Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mid-year update

I'm a little late for the mid-year update, but it's been a busy July. I also want to do a post with some reflections on life here in Kansas as a pastor as I just hit my 2 year anniversary. That will one come when I get some time to really consider it though I have the seeds of a few thoughts germinating.

But back to my 2010 goals (for the last quarterly update click here) which are posted on the sidebar to the right:

Goal #1 - Read 16 books
  • I can't believe it, but I'm done. I have re-read 2 books, read 1 book on preaching, 2 biographies and am on #3, 2 on marriage, 2 on parenting, 1 history, 1 Puritan, 1 on worship and some miscellaneous ones. I think the numbers show that a lot of my emphasis this first half of the year has been on marriage and parenting - they are so closely related. I am in the middle of teaching a parenting class which has been really exciting and fun for me. A lot of parenting thoughts that I have chewing on for the past few years are crystallizing as I teach this class. We'll see where I end up on books for the year, but I hope I can make it past 20.
Goal #2 - Run the KC Half-Marathon in under 2 hours
  • It's getting close. I'm only 11 weeks away. I've got my training chart up on the wall and am on far. It's so hot and hard to run, but I'm getting excited! I just ran 5 miles last week and felt great. At my next update, I should only be 2 weeks away from running it.
Goal #3 - Read through the Bible
  • I just finished Psalm 90 and am at the end of Romans. I'm still about 10 days ahead of schedule and if anything, feeling like I should / could read more. After finishing the biography on George Muller and preaching 2 sermons on loving God's Word, I have already decided that I will read through the Bible twice next year. I want and need more of God's precious Word!
Goal #4 - Memorize 12 new Bible passages
  • All caught up! I'm back on track with this one. Although I must admit, out all of my goals this one has been the toughest to stay motivated. I used to love memorizing so much more, but now it feels like all I do is review, review, review. I think it's good to keep pushing myself in this area though. Hopefully, I'll fight through this and it'll become more joyful soon.
Not a bad mid-year update. 1 down and 3 are on track - praise God!

Friday, July 30, 2010


My parents literally rolled into town on Wed night and rolled right out this morning. They are moving back to CA and stopped by on their way. The boys and girl were super excited of course.We went to Chuck E. Cheese for some fun. Emery got to do her favorite thing with truckin'!Grandpa got Matt a paper airplane book. He was stoked.Andrew got one of those origami paper fortune tellers from Chuck E. Cheese. Boy was he excited about telling everyone's fortunes.And while we all went to Chuck E Cheese and had a great time,Sandy stayed home to paint! Just kidding...but this is the latest. Just don't look at any other side of the house.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


We're getting closer on many fronts. The house is getting closer to being done. The front door is done.
Matt suddenly got inspired, probably from seeing Emery start to swim, and is now starting to swim! He's getting closer to swimming...and he is soooooo proud of that too.
After starting to swim 2 weeks ago, Emery has regressed. All she wants to do is jump in the pool with her life vest on. Oh well - at least she's not trying to jump in without the life vest!
After watching me do a monster cannonball in a pool last year, Andrew has set his sights on this day. Another step towards manhood achieved...

Monday, July 26, 2010

#16 - Half-Marathon: You Can Do It

I recently finished Half-Marathon: You can Do it! by Jeff Galloway.
And now I know, I can do it. One of my goals is to finish the KC Half-Marathon which is 13.1 miles in less than 2 hours. I have 11 weeks to go. I just ran 5 miles this past Saturday. It was only 89 degrees with about 99.9% humidity when I finished. I got going a little too late in the morning that day.

There is absolutely no reason to read this book. Unless, you are planning to run a half-marathon. In which case, this book is fabulous. I have my plan. I am on schedule. And I can do it.

After 2 years of slowly getting into shape (which was preceded by my first 6 years of being a father where I lost all semblance of fitness), I am probably in the best shape of the last 10 years or more. My weight is right around 150 pounds which is the lowest it's been since around my college days. I am wasting away!

This is also a milestone because I hit my reading goal for the year and it's only July. I think I'll beat my record of 19 books read last year without any problems this year. I can do it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Room makeover

It was just another day in the Lee household.
The kids calmly relaxing and enjoying breakfast before church in the sun room. Ha!
How much the sun room has changed! Here's the before picture from earlier this summer. And this was a huge change (and improvement) from the previous summer (though we don't have any pictures from back then. Things always seem to be changing around here!
The boys love it! Anybody up for a visit? Free ice tea included...

Friday, July 23, 2010

1 Peter 3:8-9

It's really nice that Andrew can read on his own now. I just send him to his room, tell him to memorize his next verse, and after a few days, voila!
I don't know what came over Emery. But wait, it gets better...
Really, does it get any better than this?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random stuff

Andrew made a sign today and posted it on his bedroom door.
Lately, he's really been into G.I. Joe. Remember that? Greatest American hero? Cobra agents? And I apologize for his spelling. We're working on that, but it looks like he's never going to win a spelling bee.
And the painting continues. With the heat wave interspersed with monster thunderstorms, we haven't been painting outside much. But the new front door is almost done!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#15 - This Momentary Marriage

A little while back, I finished This Momentary Marriage by John Piper.
I haven't read a Piper book in a little bit and it was refreshing. Although I find most of his books difficult to read, I do love his passion and the way he thinks through Scripture and ties biblical themes together. With certain biblical themes, I have difficulty following him as either I'm not smart enough or it is too abstract or a little bit of both. But in the theme of marriage, Piper was neither too abstract nor too difficult to follow but wonderfully exalted God's grand and glorious institution of marriage.

This is not a practical marriage book. It is not for those who want advice on how to have a good marriage. It is for those who want to truly understand the purpose of marriage from God's perspective. It is for those who want to think deeply about marriage and how marriage can glorify God. It is for those who want to see marriage as more than about their own happiness in marriage.

It is honest yet hopeful. For those of us who have hurt our spouses in deep ways and have been hurt by our spouses, this book enables us to see those hurts in the context of God's grace. It is an encouraging book that seeks to do that with the understanding that pain can be raw in marriage.

Here are a few gems:
  • Marriage is not mainly about being or staying in love. It's mainly about telling the truth with our lives. It's about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way he relates to his people. It is about showing in real life the glory of the gospel.
  • Focus first on your need to change, not on hers or his. It may be that your spouse is sinning against you far more than you against him or her. But you will not give an account for that to the Lord Jesus. You will give an account for your responses to it. That is the great battle. Will you change? Yes, your spouse should change. No doubt about it. But I promise you, it will not bear the fruit you want, if that is your main focus.
  • Therefore, headship is not a right to control or to abuse or to neglect. (Christ's sacrifice is the pattern) Rather, it's the responsibility to love like Christ in leading and protecting and providing for our wives and families. Submission is not slavis or coerced or cowering. That's not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership and protection and provision. He wants the submission of the church to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening.
  • When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and God came to call them to account, it didn't matter that Eve had sinned first. God said, 'Adam, where are you?' (Gen 3:9). That's God's word to the family today: Adam, husband, father, where are you? If something is not working right at the Piper house and Jesus come knocking on the door, he may have an issue with my wife, but the first thing he's going to say when she opens the door is, 'Is the man of the house home?' That's the way it happened in the first marriage. It's the way it will happen in our marriage.

Piper has a lot of good thoughts about singles in this book and some on parenting too. I definitely recommend it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The life of a pastor

I know a lot of people think the life of a pastor is pretty easy. After all, you just work one day a week. What do you do all week? And after looking through my blog, it sure seems like I just chill out with my family, right? Maybe I should stop blogging...It's really not THAT easy. But we went swimming today. And in just 6 weeks the boys and girl have made a TON of progress. It's amazing to see where they were at earlier in the summer (click here to see).

Andrew is an adequate swimmer now. He's comfortable jumping in the deep end and swimming everywhere. Phew! One down.

Matt, not so much although he's now down from 3 floaties to just 1, and he doesn't scream bloody murder when he's by himself anymore!

Emery had a grand old time.

And surprise of surprises, Emery started swimming today! She swam more underwater than on top, but she did it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Boy Who Could Fly

Matt's been fascinated with superheroes and will not give up on the idea that he can fly. He's tried before unsuccessfully but he's not yet convinced that it can't be done. So today he made another attempt. He made wings for himself and I helped tape them on his back. The rest of the story goes like this:Matt: Mom, can I go outside?
Mom: Why?
Matt: So I can try to fly. (After all, now he has wings and it's very windy outside today, the conditions are perfect!)

Goes outside and jumps off the front steps. No luck. Comes back in.

Mom: How did it go? Did you fly?
Matt: No, I need my cape (very seriously and confidently).

Goes and gets his cape on and tells me he's going back out again. Jumps off the steps again. Same result. Comes back in.

Mom: Did you fly?
Matt: No. I need to make more wings and tape them on my hands. (Then proceeds to demonstrate how the wings on his hands will help with his flight. Again, very confident that it will work once the adjustment is made.)

Unfortunately at that point it was dinner time so he did not have time to make the additional wings to tape to the back of his hands. Tomorrow, I'm sure he'll be out there again flying. I love this boy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We've made some progress on our summer painting project. After several rainy days in July, we managed to do some more painting. We're almost done with the 2nd coat of grey and started the 1st coat of white trim around the windows. It's starting to come together!On a separate note, Emery tried out one of her birthday gifts - roller skates! She LOVES them.

Due to the gale force winds here in Kansas, you can actually skate very fast and not move as demonstrated here by Emery.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Emery!

I can't believe my little baby girl turned 4 today!She started off with a little party in her Sunday School class.Then we had chocolate chip pancakes for dinner at her request.We ended the day with some cake and ice cream with a few friends. It seemed like the perfect day for her. Don't my girls look beautiful?Here's a quick walk down memory lane. She's about 3 here.Almost 2 here.Just turned 1.And here's one of my favorite baby pics of her. Why does she have to grow up?!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Today, Andrew took one small step to becoming a man. No, he didn't grow any chest hair. But he did mow the lawn (part of it) for the first time ever.First, we went over the basic rules. #1 - don't cut your hand off. #2 - don't run over anyone. #3 - try and cut the grass. Then he was off!

He did pretty good for his first time! We'll work on straight lines next time.

Then after a hard day's work, Andrew cooled off with a nice slip n slide. Emery calls it the slippy slide.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oi kimchee

Sandy has become so good at cooking Korean food, I think the Koreans living in Korea would be jealous! Here is some Oi Kimchee (cucumbers) and some Kaktugee (radish). I am spoiled. I think our Kansan friends may not be too excited about eating this, but it is some of my favorite food.
And I'm not the only one that thinks it's good...Just ask Matt.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

God's bounty

Lately, we have been feasting on fresh zucchini, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and for the first time broccoli. This is our first time growing cherry tomatoes and broccoli. As you can see, the caterpillars really enjoyed our broccoli too. Cucumbers are probably my favorite vegetable, and Sandy is preparing them in so many different ways (mostly Korean dishes). It's been AWESOME!

And last night Andrew pulled out another tooth. I know we've posted him doing this a bunch of times already, but for some reason, Sandy gets a kick out of it. She wanted me to post it again. Matt and Emery love it when Andrew does this. I think they have no idea that one day, they will have to go through this themselves...otherwise, they'd have more pity, don't you think?

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's raining

As usual, after dinner tonight, I loaded up the dishwasher and started it up. However, an electrical smoky odor came out of the dishwasher. Last night, Andrew and I noticed the same smell about halfway through the dishwasher cycle. The smoky smell stopped, and it worked fine then. Since nothing came of it, I had completely forgotten about it.

Tonight though, it seemed like the water wasn't running. I hoped that maybe it would work again and then I'd definitely call a repairman tomorrow. I watched the dishwasher for awhile to make sure it didn't blow up and at times it seemed like it was working fine. The smoke smell was gone so I thought, at worst, it's doing nothing. I went to wash up the boys and girl and get them ready for bed.

Matt was all ready for bed, and I sent him downstairs for our family Bible time. Then I noticed that the dishwasher was leaking water onto the kitchen floor. It wasn't much so I grabbed a towel and started mopping it up. I turned off the dishwasher which was full of water. Then I hear Matt yelling for me.

Matt: "Dad! Come quick! It's raining down here!"

To our surprise, our laundry room which also held Sandy's craft supplies and a bunch of our kitchen and bath storage was literally raining down from the ceiling. I thought about taking a picture or a little video for the blog, but I really needed to figure out how to stop the leaking and dry things up. Sorry, maybe next time. :)

Needless to say, it was an exciting evening at the Lee household. The boys and girl were very excited about all the hub-bub. Sandy and I, not so much. But God is good. In His sovereign grace, He just reminded us again how temporary all of our worldly possessions are. Kleenex, paper towels and possibly even are dishwasher can be here one moment and gone the next.

As Emery was leaving for bed, she said, "I sure hope that doesn't happen again...but it did." True. And on a completely unrelated note, here's Emery exercising!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Latest verses

Isn't this verse so true? I don't like to experience it myself or give it out, but I know the long term rewards are worth it. I just had to pause from writing this post to give some out. Oh the joy of parenting...

It's interesting that first Andrew and now both Matt and Emery are very self-righteous. The more we teach them what is right, the more it seems they think they are good people despite the fact that they are constantly disobeying! I guess it's a lot more fun to point out the sin in their siblings than themselves.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Thank God for Advil and rain. After a full day of painting, I am SORE and TIRED. It definitely wasn't this hard the last time I painted a house. Granted, that was almost 20 years ago...and thank God that it's going to rain today so I don't feel guilty taking a day off from painting because honestly, I don't think I could do it again.It started out pretty well.We all were having fun for the fist 5 minutes.But after going left right, left right with the brush about 10,000 times, I felt like Danielson from Karate Kid.Thanks to help from some friends, we managed to finish the first coat of grey. Now we have a lovely grey, brown, beige and white house. We're the envy of the neighborhood.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's time

It feels like we've changed almost everything about our house. And now, it's time for the most dramatic change yet...We have 15 gallons of paint ready.All the prep work is done. All we need are a few helping hands...These hands won't help much. But if you're in the neighborhood and looking for something to do, stop on by!