Friday, August 28, 2009

First Sunday of my Nephew's New Ministry

A special blessing was bestowed upon us this month and I just have to share it with you. I know that most of you who read my blog are fellow believers and will receive just as big of a blessing from this as I did.

While my mother in law and brother in law were visiting with us, we had the honor of attending the first service at my nephew's new ministry here in Tampa. Under the umbrella of Southside Baptist Church and Pastor Kerry Nance, a new Spanish ministry is being established near MacDill Airforce Base. My nephew Josh was approached a few months ago, asked to pray about joining Pastor Nance and starting up this new church. Josh is a talented, articulate young man who loves God and seeks after God's heart. His wife Naomy, is a precious young lady who delights in being his completer. It's obvious she is exactly the gal God intended for my nephew to marry!

My heart was so full of emotion during that first service. One reason I think I was so emotional was because there, in attendance with us, for this first monumental step in ministry for my nephew, was my mother in law. She had ministered to Josh's parents when they were young missionaries living in Mexico as language students. I'm sure during those days of welcoming them into her home, serving up her delicious food, caring for their child Jackie, she never dreamt she would be in the states one day, sitting under the ministry of that young couple's son!

Josh did a phenomenal job that Sunday morning! He had it ALL on his shoulders. The welcoming of guests, the leading of the music, the order of service, the preaching, then the invitation. And what a great sermon it was! He preached about the woman at the well who was living in sin. She had a thirst for men, which caused her to be weak in certain areas.

"What is your thirst in this life?" he asked. "What is that weakness in your life which causes you to sin over and over again?" Then he shared how Christ is there ready to forgive and forget. All we need to do is confess our sins and receive him as our personal Savior. Christ and Christ alone, can change your life for the better! It was a great sermon.

My eyes are tearing up now just typing this; but I hope I've conveyed clearly to you why my emotions were running so strongly that morning. At the end of the service, while singing the invitational song, I had tears streaming down my face and the emotions came flooding over me.

Josh, I know you never read my blog, but I want to express here just how proud I am of you and how honored I feel to have had the privilege of attending your first service!

Joshua leading the singing. I think a total of 16 in attendance for that first sermon.

Pastor Joshua Vernoy and his lovely wife, Naomy.

Naomy and Joshua Vernoy, my mother in law, brother in law, and my niece Jewel.

Most of those in attendance for that first service on August 9, 2009.

Mom and John met us for lunch after church. An added blessing for me that day was Peggy, my neighbor. She wanted to tag along with us to the service simply because she wants to learn Spanish! She was so excited to meet my family and practice what she has been learning!

The other end of the table!

The congregation singing. The pianist didn't attempt playing this song due to it being her first time hearing it!

Josh preaching.
Please join me in praying for this young couple as they labor and toil to plant this new church for Spanish speakers in South Tampa.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mission Aviation History to Hitch a Ride on Space Shuttle

I found the following article to be especially interesting due to the life my sister and her family have lived as jungle missionaries. They understand and relate to the significance of a small aircraft assisting with the important work of missions. I know she (my sister) will find the following very exciting!
From: Stephen Saint
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009
18:44:26 -0400


Mart Green just sent me this reminder that part of 56 Henry is going into space tonight. I gave the astronaut a small piece of the plane and then forgot about it. On my flight back from PA today I wondered what the big red restricted are on the coast was. It is the space shuttle.Can you imagine what Dad would have thought if he had heard that 54 years later part of 56 Henry would be going up to the international space station. God keeps writing new chapters to this amazing story of His.

Steve Saint

Mission Aviation History to Hitch a Ride on Space Shuttle Astronaut Taking a Piece of Nate Saint’s Piper PA-14 on ‘Discovery’

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Proving that space flight is not the highest calling for a pilot, astronaut Patrick Forrester is taking a bit of missionary history on board space shuttle “Discovery,” which is scheduled for liftoff from Kennedy Space Center in the early morning hours of Aug. 25. The aim of the two-week orbital mission is to equip the International Space Station.The item comes from martyred missionary pilot Nate Saint’s Piper PA-14, which is on display at the headquarters of MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) in Nampa, Idaho. Saint and four other missionaries were martyred on a sandbar in Ecuador on Jan. 8, 1956, by a tribe of Waodani Indians.The incident sparked international news coverage and renewed interest in missionary service. Several of the tribesmen that killed Saint and the others were later converted to Christianity by relatives of the slain missionaries.“Bringing attention to and renewing interest in missions would be a great result of this experience,” said Forrester, who was born in El Paso, Texas, the year after the martyrdoms. “My deepest intent is to honor Nate Saint, the Saint family and all missionaries around the world.”The piece is from the Piper’s battery box and has received approval for the flight from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) after conforming to strict size and weight restrictions. Forrester, who will be making his third shuttle flight, has logged more than 4,500 hours in more than 50 different aircraft and has been with NASA 16 years. In addition to his time at NASA, he spent over 26 years as an Army aviator. Yet his dream has been to assist with the high calling of missionary aviation. “I’ve always had a heart for missions,” Forrester said. “When I visualize what I might do after I end my career at NASA, always in the back of my mind is going into the mission field in some way. If I could go tomorrow and be a pilot with an organization like MAF, I think that’s what I’d do.” Whether you are an astronaut, a missionary or something else, Forrester has a simple approach to discovering what career journey you should take. “There are so many needs out there,” Forrester said. “People need to figure out where their passion and their talents intersect with God’s plan for the world.” Forrester heard about Saint and the other four missionary martyrs while attending a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. “He told the story of the missionaries who had gone down and had lost their lives,” Forrester recalled. “That story just fascinated me, and through that I heard of the book ‘Through the Gates of Splendor.’ That’s when I really first understood about MAF.” Forrester asked MAF to provide a part of Saint’s plane for the shuttle mission. When the mission is completed, Forrester will return the piece to MAF, providing a certificate confirming its presence on the space flight. MAF plans to display the battery box part and certificate at its headquarters. Forrester noted that Saint “could have never imagined that we would have the opportunity to take it to a space station.” As for himself, Forrester sees missions in his career flight plan. “We are all called to serve God in some manner,” Forrester said. “I have had the opportunity to participate in several short-term mission trips to Uganda, Canada, Puerto Rico and South Africa. Each time I have developed a heart for the people we served. I believe my wife and I will continue to serve in the mission field for the rest of our lives – whether it is at home or overseas, short-term or full-time.” Founded in the U.S. in 1945, MAF ( missionary teams of aviation, communications, technology and education specialists overcome barriers in remote areas, transform lives and build God’s Kingdom by enabling the work of more than 1,000 organizations in isolated areas of the world. With its fleet of 130 bush aircraft, MAF serves in 55 countries, with an average of 242 flights daily across Africa, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America. MAF pilots transport missionaries, medical personnel, medicines and relief supplies, as well as conduct thousands of emergency medical evacuations in remote areas. MAF also provides telecommunications services, such as satellite Internet access, high frequency radios, electronic mail and other wireless systems.
Photo: Astronaut Patrick Forrester

Photo: In this 1955 photo, MAF missionary Nate Saint shows gifts he received from Waodani Indians. Saint was martyred the next year. A piece of his Piper PA-14 airplane will travel to space this week aboard the space shuttle “Discovery.”

Friday, August 21, 2009


By BRADLEY HARRINGTON Thursday, August 13, 2009

“The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force.” — Adolph Hitler, “Mein Kampf,” 1925

Health care “reform” certainly seems to be the topic of the day -- and one that is shedding much more heat than light, as it happens, with the rhetoric flying high indeed.So high, in fact, that two Jewish organizations have found it necessary to denounce it: “’Regardless of the political differences and the substantive differences in the debate over health care, the use of Nazi symbolism is outrageous, offensive and inappropriate,” Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement Aug. 6.

And more: David A Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council, called the Nazi references “profoundly troubling,” Fox News reported. I, too, find such references profoundly troubling — but not in the way Harris means.

Take this quote, for instance: “Our party ... is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health only from within on the basis of the principle: The common good before self-interest.” Or this: “A great nation now demands that its leaders abandon the politics of partisan division and find creative solutions to promote the common good.” Most citizens in America, today — including, disgustingly enough, many so-called “conservatives” — would find both quotes non-objectionable. The first is from Point 24 of the Nazi Party’s 25 Points, as enunciated by Hitler in 1920. The second is from the Democratic Party’s 2008 Platform, “Renewing America’s Promise.”

Or take this quote, for instance: “The state must ensure that the nation’s health standards are raised ...” Or this: “We believe that quality and affordable health care is a basic right.”The first? From Point 21 of the Nazi Party Platform. The second? From “Renewing America’s Promise.”

Isn’t the point clear? The Democrats, for decades, have been preaching that health care is a “basic right,” as did the Nazis. But since hospitals, drugs and medical equipment aren’t to be found growing on trees, since these are things that result from the productive work of individual men and women, to declare that such things belong to us “by right” is to declare that those men and women are to be enslaved in order to provide them. The Nazis would have been proud indeed. And if you dare show up to your congressperson’s “town meeting” to air your opinion as to the contrary, beware. Like Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative who was beaten (and hospitalized) at Russ Carnahan’s “town meeting” outside St. Louis by several of the presidentially dispatched purple-shirt SEIU goons, you run the risk of having your teeth kicked in. Gladney’s crime? Handing out “Don’t Tread On Me” flags. So much for the vaunted “tolerance” of the Democrats; so much for their accommodation of “differing points of view.” Where are the esteemed Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson now? And all the high-powered lawyers of the ACLU? So much for “hate crimes” — and so much for true justice in America, which has been hijacked instead by a loud and vociferous minority of haters bent on the uncontested establishment of tyranny. Yes, the Nazis would have been proud indeed.And as for the Republicans, Nazi history has much to say to you as well.

The GOP has had it in its power for much of the last 15 years to reverse this trend and restore the constitutional republic. Instead, the party has chosen to tax, spend and regulate, just like Democrat-Light, while the republic burned. The Weimar Republic’s conservatives — the Nationalist Party and People’s Party members — would have been proud. They, like most Republicans, abhorred capitalism almost as much as they abhorred socialism -- at least before they were dragged out of their homes and hustled off to the concentration camps by the Gestapo.And, finally, what is there to say about Mr.’s Foxman and Harris, who are upset because of the use of “Nazi symbolism” in this “debate”? Perfectly appropriate, given the ideological bent of both Obama himself and the Democratic Party as a whole — to say nothing of the last few weeks’ worth of American history. Instead of hollering about swastikas, these men would be better served by drawing the same parallels as drawn above. If the “conservatives” of the Weimar Republic had been astute enough to make such observations then, perhaps more of these gentlemen’s relatives would be alive today.

Bradley Harrington is a former U.S. Marine and a free-lance writer who lives in Cheyenne, Wyo.

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." --Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The Mariachis came all the way from Mexico to perform at Agustin's party!

Agustin, rapido! Blow out that flame before the entire church is afire!

Agustin with his mom and brother. They brought the little figurines with them on the plane.

This photo causes me to tear up each time I see it. My hubby was so happy to have his mom with him for his birthday! She is such a blessing to have around at any time!

Agustin poses with a fellow Mexicano, Pablo, a neighbor of my parent's.

Tio and Abuelita with my sons.

Tiffany made some new friends!

Johnny cutting his usual jokes!

Clint poses with his new friends!

Look who showed up after getting off work! Jungle Mom's son, Josh and his wife Naomy!

And Jewel! Jungle Mom's daughter!

I thought the kiss was supposed to be for the birthday boy!

Well I think everyone, except for Agustin, had fun!

Are you two sneaking into the kitchen for more food?

Tiffany sneaking in for MORE food??
(She was actually making a "to go" plate for her sister!)

If we were to chop off Shannon's hands, she wouldn't be able to talk!
She is our "in house" cake baker & decorator! However, we let her off the hook for this party due to the fact she is working day and night trying to produce and fill all the orders for her new design company, "Green Label". It is going great guns and we are so so happy for her.
Our crazy family at the end of a very long day!!

Can you tell my nose is sunburned and peeling? Que pena!

New soccer shoes!

from Shane!

Agustin's brother popped this bow on his mom's head, saying:
"Here is my gift to you! I brought you your mama!"

Thanking Josh for his gift - a few pairs of soccer socks!

Sydney saying goodbye!

Singing the traditional "Las Mananitas" to Agustin! Pablo really is singing out! He's so cute. Even at 87 he continues to garden for the neighborhood!

The Making of Tamales, part two

After prepping what we could at home, we loaded our wares into the SUV and headed to Tampa. We used the kitchen at my dad's church to finish the birthday meal for Agustin. Part of our reasoning for moving the party to Tampa was because---that is where most of our friends live! It saved them an hours drive out to our house, plus the fellowship hall gave everyone ample space to move around and play.

The corn shucks must be immersed into warm water to soften them before spreading them with the masa.

Here my mother in law is adding the shredded chicken to the base.

YUM! My fave-the fresh cilantro!

Let the spreading begin! Masa first, then---

after coaching me on how thick to spread the masa, my mother in law filled the tamales with the chicken and green salsa mixture, which includes tiny cubes of carrots and potatoes. She also adds peas. We made 200 tamales that evening!

Elias gives a helping hand while Clint (the gringo) tried to get into the spirit of things!

Agustin making the salsa Mexicana!

Clint got bored with the entertaining of the troops and started cleaning more shucks for us. He had to check each one to be certain no corn silk was left on any.

The hungry mob filling their plates with home made tamales, frijoles guisados,
arroz Mexicana y salsa Mexicana!

Dad and Sydney discuss the Scriptures!

Shawn experiencing his first tamale. It was a winner!

Agustin enjoying his mama's home cooking on his birthday! I was so happy for him!

Pablo, Shannon, Sydney, Michael, John

Mom arrives with the birthday cake.
I cheated! We bought it at Publix. Due to the labor intensiveness of making the tamales, no one wanted to fiddle with baking a cake!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



The making of tamales - part one


My brother in law gives his mama a hand, er, should I say an ARM!?
(Mixing the corn masa, shortening, salt, baking powder, chicken broth to an airy texture.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Surgery For Mom Today

Prayers appreciated! Mom goes in for surgery to have a suspicious lymph node removed today. She checks in at noon, but surgery isn't scheduled until 3 p.m. I'll keep you posted when we get the results in.

My husband's mom and brother are in from Mexico. Let me just say---we've been busy!! They are road warriors! No sitting at home relaxing for them! Each day finds us on an adventure or an outing! Today it was the beach!

I have lots of photos coming soon. In the meantime, here are a few more photos from our family reunion in July.

My niece Jewel with Aunt Virgie and Uncle Clarence. ( mom's sister and mom's brother)

Cousin Keith with his son Seth, having just returned from Myrtle Beach, where Seth's baseball team won the championship!
One of the rental cabin's on Keith's property.
(For more info. see

Uncle Clarence and I waiting in the cabin, for Cody to arrive from Myrtle Beach.

This is the cabin that my son Josh and my brother John built recently on my cousin's property.