Not really, but I made you start reading, didn't I?! Let's see, I know it's been forever since I blogged, and seriously, I'm not even going to look back to see when that was. I just think my life is so much more interesting with pictures and now we are COMPLETELY without a camera. That's right, Sam ruined his in the Boundary Waters. Now we are in the market for a new one. It's an expensive one, so we are waiting till the very last minute to see exactly how God is going to work that one out! By the way, it's a Digital Canon D40 - so for some reason, if there is someone out there with a camera or a lot of money that they are anxious to give away - there you go! Just to give you a little head's up - there is a second camera that we want for such trips as Sam's previous Boundary Waters one, and this is just a little one - it's an Olympus something. But it's nearly indestructible. I think the people who made this camera must have spent some time with Sam. It's digital and goes waterproof up to 33 ft, can withstand a 6.6 ft drop, and also can withstand up to 220 lbs. of pressure, making it "crushproof!" I think this type of camera would be just about perfect for us in our everyday life - but it is $379. The Canon D40 that Sam is looking to buy is for the business of art and photography, oh and, 5 times the amount of the Olympus! Hey, when we ask, we ask big!!! :)
So that has been the drama with the search for the camera. Thus, an empty and ugly post, once again. Well, the Lord helped us sell our Blazer. I know, just a year ago, I was writing about how the Lord provided a car - a blazer, Sam's "Dream car..." which I wasn't too excited about with the gas prices going higher and higher, but what are you going to tell a man who has his heart set on it?! Well, just wait and see what he learns. One year later, we sell our blazer for more than we bought it for and what a blessing that was! Sam decided he couldn't handle the gas guzzler! So as of Saturday afternoon, we are down to one vehicle. Which I don't mind too much. But poor Sam has to chauffeur me around, like I said, I don't mind! :) Now we are in the market for a new vehicle as well. When it rains, it poors! That's especially true of finances, isn't it?! But one of our pastors at church is selling his minivan, we love ours, and it's really nice. I think we might go ahead and get it since it's right in out budget! God is good! It's a nice van that has two sliding doors. And now, to most of you, you are probably thinking - those vans came out like a million years ago - what kinds of cars do you have?! Get in the century! Oh well. The van we have has been a God send. Only one sliding door and the handle is broken, I like to call it our anti-theft program! But the van was $300. That's right, I didn't miss any zero's. So there you go. And it's taken us EVERYWHERE, nearly from one end of the country to the other, not quite, but almost! We've camped in it, hauled up to 15 kids at a time in it, hauled the dog around in it, taken it hunting, taken it to all kinds of places. It's great. So that's what's going on in that department!
Let's see - our confirmation group is exploding! Sam just called and in the 7th grade alone, we've got 18 girls already! We've probably got nearly 80 kids in confirmation (7th-9th) alone! Which is great, but we just added on to our church, but there is definitely NOT enough room!!! It's a great problem to have but so frustrating when you don't have the tools that you need, you know? We are having trouble finding enough teachers, but we have an amazing group of adults this year and the Lord is really restructuring our ministry. I've stepped down from teaching confirmation to attend a Bible Study for myself, which I'm really excited about and I know we have a great group of adults taking over!
OH man - God is AMAZING!!!! Just like 2 seconds ago, Sam called to tell me that he thinks he found a camera... Here's the quick run down. Sam found the camera he wanted in the Classifieds here in town. We met with the guy and he had this amazing deal - selling his Canon D40 and 4 lenses, including a 50-500mm, tripod, flash, 2-4 gig cards, filters, two camera bags, etc. etc. etc. He's only used this camera like 4 times in his life, just bought it in Feb. Anyway, he got a job cut and has to sell out - this whole package is worth $4000-$5000. But he was selling it for $2100. So we talked about it and got the necessary funding and talked to a great photographer friend of ours, he said it was a steal! We told the guy we'd take it! So that night after youth group, we went to give him the check and pick it up and he said that he got back and checked his computer and it turns out that it sold two days ago. That was that. Sam was in the depths of despair! It just seemed like this opportunity just went poof! But Sam just called and it turns out that things with Ebay didn't turn out so well for this seller and it was a nightmare! So Sam is meeting him today at 11:30am to pick up his new camera and all the goodies that go along with it! You all just witnessed God working in a amazing way, right in the middle of this blog! Now Lord, just a car and another camera - oh, and a few bills! Wink, wink! ;)
Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled blog - I don't even know what I was writing, I'm so excited for Sam! Confirmation - yeah, anyway, so we are focusing a bit more on our leadership and allowing them to focus more on the kids. It's a great move in our ministry. Sam is starting his 5th year as a Youth Pastor and I can't believe how the time has flown! I know a lot of people don't even make it that long in Youth Ministry, which is so hard to believe when it only feels like we are starting to get a handle on things. Our church is so supportive and wonderful!
Let's see - I can't think of a whole lot more. We are just hanging out here this weekend, I think. At least I am! Then next week, we are heading to the Tetons, Yellowstone, and Jackson Hole for an art weekend. And now that Sam will have a new camera, I'm sure we'll be stalking all the animals we find. This is perfect timing for Sam to get sooo motivated to finish up the art he needs to have done for his show... He's plugging along on that. He's just working on this beautiful painting. I love it and think it should be done, but he says he's still got lots more to go on it - I'm sure it'll show up on his website here pretty soon.
Oh, that was another thing I was going to share with you. Sam ended up taking a kid out hunting for Elk this past weekend. Getting an elk tag in ND is a once in a lifetime opportunity and this senior from our youth group got drawn. Anyway, there was a bit of drama involved in that, but I just want to share with you another way that God showed Himself this past weekend! Anyway, Sam took Zac out last weekend scouting and didn't see any Elk and then this was the opener this past weekend, and they didn't see anything on Thursday night - opener was sunrise on Friday morning. Still didn't see anything, they hiked about 12 miles through extremely harsh terrain in the badlands and Sam was just praying the whole time. They took a dinner break around 5pm and talked to a Taxidermist who said that no one had been spotting them all day.... Everyone was a bit discouraged, then Sam and Zac decided to go for a drive and Sam asked Zac if he'd been praying and Zac said, "No, but you've been praying for us." And Sam was like, Man, you have got to pray, I've been praying because I want to see an Elk, if you want to see one, you need to pray too man. And so then he said that he could tell Zac prayed because it was a little quiet in the car. Then as they were racing along these gravel roads, all of a sudden, Sam flew by this field, where there was an Elk standing right there! Zac had a tag where he could shoot a cow or a bull, but he really wanted a monster bull! Sam thought this was a cow, so they turned around and then noticed it was a bull - a 5X5 - not very big for an elk, but still a bull, there is only a 50% chance that you can even see a bull, much less have the opportunity to shoot one! So Zac decided to take it. Here are all the amazing things about it - it was standing in a flat field right by the road. That meant, they could drive right in there and wouldn't have to drag it out - that is if Zac could drop it in one shot - normally you have to shoot an Elk 2-3 times and meanwhile they are running away... There was an oil rig about 100 yrds away, so the Elk couldn't even hear them. It was perfect. Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter, Zac shot and dropped the Elk with one shot - he was aiming for the heart and lung and got it in the jugular. If he had gotten the lungs or heart, he definitely would have shot a couple of times. The elk dropped and it was about 30 min. till dark, so it was cooling off - they had to wait for Zac's dad to come out from Bismarck with the truck - about 2 hours. And they started cleaning it. They were going to drag the elk, but Sam said the guts weighed about 250 lbs. alone! They tried dragging this Elk and made it about 5 ft before they were completely exhausted - Sam said it was like dragging a cow! So anyway, he got back by 2:30am on Sat. morning, in enough time to get up and go rummage saleing with me! :) God taught Zac a lesson about relying on Him this weekend and it was just perfect. If Zac had seen the size of bull that he really wanted to take, it would have cost him about $1200 to mount it and he wouldn't have been able to fit it in his room and as it is, he will European mount it, and it will cost him about $100 and he will be able to fit it in his room to be completely proud of! So that is just awesome! God is good!!!!
Well, this post is way too long, so I need to go! Later - until next time - maybe I'll have more amazing news on God's goodness! :)