Monday, November 28, 2011

The Magic of a Giant Snowman

 There is something almost magical about a giant inflatable snowman. 


 As we drove home from an excellent Thanksgiving with David's parents, we decided to take a (not so quick) detour through the mountains to see if we could find a Christmas tree.

David had a place in mind and while we were driving toward it, Caleb yelled, "STOP! A giant snow man!"  Well, who could ever deny that sweet petition.

We stopped, visited the snowman, looked at some beautiful trees and picked one special tree to make the trek back home with us.

I don't know if it was the magic of the giant snow man or just a long weekend of fun, but both boys zonked out on the way home.  (Note the large puddle of drool that Caleb deposited on his car seat.)

They both woke just as we pulled in the driveway and got the tree inside.  It is now decorated, its' light blinking merrily, whispering of days past with the giant snowman and even more fun days to come this December.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful


Thankful for...
a healthy family,
a wonderful, loving husband,
Caleb's imagination (that is his Thanksgiving parade float above),
Nathan's kind heart,
a chance to grow my faith as God moves us to Mozambique,
sweet tea, pecan pie,
each of you, and
a Savior who loves me (& you) dearly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A New Style


Caleb, 2008
My boys have clothed themselves with some strange attire over the last few years.  Pajamas coordinating with cowboy boots.  Toe-sock gloves and snorkels.  Work goggles and superhero capes.  You might say we have our own unique style in the Richly Supplied household. 

 I couldn't help think about this unique style this morning when I read in Colossians Paul's entreaty for us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and above all love.

How different would my style be if I wore these items daily?

Instead, most days I find myself slipping into the old comfortable, well worn habits Paul lists just above his style suggestions...greed, idolatry, anger, wrath, malice.  These each fit so easily, not crimping my style or my own desires in the least.

Nathan, 2011
Caleb, 2008

As I thought through these verses today, I realized I need a wardrobe adjustment. I need to be aware that God wants more from me than my old comfy, yet sinful, style.

When I am sharp with my kids, I need to see it as Paul saw it- wrath.  (Ouch! No one wants to think of themselves as a wrathful mommy.)

When I am impatient and unkind, I need to see it as the pride and self-idolatry that lies beneath my actions and words. 





 
Changing styles is not an easy task.  It takes a lot of work in our own attitudes, but moreover it takes full surrendering to the Master Tailor Himself.  His love for us must be our motivation for change and His power working through us must be our means for change.

Daily, moment by moment, we must be ready to clothe ourselves with the unique style of God.



Nathan, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ode to Freedom (aka the Gerbinal National Anthem)



video


It goes something like this: 

Would you like to hear the Gerbinal National Anthem?
First we fought for we freedom, we fought for freedom, we fought for freedom.
First Nathan Hale was hanged.
then...then..then the submarine,
then Bunker Hill, then we attacked the Red Coats.
At the end of the war, they surrendered.
The French were allies.
LIBERTY
FREEDOM
AND UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AMEN (?)
Boom, Boom, Bim, Bim, Bim.
Those are fireworks.

Thankful for all those who fought for our freedom today!  Happy Veterans' Day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

There are Tractors in Florida! (Nov. Newsletter)


***This is our newsletter for November.  If you would like to receive our bi-monthly newsletter or monthly prayer requests by email, please stop by the Contact Us page to let us know.*** 


"Mama, there is a tractor!  I didn't know there are tractors in Florida."
"Da, there are cars here! I didn't know there are cars in Florida!"

So were Caleb's comments as we crossed over into the "wilds" of Florida.  Quickly, we realized that somehow in his brain, Caleb equated Florida with the stories that had been told him about Africa and Mozambique.  For him, both "Florida" and "Mozambique" were just words that he had heard and while he had some context for them, he knew little of them in a real sense.

As we recently finished our first step of training with Wycliffe (called 'Equip'), we feel that same reality was true for us as well. We had words that we had come to use- missions, reaching the Bibleless, expanding God's kingdom- all with some context, but only now are these words becoming more and more of a reality.

Our ‘Equip’ training not only put these words into a correct context, but showed us the importance of Bible translation in a very real way.
We learned of the urgent need for Bible translation throughout the world.  350 million people (a number equal to the population of the US and Canada combined) are without the Word of God in their own heart language and have no translation project started as of yet.  Those millions of people represent over 1/3 of the languages found in the world. 
We learned about the vital impact that Bible translation has on communities.  Bible translation not only has a spiritual benefit by introducing the Word of God, but it also is used to improve literacy, health programs and to maintain cultural integrity in distinct language communities.  The impact of Bible translation in a community is far reaching and priceless.

We learned that a team effort is required for the successful translation of the Scriptures.  Bible translation requires a variety of skills and talents- linguists, teachers, translators, accountants, IT… and the list goes on.  Just like in the body of Christ, God uses the distinct gifts He has given individuals to bring about His glory.  The people you see in this picture are just parts of the body that God is using throughout the world for His kingdom.  Our friendships with them continue to inspire, encourage and challenge us.

As we have finished this step in our journey to Mozambique, our prayer is that we will effectively communicate all we have learned about Bible translation.  We thoroughly enjoyed sharing this with the community of Westminster Presbyterian this month at their annual mission conference.  Westminster is a special place for us as it is where David grew up, came to know the Lord and was discipled early on in life.  We
left there truly encouraged and look forward to seeing our relationships with them grow throughout our journey serving the Bibleless in Mozambique.
Mozambique, Africa

We have several more opportunities ahead where we will be able to share all that God is doing in our lives.  We are excited and hope you will join us in praying that God would be glorified in each of these meetings.  We will also be spending a good bit of our next few weeks preparing to put our house on the market.  Please pray that our hearts would be ready to let go of our physical possessions.  It is never fun to give away toys (ours or the boys'!) and that God would bring a buyer in His perfect timing.  (If you would like to receive more monthly prayer requests and updates, make sure you visit http://partner.richlysupplied.com and sign up to be a prayer partner.)

Just as Caleb saw that there are tractors in Florida, God continues to work in us to reveal this journey of faith He has planned for us.  Our hope is that God continues to make Himself more of a reality in our lives and in those around us.  We hope He laughs with us and corrects us as gently as we did Caleb as we learn more about His calling and purpose of our lives...and we hope we are as amazed as Caleb as we learn exciting things like there being tractors in Florida!
Blessings,
David and Wendi Richards




Monday, November 7, 2011

Three!


Where did the last three years go? 

Three years of...

contagious giggles
chubby cheeks I could just eat
bright eyes
loving hugs

When did I blink and how in the world did you go from that tiny, sweet-natured baby in arms to my quick running, belly laughing, cowboy boot wearing big boy?

 You are a treasure, a joy and a gift from God, my Nathan.

Happy Birthday to  you my favorite three year old!  


Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Small Taste

I heard this song on the radio last night...



...and could not help but think this is it

...a small taste of heaven

...and why we want to serve

 ...for the day

...every tribe
...every nation
...every tongue


...can join in saying "How Great is Our God!"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Full to Overflowing


 The past two weeks have left my heart, brain and soul full and overflowing..

My heart is full and overflowing with the new relationships that we were able to build while attending our Wycliffe training in Orlando, Florida.  The passion of the people we spent our days with blows me away.  Their humility, transparency and love for God continues to inspire and challenge me.  The group was from all over the US and will be going all over the world so that the Bibleless people of this world might hear and read the word of God.


My heart is also full and overflowing with the time we got to spend as a family before our training and over our one free weekend.  We have not had a family vacation in three years or so and the time we spent together was priceless. My boys are getting so big and each moment we spend together is to be cherished.

 


My brain is full and overflowing with the staggering needs of Bible translation, the vital impact on the communities within which a translation project works and the team it will take to begin our ministry with the Bibleless of Mozambique.  We spent much of our time in classes learning about the translation process, the history of Bible translation and Wycliffe's goals for the future of Bible translation.  (We are eager to share this knowledge, so please contact us if you would like to know more.)


My soul is full and overflowing with the gracious love of God, who has such a mighty plan for this world and yet chooses to use such a broken vessel as myself.  Paul must have been thinking of me when he said God chooses the foolish things of this world to work out His glory.  I am so thankful that God has and will continue to show me again and again this is HIS adventure and HIS story and that I am just along for the ride.

Photo by Phillip Shipley, a fellow new Wycliffe member
I am excited to see how God will continue to fill and overflow us as we partner with Him on this journey to serving the Bibleless of Mozambique. 

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