Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010 Picture

What a Christmas! We have had the stomach flu hit 3 of the 5 of us in the past 2 weeks. It's not been the most relaxing Christmas break but it will be a memorable one. ;)

It reminded me though that the first Christmas was less than what we would consider ideal. I'm sure Mary's ideal of childbirth, her first born, the Son of God coming to earth was not that it would take place away from her home, in a borrowed stable with smelly animals, no family nearby and the only visitors to come and see her new baby being low class shepherds, whom she didn't know. Yet that is the exact situation God chose to come into. He had a bigger perspective than the here and now, he had eternity in view. He was humble and came as a human, setting aside His glory to become one of us, in less than "ideal" circumstances" so that he could live among us, without sin and become our Salvation and Life. He had eternity in view and so a stinky old stable was a perfect location.

So as much as I'd love to rewind 3 weeks and avoid the hassle of all that 3 people with the stomach flu means, I'll choose to keep eternity in view and be thankful I have LIFE and my family.

Merry Christmas!
From the Potters

Friday, November 12, 2010

November 12, 2009

Today marks a year since my dad went to be with his savior and left this earth of struggle and sin.  It’s been a journey for my family.  With my dad’s death, came many changes for all of us; the biggest of which came for my mom. Among those changes, she moved here to be nearer to us and to start afresh.  She is a strong woman because of her faith in The Loving God who gives her purpose and life and I am so proud of her.  Dad, we miss you but we are so thankful to know you are whole in mind and body and that you are enjoying being in the presence of your Savior. Mom, we love you and are so thankful to have you close by.  God, thank you for the hope we have because of You!




Joel and Bethany Potter

Missionaries with New Tribes Mission

1211 Homewild Ave.

Jackson, MI 49201


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Monday, September 27, 2010

All By Myself

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Jack calls to me from the entry way a little while ago..., "Mom, Kate's standing up!". I'm thinking, not possible, she's barely crawling. So, I go running to the entry way and sure enough, she's gotten herself to standing at her swing, and is playing with the buckle.


My two favorite times of the year are spring, when the tulips bloom and fall when the harvest vegetables are ripe. The fall to me is a time for soups, snuggling under blankets and walks in the rustling leaves. Thankfully, in the midst of a crazy time of life, we have been able to enjoy all three.
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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Oh and...

Oh and the pictures of the cake and the adorable little girl… We had a little party for Jack and his friend Josie since they were both going to kindergarten together this year!  Josie is our neighbor, friend and sits across from Jack in class! Way to go Josie!!!


Jack goes to Kindergarten

So today was Jack's first day of Kindergarten. Just a half day today but tomorrow is the real deal! 7:30 am - leave the house, 3:40 pm arrive back home! He has a great teacher and so far today was a success. For all those out there wondering, there were no tears for any of us and just to prove how Joel and I felt after dropping him off, see the bottom left picture. That pretty much sums it up; grin on my face, Joel just a tad melancholy! So it begins...
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Thursday, August 05, 2010

A new semester, about to begin!

As summer comes to a close, much is before us.
We will enjoy our last few weeks with Jack at home all day before Kindergarten begins in September. He has no idea what "all day" means and so we play hard, Mom and Dad the only ones knowing that he won't have time like this for a while!
Students start returning this weekend and will slowly trickle in over the next few weeks. We are so excited to see them all again and to meet the new freshmen who will join them.
Questions like, who will God bring our way this year, loom in our minds. We are excited yet understand that as God entrusts them to us to disciple and mentor, we have a great need to abide in Christ ourselves so that what we pass on to them is Christ and not a shabby imitation.
I, Bethany, have one more meeting this summer with the Academic Team I work for before we jump back in to the semester. It's my day to be an adult most of the day and honestly, I am longing for that just about now.
We have enjoyed the summer but are honestly eager to get back to our routine. It will be slightly changed because Jack has to be at school pretty early but I think it's a manageable routine. For those of you who know me well, know that of course, I have a schedule ready. Our family loves order and well, I love schedules!
Having Mom up here with us has been amazing and we can't wait to see how God provides for her by way of a job. If you think of it, would you pray that one comes along soon? She's putting out her resume and applying online but it's just taking a bit longer than expected. God is faithful and will continue to be as we wait.
So come, Fall come! We're ready for you!

A Day at the Lake,,, again!

The boys just love going to this lake nearby! We had such a fun day!
Jack found the biggest stick of all time, Owen and I played under the big willow tree and on the slide and Jack and Joel skipped rocks it the water. Does it get any better?
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Mom enjoyed some quiet time in the sun!

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Kate enjoyed the day at the lake!

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Super Owen, Super Jon!

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Al Capone, look out!

While McGwire and Kael were visiting, Mom got them each a special gift. McGwire chose this cool hat! It looks great on him and so we decided to try it on Kate. I think she looks smashing and ready for a bit of Jazz with Frank Sinatra.
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Such a big girl!

Kate is growing way too fast for our liking. She is now sitting in her big girl swing and yesterday tried out the highchair while eating cheerios for the first time! Knowing this is Lord Willing our last child makes me want the whole process of growing up to slow down.
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Song in my head

I woke up this morning with this song in my head after reading a chapter in a really good book I've been working through. The book is The True Vine by Andrew Murray the song goes like this...

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

by Stuart Townend

Friday, July 30, 2010

Noni and Kate

Mom waited through 4 boys to finally get her girl! I'd say she's in love! And we are loving having her nearby to enjoy every moment with Kate!
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McGwire and Kael's 2010 visit

We had the awesome pleasure AGAIN to have our nephews here for a visit this summer. It was a great time and so fun for all of us adults to see the cousins reconnecting with each other. Kate, being the only girl was certainly getting more than her share of attention!! They leave today and we will miss them, but we look forward with great anticipation to next summer! Thanks boys for a great visit!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Being the Feet: What It Would be Like

The sun was hot that afternoon and yet as you stepped under the thatch roofed hut, the sun wasn’t so bright. You had to squint your eyes to make out what was right in front of you and you gradually realized that what you were squinting at was a man. But this man was unlike any you had seen before. And as you attempted to communicate with him, you realized any attempt you made would be futile at best.

The hot temperature, the strange sights and smells, this man speaking in a language so radically different than your own, all had you wondering how you were going to begin to share God’s love with this man and others like him. You were struggling to learn even the most basic of phrases in this tribal dialect and yet you knew that if you were going to make God’s story clear to him, you were going to have to do far better than ‘What is that?’

How is this seemingly impossible task going to be accomplished? How is this unreached man going to be reached?

I had the chance to coordinate this experience along with an incredibly gifted team of 8 others, to create this scenario for almost 1000 festival goers at Michigan’s Big Ticket Festival in Gaylord MI in late June. From current NTBI staff and students to former students and missionaries on their way to the field, all of us worked together to create a tribal village setting in the middle of this festival attended by over 25000 people in two and a half days.

After creating that tension that each person who went through our experience felt, we presented them with options, opportunities to gain the Biblical worldview and training needed to accomplish this ‘impossible’ task.

We pray that the list of approximately 2500 un-reached people groups that we posted on the walls of our tent eventually becomes a shorter because of people heeding God’s call and taking Him seriously.

That’s how the impossible will be made possible.

Being The Feet: What It Would Be Like

Photo: Ric Bruce 2010

Summer Fun!

Thank you to Auntie Rebecca, Anna and Noah for a great day at their pool today! The kids had so much fun and that was because of you all!
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

our little rock band!

So we watched the Mathew girls the other day and the kids all came upstairs telling us they wanted to put on a concert for us. Watch for yourself but I think we might be on to something here! ;)
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Watch out, here she comes! She's a man eater!

Watch out boys. She means business! Dont' mess with this little girl, she'll tear you up! She's got teeth and she knows how to use them.
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Today, even though Kate didn't get in the water, since we were going to the lake, I decided it was high time she sported her cute little bathing suit, given to us by my best friend Jolene (and Kallie too). I must say she resembles a sharpei puppy but, oh my word, she was cute! I also wanted to document her third tooth that came through the other day. The fourth is due any day now as are all the eye teeth! We don't do things slowly in our house! :O She is such a happy baby post months one and two and we are so thankful to have her in our family. This collage really captures her sweet personality but in the next two pictures, I'm posting you get to see what she's been working on should her two big brothers decide to turn on her and pick on her...
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A perfect Saturday

So today was the first Saturday in, I don't know, forever that we, as a family had a totally relaxing day. We took off with Mom and her friend (our freind too) Andrea (from Missouri) at about 9:30am and headed South to Clark Lake. We've been there before but today was just perfect. The weather was warm but not too hot. The water was warm, shallow enough for the boys to go out in and not be scared, and there were tons of shells in the water and boy did we collect shells! It was amazing! So we hung out there for the morning, just really chillin'! Then we had lunch at one of our favorite local joints called The Beach Bar. Great sandwiches, wraps, salads and their creamy tomato soup is to die for! After lunch, we headed home for naps, which didn't go so well, but we'll forget that part and skip on to the amazing dinner my hunny and I made: Grilled pork chops, corn off the cob and cous cous. A-MAZING! So tasty. Mom and Andrea hung out with us again for dinner and then our good friends, the Hobbs came over for dessert. The temp was perfect, great music playing, kids sleeping after a long fun day and great conversation. RELAXED. That's what I'll call it and long overdue, I must say!
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Friday, May 21, 2010

All Moved In

Mom’s house is now full of boxes and new carpet!!  The old carpet and thus the old homeowners cats and dogs are gone, the house was cleaned from top to bottom on the inside, a tub surround was removed, new carpet was laid  and a truck full of Mom’s earthly belongings was moved in and partially unpacked- all in the span of 29 hours.  We got in the house Wednesday at 11am and this morning her kitchen is all but unpacked , the major furniture has been set up and her bedroom has begun to be set up.  There’s still much to do yet but little by little, Mom will settle in to her new house. 

Now for those of you who were skeptical that she was buying a house she had yet to see and trusting her daughter and son in law to find her a house she would love, I say to you “Pllllththth”.  That would be me sticking out my tongue and blowing raspberries at you!! J  She LOVES the house and has no regrets.  We are all in awe of how God arranged everything, working out details we could never have done on our own, giving us stamina to not only find her the perfect house but finishing off the end of a semester here at the school.  And keeping Mom going as she packed 24 years of life in Springfield all by herself (and with her friend Andrea’s amazing help)  And kudos to her that it was all done when Joel got there so all they had to do was load the truck.

And now for a small reward, we get to escape for the weekend, just Joel and I.  Last fall, we did a wedding for some friends and much to our surprise, the bride’s parents gave us two nights at a bed and breakfast and a dinner out as a thank you.  Mind you we asked them not to do anything but those Crittendens are stubborn people and didn’t listen!! J  Well I must say that today we are so thankful we made those reservations months ago, not knowing what was coming in our lives and we are more than ready to go away and celebrate 7 wonderful years together!  Joel’s brother and his wife, Jon and Christine are coming up to care for the kids while we are gone and of course Mom and Grace will be here too so I think they’ll all survive the weekend without us!

I’ve told Joel all I want to really do is sleep! Sleep and sleep and sleep!  Needless to say, we are ready to go!



Monday, May 17, 2010

Prayer request

Today is a monumental morning for our family, especially my Mom. Today my mom signs off on her home in Missouri and closes the door on a magnificent chapter in her life. The closing is schedule for 3:00pm this afternoon in Springfield and if you think of it, would you pray that all goes according to God's plan? We have seen his hand in all of this with miracle after miracle. As soon as the final signature is signed, she and Joel will head up the road on their way to Michigan, Mom's new home! They will overnight in Vandalia, Illinois tonight and head the rest of the way tomorrow. Mom has trusted Joel adn I more that I can even understand and allowed us to find a house for her to buy sight unseen! I hope we have done a good job for her! We will be doing a lot of cleaning and some minor repairs at the house on Wednesday, after she closes on the house here at 10:00 am and then Thursday and part of Friday! We would love your prayers for safety as Joel and Mom travel and then as we all try to make progress on her house here.. We are so excited that she is coming here and Kate is celebrating her arrival by cutting her first tooth!

Friday, May 07, 2010

She's talkin'

This post is really for our family who live far away and are missing the early days of the first granddaughter/neice in either family - Stroud's or Potters. Enjoy!
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the (soon to be) new mrs. chubb

Monday night our house transformed from a 3 year old's birthday party to a place of sofistication for Chrissy Bruce's bridal shower.
Over 20 girls came out to celebrate with Chrissy as she looks forward to becoming Mrs. Donald Chubb this coming June. I had the honor of hosting the shower in my home and of making a cake especially for Chrissy! Joel and I have also had the honor of meeting with Don and Chrissy this semester as we have done their pre-marital counseling.
Don and Chrissy, we love you guys and can't wait to see all God has in store for your lives as you serve Him together!
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...not impressed

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