Giving Tuesday {a request}

By Tuesday, December 1, 2015 0 0

I love the week after Thanksgiving. I know it’s all commercialism and buy buy buy, but I enjoy it. I don’t go crazy, but I do spend a little money over the weekend and on Cyber Monday because sometimes the deals on gifts and things we were looking at anyway are just too good. I always buy our Christmas cards and family photo gifts with these fantastic deals, for example.

Perhaps you got some good deals this weekend too! I love how each day has it’s own name – Black Friday, Small Biz Saturday and Cyber Monday. It helps me plan! I hope you’ll forgive me for jumping on the bandwagon with this request, which is a little different. We’ve had our shopping days, but today is Giving Tuesday, a day that celebrates generosity and doing something more, something to give back.

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:25

Here’s what they say on givingtuesday.org: “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.”

There’s no shortage of options. I often share my Angel Tree story and recommend a Global Gift Catalog (today World Vision has a matching gift!). Those are just two special ways my family gives back each year around the holidays.

Would you consider partnering with us as part of your Giving Tuesday plan? We are less than $1500 away from full support, plane tickets, language school, and feet down in the field, where less than 1 percent of people know Jesus.

The statistics say that 77% claim to be Christian, but less than 1% of that group claim Evangelical beliefs. Just to be clear, some of the beliefs up in the air for Spanish “Christians” include the deity of Christ, the personal love of God, Jesus’ death and resurrection, and salvation by faith alone. By our calculations, that means that of 46.5 million people, only 400,000 are evangelical believers.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2

Your monthly gift (of any amount!) will enable us  to put our feet on the ground at a growing church plant in Alcalá, where the population grows each year. New apartment complexes mean that young families just like ours are moving to Alcalá, where there is not a church on every corner. In Alcalá it really seems like nobody has a neighbor who can share the love of Christ with them. We’ve been called to be that neighbor, and we are so eager to go! We long for the friendships we’ll build trading English for Spanish, meeting children in the courtyard of our complex, and doing life shoulder to shoulder with Spaniards.

You can be part of the amazing joy it will be to see a small Spanish church plant grow, raise up a Spanish pastor, and plant its own church elsewhere.

Give Thanks for the Greatest Gift

By Thursday, November 26, 2015 0 0

Blogging freely today at theduryees.com. Link in profile!

A post shared by Rosalie (@mrsduryee) on

His face says it all.

So to be honest it felt like we were trapped, not blessed, with these kids this Thanksgiving morning. They are so grumpy, really easily displeased, and they just make a lot of messes. We are all still a little sick and I kept thinking, in between what seemed like a lot of appeasing, frustrated sighing, and discipline, that there had to be someone who could do this better for them because I don’t really like it.

But that’s not really what life is about, right?

“Do you like it? Do it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it!” Well, that’s what life IS like for a lot of people, I guess. But I got on the counter culture path when I met Jesus almost 16 years ago, and my life is not about me.

It’s about Him.

So, sometimes I don’t “like” my responsibilities around having small children. I could have predicted that way before we had them, honestly, knowing myself. But God gave me these babies AND He gave them ME and I love them so so so much even when I don’t LIKE them I would actually die for them.

Thankfully, I don’t have to do that. We don’t even live in a time or place where that is likely to come up. But God did/does. That struggle between living is and liking us and what means definitely came up for Him.

God created us because He wanted us and we messed up (He probably didn’t like it when A&E ate that pomegranate or whatever it was). So He came to earth as the man Jesus and lived a life like the Son of Man and the Bible says he was tempted in every way but never sinned. And then He was found guilty of blasphemy, calling Himself God, even though every evidence declared that was in fact the truth, and He died a gruesome death upon a cross – a death for a criminal – but although men put him on that cross with their sins and their hands, He actually gave Himself up because of what it would accomplish.

Which is what? A repaired relationship between God and His children who keep messing up. God is so holy and perfect, we would die in his presence. He couldn’t bear that, so Jesus (equal to God) died instead. And then he rose from the dead, conquering death and therefore canceling the punishment forever, and then ascended to heaven to sit with God. Now they wait patiently for every man to put his trust in Jesus for salvation – the repair of that broken relationship. He is patient because it is His will that none should perish!

And when we do put our trust in Jesus, we are recognizing our immense need for Him and the chasm it puts between us and God. And Jesus says to us, you are whole now. You are worthy. God loves you and He wants to be with you, even when you’re weak. Especially when you’re weak (while we were still sinners, Christian died for the unrighteous)!

And then we put off or old self and take up Christ, and sometimes that’s hard because when we’re mad and we don’t like our kids, the Holy Spirit who inhabits me now convicts me, saying, you’re not acting like your true self. Your true self loves these children muchly. Your true self wants to be with them even in their weakness.

Oh. Yes.

I belong to Jesus, now. He cannot help but make me more like Himself because it’s for the best. It’s best for me, it’s best for my children, it’s best for God’s other children.

And my children are the best tool for that transformation right now.

And, as hard as it is, I do like that! I want to be more like Jesus so I will thank Him when it’s hard.

Giving Tuesday

By Tuesday, December 2, 2014 0 0

Thanks to sick kids and sheer laziness, it seems that we have managed to save 100% on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So far this holiday season, we’ve read the first story in Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas and hung our ornament on our Jesse Tree, a bunch of branches in a tall vase I put together for our Thanksgiving table.

A photo posted by Rosalie (@mrsduryee) on

Today, however, is a different story. Today is Giving Tuesday, the day when Americans (and first worlders everywhere, I suppose) set aside their crazy Christmas spending in order to be generous with their time, money and resources.

Our family loves to be generous. We have never regretted our charitable giving, even when it really cost us something. There were many months this year, for example, that we continued to support our sponsored child in Peru even though we did not receive an income. It is a joy to hear how little Yasmina’s village is thriving because of sponsors like us, and we would not trade anything for that.

Supporting missionaries is another way we try to be generous with our money. Our hearts are in Spain, where less than 1% of people know Jesus, but God has moved our hearts to support missionaries working in other parts of the world as well. Perhaps he is moving your heart today.

If you would like to spend your Generous Tuesday dollars to help spread the gospel in unchurched Spain, here’s how!

Simple Gratitude

By Thursday, November 27, 2014 0 0

This year we had a simple Thanksgiving, combining our families with our sister-in-law’s family. Chris and I are eating Whole 30 compliant, so we made our own turkey (oil and vinegar on the outside, apples, rosemary and thyme on the inside) and brought roasted sweet potatoes to share. It was good enough although I was really craving pumpkin pie and a cup of coffee after dinner.

I didn’t take any photos today, which I know I’ll regret when I’m putting together my 2014 photo book, but it was a really simple day at home and with family. What I really appreciate about that is that we made an effort to talk more about what we’re thankful for, which made the day more lovely. Thankfulness can turn a normal, even mundane day into a holiday.

♥ the story God is writing for us
♥ His provision over the last year
♥ new and longtime financial partners in our ministry
♥ the amazing things God is doing at the church plants in Spain
♥ our sending church, Eastgate Bible Fellowship
♥ our home, which has served us so well for almost 10 years
♥ the vehicles we drive, which were both gifts that came at just exactly the right time
♥ we are no longer waiting for our tax refund
♥ our healthy, happy children
♥ Susanna whose imagination has blossomed over the last couple months
♥ Austin who dances to his glow worm, sometimes with his bum sticking up in the air
♥ our nephew Ryan who makes us all proud by doing well in school and having fun at AWANA
♥ our niece Elizabeth Grace who met Jesus before she met any of us but still left her mark on my life
♥ sweet friends, old and new
♥ our neighbors upstairs who also happen to be best friends
♥ creative genius friends who designed a custom Christmas card for us (coming soon!)
♥ Bible Study Fellowship: the people, the study, the organization
♥ loving grandparents near and far
♥ that we can find the food we want to eat (and that we want to eat the food we find!), that we can afford it, and that we can make changes to the state of our health through the food we eat
♥ our privileges as Americans
♥ prayer and how it draws us close to God
♥ books and reading
♥ Christ’s servants who risk their lives and suffer around the world for His name to be glorified (I think specifically of Pastor Saeed)
♥ people who pray for us
♥ things that help make our lives more beautiful: Pinterest inspiration and branches in vases and fun dishes and pictures on the wall
♥ this green corner of the world