Saturday, February 28, 2009

Zeke's security blanket

One of Zeke's first two-word combos has been "chap stick", which comes out sounding like app' ick. He treats chap stick like a prized blankie, carrying it around the house most of the time, wanting to have it when he's in the crib, and after a nap, etc. It's quite unusual.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sickness has this advantage

that it draws our sweet Physician's hand and his holy and soft fingers to touch our withered and leper skin: it is a blessed fever that fetches Christ to the bedside -- I think my Lord's, "How doest thou with it, sick child?" is worth all my pained nights.

Sure I am, it is better to be sick, providing Christ come to the bedside and draw the curtains, and say, "Courage, I am thy salvation," than to enjoy health and never need to be visited of God.

Friends, I bless you for your prayers; add to them praises.

Adapted from Samuel Rutherford's The Loveliness of Christ after a brief illness

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A taste of death?

I've been praying for those in our church that have been laid low with a nasty stomach bug that is going around. Grace came down with it Sunday and Isaiah got it last night. I was in bed with it all yesterday myself.

It's been a while since I've felt that miserable. Since I had just taught a little on death in Sunday School (Christian and Hopeful crossing the River in Pilgrim's Progress), I couldn't help thinking about death as the hours crept by painfully slow. I wasn't up to reading for much of the day, but I found comfort in muttering through the Psalms I've memorized in the past and in praying for God's mercy on my wife, children, and friends who are dealing with this, too. Again I'm reminded of the benefit of Scripture memory and that you have to put the "key in your bosom" (my last Pilgrim's Progress analogy) before you need it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Talking heads

Zeke: Trips to the commissary (the base grocery store) with the young children are usually difficult, but yesterday it was a little humorous. Zeke had a song in his head that he couldn't contain and so sang (the 4 words of it he knows, over and over, at the very top of his lungs) for much of the time. It was kinda like a one-man mariachi band rolling down the aisles. Several strangers took time to comment.

Faith's contrarian ways continue unabated. She pitched a fit in the commissary in order to pressure Kristin to buy a box of Dora cereal. That was last week. Every morning when we offer it to her, she screams and sometimes even runs out of the room! On a bright note, she may have a promising future as a drill sergeant. Twice recently when Zeke is down for a nap, she has come to Kristin and sternly said, "You should get on the treadmill!"

Isaiah continues to pad his lead in the daily word count department. Kristin noticed last night that he began talking to her while he was in the car, even before she got in! The monologue continued all the way to practice and back without intermission. Having a talker in the family is a hoot! Is this a birth-order thing--is the third child usually the talkative one?

Since Grace and Eli sometimes read these posts, I won't embarass

Monday, February 16, 2009

Grace and Faith meet Elinor and Marianne

In keeping our Valentine tradition, Grace and Faith chose a movie based on a Jane Austen novel to watch this weekend. They selected Sense and Sensibility (1995). I don't think Grace understood most of the dialogue, but she stayed with the movie's basic plot.

Remember this scene (near the end)? It had to be challenging to get it just right, but we think they did.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Three cheers for Phil, the man on the street

I'd love to know how he does it! Phil stands outside one of the Planned Parenthood offices in town and somehow re-directs women planning to enter there to Care Net instead. The ladies that volunteer at Care Net call him their "man on the street". Last night, Kristin met one of the ladies that Phil sent over. She was abortion minded but once the ultrasound showed her baby boy blinking and responding to tickles, how could she? Besides the ultrasound, she received a lot of good information on better options than abortion.

BTW, Care Net's Open House will be Sunday, February 15th, 1:00-4:00 p.m.; come and see the remodeled NE ABQ center.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From Race-centered to Grace-centered

Even though ABC undoubtedly edited out explicit references to the gospel, the lesson is clear. Here's a Southern white man (from my home state) that when pressed with the thought of eternal judgement came to terms with his role in the oppression of blacks and was radically transformed.


A name for our home

Some people, usually the wealthy ones, name their homes. Those that do this usually pick some feature of their home or life that is unique to their setting and use that as the name for their estate. When we lived in Georgia we knew a man and his wife that had a mansion on a large lot, I can't remember what they called their place but it was something like the Cedar Cottage.

Last night after battling strong-willed children from the moment I got home until the last one was in bed, the namesake for our little place came to me. We live at Fort Defiance.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A picture of Julius and me

I finished my first book by Alexander Whyte yesterday. It was said, "no ruler has held his subjects more captive than Alexander Whyte did from his pulpit." He was obviously a man of great imagination and an expert at painting word pictures.

In the final chapter of The Characters in Pilgrim's Progress, Whyte gives us a picture of a character that I am all too familiar with: "Julius, who goes regularly to prayers, and there confesses himself to be a miserable sinner who has no health in him, and yet that same Julius can not bear to be informed of any imperfection or suspected to be wanting in any kind or degree of virtue."

This evening I read a note that was only a tad bit critical of something related to me. My first reaction proves that, Julius, I'm pictured with you.

It was said of Mr. Whyte, "every sermon in Free St. George was a volcano and every opening prayer a revelation." Thank you Father for giving us Mr. Whyte, what a help he is to me!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Personally-conducted tours to Heaven

We're two-thirds of the way through Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress in Sunday school. But that's just Part I. Hopefully some day in the future we can journey with Christiana through Part II, which many think is even better (I'm convinced). Mr. Spurgeon looked to Part II for the call upon his life:

"I am occupied in my small way, as Mr. Great-heart was employed in Bunyan's day. I do not compare myself with that champion, but I am in the same line of business. I am engaged in personally-conducted tours to Heaven; and I have with me, at the present time, dear Old Father Honest: I am glad he is still alive and active. And there is Christiana, and there are her children. It is my business, as best I can, to kill dragons, and cut off giants' heads, and lead on the timid and trembling. I am often afraid of losing some of the weaklings. I have the heart-ache for them; but, by God's grace, and your kind and generous help in looking after one another, I hope we shall all travel safely to the river's edge. Oh, how many have I had to part with there! I have stood on the brink, and I have heard them singing in the midst of the stream, and I have almost seen the shining ones lead them up the hill, and through the gates, into the Celestial City."

Friday, February 06, 2009

ABQ people: can you meet for dinner?

Next Tuesday Garduno's on Montgomery is supporting a fundraiser for Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque. We'd love to have dinner with you. If you can join us let us know by Monday (and print out the coupon).

There's also an open house at CareNet's North East location on Sunday, February 15th, 1:00-4:00 p.m. I'm all the more eager to support this ministry after reading this story carried by the DRUDGE REPORT.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Time Zones

Transitions: from the beer fridge to the milk fridge, from the sports car to the van, from carefree to responsibility, from fresh-faced to bald-head, from death to life, from grace to grace.

P.S. That's a picture of how much milk we go through in a week.
P.P.S. According to blogger, this is post #1,000; who would have thought I'd still be doing this?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Men at work

Men, young men especially, would do well to consider whether in their careers they are seeking excellence or greatness. Excellence is godly (ref Col 3:23) and it is within a man's control. Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord.

Seeking greatness, on the other hand, is usually an ambitious quest for significance, reputation and importance. Besides being things not fully in a man's control, they also involve self-exaltation. And if a man fully gives into these desires he may find his life in ruins.

Men, we must heed the wisdom of Solomon here (the Proverbs and the Preacher) lest we learn the hard way.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Face shot

Isaiah finally lost the front tooth that had been grotesquely dangling from his mouth for weeks. He had refused all offers of help in pulling it until Eli suggested he shoot it out with his powerful Nerf gun (they shoot darts made of, uh, nerf). Isaiah's eager acceptance of this offer shows how twisted he really is. Eli retrieved his firearm and leveled it at point blank range. Isaiah smiled broadly, and the tooth was soon dispatched. The only trouble is we can't find it!

P.S. The parents were not privy to any of this idea until after the deed was done.