Monday, February 27, 2012

Three, the New Thirteen




Cries at the drop of a hat. 

When asked, "Why are you crying?," sobs, "I DON'T KNOW!"

Loves with a fierce laugh.

Giggles and laughs from deep within.

Deeply loyal, but can't stand to be around anyone, even yourself.  

I don't know about you, but that list could have easily described me at thirteen years old.   I was a mixed bag of emotions and attitude.  My mom was never sure which daughter would greet her on any given day- sullen daughter, giddy daughter, angry daughter...or rarity of all rarities, content daughter. 

The funny things is that this list not only describes me at thirteen, but it also describes my wonderful three year old son as well.

In my house, 3 is the new thirteen.

I am not a biochemist or a doctor of any kind, so I don't know if  it is the same hormones or emotional development, but seriously, the attitudes are so much the same it is eery. 

Do not get me wrong, Nathan can be the sweetest, most loving, adorable, kind-hearted, easy going, laughable little guy- at times...and I love him with all that I am, with a love that bubbles up so much that I can't seem to let him walk by without grabbing him for a bearhug.

But with a flip of a switch he dissolves into a fit of tears over the tiniest infraction, argues about anything and then will will flip back to giggling if given any incentive.  (I can only imagine how draining all this emotion is to him, since I know how draining it is on me and the Da.) 

Thinking back, I can remotely remember a similar era in a now much bigger big brother.  I also have been encouraged by other moms who have seen similar things in their own three year olds.  And I know he will get through it, grow out of being three and will be thirteen before I know what happened.  Still...if this is what three looks like, I am not sure I will survive thirteen. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Languages

I am not a math person at all. Seriously, it is just not how my brain works. So when numbers like,

2040 (the number of languages with no Scripture translation and no project started), 
350 million (the number of people who speak those languages) and 
595 million (the number of people with a New Testament, but with none or only part of the Old Testament)

start getting mentioned, part of my brain wants to shut down because it simply cannot comprehend what that really looks like.  So what picture do these numbers paint?

Something like this...

While these pictures are definitely worth a thousand languages, more than any number will ever speak to your heart is the reality that lives are being transformed by the power of God using new translations. Like this story recently told to us about a small village in Mozambique:

"We recently heard a report from friend who works among the Macua-Meetto that reminded us so vividly that God is indeed at work here, despite the many hardships that often cloud our vision. He and his team arrived in a very remote village to find that somehow the Meetto Scriptures that are currently available (a few books of Old Testament and a few from the New) had made their way there. The village, under the leadership of the village king/chief had been reading God's Word in their own language at their own initiative! When our friend arrived, the village folks were full of questions.

In the end, the entire village came to know Jesus' saving grace that weekend and there were quite a few healings that happened as people confessed their sins and asked God to take up residence in their hearts.  Amazing!

The numbers and the need are hard to grasp, but the pictures, oh the pictures, are truly worth 1000 languages!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Last Snow?

We had a special treat this week as winter finally arrived with an inch or so of snow.  While my daffodils suffered, we took full advantage of the short-lived snowfall.

Snow angels, snow ball fights, snow men..or at least snow piles that were supposed to be some type of snow being.  All followed by some yummy hot chocolate (Who knew that microwaved chocolate milk tastes just like hot chocolate?)

The day was especially treasured since we do not know if this will be our last snow for a while or not.  Our winter has been especially mild so far and we aren't holding our breath that more snow will come.

Next winter we hope to be enjoying the Brazilian summer, followed by the warm days of Moz.

We were thankful for this taste of winter and will cherish it for years to come!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Choose to Believe

Today I choose to believe in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.

I believe I will see it in the fragile daffodil blossom, as its bright yellow hue interrupts the grayness of winter.

I believe I will see it in the child who announces that God is invisible, but he can still see Him.

I believe I will see it in the life that has been transformed and turned inside out by the incredible gift of grace.

I believe because I see its power at work all around me. I believe because I know its power is at work within me.

Today I choose to believe in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.

I believe I will see its need in the mom who bends down and whispers into the ear of her child as the life support machines whir softly in the background.

I believe I will see its need in the marriage that has grown silent, the marriage that has ended in bitter heartbreak and in the marriage that has just begun as that fragile daffodil blooming in winter.

I believe I will see its need in the life that is wandering, devoid of any purpose other than self-pleasure.

I believe because I see those desperately in need of its touch  in their lives.  I believe because I deeply need its touch on my own life. 

Today I choose to believe in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. 

I might be in the midst of the trial, sitting at the foot of the Cross;

I might be peering into the empty tomb, wondering just what God is doing in my life at this moment;

I might be rejoicing in the presence of our mighty Savior.

No matter where I am today, I choose to believe in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.

"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, 
he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead 
will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."  
Romans 8:11 ESV

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Incarnation as Translation

Food for thought...

"Christian faith rests on a divine act of translation: ‘the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14) ... Incarnation is translation."

"Therefore taking on another’s language is, like Jesus’ incarnation, to share in their “blood.” Translation enables you and your message to move into the lives of individuals and cultures to depths and extents that would otherwise be impossible from the outside."

"For some of you this application means that you should..."

To finish this sentence and read a great article on translation check out A Justification for Translation, Desiring

And if you are interested in learning specifically about the translation effort in Mozambique,  read this excellent article written by Wycliffe Canada.

And while you are reading,  check out this article on a unique side of technology and the word of God. 

This is not exactly the technology that David will be supporting, but I think it does a great job in pointing out the impact technology can have in our generation to get God's word in every heart language.

As the article says, "So whatever your views about the Christian missionary enterprise, it's safe to say that insofar as people like Howe succeed in solving these problems, some of the world's smaller "heart languages" will stand a better chance of surviving, and maybe even thriving, in an increasingly digitized world. And that's pretty cool."

Yup. That is pretty cool.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Vday Eve!

There is much love- and much chocolate- flowing through the Richly Supplied household these days.  Of course Valentine's day has something to do with that.  Little red paper hearts keep appearing in the strangest places- such as under my pillow (too bad last night's heart had "I LOVE YOU DADDY" scrawled in large letters.)

While I have never been a huge fan of this Hallmark created holiday, I am enjoying the extra snuggles, kisses and little acts of affection that have accompanied it this year...not too mention enjoying the chocolate...way too much chocolate enjoyed way too much. 

But I can't help but wonder, why is a special day necessary to express your love to those you love best?  To me, those that only celebrate their love on Valentine's day are really missing out on the same love that should be celebrated the entire year.  So on this V-day eve, take a moment to celebrate your loved ones.  Don't wait till tomorrow, seize the moment now, hug them tight and maybe even share a little more of that chocolate.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  (1 John 4:7-8)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who You Are

Join me in praising God for who He is today...

Your glory speaks in every language
Across the sky to every nation
You are beauty unimagined
This is who You are

You are the Lord of my salvation
You are the One who lights my way
Through the dark night You will lead me
This is who You are

This is who You are

Lift it up, lift it up
Endless praises to our God
Full of grace full of love
and He’s reigning over us
(I know)You are faithful
You are worthy God
This is who You are

Day and night the, angels sing it
Holy holy, is the Lord
There’s none more worthy, to receive it
This is who You are


You hear the cry of every broken heart
You give the hopeless soul a brand new start
You lead the captive in Your freedom song
This is who you are

And in the night when all our hope is lost
You are the one who won’t give up on us
You hold the orphan in Your loving arms
This is who You are

I know, this is who You are
I believe, this is who You are

So much more than I will ever fathom, so eager to meet my every need, the Great I AM...this is who You are.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Little School on the Side

In the midst of preparing our house to be put on the market, preparing our family to move to another country and preparing a team of financial and prayer partners, we thought we might try to do a little schooling on the side...

Caleb is working hard finishing up Kindergarten and moving on to first grade work in some areas.  We school year around, (six weeks on, 1 week off for the most part).  This is the time of year that I have traditionally begun to look at what is next for our schooling, but this year is a little more difficult than normal since we do not know what the next year will hold. 

Our hope is that we would be fully funded this coming fall and in language school in Brazil.  After researching our options for schooling there, we think Caleb will attend a private school near our language school.  Besides the fact that homeschooling is illegal in Brazil, we want him to have the exposure to the language and culture.  Most likely we will continue to do some learning at home since learning to read is hard enough, not to mention doing it in another language.  (Whenever we get to Moz, there is a school run by our mission to which we hope to send him and Nathan.) 

So till then, what are we doing to keep our school days going and our brains expanding? 

Math- Continuing along with RightStart Math.  We will start book B in the next couple of weeks.  I love this hands on program.  I have seen Caleb's math skills blossom this year and he seems really to enjoy the games we play with it. 

Phonics- The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading will continue to be our go to book, supplemented with Explode the Code (just starting book 2).  Caleb is now reading CVC words fairly well and is working on early consonant blends.

Handwriting- We are switching handwriting programs from Handwriting Without Tears to Writing with Ease. (Using just the workbook, not the teacher book.)  I have enjoyed HWOT thoroughly for the early years, but think Caleb needs a little more practice daily. I love how WWE weaves in narration, classical kid's literature and handwriting practice.  Hopefully, Caleb will love it too.

History- We attend Classical Conversations, which has been our history spine for the past two years.  Since I we will not be returning next year, I *think* we will pick up Story of the World Vol. 1 (Ancients) as our spine, supplementing it with lots of Sonlight readers and the STOW activity book.  This plan is still up in the air since I won't make this change for a couple of more months. 

Science- We have Elemental Science Biology for Grammar stage...and I fully plan to use it....I even enjoyed using it for several weeks this fall...but, science for us seems to be the one thingslipping off the plate most days.  Hopefully, spring will inspire us to pick it back up as we study plants and animals. 

Other things that fill our days include: daily Bible reading, attending Bible study, a little Portuguese, playing with Legos, playing outside, building contraptions and inventing. 

My hope is that this list helps those of you who are homeschooling in some way...not to mention helps me to stay accountable and to remember when Nathan gets to be this age just what school looked like for Caleb.  I just realized that Nathan will be the same age we started school work with Caleb in just a few months...WOW.  Looks like we will be doing even more schooling on the side soon.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Big Deal

"So what is the big deal about Bible translation?  Why in the world would you move half way across the world to help translate the Bible when it exists in most languages already?  Why spend your life on getting Bibles to people when there are so many other pressing issues like hunger, clean water or slavery?"

Photo by Jessica Beaver
While I do not know if these are questions that crossed your mind when you first heard about our ministry with Wycliffe supporting Bible translation in Mozambique through information technology, they are all questions that have crossed my mind and are all questions with which I have wrestled deeply in the past few months.  So what is the big deal about Bible translation after all? 

There are only two things in this world that will last forever, the word of God and people's souls.  That's it.  Everything else we know, see or hope for will one day pass away.  There will be a new heaven and a new earth, but God's word will last forever (Matthew 24:34-36).  What better way to spend your life than to strive to bring God's word to those who have never heard it in a way that they can truly understand it. 

Roughly 1/3 of the world's language groups have no scripture and no translation process begun in them yet. That 1/3 equals around 350 million people who have never heard the word of God in the language of their heart. Yes, some of them might have access to the gospel in a trade language, but that would like me asking you to read, study, and understand fully the word of God in something like pig latin.  I can barely get some parts of the Bible in my own heart language and cannot imagine trying to understand it in another language that barely speaks to my brain let alone my heart. 

Getting God's word into the lives of individuals is life-changing and life-giving. Yes, there are many problems in this world.  People are hungry, thirsty and victimized beyond all belief.  God's word does not fill bellies directly, but translation efforts have had a large impact on community farming and health efforts.  Bible translators work hand in hand with community developers to improve literacy and education in native languages.  Communities have a greater sense of self-worth and have been able to record their histories because of Bible translation.  Those who have been victimized can be comforted in a way that speaks directly to their heart...and one would hope that as the word of God spreads the victimization will end. 

God's word has radically impacted my life and I firmly believe that it will radically impact the lives of those still waiting to hear it in their own heart language....and that is the big deal about Bible translation. 

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