Saturday, October 25, 2008

Buy A Beanie!!!

Buy A Beanie!!

Help Us as We Prepare for Spain
Give it Away for a Christmas Gift
Stay Warm for Winter

Prices listed below.
Not Satisfied, Money Back.

Please include $1.50 for shipping.


Multi-Yarn- $12

Single Yarn- $10

SOFT Solid - $12

If you do not see a beanie that you like, but would like one, please email me your request.

Multi-Yarn- $14
Single Yarn - $12
SOFT Single- $14
SOFT Multi - $16

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poem - Monastery

I (Kevin) wrote this yesterday while meditating on our time preparing for our service.


A monastery removed
prays for the very metropolitan
it holds distance from.
So too are we
resting in the country hay
preparing for our urban mission

Monday, October 20, 2008

God is Good

Living in limbo while raising support has been challenging and also a blessing. Recently I (Leah)have been more overwhelmed by the challenges rather than the blessings. Finding non-traditional work has been hard, so that has resulted in a lot of not working, which in turn is a little overwhelming. Oh how I long to feel useful! :) I think it has been extra challenging because I almost feel guilty about my lack of day to day work. What in the world am I doing? I feel so useless. However, in the struggle God has been teaching me and growing me. One of the things he has been teaching me is thankfullness, even in the little things. I have also been working on living in the here and now, and asking him each day how he wants to use me, rather than worry about the days ahead when I might not have anything to do, or when we might not be able to pay our bills. I am slightly jealous of Kevin, because he has school, which is a legitimate, time consuming, and necessary :), thing for him to do each day. Perhaps at this point you are wondering why this post is called "God is Good." I guess that within all of this, the struggle, the difficulty of it all, this is one of the core lessons that God is teaching me. My mom encouraged me, while I have this abundance of free time, to look for ways that I can do things for others and just bless those around me. This may seem like a simple solution, but it is easy to get wrapped up in your own sadness and not look around to see what you can do for others. God doesn't always work the way I think he will, but he is always good, and he has always provided. On that note, I am really excited because this week God has already provided a number of ways that I can earn money, and also bless others. Yea God! I am learning how to appreciate the little things, and understand how God is my provider in everything, even the details. Yes, my God is good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Turkey Story

So....the other day my uncle asked me if I would bake a turkey. I said "Sure!" I have only baked one other turkey in my life, and it turned out ok, so I figured I could probably do it again :). There were quite a few steps in making this turkey, since first I had to brine it. Basically that means soaking the turkey in a mixture of broth and a lot of salt. I managed to cross that hurdle without too many problems, although my uncle helped me a lot, I had to put all the liquids in a plastic bag, and then put the turkey in so that it would all be soaked evenly. It wasn't until I went to actually bake the turkey that I crossed the first great hurdle.

Hurdle #1: To bake a turkey you put it on a roasting rack. The only roasting rack I had ever seen was the one that Kevin and I got for our wedding, which was of a triangular shape and rather large. So anyhow, when I went to look for the roasting rack I found nothing that met that description. I called my uncle and he told me where the roasting rack was, but after pulling everything out of that cupboard, I found nothing that fit my image of what I was looking for! One of the nice things about living on a farm with all of your family members is that you have several people to borrow from. So, because I knew I had to get the turkey in the oven soon, I went house to house looking for a roasting rack. one was home, so I had to poke through everyone's cupboards by myself. (I hope they don't mind!) Finally, on my third and final house, I found exactly what I was looking for. I went home and set the bird in the roasting rack and put it in the oven to brown.
* It turns out that we did have a roasting rack in that cupboard, when my uncle got home he showed me two little flat octoganal things that looked more like cooling racks to me, but are apparently another form of roasting rack! Now I know.

Hurdle #2: After the turkey browns, you are supposed to take it out and put a double layer of aluminum foil over the breasts. When I pulled my turkey out I realized that putting the aluminum foil on was going to be trickier than I thought b/c the breast of the steaming hot turkey was the part facing down. Fortunately for me, my cousin Lawrence was home, so he took tongs on one end, and I on the other, and we lifted the turkey up as I quickly slid the foil under. It was quite a "to do" and I wondered how in the world the recipe expected that one person could possibly do that on their own!
* I later found out (later as in when my uncle got home and the turkey was supposed to be done), that I had the turkey upside down! Suddenly everything made much more sense! The foiling would have been leaps and bounds easier if I had figured that out a little sooner!

Hurdle #3: The Gravy. So because I had put the turkey upside down, almost nothing had dripped out! There fore basically what was at the bottom of the pan was burnt. Oops!

Hurdle #4: Timing. Once we figured out the upside down problem, about the time it was supposed to be coming out of the oven, we realized the breast of the turkey was not fully done so we had to flip the turkey over and bake it for another half hour. By the time dinner rolled around we were definitely hungry!

Result: The turkey actually tasted really good. Lawrence said that it was his favorite turkey ever. He doesn't generally like turkey b/c it is on the dry side. This one was definitely not dry considering all of the juices never seeped out as a result of its upside down position! We didn't have any gravy, but all in all it was a yummy, much anticipated :), dinner in which I learned a lot of lessons.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday - Still in Portland

Portland continues on for me (Kevin), as I have 2 1/2 days left of inductive Bible study. It has been tiring and I'm ready to get back home to be with Leah.

Class time last week was with professor Jason Clark of England. He is a Vineyard pastor in the emergent conversation, but he stands back from the conversation with very healthy criticism as well. I learned a lot about how to do church from him, and it restructured some ideological paradigms that I had.

What I took most from him however, was our potential future context and religion. He mentioned how when people invite members of his congregation to do something and there is a church event, likely the person will say, "No, I have something else planned," (thinking they are going to church). "Oh yeah? What?", the parishoner's friend asks. "Oh, something," is the response. Did you catch that the parishoner was ashamed of going to church. Actually going to church in his context in London is pretty tough, so tough that it is easier to be misleading about it than to say, "I'm going to church," and deal with the pressure that comes.

What an extreme situation, no?

But wait, religious apathy is prevalent throughout all Europe it seems, and Spain will be of little difference. I came to realize that my brothers and sisters who I will befriend and join into community will likely have a hard time with their Christian identity. That also shapes my identity. Another hard aspect is the fact that to be Protestant in Spain is tougher than being religious.

Despite the realization of how difficult our community will be, I was more encouraged. The Lord has blessed Jason Clark's church and continues to bless his ministry. I know He is with ministries in Spain as well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Church, Mission, World Economies

I (Kevin) am sitting in Portland right now, going to school listening to lectures on missional ecclesiology, talking about secularism, post-modernity, early church practices, consumerism in the church, etc. Everyone who knows me for more than one minute knows I'M IN HEAVEN! Well not quite, but close. There is a special lady back in Chico, that could be here to complete the current picture.

I am happy, loving school, but pondering the future. Pondering Spain. In the ponder, I see that our dollar is raising against the Euro. As a missionary, relying on payment in dollars, a weaker currency, this should be a relatively happy thing. Yet I'm sad, because the global economic situation does not effect us all equally, and it is an excercise in loving the communities that I will be a part of, while also loving and worrying about my own community. I watched 7% drop out of the market in the States yesterday and over 7% in most of the European markets. I'm glad I'm not happy that my dollar will now go a little further. I'm glad because I am happy to begin identifying with people I don't know yet, and I'm grateful to God for allowing my heart to soften even now for people we will be in community with.

This pertains highly to the mission of the world. We are not just a country at crisis. We are a world in economic crisis. We are interdependent upon each other. I am sitting in class with "missionaries" to the US. I put that in quotes, only because I know many people can't see missionaries as local practicioners. Yet they are. Their target population is an unchurched people group in their local cities. I love my colleague and hope for greater interdependence with him, and I hope that at some point he will send students that he's leading, to us in Spain so that we might be able to share a new world-view and an entirely different struggle of the Church.

When in crisis, we tend to find community a little bit stronger. Though I personally don't want to see my retirement fall, I want to take this opportunity to be involved in God's mission for the world by recognizing our global interdependence and work cross-culturally, cross-globally to be involved in what God is doing.

(Can you tell that class-time is wonderful for me!) (But I really, really miss my wife.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Moving Forward

Tomorrow Kevin and I will celebrate our one "monthaversary" here in Chico. It has been a good month, with lots of clean air, fun family, and settling in. We recently sat down to map out a plan for our next year or so. It was a good time to talk and vision together. While some of the details remain cloudy, there are others that are shaping up nicely. :) Our two biggest steps we will be taking towards moving to Spain in the near future are our exploratory trip, and attending an orientation that Latin America Mission puts on in January.

We are really excited about our exploratory trip. We will probably finalize details this week, but it is looking like it will be from about the 4th/5th of December until the 17th/18th. Our goal for this trip is to meet with other missionaries, churches and ministries in the area to get an idea of what it is like to live and do missions in Spain. Our prayer is that God will use this trip to either solidify our calling to Spain, or make it abundantly clear that he wants to use us in a different country. We will be able to get an idea of the cost of living there, the neighborhoods, the city, etc. Please pray with us as we prepare for the trip. There are three specific ways you can pray:

1. That God will use this trip to finalize our call to Spain, or direct us elsewhere.
2. That our meetings and conversations will be fruitful.
3. That we will be able to raise enough financial support for the trip.

After we leave Spain we will not be returning to California, but rather to Florida where my (Leah) family is for Christmas. My sister is due to deliver a baby boy on Christmas day, so we plan to stay in Florida helping out and getting to know our new nephew until our LAM orientation, which begins on the 19th of January, and is a two-week deal. It works out well because LAM's offices are in Miami, Florida, so we will either drive or fly down from Ocala to Miami. We are excited about the orientation because it will be a time to come to know more about LAM, as well as answer many different logistical questions. We are hoping that after orientation, we will also have a budget firmed up that will allow us to raise support more specifically. The orientation also is costly, so please be praying that we will be able to raise enough support to cover that event, as well as our exploratory trip.

Kevin is in Portland this week for his first round of classes. He feels excited to be able to spend some time with his classmates (which are scattered all over the country).

Back on the farm we have a big weekend coming up. Although we are not having pumpkin patch this year, we will be having one weekend to raise money for the California Fire Department where we sell pumpkins, have wagon rides, and other harvest festival type events. I am hoping that it will be really successful and that it won't rain!

Anyhow... I just wanted to share with you guys a little about these two steps we will be taking in the near future (the trip and orientation) so that you can be praying alongside us in preparation. Thanks!