Saturday, January 31, 2009

They're memorizing too

Emery and Matt have gotten Eph 6:1-3 and Col 3:20 down!
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If you can't understand her, she's saying Eph 6:1-3. Her voice is gone because of many, many nights of crying...did I mention, many, many nights?
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Col 3:20 - piece of cake.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Angelology at its highest

Here are a couple of recent conversations with the kids.
Andrew: Does Satan smell good or bad?
Me: I don't know.
Andrew: I think he smells bad. And his breath stinks. He doesn't brush his teeth because he doesn't obey his parents.

Me: Will you promise me that you'll never grow up?
Emery: (silence with a little smirk)
Me: Emery! Will you promise me?
Emery: Noooooo because tomorrow I'm going to grow up and be a mommy.

And here are a couple of quotes from The Law of Kindness by Mary Beeke.
"Ladies, try with ALL YOUR MIGHT to keep up your physical appearance." The caps were mine. Isn't that the funniest way to encourage women to do that? That is the last thing I think of doing with all your might.

"Physically, we are the giants in marriage, but God commands us to be gentle giants. We are to be the head not the fist. As the head, you have eyes to admire your wife and see her needs, you have ears to listen to her, lips to compliment and kiss her, and a brain to understand her and think about what matters to her. So if you're the head, act like it; don't act like a fist!" Her husband wrote the chapter on how to be a kind husband.

And lastly here's Andrew finishing up his latest verse, Phil 2:3-5:
video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On fire!

I don't know how this has happened, but in less than 1 month, I have finished 5 books! Crazy. I know I have gone years without reading that many in the past. Here's the latest 3:
I just devoured this book - Flags of Our Fathers. It's a story about the 6 men pictured raising the flag during the battle of Iwo Jima. I've been to the Memorial at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, DC and was impressed with this image (we even have pictures of being there!) but had no idea about the story behind it. Tragic, amazing, and very informative all at the same time. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in WWII history.This book was a freebie from the Desiring God conference. I had never heard of Gordon Cheng who's from Australia. Cheng defines encouragment as speaking the truth in love. He asks a very good question - how is your encouragement Christian? Or are your words basically the same as an atheist's encouragement? He brought up a lot of good thoughts about encouragement.
  • "Christians who love to encourage others in a Christian way will be reading their Bibles...praying about them, asking advice, and above all boldly speaking about what they think and why they think it. This is speaking the truth in love."
  • "Now when that day of judgement comes we will have reached the goal of all encouragement. That day will likewise spell the end of all discouargement...Judgement, therefore, is the thing that ultimately shapes our encouragement...The other side of this warning is that what we now do and say as Christians will have eternal value."
Cheng does a good job of being very practical. He also emphasizes the need for EVERY Christian to encourage one another and not just the pastors and leaders of the church. It's a pretty light read and yet has both substance and application to it.
D.A. Carson's book was basically an exposition of 1 Cor 1-4 and 9. At its core, it was very simple - the gospel should be at the center of our lives and ministry. But as we know, that simple statement goes far deeper than we realize. Carson warns us who assume this truth in our lives:
  • "I fear that the cross, without ever being disowned, is constantly in danger of being dismissed from the central place it must enjoy, by relatively peripheral insights that take on far too much weight. Whenever the periphery is in danger of displacing the center, we are not far removed from idolatry."
He also exhorts us to bring the gospel to bear in our hearts and show how that gospel changes lives.
  • "Christian leaders today not only must teach the gospel, but also must teach how the gospel works out in daily life and conduct. And that union must be modeled as well as explained."
Simple statements, profound implications.

Snowed in

We woke up today to a nice dusting of snow. It's been a tad cold lately, highs around 18. And since the 2 little ones have been a bit sick, I decided to stay home and help out a bit.While Sandy went to Bible study, we played some Junior Scrabble (otherwise known as Scribble Scrabble) and Sorry. Have you ever tried playing board games with toddlers? Man, that's an exercise in patience. As usual, I have none.Has Matt changed at all in the last 2 years? He seems to smile the same, look the same, act the same...
Emery has not quite been her bubbly self. But we noticed today that molar #3 has just cut to the surface. 1 more to go and then maybe we can all get some sleep!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Handy Manny

I am not (for those of you who have little kids, you know who I'm talking about). Bob Villa, I am not. But I decided to replace some sink faucets (for the first time) in the kids bathroom.One of the sinks had a little leak. And the one handle style was difficult for the kids to not scald themselves. So we went from the above sink to...It only took 3 trips to the hardware store (2 of which were completely unnecessary), 2 phone calls to friends for advice, and 1 small inadvertent fountain from the sink (oops, forgot to turn the shut off valve once). We decided not to keep the fountain. But we have 2 working faucets! Praise God!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reunited

and it feels so good. That's right, the family is back together - praise God! Here's a quick recap of the week in CA:The trip started out a little rough. Matt got sick and no one really slept well.But the weather was nice and warm in the 80's. Good times with grandma.
Matt celebrated 4 years at Chuck E. Cheese.
They enjoyed the park with grandpa and Tobie (the newest member of the family).
Lastly, they had fun with cousin Natalie. But as nice as the trip was, it's even better to be together again!

Monday, January 19, 2009

1 more day!

Well, I've almost made it. Somehow, Andrew and I have managed to survive the week without Sandy, Matt and Emery. And we've also managed to eat at least 1 veggie and fruit a day too! On top of that, we've only done fast food twice - that's pretty much how I cook for the kids. Also, during the week I managed to finish a couple of books.
I finished reading the Purity Princple again. This is a good annual read for me. You can never be committed enough to purity.
And I also read a fun book and learned a lot more about WWII. I'm not a history buff, but I'm starting to get more interested. We're not quite done with the first month of the year and I've managed to start the year off well - 2 books done, 10 more to go!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Matt!

Tomorrow is Matthew's 4th birthday, and I'm very sad that we can't celebrate it together as he's out in CA. But he requested to have his birthday out there with his grandparents (and us). And since Sandy was planning a trip out there anyway in Jan, we thought he'd enjoy it even if we all couldn't be there.
But since we couldn't all be together for his birthday, I managed to pull some strings. It took a lot of work, but he's worth it.



And here's a little walk down memory lane. I can't believe our little, sweet Matt is growing up. At least he still smiles the same!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Living the bachelor life

sort of. Andrew and I are home alone for the week. Sandy and our 2 little cowpokes flew off to sunny and warm CA yesterday to visit with family and friends. They told me it was 80 degrees and it was hot even in a T-shirt. They left just in time as it was 5 degrees this morning when I took Andrew to school. This is the first time we have split up the kids between Sandy and I so it's very strange. It was very quiet last night with just Drew and me. We miss you guys!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas is officially over

Or at least I thought it was. We took down the lights, tree, and all the decorations. But the kids kept the spirit alive...
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In case you can't understand them (which is more likely than not), after attempting to sing, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," Matt falls to a heap and says, "I forget this part." At least he's trying.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today was our 11th wedding anniversary. Through the kindness of some friends who babysat the boys and girl, we went out to eat dinner.We talked a lot about our memories both challenging and encouraging. And we came to the conclusion that what we appreciate most about our marriage is how God has used our marriage to sanctify each of us. When I think back at how selfish, prideful, immature and horribly sinful I was when we were first married, it is both humbling to appreciate that Sandy loved me despite myself and to give God the glory that He has changed me so much. Not that I have arrived by any means. I am sure I will look back in 11 more years and think that I was so selfish, prideful, immature and horribly sinful too! But it is good to look back every now and again and praise God for His faithfulness to change me by His grace. God is too good.I wish I had our wedding pics scanned in, but not as of yet. But a friend took some pictures of us at our 10 yr at the same place where we took our wedding pictures. And yes, that is Sandy's wedding dress. And yes, she didn't want to, but I made her. Isn't she a good wife?!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kitty cat

Why do we need to buy one when we already have one? Emery really likes to cuddle and the other day, she was particularly clingy, I mean cuddly. So after about the 100th request to cuddle that day, the following conversation occurred:
Sandy - Why do you want so many cuddles today?
Emery - Because I'm a kitty cat.
Oh, of course.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2 of 3

Can you guess which 2 threw up today?
Nope, Emery and Andrew. Matthew is the only healthy kid right now. Thankfully, the grown ups are ok. But it's been going around. Just about every other family we know is sick. It's been quite the winter. I was sick for 2 months. Sandy and Andrew have been sick about 3 times each. Matthew and Emery have been sick once or twice each too. This is the most everyone's been sick ever. But I guess that just means we've been a very healthy family!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stripes

This is what happens when Matt dresses himself. Attack of the killer stripes...on a separate note, Matt prayed for our lunch today after church and this is what he said:
Dear Jesus,
Thank you that we got to worship God today at church and thank you that we got to worship at home. Thank you that we can share our toys with our friends. And thank you that we can worship the Bible.
In Jesus name,
Amen
I guess he really got something out of Sunday school today! And yes, we are working on that worship the Bible thing...we just haven't hit Bibliology yet in our nightly Bible time/systematic theology. We have to cover the hypostatic union and eschatology first...ha!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lee family retreat

Every year around Jan 1, Sandy and I go away for at least a night for our family retreat. We spend a good chunk of time alone with God and then we start evaluating what God has done in the past year in our individual lives, in our marriage, in our parenting and in our kids. We answer questions like:
  • What were the 2 best and hardest things about the year and what did God teach us through them?
  • Did we meet our goals from last year? In what way were they beneficial?
  • What did I appreciate about my spouse this year?
  • How did Peter lead Sandy this year? And how did Sandy submit to Peter this year?
  • What did I learn about myself as a parent and how can I improve?
  • How well did we use our money last year?
  • What did we learn about each child? What character goals should we set for them?
It is a fabulous time that gets richer and richer every year. It started in 1999 with a 1 page agenda. Now, I'm up to 7. I had about 3 goals in 1999. Now, I have 3 categories of goals that span 2 pages. As our family has grown, so has the Lee family retreat.

It is so easy for me to get complacent with my spiritual life and the leadership of my family. It is so easy to busy myself with the things of this world and to react to life instead of proactively leading my family with a spiritual mindset. This retreat helps us spiritually re-focus on what GOD is doing in our lives and how we can glorify Him.

One of my goals this year is to read 12 books. To some of you, that may not sound like much. But my natural inclination is to workout, play sports, or watch sports, not read. It seems odd that a pastor does not enjoy reading, but that's me. I read a ton in seminary because I had to, not because it was my first choice. So it's been a process for me to train myself to read more. And by God's grace, I have been. Last year was a banner year, I think I read 7 books. Normally, I think I read 1 or 2. This year, I thought I'd bump that up to 12.

Why 12? Well, I was reading in a blog from a guy who read some 80 books last year that it is a good idea to read different types of literature. It helps you read more; it helps you get more out of what you read; it helps you think and write better too. In the past several years, I have pretty much just been reading Christian personal growth or Christian ministry books. So I decided to try out some variety this year and read the following different types of books:
  • 2 biographies
  • 2 history books
  • 1 Christian fiction
  • 1 book by a Puritan author
  • 2 Christian personal growth books
  • 2 Christian ministry books
  • 2 Re-reads
In full self-disclosure, I am reading 2 books I have already read because I forget what I read and these are 2 books with content I need to keep reminding myself of constantly. And some of the books I have already started. But my goal is to finish 12 books in 2009. I am excited to keep track of them on this blog too. We'll see how it goes.
PS - Do you like the new look? I thought I'd try my hand at a fresh blog design for the new year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I love New Year's. I don't do anything special on New Year's Eve, but I love looking back at the past year and seeing what God has done in my life and in my family. It is humbling and amazing to see His goodness and faithfulness, year after to year. It's also an exciting time for me to set new goals and to re-focus my life on "things above" (Col 3:1).

I have memorized Scripture on and off since HS. But 2 and 1/2 years ago, I made a conscientious effort to memorize Scripture again and more importantly, to review so that I keep remembering what I memorize. By God's grace, He has allowed me to build up a decent amount of Scripture to maintain. So much in fact, that I need to spend more time reviewing than learning new verses which is a great problem to have. One of my goals for 2009 is to memorize 12 passages of Scripture. My verses are mostly topical - verses on purity, heavenly future, humility/pride, marriage, love for God, etc. I list my current passage on the side bar - special thanks to Tim Petta for passing on that great one to me.

As God has blessed my life with the fruit of memorizing His Word in so many ways, I realized that this needs to expand to my kids. I feel that one of the greatest gifts I can pass on to my children as a legacy is Scripture. Hopefully, hundreds and hundreds of verses for God to use in their hearts and lives. I hope that this can counteract my shortcomings as a father and my poor overall example to them.

Now I want to make sure that you understand that I don't think I'm a great parent by any means and in fact, I know that I have many, many areas to improve on as a parent. Also, I am not bragging about Andrew in posting this video because I know that he simply has a gift from God to memorize things fairly easily. I post this video to be a blessing to his grandparents for I know that they will be encouraged by it.
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Andrew has memorized 16 passages that are more specific to his current areas of growth which we review on a regular basis. My goal for him is to add 16 more in 2009. His current verse is also posted on the sidebar. We also memorize Awana verses at home for fun and I know he has dozens there, but we don't review them outside of our home Awana time. The little ones are also memorizing verses though we're just working on the basics - Eph 6:1-3 and Col 3:20.