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25 July 2014


"I don’t know if I have ever thought of this before — the great problem of good on this planet.
The philosopher Augustine had asked two questions of the world:
If there is no God, why is there so much good?
If there is a God, why is there so much evil??
I wonder if I have spent a lifetime murmuring under my breath only the second question?
But why don't I first get hung up on the first question?

24 July 2014


the smell of sunscreen.
the sea breeze.
hot sand.
cold water.
bright umbrellas.
silly girls.
SANDwiches and chips and chocolate chip cookies.
bright green sea grass on the shore.
ripples of sand from the tide.
pelicans flying in formation.
a long walk on the beach with a most trusted friend.
rinsing off all the sand under a cold shower.
an oreo blizzard.
and unsweet tea.
grateful for an afternoon at the island.

23 July 2014


Today they poured the floor of the pastoral home we're working on this month.

Let the block laying begin!


One last summer game under the lights.


This was the day that we looked forward to in faith back in July 2007, when we first came down to serve at Iglesia La Vid in Laredo. That first summer we worked on the inside of the cinder block building shell, just a fan moving heated air around in the hottest month of summer. We started painting the outside of the building in the bright orangey-red and mustard yellow and sage green that probably wouldn't be popular anywhere except south Texas. Our kids played and worked with their kids. I prayed with their ladies. We were exceedingly abundantly blessed.

They captured our hearts.

We came back the next year. And the next. And most of the summers ever since. We saw that building finished, despite budget constraints, despite permit issues, despite the challenges that sometimes seemed enormous. We saw their kids grow up next to ours. We prayed for the church and we worshiped with the church. We grew to love Pastor Carlos and his most dear wife Andrea. We saw God show himself so very faithful to the work at Iglesia La Vid.

On this day, this Spanish-speaking congregation became a particular church of the Presbyterian Church in America. We were there in those pews to rejoice with them, and yes, we closed our eyes and remembered that first week. We hugged friends and celebrated that there are people there we don't know. Yet. We are excited, and eager, to see how God will use these people in this place to grow His kingdom in the years to come. And ready to be back with them again.

21 July 2014


iced coffee- my new summer drink.


In Progreso,
I love
street tacos.
the kids.
knowing where to buy a shirt. and vanilla. and an aqua fresca.
freshly made conchas.


Running the race.


Even in the dance.


It was the first day of Vacation Bible School and we had no idea of what to expect. I changed the schedule more times than I could keep track. And still, everyone left with smiles.

Thankful for our very faithful God. His grace is sufficient for me.


What is it about the parachute that is so darn fun?


y aqua frescas.

(contented happy sigh!)


It was supposed to be for a contest to win tickets to something at South Padre Island, but I don't have a Twitter account and the group was about to leave so...
we'll settle for this.


an evening surrounded by the body-
babies and kids and youth and olders;
grandmas hugging on teens;
guys gathered around the grill;
more good food than we can eat;
pinatas and the egg toss and tug-o-war;
and to finish, parking lot s'mores.

and over and again I think "how sweet and awesome is the place..."

10 July 2014


"I will go out on the front porch and walk up and down," said Toad.
"Perhaps that will help me to think of a story."
- Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel


ok- so they are on to me. I really signed them up because I always wished that I could take tennis lessons...
Phew! Good thing they enjoyed it.


“If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”
- David Livingstone

07 July 2014


new hoops, old court, two-on-two.
(and the mascot)

06 July 2014


its what's for dinner.

(Five-Spice Orange Beef and Broccoli and stir-fried kale, bok choy and sugar snap peas)


July 5th- the perfect day for rain.

05 July 2014


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, July 4, 1776

In the same spirit suggested and predicted by John Adams in a letter to wife Jane way back then, we celebrated with "with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations." (well, except for the guns part...) And food, friends, and fellowship besides!

Happy 238th birthday, United States of America!

03 July 2014


but sure makes the heat a little less oppressive...


“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt (remarks before the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C., April 21, 1938)