Time to dye the Easter Eggs…

…we had fun this afternoon dyeing the Easter eggs with Krista’s family.  Mason and Aliyah were really into it along with their aunts and uncles.  Isabella just wandered around and at one point I noticed her riding the fake turtles in Gramma’s garden.  When we finished we wondered what to do with all the left over dye….anyone have an fun and creative suggestions that you do???  This year we just decided to dye Mason with the extra dye! 🙂

Krista’s brother Moses did a self portrait for one of his eggs….it even had the same color shirt on!!!  Mosey had me crackin’ up.  Tomorrow is an exciting day for Moses, he is going to be baptized!!!  He recently talked with his mom and dad and told them that he had decided he would like to be baptized.  Pretty awesome…really exciting!  I can’t think of a greater way to celebrate Easter.  Pray for the presence of God to be there and impact his young life in a powerful way during his baptism…God has great things for Moses!

God is dead…reflection on Holy Saturday

As this Easter weekend comes around I often reflect on this Friday and Saturday about a book that I read in Seminary “Between the Cross & the Resurrection” by Allen E. Lewis, which is about the Saturday that falls between Christ’s death and his resurrection.  As thinkers and philosophers peddle and meddle in thought, it is interesting to read their views on what to do with Jesus Christ.   How they fit Him into what they are thinking about or philosophizing about.  Occasionally you come across more well known thinkers like Nietzsche who famously declare “God is dead.”  Even to write those words pricks my heart because I know God to not just be alive but to be powerfully alive.

So back to that book…about that day in between.  The day for the disciples that as the quote goes God was in fact dead.  They knew Jesus, knew him to be Lord, Messiah, healer, miracle worker, great teacher, God….he was their savior and friend…and on this day they saw him butchered and hung to die with thieves.  My reflections always go to my doubts.  I feel like these days are the doubter’s days.  Personally, I believe but often I question and at times doubt.  I hope, but times come when I feel like I’ve lost hope.  This day brings me solace.

Can you imagine the doubts, the disbelief, the loss of hope the disciples felt on this day?  I try to.  I try to think of all of my personal doubts and hurts and hopeless moments and I try to think on them on this day.  You know why?  Because as the loudness of my concerns crescendo so does this weekend crescendo….and so comes that Sunday.  JESUS IS ALIVE!  The resurrection…..THE RESURRECTION!!!!  The disciples darkest moment, deepest doubt, most hopeless moment was shattered by the glory of this Sunday.

For me, the power of Jesus Christ rising from the dead is multiplied a thousand fold in light of all of my concerns and doubts.  In light of my concerns and doubts His Resurrection is all the more amazing!  Holy Sunday is made all the more amazing for me in light of my reflections on this Good Friday & Holy Saturday.  Jesus is Alive!

….and “Sunday is coming” as this video a friend sent to us communicates so well http://www.ignitermedia.com/mini-movies/20/Sundays-Comin

We hope that God blesses all of you this weekend and shows Himself to be a miraculous and mighty God to you personally!!!  Amen.

Some very close friends of ours recorded this song in college Walter Ballard & Greg and Geoff Gackle…I am biased but I still love the song.  I hope you get a chance to listen to it.  It is hard to imagine it was ten years ago?!?!  Jesus Christ is Risen…just as He said!  http://files.me.com/greggackle/gi256w.mp3

Teachers Day to Play…

…Nicaragua takes this entire week off for Semana Santa.  Every school closes and everyone is off of work.   So yesterday all of the teachers from Colegio Esperanza went out to the beach for a day to play.  It was a great time of relax and fun!  You can imagine the sharp contrast of a beautiful beach compared to the environment in La Chureca where they work every day.  All of these teachers are heroes….true Saints for the work that they do!  It was fun to be with them on a break day!

Norman who teaches guitar at school walked out to the beach and was playing at the ocean’s edge…then all of a sudden the tide pounded a huge wave that came all the way up to the hut we were all under….it was so funny cause everyone started hootin’ at Norman telling him to stop singing cuz the ocean didn’t like his voice and was getting mad!  Everyone was cracking up laughing….Norman is a character so he went with it.

On the way home Mason crashed on his Aunt Johana  There is a universal truth no matter what country you are in….kids pass out on the way home from the beach, guaranteed!

Girl Genius?

Does this mean that she is going to be a genius….she is only one and already falling asleep reading.  Haven’t all of the greatest minds in history had a habit of falling asleep reading?  Okay maybe that is a just proud parental projection of excellence….but it is still cute!  She’ll be a genius, I know it…hahaha 🙂

Piñata…before & after

Poor Poor Diego cousin of Dora….he didn’t stand a chance against two dozen kids with a wooden stick!!!  By his sacrifice many smiles and much laughter was made, and lots of pockets full of candy….we remember you Diego…R.I.P.  🙂

So last night was Hayler’s 7th birthday party, which meant it was party time at Casa Robles.  That is his little brother Andrews in the “after” picture.  Their grandmother and two of their cousins came to the party which was really fun for them.  It was a wild night of music, piñata, cake, candy, kids running in circles, hot as an oven, dinner, and fun fun fun.  Here are some more photos of Diego meeting his end.

A Big Happy Birthday to Papa Yuri also!!!  We celebrated his birthday yesterday too with Hayler because next week is Semana Santa and everyone will be home visiting family.  This is the biggest holiday of the year in Nicaragua….please be praying for all of the kiddos during this time….it is an important time with family, but also a sensitive time too, mainly because of past abuses…..so Please Be Praying for all the kids of Casa Havilah & Casa Robles.  Pray for a good visit with family and for safety…that the Lord would keep any evil ones away!  Thank you!

This last picture is so funny because Mason was so intent on helping Papa Yuri get the cake table back to the kitchen….can’t you see he is helping 🙂

Bob the Builder…

   So the other day we had the blocks out in the family room and were trying to find ways to make seesaws and stack blocks on round ones to see if they would stand.  Aliyah was pretty intentional about it, but then Mason would just come and put one on the stack without any thought and it would work…..it was so funny.

By the end we decided to try and make a tall one, then decided to try and make it taller than Aliyah….We had success!!!!  Here is photo evidence.  We even used up all the blocks.   And then of course we had fun knocking it down…..Mason kind of jumped the gun 🙂  It was pocoloco!

No heaven or hell…so says Rob Bell?

Nope this isn’t a remake of the theme from John Lennon’s hit song Imagine, this is straight out of the mouth of a popular evangelical writer/pastor of a church named Mars Hill in Michigan.   Not to be confused with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill in Seattle.  A popular church name apparently?!?

I haven’t had the chance to read Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins, but it has been causing quite a stir.  John Piper, Brian McClearen, Al Moehler have all chimed in among others I am sure.  Even down here in Nicaragua I’ve heard it mentioned numerous times by friends.  Apparently Bell is proposing that there is no Hell.  I’ve read Bell’s previous book Velvet Elvis and he is very catchy and hip in his writing style, a lot like Donald Miller.  In fact similar to a lot of writings coming out of “the emergent church” movement, which I see basically as a movement by leaders who grew up in the Bible belt and didn’t like how church became a club or was a religious wing of the GOP.  I grew up in Miami so all the emergent church stuff doesn’t really resonate with me, it actually kind of annoys me.

So I suspect that Bell is making a larger point and using this controversial “there is no hell” line as a proposition to get people thinking, and then gradually moving them to whatever he is really trying to convince them of.    Like I said, I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but I do plan to.   I will have to wait and see.

Apparently Bell made the cover of Time magazine.  I did get a chance to read that article online.  http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2065080,00.html  Here is a quote from the article about the reaction to his book.  It really caught my attention.

“The traditionalist reaction is understandable, for Bell’s arguments about heaven and hell raise doubts about the core of the Evangelical worldview, changing the common understanding of salvation so much that Christianity becomes more of an ethical habit of mind than a faith based on divine revelation.”

Now considering Time magazine is not writing a critique in favor of Traditional Evangelical thought, but actually defending Bell from it, this quote bothers me.  It is a strikingly honest conclusion from a sympathizer of the book.  If Bell really is bringing in a teaching about salvation where “Christianity becomes more of an ethical habit of mind than a faith based on divine revelation” there is a problem. 

Krista pointed out that it sounds like he is going back to the Bible belt.  Not on the same train of thought when she said it, I asked her how so?  She said it sounds like he wants to make the church a social club, just with a different bent.  Now that is an interesting thought.

Looking forward to reading the book…..any thoughts?  The big hoopla at least inspires me to listen to some groovy John Lennon hits….maybe Yoko too 🙂….There are a couple on the soundtrack from Mr. Hollands Opus.

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