2009 - Hum?

Posted by Tim on 3 January 2009 - 12:15pm

OK, now that its 2009, do we say it '2000 & 9' or '20 09'?   For some reason I think it will be much easier next year as 'Twenty Ten' just seems to roll off the tongue so much easier than 'Twenty o-nine'. . .  

We had a great Christmas with the three of us in the morning, well four actually - Tullagh was at peak form for his first Christmas ever.  Then in the late afternoon we drove to the home of our teammates in the Northern part of Dublin, The Jones'!  We got to celebrate again with Mark, Andrea, Grant, Luke, Aislinn and baby Kate - who was also experiencing the joy of Jesus' birthday for the first time.  This was especially brilliant (very cool) as this was our first 'team event' in the house God has just provided for the Jones' - in the pic below you may be able to see that it is big enough to use as a 'home church', which is the intent in the near future.

On Christmas eve we had our traditional Mexican Dinner - this time Kathy made incredibly good Fajitas!  Kathy was raised in Salinas, California and Mexican food was always served over the holidays, and we  adopted this tradition many years ago.  As some of you know KATHY KNOWS HER WAY AROUND THE KITCHEN, and Sarah is learning fast.  Stephanie, another teammate, joined us as well as two gals from China; we had a terrific time together enjoying God's bounty and His provisions for all of us.

Here's a few Christmas day pics from our family to yours.  As we head into the new year I'm asking for Great things from the God of all creation.  There is no doubt He will come through inspite of our failings!

Sarah & Tullagh

Sarah & Tullagh

Living Room




Our Sitting Room, with fake fireplace!







Nativity Set





Our Nativity Scene


















Us with the Jones Family 

The three of us with Mark, Luke, Grant and Aisey Jones. . . .

Holiday Mode In Ireland

Posted by Tim on 29 December 2008 - 3:26pm

As we are now only three days from 2009 we are nearing our tenth month in Dublin.  The lease on our house expires on 4th February and we are trusting that God will show us, as He always does, what He wants us to do.  We think it makes sense for us to remain in the same area for the time being, as Ballycullen Community Church prepares for a new pastor this summer.  Pray that we wil be sensitive to God's leading in terms of where we live.

Jeff & Caroline Hay will be arriving following the completion of Jeff's formal seminary education in England - this will be Jeff's first pastoral role and I know he would cherish your prayer support.  He was here during the 2 week basketball camp last July and his wonderful wife Caroline came on the middle weekend of camp as that was very near their first wedding anniversay.  Caroline is from the States while Jeff grew up in County Donegal, in the NW corner of Ireland.  Please pray that God will give Jeff great wisdom in Ballycullen . . .  see their picture below!

Jeff & Caroline Hay


First Christmas In Ireland

Posted by Tim on 19 December 2008 - 8:00am

We are in our sitting (living) room at the moment and as I am writing this Kathy & Sarah are decorating our first 'Irish' Christmas tree . . . it's a 5' artifical tree (our first time for a 'fake' tree) that Craig and Heather gave us (thank you C & H) before they moved to Cork.  Christmas songs are playing in the background and we are reflecting on Christmas in Ireland.

We have noticed lots of shoppers in the stores, though we are officially in recession.  As we are starting new traditions with new friends and less family we are grateful for all He has done in our lives the past nine months since moving to Dublin.  Yes, we are missing our three sons, daughters-in-law and grand kids, but we are thankful that Sarah is still with us, and for our teammates and our wonderful new Irish 'family'.  

As I was reading in the gospel of Mark today and reflecting upon future events (chapters 12 & 13) I was challenged to rethink our priorities.  So many give, much like the widow woman in Mark 12:43, that we can be here (we are grateful) but are we doing the best we can with our resources?  Will we regret how we have spent money this Christmas season?  Are we storing up treasures in heaven as the widow woman did - giving all she had?

In my 'iWorship' devotional Bible there is a quote that captured my thougths on our willingness to give. German Theologian H. Thielicke said: "Our pocketbooks have more to do with heaven and also with hell than our hymnbooks" His point was that how we spend money says more about us than what we say - it shows our true priorities.  Hummmmm. . .  here's a picture of the tree!

Christmas Tree & Tullagh




Traveling Meal

Posted by Tim on 14 December 2008 - 11:02am

Friday was one of those all day rainy and cold kind of days but it did not stop us from having 17 kids (ages 9 to 14) and 4 parents (drivers) for a traveling meal (progressive dinner).  In our community we have something called Jr. Tribes once or twice per month for kids in the community to come and enjoy.  We are building relationships with these great kids, and their parents.

On Friday we divided the kids into four groups to go in four cars driven by some of the parents of the kids.  I was able to get a lift from John, a head chef at a large local business - he serves 2,000 lunches per day!  He told me to 'never trust a skinny chef'!! It was a great time building kingdom relationships as we raced to three houses trying not to get any wetter than necessary.

As a change for the kids, we did our traveling meal backwards by starting with dessert.  We then moved on to a pizza main course and finishing up back at our house for starters.  Tullagh, our guide dog puppy (now 5 months old and weighing in at about 25 kilos or 50 pounds) was the life of the party!  Both the kids and parents loved him and he did really well with 24 new people in the house.

Tonight (Sunday) is our Community Christmas Carol outreach at the centre where our church (www.Ballycullencc.org) meets.  We are expecting about 100 people to come for a one hour music gathering, to include a 10 minute Christmas/gospel presentation.  Afterwards there will be refreshments featuring one of Ireland's Christmas favorites - mince pies!  these are small individual size 'pies' filled with mince meat - yummy!

Sarah and Stephanie (another gal on our team) are returning tonight from a weekend at a castle with other singles.  We hope they had a great time as they were with the new pastor and his wife (Jeff & Caroline) who will be coming here to Ballycullen in June, after Jeff finishes seminary.

Thanks for your faithfulness to us!


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