My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Better Judge

When the famous politician and orator William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) was a young man, he went to the home of the father of his prospective wife to ask him for her hand in marriage. Bryan was determined to impress the father by quoting from the Bible, and he chose Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.”

Bryan was unnerved when the father replied by quoting Paul: “So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.” (1 Corinthians 7:38)

Bryan, never at a loss for words, said: “Yes, but Paul had no wife and Solomon had 700. Therefore, I believe Solomon ought to be the better judge as to marriage.”

about the kids, Travels

Recent pix

Sorry for the delay on these!

CCb-day 1My beautiful 11 year old! For more pix from her birthday, check out CC’s blog.

fun at park 1Having fun together at the park on Sunday.

sunderban 1I was blessed to accompany a scouting team in to the Sunderban area to assess the Aila cyclone damage, needs, etc. I won’t get into that part of the trip as it’ll be in an upcoming newsletter, but I wanted to post some pix of the beauty of the area–the largest delta in the world! Above, clay brick furnaces in the background, shrimp farms in the foreground. The sky was amazing that day!

sunderban 2Mangrove swamps. At high tide, the water covers this area too.

sunderban 3The river we crossed to get to the villages on the other side.

sunderban 4A tree lizard. Almost missed it too, it was fast!

sunderban 5The kingfisher posed for us shortly and then flew off.

sunderban 6A double rainbow on the way home.

about the kids

Happy Birthday Charlotte!

11 years ago, you entered my life, bringing smiles, laughter, some tears, happy moments and of course all the work that comes with it (which I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!).

Never in all my life did I think that being a mother would bring so much into my life, but I’ve enjoyed so many moments with you, from the first time I held you, so tiny and fragile in my arms, to the times you fell and needed kisses, to the times you woke up at night and needed comfort, to the frustrations you felt in school or other projects you undertook. Then of course there are all the times you cuddled in my arms just to feel close, when you snuggled close to me as you fell asleep, and the many hugs I still get from you throughout the day.

I love being close to you. I love how you still snuggle up close to me and love to give hugs. When I’m feeling low or tired, you’re there to cheer me up, give a kiss and a cheerful word. I think the Lord gave you a special gift for cheering people up, and you seem to have the knack of knowing just when I need it. You’re concerned not just for me, but for everyone around you; you notice little things and want to help; you’re a great older sister to all the kids in the home and try to be a good sample. You have a funny sense of humor, the ability to laugh good and hard when needed; something that hardly ever fails to cheer me and others around you up.

I’m very thankful that you are honing the spiritual gifts the Lord has given you. I’m impressed by your ongoing desire to learn more about the things of the spirit, hear from the Lord and use the gifts He’s given you to reach out to others. My hope and prayer for you is that you will continue to grow in this area, developing all your gifts and talents and that this year will be another fun one for you, with lots of prayers and wishes answered.

017 months pg…

02our one and only trip to Sarajevo, about 5 months…

03a total water baby…1 yr.

04handing out tracts in Croatia, 3 yrs…

05first time clowning with mom, 3 1/2 yrs…

08Performing at Christmas, 5 yrs old…

09candle light service, 5 yrs old…

06mommy time, picture taken for the Activated article, 6 yrs old…

07early learning at home, 6 yrs old…

09-07 004after a swim, 7 yrs old…

11out together, 9 yrs old…

10Indian theme birthday party, 10 yrs old…

12enjoying a family day out, 10 yrs old…

yes, I know this post is late, all sorts of issues with getting it published, but here it is, pix from her birthday party to follow…

about the kids

Cute (and Cheeky) Kids

It had been raining for much of the morning, but stopped just as the kids were coming for snack. Sameer comes into the dining room and says, “Look, Uncle Jo, the rain is taking a lunch break!”

We often have yogurt for snack, but the kids like to have something after that as well, so one day Aman asked, “what’s after yogurt?” Lily jokingly replied, “there’s nothing after yogurt.” I then hear CC muttering under her breath, “Well, zebra could come after yogurt.”

One day I was asking the first grader boys to write the beginning sounds of words I read to them. The word I read was see-saw. Aman wrote a “C”. Actually, I think that was pretty smart 😀

CC was putting oil in my hair and casually mentioned that she found white hair on the back of my head. I argued with her that it just couldn’t be, I’m too young, plus I just died it. She replied, “Fine, maybe I just shouldn’t tell you about it, that way you won’t feel old.) Oh, yay…

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

It’s still All About Love


I want to tell you one of the things that Peter and I pray fervently for when we pray for you: that in all the busyness of life, in our increased professionalism, in the abundance of urgent needs and priorities, you don’t lose sight of how important love is—how important it is in the big picture, and how important it is in your little daily choices and priorities.

It’s easy to lose that focus or clarity in your perspective, as you know. We’ve all inadvertently done that at one time or another. We know we’re here for love, and that love is the purpose behind it all; it’s our foundation. And yet, in those little moments when you have to make a choice between taking time for love, or getting more done, or something done faster, or you’re faced with a need that requires a bigger measure of love and unselfishness, it’s easy to make choices that squeeze love out of the picture.

Somehow, unwittingly, we forget the importance of those little acts of love, which are often manifested in acts of kindness or courtesy, or simply taking time for others. Sometimes we forget that all our accomplishments are nothing without love.

Jesus: It’s interesting, isn’t it, how easily love seems to get lost in the shuffle of getting to where you want to go? That’s why, even though you’re busier than ever with My great commission, you have to keep the conscious mentality that love is still the most important thing. It will never become of lesser importance. It’s one of those timeless spiritual principles.

It’s easy to get so preoccupied with doing that you forget about giving love. You know the kind of love I’m talking about—the kind that takes time: little acts of love and kindness, stopping to help someone, being a listening ear, doing a kind deed, giving someone an encouraging squeeze, putting their needs before your own.

It seems to be a natural reaction to feel that as things get busier, love can wait—but love is still the most important thing. To love is still the reason why you’re on Earth, why I didn’t take you Home as soon as you were saved and came to know Me. Love is the foundation of the Revolution and the Offensive. To lose sight of love is to lose sight of Me and the reason that I came to Earth.

So don’t get too busy for love. When you’re faced with an opportunity to love, go for it! Seize it, don’t delay! Consider it an opportunity from Me to give some of the most precious gifts that can be given: your love and your time.

My favorite quotes, songs and stories

Quote of the Day

From the Audio, God is God:

I read a thought-provoking quote the other day, which says: “There are two things I’ve learned: There is a God. And, I’m not Him.”…at the core of it all is the simple principle of trusting that the Lord is in control. The truth, as expressed in this quotation, is that God is God and we are not. Having the spiritual maturity to trust the Lord and flow with Him, even when we don’t understand everything, is central to basic Christianity, discipleship, and faith. As Elisabeth Elliot, who was the wife of missionary and martyr Jim Elliot, wisely said, “True faith goes into operation when there are no answers.”…It’s good to remind ourselves that, at the end of the day, God is God, and He isn’t obligated to explain everything to us. He has a plan and He’s in control. It’s nice when He can explain things to our satisfaction, and when our human minds can understand the great workings of God, but that’s not a prerequisite for trusting or obeying Him. There are always going to be some things that we don’t understand. We won’t always be able to rationalize everything to our satisfaction…We’re human; God is divine.—And thank God He’s God, and not us.