Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Work of the Holy Spirit

Last weekend our church had an outreach party/picnic in our neighborhood.  We're located in a lower income neighborhood that is home to a lot of immigrants, including many Hispanics.  We arrived at church that afternoon and the kids immediately wanted to jump on the inflatables, so we went over there.  I was watching Eden when I noticed a woman standing by herself watching a couple of other kids.  When she saw me looking at her she smiled, which I took as an invitation to walk on over and chat with her.  We introduced ourselves, but I quickly discovered that she spoke very little English, and of course I speak no Spanish.  We were struggling along when Z ran past.  I reached out and snagged him and said, "Z, this woman only speaks Spanish, so I can't really talk to her.  But can you tell her that she should stay and have some food and the kids can play as long as they want?"  Without missing a beat, he just started talking away in Spanish, gesturing towards the food and the bouncy toys.  She smiled and nodded, and then Z ran off again.

To put it mildly, I was thrilled!  And not primarily because Z can now act as my interpreter whenever I need him to, although that is fantastic.  Later that afternoon I told Z that the first gift the Holy Spirit ever gave to the Church was the gift of tongues.  That's how important God thinks it is that people hear about Jesus and get invited into his people in their own language.  And now Z is a part of that!  He is using his Spanish to welcome Spanish speakers into God's Church!

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I have had several remarkable conversations with Eden in the last few days.  On Sunday we were driving in the car when she initiated this conversation:

Eden:  Did God's Son really die?
Me:  Yes, he did.  You know God's Son is Jesus, right?
Eden: How did he die?
Me:  People killed him by nailing his arms and legs to a piece of wood.  The wood is called a cross, and that's why we say that Jesus died on the cross.
Eden:  Are you KIDDING me??
Me:  No, it's a true story.  Jesus died so that we wouldn't have to.  But what happened three days after he died?
Eden:  He came back alive again!
Me:  Yes, he came back alive again!  That's how we know that Jesus is so powerful, because he didn't stay dead.
Eden (very seriously):  I think I want to love him.

Then yesterday as she and I were taking a walk she said again spoke up out of the blue:

Eden:  Mama, I want to obey Jesus.  
Me:  That's so great, Eden!  We obey Jesus because we trust him and know he loves us  
Eden (after a few moments of thought): I'm glad I got baptized.
Me:  Me too!  Why are you glad?  
Eden:  Because I want to love Jesus.

Her baptism is the oddest mixture of both infant baptism and believer's baptism, which seems wonderfully right somehow.

And just today as we were driving to the zoo Eden again spoke up suddenly, saying, "Mama, when Jesus comes back he'll make our baby alive again.  That's why I love him."  It is almost impossible for me to say how happy I am that when Eden thinks of her twin brother or sister, she does so in the context of resurrection, and that at three years old she is able to articulate that that is the reason she loves Jesus -- because he brings life out of death.

"When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father -- the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me."  John 15:26



Saturday, 16 August 2014

From the Past: Eden

I've been working on moving pictures from our computer to our on-line account, and came across some adorable pictures from a couple of years ago (Summer and Fall, 2012).





















Monday, 11 August 2014

The Black Hills

In July we went on vacation to the Black Hills with Micah, Christie and their crew.  We rented a lovely cabin with plenty of room and a creek right outside the front door.

On the first full day we were there we went to Hot Springs and played at the little city park which has a beautiful stream rushing through it, we went to the Mammoth Site, and we went to  Cascade Falls.  The City park was a big hit with everyone, but the Mammoth Site was pretty disappointing.  It cost a lot, wasn't very hands-on, and we got a pretty bad tour guide.  I think Cascade Falls was the big winner for the day, and we all had so much fun that I didn't get a single picture of it.

Hot Springs park:













Eden and a bone.

Old technology vs. new technology.

The second day we stuck around the cabin, and I have no pictures at all of the cabin.  Too bad!

The third day we went to Mt. Rushmore.



I like this picture because Nathan and Eden are striking exactly the same pose.







This picture was before Aunt Christie bribed Z with the promise of icecream . . . 

. . . and this one was after!









And on the fourth day we went to the Spearfish area and hiked Roughlock Falls, toured an old gold mine in Deadwood, and panned for gold at the same gold mine.  We highly recommend touring the gold mine (go to the one in Deadwood, not Lead) and panning for gold!  Our tour guide at the gold mine was worth his weight in gold (haha!) especially compared to our Mammoth Site tour guide.  He was full of bad jokes and good information.  At one point he showed us a huge open cavern and told us that a bad movie about a huge spider had been shot there, and every once in a while the spider still emerged to grab the tourist standing closest to his tunnel.  Here he stopped and just stared at me until I finally realized I was the one about to get grabbed.  Eden also understood what he was saying and for the next week kept asking when we were going to see "the humongous spider".  And although  I have always thought of panning for gold as just a scam and totally touristy, it was not only very fun but also very interesting!  Each of the kids came away with a little vial of gold dust, which was absolutely thrilling.

Roughlock Falls:












The water at Roughlock Falls was SUPER cold, unlike at Hot Springs (for obvious reasons!).