Thursday, August 31, 2006


Meet our new kitty!
"October" or "Tobi"

So Clint and I drove down to Amamzimtoti (a beach town like 30 min away) to the animal rescue SPCA. It was the only SPCA that had kittens in all of Durban (usually there are a million!!) And there she was....a cute tortie shell kitten along with her 4 sisters who were either white or tabby (too normal for us!) so we chose her right away, but then realized her personality was kind of skittish!! We were a little uncertian she would like us, but decided to take her anyways thinking she might warm up to us in our house. Well, since she got home she hasn't stopped purring (literally!) and isn't satisfied unless she is in your lap. I think she is so happy to be in a home instead of a cold cage with loud dogs barking. We love her to bits.

We named her "October" cause ever since we got married in that month, Clint has always wanted a kitty named October or "10-4" (our date!!) but we usually just call her "Tobi" for short. She looks a bit like Autumn, my favorite season. She will never replace Starbucks, but she's slowly worming her way into our hearts. :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006


"The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him." Nahum 1:7

Thank you to ALL of you for your thoughts, prayers, cards, notes, emails, calls, googletalks, i.m.'s etc. about the loss of Starbucks our kitty (aka Niz)! My inbox was full the next morning after I blogged about grieving over Starry with notes of encouragement and prayers and stories of other pets and how they will be missed, or just cute stories about other kittens. Cynthia got to share the gospel with her daughter because of it, praise Him!! It was so awesome to have the "body of Christ" from afar come around us. Thank you!! :)

So "my pastor" Clint and I have been talking alot about why this happened, and why us, and why now?!? Questions like these arise when any tragedy happens, but in a particularly hard one, sometimes you can slip into sinning thinking that God wasn't in control. HE IS in control, and sovereign of all things, and that has been such a comfort!! If He wasn't in control over every moment I think I would fall to pieces. Everything dies because of the curse of sin that we incured, therefore the whole of nature was plunged into the same curse. And that's just what happened with Starry, and what will happen to us too. This happens so that we can cling to our God, who made heaven and earth and everything on the earth and just learn to trust Him more. ALL things work together for good, to those who love Him right? We've been "grieving" over the loss of Starry, but we still trust in His awesome character, that NOTHING goes unnoticed by our God, the Creator.
"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His word
Just to rest upon His promise!
Just to know "thus saith the Lord"

Jesus Jesus how I trust Him
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er
Jesus Jesus, Precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more."

Amen and amen.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

In Memory of Starbucks (Niz)

So last night around 9'oclock Clint and I were in the middle of playing roh-sham-bo to see who would go look for Starbucks. Every night she goes out and we go and find her next door at the pre-school play yard scampering about and tormenting the dogs next door. Just as we are about to go get her we get a phone call from a lady who says she's been hit by a car and that she is dead. We couldn't believe it so we raced over to the street just next to our house, and there she was. She looked like she was just asleep, but she was totally limp. I kept asking Clint if we could take her to the vet, and he kept telling me it was too we sadly took her home and buried her in our back yard. It was probably one of the most traumatic things I've ever had to go through. I haven't cried this hard in a long time. She was only 9 months old.

Starry wasn't just a normal kitten. EVERYONE loved her. I mean everyone. She was one of those kittys that had such a great personality you couldn't help but love her. She would fall asleep on my head every night and purr till she fell asleep. When you took a bath she would pat the bubbles till they were all gone. When you were working on the computer she would jump up on you lap, but hit all the wrong keys before she settled down. And every morning she would wake us up with a "kiss" with her nose on ours. She is what helped me get through the move having something that "loved" you to come home to. Sometimes Clint and I would come home early from being out cause we missed Niz. Clint says that the Lord gave her to us just when we needed her most. I know she's "just a cat" but she really ment the world to us and we loved her very much. She was part of our family, and will be sorely missed. Goodbye Niz! We love you.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Church Building

Our Lord is soo good! Our church services right now are at max capacity. I think you could probably squeeze 10 more people in on a Sunday! So just as this problem appears, a new developer knocks on our door a couple of months ago and says he's got a piece of land for a new church building, and he really wants our land cause he can zone it to be commercial (which means he can build a big supermarket or whatever on our land, but he can't on his). So...the elders of our church have decided to look into this cause there is really no other land in Hillcrest, its all being developed so quickly...that this is our only opportunity to move to a new spot and still be called "Hillcrest Baptist". It's the perfect sitution cause this guy is also a builder. Which means that when he builds us the dream building, we move out of our old one, and into the new one right away. And because our land is more valuable than his, it will be a very cheap building. Our old building seats 150-200. If all goes well the new building will seat 350-400 and have a new kitchen and classrooms for our pre-school and everything!!! Its so exciting!

But that also means that we have to move too! Cause our house is on the church property, which means it will be demolished by the developer. We've been looking around for houses, but there is nothing in Hillcrest for less than 1 Million Rand. So....we are waiting for the property market to crash....hopefully!! A million rand is, well, super expensive (yikes!)

This is Niz investigating my guitar case. We are slowly introducing "new" songs to our church, this next week will be "Wonderful Merciful Savior."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Parable of the 2 brothers

So I recently got my work visa, (praise the Lord!!) so now I'm the administrator for Hillcrest Baptist. In other words...Clint is my boss! This leads to some pretty funny sinarios when people in the church ask to make an appointment with Clint and he says...uh, speak to my secretary. And they're like...uh, who?!? Or when people call and ask if my "daddy," the pastor is in. Maybe American accents sound younger? So half of my job is telling random people that Clint will not be attending their ecumenical meetings. Clint gets like 10 invitations a week for faternals and prayer meetings and stuff where all the churches in Hillcrest try and unite. Its so weird cause they all have such opposite beliefs, but they trading peace for false unity. If Clint went to half of those meetings, how would he even have time to prepare 2 sermons or counsel his own congregation?!? I have no idea how other pastors do it, unless they spend 10 minutes preparing on Saturday night.

So Clint and I were used to hearing 6-7 sermons a week, and now we don't really get that, so we download tons off the internet, or get them from friends. This last week I've been listening to sermons that Christen Hardy sent us on the Prodigal Son.The preacher pointed out something I've never noticed before. The context of the prodical son is that the Pharisees are complaining that Christ is spending time with the tax collectors and sinners. In response Jesus tells the parable. Everyones focus is always on the prodical son, but he points that there are 2 responses by 2 brothers. He points out the response of the older brother once the repentant son comes home. Luke 15: "Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!' His point is that the response of the prodical son is the same as that of the tax collectors and sinners, he repents of his sin, and running home to his Father. But the older brother's response is the same as the Pharisees...'look at how I've served you, and you're not showing me any glory!!' His point is that both brothers are lost. The younger brother is lost cause of his wickedness. But the younger brother repents, and comes home....."Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." But older brother is lost because of his "goodness"! The older brother rejects the pleading of his father, and cause of his good works.... not his badness is the reason he's lost. He thinks he's repentant cause he confesses his sin all the time and is a 'good son' but is relying on that for his salvation. He stays outside and refuses to join the celebration for his younger brothers return, and is therefore outside the blessing of the Father. So there are 2 ways to be lost in your sin. Either the wickedness of sin itself, or in thinking you are "to good" and don't need God. So he was saying that true repentance is looking at your wickedness as well as your "righeousness" and confessing the motive behind it. When you start repenting of that then you can start seeing growth in your life. It just was so clear when listening to the message. I had never really focused on the response of the older brother!! It was an amazing sermon, thanks Christen for sending it!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jesus the Lord my Savior

So today was a public holiday ...and I was planning to go to the botanical gardens with some friends to have "british tea" (its girly, I know) but I woke up...and it was raining. NUTS! I was so sad, but then it became one of those really cool dark rainy days where you stay in your pj's and read and drink like 8 cups of coffee. I've been playing this song all day on my new guitar (Clint, the most amazing husband in the world had Austin T. Duncan bring me out a new Taylor guitar, it sounds so awesome even if you mess up!)

Listen to it here: by Sandra McCraken
I love the words: "What'er I need in Jesus dwells, And there it dwells for me."

Jesus, the Lord, My Savior
Jesus, the Lord, my Savior is,
My Shepherd, and my God;
My light, my strength, my joy, my bliss;
And I His grace record.
Whate’er I need in Jesus dwells,
And there it dwells for me;
’Tis Christ my earthen vessel fills
With treasures rich and free.
Chorus: Mercy and truth and righteousness,
And peace, most richly meet
In Jesus Christ, the King of grace,
In Whom I stand complete.
As through the wilderness I roam,
His mercies I’ll proclaim;
And when I safely reach my home,
I’ll still adore His name.
“Worthy the Lamb,” shall be my song,
“For He for me was slain;”
And me with all the heavenly throng
Shall join, and say, “Amen.”

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

1000 Hills Baptist

So today part of my job was to go on a photoshoot for our new church plant "Thousand Hills Baptist Church." We are building them a building...cause right now they are meeting in a tent. My job was to photograph the people, and houses in the area so we can present the building project to our church. Here are some photos from the photo shoot today of the Thousand Hills area. This is rural Africa! And its only 10 minutes from our doorstep. It's amazing how so close to us is such poverty, it was such an eye opening experience. To quote Derek Webb "Poverty, is so hard to see, when its only on your TV, or 20 miles across town"

Government housing. The government builds these one room houses for people. They substitute for squatter homes, where people just build shacks out of iron.

Woman selling items at a tuck shop

The valley of 1000 hills. This church reaches out to this whole area. Ironically this shot is taken from a huge hotel that looks over the poverty and AIDS stricken valley.

The sign that currently leads up to the tent church, but will soon lead up to a church building! They are building it out of entirely recycled material. So the walls will be made out of coke bottles and tires and stuff. Then the photo below, a view of the valley of people it will reach! It was so exciting to be apart of this project. How great is our God that He is exaulted amoung the nations, and the whole earth!

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah" -Psalm 67