Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Ever heard of it? I had not until today. But apparently our 2 younger ones have it. Matt is hurting the worst. Poor guy. He's thrown up 2 days in the past week and is quite listless.Emery on the other hand, throws up and then is chipper as anything! She threw up about 12 times on Friday. But every time, as soon as she was done, it was like nothing ever happened. Amazing. She's also been allowed to start using the computer and boy does she love that!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Andrew's first basketball season is coming to a close. He did pretty well for his first season. He tried his best, averaged about 2 points a game, had a good attitude about it all, and seemed to have a lot of fun. Playoffs started today. He scored the first basket and 33% of his team's points!
Too bad his team only scored 6 points! They started the season out hot with a victory and haven't won since!

Proverbs 12:22 - now he knows what abomination means!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Like mother like son

Sandy has a unique gift though it has been waning over the past few years. She has the gift of being able to sleep anywhere at any time in any place.1 of our 3 children also has been blessed with this gift.Lately, we've had a bit of a heat wave with temps in the 80's! Wa-hoo! Break out the popsicles!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1 Thess 5:18 and 1 John 4:7

The memorizing continues...

Andrew's got 1 John 4:7.

I know it's hard to understand, but Matt is saying 1 Thessalonians 5:18...I think.

I don't think there's any doubt that Emery knows it too! Now reminding them (and me!) to live it out is another thing entirely.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yard work Day

It seems that spring has FINALLY arrived here in Kansas. So we took the opportunity to do some much needed clean up in the yard. Everyone pitched in from oldest to youngest.

Well ALMOST everyone pitched in. Matthew managed to sneak in some sandbox time while we were all sweating away!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Covert ops

When you have boys, you typically have army men. And when you have boys and army men together, no plant is safe...especially not orchids.The other day, Matt had a revelation. I was talking with Andrew about something and he mentioned that I was a pastor. Then, Matt looked at me intently and asked with utter surprise, "Daddy, are you a pastor?" Nothing gets past him.

Today, we were talking about going to work so I asked Matt:
Me: Matt, where does daddy go to work?
Matt: Church.
Me: And what does daddy do when he's at church?
Matt: He talks to Mr. Sleezer (one of our elders).

I'm glad Matt knows what I do all day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Instructing a Child's Heart

Somehow, I managed to squeeze in a little time to put up this post. In case you haven't noticed, Sandy has discovered the joy of blogging in these last few posts. We now share a new hobby!I recently finished Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp. I discovered Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp almost 14 years ago and loved it. At the time, I did not have kids, but I was working as a children's pastor. Now as a parent, I have grown to appreciate it more as well as this one, his most recent book.

In Instructing a Child's Heart, Tripp asserts that parents need to instruct children to a biblical worldview. He calls this formative instruction. It is different from corrective discipline. He writes, "Formative instruction should be happening all the time. Discipline should be applied only when behavior needs to be corrected. If the only time we instruct is when our children need discipline, our children will not listen to our instruction for fear of the discipline...Corrective discipline is understood when it is founded on effective biblical formative instruction. Corrective discipline without adequate formative instruction sows seeds of confusion and rebellion in our children."

Formative instruction is teaching that "forms our children." It is instruction that is "before the problem instruction. Its focus is interpreting and responding to life in biblical ways. It is both planned and unplanned." It is both planned family worship (like our family Bible times every night) and spontaneous conversations about school, bugs and friends.

The book is divided into 3 parts - the call to formative instruction, the introduction to formative instruction, and the application of formative instruction. The first section explains why God calls us to formative instruction. The second section explains the elements of formative instruction - proper communication, instructing the heart, sowing and reaping, understanding authority, wisdom and foolishness, the importance of the church, etc. The last section gives practical instruction on how to carry out all of these elements.

But all throughout the book, Tripp does an excellent job giving practical illustrations of what he means and how to talk with your children. He gives many sample conversations that are both simple and profound.

There really is so much that is good in this book, but I think the simple core of it all is that Tripp helps us as parents to not just teach our kids to stop disobeying or what to do to obey. He shows us how to get to the heart of their behavior - how to talk to our kids about why they are disobeying and why they need to obey. It's about how to bring the Gospel to every situation of our children's lives and thus every situation of parenting.

Too often as parents (when I talk to parents and myself too), we seek a "secret" method, a silver bullet, that will turn our kids into the Christians we hope they will become. Or we look back and think if we had only done this, our kids wouldn't be having these problems now as if by improving our parenting methodology, we would get better "results." But Tripp wisely avoids this trap and exhorts parents to BE the Christians we want our children to be.
  • "The most effective way to teach our children to love the Scriptures is to love it ourselves. They will see us longing to read it, hear it, [memorize it!] and understand it, and learn that it is valuable."
  • "Parenting that exhibits a vital relationship with God in all the joys and storms of life is irresistible to children and young people. Conversely, the surest way to harden our children's hearts to God and his ways is 'having a form of godliness but denying its power' (2 Tim 3:5)."
  • "They will believe that Christian faith is the genuine article if we know God - not just know about God...Our relationship with God will beckon our children to draw near to him as their source of comfort and rest."
  • "Our love for God is the foundation for anything we have to say. We cannot impress our children with the fame of God's name if we are not impressed with him ourselves...We must be dazzled by God. We cannot give away what we don't have...Many say they believe in God, but too few delight in Him. Delighting in God is more persuasive than many words."
Sure this book helped me with many practical suggestions on parenting that I have been implementing right away. Sure this book helped clarify my thinking as to why I'm parenting the way I am. But most importantly, this book helped me to delight in God and His glorious splendor. I could go on and on with quote after quote, but it'd be much better if you just went out and read the book. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Party in Kansas!

My old college friends Jean and Grace were kind enough to come out and visit me in Kansas for a girls' weekend. We had a blast during their short stay.

We visited Lawrence and the campus of KU. What a fun city and campus!

The next day we visited Council Grove and Jean treated us all to the most delicious shakes at the old fashioned soda fountain in town.

Also enjoyed lunch and the decor at the Hays House. Grace "petting" the bison head.

We stopped in at the Demo derby Sat. We were screaming and laughing our heads off!
Thanks ladies for making the trip out! Next time you have to bring the whole family out!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter 2

Here's a short video of our egg hunt. We had to do it indoors because it was cold and rainy outside. Andrew's exuberance for life even extends to Easter egg hunts.

Happy Easter!

I realized that we haven't taken a picture with the whole family in over a year! So we took the opportunity to take one while we were all dressed in our Easter best. It's hard to get everybody looking into the camera and smiling at the same time...
For Easter dinner we went to our friends' home. I organized a egg hunt for the kids that evening. When I gave Matthew his basket to collect eggs he gave me a confused look and asked, "Are we going to go trick-or-treating?" Apparently he has no memory of doing this last year...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Proverbs 15:1 and 1 Thess 5:18

Emery memorized Proverbs 15:1. If you're wondering what version that is, I paraphrased it down to language that we use in the house for her to apply to her brothers asap!

Matt got it down too.

The other day, Andrew was sitting down during our Bible time and happened to notice all of the hair on his legs and said, "WOW, I'm turning into a MAN! Look at all the hair I have!" What does he proceed to do next? Frantically look at his chest and stomach for more. Is there a way to delay puberty?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy horses! Part 2

We went to a birthday party last week which was on a farm with horses. The last time the boys and girl were faced with the opportunity to ride horses, the boys couldn't get themselves to do it. Andrew almost got into the saddle but Matt wouldn't even go outside! After 9 months in Kansas, look how far we've come...How is it that the little girl is often times the bravest (aka craziest) of the 3?
Andrew has actually overcome his fear of dogs too. Amazing things happen in Kansas.
Look at how brave Matt has become!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Somehow, Andrew has managed to master the art of using chopsticks. We use chopsticks fairly regularly around here when we eat Asian food so I guess it's not too surprising.When you can pick up a pea, you've got it down. Well, he still has to catch a fly, Karate Kid style.
Matt's still working on it...
And Emery uses a little chopsticks assistance device.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Communion with God

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I just finished Communion with God: Fellowship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit by John Owen. Considering it is over 400 pages of deep doctrine concerning the Trinity and that it was written by one of the foremost theologians in the Puritan era, I shouldn't feel too bad...except that it took me over 2 years!

It stretched my brain, my vocabulary, my eyes (as I had to re-read a lot of pages), and my heart. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are looking for a challenge. Here are a few quotes to ponder:
  • "It is the love of him who is in himself all sufficient, infinitely satiated with himself and his own glorious excellencies and perfections; who has no need to go forth with his love to others nor to seek an object of it without himself. There might he rest with delight and complacency to eternity. He is sufficient to his own love. He had his Son, also, his eternal Wisdom, to rejoice and delight himself in from all eternity. This might take up and satiate the whole delight of the Father, but he will love his saints also...He loves us because he will; there is, nothing in us for which we should be beloved."
  • [In discussing Christ's sacrifice on the cross] "The curse of the law was in it, the wrath of God was in it, the loss of God's presence was in it. It was a fearful cup that he tasted of, and drank of, that they might never taste of it. A man would not for ten thousand worlds be willing to undergo that which Christ underwent for us in that one thing of desertion from God...It is impossible there should be any greater demonstration or evidence of love than this. What can any one do more?...For one to part with his glory, his riches, his ease, his life, his love from God, to undergo loss, shame, wrath, curse, death, for another..."
  • "Though I am killed all the day long, all my sorrows have a bottom that may be fathomed - my trials, bounds that may be compassed; but the breadth, and depth, and height of the love of the Father, who can express?"
  • "He [the Holy Spirit] knew what we were, and what we could do, and what would be our dealings with him - he knew we would grieve him, provoke him, quench his motions, defile his dwelling-place; and yet he would come to be our comforter."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Boys Rule!

So the other day, Matt starts chanting, "Boys rule! Boys rule!" It wasn't a big deal as he's done that with Andrew many a time. But a few seconds after chanting that, he turns me to with a puzzled look and said, "Dad, what does Boys rule mean?"

Meanwhile Emery turns to me and says, "When Matt grows up he's going to be a daddy! And you're going to be a ... nothing!"

Matt's been working on the books of the NT. I think he's got it!

Emery is still working on it. Has anyone read First Titus yet?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Go Shox!

Andrew played in his first "real" basketball game. His team is the Shox.I guess it's a pretty popular team as they had a cheering section.

If you can keep up with him, Andrew is one of the racing yellow blurs. He didn't make the basket in this shot, but he did score a basket. And his team won in OT, 14 to 12. A real dramatic first game. When I asked him how he liked playing his first basketball game, he said, "It was AWESOME!"

Go Shox!