Thank you Mom!

Today is mother’s day! This isn’t typically a huge holiday in our house… but Mom is a big deal! Thank you mom for your consistency over the years and how you have chosen to do wIMG_8798hat is right rather than what is easy on so many occasions.

Over the past several weeks, you have chosen to mostly work on meals and inside house work (the type of thing you appreciate but don’t exactly enjoy doing…), while we were outside doing the “exciting” stuff – like dropping trees. Speaking of which, you have been a bit patient with us on that. As I write, there are logs spread over much of our yard, not to mention the fact that it took 3 Saturdays to drop 2 trees! Oh. What was that about the power lines being dropped? You didn’t panic, but just kept going like with life as normal.

It has been neat seeing you work to overcome various struggles in your life,IMG_8991 and once conquered, leaving them that way. This takes self-discipline. Thank you for practicing it and working to teach us the same.

Above all, as we come to you with questions, comments, and more than occasionally, murmurings and complaining (well speaking for myself on the last one…) you keep pointing us back to the Bible and reminding us that while life has difficulties and uncertainties, God’s Word has all the answers. Keep up the good work looking unto Jesus, as He is our standard of right and truth.  We Love you!IMG_8978 20150425_183855 IMG_4154 IMG_1763 IMG_4214 IMG_7215   IMG_8852_02  IMG_8957_01

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

 

Notes from a breakfast conversation

It is interesting to see where simple conversations can lead… Below is a short article based off of a conversation this morning at breakfast about a verse we read and the upcoming “holiday” of halloween.

 

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Proverbs 21:16

When someone knows what is right and chooses not to do it, they show they are part of the congregation of the dead. When Adam sinned, mankind became a sort of living dead. We have all been born “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Now, in mid October, we are nearing a holiday of “the congregation of the dead.” Can you imagine if all the decorations out at this time of year where real? Gigantic spiders, death machines, and the list goes on. What a gross reality life would be if all this were real. This would not be a good world. Yet in a way, this is reality. This celebration of death is really a celebration of sin, since by sin came death (Rom 5:12).  How could God create a world so gross and call it good? God did not create sin, rather, as the last verse mentions, through one man, sin came on all men, and death by sin. Through Adam’s sin, we were all born dead in sin, as gross and dead as the decorations at this, the enemy’s holiday.

God allowed this sin when He created mankind with the ability to choose sin. Recently I was asked, why would a good God create people with the ability to sin? According to Revelation 4:11, we were created for His pleasure. He made us such that we could choose either to choose Him, or to choose our own ways. In Adam, mankind choose our own ways, sin, and therefore death. I believe, though I can’t think of verses to substantiate this at the moment that God gave us the ability to sin so that we would have the ability to love Him. A baby “loves” its parents with a love that takes. However, when that baby grows up, you can see how real that love is. A true love will seek the best for others without though of personal gain. Without the ability to choose, there can be no real love, so without ability to not choose God, it is impossible to truly love Him.

As by one man sin entered the world, so by one Man life returned. Praise the Lord, our Great Savior Jesus came to rescue us from this horrible “masquerade” as living people when in reality we were dead inside, perhaps dressed in good works as princes and princesses (and we may soon see such a parade coming down the street…), but yet nonetheless dead inside. Dead Adam could not have living children, but Christ was of different parentage. While He was entirely human, His Father was God (Mat 1:20), therefore He was truly alive. Through Christ’s death, we may die to our old dead self and through His resurrection, we may rise to new life. Such a person has been twice born, once of water, and once of the Spirit, just as Jesus told Nicodemus.

We cannot of ourselves create new life in ourselves. The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. He was already there. My mom has been making a pro-biotic drink called water kefir recently. This drink uses clusters of bacteria (i.e. kefir grains). She originally bought dry grains and heard that they are supposed to grow and multiply. No matter how she researched and tried to make them grow, they did not. Later she learned that dry grains will not grow. Just in the same way, we will not grow if we are dead.  If you have not trusted it Christ for salvation, Christ only, not yourself through doing good things in any way, you are still dead. You can try to do good things, but in the end, they are but useless like dirty rags (Is. 64:6). To apply what is written here, you must be born again of the Spirit of God. Trying to do good works to please God while you are still dead in sin is like dressing like a prince or princess while in reality you are not. It will do no good, though it might fool some people into believing you are what you are not. Good works are sign of life in the living, but merely an mirage in the dead. Come to the “way of understanding,” through the way God has provided to come to eternal life.

Christmas Celebrations – 2013

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.

– Dr. Seuss

Our family had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas – 3 times! What does “celebrating Christmas” mean to you? While I am not an expert on the origins of Christmas, a few brief seaches online reveal that the word Christmas comes from “Christ mas,” a service commemoration Christ’s birth. When Jesus came, He came as the Light of the World, a great gift. Today, thousands of years later, we celebrate our national holiday by giving gifts. While I like to consider this a reminder of Christ’s gift to us, it is can be easy to allow the material gifts overshadow some of the very real gifts around us. Following is a list of several of these other gifts which I am thankful to God for now:

  1. God, and His Salvation
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. A warm house in this cold weather (around 20* F)
  5. Work to keep busy and earn income

Following are a few pictures I enjoyed from our family celebrations. Merry Christmas!

Christianna Daniel & Dad

Andrew Wrapped Creatively...

Andrew

Daniel... and a camera. What else is new? :) Daniel… and a camera. What else is new? 🙂
Andrew Wrapped Creatively…

 

Christi & Libby Ski masks for Christmas Daniel's humor

Libby Daniel and his camera... again!

We moved the table the plant is normally on. This flower fell off, so I took a picture.

We moved the table the plant is normally on. This flower fell off, so I took a picture.

Mom & Mimi

Mom’s Birthday

Happy Birthday Mom!

We celebrated mom’s birthday recently with home-made pizza! I made the crust, and mom, Christi, and Libby assembled the toppings.Pizza!

Thank you Mom for all your service to us as people, and together as a family! With dad, you patiently train us, act as a sounding board, and encourage us in righteousness. While thinking about the past year, what stood out to me most was how you have been working to stretch out your hand to the world around us. Keeping God and your family first, you have put an increased emphasis on encouraging others outside our family.

The words of king Lemuel, the prophesy that his mother taught him.
– Prov. 31:1

A mother’s words can have great effect on the future! Thousands of years later, we still study the words of king Lemuel’s mother! Matthew Henry, a Bible commentator, thought that “Lemuel” might have been a name Bathsheba called her son Solomon. He valued this relationship enough that he chose to use this name in this public written admonition to young men. All of us, your children, similarly call you blessed (Prov. 31:28).

Thank you for your investment into our lives! We love you!

Pizza

Verity Guy’s Campout

While sorting pictures today – a more than a little late, I came across some photos I took during Verity’s Guy’s campout in September. The pictures of the ice cubes on the fire were from an experiment to see how much placement and ice cube size affected the rate at which the ice cubes melted.

Interestingly, the ice cubes sometimes blackened before they melted.