Romans 1:20

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Seminary Trials...

Yesterday, our new car of one week overheated. Andrew accidentally left the lights on for the day at seminary and had to jump start it in the afternoon. He did not notice that because of this, the fan for the car was no longer switching on. By the time he was on the road home and noticed the heat guage right up at the top, he had no choice but to put the heater on and just get himself home, since he was unable to call anyone since his phone battery had died. I was sitting at the Master's College waiting for him to pick me up, having no idea that this was going on!

I saw Andrew drive into the parking lot, beckoning me to climb in without the car fully stopping so that the airflow to the engine could continue! I was scared the whole car was going to explode on us as we did the last few miles home, watching the needle bounce up and down! But we made it, and sat for a while together praying, and we thought through the situation and realized that we were to focus on reacting the right way instead of worrying about it. Today, Andrew took it to the shop just up the road from us and we waited for them to get back to us on what the full picture was.

Turns out the cylinder head was cracked... It all came down to a little $50 switch that got fried when the car was jumpstarted. The outcome was sad news, as the estimate was over $800 to fix and the car mustn't be driven until it is done. And Seminary families don't exactly have that sort of money! But we were convinced that the Lord's purposes were being done and we are trusting that it will all work out for our good. We certainly know that from past experience, He has graciously provided what we need, and although we are not too sure what we are going to do yet, we will rest in the knowledge of his sovereignty over this situation! In fact, we are curious as to what He will do though this trial.

We have a little bit of money saved away and some Rands in a South African account, but this must be used to send me to Canada to get my new visa, so we will look at how to reduce as much of the cost of this as possible. We will sit down over the next few days and work out exactly whether we should get it fixed or sell it in it's current condition. Please pray for wisdom and grace for us through this time, and for a right attitude in all things.

Those going through Extreme Trials - Psalm 56

Andrew just preached his second sermon for class and did it on Psalm 56, here are some of the selected verses on what to do in trials, along with my paraphrase of the sermon! The context here is of David's fleeing from Saul and a bunch of other men who wanted to kill him, pretty hectic trial! The principle to be gleaned here is to trust/hope in God in any trial.

Psa 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psa 56:4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Verses 3-4 says we are to pray to Him when we are afraid - both shows and grows our trust in Him, because of who he is.

Psa 56:8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
Psa 56:9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
Psa 56:10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
Psa 56:11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Verses 8-11 says we are to have faith in your dispair - yes even godly men like David, Elijah, Moses, and the apostle Paul are seen to dispair - it is what they do when in dispair that is important - we are not robots but humans built with internal emotions - covering it up with false statements of joy etc are not signs of godliness... We know what the Word says - the promises that it gives - our hope is to actually be expectation that the Lord is faithful to what he has said in the Word. The implication is to be reading it, that is where your hope and trust can be found.

Psa 56:12 I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.
Psa 56:13 For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Verses 12-13 then, are the conclusion to this wonderful Psalm - a sweet reminder to worship God in your deliverance. He is the one who has done it, and Him alone. Praise him for who He is, and for His fulfilled promises to us as His children.

Isn't that why these trials are given to us in the first place - why waste the opportunity to get the most from it! The Lord is good.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our New Car!

We have a new car!!! With our Blazer sold a few days ago, we had only a few short days to find a replacement and this is it! Meet our 92 Honda Civic DX coupe! This little guy gets 32 miles to the gallon and will go on forever, they say! It only has 110 000 miles on it which is very low for this age car. The paint job can be explained by it sitting for a few years, not being used, by a previous owner. The guy who sold it to us was getting rid of it because he has cancer and needs the money for the treatment. We just had to replace a steel rim because it was dented, but otherwise it is working well! It was recently smog checked which saves us doing that, and our car insurance goes down with this car. We thank the Lord for His provision through this good little car, and pray it gives us much opportunity to serve!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Farewell to the Blazer...

We have sold our beloved truck... A guy bought it for a very reasonable price and lives just up the street form us! I'm sure we will see it around every now and then. But now comes the fun of finding a replacement! Until then, it means walks to the store, and no Bible Study :( Please pray we find a reliable car soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The US Visa Situation

Please pray for us, at the moment we are putting together plans for me to get my F2 Visa for the States. At the moment, I am here on a Multiple Entry Holiday Visa, and each stay is valid for up to 6 months at a time, and expires in a few weeks. The law requires me to apply for my F2 outside the USA, so we have decided that I should fly to Canada for a few days to try to get it done. The earliest appointment I could get for the US Embassy in Vancouver is the 7th of October, but my current visa expires on the 10th of October. This means that I only have a two day window in which to get the new visa and return to the States without becoming illegal in both Canada (my Canadian Visitor Visa expires when my US visa does) and the USA. There is also a possibility that the Embassy in Vancouver cannot process my South African passport in which case I will have to return to South Africa.

Other things to consider are the finances because of plane tickets, transport and accommodation for me while I am there. I have contacted a TMS graduate in Vancouver in the hopes that he can help me find a host family to stay with.

The visa situation has been pretty unavoidable for us, only finding out certain information as we went along that have led to this place. But we are confident that the Lord will provide for us and His will is being done. While the circumstances may look bleak to some, so many things have providentially worked out so that we have this narrow window, where there was none to begin with. We are excited to see how He uses this for His glory and our good! I will keep updating the situation as we learn more!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Our First Football Game!

The Rose Bowl in Hollywood is the home of The UCLA "Bruins" (Pronounced Broo-ins! Something to do with a bear...) American Football team. College Ball is a big thing and tickets cost a lot! Justin's treat, he took Raqel, Andrew and I to see the game!

As you can see, there are over 80 people in a team, each player specializes in a specific play, and the whole team changes every few minutes! Wierd! There's also two poles that are important, and a little red rugby ball is involved somehow!

Another essential piece of the scene is the brass band. Each team has it's own one...

The flag was only half raised in remembrance of the Firefighters battling the flames on the other side of the mountains there.

I think they are tossing the coin here...

Ooh! Action shot! Love the outfits? Gold tights and helmet!

"Huck!" or "Huh!" or "Hup!" or something along those lines!!!

Cheerleaders in action! They move around the edge of the field as the game goes on.

"U"..."C"..."L"..."A"..."UCLA! Fight, Fight, Fight!"

There is a lot of this! Pausing, waiting and swapping out players. Has nothing on Rugby, I say...

Aah! Sunflower seeds with a spicy powder are a staple at the game, along with peanuts in their shells.

This is a wierd game they play on the screen at half time. People go crazy for it. A hidden ball behind one of the bears, they shuffle around and you have to follow where the ball ends up.

Us, the nice tanned couple! Andrew's eyes were all sore because I got sun spray in his eyes by accident! Poor guy!

Our two dear friends!

The cherry girl, kitted out in her new UCLA tee!

The pom poms!

Action off the ball is apparently allowed here!

The band!

A big display with flags and what we call "drummies" in SA

The mini team out on the field! So cute!

On the way to a touch down!

The team emerging from the tunnel again!

The spare players for this play just sit around and wait!

See all of them lining the sidelines!!!

The End! Don't remember the score but it was a fun experience! Thanks Justin! will stick to Rugby...

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Blazer Remains...

So the guy never turned up to buy the Blazer so we will continue to pray that the Lord provides someone who will buy it. We are selling it to try to buy one that is cheaper on gas (petrol!) to save money. It has also been giving us problems for the last while and the miles on the clock are high. Lord willing we will get a small car that will be reliable and affordable to fix should anything go wrong... Please pray for us that we will make wise decisions!

Our 5 Month Anniversary in Pasadena

This is such a beautiful old city with the coolest bridge ever so we went to investigate!

Built in 1913 it is an outstanding example of the "Beaux Arts" architectural style with its decorative lamp posts, wrought iron railing and sweeping arches. Another name for the Colorado Street Bridge is the 'suicide bridge' because more than 100 people are known to have committed suicide by leaping off the bridge. This is a view of the side with the beautiful arches!

The old bridge on the left and the new "look alikeone for the 134 Freeway on the right

The bridge has been used as a location in many television series and seen in several movies the most notable of which are "Being John Malkovich" and "Seabiscuit".

The Colorado Street Bridge is the stuff of legends mainly because it is thought to be haunted (listed as one of the most haunted places in America).

Well, we didn't see any ghosts, so nothing to fear!

We walked through Carmelita Gardens by the Bridge and took in the beautiful old homes in the culdesac

My handsome man of 5 months!

Our beloved Blazer! We put it up on Craigslist to see if we can sell it and get a smaller car. We will miss it dearly if it goes...

The phone call!!! Someone wants to buy our Blazer so it will cut our date short... we have to organize another car to borrow until we get a new one if it sells...

But that won't stop me from snapping pics of the houses where "the other half" live as we head on home!

The Court of Appeals

Huntington Library will have to be explored on another date!

The Trailer Park along the 210 that got burned down in last year's fires... The new trailers are only going in now, and you can still see the concrete foundations and stairs from the previous ones. Looks like a graveyard for homes...

The designated driver waiting patiently in the traffic!

the cloud from this years fires, I think this cloud was from an observatory that got taken out.

At theKim's house getting refreshed and borrowing their spare truck in case we sell the Blazer today... It will be sorely missed!