Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dis-Rat-ing the park

This is one of those signs that gives one great confidence when playing in the park. It says, "We are getting rid of the rats." It's always good to know that the public works department is getting rid of the rats, so that cute little girls can play in the grass without worrying about things like the black plague.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First 100 Days

Tomorrow marks Obama's 100th day. The press is in a frenzy. They are all about rating the president on his first 100 days. Is he a race horse or a plow horse? Does he really have the answers or is he just fishing? Does he have what it takes to get the job done?

I am not a fan of Obama's policies, but I have this to say: I want to thank God, the press, my friends and even my enemies that I have not been evaluated on my first 100 days of anything! I believe that any job, especially a really big one, deserves at least 150 days before you set out the dobermans.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wilmington Chi Alpha in Ayacucho 4

Ken Lydy and the Wilmington team taught the kids some basketball techniques. Here, my son Willy is trying to make a shot, while Steven (a Wilmington student) stands ready to retrieve all lost basketballs for the work of the Gospel!

The team at a scenic overlook, high above Ayacucho, Peru.

Above: The Shrader family (Abigail, Bill, Lena, Willy, Colton and Hannah).

Below: Ken and Tara Lydy.

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Wilmington Chi Alpha in Ayacucho 3

In March, Wilmington College Chi Alpha came down and worked with us. I've been struggling to get some videos loaded, but they've been disappearing after upload. So, in the mean time, here are a few more still shots of the work we did and the fun we had.

This couple are very endearing. He is a deacon at the church. They participated in the kid's program, where the team taught on the life of Joseph. Here, this sweet couple are showing their art work, having made a "coat of many colors" for "Joseph."

The kids and their artwork.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

How many rinses to clean a carpet?

Colton tied for second place in the primary school division of the Science Fair. His project was answering the question, "How many rinses does it take to clean a carpet?" To answer the question, somebody had to get the carpet squares dirty...

After the real-life get-your-carpet-dirty stomping party, it was time to clean the carpet.

Colton used laundry soap, then applied clean rinses. Each rinse was collected in a sample cup.

Then it was time to measure the results.

We used multiple methods for measuring. This picture is the "light diffusion" method, where the dirt is suspended in the water. The first cup, on the far right, is the soapy extraction. The rest are clean rinses. As you can see, anything less than three, is pure yuck. The 4th rinse is optional. If you'd like to see more of Colton's experiment and the results, follow this link to our photo site:

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chocolate Bunnies?

Our daughter, Hannah, wrote the following on her facebook update:

Jesus is so amazing! ...why do we even care about the bunnies on easter? We're supposed to be celebrating the most amazing event in history and we decide to give out chocolate bunnies?

I agree.

Monday, April 06, 2009

A City Without Walls

Then I looked up—and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand! I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
Then the angel who was speaking to me left, and another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,” declares the LORD, “and I will be its glory within.” (Zechariah 2:1-5 NIV)

Have you ever been in a situation in which you really wanted a good, solid response to some offense? Your feelings had been hurt, along with your pride. We picture ourselves responding in a way that is deep or witty. We try on different responses. The piercing gaze perhaps, or some one-liner that puts everything to rest. It becomes something like a competition in our minds, to out-do the offender.
Maybe what we want is a good, solid wall. You know, something to really defend ourselves. Something we can touch and feel, and tell that it is at work for us just by looking at it. We want to build something impressive, daunting to protect ourselves. And we can have that. We can work at building up that wall, making it sure, and work everything from a human standpoint.
But what if you can have a wall of the Lord's presence instead? What if instead of defending yourself and planning out your smart retorts, you invite the Lord of Glory to be your wall of fire? To surround you with His presence, and make you so prosperous in your spirit that human walls cannot contain the wealth of God's presence inside you? What if you trust Him to be your defender, forget the smart retorts and worldly means of defense, and ask the Spirit of God to speak to you just in the right moment, giving you His words?
The Spirit of the Living God does not like walls. He is wild, He is untamed, and He will not be contained in a man-made box. To walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh requires us to put down our “weapons” and trust God for the right words at the right time. In that act of faith, God takes over and takes the responsibility to defend us. Having prayed blessing on our “enemies” as the Lord has instructed us, prepares our frame of mind to set everything upside down. Instead of a sleek human response, we respond with a heart of blessing. It becomes obvious that we are not fighting with the weapons of this world. We fight with the Spirit of God, and we cannot hear him when our hearts are shouting smart comebacks.
I pray for myself, and for all my friends today, that the Lord helps us to choose His wall of fire, not the man-made one. That the glory of our lives would be that of the Spirit of God within, and the wall of fire without, always growing and spreading in such a way that a man-made wall could never contain it. That the absence of man-made walls in our lives and the living, breathing, growing Kingdom of God, surrounded by God's wall of fire, would be what the world sees in it's place. Amen!!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Wilmington College Chi Alpha in Ayacucho

In Early March, 2009, the Wilmington College Chi Alpha group joined us for a week long missions trip. One of our stops was Ayacucho--high in the Andes Mountains. We did some great children's ministry, causing many kids to invite Jesus into their lives. Hallelujah! We were the first missions team to come there in a long time. When we left, the Pastor said that he was grateful that we came, since he had felt forgotten. That makes it worth the altitude sickness.

Ken and Tara Lydy are the directors of Chi Alpha at Wilmington college. We've been friends for years. They're also very charismatic actors. Here, Ken is being ... a clown! We're giving out baloons and inviting kids to an evangelistic service.

After teaching on the story of Daniel and the Lion's den, Angie (a Wilmington College student) is helping a boy make a Lion's mask.

Hannah took this picture of a traditional Quechua Indian woman.