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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Snow and palm trees


It seems rare to me to have palm trees and snow covered mountains in the same picture, but this is what is outside our window right now.  

"Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hast formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God!"

Mountains and palm trees will do that to you.
They did it to Moses, and they do it to me!
Psalm 90:1-2   



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Funny from the field :-)

It's raining buckets today, during the winter school holidays.  Paul normally goes to the prison to preach and bring them Christian reading material during the school holidays.  These guys are thrilled!  It's too wet for their exercise time outside in the courtyard, so they give him quite the welcome.

Today, one guy gave him a unique welcome.  He was small and muscular, and when Paul entered the cell, he just launched up into his arms!  Paul said it felt like a chimp.  He just held him for a second, and the other guys in the cell just laughed and cheered.

Well.  That's a nice friendly "welcome to our cell".  Truly, they are bored and grateful for a big guy with Christian newspapers, tracts and booklets he's written.  They love to imitate him and call out, "To read, not to smoke." in their best American-imitation accents.

We're not usually allowed to take pictures in there, so you just get to imagine it, or peek at old pictures on our website. 

Family Project Report

 We're at the half way point for our current ministry trip!!!!  Five weeks down, five to go.  Paul has been very busy in preaching six days a week, but the kids and I get a lot of time to ourselves so we tend to bring projects on trips to try to get them accomplished.  Some of things we have at home like piano lessons, youth group, Joy Club, and close friend visit, are missing, so this is a good time to find satisfaction in projects and never have we had so many interesting ones going on as on this trip.  

 Exercise is one of our daily priorities.  At the moment we are staying on top of hill, and it is about 4 kilometers down the hill to the nearest shop.  The kilometers are even marked!  So each day since Monday we have trotted down the hill to do our shopping, and then we catch a ride back up with Paul. 
 Today we went down, and then hiked back up, carrying the groceries.  Tim carried most of them, bless him, so we had a good workout.  That uphill part will make you breathe deep!
 I found this kit, this rumpled, well-traveled-looking kit in a second hand shop years ago in America, but I finally got started when we went to Zimbabwe earlier this year.  I mostly only work on this during our family Bible reading time.  It's going to say "The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you." from Numbers 6 24, 25.  If I can finish it by March, it'll be done in a year, but I have my doubts. 
 Josh has made two Lego movies recently.  Those can be huge projects.  One of his has 900 pictures and is 4 minutes long.  A mom admires a kid with that kind of patience. 
 More in the exercise department.  Sorry I look goony, but we have really enjoyed tennis when we stay places where it is available. 
 Our kids miss a lot of team sports with all our traveling, so I was delighted that they have been delighted with tennis. 
 Josh and Evangel have also tackled unicycling together.  In the beginning they had to hold each other up, and/or use the tennis court fence, but now they can do it alone. 
It was rough in the beginning, but they are better now.

Some of our biggest projects are not so
 picturesque, but they deserve a mention.  Evangel is working for hours each day on her movie, editing it.  It's exciting to see it coming together.  
While waiting for a ride from someone who was late, we were just hanging around so she was editing again, using Tim's jacket to block out the light.

Tim is writing another book, and loves reading about his time period and all things involved With Sword and Saber.  Josh is also writing a book, but his is a school assignment.  He loves the research part of writing a book. I'm also writing a book.  We're getting to be a booky family.

In the sewing department, Evangel pieced together an old skirt with a top of some jeans to make a new skirt.  My goal is to get the cutting done for a quilt, but I don't want to start sticking it together til we are at a machine.

Evangel's got a whole stack of books she wants to finish reading, including the daunting History of the Irish Race.  She's half done with her stack, as far as books, but not half done the pages.
She also has a blog called Proverbial Womanhood  www.proverbialwomanhood.blogspot.com which she is growing with worthwhile pictures and verses.  That's not a project to be finished.

I am just pleased to list these for myself.  It's better to focus on what we can do than on what we are missing, and this has been a busy, profitable trip.  The paper part of school happens 5 days a week, and these other learning experiences will be helpful for us and others. 

"Whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with all of your might!"  Your hands find more to do if you go looking for profitable projects. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Home invasion away from home


 Last week we left Evangel home reading a good book while the rest of us went to play tennis.  She was going to join us a few minutes later to get in some practice on her unicycle.  The masked mailbox has nothing to do with the story, it's just a cute picture of Evangel.


While she was home alone, she heard some noises in the rondavel (picture below) where we were staying, but thought it was her Dad running home to get a snack.  Then there was a crash, like plastic crashing down, and then there was a bigger crash, like maybe our toaster hitting the ground.  She finally looked up from her book to see a gang had invaded.

Here is what our kitchen looked like before...


And after...
 Apparently the rogues had cased the joint...
And then perpetrated the crime.  




 This little terrorist didn't even bother to run away before stopping to picnic on the spoils of our kitchen.  They got, among other things, 8 eggs, 3 much anticipated avocados, and all our bananas, of course. 

I see a lesson for us here!  
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth...where thieves break through and steal."
or maybe a lesson on
"Oh Lord how manifold are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all,"  because they really are cute, fascinating, rascally little  monkeys. 



Sunday, July 27, 2014

The suicide next door



We had a party in our house a week ago last Tuesday!  We had cause to celebrate as a book Paul wrote was just back from the printers and it is his prettiest book yet, with lots of pictures.  It's called In His Service and Loving It and you can see it and read it on our website at www.drawingotherstochrist.com under "Paul's Books".   One of our kids sat right down and tallied up which child in the family got the most pictures of him or herself in the book.  We were leaving for a trip shortly afterward, so we just invited everyone for a drop-in that Tuesday and had at least one free book per family. 
 
Our guest list was long and our house is small so guests, especially of the teenage variety, were spilling over into the outdoors and the park down the street.  Tim and Josh and a bunch of boys had gone to try out their friend Oliver's new bow and arrows.  After awhile, Evangel and three teenage girls went to join them.  As they were leaving, they heard a terrible scream next door.  Evangel's friend Feylin, a good friend to have around in an emergency, stuck her head over the wall to see what was wrong. 
 
"My daughter hanged herself!"   
 
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:2
 
Did you ever ponder that?  Why is it better to go to the house of mourning?  I believe we have to have close contact with death before we really start to face our own death in the future.  I wonder how many deaths we hear of each day.  We hear of them in the news, on TV, and through friends on Facebook, but it usually takes getting quite close to us before we begin to feel it. 
 
There were 2 houses in Muizenberg that day, our happy party, right beside a house of mourning.  Our party kind of moved next door for awhile with coffee, blankets, and prayers and hugs.  When the emergency people got there, we had to get out of the way, and we kind of drifted back to our "party".  It was a very quiet group.  Feylin and Aquilla were the only two who actually saw the body hanging there, and it was rough on them.  Feylin helped cut it down. 
 
I suspect no one who was there will ever forget the Youngs' book signing party.  I don't think I ever will.  Jamie's death continues to weigh heavy on my mind.  She was only 21, but sounded like she had enough hurts for a long, long life.  Her own dad had hung himself, her grandmother was murdered, and Jamie herself had been kidnapped a few months ago and used as a sex slave in Soweto.  I wish I had helped her.  We talked twice that I can remember, but I didn't hold out the Lord Jesus.  Why do we think we have to wait?  Why do we waste time "building relationships" when people are desperate for help now?  Who knows when a person is on the brink of eternity.  We all are.  Our lives are merely vapors, floating away. 
 
This morning Paul preached on Psalm 90, and drew this picture (above).  "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." v.12
 
I hope if anyone else I know wants to commit suicide, the Lord will nudge me hard to help them, or they will just be blunt and tell me, "I need help!"   One time a girl in Pretoria told Paul, and we were able to help from afar.  I don't know how she's doing now, but she didn't kill herself then.  
 
Our souls don't quit being when we die.  After death there are Heaven and Hell.  The Bible says all murderers shall have their part in the lake of fire. Rev. 21:8   I don't know if taking your own life counts as murder, but I wouldn't risk it.
 
Jesus Christ died to save us from that lake of fire.  He holds out that gift of salvation, but we must move to take that gift, to go His way, to walk in His commandments.  "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the ends there of are the ways of death."Pr.14:12.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Monday, July 14, 2014

In His Service & Loving It---the book!

 "But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."  2 Cor. 9:6

Our family is known mainly for Paul's chalk art evangelism, but it is not the only way we try to reach people to tell them about Jesus.  Paul write books that can go where we can't, and can be read while we sleep, and can even speak after we're all in Heaven.  We do other things too, but these books are a big deal to us, so a new one, back from the printers after years of writing, editing, formatting and then waiting, is a BIG DEAL!!! 

 Tandym is our printer, so when the truck pulled up in front of our house last week, we all spilled out like ants to welcome the load. 
 Tim's friend Daniel was visiting, so he got roped into helping unload the shipment of 3000 books.
 In His Service and Loving It--fresh from the printer!  It's biographical, with lots of pictures. 
 The front cover...picture taken in March in Sasolburg, South Africa...
 and the back cover on our last day in Zimbabwe in May. 

James was here passing books to Daniel and Tim.

Gabby was here, acting with Evangel, another ministry.  They didn't stop to unload books as the guys had that well in hand, but they continued filming the last scene for Evangel's movie.  
Recognize Evangel?  She looks like a gypsy, but it's all part of sowing bountifully. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Camping with the Collins in the Karoo

 The Karoo is the semi desert to the north of us here in Cape Town.  We were invited by our friends Nick, Margie, and their son Oliver Collins to spend the weekend with them. 
 We in turn invited our little 5 year old nephew Daniel.  I was a bit nervous about how we all would mesh, 4 adults, eager for relaxation, 5 teens, eager to giggle, and one 5 year old, eager to be included in all.  I need not have worried, everyone got along great!
 Daniel hiked the trails with the best of us, climbed the rocks and the water tanks, and learned to play Uno with the guys. 
 He had a faithful little follower who he didn't much like because it jumped on him.
 And a whole group of big people to do whatever he needed done. 
 He enjoyed having a stick like Josh. 
 Instead of the puppy, Daniel liked this white cat.  I detested the cat at first, because it howled non-stop.  Then we fed it, and it got quiet.  Apparently the animals had been alone awhile and were starving.   I came to like that patient cat.  It let Daniel carry it all over the place.  It even let him catch it out in the bushes, though they gave me a bit of a start when I saw them out far from the rondavels once.  A leopard was photographed on this land recently so I didn't think any small people should be off alone in the bush.  
 Evangel and Daniel gave the outdoor tub a dry run. 
 It was also our first overnighter out in our new red car.  We hooked the trailer on so we could bring as many blankets as we wanted to. 
 Daniel and Evangel shared this little rondavel. 
 Daniel wanted pictures inside too, to show his Mom. 
 The Karoo looks so dry and brown from a distance, but we did some nice hikes and saw brilliant little flowers along the way. 

 Nick cooked the meat over the fire fire, and Daniel enjoyed hanging with his buddy Josh.  Simon and Oliver seemed OK with the little guy too. 
Nick and Margie were our host and hostess and are dear friends.  They took us to see these bushmen art paintings in the cave.  How cool!  I wanted Paul to bring along his chalks and add some more artwork, but that fresh art is frowned upon.  Wonder why.  :- ) 
When I consider thy heavens, the works of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him?                       Psalm 8:3-4a

I'm glad He is mindful of us.  I like that my Creator cares about us, enough to give us this beautiful world to live in and explore.