January Evening with Friends

Last night, we had some long-time friends come over. They are moving down to Florida. We had fun talking and eating ice-cream and brownies with them. We did our best to convince them to stay here in Cleveland, but seeing that one of them never took off their jackets (yes, they had multiple of them), I think they are looking forward to getting back to warmer weather. 🙂 We’ll miss having them here, but we’re thankful for the time that they’ve lived near to us.

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Christi’s 15th Birthday

On Saturday night, we celebrated Christi’s 15th birthday.

 I am so thankful to God for my sister. She is always ready to give cheer when cheer is needed; she is ready to help when assistance is needed, and she is ready to be there when company is needed. May God continue to grant you grace to keep growing in Him this next year.

 Here are some pictures!

Ice Cream Cake!

Ice Cream Cake!

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

Christi and Mom after making the Cake

Opening Presents

Opening Presents

Dad Testing out my Camera

Dad Testing out my Camera

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Very tasty!

Very tasty!

 

It’s Okay

Rejoice in that God has Given

 

A small little girl
Asked her content, waiting mother,
Why do we stay today,
When you said we would go
 
The mother replied
It tis your father’s design
But it is okay to delay
For it is nice to stay
 
While this may seem simple,
The power is ample
For to say okay
Displays character inside
 
By the passing of okay
We say that we are fine
With the way that is ours
Granted by the Father above
 
So next time you are tempted to complain
say that its okay
be content with your day
Grateful for all God’s supply

 

Dealing with Pride

Icy PillarsI was having a good day. Having previously spent some fun time with friends, I went for a short bike ride by myself. After mounting my bike and starting to ride away, my thoughts quickly focused on myself and my bicycling abilities. With these thoughts going through my mind, I started taking a sharp and fast turn. I was on the ground before I knew it. Due to the angle of my turn, my pedal caught on the ground and sent me and my bike to the ground. I had aching and painful reminders of my pride for the next week and a half.

 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

 Satan was cast out of heaven because of his pride. Yet despite seeing the consequences of his and many other’s example, we often forget. Pride spurs an host of other sins. Thankfully, God’s word provides aid on conquering this evil foe.

 By looking at the specific examples of Satan and Nebuchadnezzar, we see that pride is the result of thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought. We have a tendency to claim the good things in our lives, and blame the bad things on others. The opposite is actually true. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Clearly, the faults in our life are not because of God. An additional section of James explains this further. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:13-15)”. To those who have accepted Jesus’ gift, God has given the power to overcome sin (Romans 6-8 and I Corinthians 10:13).

 After looking at these passages, we can determine the following; the good things in our life are from God; the wrong things in our life are from ourselves. While this may seem depressing, it actually gives us greater reason for rejoicing. Instead of rejoicing in ourselves, who are but sinful people, we can rejoice in Christ (see Philippians 4:4) and what He has done for us. I Thessalonians 5:18 says “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” This is a powerful solvent for pride. By genuinely expressing our thankfulness to God and others for what they have done in our lives, we can dispel pride through God’s grace.

 Be alert for pride in your life and through the power of God conquer it.

 “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”  – Daniel 4:37

Afternoon Silence

Some thoughts for the new year, 2014

Do not “boast” of future accomplishments for 2014.

James 4:13-16 “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.”

Seek first the things of God first

Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

  • God will provide necessities for life if you seek His Kingdom first (please note, it does not promise a perfect life)

Mat 6:30-33

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Trust God, and follow Him, versus fearing man this year

Pr 29:25 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”

Put your trust in God and not in what man can do in this next year

Psalms 115:11 “Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.”

Psalms 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

Psalms 118:9 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”

Do not trust/believe in your self but rather believe/trust on God with all your heart

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Proverbs 28:25 “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.”

Focus more on gaining “the fear of the Lord” than earthly wealth and gain

Pr 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

  • If your goal is to seek the fear of the Lord and humility more than even riches, honor and life, those “things” will be obtained as a side benefit.

    Pr 22:4 “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”

Follow Christ’s commands if you really love Him in 2014 and beyond

John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

 

 

 

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

2013 Church Christmas Party

IMG_0901Today, we spent most of the morning at our church Christmas party. We played several games — complete with a white elephant Christmas gift exchange. As usual, there were many unusual items, such as chicken hats. 🙂 Afterwards, since we have about 6 inches of snow, we had a good snow-ball fight. 

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One of the games was a Ginger Bread Decorating competitions for the kids.

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