Monday, April 20, 2009

Family Worship

When Dave and I got married , one of the things he said to me was, "It's important to me that any kids we have play instruments".

Okay...good idea, I thought. I'd played the piano since I was seven, and Dave played a variety of instruments. But you know...when you don't have kids, and then when you do and they're really little, you don't think about those things very much.

But Dave did!

When the kids were young we'd have family music time, with me playing the piano, Dave on guitar and kids singing. No one was especially interested or showed signs of wanting to learn an instrument though. Bummer for dad!

Oh, but Dave tried to get me to teach the kids piano! And really...I gave it my best shot! But it didn't take.

Some years went by and no one was going along with dad's "you have to play an instrument" theory.

But then, at age 13, Tyler got interested in bass guitar, and then in guitar shortly after that. Yay for Tyler, getting the ball rolling!

After that Caleb started playing sax, then bass, then guitar. And Claire started on the piano. was finally happy! He finally had his "instrumental" family that he'd dreamed of!

Well, yesterday was a perfect culmination of dad's desire for that musical family! It was church day up at Malenovice, and Tyler had leadership for worship during the service. As usual, Caleb, Claire and I were prepared to play and sing with him (we are one of the worsh
ip teams in our church).

But then Dave came in while we were practicing and just didn't seem right that he wasn't up there with us. Somebody said, "Dad...can you play bass with us?" And that was all it took!

Dave thinks it's been about 20 years since he played, but that didn't stop him! He ran home and got it, and was up there playing with us before you could even say "Boo"! And did a great job, I might add!

It was such a lovely moment, the five of us all playing together. One of those perfect family moments...especially for one dad who had a vision for such a day 22 years ago! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sweet Easter

While I love Christmas, birthdays, Mother's Day and Thanksgiving...there is nothing like the significance of Easter. It's my favorite holiday from the standpoint of what it means...the death and resurrection of Jesus.

As always it was wonderful to reflect on the gift of Christ's sacrifice, and be moved again by what that means to me personally...a relationship with God, the hope of heaven, forgiveness for my sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit...all things that would not have been possible were it not for Jesus. So...I love this holiday!

I also love it because it's a special time with dear friends.

Some years ago we started spending Easter with the Pitcher's, one of the first families with JV. I have no idea how many we've spent together over the past 15 years...but it's a lot!

One of our traditions has been a time of reflection on the meaning of Easter using "Resurrection Eggs"...yes, there really is such a thing! Someone made up an egg carton of them for us years ago and I've used them to talk through the Easter story with the kids ever since.

Our other tradition has been an egg hunt...yep, those
typical, colorful, plastic eggs strewn throughout the yard, filled with delicious (?!) Easter candy that we've managed to come up with! And all just waiting for some willing, wanting children to hunt for them!

Through the years other kids have joined in the fun with us,and this year we had twelve in all! The oldest being 19, the youngest being 1! How's that for an age spread! The little ones get their own, small section of the yard to hunt for the coveted eggs, while the older kids have to find them in very difficult hiding spots that all the dads have managed to find. It's a great time, for oldest to youngest!

This Easter egg hunt was bittersweet was the last one with the Pitcher's who will be moving back to the States soon, not to mention Tyler and Patrick Till's last one as they head for college in the fall.

Nevertheless, it was a sweet day together, enjoying our traditions, and remembering Jesus.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Malachi/MCYM Service Project

A few months ago we got an e-mail from a missionary here in Czech, asking if any of our kids would be able, available and/or interested in participating in a service project in Opava, about an hour away from where we live. They were in need of translators for the six day project that would take place there.

With Tyler getting ready for his graduation exams, and Claire not old enough yet to do it, that left Caleb who was very interested in taking part in it...especially when he heard who it would be with!

It was a joint project being run by Malachi and MCYM, the two organizations that do ministry with American military kids. If you've known us for long, you know that Dave started and led Malachi Ministries for almost ten years before we came here to Czech! How cool is that...our son getting to participate in something that his dad started?!

The other great thing about it was the opportunity for Caleb to bridge his two worlds! He got to be with American teenagers for a week, use his skills in the Czech langauge as a translator, and particpate in a ministry opportunity of sharing the love of Christ in word and deed!

He served as a translator at an elementary school where the American students were in English classes sharing about American culture, working on a building project for the school, and leading after school clubs with over a hundred kids. One of the afternoons they were even able to share the Gospel, which Caleb got to translate from English into Czech - something he really enjoyed doing!

Another highlight for Caleb was meeting up with Dan Meyers, an MK that we knew from our days in Cadence when he was still a teenager living with his folks as they ran a hospitality house in England!

Now Dan's a musician/evangelist reaching out to the military throughout the world...and here he was in Czech at this service project, leading worship for their evening programs! Caleb was really impacted by Dan...and it meant the world to us to get to see him the evening we visited!

I love how the Lord wove together our two worlds of ministry, and gave Caleb a really special experience in those two connected worlds!