Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Marvin, our hero...

On Memorial Day, we made a point to go hang out with our neighbor Marvin.  "Mr. Pierce" fought in WWII in Europe from 1940-45.  He was in charge of 12 supply trucks in the Red Bull Express, providing ammo to the front lines.  Way to go Marvin! 

Marvin had a blast holding Tessa.  You should have seen him all excited, laughing hysterically as Tessa jumped up and down in his lap!  Drew loves Mr. Pierce, and he loves picking his tomatoes!  Good thing Mr. Pierce loves Drew as well!

Rob

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Movin' on up...

 We have another team member!  We are now at 86%!  We continue to head in the right direction.  Continue to pray as we keep working at getting back to 100%.

Rob

Friday, May 25, 2007

Delight

 I find true delight in my kids.  I am amazed to watch them grow and explore the world.  Every day it is a delight to watch them do or try something new.  It is a delight to watch Tessa's face light up with a huge smile when she sees her brother.  It is a delight to tell Drew that Tessa is awake from her nap and watch him run into her room yelling "Tessa's awake!  Tessa's awake!"  It's a delight to watch Drew walk around the house with a dishtowel "cleaning" everything he can wipe down.  It's a delight to see Tessa crawling all over the house or standing up in her crib when she wakes up.  I could go on and on... 

 Don't get me wrong.  My kids aren't always delightful.  Drew is in time-out many times a day for disobeying and Tessa whines and cries just as much as she smiles! 

Many of you know the struggles Rob and I went through to have Drew.  After 6 miscarriages, we were looking to move on to other options (adoption, etc..) to start our family.  And just when we thought that we probably wouldn't have biological children, God did a miracle and gave us a viable, sustainable pregnancy that resulted in the birth of Drew.   Not long after that, I like to say that God was "showing off" when he gave us Tessa.  And for that, I look at them every day with pure delight.  For to me, they are a blessed gift from God.

Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart."  I was challenged today in my quiet time to have that same kind of delight in the Lord.  Priscilla Shirer in her book  He Speaks to Me  says, "Delighting in God is a natural reaction from enthusiastic, spiritually hungry, and passionate people so in love with God that they want to please Him in every way."   She also says, "When God truly becomes our heart's delight, we desire what He wants for us."  This verse challenged me to delight in the Lord even more than I delight in my children.

What brings you true delight?

Becky

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fiscally Finished...

It's finished!!! After weeks of work, a multitude of discussions, a plethora of versions, and lots of "sweat", the "RMI 06/07 Financial Report" and the "RMI 07/08 Budget" are complete!  Be praying as the board discusses and votes on this budget at their semi-annual meetings next Friday, June 1."

Rob

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Support Update

We are grateful for another supporter!  We had a great dessert fellowship last Friday night where we had opportunity to share with 3 couples.  We are now officially at 84%, leaving $884/month still needed. 

Can I just say, that on many levels, this is hard.  Don't get me wrong, there are many parts that are truly a blessing.  But it is hard.  But, this is where God has put us,therefore we have to and will continue to strive to be faithful.  We will persevere.  We will trust Him.

Keep praying as we set up 5-6 "get togethers" with couples that were unable to make it to our dessert fellowships.

Rob 

Monday, May 21, 2007

Protecting the Homefront

We are in the middle of Family Month at church.  Yesterday, I taught on preventing attacks.  Here is a list of "deliberate decisions" (See Daniel 1 8-16) that I shared.  This list represents only a sampling of items I have discussed with others over the last month or so.  Here is the point, "Protecting our Families Requires Deliberate Decisions."

  • Eat Dinner as a family every night at the table.
  • No TV During Dinner
  • Vigorously Filter Media Consumption-  For Self and Children.  Only allow what is uplifting
  • Bed Time Routine - For Children, and Adults!
  • Simplify-  We are too busy.  Don't feel the need to be involved in everything.  One extra curricular activity for children is fine.
  • Use Scripture Daily-  Somehow, integrate scripture into your daily routine as a family.  Verse at dinner.  Memorization, etc...
  • Communicate with Kids-  Take son/daughter out at regular intervals.  Breakfast every other month?
  • Never miss church.  There should never be a morning we decide to not go to church because we are tired.
  • Devotions-  For self and as a family.  Start with the family once a week.
  • Filter Friendships-  Who is influencing who?  We are free to disallow relationships with certain individuals to protect ourselves and our kids.
  • Christian School-  Some feel strongly on both sides here.  I don't think all believer's should exit the public system, but it needs to be considered nonetheless.
  • Wife home with Kids
  • Limit Overtime at Work-  If we want to influence our families, we have to be there.  Overtime for a season is understood, but caution is necessary.
  • Regular Date Night with spouse.  Monthly?  Nothing gets in the way of this sacred evening.
  • Regular Family Night-  Nothing gets in the way of this sacred evening.
  • Only be refreshed physically and emotionally from spouse.  Proverbs 5.  If you find yourself desiring to be refreshed elsewhere, than it is time to make some serious changes.
  • Accountability Group-  This might look different for the genders, but a regular diet of intense accountability is necessary.
  • Regularly Serve the Lord-  If you don't have time, you are too busy.

What other ideas do you have.

Rob

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fred, where are you?

Dobson has said he won't vote for Guiliani because of his stand on abortion.  I am a long way from deciding, but I think I agree. 

Did you know that McCain opposed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage?  I don't think I knew that.  I don't know enough about his stance, but this vote doesn't necessarily mean he supports same-sex marriage, but it does seem to say he doesn't support banning them on the federal level.

I don't want to be a one issue voter, but I think some of my value's are strong enough to get that type of attention.  I think this coming election will prove to be a much harder decision for me, as well as many, than it has been in the past.  I have many more questions, but some things are becoming clear.

Fred?

Rob 

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Haitians Have a Saying...

"Sa ou pa konnin pi gran pase ou."
"What you don't know is bigger then you are."

Isn't that the truth?!

For so long, here at RMI in our INTL Office we have struggled with an issue on our computer server.  The ongoing issue has affected the speed of communication between each missionary's computer and the server.  Our main Database that houses all information, including donations, was very sluggish (very very frustrating as it affected our efficiency on many levels).  I have had 3 different Network Engineers come and look at it, and no one was able to address the issue.

Before I go any further, I have to say that I still really respect those engineers.  They did a great job.  But, you know how it is... Sometimes when we lose something, we can look and look, and then another person comes on the scene and finds it right away.  Frustrating, but it is the reality.

Yesterday, the IT guy from our church came over for free to help us out.  He came in and within minutes he found the problem, flipped the magic switch, and we were off and running!  He made some other suggestions that I will be following through on.  He also is coming back in another week or so to help us out some more.

Something so small, yet so big.

Thank God for churches and people that have a kingdom concept!  Praise the Lord!

Rob

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Team Member!

Praise the Lord, we have another team member!  I got a call yesterday from someone that has decided to join the team with a monthly donation of $75.  Woohoo!

Also, we recently had a donor 'rejoin' the team.  Due to lack of giving, we had taken them out of the equation, but, they are now officially back on the team.

Currently we are at 82% with $1014/month to go. 

We have a gathering planned for this Friday night with 5-6 couples coming to hear about our ministry.

Rob

Sunday, May 13, 2007

We dedicated Tessa today...

In total, there were 50 children dedicated today.  Tessa was all smiles!  Today was great!  Becky's Mom is here visiting for about a week and Becky's brother and his wife and child (plus 2 friends) came for the day.  We had a great time.  See our website for pics...

Rob  

Saturday, May 12, 2007

New Pictures...

Click here for Pictures from our Beach Day with Mom Mom and Becky's new Haircut. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Diametrically Perspicuous and Profound...

I recently saw this picture on one of the more profound blogs I frequent.  What a perfect analogy to so many areas of our lives.  The concept of the 'slippery slope'  sets itself apart from others in how simple yet deep it is.  I was at my accountability group this morning, and this topic came up.  You know, it really applies to both the positive and negative.  We have to be intentional in our choices.  If I choose to flirt with something, positive or negative, then the consequence is more likely to happen.  If I start watching a show on TV I shouldn't be watching, then I will more likely keep watching.  If I start reading my bible today, I am more likely to read it tomorrow.

If we choose to wet our feet, we have to think critically about the potential reality of taking a full bath. 

Today, I must think about the likely consequences to each of my choices.  Sin doesn't 'just happen'.  Victory doesn't 'just happen'.  Think, think, think, act.

Rob

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Is anything free? Yes!

Among others, here are some of my favorite free software titles available online.

Windows Live Writer - Allows offline posting to blogs.  We love it, much quicker and much more functionality then blogger UI. 

Windows Live Messenger-  Yes, we use this a ton.  I use it everyday to communicate with our missionaries overseas.

ccleaner-  clean up your computer.  If you know me, you know I like to be organized.  Clutter, whether 'hard' or 'soft'  is my enemy.  CCleaner cleans up your computer, including the registry!  The registry is a fairly delicate thing, having said that, I have only had success with this program.

spybot search and destroy-  search and destroy spyware.  Immunize against known spyware.  A must!

avg Anti-Virus-  free antivirus for home users.  They have other packages to buy, but they are famous for their free anti-virus package.  I have found it to be an excellent and easy to use tool.

Picasa-  For pictures.  Storing, manipulating (crop, color, fix, redeye, rotate, bandw, etc) and uploading made real easy.

Google Earth-  3d Satellite and mapping program.

TNTMPD-  This probably won't apply to you, but this is an excellent tool for those involved in raising ministry funds.  I, as well as our missionaries use this to track, report, and raise our support teams.  Amazing that this is free.

Any free suggestions that you would have for me?

Rob

Monday, May 7, 2007

Rainy season is here.

For all of our friends in far away places, here is an update on our FL weather.  We have just had 3 straight days of beautifully sunny weather all day, but then torrential thunderstorms (hail included) in the late afternoon.  So, it seems the rain is finally here, and will stay until November some time.  We have been under water restrictions because of a historic draught we are in.

Maybe our grass will actually come back to life?

1 Peter says... 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
   "All men are like grass,
      and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
   the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever."

How cool it is that no matter what...  No matter what storms may come...No matter how parched one's life is, that the Word of God stands.

Rob

Friday, May 4, 2007

A love hate relationship

Dr. Jekyll I presume?  I love computers.  I hate computers.  I have spent the last 2 days working non-stop on several RMI computer systems.  All in all, it went extremely well.  I was upgrading, updating, installing, deleting, connecting, etc these systems.  They were computers at a remote location, so I was working on getting them remotely connected via a vpn tunnel.  Very cool stuff.

Having said that, I hate them.  At every turn, they cause problems.  They are not smart.  Can you believe they have the nerve to do what their user's tell them to do.  Why can't they just figure it out and fix themselves?

It is cool that I get to be apart of helping our missionaries work for more efficiently and effectively for the kingdom.

Now, if I can just get my own equipment to work right...

Rob

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hey Support Team...

Thanks for praying and being on the team!  We need you all more than you'll ever know.  We are counting on your prayers!  I have been working on a list of goals for the next several months, and I thought I would share them so that you all can be praying!

Here is what I plan to accomplished in the next few months...

  • Budget (to be approved June 1)
  • Fiscal Oversight plan rolled out  (first week of June)
  • Migrate to Quickbooks by Aug 1 (lots and lots and lots and lots of work, seminars, training, set up, integration with other software, report redevelopment)
  • Support Raising.  We are at 79% with 1137/month to raise.  Invitations have gone out for two desert fellowships.  22 couples have been invited.
  • Computer Network.  We continue to have unresolved issues with speed of connecting to our network, onsite and remote.  Pray for quick resolution.  System for Backing up and securing data is not complete. 
  • RMI's Website.  Total redesign including Intranet for missionaries, Online resources, access to missionary and field Blogs for updating sister churches.

By the way, for our mutual edification... I have been reminded recently to make sure that goals are S.M.A.R.T.  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Sensitive.  I am a dreamer, so I always have to challenge myself on the realistic aspect.  How about you?

Rob