"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayers answered......more needed

As you know, yesterday we asked for prayers for snow for our kids, especially Anderson.

Anderson and Giovanni have never seen snow and the rest, except for Bronwyn who now lives in the states, haven't seen it in almost 10 years.

So Ansley was 8/9ish when she last saw it, Garrett 5/6 and Carys 3/4. You get the idea, it's been a while.

Right after I posted the blog for yesterday the snow came. Granted it wasn't enough to cover the ground. It wasn't even enough to stick on the ground but it was snow. SNOW!

And our kids were happy.

I thought Anderson would freak out when he saw it, and he did, but the other goobers had just as much fun getting out in the "snow storm" as Anderson did. They borrowed some warm clothes, hats, gloves, etc. from my girlfriend's parents and all went out to play.

We live in the coldest part of Brasil. We do have 4 seasons and it does gets cold in our city. Really cold. Our homes have no insulation so when the cold comes it stays in your house. Some winter days you can see your breath in your house. It gets cold. But it never snows in our city.

So here is a brief view of what a morning looks like when your kids aren't used to snow:

Now Anderson wants enough snow to build a snowman and have a snow ball fight.

Feel free to add that to your prayer list as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prayers Needed

This morning at 3:30 my girlfriend and I were woken up by a sound of one of our kids crying.

I got up, went out to the den and found this little guy......

......bent over a chair just sobbing.

I asked if he was sick? No was his answer.

I asked if had a bad dream? No was his answer.

I then asked what it was and he pointed out the window.

What I saw was this (except it was dark):

The back yard of my girlfriend's parents house.

He said, "No snow!" and began to cry even harder.

The weather forecast said that there was a "possibility" of snow here last night. Maybe one inch. Anderson never heard "possibility." All he heard was "snow" and that it was coming.

Anderson has never seen snow and is super excited about possibly seeing some on this trip to the states.

I tried to calm him down by telling him that we don't get much snow where our grandparents live and if we do it doesn't usually come until later in the year and that we still have plenty of time here until we have to get back on the plane to go home.

His crying slowed down and he went, one more time, to look out the window.

About this time a light came on in the kitchen. It was my girlfriends mom. She came over to me and said, "Because there's no snow?" It was more of a comment than a question.

We all know how badly Anderson wants to see snow.

Feel free to ask God to bless us with some snow while we are here in the states. That would be one of the best Christmas presents Anderson could get this year.

Monday, November 28, 2011

We just put this big goober on a plane going back to college (I picked an awesome picture of you B. I knew you would love it. I love how you had your left eye looking up and the right looking straight ahead......How did you do that?).
We would appreciate prayers for her safety as she goes back to Texas.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Linger in my presence a while. Rein in your impulses to plunge into the day's activities. Beginning your day alone with Me is essential preparation for success. A great athlete takes time to prepare himself mentally for the feat ahead of him before he moves a muscle. Similarly, your time of being still in My presence equips you for the day ahead of you. Only I know what will happen to you this day. I have arranged the events you will encounter as you go along your way. If you are not adequately equipped for the journey, you will grow weary and lose heart. Relax with Me while I ready you for action."

Reference verses: Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 12:3

From Sarah Young's book Jesus Calling (thanks GT for sending it to us in Brasil.....it's an incredible devo book that we read daily)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 4

Yesterday, obviously, was Thanksgiving Day.

A couple things I'm thankful for.

First: These goobers with Ansley.

My mom and dad celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary yesterday. I could not have better role models of what a Christian couple looks like. The way they love, respect, talk to and treat each other is an example for everyone.

I'm thankful for the way they have continued to grow their faith. They aren't stagnant. I'm thankful for the way they look for ways to grow God's kingdom by being intentional in making new relationships and sharing about Jesus. They aren't stagnant. And I'm thankful for the way their relationship with each other grows deeper and deeper. They aren't stagnant.

I'm blessed that they are my parents and my family is blessed that they are the shepherds of the Blume family name.

Second is this guy:

His name is Freitas, he is our brother in Brasil and today is his birthday.

We've known him for a few years and were blessed to see him give his life to Christ last year.

He's an amazing man and we wish him "Parabéns" on his special day.

Te amamos Freitas!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 3

Today I am thankful for a couple of things.

First: I am thankful for all of our family being together.

The older the kids get the more spread out around the globe we get. Bronwyn lives in the states now, Ansley is getting ready to move to Ecuador for 5 months and then she will move to the states to go to college and we, obviously, still live in Brasil. We love where God is taking everyone and what He is doing with them but are thankful when we can all get to one place.

This week we are in Huntsville, Alabama where my girlfriend's parents live.

Bronwyn flew from Texas to Birmingham last night. There is an airport in Huntsville but it was too expensive for us to fly here directly here so last night we (Ansley, my girlfriend and myself) drove an hour and a half to Birmingham to pick her up.

Her flight was supposed to arrive at 9:40 p.m. but there was a delay in Dallas. Something about a problem with a window on the plane. After a long delay they moved everyone to another plane. She arrived at almost midnight.

It didn't matter what time it was, we were happy to see our oldest goober.

We got home around 2 a.m. and Bronwyn was met with Carys' handiwork.

She then just had to get her Giovanni touch before she went to bed.

This morning she got to see the other goobers and everyone loved it.
 Anderson wrote her a story and she read it with her bed full of brothers and sisters.
Here is a brief view of what the first fifteen minutes of her day looked like.

We'll all be together until Monday when we have to take her back to Birmingham at 6:00 a.m. We will enjoy our time together.

Second: I am thankful for this cute, cute chick (not the caterpillar but the girl).

I realize no one but us will probably care but since it's our blog I'm going to share anyway. Twenty five years ago today we went out on our first date.

I still don't know why she said yes but am thankful she did.

She's the most amazing, Christlike woman (person for that matter) I've ever met and I'm thankful that God put her in my life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 2

This week I am also thankful that Giovanni is potty trained. He just learned within the last couple of weeks.

And as a guy he's also learned, without any training, where his throne is and what you do when you are on it.

You'll notice the pacifier in one picture. That's our next adventure.

The Bible tells us to be thankful for everything. This week we are thankful for our last child learning how to poop on a commode.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 1

Since it's Thanksgiving week I thought we would share some stuff we are thankful for. God really blesses our family and we have lots to be thankful for and we could make this a month long theme but there are some specific things that we've been thankful for lately. No specific order of importance to any of them. Just things that God has obviously blessed our family with lately and we wanted to share our thankfulness to Him.

First up: Ansley

She received her first college acceptance letter from a school in Texas last week.
We weren't surprised. She's an awesome student. So far she's applied to only one school and was quickly accepted.

We are super proud of her no matter where she decides to go to college.

It's always a cool thing to get an acceptance letter in the mail.

Go Wildcats. Maybe.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

“I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God’” (Rev. 21:3 MSG). The narrator makes the same point four times in four consecutive phrases:

“God has moved into the neighborhood”
“making his home with men and women”
“They’re his people”
“he’s their God”

The announcement comes with the energy of a six-year-old declaring the arrival of his father from a long trip. “Daddy’s home! He’s here! Mom, he’s back!” One statement won’t suffice. This is big news worthy of repetition. We shall finally see God face-to-face. “They shall see His face” (Rev. 22:4 NKJV).

Let this sink in. You will see the face of God. You will look into the eyes of the One who has always seen; you will behold the mouth that commands history. And if there is anything more amazing than the moment you see his face, it’s the moment he touches yours. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4 NCV).

God will touch your tears. Not flex his muscles or show off his power. Lesser kings would strut their stallions or give a victory speech. Not God. He prefers to rub a thumb across your cheek as if to say, “There, there…no more tears.”

Isn’t that what a father does?

Max Lucado

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Check this out!!

We are so excited and proud of our church family in Brazil.

Yesterday was a national holiday and they spent the day in service!  They laid a tile floor in one of our church members' home.  This is a family who lived in a favela (like a slum) near the airport.  With the expansion of the airport, they were given a very small duplex-style house.  However, it only had concrete floor and walls and the moisture was making the little ones in the house constantly sick with coughs.  Our house church saved money, bought the materials and laid a tile floor for this family.

While the men did this, the women were busy putting together Christmas gifts to take out to the drug rehab center in a few weeks.

Check out our sister, Leni's blog here to see pictures and read more about the story.  You can use the google translator on the bottom right side of the blog page to translate to English. The translation isn't perfect, but it will give you the idea.

We can't describe the pride and thankfulness we have for our Brazilian family.  Come down and get to know them!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Don't trust your own strength, but trust in your Lord who loved you from eternity, before you loved Him.


Thursday, November 10, 2011


After a 24 hour delay in Brasília (the capital of Brasil), Ansley finally made it to Memphis.

She was met by a big, excited group.

The waiting was the hardest part but everyone made it. Giovanni got so excited when he saw Ansley that he fell on his bum. Take a look:

Carys decorated everyone's face to welcome Ansley. Everyone except a certain teenage boy.

I guess I can't complain about the teenage boy. On the way home he proudly told Ansley that he showered, shaved and put on deodorant just for her. That is probably the best present a teenage boy could give a big sister. He was glad she was back with us.

We all are.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

One More Day

We got a call from Ansley last night around 8:45. Delta had cancelled the overnight flight to Atlanta.

They claimed it was for maintenance but Ansley said only 30 people were on the flight so we are thinking they might have moved it forward one night to get more paying customers on the flight.

She's stayed in a hotel last night, with a couple of other stranded girls from the same flight, and then will get to do the whole deal over again tonight.

Whatever the real reason they cancelled the flight we are upset that we didn't wake up early today to go straight to the airport to pick her up.

We'll just have to be patient and pray that she will be back with us bright and early tomorrow morning.

We would appreciate your continued prayers for her safety and that she will be able to fill up her day today with fun stuff as her flight doesn't leave Brasil until around midnight their time.

Everybody is ready to be like this again tomorrow.

Even the teenage brother is excited to see and hug his sister again.

Side note that takes a little set up......Last weekend my dad had a guy weekend with Garrett and Anderson. He has done guy trips with my two nephews for years. We, because of the distance, the young age of our kids and the fact that we are only here for 2 months every 2 years and those 2 months are crazy busy, haven't been able to find time for a guy trip. Until this year. Dad took our boys to see the Vols play in Knoxville on Saturday night and the Titans play on Sunday afternoon. Garrett and Anderson had a great time and came home wearing Titans jerseys and told us how much fun they had. Garrett got home and asked about the score of our favorite soccer team on Sunday. So, over the weekend, he saw one victory (UT), one loss (Titans) and heard about our soccer team back home (loss).

Garrett, if you know him, only gets excited about a couple of things. Soccer and soccer (and he likes American sports when we are in the states) but he's also always been a compassionate guy and he loves his family. That showed this morning.

He went to sleep before everyone else last night (we played hard in the backyard yesterday) and had no idea about Ansley. This morning he got up at 5 to take a shower (we were to leave around 6:45 to go get Ansley at the airport). He got dressed up (nice shirt) came downstairs after his shower. He was excited. He came down and saw his grandmother who told him about Ansley's delayed flight. He couldn't believe it. He came into the room I was in and asked if it was true. I told him it was. He gave a heavy sigh and gave this deep, heartfelt comparison to what he was feeling:

"First Inter loses on Sunday. Then the Titans lose and now Ansley's flight gets cancelled."

To associate Ansley not being here today with sports is the truest form of an expression of love from our teenage son.

Pure, deep, brother-sister love is what came out of that simple comment.

And I just smiled as I heard it.

We have our share of scuffles in our house but at the end of the day our kids love each other deeply.

And I smile again as I type those words.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Ansley leaves her home today. She won't be back for almost 7 months.

She arrives in the states tomorrow for a couple of months. Then she goes to Ecuador for 5 months. Back home for a month or two and then off to college.

It's been tough for her saying goodbye to all her friends but she's been making good use of her last few days at home.

Lots of people have come to tell her bye.

Dee and Laura (our new missionary buds in POA), even did a blog about how much they will miss Ansley. Click here if you want to read what they have to say.

Ansley has lived more of her life in Brasil than in any other place. It's her home. I know it's been tough for her to say goodbye to everyone but I also know that God has used her to make a kingdom difference in the lives of many of her friends. Go back and look above at all the friends that have come to tell her bye. Even one of her high school teachers (1st picture) came to our house to hang out one more time.

We are, obviously, excited to see her tomorrow but are praying that she is able to soak up and enjoy every minute she has with her buds back home. I'm sure she will have a group at the airport sending her off today.

Please pray for safe travels for our daughter and for a peace, that only comes from God, as she continues to follow His will for her life and steps out in faith. Thank you.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hold true to what is right so that no one will drag you back into sin. You will have an easier time of it when people know that you cannot be swayed from your commitment to God. If you leave yourself open to go astray, you probably will.


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Prayers for ACU

Last night, we got a call from Bronwyn asking us to pray.  A bus carrying some agriculture students to a weekend mission work, crashed.  One student died and several were injured.

Bronwyn later found out that the person who died was a friend of hers.  She is upset, but doing OK.  It is hard to lose a friend.

Please remember everyone at ACU in your prayers, and especially the families of the victims and the ones who are still in the hospital.

You can read more about the accident here.

The Lord is good.  When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge.  And he knows everyone who trusts him.
Nahum 1:7

Thursday, November 03, 2011

God is full of surprises. But it takes a sensitive spirit to see them, to be jolted by them. Too many Christians are lulled into languor. Some can warble all the Christian songs, recite all the right Bible verses, and quote this preacher and that teacher, but their Christian lives, down deep inside, are jaded. Are you in that condition? When that happens, you become calloused and insensitive, and you're in for a life of boredom and mediocrity. How tragic for that to happen! The walk of faith is designed to be a walk of adventure, filled with periodic and delightful surprises.

Watch for the surprises!

Chuck Swindoll

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


We arrived in Memphis on Monday in time for Halloween. Two years ago we were able to do Halloween with Benay's parents in Alabama. This year we decided to let my parents share some of that fun.

We don't really do Halloween in Brasil so when you say "dress up" and "free candy" to our kids it was like an automatic sugar rush before the sugar actually entered their body.

My girlfriend's mom took our kids last week to get their costumes.

Here is what they came up with:
Carys was Sponge Babe. Anderson was Cad Bane (bounty hunter from Star Wars movie). See the resemblance?
Giovanni was a steroid taking Tow-Mater from the Cars movie.
We set out with the kids, my parents, my girlfriend, Garrett (who told us he was too old to trick or treat) and myself and we walked around the neighborhood. It took Giovanni all of one house to get used to the process. When the lady at the first house we went to put some chocolate in his bucket he looked at me and his face said, "Can you believe this? People are just giving me this stuff!"

From then on he ran from door to door.

On the Sunday before Halloween we worshipped with my girlfriend's parents home church family. During the worship time the kids were invited to be close to the man sharing the lesson at the front of the sanctuary. From time to time he would stop and everyone would sing. The songs were for everyone but directed towards the kids. They sang "I'm in the Lord's Army."

Anyway, after that first house, as the kids walked to each house, Giovanni would sing "I'm in the Lord's Army" loudly. He then took his candy, thanked the owners and ran back to us screaming something that we never could understand. Carys thought he was saying something about awesome. I asked him and he confirmed that something was "awesome" but we never could exactly figuring out what he said. He screamed the same thing after every house.

After walking on the streets for a more than an hour we decided it was time to go home.

Some people immediately looked over their haul.
We found out that Carys actually counted every piece of candy to help prevent against a sneak attack from her older brother (which happens frequently).

Not long after we got home the trick or treaters crashed. They were worn out from their night.

It was fun and we had a great time.