simple pleasures

When God wants to remind you to trust Him, I think sometimes he sends little children into your life to give you perspective.  “Enjoy this moment, the simple offerings, and leave the big stuff to Me”  He seems to say.  It has been a hard day but I got a hug from a little girl this morning, then a phone message from another special little girl I hadn’t heard from in a while, “Miss Melissa…….I love you” and then I saw this little youtube cutie.  Doesn’t every little boy do this karate show, complete with sound effects? Anyway, it brought a smile to my face today.


Christmas with family…..

At 99 and a half, we had the privilege of hearing Grandpa read the Christmas story from Luke 2.  I don’t remember when it was that we were all together the four generations. It was my mom, my  brother and me and our children (Andres, Elizabeth, Sara and Brandon).  It was very special.

Andres’ Christmas Poem for Grandpa:

Merry Christmas grandpa, you’re looking fine

for spending Christmas 99 times

But still each year, you walk through that door

and act as if you haven’t done this before

And that’s what I like and enjoy

You have that wonder that childhood boy

I see it in your face, it comes out as joy

When you smile the whole world says, “Oh boy!”

That’s because you are so nice, you are so kind

Your strong in spirit, faith and mind.

You’re always happy and never complain

Through out these years you reamin the same

So, I just want to tell you today

I love you grandpa in every way.

Merry Christmas, Love Andres. 2008

I’ve talked alot about letting your young children write you letters and poems for gifts. I fell upon it by accident… but it has given me a large book of treasures….and in the process my son has become a songwriter (after all that experience).  He always insists I read my poems in private.  I will share with you the intro:

So another year is almost done

That means a poem from your son

A bunch of words, arranged in rhyme

to give to you, this Christmas time.

This year again he wrote 30 lines of verse.  As I have been amazed by his prolific writing of songs, I am amazed at how easily he writes rhyme and doesn’t erase anything (and I know my son, so I know that this is his first and only draft!)  

What a joy also to receive my daughter’s heart felt letter.  She has learned to express herself so well.

They both added funds for my charity this year.  I love that! This year…..the mission launch of Concordia Lutheran Church and a chair for a teacher in Uganda through A One Eight Initiative.

What is better than life?

Pray for grandpa

Dear, sweet Grandpa…..please pray for him.  Mark and his family are visiting to spend time with grandpa.  We met with another surgeon on Friday and Grandpa’s GP doctor was in on the consult too and after all was explained grandpa has decided no surgery…..he said it is the most “sensible” thing.  He doesn’t want to die in a hospital and he is ready to go “home”.  We meet with the hospice nurse after church today.  Prayers are needed for my mom especially.

Scene’s from Andres’ 21st Birthday Party

The party?  Friends and family, Carne asada tacos, cake, hotwings, sherbet punch, neighbors, Fusse concert, balloons, fun, loud music, birthday cards (with gift cards and “legal tender”)

Think about this…..

Then check this out.  A gift anyone would cherish:  $22 for a teacher’s chair in the Sudan.  $10 for fabric for girls in Thailand to make bags.  $5 for a brick to build a classroom somewhere in the world with Christian organizations.  See this blog posting below explaining the process……

Anybody else get a hundred Christmas catalogs in the mail?

A few weeks ago we had an idea: produce a Christmas catalog with a caveat. So here’s the deal. We’re taking ten trips to ten countries as part of our A18 Initiative. But we don’t just want to go. We want to leave something behind. This catalog is a way of doing that. You can buy a brick ($5) to help build an orphanage in Uganda. You can buy a goat ($35) for kids in Ethiopia. Or you can buy a mud hut for an elderly widow in Malawi ($600).

Prayerfully browse the catalog and then give a gift that will literally make a world of difference!

You can check out the catalog @ our online marketplace.

Life is hard…move on.

Have you seen this kid?  He reminds me of one of our most enthusiastic and responsible young volunteers of the new Welcome Center at Concordia. His name is Trevor.

Young Eric’s best advice?  “Life is hard, move on”