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

Monday, December 26, 2011


One week from today this goober....

......will get on a plane to go to Ecuador.

She will be working with an orphanage/school and will be there for 5 months.

She is a little bit anxious, as any 18 year old would be, about her trip but she knows this is will be a great experience.

We wanted to share her new blog. It's www.ansleyblume.blogspot.com

You need to go to that site and check it out. On the right side of the blog you can add your email address to her "subscribe to my blog" section to receive emails whenever she posts.

Feel free to also leave her some encouraging comments on her posts. Those are always good to get.

For now we ask that you just pray for God to cover her up in His peace as she gets closer to getting on the plane. I know that once she gets to Ecuador she will love it and everyone will love her but the leading up to that day can be nerve wracking. She needs God's peace right now. Thank you.

It's also not too late to tithe to her ministry if God puts that on your heart. Feel free to get in touch with us or with her if you would like to know how to help out financially.

We will, obviously, miss our daughter for the 5 months she won't be home but we are so happy to see our kids go to different countries to grow God's kingdom.

Ansley will be blessed by her ministry and we know she will also bless so many.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Kid

I don't know of any kid that was made more for Christmas than Carys. All of our kids love Christmas. We all have a great time together and we love everything about Christmas.

But Carys......Carys LOVES Christmas and every little thing that is a part of December. 

Last year we did a blog about her love. You can click here to read it.

You can click here to read what we wrote about our Christmas girl in 2007. 

There are more blogs that we've done about her and Christmas but you get the idea. December is her month. 

She, like any kid, loves getting gifts but she especially loves picking out stuff for Giovanni for Christmas. Last year it was all the guys from Toy Story. This year it's the guys from the movie Cars 2. 

Right now she is alone with Giovanni in my parent's kitchen making gingerbread men and a chain out of construction paper. As I'm typing they just finished and it looks like this. 

She found an app for her ipod that counts down the days/hours/minutes until Christmas. 

She also found time to make a personalized video for me. One from Santa. She laughs every time we watch it. 

If you are bored then you can click on this link to watch it. 

We hope your house has a Carys in it. 

If it does we know your Christmas seasons are always happy. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We haven't blogged in a while because we've been kind of busy.

I know it's time to blog again when Ansley asks me why I haven't blogged in a while and she has NEVER asked that question.

Lots to share since our last blog.

We drove 1,400 miles in 4 days last week as we burned our way through Texas and picked up Bronwyn from college. We could share some stuff from that trip, and probably will later, but we thought we'd share what happened last Sunday. It's kind of a big deal.

My sister, Melissa, got married to a goober named Gary.

The wedding was performed by my dad at my sister's house and it was super laid back with only immediate family invited.

It was very cool and very fun and very obvious to everyone that God brought these two together.

Ansley, our creative/gifted audio/visual child put together a wedding video that was shown during the ceremony.

It was, as always, very cool and she's already burned about 10 DVD's of it at the request of others.

I know some might not care at all about this video and others will love to see it. No big deal either way. It's my blog and I feel like sharing about my sis and new brother-in-law. Deal with it.

It was a great day and GT, we could not be happier that you and your kids are now part of our family.

Check out Ansley's work:

P.S.  And while we're on the subject of things that last forever.... Benay's parents are celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary today.  We love you,  Granna and Grandaddy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back to Texas-Confession Time

Tomorrow morning me, my girlfriend, Ansley and Giovanni will make the long drive back to Texas.

We'll spend one night with our good friends.

Then we'll meet with a pastor of a church on Wednesday morning followed by hanging out, praying and learning from our great friends at MRN.

Wednesday afternoon we'll go to Abilene and see some of our old friends, from when we lived there ten years ago, as well as hang out with our oldest goober until she finishes her last final.

We'll then meet with another church from west Texas and then we'll all come back to Tennessee.

Eight weeks ago today we arrived in Dallas to begin this furlough.

Every week since we arrived we have been speaking to different classes, small groups, prayer groups, friends, family and church families about what God is doing in Brasil as well as sharing our financial needs to be able to continue living in Porto Alegre.

To be honest, we are tired. Tired physically, emotionally and even spiritually. Every week of our furlough has been good and encouraging. God just keeps sending us new people and churches who want to partner with our ministry in Brasil. We know we are blessed and we are humbled by what God is doing.

At the same time we feel a little fried. We know this week is going to be good and we know we will be encouraged. We are excited to see our daughter, meet her buddies, see our old friends and meet with these two church families to share about God's family in Brasil.

We know it's going to be good but we are not excited about the eight hour drive to Dallas tomorrow followed by three more hours on Wednesday with possibly three to six more on Thursday. Then doing all of that in reverse order starting on Friday or Saturday. It's a long trip especially with a three year old and us being tired already keeps us from turning backflips at the thought of getting up at five to leave.

We would appreciate your prayers for our safety and that God would just give us an extra boost of energy as we enter this exciting week.

Thanks, as always, in advance.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"James S. Stewart of Edinburgh, Scotland, said, "The real problem of Christianity is not atheism or skepticism, but the non-witnessing, non-productive Christian trying to smuggle his own soul into heaven all alone." This is Satan's strategy, and furthermore, he has worked so on that word "ye" (Matthew 28:18-20) until now not even all "clergy" are witnesses!"

Herb Hodges from his book Tally Ho The Fox (The Foundation for Building World-Visionary, World-Impacting, Reproducing Disciples)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Tis the Season

It's Christmas time and we have a group of creative (mostly girls), like to do stuff together people in our family.

So the other day a few of them set out to make a gingerbread house. The two that spent the most time on it were Carys and my girlfriend but they got a little help from others as well.

 We think it turned out great.

Even Frosty liked it.
And this goober liked it as well.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

70 years

I love history. As long as I can remember I've loved history.

When I was a physical therapist I loved my patients at the nursing home and in home health.  I spent a year in outpatient orthopedic treating sports injuries and working with young people, but I wouldn't trade my time in the nursing home and in home health with my elderly patients for anything. Why? They were always just so honest and hardworking and I loved talking to them during their treatment about history.

You see most of my patients were of the age that fought, or were directly involved, with the happenings of World War 2.

I was fascinated by their stories.

I still remember helping one patient do exercises and walk in his home to get strength after a recent surgery. I always quizzed him about what the war was like.

One day he walked me to his desk and pulled out an album. He showed me a Japanese ID card and then a photo of a naked Japanese woman. They were obviously very old and I had no idea why he felt like he needed to show me these things. I surely wasn't expecting to be shown anything like that.

He then began to tell me a story of his time in the far east during the war and how he fought in different battles against the Japanese army.

One day he came around from behind a tree and was face to face with a Japanese soldier. They both went for their guns and my former patient got to his first and killed the Japanese soldier. The items he showed me were from that soldier.

As he shared, he didn't brag about those items like they were trophies. He was very quiet and humble and almost apologetic that he had been the one who did it but as he said, "It was kill him or he was going to kill me." You could see a sadness in his eyes as he relived that day. I can't even imagine being in a situation like that.

Why do I share all of that?

Yesterday, as I'm sure most of you are aware, marked the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. An event that took the United States into World War 2.

The men that fought in that war are now in their 80's and 90's, and each year that goes by more and more of these living history books die.

That generation has been called the Greatest Generation. From the patients that I treated who actually fought in that war, they would disagree. They will tell you they aren't any different than you or I but when their country, and the world really, needed them they responded. That's all.

So we don't mark the anniversary yesterday with joy. That war killed too many men, women and children to celebrate any day that marked the entrance into the war. Rather we celebrate the men who selflessly, and immediately after that bombing, volunteered to stand for freedom and fight against countries who, literally, wanted to take over the world.

They may not be the Greatest Generation of all time but I hope if you know any of those men who are still alive you will just give them a hug and tell them thank you.

They deserve much more than that but they would never say it and I'm pretty sure, from the ones I knew, they would prefer your hug.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Answered Prayer

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Philippians 4:6

You may remember our blog from last week. If not you can go here and read it

Anderson and Giovanni got to see snow for the first time in their lives last week. Anderson was so happy to see it. It wasn't much and didn't stick to the ground. The same day he decided he wanted to have enough snow to build a snowman  and have a snowball fight. 

He didn't worry about it. He prayed about it. He told God what he needed......

......and this morning he thanked Him for what He did. 

They were in it for over 3 hours. If you read the blog from last week we thank you for your prayers as well. 

We'll try to post more pictures and funny videos later. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Nashville, Tennessee

On Sunday we spent a few hours with some of our most favorite people.

Quick story background: My girlfriend and I met at a little college in Arkansas. She actually transferred there for her junior year. Her first two years she went to a college in Nashville and Leigh was her college roommate.

Here are the two roomies now:

Leigh, and her husband Phil, are people that you immediately fall in love with. They are fun to be around, funny and their easy going nature make it so easy to strike up a conversation or start a new friendship.

Over the years, unfortunately, we haven't been able to be around them as much as we would like but it's another one of those really cool friendships where years seem like days. We won't see them for 2 years but when we do it's as if we had always lived next door to each other.

Our kids also love to go hang out with Phil and Leigh because of their kids as well. Olivia, Lillie Grace and Barr are three of the coolest kids I know.

We all laugh and goof off when we are together and I think that's why our love for them is so deep. They are a bunch of goobers just like us.

Seeing all of our good friends on our furloughs is one of the best things about furloughs but it also reminds us of the toughest things about living in Brasil. We are far away from our closest friends but that distance makes us really enjoy and appreciate the times when we are together. We definitely don't take those for granted.

We are so thankful for this family and what they mean to ours. I can't tell you how much we love them.

P.S. As of today, if my math is right, Leigh's mom has been in the hospital for 50 straight days and Leigh has been there every day with her. I know Leigh, and her whole family, would appreciate your prayers.

Monday, December 05, 2011

St. Jude Half Marathon

13.1 miles, no stopping and she got stronger as she went along

Her time?

2 hours and 23 minutes.

Here she is 2 minutes (look how good she looks!) after crossing the finish line and holding her medal:

I told you faithful readers that she was going to nail it didn't I?

I could not be more proud of what she's done over the last 3+ months.

I think a lifelong runner has been created.

More details, from her or me, will come later.

I intend to brag on my girlfriend some more.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "

Ephesians 2:10

Saturday, December 03, 2011


After fourteen weeks of training five days a week this super,super cute girl (who just happens to be my girlfriend)...

....will defeat, crush really, a half marathon today. I could not be more proud of her.

Details to come later.

Friday, December 02, 2011


I'm not a huge tradition fan. I like new things.

There are some traditions I like. Like what our family does at Christmas time in Brasil. Like what we do on special days (birthdays and anniversaries) but other than those things I really don't hold to many traditions.

We only get to come back to the states every two years and things always seem to be a little different each time.

There is one thing that happens every two years, one tradition, that we all love and always look forward to.

Going to eat at the Adkins' house.  Joey and Angie and their kids Abigail, Madeline and Joseph.

We went to college with Joey and Angie. Joey was my best friend in college. I haven't had many best friends in my life. I can probably count on one hand people I would consider my "best friends." God has blessed me with so many good friends throughout my life but only a handful that I've felt some deeper kind of bond with. A "best friend" bond. To this day I still consider Joey one of my best friends.

Joey and Angie are the kinds of friends that we won't see for two years and when we see them again it's like we were just together yesterday.

Our traditions with them consist of a meal. Angie always cooks for us and it's always good. We like that tradition.

We love going to their house because we laugh so hard. I think we laugh, and hard, more with them in one night than we do for the rest of the year. We always cry from laughing when we are together. It's a tradition I love about being with Joey and Angie.

Our kids LOVE each other. It's a hard thing living in another country and then coming back for a brief period of time and having to eat with people that we might know but our kids don't. They have to sit and try to make conversation with other kids they don't know. This doesn't happen with the Adkins' kids. When we are in Memphis our kids are always asking when we are going to Joey and Angie's house. They tell us their kids do the same.

When they are together they eat supper and then they play hide and seek. I don't know how this got started years ago but it's something they all look forward to and they all play it. From 3 year old Giovanni to 18 year old Ansley (and 20 year old Bronwyn when she's with us) and everyone in between. They will play for hours and they love it. While we grown ups are talking and crying from laughter at the dinner table the kids go all around the house playing their game. This is another tradition that I love about being with the Adkins.

Finally we have the tradition of the kids taking a group picture....

.....the parents taking a group picture.....

.....and then it morphs into stupid time. It's another tradition that happens every time we are with them.

And we all love it.

We love these guys because they've known us for 25 years. They really know us, warts and all, and we have a deep bond together. We can be ourselves and it's like, in some ways, we are still all 20 years old. I like that about these guys. I mean, come on, you have to have a pretty deep friendship to take pictures like our last one.

We were talking on the way home from their house last night that our 4 hours together seemed like 30 minutes. It's always like that with Joey and Angie. I like that tradition as well.

Now that I think about it I guess I do like traditions.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Guaranteed Laugh

Over our almost 10 years in Brasil God has blessed us with lots of really good friendships with other American missionaries from the Baptist mission board.

I share those friendships today to tell you that I mooched the video below from our missionary friends' facebook account today. Thank you Keri and Diane!

Everybody needs to laugh, and this video had my girlfriend and myself in tears. We think it will do the same for you.

I promise it's worth the next 4 minutes of your time. You won't regret watching it.