Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another day is done

...and another year comes to a close. Most of my life I have enjoyed living one day at a time and in many respects it is the best and the only way to live. However, I am wanting to look at the long term calendar in terms of 2009 and the next 2 to 4 years.
In one particular area, I am having a hard time because I am ready to settle down somewhere and it seems that all of 2008 has been a transition time and we still have not transition to anything with the exception of Dan leaving traveling and taking a more permanent position at UMass Hospital. (some may be saying, well doesn't that settle it?) Not really, we are still in the decision making process.

Early this morning I put Grace on a plane and she will be gone for most of January. We will miss her.

Friday, December 26, 2008

On this day in 1865 - The coffee percolator was patented by James H. Mason. Thanks Mr. Mason.

1982 - The Man of the Year in "TIME" magazine was a computer. It was the first time a non-human received the honors.

(above was from On this day)

Hurting and healing
pain and joy
death and life

Relationships matter.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It is finally here and I have 3 teenagers who are pretty excited about it. You can see the delight in our girls in this picture one twirling, Grace and the other, Katie behind the lens which was specially wrapped for the occasion. This is at the beginning of the storm yesterday afternoon and this morning there is about 1 foot (almost a third of a meter). If you keep your eye or ear on the weather nation wide, there are a number of wintry wonderlands around the country.

I too am enjoying the snow. Our second winter back in the Northeast.

Now onto exploring and discovering new things about the Christ Child who was born to die. Let us not forget His purpose.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A quick glance back at 2008
(any typos, in correct grammar and the like, I ask you my kind readers to overlook ;-)

It has been sometime since I posted a newzie type update on our family. Where to begin? As I have posted here on my blog, we are now in our third MA residence and it is quite possible that we may look for a more permanent residence here.
Dan and the Red Sox had an end of the season loss, the Red Sox a game and Dan breaking his foot. He has been out of work since that time. Thankfully, the Lord has provided generously through dear ones including Dan's brother Billy who has had Dan and Michael working at his store. Dan is being hired as an RN at UMass Worcester as a hospital employee and I suppose that means that we have officially stopped traveling for now. He is also sporting a new look.

[So if we were in a holding pattern before now we are on the ground in the plane and we are not allowed to disembark.]

For me: It has been a year of a lot of travel with Katie and Michael and aside from hitting two deer at once with my new vehicle, our adventures were quite enjoyable and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity. To have the respect and admiration of my children who are young adults is something I treasure. It is also the year of dreaming of flying lessons and looking for a nest to land in. If you read through this blog you will find some more of my musings. I also wrote my way to a NanoWrimo win, that is I wrote a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

"Love is the great apologetic." I have heard Grace quote and agree with this statement from Francis Schaeffer. Grace is a lover of life and learning and most of all a lover of people. It has been my great pleasure to continue to be taught the things of God through my children. I told her the other day that it is my delight to watch her bloom in the beautiful young woman that she is becoming. Grace's continued involvement with speaking and teaching bring her and her audiences and students delight. In 2008 Grace spent a total of five months in the Netherlands at Dutch L'abri as a student and a helper. (I could write at least a couple of blog posts just about that) All of her college apps are in and she has been accepted to one and waiting on the rest. Here is a thought on faith from something Grace wrote:
Faith is an honest recognition of the fact that we are limited human beings who must rely on our perception, imagination, and reason to understand reality. We call our understanding 'having faith' in x, y, z...because we recognize our epistemological incapacity to know the answers to the great questions of the universe beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Katie dear is constantly shooting people with her camera of course.

She rarely goes anywhere without it and she doesn't just shoot people.

Katie enjoys friendships around the world. In fact today she is visiting one today in Boston who is here via Hong Kong.

The biggest plus of qualifying for Nationals (Championship for speech and debate) was getting to see her friends from Sea to Shining Sea in the fine city of Birmingham.
Then there is our patriot and defender of Liberty, Michael who has taken greater interest in government and politics. This is Michael's third year debating and someone even called us a debating family (that's debatable). He is a young man who wants to get to the bottom of things and wants justice. Just this past weekend he was in a position where he needed to think through some arguments, it was a great time of being stretched.
This past summer Michael took the month of August to write a 50,000 word novel and then wrote another again in November. This is the boy who use to be allergic to pencil but was always enraptured by a good story. Michael is pretty passionate about music, listening to it every chance he can get and also looking forward to some music lessons soon. He too enjoys friends from all over.
Our year of transition which will continue into the new year has been a part of our refining process. May each of you look to the new year with hope.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Matthew 11;11-13
"Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

pictured: Demon Hunter

12"(L)From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

13"For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.

I have been pondering this phrase and I am still not sure what to make of it.

Here is the cross reference from Luke 16;16

The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

I just read over in Luke chapter 3 because the verse above says that the Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. So what was John preaching: I believe the gospel of the kingdom of God. [ And for the very first time, since I picked up the Bible as a believer, I can see where the Fire and Brimstone preachers get there heat. Again I digress] In this account in the gospel of Luke, John is telling the people to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but for those who are portrayed as truly repentant that is not enough for them. Luke just gives a small sampling of people saying what should I do and in conjunction with who is doing the asking John get specific but each answer can be summed up in "Love your neighbor."

The other thing that is evident laid right along side with repentance and love is justice. In the kingdom realm, there will be absolute love and absolute justice and that conversation is for another time. Although, I am sure that you can find blogs and websites out there that deal solely with those 2 issues. (for example: Fire and Ice)

"Violent men take it by force" and "everyone is forcing his way into it," the visual that I get on this is a FBI SWAT team or an army coming in on the ground fully armed and taking a village by storm. I don't think that is what we have here. It may be a safety in numbers kind of thing, going outside of the Jewish religious norm to hear this wild guy in the wilderness preach as opposed to the synagogue or temple to hear those dressed in fine clothes and are properly educated. Or perhaps it is more like, no one can stop me, there is something this guy John has to offer and nothing and no one will get in my way.

Did you ever think on these couple of verses?

Has the Word of God hit you between the eyes looking for your attention?

Do you know that this book is not just words on pages but living and active?

Today, in a sea of American Churches people are looking for the real thing, the kingdom of God, not rules, not programs, not an outstanding leadership staff. I believe in seekers, those who have already made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, they are the seekers, looking for Jesus in the presence of those who call themselves His People. We know that the kingdom of God is here, it is not some far off distant place where we go when we die. It is here.