Sunday, April 30, 2006

Passover Seder

On the Thursday before Easter, two of our co-workers hosted a Passover Sedar. Basically that is a celebration of the traditional Passover. We went through what Orthodox Jews would do, adding the messianic aspect. It was really incredibly eye opening to see how much of the celebration point exactly to Jesus. AMAZING. I felt that Easter was given a whole new meaning. It was a really great.

This is Heather, from Calgary. She has become one of our closer friends. She is alot of fun and kept us fed over Christmas...She loves to cook!
This was our table setting...proper silverware and crystal glasses on linen table clothes...we were pretending to be guests!!! Below was one part of the celebration that really struck me. The item is called ??? and is one piece of linen made with three different pockets. At the beginning of the celebration, three different pieces of unleavened bread (in this case, Matzah) are placed in the three pockets. During the feast, the middle piece is taken out, broken, half is replaced into its pocket, and the other half is wraped in a different piece of linen and hidden called the afikonen. Near the end of the meal, the children are then told to seek and find the hidden piece of bread. When it is found, there is great joy and everyone takes a piece of the afikonen...Could it be any clearer? Three pockets? one piece of linen? middle bit broken and found? JESUS!!! TRINITY!!! was so powerful...I hope I explained it so you can get the picture...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Signs of Spring!!!

Blue Skies and budding trees! The bad thing about being so north is that the sun now rises so early that we never see them!

This flower is growing in the green house, and has about a thousand buds on it. As a whole picutre, the plant is beautiful. It was too hard to get it on photo, so one will have to pretty!
My favorite picture that has been taken! It is amazing how you can see the water drops against the blue sky....amazing!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

fun buildings i want to show you

This my favorite little house that I have found in England or Scotland. It is just around the corner from Pierrepont and I pass it on my way to the Frensham Ponds. It is on a river and is so charming.
Another shot of Pierrepont. The tall windows in the front are from the Great Hall, where we sat for teaching everyday.
This is a little alley way near to the cottage where we stayed...what a fun place.
Peter is standing next to a small chapel on the grounds of the Grange. It is awaiting renovations, but is still quite a site. You can see the steeple through the trees as you come up the drive. It is quite beautiful.
This is the clock house at Pierrepont, another little place you can find on the grounds. This was also in the movie 'Wind in the Willows.' Famous place eh?

Road Shots

So on our way down, we took advantage of our great camera options and took pictures out of the van window!! The one above is of Stirling Castle. Near to this site is (supposedly) where William Wallace had a massive battle against the mean old English people. By the way, I think English people are in general very nice. I have been there before, when a few of us from the Shelter in Amsterdam went to Scotland 4 years ago...
This is taken in the Lake District in Northwest England. It was really beautiful scenery, rolling hills and rugged landscapes.
These last two are both taken near Aviemore, in Scotland in the Highlands. I can not tell you how breathtaking it was to drive here, with towering mountians covered with snow on both sides. It was so beautiful. It was misty and so cool... One of the nicest parts of the whole trip was the drive. I hope you enjoy the pictures too!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Frensham Ponds

These are pictures of the ponds next to Pierrepont. When we lived there two years ago, I used to run here a couple of days a week. There are trails around two ponds, and it is really pretty in the early morning. Peter took these when he went for an early morning walk. The opening scenes from 'Gladiator' were filmed here (the part when they are in battle). I found this place to be so peaceful and calm. It was good to get away from the business of school and go to a place where you could just think and process everything that God was doing. It was SO good to get back and walk were we used to walk...
There were always swans there too...but I must say, they are not the nicest birds. They would try and get into our bags and were kinda scary sometimes!


For the Conference, each center had to lead worship for one session. Our staff has just begun to start having worship with guitar or just singing at our morning prayer time. Malcolm, on the piano, had really been the only person playing for the past 3 years. No one else has felt comfortable adding anything to him. However, Kerri (who you can't see here), Sarah (green sweater, singing) and I get together sometimes with Kerri and me playing guitar and Sarah singing. Well, once it was found out, they asked us to start leading worship. Well, Lexy (the other one on guitar) also volunteered to help us out by playing. She can fingerpick amazingly! Well, as we were practicing for this, it was really a disaster. None of us have ever played with anyone else, and Malcolm is so used to playing by himself that we ALL struggled to follow each other. What misery, knowing that we would have to get up if front of 350 people to lead worship. Well, what else can you do, but pray. I was reminded of the verse "Make a joyful NOISE unto the Lord." That was we just gave it to Him. Well, it turned out better than anything we could have hoped for....God really does use the little things in life to show us He is big...Praise God!

no jacket!!!

The entire time we were at Pierrepont, I did not have to wear a jacket at all! Ahhh, I love spring... After the cold snowy winter here in Scotland, to be able to walk around in just a jumper was great! Plus that meant I did not have to worry about losing my jacket. It was fun to see as we drove south, the change in nature. Flowers that are just sprouting at Blairmore were flowering in Frensham. There were lambs and calves and all sorts of baby rabbits to be seen running around. As we drove north again, we saw it all dissapear as we hit a big snow storm. It was a bit despressing! So now we are back, and it is SO cold again. Peter went out this morning for a long bike ride and to do some climbing, and 30 minutes after he left it started sleet/snowying...I hope he does not freeze!!
The yellow flower was taken at Pierrepont, along with the cross, but (hee-yaw) the purple one was taken here at Blairmore. I hope it survives the cold!
We are getting into the swing of things here. But we leave again in a week to visit Peter's family in The Netherlands. I am so excited about seeing our new little niece, Rebecca. We will share pictures soon. Love to you all....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A trip down south...

This past week, Peter and I and the entire team packed up to go down to Pierrepont, the Ellel Center where Peter and I were in 2004. It was for a team conference. All the Ellel Centers from around the world gathered for teaching, fun, and a time of hearing each others stories. It was such a great time. Shockingly, it was the first time Peter and I were really off the base here, so we definately needed the time away. It was great and we are glad to be back and get into the swing of things here. The picture above is the Grange, Ellel's headquarters in Lancaster. We stayed there the first night of our trip, as it is 7 hours to the Grange and 6 hours from there to Pierrepont. The grounds are beautiful English gardens and it was much warmer there than at Blairmore.
This is Pierrepont. It was so nice to be back after 2 years. I have not been there since we finished NETS, and it was so good to see old friends and meet new people. If you have seen the British Production of "Wind in the Willows," this was where they filmed for Toad Hall. It was at the beginning of when Ellel owned the property and pretty much paid for all the major remodeling of the main level rooms. There are 63 rooms in the Main House, which is shown here.
This is where we stayed at Pierrepont. It is my favorite building, and sits behind the Main House on the estate. There are 35 acres including 12-15 buildings and a beautiful river walk. It is truly amazing that all these beautiful centers are owned by this ministry. There is never alot of money, yet they own these amazing houses. I have more pictures that I will down load but I wanted to start with these buildings! Enjoy!