Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The girls were all able to do the Flying Squirrel this evening. (Thank you Sal, Keith, and Katie!) Annalise was joined for a second ride by her friend Karis. All of them enjoyed it very much. The ride isn't as intense as the other elements, but it is a lot of fun. I didn't go this time because Sal was doing it as a favor for my girls - besides we didn't have enough available horsepower to lift me. So now Annalise has gone solo on all of the ropes course rides at age 4! It was fun. Regardless of where God leads us in the future, this summer has been a very memorable one for our family.
Monday, July 30, 2007
We started the day with some team building games on the ground. You'll note the pvc and rubber chicken. Our group adopted the name Cool Green Butterflies. We had an accompanying cheer as well.
After getting our harnesses on we were off to the Pamper Pole and the Zip Line. The Pamper Pole is so named because you may need to change your pampers upon returning to the ground. You climb a ~30' telephone pole, stand with both feet on the top, then jump off to hit a big orange ball. The hardest part is lifting the last foot onto the top of the pole. An incredible mental challenge! The Zip Line is an 800' ride across the campus starting about 40' above ground - it is a blast! Everyone loves the Zip Line.
Everyone in the family was able to do the Zip Line. I carried Annalise up the tree, but she was insistent that she wanted to fly alone. She was upset that she couldn't do the Pamper Pole, but the pegs were too far apart for her to climb and it isn't something that can be done by two at a time. Everybody else did the Pamper Pole, however. I'll tell you, it is tough!
After lunch, the entire group got back together to overcome the challenges of the low ropes circuit. The challenges can be tough, but it is only a foot or two above the ground. Most of the elements require some form of teamwork. Our groups worked so well together. The teamwork was spectacular!
Later the Cool Green Butterflies went to the infamous Giant Swing. It begins from a platform some 30' in the air. You step off of the platform and swing down the hill getting about 80' or so above ground at the other end before you lose your momentum and swing back up the hill. Yet another mental challenge as you step off of a perfectly good platform and freefall about 15' before you begin to swing. Annalise loved this ride! She went on it twice and wanted to keep going. (As I understand it, Annalise is the youngest to have flown solo on the Zip Line and the Giant Swing.) Alayna and Alexie went twice as well on the Giant Swing.
You may remember Lisa's fear of heights. Well, no challenge has been put before her that she hasn't overcome. I am really proud of her.
Of course, that is the purpose of all of these games and elements. They are designed to help you overcome inner obstacles and develop teamwork. Both of these will be quite important to our team as we leave our culture to serve in the Philippines. This was a great opportunity to form a strong unity within our group.
The video below shows the Maxwells doing the Zip Line, Pamper Pole, and Giant Swing. I apologize for the quality, I was trying to make it something that wouldn't take forever to download.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Fred and Carol went through the CDTS program here in Salem last year. They then signed on to work at the Salem base and have been spectacular with the kids. Our whole family has been blessed by their ministry. We are excited that they will be joining us when we go to the Philippines.
Today our whole class, including the families, spent all day on the ropes course. It was great. Pictures and video should be on tomorrow's entry. But tonight during Annalise's prayer, I suggested that she thank God for her favorite things on the ropes course. She replied, "I don't need to tell Him, Him watched us."
May He watch over you as well,
Saturday, July 28, 2007
All of us who call Jesus Lord and Savior would probably like to be identified as a disciple of Jesus. But what does this really mean? Remember the game "Follow the Leader"? There you go- that's what it means to be a disciple. Just follow the ultimate leader, Jesus. Not just for the afternoon. No taking turns being the leader. Just do everything Jesus did. In order to do this you have to really know what He did. Dust off your Bible. Don't just look at the words. Read and study it. Good, but not enough. Just like Nike says "Just Do It!" No ifs, ands, and definitely no buts. If there is no devotion, there is no discipleship. It is not my place to say what this means for you, but for me it means my life needs to be different. The way I live this life will not look like everyone else's in this world. Of course, He never intended it to. He also never intended for me to do it on my own either.
Friday, July 27, 2007
At this point, it seems that our travels will be on the large island of Luzon. Did you know that over 7000 islands make up the Philippines? It has a total size approximately equal to Arizona. Our travels will be primarily in the areas of Manila, Baguio, and Bontoc.
Yesterday we were blessed by to receive a variety of letters from the children at Cornerstone (our home fellowship). The kids loved reading these. Mail from friends is always exciting. It was also exciting to see that in the short time we have been away, already new families are becoming a part of the fellowship there.
While we appreciate the Vineyard fellowship we have been attending in Salem, it isn't what Cornerstone has been for us. Of course, Cornerstone has 15 years of memories and relationships attached to it.
Thank you Cornerstone kids for your notes of encouragement. Thanks again, also to those who have sent care packages, letters, and emails. It really is appreciated.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement,
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Alexie and her friend Ben had a great time this evening gleaning marionberries. After looking at the pictures, I am sure you will be surprised to find that they ate some also. A group from the campus went to a local farmer's fields and gleaned for all they were worth - if the stained faces, hands, and clothes are any indication.
The kids have been making the berries into a smoothie which is quite tasty.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
(Note from Dad) While the big kids learned about teamwork and overcoming fears, Annalise's group spent the afternoon at a park and eventually went to "Donald's House" (McDonald's) for an ice cream cone.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the CDTS adults started the morning with intercession for the Philippines. We continued our discussion with Fred Allen through the morning. After lunch we had small group time.
Tonight The Rising service was pretty intense. Several ladies are part of a ministry to stop human trafficking. Although a subset of the Slavic Ministries here at the base, this issue is not limited to far away places. One of the ladies will be attending a U.N. conference on the issue. It was pretty intense for a father of 4 wonderful daughters. I cannot imagine the heartbreak involved for the people torn apart by this evil.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Today we began a discussion entitled, Radical Discipleship. Fred Allen, our instructor for the week, is a bit unorthodox in his approach. But he is very engaging and enjoyable. Today we began by breaking the terms down so there was clarity in what we were actually discussing.
Radical: to go to the root or the original template
Discipleship: the process of being a follower and student
With that terminology in mind we began to look at Acts 2:42,
Most of our discussion today centered on the meaning of devotion. One interesting idea Mr. Allen put forth was that Jesus can't be your first priority. If He is your first priority, there is the implication that there is a line behind Him of other priorities. He has to be THE priority.
After that discussion, we began talking about that to which we are devoted. First, the Apostles' teaching; conveniently captured in a best selling book we call the Bible. An interesting idea brought forth during this discussion was that obedience precedes understanding. (John 7:17, 31-32)
More objects of devotion to follow during the course of the week.
One other quote I found interesting was,
p.s. It was interesting that at church yesterday, Annalise excitedly introduced us to a man who had been her teacher once during COD, Fred Allen. How ironic that we have been going to the same church with our instructor.
Monday, July 23, 2007
But today was tiring. We are working to not need formal schooling for the two months in the Philippines. Of course that means the girls are having some schooling now. Today was the deadline for an assignment the girls have had all week. The assignment is not difficult but it needed to be done. It was a real challenge for all of us today. Then of course there were other things, like disobedience and dishonesty.
Whining time over...
I had a fun time this afternoon when I got to go play soccer. There is a group that meets at Willamette University every Sunday, although this was my first. If I had any skill or speed, I would have been a force to reckon with. As it is, not so much. But I did have fun. This too, fits under the title of tiring day. I am waaaayyy out of shape.
Since I don't have any pictures, here's a video from a few days ago.
p.s. I don't have kitchen duty on the weekend, so that was nice, too.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
It helped that they were able to go surfing while we were there. We didn't bring our camera, so you'll just have to enjoy the video someone else captured for us.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
He also had a word of encouragement for Lisa and me today. He feels that there is a special annointing on our family. He said several other things as well, but for now I will hold those close to my heart.
After lunch we had small group time. The men were treated to some team building on the ropes course. First we had an exercise to build a "throne" for our team leader. Both groups accomplished the task. Fortunately it only had to support him for 10 seconds. (As you may have guessed, the rules had a few interesting quirks.) Next we did the high ropes circuit. One part of it was very challenging for me. (It's one thing to coach and encourage people from the ground, another to be working our way across a challenge 30' in the air.) One member of our team ran into some very real physical challenges while up there. While disheartening for him at that time, I think the event really added to what we learned through the experience.
Adriana was sick beginning early Thursday morning and lasting through last night. She seemed to be doing much better today. But she found how much she really does like to be around people as she was alone most of the day on Thursday and did not find it pleasant. Maybe in the end this will have been a good experience for her. Regardless of the long-term implications, we are glad that she is well today.
Of course it was fortunate for her that she is doing better. Today, COD went to an indoor water park. The kids all had a great time. It sounds like quite a place.
(Sorry, I don't have pictures of the kids at the water park yet - only pictures of a bunch of old men. I can say that because they are all older than me and I am not in the pictures ;0)
Friday, July 20, 2007
The gift of creativity is big on you. Areas of dance and music are part of God's expression in your life. Flow with that because people around you will meet Jesus and His healing through your expression. The Spirit of the Lord is upon you. I see a great joy and light of God upon you."
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
We are happy to share this journey with all of you. But take a minute and reveal yourself. Leave us a comment or drop us an email GardenofGrace@gmail.com so we know who is looking in the window of our lives. We would love to hear from you!
Blessings and love to all...
Monday, July 16, 2007
We spent the day at the beach. We drove to Lincoln City’s Road End Beach and a couple spots around Depoe Bay. It was nice. Annalise was initially disappointed that we were not donning our swimsuits, but after a little wading, I think she even realized it was too cold for swimming.
Just south of Depoe Bay we found a neat place to climb around on the rocks. It was neat to explore this new part of God’s creation. I love His creativity. Enjoy the video and the pictures.
Friday, the girls’ COD class was part of an outreach to the local community. Some of them went a nursing home and visited with the residents there. The others went to a park downtown and handed out free lemonade. Later they will repeat it so that everyone can participate in both types of ministry.
p.s. As I logged on this morning to post the blog, I got a great report from the Cornerstone Team! Check out the comment from the previous post. Well done, team!!!!!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
As I have thought about what that will mean for our outreach to the Philippines, I grow even more excited. All of our past outreaches have been for just 1 week. In 1 week you are just learning your way around: language, culture, directions, names, everything. We will have 2 months to really learn about the people in the Philippines.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Then we all went to class. Lisa and I are going through a class entitled the divine plumb line. It has been a good discussion. It is probably premature to discuss right now since we are in the middle of it: perhaps this weekend.
For our small groups, our leaders took us out: guys to Dairy Queen, ladies to Starbucks. What a fast-food day for me. But I must say, the Blizzard was a most excellent treat.
This morning I took Alexie up to the chapel to pray. It was nice to have some time with just Alexie. On our way back down, Alexie commented that she enjoys how quiet and peaceful it is in the chapel. Lisa and I have decided to rotate taking the girls up there for some one-on-one discipleship and prayer. Tomorrow morning Lisa will take Alayna.
After class today, we went to the library to read up on the Philippines. The Salem library has a very neat children’s section. (Rhonda, you would be jealous.) The girls are hoping to visit again when they can “just have fun”. Such is the way with homeschooling, we are going to the Philippines, so we looked into books about the Philippines. Of course, we would have done some of the “fun” stuff, but we had to get Adriana to the orthodontist. That was another blessing. Because Adriana is in the middle of some orthodontic work, our orthodontist at home gave instructions for things he wanted done while we are here. At church here, we asked someone if they knew of a good orthodontist in town. She made a recommendation of a Christian who she thought offered his services at a discount to missionaries. When we got there, he stated that he would provide his services to us free of charge. God is good!
Monday, July 9, 2007
Please continue to pray for Cornerstone's team in Reynosa, Mexico and our friend Cynthia is still in the hospital awaiting results from testing.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Saturday, July 7, 2007
The girls went on an outing with their class today. They enjoyed a picnic at a park and the afternoon at a large children's museum. Maybe we will post some pics later. Not sure what was captured since Adriana was the only one taking pictures. I do know if there were any flowers or animals in the area she probably got them on film, but people seem to be elusive to her.
Annalise and her friends, Anna and Abby, enjoyed walking in the cool creek this warm afternoon. Not sure how they all got so wet in water about four inches deep!
We are so excited about what God is going to do in and through our Cornerstone Mission Team. We ask you to join us in praying for them. They leave early tomorrow morning for a week of ministry in Reynosa, Mexico.
Another prayer concern is for a classmate of ours. After waiting for 6 hours in E.R.,Cynthia was admitted. Please pray for her healing and for provision. She does not have any insurance coverage and has already had several tests. The doctors still have not determined the cause of her pain.
Friday, July 6, 2007
In the morning we had class as usual. The girls went to COD and we attended our class.
Lisa and I enjoyed some time to walk around hand in hand. Annalise joined us as went sat near in the shade near the creek. It was beautiful to listen to the creek and the wind blowing through the leaves of the trees. Not to get too spiritual, but it was great listening to nature praise God - a topic that has come up in class a few times.
Later I helped grill hamburgers and hot dogs for a real American cook-out. The food was almost as good as the company.
Later there was volleyball and general goofing off. Alayna was able to sweet-talk her way into a ride on the flying squirrel. She loved it! She even tried to get upside down, but wasn't quite able to do it.
Of course what is a cook-out without roasting some marshmallows?
As it got dark, some people lit off a few fireworks. We had decided not to go into town for the big display because of how late it would be when we got back. Since we had school today, we couldn't get away with staying out too late last night. We still kept the kids out later than we should have, but it was earlier than if we had gone out.
Here is a slideshow of our day...
Today we had our intercessory prayer time. The kids facilitated the prayer and led a time of worship. Alexie sang back-up. She even played the piano for one song. Each group creatively presented a passage about prayer. They did a fantastic job. While there were other nations that we prayed for, I stayed near the Myanmar display and prayed for the people and missionaries there.
After lunch we had small group time. Once again, the men went to the widow who lives near the campus and chopped wood, cut down a dead tree, did some general cleanup, etc. I enjoy helping her. She is a lot of fun. When she greeted us at the door, she said, "Here are my angels!"
p.s. Happy Birthday to the newest member of the Geezer Club!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Everybody had a good Independence Day yesterday. More info and pictures to follow.
The kids have raised enough for 5 minutes of radio air time to North Korea.
The weather is beautiful.
I need to hurry in order to make it to our intercessory prayer time. I think the COD kids are hosting it in some way.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
The girls have also been excited about an outreach project they are working toward. They are saving up enough money to buy radio air time so they can send a message of God's love into North Korea. They have a lemonade stand set-up. Tomorrow is a car wash if anybody wants to make the trip over, you can get your car washed, but you had better leave soon.
I enjoyed playing on the trampoline with Annalise before dinner. Of course, if I bounce with her, she can't stand up at all, but we had a good time. It is hard to play with just one of my girls anytime, but here playing with just one of them and not two of their friends as well can be very difficult. It was nice to have some one-on-one time.
Every Tuesday, we have an evening service. Lisa told me that tonight's message about not complaining was very good. I missed it because I was still doing dishes when the service started. Man, there are sooo many dishes and they are so dirty. Then there are the floors. I can't believe how dirty the floors can get. Did I ever tell you how nasty the dishwater can be after washing all of those disgusting dishes? Community life can be such a bother sometimes. You don't get much time alone. Personal space is almost non-existent. I suppose I wouldn't have enjoyed the sermon much anyway - you know how preachy preachers can be.
Well, God is really blessing us in our time here. It isn't all roses, but it is a nice garden. Thanks for all of your prayers and support.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
After class, while the girls worked on some of their homeschooling assignments, I worked on the following video and pictures from the World Beat Festival.
Thankfully, my computer is playing nice again thanks to God coordinating things to have a tech
support guy (like you talk to on the phone when having computer problems) here from Brazil. He is using his vacation to serve with the wilderness trips and ropes course here at the base. What a blessing. (Thanks again, Jason!)
Alayna and Annalise enjoyed some more no-snow sledding tonight after dinner. When you get hit at the bottom of the hill during the winter, it's painful. But, as Alayna can testify, having a sled hit your shin when you are wearing shorts is definitely no fun. I felt really bad for her. Later I found it must not have been as painful as I suspected because when I returned from putting her bike away for her, she was heading down the hill again. The girls are definitely enjoying how much time they get to spend outside. I just hope their knees get a chance to heal.
Well, it is really late and I should have been in bed quite a while ago. The internet connection has been frustrating the past week, so tonight's entry took much longer than it should have. But I am very glad to have it. We really do enjoy posting the day's events and getting comments and emails from y'all.
Monday, July 2, 2007
I hope to be able to put some fun video and pictures from the World Beat Festival on soon. We had a fun time at the festival. Our family and Nat and Shirley (you may remember Nat from the video) volunteered to help. So we all helped in the childrens craft areas in the Asian, European, and American regions of the festival. I had a lot of fun with one of the games in the Asian area where I was assigned, Tinkle Sticks. It is a rythmic dancing game, similar to double-dutch. Instead of a jump rope you use bamboo poles. It was fun when I could convince the kids to play, but even more so when adults would join in. When adults played, large groups of people would gather to watch and cheer. Interestingly enough, the Asian area's children's booth shared space with an informational table for Korea.
I know we will get the technical stuff all worked out, but I like to put pictures and video in the blog. I know I would get really bored of reading what I post, but the pictures and videos of the kids are just so unbelieveable cute.