Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey on the brain

There were some really nice turkeys at the store in Xela. They were a bit expensive (about $3.00/lb) but it was worth it, since the alternative is to butcher and clean one myself! (I've done chickens before, and would prefer to never have to do that again. Another story.)

We got a big one, since we're having a few other families over to our house on Thanksgiving Day. Here's Big Tom [before]:

He looks intimidating to me. He weighs more than my toddler. At least he won't struggle much!

We're not going to stuff this year. I read that stuffing makes the turkey come out dry, so I'm making dressing in a crockpot instead. Today we're baking pies and doing prep work for Big Tom. Here's one of my faithful kitchen assistants, toting her baby brother:

Joel finds kitchen duty soooo boring! ;o)

The girls are really getting in on the pie-making action.

These are special flour-salt-and-cream-of-tartar mini pies. (i.e. PLAY DOUGH)

I personally prefer my pie crusts with a leetle less salt, so I'd better get to it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The tradition of Giving Thanks

I love autumn. I love the cool, crisp air and the rustle of corn stalks waiting to be harvested. I love pulling out the warm sweaters and dressing in layers. But most of all, I love it that we have a day set aside when family, extended family, friends who are like family, and people in need of family, come together to acknowlege God's goodness.

For He is Good!

Last month we started a new tradition that we call the Thanks Box.

I covered a small shoe box with fabric, then printed Psalm 107:21-22 onto pretty cardstock, to affix to the top of our box.

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing."

Every member of the family may write down on slips of paper what they are thankful for, and add them to our box anytime.

On Thanksgiving Day, we will all gather together to open our box and read all of the things that we thank God for, and praise Him together for His goodness and for His wonderful works.

For He is so Good!

Soon after Thanksgiving Day this year, we'll make another box for a full year of acknowledging the Lord's goodness to us.

That's what Thanks Giving is all about!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In Memory

We recently lost a sweet friend and church member, Teodora "Lola" Ical, as I posted on our other blog. Daniel was privileged to preach her funeral the day after she passed away, and he was able to get to know more of the family that way.

The family told Daniel that it is customary to have a memorial service nine days after the death, and again forty days later, and that they wanted him to officiate those memorial services as well.

We learned that the nineth day and fortieth day memorials are a Mayan practice. It is supposed that on those days the spirit of the departed will die if not remembered. But Daniel will take any opportunity to preach the gospel, so preach he did.
I zoomed in on this a little, hoping you can see the glass of water to the left of Lola's photo. That's another custom. It's for the spirit of the deceased, who is supposed to be present during the service. I got a little shocker when I looked over about the end of the service, and noticed that the level of water in the glass was a little - but noticeably - lower than before we started!

...Then as I stared at it, I realized the water was hot, and that little bit had vaporized.

Please say a prayer for Lola's family right now, that many will see the truth and will receive Christ as Saviour.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Joel's first birthday

Is it possible? One whole year ago...

This little guy joined our family.

See how he's grown!

(Notice the curl in his hair? We took care of that today...)

There's the Birthday Boy!

We had little party with just us and the pastor and family.

Daniel grilled some burgers and hotdogs, and of course there was CAKE!

"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday Baby Joel, Happy birthday to you!"

Hello, what's this?

Where have you been all my life?

More cake.

Still eating cake.

Looks like he's starting to feel the effects of cake.

Okay, enough of that. Let's move on to the next event... the Haircut!

No more baby look. Happy birthday, Big Boy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

FOR TODAY Monday, November 10...

Outside my window... it is foggy and cool. The fog will burn off in an hour or so, and then it will likely be clear and sunny enough to dry my laundry :o)

I am thinking... about my daughter who is feeling ill. She will need some special attention today.

I am thankful for... the lights that came back on after blinking off early this morning.

From the learning rooms... we are doing a week's work in a day, and the girls are loving it, and are looking forward to finishing sooner so they can enjoy Vacation Bible School.

From the kitchen... Jessica will be making banana bread all by herself. She is becoming such the little homemaker!

I am wearing... a brown floral jumper, and pink slippers.

I am creating... a blue plaid jumper. Just lacks some handstitching on the inner liner, then a hem.

I am going... for a walk outside as soon as it is warm enough.

I am reading... Isaiah from the Bible, and also Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot.

I am hoping... to get to the mending today. My children are rough on their clothes, and that mending pile is growing!

I am hearing... little ones stirring upstairs - too early :o)

Around the house... are the signs of a busy weekend and Lord's Day. We'll be catching up today on housework, setting things straight again.

One of my favorite things... right now is our family closet. I'm still enjoying the novelty of folding up and putting away almost all of the laundry in one place!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Joel's first birthday is Friday. We are also going to meet with the mayor of La Esperanza for dinner. (We still need to find a babysitter for that.)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny and windy day, and Joseph begged me to help him fly his kite. I was reluctant because I just can't make kites fly, but he persisted. I finally gave in and went outside, held up the kite for the wind to catch, and he took off running with the string... And wouldn't you know, that kite took to the wind as smoothly as a sailboat? I was as delighted as my little boy was.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jessica!

Our firstborn, Jessica Faith, just turned ten years old. Her name means rich faith, and our prayer is that her faith in God will continue to grow richer and richer as the years go by.

Here are ten things I love about my Jessica:

1. She loves and serves her Dad and Mom with a smile on her face.

2. She is a sweet big sister to her brothers and sisters, helping them with their needs.

3. She helps take care of the baby, and delights in doing so.

4. She is very intelligent, and learns so quickly in school.

5. She is a true princess at heart, a daughter of the King.

6. She keeps her bed neat and tidy.

7. She is so creative, and is good at sewing and fixing things.

8. She dances when she does housework.

9. She talks to her Mom openly and honestly.

10. She has a lovely singing voice, and uses it to honor Christ.

I love you, sweet girl! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our Hope

Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is : which keepeth truth for ever:

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 146


No matter how the election comes out, God's people are blessed. Happy is that people whose God is the LORD! Rejoice!


All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. (Psalm 145)


Regardless of what happens today, we are of a greater Kingdom, an everlasting one, and one where there is never a scary election. The LORD reigns!


The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth...

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Call to Fast and Pray

Today I received the following letter in my email, and it expresses some of the things that have been on my heart about this election. Please read it, and then join with us to pray and fast today for the election. God's will be done.

A side note: If you are a Christian, you have probably read, heard, and/or thought of II Chronicles 7:14 a lot lately. I encourage you to read it again, and consider that God doesn't call for Obama to turn from his wicked ways, nor for the lost to seek God's face. He calls His own people to do so.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Are you sensing that there is something different about this presidential election? I was telling someone just recently that it seems like this election is far more serious than those in the recent past. Something in my spirit is very uneasy. In the past I have felt the need to pray for different elections but I have never felt so strongly the urge to pray, and pray fervently, for an election as I do for this one. I truly believe that if the wrong person (Obama) is elected this nation will be changed forever. We may not be able to undo the things that will be unleashed during an Obama presidency. My concern about an Obama presidency is not based on politics; it is based on righteousness. Look at any of the major moral issues (abortion, homosexuality etc.) and you will find Obama on the wrong side of the issue, and Palin and McCain on the right side of the issue. What makes this so disturbing is that the Obama team has raised far more money than McCain/Palin and the media is unabashedly supporting Obama with every story and headline they write. Currently McCain/Palin is behind in the polls and is having a very difficult time. Some in the media have suggested that the race is over and there is little or nothing McCain can do to change the outcome. Oh, how wrong they are!

Let me briefly share a story I recently read in 2 Samuel Chapter 5. David had just become king of Israel and the Philistines went up to wage war against him. So David inquired of the Lord and said, 'Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?' The LORD said, 'Yes I will surely hand them over to you.' So David went and defeated them. He said, 'As waters break out, the LORD has broken out against my enemies before me.' After suffering a great loss in the first battle the Philistines must have thought they now knew David defense strategy and they would be ready for him the next time, because once more the Philistines came up to attack David. So once again David inquired of the LORD, but this time the Lord gave different instructions. He said to David, 'Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.' David obeyed the Lord and was victorious.

This story holds a very important lesson for us at this time. In most presidential elections a frontal assault, a face-to-face battle, is what is needed. But this is no ordinary election. McCain is trying all the normal tactics but he is not prevailing. It seems no matter what he says or does it is not effective. I am convinced this election CANNOT be won using normal methods. Just as the Lord told David to go around behind the enemy and attack him there, so we must go around the face of this election and wage war where the battle is truly raging…in the spiritual realm! The fact that the normal physical methods are not effective this time should tell us that this is a very important spiritual battle and we can only win by using spiritual methods… Prayer!

What about the sound of marching in the treetops? What is that? I have read on the Internet several accounts of fellow Christians being stirred up in their spirits to pray. Many have been drawn into times of deep prayer and weeping as they intercede for Palin and McCain. Some have woke up in the middle of the night and sensed a great need to pray, other have told of how when they heard about Sarah Palin being chosen as VP that something came over them and they wept and felt a need to pray for Her and McCain. Many others are feeling the calling and urging of the Spirit to enter into a time of fervent prayer and fasting for Palin and McCain and our nation. What is this unusually stirring that is occurring? I believe it is the Sound of the Lord marching in the trees, calling his children to act quickly to pray and fast for Palin and McCain. Think about this, what would the marching have sounded like to David? It may have sounded like the rustling of leaves as when wind blows through them, but was this time something was different and out of the ordinary. Maybe it was like the sound of the great wind when the Spirit moved on the day of Pentecost. Also, God’s people are referred to as Trees of Righteous in Isaiah 61. So the sound of the Lord marching in the treetops in David’s time is a portrait of the Spirit of the Lord moving among and stirring up his children today.

So what are we to do when we sense this stirring of the Spirit? Two things, first we are to take it as the sign that the Lord is moving out in front of us. Anytime the Lord calls us to do something he goes ahead of us to prepare the way and fight for us. When Joshua returned from spying out Jericho the Lord gave him insight to see that the Lord had removed the Jericho ’s protection so Israel could defeat them. When the Lord calls us into battle he goes ahead of us, removes the enemy’s protection, and fights for us to give us the victory. Secondly, the Lord tells us when we sense the stirring of the Spirit we are to act quickly and join Him in the battle (through prayer, fasting, praise and obedience).

This election is by no means lost. For God would not be stirring up his children all across this nation and indeed around the world, to pray, if he did not want to give us the victory in this election. And he wants us to join him in the battle. God will hear the cries of his children if we will only cry out to him with fervent, earnest, prayers for this election and this nation. If those who are being drawn to prayer by the Spirit will indeed enter into a time of prayer and seeking His face, then God will have mercy on America spare us from having an ungodly leader, I’m sure of it! [Note: The passage referred to lists four things God expects from His people, not just two. Humble themselves. Pray. Seek His face. Turn from their wicked ways.]

One more thought, after the last debate, so-called ‘conservative’ David Brooks gushed about Obama:

'I thought Obama had the night he needed to have. You know, through this whole 20 month marathon, I think what struck me is how incredibly even he is. And how frankly reassuring he is. It is like you’re camping, and you wake up one morning, and there is a mountain. And then the next morning, there is a mountain, and there’s the ext morning, there’s a mountain. Obama is just the mountain. He is just there.. He is always the same, he doesn't hurt himself. McCain can sometimes lob a cannonball at the mountain, but the mountain doesn't move, and the mountain doesn't care. And so I think his steadiness, his temperament has been the dramatic theme of this campaign, dramatic in being undramatic. And it was on display tonight. And the good part of the mountain is that he is reassuring and reliable.'

I’m really glad he used the word ‘mountain’ to describe Obama. It caused me to remember what Jesus said about unmoveable mountains. Jesus said, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'

And it only takes a little faith!

This election can only be won by going around the face of the election and attacking the enemy where he is vulnerable, through prayer, fasting and praise. If you hear the sound of the Lord marching in the tree tops, if you feel the stirring of the Spirit calling you to pray, then move quickly into a time of prayer, for God is moving ahead of you at that time to give us the victory. May God give us ears to hear the marching!

Together with you in the battle,
Scott Whitley
[email address omitted]