Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Songs & their Stories: "May the Peoples Praise You"

I thought I would put together a blog series sharing brief stories behind the songs recorded on the Defend the Orphan CD project... if for no one else other than my dear mom who would love to see the words as she listens... ;-)

A few years ago, I never imagined I would be boarding a plane that looked like this...
Or walking through a medina with such history, beauty and spiritual darkness...
Or enjoy such a rooftop view...

The mission of our brief stay in North Africa: pray while walking the land.

Quietly and safely behind the walls of our host home, we went to our knees... seeking to prepare our hearts before what was to be an undercover prayer walk through an ancient city. As we began to pray, you could hear the call to prayer go out across the city. As the speakers reverberated across the city, we closed our eyes asking the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come, to push back the darkness that covers the land. It was a haunting experience for me. When I returned home, the piano and the Bible became a place of solace. I could not get Psalm 67 out of my head. So I put it into a prayer set to music...

May the Peoples Praise You (Psalm 67)

Remove the veil by Your holy hand
Push back the darkness that covers the land
Open eyes that all may see
Jesus Christ, the Risen King

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Lord of lords and King of kings

God of grace may You bless us
May Your face shine upon us
That Your saving power be known on the earth
Let the peoples praise You
May all the peoples praise You
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Lord of lords and King of kings

Worthy is He, whose blood was shed
Who paid our ransom the price on our head
Holy, holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come!

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Lord of lords and King of kings

(Here is a snippet from last April's Share & Sing at TBC's Global Gathering)
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Busy, Hot Summer Days

It has been SO hot these past several days. Thankfully this week seems a tad cooler. One day last week we'd had enough, so we loaded up and headed to none other than Dairy Queen. It is dangerous to live so close to one...
Even this little guy (who thinks he is human) was in need of a heat reprieve...
People have often asked how we try to spend quality time with our kids. We work hard at having one on one times here and there, particularly in the form of daddy-daughter dates or errand running with mom, etc... However, the most important and cherished time together has been over dinner. We call it "dinner and devo" time. After enjoying time over our meal, everyone pulls out their Bibles and reads a passage together. Then papa helps explain what the Scripture is about. It is a simple, yet priceless time.
As you can see, I was quite the chef this night (ha ha)... Dominoes Pizza is our close friend from time to time... ;-)
I love this picture.
Last Friday, we ran over to East Millbrook Middle School to take a look at the facilities we will be using at Imago Dei Church. The principal is a very gracious man. We are grateful for God's continued provision and pray He will use us and this place for His glory among Raleigh and the nations...
Some of our kiddos testing out the auditorium...




We covet your continued prayers as we pray, plan and prepare for launch date on 9/11. To learn more about how you can get involved, please visit: www.idcraleigh.com.
Saturday was quite the whirlwind. We had several new families visit with us for our core team worship. Precious people. We had a wonderful time of worship (which you can watch on livestream - see the video link on the right hand column of this blog) and great food. At 1:30 PM I had to pull myself away to throw my suitcase together and get out the door by 2 PM. Several friends stepped up to take care of our children so that I could travel with Tony to Atlanta for 2 nights. He was invited and had the honor of preaching Sunday at First Baptist Church of Woodstock... (You can watch the video of his sermons online at: www.fbcw.org).
Once again, I did not do a good job of remembering to take pictures aside from our Saturday drive from the airport and dinner...
This was an early birthday dinner: Ruth Chris Steakhouse (are you kidding me?!.) It was incredible and conveniently located in our hotel.
What a sweet and humbling and refreshing time with old and new friends at FBC Woodstock! Truly blessed to be there AND to have incredibly gracious friends to look after our children. Thanks again: Karen, Drew & Taylor, Penny, Alicia & Shane, Alex & Michael for loving on our family! The girls had a blast braiding Taylor and Alex's hair - ha...
We arrived home around 1:00 PM on Monday, otherwise known as "my birthday"... My sister, Priscilla, had come in town Sunday night (along with our dear 2nd cousin, Vivian from Ohio & Priscilla's 3 kids). She had arranged quite the welcome committee... silly string, banners and all... ;-)
They sang "Happy Birthday" and showered me with pictures and presents... precious.

Cousins, sweet cousins...
Popcorn and the movie "Tangled"... love it.

This guy is hard to stop taking pictures of, a real ham for the cam I tell ya...

Swim Lessons began this week...
the kids were so excited they practically woke up dressed and ready to go (ha)... the 2+ hour wait until it was actually time to go was a little difficult for them to comprehend ;-)



Here are the 3 oldest learning how to dive off the diving board...
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Well, I'm hoping to get caught up on a few things before hitting the road this weekend to Stafford, Virginia. Our IDC core team will be going on a sort of working retreat hosted by Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. Again, thank you for your continued prayers and friendship. Blessings to you and yours this hot July day!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday

Joshua had his wellness visit Monday morning. He is doing well... good eyes, ears, etc... His one year home is approaching us. What a joy he is and has been...
Although, he can be quite the drama king... ha ha... they pricked his finger to check his blood for anemia... He had two shots in his leg and is limping around the house today (playing it up). We have affectionately nicknamed him, "grandpa"... ;-)
Gary & Brenda (a.k.a. mamaw & papaw) are heading back home to Kentucky today... Sad to see them go. Monday afternoon, we made a quick visit to downtown Raleigh's Natural Science Museum and the Capital District...
The kids absolutely loved looking at all the displays, especially the sea creatures...
I snapped this picture before everyone was ready... look closely and see Joshua smacking that gum, ha.
James love science and creation... He was captivated by all the critters... here, a beaver...
What an amazing Creator God we have!
Of course we had to make a pit stop at a local coffee & ice cream shop...


Behind us at the end of the street is the state capitol...
Pop Quiz:
What 3 presidents came from North Carolina?
[James Knox Polk, Andrew Jackon & Andrew Johnson]
Grateful for a wonderful extended weekend with grandparents...

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Weekend...

Tony's parents (a.k.a. Mamaw & Papaw) drove down from Kentucky on Thursday to spend the weekend with us. We kicked off their arrival with dinner at Red Robbin and a Mud Cats baseball game...

The kids couldn't wait for peanuts and ice cream...

We've been finding some nibbles and chunks missing from some pantry items. Friday night I set out a trap. Saturday morning we celebrated a minor success... :-)

Saturday evening, while the kids enjoyed extra mamaw & papaw time, Tony and I joined several of our IDC core team at Buffalo Brothers in Raleigh. Donnie & Brett (IDC worship leaders) were the live music. They were great and we had a wonderful time on the patio with marvelous weather and fellowship...
Oh yeah, and all the baseball games on multiple flat screens, ha...

Judah did a little drumming himself. After every song he would clap and say, "Yay, daddy & Brett!" Precious.
I almost forgot to mention the swimming pool headache we experienced. We had a bright idea of setting up a pool in our side yard on the 4th of July. We tried twice that day in two different locations but to no success. After $75 worth of sand, a full day of leveling and a yet to be determined water bill, our supposed 3 feet pool filled almost to 2 feet on a slant... We let the kids play for a little while, took it down, cleaned it (actually, James & Mamaw did all the hard work), and returned it to the store. For the record, the "East 1-2-3" marketing message on the side of the box is totally misleading!
The kids had fun for few minutes though, and that was priceless...
Sunday, Tony & his dad went on a quick tour of Durham and Chapel Hill... first to Duke University (Cameron Fieldhouse) and then over to UNC (the Dean dome)...


After a restful afternoon and heartbreaking USA women's soccer loss, we walked downtown Wake Forest to eat at our local Crab House and picked up a RedBox movie...
Monday, or today I should say, we plan to head downtown Raleigh to check out the Science Museum and walk around. We have truly enjoyed our time together with Tony's parents. Family is a blessing as is being in closer proximity to one another. Speaking of family, here's a picture of our little guy...
Just for fun, a little video of Victoria playing piano... Maybe we'll start lessons soon? I'm hoping at least one of my children will pursue music in some form... ;-)
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