Tag Archives: Faith

Majesty

I sing for joy at the works of your hands

I stand in the wind facing east.

The sea roars as the consistent waves roll in, one after the other.

The sky is huge with layer after layer of clouds cloaking the evening sun.

I feel small against the vastness of these forces of nature.

Yet, I look into the heavens and know that I’m loved beyond comprehension.

The words from Psalm 8 filled my mind this day.

Psalm 8 from the NIV Bible

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

Blessings…

Yesterday, we ended the day with this beautiful sunset, viewed from the window of our friend’s house. We reconnected after church with friends we met while in Ireland in the spring of 2019. 

Sunset in Ireland

The sunset was beautiful. 

Yet I find the real blessing to be how God brings His people together. That no matter where you travel, when with Christians you feel like you’re with family. 

It is beautiful to reconnect with those we forged bonds with last spring.

Merry Christmas…

Christmas Night

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
Not a creature was stirring….

Perhaps this is a night for reflection.

…a quiet night to sit by a fire, or simply on a couch

…a time to think of what is right in your life

…or to think on the things you might like to change

Christmas is special to me. I’ll spend this evening in my home, reflecting on Christmas’ past, and the people who’ve impacted my life. I’ll count my joys and blessings, and though I hold those things lightly, for me it’s important to recognize them.

I’ll wait for snow, like a child waits for Santa because that is part of the magic of my Christmas.

I’ll think on that time so many years ago when history was changed a child was born in a manger. Then I’ll think on the time I made his saving grace a part of my life.

May you enjoy the blessings of this holiday season and find joy in the coming year.

2019 Winding Down…

This whirlwind year is coming to a close.

Memories of people and places are swirling through my head like the winter wind blowing in snowflakes; looking to see where they will settle.

As the flakes blow in circles, memories of the year flash before me. Reflections of time spent with family and friends make me smile. Beauty within the world spins by in my mind’s eye.

Winter at the Grand Canyon

God’s love has been obvious this year in so many aspects of my life.

The peace I’m filled with confirms the many things I have to be thankful for. Words and lists are inadequate to express all that encompasses these thoughts.

I wonder how my family, my friends, those I’ve met and interacted with this year, view 2019.

How do you regard this past year?

Update…

We returned home to Colorado in early June. Since that time, we’ve been connecting with old friends and family. Anyone who has spent a large chunk of time out of the country may relate to the re-adjustment time when returning to your homeland. We’ve been living through this change process. Many of our discussions have centered about “when we will return to Ireland.”

As part of connecting with family and friends, we made a trip back to the mid-west and attended the church Tom was part of for many years. It was our first opportunity of speaking to a group about Ireland, our time there and the vision for the future. It was an excellent experience for both of us. Besides being energizing, this time identified areas where we need to clarify our vision.

New Hope Window

We send a hearty “thanks” to the folks of New Hope for allowing us to share our experience and vision; for your interest in this work; and for reminding us that when with Christians, one is never far from family.

For more information about this mission, check out CelticMissions.org

Back Home

In both Ireland and England, they spoke English yet it is so different from American English. I appreciated many of the differences and enjoyed laughs with others at confusion caused by some of those differences. I kept hearing about “biscuits and tea” and thought of “baking powder biscuits.” Eventually, I figured out “biscuits” means cookies, scones and similar desserts. One day, I read a section of Dream Glasses to the writer’s group and someone asked “what are cookies?” Much laughter ensued the explanation.

Ring of Kerry
Ring of Kerry

In Ireland when foreigners move into a town, the locals refer to them as “Blow-ins.” Even when an Irish person moves from one town to another, they are considered “Blow-ins.” With that understanding I can say, we were Blow-Ins that had plenty to learn about life in Ireland.

Ireland’s culture is rich and deep. Wow! There are layers upon layers of history to create the culture. Pondering those eight weeks brings the realization of how much we learned, how many people we interacted with and how much those people impacted us. I learned how extremely similar we all are and yet how uniquely individual we are. It is amazing how we’ve each been created!

We’ve returned to American soil, with a part of Ireland in our hearts. We learned Christian leaders there, just like here, need encouragement and support of other believers. Those who shared what our being in County Kerry meant to them, richly blessed us; they found encouragement in our being there and look forward to our return.

Linda found friendship with a group of writers. Writers bond over words; over the emotions tied to those words; then bond over a cup of tea and shared laughter.

Before heading back to Colorado, we spent five days with family and friends in the Dorset, England area. That was an amazing holiday time — a time to share with another Christian couple the work God’s doing in Ireland and what we experienced; time given to us without the responsibilities of hearth; it was a time for our own thoughts to settle in our minds before landing back home; it was a beautiful gift.

In our ten weeks away, we discovered friendship as a result of daily living in the culture and enjoyed those whom we interacted with. The blessing of friendship is something we can each bring to the world surrounding us, every day we have breath.

 

Back Home
Looking at Sopris

Sorting Thoughts…

Wow! It’s hard to believe we wrapped up week seven in Ireland. In the blink of an eye, seven weeks passed.

Thoughts whirl and twirl through my mind as I try to sort them. I suspect the sorting process will take some time.

Each of us has made contacts in County Kerry that have a place in our hearts, as do many people back in the US. I’ve read each of us only has the capacity to maintain a finite number of relationships, and that number varies little from person to person. That’s not my life experience. I find as I reach out and build a relationship with someone, my heart expands to make room for more relationships. With each relationship I build, it enriches something within my life.

My heart swells at the good thoughts of those who have touched my life; I’m grateful for the simple expressions of friendship, for the caring acts of our family, for the loving arms of God’s expanded family who know no geographical boundaries.

We’ve written about the weekly activities we each take part in, and those activities may sound simple or repetitive, but in many ways that is what life is about—simple, repetitive acts performed again and again; all the while with lives interacting and crossing one another. And so, week seven was another such week for us, full of people, interactions and activities.

We try to take one day each week and drive somewhere. The attached photo is from a seashore town, an area traveled often by tourists which is why I suspect the houses are so brightly colored. It is beautiful, and then nearby is the blue of the sea and the sky.

Seaside Town on Ring of Beara
Colorful houses on road along ring of Beara drive

Sunday in Ireland

This was the scene during worship yesterday. The weather was the best we’ve experienced since we were here. Such a beautiful Sunday gift.

 

Church in Killarney
Sunday morning worship

We’ve settled into some routines. I meet with a local writers group on Thursdays. They introduced me to “Poet’s Corner” which is a long-standing group that writes more than poetry and only meets on Bank Holidays. I’ve attended two readings with this group. I appreciate the weekly group welcoming me and letting me become part of their group; their patience as I try to develop “Irish Ears” (sometimes I have a better understanding than other times); I’m encouraged by the different writing styles and the freedom of verse expressed. Last week after everyone read we did something new for me. We told a story. One person starts with whatever they want and at some point just stops and the person next to them picks up the story. No one knows where this will go. Talk about sparking creativity on the run! It was fun, it was a good time, and we all laughed. …and no. No one wrote the story down. It all moved quickly.

I’m attending an evening study with Tom and he’s attending several others besides. Our circle of contacts continues to grow. Along with that growth is the growth in our understanding of the culture. Sometimes I feel like I understand so very little. But I’m becoming more aware of things I don’t know.

God’s grace abounds as He keeps bringing people into our circle willing to enlighten us or share a meal or their life with us. Our days are flying by (Yes, we each keep making this statement). But it is true. As we become more involved, we recognize more things we could do. We will build a list for future trips and opportunities.

Thank you for your interest and your prayers.

 

 

 

 

Irish Thoughts

A beautiful bunch of roses.

A delicious loaf of banana bread.

An evening with new friends.

Roses

Waves crashing against the rocky shoreline.

 

Crazy narrow roads and lots of walking.

 

Shared tea around a table, talking of how God has worked in each of our lives.

 

Clouds racing across the sky.

 

The sun appearing at a grey day’s end, to present a colorful sunset.

 

Life in Ireland is exposing us to so many unexpected experiences.

We find ourselves in an environment where the weather is wild; a land that is so internationally diverse; a relaxed culture; a place where people value storytelling, drama and the written word; and a friendly people group.

When we arrived, there was snow on the mountains. Yes, Ireland has mountains. Some days are warm enough to be outside in t-shirts and some days we’re wearing winter coats. Then there was storm Hannah with winds stated to be over 75 MPH. Yet, this is only weather and it constantly changes. We serve One who does not!

Through all the diversity and activities, we find God to be present and guiding. He’s opening doors so that either Tom or both of us can meet with pastors of small churches or various fellowship groups. Those we’ve talked with, emphasis the need for long-term commitment for ministering to the Irish.

They share information about differences in life here versus what we know in the U.S. As we develop relationships with them, we brainstorm ways small short-term groups from the US could aid in their outreach.

We’ve each connected with some folks outside faith groups, some are refugees from other lands, some are creative people, some appreciate the arts, some are local businessmen/women, some are working to create a resource center for women. We’ve connected with each of them on different levels, and they may not realize that they are impacting our lives. Our prayer is that we’ll impact theirs as well.

Later this week we’re off to visit friends we met in 2016 while in Galway. Since we last saw them, they’ve given birth to a little one. Their outreach to the young adults / college-age people in Galway continues to grow.

 

Days are flying by.

 

Our compassion grows.

 

The little lambs are bigger.

 

We appreciate your prayers; we wait for His guidance.

The Count Down is on…

Today I’m near here…

Linda in February
February by Ruedi

 

In only three weeks…

No, it’s not April Fools’ Day I’m counting down.

…we’ll land in Ireland and be headed to our home away from home for two months.

 

We won’t be far from here…

Dingle Bay
Dingle Bay

 

We felt God ask us to follow him. We said “yes,” now we’re being asked to minister to His people in Ireland.

To learn more about what the adventure is and keep in touch with us,
check out https://www.celticmissions.org