Thursday, December 28, 2006

blog busted

Hey Gang, as you may have been able to tell, there is some glitch in our blog that keeps pics from appearing and in some cases makes them disappear after they have been posted. This is most frustrating, and hopefully we can get it figured out shortly. Please keep checking back for updates....

Friday, December 22, 2006

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Valley of Vision

Need a last minute Christmas idea? Well, you may not be able to get it by Christmas, but an excellent gift at any time of the year is the collection of Puritan prayers entitled, "The Valley of Vision." Honest, heartfelt, and humbling (alliteration purely accidental!), these prayers are at once an encouragement and a help for prayer.

It is a good day to me when thou givest me
a glimpse of myself;
Sin is my greatest evil,
but though art my greatest good.

Most prayers are in the old King James English (I guess folks used to pray that way, and some still do), but it is easily modifiable!

O God of my Delight,

Thy throne of grace
is the pleasure ground of my soul.
Here I obtain mercy in time of need,
here see the smile of thy reconciled face,
here joy pleads the name of Jesus,
here I sharpen the sword of the Spirit,
annoint the shield of faith,
put on the helmet of salvation,
gather manna from thy Word,
am strengthened for each conflict,
nerved for the upward race,
empowered to conquer every foe;

Help me to come to Christ
as the fountain head of descending blessings,
as a wide open flood-gate of mercy....

Impress on my mind the shortness of time,
the work to be engaged in,
the account to be rendered,
the nearness of eternity,
the fearful sin of despising thy Spirit.

May I never forget that
they eye always sees,
thy ear always hears,
they recording hand always writes.

May I never give thee rest until Christ is
the pulse of my heart
the spokesman of my lips,
the lamp of my feet.

Of course, if you are like me, your prayers are much more 'earthy' (and this is where the inspired book of Psalms is helpful), but these prayers are good and they are like wise, spiritually mature friends coming alongside you and praying with you. Many times when I read these prayers, I am amazed at how they give voice to my heart's desires, and how they say the things I want to say in words that I often have a hard time finding.

Home Alone in Peru!

I've made it back from a week of staff training with RUF in the states and Heather survived 10 days without me (barely!) [insert correction: Heather says that it was actually 11 days pushing 12 because I got back so late on Monday]. That's hard work with five kids. I told her she gets the wife / mom of the year award. It was good to catch my breath in the states, visit with a few people (but alas, no time to meet with very many :), and eat some good American food!!!

Now, with the Baker's on vacation in Texas, the Bradford's taking some time off in another part of Peru, and the Smith's in Lima picking up Allen's father, we are the only American family here connected with Peru Mission. We're home alone! A bit surreal, but we'll survive no doubt. In addition, most of our SALI interns head out tomorrow for the states for Christmas break and much deserved break.

Please pray for safety for all our missionaries who are traveling, as well as physical and spiritual refreshment.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Participating in the Language Everybody Knows--Soccer!

A few weeks ago, the university ministry sponsored a sports day (read soccer--futbol--competition) with 10 different teams from various churches and ministries represented. It was a lot of fun! As you might have guessed, our predominantly Gringo pastor's soccer team came in last place, but hey, I remember something somewhere about the first being last...(And we could have used the help of Brian Franklin & Joshua Butcher's athletic prowess! Ahem.)

At any rate, it was a good time and provided many opportunities to interact and get to know some of the Peruvian people down here. Here is a picture of our all-star soccer team and a team from the Larco church.