Monday, September 15, 2014

We Don't Fit Anymore

What do you do when you can't fit the whole family into your current car, apartment or home?

That's the problem we're facing at Malenovice, our JV training center here in Czech.

Our "family" no longer fits inside the hotel when we gather for conferences. The solution for now?

Buy a tent!

No, we're not making people sleep there.

Our team will be packed into beds at the hotel, in the lodges, in the cabins and at various hotels in the area.

But we do need space where we can all be together for the meetings that begin next week. So we bought a tent.

As you can see, it's down by the cabins and lodges so it's easily accessible.

One week from today it will be packed in the evening with nearly 300 of our JV staff, both missionaries and nationals who will come from 13 different countries as we kick off our annual fall training conference.

Today the flooring is being put in, and while we hope for better weather than it was today (heavy fog and damp), it should stay dry in there.

During the week there will be a lot of walking between the hotel up above and the lower section as people make their way up for meals and seminars at the main hotel. But our hotel team has been hard at work making sure it's at least a nice walk.

Last minute repairs and landscaping are taking place this week as well. This is all in preparation for an inundation of our family members who are passionate about sharing the Gospel, discipling young people, and training leaders throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

We'll be getting back to the basics next week as we study and are challenged by the life of Jesus.

It's going to be an amazing week!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Amazon Smile: A Creative Way to Give

Do you shop online at Have you heard about their Smile program?

If you haven't, you need to!

Here's what they have on their website about it:

What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.
How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.

Here's the great news! With every purchase you make through your Amazon account at, if you register Josiah Venture as your charity, you can make a donation to our organization.

And it doesn't cost you anything!! 

To register, go to the Smile Amazon website and follow their instructions to select Josiah Venture as your charitable organization. You'll find the link on the drop down menu for your account where it says "Change your Charity".

You WON'T find this on your regular Amazon account page. That's important to know!

You must go in through their smile website. This website is identical in terms of shopping on their regular Amazon website. But shopping in the Smile website is what allows you to make the donation.

**If you don't sign in through the Smile Website to do your shopping, you won't be donating!**

If you're already supporting an organization, that's great! But if not, we'd love for you to head over there, click into that page, find Josiah Venture, and choose us for your charitable foundation.

It's so easy and a great way to increase our capacity for ministry to young people here in Central and Eastern Europe!

Friday, September 12, 2014

In Shape for Life

"There's never going to be a time in your life when you don't need a healthy walk." Leslie Sansone

I've recently discovered something that is truly revolutionizing my life and I'm SO excited to share it with you!

After a year of little to no exercise, eating out more often than usual, tearing the MCL in one of my knees, and going through the menopause journey, I needed help for my body.

I set September 8th as the day to begin doing something. Although I didn't know exactly what that would be, I knew I needed to start a healthy exercise routine to get my body going again.

My knee has still not healed all the way so I knew I couldn't return to running. And truth be told, while it's good for me and gives results, I don't love it.

And at this phase of life, I need to do something that I love so I'll stick with it!

Enter Leslie Sansone. Have you heard of her? Until last week when I started researching exercise programs for myself, me neither. But she's my new best exercise friend.

And I seriously think she could be yours too.

A fitness expert for 25 years and the creator of "Walk at Home", she's got a walking program in conjunction with the American Heart Association that encompasses all the healthy components of a fitness program that you can do in the privacy of your own home!

All you need is thirty minutes for a two mile walk, a computer device, wifi connection, a small space in your home, the internet link to her walking programs, and a desire to do something good for yourself.

Starting Monday this week, I walked her 2 mile walk every day, right here at home.

And would you believe I lost 3 inches and a pound in five days. What?? Not bad for just thirty minutes a day.

How is that possible?? Somehow she's got it figured out, and I'm loving it. This is much more than just a leisurely "stroll in the park". This is gentle cardio and body weight exercises as you walk that will have you sweating by the end. I've been surprised every time by how much it gets my heart going!

See the photo above, where I'm running? That was a half marathon I trained for and ran with Dave a life time ago five years ago. I keep the photo there to remember that I can be healthy and be inspired to do far more than I think I can.

I don't know if I'll ever run a half marathon again, but I can sure keep up a 30 minute walking program every day, especially right here at home.

As Leslie says, "Why wouldn't you work out? There are so many reasons you know you need to!"

On You Tube you'll find many more of her walking videos: 1 mile3 miles, 4 miles and a 5 miler. I hope someday I'll get strong enough to do those longer ones.

But for now, the two miler is giving me exactly what I need.

Why not give it a try?

My exercise buddy...who'd rather go outside for a walk! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Food Photography and Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

As you've probably noticed, I don't post many recipes here on my blog. I can cook well, and even like finding new recipes to try.

But it's not my hobby. I'm one of those people who cook because it's necessary, not for the fun of it.

Now if you follow my daughter's blog, "Claire's Corner", you'll find joy in cooking!

She's got all sorts of recipes there, including this one for Chocolate Moussethis one for Chile Corn Chowder, and this one for Blueberry Muffins. If you search her blog you'll find lots of delicious recipes, most of them gluten free. I'd highly recommend heading over there if you need some inspiration.

Another thing you'll find on her blog are pretty photos that make you want to cook or bake. I love that she figured out how to do food photography.

Me on the other hand, not so much.

Here's my attempt today.

I did take the photo in natural light, which Claire tells me is essential!

But I realized afterward that I probably should've had a spoon in the picture for artistic sake, and maybe some other things too. Somehow it just doesn't quite look like it does when she photographs.

I did catch the steam rising though and felt pretty proud of that.

Oh well! I'm not a food photographer!

But what I CAN say is my oatmeal this morning was delicious! Here's my recipe, simple as it is:

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal - one serving

1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup oats (I used Bob's Red Mill GF rolled oats)
1/2 apple, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Brown sugar on top

Bring water to a boil, add salt, oats, diced apples and cinnamon. Depending on the type of oats you use (quick cooking or regular oats) cook according to packaging. (I brought the ingredients to a boil then reduced the heat to low while it cooked for about 6 minutes). Cook until desired thickness.

Remove from heat, top with brown sugar and enjoy a heart healthy breakfast!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Being a Private Investigator (for a minute)

After lunch in Poland with a friend today, I stopped for gas back in Czech, about a half hour from where we live.

Two cars were in front of me so I just sat patiently waiting to pull forward, thinking about the rest of my day.

All of a sudden a car pulled up on the other side. The young man got out, walked around the back of his car to grab the hose and start pumping when something caught my eye.

I promise I don't always have my phone in my hand to take pictures! In fact it was deep in my purse and I had to fumble around to find it quickly.

Then I waited to confirm what I saw.

I felt like a private invesigator, sitting there clicking photos hoping I'd get a good one to confirm my suspicion (hoping no one was watching me!).

The young man finally came out of the store and I could see it for sure: he was wearing a JV camp t-shirt!!! 

And in fact, it had the Fusion logo on the back (that's what I'd noticed earlier) so I know for sure he was at some Fusion camp (our JV music ministry). 

(Well, unless he got the shirt from a used clothing store and didn't know what it meant! Ha!)

But assuming he's been to camp, this was so cool to me!

One of our prayers for years has been that the influence of Christ would sweep our country and transform society. Seeing a young man in a normal setting, on a normal day, doing a normal activity while wearing his camp t-shirt just made me smile and praise the Lord for His work in the lives of people here.

I wonder if anyone will recognize him and confirm that he's really been to camp?!