Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sparing the Sparrows

 In the quiet moments that punctuate the busyness of life on Karyn's parents' ranch, someone wandered out the front door only to become the hapless victim of a dive-bombing sparrow.  After the nearly successful Kamikaze attack, he took a glance at the wreath adorning the adjoined door and beheld a tiny nest, complete with eggs.  Some creative flying fiend had determined that this innocuous looking decoration would be a good hideout, but little did she know the earthquakes she would have to put up with as the door is continuously opened and shut.  Nevertheless, the little mama has persevered and her chicks have hatched.  There's no place like home!    

"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young" (Psalm 84.3).  Of course, the nest is a metaphor:  The best home for us is in God's immediate presence.  The Psalm begins, "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!"  Like Mama Sparrow, who longs for her nest and protects it with her life, I hope we can each say, "My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord . . . .  Blessed are those who dwell in your house" (verse 4).  Despite the earthquakes of life, I hope the metaphor and following pictures remind you to nest in the Lord. 
The Ranch House

The Front Doors

The Wreath

No Place Like Home

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Catching up in California

I now remember the same scenario last year.  We got to California and got so caught up catching up with our sons and other family members, that we neglected our blog for a few weeks. Oops - our bad. So, in an attempt to make up for lost time, here is a summary and a few pictures. Just emerging from the fog of jetlag our first Sunday, we decided to pay a visit to a nearby church, East Bay Fellowship. When a friend told the pastor's wife we would be there, she proclaimed it quite a "God-incidence." Last year, we brought the Voices of Micronesia (VoM) to minister at the same church's childrens' day camp, and it turned out that this very morning they were showing video clips from last year, featuring VoM! We were introduced, and an immediate connection was made in peoples' minds due to the wildly popular VoM. 
After a couple of days laying low, we headed south to preach for the first time at Community Covenant Church of Goleta (Goleta is Santa Barbara's northerly neighbor). There we met some new friends, spent some quality time with Teyler and Christian, and relaxed a couple of days with Eric's brother and family. In the process, we took a hike to Santa Barbara's popular Seven Falls (see pictures), rode bikes to the beach, and tried to hear each other over the screams of four girl cousins running in and out of Eric's brother's house. On Thursday, we drove further south and gawked at the variety and amazingly low prices of the Camarillo outlet stores. If one even finds such items in Guam, they are four times the cost (at least we don't pay sales tax in Guam)! Fortunately escaping with only a few small bags of merchandise, we then reversed direction and camped out a couple of days at Eric's parents' place in San Luis Obispo where we mowed the lawn (okay, Noelle mowed the lawn), trimmed bushes, did some crafts, and watched a couple of DVDs.  Last night we headed back to our summer headquarters in Castro Valley. Enjoy the pictures; we'll try to keep in touch more consistently!