I am sad to report that Eric's grandfather, Raymond Carl Ortlund Sr., passed away last night in California. He had been seriously ill for a long time, and thankfully, went peacefully surrounded by family. We are flying to California on Thursday to attend the memorial services and support the family, especially Eric's parents and his grandmother Anne.
We are grieving, but we celebrate Grandpa Ortlund's life and the many many ways God has used him. His prayer of long ago was, "Lord, make my life a miracle!" and if ever a prayer was answered, that one was.
Check out this website to learn more about Ray and Anne Ortlund's ministry, and to see all the books that have been left behind as part of his legacy. Here's a recent news article about their ministry and life together. Eric's cousin, Laurie, has written a beautiful tribute to Ray on her blog, complete with many photos. Eric's brother Dane has also shared on his blog about the many things Grandpa Ortlund modeled for him and taught him.
I was tagged by Wapentake with this currently popular meme:
The Rules: “Each person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the post, that person tags and links to 8 other people and then visits those peoples’ sites and comments letting them know that they have been tagged, and to come read the post, so they know what they have to do.”
So here goes.
1. I don't watch TV, however I do spend too much time on the internet.
3. My favorite drink is caffeine-free diet coke, even though others have wondered, "What's the point?"
4. I love camping. When I was growing up, my family camped everywhere. We camped at the beach in North Carolina, outside of Quebec City and Montreal, in Virginia state parks, and even in New Jersey so we could take the train in to visit New York City. It's an economical way to travel, and lots of fun! We hope to continue the tradition with our kids.
5. I just read Lauren Winner's book Girl Meets God and would like to read more of her writings. She was raised a Reformed Jew, then converted to Orthodox Judaism, and finally to Christianity.
6. I'm fascinated by Africa and love books, movies, and articles set there.
7. I've written several songs in my life but the one that gets requested most is one I came up with at age 5. It's called "Corn Grow" and goes:
"Corn Grow, Corn Grow, I will eat you Corn Grow, Corn Grow, I will eat you Corn Grow, Corn Grow, I will eat you Mmmm, you taste good."
8. My ethnic heritage is almost 100% Dutch. I would like to learn to cook Dutch food to help pass that heritage on.
Yesterday we took two flights, drove two hours from the Minot Airport to the Canadian Border at North Portal, and three hours back home to Caronport. It was a very long day with two little kids. But there were many blessings along the way. The renewal of Eric's work permit and our visitor visas went off without a hitch. And the border services official who helped us said he listened to Ray Ortlund Sr.'s Christian radio show for many years! Eric is going to get him an email address so Grandpa Ortlund can be encouraged, as he is very ill.
Best of all, as we drove the last couple hours through Saskatchewan, we saw the most beautiful clouds and a stunning sunset! We might not have oceans or mountains here, but I can't think of a place with a more amazing sky. Watching the sun set over the prairies is like watching it set over the ocean. You see the sun right until it dips below the horizon. Last night it was a vivid red.
Tomorrow we drive to Minot, North Dakota, and fly from there to Tennessee. We can get Will over the land border for now with a birth certificate, but could not fly him out of Canada without a passport. We didn't want to drive to Calgary in snowy weather when we can make our consulate visit in summer and make a trip of it! We'll be gone 2 weeks, and can't wait to see Eric's brother, Gavin, marry Esther Wise! I may blog a bit there, but if not, check back later!