got in Uganda a few years ago and to a Nat King Cole Christmas album as well (it is the best in the world). To add to the participation, what music related Christmas traditions do you and your family have?

While You Were Sleeping- Casting Crowns
Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you're lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had came
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we're lying in the dark
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Evan videos and my snowman

Here's a snowman I made today. It's been quite cold here but today it 'warmed up' to about 33 degrees or so. It had been in the teens and even below 0 some the last few days and hadn't gotten above freezing until today and only did a bit.
Here's a couple of videos of Evan laughing.

Here's one of him taking a bath.
Guess this is all for now. Have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas and last pics from Ecuador

Hello again everyone. I just wanted to post some lyrics to a favorite Christmas song, along with a link to watch a video of it on youtube. I've also got the last pics from Ecuador.

Chris Rice \ Welcome To Our World

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting

Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home
Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence

Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born
So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy

Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world
Just click on this link or type it in and check it out! It's a perfect song about Christ's birth and really makes you think about his incarnation (the fact that he as God came in flesh to rescue us.) How beautiful! Having a baby really has put things in perspective for us this Christmas. I guess the fact that Christ came as an innocent baby hasn't quite hit me this way before. Now, seeing Evan makes me think of and remember that Christ was for one time as Evan is now. That is really quite humbling and quite amazing that the Father decided to send his Son in this way. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and I'll wish you all a Happy Holidays as well (all those politically correct people probably don't realize that holidays comes from holy days!) Pretty soon, we won't even be able to say that. Despite all that, I hope you enjoy wonderful times with your families and will be able to reflect on Christ and how he came to this world in this season.
Finally, after much adieu, here are the last pictures I'll be posting from Ecuador. These pics were taken the day before we left as we walked around a market area...
Here's a nice 50s model GMC pickup.
We are going to miss markets. There are always so many colors, sights, smells and sounds.
Here's a bowl of aji, which is a hot pepper. They make a sauce from it, also called aji, but it isn't too spicy. They mix in a lot of other ingredients to it. I don't know about you, but I kind of like shots like these.
Here's an indigenous woman from the Otavalo area. The folks from Otavalo are good with textiles and are also good at business. They have a big Indian market there and I'm sure we've posted pics from there before.
Here's a typical lunch in Ecuador, especially in the mountain or Sierra region. In the foreground is a locro de papa, or potato and cheese soup. Working our way forward and clockwise you will see choclo con queso or corn on the cob with cheese, then in front of that is the aji I had written about earlier in this blog with a pic. Then, there is a piece of avocado and lastly is a cup of jugo de mora or blackberry juice. Ecuador has really good food and we are missing it now but then we were missing many American foods when we were there. I guess that's the way it goes.
This was the last picture taken in Ecuador on the way to plane as the sun was coming up. It's kind of surreal being gone from Ecuador and now posting the last pics from there. We are already missing it but we know that God has us here for now. Wherever we are, we want to serve Him and know Him. Things in the ministry are coming along here. We had a Christmas party in our home for a few of the families we've been visiting. That went well. We're also gearing up for a few upcoming events, in particular, the first service on Jan. 25. I ask you to keep us in your prayers, the ministry and all folks that we worked with in Ecuador.

Friday, December 19, 2008

some recent pics and more Ecuador pics

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. We went to Virginia last week for a debriefing conference and we've been quite busy. The conference was nice and it was good to go back to Virginia for a few days. We have quite a few good memories from there (the best one is when we met that about 6 years ago). Well, I have some recent pics, a couple of videos and some pics from Ecuador. These first 3 or so are from a daytrip that we took a couple of weeks ago. We went to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge to see eagles. We ended up seeing about 20 or so. That was the first time for me to see them in the wild and we also saw tons of geese as well. After going to see the eagles, we drove up to Nebraska and crossed into Kansas on the way back home. For this (central)-Texan who had to drive several hours to get out of state, it is quite strange to be quite close to 3 other states (Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska). We live very near the Missouri River which is the border between Kansas and Missouri. On this 1st picture these eagles were flying in to hunt these geese but didn't go after any. These eagles were right over our car. It was quite an amazing sight. I took this last one of Evan today.
Well, it's been cold here and the temperature hasn't been above freezing since last Sunday and is not forecasted to do so for the next few days. Here's a short video of it snowing the other day. This cold weather is quite an adjustment.
Here's a short video of Evan playing ball. He's really got some skills.
These last few pictures are of us saying goodbye to good friends Angel and family. Angel owned the store in front of our house and we spent quite a bit of time with him and his family. We do miss them and are missing Ecuador more and more as time goes by (the cold weather is certainly helping with that.) I ask you to pray for Angel and his family as I close.
This 1st one is saying goodbye to some other neighborhood friends. The rest are of Angel and co.

Here's the sign to Angel's shop.

Guess this is all for now. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas...

Friday, December 05, 2008

recent pics and more last Ecuador pics

Well, I've got a couple of pictures and videos from the last few days. I also have some pics from Ecuador. We are getting through those and I think I just have about 10more. These first couple of ones show us in our Cowboys gear. The Cowboys are looking all right this year but we'll see how they finish out. This outfit is courtesy of Grammie.
The next two were taken last night as we were decorating the Christmas tree.
This last one was taken at lunch time for Evan's first time to have peas.
Merry Christmas!
Evan eating peas for the first time.
Here's the Ecuador pics...
These first two were taken as we were saying goodbye to Pastor Mario Iza and his family. They were a special family. Their church is in Guangopolo and we worked with them quite a bit. As I've asked before, I ask you to continue to pray for this family and the town of Guangopolo. I called Pastor Mario this morning and he seems to be doing well, along w/ his family and the church

This last one was taken as we were leaving the house (you can see it was empty.) Here is Evan with our landlord, Carlos, known affectionately as Don Carlos. He was a good guy and quite funny.
Well, I guess this is all for now. We've had a good week and I hope you all have a fine weekend.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

snow! and more Ecuador pictures

Well, we got some snow here and that was pretty cool for this Texan who used to pray for snow as a kid. There wasn't a whole lot of it, just enough to cover the ground. It was enough to be pretty and let me go sledding for a little bit. All of this snow has melted but we're supposed to get more tomorrow. The first picture is of our house with some snow.

This 2nd one was taken in the park where I took some fall pictures a few weeks ago.
I took this pic of Evan today in his high chair.
These last two pictures are from Ecuador. Here's Evan with my Ecuador soccer hat.
Here's the Guacho family as I was saying goodbye to them. They were a special family and I ask you to pray for them.
I guess this is all for now. I wanted to let you all know that the meeting went well on Sunday. There was a good turnout and it was a good meeting. Please continue to pray for the ministry here as we get started.