Monday, November 7, 2011

Nicaragua Benefit Show!


That was delightful!  Thanks to Haley Shaw and Christopher Branch, we were able to raise a substantial bit of money for the big trip. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seeking a Masculine Holiness...


I just saw this quote written by C.T. Studd:

"...Should such men as we fear?  Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God...and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts.  We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man.  And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight.  We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ."

-from Norman Grubb's CT Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer 

Mr. Studd's time was from 1860 to 1931 and I can bet he made the most of it.  He was born into a wealthy English family, but sold most everything in order to spread good news about Jesus Christ to people all over the world.  This is a photo of The Cambridge Seven who went to join Hudson Taylor's China Inland Mission.


I am really enjoying that bit about having a Masculine Holiness...I am not sure what it means just yet, but it makes me want to give up things like worrying, complaining, not succeeding, and ordering vanilla latte's.  Mr. Studd you are, in both deed and truth.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I HOPE YOU START FILMING SOON...

The big film project got funded!  Congratulations to KT and all the folks working so hard to get this project rolling...

I Hope You Dance ... and ... I already saw KT dance. Ha!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sample Support Letter

Once again, The Lord has stirred up a desire in me to serve in Nicaragua.  I cannot logically explain this, but there it is.  And this time our Good Father in Heaven has brought family and even more friends along for the ride!  Sarah and I have been serving as the International Missions Leader’s at DCF for almost 2 years now praying with many others who have had opportunities to serve all over the world.  Now, it is our turn.

We were approached by church leadership before summer to pray about a possible DCF-sponsored trip.  It became readily evident, and was later confirmed, that we should take another group to Nicaragua in partnership with God’s Ministries International.  Since 1998, GMI has been working with families in the poorest barrios of Managua feeding them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  We will be involved with their feeding programs, praying with their staff, serving in their church, playing with children, and addressing specific needs that they are currently prioritizing.

It is funny how some of the stuff Jesus said thousands of years ago still affects me (along with entire cultures and civilizations) in different ways today.  In the book of Acts Paul quotes Jesus saying, “It is better to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)  Upon my return from Nicaragua in the summer of 2006 this was a verse that really took on new meaning for me.  My intent had been to give to the people I would meet, yet had come back having received much more than I could have imagined.  Now in 2011, a married man and a father - light years away from grad school and the single life – the prayer Jesus taught is what influences me.  Particularly this bit, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Wow!  …on earth as it is in heaven… in Clemson as it is in heaven…in Managua as it is in heaven…

That is my prayer and that is what I keep hearing.  We pray for His Kingdom to come here in our community and there in the barrios of Managua.  We strive to be His agents of change and express His love to others.  We are listening and doing our best to obey our Good Father in Heaven.

So, we are headed to Managua once again!  This time we will travel during our winter and enjoy the warm, tropical dry season.  We will leave right after Christmas on December 27th spend the beginning of the new year in Nicaragua then return on January 5th.  We are taking a group of 25 energetic college students and our favorite little red-head, Ruby Eve!  I am asking for your prayers and financial support.  We are confident that The Lord wants us to minister to families as a family, but we are still incredibly protective of our child.  We need prayers of health, safety, and God’s favor as we travel.  Please also pray as we lead a trip consisting of so many other parents’ lovely children. 

The estimated cost of our trip is $1600.  Please pray that we will meet that goal and please consider giving financially.  We need to raise the $850 for a plane ticket and traveler’s insurance by November 11th, the balance ($750) is due by December 20th.  Checks can be made out to Downtown Community Fellowship (DCF) with Nicaragua and my account name (BMudder) in the memo portion.  You can also give online (http://dcfclemson.org/give/) just be sure to designate the funds for Nicaragua and my account.  All financial gifts are tax-deductible.  It is better to give than to receive.  Please be blessed in your giving.

May you enjoy the incomprehensible peace of Jesus.

-Bryan, Sarah, and Ruby Mudder





























Thursday, September 29, 2011

Give Us Names Indeed...

This group is working to help displaced farming families in Colombia.  DCF hosted a screening of their documentary "Leaving La Floresta" last night.  Good job fellas!


One really easy, powerful way to help is by writing your congress-person and letting them know that the fumigation of coca farms in Colombia is not destroying the supply or production of cocaine.  In fact, it is actually destroying food crops along with the coca, driving farmers off their land.  Farmers who do stay must choose between growing the readily available, easy to sell coca (which can be cultivated very quickly) or waiting several months and attempting to grow food crops again that may never be harvested.

Please check out the Give Us Names website and this solution clip

Also, please do not purchase or ingest cocaine or cocaine byproducts.  Write your congress-person and encourage them to stop funding for fumigations under Plan Colombia and make them promise to not purchase cocaine! 

And this is a short article about the ACVC, a farmer advocacy goup that Give Us Names is working with.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Support your local filmmaker...

Our dear friend KT is making a movie!  Because (in his own words) "...it seems that many of the movies produced today leave us discouraged, depressed or cynical.  Our desire is to do the exact opposite.  We want our audience not only to be entertained, but to be inspired as the credits roll.  With the overwhelmingly positive feedback the script has received from producers and directors from Hollywood and New York – we have a script that will do just that!"

Check out the kickstarter campaign here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1818947958/i-hope-you-dance-the-film

Check out the website here:
http://www.ihopeyoudancethefilm.com/#!production-team/vstc1=casting-director

Monday, September 12, 2011

Support your local photographer...

 
Fall Mini-Sessions are here! 
 
Best Gal Photography has an amazing special going on for those interested in Fall portraits.  You can sign up for a 15-20 minute session starting Sept. 22nd!  Great for families with young children!  Sessions are $75 with photo packages starting at $30.  DVD's of entire session are $45. 
 
For more info e-mail the best gal:     bestgalphotography@gmail.com
 
 




(BTW- these are our dear and beautiful friends, Jason, Kelley, and Levi! Who wouldn't want to be a part of their awesome family?!? :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Support you local orchard!!!

We missed President Obama's job's creation speech last night.  I am sure he had some great solutions to all of our problems.  My 2 cents...purchase local, fresh food and whatever else you can get in your hood.  Love your neighbor and support your local economy at the same time! 

It is apple season here and we picked 8 overflowing grocery bags on Saturday.  Ruby enjoyed it!  We are canning up enough apple sauce for the winter and we were able to support a wonderful local family that runs the orchard.

















And if you are around town, do not miss the Westminster Apple Festival this weekend.  Big Fun!
http://www.westminstersc.com/festival.htm

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nicaragua: Round 3

Our Father in Heaven has been encouraging us for some time now and we are finally preparing for a return trip to Nicaragua!  DCF has given us the green light to get a group together immediately.  We are still in the initial stages of planning, but we need your prayers.









Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  --- Matthew 28:18-20





What a joyful group of children and families!  We are excited to see some old friends and meet new faces.  And for those of you have been to Nicaragua, Mrs. Mary Spires will be visiting Clemson the weekend of September 17 and sharing at DCF Sunday morning.  Come for a visit if you can!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Are we missing something?


hon·or  [on-er] n. – high respect as that shown for special merit; a great privilege; glory, recognition, distinction, esteem.

We live in a society with little honor.  Sarcasm and cynicism are running rampant, ruling media, and rendering important things meaningless.  We do not know how impactful words are.


(Zombies are actually nothing to joke about)

“The tongue has the power of life and death…” (Prov. 18:21)
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” (Isa. 5:20)

wor·ship [wur-ship]  v. – to feel an adoring reverence or regard, to find worth in.

What do we worship?  Take a look at the ol’ checkbook.  The things and activities we spend our money and time on are what we find worthwhile. 

Our deepest desire is to be loved and accepted.  We crave fulfilling relationships. Facebook is wildly successful for a reason.   We want to stop worrying, to laugh with others, to always feel like we are in love.  There is an almost unquenchable desire for respect, distinction, adoration, etc… a longing to be enjoyed by others.  We spend our time, energy, and money trying to fill these desires.

“Take delight in The Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4)

Do not be deceived.  You are not defined by the things that you do, but by who (and whose) you are.  Each of us is incredibly important!  Public figures glorifying themselves and cursing others are not funny or entertaining.  Marketing firms preying on our hopes and fears are actually cruel not creative.  Leaders serving themselves forget who has allowed them to lead.  Do not accept this lie that you are alone, that nothing matters, or that by “saving money, you will live better”. 




Instead, remember that “we are made in the image of G+d, in His own likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen. 1:26).  We are not robots.  G+d has made us “a little lower than Himself crowning us with glory and majesty!” (Ps. 8:5). 




As our greatest example, Jesus showed us how to live a life of joy, peace, and love in the midst of both friends and enemies.  He turned water into wine, mourning into joy.  He spoke to the storm and commanded it to stop.  He gave thanks and fed thousands.  He cast evil out of people.  He showed us that G+d’s children really do have authority over the earth and how to use it.  He taught us to pray “on earth as it is in heaven”, to forgive others, to ask, to receive, that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, and to love The Lord our G+d with everything we can muster.   Jesus says “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Jesus says “give and it will be given to you…for by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).  I believe Jesus.




G+d is the best Father any of us can know.  He is waiting, willing, and more able than we can comprehend to “give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matt. 7:11).  In His “presence is fullness of joy and in His right hand are pleasure forever.” (Ps. 16:11)  Nobody wears glasses in heaven, there is no sickness, no sadness, no cancer in the presence of G+d, no aches or pains in His Kingdom.  The solution is to honor and worship The Lord appropriately.  Adore The Lord!  Adore yourself!  Adore others!  The more you give, the more you receive by your own standard.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh Alaska!


Alaska is named for the Aleut word alaxsxaq meaning "the mainland" or"that which the sea breaks against" also from the word Alyeska which means "the great land".  And indeed Alaska is great! 

In fact, Alaska is huge, majestic, awesome, expansive, ginormo, etc.  Alaska is way bigger than Texas.  The cumulative seacoast mileage of Alaska is longer than that of the entire continental U.S.  The two largest national forests in the U.S. are in (where else) Alaska, as well as, the tallest peak in North America.  Even the birds are huge in Alaska.  Compare a robin or crow from anywhere in the lower 48 and they will be dwarfed by the same bird in Alaska.




For Sarah, the astonishing thing about Alaska has been learning how ridiculously dangerous living there seems to be.  And the locals can expound, in gruesome detail, on the various ways you can meet The Maker during your short vacation.  Just ask them.  We should all have the common sense to avoid bears (black, brown, and polar), moose, bison, sheep, caribou, elk, fox, wolf, lynx, and wolverines. 


But the glacially fed rivers and lakes stay so cold all year that even a short exposure (approx. 5 minutes) can be deadly.  The Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet experiences some of the highest tide swings (up to 40 feet) in the world.  That could kill you somehow.  And almost every year somebody fatally wanders out on the mudflats during low-tide only to find out too late that the tide comes in under the flats first quickly turning what was as solid as concrete into quicksand.  Volcanoes.  Avalanches.  Calving glaciers.  Rock slides.  You really have to stay on your toes.




Summer in Alaska offers some of the best wildflower viewing, well don't get too close because many of those plants are extremely toxic.  And the almost invisible prickles of the devil's club plant, that seem to grow everywhere, will actually burrow themselves into your body if you have the misfortune of brushing against one.  Not fatal, but very uncomfortable. 




We even heard a story about a tragic situation where a beloved horse somehow contracted rabies, turned on its owner and killed them.  There are neighborhood dogs that regularly kill moose calves and I am sure they would turn on a human.  It gets so cold in the winter sometimes that my mom has witnessed ice forming on the concrete walls of her basement. That's right, inside her house and that is with the heat full blast!  While we were visiting, the local newspaper issued a warning that clams being harvested this year were tainted and, you guessed it, they can kill you if you eat them.



Despite all this, we enjoy every trip we make to Alaska!  We are blessed to have such courageous family braving the elements and living the Alaskan adventure.  May you dwell in the shelter of The Most High and rest in the shadow of The Almighty.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More AK footage...

In this installment of our home videos...

Sarah takes us on a tour of Exit Glacier!

We go for a ride on the famed Alaska Railroad from Seward to Anchorage...

Carin shows us around her new hometown Anchorage.

video

A little footage from the Alaska trip

For those who haven't been, Alaska is huge!  You end up doing a lot of driving and there is no way you can see everything.  I took this bit of footage with the Super8 app on my birthday iPod.  You might just want to skip to the 2 min mark where we see the bears on our hike...

video

Friday, July 8, 2011

Birthday Bears!

Thank you Lord for my birthday present!












O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

You have set Your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants,
You have ordained praise,because of Your enemies
To silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider Your heavens,
The works of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars,
Which You have set in place,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
The son of man that You care for him?
You made him a little lower than G+d and
Crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of Your hands;
You put everything under his feet: all the flocks and herds,
And the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

---Psalm 8