Friday, August 31, 2007

Hannah's House

Welcome to my house! I love to climb on the gate and watch people go by. I have lots of friends on my street. My most special friend is Jenifer. She is 12 and lives next door. She comes over a a lot to play with us.Jennifer and Daniel and I play soccer behind our house. There is lots of sand and I like to dig. I am not supposed to throw the sand, but sometimes I do, it is very fun to throw!!

We are playing outside while we wait for Daniel to get home from school . We have a spoon and a bowl that Jeremiah and I like to play in the dirt with. Jeremiah, don't eat the dirt! It 's yucky!!Our house is right beside one of Grandpa's churches. We have a little fence around our front yard. I can open the gate to go over to the church but I cannot open the gate that goes into the back yard. Jennifer's house is being built on the other side of our house. They are putting bricks right up against our house! I can hear them hammering and working during the day.

Yeah! There is Daniel's bus! I love it when Daniel gets home from school!!! What is that green thing on his head???

Daniel made a hat and a sword at school today! I hope he will let me play with them too. He always makes fun things at school. I can't wait till I can go to school with Daniel.

Silly Jeremiah! You aren't supposed to put a bowl on your head!! Can I put it on mine now?
I miss you all so much. Come and visit me at my house in Brazil soon! I have have a bed in my room that you can sleep in.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Broken Pride

Today, I decided to go for a run. I told James I would be gone about 20 minutes.

I headed out and began praying and thanking God for the crisp cool air, enjoying His day. Before I knew it, I was LOST! I didn't recognize any sites or streets. I couldn't ask anyone for directions, they don't speak English! I kept going hoping I would come upon a main street. I saw a red light and was hopeful. Just as I came up to the light, I tripped on a tree root. I tore a hole in my pants, and scraped up both knees and one hand. As I got up feeling VERY FOOLISH, I began running again. I don't know where I thought I was going, but my pride wanted everyone around to think "She is in control." Truthfully, I was scared, hurting (inside & out), and tired.At the main street I saw a restaurant I recognized. I was FAR from where I thought I was. I started thanking God that He showed me where to go. "Ok, God, what are you trying to teach me????" I kept asking this as I headed toward home. The answer came to me a couple of minutes later.

It was as if God said, "Christen, I am your strength. Let me lead you. You only trust Me and seek Me, when you have no way to do it yourself."

I can trust God with our boxes, because there is nothing I can do to get them here. But everyday, I try to be a godly wife, mother, missionary, in my own strength. When I am successful, I begin thinking I am great. Look at all that I can do.

I am so thankful that God led me to get lost, that HE let me fall, that He led me home and that He broke my pride.

I was reminded that EVERYTHING I do is through His strength and power or it is worthless. So, every time I do anything. I am praying. Lord, will you get me to class? Lord, will you help me cook for my family? Lord, will you ...?

It is not that I deserve His involvement in my life. I deserve eternal punishment. It is only by His grace that I am alive. It is only by His grace that I can serve Him in Brazil, that I am a mother and a wife. It is only by His grace that He is my loving Father who cares enough to break up my pride, piece by piece; until, one day, I will look like His Son.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Trying to Please God...

Yesterday, James and I were able to be in the home of an unsaved Brazilian. As we were shown around the house, I saw 3 Bibles, opened and on display. This is not the "Bible open on the night stand where I put it when I finished my devos," kind of thing. This is, "I am trying to put on outward holiness." When we were shown the bedroom, the head board was full of idols of saints & Jesus. It was such a clear picture of "religion," trying to please God.

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY He saved us!"

Pray for these people who are so lost. Satan has blinded their minds into thinking they CAN earn their way to relationship with God.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Casa dos Taylors

I am so excited to be writing this blog from our computer in our home! We now have internet. Hopefully I will be writing these blogs a little more frequently.

I thought I would show you our home. These pictures are mostly taken by Daniel. (He is a budding photographer!) I always enjoy his perspective.

This is our love seat, (the couch matches it). We looked and looked for something that was comfortable and affordable. I cannot believe we chose red, but it is a nice red!

Our house is actually the parsonage at Calvary Baptist Church. James' parents are currently helping this church rebuild itself and assisting them in finding a new Brazilian pastor. So, for a while we are residing in this wonderful home. This is our kitchen. James' dad was helping us hook up our gas. The stoves here run on propane tanks, like the ones you use on your outdoor grills. I have two little tanks outside my house; one for the stove & one for the dryer.

Each month the rent we pay goes into making upgrades on the house for the next pastor. So far we have replaced all the flooring and painted the inside. We are planning to replace the shower doors next. We may be replacing the gate and front wall as well. This is our floor. It is a tile that looks like hard wood. It is a light color in the beige family. We LOVE it! I have to admit though, I cannot believe how often I have to sweep!

I am having fun sprucing up the yard. Today was my first day to really do something out there. James let me buy two Bougainvilleas, a beautiful vine with gorgeous pink flowers. They are planted along the fence in front of the house. I also got 2 Flores do Brasil, the official flower here. I put them in pots on the front walk-way. They are beautiful! My wonderful Mother-in-law also gave me lots of little starts to add to my pots and several extra plants to hang on the patio or have inside. It is amazing how much a plant can add to a home. This is the Flor do Brasil or Estrelizia. Mine is not blooming yet , but this is what it will look like. I think it is such a striking plant and I love the large green leaves that surround it.

This is Daniel's room. We hung a large map of the world above his desk. He also has a cool little Brazil lamp. His desk slides out from under his loft bed. He has a little book shelf and closet-dresser combination. It is a really neat room. *(MOM, notice the S.S. Attendance chart at the bottom of the map. They both have theirs hanging in their rooms. )

Daniel wanted to make sure my mom didn't forget him so he had me take some pictures of him. I thought you all might enjoy seeing him. Hannah is in the background wearing Daniel's tennis shoes!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Noite de Louvor

I wish you could have all been there with me to participate in the Night of Praise! When a month has a fifth Sunday, Calvary Baptist and New Life Baptist Church have a combined evening service, a night of praise. Each church brings various special numbers and there is a message followed by coffee, tea, and finger foods. It was a great time of fellowship and was very uplifting. The message that evening was on Revival. I didn´t understand everything, but reading the passages and getting brief translations from James helps me to follow the main points.

Our evening started off the the kids of New Life singing "Praise Him, Praise Him." Daniel joined right in and did a pretty good job at keeping up with the others. I thought it was a great song to start with. James and I were able to sing with the choir from Nova Vida and I was able to sing a duet with Eleneau, the brazilian pastor´s wife. It took lots of practice to learn the pronunciations, (I still didn´t get them all right), but it was really neat to be able to participate.

It was a REALLY COLD day! The brazilian pastor brought a gas heater to the church and it was funny to see all the people standing around it trying to warm their feet and hands! Afterwards the hot coffee and tea sure hit the spot. James was able to have a great time of fellowship with some old friends who visited that evening.

I am sorry I haven´t posted in so long. We are now living in our own home but we do not have internet there yet. It is hard to find the time to get over to James parent´s house and work on the computer. I have also started my language classes. They are going great! I hope to give you an update on that soon.