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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Christmas tree with lights
Soothing, beautiful, warm glow
Calms my heart tonight

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Birthday Cake for Jesus

It has become a tradition in our family to make a birthday cake for Jesus. Here is our recipe! :)

1 Pillsbury White Cake Mix (or any White Cake Mix or recipe)
1 Deep Dark Chocolate Cake -
(or any Chocolate Cake Mix)
Cream Cheese Icing - see below (or any white icing)
Yellow, Red and Green Food Colouring
Red Taper Candle
Box of Birthday Candles

Bake chocolate cake in ROUND pans according to directions, cool. Freeze 1 Choc cake for use later.
Mix White Cake mix and divide in 2 equal parts, adding green food colouring to 1/2 and red to the other. Bake in round pans according to directions, cool.

In the meantime, make cream cheese icing
9 oz. (250 g) cream cheese
3/4 cup softened margarine or butter
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
6 1/2 to 7 cups sifted icing sugar
Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla till light and fluffy. Gradually add in icing sugar to make icing of spreading consistency.

Set aside 1/2 cup icing and colour it with yellow food colouring.

Layer cakes, starting with chocolate, and then icing. Add the red layer, icing, and then green, and ice the whole cake. On the middle of the top, use the yellow icing to make a star, large enough for the red taper candle to fit into.

Light the candle and tell the Christmas story. Light a birthday candle for each person present and put it on the cake. Sing happy birthday to Jesus. Blow out the candles and cut one slice of cake.

Explain the the chocolate cake represents our sins, and the fact that because of our sin we are
separated from God (Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord).

The red layer represents the fact that Christ died on the cross for our sins (1 John 1:7b The blood of Jesus Christ, God's son, cleanses us from all sin).

The white icing is to remind us that if we accept Christ's death on the cross and allow him to be Lord of our lives, he will wash away our sins! (Psalm 51:7b Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow)

The yellow (or gold) star reminds us that we will spend eternity with Him in Heaven! (John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. )

The green layer of the cake is to remind us that our relationship with God continues to GROW from this point on. Green reminds of of growing things like grass and trees. (2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.) The way we grow is to read the Bible and pray every day - then we like to sing the song "Read Your Bible, Pray every day."


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bobotie (pronunciation: Ba-boo-eh-tee)

from Tracy Cox

1 kg mince (2.2 lbs ground beef)
2 onions, sliced (I use 1 - for those of you that know me, even that much is a surprise!)
25 g butter (1 1/2 Tbsp)
20 ml curry powder (4 tsp)
3ml turmeric (heaping 1/2 tsp)
2 slices white bread, crust removed
250 ml chutney (1 Cup)
30 ml vinegar (2 Tbsp)
15 ml brown sugar (1 Tbsp)
10 ml salt (2 tsp)
3 bay leaves
300 ml milk (1 1/4 cup)
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Fry onions in butter until soft. Add curry powder and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes. Add mince and brown. In bowl, soak the bread in 60 ml (1/4 Cup) milk and mash with a fork. Add 1 beaten egg, chutney, vinegar, sugar and salt. Add to the meat mixture. Transfer to a greased baking dish and spread evenly. Arrange leaves on top. In a bowl, mix the remaining milk and 2 eggs and pour over the mince. Bake for 30 minutes.

The last time I made it I browned the mince separate so that I could drain it, and then I added it to the onions/spices. It still worked great!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mixed feelings

The Next Christians
By Gabe Lyons

I have mixed feelings about this book. There are parts that I agree with, and parts that, though I don't outrightly disagree with, I feel are left wanting.
I agree that the world is changing - it is our responsibility to communicate unchanging Biblical truth to a constantly changing world! And I also agree that there are all different types of "Christians" as he reviews separatist and cultural Christians. I was almost holding my breath waiting to hear what Lyons finally came to when he said, "Isn't there another group of Christians who are getting it right?"
Lyons states of the restorers, that "Their faith activity isn't restricted to "religious" activities, but carries over into every day of the week and each aspect of their careers, relationships and social lives." I also agree when he states that this is not some new Christian idea, it's actually an old one.
I also agree that it is our responsibility to do everything we do to the best of our ability in order to bring all the glory to God. But I feel that some without a strong Biblical background would think that it's enough to "do good." It's a fine line that I don't feel is made clear in this book. 
I also feel, that while evangelism isn't the ONLY goal of a Christian, that it is downplayed in the book. I think that there are times to simply be a witness by our actions, but there are times that it is also important to do more than that.
These are just a few examples of the reasons I kept putting this book down, yet coming back to it, as I received this book for free from Multnomah Books and agreed to read it and write a review.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Month of Thankfulness

I'm going to attempt to write about 1 thing I am thankful for every day in November, in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

1. I am thankful for my family - both immediate and extended. I am grateful for each and every one and their unique ways!
2. I am thankful for cuddle time with my children tonight while we watched a movie. I love who they are becoming!
3. I am thankful for sweet rest, and for the feeling of accomplishment after checking quite a few things off on my "to do" list. Also for doctors and homeschool curriculum suppliers who allow God to bless me through them by giving discounts to missionaries.
4. I am thankful for my parents. My mom & dad have been an encouragement to me my whole life, making me believe I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to. My mom is still the one who believes I can do it all! I love you, Mommy!
5. I am thankful for Christ, His mercy and grace. I love that His mercies are new every morning, and that it's all about what He's done and who He is, not about who I am. "How refreshing to know You don't need me. How amazing to find that You want me."
6. I am thankful for my husband of 18 1/2 years! Brad is an amazing husband and father, and I am looking forward to growing old with him.
7. I am thankful for God's provision for all my needs, and that He even goes above and beyond and gives me many of my wants, as well!
8. Today I am thankful for God's forgiveness. I am thankful that a God who knows the depths of my heart still loves me.
Psalm 103:11-12
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
9. I am thankful that it snowed while we were in the US! It made me feel like a little girl that got just what she wanted from her Daddy. Thank you, Abba Father, for Your simple yet amazing gifts!
10. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of South African youth.
11. I am thankful for the ministry of Bobby Francis and Dave Weir, and for a new believer that is special to me!
12. I am thankful for my fuzzy brown "bear" socks given to me by my friend Jess Case! I love them, and I love you!
13. I am so thankful for the reminder tonight that my God is that same God of David. The same God who has provided all my needs in the past is the same God who will continue to do so in AMAZING ways in the future. I am so excited to be along for the adventure!
1 Samuel 17:37 And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
14. I am thankful for an amazingly supportive home church and especially for our Serving As Senders team! You are all such an encouragement to us!
15. I am thankful for the chocolate scented Hershey pen from my friend Ella.
16. I am thankful for the opportunity to spend a long layover in Switzerland next week to visit my friend Marianne!
17. I am thankful for the van that was donated to us from Ada Bible Church in Michigan! Thank you for allowing God to bless us through you!
18. I am thankful for an unexpected check in the mail!!!
19. I am thankful to have my Mom's wedding ring. It makes me feel close to her when I wear it.
20. I am thankful for an early birthday present from Jane Stahl - an ice cream cake! :)
21. I am thankful for dinner out with friends!
22. I am thankful for a buyer for our van!
23. I am thankful for my husband's family and their love for our children.
24. I am thankful that my children were spoiled today with gifts from their Uncles.
25. I am thankful for an amazing time in Switzerland, including trips to Pilatus and Bern, and having Swiss food like Raclette, Swiss fondue, Berliners, and more! But even more thankful for the time together with forever heart friends.
26. I am thankful for our South African home church. We received such a warm welcome home from them and had an amazing time of worship together this morning!
27. I am thankful for a Pastor who preaches the whole Word of God.
28. I am thankful for the reminder to find new ways that I can show love to the body of Christ.
29. I am thankful that I can sleep in my own bed again!
30. I am thankful for the warm welcome from our friends at the airport.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Torn, Part 2

I said goodbye today. It's been a long day of travel, and now some 18 hours later, the tears flow freely. I miss my Mom. I want to be curled up in her chair and a half sleeping softly and feeling like a little girl, like Mom can heal all wounds.
So for just a little while, I allow myself to grieve - to cry over moments that will be missed, loved ones that will guard their hearts from growing too close to protect themselves from the hurt of saying goodbye, of the possibility that some goodbyes could be the last in this life.
And then I rejoice in memories that were made, laughter that was shared, and words that were spoken. And as I prepare to drift off to sleep, God begins to heal my heart.
I love you, Abba Father, Daddy. Thank you that Your mercies are new every morning, and great is Your faithfulness.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Something Big is Coming and a $56,000 Homeschool Sweepstakes! | Home Educating Association

Something Big is Coming and a $56,000 Homeschool Sweepstakes! | Home Educating Association

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homeschool Giveaway Link

Sally at With Eager Hands posted homeschool planning information (with photos!) and a giveaway she is sharing this week - The Ultimate Homeschool Planner. Thank you, Sally! 
Here is an excerpt from her blog:
God has been good to us through homeschooling in so many ways, but the one I'm most thankful for is how close we are as a family. Yes, I think the education is better, particularly in the long run, but it is the relational aspect of homeschooling that has had the most impact on us. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I made an adoption book for Mya on Snapfish today. Here's her story that I included....

This is the story of how I was adopted into my family.
Mommy and Daddy wanted another baby, and God showed
them that He had just the right baby in mind. They just
had to wait and pray! So they prayed and they prayed,
and they waited and they waited. They prayed for me
while God was knitting me together in the womb! I was
born on May 28, 2007, and at just the right time they
were told that I was ready to come live with them and
be a part of their family.

On October 2, 2007, I came home! I get lots of
attention! Daddy likes to cuddle me, Mommy likes to rock me
and sing to me, and Brandon and Marissa are enthralled with
my tiny little fingers and my tiny little toes.
We are a family!

Adoption Day: December 14, 2009.
"Born not from our flesh, but born in our hearts, you
were longed for and wanted and loved from the start."

Saturday, July 2, 2011


10 years. We have lived in Africa for almost 10 years. It's hard to believe! And now we're preparing to go on furlough to the US for 4 1/2 months. We have been on furlough 3 times before, but never have I felt so torn. How do I explain?
How do I leave for so long? This has become my Africa. I am intertwined with the people here. Their hurts are my hurts and I rejoice with their rejoicing. I am pouring my life into others, and in turn get so filled!
How, in the midst of discipling 3 young girls that live in not so ideal situations - girls that come stay with us for a few days every now and then just to get away? How, when a friend's marriage is on the line, and you have the chance to encourage each other often in the Word? How, when a young girl in your small group just accepted Christ as Saviour and has so much growing to do? I am not so naive as to think that Christ cannot grow, heal and encourage His children without me. But I love them! They have become family to me. I love being a part of their lives.
Yet I can't imagine not going, when my family in the US is changing so quickly that I do not really even know them! While away these three years, just to name a few changes, my brother died, 2 nephews got married and I haven't met their wives, babies were born, cross country moves.... I miss the laughter. 
(I must admit, this is not a daily struggle that I allow myself to indulge in. It would be crippling. I find I actually miss my family more as I come close to going back each time, as I allow myself to think about it more.)
I want to drink in every moment of the time I will have with them. I want to know them, and I want them to know the me that I am today. And then I want to come back.
It won't be easy returning to Africa, either. I will say goodbye again, leaving the family that I love. And then I will try to jump back into the lives of people that have gone on with their lives for a little while without me. 

Monday, May 23, 2011


I am excited about our upcoming furlough to the US! But it's hard for me to look that far ahead when each day holds so much busyness.... I find myself thinking of all there is to do before we go!
You'll see a countdown on the side bar of my blog as to how many days are left. I find myself wanting to share with you some of the thoughts going through my mind, and even as I think about how to word it, my thoughts are interrupted by more things to do! So maybe I'll just make a list....

Go through each room and organize/get rid of things (finished two...)
Make plans with friends in the US to get together
Buy/Make gifts for people that we will see in the US
Teach Aneesah how to quilt, and help her finish it before we leave!
Shop for fabric for the center of Brad's quilt
Finish making Brad's & Marissa's quilts
Keep up with homeschool
Order Brandon's PreAlgebra book
Get an external hard drive for my Mac Mini and back up my computer
Organize some of my homeschool curriculum to take back to the US to sell second hand
Order/Organize from the local libraries in the US books that we will need for school when we get there
Shop for fabric/Sew authentic African dress outfits for Brad and possibly the fam
Possibly sew huge South African flag for WOL's Born Again to A Living Hope musical drama
Teach someone to do the admin for Jr. Youth at Church
Organize/print some Christian service projects for the youth to do while I'm away
Find a flip file that's missing
Take fam pics for Prayer Cards
Give Mya hair extensions

And all of this is in addition to keeping up with ministry and every day life! I would like to get as much of this done as possible before my niece, Stephanie, and Carly Evelyn arrive on June 17 for a month long mission trip! So, maybe now that I have a list of some of the things going through my mind I can get to work and stop having interrupted thoughts!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Memory Verses

I've gotten behind on my memory verses, so I've been trying to work diligently this week! Here are my new memory verses:

We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. Titus 3:3

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

A while ago I posted about a iPod/iPad app for memorizing verses, but I found it didn't work well for me. I decided to do some searching last week and found an app put out by Fighter Verses. I really like it! It has a reminder to help me to remember to work on my memory verse every day, and you can set your verse to pop up on the lock screen every time you turn on the iPod/iPad. You can add your own verse list, and put it in it's own topical list, so I was able to make a list of the verses I'm working on and a list for my children.

I only wish I could add the same verse more than once so that I could have a separate list for each of my children, even though they are working on memorizing the same verses. This way they could mark the verse memorized when one of them was finished studying it.


Memory Verse Update!

I'm trying to keep up on my memory verses for Jr. & Sr. Youth so that I can finish with them at the end of the year. This week I learned 2 Jr. Youth verses, but just can't seem to get the one for Sr. Youth. I'll keep trying!!
Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.

Joshua 23:11
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.

Let me know if you're interested in memorizing verses with me! I'd love to have some accountability and support! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

The original recipe was for 48, so I scaled it down to one rectangular baking dish. You could probably halve it and do a square one….

Servings: 12

1 c. oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
6 c. oatmeal
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 c. milk


In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and oil. Stir in milk and
dry ingredients. Pour into 9x13 rectangular baking dish.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Next morning bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 40
Serve with hot milk and cinnamon and sugar.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Friends & Coworkers

Mike, Fran, Bret & Rachel VanBruggen

We dropped our friends & coworkers off at the airport today. They are returning to the US for approximately 5 months to share with churches & individuals about all that God is doing here in South Africa. The VanBruggens have become a vital part of our team, and even more, a part of our family away from home. God has used them to strengthen the ministry of Word of Life in South Africa, and it wasn't easy to say goodbye, even for just a little while. Fran, I still swear that we're related somehow. ;) We'll miss you! Hurry home!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Struggling with Self-Discipline

This week I have had such good intentions with no desire to do much about it! I want to have the energy to run my home with efficiency and to exercise and eat right, but I just had no will power of my own. I have been exhausted physically due to recent activity in my life - all of which has been amazing! And I have been challenged by verses such as "She looks well to the ways of her household,And does not eat the bread of idleness" Prov 31:27, and "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God," 1 Cor. 10:31 and yet I continue to lack will power.... As I sat down to blog about this last night (and blogger was having technical issues) I was reminded of the following verses:

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 7:14-8:1

These verses spoke for me so well! I am feeling encouraged today!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Glory of my King

Do not claim honor in the presence of the king,
         And do not stand in the place of great men;
    For it is better that it be said to you, "Come up here,"
         Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the 

         Whom your eyes have seen. Proverbs 25:6-7

Help me, Lord, to focus my life on the glory of my King rather than to seek glory for myself. When I have a clear picture of who God is, it will lead me to true humility.

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.

Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy!  All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy!  Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love and purity.

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Gentle Tongue

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, 
   and a gentle tongue can break a bone. Proverbs 25:15

"Solomon writes that the gentle tongue breaks a bone, saying that even a gentle and sensitive tongue can be a powerful force. 'Gentle' means delicate, soft, or tender and is used elsewhere in Proverbs of a 'soft answer turning away wrath' (15:1).... Either wisdom or foolishness is always reflected in my speech!" Todd Kinzer

Are my words gentle? Lord, please continue to remind me that my tongue reveals my heart. "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Help me to spend more time meditating on Your Word "for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scripture Memory

Genesis 3:15
And I shall put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise thy heal.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Navpress Verseminder Topical Memory System

I am so excited about this iPhone (iPod) app! It is a Memory Verse System! You can add your own verses, they download in several versions so you can choose the one you prefer, and you can hide words and quiz yourself!

"In 10 minutes two times a day you will be amazed at how easy memorization becomes."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quick to hear, Slow to Speak and Slow to Anger

James 1:19b-27 (Emphasis mine)
19But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
 20for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
 21Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
 22But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
 24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
 25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
 26If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.
 27Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
I was so challenged by this passage in my quiet time this morning! Thank you, God, for reminding me that controlling my tongue and my anger are ongoing challenges in my life. I must continually check the mirror to see how dirty my face is and that it needs to be washed clean again! Lord, please change me. Renew me. Make me a doer of Your Word! I love that I have more than a religion with you, but a relationship. Abba Father, I am relying on Your strength to help me control my tongue and to help me to be slow to anger with my children. Implant Your Word in my heart and life.

Blogging for Books

I have decided to give Blogging for Books a try. They send you a book from Multnomah Books and you write a review about it, and even have a chance to win prizes! :)

To start I decided to review some of my old favourites published by Multnomah.

The Negotiator, by Dee Henderson
The O'Malley Series #1

(Christian Fiction, Mystery, Romance)
Loved this book! It was full of suspense, and I could not wait to read her next book. Kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how clearly the gospel is presented. All in all, a great start to a series, and I would definitely recommend it to a friend. - Books: The Negotiator: Dee Henderson | Romance | Genre fiction | Fiction

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

God's Faithfulness

1 Samuel 17:37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.

David had experienced God's protection, and knew that God would continue to be faithful. Experience has increased David's faith!

"God delights in using weak instruments to do great things through their faith. We must gain experience in the use of our faith as our shield and God's Word as our sword (Eph. 6:11-17). Such faith is the source of victory." Don Kelso

Monday, February 28, 2011

More Memorizing Scripture

Deut 6:5
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind.

God's Faithfulness

1 Samuel 17:37 And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

I am so thankful for the reminder tonight that my God is that same God of David. The same God who has provided all my needs in the past is the same God who will continue to do so in AMAZING ways in the future. I am so excited to be along for the adventure!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Praying for those you disciple (Saturday)...

I have been preparing for discipleship and ran across this in the Word of Life Where Do I Go From Here - An Interactive Discipleship Course. It's entitled "A Critical Aspect of Discipleship - How to cover your discipleship in prayer."

Since it is broken down into days, I thought I would share each day in a different posting...
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."
Philippians 2:16 "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."
Nothing honors God so much as to have His children shining bright in the midst of the darkness. Christ has called us to be the "light of the world" and as such we are to shine!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Praying for those you disciple (Friday)....

I have been preparing for discipleship and ran across this in the Word of Life Where Do I Go From Here - An Interactive Discipleship Course. It's entitled "A Critical Aspect of Discipleship - How to cover your discipleship in prayer."

Since it is broken down into days, I thought I would share each day in a different posting...

2 Corinthians 10:12, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise."
We all grow as individuals. The danger in comparison is that it can produce pride ("I've grown more than he has") or defeat ("I could never be like him/her").

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Praying for those you disciple (Thursday)....

I have been preparing for discipleship and ran across this in the Word of Life Where Do I Go From Here - An Interactive Discipleship Course. It's entitled "A Critical Aspect of Discipleship - How to cover your discipleship in prayer."

Since it is broken down into days, I thought I would share each day in a different posting...

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Unconfessed sin damages one's fellowship with God and affects one's spiritual growth. To leave sin unconfessed will in time harden one's heart to the things of God. Confession of sin is of primary importance in the life of a believer.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Praying for those you disciple (Wednesday)....

I have been preparing for discipleship and ran across this in the Word of Life Where Do I Go From Here - An Interactive Discipleship Course. It's entitled "A Critical Aspect of Discipleship - How to cover your discipleship in prayer."

Since it is broken down into days, I thought I would share each day in a different posting...
Philippians 1:9-10 "And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things which are excellent."
The idea of "approving" things which are excellent has to do with one's discernment. As a believer grows, the ability to discern between the good and excellent or between better and best is a mark of maturity. Such maturity is the aim of our discipleship.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Praying for those you disciple (Tuesday)....

I have been preparing for discipleship and ran across this in the Word of Life Where Do I Go From Here - An Interactive Discipleship Course. It's entitled "A Critical Aspect of Discipleship - How to cover your discipleship in prayer."

Since it is broken down into days, I thought I would share each day in a different posting....
Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him."
2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever, Amen."
It is God's desire that His children grow. A growing believer is an exciting believer!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Praying for those you disciple (Monday)....

I have been preparing for discipleship and ran across this in the Word of Life Where Do I Go From Here - An Interactive Discipleship Course. It's entitled "A Critical Aspect of Discipleship - How to cover your discipleship in prayer."

Since it is broken down into days, I thought I would share each day in a different posting....
Psalm 119:71 "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."
Oftentimes we have a desire to spare another from the consequences of their sin but God's purpose is for consequences to teach the sinner the folly of his/her way. When the one you are discipling gets caught, help him/her to acknowledge the sin, to understand a loving God disciplines His children, to seek His forgiveness and to move forward in his/her Christian walk. Remind your disciple that, "whom God loves He chastens" and we should not view that negatively. Life is all about correction. We need to understand that correction polishes us and turn our thinking towards the BENEFITS of correction.

Praying for those you disciple (Sunday)....

I have been preparing for discipleship and ran across this in the Word of Life Where Do I Go From Here - An Interactive Discipleship Course. It's entitled "A Critical Aspect of Discipleship - How to cover your discipleship in prayer."

Since it is broken down into days, I thought I would share each day in a different posting....
Psalm 97:10 - "Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked."
As one's love for God grows, so grows a hatred for evil. To properly hate sin one must properly love God.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Simple Blessings

These are just a few simple blessings that make me feel God's love....

A cup of tea
Sleeping children
Holding babies
Sleeping in
Laughter of my children
Discovering nuggets in the Word of God
Watching the clouds
The ocean
The sound of crickets
The smell of fresh cut grass
Candle light

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Memorizing Scripture

I have a love for the Word of God, and memorizing scripture is important to me! Also, as a youth leader, I feel that I don't have the right to expect more of my youth than I am willing to do myself, so I am committed to memorizing scripture with them. The tricky part is that I am a Jr Youth Leader AND a Sr Youth Leader - so that's twice as many verses!

I am going to try to remember to quote them here as an accountability for this discipline I'm striving toward. Here's the first lot for the year....

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them.

Luke 2:52
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Proverbs 31:30
Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Friday, February 18, 2011

LFL from 2010

Some Lessons For Life from 2010:

How do we truly know Him if we're not spending time in His Word?

The place we as Christians find refuge is in the Word of God.

Therefore fear AND serve (with sincerity and truth) AND put away other gods AND serve the Lord! Joshua 24

I have a new picture of Jesus as Lord, not just as Him being in control and bigger than all, but in light of a King or Lord here on earth - whatever He says MUST be obeyed! In light of that, He was also a servant. When have you seen an earthly king serve his servants? I need to serve all those around me no matter their position.

Therefore present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service - rational/spiritual service of worship!

God's comfort is everlasting and will strengthen your hearts.

The church is a place of protection, not perfection. Keep praying for ....

You will turn my mourning into dancing, Lord!

Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.

1. Lay out clothes/Bible/Music, etc. on Saturday night.
2. Go to bed early on Sat.
3. Get up early on Sun.
4. Spend time in prayer for service, alone and as a family on Sat/Sun.

We ask "what about" - what about my job, what about my money, what about my rights - Don't you think Jesus already thought about that?

God EXPECTS us to bear fruit.

Abide in ME! Spend time in My Word! Spend time in prayer.

We are covered by blood - Ps 32:1. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

The Bible changes us, makes us different - My Word is truth!

My God is Faithful!!!!

Hannah cries out to the Lord and asks him for a child. She promises that if He gives her a child, she will give that child back to Him. I wonder if she really believed that He would answer her in the way that she desired?
This passage really touched me this week - this is Hannah's response to God giving her a child. She has found the Lord faithful and this is her response.
Sometimes, having found God faithful so often, it is my nature to expect answered prayer and not be in awe of it. Lord, please keep my heart tender to God's love toward me. I am but a sinner, saved by grace, and I want to shout to those around me, "My God is faithful!"

1 Samuel 2:1-2
Then Hannah prayed and said,
         "My heart exults in the LORD;
         My horn is exalted in the LORD,
         My mouth speaks boldly against my 
         Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 
    2"There is no one holy like the LORD,
         Indeed, there is no one besides You,
         Nor is there any rock like our God. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

God's Creation, viewed in Kruger National Park

We spent the day in Kruger National Park. It covers roughly 7500 square miles, almost the size of the state of New Jersey! We were in the park from around 8h30 until 5h30, and hardly covered a portion of the park, but here are some pics of what we saw! Thank you, God, for an amazing day viewing your AMAZING creation!

A Giraffe sits down, on average, only 20 minutes a day. They even sleep standing up. This is a rare sight indeed! :)

Wildebeest & Impala

Hippos in the water.

Still nothing better than cuddling my babies while they sleep.

Leopard Tortoise








All in all an amazing day! 4 of the Big Five, with only the elusive leopard missing from the list. Best of all, a day together with family making memories.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

True Valor

Took a book to read with me this week - I am a readaholic. I love to read! I don't get much of a chance to read fiction, so I am taking advantage of the holiday to veg a little with a good book in hand. :)

This is the book I am reading:

It is book 2 in the Uncommon Heroes series. I am enjoying them, but liked The O'Malley series even more! Great read - finished in just a few days, and that was with 3 little ones under foot! It was full of suspense. I would definitely recommend it to a friend. - Books: True Valor - Book Two Of Uncommon Heroes: Dee Henderson | Romance | Genre fiction | Fiction

Love is....

Love. Many of us are familiar with "The Love Chapter", I Corinthians 13. A long while ago I was challenged to put in the place of the word "love" my name as a test of how loving I am. Try it for yourself.... Then replace the word "love" with the word "God", and spend some time worshipping Him for who He is.

4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not  arrogant,
 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
 8Love never fails; 

Monday, February 14, 2011


My heart is aching for many of the children and teens in our church, and in our local community. Their burdens seem so heavy that they don't know how to deal with them. It is effecting them physically, and wisdom is needed to help them. Please pray for them, as well as the leadership that work with them. Help us point them to the Healer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Leaders' Kick Off

Today was Leaders' Kick Off. We had around 90 people at the conference today which involved encouragement, training and fellowship. There was a lot of planning that went into the conference - choosing speakers, location, inviting leaders, and then the preparations of the speakers....
I was involved in planning food. You'll see that often my role in the ministry is different than what you may imagine. My job this weekend was to plan tea and lunch for 80-100 people. Instead of spending hours pouring over seminar notes, I spent a few minutes on the phone discussing how much lunch meat we would need, an hour in the grocery store, and many hours in the kitchen preparing potato salad, cole slaw, arranging meat trays and praying for results. And it's just as exciting to me to be involved in this way, if not more, than if I were standing in front teaching a seminar!
I'm excited to see leaders learning. I'm excited to see God using them to change the lives of hundreds of youth throughout South Africa. I love that over the last 9 years I have been able to build relationships with many of these leaders! I look forward to the opportunity to spend time together in fellowship. It is also exciting to see new leaders, a chance to reach more youth!
Thank you, God, for allowing me the opportunity to be involved with what You are doing in South Africa in any way possible!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I have been helping with Olympians at church for a while now, and I enjoy it so much! Olympians is a Word of Life program for kids. We have around 40 in regular attendance ranging from Grade 0 (Kindergarten) to Grade 7, and meet on Fridays from 3 to 5 pm.

In my small group I have around 6 girls in Grades 5 & 6. It is so fun to see how willing they are to do what they can to please God! It's also sad to see the kind of pressures they face at so young an age. Please pray with me for these girls - for the choices they make that will effect their futures, that they make choices based on what God's Word has to say, rather than based on what they think will make them popular. They so desire to be liked by their friends and, of course, the boys. I pray that they see the big picture and yet take life one day at a time, trying make choices that are honoring to God.

Pics to come. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Observing God's Creation

Brad's parents, Brad and I had a get away. No children, just the adults. It was nice to be Mary for a while.  I absolutely LOVE being Mom, but being Mary has a nice ring to it now and then, just so I don't forget how. ;)

We went to the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve and stayed overnight. It was amazing! I will share some of the pics with you....



I love to think about the fact that God created everything from nothing. I feel so small in His infinite amazing presence! And to think that we were created in His image. Wow. 

If you want to see more pictures, check out my facebook album.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blog Blues

I'm so sad. I loved my blogger background, and am experiencing technical difficulties. My blog was gray when I logged in. SOOOO I had to search for another background. I found one I liked, but it's the same as my friend's, so kept looking. It takes so long to look!!!!
I'm not sure that this one fits me. What do you think? Yea or Nay - please vote. ;)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We have experienced so many blessings, and sometimes I forget to share, so I'm going to overflow on you a little. ;)

Community Baptist Church in Montoursville started a "Serving As Senders" ministry in their church a long while ago, allowing volunteers from the church to join a team of people to support and pray for missionaries on the field. Our team has been an amazing support to us, calling us, praying for us, sending birthday cards and Christmas gifts and care packages, getting to know our children, meeting with us while in the US, and among many other things, presenting our needs and prayer requests before the local church. We have been blessed beyond measure in this way!

Recently, they found out that there would be another missionary traveling through Joburg that was willing to bring us a suitcase and they asked what we needed! It was PERFECT timing, as I needed to order quite a few books for school and could ship them for free to any US address, but international shipping would be outrageously expensive.

So now my books are ordered and should be on their way soon! Thank you, Sending Team, and thank you, God, for blessing us through Your servants!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dad's Mac & Cheese

3 Tbsp Butter
2 1/2 C uncooked Macaroni
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 lb. Sharp (Mature) Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 qt. Milk

Melt butter in baking pan. Stir macaroni until covered well with butter. Add salt and cheese. Stir in milk. Bake, uncovered at 325 for 1 hour. DO NOT STIR.

Tapestry of Grace Books

I have been searching for books for TOG Y4, and I thought I would share the free books I have found. I will update this list as I find more. At this point all of these books are on the Kindle. If you don't have a kindle, you can download a Kindle app for an iPhone, iPod or PC for free. Here is a link for a PC download!

I will update this list as I find more!


Feb 6

Today was a good day. Church this morning. I looked forward to fellowshipping with our Church family. That is such a good feeling! I am making close friends again - my closest friends left the country, and it's not easy to start over again. It takes some time and effort to build new relationships, but it's worth it. :)

I'm still playing the flute at church. And we had such good singing this morning! The church is growing, and it's exciting to see God at work, bringing new believers into fellowship, especially when it's a new Christian. I also enjoyed singing a duet with Kobus for a special. I love to sing and don't get the chance to do it too often as I play the flute for all the music.

We went to the market after church this morning and had lunch there - I had an excellent Vetkoek (pronounced Fetcook - Afrikaans for "Fat Cake") with mince (ground beef) and cheese. It is a deep fried roll with seasoned ground beef. The beef was seasoned with a touch of curry and cooked with carrots and topped with cheese. YUMMA! 

When we came home, I took a nap! The kids have at least a required FOB (flat on bed) every Sunday, and sometimes a required sleep. It gives us a break, and helps them start their week rested. So I took advantage of this time today and SLEPT. :)

Then church and back home again! All in all, an enjoyable day. :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pavers, Fabric, Teens and Choc Cake

The day started late today - stayed in bed until after 8!!! :) And I started right in on some prep for homeschool and working on the finances on the computer.

Brad, Jack (his dad) and I went shopping for paving stones to decorate a section in the front garden. There is a big flower garden (360x320 cm) that needs some work, so I am planning to use the pavers to do a checkerboard pattern and plant flowers and plants in every other square. We bought pavers and compost today and will get the plants later.

(Here's a later pic of the work in progress)

Then this afternoon I went with Marissa and Judy (Brad's mom) to Chamdor, a huge fabric shop. Judy is making some visual aids for a seminar that she is teaching next week at Word of Life's Leadership Conference. I found some nice blue bulls fabric, so I will take some swatches out from Brad's quilt and find a great centerpiece! I will be able to finish it before winter!!

Then music practice and Senior Youth at church. I think we had a fantastic night at youth! We tried to play a variation of kickball where you pair up with a partner and one of you is "blind". It was exceptionally funny seeing as most of the kids didn't know what baseball was, let alone kickball, but we had a blast anyway. :) The meeting went well, and I enjoyed the time of fellowship in our small groups. 

When I got home I had a spurt of energy so I made sloppy joes for dinner tomorrow and whipped up two square Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cakes - one for a fellowship after church and one for home. I pulled out the fridge to get a drawer out that needed cleaned, washed it and got it all put away, cakes are finished, and now I really should be heading to bed as it's 22h30. Goodnight!

Whew! That was another busy day! ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feb 4

Another busy day in the Hawkins' household!! We started with homeschool - two extras in my class today as we were helping out some friends that were away at a Pastor's retreat by keeping their children for them. They are 12 and 16, and were SUCH a pleasure to keep. Thanks for the opportunity! :)

In the afternoon we went to Junior Youth. There are around 40 kids that come to Junior Youth - we use the Word of Life Olympians program. The kids were SOOOOO wound up yesterday that we didn't know what to do with them!!! But I was at least able to have a successful small group with my 6 girls in grades 5 & 6. WOW!

We left the church, went to the shop (craziness on a Friday night, but we managed), went home for 30 minutes and then off to the new "Inbetweeners" group at the church. The church had programs for children, teens, and senior citizens, so we decided that those of us that are in between also needed a fellowship. I'm so glad I went even though Brad couldn't make it! We had dinner together, and then we split up - the teens take care of the children, the men go one way and the ladies another.

We ladies decided to start "The Disciplines of a Godly Woman" by Barbara Hughes. If that sounds familiar to you, it's the same study I've been doing with Mandy & Anne. We read the first chapter together last night, as it was our first meeting since the books arrived and some people didn't have their books in time to read. I think we were all challenged to start throwing off weights and run the race with abandon. Looking forward to getting to know these ladies more personally!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb 3

Warning: my attempt at blogging every day through Feb may bore you. :)

I downloaded a new homeschool curriculum late last night while sleeping, and we are now officially Tapestry of Grace users. I am hoping this curriculum saves me research/planning time. I feel like God led me in this direction, and I am looking forward to the change!

I was in a mood to bake/cook today! Last night before I went to bed I put dough in the breadmaker and this morning I made the most amazing cinnamon rolls! They were SOOOO good. Then I made chili for lunch and lasagna for dinner.

I went to Bible Study today with the other ladies on the WOL South Africa staff. Love them! Just wish I had more time to spend with them.

And came home tonight to serve dinner to 4 extras around our table - Sbu & Muzi (WOL DTC Students) and Matthew and Desiree Frost, that we are "babysitting" for a couple of days. I couldn't have done it without my visiting mother-in-law, who babysat Mya while we were at Bible Study, and made salad and cake for dinner. Thanks, Mom H!

Now, I'm hoping I can stay awake long enough tonight to make some sense of my new digital curriculum.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I just got a great idea from a friend…let's post every day in February…it's the shortest month, after all! (Missed yesterday.... And I will be gone later this month, but will journal and update the blog when I get back.)

So here it goes....
I'm feeling so ill-equipped to do all that God is asking me to do. I have prayed for ministry opportunities and they are falling into my lap. Please pray that I am faithful to do all that I can and to lean on God for strength! I tend to procrastinate when it comes to doing things if I don't know EXACTLY how to do it, so pray for faithfulness to begin and follow through.

I guess I'm feeling and acting a bit like Moses! I guess that's why God had my pastor preach about Moses last Sunday. Three days before I realized it - is that too long? Wonder if God felt like smacking me in the back of the head and saying "WAKE UP!" :) So grateful for His patience.

God will not ask me to do something that He won't equip me for. I guess it's time to get to work!
God is looking for absolute surrender. We must have a willing heart to do whatever He asks, and then trust Him to enable us to do it.... God does love us enough to involve us in His work, and He refuses to leave us where we are when He knows we could be experiencing much more of Him. 
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thes 4:24