Let It Snow!

Sparkling. Refreshing. Invigorating. Breathtaking (in more ways than one!). Yes, that’s Kansas weather right now. :: Have y’all noticed the snow on the blog? ::

We first got ice–so that created awesome sledding.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Isaiah 1:18

The Blessing of Children

Don’t you love it when you see a servant’s heart in your children? Well, in this case, it’s my niece, and I had to share it, as I believe it will be an encouragement to you. Nathan was ordering in pizza tonight for Melanie (remember I told you he does those kinds of things?!), and Abby made cookies with the younger ones and helped out with them. So sweet. She loves to be a blessing!

“And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name
receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that
sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.”
Luke 9:48

Content in Christ: A Biblical Understanding

I hope you are being purposeful about raising your children to be content in Christ. If it is just a desire and there hasn’t been any follow through, it might seem more of a wish, than a commitment. Your children are several months older now than when we began this series. Do you have any gains to “show” for this time?

There are several key aspects to consider which come after your example. (I don’t believe you can understate the power of your example.) Next, is the foundation of wisdom and understanding from God’s Word.

A Biblical understanding of God’s provision and overall plan of economy will come from daily time in the Word, in family Bible times, and personal time in the Word. As you read together, look for verses that are applicable and discuss them as a family.

You might also consider buying some highlighters (I love the Sharpie Gels: the link is from Amazon, see our affiliate policy here), and have everyone highlight verses that apply to the particular study. Then there will be rich opportunities to discuss how those passages are applied to life needs. Whenever they reread highlighted verses, it will be a clear reminder of God’s provision. “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Proverbs 1:2-4).

For example, we just read Matthew 14. Notice how verses 13-21 have great application to this topic. You will be surprised how much God has to say about this subject once you start discussing and highlighting. Look for verses regarding stewardship, giving, money, time, vocational skills, borrowing, and lending. You may have more topics that you feel apply as well.


Can You Hear It? || The Sound of Peace on Earth!

It’s the song of Christmas, celebrate His birth! It’s the chorus, that rings in human hearts! God came down, here with us, it’s the song of Christmas.

Some of us attended a beautiful Christmas program Sunday evening. I love the Christmas season in general, and these sorts of events make it even more special. I sat in awe and wonder, as Christ’s coming to earth and His sacrifice for us felt so real and close. The Gospel was presented clearly, unashamedly, and in a heart-felt manner. I’m so grateful for how much time, effort, and love the cast put into the program. It was amazing!

We’re looking forward to Christmas caroling this weekend in the frigid temperatures here in Kansas. In fact, we just might have a little snow. How perfect!


Right before it started.

Yes, a live camel!

Since it was the last show, people were invited to see the camel or go back stage.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

Operation Christmas Child: A Chance to Help Share Jesus’ Love!

We arrived at the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) warehouse Monday morning excited about our days of volunteering. After checking in and orientation, we were taken with some others to a processing lane.

There were 16 lanes, and on each lane, you could have 10-13 people working (or, as little as 5 if you had one side going, which we did a few times). Each lane was made up of two sides, where the exact same work was going on. The first person on the lane grabbed the shoebox from a big container, took off the rubber bands, and checked to see if someone had enclosed a donation for Samaritan’s Purse, and if so, you dropped it in the money box. This was called a pre-inspector. They then passed the box off to an inspector, who would check if there were any objectionable items such as liquids (definitely saw hand sanitizers, shower gels, and even snow globes!). If the box wasn’t full, they would add filler items that had been donated from many different places (often there would be two inspectors, so two pre-inspectors needed to keep four regular inspectors going!). Next, someone would secure the box with tape, and hand it off to a packer, who would put the shoebox in the proper age/gender box. If the label was a “Follow Your Box” scannable label, someone else would scan it.

We girls worked a variety of jobs, but my favorite was the pre-inspector! I really enjoyed seeing the creativity and love people put into their boxes. Anna was the master taper, and on Monday, she and another worker had taping-contests. Anna could really fly through her boxes, and that job requires strength and stamina (I know, because I did it for just a little while and came away with a big appreciation for all of Anna’s work!).

Mary was a cheerful helper, sometimes packing boxes into their ultimate shipping box, or scanning boxes, or inspecting or pre-inspecting—just wherever she was needed. She was also our go-to girl on items that might have been gray-areas if you had a question on that (“Hey, Mary, what about glow sticks?”).

As one guy said, these are supposed to be shoe boxes, and not boot boxes! Yes, we saw a huge variety in size, and this one was no exception!

The handmade items were especially touching!

Between the three days we volunteered, we worked with some super awesome people. Some came for just a morning, or some came for all week (Hello, Tammi, and Jim & Linda!), but we were all there with the same goal: to bless children! We talked, and laughed, and encouraged each other. We were truly a team.

Several times a day, everyone stopped working, and an OCC staff member led us in prayer, and we laid hands on the boxes. It was sobering to think we were the last people to handle the boxes before the children. And, oh, how exciting it was to hear Monday night, that boxes were already on a truck and headed down to El Paso, and then to cross the border to Mexico! Such precious cargo on its way!

Time of prayer!

Samaritan’s has distributed 120 million shoe boxes since their inception, and their goal is to never give a child a shoebox twice in their lifetime. I have to say, I used to wonder when they would hit market saturation. They won’t. Why? Listen to something that totally shocked me and made me realize that 9 million shoeboxes this Christmas is only a drop in the bucket. If OCC had taken all 120 million that they’ve given out since the 1990’s, and given that 120 million to India last year, 280 million children in India STILL wouldn’t have a shoe box. Y’all, that’s in India ALONE! Talk about amazing.

With that in mind, Denver’s processing plant still needs help these next 10 days to process the boxes. Their goal is 800,000, and they had reached the 400,000 mark when we were there, but that’s a little over half way, and their goal end mark is Saturday, December 17th. They encouraged people to invite friends/family/their church. And since we have a wide blog readership, I’m encouraging you to jump on board if you live in the general area, and help OCC out.

It’s an amazing way to share God’s love with little children in other countries! You won’t regret it!

This note melted me!
Talk about a creative box!
We worked with a group from Visa Wednesday. They were awesome!
A special winter treat on our way home.
Our friends, the J. Family, were incredibly hospitable!
My friend, Laura, and Me
A hot game of Dutch Blitz!

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother
have need, 
and shutteth up his bowels of compassion
from him, how dwelleth 
the love of God in him?”
1 John 3:17

On Our Way Home!

The Lord totally blessed our time at Operation Christmas Child! I can’t wait to share a report with pictures. But for now, I’ll leave you with a picture one of our team members took yesterday.


“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Colossians 3:17