Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Different Kind of Cholera

I woke up thinking about another sad "cholera" outbreak in Haiti. Jason had read this blog post (posted below) from Desiring God International. Not only does it make us sad but a bit angry to see this "spiritual help" coming out of America. While we treat the Haitian's practical needs (and there are many) we rob them spiritually with false hope. What a sick and awful reality. Brothers and sisters, Jesus is real. Death is real. Our need for Him is real. The Gospel is clear in Scripture and we can not handle it foolishly or "redesign" it like the "say a prayer" method does.

Now is the time Lord. Come Holy Spirit come and lead us into all truth. This is Your work. Sift the wheat from the tare in Your kingdom, for the glory of Your Name. Lord raise up true laborers who treasure You above all else. Send out Your disciples to make disciples of all nations - from shore to shore. Lord, You stand at the door of judgment. Our time here is short. Equip us to accurately share the Good News in word and deed. Set Your children's hands to the plow in perseverance of the faith. Make us disciples so that we can disciple. Keep us from all misunderstandings and from leading any soul astray with empty good intentions. Oh Lord, make truth to reign until all the "ransomed church of God is saved to sin no more". For Your glory Lord, we ask.

For the record - there is no such thing as a *magical* prayer that saves souls. Jesus saves souls. Faith in Jesus saves souls. It is a work that only He can do. Faith comes by hearing and by hearing the Word of God!

Say the prayer and go to heaven

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Adoption

Makayla woke up to a dream about our family adopting 3 kids. :) Good dream! It is a topic that has come up frequently in the past 5 years and even more so now that Haiti is more than a good idea. We often see little black babies or hear stories of broken orphans and our whole family is drawn to them because our God LOVES the orphan. We definitely want to pursue adoption in Haiti. Two kids is simply not enough for this Schmick clan.

Adoption is so near to the heart of our God. One of the things that ministered to us every Sunday - and I mean EVERY Sunday - at Bethlehem Baptist Church was the families that had chosen to adopt. Some children looked so loveable and easy to receive but there were many, many families who accepted mentally & physically impaired orphans. Talk about elected love! Now if that does not scream Gospel, I don't know what does.

I am "Mephibosheth" (Jonathan's crippled son) who when received by David at his table said, “What is your servant that you should notice a dead dog like me?”. I am that child of wrath, that lost sheep, that unwanted soul and then He rescues me and calls me to Himself. He redeems me in my broken state and gives me a name. He makes me whole. I am His child. I have a place. I have a purpose in Christ Jesus! YES! Adoption is beautiful. It is right.

So anyway, after Makayla and I thumbed through the newest Boden Catalog the whole while discussing how our adopted babies would look so cute in this sort of outfit or hairstyle, etc... Makayla contemplated in pen adoption. It made her proud mom and dad cry. Yes, Lord, please may our family be used to glorify You in adoption.

By Makayla

We've talked a many time of you -
Though we had never seen you -
We'd talk about who you'd be,
And how old you would be.
We talked about if you would be BIG or little.
If you would be younger or in the middle.
And now we see you!
We know now who you are!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Broken Bow


After looking and praying for a home, it seems clear, that Broken Bow, Nebraska will be our temporary landing spot. Next stop, Lord willing, Haiti. God has provided above and beyond what we needed! The house is newer and quite energy efficient with appliances included. After some extremely generous supporters our rent will be a whopping $150/month which is absolutely incredible and such a HUGE blessing! We have a lot to pay for this year in regards to travel and oversea transitioning. Our move in date is November 15th-ish after we return from the 2 week Christian World Outreach Mission Conference. It will be so nice to have a place of our own and we're excited about getting to know the people of Broken Bow.

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD! psalm 117:1-2

Friday, October 22, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Home"?

We had this unspoken notion that once we willingly and recklessly abandoned ourselves to God's call that His provision would be laid out very clearly. Maybe like a toddler's Easter egg hunt and we with our happy little baskets would meander around and pick up one provision after the other. The question now is, "How could we be so silly?" He does not always lavish provision on His children like this. Sometimes the path is narrow, rocky and unsure. Actually, often times it is. God is a great Provider but He doesn't cushion the lives of His children but tests us so that our faith may be found to honor Him.

He sent the disciples on this note, "Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road."
Luke 10:4

Has God been faithful? Absolutely. Is God good? Yes. It is in His sovereign goodness and faithfulness that we find ourselves still pondering the transition time, specifically, where we should live.

Finding an affordable home in Scottsbluff to rent has been more challenging than we expected. We have many good reasons for wanting to be in this area but we're trying to hang onto it with an open hand and big listening ears, "Lord, where do you want us and what is this year supposed to be about?"

So with school in tow, open hands and ears we're headed to Broken Bow this week with Jason. This is the other place that we've contemplated living. It would be nice to be near Jason instead of seeing him off every Monday, my Dad lives near Broken Bow and we'd surely see more of Jason's family which would be fun. While Jason works this week we desire to find God's clarity in the sandhills of Nebraska.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:33,34

Pray for us to know the will of God and in the mean time, enjoy knowing Him. He is sovereign, good, wise and provider.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Heigh-Ho It's Off To Work We Go


This tune runs theme on our Monday and we're counting God's kindness in employment. During this season of transition we needed temporary and flexible employment. Jason's family is opening another Schmick's Market (grocery) in Broken Bow, Nebraska. They kindly offered Jason a job to help them set up and mobilize their second store. We are so thankful! Honestly, it's God's good provision. As it stands, Jason will stay and work in Broken Bow for the first part of each week and then be home (in Scottsbluff) for a long weekend. He has also reiterated how thankful he is to be working alongside of his family; building relationships with them during this next year. So... today, is Monday and he's off to work while the kids and I plug away a school. We're already missing him.

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pocket Knife Humility


Ethan, for a very long time wanted a pocket knife - like crazy. Finally, through a woops at Target, landed himself a desired tool that was not only a knife but a spoon and fork also. He felt - good. Really - really - good about his new lease on life.

We knew when his pocket was loaded because his walk changed into a nice overly confident strut. He went on and on telling us all of the outlandish things he'd do with his new tool. We grew wearisome of the constant pocket knife chatter. It was all he could think about. Sometimes we tried to gently bring him back to reality, "Uhm, E, I don't think your knife will be able to slice a duck's throat or cut down a tree." His mind was set, though, and he was sure we were underestimating.

The best thing to do in a situation like this with a very zealous Ethan is to let him try it. So we took E to a woodsy area in Eagan. Jason said, "If you can catch a duck you can slice his throat and cut down a tree." With spirits flying higher than ever and the possibilities so close at hand, he walked ahead feeling full of power.

Shortly into our stroll there stood a tree that caught his imagination, "Dad, do you think I can cut this tree down."

"Uhm, no E."

"I bet you're wrong."

"Try it, son."

With a flip-switch we beheld our eight year old's great efforts. Back and forth this speedy red knife passionately soared but it didn't even cut into the bark. I mean not even a little bit.

With bewildered eyes our son connected with ours and said in a humbled spirit, "Huh, I guess not."

Our saying for such moments as these has been, "I just realized my pocket knife can't cut that tree." Sometimes reality brings us back to earth. We are humbled and our perception is shattered, our passionate vision is brought down into the valley.

It's not that we shouldn't capture a vision or possess large passions. Quite contrary.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
ephesians 3:20,21

I think as Christians we should live large on the promises of God - capturing His very large vision for His Kingdom enterprises but the challenge then is always, "How do I work this out in the real everyday tasks of life?" We don't live on the mountain top where we objectively observe His unfolding story. We don't live 20 feet away from the mosaic. No, we live right up next to it and we are only a1"x1" contributing piece. We live, labor and love in the everyday.

We had the challenge of writing down His vision for Haiti and our hearts for missions in a support letter. How do you capture the culminating work of God in our hearts for missions? How do you capture His heart for the World, the orphan, the poor, the widow, the lost, etc? How do you express deep, passionate, risk-taking conviction to walk with God in the next season of discipleship? How do you encourage others in their faith to follow Him similarly?

Jason took a whole-hearted attempt at this and we felt good about it. It seemed to capture in a nut shell the way God's direction for Haiti fell on our lives until we "tried" it out. We found out that it read more as an exhortation.

Thank God for the elders that He places over His sheep - to keep a watchful eye. With some good feedback concerning our first attempt at a support letter we bit into reality. "Our pocket knife won't cut down that tree." Embracing humility and being teachable are good lessons. Learning the balance to live in reality with His vision, is good. If the vision and the passion are His then it doesn't mean death to the vision but it does require, "Okay Lord, I can do nothing without you. I am nothing apart from You. This is Your vision how do You want this to work itself out in my daily life?"

1 Peter 5:5-7
"Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all of your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

We are thankful for Christian World Outreach's leadership in our lives. Lord knows we need it! :) Here it goes for attempt number two. "If at first you don't succeed. Try - try again!"