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God gives a banner to those who fear Him, that it may be displayed because of the Truth. -Ps. 60:4
At Cherry Festival 2006 - Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved.
Young people stay for hours asking questions about God and the Bible.
"Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked." (Psalm 97:10)
Homosexuals hate the truth and even seek to burn it.
The devil offers many wordly pleasures ... but he always hides the price tag.
We labored with unruly youth all evening, encouraging and testifying to them of God's grace that will teach them how to live sinfree lives (Titus 2:11). Many of their parents were over in the 'beer tent'. Sin may seem 'fun' for a season, but in the end it leads to eternal destruction.
While on business in Washington DC, we were able to spend one day touring the city together.
This was Giampaolo's first time to visit Washington DC.
In front of the White House
It is a sobering thought to consider what kind of an example WE will leave behind.
Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, You Who lead Joseph like a flock. You Who sit enthroned between the cherubim, Shine Forth! -Ps. 80:1
National Cemetery - Death is the destiny of every man, the living should take this to heart. -Eccl. 7:1
We also traveled to Florida for a business trip ...
... and we found time one evening to go to the ocean together.
Jackie has not been to the ocean very many times, so she was a bit timid about the size of the Atlantic waves, but she enjoyed dipping her toes in the water.
We enjoyed watching some of the fruit of our labors this spring as our bulbs and flowers began to spring up.
"Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes ... " (Hosea10:12)
One of our Tiger Lilies--Painted perfectly by the creator.
The arrival of warmer weather also opened the 2007 preaching season in Michigan.
Joe and Giampaolo work together at Cherry Festival.
Bro. Gary Birdsong joins us in preaching.
Dad Allen holds a Gospel banner.
Mom Allen shares the Truth with a woman at Cherry Festival.
Giampaolo passing out tracts.
More laborers in the Harvest Field. Paul passes out tracts.
The Ladomato 2007 Garden--Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes ...
... and asparagus! (Although we won't be able to begin harvesting it until next year)
We also have a Niagara grapevine ... (and this year we planted a red seedless grapevine)
... and we added a few new fruits to our yard this year--
We planted a dwarf sour cherry tree ...
... and a black fig tree!
Our little fig tree actually produced a few small figs this year, but they really didn't ripen properly since the tree is still so small. It is supposed to grow 10-15 feet in the next 5 years!
Really our garden was very low-maintenance this year.
Giampaolo always enjoys harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden--and especially hot peppers! Our garden has provided opportunties for us to meet several neighbors and share of our bounty.
June 18, 2007 marked our 2nd Wedding Anniversary
We celebrated our 2nd Anniversary with a weekend camping trip about 3 hours north, on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Although we camped rustic style, we did "spring" to purchase an air mattress to sleep on (pun intended :) ).
Our campsite was right on the shore of Lake Michigan ...
... which made for great (if a bit cold) swimming ...
... beautiful sunrises ...
.., lovely walks ...
... and stunning sunsets!
"From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the Lord's Name is to be praised!"
Giampaolo skillfully stoked up the campfire ...
... and we enjoyed delicious fire-roasted corn on the cob,
... as well as traditional S'mores.
Married life gets sweeter by the day. "The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow to it" (Proverbs 10:22).
We cooked all our meals at camp.
... with our Coleman stove (a wedding gift we have gotten much use out of).
We even had a Coleman Stove drip coffee maker!
And Jackie brought along a surprise Wedding Anniversary cake she had baked (at home)--the same recipe as the top layer of our wedding cake.
We enjoyed a 5 mile + hike through the woods.
Well, okay, so we did get a little bit tired ...
But Giampaolo kept a steady pace, leading the way.
Giampaolo even caught a little Garter snake.
Jackie didn't want to get TOO close!
This area of tall, straight pine trees reminded us of Jesus' admonition, "...Narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:14). We desire to be walking on that narrow and straight way that leads to life!
We are also blessed to have some beautiful scenic trails within walking distance from our house!
This summer we were able to check several household projects off our "to do" list.
Here Bro. Gary and Giampaolo work together to lift up some of our cracked driveway concrete ...
... and cut out the tree roots that were lifting it up.
Those "little" tree roots turned out to be quite a bit larger than we had anticipated! But with teamwork, they got them out, and lowered the concrete back into place unharmed! Praise the Lord!
We also repainted and put a wallpaper boarder around the guest bedroom.
"It is the gift of God to enjoy one's work" (Ecclesiates 3:13).
Jackie at her desk, keeping up with paperwork--which Jackie also enjoys.
This summer we hired a contractor to build a shed onto the garage, so that Giampaolo would have a workshop.
The finished addition.
And here Giampaolo is already at work in his new workshop ...
... building a new canning shelf for Jackie!
This year Jackie was blessed to be able to teach little sister, Ruth, how to can.
Ruth was a fast learner ...
... and a BIG help!
We processed 51 pounds of cherries.
We dried some ...
... And we made cherry jam with the rest.
We harvested grapes together ...
... and harvested ...
... and harvested some more!
Giampaolo had pruned our grapevine for the first time this spring ...
... and true to what the Bible says in John 15, "Every branch that is pruned bears MUCH fruit!"
We harvested about 80 pounds (or 4 bushels) of grapes! We sure were thankful for Giampaolo's help to carry the bins to the house.
Next we flooded the grapes with water ...
... to drive out all the spiders and earwigs. Yuck!
Juicing them was a BIG job ...
... and we were thankful for Mom Allen, Kerry and Teresa's help later in the evening.
The Lord blessed our efforts and we got 6 1/2 gallons of juice!
Next we processed a bushel and a half of tomatoes.
We worked both inside ...
... and outside. It worked really well to have a canner outside on our gas grill's sideburner.
Rejoicing together ...
... in the fruit of our labors!
When you eat and are satisfied, do not forget the Lord your God.
We've also found a little time for fishing together this summer.
A beautiful Saturday morning on a small lake near our house.
The best part of fishing is spending time together ...
... but we're always excited to catch a fish, too! (This one wasn't big enough to keep though)
Jackie has been learning to embroider ...
... and has been making all sorts of things!
Caps for others ...
... and caps for Giampaolo
And the final touches to a Proverbs 31 quilt for our bed!
Close-Up of one of the Proverbs 31 quilt squares.
Proverbs 31 Quilt
"Her husband is known in the gates when he sitteth among the elders of the land" (Proverbs 31:23). Jackie is very thankful for Giampaolo's support and encouragement in these sewing endeavors.
We enjoyed several bicycle rides together this summer and fall--even to get groceries from our neighborhood grocery store!
This fall Giampaolo pruned our grapevine.
"[God] cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:2
This fall the Lord provided a new (used) mini-van for us, to replace the Saab (which we have for sale). With stow'n'go seats, we have been enjoying the extra room.
Our mini-van turned into a great "cargo van" when we used it to haul over 7 tarpfuls of leaves to the free City Dump!
We were also thankful for the extra willing and helpful hands of our younger brothers and sisters for a day of raking leaves!
"It is the gift of God to enjoy one's work" (Ecclesiates 3:13). And here Faith is certainly enjoying raking (and playing in) this huge pile of leaves!
Jackie made cider for the first time this fall.
It was a lot of work pressing over a bushel of apples by hand ...
... but the results were well worth the effort! We got about 1 1/2 gallons of cider--enough to share with our families and one neighbor couple (who were also the ones to bless us with the apple/sausage press).
In October we made a one week business trip to New York City.
While our trip to NYC was primarily for business, we did have one day to view some of the city--and even to preach and pass out a few tracts on Times Square.
We visited the site of the former World Trade Centers, where there is a temporary memorial (until they get a more official one built).
Looking at the former sites of the World Trade Centers was a sobering reminder of the brevity of life, and the need to be found doing God's will each moment of each day. No one knows when his last moment may be. "It is better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man. The living should take this to heart." (Eccl. 7:2)
6 years later, they have still not completed all the clean-up from the fall of the Twin Towers. One action can cause much devestation and ruin!
This used to be part of the road. Looking at the twisted steel and how thick the concrete was gives just a little idea of the force with which the Twin Towers fell!
In NYC everything is fast-paced and packed in. Space is at a premium, as can be seen in this triple decker parking lot. This parking lot had an early bird "discount rate" of $8.50 a half hour--if you arrived before 8 AM and left after 5 PM!
We were able to view the Statue of Liberty from on board a free ferry.
And we could also see Ellis Island--the Island through which many of our forefathers entered this country.
"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (Gal. 5:13)
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19). Today is the day of salvation!
Our favorite part of the trip was actually the time that we had together in the van driving to and from NYC (approximately 15 hours each way).
We also enjoyed the stunning fall colors as we drove through the mountains of Pennsylvania!
... And a lovely sunset in the mountains.
And now Winter has arrived in Michigan--and 2008 is just around the corner! May we be found pleasing God in every way.
Preaching Freedom in the Shadow of Alcatraz (San Francisco)
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