Katie and Robby’s Wedding – September 8, 2013

Brother, Father, and Mother of the Bride

Brother, Father, and Mother of the Bride

Here are just a few images from Robby and Katie’s wedding. Most courtesy of Sherry and Dale Woods.

 

Robby watching Katie approach

Robby watching Katie approach

Dan walking Katie down the aisle

Dan walking Katie down the aisle

A hug before handing Katie off to the groom

A hug before handing Katie off to the groom

Exchange of rings

Exchange of rings

Sunglasses were provided for the guests, and the programs doubled as fans

Sunglasses were provided for the guests, and the programs doubled as fans

The happy couple

The happy couple

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The Impossible Dream

“This can’t be true! How is that even possible?”

Those were my thoughts when saw this amazing graphic on line:

HalfWorldPopulationCircle

 

 

Our mission in Global Media Outreach is to help give everyone on earth multiple chances to hear and respond to the gospel, and a big part of my job is to help raise up enough Online Missionaries to serve the people inside this circle (China, India and surrounding).

To say I feel totally inadequate would be a gross understatement. But we serve a great God, and He has not only commanded us to help reach the entire world with the gospel, He has promised that it will happen (Matthew 24:14).

Are you dreaming a God-sized dream, and pursuing God-sized goals, that are completely impossible through mere human effort? I hope you are, and I appreciate your prayers for Pat and me and the GMO team as we press on toward this “impossible dream.”

Final practical note: If you know mature Christians who are fluent in written simplified Chinese, who might want to join our volunteer responder team, send them my way!

(Click HERE to see the web page with the map and further explanation)

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House(s) Update, Moving Schedule

(Updated 8/29)

Some of our friends have been confused by all the house happenings. Let us bring you up to date with just a few bullet points:

  • In May, we bought a house in Frisco, TX, intending to live in it.
  • Last month, we realized that a GMO family, dear friends of ours, needed this house more than we do. So they will live there instead, renting it from us.
  • In early August we found another house we like quite a lot, in nearby Little Elm (not far from the first), and signed a contract to buy it. It’s just 15 minutes from the office and close to our friends for carpooling. Here it is!Image
  • We have a buyer for our Orlando house, closing the week of September 9, and the Texas house is due to close on the 25th.

So we now have a moving schedule. Lord willing (James 4:13-15), we will load the moving truck on Friday, September 20. We have a send-off lunch at church on Sunday the 22nd, and will drive away that afternoon. We’ll drive 2-1/2 days and arrive in Texas on Tuesday, September 24. We are planning to ship our minivan and drive the Honda; movers will load (yay!) and drive the truck.

Thank the Lord for His provision for us. Please pray for both house closings, sanity in packing, and safety in driving across country.

Also pray for the guys I met on the airplane on our Dallas trip. Scott, an American businessman, needs to truly understand the gospel. Srikanth, a young man from India, heard it for the first time and needs to realize that all religions are not the same. I have both of these guys’ e-mail addresses and will be continuing to reach out to them.

Thanks for your dear friendship and partnership as we reach out to millions around the world with GMO.

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This and that

Remember the Church Database project Dan was working on last month? Well, our GMO leadership is committed to helping connect seekers with Christian community on the ground, but they did not feel like Dan’s approach was the right one. So the worldwide church database project is on the shelf for now.

Dan is still gathering church data for the parts of the world he’s concerned with (East Asia, specifically China, and South Asia, largely India), so all his research has not gone for naught.

Eric started work at Lockheed Martin on June 17. His initial task, updating parts drawings on the computer, is not super-exciting, but he knows the real engineering work will be coming.

He had a fantastic time on his Senior Design trip, successfully installing the wind turbine for the township near Harrismith, South Africa. He was so glad to do something useful, when many of the senior design projects were basically science fair displays.

The last 4 days volunteering at the Cheetah refuge were the highlight, though. He has tons of great photos on Facebook.

We hope to put our house on the market on August 1. With a week taken out for CSU (July 12-21), we are spending almost every spare moment to get everything done — painting, drainage repairs, and replacement of tile and laminate flooring. And, of course, getting rid of large amounts of STUFF so that our house will be clutter-free for showin. And when moving day comes, hopefully we’ll just be moving stuff we REALLY need. We certainly appreciate your prayers for all that.

Thanks for your friendship and readership!

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We got one!

RoyalOaksHouse

Back in Orlando after our first couple of house offers had fallen through, Pat diligently searched the online listings. She called me over and said “look at this!” It has a view!

You see, we are used to looking out our back window and seeing open space — our yard, and a little pond, and a forest behind that. Almost all the houses we saw in Dallas had small yards with big high fences that gave a very closed-in, cave-like effect. We only realized later that it was the contrast between that and our current situation that caused us to dislike those houses so much. And that made this one so wonderfully different:

RoyalOaksBack

Open space behind the house! A greenbelt and the community center, and walking path! In contrast to the others it seemed so beautiful.

So we had our agent take a look at it, got a good report, made an offer, and after a few days of waiting, it was accepted!

Here’s the aerial view, with our house at upper right with the little “A” symbol. Who knows, maybe a soccer game will break out someday in that nice open space?

RoyalOaksAerial

 

So unless the inspection reveals something shockingly wrong, in about a month we’ll close on our house in Frisco. It’s perfect timing b/c shortly after that, our good friends will move in for a few months while they look for their own house.

Our plans are still to move shortly after Katie’s September 8 wedding date.

And for those who are just getting caught up, we are moving because our ministry, Global Media Outreach, is consolidating operations from 3 locations (Silicon Valley, Indianapolis, and Orlando). We will be very sad to leave Orlando and our friends and especially our church after 20 years. But God is calling us, and we are excited to follow His leading.

For more pictures, see http://www.jenniferblackwood.remaxtexas.com/remaxtx/modules/internet/search/includes/mapsearch/listingpopup.asp?mlsid=3215&mlsnumber=11932720

Thanks for your friendship and prayers!

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House-hunting in Dallas – Friday afternoon

We spent last week in the Plano area, where Pat organized a small conference for our top volunteer leaders (she did a great job and it was a blessed event!)

Afterward we met our realtor and went house-shopping.

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride to this point. We really liked a house in nearby Allen, about 6 miles from the new GMO office, and made an offer. Apparently, someone else wanted it more, and our offer was declined.

House number 2, a few blocks away, was almost the same, and we made an offer that was accepted. However, the inspection revealed multiple serious problems with the house. So we retracted our offer.

In the meantime, House number 1 became available again. We put in another offer and are currently awaiting the result of that, hopefully tonight or tomorrow.

Finally, House number 3 (a couple miles farther out than we had originally wanted), came available. It is the first one we’ve seen that actually has a view out the back window, and for that and other reasons is really appealing. If our offer on House 1 is not accepted, we’ll take a shot at House 3.

More news after the weekend. Thanks for your prayers. We have experienced God’s great peace in the midst of what could be a very anxiety-producing process.

UPDATE Friday Evening: House No. 1 went to the highest bidder, 5K over what we offered and 8K over the asking price. Things are gettin’ kinda crazy here in the North Dallas area!

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Saving a Life in South Africa

By Pat

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a contact, “C” in South Africa. She had recently recommitted her life to Christ and was facing a big test. She just read a lesson about trusting in God, and she found that she (a single mom with a five-year-old) was pregnant. She was torn between trusting in God and having another abortion. She wondered if God would forgive her if she did. Here’s some of what I wrote to her.

I acknowledged her fears and anguish, and showed her Joshua 1:9.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Many times when we say we want to trust the Lord, he then presents us with another challenge–and right away we stop trusting him and try to do what seems right to us! I do not at all mean to say that what you are going through is easy!

Read again the Day 23 lesson–God is in control! He knows your future, and your children’s future! You can trust him. You do not know how it will work out, but he does! Give your fear and worry to him and seek him for your help, and expect that he will answer.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of the life that the Lord has promised to those who love him (James 1: 12).”

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind (James 1: 6.)”

I am praying for you, C, that you will know that Jesus is with you and his spirit is there to give you courage to do the right thing! Please write back and let me know how you are.

I am happy to say that C wrote back:

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your email. When I opened it I heard God speaking to me . am so encouraged. I will not kill my baby, he is Gods Love. and he’s going to provide for it. Thank you.

I will keep in touch , I will let you know how it goes. You have saved my life and that of my baby. God bless you much more.

I am blessed to know that he is there for me.

Thank you!

She is a courageous woman. Please pray with us that she will be strong in her decision and that the Lord will provide for her needs.

 

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