Last June Chris and I attended a Weekend to Remember marriage conference in Phoenix. We were doing fine after 7 years of marriage and adding two children to our family, but were energized to radically increase our commitment to each other and our children while there. (Looking back, I can see that taking 2 days away from our typical world led us to rediscover our desire to serve in ministry together. I believe God used those days to prepare us for the call to move to London.)
Whether you ever attend one of these events (which I highly recommend) you can easily share in one of our big ‘nuggets’ from the conference by clicking here.
I bought 10 of each type of prayer card – for wives, husbands, and children/grandchildren. We handed them out to people we love and have been praying these prayers for each other and our kids since June. I am amazed to see God answering and working in areas I’d never considered important in a family before I read the requests on these cards. Just a few dollars can give you a real track to run on in using practical prayers to enrich your marriage and family.
Luke 11:36 -“If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
Today I was walking home on what I call the ‘rail trail’ of our neighborhood. It’s a well-used sort of back alley along SW London train tracks, comprised of cracked pavement, overgrown weeds, funky refurbished lofts, and graffiti. It’s less than beautiful. Nonetheless, it’s a safe and common shortcut for us.
In the few days since I’d last been on the path, a tree I don’t recall having noticed before has suddenly burst forth with spring blooms – entirely changing the appearance of it’s segment of the trail. Lucky for me, I had my camera! As I took several shots of the beautiful tree, I began thinking about all of you out there (many of whom are lurkers on this blog so I don’t know much about you!!). I’m wondering – as lights of the world (see Luke verse above) where can you tell God has you shining right now? Maybe there are many people in your workplace who notice there’s something different about you. (Notice there’s a nearly dead tree right next to the one flourishing in this photo.) You might be part of a play group whose moms see that you have a peace they simply have never known.
Take a minute to consider where God is using you – who are ‘like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season’ (Psalm 1:3) – to bloom and share the Light of the World (Jesus) with others by your example. Don’t underestimate the difference you make by being where you are today! You might not be able to see it, but others can! Praise Him for the chance to represent Him to an otherwise ugly, overlooked, and broken environment.
“…yet we are people of faith, believing that giving is more contagious than hoarding, that love can convert hatred, light can overcome darkness, grass can pierce concrete…” – Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution
I had the opportunity to guest blog on the LifeChurch.tv Internet Campus Blog this week. You can see my profile and click on the link below to read my synopsis of Craig’s challenging sermon about worrying.
My family and I are currently launching a LifeChurch.tv Network Campus in London, and we volunteer during the Internet Campus 9am GMT service. I enjoy photography, sharing a good laugh with my husband, and sincerely wish every orphan had a loving family of his own. Since attending the Internet Campus from a hotel room in Guatemala City in September 2006, God has drastically increased my desire to tell people around the globe about Jesus Christ.
LC.tv Internet Campus Blog Page
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This morning we were excited to see more than 40 simultaneous connections to the IC service. Many more people at least opened the service even if they didn’t stay long. Due to some more directed efforts in the UK there were a great deal of people logging in, again some only for a few moments, from right around London. Hopefully some minor tweaks will help hook people into staying longer in the future. It makes me wonder if more people who go church shopping would leave after only a few minutes if it weren’t for others watching them walk out.
The most exciting pieces of the internet experience usually revolve around actual connection with others. So it was very cool to chat this morning with someone from Southeast Asia about evil in the world…and another person from Asia logged into chat in the lobby for a while.
We look forward to watching the campus grow over time into something even bigger.
This morning I also got to introduce the Network church idea to a larger group of people at our local church. This introduces out two ‘pilot’ services that will occur two weeks from today and then again the first Sunday of April.
We are thankful for your prayers and the doors that seem to be opening ahead of us.
…Chris, Mackenzie Lyn, and I were the first in line among dozens of families sitting in the US Embassy in Guatemala to have our adoption finalized. We were immersed in a 6-day stay with a precious 16-month old girl who wanted nothing to do with us, our language (neither Spanish or English!), our hugs, or our loving advances. Today our family is celebrating Mackenzie and the difference a year of concentrated effort can make towards advancing familial relationships. A year ago today Mackenzie refused to look me in the eye and cried angrily when I held her close. This morning at breakfast she asked me to hold her hand as she ate her cereal and told me “You so sweet, Mommy”. Last year Mackenzie boycotted walking and speaking for weeks – today she can talk and walk circles around us all. During those late and lonely nights of rocking my terrified girl in our first months home I never dreamed she’d have a knack for mimicking our silly faces. It never came to mind she might develop the routine need to jump around when she’s excited about something. To behold Mackenzie’s transformation is nothing less than miraculous for Chris and me.
This morning I recited to Mackenzie a poem I memorized called “Happy Adoption Day!” from a book we used to read to her in her early days in our home. She bobbed her head to the rhythm, seemed to gather I was cheering for her, and at the poem’s conclusion she enthusiastically declared, “I’m a good girl!” Indeed she is.
We praise God for our Guatemalan lawyer Mario (who studied here at Oxford, ironically) so that he could usher hundreds of orphans into waiting families around the world over the past 13 years. We thank God for the selfless actions of Abuelita, Mackenzie’s doting foster mother of 16 months. And we are forever grateful that Mackenzie’s birth mother made the loving choice to carry and deliver her daughter so that our family (Chris, Blake, and me as well as grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts…) might be better off for having her be part of our lives. Click on the picture titles below to see what a difference a year makes!
Kenzie showing off her artwork
Kenzie loves her big brother
If you tune in to watch the Oscars Sunday night, be sure to watch our fellow AU grad perform. Read more here.
Some friends invited our family to join them for a morning of roaming Richmond Park last Saturday, lunch out, a visit to a playground, then afternoon tea in their home! We had a wonderful time, and here are photos taken at Richmond Park – the largest royal park in London.