Sunday, May 31, 2009

John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides

I just finished this autobiography. John G. Paton was a missionary to the New Hebrides islands also known as Vanuatu) which are in the Pacific near Australia during the 1800's. After he decided to go to the New Hebrides, a lot of people tried to dissuade him and told him "you will be eaten by cannibals!" And in fact, many missionaries were eaten by cannibals.And while this book is somewhat long, over 500 pages, it read fairly easily as it was mostly stories. And boy, were there some incredible stories! I definitely recommend this book. It really challenged me to examine how much I truly love the Lord. What am I really willing to do to serve Him? Here are a few quotes:
  • Amongst many who sought to deter me, was one dear old Christian gentleman, whose crowning argument always was, "The Cannibals! You will be eaten by Cannibals!" At last I replied, "Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honouring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my ressurection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer."
  • Initially, his ministry was not very fruitful with MANY near death experiences. This is the prayer of one of the few initial native converts who worked with John Paton during one of their many moments on the brink of martyrdom. "'O Lord, our Heavenly Father, they have murdered Thy servants on Erromanga. They have banished the Aneityumese from dark Tanna. And now they want to kill [John Paton] and me! Our great King, protect us, and make their hearts soft and sweet to Thy worship. Or, if they are permitted to kill us, do not Thou hate us, but wash us in the blood of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ...Our Lord, our hearts are pained just now, and we weep over the death of Thy dear servants; but make our hearts good and strong for Thy cause, and take Thou away all our fears...' In this manner, his great simple soul poured itself out to God; and my heart melted within me as it had never done under any prayer poured from the lips of cultured Christian men!"
  • After many years of faithful service and several missionary martyrs, this is the statement of some of the natives - "'How is this?' they cried; 'we slew or drove them all away! We plundered their houses and robbed them. Had we been so treated, nothing would have made us return. But they come back with a beautiful new ship, and with more and more Missionaries. And is it to trade and to get money, like the other white men? No! No! But to tell us of their Jehovah God and of His son Jesus. If God makes them do all that, we may well worship Him too.'"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The swing set is DONE!

A little over 1 year ago, we saw this great deal for a used redwood swing set. We knew we were moving to Kansas and that we would have a yard to put it in. So we jumped on it and bought it.It came partly disassembled and looked something like this.Then I completely disassembled it, and we threw the pieces in the moving van that moved all of our stuff to KS.It lay in storage for a while until this spring. Some friends sanded the wood. Yes we are blessed with some great friends!Then this week, we stained it. Even the kids and a neighbor kid helped out too!Today, we started to put it together. It was a bit of a giant jigsaw puzzle.Is it backwards? Is it straight? Where does that piece go?Ta-dah! Praise God! 1 year later, we have a swing set! Let's just hope the Kansas winds don't blow it away!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Philippians 2:3-5

It took a while, but they both got it!
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For some reason Matt is really hard to understand. But it truly is Phil 2:3-5.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summertime

The weather is gorgeous here in KS. 80's and sunny. We love it!We opened up the Lee family pool today too. It was a tad chilly for Matt.We're also very excited about our garden. We've managed to keep a few plants alive...somehow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Schools out!


Wahoo! Today was the last day of school. Andrew woke up and came into the kitchen saying, "I'm FREE! I'm FREE! Today is the last day of school!" We celebrated by going to McDonalds for lunch.
Speaking of funny things Andrew says:
-Also this morning he told me that his classmates wanted him to come to their house for playdates this summer. I told him that would be fine and to just have their parents call me to set it up. I also informed him that their parents could find our phone number in the phone book. His response was, "We're in the KS phonebook?! Even though we've only lived in KS for a little while?" I said, "yup." Andrew then asked, "Does that mean we're SPECIAL?!" I said, "Nope, it just means... we live here."
-Yesterday morning...
Andrew: Mom, can you sign me up for the NBA? I've decided that's what I want to do when I grow up.
Mom:Um, they don't allow you to just sign up. You have to be asked to play in the NBA.
Andrew: But how will they find me?
Mom: There are people called scouts and they look all over the country for the best players in college and high school to ask them to play in the NBA. So you gotta practice real hard if you want them to ask you to play there.
Andrew: With confidence "Oh, OK, I will."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Awards Night

The end of the school year is here and Andrew's school had an awards night to celebrate. EVERY child received an award of some sort. Andrew received the "leadership" award. I think that means he likes to be first in line. I think he also got an award for being selected for the ACSI Young Author's Olympics earlier this year. Notice: The teacher is trying to shake his hand and he's saying just trying to grab his award. We probably should've prompted him on what to do up there. Next time... Tomorrow is the last day of school and then he's officially a 2nd grader!

This is Andrew with the school's principal, Mr. Sanborn. I don't know if this man gets any sleep at all considering how hard he works to keep this school going. Pray for this man's stamina!
This Andrew's teacher for this year. Her name is Mrs. Goff and she is resigning after teaching at Emporia Christian School for 16 years! What a faithful servant!
Andrew with a couple of the other first grade boys, from left to right: Isaac, Joel and Andrew. This will be a fun picture to show them when they're all graduating from high school together!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

$1 bin

It's been said that these days you can't get much for a $1. But whoever said that hasn't been to Target's $1 section. On our little mini-vacation to Wichita last week, we let the kids pick out 1 thing each.Andrew picked the classic - army men (the perfect thing to go with his Star Wars Legos).Matt picked dinosaurs and promptly, they had eggs (yogurt raisins)! Spring is in the air. And in case you're wondering what Emery picked, after taking the most time deciding, she ended up with...balloons.

Friday, May 15, 2009

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Surprisingly, he had trouble with this short one.
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It must have been a tough day at school...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Children Desiring God Part 2

Bruce Ware was the speaker for the 2nd plenary session and his topic was "The Biblical Foundations for the Centrality of God" or in short - God alone is God. He talked about 3 main themes:
1. God is creator - He alone created (exclusivity) and no one else can do it (incomparability)
2. God is redeemer - He owns us. We do not have rights.
3. God is sovereign - He reigns over good and evil.
  • Exodus 8:10 Then he (Pharaoh) said, "Tomorrow." So he (Moses) said, "May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God."
  • Deuteronomy 4:39 "Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other."
  • Psalm 86:8-10 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, Nor are there any works like Yours. 9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your name. 10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.
  • Jeremiah 10:6-8 There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might. 7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You.
The 3rd plenary speaker was Paul David Tripp and his topic was "His Story or Your Story: Who Reigns Supreme in Your Heart?" It brought all of these incredible truths of God's greatness that I had just heard from Piper and Ware down to the reality of my life, my heart, my thinking, and my attitude. Convicting! In a good way. If you have the time, I encourage you to listen to the messages. They just put them up on the CDG web site - http://www.childrendesiringgod.org/events/conference2009.php

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Popsicles

What do you get when you put popsicles and little kids together? That's right all you parents, a big mess. So this is our solution!Everybody wins!
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Just another night at the Lee household...maybe they'll make this an Olympic sport someday. And if you're wondering how Emery doesn't get dizzy and pass out, so am I.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wichita

We went for a trip to Wichita this weekend. I've never been there before, and I liked it. It was a definitely a city, but it didn't feel like any city I'd been to before. We went to the Botanical Gardens.Emery liked the flowers.Matt liked the scenery.Andrew liked the hot rods! We found these when we went out for dinner.
We went to Wichita so that I could run in a 10k (6.2 miles). I've never done that before, but praise God I finished! The medal was for 5th place. Just kidding, everyone got a medal. I was probably more like 5,000th place.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Children Desiring God

So I went to this conference last week with another couple from our church. I was familiar with John Piper and Desiring God, but I was not too familiar with Children Desiring God (www.childrendesiringgod.org). Boy was I pleasantly surprised.

The conference was great for my soul. The theme was Our Glorious God! And though I think that I generally have a high view of God, I am such a sinner and really do not view God as He describes Himself to be in His Word.

Piper was the keynote speaker and started off the conference with a message titled "The God-Centeredness of God." He talked about how the key to being God centered is to acknowledge that God is God centered. He is focused on His glory and thus by default not mine. Do you feel more loved by God when He makes much of you or when He enables you through the cross to make much of Him? I am not being God centered when the core of my love for God is centered on what He has done for ME.
  • Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Who created the heavens to declare His own glory?
  • Isaiah 43:7 "Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made." We also were created for His glory.
  • John 12:28 "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." Christ was willing to go to the cross to make God's name great.
  • Philippians 2:9 "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name," God raised Jesus for His own glory though Jesus.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:15 "and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." And we are redeemed, not to live for ourselves and our own glory, but for His.
Much has been made of God's love and justifiably so. But the main way God loves us is not by making much of us or sparing us from trouble. The main way God loves us is by lifting up the 1 thing that will provide the highest value and is the deepest act of love - the glory of God. Love provides the deepest and longest satisfaction - that can never be found in yourself but only in God and His glory. God exalts God so that we must exalt God.

I have been guilty lately of seeking God's grace for my comfort, for my purposes, for my service to Him, for my family, and for my happiness. Praise God that He so lovingly redirects me back to His mercy, His greatness, His sovereignty, His goodness, His kindness, His wrath, and His glory.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

While I was gone...Part 2

Apparently, a lot happened while I was gone. Good times for all...
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When did our kids get so brave?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

While I was gone...

I left Thursday for the Children Desiring God Conference. It was a very, very good conference (more on that later). I returned late last night so things are a bit hectic at the moment. But while I was gone, Andrew received 2 medals!
1 medal was for finishing 6th (out of 7) in his basketball league - truly an honor to not be in last place! And the other medal was for finishing 3rd (out of 8) in a writing contest at school. But I am the most proud of Andrew for voluntarily sharing 1 medal with his brother - Heb 13:16 in action! Praise God!