Saturday, March 26, 2016

Celebrating Easter

Easter weekend is a celebration of the fulfillment of an Old Testament Jewish feast. Traditional passover was actually an 8-day celebration that begins with commemorating the 10th plague and ends with a celebration of God opening the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass through. Easter commemorates the beginning of passover, which was fulfilled in Christ's death and resurrection.

What struck me this morning is that God ordained feasts for celebration and remembrance. Celebration. I often lose sight of this fact in either trying to accomplish things or trying to prepare for the celebration. The whole point of a celebration is... a celebration. Joy and thankfulness and exuberance. And God loves it when we remember Him and what He has done. Sometimes it is simply a choice of thankfulness, and other times there is much emotion as we remember what He has done. Either way, this weekend is a chance to celebrate God's faithfulness and His love!

And celebrations require effort and expense. They require planning and gathering. They usually involve inviting and preparing. We often celebrate with gifts and special food. We save special things for celebrations and put effort into making things for the person we are trying to honor. Each of these things is (or should be) done out of love for the one we are celebrating, a joyful sacrifice to honor another.

And these thoughts have brought me back to Easter and the ways I will choose to choose to celebrate this weekend. I want to do things that help me remember what we are celebrating. I want to remember with those closest to me. I want to make a party and enjoy it, whatever that looks like for us right now!

Our church is having a big party this weekend that includes carnival games for the younger kids. Kaleb is planning to help with one of the booths. A few of his friends are coming. And the way he invests with them is one of the things God has done.

Garry has been busy with safety projects, and in the process God has given him some great opportunities to invest with people. Relationships are growing and opportunities to see people come to new freedom are emerging. It's one of the things God has done.

Kevin is busy studying this weekend, processing life and preparing for the next steps. He is investing and learning, taking in and giving out to those around him.  His time at Redeemer has been a great thing God has done.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


This morning I am overwhelmed with blessings... this time several large tangible things. It's not that the material things are the most important, but they are important. And bigger than the things are the people and love behind a few incredible gifts we've received.

Someone gave us an upright mini grand piano! Wow, God. It is incredible! I love playing the piano, but I haven't often had the opportunity to do so. When I graduated from high school I spent a large portion of my education money on a very nice keyboard with weighted keys, the closest I could get to a piano. The piano was my sanity in high school, and I thought it would always be. Then we moved and the piano stayed. I didn't think I would ever get back to that stage, that blessing. Then God... a series of unexpected events landed a beautiful instrument in our house this week! 

The other thing is a front-loading washer & dryer set. When we moved to Spokane someone amazingly gave us an apartment-sized washer and dryer. We loved them! With a teenager and sports, we were looking for something larger. I had my heart set on a front loading set until I actually compared prices and realized it was going to be a traditional set in the end. But we haven't been able to do it yet. Then we got wind of a used front-loading set for sale. Another series of unexpected events, and the set was given to us this week... and it is perfect for us and of commercial quality. Plus, we get to pass on ours to a young couple who really need them, a couple who is heading toward mission aviation. Wow, God!

These things have reminded me the opportunity we have to invest in what God is doing not only through our time and talents, but also with our material blessings. And that puts a smile on my face, not only for us as we seek to invest but also for the many of you who have invested your resources in our lives. 

Last week we sent out a letter about how the Word is getting out and the milestones some of our friends are reaching, milestones in reaching unreached people... if you haven't seen it and would like to, check it out HERE.

And enjoy your week while you "send it on ahead"!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Normal life

This week we've been catching up on things that got left undone in the busyness of the trip and the safety seminar when we got back.  We've also had a bit of company, which is always good. Some of our very cool company was a family from the Philippines who are in transition: sometimes I think we are simply too familiar with transition. Regardless, it was good to catch up with them and share an evening and memories and truth. 
Garry has had a lot of opportunity this week to think about the next steps for the Safety Department and what mission aviation really needs in terms of safety. Things are getting more clear, and Garry is doing his best to focus his efforts where they are most likely to move the process forward. There are a lot of things involved in a safety management system, and it is neat to see various threads being combined into larger strands. 

Kaleb and some of his friends are busy building a pump track. They're working hard moving dirt and enjoying just hanging out together. It will be even more fun when Kaleb gets his bike back, which should hopefully happen this week. When he's not riding he's taking drivers ed classes (a long process in Washington), making a video edit, or doing school.                                                                      
I have had some good times with ladies in the past few weeks, and started a Bible study this week. I am excited about what God has in mind for this time together and this study. I am also getting more involved in a few things that Garry is working on, and that is very rewarding. And apart from these opportunities, I am looking forward to a little quiet to invest in writing and reflection.

I hope your week has been as amazing as ours has been. I hope you have noticed the sacred along the way and felt the unending grace that surrounds each of us.

Friday, March 04, 2016

The week & the trip

This week has been good: Garry has been busy with a safety seminar here at Moody Aviation, picking people up from the airport, meeting with presenters, and taking care of the normal things of life. We are excited about the ways Aviation Safety can help and encourage people, whether it is students, local operators, or the larger mission aviation community. This week has been full of "God-conversations" for Garry as he has interacted with a lot of people.

Kaleb and I have been busy getting back into a school routine and catching up with things at home that got behind while we were gone. We've also been trying to figure out about Kaleb's bicycle, since his second bike frame broke just before we left for the funeral. And a little company, reaching out to neighbors, and normal routines have filled our days quite nicely.

I promised a little more update on our trip, and thought I'd do some of that now. One of the blessings of a funeral is the opportunity to be together as a family, strange as that may seem. For my family who is spread across the USA and in Venezuela, these times are rare. Yet, for the second time in less than a year, we were almost all together (last time Garry and Kevin were missing, and this time my nephew Justin couldn't come). My family has spent most of the last 25 years separated as some of us have mostly raised our families and others are just beginning, and yet there is a deep connection. I'm amazed how similarly we have raised our kids, given our different lifestyles. I'm humbled by the way the next generation is rising up to love God in new ways. I'm blessed to be part of this family.

Another blessing of the trip was MANY hours of the road. We actually love driving, love the opportunity to talk and simply focus on being together while the miles roll by. We enjoyed some great messages, good music, and amazing conversations. We also found a Tim Horton's on our trip, and pulled over for a taste of home. We were reminded again and again that God is here and He is up to something. And beyond that, we get to a part of it! And you are a part of it to!