>> Friday, February 15, 2008

Kisses from our family to yours.



>> Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Owen has been caught red handed...ummm, I mean red-pawed. The mystery of the headless dinosaurs has been solved. And now it seems Owen has developed a taste for Mr. Potato Head pieces. As you can see by his picture he was caught eating Mr. Potato Head's tongue.

Owen was taken into custody today and is being held without bond (or treats!). He will appear before the judge when he gets home from work today. Owen failed to comment.



>> Monday, February 11, 2008

An epidemic has swept through our house! Dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes have been surfacing everywhere with missing heads, limbs and tails. Is it a plague? Is it a flesh-eating virus? Is it a curse?

No, it's OWEN!!!



>> Friday, February 8, 2008

I've been having some great discussions with my kids lately about the media. I've been in heavy prayer over the last months/years about how to help them make wise choices when it comes to reading, watching tv, listening to music, etc. It's easy for all of us to think, "What the big deal? It's just a book." But not so easy to stop and think, "Does it honor and glorify God?" "Does it present a temptation to sin?" "Does the message arrive from a pure motive?" We don't stop and think about what we're filling our minds with often enough. I'm as guilty of this as anyone.

I came across this great quote today as I was searching the internet for wisdom. This was written while John Wesley was away at college. He wrote to his mother, Susanna, asking for a list of sins he should avoid. Her response is a model of biblical wisdom applied:

"Whatever weakens your reason, whatever impairs the tenderness of your conscience, whatever obscures your sense of God, whatever increases the authority of your body over your mind, whatever takes away from your relish for spiritual things, that to you is sin, no matter how innocent it is in itself."

Such a great quote!! I was explaining today that even if a certain book has no swear words in it doesn't mean it's appropriate. If the book obscures our sense of God...it's not entertainment. No matter how innocent it may *seem* if it weakens our reason then it is not appropriate. Not an easy lesson for young people. Especially since our culture encourages just the opposite, "If it feels good then it must be entertainment."

We are waging war with the media. The world is sending a message through tv, books, all forms of entertainment, "It's all about me." I am fighting for the minds of my kids. I want them to learn how to filter the world through God's principles. I want them to stop and think. I want them to learn discernement. It's a battle worth fighting.


Broken But Restored

>> Sunday, February 3, 2008

I love the symphony. I mean I really love the symphony! I believe everyone has at least one thing that fills them to the brim with pure joy. I had one friend that described her nature hikes this way. She just loved nature! She would always say how much nature "fills" her. Well, the symphony is what fills me. It is guaranteed chills up and down my spine. I love to hear the orchestra warm up, I'm mesmerized by the fervor of the conductor, the passion on the performer's faces, the rise and fall of such unique sounds. But what leaves me dumbstruck more than anything is how any one human being, a composer, can take all those notes and know how to put them all together to make one glorious, melodious sound. It amazes me! How can anyone take so many smaller parts and make them into a beautiful whole? Wow!

Art doesn't start out beautiful though. Regardless of the type of art, it starts out as a mere thought or concept. From there it progresses through many different phases before it actually reaches it's final stages of beauty. As a graphic designer I can speak from experience that the "process" of art is often long and tedious and sometimes even painful. But necessary. As much as I'd like, I've never been able to avoid the process. I can't get the thought out of my head and directly onto paper as a finished piece of work without some huge amounts of effort in between. It's the process that makes art become beautiful.

Our lives are like art. We are all somewhere in the process of becoming something beautiful. In fact, the Bible says, "We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)

Each one of us are broken pieces of clay. Merely cracked and dried pieces of mud. But before we can become beautiful we have to be shaped. We have to yield to the potter's hand. More importantly, we have to be put through the fire before we can become beautiful. In fact, it's the fire that gives us our beauty.

Wikipedia says that "pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln to induce reactions that lead to permanent changes, including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape." It goes on to say that, "it is only after firing that the article can be called pottery."

I find that interesting that it can't even be called pottery until it's been through the fire. So until that point it's still just a lump of clay. It's in the process of applying heat that the pottery is strengthened ...leading to permanent changes. Wow! That's pretty cool...or should I say hot?

There's been a lot of "heat" in my life. I could view the heat as unnecessary or annoying. I won't lie...I don't like the heat. But God is teaching me to appreciate it. The heat is necessary. He took my broken pieces and is in the process of restoring me into something beautiful and purposeful. The heat shapes me and strengthens me. In the end, I will be a vessel from which His living water will flow. Although heat is not pleasant...it seems to me it's worth it.


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