Endings Lead to Beginnings

I've seen this in life, I've seen it in history, and I see it in God's plan for us. For all who believe in Jesus Christ (His death, burial, and resurrection on behalf of your sin), the end of this earthly life is the beginning of eternity in the presence of our God and of Christ Himself!
But to be more specific as to this blog entry, we are in our last semester here at NTBI. We are approaching the end of a fantastic season of studying God's Word in depth. This is by no means the end chapter for us in our pursuit of the Lord. Rather, understanding His Word is the essential foundation for knowing, loving, and serving Him. To use an analogy, it is the starting blocks for a 400-meter dash... (that ended up being my favorite race as a sprinter... it was long and grueling, and I 'hated' it, but reaching the finish line was such an exhilarating feeling and accomplishment that I wouldn't trade for anything!) And that is what our lives as bond-servants to Christ are to be- a perfect mix of endurance and haste, patience and urgency! And yes, pain and joy.

Jocellyn, cousin Alexa, friend Eli, Naya
We returned to Michigan on January 14th, having had a beautiful Christmas break in the beautiful PNW (Pacific Northwest). To summarize our visit, we arrived in Seattle the week before Christmas, and enjoyed almost 4 whole weeks with precious family, long-time Friends and Church Family, and as always, we shared great fellowship with so many.
After a visit from my good friend from Oregon, the 4 of us headed down to our 'hometown', Cannon Beach, OR, for a quick 2-night visit. We had the tremendous blessing of visiting the Spanish Church, which is flourishing (glory be to God!) and thriving! We also connected with several (but not all of you!) friends and loved ones from CB Bible Church or from town. We hope for the opportunity to visit again in the summer. 3 days after that trip, we returned to Michigan.

Our classes just began this past Wednesday. Noe starts out at 8am with Daniel/Revelation. 9am is our Chapel hour (see previous blogs for a description if needed) and the girls go to child care. Jocellyn has moved up to the Mini-Toddler class this semester! She will grow so much with the structured play times, snack times, etc... hard to believe she's getting so big! At 10am and again at 11am, we both take Philippians. We are excited to be diving into the Word again, and look forward to what He will teach us. Please pray with us that He will mold our hearts and our minds as He desires.

On a slightly dismal note, the evening of our first class, both Jocellyn and I came down with the flu! Noe got it the next night. It's been a slow few days of recovery, and Jocellyn continues to have the occasional fever for some reason. But provided that Naya does NOT catch the bug (!), we hope to all be back in class on Monday.

Noe will go alone (sad!) to the Church in Tekonsha tomorrow morning, as Jocellyn and I are still a little under the weather. But we expect to be in the full swing of things again next week.

If we had the pleasure of seeing you in Seattle/CB, THANK YOU for blessing us with your continued friendship and love! If we missed you, we feel the same for you, and we hope to connect with you personally in the summer. Please stay in touch with us.

The snow is falling here, and tonight's forecast is 0 degrees Farenheit. Anyone up for a visit? ;)

With love in Christ, the source of our joy,

Noe, Lisa, Adannaya and Jocellyn