Spring Is On the Way

Although on our first day of spring, we had a storm which brought eight inches of snow. Thankfully it didn’t last, and we had warmer temperatures this past week. Life continues along as we keep busy with Titus2 ministry things, school, house projects, and helping Nathan and Melanie. Thank you for praying for Baby Max. Melanie’s pre-term labor issues have settled down for the time being, and she’s feeling Baby Max being an active little guy/gal. She continues to stay mostly down, as the greatly reduced activity level keeps the pre-term labor down.

The last “unposted pictures” blog post will be in the next day or two.

Blessings,
Sarah

This is what can be seen this week...
But last Saturday and Sunday, we had snow!
Freshly mown grass.
The girls took Abby on a walk Friday afternoon, and Grandad, Grandma, and Aunt Tami (visiting from Alabama), also went.
The girls received some things to decorate their room for Christmas, and we've had some time to figure out exactly how we wanted to arrange things.
A blog reader made this beautiful, hand-stitched sunflower for us. We wanted to hang it right away! Thank you, Mrs. Patty.

“Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 7:12).

Three Years Ago Today

We walked “through the valley of the shadow of death,” as Susannah, Nathan and Melanie’s first born, three day old little girl, slipped into the arms of Jesus. As our hearts ached and tears flowed like never before, Dad encouraged us with the words, God is good ALL the time.

She was such a beautiful, precious baby. We had nicknamed her "Thumper" before she was born: she was so active!

“. . . I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalms 23:4).

Through that trying time, the Lord gave peace and grace. I saw my brother and sister-in-law resting in their Savior, grieving, yes, but not despairing. A little over a year later, the Lord filled their empty arms with the arrival of Abigail. Now two years later, they are in the midst of a difficult pregnancy. We continue to trust our Savior who knows what is best for our lives.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

If you’d like to view a slideshow surrounding the days that Susannah lived, here’s the link, http://www.titus2.com/Susannah/. But, be forewarned, if you are at all emotional, you’ll need some Kleenex!

The blessed assurance, for those of us who have trusted in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, is we’ll be seeing Susannah again. At this very moment, Susannah is delighting in the presence of Jesus, and she is free from all pain and sorrow that this troubled world has. Oh, what glory! Truly.

Sarah for the rest

“… the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

Week #5: Unposted Pictures

We’re on our next-to-last post on the unposted pictures. I marvel as I look back over the pictures and all the Lord brought us through. Several things that I want to praise the Lord for:

  • The Lord’s protection over the bus. We have to get into some very tight, tight areas, and never has the bus become stuck or Daddy not been able to get the bus out of an area.
  • The “small” answered prayers. We were supposed to park the bus at a family’s home near Federal Way, but as we approached the driveway, we could see there was no way the bus could manage the driveway with the low tree branches. We had been looking forward to spending time at this family’s home, and one small detail was going to be catching up on laundry! The gracious family also offered us their Suburban to use if we needed it. It ended up that we drove back to the church to park (with the church’s permission), and then the next morning, Dad dropped part of the family off at a laundromat, and the rest of us went to run a needed errand.
  • We made it semi-uneventfully through the border! It had been a busy week, and I was still working on our border paperwork as we drove to the border late that Thursday evening. Jesse put on a head lamp and very kindly helped work through it, and with the curvy roads and the late night, my stomach wasn’t feeling well, so it was such a blessing to have his help! Even though the bus was given a thorough search (sorry, no pictures of that!), my paperwork went through great, and we were on our way around 3 a.m.–one tired bunch of Maxwells!
  • Our time in Canada was so blessed. Hearts were very open and receptive to what was shared, and from what we’ve heard, lives will never be the same again. Praise the Lord! We felt very welcome there!
  • Mary became sick with the flu that Sunday, and our minds drifted to what would happen if we all came down with it. Truly, it was a miracle, and thank YOU all for praying–no one else got it! And, you know in the small, enclosed space we’re in, that REALLY was a miracle.
  • A family in Canada let us park our bus at their house, and it was delightful to have internet access, laundry, and a beautiful view!
  • As a special treat, the Lord allowed us to see the dolphins on our ferry ride back. Yes, our Lord cares about even the small details.

We've gone down some steep grades, but we were shocked to see a grade that said 15% right near the church we spoke at in Port Orchard. We thought about driving down the hill, but we decided not to.
Beautiful.
Transferring boxes from the Suburban to the bus. We had boxes shipped ahead to the family's house we ended up not being able to park at.
We generally can go about three days between water fill ups. Here's how the water process work. John hooks up a hose to a faucet.
And hooks the other end into the tank!
We see lots of moms with their little ones in front packs or strollers...
Jesse does a wonderful job at the door, directing people where to go!
Late-night work on border papers...
The church where our conference was held in Abbotsford, BC.
Jesse and Anna doing the book tables.
On the island...
At the church we sang at that Sunday evening, they had some of the names of God on their stage; it was beautiful.
Half of the family went hiking Monday morning in Sydney, and from the pictures and their descriptions, it was gorgeous!
Pondering?
Mom was always our great navigator on the trip!
The fairgrounds, where our Monday evening conference was held.
This was a picture from the ferry the morning we left to cross back to the mainland.

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:3-4).

Thank You and a Request

The response to the courtship survey has been a blessing. Thank you and please keep them coming. I’m very grateful to all who have submitted your comments and experiences. This isn’t just for young adults.

If you haven’t completed the survey yet or passed it on to others, please do. Share your examples with us, happy ones and even the sad ones. One reason God gave us the Old Testament was to learn from other’s experiences, won’t you please help others?  We’ll be grateful!!

Here is the link to the survey: http://www.titus2.com/polls/6/  and, again, please email the survey link to those you know who have gone through a successful or failed coursthip.

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11

 

Steve

It’s Been a Journey

One year ago, exactly today, we moved from our house of almost 20 years to a house built with much hard work and prayer. It was about four years ago, when it was clear the Titus2 ministry had outgrown our home, and Joseph and John said, “We’ll build you a house, Dad!”

It took two and a half years of hard work building the house. Christopher bought our previous house.  We took that money, lots of sweat equity and some more funds that the Lord provided to build it.

We took thousands of pictures, so for the sake of time, I wasn’t able to pick as many as I would have liked to, but here’s a chronicle of the journey of building it. Remember, you can click into any picture to make it bigger.

The Lord protected us every step of the way! There were many times throughout the process, Dad was seeking the Lord when things looked impossible. Jesus always gave the direction Daddy needed.

“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalms 127:1).

It all started with tearing down the old, small house, whose foundation was falling apart.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16).

Watching the demolition...

“Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am” (Psalms 39:4).

The cement work begins!

“In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” (Proverbs 14:23).

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast…”  (Proverbs 12:10)

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers…” (Malachi 4:6).

Truly, many times of sweet fellowship were had!

Pourin' the basement!

“Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalms 127:4-5).

In the middle of the process, we discovered tons of "rubble" that had been buried underneath the top layer of dirt in the backyard. I guess an old house had been torn down and "buried." It was an interesting experience to haul it all away!

Tons of caulking...

“And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee” (Deuteronomy 12:7).

Electricity to the house!
Seeding was definitely a job!

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38)

The whole goal of the house was to allow the ministry to have the room it needed so we could be used of the Lord to equip, exhort, and encourage families in our Savior! Truly, we’ve seen Him do that over and over again. This was just a tool in His Hands! We sometimes wonder how the ministry fit in our old house. The Lord must have multiplied our space like the widow’s mite.

It was a big day when the sheetrock arrived!
Some days, the guys worked late.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalms 133:1).

This was taken on Anna's birthday!
Dad did tons and TONS of painting!
Tiling was another HUGE job!
Many doors to paint and then hang!
Joseph spent many hours on the fireplace...

It passed inspection!

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme” (1 Peter 2:13).

Putting together shelving before move-in!
And the move began one year ago today...

If you want to read a few blog posts on our move, please see the posts from March 2009.

Sarah for all the family

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35).

We Need Your Help!

There have been several times we have asked those on our Corners list and those who read our Titus2 blog for help on a project. We are conducting a survey on courtship/betrothal relationships and would again be grateful for your help.

The primary goal of this survey is to understand why some relationships headed for marriage succeed while others fail and what might be done to enable more to succeed. Certainly some fail because God would not have them continue, but others fail because of issues that could be avoided.

Titus2 has been known for providing Biblical and practical resources, and your experiences will greatly facilitate us as we help others. Any feedback, whether brief or detailed, will be beneficial and appreciated.

Stories and accounts will all be used anonymously and details changed, as needed to assure privacy should we use what you share in print or speaking. If you or your child has been in more than one relationship, please complete the survey separately for each one.

Please click on the picture box below to go to the survey.

Courtship Survey

Thank you ever so much.

Steve and Teri

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).