Monday, December 31, 2007


Just got back from Kona, Hawaii on the big island! It was wonderful, I begin to sweat profusely at about 75 degrees, so I wasn't sure what I was going to think of the tropics. Hawaii was awesome, when the water is 70, who cares if it is 82. We went boogie boarding, hung out on the beach, and our condo was perfect.

(The sunset from our condo)

Serenity and I were able to get away just the two of us for almost an entire day. We slept in, went out for breakfast, and then went to the beach to boogie board, snorkel (sorry Heath and Emie, I loved it) and take a deep breath away from our (wonderful) children.

(Serenity and I at Hapuna Beach)

I tried to teach Avery and Ally how to swim, but they thought the water was too cold and wouldn't go in. Here we are in the middle of the day, it is 82 degrees, the sun is blaring and they both want to be in the hot tub.

(Avery and Ally at Kikaua Beach)

Even though we didn't get any pictures, my favorite was the Kayak trip to the Captain Cook Monument across Kealakekua Bay. As we kayaked the 1 mile across the beautiful calm, clear, blue waters we were accompanied by dozens and dozens of spinner dolphins. Swimming along side of our kayaks and cresting every 20 ft. or so. On occasion they would jump out of the water or spin just under the surface. When we got to the other side of Kealakekua we snorkeled, seeing all sorts of colorful fish. What a day!

(The view from our balcony)

Avery did learn to swim with arm floaties on. He couldn't stop giggling he was so proud of himself. He was getting increasingly brave as the week went on, venturing out into the water at Kikaua Beach all by himself - and loved it (which is basically a lagoon and is very calm, but still very brave).

(We are a bunch of rebels - we went swimming anyway!)

The best part of the entire trip was just hanging out as a family, eating, swimming, and playing on the beach - We all loved the trip - THANKS GRANDMA!!!

(Avery and Ally diggin' a hole with Daddy at Kikaua Beach)

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's Up?

I know that a few people out there might check this blog only to see what is happening with the Coulombe Family, rather than to hear Andy's rants and ravings. So, for those people here you go:

We are now under the "covering" of Isaiah's Stump, a non-profit Christian organization that frees missionaries to follow God's calling in their life.

We have not officially sold our house yet, but are waiting on God to sell our friend's home, who will then purchase ours.

Same with the RV. We need our house to be sold before we begin looking. I also am beginning to wrap my brain around the fact that God may give us one!

God is continuing to shape and mold our mission and calling. Serenity and I both believe that God is going to do miraculous things on this journey, and from the very beginning we believed that God was calling us to minister to the poor and marginalized. We are getting more and more confirmation that we are also supposed to minister to the Christians we come across. Maybe a type of renewal or awakening. A return to the true meaning of the Gospel that so many Christians have ignored or turned their backs on. A literal interpretation of Jesus' words. I know, revolutionary! As we have led groups from Grace Chapel under the Burnside Bridge, we have begun to realize what an awesome opportunity this may be to reach out to those who have all their needs met by taking them down to meet those who do not. We were unprepared for this facet of the ministry, but it has been encouraging and exciting at the same time.

We are beginning to formulate letters that we plan to send out to different ministry organizations: The Simple Way, Church Under the Bridge, Burning Bush and other Catholic Worker communities, Rescue Missions, etc.

Our departure date is still not solid, but we plan to be on the road in one capacity or another before July 12th since we have a wedding to go to in Kelowna, BC.

Our "mental map" looks a little something like this: Northern states / Canada in the summer, Eastern seaboard in the fall, Southern states in the winter. Is that vague enough for you? As we nail down communities and ministries we want to connect with, we will let people know more geographic details.

Our total monthly living expenses sit right around $1,400, and we plan to begin gathering support for our ministry soon. Every dime of the monthly expenses we pray will come from friends and family (or God)!

There you go, hopefully this will give some of you prayer requests as well as a better idea of what we are planning and needing.


Broken and Contrite

I will not give,
to you my King,
a sacrifice that costs me nothing.

My offering,
Your asking price,
my heart laid bare,
broken and contrite for You.

These are the words of one of my favorite worship songs. So many times I don't do this. I hold back and don't give God everything he asks, I give Him something else, something easier for me to give. All He asks is that I lay everything down at His feet and come with nothing other than a broken and contrite heart. In other words, I understand and accept that I have and will always come up short and can only be redeemed by Christ's blood, and that I deeply desire His forgiveness and atonement and realize my need for it. That's it.

Most of the time I end up turning it into something else. I end up giving a sacrifice that costs me nothing. I give my time, I try to treat people nice, do the right thing, be a good husband and father, serve others who are in need, reach out to the poor. He doesn't ask me to do any of this, and I quickly lose focus on Him and begin looking at things I have done, or need to do.

I've wrote about this before, but for my own sake, it needs repeated: He doesn't need us to do anything! He is the almighty maker of heaven and earth, formed the mountains and valleys and created the plants and animals. Just thinking of the creation that surrounds us everywhere, from the concrete jungle, to the actual jungle, everywhere around us is the awesomeness of God. If He created all of this beauty, why then, would he need us to do anything? He only asks us to, with a contrite heart, lay down our brokenness at the foot of our Almighty God! I pray Lord that we only lay down your asking price.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Angry Andy

I struggle with anger. I always have, don't know if I learned it or if it is just part of me, something that constantly reminds me that I need a Savior. Most of the time I see myself getting angry and I know what is happening, but my pride takes over and I don't want to slow the ole' anger train down, if you know what I mean. For the most part I have it under control, I don't beat random people up who look at me funny (at least not since '97), I don't get angry at people who cut me off, and I don't become angry with people close to me. And here lies the problem - "I have it under control." I usually do not lean on the Holy Spirit to give me the strength to have "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23), I just try to do it myself - and I fail - miserably. I failed this last weekend. We all fail when we don't have the Holy Spirit prompting us, guiding us, correcting us. Probably an even better way of saying that is when we ignore the prompting. I made the reference to '97 because that was when I started my conversion, when I started to allow the Holy Spirit to work, and He has done miracles in me, but many times I ignore the promptings of the Spirit.

This past summer our three kids stayed at my parents house for a week while Serenity and I got our anniversary away. It was great. When we met back up with Grandma and Panka (our kid's name for my Dad), Panka told a story of Avery and a situation he had with his sister. Ally had taken a toy or something from him, so he hit her on the head and took it back. Panka disciplined Avery by having him sit in a time out or something along those lines. When questioning him about why he would punch his sister and what he needed to do to fix the situation he said, "I don't know, I think I need to eat some fruit or something." Puzzled, Panka asked again, getting something close to the same answer. Again my Dad asked, this time I can imagine he was becoming slightly frustrated, Avery responded "I'm telling you, it is in a book I have, you just have to eat some fruit and you don't act that way." It wasn't clear to Panka until he told me this story and I told him about the Fruits of the Spirit book I read to Avery and his sisters occasionally.

I wish it was that easy, just eat some fruit. Having the Holy Spirit work on you is tough most of the time, and it is constant. Every hour of every day I need patience, I need love, I need self-control. If I ignore the promptings of the Spirit to slow down, and to show kindness, eventually those promptings will be silent. I won't hear them any more, and I will become frustrated, quick to anger, bitter, and unkind, I will be a typical human being without a relationship with our Savior.

One thing is different between now and '97, I know I need the Fruits of the Spirit, so I continue to listen for them.