But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Wednesday, November 7

Hail to the King!

I love my Facebook friends and their statuses this morning! Some are overjoyed at the results of yesterday's election, and some are overly despondent. More than a third, however, are chill, and most of those who are chill are so because their hope and happiness are not dependent on a man, but on God. This makes my soul sing!

What a great God we serve, who has allowed America to reelect President Obama! How will He use him to strengthen His Bride and call more people to Himself? Maybe in a scary way, like some are saying, and maybe not. The fact is, in the great plan of God, the presidency of Barack Obama is the best way to come to the best possible ending! "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

I'm excited.
Congratulations, Mr. President! I pray that you will grow in wisdom, and will lead our country well. I pray that you will uphold righteousness and defend the helpless. More than anything, I pray that you will come to know the King who has granted you this presidency!

Doesn't it just make you want to dance, knowing that God might save the president? How awesome would that be?! Don't be cynical; pray! and trust in the God who is trustworthy!

Oh isn't He good?! He is the king of all! Whether the next four years reveal that we have elected an Ahab or a Hezekiah, our God is the same, and He is faithful!

Dios te bendiga!


Sunday, September 9

And the answer is...

Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, THANK YOU for your prayers! I wish I could express to each of you how much they mean to me.

August felt rather like a spinning, twisting rollercoaster that I wasn't sure I'd survive. It was very busy, and my mind and heart were very full of weightier matters than they are used to. The decision of whether or not I should move to Peru for two years troubled me more than I ever would've expected it to.

For starters, it revealed some serious idols in my life. Not necessarily bad things, but dreams I had put on a pedestal without even realizing it. I spent at least one morose week finding myself challenged at every turn by dreams that I had told myself I'd given to God, but really hadn't. It was good, but oh! it hurt.

When I came to the end of that idol-crushing fest, however, I still didn't have peace about going. I don't really know how to describe it. I was finally willing to go, and sometimes I was even excited at the thought of going, but there was always... a heaviness. It never seemed right. So I continued to pray, and I could tell I was being prayed for.

Finally, during the hours of silence on the ride from Indianapolis to St. Louis, with a little over a week left until I needed to send my reply, I knew that I needed to take a step. I remembered that God is sovereign, and if He didn't want me to go to Peru, He was completely able to make that clear to me. At the time, aside from a few things I needed to ask about, I couldn't think of a good reason not to go besides the unsettling lack of peace, but I wasn't entirely sure that wasn't just my selfishness.

I decided to apply and see what happened from there. The next night at the dinner table, I told my family. They were, as they have been during this entire decision-making process, very accepting of it, and agreed that if God didn't want me to go, He would make it clear. That night during Family Bible Time, Dad prayed just that: that if there was anything I needed to know, God would show me quickly. I thought to myself, "Why is he praying that so fervently now, after I've decided to apply?"

That night, I was finally able to chat with a sister who lives in Peru, and who was actually the one who first told me about the position. I hadn't talked to her at all since the interview I had with the General Director, and so she wanted to know all about it. As I was typing, the lack of peace I'd been feeling began to turn into something more concrete. She made some points that I hadn't thought of, or had thought of, but had just assumed I was misunderstanding because of the distance, and advised me not to go. By the end of our chat, the lack of peace seemed to have transformed into the letters N and O. It felt rather like a whisper of fresh air.

However, it sent my mind into total chaos. What about learning Spanish? Doing something meaningful and cool with my life? What about finally knowing what I was going to do for at least two years, after all these years of not having a clue? What if I never got another chance to leave the country? What if I was just being selfish?

It's crazy, isn't it, how I can so easily make any decision for the wrong reasons? All praise to our patient, gracious God for His steadfast love!

I now had exactly one week until September, and my mind had changed direction completely. I decided that I would decline the invitation to apply, unless the Lord showed me otherwise during the week. So I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and the more I prayed, the more peace I felt about not going.

So now I've sent in my reply. I am, until God leads otherwise, staying in the USA. Thank you again for your prayers! Please join me in praying that the Lord will send the perfect teacher to that school.

Glory to the God who hears and answers the cry of His servants!

Dios te bendiga!

Sunday, August 12

Please Pray with Me.

Hello, my dear friends.

I apologize for not updating you on how the latest trip to Texas went. For that matter, I'm sorry I didn't even mention it before I left. I've been insanely busy, blah-blah-blah. You've heard it all before, but I truly am sorry.

I'd love to give you an update, and tell you all about how God blessed us on this last trip (and wow, did He ever bless us!), but I can't get my brain to focus on that right now. Instead, I would like to ask for your prayers.

I've been presented with the possible opportunity of teaching preschool in Peru. Crazy, right? Believe me, I never thought I'd ever be typing those words on this blog! But it's true, and I said I would give them an answer by early September.

Basically, it's a missionary position, so I have to raise a little support. It also requires a two-year commitment, and I'd be in Peru from February to December each year.

There are a lot of really great things about it, like learning Spanish and getting to work with preschoolers in a Christian school. But then there are things that make it a complicated decision, like the fact that I have no formal experience teaching, and that I'd be away from any sort of family situation for two years.

Add to that the fact that all I really want to do is move to Mission, TX, and my life-long desire to see the world, and you can see how it's difficult for me to commit one way or another.

So I'm praying a lot, and seeking wisdom from those who know me best. And I'm asking you to pray for and with me.
I hesitated to tell anyone at first, because I'm so sick of letting everyone down. It seems like every time some amazing possibility is set before me (working with Wycliffe, for example), it ends up not being the Lord's will, and I sometimes get the impression that people who have been praying for me are very disappointed something exciting didn't happen. Do not pray this way.

Pray that God would make the wise way very clear to my family and me, and that He would equip me to do what He asks, just as He's promised to do. It's always cool praying that God would do what He's already promised. Maybe it's kind of cheating, but it's still awesome to see those prayers answered. :)

Thank you in advance for your prayers. I'll be sure to let you know how God leads!

Also, as you read this, you may be tempted to respond in a very dramatic way. I humbly ask that you would please not reply with, "NO!!! You can't leave me!"
Unless you're going to follow up that exclamation with a proposal of marriage, please keep it to yourself and remember two things:

At this point there's about a 50/50 chance of me going or staying.

2. You do not need me.
Believe it or not, you don't. You need Christ. So as much as I love you (and if that's your reaction I'm sure I love you very much!), I am not necessary to your survival.

May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you!

Dios te bendiga,

Monday, July 23

Flowers & Strangers

As promised, I haven't posted much this month. Life has been crazy! I really don't have time to be posting this, but I'd probably end up wasting this much time anyway, so I might as well attempt to use my time for something meaningful.

A voice says, “Cry!”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
    and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
    when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
    surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isaiah 40:6-8

...because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
James 1:10b-11

I always read these verses and thought of the frailness of life, of how we live for such a short, relatively unimportant time, and then leave this world forever. But the other day as I was reading through Isaiah, I noticed the word "beauty" for the first time, and I started thinking. Scripture compares the life of a human with the life of grass pretty frequently, and it's a sobering comparison. But it never occurred to me that it might not be a bad thing.

Flowers are beautiful, especially wildflowers! I love to see fields where wild Daisies or Queen Anne's Lace, or Black-eyed Susans are dancing around with the browns and greens of grasses left to themselves. Really, few sights in creation have ever made me feel as happy and free as that one. But it's a view that I can never enjoy for long. If it doesn't end up in a haybale, the heat of Summer fries them to a crisp (which gives me yet another reason to hide in the air-conditioned house).

Like the flowers of the field, life is short, but, oh! so beautiful! Like a wildflower, there is a raw beauty to life that only its Creator could have given it. 

And like the grass, the end could come at any time, and is a certain thing. Maybe the flower will fall off just as the bud has begun to open, or maybe the grass will slowly wither away. Maybe it will be mown down unexpectedly, or maybe it will fade from the world long after it has faded from memory. 

The fact is, we don't know. Yet despite its uncertainty, death doesn't have to be scary.

Yesterday I hugged a flower who has been fading for a long time. That's how it happened, too. First she experienced the withering of age, and then she began to fade. Now she is sleeping, waiting to awake in eternity. 

As I watched her yesterday, I thought of a quote from the Silmarillion:
"But Men die indeed, and leave the world; wherefore they are called the Guests, or the Strangers. Death is their fate, the gift of Il├║vatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy." pg. 42
Because it's true: God gave us a merciful gift when He banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and the tree of Life. How horrible would that be, to live to the end of time? To die and die and die without ever being free from death? In this sin-soaked world, death is a gift.

Soon Grandma will pass away from this world, only to bloom in glorious eternity, where her beauty will never wither. For us, it is hard. While I'm happy for her, it's never easy to say goodbye when you're not sure when you'll see each other again. But while there is sadness, there is hope-filled joy. Someday we will worship God together in perfection. And when that day comes, it will seem like the time we were apart was the blink of an eye. 

Because Eternal Spring is coming fast.

Are you ready for that, little flower?

Tuesday, June 26

Time Jump to 1904!

It seems strange to be posting a bunch of pictures of me, but they are rather fantastic photos, and after putting up with my updates on this costume adventure, I think you've earned the right to see them!

Getting to dress in the 1904 time period was great! Especially since it meant I got to try one of those newly-invented "ice cream cones."

As you can see, my friend Stephanie did an AMAZING job with this photoshoot! I encourage you to check out her other work, especially the pictures of the other girls. This was a fantastic project, and the results are just breathtaking!



Love and Peace,
Sarah Weber

The Great Costume Adventure!

May 17th

Well, this is incredibly random, and may end up being a little embarrassing, but I'm posting it here anyway!
A friend of mine wants to do a photo shoot of people dressed up from every decade between early the 1900's and 1980. My "decade" is 1900-1910, specifically 1904 and the St. Louis World's Fair. I have a LOT of costumes, but strangely enough, I don't have one from the early 1900's. After doing some research, I can see why. There were some UG-LY styles back then! But it wasn't all bad, and it's definitely a fun era to try to recreate!

So here I am, with about a month to assemble a costume, my passion for doing costumes well, and a tight budget. This one seems like it's going to be quite the adventure, so I've decided to journal it here. Hopefully it works out, so that this won't be a journal of how I failed miserably at making a costume!

To view the majority of my research, check out my Pinboard.

I picked up my first items today at the free store:

An 80's prom dress
and a pair of boots!

Obviously I have a long way to go. The boots shouldn't be too hard to modify, but the dress is going to be tricky.

I am so thankful I found it, though! The lacy top is perfect, and the sleeves only need a little bit of adjusting.

The flower, however, must go!

Until the next post!


May 28th

I haven't accomplished much yet. So far I've made some embarrassingly ugly drawings of ideas, and taken off the flower; which I'm saving just in case I want it for the hat.

After putting more thought into modifying the boots I posted about last time, I was feeling very uneasy about how they were going to turn out. I can probably make them look okay, but the fact that they're a little too big for me was discouraging. In a time where pretty little feet were praised, big boots would not look right. But what could I do but work with what I had?

This past weekend I went thrifting, hoping to find more materials to work with. I found two lace curtains to supply my great need for lace. Everything nice seems to have been dripping with lace in 1904, and I need all I can get!

And then, I found the perfect boots!

Are they not absolutely perfect? And they fit just right! I probably drove my friend batty talking about how thankful I was to find them. Now I can dedicate more time to the dress itself.

So, armed with yards of lace and a pinboard of ideas, I think I'm ready to begin work on the dress! It's just a little terrifying. But if all else fails I have a backup plan: I'll just wear the long skirt and blouse of a working class woman.

After these finding these boots, however, I'm feeling very encouraged!

Cost so far: $7

June 12th

It's taken me a dreadfully long time to do absolutely nothing, but at long last I'm beginning to get somewhere!

Believe it or not, this will be a hat!
With some help from my mother, I managed to get the sleeves of the dress to a proper level of poofiness. I also took off the sheer outer skirt and replaced it with a lovely lace curtain. At the moment it's not very photogenic, but once I add the waistband I'll share a photo with ye. :)

It looks much more purple in real life.

Tonight was the night of the hat! It's a very important part of the costume, and hopefully the most difficult part to make look right. Using an old, child-sized straw hat, a J.C.Penny gift box, scrap fabric from a bridesmaid dress I made a few years ago, lots of hot glue, and some trimmings, I managed to scrape together something that I think will do.

Special thanks to my lovely model, the Piggy Bank!

Just so long as no close up pictures are taken of it, I think it will be fine. It'd be better, but I didn't have as much scrap fabric as I thought. Neither did I have the time nor patience to make the fabric lie flat, so when you're holding it in your hands it looks pretty dreadful! Still, I think it's acceptable.

Left to do:
The collar
A parasol???

Cost so far: $7

June 13th

After putting on the dress yesterday, I realised how very important corsets are to the 1900's look. Whilst bemoaning my discovery to my mother, she told me that she had a pattern to make them! They're not quite period, but they're certainly better than none at all, and I set to work at once... well, almost at once.

I'm too tired to stitch any more tonight, so I'm going to bed and will (Deo volente) finish first thing tomorrow morning. It's been lovely getting to repurpose some more. So far this corset is made of an old pair of jeans, the lining of an old coat, scrap fabric from my grandma's christmas present, and boning from a bridesmaid dress that was turned into an Arwen costume for me many years ago. Fun, fun, fun!

When it's finished, I'll post pictures. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to come very close to completing this adventure! It's been lovely, but that deadline just keeps getting closer!

June 18th (only 5 days before the photoshoot!)

Well, my plan to finish everything on the 14th didn't quite go as planned. My boss asked me to come in and work, which was fantastic, but meant that I accomplished next-to-nothing this weekend!

with waistband & lace
However, as of today that has changed! I think the dress itself is finished!

Is it perfect? Of course not. But I put it on and was startled by how nice it looked! That sounds vain, but I was getting worried.

At long last I posted the promised picture of the waistband and curtain overskirt (or whatever you would call that)!

The train is conveniently long and nicely patterned!

But what I find much more exciting is the collar! It leaves a little to be desired, but when I put it on it actually turned this 80's prom dress into something from 1904! 

I know I keep talking about how surprised I am, but it's the truth! I was really beginning to think that the only wearable thing that would come out of this adventure would be the corset and boots. Praise God, He somehow made my fingers do work I didn't think was possible!

So now I have the hat, the boots, and the dress! In just a few minutes I'll be running to the store to get eyelets, and once they're in I'll have a corset. 

All that remains is a parasol, and I have something I'm going to try to work with for that. My goal is to finish everything today, so be looking for an update later!

Can't you just hear the choir of angels singing?
It may be after 11:30, but here's the promised update! Unless I decide to go crazy and add something at the last minute, the costume is complete, and I've come to the end of my adventure. Can you believe it?!

As you can see, the motley corset is finished! It's actually far more comfortable than I expected. Not so much that I'd want to wear one every day, but the photoshoot shouldn't be too uncomfortable.

Hopefully the next post will be after Saturday, and will feature a picture taken by a much better photographer than the one who's been harassing you with these photos! ;)

Final Cost: $13
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sarah Weber

Wednesday, June 6

Vamos a Orar

Hello, everyone!

I'm writing to ask for your prayers for a very special trip to Mission. Billy is going to Texas for a month and a half!

While I'm a little jealous, I'm much more excited for him, and excited to see how God is going to use this time! You can read all about this Summer Internship on his blog.

Isn't it a wonderful privilege to be able to pray? What a generous God we serve, Who has made a way for us to be vitally involved in things we could never physically help with! Seize this opportunity to bring this trip before the Lord in prayer. He hears.

Grace and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 30

Just remember this: when you lay me down to die, you lay me down to live!

I haven't written much lately. And considering the crazy month that June is promising to be, I probably won't have much to say for a while, besides my Costume Adventure updates, of course.

But I have a little thought, and it asked to be given the chance to be a blog post, so I told it I'd let it try. If it's able to assemble itself well enough, I'll let it stay. Otherwise, well, it'll just be another lonely draft that no one will ever read.

Lately I've been considering mortality more than I have in a long time. When I was a depressed teenager, I thought about it a lot, with little to no happiness. But the more I've grown up, and the closer I've grown to the Lord, the more I find that death isn't so very scary. But then, I haven't had to deal with it much during the past few years.

Not long ago, though, I started noticing mortality in places I've never seen it before. My grandfather, who has always been a picture of strength and vitality to me, had to have surgery on his shoulders. My dog, whom I've always called my puppy, is suddenly a smelly old dog. They're little, silly things, but they've had a ridiculously strong effect on me. Somehow these two small things began to let in a trickle of the fear that fuels most of my nightmares. "They're going to die someday. I'll die someday. There's no escaping that. Everyone is going to die someday. Everyone I love will die someday. They'll be dead, and I'll be alone. And there's nothing I can do about it."

But! Praise be to our compassionate God! He gave me the grace to run to Him with my fears, and gave me eyes to see reality.
This world is a miserable little sigh that will, thankfully, be over and done before we know it. Death is not the end of us, just (for the believer) the end of pain and sadness and confusion. It's the end of saying the wrong thing, thinking the wrong thing, and doing the wrong thing. It's leaving this fallen body and being with God! It's the highest example of God taking what is unnatural and bad, and turning it into a tool that brings ultimate joy and glory!

Don't misunderstand me, it comes at a high cost. I'm looking very, very forward to eternity, but NOT to dying. Knowing what lies on the other side helps, but doesn't take away most of the terror of crossing that river.

So God graciously gives peace, and for that I praise Him. But it's so very easy to get my mind off track!
Last night I stayed up late reading a book that I didn't enjoy very much. I tried very hard to care, but honestly I kept having to re-read bits of it because my mental narration kept saying "blah, blah, blah..." I'm serious!
At the very end, however, I choked up. And when I put down the book, I sobbed. Not because I cared about the characters, or because the writing was so powerful, or even because I couldn't believe I'd wasted precious hours of my life on it. I sobbed because in one scene the author said, "blond braid down her back," and I immediately saw my sister (who's blonde braid is very long). Before I could get the image to change to the actual character, Savannah was blown to bits before my eyes.
And then it hit me again, harder than it has in years: someday my sister will die, and I cannot stop it. And I sobbed for what was certain, and I cursed Adam and Eve and the Serpent, and I rejoiced in the day when all sorrow will be avenged. But that didn't help my despair.

This morning I was still sad, which is rarely good, and never on a work day. So I took it quickly to the Lord. He helped me to realize that part of my sorrow was due to immersing myself in the mindset of the book I'd been reading. There is no God in that world, and there certainly isn't any hope. There's nothing after death, and so you must cling to life with everything you have.

But that's the fiction world of the book, not reality! There is hope. Furthermore, all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. He wouldn't let me nor any of His children die if it wasn't the best way to bring about the most gloriously wonderful result! Not everyone has died. The best thing for Elijah and Enoch was that they didn't. But most of us will. And that's okay, because God is trustworthy and good. The better I get to know Him, the more I'm certain of that fact. He is good, and He loves His children with a passion that no human will ever be able to understand - on this side of the river, at least.

Well, there you have it. I think my thought pulled itself together quite nicely in the short amount of time I gave it to do so, don't you? Well, maybe you don't. Either way, I hope that it has been a blessing to you.

Grace and Peace,

Friday, April 27


Oh my, I haven't posted in a while, have I? The team is safely home. Continue to pray for those they left behind in Mission, especially the boys with whom they had a lot of Bible study and discussion!

Update in my life: I'm not going to be able to go in May, but that's just fine. The fact that I'm totally cool with it is pretty amazing, and I encourage you to rejoice with me in the victory God has given me in this area. He is trustworthy and good!

But that's not the topic I'm going to explore in this post. I wanted to talk about a quote that has impacted me greatly, and I have too much to say for a status update, so I'm typing it out here. :)

The quote:

Mission is ultimately not a human response to human need. The Church's involvement in mission is its privileged participation in the actions of the triune God. -Tim Dearborn

I read this quote one evening while I was dragging my feet, dreading an upcoming moment of dying to my flesh. I thought, "Wow, that's good. Missions is a privilege! Deep." And then the Holy Spirit reminded me that every moment of my life is a mission; that God has called me to be His ambassador everywhere I go. Which meant that the act of selflessness that I was so dreading was more than sacrifice, more than obligation, it was a privilege!

God is sovereign, and has worked out all of history for the good of His people and the glory of His name. Every second of my life is a blessed chance to be a part of that master plan. God is working! The Creator and Sustainer of the world! But I get the opportunity to be the one He uses to accomplish His work! It's a privilege that not everyone gets.

And not just the suffering part! Yes, emptying myself like Christ is a privilege and a gift, but sometimes in life I don't have to sacrifice anything. Sometimes I can just sit down to dinner and enjoy an evening with my family. Am I any less on the mission field? No! In whatever I do, whether I eat or drink, I need to do it to the glory of God. I have the opportunity to serve Him still, and to join in privileged participation in the actions of the triune God even then.

This is amazing stuff. This is hard stuff. More than anything, this is encouraging stuff! A week ago I heard sermon after sermon on how Christ has given me victory over sin and the Enemy (I encourage you to listen to them!). Christ has won the victory and defeated sin and death, thus the end is certain. I WILL prevail. With that in mind, to be the tool God uses to accomplish His work is even more of a privilege. It's not the privilege of a knight who gets to go fight a dragon and maybe marry a princess. It's the privilege of the herald who is given the honor of running ahead to tell everyone that the King has been victorious. No matter what crosses our path, the battle is won. And He has chosen us to get to spread this glad news. It is a privilege!

So go. Like Christ, die to yourself for the joy set before you. Refrain from wasting your time on Tetris, and instead discipline yourself into becoming a Proverbs 31 woman! Maybe actually clean your room for once.
Wait... this is a public blog, not a private journal! I hope that the post has made sense, and been an encouragement to you.

May the love and peace of Christ be with you always!

Friday, April 13

A very, very quick update!

I don't have a whole lot to report, and anything I do have is covered very well by Aaron over at http://christpreeminent.blogspot.com/. I felt like I should post something, though, so here you go! They've been visiting, mowing grass, and pretty much getting things done.

Tomorrow (Saturday) morning is the men's breakfast, and have invited several boys and their fathers. Also, instead of having a pool day, tomorrow evening they hope to have a movie night for some of the girls, and organize a soccer game in a nearby neighborhood. Pray that they have a very encouraging and productive Saturday!

Sorry this is so short and lacking in information! I encourage you to check out Aaron's blog. Personally, even though I've been able to keep in touch with them and get a lot of information, I'll be glad when they're home and can tell me about it face-to-face!

Love & Peace,

Wednesday, April 11

My name is Ruhama!

Now that I've finally updated you on what's going on in Mission, I'm going to take this time to be very selfish and write about myself. I enjoy talking about Russian literature, coffee, ice cream cones, and long walks on the beach...
Haha, just kidding! I'm not here to write a single's ad. If this post goes according to plan, I'm here to glorify God and ask for your prayers.

Let me start by warning you that my emotions have been extremely volatile during the last few days. I'm not sure whether it's just me, or maybe the 3 pounds of sugar I ate in 36 hours. Whatever it is, I'm afraid I've been something of a drama queen. If you're reading this and you've had to put up with my mood swings, I ask again for your forgiveness, and thank you for your grace. Especially if your last name is Weber.

More than anything, I've been discontent. And just when I told myself I'd found contentedness in Christ, I was proven very wrong. I learned yesterday that there is a very good chance that I will not be able to return to Mission next month, and the news crushed me. It tore off the mask, and revealed to me the festering disease I'd been trying to ignore. I looked at my heart attitude, and I found this:

"My whole life is one of waiting! I graduated in October of 2010, and it wasn't until this January that I had anything close to long-term direction. Until February, I was waiting for a job. Even now I'm waiting for clear direction on when and whether or not I should go to language school. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! And what's up with this wait for my husband??? I want to do something, but everything He gives me to do isn't at all exciting! It's mundane, insignificant, boring, and lonely. I don't like where He has me. I want to be where He's going to put me long-term, not this indecisive, trust-every-second-that-He-knows-what-He's-doing thing! And to make matters "worse", when I voice my complaints even a little, instead of sympathising, they point me to trusting God's sovereignty! I know that already! I don't want to have to trust Him, I just want Him to do what I want Him to do!"

That's been the condition of my heart of late. It's disgusting, isn't it? I step out of Easter, intoxicated with the joy and glory of Christ's sacrifice, only to jump into the mud and smear dung all over me. I was putting on such a good show of godliness, hiding my leprosy under priestly garments.  When God allowed me to see clearly what horrible attitudes I'd been gathering up, I was broken. I'm still so ashamed...

And then He led me to Hosea.
He's been doing that a lot lately, and wow, it's amazing! It's me! And it's Him!
It's us!

I've played the whore. I've run after my desires, and put my trust in the things that I wanted. I've told myself that I was in control. When I turned to God, it was oh, so briefly! And then I ran back to my gods.


He loves me. With a love no human could manage!
Check it:
"I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath."
Hosea 11:9 (emphasis added)

Practically the whole book of Hosea is about how completely unfaithful Israel has been to Him, and what horrible discipline they've earned; it's all about what a serious crime it is to cheat on Him. And then this!

Praise God, who has taken for himself a wretch like me to love unconditionally as His precious bride! Waiting is not at all hard if I'm resting in the embrace of my Beloved! Praise be to Him, for bringing me to this place of rest!

So there, you now have a clearer picture of the monster that is Sarah Weber apart from Christ. But, hopefully and more importantly, you have a clearer understanding of what a glorious God we serve!

So please pray for me.
Pray that I would grow to be more like Christ and less like Sarah.
And also, please pray that things would work out at work so that I'll be able to go back to Mission in May! God has brought me to a place where if I'm unable to go, that's fine. A bummer, but something to be rejoiced in because it is His work. But until I know for certain that the answer is no, I'm going to pray otherwise. :)

May the Love and Peace of Christ be with you always!

"Say to your brothers, 'You are my people,' and to your sisters, 'You have received mercy.'[Ruhama]"
Hosea 2:1 (read it in the context of chapter 1 - it's glorious!)

Overdue Report on Monday-Wednesday, or Why Sarah Could Never Make it as a Journalist

I'm terribly sorry that I didn't get this posted yesterday! It was a weird day, and I couldn't get my thoughts gathered and stay focused long enough to get it written. Hopefully I can keep it from getting too long. Here we go!

First, let me tell you that Hermano Solis is doing a little better! When Billy talked to him yesterday, he said that the pain was much smaller. Praise God! And keep praying. :)

I suppose the best way to do this would be to go through day by day and tell you what I know.

Monday evening the team planned on having a family from the church over for dinner, then picking up some boys at 7 to finish soundboard training. They did have people over for dinner (where I hear there was tons of good food), but ended up being 45 minutes late to pick up the boys. Since it was too late for soundboard training, they were able to play soccer with a bunch of kids from the apartments near the church! Isn't it amazing how God works?

Photo courtesy of Billy Jackson
Yesterday they had a bigger day. They started by helping serve breakfast to disaster relief volunteers, and later took a shopping trip to Mexico (where vanilla beans are only 99¢ each!). Yesterday evening they spent some time with a few of the boys, and played a crazy game of kickball where they met new kids and were able to tell them about tonight - more on that later. After the kickball game, they played the "best basketball game in Texas," and then were able to have a Bible study with some of the young men. For more information on that, check out http://christpreeminent.blogspot.com/.

Today I haven't had much of an update on what they've done, except that they're taking care of some things like fixing up the bulletin boards at the church. I do know that there are quite a few prayer requests for tonight!

Photo courtesy of Billy Jackson
To begin with, Aaron is going to be meeting with the church members this evening, and could definitely use your prayers. I don't know what they're going to talk about, but it's a gathering of people, so there will most assuredly be need of grace!

Also please be praying for Billy. While Aaron is meeting with the adults, Billy will be leading a Bible Study with the young men. Please pray that all of his thoughts would come together, and he would be able to clearly present the truth of God's Word to them! Pray also that God would be preparing the hearts of these young men to hear His Truth, and that they would listen and discuss. More than anything, pray that God would use tonight and this trip to save them!

Thursday - Friday
I don't know what the plan is on these days. They want to go to one of the boys' soccer games, but at this time that's not set in stone.

During the rest of this trip, Aaron needs to visit many people. Like the meeting with the church members tonight, it will be people talking to each other, and thus much grace is needed! Pray that he would have the time to make them, and that all conversations would be God-glorifying and conducted in love.

Photo courtesy of Billy Jackson
Saturday morning they plan to have a Men's Breakfast, so pray for them as they prepare for that.

Also, the team wants to have a day where they can invite all of the kids over to hang out. There is no VBS, but the little kids still want to come. It would be fantastic if they could invite them over to swim on Saturday! Please pray that they would be able to get permission to do so.

I think that's all of the information that I have right now. Again, I am so very, very sorry that it has taken me so long to update you all!

Until the next post,

Monday, April 9

An Update and a Request.

Hello, everyone! It's time for another second-hand update (for a first-hand account, check out http://christpreeminent.blogspot.com/ )! I heard from a friend that things are going okay in Mission. The kids are in school, so not much has been happening. Tonight they hope to have some friends from the church over for dinner, and to finish training some of the boys to run the sound board.

I have three things for you to pray about today!

Photo courtesy of Billy Jackson
First, continue to pray for healing for Hermano Solis' arm. While you're doing that, consider whether or not you could contribute to this brother financially as well as in prayer. This large family's financial situation is not very stable at the best of times, and with no insurance, the price of the hospital stay, surgery, and his medicine, they will probably have it pretty hard for a while. Please pray that God will reveal to the team what the family's greatest needs are, so that the body of Christ can show love to them by meeting that need. And please consider being part of the body who extends love to them in that way. Pray about it.
If the Lord so leads you to help them financially, you can contact Debbie with Psalm 67 at: 

The second prayer request was mentioned by Aaron in his blog post,  and that is that God would save the area from the influence of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Pray that God would pour out salvation on Mission, Texas, and that He would choose to save great numbers of Jehovah's Witnesses first! One of the young men that we've spent a lot of time with in the past has been going to a JW church, and they haven't been able to spend any time with him yet. Pray that they would be able to make contact with him, and that he would start coming back to Iglesia Bautista Cristo El Rey!

The third prayer request is not quite as major as these other two, but since I'm praying it, I thought you might like to, too. :)
In the words of Billy Jackson: "Pray that the Lord would send us some bikes, too. That would be awesome."

So there you have it! I'm sorry that my updates are usually just glorified lists of prayer requests, but why else would you want an update if not to know how better to pray and support the work God is doing in Mission?

Again, please prayerfully consider whether or not God could use you to support our brother and sister in Christ, Mr. and Mrs. Solis, as they go through this trial!

May the joy of the Lord be with you all!

Love and Peace,

Sunday, April 8

Aaron took a good nap, and other stories.

Picture courtesy of Billy Jackson
This has been a great day!

One of the greatest parts of it was getting to video chat with some of the kids in Mission. Seeing them and hearing their voices was so wonderful, almost like being there. I love those crazy kids.

I was also able to get some updates for you! Last I heard, Aaron was supposed to pick up Hermano Solis from the hospital at 7:30 tonight.
Please keep the Solis family in prayer. They have no insurance, and getting antibiotics and pain medicine is turning out to be difficult. Right now they're trying to get it from Mexico, because it's much less expensive over the border. Please pray that things would go smoothly, and that God would provide whatever funds they may need. I have no idea what their needs are in that area, just that they could use some prayer. [UPDATE! Hermano Solis is home, and has his medicine! Praise God!]

So far as what the team will be doing tonight, Aaron is picking up Hermano Solis, and Rick is teaching some of the boys to run the soundboard at the church. I don't know what the others are doing, but hopefully they're getting some rest. In the words of Aaron, "I took a good nap today... I think. I don't remember falling asleep." They haven't said much about how tired they are, but if nothing else, they look exhausted, and this is only their second day. Pray that they would be able to rest, so that they will have the strength to do the work that God gives them to do. It's hard to pour yourself out when you're tired.

Picture courtesy of Billy Jackson
One more thing, and then I'll leave ye alone. We, the girls left behind, would really like to have a video chat with the girls in Mission. We're not sure when that might happen, or how it's going to work with everyone's schedules, but we're hoping it all comes together. Pray with us that it will!

Thank you for your prayers, and for your patience as I try to keep us all up-to-date with what's happening in Mission! Hopefully I'm redeeming myself for not giving you any updates while I was down there last month. :)

Love and Peace to you!

Saturday, April 7

I am not in Mission, Texas. And that's okay.

[If you don't want to know about what's going on in my life, please scroll down to find out what's going on in Texas! It's important stuff.]

Do I wish I was in Mission with Aaron, Rachel, Rick, Billy, and Olivia? Yes!
And no.

I want to be there, because I miss everyone and I'm longing to go back! I don't want to be there, because I know that God wants me here at home, and that's just fine. More than fine, it's perfect. It's the best place I could possibly be at this moment, and slowly this head knowledge is becoming trusting, enjoyable heart knowledge.

One definite perk of being home is that I get to spend Easter with my family! I haven't gotten to spend much time with them lately, and I miss them. The past few days have been really nice, and full of special moments, like painting Easter eggs at 10:30pm, taking my sister to an interview for her first out-of-the-house job, and making Coconut Easter Bunny Cake Pops (my invention!) with her.

Every moment is precious, and some are even more precious than others. I don't know what my life is going to be like next Easter. For all I know, I'll be living my dream as a missionary's wife, and be living far, far away. Spending these days at home, and not in Texas, is a blessing.

That being said, I still really, really wish I was down there with them. I've gotten to do a lot of thinking about how amazing God's omnipresence is, but if I could collect those thoughts into something readable, they should definitely go in their own blog post!

But importantly: Texas!

As mentioned, the team is little this time: Aaron, Rachel, Olivia, Rick, and Billy (just like the first time only without me). They arrived in Mission yesterday evening, and I've been pestering them for updates ever since! From what I can gather, they've already been very busy, and they already have something for us back home to pray about.

Hermano Solis

Photo courtesy Billy Jackson
Lesley and Enrique are some of our best buddies in Mission. During our last trip, they helped us tremendously by translating for us when we handed out flyers. They have eight other brothers and sisters, and their parents are some of the few members of Iglesia Bautista Cristo El Rey.

Today their father, Mr. Solis, was trimming trees at a friend's house. He fell, and the chainsaw he was using fell with him, landing on his left arm, about four inches up from the wrist. It did what chainsaws do, and cut down to the bone. Last I heard, he was unable to feel or move two of his fingers. He's in surgery now (Saturday night) until 11:00pm. I'll give you an update as soon as I can tomorrow!

Photo courtesy of Billy Jackson
Please pray! Pray that the doctors would be able to reconnect all nerves and tendons easily. Pray for quick and relatively pain-free healing. Even more than these things, pray that God would use this situation to show His love to this family. Pray for Aaron, Rachel, Rick, and Billy, that they would know exactly what to say and do to help.
Pray that God would use this situation to make His Name known to the Solis' neighbors and friends!

Photo courtesy of Billy Jackson
And pray for the team while they're down there. Pray that their days would be full of good work and their nights full of good rest. Pray that God would open doors like never before, and that they would be able to live the Gospel. Pray that many come and hear the Good News tomorrow, and be saved!

IT IS FINISHED! Christ has taken the full punishment of our sins on Himself! The curtain has been torn, and God is our Father! Pray confidently, and gratefully! He is worthy of all praise, and He will save His people from their sins, so pray that He would save for Himself more worshippers tomorrow!

He is risen!

Like I said, I'll give you an update on Hermano Solis and the rest of the goings on in Mission as soon as I can. Until then, rejoice in Christ's victory and pray!

Love and Peace,

P.S. I just realised that this is the 200th post! Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, April 3

Floored by Grace

How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.
Hosea 11:8,9

What wondrous Love is this, O my soul?!

In context, it brings me to tears! Read Hosea if you get a chance. Meditate on that mercy today. And don't you dare refuse such mercy to a fellow sinner.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting!

Friday, March 30

Did my clock grow wings?

Time is certainly flying!

Somewhere along the line, I think I missed the announcement that minutes are no longer made up of 60 seconds, and hours are no longer made up of 60 minutes. It must've happened while I was in Texas. Maybe in conjunction with Daylight Saving Time?

Something must have happened, because ever since I've been home my time has been evaporating before my eyes. Sure, you could attribute it to very poor time management on my part, and the fact that there is so much to do right now, but at the rate time had been flying by even that doesn't seem like a sufficient explanation! I mean, Palm Sunday is the day-after-tomorrow. Seriously???

My sudden lack of time has served a good purpose, though, in that it's been a sharp reminder that life is a vapor. When I was younger, vapors must've stuck around longer, because even though I've always been acutely aware of the brevity of life, it never really sank in just how fast time was flying by. Until now.

And now I'm beginning to realize how precious time is. Minutes are not pennies that I have an abundance of and can spend carelessly. They're 20 dollar bills. And contrary to my former belief, I'm not necessarily rich in time. I have no guarantee that there's another cent in my account.

So what does this mean? How will this realization affect my life?

First, I'm realizing that I'd be a fool to waste my time. Back to the money analogy, I want to be able to look back at my account and see that I've only made wise or meaningful purchases, not that I misplaced hundreds of dollars, or spent it all in one of those claw prize machines. I don't want to be that person who started building a house, but had to leave it half-finished because they ran out of money. I'm only given enough time in life to finish what God would have me finish, and I don't want to waste that time doing something else. This is a HARD lesson for me, and I know that I will either forget that I've written this, or frequently regret writing it, because now I have this blog post to keep me accountable. But that's a very good thing!

Second, I want to cherish every minute as the precious gift of God that it is! As you know, I've been dealing with a lot of questions about the future for several years now. My mind is constantly spinning with "If this happens then I'll do that, but if this happens, then I need to look into doing this or that, but if that happened what do I do???" Many times this is necessary thinking, but I often find myself so focused on the future that I'm ignoring the present.
Christ said not to worry about tomorrow, because it has enough worries of its own. He hasn't given us tomorrow. He most likely will, but that's by no means guaranteed. He has given us this very moment. He's given it to us as a gift, and put it in our charge to use wisely.

I very much want to grasp this and apply it to my life. I want to be able to take every moment to look around and think, "God has given me this breath, this second, and has put me in this very place for my good and His glory. How can I use and enjoy it for Him to its fullest capacity?"And then I want to follow through.

I hope this has been an encouragement to you! It has been an encouragement to write it. Now, however, I need to use my time wisely by putting together the report for the Kurt Warner Foundation. If you read this over the weekend, please pray that it would come together well, and be very informative. I'm so thankful for the scholarship money, and I really want to be able to convey what a help it was to our trip!

Love and Peace,

Friday, March 23

The Update goes ever on and on...

Okay, so now that you know everyone, let's continue!

VBS went very well. Day by day we fixed the schedule here and there to find the best way to do things. I was in charge of crafts again, and I did a dreadful job of it. None of my plans worked, so we ended up making posters almost every day. Also, I shared my time with snack time, so the kids didn't have very much time to work on those. Somehow, however, in a way that only God could manage, the kids enjoyed it. 

Since I couldn't do much, I really tried to help them learn the memory verses, but they hardly needed my help! Their ability to memorize scripture amazes me. At no point in my life have I been able to memorize anything like those kids! The boys' group and the girls' group each contributed to one huge poster of two of the memory verses, and on the last day we got to hang them up in the hallway, which I think they were pretty proud of. Also, on Saturday we took all of the kids who had memorized all five memory verses out to Chick-fil-a for dinner as a reward.

I don't want to keep you forever, so I'll wrap up with my two favorite parts of the trip and some prayer requests.

1. Sharing the Gospel with Samantha
One of the sweetest little girls I've ever met is named Samantha, and lives in Mission. Last time God used her to help me realize how important it was for us to return, and how wrong it was for us to begin developing relationships and then leave forever. Anyway, I love her, and she loves me (I know, because she told me so, and wrote it a few times on a piece of paper). She may love Blake more now, but I don't mind coming in second.

I said all that to say, as sweet as she is, she didn't necessarily listen well during the Bible Lesson. During one of the lessons, while Gennie was teaching, I was holding her on my lap, trying to encourage her to pay attention, and trying to keep her from talking to everyone around her. Gennie was talking about Heaven, and Samantha asked me what Heaven was. From there, she asked more questions, and I was able to share all about how we are guilty, and Christ died to take away our guilt, and how if we are His when we die will we go to be with Him forever in Heaven. It was so amazing! Every time I'd finish saying one thing, expecting that she'd lose interest, she'd ask the perfect question to lead to the next part. I felt a little bad for distracting her from Gennie, but I think it was worth it. 
Even more exciting was that just a few minutes before, unbeknownst to me, Kim was able to share the Gospel with an older girl in another room! It was so cool!

2. Getting to know Sofia
There was only one girl over 12 that came, and her name is Sofia. While we colored posters, I was blessed to be able to talk to her and begin a friendship with her. She's a smart, lovely girl who (like every teenager) is in need of godly influences and role models.
One evening when we invited kids 12 and over to stay later, Kim, Gennie, and I got to spend more time with her, and we learned that she really likes a certain frozen yogurt place. Her birthday was that Saturday, so we immediately fell to scheming. After a few ideas had been tossed around, we agreed to have a girls' night and take her to the frozen yogurt place, and also to try to find a nice Bible for her. Finding a Bible seemed a daunting task. We wanted to get it in English, since that's what most of the kids read best, but Spanish seemed wiser, since that's what the kids comprehend best. Also, she would better be able to share it with her family. It was decided that we needed to get a bilingual Bible, but they usually run at around $70, and none of us could afford that! So we started praying that God would quickly lead us to an affordable Spanish/English Bible. We had about half an hour to find it.
Guess what! We found one! What a Great Provider we serve!

So Saturday evening after Chick-fil-a, the girls said that we would like to ride together to go home. At first we tried fitting 6 girls (Rachel, Kim, Gennie, Sofia, her friend, and myself) into a 5-passenger car. I was going to ride in the trunk, and I was ecstatic! But after rolling about 40 feet, they stopped and said I couldn't. Apparently everyone on earth was worried that I'd die. Party poopers.

My epic disappointment turned out for good, though, because Rachel left us to shop at Target while she went back and got the van. So we checked out sunglasses and jewelry and read funny birthday cards. When Rachel got back, we all waited in the van forever while Kim stood in line to buy a necklace. While we waited, we drove through a car show and joked about entering our not-very-pretty van. Good times. 

The yogurt place was AMAZING, and Sofia really liked her Bible. I was and still am so thankful that we were able to help her celebrate her birthday and begin developing a friendship with her. I hope that as time goes on our friendship will grow.

So here are a few ways you can continue to pray (I'm rather persistent in dishing out prayer requests, aren't I?):

1. Continue to pray for wisdom and guidance for me.
I guess I should've mentioned this before. While we were in the Valley, our group had the opportunity to take a tour of the Rio Grande Bible Institute while Billy had several interviews. I know for absolute certain that if Aaron and Rachel are able to go, I will move down with them and attend Missionary Language School. But if they aren't, I still don't know what to do. I really, really want to go, but I'm not at peace with the idea of going without a male head. Maybe that seems old-fashioned, but that's how I roll. I don't want to go without a protector (especially since everyone likes to play matchmaker down there!). Pray that the way would be made very clear to my parents and me!

2. Pray for wisdom and guidance for everyone else.
I'm not the only one facing big decisions. The Suttons and Billy need wisdom and direction, too. I'm willing to bet the rest of our team could use your prayers as well. 

3. Pray for Iglesia Bautista Cristo El Rey.
They're a small, struggling church, and they need a pastor, among other things. Please keep them in your prayers!

4. Pray that God would pour out His salvation on Mission, Texas
Beginning with those children we reached out to during this trip! They have heard the Gospel, and despite our sin, we have striven to be ambassadors of Christ. Pray that God would use what He allowed us to do in ways that only He could! Pray that Samantha, and Sofia, and Elmer, and Evaristo, and Emanuel, and Enrique, and Leslie, and Daniel, and Freddy, and Lupita, and America, and Mario, and Jeszel, and Marco, and Irvin, and Naillyn, and Hermes, and Abraham, and Filipe, and Hector, and Diego, and Lianie, and Diana, and Lesley, and Raul, and Vanessa, and all of the other children would recognize their sin, repent, trust in Christ's sacrifice and be saved, they and their households!

Thank you so much for your prayers! They are so encouraging, and appreciated! If you have any questions, please ask! I want to be sure that I'm giving you a full report of all that you've been supporting.

Love and Peace,

Wednesday, March 21

The Long-Expected Update

First, let me apologize for my extreme rudeness! After begging repeatedly for your prayers, I didn't post one update the whole time I was gone, and I'm sorry. But here I am to make all things right. Let's hope I do a fair (and not too tedious) job of it.

We had a good (albeit squished) trip down, and Friday night saw us snuggled in our beds in the parsonage, ready for whatever adventure the Lord brought our way. The next day, and really the whole week, featured a lot of knocking on doors and handing out flyers for VBS. We were able to make a lot of new connections that way, and found treasure troves of kids! It was pretty fantastic.

Sunday morning the three girls of the team (Kim, Gennie, and myself) taught the younger Sunday School class, and later Gennie and I taught an unplanned Children's Church while Kim and Christian watched the little ones. It went well, and like the last trip, it served as a good introduction to the week to come.

Before I go any further, I should probably introduce our team to you:

Aaron & Rachel Sutton -
Our fearless leaders, and the Mom & Dad of the trip. Aaron preached on Sundays and taught the VBS lessons. Rachel kept everything everywhere running smoothly.

Rick Clausel -
The Music Man. He led worship on Sundays, worked with some of the young men in the church who can play instruments, and taught a music class during VBS that I hear was incredible. I wasn't ever able to sit in on one, but the singing I heard coming out was great. :)

Billy Jackson -
Fellow veteran of the last trip, mastermind of recreation, bus driver, and photojournalist extraordinaire. If you've been reading my blog, you must know a little bit about him already. Check out his blog for more information.

Kim Lee -
Expert child tamer. My almost lifelong friend and the daughter of my pastor took a week off of work at a daycare to teach kids around the same age in a much less structured setting. And she was really, really good at it. It was also nice to have her there as a companion. I love that girl!

Blake Pollock -
Wisconsin gentleman. One of the three people I met for the first time on the way down, Blake helped lead recreation, and was really good at swinging kids around in circles.

Craig Kopp -
That Guy. He's the second of my three new friends, and is very good at coming up with songs on the spot. If you want a pretty good description of Craig, you should check out his post on Billy's blog. Besides providing comedic relief, he also helped lead recreation.

Christian Brandon -
The athletic drummer. Christian both helped lead recreation and helped Rick work with the drummer in the church. I met him on the trip down, too. I knew he had to be cool, because he was reading a book by Tolkien, and procrastinating in his math homework. He was a guest blogger on Billy's blog. You should check it out.

Gennie Jackson -
Miss Amazing. She's Billy's little sister, my sister's best friend, a really good friend of mine, and she pretty much rocks. Gennie did most of the teaching for the little ones, which was a special challenge, since many of them don't speak English yet, or have a lot of trouble sitting still and listening. Like her brother, she works great with kids, and like Kim it was such a blessing to have her around!

Olivia Sutton -
Aaron & Rachel's four-year-old daughter. She's adorable, and like a little sister to me. She also knows waaaaay more Spanish than I do.

And then there was me, but you already know that. This post has already gotten rather long, so I think I might end here and pick up later with the rest of the week. If you just can't wait, I highly recommend checking out Billy's blog. Specifically, you should read the post I helped write.

Thank you all for your prayers! Please continue to pray for Iglesia Bautista Cristo El Rey, and for the team, even though we're home. Some of us really want to go back soon, and some of us are making big decisions. Prayers for guidance, wisdom, and clarity are very much appreciated!

Love & Peace,