October23,2012 Benedict family newsletter and update

Published Date Author: , October 23rd, 2012

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

So this newsletter is long overdue, so I apologize right off the bat. But a lot has been happening (but no near death experiences this time that I am aware of *chuckle*).

1. Life and Family news

2. Work news

3. Housing news

4. Ministry news

5. Opportunities.

6. Tims musings

1. Our family is ok, for the most part, but there are some struggles.

a. Sergei is living in Boise right now, making plans and decisions for his life. He is pointed in a good direction, and making good choices. We talk often, and it is good to share with him in his future plans. Pray that he is able to follow through with things he wants to do and accomplish.

b. Joey is still living in Portland with grandparents, looking for a job, and having maybe too much fun dating and experimenting with his identity. We are praying for him.

c. Vika is also living in Boise now with family friends after leaving her youth ranch in California, is almost 18, and is trying to finish up high school. She also seems to be making good decisions right at the moment, and is pointed in a good direction in life, and we talk regularly. Pray for her also, as she finds her footing as an adult, that she can stand strong.

d. Ruthie is finishing up high school as a senior up here at Garden Valley High School. She wanted a good senior year experience with an actual class, so we gave her our blessing and enrolled her. She seems to be enjoying it. She has her own vehicle that was given to her, has a part time care-giving job, and is planning to attend Bible School somewhere next year.

She and Hannah went on a month long missions trip to Panama this past summer, and both came home excited with what they saw and were able to accomplish. The last of the money for this trip came through at the last minute, well after Karen and I had already bought their plane tickets, so it was good for the girls to see God honoring our steps of faith in buying the tickets, and trusting Him for the rest of the answer. God is good.

e. Hannah is still taking school online here at home as a freshman, has a regular babysitting job, and brings joy to the home.

f. Vera is thriving at Hope House. She has matured an incredible amount this past year, and has decided that she wants to attend Bible College too as soon as she graduates so she can study to be a counselor (she is a high school freshman this year). Unfortunately, due to cutbacks and whatnot at Hope House, they are not offering sports this year, so she is also going stir crazy. I bought her an electronic drum set to bang on instead and get her energy out. She seems to really like it, and is good at it.

g. Vanya has been officially diagnosed with high functioning, autism spectrum disorders. She seems to be doing good though. We just have to remember that she is mentally and emotionally a bit behind her age group, and treat her as such. Our relationship with her mom seems to be stable, very civil, and even friendly at times, as we sort through Vanyas issues together.

h. Isabella is doing awesome. She is thriving at Garden Valley Elementary School, has good friends, and loves to hug. Her smile brings delight to our hearts.

i. Unfortunately, we are now also dealing with three extended family members that are driving a wedge right down the middle of our immediate family, by not honoring something Karen and I have requested of them. I am about at the end of my rope with them, and the situation could turn legal. Ruthie in particular is their pawn in the conflict right now, while Hannah absorbs the conflict in general, and suffers. We need prayer. The situation is very serious. I wish I could say more, but I cannot. It is just very, very serious. The situation needs God’s touch for sure, and I need wisdom and patience in dealing with the situation all the way around.

j. We were able to settle a lawsuit two weeks ago finally, filed against us clear back in June, by an old man that lost record of some payments we had given him, then forgot the terms of our original (verbal) agreement with him, then assumed we were trying to rip him off. Dementia aside, it was kinda sad, and it cost me about a $1,000 of hard earned fire fighting money to make him back off and drop the suit, about $800 more than what I figured I legitimately owed him. Sad. But lesson also learned. Everything gets put in writing now. That makes twice now that we have been burned by verbal only agreements. And it is odd to me that I do not feel especially angry at him, but only sad for him.

Which brings us to Karen and me…

2. Work news

a. Karen has been working fulltime at Project Patch on night shift in the girls dorm. It is a 12 hour shift from 9pm to 9am, three days a week twice a month, and 4 days a week the other two weeks of the month, alternating between them. She resigned from the Library the one day a week she was also working there, after an incredibly successful summer there. The library was VERY sad to see her go, but she was burning the candle at both ends, and just needed to slow down some. This gives her more time at home as well, where the three girls still at home depend on her. Her time at Patch though is also very productive, as she leads morning devotions whenever she is there, and impacts the kids there that way alongside of the love that she also daily shows them. It is good.

b. I am finally home. In June, not too long after our last newsletter, I headed out on a forest fire in Eastern Nevada. From there, I was on a fire near Salt Lake City. Then I went to a big fire in Western Wyoming , then on to a 100,000+ acre fire in Stanley, Idaho. I roughly figured that I have been out of town on fire stuff for the greater part of four months (argh! I had no summer!) I mean the pay was good, and we got some nagging debts paid off, but I missed my family and being at home. I do not have firewood in yet, I have broken vehicles to fix, and I have house winterizing still to do. I am feeling VERY overwhelmed.

I did take a quick break though, somewhere in there, when I asked for some time off and took the family to Craters of the Moon in Eastern Idaho. That was enjoyable. But I am home now, trying to whittle down my honey-do list of things that have been put off all summer, that need to be done immediately, many of them before the snow falls (today). And now that I am home, I have been back on shift pretty consistently at Project Patch as well, as relief staff. I am also already lining up this winters web work projects, several of them pretty massive. I am Tired! But I am well.

Oh. The radio station project is coming along as well. I have now hosted two Thursday off-grid shows, and am slowly finding my feet there. Karen co-hosted one of then with me, and they will eventually be available in the radio station archives online soon (we had fun with it). My next two steps there are to get the station completely online on the net, and to get Sunday programming set up too. Stay tuned!

c. Karen and I are making progress with our marriage. It is hard to not take things personal sometimes, and I am learning to be quicker at apologizing when I need to. The family/extended family conflict that I previously mentioned has definitely stressed the relationship though, and heavily damaged the unity of the family. I would like to think we are moving past that, but it is tough sometimes. Karen and I definitely disagree or argue less than we used to, and do do more simple things together. I just know that I am thankful for her, and the good that she brings to my home and my life. I have often found myself returning to the supernatural thumbprint of God on our wedding, reminding me that He brought us together, and He can get us through it. She is the right woman, chosen by God Himself, for me. We are slowly becoming one, in heart, soul, and mind, in ways that I never knew possible. Sometimes I simply rest in awe of it. God is good.

3. Housing news.

a. I think in my last newsletter, the offer we had made for some land to build a home on, had just fallen through. Shortly thereafter, a second offer we made on another piece also fell through (the owners in both cases backed out after initially agreeing verbally to our offers). That left us kinda hanging there. Karen picked up fulltime work at Patch somewhere in there though, and that came with housing, so Karen and I both moved back in together in Patch staff housing. But it is small. Tiny even. It is an old double-wide modular, and we are crammed in with multiple kids per tiny bedroom. It still has some aluminum wiring too (already had one aluminum related burnout since being here, that almost caught the place on fire and scared us a bit). It is NOT where we want to be. But we are trying to make it work while we continue to pay down debt, fix our credit, and try to find a place that works for us, someplace where we can hopefully put down some long term roots.

We want to buy, but it needs to be big enough for the family, where the owners are willing to carry the note for us. That limits us. But we are so tired of bouncing around from place to place, and want to be double sure that this next move is going to be the last one we make for awhile. So we are sorting our options very carefully. We looked pretty seriously at one house in particular, but it was just too expensive, and had too many potential pitfalls associated with it. So we passed on it. We may have several good second options though, so we are willing to hunker down here for the winter while things get sorted out, if that means the next move will be the last one for awhile. Pray for us in this. My heart reaaaaally wants to give my wife and my family a solid home with roots that everyone can come back to, and bring grandkids home to, that we can also use to reach out to, and take care of, others among us that need the sanctuary (translation-guest rooms, plural).

4. Ministry News

a. As mentioned already, Karen continues to have good ministry with the girls at Project Patch. Some days she comes home exhausted, more from the emotional energy she has spent, than the physical. She is making a difference in lives that count. And she is making a difference in our own childrens lives. It is good.

b. I resigned from the Garden Valley School Board at the beginning of the summer because I moved out of my elected zone when I moved into Patch housing with Karen. I actually miss that some. But I am also impacting the boys at Patch when I am down there, and that is gratifying.

c. Garden Valley XBOX nights continue to go well, where once a month a bunch of local teenage boys and I get together and play networked Xboxes late into the night. Aside from just plain being fun, we also break for a half hour or so in the middle of it and talk about the things and character traits that make a man stable and respected, as defined by God through the voice of David in the Psalms. There are a ton of places in the Psalms where David lists out different character traits of a stable man or person. Psalm 1, 15, 112, and others. It is all good stuff, and worth studying.

Some people question my use of war and soldier slash shooter games (among others like race games) for our sessions, but I constantly remind the kids that we are called to protect our families and stand up the things that we hold dear. And holding a gun does not make us a man. Fighting for what we believe in is only one portion of a much larger picture that defines a real man. The games also teach teamwork, emotional control, and build camaraderie among the boys and myself. It is good.

Last weeks session was the best attended one so far, where every single Xbox I had there was in use (7 of my own, plus 1 brought by one of the kids). I think we have reached critical mass, and I expect the sessions to be well attended from now on. That means I need to score some more Xboxes somewhere. So if you know of any Xbox 360s just laying around gathering dust (I can also fix them if broken), that you would not mind letting go of for cheap, or any decent 24+inch older tvs (in the Boise area), I am interested.

d. I am continuing research for a book I am writing about ancient times, ancient archeology, ancient technology, and how it deepens our understanding of God, ourselves, our world history, and things that we face today. I am seriously enjoying this, especially considering that I never much cared for history in school. But throw God into the mix, stir in a little advanced and forgotten high technology, and then throw in a little suppression conspiracy, and suddenly I am interested.

So lately I have been reading the 1840 translation of the Book of Jasher from Hebrew (not to be confused with several medieval forgeries by the same name), an ancient text that is quoted several times in the Bible, that sheds more detail and light on many Old Testament events. Granted, there is some controversy surrounding the book and its authenticity, and while I do not accept it as necessarily inspired by God, it IS good history, and does not contradict revealed scripture, but rather, validates it, and even clarifies some events.

Which means I am making slow but steady progress with research for the new book. I hope to have it available for pre-ordering this winter, with publication next summer, after I finish up the one chronical-ing our lives over the last 10 years. It should answer many modern day questions Christians have about aliens, the true age of the earth and humanity, giants, little people, the status of ancient technology, the Nephilim, how the Greek gods and legends fit in, mermaids, and a whole bunch more things that challenge many modern day Christians and their world views. And how through everything, the Bible, time and again, supports the facts as we know them, and how evolution just does not. It has been incredibly eye-opening. Some of it is new information just coming to light, some of it is suppressed information because it blows evolutionary theory out of the water and threatens modern day powers-that-be, and some of it is simply me putting pieces together in a logical way that fits and validates Biblical history in every way, while still answering our modern day questions about who we are, where do we come from, and where is God in the middle of it all.

I will let you know when I have more details *grin*.

5. Opportunity.

a. In my last newsletter I mentioned both Project Patch, and our two daughters mission trip to Panama as being opportunities to support worthy ministries. This month I would like to present Hope House, where our daughter Vera has been staying the past two years. They are a Christian organization that also works with wounded kids, much like Project Patch does. Hope House differs in their structure slightly though, and in the kind of child that they can work with. They do good work. I support them.

And they are facing serious funding (and thereby staffing as well) issues. They have tightened their belts, done their best to keep current with their absolute necessities, but they need help, with their nearly 40 residents. When I visited Vera last week, even just the campus itself needs some TLC, something that with current funding they have trouble doing. It is starting to look run down. And if that is the physical appearance, I am concerned for their ability to function in other ways as well.

So please pray for them first. And if you can, then visit http://www.ahome2come2.com and support them with a gift of some sort. They could seriously use it right now. They do not accept ANY local, state or federal funds to function at a program level, other than what comes through individual kids, and I believe it works better this way. But it also means that they depend on individual and private organization prayer and support to function. Please help them.

b. As I mentioned earlier, I am also in the market for used, functional (or not), or otherwise un-used or un-wanted xbox360s and bigger screen tvs in order to expand the xbox nights up here.

6. Tims musings.

This past summer has been a tough one on us. Between me working sometimes 20hrs a day on the fires for sometimes 2 or 3 weeks at a stretch, and Karen working 60+ hours a week some weeks outside of the home, and kids dealing with life changes and confusion, it has been tough. We are tired. And in the middle of it, the character refining process that we have been going through is still going on. That has been good too. But as I said, we are tired.

And when a person is tired, it is easy to get grumpy, discontent, impatient, and bitter. Karen and I have both struggled with these emotions this summer.

But it does not change the fact that God still loves us, and we still have responsibilities. Sometimes it has meant that we simply grit our teeth and plough forward, not giving in to our emotions that scream out for us to give up and either lash out or sag to our knees in despair. That is tough sometimes.

But faith in action says that we KNOW that we WILL eventually see Gods hand of deliverance and power, so we keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how hard it is. And we simply ask HIM for strength, sometimes daily, to make it through THAT day.

This is faith in action. We ARE looking forward to seeing Him work His miracles. We ARE looking forward to coming out of the refining process as better people. We ARE looking forward to seeing His face more clearly. We KNOW these things will happen. And we know we will get there, even if it is with His strength that made it possible. This is faith. So we keep putting one foot in front of the other. This is faith in action.

How have you put your faith into action recently?


Tim, Karen and the Benedict Kids


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