Thursday, June 18, 2009

New French Friend. &New Cover Song=Help me win $100.

Posted New Cover Song pics & vids of my kids so far in Summer Program on my facebook page. One the kids' memory verses really stickin with me. Ps 27:8 My heart tells me 2 pray. They have really memorized some big and small but powerful portions of scripture. It's made me more conscious to hide his word in my heart. There's a great story of God's faithfullness after the following video information.
Let me explain the post title. I'm gonna post a link to the same video tonight but at Wekastar where everyone posts vidoes or votes on them in weekly cash prize competitions. To vote you have to sign up but very little info is needed. I've received no spam from them. And they legitimately provide the prizes they claim and even sign some of the more popular winners. I have no delusions of grandeur but if I can win money for doing something I already do veryday for free and because I love it... well that's a no brainer!
So go to to sign up so you can vote.
Then come back here tomorrow to look for the link to my Competition Entry Video. And vote for it!!!!
In other exciting news:
I was grocery shopping Tuesday while killing time after work (and my workout after that) before my mens group.
I randomly chose the Surfside Walmart because I had a gift card to that chain.
I chose my healthy fresh fruits and vegetable and headed for my normal 20 items or less line.
It was a mile long!
I scanned the other lines and they were way shorter!
"Weird," I thought.
Then I almost changed lanes 10 times waiting for the people in front of me to move up enough to make sure no one broke in line.
I stayed put and they moved.
Finally it was my turn.
I squinted at the screen, trying to pay. I had taken out my contacts in the car because my eyes were burning.
I couldn't see squat beyond about a foot.
So the clerk, a nice middle-aged lady with a blurry name-tag, kindly helped me complete my purchase.
Being blind probably helped me to listen better. I distinctly thought I heard an accent...a FRENCH accent.
So I immediately grilled her in French! Translation goes something like this:
"I hear an accent. Do you speak French?"
"Yes, I do! And so do you!."
We were both so happy to meet that we exchanged cards and she hinted at inviting me to dinner. She even volunteered that she works there every Mon and Tues as a tacit invitation to return to chat.
It came at a time when my fundraising numbers don't reflect my passion for the vision to bring the French back to Christ. I felt it was God's way of affirming that goal.
I mean, what if I had gone to the Walmart closest to my home instead? Or had decided to stop there on one of the 5 days of the week when she doesn't work? Or what if there hadn't ben an unusual crowd of Less-than-20-item shoppers that day? Or what if my impatience had led me to another lane.
I don't know how God will use this relationship to bless Claudine? I don't even know where she stands in relation to God or whether she has family or friends here.
What I do know is that meeting her has already blessed me by encouraging me to keep working to gain supporters no matter how long it takes.
Please continue to pray for the Mission to France and begin praying for God to reveal his plans for my friendship with Claudine.
And may whatever it is bring him Maximum Glory!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tues. Valuing friends and a lifetime's experience.

We've been visiting Conway Manor, a nursing home, for 2 or 3 years now. We ostensibly visit to play Bingo but our ulterior motive is fellowship and just loving on the elderly forgotten. made some lasting friendships. The hard part, which prompted me to blog, is the losses. It always starts the same way. Someone is absent and the others say he or she "is not feeling well." After a months or 2 or 3 of bein absent we arrive to find our friend has gone on to be with the Lord. it's hard to let go when you have no closure. no one notifies us to attend the funerals, wakes , or memorial services even tho we would love to.
It's hard but it's alo worth it. We learn so much from them. And it also teaches us so much about what it will be like to be old. Sometimes it makes me afraid. But most times I pray that I can end life with at least the same joy and grace they do!

Friday, June 5, 2009

3 New Monthly Partners & $3000 one-time donations!!! .

So some long-time friends decided their budget will include a monthly gift to support the Ricardo-to-France-Foundation.
That puts me at around 20% in pledges of monthly support.
My home church CUMC got on board with a monthly pledge and one-time gift. It is very important to me to not only have their endorsement but also their monthly support. Many times I've been asked if my church is supporting me.  At first I couldn't fathom why they wanted to know.
I think their need was/is just to know that the money they might give is going to be used by someone whose own church trusts them completely, enough to pour the church's own finances into the vision.
I also received two large one-time gifts totalling $3000. Checks aren't in my hand but are on the way! That puts me at around $12,000 or approximately 60% of one-time moving costs raised!
The hardest thing right now is getting people to let me present the vision. People who haven't already heard the presentation. People who can actually afford even a small monthly donation. People I don't yet know...but who are just waiting to be invited to give or pray.
That's where my current donors and prayer partners come in. I truly believe you have friends or or two people who would be willing to sit down for dessert and coffee to hear about our mission to make disciples and support Church-planting in France.
I also would like to remind anyone considering supporting me at a future date that my progress NOW is being monitored. You may ask... 
"Why should I start giving NOW?"
UWM, my sending agency, can't send me based only on promises to give, or pledges as we call them. I am not considered 20% funded until 20% of my monthly budget is coming in every month. So I won't get permission to leave until 100% of my monthy budget is pledged AND coming in. And then continues to come in.
Sometimes ambitious of faithful missionaries stop working at 80% and do the 2 or 3 month training that precedes departure for the field while they continue to raise those last few supporters.
It all depends on what kind of momentum you get going in recruiting prayer and financial supporters.
It seems to be going slowly. The recession has made this a tricky time to ask for any kid of charitable gift. But no one feels the minutes passing more acutely than I do. Instead of support-raising I like to call it people-raising.  Even though finaces are tight for all of us I believe God is calling about 50 more people to partner with me to help bring the French from the edge of apathy back to the bosom of Christ. I remain truly encouraged that this is not only God's call but also His will for me and for my family of supporters.
Whatever your involvement or reason for reading I thank you for honoring me and this vision with this brief offering of your time and attention.
Blessings and peace in and on you and your house. In the name of the only one who is worthy. Jesus the Christ.

Free Bday Food Voucher Links

Alright this is 14 birthday clubs that give you something free on your birthday. 
The food places give you free meal or sandwich, not just dessert. 
Ice cream places give you free icecream!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Birthday Thoughts!

Thank you all so much for the prayers and Birthday blessings.
I count myself rich and blessed to have friends and family like you all.
Thanks to those of you who became supporters as your gift this week!!!
I still feel 25.
I cannot believe how close I am to 40.
I sometimes don't recognize who I've become.
I can't BE..without being connectd to God.
I've gotta have triple chocolate cake with hersheys syrup.
Mom always makes a cake but for about 20 years my brother get both our share!
I resolve to end this Summer in the best shape of my life. Please encourage me if you see me lookin hungry or sore.
So many potential changes coming right now. The future is more open than at any other time in our church family.
I have the realest, funnest, and funniest friends on the planet.
Love you guys, minimum 70 year commitment!