Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bye grandma

This was the month of grandparents. After Sandy's parents came and left, my parents came. Although my dad left last week, I just took my mom to the airport. I think everyone had a great time.
As always, grandparents can't not buy gifts for the boys and girl.Andrew got a light saber. He's been looking for one of those for a while. I'm not sure how it happened, but he's a Star Wars fan even though he's never seen a movie and we've almost never talked about it.
Matt got a helicopter.Emery got some little piggy slippers. Christmas came early.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm back!

I was only gone 3 days, but it felt like forever! It's so good to be home. How can you not miss being with this?The boys are practicing shaving these days. But I had a great time at the Desiring God conference too. I learned a ton, had a great time, and was really convicted by a lot of things. I think I'll be sharing about the many things over the days and weeks to come, but probably the biggest thing I'm taking home with me came from Mark Driscoll - Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

He was talking about criticism and mentioned Prov 27:6 - faithful are the wounds of a friend. He said that while he always tries to examine himself when he is criticized by anyone to see if there is a kernel of truth even if the criticism is malicious, he really heeds criticism from friends. He defined his friends as those who have love for him and HOPE for him. He gave an example of what John Piper told him - Piper disagreed with some of where Mark used to be, wasn't exactly sure of where Mark was now, but was confident of where Mark will be.

While I love finding friends like that, I want to be that kind of friend to my family and to others. It is far too easy for me to judge others and to point out what is not right. And though I may (or may not) have a kernel of truth in what I say, my heart lacks hope for others for love "hopes all things" (1 Cor 13:7). I want to be husband, father, pastor and friend who corrects others with HOPE in Christ alone. Praise God for His forgiveness and patience with me.

If you want to make the time, I highly encourage you to watch or listen to the messages from the conference at:
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByConference/41/
If you want to hear what Mark Driscoll had to say, listen to both the panel discussion on 9/26 and his message on 9/27.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All his ducks in a row

Matt really enjoys playing with his cars, trucks and animals. He may not look excited, but trust me...he is. On a separate note, I will be heading off to Minnesota for the Desiring God National Conference tomorrow. This will be my first time to Minnesota and to hear John Piper in person. I am quite excited - more about seeing John Piper than going to Minnesota. But not as excited as Matt looks in this picture...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's official

It's been a little bit of a busy weekend that pushed into this week. Sorry for the lack of posts on the blog. But this Sunday I was officially installed as the Equipping Pastor of Flint Hills Christian Church. It was a real blessing and honor.
I guess it's too late to change my mind now! Just kidding - I love it here. But as I said on Sunday, no matter how great it is here or how great it was in California, the location doesn't really matter. The important thing is to live for Christ (Phil 1:21) regardless of where I live. The meaning of life is living for Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nothing like a day off

One of the tricky things about being a pastor is that it's sometimes hard to get a full day off. I'll take parts of different days off during a week, but it's nice to spend the whole day with Sandy and the younger kids. Now that Andrew is in 1st grade, they are finally getting the time that we have never been able to give them before.We started with a nice breakfast together!Then after lunch and naps, we foraged for bugs. It took them a while but they both became brave enough to hold pill bugs.
video
And Emery found out that she really, really likes pill bugs.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boys...

Things are rarely dull around here and everything winds up being a prop for something. And there's always a lot of action - guns, swords, superheroes, trucks, planes, construction...you get the picture.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Precious

Sometimes being a parent is so precious. This is one of those times...
video
And by the way, she's never even been to Shakey's!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is your soul fat?

I've been reading through Proverbs and came across 2 recently that I've been mulling over:
Proverbs 12:27 A slothful man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence.

This is a vivid proverb. A slothful man goes hungry with nothing to eat. The lazy man will not enjoy the fruit of his labor. I try and be diligent but is it my precious possession? Is it something I value and prize and cherish?

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat.

Now we get a little more specific in our diligence. Am I being diligent in my study of God's Word? In reading spiritual books, in listening to sermons, in memorizing and meditating on God's truth so that it reaches my soul and changes my heart? If I do, I get a fat soul. Not a fat body, a fat soul. But it starts with making diligence my precious possession.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Super Matt

Sometimes the life of a 3 year-old can be a whole lot of fun...at least when you're Super Matt and your costume involves night vision goggles, camo, a cape, and a gun.
The back view...little sister is pretty impressed too. Matt said the funniest thing the other day - he's been itching because of a bug bite on his shoulder for several days:
Matt: Why do I have so many bug bites?
Sandy and Me: Because you're tasty
Matt: But I'm not barbecued yet
Guess what we've been doing for dinner lately?
On another note, praise God - Andrew's cast came off. The doctor is pretty sure it's not broken...doesn't instill a ton of confidence does it? But everything looks good on the x-rays.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Goodbye...

It is with great sadness (and boy was everyone sad) that we said goodbye to Sandy's parents. We had a great week together.
Grandma got lots of exercise and the kids had lots of fun.
Their parting gifts were guns from Cabela's. Are we from Kansas now or what?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Brotherly / sisterly love

We are truly blessed by God with our boys and girl. While they aren't always hugging, when they do, it sure is cute.
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And don't be alarmed...Emery is TOUGH.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Praise God for grandparents!

Sandy's parents came to town this week and boy are the grandkids happy.
video
This is their reaction when we picked them up at the airport curb (I made a wrong turn and was a little late picking them up).
Emery is very proud of her first ever flip-flops compliments of grandma. She calls them her "clip-clops."Matt got some airplanes.
And Andrew got night vision goggles. Exactly what every 6 year-old needs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Random observations part 2

We've just finished up 2 months here in Emporia so here are a few more random thoughts for the enlightenment of those not in Emporia and for the entertainment of those who are:
  • Big bugs! I'm not particularly squeamish about bugs, but man, most of them must be using performance enhancing drugs. Can we test them?
  • Good beef - as you typically have good seafood when you live in a city by the ocean, there is good quality beef here even in the most average of restaurants. As a lover of beef and potatoes, I'm in the right place. There's even a Beeffest though I missed it this summer so I'm not sure what they do there other than eat beef (www.beeffest.com if the idea of a beef fest makes you curious). Now if only my cholesterol level weren't quite so high...
  • The Flint Hills Mall - one of our friends here described it as a "mallette" and I think that is a good description. And even more funny is the JC Penny and Sears that are part of the mall are also mini. In fact, not just smaller, not just 1 story, but 1 room, literally. The mall is tiny but there are 3 good sized hardware stores in town and Lowes might be coming to town soon too. Guess what most people buy here?
  • Free videos for the kids - No, I'm not talking about the library though it has them too. Each video store in town that we've been to has a small kids section of free DVD's and videos - everybody wins!
  • Penny parking meters - not bad, eh? A penny still gets you something around here.
It's been a great 2 months thanks to God's abundant grace to us and the kindness of our new family in Christ here.