Tuesday, January 31, 2006

He giveth quietness

Monday night, Matt and I enjoyed an awesome time of prayer guided by Dr. Scott, his music, and his depth of experience and wisdom. Matt was on a high coming back from Dare2Share and I was on an adrenaline high from work ( what's new ).

The songs that Dr. Scott selected screamed "Peace", "Quiet", "Selah" if you can scream those things. We shared praises, ministered to one another in prayer, interceded for the body and then were blessed to see Billy Henderson. What a night.

Dr. Scott returned home to find this for his devotional reading, I think it is worth sharing that God wants us to have His Peace:

He giveth quietness. (Job 34:29 KJV)

"He gives quietness in the midst of the raging storm. As we sail the lake with Him, reaching deep water and far from land, suddenly, under the midnight sky, a mighty storm sweeps down. Earth and hell seem mobilized against us, and each wave threatens to overwhelm our boat. Then He rises from His sleep and rebukes the wind and the waves. He waves His hand, signaling the end of the raging tempest and the beginning of the restful calm. His voice is heard above the screaming of the wind throught the ropes and the rigging, and over the thrashing of the waves. "Quiet! Be still!" (Mark 4:39) Can you not hear it? And instantly there is a great calm.

" He giveth quietness" -- quietness even in the midst of losing our inner strength and comforts. Sometimes He removes these because we make too much of them. We are tempted to look at our joys, pleasures, passions or our dreams, with too much self-satisfaction. Then through His gracious love He withdraws them, leading us to distinguish between them and Himself. He draws near and whispers the assurance of His presence, bringing an infinite calm to keep our hearts and minds. "


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What do you see?

This image is particulary interesting to me. I see something here, do you see it?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Christmas Card 2005

We have really enjoyed receiving all the updates from old friends and distant family this year via the Christmas letters. This year I've decided to post the contents of the Christmas letter here for wider distribution.

Family is very important to us today. It also played an essential role in the first Christmas. The lineage of the Christ child was one of the longest promised, most prophesied blessings a family has ever received.

Adam (the first Adam, not ours), Noah, Abraham, Ruth, David and many more were among the ancestors of Christ that celebrated the Savior’s birth to the virgin Mary.

I’ve been converting VHS and 8mm videos to DVD so that we can all remember special moments like first birthdays, first steps, first bike rides, baptisms, programs, sports and other memories. We are still making family memories everyday. That is the life and hope that Christ offered to us that first Christmas and even more so in His death on a cross and His resurrection. One of our favorite memories this year was our family vacation to Maui. The weather and natural beauty was breathtaking.

Jackie and I both turned 40 this year and we are looking forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2006. We are proud of the choices are children are making in this world that is full of negative influences due to the fallen nature of each of our physical births.
In varying degrees, everyone that we send this letter to has an impact on our family and we thank you for being a part of the antidote to those negative influences of society.

Spiritually, we celebrated the rebirth of our youngest daughter, Becca and her baptism this year.

Physically in the last few years, Jackie’s sister has made it through a near fatal infection and Jackie’s mother has finished cancer treatments successfully and is now regaining her strength.

We are thankful for family and life.

Christmas Card 2005 - Jackie

In late 2004, several of Jackie’s friends from NWHS got together in Chicago to celebrate turning 40. Lori Wagner hosted the event for lots of fun and pampering.

Jackie’s life revolves around her children as any of you might know. This fall, she served as the team mom for Carmen’s Volleyball team and Adam’s Football team simultaneously. Either would be a challenge.

She has made a couple of changes this year. In the first three months of 2005, she decorated the house we moved into in 2000 with guidance from a close friend. In June, Jackie had LASIK surgery and could see without glasses just in time for our family vacation. (Becca discovered that she no longer needs glasses during an annual checkup in August)

Besides running after our children, she is hostess for the Sunday evening Biblical Financial Classes and other meetings, parties and gatherings that we hold at our home. It would be hard for me to imagine a more Proverbs 31 woman to support me.

Christmas Card 2005 - Carmen

Carmen will be graduating from Southern Middle School this year and is doing well academically. She is obsessed about completing every homework assignment that is given to her. The word optional means nothing to this girl.

Carmen made a difficult decision to play volleyball for her middle school instead of the high school early in the year and really helped several younger girls appreciate the sport that otherwise may not have been challenged.

She is looking forward to playing a second season at BAVA (Bluegrass Area Volleyball Association) and her first year at Tates Creek High School.

Her third year as part of the teen tribe at Tatesbrook was rewarding. The youth sponsors there are special people that love and care for all of the youth with special attention that is rarely seen in the world today.

Carmen has demonstrated great discipline by reading through the Bible at a younger age than either of her parents.

Christmas Card 2005 - Adam

Adam continues to work hard on the things he enjoys. He has been taking drumming lessons for nearly two years. The highlight of his career so far is the chance to play for the worship band at church during a youth led service.

He has been helping his Dad set up the music equipment every Sunday morning for five years so he is very familiar with all the work that goes into music. He occasionally mixes the music on Sunday as well.

Football is also a passion. After an undefeated season and winning a hard fought double elimination tournament in 2004, the 2005 season tested the Tide as the team moved up an age group. Adam will likely never forgive his father for letting him miss the NWHS State Football Championship Game. He still dreams of playing for NW some day.

As a 6th grader Adam is in the youth group. He is more laid back about school than Carmen, but still does well.

He's also been playing minor league baseball with the Pirates, minor league is less practice and more fun. All the neighborhood boys play on different teams in the minors, so it is more social and exercise than it is baseball fundamentals.

Christmas Card 2005 - Becca

Becca loves American Girl dolls and thanks to her Uncle Keith and a very publicized desire to collect more, she has enough stuff to keep her busy. The whole gang frequently watches Disney with her on the couch. Buster even wears the horse saddle occasionally.

Becca is doing very well in 4th grade and has a great teacher who makes learning fun. (Kentucky teacher of the year a few years ago)

She continues to participate in the Girl Scouts and adores horses (and all other animals). This summer she was able to go to a horse camp with another girl from her troop.

Her Uncle Bill is convinced that we need to move to a horse farm somewhere, but that option hasn’t presented itself to us yet.

Becca is now in her second year of Upward Basketball. She loves the exercise, competition and fellowship associated with basketball.

The most significant thing to happen in Becca's entire life on this planet occured in February during Upward Basketball season when she brought her Upward Bible down to me on Sunday night to tell me that she wanted to accept Christ's gift of salvation to her.

After we prayed together, the whole family "interviewed" her to make sure that she understood the change that had occurred from the old to the new.

In September, Jackie's mom and dad were able to travel down to Kentucky to see Becca get baptized.