Update from the Ropers in Germany!

Mitarbeiterkonferenz 2013
Posted: 13 May 2013 05:51 AM PDT

I will be leaving early tomorrow morning to get on a 5-6 hour train ride headed towards Siegen, Germany. I will be attending the annual ministry conference that is held at Calvary Chapel Siegen. The theme this year is “Equipped to Serve” and some of the guest speakers include Bob Botsford, John Spencer, Rob McCoy, and David Guzik. I am really looking forward to hear from each of these men and to see some great co-laborers that are serving throughout Europe.

Last night as I was continuing to read through the Chronological Bible there was a verse that really stood out to me.

When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8

As I attend this year’s conference, I am really going with an intense desire to draw near to the LORD and to hear from Him. There are many things that are running through my mind in regards to our next steps here in Hamburg and I really need to seek the face of the LORD. I am going with a sense of expectation from the LORD and yet trusting Him to speak to me the things that are important. I may have my ideas or thoughts, but I really need to hear from Him.

So as you read over this, would you please take some time and pray for each us as a team? (Joey, Rebecca, Katie, Aliyah, Noah, Janos, Anja, Glorie, & future baby.)

Thank you so much. I do look forward to sharing with you some of the things that the LORD will speak!

Thoughts from a Mom on Mother’s Day
Posted: 13 May 2013 12:56 AM PDT

This morning my husband got up early to take care of the kids and make me an amazing breakfast. All I had to do when I smelled the first wafts of coffee and French toast cooking was to crawl out of bed and sit down sleepily at the table. The kids had colored beautiful hand-made cards and there were roses on the table with a romantic card from my hubby full of grateful thoughts and praises. The kids each gave me hugs and kisses, Noah prayed and wished me a “Happy Mommy’s Day”, and my husband served us our food and cleaned up, not letting me help. He gave me some peace and quiet time to read. He played with the kids. He grilled delicious meats and vegetables for lunch- again, not letting me help. He took the kids for a bike ride, gave them a bath, and in the evening put them to bed. He let me catch up on my emails and peruse Facebook. My husband is too good to me. I am blessed. I don’t deserve him. I don’t deserve the sweet hugs and kisses from my kids. They did all of this because they love me and they want to bless me… and, because it’s Mother’s day! (Will they do this again tomorrow? Probably not, because tomorrow is back to husband and kid’s day!) My point is, just because it’s Mother’s day, and I’m a mom, doesn’t make me an especially awesome person. I want to do my best, like most moms, but I make a lot of mistakes and fail miserably at times too. I am learning about this “motherhood” thing as I go! The things I once thought I knew, I realize now that I don’t know anything as I ought to know. However, I do know a lot more about God’s grace! I think any honest mother will confess she is not great in herself, but that her greatness is in the Lord, who is her help.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”–Psalm 121:1-2

Today I want to salute the mothers in our lives. Without them we would be lost, left to deal with the joys and heartaches of life alone, navigating the world without her gentle and loving touch. Our mothers chose us, loved us, raised us, cried with us, celebrated with us, cheered for us, not to mention the daily menial tasks of cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping and driving for us! She taught us about life, as she did her very best to shape ours. Will we ever know in this life how her prayers changed us, protected us, saved us? Where would we be today without the faithful love and support of our mothers?

My mother is a hero in my eyes. She has always been there for me, loving me in the best and worst times of my life. She is my cheerleader, telling me I can go on, I can do more; that greater things are yet to come. She is my biggest fan. She tells me I am beautiful when I feel flawed, accepted when I feel rejected, and that I am a wonderful mother when I see only failure. She is completely trustworthy. I know I am safe when I am with her and anything I tell her she will keep in confidence. She is a godly woman. Because she has disciplined her life by being daily in God’s Word, she is ready to give me wise counsel when I need it. As she has nurtured a relationship with her Father in prayer, she is committed to faithfully praying for me and my family- as well as my sisters, her family, friends, and the many needs of others. She is beautiful, but doesn’t set her value in her outward appearance. In fact, her fun personality and myriad of talent isn’t fostered from a need to please anyone or gain recognition. Instead she is free to be herself and pursue the things she loves, because she knows she has been fearfully and wonderfully created, and the only approval she is concerned about is her (heavenly) Father’s! Early on she taught us that,

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30

Pictures from our kids
As I now am a mother to three children, I am deeply grateful for the example my mother has been to me. Even in her weaknesses and mistakes, I see the Lord’s goodness and grace covering her. I am comforted that, in my weakness, Jesus is there. His grace is sufficient for me. His strength is made perfect in weakness. Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.

This mother’s day, as the world salutes mothers of all kinds, I want to say that I am thankful. I am thankful for the mother God gave me. I am thankful for the mother-in-law God gave me. I am thankful for the husband God gave me. I am thankful for the three reasons I am called “Mommy”. And I am most thankful for the loving-kindness and mercy of my Father in heaven, who saved a wretch like me with His own blood on the cross, who forgives all my sin, has redeemed my life for His glory, and has promised that my labor is not in vain in the Lord!

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” –Galatians 6:9

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