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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cub Car Rally

"There will be three heaps of races tonight.  Each car will be judged by it's speed and it's design."
"In lane two, Karen Lubbers..." 
 On Tuesday night I joined the cadets from my church to participate in the cub car rally.  My dear friend and mentor Sylvia surprisingly made me a car with which to compete.  She painted the car with the colours of the Ugandan flag.  Karebear painted on one side, a cross, miniature Bible and bear on top, and a Jesus symbol on the other side.  How fun!  A "Missionary Mobil".
 This fun car did not place that night, but it was fun to join the kids in a racing competition.
Most of the evening was the rally, but tears came to my eyes when the whole crowd joined together to sing "Living for Jesus".  I am glad the cadets still sing the old hymn with such passion.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bacon with Buds

  • Crockpot lasagna and pumpkin pie with corn syrup on top (a Lubbers family tradition), coupling with laughter and stories from both old and new friends.  
  • Crispy Bacon, hot peppers and a special sauce dripping down my chin, scrumptiously absorbing a hot sub at Bell's Pizza. 
  • Sipping hot tea and taking miniature bites of a specialty light chocolate filled with maple sugar and blueberries.
  • Sitting at the head of the table, sharing eggs and ham on toast while catching up on friends of my parents who have been around since the day I was born.
Reflecting back on my weekend, there seems to be a lot of fellowship happening around delicious food, but I am even more grateful for the love of friends.  Saturday afternoon found me driving to Listowel, ON to catch up with the Slotegraaf family.  Sarah (Slotegraaf) and Josiah Bokma were home for the weekend, after returning from Uganda on Monday.  It was super encouraging to hear what God is doing in Soroti, Uganda.  We hung out for the evening and close to midnight I found my way to the basement to tuck in to my bed on the floor there, surrounded by "aromatic" hockey equipment drying out after two guys played that night.

Waking up early, I mentally prepared for speaking at Maitland River Community Church.  Attending church in Wingham was so good.  My morning was filled with catching up with old and new friends, sharing my stories from Uganda, sitting with my dear friend Michelle and her family, talking to the Sunday school class where my niece and nephew attend, and being prayed over by a church who is willing to partner with me!!

My heart is overflowing with the love I experienced this weekend.  I thank God for such good friends in my life!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Miracles Happen Every Day

Walking in to a Jazzercise room at a small community center in Carmel, Indiana, I was delighted to see a platform transformed with huge speakers and instruments.  A perfect way to start a Sunday morning - with heartfelt worship lead by my friend Bill Chaulk, and other members of a small outreach church.  Bill had asked me the day before to speak at church and I felt ill-prepared but I knew my story well.

Worshipping whole-heartedly, I prayed that the Spirit would give me the right words to say and when I shared my testimony and stories of Uganda, I felt such peace, joy, and clarity.  There were maybe 15 or so people in church that day and so it was the perfect size group to share with.  Finishing up the service, the whole church gathered round me and prayed for me with laying on of hands.  I was anointed with oil and being sent back to Canada.  I felt like Paul, who went to Rome to be looked after on his way to Spain.  Spoiled with love and great fellowship with the saints.

As we were packing up some of the equipment after the service, a man loading music stands and a lap top into my car said, "Karen, when are you going back to Canada?"  I was leaving in about two hours and he said he was not going to let me go to Toronto with two bald front tires.  What?  I didn't even know the tires were that bad.  I get my car checked regularly and try to stay on top of these things, but after looking at the tires with my own eyes I saw they were horrible.

By faith, I gave this man my car keys and he disappeared for a while.  I waited at the Chaulk's house until 3 pm when this man returned.  He blessed me with 2 brand new tires, a full tank of gas, a car wash, and he even called his mechanic son and asked him to meet him at another garage so they could check out my red engine light.  That problem is now repaired too! 

In shock, and truly grateful, I left for the border at 3:15pm on Sunday.  Again, who am I that I should be so blessed?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Haste the Day

Besides being my friends from Wingham days... my teenage years... these brothers were major players in a band called "Haste the Day".  This was a picture of the three of us in 2007 when I caught up with them at one of their concerts in Toronto.
 Days with the band are over.  Brennan joined the band last week for their final tour... it's almost hard to believe that era is over with a hard-core metal band.  Now Devin is pastoring a church and Brennan is rocking out the orders as a server in a restaurant.  I love these men... have I mentioned that yet?

Fun Doesn't Always Look Good

The thermometer said 49 degrees but the sun was shining and the Harley was secretly screaming to escape from the garage.  Karen and I searched her house to find warm gear for me to go out for a ride.  Her helmet and sunglasses, Bill's windbreaker pants... and Dennis the dog.  :)
 Okay, so I didn't match - but I was ready for some fun!
 Even Bones was hoping for a ride, but he wasn't around when the engine revved. 
Heather & Brennan Chaulk, Karebear, Devin & Jessica Chaulk
 Riding for a half an hour, a smile never left my face.  I trusted Bill on the bike and was honored to catch up with my brothers and their wives at a super yummy restaurant.  The Journey had a great seafood buffet!  For the second time, in the matter of an hour, I didn't look good as I had rib sauce smeared across my face, but I sure had a blast.
Bill and Karen Chaulk

I had to prove I was riding on the Harley!!

 Upon returning from the restaurant with the family, Bill and I went out for another ride with some of his friends from the Christian Motorcycle Association. 
Cold Weather Riding

Spoiled Rotten - with love!

Daintily and carefully touching the keyboard of my laptop, I want to share my peaceful week with you.  I have just been treated with a manicure at a nail salon in Indianapolis with my dear sister Karen Chaulk.  Arriving on Wednesday night I've had the privilege of fellowshipping with this truly Godly couple - Bill and Karen.  I met the Chaulks when I was in high school - their son Devin was one of my best buds.  For two years, I spent hours jamming in their basement studio or sharing God stories in their living room. 
Three months ago, when I found out that I had a BodyBuilders Bootcamp in Carmel, Indiana, I called them up and asked if I could come for a visit.  I can still hear Karen screaming with delight that "Karen Lubbers is coming to town!!"
Thursday and Friday I attended bootcamp, from 8am til 6pm - discussing Biblical fundraising.  What a joy it was to search the Scriptures and see how God has blessed His people over the years.  The Levites, Paul, Elijah, Jesus and the disciples, Proverbs... all had great stories that I have taken to heart.  I am so pumped to invite others on to my team... to help transform lives of the oppressed in Uganda.  The Lord provides in marvelous ways.
Last night the Chaulks and I watched "The Inn of Sixth Happiness" - an old Ingrid Bergman film that tells the story of a British lady, Gladys Aylward, who gave up everything to be a missionary in China.  I may have to add her to my list of missionary models... and I highly recommend watching the old movie.
Well, I must draw this story to a close because I am about to meet up with some brothers on the back of a Harley. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Relationship with a Wart

A white bump.  An annoyance.  An ugly mark... this is the wart that for two years has been living on the top of my left thumb.  I've tried every type of over-the-country drug to get rid of it, and eucalyptis oil, but to no avail.  I joked about it during my "Missionaries in Training" getaway that we are all members of the body of Christ - and we all support each other.  Some of us may be the head or hands, while others will be the blood and muscle, but there will also be some who are nose hairs, fingernails, gall bladders, and maybe even warts.  (Although after I said that, warts aren't really supposed to be a part of the body, but I seem to have to live with mine.)  Meaning: we all have different roles to play, but we still serve and worship the same God.  We are Christ's body.

Yesterday, at my weekly women's Bible study meeting at church, we shared an indepth look in to Colossians 3 and thought about putting new clothes on our bodies.  I need to step away from a life that is filled with impurities, evil desires, distrusts, lies, greed, idolatry, anger, slander.  I must clothe myself with God's character.... and it's not something that just happens.  Prayerfully and purposely, I need to step into humility, gentleness, compassion, patience, kindness, forgiveness and love.  Woah... I need to consciously be aware of when I am straying from how God desires me to live. 

After the Bible study I went to see my family doctor for a routine physical... not my favourite activity (so I must admit I delayed it for a few years) but I am beginning to realize how important it is to focus on our whole body.  Too often we just do quick fixes to make things look good, or we concentrate and complain so much about annoyances like warts, that we don't take care of or check up on the rest of the body. 

The opening question to my Colossians 3 study was: "Almost everyone has one or two negative qualities that seem to resist change.  Have you ever given up on changing something about yourself? Why?"  Wow, a deep thought.  I'm still praying about what I really need to change... procrastinating on confrontation and accountability might be one of my biggest concerns at the moment. 

Hopefully I don't ever give up though... I truly wish for the Spirit to work in my heart and life!  Always.  I must cut out the negative qualities, whatever it takes.   So I took that lesson with me to the doctors office and had my wart burnt with dry ice.  Once the blister heals, hopefully I will be rid of that quality that I have been holding on to for far too long. 

For a musical expanation of how I feel at the moment, please click here.  The only way for me to truly change is to be thankful for the cross!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crab Delight

This morning I was super excited to get a break from the norm and get a little foreign culture.  I went to a very asian market at the Promenade Mall and bought a few treats with which to spoil a few people.
I grabbed a bunch of dim sum packages and thought that would make an enjoyable supper with fresh crab with my family.... also sesame seed cookies, red bean rolls, sambal oelek (Indonesian), rice noodles, lychee jellies, citron honey tea, and more.
Pocari Sweat was a drink I inhaled while spending three weeks in Japan in 2003 with my dearest cousin Judy and her husband Phil.  I was taking a Christmas break there during my three years of tutoring in the Philippines.
Dragon Fruit - Dad has a rule that we should always try one new thing when coming home from the grocery store, so this was my new taste experience for today.  Sweet and delicious.
Dungeness Crab - yum  yum!
Here's the final picture... crab, dimsum, and fruit.  I am so grateful to even be able to spend an evening at home, having dinner with my family.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sharing with Children

On Wednesday morning I had the joy of sharing about missions with about 90 students.  Stouffville Christian School invited me to come and speak at one of their morning assemblies.  Carting my suitcase, I entertained the children with stories, photos, and a few props... including an old gourd used to carry camel milk.  Mom was able to obtain a bunch of simple necklaces for me, each made with white twine carry a cross inside an oval glass orb.  I shared these little treasures, complimented by 25 different prayer requests for Uganda, with each person attending the assembly (as I also did 2 weeks ago when I made a presentation at church during the children's story) and asked each child that when they wear it, they would remember to pray for people in missions.  Apparently one of the classes took the prayer requests back to the classroom and spend time in prayer.  Praise God!  I would love to have a partnership team of little prayer warriors.

Waiting Patiently

Thank you for patiently waiting a long while since I last wrote.
The Free Dictionary defines waiting as "the act of remaining inactive or stationary."  Wikipedia defines patience as "the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one's character can take before negativity."
This is a strange time in my life... a time when I want things to hurry on, but I am forced to wait.  Or I need patience to get through a load of difficult tasks.  Homework for missions training still consumes my time, as I am now meeting twice a week with a mentor, working through Dr. Larry Crabb's "Inside Out", as well as three other books to read.  Next week I am driving to Indianapolis for a two day Fundraising Bootcamp and that has homework as well.  And then there is my real work and my dream for different work.  Patience sometimes runs thin while I wait for things to change.  I often need to apologize for being snappy, which probably means I have run out of patience. 
I love waiting upon the Lord and I know that His name is glorified the longer I need to wait for His timing on things.  I used to pray about going to Uganda in April, but God has me staying home for the summer as I continue to fundraise.  I am hoping to take these exra few months to spend quality family time with my family and friends as well as lock down 100% of the funds I need to raise.  Delightfully I am able to step back from my current job to make the next few months possible. 
Waiting isn't just for big things and it certainly doesn't feel like I am inactive.  Daily I wait for the mail to come as I am expecting three packages in the mail.  Weekly I wait for International Teams (IT) Canada to update my donor status.  Occasionally I wait for a day off so I can have an evening meal with my family.  Thank you for your patience as I work through some attitude adjustments and get back to writing like I used to.
What are you waiting for?  When are you striving to be patient?