it's all grace

a journey with the Thomason family

Tag: Sunday (page 1 of 3)

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.

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.

Sliding on Sunday

Sunday (3/8/15)

Spring is only a few weeks away, but it really felt like it arrived today. The weather was beautiful, sunny and even a little warm. A lot more people were out walking and riding their bikes because it was just the perfect day for a stroll. When I walked out of church this morning I looked up at the bare trees against the blue sky and loved just the contrast of the light and dark branches. I converted the above photo to black and white to really bring out that contrast and I know soon those trees will begin to bud and fill up all that empty space.

I continue to feel my strength and health returning and even though I’m not 100%, the whole family was able to make it to church this morning. We ended up staying with the kids in their respective classes again, which is always fun. Whether we’re in the main service or the kids class it’s a Czech language lesson, so that’s helpful! Right at the beginning of Titus’ class all four of us (that is, me, Bethany, Titus, and Avery) were together in Titus’ classroom and the kids were singing Czech Bible songs. We could understand that melody to the song “Read Your Bible Pray Every Day” and Bethany was singing in English to Titus while the rest of the class sang in Czech. When they finished they asked Bethany to lead everyone in the English version of the song which she did, and I could see one little Czech knew most of the English words! It was a sweet little moment and it’s always nice to do even just a little song in English.

Sliding on Sunday (3/8/15)

After church we had lunch and had to run a few errands. We needed a few things from the electronics store and then some small things from IKEA so we took a little trip out of town. Next to IKEA is a mall with a huge 2-story slide which we’ve talked about before and the kids asked if we could go there so we did. The kids had a blast climbing up the big tower and heading down the slide (they must’ve done it fifteen times!). I got the blast of photos that you see above and you could hear them laughing from a mile away. It’s really fun to watch them play together and laugh.

Tonight we have mostly just been picking up the house and getting ready for the upcoming week. One of the things we picked up at IKEA is a new clock for our living room and I’ve been trying to figure out how to drill into our concrete walls to hang it. Our friend Greg is going to come over tomorrow afternoon to help me so hopefully I can get a photo of that when it’s up. Other than that, it’s just been a great Sunday and I’m thankful to get back into the swing of things, including language lessons tomorrow!

Learning By Listening

I was back at church this morning by myself because the kids were up most of the night coughing. I asked Bethany if she wanted to go and I stay with the kids, but she was up most of the night attending to them and was really tired. So I was by myself for the second week in a row, but I guess this really isn’t much different than some weeks we had in the States.

Learning by Listening (2/15/15)

I shared last week that I’m changing the way I approach church here. Instead of trying to get what I can out of the English translation of the sermons, I’m just approaching the morning as a language learning opportunity. For now, this means I’m writing down every Czech word I can hear or understand and marking it a little notebook. As I hear the words repeated I put a hashmark next to them.

Today I heard 122 individual words. We had a guest speaker who I believe is a pastor from another church, but I’m not really sure about that. The word I heard the most was “Kristu” (a form of “Christ”). I also heard “children,” “father,” “youth,” and “now” a lot. At one point I understood we were turning to 1 John, but it wasn’t until it came up on screen that I knew what the reference was. Here’s the passage the pastor read from:

I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.

That’s 1 John 2:12-14. I guess it makes sense that I heard those words the most. I assume because they were in the text that he was just referencing those words more often. The pastor seemed very passionate about what he was saying. There were a few moments where he was choked up and couldn’t talk. Maybe he was sharing some of his testimony? I also observed that he was making people laugh, even just shortly after showing his own emotion.

Even though I don’t know what exactly was what communicated, I’m learning that simply by listening and making notes I can actually start to make clearer distinctions in the language. Much like doing Bible study where you observe what is written first before going deeper, I’m trying to observe and just listen to Czech. I’m even starting to pick up more on the cadence of the language. It’s weird to feel like an outsider with the language, but I know this is just for a time.

As for the rest of the day, we’ve been taking it easy this afternoon and mostly resting. It’s almost dinner time and Bethany made cookies for dessert! I’m off to enjoy that and the rest of our evening.

I Miss Sundays and Church

We went to church in Czech for the first time in a while. After being sick for weeks on end in November and December, we took our trip to the States and missed a few weeks there. Upon returning we were severely jet lagged and then last week there really wasn’t church, so today we finally made it back.

Paint, Snow, and Sunday (2/1/15)

Like most Sundays here, it was hard (at least for me). Mostly I hate feeling like I’m just going through the motions of “doing church” and not being able to offer much as a member of the body of Christ. The language barrier is no doubt the biggest obstacle and has far reaching effects. We can’t understand the sermon, we can’t talk to most of teachers, and we can’t really offer much in the way of encouragement to other believers (or them to us). Today, the kids didn’t want to stay in their classes alone and we can’t leave them. Bethany ended up staying with Avery in her class and I took Titus with me to the main service. Avery painted the mitten and hat you see the above photo.

Many Sundays someone in our church will provide translation via headsets, but I didn’t see anyone doing that today. Basically I just let Titus play on my iPhone while I read my Bible. From what I saw on the screen at church, I think the pastor was preaching out of 1 John, but I’m not sure. In a sense, it felt like our first Sunday there minus the excitement of the newness. It was just hard and I didn’t respond well to it. It frustrated me and even though I enjoyed my time in God’s Word, I let my heart get angry at our situation.

I love the local church. Outside of the family, I believe it is the most important institution God created for Christians. Many days when I was serving at our church in the States I would literally be giddy on my way to church. Oh, no doubt we had hard days but then there would be someone at church that would say or encourage me, or even just the sermon itself would pierce my soul as the Word of God does. I guess that’s what made it so difficult for me today. I’m having a hard time seeing light at the end of the tunnel of being able to experience that kind of community and grace again.

Paint, Snow, and Sunday (2/1/15)

Pray for me as I lead our family in the days, weeks, and months ahead. I’m sure many missionaries have come to a similar place when they remember what they left behind and long deeply for it. I want to lead my family with wisdom and grace, especially as it relates to learning the language and culture. I want the opportunity to encourage another saint in their native tongue, not to mention share the gospel with someone in Czech in the Czech language! I want to disciple a few young men who can then go and disciple someone else. I want to sing worship and know what I’m saying. I guess I just want it to feel normal again. Maybe we’re years away, but at least that feels like it exists somewhere in the future.

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