Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009  

Hey friends...
I know it's been a long time since I really "posted" but we've been having some down time. It's been such a blessing to us to have no real responsibilities. When we are at home, we get up early, hit the ground running and fall into bed at the end of the day to get ready to start over the next day. Most of the time it seems like we don't even have time to take a breath. Often, our time with God is rushed and we are so busy that we have trouble even hearing His voice. These last 5 days have been so refreshing. We're able to get up and take our time in the Word and just LISTEN to Him.

Sunday we went to church again at New Life Church. It was so wonderful that I didn't have to do anything. Didn't have to get up early to set stuff up or conduct rehearsals. So refreshing. The message was about loving God with all your strength. What a message (translated into English) for my heart. Right on time.

Monday and Wednesday, Mary, Jamie and I got to spend several hours reading the Word together, praying fervently and singing together a little bit. Those times have been so needed. So un-rushed. Of course the power in our lives comes through prayer but when we're home, our prayers can get so rushed and so selfish.

Since we've been in Ukraine, we've had the opportunity to really re-connect with our Father. We are completely at His mercy over here in this process and that's a GOOD thing. It drives us to His throne. If you went to youth church camp when you were growing up, you probably remember the "mountain top" experience you had that week each summer. Multiply that many times and that's what we've experienced over the last 3 1/2 weeks. The journey has been so amazing and so life-changing. Thank You, God.

We've pretty much done what we want, when we want the last few days. Saturday, I stayed in my pajamas ALL DAY! I can't remember the last time that happened. Seriously. I haven't been sleeping late, I never do that, but my sleep has been real REST. I wake up refreshed. Rested. Renewed. By the time we left to come here, I was sleeping very little at night. I would go to sleep and then my mind would start spinning with all the things that needed my attention. Ugh. Thank You, God for the rest.

My mind has been renewed and refreshed. My Father has released me from the craziness of my life back home. (Don't worry, mom! We're coming back!)

Some of you know that since the 2nd week in December, I was struggling with shingles in my throat (that's the same virus that causes chicken pox). Anyway, even on the high-powered anti-viral meds I was on, I couldn't shake it. A couple of weeks before we left, I thought that it was over, then it came back with a vengeance. By the end of the 1st week we were here, it was gone. Finally. You may or may not know that shingles is activated by stress. And you can't really shake it as long as you have stress. God released me from the stress and allowed me to be free from the affliction. Thank You, great Healer.

Throughout the process of this journey, He has done great and amazing things. I'm trying to figure out a way to recount them on the blog. Maybe when I have a few hours I want to spend doing it, I'll list them in one post. He has never forgotten us. He has remembered us. Worked on our behalf.

Our family at home has been blessed too. The wonderful friends and family at church have been watching over my mom and kids. When the back door broke and they could no longer open it to let the dogs out or go out and play, Randy Done came over to fix it. Thank you Randy! Food has been delivered every Monday and Thursday to give my mom a break from cooking. Thank you EVERYONE! On Mattie's birthday yesterday, Martha Adamson came by with cupcakes so the kids could celebrate! She spent time with my mom just providing adult conversation. What a God-send. Thank you Martha! Beth Damphousse and Deb Stelter have kept things running in the office at church. THANK YOU is not enough. Even when one of the fill-in worship leaders had to cancel at basically the last minute, Beth worked tirelessly to find a replacement and rearrange everything to keep things moving. I could go on and on. We are so blessed. Our church family is just that. A FAMILY. We are so amazed by your love. Thank you.
God has been speaking to me through His Word amazingly.

Today, God spoke to me through this Psalm (136).
23God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
24Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
25Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love never quits.
26Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits!

So please know how much we love you all and appreciate your prayers. I do have more pics to post, but the internet where we are staying is a bit frustrating where pics are concerned. I'll post pics as soon as possible.

Be blessed.
Blessed be the NAME of the LORD!
Every blessing You pour out, I'll turn back to praise.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

PS>>> Today, we are planning to go to the Babyn (Bah-bah) Yar memorial. This is where over 30,000 jews were slaughtered during the first days of German occupation in Ukraine during WWII. Tuesday, we went to the Chernobyl Museum. What a senseless tragedy.

PSS>>>> We'd love to hear from YOU. :-) We'll get back to posting pics when we can...and posting more regularly soon. Just taking a breather.

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7 comments: to “ Thursday, March 12, 2009

  • Kenneth
    March 12, 2009 at 5:33 AM  

    Hey Mr.Jokey-jokey WE love to hear from y'all !!! I speak on behalf of the legion who wait w/ bated {baited?} breath to hear from y'all ... funny you should mention rest - that has been the "theme" of the past week in prayer time - at first I was tryin' to structure the prayer around what y'all were "probably" doing - for several days now the dominating theme has been serenity & deeply fulfilling rest - awake or asleep - tranquility ... it does me heart good to hear that you've actually decompressed somewhat ... I love you dearly and miss you desperately - c'mon home -

  • Kenneth
    March 12, 2009 at 5:37 AM  

    p.s. isn't Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame noted for staying in his pajamas all day long? I NEVER thought I'd compare the venerable Chris Malone to Hugh Hefner ??? Ukraine has changed you man !!!

  • Malones
    March 12, 2009 at 6:12 AM  

    God is so good! Praise Him for giving you this time of needed rest. We miss you here at home and are so looking forward to your return. We are praying daily for you and your family. Much love! Jim and Carol

  • Malones
    March 12, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

    Hey Chris and Mary,
    Thank you so much for letting us know what is happening there. It has been a joy to keep up with your progress. Glad you are getting some much needed rest.
    You could have given us (the choir) a rest as well instead of leaving the choir to learn all those new songs! Ken did well last night. We covered a lot of ground because of spring break next week. Beth has done a super job as you knew she would.
    Enjoy your time there. God bless. linda

  • Malones
    March 12, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

    So you really do read these posts!! The fill-in guy did great Sunday but still missing you and Mary-and I must say the choir was singing HEAVENLY on Sunday, brought me up to the heavenlies like I was there listening to the singing-I had to let out a 'whoop'. So glad you are having some time of rest. It snowed today along with some ice this morning-possibly getting some more this weekend. So thankful for all you do for our church and the body. Take care and continue to enjoy the few days left.
    Much love and blessings,
    Jennifer S.

  • Malones
    March 13, 2009 at 8:14 AM  

    What a blessing you guys are to my life-------your dedication and endurance thru so many difficult times. May God continue to bless and use you and bring you home safely. Anxious to meet your new family members.
    Much love
    Wanda W

  • Malones
    March 14, 2009 at 10:25 AM  

    Hi Chris and Mary, I am glad that you are getting the rest that you both need. Can't wait to meet the new members of your family. The alto section still likes to talk a little during practice and Ken had to get on to us. Can you imagine that. "Ha" We will do better when you return. We are all thinking and praying for you.Wilma W