Friday, December 30, 2011
After reading so many books about war, I am starting to grasp the brutality and horror of war, at least conceptually. War seems to be one of the worst representations of the sinfulness of mankind made manifest. I am so thankful our soldiers who sacrifice so much to protect our nation and our freedom.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
And Matt is continuing his banner year. Not only has he lost those 3 teeth, with 3 more loose teeth fairly soon to come, he's also a reading mad man now. It's so cute because he's constantly looking at things I take for granted, staring at them and then saying, "Great Value" or "ketchup."
Even though he still looks so tiny to me, he's really growing up into a big boy. He turns 7 next month, and before you know it, he'll be off to college, or at least growing a mustache.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
But I've come to realize that many people have allowed their past to influence them probably more than is wise. Some over react to their past by trying to recreate their past in the present or by attempting to run from/fight with their past or people who remind them of their past. Others try to bury their past and pretend it never existed.
Viars quotes Wayne Mack who wrote, "'Time heals all wounds' is one of the most inane statements ever made. Spiritual wounds may harden into scabs and scars over time, but their harmful consequences inevitably continue unless true healing occurs. Time by itself can never truly heal any wound of a spiritual nature."
He goes to make the point that we must deal with our past and learn from it. He quotes Proverbs 26:11 (which just happens to be Matt and Emery's memory verse right now!), "Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. The principle is this: Bad choices that are not recognized and corrected become part of who we are. Note the key words repeats. Each time we sin in our thoughts, words, desires, or behavior makes it easier and more likely that the same wrong choice will be repeated. When we fail to learn lessons, dangerous ruts are created in the road of our hearts."
After establishing this need to deal with our past biblically, he gives a very helpful paradigm to evaluate your past. He gives 4 options or "buckets" that we must keep empty in order to not live in the past but learn properly from it. The buckets are:
- The innocent past (you were wronged out of no fault of your own) when you responded well
- The innocent past when you responded poorly
- The guilty past (you sinned against someone first) when you responded well
- The guilty past when you responded poorly
This is a very helpful grid to evaluate your past experiences so that you can let go of any inappropriate self-guilt and take responsibility for any sin that you contributed. Then Viars goes on in the rest of the book to explain each of the buckets in some detail with plenty of personal examples and application.
I liked how Viars connected how understanding our past helps us deal with present life issues. And dealing with present life issues has implications for our future - either we will respond better in the future or we will further ingrain these negative habitual patterns. He also did well to bring a theologically faithful and God centered perspective to the daily issues of life.
If you have issues in your past or are involved in any counseling or discipleship, this is a very helpful book. I highly recommend it.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Thankfully, he is good at memorizing. When he applies himself, he can really memorize quickly and retain long term too.
Emery used to be excellent at memorizing. But for some reason right now, she can't seem to retain a thing. On top of that, she memorizes verses for school in the KJV which is extra confusing for her. So I'm in the midst of a dilemma, can you ever have too many Bible verses for your kids? If so, I do. She's got a new one every week for school, plus I'm trying to get her to re-memorize the 36 passages we've already done, and start her with some new ones because re-memorizing gets old fast. I also don't want her just memorizing verses and then forgetting them the next week either. I really do want her to understand them and hide them in her heart. We refer to our verses at home all the time as they are pertinent to helping her have a God centered life. On top of all that, I'd love for the boys and girl to get back to Awana, but that's a million more verses to memorize! Too many options...
Matt struggled for a long time, but I think he's really pulling out of it now and is starting to retain a lot better. Although he still struggles to memorize, once it gets in there, it's starting to stick. Praise God!
Monday, December 12, 2011
This was the opening song. I think they were singing.
All the kids did a great job. And thanks to Collette for putting the whole thing together!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Emery sang 2 songs with her kindergarten class. She did a great job. I have been trying to upload some video of it, but the blog is not cooperating. I'll try it again later. But for now, here's a picture - can you feel the passion? Actually, if I get the video up, you'll see some serious concentration going on.Matt was part of a play. He didn't have a speaking role, and that's exactly what he wanted. He sang in several songs with the 1st through 3rd graders. He did great too.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Emery and Matt learned this song in chapel at school. They love it, and she sings it quite often around the house. Thanks Mrs. Bacon!
This is also one of the boys and girl's favorites - awesome God. Give it up for Rich Mullins. Although he's not responsible for those motions.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
He requested that I not take any video of the actual event so I turned off the camera. He decided that he wanted to be the one to pull it out. He started out great. The tooth was clearly ready to come out. But then it just plain hurt too much so he stopped with much blood and weeping and gnashing of tooth.Unfortunately for him, I couldn't stop after getting so close. Later tonight, I bribed him with a $1 instead of the usual quarter, and he let me (barely) pull it out for him. Phew! 2 done, how many to go?
Saturday, December 3, 2011
I thought it was going to be a relaxing Saturday, but it turned out to be a crazy fun day...at least for the boys and girl.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Why? I realized today that my self-induced stress was not because I was so concerned about my ability to exalt the greatness and glory of God in my preaching. Instead, my anxieties have come from a desire to seek the approval of man or the glory that comes from man. It's been a convicting week. But God has been good to show me this in order that I may be free to love and rejoice in the glory of God.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Andrew's job for the past couple of years has been clearing the table. But I decided it's time to start teaching him the art of loading the dishwasher. As with all child training, one of the side benefits is to develop greater patience in me. Teaching Andrew to load the dishwasher take 3x longer than me doing it, but I know that the benefits for him and me long term are worth the time investment.
Right now, he's excited about the new job. I guess that will last about 2 more days. Andrew loves to start new things but follow through and completing things are less exciting to him. Matt is a very impressionable little brother. He is super excited to be doing Andrew's old job, and he can't wait to load the dishwasher and mow the lawn.
2 years - I'm 2 years away. With 2 more years of training, it'll be time to kick back, relax and watch the boys and girl DO EVERYTHING! Ha!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
During the time, I was sick, I couldn't speak much. So I couldn't read the Bible to the boys and girl during our evening Bible time. I am thankful that God has given me the privilege to read His Word to them. It is something I should not take for granted nor so easily forego on evenings we are busy.
Also, while I was sick, I couldn't sing. That made me real sad. What a privilege and honor and joy it is to sing to our great and glorious God. I am so looking forward to heaven where I will be able to sing, hopefully in perfect pitch, with all the saints of all time and praise God in heaven! And I will never miss a day from sickness or being tired or anything for that matter. O Glorious Day!
But in the end, I am most thankful that God never gets sick. He never gets tired. He never misses a day being God to me and to all His creation. He doesn't need vitamins, Nyquil, a humidifier, cough drops or extra rest. He is self-sufficient and needs absolutely nothing to be the all perfect, all powerful, always righteous and infinitely good and loving God of the universe. Isn't that comforting? The old theological term for this is the aseity of God. This thanksgiving, I am especially thankful that I can depend and trust in the aseity of God.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I really should enjoy the fact that some people think I am in my 20's although doing the math, that would mean I would have been a teen father. And with my less than vibrant head of hair, I don't understand how people could think I am so young. But really, it's one more opportunity for me to decrease and Christ to increase in my life.
We started celebrating a little early with a yummy birthday dinner last night. My wonderful wife grilled me some fabulous rib eye steak and some of my favorite foods.The boys and girl made me some cards and gave me some presents - one gave me 6 cents, another 12 cents. Child labor doesn't pay what it used to...We couldn't quite manage a decent picture where everyone's eyes are open and looking at the camera. But somehow, the crazy picture always turns out fine - why is that?
I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, some kind of head cold and congestion. So I'm not having the wild and crazy birthday I usually have. :) But I got to preach God's Word on my birthday this morning, celebrate with my beautiful wife and the always entertaining boys and girl, and worship with my new church family. That makes it a pretty great day.