Sunday, December 12, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Mom did such an excellent job leading the program. She wrote and read an essay called, “God Is So Good.” (I advise you to write her and ask her for a copy…or ask if she’ll put it on her blog. It greatly blessed my heart.)
We were able to put together a power point presentation of photos of her life over the years, and my brother and his wife and my husband and me and another man sang a song dedicated especially for her called “50 Years…”
My brother, David, preached a sermon titled, “And Thou Shalt Be Blessed,” taken from Luke 14. We were encouraged to seek to help those who cannot help us, and see how God blesses and provides for us in time of need.
All in all, it was a wonderful evening. Much prayer, many hours of hard work, inviting others, and the effort of many people paid off. Our hearts were truly blessed.
I hope you enjoy the photos. Thank you to those of you who gave and who prayed. May the Lord richly bless you for the part you had in this special event.
The Lady of the Hour! My sweet Mother, Mrs. Billie Jean (Ashcraft) Sloan
These children are from an orphange in a nearby town.
David preaching...Our hearts were blessed!
"Amazing Grace," piano special by David and David, Jr.
Philip and David...singing "Down From His Glory"
Mom chooses a special lady as queen every year. This year she chose Jolene.
She has given a Bible to every lady (who has come to our banquets) who in some way serves or has served our city and surrounding cities.
"God Bless Mexico," sung after the First Ladies were honored.
Ulises and Fizzie...worked so hard! Thank you! Great Job!!!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
She says, as I’m right in the middle of something.
But I stopped and looked, and I’m so glad I did.
“Can you read it, Mommy?” she says, as she hands me a piece of paper.
And I try hard to read her 5-year-old handwriting.
“I luv yoo, Mome and Dade.”
I’m so glad I looked. She looks so proud of her work, and my heart melts at her concentrated show of affection.
I take her into my arms and squeeze her tightly. I wish she wouldn’t grow up. This age is just so much fun! Oh, please don’t grow up!
“Mommy, listen to my song.”
She says, as I’m concentrating on something important.
“Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh, how I love Jesus, Because He first loved me.” She has picked it out on the piano.
I’m so glad I listened. She turns and smiles at me as I applaud her efforts. I want to bottle up this moment. This is so precious! I want to hang on to this moment forever. Oh, please don’t grow up!
“Mommy, what does this say?”
She asks, and I feel so tired. “Please read me this book.” I am so tempted to say, “You are a big girl…you try to read the words by yourself!” But that look in her eyes, and her plea for attention makes me sit with her, put her on my lap, and read the bunny story to her for the 10th time that day.
I’m so glad I stopped and took time to read. I’m so glad that this time I didn’t give into my weariness.
She lays her sweet head on my chest, and I smell the shampoo in her hair. Can this moment please last forever? I want to be able to hold you in my lap and I always want you to long to sit with me.
“Mommy, I’m scared. Will you please pray for the robbers not to come into our house tonight?”
My first reaction is to want to say, “Oh, don’t be silly…the house is securely locked.” But I sit on her bed next to her and brush the hair away from her forehead. “Sweetie, Jesus is watching over you throughout the night. Let’s say our verse, ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.’” And I take time to pray and ask the Lord to watch over her and her brother throughout the night…..
I say “good night” and get up to leave….”Mommy,” she calls me back. “We forgot to ask Jesus to give Mimi new tires for her car.” Ahhh! I sit back down on her bed and listen to her sweetly talking to Jesus, asking Him to provide for her Mimi’s need.
“Good night, Mommy.” (She has forgotten about the robbers, her mind having been turned to someone else’s need.) “I’ll see you in the morning!” She smiles at me and closes her beautiful brown eyes and hugs her pink “bunny bear” and goes to sleep.
Can this moment please last forever? God reminds me again that this moment is fleeting…she is growing up so quickly! Enjoy this moment. Take advantage of this time with her. She’s going to outgrow this age and it will be gone forever.
She just turned five. And I’ll turn around and she’ll be six…ten…twelve…fifteen! “Lord, help me to take time to look. Help me never to be too busy to take time to sit and to listen. Thank You for our sweet Deborah Jolene.”
P.S. Did you remember to pray for the Banquet? Only 3 days away! And please be praying for my friend, Vicky, to be able to attend that night, and to be saved; and also for 5 ladies who work at the Migration office: Dora Patricia and María Elena, and their 3 assistants. Please pray for their salvation!
Monday, November 8, 2010
I know every mother feels the same way that I do...that we have been blessed with such precious children. Children are just precious, aren't they? So if you are a mother, yes, I agree with you...your children are precious. They are a treasure that the Lord has placed in our home, and I am thankful for the privilege that the Lord has given us to raise children for Him.
How tender and loving children's hearts are!!! What a big responsibility we have been given to guide and train and mold these hearts for our Lord's service, for His honor and glory.
Below are the lyrics of a song I wrote when I was 3 months pregnant with our Andrew Jonathan....June, 2003
TRAIN UP A CHILD
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord,
These precious words are written in God's Word
But with this special privilege comes also a command
To train up a child in the way that he should go.
Train up a child in the way that he should go
Train up a child in the way that he should go
And when he is old, he will not depart from it
So train up your child in the way that he should go.
Dear Lord, I fall short of Your perfection,
How can I lead my child in all Your ways?
So I ask You for Your wisdom, I ask for understanding
To train up my child in the way that he should go.
The Scripture will be our light to guide his feet into Your arms
Our prayers will be our weapon against all harm
So take our child, Heavenly Father, Teach his Dad and me
To train up our child in the way that he should go.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I want to take this opportunity to say that I am so thankful for the mother God gave to me. She has been a testimony and an example to me of faithfulness. I count it a privilege to be able to help her plan and prepare for these banquets. I learn from her every day...her determination even in times of discouragement and other things the devil throws her way.
My beautiful mother, at a ladies' meeting in May, 2010
Idalia García de Díaz (present Mayor's Wife)
Gabriela Pastrana Barrios de Hernández
Ana Marcela Zazueta Hernández de Morales
Marisol Sandoval de Lobato
Emilia Setzer Marselle de Ochoa
Magdalena Ramos de Ruiz
Mercedes Cerdio de Gutiérrez
Isabel Consuelo Ochoa de Sarmiento
Marta Mandujano de Ramos
Beatriz Mandujano de Aguilar
María Virginia Castellanos Martínez
Leticia del Cármen López Rodríguez
Victoria María Olvera Rojas
Brenda Susana Moreno Valdez
Verónica Gómez Montero
María Isabel Aguilera de Sabines (Governor's Wife)
Patricia del Cármen Sánchez López
Delia Nery Pavón Hernández
Guadalupe Ruiz Narvaez
--Only eternity will tell how the Lord worked through these annual banquets. Please pray that the Lord will bring each of these ladies to the banquet and that the Holy Spirit will work through the Word that will be preached that night.--
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
If you have been keeping up the latest news in Mexico, you have heard of all the flooding caused by the heavy rains. The day following Edgar and Diana’s wedding in Tortuguero (Sunday morning), we woke up to a sight not seen there since 1982: The whole valley below us was completely flooded. The river had overflowed and the waters had extended farther than a kilometer. It was certainly an impressive sight; we were thankful that we were up high on the mountain top!
Andrew had planned to leave that morning, but there was no way we could get out. Trees were completely covered; cattle had been washed away; corn crops had been destroyed. I watched as Andrew’s sisters and brothers-in-law stared in disbelief at the valley below us.
A 57-year-old man from Tortuguero had been designated to watch over and guard the machinery down near the river, being used to build the new bridge. During the night, the sudden flooding took him by surprise. He climbed a palm tree nearby, but when he felt the tree swaying like it would break, he dove into the deep, rushing waters and swam and swam for hours. I got up around 4:00 a.m. and went to the bathroom, and I heard a yell from down in the valley, and then someone from up the mountain responded. (I didn’t think anything about it then.) But Andrew told me it was the guard yelling for help. At 6:00, as soon as it began to get daylight, the men in Tortuguero organized a rescue team, and went down and rescued the man. (His body was freezing, having lost his clothing in the water. Thank the Lord he was alive!)
The new bridge being built was nearly covered
Andrew told me, “It could be a week before we are able to get out, if it doesn’t continue to rain.” But on Monday morning, Magdalena came in and told Andrew that men were getting people across the waters in a canoe. She said that her daughter and son-in-law, and another niece were going to try to get out. When Andrew asked if I would like to try and get out, I told him I was afraid to cross the deep waters. He said, “If we wait until the water goes down, the mud could be up to our chests, and who knows how long it would take to get out?!” We had been told that the waters were at least 15 meters deep; and we would be crossing in a canoe being paddled by two men, with no life jackets available.
Last year, Andrew had bought a two-way radio set for his older brother, Jacobo; he lives about 20 miles down the highway toward Palenque, and the two-way radio reaches the village of Tortuguero. On Sunday, we were able to communicate with him. There had been severe floodings in other nearby villages, including where he lives. But Andrew asked him if he could call Mom and let her know what had happened, because she had been expecting us on Sunday. (Mom later told me that it was such a blessing that Jacobo had called her, because she had become worried when we didn’t come in on Sunday, and when she couldn’t get in touch with us on our cell phones.)
At about 11:00 on Monday morning, it was decided that we were going to try to get out. I packed our things, we had a meal with Elena and her family, and at 1:00 p.m., we headed out. Elena and her family and Magdalena and her family walked with us, helping to carry our things, but also to get a close look at how much of the valley had been flooded. From the time I knew we were going to leave, I began to pray, “Lord, please put Your angels around us.”
We walked down the mountain (the children once again riding the horse…and very thrilled!). The mud made the trail down the mountain incredibly slippery. We met two men who were coming up the mountain: “Señora, please be careful,” they said to me. “The mud makes the trail very dangerous!” We finally made it to level ground (I was so thankful that the horse had made it down the mountain safely with our children!). The mud was very deep. Andrew walked in front of me, leading the way, and helping me where it was extremely deep.
Thankful to be on dry ground! (Notice how muddy the bottom of my skirt is!)