Friday, October 10, 2014

Update to Christianity explored

Last night was the first meeting. We were expecting two people to show up and they both came. Two may sound small but it was a good start. We may have more next week as others have expressed interest but were unable to come last night. I led the time mostly in Czech, I think it went ok, or at least I was understood. We had some good discussions, and ate some really good pumpkin bread. Next week will be session two and we will have read the first three chapters of Mark.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Christianity Explored

Today, we as a church start the course Christianity Explored/objevovaní křesťanství. It is a course that answers three important questions: who is Jesus, why did he come to earth, and what does it mean to follow him? All three questions, and more are answered through reading the book of Mark. We start tonight and will meet for 10 consecutive weeks, ending on the 11th of December. Please join us in prayer for the attendees that maybe coming and for me, Wes as I lead the course.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Summer has come to an end here in the CZ. I just saw some pics of my sisters and their children playing in my parents pool. I thought oh how I wish it were still summer here. I'm writing this post all stuffed up with the first cold I've had in a long time.
When summer end, hockey starts, at least here in Brno it does. My team has now played two games. The first game was an away game at a local town, Rosice. Unfortunately we could only gather 9 players for the game. Our website is HC-medvedi.cz, you can see the complete recap there. We played well and fought hard. It was one to one with five minutes to play. Something happened and the game ended 6-1, that was a hard lose. I was asked to play defense as we were short and I am the utility player on the team. I have now played every position except for goalie. On a brighter note, I received my first penalty of the season. I think I was called for hooking, I was doing so many illegal actions on the play that I could have been called for almost anything.

Game two - this past Monday night was the second game of the season. This time we managed 10 players, again I was asked to play defense. Again I received a couple penalties. The first was tripping, I argued the call because it was not tripping, My stick was held stronger than the opposing player's legs could stand. It was not my fault. The second I received defending against my friend's cousin, it was a legitimate hooking call, that guy is fast. I must admit, I am a sneaky player on offense, I have to work on my sneakiness on defense. In the first period I was elbowed in the head and was dropped to the floor. The great thing about hockey is se the number of the player that hit you. Later in the game I waited for an opportunity to return the favor. As this player lined up for a slap shot - he received my fit to his ribs, the shot never made it on goal and he ended up crumpled on the ice, the ref never saw it.
Alas, we still lost. The winning goal hit our goalie in the head rolled down his back and into the net. We had a chance to tie it up with a minute left. It was a beautiful play as the right wing received the pass to put it in the open net - the ref blew his whistle because he thought the net moved off it moorings. Oh we couldn't believe it, at that moment I was glad I could not understand Czech foul language. This was the second time the ref made this call right as we were primed to score. We lost 3-2. That was a tough loss to swallow.

In other related news, no baby yet!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The wedding

My sons skolka teacher, well one of them, got married this past Saturday. We received the invitation and were planning on going. Czech weddings are a little different than American in the way they do the reception. After the wedding they may have a small gathering of friends and family, but the real reception does not start until a lot later in the evening and then, only close friends and family are invited. We were not sure where we fit. My wife made the phone call (or SMS) to find out. We were included in the close friends. The only problem was that I had a staff meeting at the CBI in the afternoon. We decided to go to the wedding and not the reception.

The wedding - in a fairly beautiful church BUT under construction, there was a cherry picker, or something like that next to the pulpit. And all of the art was cover in plastic.

Her family is Catholic, the wedding was held in Zidenice at Saint Metodej and Cyril church. When my wife (and unfortunately, the kids - couldn't find a sitter) walked up to the church, the bride, groom and families were waiting outside the church. Strange, but different. We walked in and found our seats. As the wedding started all of the guest lined the isle and the bride and father walked down the isle with all of us standing and watching. She walked down the isle to a live choir standing elevated in the back. The music, was for me the most amazing part of the ceremony. They sounded amazing in that church. On par for many catholic weddings, they are very ceremonial, the priest says something, the congregation says something back, stand up sit down, on your knees, sit down, stand up, sit down again. Not being catholic I did not have a clue what to do or what to say, so I stood there and watched. After an hour, my little girl started crying, she was tired and needed a nap, I took her and stood in the back as she fell asleep on my shoulder. An hour 20 into the ceremony it was time for communion. The priest prayed over the wine, lifted the wine in the air as to make it holy, he then did the same with the wafers. Not realizing that the wedding was going to be a two hour event, we had to leave to make the staff meeting. We foolishly assumed it would be 25 minutes, max 45.   

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

11.9.2013

So while today brings memories of something horrific, for us, it brings a memory of stepping onto an airplane and flying to our new home. Although we can only count being in country for 5 years, we left for the CZ 7 years ago today. This blog has shared some triumphs and so low points of our time in CZ, a lot has happened in 7 years. One dog, 2.5 kids, moved once, same church, lots of different ministries, hopefully impacted many, many have impacted us, and more importantly one of our good friends excepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.    

Monday, September 09, 2013

Where did the tables go?

Sunday was the first meeting of the "school year" for our church. For the first time we set up rows of chairs instead of sitting around the usual conference room tables. This is something the I have wanted to do for the last 7 years but had an obstacle that I just could not get past. This Sunday that obstacle was in America on vacation, so the tables were moved. It want very well. We were missing two of our usual families, but were greeted by two new visiting families. One of the families recently moved to Brno and could be looking for a new home church. The other family were their friends. This year we also have a couple who have declared our church as their home church. In our denomination there is no membership, you just declare that the church will be your home church and you are then considered a member. There are faults to this, but that is just how it is with the brethren. This year may be a year that our church starts to see some fruit from the past several years of ministry.
We had a great time in worship and the word was given by the only elder present. He preached on David according to 2 Sam chapter 3.
My next post I will talk about an idea I received from a guy I met at our Czech Bible Institute staff meeting on Saturday. It may change how our church family does personal evangelism. Or not, depends on how it is received. Ah yes, and I will briefly write about the catholic wedding we attended over the weekend.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Tomorrow is Sunday, which begins the new year of meetings of the Lisen Church. Last Sunday I had the privilege of traveling with one of our elders to preach at another brethren church. This church was only a 40 minute drive but was located in a small town next to one of the larger lakes in CZ. this happened to also be in Southern Moravia. Now, for anyone who knows anything about Southern Moravia I do not need to explain what happened after church and the places I was invited to.
What I would like to bring to light is the life of a particular man that I meet at this church. Now, when I say church - think of a small group. There were three people outside of me and the family I traveled there with. As this man walked in the room I said to myself, wow, he looks and reminds me of a man that I look up to, a man that led several teams that I was apart of that served in PNG. I later heard a clip of the life he had lived. As a small boy his brother died ( I am not sure at what age). As a father, his first born son died, 21 years later his eldest daughter died of cancer. Just prior to the summer holidays his wife passed away as a result of a freak accident at work. He has one daughter left and one grandson. I stood in disbelief about what he has dealt with. This man still worshiped the Lord, he doesn't just worship the Lord but he tells everyone that he can about how great our God is. This man has a passion for life and a passion for Christ that is not seen often enough. The things that he has dealt with would keep a weaker man down. This is a testament to how powerful our God is and how much strength He has to offer us if we will turn to him. I then heard that his wife many years ago tried to divorce him because he was "too much Christian" for her to deal with. She later came around and started to participate in church - only God knows her heart and if it had been given to Him before she passed.
This was a great Sunday to encourage us as we venture into another year of serving God in the CZ with the Lisen Church.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A blog on life support

So it appears that it has been a long time since our last posting. So much has happened since New Years 2011. There have been several factors to the slow death of our blog. However, we are not sure if the plug will be pulled just yet. It might be fun to once again relate our stories from the Czech Republic for those who might have an interest.
A quick note, FestivalUnited 2013 just finished this past weekend. One of our Elders was a sponsor and spent the weekend at the festival. He wrote and told me that over 1000 kids were there and that he had the chance to talk to several youth about living a life for Christ. 5 of them made the commitment to follow Christ. This is truly amazing considering how most Czechs respond to the Gospel. Maybe the youth will be the key to a renewed Spirit in the Czech Republic?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to our many readers.
The old year has gone and the new has come. Now if you've read our 2010 update, you will know that there have been many exciting things throughout the year, but some of the hardest things as well. So we are looking forward to the many adventures awaiting us this 2011. We are preparing to return to Czech in April. We'll be moving into a new home (hopefully a house), and some other things. Those other things you ask??







Well






we are




having




a








BABY!!!!!

We're very excited about this baby. Everything appears to be going well. Michelle is now 16 weeks along and is due June 21st. That means that this baby will be born in Brno, just like Sid. We praise the Lord for this baby and we are excited about Sid becoming a big brother.

Apparently we are having an alien:-)

2010 Update

***Below you will find monthly updates. ***
Make sure you read the whole story. This 2010 update goes from February up to December. All of these updates are probably not posted on this page, so make sure you check out the "older posts." We hope you enjoy catching up on the time we've been "off-line".

December 2010


This will be the last of back-log. From here on out, we will try to keep things up-to-date. December was a busy month. We started the month out in New York City for Michelle's Birthday. It was a great time!

Here are some pictures from our sister-in-law's baby shower. She's due in February and it was fun to be back in PA for the celebration.

Michelle's brother Matt and soon to be mommy, Lija

Four generations - Michelle's grandpa, father, brother, and of course Sid.

After returning from our trip in PA, we began preparing for Christmas. For the first time in our 7 years of marriage, we got a real Christmas tree. It was so exciting! Though all of our decorations are in Czech, we were still able to decorate our house with Christmas things. It really made our home feel more like a home. On Christmas Eve we started a new tradition. As Sid grows and as we have more children, on Christmas Eve they will get to open two presents. One will be Christmas pajamas and the second will be a game for all of us to share. Then we can play it throughout the night. This year Sid got Elefun. He loved it!!

Sid was way excited for his first Christmas Eve present

Sid catching butterflies with his new game, Elefun

On Christmas morning we first opened our presents. Then on to the bigger presents. Sid loved his Thomas the Tank Engine track set.

Wes and Sid opening presents together.

After having the family over for our traditional waffle breakfast, we went on a hike with Wes's sister Emily and fiancee Travis. The Lord gave us a beautiful day for celebrating His birth. I was praising him the entire time I was looking over the Santa Clarita Valley.

Travis and Emily

On the 27th, we made our last trip to Sea World. It was our last chance before our passes ran out. I will miss that place:-(
We tried something new this time. We took the skyride across the bag. It was so much fun! Definitely a great way to end our trip to Sea World.


Sunday, January 02, 2011

November 2010





In the middle of November, we took a flight back to Lancaster, PA to spend 3 weeks with Michelle's family. We spent Thanksgiving with everyone, did the whole black Friday shopping spree, a trip to the cabin, etc. We even went to NYC on Michelle's birthday to see the Radio City Music hall's Christmas Spectacular. (NYC will be in December, cause technically the trip took place the following month). So, PA . . .

Thanksgiving started out with an early morning Turkey Trot. Michelle's brother, his wife Lija, dad, and the two of us all ran a 5K on Thanksgiving morning. It was FREEZING! When we got to the race, it was sleeting/snowing. However, we were both personally successful in the race.

Michelle has been running for a few months, so she was ready for the race. She came in right behind her dad at about 25 minutes.

Wes did no training for the race and more or less got off the couch and ran. He finished at about 28 minutes. Awesome!

Thanksgiving happened to fall on my grandpa's birthday this year. Sid thought he would help him with the cake. I love these types of pictures. Oldest and youngest generations.

Wes fell asleep on the chair, so Sid thought he would mimic him. Boy do they learn young!

Some quality time in the leaves with Sid's Papa-G

We headed to my parent's cabin in Pottery County after Thanksgiving. It snowed the day we got there and stayed the entire time. It was wonderful!

Sid's new found love: his Uncle Matt

Wes and I introduced the family to Geo-Caching. There are sites that tell you where hidden boxes are that you locate through GPS coordinates. This one was incredibly hard to find because of the snow. However, the adventure was well worth the trip.

One of my favorite things about the cabin is that both deer and bear come right on to the property.


October 2010



Back to Sea World in October. This time with Wes's sister Emily and Fiancée, Travis. So, just a few pictures for all you animal lovers.






Sid has never had a halloween costume before. For two reasons. 1: they don't really dress up and do the whole Halloween thing in Czech and 2: We don't put too much emphasis, if any at all, on Halloween. However, our church had a kids outreach on Halloween, so we joined in. He's the cutest Nemo I've ever seen!





September 2010


Wes, Michelle's parents, and Sid waiting for the dolphin show to start

In early September, Michelle's parents flew out from PA. Though it was a short trip, we were able to fit in a trip to Sea World, San Diego. Ok, this is my new favorite place (outside of Disneyland). I, Michelle, have been to Sea World Orlando, however, I was really young. So this was like seeing sea life for the first time. Their exhibits are incredible. It was definitely a great trip going down to San Diego with the parents.

The dolphin show has the only two performing Pilate whales in the world. They truly are amazing, yet odd looking, creatures.

Sid was soooo excited to see Elmo all day. He even brought his own Elmo with him. However, when we finally made it up to get our picture with him, Sid just started screaming. He was so scared. Apparently a life-size Elmo is not as cool as a tv or stuffed animal Elmo.

The Shamu show is by far the highlight of the day. These whales truly are amazing.

Amazing!



The three of us, our Brother and Sister, and their two girls all went ice skating on Saturday afternoon. This was Sid's first time on the ice. He was so excited. I can see more of this in our future.

Sid with his cousins Kendall and Taylor before hitting the ice

Daddy's joy: teaching his first son how to skate.

After an hour of skating, Sid didn't need our help anymore. He already knows how to hit a hockey stick, so a few more lessons on the skates and we've got ourselves a future NHL player.

In the later part of September, we took a trip down to Huntington beach for a Cesar Millan (a.k.a. the Dog Whisperer) book signing. The irony is that Cesar Millan actually lives in our town, however, we've never seen him. So we decided to take the 2 hour trip down to a Barnes and Noble to hear Cesar speak and for him to sign our books. It was awesome to meet him in person. Unfortunately, they didn't allow any personal pictures with him:-(

August 2010

August . . . told in pictures, more or less. In August the Robinson family went on vacation together to Lake Naciemento (about 3 hours north of where we live in CA.) It was awesome! We are such a big family (16 total), that there is always something to do and someone to do it with. We stayed in a rental house about 5 minutes from the lake.

One day Sid will hate this picture. He was playing Pretty, Pretty, Princess with his two cousins.

One day we had this entire part of the lake to ourselves.

Sid and I trying out the kayak

Sidney loves his aunties. They took him out on the raft with them a few time. He was sitting in the ice cooler:-)

We had our own dock, so this is where we "tanned".

On our last day at the lake, we rented a boat and went tubbing. Victoria and I couldn't stop laughing after our first attempt. She flew right off, followed by me.

Even Sid and Wes went out on the water.

Our family has a thing with buying each other dangerous toys for all of us to try. Wes finally got to try out his brother's stilts.

One afternoon Wes, his dad, and I took a day trip to Hearst Castle. This is a castle built in the early 1900s. The place is amazing. Look it up if you want to see more pictures and details about the only castle in CA.

This is one of the many bedrooms in the castle. It reminded us so much of European castles.


Okay, so outside of Family Vacation . . . . . . . . .

In just 3 months, Sid already improved drastically on his bike. Not to mention that he grew a few inches since his May birthday.

Last, but not least . . . We finally bought ourselves a car in August. This has been a great vehicle to have during our stay in CA. We will miss it when we leave:-(

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