29 April 2011
we now interrupt this regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you a tale of an adventure.
four men on a quest to conquer the mekong river in a homemade bamboo raft.
[the video is a bit long, but really, what adventure isn't a bit long in the end?]
28 April 2011
24 April 2011
[happy picture for a serious post]
this year easter really snuck up on me. i didn't engage fully in the preparation period of lent & woke up feeling (almost) too tired to even go to the easter morning service (our house church usually meets in the evenings & an early riser, i am not). but in the end, i am so thankful we chose to go.
although our little family is doing well personally, the past few weeks have been really hard for our communities at work, with friends here in cambodia & with loved one scattered around the globe. our spirits have been feeling heavy & heartbroken.
& so, while going to church didn't change any of the broken situations surrounding us, & i was so thankful to be (re) reminded that
this, is not the end.
all of it, & all of us are being redeemed. redeemed by the same Spirit that raised Christ, that brings life to the dead.
the tomb was, & forever will be, empty.
the tomb was, & forever will be, empty.
& that is actually the only things that offers Solace & Hope in this broken, beautiful, & pain-filled world.
He is Risen, indeed!
20 April 2011
baby cedar on his 3-month birthday
people have said that at three months a baby's personality becomes more apparent.
well....little cedar remains largely a mystery to us, but here is what we do know about the little guy.
he likes riding in tuk tuks, sitting in his blue chair, looking at pictures in books & eating. he doesn't like being too hot, sleeping during the day (just like his dad!), or packing too many adventures into one day. he is a good traveler, he doesn't mind lots of different people holding him, but is happiest when he can see that his momma is in the room. in the past few weeks he's really learned how to cry, dramatic tears & all & can make his face turn beet red when he is upset. when that happens his face matches his hair.
18 April 2011
10 April 2011
one of the great things about being part of a small home church community here is that we are known & loved deeply & also very specifically. after we had cedar, daniel & i really wanted to have a baby dedication service. we wanted a chance to say publically, in front on our church community, that we are so thankful to God for baby cedar, that we lift him up & dedicate him to the Lord. and we also wanted a chance to acknowledge that we are insufficeint & unable to raise cedar on our own - we wanted to ask for help from the church, from this specific community that we are a part of here in phnom penh, but also from the greater body of believers that they represent - the global church, where we hope cedar will find love & community for his whole life.
although we're not a formal group & a baby dedication was unprecedented, our church did such a lovely job of making baby cedar's dedication personal & thoughtful. everyone wrote little prayers for cedar & put them in his very own cedar blessings jar & then we read this reading together.
A Reading of Dedication
Cedar James Talstra
Leader: Daniel and Amanda, God has given you the beautiful gift of a child.
A&D: We joyfully accept His gift.
Group: We join you in thanksgiving
Leader: This gift is also a great responsibility.
A&D: With God's grace, we accept this responsibility. We will depend on God to love Cedar unconditionally, to have patience with ourselves and with him, to care for him well, and to accept the help of our community.
Group: As your church community in Cambodia, we will help. We will happily hold Cedar, change diapers, read stories, and most of all have grace with you as you learn about caring for a child.
Leader: Jesus said: let the little children come to me. [Luke 18:16]
A&D: We commit to teaching Cedar about Jesus, and living in a way that demonstrate to him God's peace, compassion, generosity and service.
Group: On behalf of your future church and communities as Cedar grows, we will also provide Christ-like examples to Cedar.
Group: Daniel and Amanda, Don't you see that children are God's best gift; the fruit of the womb, His generous legacy? O, how blessed are you, parents! [Psalm 127:3-4]
A&D: We prayed for this child. And now we give you, Cedar, to the Lord.