The Joyful 5

We are on a mission (see Matthew 28:19-20) So watch this space!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Uh Oh!

Today is a day of national red alert... Iv'e had to break into my emergency mini marmite.
Desperate times call for drastic actions, I am getting hot and cold sweats just knowing that I am on the final scrapings of my marmite... I need to return to the source of the black nectar, England.

I know it's a case of 'either you love it or you hate it', but I am disappointed that I can't buy marmite over here! We could for a while, in the stocks and gravy section, but that was old and now not stocked!!!

So, with withdrawal symptoms lurking in the shadows, I venture over the waters, to raid the Chelmsford Tesco's of it's ample supply of mega jars of marmite, potentially a situation averted, but will the mini pot last the remaining few days?

I come over on Saturday with the girls for 6 sleeps; anything to avoid carnival week here! The aim was to be out the house while the electrician did the wiring, but the latest excuse was not his key was broken but his FOOT!!! will it ever get done?

Can't think about that right now, got a marmite crisis on the horizon!

Do you like the mixture in the picture, this is Molly's (aged 7 1/2)favourite sandwich.The photo was taken by a French friend who cannot see a redeeming feature in marmite, let alone mix it with Chocolate spread and ham (or salami if no ham available!)

Hope to meet you soon, should be there Sun. pm. coffee is an option, or a soirée à Robyn's????

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Joy Journal

About 4 times a year I send out a newsletter, entitled the Joy Journal.
The purpose is to keep in touch and to update our supporters, those who are behind us in prayer, encouragements, finances... as to what is going on in our lives, it at times contains prayer requests etc. that are personal, so not suitable for a blog site. We send it to the Keep in touch team at Elim, but if you want it e-mailed direct to you, could you give contact addresses (or just 1 if someone will distribute/send on)to Robyn; we love people knowing what we are doing because, as ambassadors, we are working on behalf of those who send us, and in the power and strength of the one who called us. Spiritual warfare is won on a spiritual level, and this is only possible through prayers, therefore, the more pray-ers there are... WAY HEY :-)
God is good - all the time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And again...

Don't you think, when you see the same message repeatedly, that you are meant to remember something, like algebra formulas or road signs or bible verses?
This picture was given to us when we left our church in Holland, it hangs just inside our living room so, so every time we go out the house we see it. It is a picture of clogs with spikes on, used for walking on ice, so the wearer does not slip.
The verse is the same as todays verse telling us to stand firm, to let nothing move give ourselves fully to God's work, because when we work for God our work is not in vain. This is a good verse to memorize, so when the devil tells us that what we are doing is useless and a waste of time we can tell him the truth, because we know the truth will set us free.
Just so we don't stand firm in our own strength, there is another verse;
1 Corinthians 10:12
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall.

(Read verse 13 too it is a promise I cling onto when things seem to be pushing me too far.)
We always need to rely on God fo all things, even support when we think things are going well and we are standing firm.

I love todays verse, my picture of the clogs is a good image and I want to stand firm

Have a great day

Monday, February 13, 2006

We all need families

On Friday I went to a ladies meeting at our church in Belgium. About 30+/- attend and it is all in French. I didn't want to go as it was the 3rd evening out in French, and my brain was stretched to capacity!
I was feeling the odd one out anyway, and usually feel lonely at these gatherings...
So I really didn't want to go.
Pete has his men's meeting in France on Fridays, but this was no excuse...a lady(Nadine) from the church told me that she would pick me up when she dropped her husband off to babysit, they are lovely, God-fearing grandparent, and my kids love them. So all excuses gone, I went.

Nadine has a passion to know God's heart, towards the end of the evening she asked the ladies "Do you know Suzanne?" (Easier than Zanne in French!!!)
They pointed me out...
Nadine continued,
"She is here in Belgium, and her family is not, We are now her family."

How much did that touch me? The tears were out, the weeks of frustrations, loneliness and sadness flowed, the ladies hugged me (not cultural I might add, they normally just bissous = kiss on the cheek) and bissoussed me, told me they loved me, called me little sister, their daughter...fortunatly no one called me mother...I was so blessed and came away knowing that God does see me, he does know the pains that hide in my heart; and at the right time, he sends a hug :-)

I talked to my sister last night,

I had an e-mail from a friend,

I had a skype message from my Christian school friend in America,

Had a comment on my blog site,

The family is bigger than you think, but sometimes we just need a reminder.

We all need families, that is why God put us together.
Thank you

Friday, February 10, 2006

Slightly wierd!

I am a member of a choir, the rehersals are held at our church every other Thursday in French, and the members are from various neighbouring churches in France and Belgium (Flemmish & Wallonian). We are about 25 +/- in total.
At Christmas we put on a 'Gospel Concert', a Mark Condon creation called Magnify, truely rousing stuff, loadsa carols, solos, narratives... Most of the songs remained in English (Which is how I came to be invited to join the choir; to help with pronounciation...)about 4 were translated into French, always good to have a challenge.

The 3 evening performances in December went brilliantly, The first was a charity concert in Tournai, the others in our church in Mouscron where about 250+/- came each night.It was great that my parents could be over for that too :-)

The slightly weird thing is this...
Last night, we all hopped into various cars and flew over the border to France to perform an abridged version of the Gospel Concert... before an audience of about 30...In a restaurant!

I miss out alot as to the where, why, when etc. things, as everything is in French, I really do follow the crowd. Turn up when I'm told and when, and sing what I am told to sing.
Oh if life was always this simple.

We finished at 21:30 and where all given a glass of fruit juice or Champagne, then presented with a basket of goodies (valentine boxes choccies, paté de foie gras, biscuits and a photo frame(? is this cultural?) as we walked out the door.

I am totally bemused.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Is it a coincidence?

Today's verse is the same as the key verse we had in church yesterday.

Solomon had finished building the temple, God came to him after the rites of dedication etc. had finished, and told Solomon that He had chosen the temple to be His house, where offerings were to be made.
v.6, For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. (KJV)

Does this apply to me?
Answer; YES, I am God's temple.
2Co 6:16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

But as Christians, we cannot entertain wordly attributes/habits/views.
So why is it so hard for me being here, in another culture, struggling with the language, family and life in general? Surely God sees me sinking? Or is this just me giving into something that is not of Christ; a wordly view? can a Christian feel low, depressed, pressured?
1Co 3:9 (TCNT) For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's harvest field, God's building.

I need to be humble, pray and seek God's face during this time; He will hear me and will forgive my self doubt, feelings of worthlessness and insignifigance, and give healing and restoration.
Eph 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

That was not meant to be another sermon, not sure what happened really!!!
Anyway,now I have given myself a Monday morning kick, I will press on...(I once heard it said, when you get a kick, do you let it kick you down or kick you on?) I hope and pray that this kicks me on, and I hope you feel kicked on too :-)
Have a great day.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

It's gone!!!

How do I get my blog link back at the bottom of my profile page? Just when things seem to be tickety boo, something else appears or disappears... bizzare eh?

A little insight to our week.

on Monday's and Thursday's after school all three girls have 'solfege'(studying music notes..)at the music Academy in town; up to the age of 12, music lessons are free, but they have to complete the solfege course first before, or alongside, instrument lessons, they have regular exams and assessments.
Carey has piano lessons on Tuesday evenings, she has her exam at the end of Feb.
On Wednesdays the 2 younger kids, Elsie & Molly, have flute lessons. They had their 1st flute exam this week and both passed :-) clever beans.

On Tuesday's they have a homework club where they get help with their French homework, Dutch homework is not so difficult for them now, as it is a fluent language for them, (I am quite envious of their abilities!) but French needs a little help at times.

Wednesday evenings I go to a ladies prayer/share meeting with our church plant in France (There's 5 adult women in our church, and 4 go to the meeting! brilliant ratio eh?) it is all in French so I do more praying than sharing!!! and I pray in English! The men meet Friday night, all the men go, all 5 of them. They do more discipling and planning for the church, it is a N. African context, so the men are the organizers, the women are the supporters and bring the goodies to nibble. There are 8 children in the church, Carey and Elsie look after them during the meeting on Sundays, at 11 and 9 1/2 they are the eldest; any ideas or left over material would be gratefully accepted!

Thursday evenings I have choir practice... I sound so old! it is another oppertunity for me to be submerged into a French context. One of the organizers once asked if I understood what was going on each week. I replied saying

You know when you put your head under the bath water and listen to something? You hear things but it is muffled, you know something is being said but you can't understand it... Well, it's like that!

He thought it quite funny and told the whole group... they all had a good laugh... but it did have an effect, now they ask if I understand things and encourage me to try talking... Having said that, my head is still under the water!

Sunday @ 10 we have church in Belgium, a lovely place (but all in French!) with brilliant times of worship, and I'm assured sound teaching, Songs are a selection of Exo stuff, Chris Bowater plus others... some we know in English, but Exo is new to us (brilliant songs though, worth a listen details on At 5pm we go to France for the other 'church', at the moment we meet in a house but are praying for a building. This time we sing in Kabele sometimes, or French!

This is our week, add a sprinkling of Pete's trips to university and shopping... no wonder the house is dusty! oh yes, and the workmen...

Have a good week, continue to lift each other up in prayer, give encouragements and praise through what we say and do,
and enjoy chocolate or marmite!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thursday's thought

why are there always odd socks
when you do the washing?

I had 3 the other day!