Sunday, June 26, 2011

Never Surrender: A Soldier's Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom

I'll let Oliver North describe this book for you:

"A powerful and moving chronicle of courage, commitment, and devotion by an audacious soldier and gifted leader. This thrilling account of how he (Jerry Boykin) 'fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith' in the midst of dangerous and difficult circumstances is inspiring. You won't want to put it down."

He's right it WAS hard to put down, until I finished it! Jerry Boykin was "America's Point Man" for over three decades. An amazing story - written by the author himself with Lynn Vincent, of his life as a soldier, but also as a Christian. Amazing! Check it out! You won't regret it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Icy Sparks

I hesitated a minute or two, to tell you about this book that I just finished. Wow! It was an amazing story of a young girl who suffered from a troubling affliction that affected her whole life. Besides the fact that she was left an orphan, raised by her grandparents and lived in Appalachia where people have a hard time understanding or accepting "different". It had some rough spots where her thoughts and actions were anything but sweet or kind. But it also was the amazing story of how Icy overcomes and eventually has a happy life.

Author Loyal Jones describes it like this: "Icy Sparks is a work of imagination, about being different in a world where difference brings separation and pain. Icy, in 1950's Appalachia, finds community with others who also don't fit in and acquires an outlook that is wise, serious, and yet comic."

If you like a challenge, something to stretch your thinking, go for it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Marriage Conference with Martin and Rubi

Yesterday we celebrated a Marriage Conference at Abundant Life Bible Church here in San Juan del Rio. Couples from Celaya, Queretaro (a BUNCH!), Salamanca, and San Juan joined us - over 150 people. There were about 30 children of all ages, and Rosy and her crew of helpers did a fabulous job of keeping them entertained while the conference was going on.

But the preparations beforehand were almost as interesting as the conference! Almost!

Ivonne came to my house Friday afternoon and made the "sopa" - I merely assisted! Here in Mexico sopa can be rice, spaggeti, or "real" soup. We made noodles with cream/mayonnaise/onion/ham and pineapple. As Bethie said, it sounds awful, but WOW! Wow! Was it good! So good that today the ladies at church asked us to make it again next week for the Father's Day dinner! Her hands were CLEAN when she mixed the noodles and sauce! Really!

Here's our final product - two big tubs full of delicious sopa! I stored it in Bethie's and my friges overnight - and had to take out several items to make it all fit!

Ivonne's granddaughter was along, and what do you do with a 5-year old when you're trying to cook?? Get out the Legos, of course! She had a ball!

Saturday morning we arrived at church at 6:30 to get ready. Chop the fruit for breakfast, set up the tables, put out the sweetbread, yogurt, granola, juice, set up the sound system, get the coffee going. It was quite a crew working hard!

Here Linda, our official church decorator, made and set out the table decorations. A small basket with a variety of typical Mexican candies. It was hard to get a picture and you can't really tell how pretty they were - but the candies were luscious - not that I got any! Those round colored pieces are obleas - like the rice circles used at communion in some churches only much bigger - and people here (including me!) eat them like candy! The couples at the tables munched on these goodies during the conference!

Later, during the conference, some of the ladies made mixiotes, some of the best chicken you've ever tasted - or at least that I've tasted! I though that it would be an easy recipe to try in the States, then Estela told me how to make the sauce - easy it is NOT! Labor intensive it IS! Mixiotes are chicken in a special sauce, wrapped in aluminum foil and put in a big double boiler - or in this case, several double boilers - and cooked for a couple hours. The end result is wonderfully flavorful chicken.

Dinner was mixiotes, our macaroni "sopa" and a salad made with lettuce and jicama with a delicious dressing on top. Jello for dessert. Very simple, very delicious!

Had to get a couple proud grandmas in there! Yola on top with her first granddaughter Jade and Linda below with her second granddaughter Renata.

As folks arrived between 9 and 10, they helped themselves to a nice breakfast of coffee or tea, fruit, yogurt, granola and sweetbread.

Our church, which isn't real large, was pretty well packed out.

Jason and Kristin, who study the Word with Alan and Beth, were there and really enjoyed the conference. Bethie was there as well - Alan wasn't feeling well, so stayed home. Lo que te perdiste! (See what you missed!)

Martin and Rubi Sweany from Mansfield, TX are with us for three weeks. We've enjoyed having them in our home since last Wednesday. Martin preached today - his first time preaching! It was great and the people enjoyed it so much - so did I! Later we all had dinner together at the church - eating the leftovers from yesterday and bringing more goodies! I took frijoles charros that Bethie had made. On the way to church they spilled (just the first layer fortunately!) in the trunk, making a huge mess. Not to worry, when I got home I took the rug out, laid it down for Peanut to lick up, the hosed it down! Peanut thought it wasn't quite enough of course!

For the next two weekends Sweanys will be at Salamanca and Queretaro, but during the weeks, I'm hoping some of the folks at church will invite them over! I'm encouraging them to, not so much because we don't want them with us, but because I think they can have a wonderful ministry with these families. They've been a blessing so far and I know will continue to be.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak

I loved this book! I highly recommend it! Davey writes with such humor that it makes living in the jungle seem like TONS of FUN! I always asked the Lord to send me to the city, and even after reading this, where it sounds like such fun, I can only say to the Lord, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sending me to the city! Not that San Juan del Rio is such a huge city, but it IS a city! We have all the modern conveniences - well, most of them anyway!

Gracia Burnham says of this book: This book is awesome! We loved it and laughed and laughed. An entertaining and informative jungle adventure. Two thumbs up!

And even in the fun, Larry Brown, CEO of New Tribes Mission says, "Reflects the hardships, frustrations, complications, fun and sometimes bewilderment of living among a people so greatly different that your own. I highly recommend it."

And you know what? Davey lived among these Wilo people ten years before he and his team were able to speak enough and write the language enough to share Christ with them. That takes dedication! Super strength that only God can give. Even in his humor, Davey sneaked in a lot of wonderful truths about how God was and is working among the Wilo people. What an amazing story!

Check it out! Please.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh, Lord show me your will (rough translation)

I found the most beautiful poem - and hymn - when singing through the hymnal "Celebremos su gloria". Only problem for some of you out there - it´s in Spanish! I know it´s an English hymn as well, but I have no idea what it´s called or where to find it. I don´t have any English hymnbooks at my house, sorry! No need for them! When we gather as women to sing, I usually choose this song - it´s page 403 if you´re interested! The words are even more beautiful than the words in my opinion!

I wasn´t going to upload this since it´s in español, but my daughter Bethie said, "Why not? Upload it anyway!" So I did!

Oh Dios, revélame tu voluntad

Letra: Benjamin M Ramsey 1919, trad. y adapt. Estela Z. Sharpin

Música: Lowell Mason, 1856

Oh Dios, revélame tu voluntad;

la senda hazme ver con claridad

Por donde debo andar,

qué pasos he de dar,

para poder gozar tu voluntad.

Imprime en mí, Señor, tu voluntad;

pon en mi corazón seguridad.

Tu voz anhelo oír

haciéndome sentir el ansia

de cumplir tu voluntad.

He de aceptar, Señor, tu voluntad

en tiempos de dolor y adversidad;

En medio de aflicción,

en prueba y tentación,

que sea mi porción tu voluntad.

Quiero probar, Señor, tu voluntad,

y el gran poder sentir de tu verdad.

Por fe deseo andar,

tu plenitud tomar,

y en todo tiempo amar tu voluntad.

Cúmplase en mí, Señor, tu voluntad;

confío en tu poder y gran bondad.

Rindo mi ser a ti,

que viva Cristo en mí;

he de cumplir así tu voluntad.