Friday, January 15, 2010

The Invisible Woman

I received this video today and thought it a beautiful reflection of motherhood. Persevere, my beloved friends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Restoration Ministries - Investing In Hope

Wellington is the one singing in this video

We are coming off one of the most special weeks of our lives. We hosted two missionaries, Paulo and Wellington, from Restoration Ministries in Sau Paulo, Brazil. Words cannot describe what I feel after encountering these two awesome men of God. From the minute they walked in our door, the word that comes to mind is "JOY". Regardless of their circumstances... for those they reach and the Lord they serve... they truly have the JOY of the Lord... a gift of the Holy Spirit.

They were with us for 8 days. We did not want it to end... even though I'm sure they were anxious to return to loved ones and their ministry back in Brazil. They have been touring sponsering churches here in the states for six weeks and completed the last leg of their trip at our Grace Church Mission's Festival this past week. We had a blast, ate tons and shopped what seemed like forever (they did Christmas shopping as things are very expensive in Brazil). We even learned a little portuguese and often had prayer said in portuguese... quite an amazing experience... and to think that one day in heaven we will all worship the Lord Jesus as brothers and sisters...

Restoration Ministries reaches hundreds of children weekly. Children coming from the favelas(slums) can come to their day centers for food, classes and learning the gospel message of Jesus Christ. They are called to serve in very dangerous areas of Brazil, and work directly on the streets. They need to work directly with the drug lords to gain access to the street children in the favaelas. Permission is usually granted and they know the ministry is there to serve the children. They encounter great spiritual warfare on a daily basis... something we've most likely never seen the likes of in our comforatble lives.

Paulo states that they have worked inside brothels and work on the streets, inside the slums, with the organized crime. They do radical things, and it's amazing to see God working the in the most radical people.

My husband, Kurt, went to Brazil two years ago and it has impacted his life forever. He serves on the board of Restoration Ministries, sponsered by WorldVenture and knows Paulo quite well. I now understand his love and passion for this dear ministry and for these amazing people. I'm moved to tears just thinking of it. Prayerfully, Kurt will be leading a trip of 25-30 back to Brazil next August. We pray too that the funds are available for Isaac to join Kurt. As much as I would LOVE to go, I don't believe I'm called to go until our entire family can go together. I believe that this trip would be life changing for Isaac. He has such a heart for others, and this would totally be in his "element". He's watched videos and seen so many children from this ministry and is truly giddy with anticipation that he may get to go and serve them. He also wants to see Paulo & Wellington again (very soon):)

In summary, this past week we opened our home to serve others. In return, I've been served and seen the face of God like no other time in my life. I'm truly humbled and have such a different outlook on what the Lord may want to do in my life and in the lives of our family as we venture to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with whomever we may meet... even those who live across the street. Pray for Restoration Ministries and those who serve in the ministry.

We had all just finished crying in this picture as the kids said their "goodbyes" Sunday night before going to bed.

Go to

for more information on Restoration Ministries and the Mota family.

Is the Lord promting your heart to reach those without hope (here or anywhere)?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A day at the apple orchard

Here's an update via pictures. We went to the Delano apple orchard and as always, the kids and I had a great time enjoying the beautiful things the Lord has made.

Isaac - 9 years old

Isabel - 7 years old

Isaiah - age 6

Yesterday I found Isaiah reading a chapter book all on his own. He is loving the new freedom in reading!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Will heaven be like a butterfly garden?

This past Saturday we ventured to the Minnesota State Fair along with 220,000 of our closest friends. It was very spare of the moment and the kids had no idea what to anticipate. The last time we went, we went with a double stroller and a 1, 2 and 4 year old. We had a blast. We ate a variety of things from gluten free french fries (yum!), porkchop on a stick (another yum), nachos (mine are MUCH better) and mini donuts for the non-gluten free of the family. We saw a few animal exhibits, a parade and a really fun horse show.

But the most favorite event of all for all of us (with the exception of Isaiah who really disliked it :) was the Butterfly House. It was amazing! I've never seen anything like it. We each paid $3 to get in and as Isaac said, it was the best $3 ever spent. It was a little piece of heaven. You could stay for as long as you like and butterflies came and landed on you constantly. Each butterfly was so beautifully designed. They would land softly and stay for a long time. At one point, both Isabel and Isaac had about 12-15 butterflies on them. It was so beautiful.

Thank you Lord, for creating butterflies! What a beautiful gift.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tornado, Lutherans & Homosexuality

The following is an excerpt from Pastor John Piper's blog... Desiring God, posted on August 20.

I saw the fast-moving, misshapen, unusually-wide funnel over downtown Minneapolis from Seven Corners. I said to Kevin Dau, “That looks serious.”

It was. Serious in more ways than one. A friend who drove down to see the damage wrote,

On a day when no severe weather was predicted or expected...a tornado forms, baffling the weather experts—most saying they’ve never seen anything like it. It happens right in the city. The city: Minneapolis.

The tornado happens on a Wednesday...during the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's national convention in the Minneapolis Convention Center. The convention is using Central Lutheran across the street as its church. The church has set up tents around it’s building for this purpose.

According to the ELCA’s printed convention schedule, at 2 PM on Wednesday, August 19, the 5th session of the convention was to begin. The main item of the session: “Consideration: Proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality.” The issue is whether practicing homosexuality is a behavior that should disqualify a person from the pastoral ministry.

The eyewitness of the damage continues:

This curious tornado touches down just south of downtown and follows 35W straight towards the city center. It crosses I94. It is now downtown.

The time: 2PM.

The first buildings on the downtown side of I94 are the Minneapolis Convention Center and Central Lutheran. The tornado severely damages the convention center roof, shreds the tents, breaks off the steeple of Central Lutheran, splits what’s left of the steeple in two...and then lifts.

Let me venture an interpretation of this Providence with some biblical warrant.

1. The unrepentant practice of homosexual behavior (like other sins) will exclude a person from the kingdom of God.

The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

2. The church has always embraced those who forsake sexual sin but who still struggle with homosexual desires, rejoicing with them that all our fallen, sinful, disordered lives (all of us, no exceptions) are forgiven if we turn to Christ in faith.

Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)

3. Therefore, official church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God, are evil. They dishonor God, contradict Scripture, and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely offered.

4. Jesus Christ controls the wind, including all tornados.

Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:41)

5. When asked about a seemingly random calamity near Jerusalem where 18 people were killed, Jesus answered in general terms—an answer that would cover calamities in Minneapolis, Taiwan, or Baghdad. God’s message is repent, because none of us will otherwise escape God’s judgment.

Jesus: “Those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:4-5)

6. Conclusion: The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A passage I recently read...

Isaiah 46:8-13

8 "Remember this, fix it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.

9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.

10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.

11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.

12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,
you who are far from righteousness.

13 I am bringing my righteousness near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
my splendor to Israel.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring has sprung... I think

Today is in the upper 40s. Still a chill in the air, but the smell of spring is present. I'm not one to usually complain about a long cold winter, as I like to be cozy, but this winter was a tough one.

Please continue to keep Fargo in your prayers as the river is expected to have a second crest, possibly a foot higher than the first crest last week. Apparently there is a lot of water on its way from different sources into the Red River.

I'm continuing to knit and can't seem to get enough. I finished a baby sweater for a dear Bible study friend. It was my first "real person" clothing item.

I'm now making myself a sweater. I have tons of patterns in queue waiting for me to tackle. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to clean, cook according to our dietary needs and educate my kids :) Yet, I knit... it keeps me sane. I feel so blessed that the Lord allows me to be home with my family doing the things I love.

Our sporting season starts soon. Isaac plays Little League baseball and was recuited to "play up" in his age bracket. He's very excited and we are very proud. Isabel and Isaiah will start soccer in a couple of weeks. Scary for me to think that Isabel will be playing 2nd grade soccer and Isaiah 1st grade soccer. Where has the time gone?

Off to read to my kids. I was at the MACHE homeshool convention this past weekend and two venders in particular caught my attention. The first is a man/dad from Williston, ND (my home state) who as a result from family devotions has written a series of books called the "Kingdom Series". It is medieval parables following stories of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

We bought the dramatized audio version and we are excited to get started. Isaac has made it perfectly clear to me that we will start studying medieval history in the fall.

The second vender was a teenage girl from Minnesota who at the age of 12 started to write a series of horse stories. She has horses of her own and plays the violin. Isabel has informed me she will start writing her first story very soon. This young lady, the author, has actually been on a several book sign tours around the United States.

There are currently six books in the series following a herd of wild mustangs. We started the first book last night, and I must say I am beyond impressed. They are simple, captivating stories. We are hooked, and Isabel is begging me to come read... then knit.