a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: church (Page 1 of 6)

Back to Church and Another Goodbye

A Hot Sunday (6/14/15)

It was a joy to be back at church today as we were out two weeks ago when Karis was born and last week there was actually no church (well, it was in another town, but that’s hard for me to explain). Today it was just Titus and I as Bethany stayed home with Karis and Avery. For the first time Titus stayed in his class without my or Bethany’s supervision and according to our friend Kristin, he did a really good job! This was really encouraging and I was impressed when I dropped him off because he was totally willing to be there by himself and the teacher was so kind to him. Back in the main service there was a baby dedication which included a bunch of special songs from little kids which were great. I wasn’t tracking with everything that was going on, but it’s very similar to what you might find in the states. I think the pastor prayed a special blessing on the parents and there were about four or five babies being dedicated.

The sermon today was out of 1 Peter, but to be honest that’s about all I got. There was a lot of prayer during the service today which I think is really cool. Often on a Sunday morning there is open prayer time for the body to stand and just pray. Even though I can’t usually hear the prayers, I’m always encouraged by how the saints pray. After the service, the pastor stopped me at the door and in broken English congratulated me on the birth of Karis. He told me to send his regards to Bethany and that they were excited for us. It was really kind and I was glad he stopped me to say that.

A Hot Sunday (6/14/15)

After church Titus and I did a little shopping for mommy and the girls and most Sundays we end up getting donuts at the store. Today we found donuts for everyone, including a tiny one for little baby Karis. We were really proud and when I got it home Avery was jumping up and down with excitement and couldn’t believe they made tiny donuts for babies.

A Hot Sunday (6/14/15)

The kids love Karis right now. Titus especially has been doing a really good job of being gentle with her and talking sweet to her. Today I caught him lying on the ground next to hear talking “baby talk” with her and I got the above photo. It was only a small moment in time, but it one worth capturing.

Even though it was in the low 90s today, we still found time to go outside for a little bit. Here’s a few photos.

A Hot Sunday (6/14/15)

A Hot Sunday (6/14/15)

A Hot Sunday (6/14/15)

A Hot Sunday (6/14/15)

Late this afternoon we went out to a friend’s house to say goodbye to our friend Katka. Early tomorrow morning she is leaving Czech and moving to Latvia as a missionary. Katka has a pretty amazing story as she’s a Czech national who is now being sent out to another European country as a missionary to serve the people there. It was a sweet time this afternoon just hanging out and enjoying some barbecue with her and a bunch of her friends. As a bonus, she got to meet Karis along with a few other people who haven’t been able to see her in person yet. Here’s a few photos (with captions beneath each).

Saying Goodbye to Katka (6/14/15)

Katka holding Karis.

Saying Goodbye to Katka (6/14/15)

Here’s Lauren holding Karis. If you don’t remember, Lauren was our doula at the Czech hospital and a huge help! This was the first time she had seen her since she was born.

Saying Goodbye to Katka (6/14/15)

During the afternoon Avery decided to start collecting pinecones and putting them in our stroller. She was really proud of it.

Saying Goodbye to Katka (6/14/15)

The pinecone collection.

Saying Goodbye to Katka (6/14/15)

The little boys started a soccer game.

Saying Goodbye to Katka (6/14/15)

Here’s everyone hanging out (especially that guy on the right). We hope you were blessed today, Katka! We look forward to hearing what God does through you in Latvia.

Our First Easter in Czech

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

“Mom…Dad…” whispered a little voice from Bethany’s side of the bed as we were asleep early this morning. The voice continued, “…it’s Easter!” And with that proclamation we were awake. The voice was that of Titus and he was pretty excited because he knew today meant a “party” at our friends house after church. We got out of bed and made our way to the living room. I looked out the window when, “what to my wondering eyes should appear,” but freshly fallen snow (minus the sleigh and reindeer). Yes…snow on Easter Sunday. Such was the start of a really fun and joy filled day.

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

Bethany had put together the kids Easter baskets last night and set them out for the kids to discover them this morning (shown in the photo above). Inside each were a few eggs with some candy and just a few small presents that Bethany had picked up, including new placemats for the table, shoes, socks, and some stickers. Other than the candy and stickers, I think the other things were mainly just those things you know you need so you turn it in to a present and everyone wins. The kids really loved opening everything and discovering what was inside the eggs (gummy bears and chocolate).

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

We made it to church this morning and were dressed for the occasion. Bethany had the kids all dressed up with Avery in a dress and Titus in a suit. I had actually ironed different clothes but when I saw Titus in his suit I decided to do the same and made a wardrobe change. At church there was a lot of special music, a lot of which was done by this women’s singing group. They were actually really talented and sang a bunch of different songs, including an old Stephen Curtis Chapman tune that had been translated in to Czech. Someone actually brought us a translation headset so we got to listen to the message in English, which was a great blessing because the message was really good and focused on Christ. There wasn’t any Sunday school for the kids, but we enjoyed having them with us. Here’s a photo of Avery and Bethany–Avery’s face is classic.

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

Church actually ended early to our surprise which was the Lord’s blessing because we needed to get back to get the food prep done for our lunch with friends this afternoon (which was at the Yorman’s house). Mostly, the party and lunch consisted of a bunch of Josiah Venture families getting together. Bethany made a green bean dish, deviled eggs, and fresh salsa! They were all delicious. Everyone brought different appetizers and parts of the meal so it was one big potluck. Here’s a couple photos of some of the meal. We ate like kings!

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

Easter Sunday in Czech (4/5/15)

We enjoyed sweet fellowship this afternoon together with the other missionaries and even had time to talk about Jesus with all our kids, as well as enjoyed a time of singing worship songs. Casey and Kristin asked if I would be able to bring my guitar and sing some songs which turned out to be a really fun time. Our friend John actually brought a small hand drum and his accordion, so we had a small band. While we were singing it started to snow pretty good outside, so we ended up singing two Christmas songs. Why not celebrate Christ’s birth and resurrection in the same day?!

The women had planned to do a egg hunt for the kids, so everyone pitched in to put eggs together and hide them. This was probably the highlight for the kids so we I got a ton of photos of it. They are below and I’ve put captions beneath ones that need more explanation.

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

This is Titus deep in thought over where his eggs might be. All the eggs were divided up by kid and Titus’ were “sports” themed while Avery’s were all pink in color.

Easter in Czech (4/5/15)

Easter in Czech (4/5/15)

Easter in Czech (4/5/15)

Some of these hiding spots were pretty tricky.

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

There’s a pink one under there for Avery!

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

And another one!

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

When it was all said and done every kid had ten eggs. There’s was a little confusion for a bit because everyone thought they had hidden eleven eggs, but we think it was just a miscount. Each egg had either a sticker or a little toy inside. In the photo above Avery is enjoying discovering each little toy and you can even see on the ground that she lined them up as she opened them. Great times! What a fun day celebrating the risen Lord, Jesus Christ (even though the snow made it feel we were celebrating His birth)! It stayed pretty cold all day, but we definitely felt the warmth of friends and fellowship all day.

Finally, here are a few shots I got of the kids in their Sunday best. He is risen!

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

Easter in Czech (4/5//15)

A Good Friday On a Snowy Day

Good Friday (4/3/15)

We woke up this morning to a winter wonderland and the sound of Titus saying, “Mom! Dad! It snowed!” Getting out of bed I wiped my eyes, blinked a few times, and couldn’t believe all the snow that had fallen last night. Knowing this would slow down the morning, I hurried to get dressed and try to get out the door to get Titus to school. Instead of walking, I decided to dig the snow around the garage doors and get the car and drive Titus. Bethany needed it for Avery’s doctor appointment today, so I figured it would be best to get it out for her. As we drove Titus was giddy about the falling snow all around and said, “It’s Christmastime!” Not quite, pal.

Good Friday (4/3/15)

After shuffling through the snow with Titus we made into the school where we got our shoes off and then it hit me–I don’t think there’s school today. Looking around I didn’t see very many jackets hanging in the little cubbies and there were only a handful of shoes. I took Titus upstairs to his class and sure enough the doors were locked. I think this is the third time Titus and I have experienced this. What’s really strange is we thought Titus was going to be “tested” today to see if he can move up to Kindergarten next year. In fact, we had prepared Titus for his teacher to question him and were trying to tell him to be ready and make sure and listen and obey. Come to find out tonight after retranslating the email we got from his teacher, she was actually trying to ask us to “consider whether we should send him to school today.” It’s hard being lost in translation. I told Titus there wasn’t school today and said “let’s go,” and he stopped and said, “Daddy, I want to stay.” He has never done that, but we think he was just excited about something different and what we had prepared him for. We found out later that there’s no school on Good Friday and there’s no school on Easter Monday (the day after Sunday). Oh, the life of a foreigner.

The day wasn’t a complete lost as Bethany was able to take Avery for her check-up which is required for her entering preschool next year. I had a few big meetings at the Josiah Venture office and carpooled with another missionary which allowed Bethany to have the car. The Lord was definitely working behind the scenes on that one because we didn’t know it was going to snow like it did and it was great that Bethany had the car instead of trying to walk.

Good Friday (4/3/15)

Tonight we attended our church’s Good Friday service. I don’t think there was anyone doing English translation, so that was tough, but it was a really full service and we struggled to find a place to sit at first. Above you can see a photo I took and we were way up high in the balcony. They didn’t have any kids program tonight, so we had Titus and Avery with us which was a challenge. The service was long and since it started at 6:00pm it pushed into their normal bedtime. We actually ended up leaving a little early because the kids were restless, but I was glad to be there even though we couldn’t follow what was going on. We were blessed as well tonight by the music of Keith and Kristyn Getty which we listened to before and after the service.

I think I was especially blessed by listening to the song “The Power of the Cross.” It’s a wonderful song with amazing truths, and a perfect song for Good Friday. Here’s a recording of it I found on YouTube and I’m putting the lyrics below the video for you to read. I will echo what many Christians will likely say today, “It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming.”

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

CHORUS:
This, the pow’r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev’ry bitter thought,
Ev’ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
“Finished!” the vict’ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.

The Power of the Cross
Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies

Today was day two of just daddy an the kids and thankfully it was about as uneventful as yesterday. Titus struggled a little bit today going to school, but I think Mondays are generally tougher for him since he’s had the weekend off and then goes back. I never thought this would happen in preschool, but Titus tried to convince me today hew as sick and said, “Dad, I’m sick…see!” and began fake coughing. Of course, I’m not OK with him lying so we dealt with that, but in my heart I was kind of laughing because that’s one of those classic “I don’t want to go to school today” things. I mean, John Hughes even made a whole movie about it. In the end we did get him off to school and I think he did alright.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Above you can see a photo of Avery outside of Titus’ class when we picked him up this afternoon. Hanging on the little bush outside were plastic eggs which I just assumed were from the kids. Titus told us as we left that his class had done that and I asked him which one and he picked red (no doubt that choice is because he loves Lightning McQueen). In the photo below Avery is touching the blue one, but the closest red one is the one Titus said was his. He also said they colored eggs and played outside, but I honestly never really know if he’s telling me about something that happened all today or compilation of a few days.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Speaking of Easter eggs, we have a box of plastic eggs called “Resurrection Eggs” that Bethany made a year or two ago. This afternoon the kids really wanted to go through them and they walk through the story of Jesus during the Passion Week. Each little egg has something inside like nails, thorns, rope, etc. that all relate to the verses regarding Jesus’ death. I had a really good time talking it through with them and even using the Bible we read them every night to show them pictures and relate the story for them even more. I’m amazed at how much the kids can remember and I also love that when we get to the last egg it’s completely empty! Avery knew what was coming already and said, “See! Jesus is alive!” Just that simple exercise of walking through the gospel with my kids was a blessing to my heart and a reminder of what we will celebrate this Sunday. I really am thankful my kids are hearing about these things at such young ages.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

It was pretty cold and rainy today and it even hailed more than once. But the sun came out for about 15-20 minutes this evening while I was making dinner for the kids (oh yeah, I make a mean frozen chicken nugget). Since the sun was low in the sky it made everything golden and I ran out with my iPhone and took a few photos. From gray to gold is such a contrast so it’s always strikingly beautiful when that happens. Above is a photo of Avery being silly with the sun shining behind her. And below is a photo of the church next door when the sun was at it’s brightest. It looks like the storm clouds are rolling away, but only a few minutes later it was dark and overcast again. Either way, I’m thankful for just a few minutes of that wonderful sunlight.

Easter Eggs and Stormy Skies (3/30/15)

Bethany called us from Poland tonight for a few minutes, but those turned into the the most exciting moments of the day. A few minutes into our phone call Titus knocked an entire cup of water on the table, chair, and floor in the kitchen and Avery dropped a little toy that has colored oil in it and it broke. Naturally this cut into our talk time and I had to hang up, but I think I’ll give her a call when I’m done writing this. She’ll be back tomorrow afternoon and I hope she has had a good time. She said it was stormy in Krakow today too and that they had been doing a lot of walking, but I’m sure I’ll get more of the details when we talk later. Overall, I think the past few days have gone fine and I’m thankful that she was able to get away. But…I really can’t wait for her to come back!

Looking to Easter

Looking to Easter (3/22/15)

I sat by myself up in the second story of church this morning because everyone in the family is sick. With the kids having coughs, sneezing, and runny noses we weren’t about to put them in to their classes and Bethany hasn’t been able to stop coughing all day. It probably doesn’t help that it was rainy and about a high of 35 degrees today, but needless to say the sickness continues. I’ve had a sore throat all week, but today was my best day yet and I really didn’t want to miss church. I did my best to follow along with the message and all I can say is that I heard the word for “now” a lot. I’m not exactly sure what that was all about it, but I’m glad I was there with God’s people.

Looking to Easter (3/22/15)

Back at home, however, Bethany didn’t really want to lose the entire day so she spent some time with the kids decorating for Easter. When I got back they had hung up a big sign that our church in the States made for us which says, “He is risen” in Czech. It was up above our couch and now we get to see it and enjoy it. Also, the kids put up little sticky letters on one of our doors which says, “Happy Easter!” Above is a photo of the big sign and below is a photo of the kids with their door decorations, including the little egg basket above them and the little sticky eggs you can see behind them.

Looking to Easter (3/22/15)

It’s always a joy to look to Easter. Even though we won’t be celebrating the risen Savior in our own language, I’m looking forward to seeing how our Czech church will celebrate. And I had the added joy of listening to Avery today as she talked about how “Easter is about Jesus rising from the dead!” It’s such a simple truth coming from her lips. Jesus did rise from the grave. He has power even over death! It’s those truths that have changed the hearts of many and by His grace will continue to be proclaimed to the nations. I’m really looking forward to Easter Sunday. It’s one of the best days of the year and I’m thankful that my family was helping me prepare my heart for the celebration of remembering our risen Lord.

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