Happy Christmas

What a fun Christmas! We spent 10 fun-filled days in Tulsa with family and friends. We couldn't have asked for a better trip. Santa was good to all and so was mom's cooking. She just kept finding more and more cookies in the freezer. Don't know how she does it.

Quincy had his first trip to the dentist. That is now his favorite place to go in Tulsa... seriously.

Papa Terry gave tractor rides. And the cousins (all 9 of them) played together beautifully. Speaking of the 9, each time we talk about the cousins we think of baby Ana. Check out my brother-in-law's blog remembering her. http://chrischapel.blogspot.com/ He makes a point that is important to remember during the holidays.

The 10 crazy days were much fuller than we expected. We couldn't fit it all in... though we gave it a great effort. From late night and early morning coffee with friends to PF Chang with enemies. (Ok, the Mayes aren't enemies, but Shawn is a Cubs fan.)

On another note... how about them Red Raiders! For once, we set a record that is good and has nothing to do with Bobby Night. The largest comeback in bowl history. You can read all about it at:


Merry Christmas

We leave for Tulsa in just a few hours. I really ought to be packing I guess.

A few years ago, before opening presents on Christmas, my dad asked us to go around the room and tell our favorite Christmas memory. It was really a neat experience... except that everyone's favorite memory involved the one Christmas I was in Portugal. (Who'd have thunk?) After a bit, it got just a bit awkward.

But here's hoping that you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with many favorite memories.


Go Retro in 07

I don't know about you, but I usually get excited about seeing a movie re-make of an old t.v. show. Some end up being good, others... not so much.

But why haven't they re-made Gilligan's Island or CHiPs?

In traffic today I was pondering such deep questions as these and even came up with an interesting cast for Gilligan's Island. Why not use the cast from That 70's Show? Kelso as Gilligan, the girls as Mary Anne and Ginger, the mom and dad as Mr. and Mrs. Howell. The son, (Eric, I think) as the Professor, and the red haired girl's dad as the Skipper.

I'm really surprised no one is doing Gilligan yet. With the success of Survivor and Lost, you'd think you could make G. a bit more edgy and it would score big time... though perhaps not with my cast.

And who wouldn't pay to see a spoof of CHiPs?

And while we're at it, how about Ron Howard re-doing The Andy Griffith Show or Happy Days?

I've heard Tom Hanks has been approached about another Bossom Buddies but he wouldn't do it without his original cast-mate. And I wasn't a big fan of Three's Company, but I'm thinking it would sell. Love Boat anyone?

Other ideas? Who would you cast as the lead?

One more idea, why not go ahead and spoof a curent show... like CSI? Or does CSI Miami qualify?


Vivan las Chivas! (Long live the Goats!)

The Guadalajara Chivas won Mexico's version of the Super Bowl yesterday afternoon. The Chivas are the pride of Mexican Soccer once again. (So weird though... I could have sworn I saw my dad and brother sitting on the 4th row.)

The Chivas are one of the more popular teams as they have a special place in Mexican pride. They have a tradition that no foreigner is allowed to play for the Chivas. Thus, Quincy will never play for them though Clark could one day. (I'm not being sexist towards Karsyn. It's just that their team colors are not pink. She is already opinionated about that.)

Can you imagine a team in the states signing players based on their race?

In other news... I got to see the Cowboy game last night. Ouch!


Listening to God

So what do you know about listening, and I mean really listening to God?

I'm learning two things... it helps if you DESIRE it. You can read and pray all day, but unless you are expecting to hear God speak to you, you won't hear it.

And second... you have to say YES to what you are hearing. If he's calling you to change, confess, give... if you don't do it, it seems to clog the pipes of communication. He needs you to say YES so he can say more.

That is my 2 cents. And seriously, that is all that I know.

What's been helping you listen? What can you teach me?


One Great Idea!

Please go to this post http://shanecoffman.blogspot.com/ by Shane Coffman, the praise leader at Memorial Drive and read about what they did with their Wednesday night this week.

You'll be encouraged.


Rush Family Update

This is a little long, but I've blogged our November Newsletter if you are interested in reading it.

(Alejandro's about to be baptized by family)

Monday, December 4, 2006

A Day at the Waterfalls
The Month of November started off with a huge splash! It seems that God had been bringing different ones from different churches to a decision about baptism. So the churches met together the first Sunday in November to witness the baptisms together. Five in all were baptized, but not necessarily the five we had expected. We believe God is moving in the hearts of many more that just weren’t to that point on that given Sunday.

(Angeles is between 70 and 80... she doesn't know.)

It was very encouraging to see over 100 people there representing at least 4 of the churches we are currently working with. When the churches multiplied into two about a year and a half ago, we numbered less than 50. We did have many guests and visitors that were with us for the first time, but it was still easy to see that God has added to our numbers in a huge way.

(Joe with Morgan and Natelie after their baptism... Luis was also baptized but is not pictured.)

The Church in Jocotan
We aren’t exaggerating when we say that we are always encouraged when we spend time with the family in Jocotan. They come from such a rough background that is so far beyond our own experiences. But they are always eager to talk about Jesus and stories from the Bible. They love sharing what they’ve read and how it has inspired and encouraged them.

The matriarch of the group, Lucia, has been back with us for the last couple of Sundays. She was baptized a few years ago but hasn’t been heard from much in the last couple of years. It has been interesting, and even sad, to see her children grow past her in their devotion to God. So please keep her in your prayers, that she would take life with Christ seriously.

And could you also pray for Omar. His job has him living 2 hours away during the week and home only on weekends. He seems to be doing well, but this past Sunday there were signs of the world getting its grip on him and tugging. He has talked a lot about being baptized when his brothers are here in December. We are certain that Satan wants to derail this new relationship with Jesus. Please pray with us that Satan not come between Omar and his Father.

Visit from Malissa
A former missionary to Guadalajara, Malissa Sheafer came down for a brief visit just before Thanksgiving. We all enjoyed visiting and catching up, but the missionary wives were especially encouraged. They were able to leave the kids with dads and get together for a girl’s night out which really isn’t as common as it should be. I (Tim) am so thankful for Malissa’s coming and offering such a special ministry to Kim. She is always such a blessing.

(Some of the kids at the Missionary Retreat)
Missionary Retreat
Though Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here in Mexico as a national holiday, many of the Mexico missionaries were able to get away from their respective cities and meet for a 3 night stay in the mountains located two hours outside of Guadalajara. The weather was cold, the food was hot and the friendships renewed! It was such a blast. I heard that there were upwards of 80 in attendance from Mexico City, Toluca, Cuernavaca, Morelia, Leon, Lazaro Cardanas and Guadalajara. The majority of those in attendance were old friends from our days in Lubbock so that made it even more special.
(Thanksgiving meal in the Mountains)
As you may remember us mentioning, it was our team’s turn to host the retreat so we had a blast planning the sessions, speakers, food and game times. Thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf. Everyone that we talked to felt renewed and we think it was a neat time for unifying the efforts of the Kingdom here in Mexico. Plus, we all had a lot of fun. Kent and Karen Smith, from Abilene, TX were generous enough to spend their Thanksgiving with us and lead our discussions of Christ centered life and ministry. God was really powerful throughout the time.

Coming to Tulsa!
On December the 18th we will be FLYING into Tulsa. We want to say thanks again to our family at Memorial for flying us home. We are still in a blessed state of shock that we won’t be racking up the mileage in the old Ford. This will be our first Rush Family Christmas in five years. (I can’t believe it has been that long.) Since our last Christmas together 6 new Rush grandkiddies have been born. That house is going to be a-rock’n!

The bad news: As most of you know we are losing $875 of monthly support beginning in January.
The good news: God has already supplied us with $650 of that amount. (We just found out about a large chunk of that this morning.)

We want to say thank you for all of your help. So many of you have done much more than we’d ever imagined. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: More Good News… since writing this newsletter 2 days ago, we have found out the final $225 has been pledged. You guys are too good to us. Thank you again, so much.


Merry Christmas!

We just got off the phone with Santa Clause (a.k.a. Papa Terry). Too fun! For the second night in a row we watched an old v.c.r. copy of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer. And afterward we decided to call the North Poll to make sure Santa knew we would be in Tulsa this year for Christmas. Each of the kids took turns telling Santa what they want in varying degrees of verbality. (I think I made that word up.) I didn’t think the kids would ever get to sleep after the call. We are all too excited.

So, will you be opening gifts on Christmas morning? Eve? Every night the week before? Besides the Cowboy game, is there anything particular you will be doing on Christmas? Family traditions? Early morning golf outings to public courses that are left open?


Go Cowboys!

How about that game. I actually got to see most of it today... except for my brief nap to start the 3rd quarter. How fun. So, do you think Romo is for real? I would love to see the game in English and hear what Troy Aikman et. all are saying about him.

Most are sick in our home. Clark and I are almost over it. Karsyn is in the middle of it. And Kim is just getting started. So far, Quincy's the only one spared.

I don't know about your house, but ours goes on like normal until Kim gets sick. Then it is as if the fabric of society has torn in two.

The pictures above were taken almost a year and a half ago when all were sick.


Interesting Quote

I read this in The Shaping of Things to Come and thought it was interesting. It is The Gospel and Our Culture Network (GOCN)’s definition of missional church.

“The missional church represents God in the encounter between God and human culture. It exists not because of human goals or desires, but as a result of God’s creating and saving work in the world. It is a visible manifestation of how the Good News of Jesus Christ is present in human life and transforms human culture to reflect more faithfully God’s intentions for creation. It is a community that visibly and effectively participates in God’s activity, just as Jesus indicated when he referred to it in metaphorical language as salt, yeast, and light in the world.”

Don’t know about you, but I like it for any church.

Thanksgiving Retreat

What a fun retreat to the mountains. We bunked with the Gearhart family and the cabin was a rock’n. They have 3 very cute and well-behaved children. But combined with our 3, there was never a low decibel level. Hopefully I’ll have some photos soon to share.

Kent and Karen Smith came down from ACU and shared with us what God is teaching them. Each session was a great encouragement. I think Kim cried during 2 of the 3 classes.

Besides our team from Guadalajara there were those from Tlalpan in Mexico City, a couple from Cuernavaca and the Gearharts from Lazaro Cardanas, two families from Leon, a family from Morelia and AIMers from Mexico City, Toluca and Leon. I think I’m missing some, but the place was packed.

I was especially excited to see Benjy and Chris. Lots of fun conversations and some good food too. And we even got to see the second half of the Cowboy game. How great was that! We didn't get to play football on Turkey Day and had to settle for friday. (Don't want to brag, but the missionaries beat the AIMers. ...we couldn't have done it without Elaine's killer blocks or Morgan's blazing speed.)

It’s never the same being away from family for any holiday, but God provided a bit of extended family. And we are so grateful.


Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

I think I’ve mentioned Paul Miller before on this blog. But when I think about one man sharpening another, I think about my relationship with Paul. I loved road trips with Paul because we would hash, rehash and hash again our problems and solutions. Together we were discovering what God was doing in our lives.

This may sound like I’m taking too much credit, but I believe aspects of AIM were shaped by our relationship. We added to what we were learning by asking Jay, the director (and our mentor) at the time, a ton of questions. Then we took what was sharpening us and tried to use it to sharpen those we were trying to mentor. What a fun time!

Today, I’m surrounded by guys like Joe Pruett and Cory Burns as well as Kim. Each, in his/her own way, is sharpening me. My prayer is that somehow I can do the same for them.

So who has been sharpening you? How so? And who have you been sharpening?


Giving Thanks

Who’s excited about Turkey Day?

Tomorrow we head about 3 hours away to the mountains for a retreat with missionaries from all over Mexico. I can’t wait. There ought to be upwards of 70 in attendance. And the majority are old friends of ours from our days in Lubbock, Texas.

I think that this year I’m especially thankful for a few particular faces that will be there. …special friends from a very important and forming time in my history.

So what are you thankful for?
What are you especially looking forward to?
Will you be rooting for the Cowboys? Would you root more if T.O. weren’t in the picture?
Will you be playing any ball in the yard? And if so, whose jersey will you be wearing? (I’ll be wearing T.O.’s 81. A friend of mine, Joe Pruett, knew I always wanted a Cowboy jersey and also knew that I am not a fan of T.O. So he thought it was pretty funny. It was.)
How much weight are you going to commit to losing after the first of the year?

*If you answer any of the above questions, Angie Burns will send you a free book.
Does that sound ok Angie?


The Big Day

Well, today’s the big day. Before Christmas season officially begins, before the Thanksgiving turkey is put in the oven… Mary Rush turns X years old today! (Sorry, I don’t think it’s my place to say what X is. But I will say that 52 years ago, today, she was celebrating her 9th birthday.)

Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Mary Rush just happens to be a charming and beautiful woman who fears the Lord. So let her be praised!

Do you have a favorite Mary Rush story?

To be honest, I can’t think of ONE story that defines my mom. In my mind I see a quilted mix of memories involving kindness, peace and joy wrapped in a history of faith.

The picture of mom and the twins above was taken a couple of years ago. Since then, the twins have gotten bigger. I think mom has actually gotten smaller.


This photo is a little old, but it is one of my favorites. I was reminded of it this week when Q informed me that his friend pictured here, Maria Jose, was whom he would marry someday.

Other happenings this week...

I almost blew up. That was new. Kim and I were visiting some friends when their electricity went out due to a storm. They had an elderly woman in their home who was on an oxygen machine. She didn't know how it worked and couldn't get it started back up. So a couple of the youths and I were trying to help her out. (All the adults were gone when we showed up.) As there were no lights, the 18 year old boy was using his cell phone for light. He kept turning nobs and moving hoses but couldn't get it to work. All he could do was allow great amounts of oxygen to escape in loud bursts. The younger girl was starting to freak out a bit as the elderly woman began to panick. Trying to help, the young girl thought she'd shed some more light on the situation by holding a candle closer to the oxygen tank. I suggested that wasn't the best idea.

We did get it going again. And as far as I know, the elderly lady is doing just fine.


What's Your Gift?

If you are like me, you’ve struggled with discovering your spiritual gift. Probably, most tests leave you cold. They promise to shed light on your place in the kingdom but usually leave you with just as many questions as before.

Just consider… what if we are asking the wrong question? Or perhaps we are just looking for the wrong thing. What if you and I ARE the gifts? What would happen if each day we decided to be a gift in the lives of those around us?

If each day, we tried to give ourselves to others, after a short time we’d realize what “Spiritual Gift” we possessed. Try it for just a month, even a week. Ask yourself each day, “How can I be a gift to those around me?” After a short time, look back and examine how you went about it. Was it through encouragement, teaching, giving…? This will take a little more commitment than a short exam, but I think it might lead us towards some answers we’ve been looking for.


Proverbs 14:31

“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

Kim and I have been talking about making a concerted effort, at least once a week, to do something kind for the poor. No passing out tracks or asking for Bible studies; just random acts of generosity. One thing that we are excited about doing is buying a bunch of kids’ shoes and going to the center and giving them away to barefooted children of people living on the street.

What are fun things you could do for the poor in your city?


A Day Without Light

Ok, so it wasn’t really a day without light, but we did just finish up over 24 hours without electricity. (Little miscommunication between the bill receiver and the bill payer, but that is all squared away now.)

It was really kind of fun going without electricity. Before dark, we rounded up all the flashlights and candles to get ready. Then, we went outside, across the street to play while it was still light outside, though very dim in the house. Then we fed the kids and read stories and put on jammies to the soft lights of candles and flashlights. (Even flashlights that growl and make monkey noises… thanks to great birthday gifts the twins received from the Shroeder family.)

Things took a not-so-fun turn when the water ran out. Without electricity, the pump couldn’t fill the tank. That got a little less fun this morning when each of the twins threw up. …so much harder to clean up children, clothes and bedding without running water.

In the end, we’ve decided we should spend more evenings in the dark, but hopefully not without water.



Here is the link to our latest newsletter from Guadalajara.



Baptism Sunday

Just want to share with you about a wonderful Sunday we shared yesterday with the churches in Guadalajara.

About a year and a half ago the church in Guadalajara decided to multiply into two. The vision was to continue from there, multiplying and planting churches in the homes of new christians.

Yesterday all the churches got together for a baptism Sunday. There were about 6 churches represented and well over 100 people. (I think many were with our body for the first time. But I should point out that when we multiplied we numbered around 45.) We met at a water fall outside of town to share 5 baptisms together. There were a couple that no one expected. And there were a few we expected that chose not to. So who knows what the future brings. But it sure is fun!

Above, Luis celebrates.
Alejandro gets ready...

and is buried by family.
Angeles, about 70 (she doesn't really know) is lowered into the water. Afterward, she and her daughter stood forever hugging and crying. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
Kim with Morgan afterwards. Natali, Morgan's twin sister was baptized too. But as you can imagine, when viewing the pictures above, we didn't get good pictures because of the crowd.


Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

First let me say, if you’ve not heard Angie Burns and Felicia Patton sing this, you’ve missed out.

Trust with ALL of my heart? Acknowledge him in ALL of my ways? That sounds like a full-time job. But it also makes for a fun full-time relationship. This makes me think again of my brother’s blog… mentioning how much fun my dad has living in the kingdom. I think I might have just stumbled upon his secret.

(If you haven’t read it already, go to Dusty’s blog @
http://rustydush.wordpress.com and read the post titled Fun at the World Series.)


The Gods Must Be Crazy

I remember in the late 80’s when the movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy came out. So many people at church and school came up to my sister and brother and me and told us we HAD to go see that HYSTERICAL movie. For whatever reason, they said, the movie reminded them of us. They thought it was so funny and knew that, because of our sense of humor, we would too. One evening the three of us decided to go see this GREAT movie that all had been raving about. (This isn’t the point of the post… which come to think of it, there is no point. But how cool to grow up with a brother and sister that you could have fun hanging out with.) Back to our story… I don’t mind saying, we were quite offended. We were offended that people would see this movie and think that we too would find it funny. I don’t think we lasted 30 minutes. We kept thinking, “Surely this will get better. Surely it will be funny soon.” It never did.

If you want to rent a great movie, let me suggest:
The Power of One (Historical Drama… perhaps the greatest movie ever made)
Frequency (Suspense/Thriller)
The Man Who Knew Too Little (Comedy)

Other suggestions?
Any busts we shouldn’t see?

And if you are offended by my view of The God’s Must be Crazy… well, you should be.


my brother's blog

I hate to advertise my evil brother's blog... but you really ought to go over and read it. His post entitled "Fun at the World Series" or something like it has the best line about my dad. Good stuff.



Proverbs 31

Ah, a wife of noble character, who can find?

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. … her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’”

How fun to have found her!


Proverbs 30:5

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

Let’s see, what else have I tried to take refuge in? Looks and athletic ability? Those were squashed pretty quickly. (Dusty, I don’t need any comments from you on this one. You’re suspended until I’m over your trip to the World Series.) Degrees? You really can’t do anything with a History or Communication Studies degree. People I know? Name dropping only sounds good to the dropper. No one else is impressed. And the most remarkable… I’ve taken refuge in what I know about what God has said. (understand: my knowledge of Bible facts) But notice, it doesn’t say his words are the shield, it says, HE is the shield. I might be splitting hairs here. But I think this is important. Jesus, at one point, gets after the Pharisees saying they take pride in their knowledge of the scriptures but are still missing out on life… his life that he is offering, standing right there in front of them.

Does anyone see the difference? If so, care to take a shot at explaining it a little better?

Proverbs 29:11

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”

Oh but it feels so good sometimes to be the fool. From experience though, wouldn't we all agree that that good feeling doesn’t last. Hindsight always shows a better manner in which to have responded. Hindsight after, or Wisdom before.


Proverbs 28:3

“A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.”

Often, the proverbs speak about kings or rulers. I wonder if we could apply the principle to a more broad sense of leadership. I can’t imagine that the poor in the church are actually oppressed, but it isn’t hard to imagine favoritism being shown to the rich even today. And I don’t think we do it because one has more money than another. Most often it is due to one being closer to us, personally, than another. We generally identify more with those who look like us, verses the really poor.

But what does this verse teach us about favoritism in leadership? When you are a farmer, driving rain is a good thing. It’s just when it keeps up for days on end that it starts to destroy the crops instead of feed them. When we side with those against the poor, even in subtle ways, we lose our ability to feed those we are called to feed and begin to tear them down instead. I guess that would make for a good definition of oppress.

And, Cards Win! Cards Win! Were you all as excited as I was? This is their first World Series win since 1982. 82 just happened to be the first year that I began following the Cardinals (I was 9). And the first year I ever got to go to a game. I’ll never forget watching the San Francisco Giants play pepper before or the size of Reggie Smith’s afro. Or getting then rookie Willie McGee’s autograph. All the kids were yelling for him to come sign stuff and he wouldn’t. My dad asked him to come sign something for Dusty and I. McGee said no cause then he’d have to sign for everyone. Dad said, “No you won’t”. And that was that. He came and signed for Dusty and I and then went on about his business. All the other kids just looked on in awe.


Six Little Cuties!

Clark, Noni (Noel), Cooper, Quincy, Karsyn and Abby at the Turtle sanctuary in Lazaro Cardanas.

Proverbs 27:21

“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.”

This has become another favorite of mine. At first, this one appears odd, but does it not make perfect sense? Before, I hadn’t considered praise to be anything to endure… like the pounding of the crucible or the heat of the furnace. Yet, when people love us, when they think we can do no wrong (at least that’s what they say), our hearts are being molded. In the midst of the glory of being adored, do we agree? Do we begin to slack off, thinking we have already arrived? Or do we recognize the truth about ourselves? Do we press on to become the man and woman God desires or remain stagnant as the one good enough to be liked?


Surf's Up!

I'm ready to surf. And Jeff is ready for some laughs. I will say, surfing is one of the few things that has a fun learning process.
I'm going to stand if it's the last thing I do. And in fact, it was the last thing I did!

Though it isn't very clear, I think you can still make out the huge smile on Jeff's face. That is my head just peaking up above the surf.

Proverbs 26: Who’s the Fool?

This has been the proverb that has impacted me the most over the last few months and thus might be a longer read. So please bear with me.

vv. 4-5
“Do not answer a fool according to is folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.”

This is not the point I’m wanting to get to but makes for an interesting pause. Here we read two consecutive verses that completely contradict each other. My thought is this: You’re dealing with a fool! There is no right way to deal with them because they are, in fact, a fool! (If you have another take, please share.)
But let’s continue.

vv. 6-11
“Like cutting off one’s feet or drinking violence is the sending of a message by the hand of a fool.
Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool.
Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.
Like an archer who wounds a random is he who hires a fool or any passer-by.
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”

So tell us Solomon, how do you really feel? Who among us thinks they’re a fool? Is there anything worse than being a fool? …so glad you asked.

v. 12
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Ouch. It is quite easy for me to read about the fool, because I don’t think that I am one (at least, not usually). However, now we’re hitting a nerve. But here we find the answer… is there anything worse than being a fool? Who would have thought?

So where do we fit? This is why I love Proverbs 9. We are simply simple. Our best hope is to be the simple ones who listen to the call of wisdom. This reminds me of Jesus calling us to be like the little children.


Proverbs 25:11

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

I remember driving down the street in Lubbock with Paul. I can’t remember what I was so bugged about, but I was almost to the point of tears. I do remember Paul’s words. They had nothing to do with what I was angry with. He simply reminded me of our friendship. Whatever it was that bothered me that day no longer exists. But Paul’s words still encourage.

I remember calling my dad and telling him about some ideas… just wondering about where God might be leading me. I was afraid of the ideas. I thought he’d speak some sense into me and I’d move on with life. Instead, he told me about times he’d felt God moving him; times he was scared, even times those around him told him, “DON’T DO IT”. He told me how God prevailed despite his fears. To steal a line from Rich Mullins, “Stories like that make a boy grow bold. Stories like that make a man walk straight.”

What “word aptly spoken” has encouraged you? Formed you?


Proverbs 24:3-4

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its room are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

This verse takes me back to a warm, safe, love filled home. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but there were rare and beautiful treasures in every room. With a loving, care giving mother and a fun, faith instilling father, our home was full. I hope that the home my kids see is similar… or at least growing that way.

Any specifics about the treasures in your home, current or past, that you would like to share?

Proverbs 23:17

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.”

Envy is the crossroad where we decide which path to follow; Wisdom or Folly. It isn’t just a matter of guarding ourselves from envy either. Instead of just standing still at the crossroad we are to pursue the path called Fear of the Lord.

On another note… we’re home. We had a wonderful time with Jeff and Amy. I’m telling ya, if you have a free weekend, you really ought to drop in on them. And I’d pick the coldest time of the year for you. Cause then you will really appreciate the smoking weather there.

We took all the kids to a turtle sanctuary where we were able to release baby turtles into the ocean. So fun! And we spent another day at the beach where Jeff tried to teach me how to surf. I’m a bit slow when it comes to anything requiring coordination, but he was a great and patient teacher. It was a blast!

I should add… those two are the nicest hosts. They let us sleep in their bed as their room is the only one with air conditioning. And they gave us their Jeep to drive home as our Taurus didn’t handle the drive down to well (but that’s another story). But, that just means we get to see them again in a week or so when the Taurus is ready. They offered to drive it half way to trade cars.


Proverbs 22:26-27

“Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.”

Do you think Solomon is advising against buying on credit? If so, is that even possible today? Suppose we don’t even ask if it is possible. Suppose we just assume that it is. What would it look like if we lived that way? What changes would there be, good and bad?

Proverbs 21:13

“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”

If you’ve been reading along, you’ve probably noticed a theme Solomon seems to come back to a lot: Care for the poor. Protect the down trodden.

I don’t want to get into a debate on what our government should or should not do regarding the poor. What I would like us to do is question our own ears. Have they closed to the cries of the poor?

Proverbs 20:6

“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?”

I’ve got to tell you, this verse haunts me. I claim to love God. I claim to love my wife. But am I really being faithful in that love?

This verse haunts me enough that I hesitated in posting it. However, I think it is a good question to ask myself today, or any day. Is my life’s love a true representation of my words?

About the photo... I'm afraid this is Clark, obviously caught in the early onset of evil villian laugh syndrome. Which we can now see must be caused by the fact that, in deed, his mom dressed him funny. (This is actually an outfit worn by his uncle Chris Blachly. Sadly, Chris was already in the Navy when he purchased it. Ha.)

Also, Cards win! Cards win! World Series starts Saturday!


Proverbs 19:14

“Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

I’m set to inherit some pretty cool Cardinal memorabilia, but beyond that, probably not too much as far as houses or wealth are concerned.

However, in the prudent wife category, color me BLESSED!

How about we all tell our favorite Kim story! Or, you can talk about your wife/spouse/friend if you’d prefer.

And by the way, the picture of Kim is not a recent one (ha). It was taken about a week before the twins were born.

Proverbs 18:24

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Does anyone else ever feel like they go through stages where they are less likely to build close friendships, and are stuck in the “companion” stage? If so, why does this happen?

Also, feel free to share about your “friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Name some names and tell us why.

Proverbs 17:28

“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

Boy do I have a lot to say about this one. But for once, I think I’ll hold my tongue.


Nutella toast for breakfast...

um, um good!

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

I struggle with how far to take this. So many people have so many different ideas as to how one should go about ministry. And your way of doing it isn’t right! I think that if you’ve committed your plans to the Lord, HE will succeed. Still, I don’t want to blindly stick my head in the sand and not study out what might be the better way.

One thing that I am becoming more convinced of, though, is that we shouldn’t mock anyone else’s ministry dreams, no matter how far removed they might be from ours.

And as for my Cardinals... rough night! Still, we know that even if we get beat tomorrow, we will come around to Carpenter and Suppan in the rotation. (At least Carp.) The bad news is that our bullpen has been figured out. I'm afraid that spells doom. The bright spot for Monday is that Glavin has an awful record with only 3 days rest. Weaver, who knows?


Proverbs 15:28

“The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.”

I’m sure we’ve all had those moments where we wish someone would yell, “Cut, cut… let’s take it from the top folks… and Tim, this time please notice where we’ve placed the invisible line.” (I don’t mean we’ve all had moments we wish we would have said something different. I mean we’ve all had moments we wish TIM would have said something different.)

I like to think these moments are fewer and farther between. But they still happen. Oh yes they do.

And how about them Cardinals? They are now up 2 to 1 over the Mets. The series is still up in the air though. The way things are going, we could finish them out in the next two games in St. Louis. But with their offense, they could get hot and score 12 runs a game. Should be fun.

Proverbs 14:34

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

My question is, what are we doing about this?

To exalt the nation, I’m thinking we have to begin in the home. But how can we teach/model righteousness to our kids in such a way as to reach beyond our walls? How can the righteousness that we grow in, in our smaller communities, effect the larger communities around us?


Proverbs 13:24

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”

This isn’t very PC, but I think it speaks truth. We can’t love our kids and not discipline them. I don’t know what your take on "the rod" is, but Solomon sounds pretty firm. And I’d have to agree with him… especially if you keep the “careful” part of the verse. I do believe in spanking. But if that is the knee jerk reaction to every problem, perhaps more consideration ought to be taken.


Fun with Clark

About a week ago, as I was getting the twins out of their cribs after a good nap, I grabbed Karsyn by her ankles and flung her onto Quincy's bed. I thought to myself, perhaps I should be more gentle with this precious little girl, though she didn't mind too much. Then, when I turned to get Clark, he was standing on his head with his little ankles turning as if to say, "me next, ooh, ooh, me next". Since then, I go in, lift Karsyn out of her crib and give her a big kiss. Then I ask Clark, "ankles?" And as quick as he can, he flips up onto his head and gets ready to fly.

And by the way, the above picture has nothing to do with said flying. This photo is of his first black eye. After hearing him cry, Kim found him on the stairs with his feet two steps higher than his head and books scattered everywhere. Now, we're trying to limit what they carry up and down the stairs.

Proverbs 12:1

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”

Again, Solomon says some stuff…

Did you know that in Mexico, “stupid” is a very dirty word? And the Spanish translation is “Estupido”. So, if you slip up and say it in English, you haven’t fooled anyone.

Solomon seems to be doing a slow dance on my toes with this one. But I think that’s his point. I think he wants to correct and see if we’ll listen or not. Perhaps I don’t have to love correction… oh wait, is that the same as discipline? Can this be something I grow to love?

This takes me back to earlier chapters. Wisdom is a journey. Wisdom and Folly call out to me. Will I listen to Wisdom’s correction when Folly would be much, much easier to stomach?


Proverbs 11:22

“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”

First of all, doesn’t Solomon say some things out loud that we would shy away from?

When I read, “shows no discretion" , I immediately think of how a woman dresses, or how she presents herself. So this verse often helps me in my battle with lust. When I’m tempted to lust after a woman dressed rather scantily, I try to agree with Solomon about the woman offering herself up for the world to look at. It’s harder to lust after someone I just feel sorry for.

And now, raising a beautiful little girl (see picture below), how do I train her to go against all that’s popular, all that’s in style? It seems like our culture keeps pushing the envelope so far that discretion is no longer an option. And believe it or not, the objectification of women as sexual play things is even more pronounced in the Mexican culture.


Also, when you read the above verse, and you hear “shows no discretion” , does something else come to mind?

This is Karsyn with Meloni Garcia. Some of you might remember Meloni from your trips to Mexico City as AIMers. She is the daughter of Gerardo and Carola Garcia. This picture was taken by Nancy Shroeder at Sophia's 15th birthday party. And I neglected to mention that Nancy also took the photos of the Quincy and Clark in their tuxedos. Thanks Nancy.


This is the most recent family photo.

Proverbs 10:11

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.”

By how we speak, we either breathe life into the moment, into the hearts of those who hear, or we bring destruction and violence.

For a minute, don’t even consider your enemies. How about your kids? Your spouse? Your coworkers and friends? Are you a source of life to them? In this context, what choices can we make today to listen to the voice of Wisdom calling out to us, and not Folly?

And just for fun, whom do you know that breathes life into whatever situation? Tell us about them.


Proverbs 9

I don’t know that we generally feel this way, but are we to understand, from Proverbs 9, that we are all “simple”? It appears that Wisdom and Folly call out to us (us simple ones 9:4,16). So, depending on which voice we’ve listen to, we’ve become who we are today. And by the by, don’t be offended at being simple. This is going to come in handy by the time we get to Proverbs 26.

On another note... Cards didn't win in 3 straight, but they do advance to the NLCS winning 3 games to 1 over the Padres. St. Louis heads to NY on Wednesday. Go Cards!


Proverbs 8

Pop quiz: #1. What color are the numbers on the front of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jerseys?
#2. What does the Bible say is the first thing God created?

If your answers were blue and light, think again. If you bleed Dodger Blue (which I don’t) you know that their jerseys have red numbers on the front. And if you’ve read Proverbs 8, you know that wisdom was the first of all God’s creations (8:22).

Next time you are with a group of people and the Dodgers are on t.v., ask the people to shut their eyes and tell you what color are the numbers on the front of their jerseys. What does this have to do with anything? Well, sometimes wisdom is like that. It is usually obvious, but it still has to be sought after. What I love about Proverbs 8 is that it reminds us that wisdom is, in fact, attainable… if we just make the effort to look.

Proverbs 7:24-25

“Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.”

Again, we have another chapter warning against adultery. And again, Solomon urges against beginning the journey down the road that will lead to adultery. He says, “do not let your heart turn to her ways”.

It is my heart Satan is after. If I protect against the actions, but forget to protect my heart, it appears I’ve already lost. Does this remind anyone else of Jesus’ teachings from the sermon on the Mount?


Adriana and Clark at Sophia's 15th

Karsyn is all greased up and ready for the beach.


Proverbs 6:16-19

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him… (#7) a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

Despite what others do or say, regardless of how they speak about us or act toward us, be it out of ignorance or spite, let us never stir up dissension among our brothers. When we feel we have every right to spout off a snide remark to a friend we know feels the same as we do, when we know our cutting line will be witty and to the point and even well deserved, may we hold our tongue and keep from separating further those who are already parted. May we offer grace to those who won’t extend it to us.


Proverbs 5

Well, what do you say about this chapter, or the next few for that matter? Don’t commit adultery. Anything else? Surely someone has a deep insight to share with us.

Two quick notes... First, this is Solomon talking; the son of David and Bathsheba. I wonder if these are proverbs passed down to him, again, from his father (Proverbs 4:3-4). Or is this what he learned from watching his mom and dad and the progression of their lives? And second, isn’t it interesting that in v. 12, Solomon eludes to the lack of discipline and the spurning of correction as two things that lead us down the path towards adultery.

On another note... Sure, I said the Cards would win the NLDS in three games. But that was before I knew we'd send Jeff Weaver to the mound against David Wells in game 2. If you haven't been watching this year, Weaver is awful! However, he does have a better record on the road, so we'll see.

Quincy's hanging around in his tux at the 15th birthday party of Sophia. For girls in Mexico, their 15th birthday is a HUGE deal. It was pretty cute to watch Quincy as he suddenly developed a huge crush on Sophia. We would often catch him standing at her side, staring up at her.

It's Potty Time! For some reason, that plays in my head to the tune of "It's Howdy Dudy Time". Which of course, would also be somewhat appropriate.


Proverbs 4:18

“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

It starts out as a gleam of dawn and keeps growing brighter. The path of righteousness IS the journey.

Looking back at my journey with God, I can see major landmarks… major decisions along the way that began to define the journey. I remember praying over the decision to go to AIM. I didn’t know anyone who had done it, but it seemed like the direction God was pulling me to. I remember being asked to come back and work with AIM. I had other plans. Yet again, God was trying to direct my path. And I remember talking with Dennis Wilson about going to Russia for two months to serve the church there. It didn’t fit into to my plans at all! But God had something to show me along my journey. Each step seemed like an inconvenience. They didn’t go with the plans I had for my life. But with each decision, God opened new doors, provided new adventures, gave new life.

When you look back on your journey with God, what major sign posts stand out? Decisions? Events? People? Tragedies?

Grandma Kay paints Karsyn's fingernails.

At the zoo, Clark and Quincy see the apes rolling in the grass beating their chests. Monkey see, monkey do.

Proverbs 3:21-22

“My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.”

I don’t know why, but the phrase, “an ornament to grace your neck” stuck out at me this morning. For some reason it just made sense that wisdom is something that we see displayed in the lives of people, as if it were a necklace that you could not help but notice and admire. Faces began flooding my mind; subtle reminders of men and women who wear such a necklace.

Whose face are you picturing right now? Why?

On another note… The Cardinals and Padres play game one of the NLDS today at 3:00 Guadalajara time. (We are in the same time zone as Texas and Oklahoma.) Perhaps I’m blinded by loyalty, but I’m saying the Cards win in 3. If Duncan hits a homerun in the 1st, you’ll know I’m on to something.


Proverbs 2

Proverbs 2:1-5
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you… then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Reading these verses causes me to evaluate the time I spend with my kids. Solomon offers his son the understanding of the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God. What am I purposefully offering Quincy, Karsyn and Clark?

Moms and dads, what is one thing that you’ve tried to do to encourage your children in their own search for God?

Those without kids, share something you’ve seen in others or experienced with your own parents that you would like to one day pass on to your children.

Or, think in terms of mentoring. Is there something you continually try to share with younger Christians?


Proverbs 1

Proverbs 1
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,

but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

Perhaps this is going to make for an awfully weak beginning to this blogging month, but I want to begin with a simple question. What is it about the fear of the Lord that makes it the beginning of knowledge?


Rush Files

The following is an address you can follow to find our most recent family newsletter from Guadalajara Mexico.