Monday, September 27, 2010

West Texas State Fair and Rodeo

I have a good excuse... really.

Our computer monitor has some sort of electrical short (like I really know) and the power button is messed up and won't stay on. Thus rendering that computer useless.

Mike has been gone the last two weeks on TDY (AF business trip). He took the laptop with him. He's taking online college classes and the computer was a must have.

So I've been without computer access for the last two weeks.

That's why I haven't posted.

Ya'll probably thought my children had been running me ragged and I'd had zero time to post. Well, that was true too, but I'm saving that excuse for later.

The last post I put up was about Hannah coming to visit. If you know Hannah, you know that while she was here she blessed us by taking pictures that make us all look better than we actually do.

And you're right. She did. And here they are:

First thing: Find food.

Ashten told me I had to try the corn. She was right. It was good.

The boys were so hungry and very patient as we scoured the fair grounds for a hand dipped corn dog.

"I'm ... just... so... hungry...."

Mike was a hero. He finally found the hand-dipped corn dogs.

All Jack really wanted to do at the fair was to eat ice cream. I always tell him and Ty, "Good things come to boys who obey." I think I stole that line from Emily. Well, on the way to the fair Jack was saying, "Mom, I'm still obeying!" then he'd wait about 30 seconds and say, "Look Mom, I'm still obeying." He repeated it about 10 times before we told him to be quiet. -It worked, he had to obey the "be quiet" command if he was going to continue being good. Don't know why it took us so long to think of that one...

He was good. He got his ice cream.

The boys loved waving at their good friend, Wyatt, who was riding the merry-go-round.

This group shot was actually THE last thing we did before getting ice cream (I know, the pictures are out of order.) But see the smiles? You can bet we were back there saying, "Smile good and we'll go get ice cream!" Bribery is part of our every day routine of parenting.

I saw this next picture and couldn't figure out what we were doing and why Hannah took a picture of it. I thought, "What did those kids get into?"

Turns out we were just dusting off the dinner before a family pic.

I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to get a front row seat, about 20 feet over the ground, with only 14 inches of concrete and a metal bar keeping my children from falling on the cowboys below. Wish I had more horse sense. (har har)

And yes, Hannah made it into a picture. The reason I didn't take the camera from her more often was
1) she doesn't want her camera broken and I don't really trust myself.
2) she was using it on a manual setting which I had no idea how to operate.
3) I had my hands pretty full already

Jack watching the bucking bronco. Jack says his favorite part of the rodeo was the skit done by the rodeo clowns.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Welcome Home Hannah!

Hannah is coming home today. She's been gone four months (reminds me of a deployment). We can't wait to get to visit with her. It's like she's family....

We've decorated the front porch.

Jack's asked about 5 times when Aunt Nanna is coming. I think that was the first thing he asked this morning when he woke up.

Not Ty, when he came down his first words were the same as they are every single morning. "Momma, I hoooonnngery." (short "o" sound not "oo")

This picture of Hannah really accentuates her Adam's apple.

Jack trying to say "I love you" in sign language. NOT "hook'em horns"

He never quite got it...
Oh well, Hannah he loves you so much! Can't wait to see you!

First fall

Austin fell off my bed yesterday during his nap. :-(

I was sad. He was fine. No more naps in Mom's bed. Mike lowered the mattress in his bed so he couldn't flip over the short sides.

Last night Mike took Austin back to the precipice to find out how exactly the fall happened.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jack's questions

Yesterday afternoon.

Jack woke up from his nap about 5 minutes after I got Ty down. For some reason Ty couldn't sleep and Jack woke up due to some congestion in his nose. Poor kid. Poor mama.

Anyways... I invited him downstairs to hangout and play race car. I was about to start cutting and filing coupons (cause I'm cool like that).

A few minutes into our tasks Jack asks me: "Mama, when is God's next birthday?"

I put down my scissors and got ready to teach him another attribute of God. He stopped playing cars as I explained my answer.

"Jack, God has never had a birthday. Do you know why? Because God has always been. A long time before you were born, God was alive. A long time before I was born, God was alive and even before the world was here. God was alive! And Jack, God is never going to die. He is going to live forever. And Jack, God said that people who follow Jesus will get to come live in heaven with Him forever."

I love all the questions that God put on Jack's heart. I know the questions were from God because without Him drawing us to Himself, man wouldn't come to God. Unless God reveals himself to us, it just sounds like foolishness. I can't help but smile as I think of our great God whispering questions into Jack's mind. Or think about the teachers at MDO and our church who assist Mike and I in building a firm foundation of truth on which we pray that God would build. Jack knows a lot about God (for a child) but still so little...

"I'm going to live in heaven!" Jack was quick to reply. "Mama, are you going to live in heaven?

"Yes Jack, I am. I get to live in Heaven because I follow Jesus."

"I follow Jesus too Mommy!"

"Good, but there is more than that. I have sinned and sin keeps me from getting to go to God. Have you ever sinned Jack?"

"Yes." Then his eyes light up, "Jesus died on the cross for my sins!" Something he had been taught but didn't really grasp yet.

I continue, "Jesus paid for my sins. My sins are what keeps me from getting to go to heaven. Because God is holy...."

"What is holy?" Jack asked.

"Holy means 'without sin'. Because God is holy, he can't have any sin around him. My sin keeps me from getting to be with God. That's why Jesus had to die. To get rid of my sin. When we sin there has to be punishment. Jesus died as the punishment. And now when I die I get to go to heaven."

"That's where Jesus is! He's in heaven building a house." Jack's getting excited. "When I gunna go to heaven?

"Well, you will when you die or when Jesus comes back to get us. We don't know when He's coming back. It may be while we are alive and it may be after we die."

"Yeah, cause it's a looooooong house. [Jack stretches his arms out as far as they'll go]

"But Jack, you will only get there if you ask God to forgive your sins and you trust him. Then you have to follow him."

"I will follow Jesus! Where's Jesus going?"

I explained that following Jesus meant that we follow what he teaches us in the Bible. The conversation went on a little longer and he repeated a prayer after me. We asked for understanding and that God would show Jack what it meant to follow Jesus with his whole life.

I'm a little apprehensive about taking him through the "sinner's prayer" right now. I believe that there are lots and lots of people who think they are saved (Christians) but in reality they are not. You can't just pray a prayer and go on with your life. The Bible teaches that salvation is FREE but if you have really given your life to Jesus then there will be proof in the way you live. I, by no means, want my children to have a false assurance of their salvation.

Jesus teaches that on the day of judgment "Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ (Matt. 7:21-23)

He also says: "... small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt. 7:14)

Mike is out of town for a few more days. I'm hoping he and I can spend some time praying together and visiting about how to direct Jack's heart. I don't want to lead him into something he doesn't fully understand, and I don't want to be a stumbling block if God is calling him to come to Himself right now.

Thank you for praying for Jack's salvation and wisdom for Mike and I as we council him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

God vs. World part 1

I am going to be posting a short series of lessons that I am teaching in AWANA right now. These are just notes. They are here for me to reference more than anything else. It is possible that I might teach this lesson again one day or that someone might want to take and use something in it. Mostly I just want it documented somewhere and I tend to lose things on my computers...

Watch this video and pray partcular attention to the lyrics.

Pray for You - Jaron and The Long Road to Love from Jaron and The Long Road to Love on Vimeo.

Ok, lets examine this song for a minute. It makes you laugh cause you think this guy is going to forgive and pray for this girl who hurt his heart, but then turns out he’s praying that bad things will happen. It’s meant to be a funny song and its easy to just laugh and move on when you hear it, but lets stop and REALLY think about this song.

What is the message of this song?

Tell me what is wrong or unbiblical about this song.

“He wants her to be hurt”
“He isn’t forgiving”
“He is misusing Biblical principles”
“He is angry”
“He is prideful”

This song is so typical of our sinful hearts.

The heart is:

-deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9)

-every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was evil all the time (Gen

-every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood (Gen 8:21)

We must understand that left to ourselves (without Jesus) our hearts are wicked and without hope. From birth it is our nature to rebel against God.

It’s really easy to hear this song and laugh and say, yeah that’s how a lot of people feel. We need to realize that messages like this get fed into our heads every single day.

What is our hearts nature without Christ? (desperately wicked, every inclination of our hearts is evil all the time, evil from childhood)

And so if this is true of every human heart then what do you think the “world” is going to teach you?

(And when I say “world” I am speaking about the concerns of people in the world. Anything that is opposite of God’s way.)

At schools?
On TV?
Our friends?
Other Christians (we all still sin)?

God’s way is so different from man’s way.

The World says: it’s ok to hate those who have done wrong things to you

God says: love your enemies

The World says: get even

God says: forgive

The World says: Do what you need to do to get ahead

God says: give of yourself

The World says: Spend every moment of your life on what makes you happy –worship yourself

God says: give every moment of your life to me as worship

I heard this quote a long time ago and thought it was pretty accurate:

“Whatever the great majority is doing, on any given circumstance,
if you do the opposite, you will probably never make another mistake in your life.”

So we have a decision (and it is not as easy as it sounds):

Do we do what everyone else is doing or do we follow Jesus?

Why do you think so many people chose to do their own thing (not follow Jesus) ?

A: It’s easier. Or they don’t know about God’s laws

I want us to spend the rest of this time focusing on answering this one question. In the following weeks we are going to answer some different ones relating to following God in a sinful world.

“If our hearts are so wicked, how do we make them stop wanting the best for ourselves and start wanting to obey God?”

A: We cannot make our hearts want to follow God:

If fact, the Bible says that the message of the cross is nonsense to those who don’t know him.

1 Cor. 1:18-30 “For the message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God's power to us who are being saved.”

Remember that every inclination of our heart is evil --even from childhood. There is nothing in us that will turn around and want to worship God. We cannot see the truth unless God opens our eyes and reveals himself to us in our heart.

God chooses us.
You did not choose me, but I chose you .... (John 15:16)

This word choose in the Greek means:
1) to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one's self
a) choosing one out of many, i.e. Jesus choosing his disciples

Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

...God who called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. ” (1 Cor. 1:8)

After he calls you he gives you a gift.

But what does God give to those who He calls?

“I will give them hearts that recognize me as the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.” Jeremiah 24:7

God gives them the ability to recognize that He is God.

Now, even though we know he is God, sometimes that still isn’t enough to make me want to obey God. It is foolishness for me to not want to obey God.

And what is the opposite of foolishness?

A: Wisdom.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

God will give us wisdom and with wisdom we will see the value in obedience to God and are more likely to obey him.

I'm going to miss these days

So I try to smile and enjoy the days of Abilene-red dirt footprint stains all over my front porch.
As much as I love babies and little boys I know one day my heart will yearn for a dirty entryway, or finding an occasional pair of wet undies in the bathroom, or seeing matchbox cars on the floor all in a row.

I see the joy and delight on my mom's face and my mother-in-law's face when they are around my little boys. I can hear the longing in thier voices when they speak of wanting a visit. After witnessing this, I would be wise to put aside the desire for a tidy house and instead focus intently on these precious little people that I have in my home for only a season.

I pray that I would always be mindful of the: 1) opportunity I have to model the gospel to these little boys and 2) the responsibility that I have to do so.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I learn something new every day

Cabbage helps take the swelling out of, well, anything that is swollen. Cool huh? Cabbage also will help you get over mastitis --which is an infection in your "boo-boo" (term originated with my niece and has now become my favorite way of refering to... that part of the body). Cabbage can be used to help a nursing mama's milk supply dry up.

Tonight my little friend Gabby taught me about another way (other than digesting) veggies can help your body.

Gabby: "My ear was hurting today so mommy put broccoli on it."

Me [thinking I'd heard wrong]: "Broccoli? Green broccoli?"

Gabby: "No, black broccoli."

Me: "...oh."

Veggies are amazing.

And for those of you who don't think so, check out the sign we have displayed in our garage:

"There are no bad vegetables. Only misunderstood ones."