Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Glass Masters....

One of the "must dos" that I have when I come to Seattle each year is to visit the Hot Shop at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Over the summer, master glass artists from across the US and the world are invited to work in the shop. We have seen an amazing variety of creations - bowls, bowls within bowls, huge glass shapes for installations in concert halls and gardens world-wide, and so much more. The master artist meets with the hot shop team of gaffers - all glassblowers in their own right - and shows sketches outlining the projected vessel to be made. Then every person on the floor has a part to play, and many are interchangeable roles. Gathering the glass from the furnace, loading the furnace with the glass beads, making the canes of color, keeping the emerging creation liquid in the furnace until the next step, shielding the arms of the blower as he works on the vessel, preparing to change the vessel from one pipe to another and so it goes on. All with one purpose, all intent on fulfilling the master artist's dream. It has a Biblical ring to it doesn't it? The Church - His Church - called to be a body of members with His dream at heart, all moving in individual and corporate giftings to see Christ fulfill His purposes, for the church to become a living, relevant source of light and life in the world. Check out www.museumofglass.org

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Faith of Children

I work with children on a regular basis - sometimes behind the scenes writing or training workers, but at other times face-to-face in camps usually. We just finished a camp in the state of Washington with the New Hope International Church. Pictured is one of the young campers sharing some Bible verses via Biff, our blue puppet person. Kids - love to laugh, enjoy games and competition, have great imaginations and are wonderfully creative. And then there is their response to God - trusting, full of faith, ready to experience all He has to offer. Such are some of the kids we were with last week. As we sang "Supernatural God" we came to the line "All things are possible". Stopping the song there, I asked the kids to call out some impossibilities in their lives or the lives of their family members. We compiled a list on the whiteboard - jobs for dads who had been out of work for months, healing, miracles that were needed in many ways. To this list I added my own need - my left knee had somehow slipped out of alignment. I was limping, strapped up securely, and icing at every opportunity. A number of children volunteered to pray and started down the list. When they had finished, we thanked the Lord for hearing and went on with the songs. It wasn't until half way through the program that I suddenly realised I wasn't limping, I could bend my knee without pain and without collapsing! The simple prayer of a faith-filled child who knew the reality of a loving Savior was all it took. Thanks Lord! I love the privilege I have of being built up and encouraged by kids!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Did they really say that?

Some memorable quotes from the camps thus far:

To a camper who lives in the mountains of Idaho. "Do you have bears anywhere near your property? Answer: "Nah....only cougar." NOW THAT'S COMFORTING!!!!

From Intern Bekah (who is first to bed and last to rise) "You two are like a couple of old rockers... you just keep going." My reply: "We're afraid if we stop we'll die". Her understanding - So you're running from death!" Hmmmm

Camper to Music Man Doug: "I know who Larry is". "Who?" replied Doug. "It's one of them crazy ladies"...and then pointed to me. Really uplifting.

And I'm sure there'll be more....

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Hound From Heaven

We have just finished the Boise, Idaho Royal Family Kids' Camp for children in foster care. What an amazing week with 36 great kids and a committed team of workers. While the week went fairly smoothly and there really was a great atmosphere of peace and unity, it was not without its hiccups. One of these was when a camper - we'll call her Tahlia - ran from the lakeside area (having been upset through not having the beach toy available for her use). This little girl experienced panic attacks, and it was clear that she had a background of severe abuse. As she ran towards the road, Sue and the Grandma Irene pursued her. I radioed the Camp Director, Tom, to alert him as to what was happening, and our other workers continued to supervise the children playing in and by the water. By the time Tom arrived Tahlia had retreated to the bushes (having put Sue through some harrowing moments when she had called out "I will kill myself" as a logging truck came down the road.) And so there was a stand-off. Eventually she moved along towards the building on the property. And then it happened - out of nowhere appeared a basset hound. He slowly ambled to Grandma and myself and I knelt down to pet him. "Look how gentle he is. Oh what lovely silky ears. He is a friendly dog" all said loud enough so our girl could hear. The dog then looked up and made a beeline for her. She fell to her knees, put her arms around him and rested her head on his. At this time, her counsellor arrived, and the tension was diffused. When I looked back, the dog had gone. I learned later that he lived on the next property - but no-one saw him come, no-one saw him go. What amazing timing! Coincidence? I think not - just God looking after one of His precious kids.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Father's Day in the USA is in June, not September as in my home of Australia. This year I was able to spend it honoring Sue's Dad, Dale Carpenter. It has caused me to reflect on the "fathers" in my life.
1. Arthur Boyd - MY dad. A man of integrity, faithfulness and a great role model to me as I grew up. When he battled cancer, he did it with dignity and the assurance that his God was well-able to heal, but if not, then that was OK. I admit I was amazed at the strength of his faith in facing what he did - he had always believed he would see in the year 2000 and live a full life into his 90's just the way his mother did. He went to be with the Lord in March, 1993 and I still miss his wisdom and his total belief in me.
2. Richard Holland - my friend Hilary's dad. He was my pastor for many years, my friend almost as long and my spiritual dad. It's been just a year since he left at age 89. The way he handled personal onslaughts (health and others) taught me much. When wronged, he would say "It's alright, God knows and He will work it out" when I wanted to shout from the rooftops the injustice of the matter. He pastored a church with the heart of a shepherd who truly did lay down his life for the sheep.
3. Dale Carpenter - my friend and co-worker Sue's dad. A man of great faith, affection, steadfastness and incredible patience. Now robbed of physical strength and ability through aggressive MS he maintains dignity and continues to reach out to outhers in compassion. He loves to escape the house and get to visit people at church on Sundays, and is an inspiration to many people, including me.
The world needs more such men, such fathers.

Friday, May 01, 2009


This photo was taken at Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. The river had flooded in a big way! Hard to imagine water levels as high as 5 metres and more. Now the waters had receded, and the sun had baked the mud into a clay pan. However as we walked along I spied this plant - pushing its' way through the hardened ground. Tenacity and perseverance. Underneath that mud somewhere was moisture and that plant sent its roots deep to tap into that. I think of our lives - sometimes swamped with schedules, deadlines, other people's expectations - easy to feel overwhelmed at times. But Jesus said "I am come to give you life ABUNDANTLY" - that's not just life to exist - it's life to live to the max, to enjoy, to find fulfillment in His purposes. In times of dryness it takes some effort to find the waters that ARE there for us. Don't look at the surface, they mislead. Dig deep and find the water of life. It's there!