Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our Fall Ladies' and Teen Girl's Event ~ "Tickled Pink"

What a great time I had today with our sweet ladies. We try to have two big ladies' events a year and this one was really special. Our theme was "Tickled Pink" and we emphasized the verse in Nehemiah 8:10, "...the joy of the Lord is your strength. Of course everything was PINK...the decorations were pink, the door prizes were pink, some ladies even wore pink. We talked about the things that we as Christian women have to be 'tickled pink' over. Our salvation, peace, joy, provision, were just a few that were named. Two of our teenage girls presented a cute skit about real strength and fake strength. It was the perfect segue into my devotion on real joy. One of our sweet ladies shared her testimony of how as a preacher's daughter she had rebellion in her heart toward her parents and how she was able to repent and ask forgiveness of God and her parents. Of course we had delicious food - a soup and salad bar - and lots of silliness. We decided that we all were just tickled pink to be a Christian.

Nikki Benedict shared her testimony with the ladies.

One of the beautiful table arrangements. Pink, of course!
We have the sweetest group of ladies in the world. They are a joy to serve.

Holly and Liz did a wonderful job on the skit called, "The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength".

The mother/daughter team of Shannon and Alyssa Panjwani did a good job leading the music. All songs about "the joy of the Lord."

What is a Ladies' Event Without Some Orchestrated Foolishness !

Special Commissioning Service ~

On Sunday night, September 19, at the close of our Mid-Year Mission's Conference we were blessed to be able to commission two of our families to take the gospel to the country of Romania. The Stefan Calin family have been members of Rhein River Baptist Church for about 17 years. Stefan and the children were saved at RRBC and the entire family have done their spiritual growing at Rhein River. Stefan is Romanian and his wife, Sandra, is German. They have four sweet children who love the Lord and want to serve Him. Sever Astancai and his wife, Mihaela, are also being sent to Romania by our church. Sever has been a pastor in Romania for several years but through counsel he has become a member of our church and is being sent out by our church. Mihaela Astancai is the sister of Stefan Calin. We love these families and are looking forward to what God is going to do through them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

She Being Dead Yet Speaketh - Hebrews 11:14

I made the most precious discovery today. One of my heroes is my grandmother, Elnora Upchurch Anderson, who passed away in April of 1999 at the age of 91. She was a loving wife and helpmeet to her preacher husband for over 50 years, a widow for over 19 years, a sweet, gentle and always positive soul. She was a wonderful cook and gardener. She was always a very snappy dresser. She loved to crochet and embroidery. Most importantly she loved the Lord with all her heart. She loved her Bible. She loved to journal. She was my precious "Granny" who I love so dearly. One of my treasures is a stack of Granny's journals and photo albums that I inherited when my mother passed away. Today I was reading through her journals and came across a poem that she had copied in her journal on New Year's Day, 1999. The fact that she went to heaven to be with the Lord three months later makes this poem very special and precious to me now.


Another year I enter
Its history unknown;
Oh, how my feet would tremble
To tread its paths alone!
But I have heard a whisper,
I know I shall be blest;
"My presence shall go with thee,
And I will give thee rest."

What will the New Year bring me?
I may not, must not know;
Will it be love and rapture,
Or loneliness and woe?
Hush! Hush! I hear His whisper;
I surely shall be blest;
"My presence shall go with thee,
And I will give thee rest."

She signed it simply: "Elnora"

I love you Granny and am looking forward to our reunion soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pictures From Our Mid-Year Mission's Conference ~

Dr. Ray Thompson and his wife, Jean

Our mission's conferences are the most exciting meetings of our church year. For the past several years Dr. Ray Thompson, Executive Vice-President of BIMI, has been our main speaker for our mid-year conference. The Thompsons are such a blessing to our people. They have a very humble spirit and servant's heart. Bro. Thompson's messages have been so challenging. We receive our Faith Promise commitments on Sunday, but the first night of the conference we took on a new missionary family from China.

Mrs. Thompson helping set up for our International Dinner.

The Thompsons signing one of our teenager's Bible.

Four of our beautiful ladies dressed in their international costumes.

Lots of good food at our international dinner: Puerto Rican, German, Chinese, American, French, African, Filipino and some I forgot.

Our children are so precious. Here are Adina, our sweet little French/Angolian girl, and Isa and Joshua, two of our cute boys.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Fourth Birthday to Our Little Haley Bug ~

Examining a little critter she found in her yard.

An ice cream treat with the family.

Here she is in her T-ball uniform, ready to play!

Our little Haley Grace celebrated her 4th birthday on Friday, September 10. What a cutie pie she is!!! She loves her family! She especially likes to be like her big sister, Madison. She can play alone in her playroom for hours, but she likes to be with her friends, too. Of course living on another continent we don't get to see her often. She is often coy when we first see her as we come to Chattanooga, but then she warms up and it isn't long until she asks, "Can I spend the night at Oma's house?" (We have a home outside of Chattanooga). And usually one of the first things she says when we get to Oma's and Opa's is, "I'm hungry!" She sleeps in her Dora sleeping bag right beside our bed AND WE LOVE IT! Happy birthday little Haley bug! We love you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One of Our "Haven of Rest" Mission's Apartments - The Elisha Suite ~

Tom has had a burden for several years to have a couple of apartments available to missionaries who need to come aside for a time of rest and rejuvenation, without it costing them anything. We are finally about to see the fulfillment of that burden. The pictures I have posted below are of the smaller apartment which is almost finished. We still have a few details to finish..more wall pictures, bedside night stands and a little bookcase for the living area, but you can see the progress that is being made. We have had some wonderful helpers in this project..a help's team from America as well as our own folks. Our son, Mark, has done a fantastic job of overseeing the work as well as being 'hands on' himself. This apartment has already been used greatly, even before it was officially decorated. We are in the process of finishing the decorating in the large apartment which includes a large living room and kitchen, bedroom with a king size bed, bathroom with tub and shower, and a bunk room that will eventually have four sets of bunk beds in it. Our prayer is that many missionaries will find a "haven of rest" in these apartments that have been dedicated to them.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Introducing Sandy ~

Sandy is one of the sweet sisters at RRBC. She is involved in many ministries. She sings, teaches where needed, and cooks for our singles. She and her husband, Gary, are generous, hospitable and ultimate encouragers. This picture was made in London on the famous "Eye".

Interruptions and Delays ~

Are you as impatient as I with interruptions, delays and inconveniences? God is constantly trying to teach me that interruptions in my "busy, important" schedule are often sent by Him and are part of His plan. I recently read these words written by James O. Fraser, a missionary to China many years ago:

"I am finding out that it is a mistake to plan to get through a certain amount of work in a certain time. It ends in disappointment, besides not being the right way to go about it, in my judgment. It makes one impatient of interruptions and delays. Just as you are nearly finishing - - somebody comes along to sit with you and have a chat! You might hardly think it possible to be impatient and put out where there is such an opportunity for presenting the Gospel - - but it is. It may be just at mealtime, or you are writing a letter to catch the mail, or you were just going out for needed exercise before tea. But the visitor has to be welcomed, and I think it is well to cultivate an attitude of mind which will enable one to welcome him from the heart and at any time, "No admittance except on business" scarcely shows a true missionary spirit."

Lord, help me to be available!

What Were They Thinking?? ~

We scratch our heads every time we go to our McDonald's here in Viernheim, Germany. You have to walk through the drive through line to enter the door????????

Shamus and Giovanni ~

We have some of the cutest children at RRBC!! Tom and I love the smiles and hugs they give us each Sunday. I just had to make a picture of our twins, Shamus and Giovanni, ...they were so cute with their backpacks on. Their heritage is Irish/Italian -- thus their names. They start to "school" for the first time tomorrow and they were breaking in their backpacks.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mark has been having problems with heart arrhythmia for several years. This condition leaves him weak with no energy and increases the chances of a stroke. He has been to German doctors but they have not been able to help him. On their trip to the states to get Emily enrolled in college, he also scheduled some doctor's visits. After a careful examination the doctor has decided to perform two procedures on him called cardiac ablation. Ablation is a treatment used with abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. In non-surgical ablation a catheter is inserted into a specific area of the heart. A special machine directs energy through the catheter to small areas of the heart muscle that causes the abnormal heart rhythm. This energy “disconnects” the pathway of the abnormal rhythm. It can also be used to disconnect the electrical pathway between the upper chambers (atria) and the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart. The first ablation will be done of September 16 and the second one will follow a couple of weeks later. The success rate on heart arrhythmia patients is extremely good, but of course there are always risks. I ask our family and friends to please pray that all will go well and these procedures will help Mark.

Our Special Little Friend ~

We have a special little "friend" who sits on our bed nestled between fluffy pillows. Our little friend (the gender is unknown (-:) was a gift from our Maddy Cakes. She wanted to give us something special and so she presented us with one of her own Teddy Bears.