We had a very nice picnic today with a few of our friends. Isn’t it nice to have friends?
The boys played football. To the left Keith is trying to catch the football – and he thought all those ballet lessons were for naught! On the right you see Levi trying to block a pass to Keith.
Here’s Jamie and Keith playing our favorite lawn game – Ladder Ball.
Isaac was a little hesitant about playing in the sprinkler with Jacob. Several of us took his hand and helped him get used to the sprinkler by taking him up close enough to see it wasn’t going to hurt him. He spent about an hour just running around circling the sprinkler but never getting close enough to get wet.
The weather was perfect – a sunny day with a little breeze to offset the 80 degrees that set in after a brief rain. Add to the nice weather a few good friends and you have a perfect day.
“Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed.”
Our son, Nathaniel, graduated from “A” school Avionics Intermediate Level in Pensacola, Florida on March 5, 2008. From there he went on to graduate from “C” school at Camp Pendleton in California on June 12, 2008. He is now certified to work on CH 46/CH 53 Rotary Wing Electrical and Weapons Systems. He also earned his gray belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program on June 5, 2008. It is his desire to advance as far as he can in the Marine Corps. In the Marine Corps, you can advance quicker if you are deployed over seas. Nathaniel is hoping to get a tour in Iraq some time in the next three years. On July 9 He will be flying out to Permanent Duty station MCBH in Kanoche Bay, Hawaii. Congratulations, Nathaniel on your accomplishment and thank you for serving your country.
In church last night we spent a marvelous hour exploring the function of the Law in man’s life regarding salvation. One would assume a light Bible study on a prayer meetin’ night, but not us; we were fed from both Testaments, old and new, a hearty meal!
There is a key to salvation – a key that unlocks man’s heart so that it is receptive to the redemptive power of the cross. Do you know what that key is? Have you ever knocked on a door to share the gospel only to be met with a man who claims to have no need of a Savior? There’s a popular saying that goes like this, “Ya gotta get ‘em lost before you can get ‘em saved.” Well, that’s where the Law comes in. We don’t have to follow the Law to get saved, rather we use the law as a window into our soul. It is our schoolmaster. Through our knowledge of the Law we judge just how sinful we are, realizing then the need of our acceptance of the One who has already paid our debt. If we don’t get those people on the other side of our door knocking to realize they are lost, then we can’t get them to realize they need to be found!
So, though we are not relying on keeping of the Law to gain a home in heaven, we surely need to use the Law to remind us of our need of the Savior. The Law brings the conviction necessary to persuade people of their guilt before God. Thus, the Law IS perfect, converting the soul. (Psalm 19:7) It’s a mirror that reflects our depraved soul. When you talk to someone who claims to not be a sinner, just point them to the Ten Commandments. Not one of us can ace that test!
Here are some choice morsels to enjoy: Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Micah 5:2; Psalm 19:7; Romans 3:19-20; I Timothy 1:8,9; Luke 11:52; Acts 28:23.
This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to my kids. It was too long to post the entire letter, so I’ve just included the last two paragraphs along with some quotes from Amy Carmichael’s book If.
Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
We absolutely do not have the right to walk on others to accomplish God’s will. We do not sin to accomplish God’s will. We do not walk contrary to others just to prove a point. God is not in that type of rebellious behavior. If rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, then isn’t it of Satan for us to make a decision to do something or not do something out of a knee jerk response? That is not spirituality or a better way. It’s just plain rebellion. It is not of God. Satan is manipulating us for his own glory, not God’s and we’re buying it. I’ve had to check my own behavior lately because I want to do things just because it’s different or the opposite of those who have hurt me. That’s wrong. If it’s not God centered – if it’s not for His glory, then why am I doing it? It’s out of self-satisfaction and that’s the wrong reason.
I want to serve God. That’s my desire. But I get in the way. I want to prove to others that God is directing me. That desire is wrong. My goal ought to be to prove to God that I want what He has or that I want to be more like Him. It’s about Him, not me. If my path to God or for God hurts others or disrespects their convictions or turns them cold toward me, then I better look to make sure it’s God’s path and not mine. Most likely I’ll find out it was my path all along. I need to get on and stay on His path – especially for the benefit of others. It is a great responsibility to lead. If I press my opinion or beliefs to the point of alienating or hurting another, then where is the love of God in my life? My pursuits will have been for nothing. Maybe I can have the satisfaction of believing I was right and they were wrong, but that satisfaction won’t change lives or direct people to Christ. Self satisfaction over our accomplishments or discoveries or even beliefs still begins with self – and that is not for God’s glory. I must realize that what God convicts others of is right and good and I must respect that and figure out how it fits into His will for my life.
God is capable of working it all out without our help. We just need to obey, love, watch and wait.
“If I am inconsiderate about the comfort of others, or their feelings, or even of their little weaknesses; if I am careless about their little hurts and miss opportunities to smooth their way; if I make the sweet running of household wheels more difficult to accomplish, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
“If my interest in the work of others is cool; if I think in terms of my own special work; if the burdens of others are not my burdens too, and their joys mine, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
“If I want to be known as the doer of something that has proved the right thing, or as the one who suggested that it should be done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” Amy Carmichael
In just two short weeks our family will say goodbye to the church family we’ve grown to love. Nine years of our life have been spent here. Most of my children grew up in this church. My first daughter was married here and gave us two grandsons. Eight of my children graduated from this school. My daughter and son-in-law served with us here on staff. All of this we have shared with our church family.
It is a hard thing to say goodbye to friends who have over the years become more like family. It’s hard to say when that moment actually happens – perhaps somewhere between joy and suffering. It is good to make friends, but it’s even better when they become family. Family to me is a person who has knit their heart to mine. Family is who you tell your hopes and dreams to or share your burden or hurt with. When suffering is shared, hearts are melded. It’s not in the telling, but the receiving. Your burden must be received and carried. Your load becomes lighter when you’ve shared it with someone who actually cares. I have experience this here. Some people call that person their best friend, but how do you do that when you have more than a dozen? You don’t have to share my blood line to become family. But then, that’s obvious when you look at our family. When we adopted, it was like taking a friend and telling them we wanted to be a part of their future.
So, we are at a close here where we serve. God is calling us away, but we can’t take our friends with us – the friends who have become family. This doesn’t seem right, but our ways are not God’s ways. We cannot know what God will do with the love that must be fragmented and sent on it’s way to develop in the hearts of others through us. It does make the yearning for heaven grow stronger where we will never have to part from those we love, those in our homemade family.
We’ve spent almost a decade here in this church. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve rejoiced and we’ve grieved. Some have loved us, some have cast us aside. Still, we’ve taken immeasurable treasure away with us that could only have been discovered here – to use in another place, at another time, to grow God’s family. I have to admit, God had to pry my fingers off one at a time, for I held on very tightly to this ministry we now call family. But I am not ashamed of that. I think it right to hold on to those whom God brings into our path, those we vow to serve – to hold tightly and not want to let them go. Only then, when my fear of losing them is so very great do I claim them. And, most likely, if you are reading this, you are counted among them – my very precious family.
You have been used by our Lord to change and shape us, to point us to Him and gain a better understanding of who He is. You have comforted us, encouraged and uplifted us. He’s used you to challenge us, to push us to pursue excellence, to become better in His service. Thank you, my church family. I will miss you beyond what I am able to express.
In the nursery during our Wednesday night service 2 1/2 year olds Isaac (my grandson) and Lincoln were having a conversation. I listened in:
Lincoln: “Are you a big boy?”
Isaac: “Uh huh. Are you big boy?”
Lincoln: “No, the kids are.” “My brothers are big boys.”
So I asked Lincoln: “Lincoln, are you a big boy?”
Lincoln: “No, my brothers are big boys.” “I’m a little boy.”
So, there you have it. Isaac is 11 days older than Lincoln. So, I guess in eleven days, Lincoln will be a big boy too.
Devin and Scott have been married a little over a year now. They live in Indiana in a cute little apartment close to where Scott works. Scott just got a new job where he’s been working for ABC and NBC at Indiana’s News Center (21 Alive) as a video editor for the past year. Our family recently went to his job site where we were given the 25 cent tour. It was very interesting! He has just received a promotion as head of the Web Production Department. The job entails on-air reporting and online management. On the side he will continue to do some video editing for the evening anchors.
Jillian and I enjoy talking with Scott about the things he works with since we both are dabling in visual communications ourselves. It’s not unusual for us to be shooting the breeze over one of the Adobe programs that has us stumped. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts a little over a year ago with an emphasis on Computer Art and Design. He’s our resident expert! Last time Devin and Scott came up to visit they brought their Wii. While Devin and her dad were playing Cow Racing, Scott and I were chatting about our mutual interest – which is anything to do with computers. With a little coaxing, we even had Grandma playing the Wii! Devin had made me a terrific birthday lunch and brought accessories for Jillian’s senior banquet. April and Adam and the boys came over and we had a very nice cookout that evening.
It is such a small world. Who’d ever imagine we’d have a son-in-law that has a degree in the area that Jillian and I are so interested in. Devin and I were laughing about how much Scott is like Dad. It really is true about daughters finding someone to marry that are like their fathers. She is fortunate!
Mollie is graduating May 25 from Lighthouse Academy boarding school. It’s her plan to eventually go to college for writing. Since she’s not had opportunity to earn college money while in boarding school, it is our hope that she’ll join the military where she can go to school on the governement’s dime and serve her country at the same time. Please pray that she will allow God to direct her future.
Mollie is gifted in the area of music. Many times while she was still home, she accompanied our church choir. I really miss listening to her while she worked on perfecting her specials on our living room piano. Her piano teacher told us that she has perfect pitch just like her brother Nathaniel. It would be great if she could further develop this talent for the Lord.