Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thank You Jesus!

I am continuously left speechless by the Lord's goodness, His grace, provision, love and faithfulness. Even in our weakness, He remains strong and He truly works on behalf of those who love Him! This weekend, I've been pondering some of the things I have asked the Lord to do in my life, to make me more like Him. Some of the journeys we've gone on together have taken me to some dark valleys and some have had me soaring on mountain tops.... all of it good, because it is producing more of Christ in me.

I've been re-reading a book my father wrote in 1991, called "The Potter's Touch." It's a book that has really ministered life to me. I have been challenged through this book, to yield to and endure the process of being thrown on the Potter's wheel, fired in the heat of the kiln and becoming more and more like Jesus in the process. Whew, this can be so painful to the flesh can't it? As I fall more in love with Jesus and understand more of His love for me, I can also pour out to others who are in such need of Jesus' love and hope. I need Him in my life. I need God's wisdom, His strength. I need Him to open up the eyes of my understanding, so I can know what's on His heart and not run everything through my own grid.

We are not self-made men and women of God; we have been formed by the nail-scarred hand of a loving Savior who had a purpose in mind when He placed us on the Potter's Wheel. What we look like is less important than what we contain. There are those in our lives who will judge us by how much money we make or don't make. Some will judge us by our size; are we fat or are we thin? Are our clothes fashionable enough? Are we cool (in the world's eyes) or a little odd? The truth is this; the only opinion that should matter is God's. He measures us on a much different scale. Isn't that awesome?! His love for us is unending, it's faithful and it's strong.

There's a poem in my Dad's book, written by Beulah V. Cornwall. It's beautiful and I pray that any of you who read enough of this post to get to the poem below (sorry, I get a little long winded sometimes), will view yourself the way God views you. You are a vessel of clay and God is molding you more and more, into His image, as you seek Him and ask Him to work more of Himself into you. You are precious and so priceless to Him! Don't give up! He will finish the good work He has started in you! As you pursue Jesus and come to know this amazing God who dances over you with joy, your life will begin to reflect more of Christ and He promises that He will give you all you need to run this race with victory!

The Potter's Vessel

The Master was searching for a vessel to use
on a shelf there were many,
which one would He chose?
Pick me, cried the gold one,
I'm shiny and bright. I'm of great value,
and do things just right.
My beauty and lustre will outshine the rest,
and for someone like you, Master, I would be best.

But the Master passed on with no word at all,
He came to a silver urn, it was narrow and tall.
I'll serve you, Dear Master, and I'll pour your wine,
and be at your table whenever you dine.
My lines are so graceful and my carvings are true,
and my silver would always compliment you.
Unheeding, the Master passed on to the brass,
it was wide mouthed and shallow and polished like glass.
Here, here, cried the vessel, I know I will do,
place me on your table for all men to view.

Look at me, cried the goblet of crystal so clear,
my tranparency shows my contents are dear.
Though fragile am I, I'll serve you with pride,
and I'm sure I'd be happy in your house to abide.
But the Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
Use me, Dear Master, the wooden bowl said,
but I'd rather you'd use me for fruit, please, no bread.

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,
empty, broken, it helplessly lay.
No hope had that vessel, that the Master might choose
to cleanse and make whole, to fill or to use.
Ah, this is the vessel I've been hoping to find.
I'll mend it and I'll use it and I'll make it all Mine.

I need not a vessel with pride in itself,
nor the one so narrow who sits on the shelf,
nor the one who's big mouthed and shallow and loud,
not the one who displays it's contents so proud,
not the one who things he can do all things just right,
but this plain earthen vessel filled with My power and might.

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay,
mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
He spoke to it kindly, there's work you must do.
You pour out to other's and I'll pour into you.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving, and not so much for the turkey and trimmings. Thanksgiving is a day that I wake up and just feel happy and blown away by God's goodness to our family.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sophia Turns 11!

It doesn't seem that long ago, that Derek and I were in the hospital and I was giving birth to our little Sophia, and yet, we just celebrated her 11th birthday! Her birth was like a kiss from God. After our heartache in the loss of our precious Josiah, the Lord brought us so much healing through the gift of our Sophia. I was only in labor for 3 hours before her grand arrival! I had the same doctor during my pregnancy with Sophia, as I did in my pregnancy with Josiah. When he held her up in front of me, after helping to deliver her, he looked at me with tears running down his cheeks and said, "Look at her, she's beautiful!" He had walked through much with us, and even though no child replaces the beauty and uniqueness of another, we all were celebrating the life of our new little princess, who was healthy and whole. Sophia has always had a real love for her brother, Josiah, even though they never knew each other. Because of his life, which she only knows through videos and our stories, Sophia has fallen in love with special need's children and has great compassion for children who suffer or are physically/mentally challenged in anyway. Sophia is a gem and we are so proud of the amazing young lady she is blossoming into.

We love you precious Doodles! You bless our lives in more ways than we could ever begin to tell you. Thanks for all you mean to us and so many others. You are beautiful, inside and out!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Maas Family

While many of us will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families, I would like to bring to your attention a precious family who has recently suffered a devastating loss! David Maas, the husband of Joy and father of Jonathan, Desiree, Berea and Perazim, passed away very unexpectedly.

The Maas' were in India, ministering to orphans, when David began to feel very sick and went to see a doctor. The doctor told him he had food poisining. He went back to the place they were staying and began having seizures, followed by two heart attacks that led to his death. David was very healthy and had never had health problems, so, his death came as a complete shock to his precious family.

We recently had the Maas' over to our home for dinner. As you can imagine, Joy and their children, Jonathan, Desiree, Berea and Perazim are heartbroken over their loss.

I would like to ask you to seriously consider helping this precious family financially this Christmas. They have many needs! If you would like to help, you can either write a check, paid to the order of Joy Maas and sent to the Orphan Justice Center at P.O. Box 259, Grandview, MO 64030, or, you can give through our PayPal account on this blog. If you give a gift through our PayPal account, please inform me at, that the gift is for Joy and family.

I know this is a very busy season and a financially challenging time for many of you. I would like to encourage you, in the midst of the challenges, to take time to bless this precious family with whatever you can give, and through your giving, to experience the joy that comes from being the hand of Christ to a very hurting family.

Thank you so much and God bless you!

The Maas Family

The Maas family is very precious to our hearts. They have had a traumatic and painful year because of the unexpected loss of their precious father/husband. The Maas family were traveling and ministering to orphans in

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Coconut Soup!

Our friends Rachel and Marcus Meier, have a family tradition of making sauerkraut. Rachel recently blogged about the fun they just had as a family, canning 60 jars of it! It's a great read! You can check it out at

The Meiers like sauerkraut and the Loux's like coconuts. My Mom recently moved in with us about 7 months ago from the Marshall Islands. Anytime any of our family members comes to the states they bring island food with them. Our girls miss coconut and bread fruit the most. They can still get sushi and sashimi (raw fish) in the states so they're hapy about that.

When my mom arrived from the Marshall Islands, she brought with her, tons, and I mean tons of cut up "U" from a bunch of young coconuts out there. When coconuts are not fully mature with their hard white meat, they have a large, round ball of spongy coconut meat in the middle of them. This is what is used to make some Marshalese favs! Our girls were so excited when "Grandma" showed up with this yummy treat, and they couldn't wait for the big day when I made fresh hot coconut soup, otherwise known as "IQ." There is also a cold dish made from the same ingredient called "Lukor."

My kids were begging me to make these Marshalese dishes for them. So, I set out on what was to be a big adventure in cooking. You see, these dishes have always been made for us by the awesome Marshalese people that are our friends and family. I had never once attempted to make them myself. So, with fear and trembling I grabbed the recipe cards and went for it. I knew I had to succeed or my kids would be so bummed! They all waited with anticipation, saying things like "How's it going Mama?" and "Oh, I can't wait!" The pressure was on!!!

As I began mixing all the ingriedients for these two dishes, I noticed that the batch of IQ and Lukor was getting larger by the minute. I knew this was going to make a lot! I began picturing Jesus feeding the 5,000 and wondering if I would be doing the same with this coconut soup! I was really getting nervous. My mom and I began laughing hysterically. It was quite a sight to see! The kids started coming up to me wanting to taste the end result. I prayed and I prayed hard. "Oh God, please do whatever you need to do to change the end result and make it what it's suppossed to be!" It was finally time for all the taste
testing to begin. My heart began to beat a little faster as I lifted the spoons to each of our kid's mouths! I started hearing the words, "Oh wow this taste great!" and "Yum!" I felt such relief and was thanking God that my big day of experimentation turned out a success! The kids love this stuff and we've frozen a bunch of it just in case the 5,000 do show up :). HA! Quite another story for the memory books! P.S. Hey Marcus and Rachel, we'll trade ya a bowl of coconut soup for a jar of kraut! :)