Update from the Richardsons
My washing machine died! Ugh!! Russell had patched it together a few times, but this time he said it was impossible without new parts. This inspired Ellie to take a family pole as to which would be worse– the fridge dying, the freezer dying, or the washing machine dying? (We’ve lost all of them at one time or another.) The freezer won, so yes my situation could be worse, but for some reason that didn’t make me any happier about washing clothes by hand.
Kristyn and I got started on the job, gathering buckets and scrub brushes. Ellie conveniently has a sprained or broken wrist so she couldn’t help. Neither of us was excited to tackle the job, especially with towels and sheets in the laundry, but if we didn’t get on it the dirty clothes pile would just get bigger.
So now the death of my washing machine has revealed something to me: rather than “Delighting in the Lord,” I tend to delight in things that go well for me. If things are going well I’ll praise the Lord all day long, but when things get difficult I get grumpy, short tempered, and think life is terrible.
The life of Job came to my mind while washing clothes yesterday…after he lost everything (children, animals, servants, home) he said, “The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Isn’t that amazing!! Think about it, after losing EVERYTHING He still said, “blessed be the name of the Lord.” Shamefully my reaction after losing something as insignificant as a washing machine was “Lord, why me? Why does it have to be harder?”
Seeing this in myself has led me to wonder if I really believe that God uses EVERYTHING that happens to me for my own good? I believe it, but I still struggle to remember it when things happen that don’t make me happy. One thing has become clear to me, if I’m going to learn to “delight in the Lord” it is going to have to begin with TRUST; trusting Him with everything and every situation (like a dead washing machine.) Only then will I be able to say, “The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1: 21)
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support; together may we never grow weary of following Jesus.
Tom, Karen, Ellie, Russell, and Kristyn
**Our travel plans have changed. Tom has had a severe headache for 9 weeks. While we were in Nairobi he had a CT scan done which thankfully showed no problems. An ex-ray of his back showed that his muscles are in a continual spasm that might be connected to the headache. Painkillers have helped Tom keep functioning but even these are becoming less effective. We have decided to go back to the states a month early to pursue possible treatment.
**We’d appreciate your prayers over the next few months, especially for health and provision. This summer we’ll meet our new granddaughter, celebrate Daniel and Hannah’s wedding and help Ellie get settled in the States. Not sure how much we’ll manage to travel around and see folks, but we’ll do as much as we can.
**The Ngurunit Church has been going through some “growing pains.” Tom and the men have been working hard to lead and guide with humility and patience (I’ve been so impressed.) We look forward to sharing with you once we return. Please pray that the Christians here will learn to rely on the Lord’s Word for guidance and strength.
**Ellie sprained/broke something in her wrist. She was driving the four-wheeler in the rain when her poncho suddenly blew up over her head… Afterwards Tom went back to look at her tracks and said the fact that she and the 4-wheeler are both still with us indicates she must be the best driver in the family. And that the Lord was watching over her.
**Kristyn’s nose has healed with little scarring. She’s sad to leave her dog while we go to the states this summer.
**Russell is excited to get back to the states because he has a truck to work on. Last furlough he started on an old truck and this summer he hopes to put a bed on the back of it.
Check out this new Update from The Stable!!!
So You Want To Be A Missionary?
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This book takes comes basic elements of the Christian faith including Scripture, salvation, angels, creation, the church and the end times, and shares the basics of what the Bible teaches. I wanted the book to be a solid representation of biblical truth, so I partnered with my friend, Dr. Dan Hayden, to ensure that the material was rock-solid. Dan has been a pastor for many years, speaks nationally, and writes and presents instruction on his website (www.awordfromtheword.org). With Dan’s help, I believe this book accomplishes our goal – to give Believers the basic information they require to confidently live a Christian life and to be able to answer most of the questions we face as Believers.
In Kettlebell Rx, CrossFit certification instructor and world-renowned Kettlebell coach Jeff Martone teaches you how to toughen-up your body, develop unbelievable conditioning and stamina, and acquire a chiseled physique by wielding the ball of iron known as the kettlebell. Drawing on his world-wide research and the thousands of classes he has taught to athletes around the world, he breaks down kettlebell training like never before. He offers hundreds of movements, both beginning and advanced, shows dozens of the most common errors students make while training, and offers numerous workouts for athletes of all varieties. With over four thousand step-by-step photographs, descriptive narrative, and detailed programming, Kettlebell Rx is the only complete Kettlebell book on the market. (www.tacticalathlete.com)
Easily read in a day, Your Unfinished Business is for those who don’t want to settle for just avoiding what’s unpleasant or seeking what makes us happy. Too many advise you to resign yourself to your fate. Their message is this: You may not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can control your circumstances. Instead of fatalistically accepting what comes your way and trying to feel good about it, you can turn your circumstances, even the unpleasant ones, into tools that can change reality. You control your circumstances the way you control something entrusted to you. That’s because you have unfinished business, having been called to be a steward of your circumstances. Stewardship isn’t about what you do with your money, although that’s what seems to be told to us regularly. Nor is it about positive thinking. Instead, it’s the only way to integrate faith into daily living, turning your circumstances into tools working toward a greater good rather than working you over. And that greater good is turning them into beacons drawing attention to the God who calls everyone to Himself. Your Unfinished Business will help you stop expecting anything from this world and take up the unfinished business of meeting this world’s needs for direction, decency, and compassion at the times and places God has placed you. Sowing faith, hope, and love so others can reap truth, goodness, and mercy, you’ll discover that who you are, what you know, and what you do are channels through which God touches this broken world.
In a culture steeped in passivity and addiction, many women make horrific mistakes in the men they choose and pay dearly for it. But how does a guy learn how to be a good man? How does a woman learn to recognize him? What does manhood really look like? Chuck Holton, former Army Ranger, Adventurer and international war correspondent, has three men-in-training of his own. He also has two daughters who will need to be able to recognize a good man someday. Over a three-year period, Chuck made it his mission to nail down the facets of a fully-engaged, functional man by seeking out timeless wisdom of ancient cultures and the experience of dozens of mature men. The result is a five step curriculum that is already changing the lives of men and women around the world. It is being used by church groups, schools and even single mothers to help their sons to emulate – and daughters to identify – powerful, passionate, engaged manhood. Memorize it. Teach it to your sons and daughters. Apply its principles to your own life. The world desperately needs your help making men. (www.amazon.com/chuckholton)
The rigor of becoming an Airborne Ranger is exceeded only by the challenge of being one – but those who join their ranks find fulfillment in something bigger than themselves. In the same way, pursuing God’s objectives energizes our everyday lives. Former U.S. Army Ranger Chuck Holton shows how God oversees our training and gives each of us specific skills to accomplish the mission He has for us in this great spiritual war. Riveting action and powerful vignettes offer potent spiritual ammunition for the battles of every Christian serving in God’s army. Find out what it takes to be a more elite soldier. Life is combat. From the instant the alarm clock signals the beginning of your day, you’re jumping into a zone of uncertainty. Your survival depends on having a clear focus.
Get on mission as an elite soldier. Become part of something bigger than yourself.
Your Commanding Officer will oversee your training, honing your skills to a razor-sharp edge. God will lead you through the danger zone of today’s insecurity, equipping you to make a difference. In this riveting book, you will be issued potent spiritual ammunition for your daily battles from the perspective of a seasoned Special Operations soldier.
UNCERTAINTY IS A GIVEN. FEAR IS OPTIONAL. (www.amazon.com/chuckholton)