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30 June 2015


Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
- Proverbs 16:24


Their excitement and delight was contagious, though I haven't tried the slide myself, not quite yet...

27 June 2015


"You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours."
"What is courage? Let me tell you what I think it is. An indefinable quality that makes a man put out that extra something, when it seems there is nothing else to give. I dare you to be better than you are. I dare you to be a thoroughbred."
Ok, maybe a bit extreme for today, but can't go wrong with some 'Erb, right mi futbolista? :-)


Turning an ordinary trip to the hardware store into something much more fun...

25 June 2015


“How can I make sure not just to coast through life living for the temporal and the trivial, but lift my eyes to that which is eternal? What’s going to matter not just 10 minutes or 10 days or 10 months from now, but 10 billion years from now based on what I do this week?” Give yourself to that."
- David Platt in "Should We Change How We Think About Missions?" Relevant blog, June 25, 2015

24 June 2015


     there is something 
inexpressibly beautiful 
about the world
     when the sun begins to rise
and fill the dim sky
with soft rays of light
     and only the birds are awake
to sing to you "good morning"
while everyone else
     is curled up in their beds
unaware of the magnificence 
they're missing
     and everything feels so simple
it's as if six a.m. is an epiphany
that sparks at your fingertips
     and spreads until
you are encompassed entirely 
by a feeling of clarity
     there is something 
inexpressibly beautiful
about being awake to behold
     the splendor of this world
while everyone else
is still asleep
- m.k.


Father of mercy and God of all comfort…
Show us how to handle deep disappointment and hurt, as redemptively as possible. 
Show us the difference between appropriate anger and destructive rage.
Show us how to pray down the gospel, lest we try to call down fire.
Show us how to hope when we want to hurl something.
Show us how to keep from importing old wounds into a new wound.
Show us how to listen to you quietly, 100 times more than we launch our opinions.
Show us how to grieve and lament, and not gossip and mock.
Show us the difference between worldly sadness and godly sorrow.
Show us what the gospel looks like in stories that seem to utterly contradict it.
Show us how to be still, and know that you are God.

23 June 2015


6 families.
20 kids.
Ultimate frisbee.
No rules soccer.
Just a few injuries (only in the parents. ahem.).
Cookie cake.
Laughs and jeers and cheers.
Happy birthday, E.


so thankful to be home.


but even better is
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:25-34 (ESV)
(goofy fortunes! But a fun laugh after a full and good day and a delicious Chinese dinner with dear saints.)

18 June 2015


"Of course. What we must treasure, what I am defining is peace. What is notable is that it is imparted in such a way that it bides with us, resides within us. This is renascence! A revelation that becomes a revolution. There is a quiet, a storm shelter, built to the scale of the human heart. 
HE says: My peace I give unto you.
Within these few words lie an inner world of rest."
This was the day that I needed.


Wherever you are, be all there!
- Jim Elliott


Ante el trono celestial 
Él intercede hoy por mí 
Gran Sacerdote es Jesús 
Quien por siempre vivirá 
Y en Sus manos por Su amor 
Mi nombre ya grabado está 
Y mientras en Su trono esté 
Nadie de Él me apartará 
Nadie de Él me apartará 

Cuando he caído en tentación 
Y al sentir condenación 
Al ver al cielo encontraré 
El inocente quien murió 
Y por su muerte el Salvador 
Ya mi pecado perdonó 
Pues Dios, el Justo, aceptó 
Su sacrificio hecho por mí 
Su sacrificio hecho por mí 

He aquí el Cordero Redentor 
Quién al morir resucitó 
El inmutable gran Yo Soy 
El Rey de gloria y majestad 
Unido a Él no moriré 
Pues con Su sangre me compró 
Mi vida escondida está 
En Cristo Dios, mi Salvador 
En Cristo Dios, mi Salvador 

- "Antes El Trono Celestial," written by Charitie Lees Bancroft (1841-1892)

(photo taken at the end of an amazing sunset in the neighborhood of Aquilles in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, MX)


It is certainly a work in progress, this house across the street from the mission. Today we rip down plasterboard and plywood walls and expose cement and brick. We jump back and watch bugs run and lizards scatter. We pull and tug with crowbars and then pound out nail after nail after nail. We create piles of rubble and move them out of the way and then move them again to get out of the rain. The floors are dirty; the walls are a mess; the windows are broken. But our dreams are big.

My little 4 year old friend stops me in the street and asks me, "¿Cuando está el campamento?" She wants to know when the neighborhood Vacation Bible School will be held? "A few more weeks," I tell her and I hug her. Boys from the neighborhood look in through the gate and shout hello at us. They stop to watch and sometimes even jump in on the work for a bit. The next night we meet at the baseball fields a couple of blocks over and play a ragtag game in a field where earlier in the day, horses grazed. We wrap yarn around sticks with little kids and shout cheers for hits and outs. We laugh loudly and grin broadly. As we ready to leave, another little girl asks if she can come home with me. "No mija, lo siento, no," I must answer.

They are why we dream big. We dream about a place to gather, to teach, to learn. We dream about a place that is a refuge for these kids: a place where they find safety, a place where they find hope, and a place where they know joy, a place where they meet Jesus. So we work, and we are thankful for those who join us as pray for God's kingdom to expand, for His grace and wisdom in abundance, to be light in darkness, to be present in this place in both word and in deed.

16 June 2015


"Faith is not about trying harder or human willpower or self-effort. It's about abandoning all hope of being righteous and collapsing on Christ as your only hope."
- C. John (Jack) Miller, Saving Grace, 2014

(photo from along the road between Nuevo Progreso and Reynosa, Tamaulipas)


Let them praise His name with dancing...
Psalm 149:3 (ESV)

a little bit of VBS practice.

13 June 2015


If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
- Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV)

still turning over the words and the Word from the night before...

(photo from Coolridge Park, Chattanooga, TN)


Faith is rarely an arrival. It mostly remains mercurial on a spectrum, from the locked down dogmatism of the assured to the cracked questioning of the skeptic.
- Josh McIvor-Andersen, "Emerging: Discussing the Literal vs. Figurative with a Four-Year-Old," Ruminate Magazine blog, June 9, 2015.

(photo from the Chattanooga Convention Center sidewalk)

12 June 2015


I'm pretty sure that biscuits and honey make everything seem easier.


Perhaps it’s not enough to have a heart in the right place. Perhaps you actually need to do something,” Neichelle Guidry’s call reverberates like hope.
- from "When You're Kind of Weary of All the Injustices," A Holy Experience blog, June 8, 2015

I love teaching others to teach ESL, no matter where, no matter who. But this was perhaps the most hopeful training I've ever led. Missionaries, church planters, pastors' wives, current and future ministry volunteers- all ready to carry the Gospel, all ready to actually DO something. Blessings abundant, in spite of me. 


The deeper your love, the higher it goes;
    every cloud’s a flag to your faithfulness.
Soar high in the skies, O God!
    Cover the whole earth with your glory!

- Psalm 108:3-4 (The Message)

(somewhere above and between McAllen and Dallas, TX)

07 June 2015


Welcome to the newest member of the Holliday Short Bob Club.


thank you Krispy Kreme and National Donut Day.


Every day when you're 
Walking down the street,
Everybody that you meet
Has an original point of view.
And I say - Hey! (Hey!)
What a wonderful kind of day
If we could learn to work and play
And get along with each other.

You gotta listen to your heart,
Listen to the beat,
Listen to the rhythm,
The rhythm of the street.
Open up your eyes.
Open up your ears.
Get together 
And make things better
By working together.

- Arthur theme song lyrics

04 June 2015


But I missed the real photo of the day. It should have come a few blocks down the road, when the guy washing car windows at the intersection jumped on the front of our van at the red light and began furiously scrubbing off bugs despite our refusals. I thought for certain that the light would turn before he finished even one side of our mega-van front window, let alone two. His persistence wore us down. In the end, the light turned, we gave him a 5 peso coin (about 25 cents) and sure enough, our windshield looked a heckuva lot better for his work.

Another moment in the life...

03 June 2015


Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

- Psalm 143:8 (ESV)

02 June 2015


dapper after grooming
(& ready to get out of there!)