Thursday, July 31, 2008

Busted!

I went to tell my boy something a couple of nights ago and he looked up from his computer with a bit of a mischievous look on his face. I glanced at the screen and discovered he was reading. . . . . my blog!

I knew I would rue the day I checked yes for "Let search engines find your blog".

He then told me he was playing a game online with his cousin one day and told him about the blog and cousin went and looked at it.

So much for Mom's escape!

It brings to mind this old children's song:
Oh, be careful little tongue what you say,
Oh, be careful little tongue what you say,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little tongue what you say.
I'm not worried about the Father so much as my son!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thoroughly Modern Millie Mocha!

As much as I love reading historical fiction, I am so glad I am a modern gal. How easily I take for granted the everyday conveniences I have!

It only takes a few hours of misery inconvenience to renew my appreciation.

Yesterday evening the water main around the corner ruptured. We were without water for about 5 hours.

As bedtime approached it became more and more inconvenient. My girl is a bathaholic. She l-o-v-e-s her soak in the tub and was horrified at the idea of going to bed without it. As for me, I had gotten a haircut yesterday, and needed to wash my hair before bed to get all the loose hairs out before they covered my pillow. And the sheets on our bed were freshly washed yesterday, making me even less enthused about the situation.

I won't post a picture of an outhouse or a chamber pot, but that's another remnant of the past I'm glad we no longer deal with. . .

The guys, of course, weren't fazed. While my boy is better than your average teen guy about hygiene, this was a blip compared to a 2-week camping trip!

About 11:30, just as I was about to close my book and turn out the light, it came back on. I headed to the shower and just as I did my girl popped out of bed to take a bath.

And this morning when I got up and turned on the faucet I smiled and thanked God for running water.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blog Tour - The Falcon and the Sparrow


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Falcon And The Sparrow

(Barbour Publishing, Inc - August 1, 2008)

by

M. L. Tyndall


ABOUT THE BOOK

When Mademoiselle Dominique Dawson sets foot on the soil of her beloved homeland, England, she feels neither the happiness nor the excitement she expected upon her return to the place of her birth. Alone for the first time in her life, without family, without friends, without protection, she now faces a far more frightening prospect, for she has come to the country she loves as an enemy-a spy for Napoleon.

Forced to betray England or never see her only brother alive again, Dominique has accepted a position as governess to the son of Admiral Chase Randal, a harsh man, still bitter over the loss of his wife. Will Dominique find the strength she needs through God to follow through with the plan to rescue her brother? Will Chase find comfort for his bitter heart in God's arms and be able to love again?

And what new deceptions will they both find in France when they arrive to carry out their plan?

If you would like to read an excerpt of The Falcon And The Sparrow, go HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

M. L. (MARYLU) TYNDALL grew up on the beaches of South Florida loving the sea and the warm tropics. But despite the beauty around her, she always felt an ache in her soul--a longing for something more.

After college, she married and moved to California where she had two children and settled into a job at a local computer company. Although she had done everything the world expected, she was still miserable. She hated her job and her marriage was falling apart.

Still searching for purpose, adventure and true love, she spent her late twenties and early thirties doing all the things the world told her would make her happy, and after years, her children suffered, her second marriage suffered, and she was still miserable.

One day, she picked up her old Bible, dusted it off, and began to read. Somewhere in the middle, God opened her hardened heart to see that He was real, that He still loved her, and that He had a purpose for her life, if she'd only give her heart to Him completely.

Her current releases in the Legacy of The Kings Pirates series include: The Restitution, The Reliance, and The Redemption

MY COMMENTS:

I loved this book! It was full of my favorite elements - historical setting, conflicts between social ranks where the "upper crust" show what little class they truly have, political intrigue and deceit, suspense, a dash of romance, and most importantly, faith. As Dominique experiences ridicule and snobbery over her faith, her heritage, and her station in life, she also wrestles with what role her faith plays in the betrayal she is determined to commit. M.L. Tyndall's descriptive phrasing and her ability to tie all the elements together made this a captivating and satisfying read.

Be sure to check out the author's blog, The Cross and Cutlass, and register there to win one of 5 copies of this book!!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Catching Up

When I came back from Progreso, I discovered a sweet surprise among the comments left in my absence. Deborah at Boutcrazy honored me with the Arte y Pico award! I've been seeing this around and coveting admiring it on other blogs. What a fun surprise to receive it!


I haven't been ignoring it, just trying to find the time to post and pass it along. So many blogs enourage me on a daily basis. I feel like I'm sitting in my living room or at the coffee shop chatting with you! My task is to choose a mere 5 and pass this award on to them.

1. Katrina @ Callapidder Days - love her outlook on kids, books, life!
2. Suzanne Woods Fisher - a delightful new author friend!
3. Kelli @ Ponderings of a Pastor's Wife - seeks God with every fiber of her being
4. Xandra @ Heart of Service - faith, family, friendship, & fun
5. Julie @ Pragmatic Compendium - she's even more organized than I am!

I hate being limited to just five, but at least lots of you have already received this one! To the recipients of the award...pick five blogs you consider deserving of this award, whether for creativity, design, interesting material, or contributions to the blogging community, no matter what language. Name each nominee and link to his/her blog. Show the award and include the name (and link to his/her blog) of whoever presented you with this award. Link to the Arte y Pico blog so everyone knows the origin of this award, and post these rules.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

These Modern Times!

Well, this is just the coolest thing since sliced bread!

My boy got his braces off last Tuesday. (I didn't have anything else going on except for my mom's CT scan, ER visit, and hospitalization, so it was a great week to have 3 orthodontist appointments!) We went back Thursday for the retainer and I was expecting one like I've seen most kids wear, with the wire across the top teeth and the piece that sticks to the roof of the mouth. You know, the one that is such a delight first thing in the morning! And that kids pop out onto napkins at mealtime (assuming they wear them 24 hours/day as instructed!) and periodically send down the conveyor belt on their school lunch trays into the trash.

Not so. He walked out with the retainer case and popped it open and this is what I saw:


Totally clear, fits just over the teeth, and he only has to wear it at bedtime! I don't know if this type is better or if the dentist figures kids get more actual hours of wear because they are more compliant with this schedule and this type, but I thought it was really neat. On the bottom he has a small permanent retainer that I can barely see behind his teeth.

Things have sure changed since I had braces a million years ago! Fortunately! And I was so, so glad he didn't have to suffer through the agony of wearing a neck gear!

He never had to walk barefoot through the snow to his appointments, either!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - 7/26/08

Many of us as women struggle with insecurity, especially in relationships. Somehow we never quite outgrow that elementary and junior high angst of wondering if we are really, truly liked. Friendships come and go. Marriages fall apart. Families are dysfunctional. We often find ourselves disappointed again and again.

But there's one Who cares far beyond what we can imagine. This beautiful old song has become even more dear to me as I've gotten older and have a few miles on me, so to speak. And as with so many of our hymns, it was born out of a great heartache.

"Charles Weigle spent most of his life as evangelist and that meant he was on the road a great deal.. One day after returning home from an evangelistic crusade, he found a note left written by his wife. She had had enough of being an evangelist's wife. She couldn't take it anymore. She said she was leaving him and taking their young daughter to live in a distant city.

"Weigle was despondent. What could he do to restore the marriage? How could he continue to serve the Lord when he couldn't even make his marriage work? He thought of suicide; he had ruined his wife's life and ruined his own life. No one really cared for him, he thought.

"And then he felt sustained by the grace of God. The simple truth that Jesus still loved him brought him through. Sitting at the piano, he started writing. . .about how God's love hadn't changed. Despite everything, Jesus had not forsaken him. No one ever cared for him like Jesus."

Source: The Complete Book of Hymns: Inspiring Stories About 600 Hymns and Praise Songs, William J. Petersen & Ardythe Petersen, Tyndale, 2006.





NO ONE EVER CARED FOR ME LIKE JESUS

I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
He did something that no other friend could do.

Chorus:
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
There's no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
O how much He cared for me.

All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me,
All my heart was full of misery and woe;
Jesus placed His strong and loving arms about me,
And He led me in the way I ought to go.

Ev'ry day He comes to me with new assurance,
More and more I understand His words of love;
But I'll never know just why He came to save me,
Till some day I see His blessed face above.

WORDS & MUSIC: Charles F. Weigle, 1932

Be sure to visit Amy's blog for more Then Sings My Soul Saturday songs!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Just Peachy


Nothing says summer to me like peaches.

Now I know Georgia thinks they wrote the book on peaches. But here in central Texas, Fredericksburg peaches reign as the absolute sweetest, juiciest, most delectable ones I have ever put in my mouth.

I've been enjoying them on my cereal all week, and last night I finally got a couple of cobblers made, one for us and a traditional birthday cobbler for a friend.

That's good eating, even if I didn't have any Blue Bell to scoop on top.

What's your favorite summer taste?

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pummeled in Progreso

Our church received a call this afternoon from Cheyenne Solis, Buckner's Mission Group Coordinator for the Rio Grande Valley Colonias, requesting prayer for Progreso as a result of Hurricane Dolly. I was able to call and speak to him personally and obtain some additional information.

Progreso has been hard hit by "huge floods." Many homes were damaged and roofs were blown off, and much of the area is without electricity. Of course, many homes have water in them. The main road is closed due to flooding, and a large number of people were evacuated to the shelter at the school. The street where Laura lives and the area immediately around her was probably hit the hardest, he said. The pastor of the church also lives near her.

The needs are great, but right now, Cheyenne said the greatest need is PRAYER. "Pray for the people of Progreso. Pray that the sun will come out and the water will recede."

Once that happens they will be able to traverse the flooded roads and better evaluate the damage and the needs of individual families. He said there will be needs for hygiene kits, school supplies & uniforms, donations for roof repairs, etc.

Last week we handed out a few backpacks with school supplies in them at our community "block party" at the park on Wednesday night. I've been wanting to post all week about this. Because some other churches who had participated in past years weren't there, we didn't have nearly as many to distribute as in the past. So the families signed in as they arrived, and they were limited to one per family. Of course, most families had multiple children. It was heart-wrenching to see the disappointment on the kids' faces who did not receive one. And the ones who did? Thrilled! Here are two who were proud of their new supplies.











Such a simple thing to do. No $30-50 Jansport or Adidas backpacks here! Buckner gave us a standardized list - a $5 Wal-mart backpack, inside which we placed specific school supplies:


1 package wide-ruled paper
2 pocket folders, no brads
2 spiral notebooks
1 package of pens
1 package of pencils
A 12-inch ruler
1 pair of blunt scissors
1 bottle of glue
1 box 24-count crayons


All are things that Wal-mart has dirt-cheap this time of year. I think the backpack plus all the supplies only cost around $10. An amount most of us don't even think about as we indulge ourselves with movies and Starbucks and restaurants, but which is a big expense for most of these families, especially when they have so many kids. I plan to pick up some additional items when we go shopping for school supplies this year.

If this tugs at your heart, I'd love for you to have the opportunity to help as well. You may be like me and have some unused wide-ruled notebook paper and spirals in your school supply drawer or cabinet and your kids have now promoted to college-ruled. Or you may want to grab some extra supplies as you shop with your kids. If you'd like to mail them to me (the supplies, not your kids!), email me and I'll send you my address. Or bring them to the Siesta Fiesta in San Antonio. I'll see that they get to Progreso. I'll be posting about more needs as they become apparent when the flood waters recede.

Here is a neat article from a couple of weeks ago about the church in Progreso and how it is serving its community, including more information about Laura. I was happy to learn that her husband is indeed a member of the church! I know as a farm laborer he works many hours.

Thanks for reading about my mission adventure and for praying for the people in Progreso. It was a life-changing, heart-changing week. My girl is already talking about going back next year!

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Blog Tour - Painted Dresses


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Painted Dresses

(WaterBrook Press - July 15, 2008)

by

Patricia Hickman


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Patricia Hickman is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, whose work has been praised by critics and readers alike.

Patricia Hickman began writing many years ago after an invitation to join a writer's critique group. It was headed up by best-selling author Dr. Gilbert Morris, a pioneer in Christian fiction who has written many best selling titles. The group eventually came to be called the "Nubbing Chits". All four members of the original "Chits" have gone on to become award-winning and best selling novelists (good fruit, Gil!).

Patty signed her first multi-book contract with Bethany House Publishers. After she wrote several novels "for the market", she assessed her writer's life and decided she would follow the leanings of her heart. She says, "It had to be God leading me into the next work which wound up being my first break-out book, Katrina's Wings. I had never read a southern mainstream novel, yet I knew that one lived in my head, begging to be brought out and developed." She wanted to create deeper stories that broke away from convention and formula. From her own journey in life, she created a world based upon her hometown in the 70's, including Earthly Vows and Whisper Town from the Millwood Hollow Series.

Patty and her husband, Randy, have planted two churches in North Carolina. Her husband pastors Family Christian Center, located in Huntersville. The Hickmans have three children, two on earth and one in heaven. Their daughter, Jessi, was involved in a fatal automobile accident in 2001. Through her writing and speaking, Patty seeks to offer help, hope and encouragement to those who walk the daily road of loss and grief.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In this story of sisterhood and unexpected paths, Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees her unraveling marriage to take refuge in a mountain cottage owned by her deceased aunt. Burdened with looking after her adult sister, Delia, she is shocked to find a trail of family secrets hidden within her aunt’s odd collection of framed, painted dresses. With Delia, who attracts trouble as a daily occupation, Gaylen embarks on a road trip that throws the unlikely pair together on a journey to painful understanding and delightful revelations.

Steeped in Hickman’s trademark humor, her spare writing voice, and the bittersweet pathos of the South, Painted Dresses powerfully captures a woman’s desperate longing to uncover a hidden, broken life and discover the liberty of living authentically, even when the things exposed are shrouded in shame.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Moms Near and Far

Thanks so much for your prayers on behalf of my mom. Amazingly enough, she was discharged from the hospital late this afternoon. A follow-up CT scan this morning showed the area of the hemorrhage in her brain was stable, and it is so tiny the doctor felt like she could return to the Assisted Living facility. They adjusted some medications and sent us on our way.

As I sat down to write this I checked the weather in South Texas, and it says Progreso right now is getting heavy rain with 47-60 mph winds. . . .

This is Laura. (Pay no attention to the gringo standing next to her!) In spite of the many years that have transpired since I took Spanish, and her very minimal English, God blessed our efforts and we were able to communicate. She had a very special place in my heart by the week's end. She rode with me when we took our youth and the Progreso church members to the beach (with her 2-year-old at her feet!) and so we had some time to get to know each other. What a testimony of how the Spirit binds hearts together even when there is a language barrier.

Laura is the mother of 10. Yes,
t-e-n. As in 5 boys and 5 girls. Her oldest is 23, and the youngest is the aforementioned 2-year-old. And Ernie, our accordion-playing worship accompanist, is one of her kids. When I told her how much we enjoyed him, she said it was very important to her for her kids to learn to participate. (Here, one of her other smaller sons - I think he was 5 - returns to his mom after quoting a Bible verse during the testimony time of the service.) She told me, "I can't go to church and just sit there. I have to participate."

She is an active leader in the tiny church in Progreso. And she is full of joy. It absolutely radiates from her, especially as the pastor preaches and during worship. In spite of the fact that one of her children, a 20-year-old daughter, has some mental and physical handicaps. In spite of the fact that I did not meet her husband and I'm not sure if he is a believer.

And in spite of the fact that when I drove her home, I discovered that the majority of her house has no roof. Last year they had a fire and it was destroyed. I believe a group from our church who went to Progreso this past spring did some reconstruction on part of her house. She said the area where they actually live does have roofing. It can't be very big, and 8 kids still live at home. Most of the house that I could see from the road was open to the sky.

Did I mention that Progreso is getting heavy rains and tropical winds tonight?


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Prayer Request - Progreso & Personal

I have 2 prayer requests on my heart tonight. Hurricane Dolly is heading straight for South Texas. Even if the eye lands a little further north, the Progreso area is expected to get a deluge of rain. Although it is "just" a Category 1 storm, the folks of Progreso do not live in well-built, sturdy, complete houses. It will not take much to make life even more difficult for these folks. Additionally, the area received some heavy rains a week or two before we were there, and there were numerous fields which had their crops decimated by the rains. Those crops which managed to survive that rain may not withstand this storm.

The second request is a more personal "hurricane." I need to postpone the Progreso post I had intended to write tonight. I've been at the hospital ER all day with my mom and finally got her settled in a room tonight. She's been having increased weakness, and a CT scan today revealed an area of bleeding in her brain. Fortunately it is very small and should resolve on its own. But I still need to email my sisters and I am pretty tired. Those hospital chairs are not designed for comfort. And I didn't even have a book with me!

Thanks for your prayers.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweet Kids in Progreso

Our main project in Progreso was holding a VBS at the Community Center. Unlike past years, when quite a few adults have gone and the youth have assisted, this time we took 24 youth and only 5 adults. So the teenagers basically ran VBS. I handled registering the kids, another woman doled out the crafts, and the our youth minister and one other man drove the vans to pick up and drop off the kids. Our middle-school minister helped run the snow cone machine and helped with recreation.

I was so proud of our youth. They led the music, took turns telling the daily Bible story, led their groups from "station" to "station" -- and loved on the kids.

For several of the youth, this was their 2nd or 3rd trip, so they have developed relationships with some of the kids. They remembered names and would "claim" the kids as they came in. "He was in my group last year. Put him with me."

The boy in the yellow shirt is Artemio. The last couple of years he's been with our guy Matt, and spent much of his time perched on Matt's shoulders. He didn't come to VBS the first 3 days this year for some reason. But Wednesday night when we had the "block party" at the park, he was there. He came running up to Matt, barrelled into him and threw both arms around his legs, giving him a huge hug! Then he pointed up to Matt's shoulders. As you can see, Matt was happy to oblige! Later while the local pastor was preaching, Artemio ran off when the ice cream truck drove up. The next thing Matt knew, here came Artemio with two popsicles in his hand, one of which he held out to Matt - "for you." Matt couldn't believe it. It gives me goosebumps every time I tell that story. These people have nothing. And yet that boy gave sacrificially out of his love. Artemio came to VBS Thursday and Friday and was right with Matt the whole time.

This guy charmed all the little girls! These two are actually cousins and started out in my girl's group. By Thursday they were hanging all over Samuel. His family has cared for a pile of foster kids and have adopted 5 or 6 of them; Samuel really wanted to bring some kids home with him!

As I mentioned, we were at the Community Center. On Monday morning, I noticed the woman who answers the phones there had her little baby with her. Tiny and sweet, I assumed she was just a couple of weeks old. No, she had been born on Saturday, 2 days before. And she was that woman's 7th child. No maternity leave there; you gotta work to get paid. She was probably glad she was born on a Saturday so she didn't miss any work!

The kids thrived on physical touch. Many of them are parts of huge families and they don't get the individual attention that our own kids take for granted. In an impoverished society where a mom goes back to work 2 days after childbirth, there's not a lot of time to play with the kids! This is one of my favorite youth (wink) holding a little girl named America.




Even the big kids thrived on getting a ride on someone's back or shoulders. . . .









Tomorrow I want to introduce you to a friend I made. And shopping for school supplies will have a whole new meaning this year!


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Book Tour - Try Darkness


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Try Darkness

(Center Street - July 30, 2008)

by

James Scott Bell


ABOUT THE BOOK

Ty Buchanan is living on the peaceful grounds of St. Monica’s, far away from the glamorous life he led as a rising trial lawyer for a big L.A. firm. Recovering from the death of his fiancĂ©e and a false accusation of murder, Buchanan has found his previous ambitions unrewarding. Now he prefers offering legal services to the poor and the underrepresented from his “office” at local coffee bar The Freudian Sip. With his new friends, the philosophizing Father Bob and basketball-playing Sister Mary Veritas, Buchanan has found a new family of sorts.
One of his first clients is a mysterious woman who arrives with her six-year-old daughter. They are being illegally evicted from a downtown transient hotel, an interest that Ty soon discovers is represented by his old law firm and his former best friend, Al Bradshaw. Buchanan won’t back down. He’s going to fight for the woman’s rights.
But then she ends up dead, and the case moves from the courtroom to the streets. Determined to find the killer and protect the little girl, who has no last name and no other family, Buchanan finds he must depend on skills he never needed in the employ of a civil law firm.
The trail leads Buchanan through the sordid underbelly of the city and to the mansions and yachts of the rich and famous. No one is anxious to talk.
But somebody wants Buchanan to shut up. For good.
Now he must use every legal and physical edge he knows to keep himself and the girl alive.
Once again evoking the neo-noir setting of contemporary Los Angeles, Bell delivers another thriller where darkness falls and the suspense never rests.

If you would like to read chapters 1 & 2, go HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He has also been the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.

The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles. His first Buchanan thriller, TRY DYING, was released to high critical praise, while his book on writing, Plot and Structure, is one of the most popular writing books available today.

“Bell has created in Buchanan an appealing and series-worthy protagonist, and the tale equally balances action and drama, motion and emotion. Readers who pride themselves on figuring out the answers before an author reveals them are in for a surprise, too: Bell is very good at keeping secrets. Fans of thrillers with lawyers as their central characters—Lescroart and Margolin, especially—will welcome this new addition to their must-read lists.”
—Booklist
“James Scott Bell has written himself into a niche that traditionally has been reserved for the likes of Raymond Chandler.”
—Los Angeles Times
“A master of suspense.”
—Library Journal
“One of the best writers out there, bar none.”
—In the Library Review


MY COMMENTS


I discovered James Scott Bell several years ago when he cowrote a historical fiction series, The Shannon Saga, with Tracie Peterson. He wrote the follow-up series, The Trials of Kit Shannon, alone. His contemporary fiction is equally as riveting. I have never been particularly interested in legal suspense novels, but he drew me in from the first page. His stories are suspenseful but not creepy, and the legal information keeps you abreast of the situation without feeling like you're reading a dry court document. Facing the giants in an effort to do the right thing isn't always easy, whether one is a member of a law firm or a convent. And some of our biggest giants lie in our past and within us. . . .

Happy Reading!

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Progreso Recap, Part 1

In a word? Phenomenal.

I am s-l-o-w-l-y recovering from last week's mission trip to Progreso. It was such a blessing but I am exhausted.

I knew it was bad when I couldn't even remember how to pull up my blog yesterday! But back to the trip. . . .

A total of 24 youth and 5 adults went down to the tip of Texas and participated in a variety of ministries for the week. The Texas-Mexico border contains 6 of the poorest counties in the United States. The small town of Progreso, right on the border where one of the International Bridges is located, is in one of these counties. Buckner International and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship joined forces 5 years ago in forming the ministry KidsHeart. This last week was the South Texas Blitz. Several churches had teams doing construction on houses in the communities in and around Progreso.

We arrived late Saturday afternoon and settled in at our host church, FBC Harlingen, about 20 minutes away. They were wonderful, providing delicious hot breakfasts each morning and dinners all but one night. On Sunday morning we worshiped at the tiny church in Progreso that our church has partnered with over the past few years (and doubled their attendance!). Two years ago, the church was just a concrete slab. Last year, walls were up, and our team built a building for their food pantry. (Of their budget, 40% goes to their church food pantry to be distributed to the community weekly!) This year the church had a roof, 2 restrooms, electric lights, and fans, as you can see.

We all fell in love with Ernie, who played for the song service. The notes weren't all on key, but it totally didn't matter! He was making a joyful noise and serving the Lord!

That afternoon the kids canvassed the neighborhoods passing out flyers and leaving them in fences or doors. Most of the houses, while small and dilapidated, were surrounded by chainlink fences with guard dogs. While they did that I stayed in the van with the driver with a horrible migraine. It was the only really bad one I got all week. I got a couple of mild ones that I was able to stave off with my meds.

Monday afternoon we rented a couple of additional vans and took almost 25 of the Progreso church members to South Padre Island. I drove one of the rental vans, since our middle school minister had to drive mine. (The guy hasn't yet turned 25 and so he isn't covered by church insurance yet!)

That was my first introduction into what a different culture I was in, even though I was still in Texas. I was driving a typical 7-seat minivan. On the way to the beach, there were 11 of us; on the way back, 13! They just piled in, toddlers in their laps. Or in the case of the mom in the front seat by me, her 2-year-old sat on the floor at her feet! I just prayed I wouldn't get stopped or have an accident!

Here's a sneak peak of VBS. I have a couple of cool stories to share from VBS, but I don't want to put it all in one post!



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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Giveaway Winners

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 14, 12
Timestamp: 2008-07-19 16:18:26 UTC

Congrats to cpullum (#14) and BP (#12) who will each receive a copy of Gary Chapman's book Love as a Way of Life. Email me your addresses ladies, and I'll get those in the mail to you next week!

Got back late last night from the mission trip. WOW! Lots to share, but right now piles of laundry and the grocery store are calling my name. And a nap. . . .

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