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26 July 2013

207/365

Longhorn Cattle Company.
Coincidence?


206/365

And summer keeps moving on,
in a blur.

24 July 2013

205/365

everybody loves the sound of the train in the distance;
everybody thinks it's true.
- "Train in the Distance" by Paul Simon

Where I live, it's inevitable that you'll be stopped by the train, sooner than later.
I'm ok with that.


204/365

“The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself.." 
-Deitrich Bonhoeffer 

Thankful for those who speak Truth into my life.

(which has nothing to do with the yucca- but isn't it a good looking yucca?)

23 July 2013

203/365

A much anticipated invitation and I thought, maybe, we knew what to expect. The evening exceeded even that.

202/365

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.
― G.K. Chesterton

20 July 2013

201/365

Small, but hearty, that Brownsville Farmers Market. We came home with two kinds of fresh basil, mint, rosemary, a bag of Swiss chard, and a potted jalapeno plant and a potted mint plant.We met lots of friendly people. We sniffed fresh soap and aromatic plants and tasted a snake gourd and chipotle strawberry honey. We peeked into the windows at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts. And, we left before the skies broke open.
Blessings all.
A few more photos of the outing:

Brownsville Farmers Market

19 July 2013

200/365

and what church cookout would be complete without a sack race?

199/365

these girls.
and fresh cookies.
love.

198/365

The little starts we planted a year ago are full-fledged bushes now, blooming in their full bright pink glory. I'm excited to be back in the neighborhood and see what glory is yet to be revealed there, too.

197/365

Really, we only needed them for a minute.
But hey, we needed them for a minute!

16 July 2013

196/365

Faith develops out of the most difficult aspects of our existence, not the easiest.
- Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

14 July 2013

Laredo 2013

Laredo 2013
My family has been going to Laredo to serve at Iglesia La Vid for 7 years now. In the first years, we went as members of short-term mission teams from our church. Now we help to lead teams from other churches. I wouldn't miss it.

No where else I know is like Laredo. When you are in Laredo, have no doubt- you are definitely in Texas, though you can stand on the edge of the Rio Grande river and wave at the Mexicans fishing on the other side. But just as in other places in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo is distinctly different from San Antonio and other towns north. You hear Spanish everywhere, and most likely, it will be spoken to you. The HEB grocery store sells aquas frescas and elote and has a carniceria and tortilleria. It is not hard to find a good plate of enchiladas or a fresh raspa, but there are a couple of Starbucks, too. You absolutely cannot drive through Laredo without encountering semi-trucks, everywhere. Laredo is the largest land port in the United States. Every day more than 5000 trucks and "a billion dollars worth of goods move across the border between Mexico and the United States."

The summer sun is HOT in Laredo. It radiates off the pavement and soaks right through the soles of your shoes. But the air conditioning in local stores sometimes makes the tip of my finger numb. Clouds hang in the skies over Laredo like something you would see in the movies, like the advertisements for the movie Up. Bright green low hanging sagebrush and mesquite trees dot the otherwise brown landscape. Evidences of religion are everywhere in Laredo, both the traditional icons of Catholicism and the crazy inexplicable evidences of syncretism, such as when we saw decals for both the Christian Ichthys fish and Santa Muerta holding the Mexican flag on the back of a pick-up truck. Laredo can seem to be a place of contradictions.

Our primary role while in Laredo is to help out at Iglesia La Vid. In the beginning, we helped to construct their sanctuary. Now we worship in that place. In the last few years, we have come aside the congregation to serve in their annual Vacation Bible School activities. Campo Verano at La Vid is in Spanish; the majority of the kids come from families who speak Spanish in the home. But truly, most of the kids, especially once they are school-aged, speak English as well. This year the theme was Puro Corazon and centered around the life of Old Testament shepherd and king, David. That also gave all the teachers tremendous opportunity to talk about our Good Shepherd and King, Jesus. I took a BUNCH of photos of the kids at VBS, but I've decided not to post them publicly this year. You'll have to imagine the cuteness!

After mornings spent in VBS, our team divided up each afternoon. We helped to assist in a project to renovate bathrooms at the church and do some unfinished painting. And we went out into the community. For the third year we spent a couple of evenings feeding the homeless and impoverished on the streets of Laredo. We spent a couple of afternoons at Bethany House, preparing meals for the "the homeless, indigent, elderly, veterans, disabled, and residents of the emergency shelter complex" in  downtown Laredo. We sorted and folded and hung and organized clothes at the Bethany House Vintage Clothing Store

As is always true, I am certain that we received more blessing than any one we served. Being in Laredo is familiar, and yet, forces me to look at the world around me with fresh eyes- more pointedly, with our Savior's eyes. I'm thankful for the church, for Kingdom work, for the fellowship of believers, and for the Gospel of grace. I'm thankful for Pastor Carlos and his wife Andrea and our brothers and sisters at Iglesia La Vid and to the great team from Christ Church Katy and for our teammates, Dan and Becky Young. It was a really good week.

The album includes scenes from in and around Laredo. It's just a glimpse. Even better, come experience Laredo, or the other places where we have opportunity to serve and work and share the Good News of Christ, with us!

195/365

If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

194/365

Even with insects-
some can sing,
some can't.
- Kobayashi Issa

13 July 2013

193/365

Every year I think, "this is the best clausura yet." The youth and the team and the kids and old friends and Pastor Carlos and his steady clear Gospel message.
And a final dance to rival any Bollywood scene...

192/365

This guy, 6 years old and all curiosity, hanging out at the church all afternoon while his dad was working on tile in the bathroom, took 67 photos on my phone and I didn't even notice. Until later. So, what is the password for, anyhow?

But, the funniest part was the video. And how very clueless I was.
Hello, I'm a mom of 6, and shouldn't I know by now that quiet is a warning sign?
videoCute must definitely be part of the "survival of the fittest" equation...

The best part? His entire family came to the final program and he was dancing in the front.
:-)

191/365

If we came to the Bethany House Vintage Store every day for a month, it might start to make a difference, so just a couple of days wasn't so much. But it was a dent.

(note: maybe to start with, we should get ride of all polyester blends. And, I'm pretty sure that I saw my grandma's bathrobe...)

190/365

Usually I shake my head, and then my hand, no, No, NO. This guy, living on the street in Laredo, cleaned the window of the bus out of kindness, a thank you. Sometimes you have to rethink things. 

189/365

Every year, there is more.
And every year I wonder, what would it be like to meet those ladies?

188/365

"Pilgrim (parepidemos) tells us we are people who spend our lives going someplace, going to God, and whose path for getting there is the way, Jesus Christ. We realize that 'this world is not my home' and set out for 'the Father's house.' Abraham, who 'went out,' is our archetype. Jesus, answering Thomas's question 'Master, we have no idea where you're going. How do you expect us to know the road?' gives us direction: 'I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me' (Jn 14:5-6). The letter to the Hebrews defines our program: 'Do you see what this means- all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we better get on with it. Strip down, start running- and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. (Heb 12:1-2)."
- from A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene H. Peterson

(photo taken at the US/Mexico border at Laredo, TX, looking towards Nuevo Laredo, MX)

07 July 2013

186/365

Hello.
My name is Kristy.
I am addicted to ice.

(They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I'm not there yet.)

185/365

Back in Laredo.
and thankful for it.

04 July 2013

184/365

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...
- The Declaration of Independence


03 July 2013

183/365

This morning I read from Matthew 14-

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said.“Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,”Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
(Matthew 14:27-31, NLT)

Oh Peter... I am Faint-heart too. I know how it is.

02 July 2013

182/365

Texas is neither southern nor western. Texas is Texas.
- Senator William Blakley


(photo from Allens Boots, Austin, Texas)

All Grace

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV) 

"Here is a promise so expansive that you can build your entire life on it. The biblical languages do not have exclamation marks. Thus they use words alone- and especially repetition of words- to indicate emphasis. We see this in 2 Corinthians 9:8, where various forms of the word all appear five different times, making the verse emphatic Paul wants us to see the absolute abundance of God's grace, which gives us everything we need for every situation in life. "All grace," he says, "in all things, at all times, giving you all sufficiency for all good works." The apostle uses the same word a couple more times in verse 11, where he says, "You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way."

Know this: God is able to give you "all grace."

- Phil Ryken, Grace Transforming

01 July 2013

181/365

Parent orientation for freshmen at the Forty Acres...
great campus, so many friendly people- staff and parents both, outstanding program, free cookies, tasty bbq brisket...

but, can a Lobo ever REALLY do Hook 'Em Horns or sing The Eyes of Texas with gusto?

:-)

180/365

Texas Surf Museum?
Go figure.
Man, Texas is One Big Place.

179/365

Beach soccer-
a brand new experience.
hot, sandy, unexpected bounces,
and yes, I think we'd all do it again.