Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Blessings...

A husband who loves the Lord and His Word...
Cook-outs with the church...

Packages arriving... Home made Christmas gifts...

Time with Aunt Rachel...

Our own private beach...
Off-Road Adventures...
Serving the Lord together...
Children hiding God's Word in their hearts...
Seasonal drinks...
Stuffing Stockings...
Christmas dinner on the porch...
Remembering His past promises fulfilled...Looking forward with HOPE to His future promises...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Celebrating New Life at Christmas


My family has lots of "Alberts."   Mostly they don't have middle names either.  My brother is Albert the IV,  my Dad, Albert the III and so it goes. 

Albert III was saved as a young teen at a VBS program.  His home was an Army home, half Baptist, half Catholic.  When my dad was about 18 his faith became more important to him and he began to pray for the salvation of his other family members.  He had the opportunity to lead his youngest sister to the Lord.  My parents married and began serving the Lord in home missions.  As a child I remember we were always the "different" ones in the family.  The ones who went to church all the time...  But  my parents always showed great love, respect and concern for my grandparents.  As the years passed, my parents no longer seemed different in a strange way but in a special way  as they loved unselfishly, unconditionally. 
My Aunt who was led to the Lord by my dad continued to live near my grandparents and continued attending a small Baptist church nearby.  About 3 years ago my grandparents started attending church with my Aunt.  Time was passing and health was weakening and of course our own mortality begins to confront us.  Under the good preaching at church my grandparents were hearing of forgiveness of sin, salvation by no merit of their own and new life in Christ.

About a week ago, my grandpa asked the pastor to come and visit and the pastor took him through the Romans Road.  When they got to the verse that shares who ever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, my Grandpa said, "Well, we better get to calling!"  And so he did and was saved.

My dad prayed for 42 years for the Salvation of his father.  Next Sunday my Dad will have the privilege of baptizing his father.  How incredible that my 80 year old Grandpa wants to publicly proclaim that he belongs to Jesus Christ!

Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth.  God come down, taking on human flesh so he could walk among us, DIE and then be resurrected.   He did all of this out of a love for us.  To know us intimately.  To take away the sin that separates us. 

I am SO thankful that I can celebrate the New Life of my grandpa this Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wrapping up November

I have had trouble with my blogger this week.  Apparently my photo storage is full here and I had to figure out another way to upload pictures.  

I wanted to wrap our very blessed November.  God has been so gracious to us this year and I am so very thankful for this month to STOP and reflect on who He is and how He continues to pour grace into our lives.  

We were blessed to be able to travel to Curitiba to have Thanksgiving with James' parents and 4 other co-workers families.  Our time together was short but encouraging as we reflected on God's working in us in 2012.

We LOVE Granna's cookies and she is always kind enough to let us "help" her!   Jer loves sugar cookies so he was thrilled to help  make leaf and pumpkin cookies.

We had a blast helping decorate Granna & Grandpa's house.  Literally a blast!  Granna had this old fashioned horn hanging in the wreath on her front door and the kids loved "honking"it.  

We were super excited to bring home our first "fake" tree.   I love real trees and have stubbornly held to this tradition but how many real pine trees can one plant each year after  Christmas.  The first tree we bought for Christmas here back in 2007 is now more than 2 stories tall!  My other trees have not grown as fast but finding places to plant them after Christmas gets very difficult!  So, when we were offered this tree, we jumped at it.  We are the third owners so it has had a good long life here in Brazil (more than 30 years!)  It is a little wobbly and this weekend as we crammed 9 people around our table for lunch a strong wind blew in the front window and the tree fell onto us as we ate.  It now has a large rock holding the front leg down.  We do have REALLY strong winds here. 

The last Sunday of November was a real blessing for our church.  We meet on Sunday mornings for prayer and that day James led us in a quick look at Colossians and all the commands for thanksgiving.   We then each drew a card from a "blessings jar"and then answered questions on how God has blessed us this year.  We then took turns praising God for His working in us.  
I praise the Lord for the comfort and encouragement He brought to our hearts in those moments as we were knit together in love through the giving of thanks to our great God and Savior. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks

This morning I was reading in Colossians and I quickly  noted 6 times the word thankfulness or giving thanks.  It is not one of the 10 Commandments but it surely is a command that God wants us to obey.  "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him."  Being that it is Thanksgiving, I have been trying to be more grateful, more purposeful in thinking of things to praise God for. 
 This week I am so thankful for my children.  Monday morning before breakfast,  Hannah and Jer opened their Sunday School books and started a study on the tongue from James.  It was so neat to see them searching the Scriptures to see the comparisons God made to the tongue.  I was also so thankful to see Hannah more sensitive about her words and the effect they were having on others. 

Since Friday, Daniel has been getting up early to read the Word before school.  He is studying Colossians along with me.  I love to hear what verses challenged him and I am so thankful for our time of discussion and prayer for personal sanctification. 

So, this thanksgiving I am thankful that God is continuing the work that He has begun in the lives of my children.  I pray that He would be our greatest treasure and that we would desire nothing more than Him this year. 

What are you thankful to God for this week?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We've Moved!

We finally made the big move and have our things out of storage!  A year and a half ago we packed everything up and headed back for our furlough. It was more convenient to keep our things in storage while we house-sat for the past 8 months but now it is time to break it all out. 
I cooked in my pans today, 
And I thank God for the great pans I have!
I played my piano today!  
And I praise God for the men who killed themselves 
getting it up 2 flights of stairs and into the house!

 I slept in my bed last night and I tell you, it hugged me!  
I praise the Lord for a super comfortable bed!
(and the two cute little guys laying on it!)
 We got Hannah all set up today.  She found the "It's a girl" sign that we put in the front yard when she was born and wanted to put it over her bed! 
 Her's is the only room that basically done but at least one is taken care of! 
 We are thankful once again for God's provision for us and His timing.  

We are very thankful for the 3 men from church who pitched in to help with all the grunt work!  We took them and their families out for lunch as a thank-you for all their hard work.  We don't know what we would do without these faithful, loving people God has blessed us with. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

A Weekend to Remember

We have just finished  a whirlwind of a weekend!  Friday was a holiday here, kind of a mixture of Memorial day and Day of the Dead.  We planned an outreach at the local cemetery.  Wednesday night we handed out t-shirts, finished folding & stamping tracts and spent some more time praying for God to prepare hearts to hear.  

 Early Friday morning the Taylor 5 got to cemetery to secure our spot and step up camp!  By 8:30 the rest of the group was there ready to start passing out tracts and talking to those who were willing. 

 We had 18 people in all who there to help.  It was neat to see even Jeremiah getting up the courage to offer the tracts to people with his timid little question, "Aceita?"    By 11 am we had used all the tracts we had.  We aren't sure the total we gave out but well over 3,000. 

 One of the neat things we did was divide ourselves into four groups so that every 15 minutes a group would rotate into the tent and pray for those who were still passing out tracts.  Each group would pass out tracts for 45 and then spend 15 minutes in prayer. We were excited to have a group always praying as we shared the Gospel. 

 We praise the Lord for people of all ages who came to help, and we thank God for several good opportunities to share the full plan of Salvation.  We don't know if we will ever SEE any results from this but we were all encouraged as we reflected on Christ's sacrifice for us and the privilege we have to share that with others. 

Saturday morning James along with 3 of our men moved our belongings from our storage facility into our rental house.  We had to be moved out by Monday and we praise God we could move directly to our rental house!  We are still living at David & Sharon's house until closer to their arrival date and just working at the rental house getting things cleaned and aired out after a year and a half in storage. 
 Saturday afternoon we had our monthly ladies meeting.  We were excited to try a craft themed day and we all had a great time together.  Two of the ladies shared their salvation testimonies with us as our devotional time and it was a precious time of fellowship and knowing one another more intimately. 

 Sunday our little guy turned 6!  We can hardly believe that he is so grown up!  His main gift was a bike and we are having a hard time getting him off of it! 

It took him a few minutes to get acclimated to a bike since he hadn't ridden since we returned to Brazil in February but he is riding so fast now he scares his mommy! 

We had a great day on Sunday at church as well as celebrating with Jer.  
It really was a whirlwind of a weekend!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Update from Redemption Baptist

 After things fell through on the purchase of our house we spent the next week scrambling, looking at everything we could.  We searched for homes in our price range and in the end it looks like we are going to have to rent a home.  We are thankful to have found a simple, fairly reasonable house to rent.  We are waiting for the documents to be approved and are praying that early next week they will be. Please keep praying with us in this regard.  If everything is approved we will move our things from our storage facility next Saturday, just 2 days before our deadline to be out.  God is good.

 Last week I had the privilege to travel with Meire to São Paulo for a ladies retreat.  We had a wonderful time of fellowship and praise the Lord for the sisters in Christ we got to know while there.  
 One of the blessings was being "adopted" by a sister church from there.  They included us in everything, even letting us part of their special number on "Country Night." 

 We got back just in time for our Junior/Adolescent class to get all their "Redais" and buy some prizes.  They have worked hard for 20 weeks, faithfully attending services, memorizing Isaiah 53, going out with us to evangelize, cleaning the church and more. 
 The prizes were really nice and I think those who really worked hard enjoyed the fruits of their labors!   A big thanks to Agostinho for giving them the incentive to get to know their God.  We are praying for fruits that will last for eternity.  

 Last night was our second Couples Bible Study.  I think we doubled our group from last month and really enjoyed some great discussion.  Our main focus last night was that our marriages glorify God's covenant relationship with us, His church-bride.  One of the ways we do that is by forgiving as Christ has forgiven us.  When we look back at the Cross and the see how God nailed our record of sin to the cross, God's wrath against us was overcome by the cross.  This is the power for us in our christian lives, in our marriages.  I can take this vertical relationship that I have with God and bend it out horizontally towards my spouse.  What a challenge and encouragement.  Col. 3 was our main passage if you want to check it out. 
 One highlight of the night was eating "Meat with bread."  All month long as Edinelson promoted the study, he kept asking who had eaten meat with bread before, we all shook our heads in confusion wondering what he was talking about, of course we've eaten that.  Well, we finally got to experience his own special creation "Carne com Pão."
 It was wonderfully flavorful and I think everyone really enjoyed our late night snack! 
 We are praising God for Andre's recent return to church and participation last night.  Please keep praying for his salvation.  It is hard to know what is motivating him but we know that what is impossible for man is possible for God. 
We are so excited to see more and more Christ-centeredness in our people.  To see their christian lives growing from a mere outward semblance of  righteousness to a joy that radiates from within as they base their obedience on Christ's finished work on the cross. 
Please keep praying for Redemption Baptist Church

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Children's Day

 Yesterday we had a special program in honor of children's day.  We praise the Lord that the rain stopped about 1 hour before our club began.  We praise the Lord for a good group of kids and helpers.  We praise the Lord for this extra opportunity to share the good news of salvation with these precious souls. 
 Before the official games started, I pulled out this giant rope.  
Who knew what a hit jump rope would be! 
 We had kids of all ages give it a try.  From 5 year olds to 73 year olds!

 Our puppet show went great!  It was lots of fun working with 4 of our young people on this project.  They were a huge help in many areas, from decorating beforehand, to helping with games, and clean-up, what a blessing. 
The day went so smoothly and this was due in part to my awesome team of co-workers.
Bruna & Jonatã handled the game time.  
 Dn. Loré and Teresinha organized the snack, 
hotdogs and cake!
 Cristine came up with the idea for the craft (good news caterpillar book-marks) and 
Gilmara got it all cut-out, organized and led it the day of the club. 
Meire was our song director and ballon flower-maker!  
She also got all the stuff to make candy bags for the kids to take home as they left. 

What a blessing to see the body of Christ pull together to serve God by serving others.  
Please pray for us as we have two more events coming up soon. 

1.  The first weekend of November Brazil celebrates the Day of the Dead.  As a church we are going to the cemetery to pass out tracts and try and share the Gospel with people. 
2.  Our ladies meeting for November is going to be a craft day and we are hoping for many unsaved ladies to participate and hear the true Gospel.