Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In awe of His unfathomable love

I am sitting here totally in awe, humbled at the enormity of the Father's love for me. I can't grasp how deep and wide and high and's too much for me.

The background: When I was in Nigeria on the Leadership Training Course, we had an offering time, and when I asked God what He wanted me to give, He asked for my iPod.

This was incredibly difficult for me, but I struggled through it and gave away my iPod. Through that process, God brought a freedom in my spirit that money could never buy. (I'm giving you the very shortened version of the experience...just fill in the gaps with lots of tears and a searing pain like your heart is being pierced).

When I came back to Uganda, I knew we needed to experience this painful, but completely liberating, experience...radical generosity.

So yesterday and today we gathered all the staff and students on the base and I taught the things I had learned about Faith and Finances on the leadership course. After today's teaching, we had an offering, just like the one in Nigeria, and lots of people gave and shared what they had. It was great.

And then it was over. Or so I thought.

I had previously planned to go out for lunch with one of the staff after the teaching, so we went and had a great lunch. As we were parting she said, "Oh, wait, I almost forgot!" and she started rummaging in her bag. Next thing I knew, she pulled out her iPod and handed it to me. "God told me to give this to you," she said with a big smile.

I can only imagine the look on my face. I couldn't believe this was really happening. Me? Was God really giving me back an iPod? This isn't possible.

Yet there it was, in my hand. And when I got home and recovered from the shock a little bit, I looked at it and discovered it has 8 GB of original one only had 1 GB.

What an amazing God. I'm so humbled. The first song I listened to..."Songbird" by Josh Garrels made me want to cry.

I just love the way God loves me.

What a seriously Happy Thanksgiving for me.

Thanks, Daddy...You are so worthy of all praise.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

6 things you might not know about me...

Okay, Miranda, I'm rising to the Gorgeous Blogger Award challenge to tell 6 things people most likely don't know about me. This was quite hard, because I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and tell everyone everything about me. So I had to dig into the past, pre-Christ, pre-John days to find things that may not be so well known.

Drum roll please....

1. As an exchange student at Adelaide Uni, South Australia, I earned my pocket money by donning a Koala suit and walking around town in the sweltering heat to collect donations for the Wilderness Society.

2. After finishing uni in Adelaide, I decided to travel around the country, but had very little money. So I made my way from Adelaide to Darwin doing a variety of odd jobs, including picking grapes in Mildura, cleaning rooms on Hamilton Island, packing bananas in Tully, and working in a pokie machine lounge in Mt. Isa.

3. I left Australia and flew to Bali, Indonesia where I did a raja yoga meditation course led by a woman who believed in healing people by playing music on crystal bowls.

4. Having had enough calm and quiet on the meditation course, I longed for more excitement, so I joined a group and ended up scrambling on my belly through a jungle in Sumatra trekking wild elephants.

5. I originally came to Uganda as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and found myself surrounded by missionaries. Thanks to their love and friendship, I recommitted my life to Christ on the slopes of Mt. Elgon, on the border of Kenya and Uganda.

6. I have a dream of writing books one day, including my story, hopefully a novel or two, and any other books God leads me to.

Now, on to the second part of the tag 6 other Gorgeous Bloggers and hear their less-well-known anecdotes of life that may inspire, amuse and/or shock us with the reality of their humanity. These are:

Marysol (the beauty of your blog alone is worthy of the Gorgeous Blogger award, and I know you have lots to share), Alissa (always doing new things...let's hear some of 'em!), Jane (amazingly artistic, witty and creative), Sarah (someone who dreams big and goes for it), Amber (claiming victory over a very rough childhood by sharing it in her new're amazing, dear friend), and Michelle (if you haven't heard of this woman's work pioneering Iris ministries in southern Sudan, you are seriously missing out).

Looking forward to reading your posts, friends!

To see Miranda's post, and the links to her tagged bloggers, go here.

Have a fabulous weekend, friend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Granny then and now

I just got this recent pic from my dad.

I am so blessed by how much my Granny has's like night and day.

This was taken in August this year
at the rehabilitation center...

...and this was taken just this month
in Granny's new apartment.

What an answer to prayer, and testimony of God's great love.
Thanks to everyone who prayed, and is still praying, for my Granny.

I love you, Granny!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Update on our house

Just wanted to show you some photos of the progress of our house. We're planning to move to the YWAM base by the second week of December. Still have a number of things to do to finish the house, but hoping that it all comes together in time for the move. These are the 'Before' pics...will post the 'After' pics when we've moved in and settled a bit.

This is the front of the house
(it's been plastered since this photo was taken)

This is the back of the house

The backyard...trying to grow a hedge along the fence,
and lots of trees and plants, thanks to John

Outside my study...
going to have my own little verandah to sit on
and drink coffee with friends!

This is just inside the front door, in the sitting room area,
with the dining room and kitchen in the background

This was taken while standing in the kitchen,
looking at the dining room and part of the sitting room

The carpenters working on Noah and Kezi's wardrobe in their bedroom

The tile man finishing off the work in the kids' bathroom

One of the painters working on the ceiling in Noah and Kezi's room

Another painter working on the hallway

Inside my study...just need to clear the rubbish and finalize the painting

Please pray for us as we transition from living in a rented house in town, to living in community on the YWAM base. There will be a lot of adjustments and the need to rethink how we live as a family in a community.

Please also pray for the completion of our house, that it will be done in time and done well, and that it will be a blessing to live there.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keziah's birthday

Keziah shared her 4th birthday recently with Elsie Jane, who turned 2.

They brought lots of little friends to celebrate their special day with them.

What a blessing to have the pool at White Castle...perfect for this beautiful climate.

This time the kids from the YWAM base were much more confident in the water, and had a lot of fun splashing around.

Elsie's dad gathered all the kids and helped them act out the story of when Jesus calmed the storm. I think the kids preferred making the waves for the storm, rather than calming it. Getting them to stop splashing almost needed a miracle.

The cake

Happy Birthday, Kezi! We love you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why I do what I do

This is what it's all about, what makes the gift of writing such a blessing to me.

Last month while I was in Nigeria, I had the privilege of writing about an amazing young woman called Patience Ashe Anyaku (left, waving her country's flag at her graduation ceremony). She made history in YWAM's University of the Nations by being the first Nigerian to graduate from the U of N within Nigeria. Her story was a joy to write, and it was posted here on the website.

Just today I received an email from her saying,

Thanks for the writing about my grad. It was so inspiring for me to how you captured my heart in that piece of writing. That piece is changing lives sister! I got a mail from a lady in Bangladesh who was supposed to give up teaching to go do a DTS. She gave it up, but couldn't get a ticket to go... she was disappointed in God but after reading my story on ywam site, she got encouraged and opened up to God to have His way in her life. I wrote her back and said I thank God for disappointing me to honor me in a grand style... in short, there is no disappointment if we are in the center of His will.... His way IS THE... our way only SEEM TO. God made this ‘an inspiring graduation’ and I feel honored to be His vessel of display

I, like Patience, also feel honored to be a writing vessel for His glory. May His name be lifted higher as people share their testimonies and encourage others.