Sunday, February 28, 2010

CA part 3

One of the main reasons we go to CA is to visit family and friends. By God's grace, we have been truly blessed with many who showered us with love and food...lots of food!Emery got to see cousin Natalie who's just 6 weeks younger than her...yet quit a bit taller.And here's Emery's newest cousin, Sophie, just 2 weeks old!The boys got to hang out with Uncle Elmer.And Matt got to play with cousin Micah.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

CA part 2

Sandy's parents recently moved to a retirement community in south Orange County, 7 minutes from Laguna Beach. It's nice...real nice.Sandy's dad loves to play golf so guess what he picked up when he moved here? That's right, a golf cart. We hijacked it when he wasn't looking.There's a beautiful walking trail next to a creek complete with ducks swimming away in peaceful tranquility...until Matt sees them. Guess who loves to chase ducks?It was a nice day to climb very low, horizontal trees.And pose for pictures.
Batman had another good day.

Friday, February 26, 2010

We're back!

Wow! It's been a busy 2 weeks! First, our good friends the Petta's came to KS for a visit. I can't believe it, but somehow we have no pictures of our time together. Sorry about that!

Then, by the grace of God, we managed to score round trip tickets to LA for a little less than $100! We couldn't pass up that deal so we spent a little vacation out in the sun. We did so much!Emery and Matt were so happy to be in CA they spent the first few hours hugging.With temps in the 70's and 60's, the boys and girl got to picnic outside regularly for lunch.We hit Laguna Beach a couple of times...I know, poor us.Matt LOVED the waves even though the water was quite chilly.Strangely, Emery didn't get into the water this time. She kept asking about sharks for some reason though. Instead, she had tons of fun with grandma building...small mounds of sand - that's pretty much the extent of her imagination at the moment.It was a picture perfect start to our vacation. I'll have to blog more about the trip later.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meditation

If you're wondering how to get kids to memorize more Bible verses, allow me to let you in on a little secret - they need to meditate!Just kidding. As we were doing our verses tonight, Andrew started doing this and Matt soon followed. I asked Andrew what he was doing, and he said, "I'm meditating on my verses!" Emery apparently thought it was too weird though.
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Apparently meditation works.
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But then again, so does not meditating, at least for Emz. In case you are wondering what happened to Matt, he's still meditating...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

#2 - The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

For those of you who don't know David Brainerd, he was a missionary to several groups of Native Americans in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. His time in ministry was rather short as he died in 1747 at the age of 29. He battled sickness, depression and loneliness. But I think he quite literally gave his life to serve the Lord and preach the Gospel.This was a somewhat unusual biography. It was divided into 2 parts. Part 1 consisted of Brainerd's thoughts and emotions while on the mission field. This was probably 2/3 of the book. Part 2 recounted his daily events and interactions with people during part of his ministry. His good friend was the famous Puritan Jonathan Edwards who interspersed his own various thoughts in Part 1.

Upon first glance, this book may appear fairly odd as it is filled with depressing thoughts and evaluations of himself. Brainerd constantly describes himself as vile, wicked, worthless, etc. For example:
  • Saw so much of the wickedness of my heart, that I longed to get away from myself. I never before thought there was so much spiritual pride in my soul. I felt almost pressed to death with my own vileness. Oh what a body of death is there in me!
  • Felt so vile and unworthy, that I scarce knew how to converse with human creatures.
  • I had the most abasing thoughts of myself, I think, that ever I had; I thought myself the worst wretch that ever lived: it hurt me, and pained my very heart, that anybody should show me any respect.
  • ...my soul was grieved for the congregation; that they should hear such a dead dog as I preach.

Do you get the picture? It is literally hundreds of pages of this. Maybe I related to Brainerd because I too have somewhat depressive melancholy ways. However, what impressed me about Brainerd was the reason for his depressive melancholy ways. He always compared himself to God or what God would have him do. And then Brainerd almost always responded with hours and hours and hours of prayer.

Though his life was short, Brainerd was consumed with living for the glory of God:

  • All my desire was the conversion of the heathen, and all my hope was in God. God does not suffer me to please or comfort myself with hopes of seeing friends, returning to my dear acquiantance, and enjoying worldly comforts.
  • I have felt this week more of the spirit of a pilgrim on earth than perhaps ever before;
  • ...yet this was my greatest happiness, never more to dishonor, but always to glorify the blessed God.
  • I longed to be always solemn, devout, and heavenly-minded; and was afraid to leave off praying, lest I should again lose a sense of the sweet things of God.

How often do I feel like THAT while I am praying?! And there's more!

  • And toward night I felt my soul rejoice, that God is unchangeably happy and glorious; that he will be glorified, whatever becomes of his creatures. I was enabled to persevere in prayer till some time in the evening; at which time I saw so much need of divine help, in every respect, that I knew not how to leave off, and had forgot that I need food.
  • I was enabled, I think, this day to give up my soul to God, and put over all my concerns into his hands; and found some real consolation in the thought of being entirely at the divine disposal, and having no will or interest of my own. I have received my all from God; oh that I could return my all to God! Surely God is worthy of my highest affection, and most devout adoration; he is infinitely worthy, that I should make him my last end, and live for ever to him. Oh that I might never more, in any one instance, live to myself!

Keep in mind - this is his private diary. He had no intention for anyone to read this when he wrote this. It was convicting and inspiring for me to attempt to attain these thoughts and emotions once, let alone as constantly as Brainerd did. This is why this diary has inspired countless people to serve the Lord including William Carey and Henry Martyn.

However, this book is not for everyone. It can get pretty repetitive and somewhat negative at times. But it really blessed me and inspired me to grow in my passion for the Lord - to seek to fully give myself over to Him and all His glorious splendor.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ephesians 4:28

Andrew keeps going....
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Ephesians 4:28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Everyday Emporia

Some of the things that I encounter on a typical winter day here in Emporia:
1) Superheroes:These are Matt's "swords" that he uses to fight the forces of evil each day.

2) Homeschool:Andrew complained that Matt and Emery were being too noisy and that he couldn't concentrate on his schoolwork. His solution was to wrap 3 scarves around his ears. He wasn't happy about it though.

3) Winter wonderland:
I woke up to find the landscape covered in a beautiful white layer of frost.

4) Sick kids:Poor Emery she's been sick since yesterday. She spent the day coughing and feverish. However, she did enjoy getting the royal treatment from mom and her brothers. Andrew even wiped her nose for her when she sneezed! Matthew hand fed her small pieces of tangerine during lunch. They were good big brothers today.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Defense!

As his dad and coach, I love the defensive effort Andrew gave.
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The rules were no stealing while the other person is dribbling and no fast breaks if you're wondering about all the stoppage of play.
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Andrew's not the only one getting exercise in this winter.
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But of course, it's a lot harder to do when the big boys are involved. She's a tough little girl though and she was fine.