Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Easter Dance Drama in the Making

A special project is in the works at the children's home where I minister in Bali. I am working with some of the teens to prepare a dance/drama that is suitable for use in churches at any time, but especially around Easter.
The King and His Beloved

 This particular dance/drama was first performed about eight years ago by teens who are now grown and on their own. A couple musicians came up with original music to fit the action of the scenes. Parts of it brought tears to the eyes of some of the viewers. Based on that, I believe this had the impact we hoped for.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Slumber Party Success

I'm back again. I got a few good ideas from people who read my previous post about an upcoming slumber party. Most of them came in a bit late to use this time around, but I've got the ideas stashed away for next time.

We had a really good time. As it turns out, there were twelve girls between the ages of 4-11 and four young teenagers who were a HUGE help on the craft. As most of these girls live at the children's home, they are used to working together and looking out for each other. Things would have gone much less smoothly without them.'s how the event went down.

Flip-Flop Creations
Our finished creations.
The teens arrived an hour early to get the craft set up and ready to go. Ibu Wayan, my good friend who is on staff at the home, worked with these four earlier in the day to teach them how to do the craft. 

Ibu Wayan and I made several trips back and forth on our motorbikes to bring the younger girls to my house. As they arrived, the teens got them started decorating new flip-flops with ribbon and cloth bows. That took quite a while. The littlest ones needed quite a bit of help, but as I said, these girls are used to helping each other out, and all went well. I was really happy with the results.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Slumber Party Coming Up! HELP!!!

A number of times during the last ten years I have worked with young people at a children's home in Bali, I had the teen girls over to my house for an over-nighter. My daughter, who is now seven years old, has by default been a part of these. 

Last week, Rachel asked me when we could have a slumber party for the younger girls...the girl her age. There really isn't any good reason that we COULDN'T do one. As it turns out, there is a school holiday this coming Thursday, so we are planning to have a slumber party for the younger girls from the children's home on Wednesday night.

Now, the million dollar question...What do I do with about 8-10 little girls between the ages of 5-9 years old? I have a few ideas after surfing the internet a bit. I wonder if any of my readers might have some ideas of their own.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Swarm

The Critters I Live With #4

It’s over! It’s over! It’s finally over! The swarm is gone at last!

What in the world am I talking about? Allow me to introduce the third creature in “The Critters I Live With” series. I’m honestly not sure what to call them. Indonesians call them laron. They look something like large winged ants. When I looked up laron on the internet, though, I kept seeing references to flying termites. So I am not really sure what they are.

Not exactly the species that swarms here,    but you get the idea. (Clip)

I may not know exactly what they are, but I certainly know what they do. Every year, as the Christmas season approaches here in Bali, Indonesia, we expect swarms of these insects to invade our homes, churches, and any non-air-conditioned place that has lights on at night. 

They swarm around any light they find, drop their wings, and then crawl off somewhere, often in pairs…presumably to get about the task of reproducing themselves.

There is not much you can do about these creatures except to bide your time. They will go away eventually…until the next December.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I’m All At Loose Ends

What do you do when you feel like that? What do you do when there are a couple dozen loose ends flying around out there? What do you do when you are not sure which one to grab hold of first?

That describes my life exactly at the moment.

  • It is time to write a newsletter.
  • I need to send thank you notes, or at least emails, to several of my supporters.
  • The teen Bible study I lead is starting again after the holidays, so I have a lesson to prepare.
  • Sewing lessons are starting again now that my students are back from visits to their villages over the holidays.
  • It is time to get started with plans for the annual youth camp for 2013.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Don't Talk To Me!"

When we behave badly, consequences are not usually pleasant, but they are necessary. One of the many things God has taught me as I parent my daughter has to do with the issue of behaving badly, and the consequences that hopefully lead us to sincere repentance.  

This post is taken from a section of my newsletter entitled "Things I Have Learned From My Little Girl" that I wrote back when Rachel was three years old. I plan for this and similar posts to eventually be published in an ebook format. Last week, I posted links to a number of other similar posts in the series.If you missed them last week, you can find those links here.

"Don't Talk To Me!"

Don’t you just love it when your little one gets sassy and talks back to you?  NOT!  Rachel has picked up a bad habit from a video she saw where one of the characters said to another in a mean voice, “Be quiet! Don’t talk to me!”  Rachel latched onto that phrase, and has been using it on me…mostly when I am telling her to do something she doesn’t want to do.  (Needless to say, this particular video has been blacklisted in our home.)  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Responding to the Dark Shadows of Life

I got back to Bali late last night after a visit to my rheumatologist in Singapore. I had driven my motorbike to the airport, leaving home at 1:30am on Tuesday. There was light rain pretty much the whole way, so I wrapped my small suitcase in a rain poncho before strapping it onto the back of the bike.

The trip was uneventful - both the trip to the airport and the visit itself. The trip home, however, was a bit more stressful. My plane was scheduled to leave Singapore at 8:50 pm on Wednesday. We actually got underway about half an hour later than scheduled. The ride was rather bumpy as we ran into several patches of bad weather. I wasn't all that worried, though. I've been in worse.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Things I've Learned From My Daughter

Over the seven years I have had so far with my daughter, I have learned so much from her. As I see the world through her eyes, I rediscover a sense of childlike wonder about life. As I find my heart filled with love for her, I understand a bit more about my Heavenly Father's love for me. I have often been challenged to grow in some area of my life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Introducing....Katie Grace!

Allow me to introduce to you...Katie Grace, a bouncy, bright, yet sensitive seven-year-old girl who in many ways resembles my own daughter. She is the main character in a new series of children's books that I am working on.

This is a rough sketch of Katie Grace and her friend. The illustrator, I Ketut Suraksa is a teenager who lives at the children's home where I work in Bali.
Let me back up a bit. In November, I participated In NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. Thousands of authors and around the world participated in this event.The idea was to write a novel of at least 50,000 words during the month.

As it turns out, after thirty days I ended up with four small books that comprise the start of a series for early readers.

As Katie Grace experiences the everyday trials and challenges of first grade, her parents help her find her way through the problems. In the first four books, they use some of the parables of Jesus, told in a child-like manner, to guide her to a good response.

Along with Katie Grace, children can discover:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Take God With You On The Journey?

We are about to embark on a journey. A journey called 2013. We each have hopes and dreams for this journey. Many of us are reflecting on the past year and making plans for the year to come.

As I hear people talk or read what some write as they reflect on the coming new year, I sometimes hear things like this.

“As you make your plans and resolutions for the new year, don’t forget to include God in those plans.”

Or something like this… 

“As you embark on the new year, don’t forget to take God with you.” 

On the surface, statements like these seem to be good reminders to include God in our lives. 
“Include God…”  “Take God with us…”   Hmmmm. 

I’m uncomfortable with statements like these.
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