Guests from the Other Side of the World

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About twice a year, a group of engineers from China come to our town to work on projects for Rockwell. Usually it is a different group of people each time.

A good friend of ours, Sam, (who grew up in Taiwan) hosts these Chinese visitors while they are in the States. Sam drives them around town, takes them shopping, and frequently entertains them in his home. Every time a group comes, Sam also brings them to our house for a meal and to hear the harps. We always have a good time and are very grateful for this opportunity to have these Chinese people into our home! We look at it this way: We can’t be in China right now, but God can bring China to us!

A few nights ago was one of those special evenings where China came to us. 🙂
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My dad explaining a passage of Scripture to our guests while Sam translates and expounds on what my dad said.
The evening was full of picture-taking, exchanging gifts, delicious food (thanks to Sam and his wife, Shirland, who are great cooks!) lots of smiles, laughter, and relaxed conversation.
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Unloading A Shipment of “Before You Meet Prince Charming”

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Sarah recently printed more copies of her book, Before You Meet Prince Charming (now slightly revised) and a semi truck came and delivered some of the shipment – about 100 boxes – this afternoon. Usually Stephen and my Dad round up a group of guys to unload the boxes when book shipments come. Today, since no one else was available, Sarah and I got the privilege. It wasn’t too bad, though…it was actually kind of fun. Kind of. At least the temperature wasn’t 20 below like it was yesterday!

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“That I May Know Christ…”

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“Grace—I want to read you something!” my mom called to me yesterday afternoon.
“Okay” I said, not knowing that this was going to be an answer to my prayer.

My mom began reading me a newsletter letter from Roy Robertson, founder of TEL (Training Evangelistic Leadership, a missions organization). Here is what he had to share about his wife, who recently went to be with the Lord:

“…above all she gave top priority to her time in fellowship with the Lord. Her life verse was Philippians 3:10: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

At this my ears perked up. I had just been memorizing in Philippians yesterday morning and that passage really popped out at me. I specifially prayed that the Lord would give me a deeper understanding of what it means and how to apply it in my life. I realized that this must be an answer to my prayer! Now I was really interested in what the rest of the letter said…

My mom continued reading, “…She rose regularly at 4:00AM in order to get three hours in the Word and prayer. She kept extensive prayer lists and prayed through them both day and night. She carried about her Scripture memory packs and reflected over the verses even while traveling, waiting in line or doing chores. She read through the whole Bible each year taking daily selections from the Old Testament, New Testament and poetic books. Shortly before her homegoing, I asked her how many times she had read through the whole Bible. After reflection she answered, “67 times—twice the year I was saved, and once every year thereafter.”

Wow—her goal really was to know Christ, wasn’t it?! It was obviously the passion of her life!

My mom went on to tell me some more things about what Phyllis was like. My mom had been able to get to know her while our family was in Hong Kong in 1990 helping with TEL and a Billy Graham Crusade. She said that Phyllis was always telling people about Jesus. She was always witnessing to the people sitting next to her on the Subways and buses. Wow, what a life worth living. I wonder what her entrance to Heaven was like.

She is an example of how when someone is walking with Jesus, it simply spills over into their life and their interaction with others. That’s why we should all make spending time with the Lord the #1 priority in our lives! Notice Jesus didn’t say to his disciples, “Go and become fishers of men”. Rather, He said, “Follow me, and I WILL MAKE YOU fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

May you be encouraged, as I was yesterday, to consider everything else as “rubbish” and give the Lord your full attention!

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Stephen took this picture a few years ago when we went camping in the mountains. The water was so clear in this Colorado lake, I could see my feet. It made me imagine what the crystal lake in Heaven would be like… when we will truly be with Jesus and see Him face to face.

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One more thing: Sarah would like to pass on a big “thank you” to all of you who wrote so many encouraging comments and exciting reports on the last post! It made her birthday very special and she enjoyed reading each comment as they came in… 🙂 Thanks and God bless you all!

Today is Sarah’s Birthday!

If anyone wants to know how old she is, the answer is found in Joshua 15:32. (I decided to make you work for it. 🙂 )

We have a little family tradition of going to coffee shops occasionally on snowy mornings. This morning we had two reasons to go to a coffee shop: it was snowing, and it was Sarah’s birthday! What a great way to start the day out right!

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At breakfast this morning I was telling the family something I really like about Sarah. It’s this: If she is excited about something, she gets the whole family excited about it. If she is discouraged, she takes it to the Lord but doesn’t spread the discouragement to others. My family agreed with me. People like that are nice to be around. 🙂

One thing I really appreciate about Sarah is the great advice she gives me when I go to her seeking counsel. She almost always has the exact answer I need to hear! Sarah is also the most patient person I think I’ve ever met! (And, remember, a little sister would know how patient a person really is… 🙂 ) She definitely practices what she teaches.

Sarah, thank you for being such a wonderful big sister, and for all the ways you’ve led me closer to Jesus. Thank you for your example of one who walks closely with God. I love you!!

“The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.” (Psalm 118:14-16)

Another Christmas Party!

“I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts” (Psalm 119:63)

When we take a team of girls on the road to lead Bright Lights conferences, we all enjoy the fellowship and good times we have together. Unfortunately, when we come home everyone is busy and we don’t see each other very much. Because of this, we were grateful to our friend Lena for setting up a formal Christmas party in her home for some of the Bright Lights leaders who were able to make it. Here are a few pictures…

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Rebekah, Katie, Ellen and Sarah

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Sarah (piano), Aubrey (flute), Emily (violin), Me (flute)

My Kind of Planning Meeting!

This morning Sarah and I had a planning meeting together to discuss which projects we needed to complete before Homeschool Conferences start mid-March. I told Sarah I’d bring a snack to the meeting to make it more fun…so we had a little tea party. Or, rather, coffee in tea cups. 🙂

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(Notice that I can’t pour coffee and take a picture at the same time without spilling…)

Bright Lights

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Last night at Bright Lights Sarah taught the younger girls downstairs on “truthfulness” while the older girls watched a video upstairs called “Why I choose to believe the Bible”. It refuted many of the common modern arguments regarding the reliability and trustworthiness of Scripture. We all enjoyed it a lot.

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For our activity last night, we divided into teams and had each team nominate a candidate to run for the pretend role of “chef for the year”. Then we all listened and laughed as each candidate gave a speech on why everyone should vote for them. Many of the tactics they tried to use sounded pretty familiar to the presidential candidates we’ve been listening to recently… 🙂 We tallied up the votes and announced the winners by percentages at the end of the night.

Two Girls I Met at Panera Bread

I have a new favorite question to use when sharing with someone about Jesus. Here is how I found it.
I was filling my little glass with water at Panera the other day when I noticed a girl behind me in line. Her multiple piercings made me feel compassion for her. I said, “hi”.
She said, “hi”.
I asked, “So…are you enjoying your Christmas break?”
“Yeah…” she said, “I’m just hanging out with my friend and we decided to come here”.
“That’s nice. This is a good place to come,” I responded.
She sat down with her friend and I sat down with my family.

After a few minutes I grabbed my notebook from my purse and went over to their table.
“Hello again,” I said, “I don’t want to interrupt or disturb you guys but I’m doing a little survey and I was wondering if you would be willing to take it?”
“Sure” they responded happily.
I sat down with them and said “I don’t normally do this at restaurants but I thought you wouldn’t mind.”
They smiled.
I said, “The first question is ‘Do you consider yourself to be a good person?’”
They answered, “Yes”.
“Alright,” I said, “Question two is: ‘How many of the 10 Commandments can you name?’”
They got about 5 of them and I told them the rest.
“If God judged you by the 10 Commandments would you be innocent or guilty?” I asked.
“Guilty” they replied with no hesitation.
“So” I continued, “if you died today and stood before God, do you think he would let you into heaven?”
“Uh…no…probably not….well… maybe…yeah…I think so…because I try to be good.”
“Ok” I said, “well does it concern you that there’s a possibility God might not let you into Heaven?”
“Yeah, it concerns me a little I guess.”
“There is a way to be completely sure you are going to Heaven” I responded, hoping they would ask what it was. They didn’t act interested.
I was tempted to just make a little speech about the gospel and then leave but I remembered a quote I really like by Mark Cahill: “Sharing the gospel should be a conversation not a presentation.” So, I decided to ask another question. I wasn’t quite sure what to ask, but then it came to me.
I said, “Let me ask one more question: Who do you think Jesus Christ was?” (I should have said “is”. I don’t know why I said “was”.)
“Uh… God’s Son??? Some great person who lived along time ago? That’s about all I know. I’m not really religious,” one of them answered.
“Ok, well, you know that he died on the cross—” I continued.
“Yeah, we know that.”
“Most people in America do,” I said, “But most people don’t really understand why. He died for our sin so that we could go to Heaven. He was the last person that deserved to die because he was perfect but He did it for us.”
They didn’t quite know what to say. Since they were eating lunch and I didn’t want to take more of their time I left but gave them each a little red pamphlet called, “The Credentials of Jesus Christ”, (written by my dad). I told them that it was something our family had put together and that we’ve handed out a lot of them this Christmas.
They began flipping through it and I went back to my table.

After sharing the story and asking for prayer for them at our church’s Wednesday night prayer meeting, I was reminded by my grandma that even if a conversation seems “unsuccessful”, it may have made more impact then we think. I also learned from that conversation that the question, “Who do you think Jesus Christ is?” is an excellent question to use if you want to get into a good conversation with someone. It leads right to the core of the gospel! I decided that I like it better then the question, “Would you like to know how to be sure you are going to Heaven?” because the question doesn’t point at them, it points at Jesus, the Savior. I’d encourage you to ask that question to someone this week! And don’t forget to share with people not only about the purpose of His death, but also that he is the only one who ever rose from the dead. Because of this fact, we see that Jesus is more than a leader; He’s a Savior. No other religion has a savior, they just have leaders – and they are all dead. Buda, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, etc. are dead. Jesus is alive!

Stephen Travels with Governor Huckabee

Stephen has been traveling with Gov. Mike Huckabee this past week shooting pictures for Icon, an online wire service that he works for. It’s exciting to hear the “inside scoop” from Stephen about what’s going on. He has been traveling on the media bus and today he flew a couple times on the media plane. I was just talking to him on the phone and he was telling me about how they let him and the other media into Huckabee’s bus (called the Huck-a-bus) this morning where Huckabee was watching the bowl game with his wife and 3 dogs who travel with them.

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The black dog in the front is Jet. The one in his lap is Toby. The one you can kind of see on Mrs Huckabees’s lap is Sonic (named after her favorite restaurant). They always travel with their 3 dogs. 🙂

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Above: Three pictures I borrowed from Stephen
Below: A few pictures from today when we went to hear Huckabee

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We went to hear Huckabee speak this afternoon partly to hear Huckabee and partly to see Stephen. I thought they both did a pretty good job. 🙂
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We were suprised to see a picture of Stephen standing with his camera behind Huckabee on the New York Times blog the other day. Check this out…click here.