It’s About Choice

choices

As I sit here in my little corner, cup of espresso in hand, laptop on my knees, I’m surrounded by the sound of farmers taking their tractors out to the fields. It’s harvest time here in Italy! Grape harvest and then olives, special times of the year. By the time farmers are heading out with […]

The Lord’s Leading and a Prayer Request

the lords leading

When we first moved to this area of Abruzzo, at the end of 2008, Mario felt the Lord directing us to ‘lay low’. It was an unheard of concept, and we received plenty of criticism for it. “But what are you doing?” people asked. Or “aren’t you doing anything at all?” I don’t mean to […]

Modena: Home of Balsamic Vinegar and our Northern Church

balsamic

The Modena province, where we lived for many years is known as the Home of Balsamic Vinegar. But it’s also home to our northern church, and one of the places we most love returning to for visits! Traditional balsamic vinegar is as expensive as it is tasty, and is also known for its curative properties. […]

Let your House be Wide Open

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Travel in Bible times was uncomfortable, difficult, and dangerous Only six main highways crossed Israel in the time of Christ. Besides these major highways, many smaller roads and byways crisscrossed the nation in all directions. But travel remained uncomfortable and difficult. Even mail, sent by special messenger or traveling caravans was rare and expensive. Traveling traders, […]

Are We Flimsy, Barely Alive Believers?

fallen apple

How do you feel after watching the daily news? “Oh what sorrow is mine! I feel so empty inside, like someone starving, but who finds all the grocery stores empty! Good men are gone, and everyone waits to catch others in their nets, to do harm or take advantage of them. Rulers and judges, accepting bribe […]

Our Roman Octobers

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Roman families no longer pile into horse-drawn carts every Sunday of October. But they still love (as do we) the typical October weather, known as . Warm, balmy weather (actualy hot at times) that still, as it did in the early 1900’s when Roman Octobers got their start, draws people to the big outdoors. As […]

How Important is Relevancy in our Post Modern World?

relay race

Is relevancy in our post modern world the church’s greatest challenge? We hear a lot about the church being irrelevant in today’s world. And how she is making little or no impact on society and culture. And it’s usually layed at the doorstep of post modern culture. “We just don’t know how to reach the post […]

Great Works, on Nickle and Dime Offerings

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It was 1992, after only two years on the field, and we were heading “home”. At least in the minds of our fellow Americans. So our assertion of, “This isn’t home for us; we’re going back,” brought looks that clearly asked, “Haven’t you had enough?” We’d left full. Full of big dreams and great plans. But […]

Keep Going and Encourage Others!

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I remember reading once of a missionary who, looking out on her chosen land of service, exclaimed to a new arrival, “Isn’t it beautiful? So lush and green?” And the newcomer, who had not yet taken the new place with all its pros and cons, into his heart, responded, “More like a giant soggy, salad bowl turned […]

Are We Unwilling Missionaries?

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Jonah was one of those unwilling missionaries. He was certainly an odd one. But not because he was reluctant. I have known unwilling missionaries. I’ve even been one. But such reluctance usually stems from fear of failure. What if no one listens? What if I bear no fruit? What if I’m hated and they stone me, […]