“The finest men in all the world are not to be found in the warm, genial climates, where the earth has only to be tickled with a hoe, and it laughs with plenty; but the strongest and the most enterprising spirits have been found at the back of the north wind, where there are frosts and ice, and long, dreary winters, and men have a hard struggle for a livelihood. They become really men under that stern training. Now, if there were no thorns and thistles, no struggles and no trials, should we have any brave Christians? Should we have any great and noble souls at all? When did the Church yield her best men for her Lord’s service? It was in the persecuting times, when they had to swim through seas of blood to hold fast the truth of Christ. These are silken days, and we have wretched specimens of Christians everywhere; but if the times of persecution were to come once more, with the rough winds blowing, and the whole sea of the world tossed in tempest, we should then find brave sailors who would put the ship’s head to the wind, and ride safely over the stormy billows in the name of the Eternal God.” Spurgeon, C. H.

From the Thorns and Thistles Sermon, Vol 39.

Matthew and Claire’s Baptisms

At Grace Presbyterian Church

Matthew and Claire were baptized on October 13th, 2013. There were 10 or more other baptisms that same day of our Congolese brothers and sisters. Thoses videos will be available privately. Many were added to membership that day and Pierry gave a wonderful testimony. I will post more on that later. 

For now, here's a video that has a brief intro from pastor Bob on baptism, followed by the baptisms of Matthew and Claire.

 

Spider Showdown

We recently caught two large spiders and fed one to the other. It took a while to get them to even see each other. One was in the black widow family and the other was meditteranean spider that is new to the area. 

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The larger overpowered the smaller this time. 

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We didn't wait to see if the black widowish spider managed to inject poisonous venom. 

I grabbed a rock and smashed it before it could escape.

Oktoberfest at the Becks

Our German Neighbors

Spending the evening at the Becks was a special treat. The Becks are our German neighbors who celebrated Oktoberfest on September 28th, 2013. There were lots of familiar faces from the neighborhood and swim team, and then there were some people that we had the priviledge of meeting that night.

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Of course, Claire did not resist going to this adultish party. Her good friend Fancisca is nearly always there to help her find creative and fun ways to by silly.

And what boy can resist a treehouse? Can you find him in this photo?

As night fell, the lights around us brought a warm glow, as well as the home made Schnapps from Bernanrd's mother in Germany. 

By this time Matthew had so much fun eating sweets that he had ejected some and went home. But I stayed to enjoy more yummy sweets.

It's special things like this that make our neighborhood a wonderful place ot live. Thank you Becks!