Monday, July 22, 2013

Retrieve the Rabbits

The rabbits are missing! Praying they'll be found in the next few days. The third week in June, 50 rabbit books were sent to my daughter's house for me. They haven't arrived yet. We can't track them because they were sent regular mail. The Post Office told us it could take up to three weeks––even though it shouldn't take that long.

This isn't the first episode of the missing rabbit tale. Books were also sent to us in Bolivia. It took two months for them to arrive––usually it takes one month for packages to arrive. When they finally arrived, the package had been opened, the books were cut in half, and then the package was sealed again and sent on to us.

When I arrived in St. Louis in June, there had been a mix-up and forty other books didn't arrive for me. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever be able to post that picture of me opening a box of my books. Usually, that happens right after the release of the book. At this rate, I may be posting a picture of the arrival of my second rabbit book before the first one. But right now, I'm hoping the books arrive before we leave my daughter's house to head back to Bolivia. We only have three days left. I'd like to take books with me. And, as you can see, mailing them to Bolivia isn't the best option.

As I ponder this rabbit episode, I'm excited about the outcome––when I finally know God's thoughts about the missing rabbits. Granted, it may not be until I reach heaven, but I know the end has to be good because of Romans 8:28. My desire for the rabbit books is for them to bring children to Jesus (and those reading the books to children). It's okay if the books never arrive. God works all things according to His plan––even rabbit books.

I'm thankful that I'm not lost. No matter where I am, He is with me. There's no need to fear, He'll always guide and direct me to His destination for me. He must have a destination for the rabbit books. Whether they arrive for me or to others who would need to hear of His love, the rabbits are on the right trail–– right where God wants them to be. It's wonderful to know Him and be where He wants us to be––that's where we find joy and contentment, even if our rabbits are missing!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dedicated, Determined, and Driven

What a joy to be here to enjoy the moment with Payton. As I've watched her these last two weeks, I've pondered on my dedication, determination and drive for my passion––knowing and serving God.

I think this letter from her coach paints the picture of her love for the sport and how hard she works to reach her goals. Below is the letter from her wonderful coach.

Dear Payton, 

It's with great pleasure that I congratulate you on competing at this year's Junior Olympic Championships! I'm so proud of you! Your hard work and dedication to practice has helped you accomplish such an awesome goal!!! I remember talking with your last coach about moving you up. It took you a couple days to be comfortable enough to try working out for me. :-) Once you started swimming for me, you've been unstoppable. Pushing yourself to beat the Seniors in the group. You are not only a great swimmer, but I think you're an awesome kid. Thank you for always coming to practice ready to learn, and most importantly thank you always for coming to practice ready to do your very best.

When I reflect back on your journey to get to Junior Olympics, the first thought that comes to mind is just how TOUGH you are. After your foot injury, it would have been easy to come back to practice and not push yourself. You did the opposite. You felt you were just as fast as you ever were and confidence showed. I've watched as you tackled long course training like a champion. At nine years old you stepped up and tackled double practices this summer!! I want you to know that it's that type of dedication that helped you earn your Junior Olympic times. Do you realize you will be attending the next 4 Junior Olympic championships?!! That's HUGE Payton. I hope that you are proud of your accomplishment.

This weekend I want you to enjoy yourself. Make sure that you swim with confidence/Swag and most importantly relax and have fun. This is why we've been training so hard. So you have the confidence to go out and KILL it. Congratulations on a wonderful 2013 Long Course season of swimming. I look forward to watching you accomplish even more at the next championships!! Go PAYTON!!


Coach ( name withheld for privacy reasons)

Wow! Payton has spurred me on to living a life that is that dedicated, determined and driven for God––to do the best I can do for Him! So one day I will hear Him say, well done, good job, you finished the race! 1Corinthians 9:24b "Run in such a way as to get the prize." (NIV)

Grammie is so proud of you Payton! Grampie too!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Fifth of July too!

Every day in July will be happy for me and my hubby! In fact, every day here in our country has been a happy one. Even when we got food poisoning the first week of our arrival from Bolivia we were blessed because we had the best health care and recovered quickly.

While here in the States, I had the honor of being invited to attend the AWSA conference in St. Louis and had a signing at the ICRS. What an awesome blessing from the Lord to meet amazing authors and speakers at both events. They are an inspiration to all writers and speakers!

Meeting my publisher, Tracy Ruckman and fellow authors of Pix-N-Pens Publishing and Write Integrity Press gave me opportunity to get to know them personally and learn from them and have fun too. I am thankful that God has ushered me into this wonderful world of publishing in this phase of my life––the senior phase! Life just keeps getting better and better! Psalms 21:6 "Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence." (NIV) His unending blessings amaze me, and the joy of His presence was evident in these two events. Thanks to all who blessed me and taught me through their ministries.

Now I am enjoying our grandchildren until the 24th of July––so it is a happy July with them until our return to Bolivia. Until then, we can enjoy them and the blessings of our beautiful country. We love seeing the flags flying all over this great country, and we're thankful for the freedom we have as Americans––and especially thankful for those who have sacrificed so we can enjoy that freedom.

God bless you, and God bless America, land that we love!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Trained and Thriving

Daniel grew up in our church in Bolivia. From the first days of our children's ministry, little Daniel attended all meetings faithfully. Whenever he had the opportunity he answered questions, memorized his Bible verses, and willingly helped in any way possible. We watched him grow from a small child to a man of God.

Life wasn't easy for Daniel. When he was in his teen years, Daniel's mother went to Spain to work, and the responsibility of the family in Bolivia fell on Daniel. His mother sent financial help to her children that enabled Daniel to attend the city university while taking care of his brothers. His mother sacrificed being with her children in order to lift them out of poverty and give them opportunities otherwise impossible.

Daniel became a youth leader in our church and felt called to be a missionary to his own people at a young age. Daniel answered God's call, and with the help of our church he went to serve in a remote jungle area where he helped establish a school and a church. Each Christmas Daniel returned home and helped in our Christmas outreach to remote mountain areas with no gospel witness. He met and married his beautiful godly wife, Carin in our church. They now serve God together.

We were privileged to have their help in our ministry also. They have returned home to our city, and Daniel is completing his masters in education and trusting God for his next ministry. He is an example of a child trained up in the Word. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

One of the blessings of serving God on the mission field for so many years is that we are now able to see God's leading in the lives of those we have ministered to over the years. What a joy for us to help and encourage these young couples as they serve God and carry on His work. Daniel and Carin are trained up and thriving spiritually as they serve God faithfully.