Friday, January 30, 2009

I've lost my wisdom (if I had any)

In December my dentist informed me that I might have to get my three wisdom teeth out. So we went to the oral surgeon and the nurse informed me that I definitely needed my wisdom teeth out. Now I wasn't about to get it done during my Christmas break. I wanted to enjoy all the good food! My appointment was at 7:45 in the morning and we got right to it. The nurse took my blood pressure(a procedure that I have never liked) and then she poked me with a needle that made me feel like a balloon. She kept talking to me but my balloon-like ears couldn't hear too well so I have no recollection of what she said. I don't remember much after that and they said upon waking up I proceeded to hit myself. My mom let me sleep all morning and later she let me eat ramen noodles for lunch(which are delicious). My mom bought ice cream sandwiches and I now appreciate the fact that you don't have to chew ice cream. Here is a picture of me twelve hour later.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicken Sunday

We had delicious chicken at the Brookville restaurant with a family friend, Laura Buenning who traveled here from Knoxville, Tennessee . We had a wonderful time catching up with our typical bursts of laughter and storytelling. A great combination for a frigid cold afternoon in Kansas.

My life

In church today our pastor talked about having a ministry in the church and a mission in the world. I think my ministry and mission if not very similar are the same. I love talking to, teaching, and playing with children. So far I've taught Sunday School since seventh grade and my first class was when Grace was three. My mission is to teach children who have never heard the Gospel. Many in the public schools don't have an idea about God and so it is a joy for me to see them really get an idea about God and the Bible. I've been able to do this through Good News Clubs and 5-day clubs. I've learned a lot of lessons on discipline, and how the mind of a child works. They're really amazing!

Brights Lights Subject: Contentment

This week I had Bright Lights. We learned about contentment (as you can see from the title.) I learned many valuable insights, about contentment, covetousness, and greed. In the future I will try to control my desire for things of this world. I hope that you will do the same.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Final Clearance


It is with not a little sadness that I have to report that we are receiving what appears to be our last shipment of tangerines from my sister and brother-in-law Melody and Cliff Anderson in California. For years we have been the recipients of a shipment of fresh, tree ripened tangerines from their yard in Bakersfield in the middle of winter. Truly a serendiptous occasion for many years running. Because of Cliff's change of employment, they have relocated to Placerville in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in northern California. They still own the house down south in Bakersfield. The shipment came marked with the phrases "Final Clearance" and "Out of Business Sale" from Anderson Farms Inc. So with mixed emotions we will partake of the "fruits" of their labor and generosity.

An answer to prayer

On Thursday there was an answer to prayer. Michaela and I have been praying that more children would come to our Good News Club. And this past Thursday we welcomed another girl to our club. This makes a total of four girls if they all come next week. I guess I'll have to be specific in my prayers if I want to have a boy come. Another exciting thing is one of the girls has been inviting others to come. Of course they also were girls, so we have the potential of having ten girls next week. Whether girls or boys we are thankful that God leads them to come.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eagles!

On Saturday we went to Milford Lake to observe bald eagles. As we were driving along, I was thinking I hope we didn't come all this way and don't see an eagle. Then, Michaela interrupted my thoughts, "Hey, I think that's a bald eagle flying over there." The eagle (for that's what it was) came soaring over our car and soared along beside it while we were driving on the dam. The eagle was close enough you could see some detail, Michaela said she saw the talons. With the aid of binoculars and scopes we saw six more. It was a very memorable experience which I won't forget.

Friday, January 16, 2009

facebook

I very reluctantly started a facebook account. I never had the slightest inclination to do so but my former college roommate and bestman in my wedding is a missionary in Croatia. He sent me an invitation to view his facebook that he had started. I thought it was a good way to keep up with him in between monthly letters. Little did I know that facebook cannot be viewed without having an account. So I started an account just to visit his page. I purposed to do nothing else. Again, unbeknownst to me, other people can find me on facebook. The first contact was a recent former student. Then a few high school classmates from over 30 years ago. I wouldn't call the contacts a flood but more like a steady trickle. After having an account for a few months I have been added as a friend to 49 other accounts without initiating anything myself. They all found me somehow. The trickle is definitely less now than a month ago. I couldn't imagine going steadily at adding a contact every 1.5 days. I pretty much accept anyone I recognise except young people who haven't graduated from high school. I see too many pitfalls and no advantages there. I won't be one of the " I am getting ready to eat a snack" type of poster and don't find them that interesting to read. I am considering starting a group of Salina South performing arts people. The main thing is that is has helped me reconnect with people and that is the real magic/use of facebook for me.

A Picture of Faith

While meditating on the first few verses of Psalm 91 it gives to me a word picture of faith. In the first verse the psalmist writes about dwelling with the most High God. It appears to be a place to stay and hang-out or a most permanent position where you become like His shadow moving only when God does. Later the psalmist says God spreads His feathers to cover us, here is where the faith comes into play, you can't see. The feathers cover and while under his wings we are restricted and unable to move much maybe just enough for a step at a time, yet this is the place according to the verse we trust. His truth is our shield (front protection) and surrounds us (our buckler). I began to look at the psalm again as I was inspired by a testimony given in church on Sunday by a woman who had been a resident of Greensburg a small town wiped out by a tornado some 18 months ago.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dawn in the Winter

This is a poem that I wrote Monday morning.

All is still as morning comes;
Across the pale sky I glimpse the winter sun,
All the trees draped in black,
Standing there like silhouettes;
Everything is still waiting for morning.

Mommy really liked the poem, and I hope you do too!





Sincerely,
GRACE

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yeah!

I'm feeling very good right now. My mom, Joshua, and I took our friends the Reillys and went to play some ball last night. We played basketball for almost two hours at our friend's house. My night went very well especially when I made several shots. Then since we'd eaten lunch around three we just skipped supper so my stomach was empty and silent. The game got kind of wild when I was driving down the court and a 6'2'' guy on the opposite team nearly fell on top of me! Each team won a game and we all had lots of fun. I love playing basketball! But boy were we hungry when we got home.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finished!

For this past month I've been reading this book called "The Last Place on Earth." I finally finished it tonight. The book describes the lives of explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. Then the book describes the two's unofficial race to the South Pole. Then the book finishes with the rest of Amundsen's life (there was nothing about Scott since he died in Antarctica). A review on the back of the book describes the book was huge and gripping. They are right about the book being huge (544 pages) but gripping (in my opinion) is a gross exaggeration. If you're interested in history read this book, but otherwise don't. I actually would'nt have read it either, but my dad assigned it to me. Oh well, I'm expanding my knowledge.

Challenged to enlist

I have been extremely challenged by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron via their website wayofthemaster.com. I've known about Ray for quite awhile having heard about his ministry as a street preacher in LA. Somehow when Kirk became a Christian he got into the same ministry and they developed training videos on witnessing that I've been watching. These guys are very direct yet gracious in their approach. They have filmed people being "interviewed" in the videos and nearly all confess that they are a lying, thieving, blasphemous murderer and alulterer at heart and deserve hell from a just God. At no point is the incident confrontational or acrimonius. Both witnesser and witnessee are cordial and logical through the entire encounter. I used to be very active in furthering the kingdom of God but have been lax for many years now. I hope to report a resurgence in this area. To give you an idea of the mindset of these guys I give you a quote from C.T. Studd that they use.

"We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good; but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism. To your knees man! And to your Bible! Don't hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God. Quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame lying and cowardly excuses. Enlist!"

Good News Club

As some of you might know(I don't really know who's reading this blog) each week Joshua and I go to Oakdale school to teach a Good News club. We teach the children Bible lessons, missionary stories, Bible verses, and songs. This is one of the ministries of Child Evangelism Fellowship and we teach with our regional director (Ms.H). Here are some funny happenings this past year:
Ms. H: "What is a widow"
Girl(guessing): "You?"

Michaela: "In our missionary story why didn't the little girl want to tell her family about Jesus?"
Girl: "Because they were Muslins."
There you are and by the way I did emphasize afterward that you put a 'm' not an 'n' at the Muslims. Will someone please tell me you're reading my blog, I haven't gotten any comments yet.

January

January weather varies from on extreme to the other. Yesterday the high was about sixty, but today it's twenty. That's Kansas weather for you.Who knows what it's going to be like tomorrow. Oh well, I still love it here.



Sincerely,
GRACE.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Better Than Angels

While singing, "And all the twinkling starry host: Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer" in the hymn Fairest Lord Jesus this morning during worship the picture of the bright star that the wise men followed came to mind to me, probably because the Advent season is coming to a close. Jesus is so much better. "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:4) May God Bless You All this new year.

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Today, I was reading about the alligator snapping turtle. Those who know what an alligator snapping turtle is, know that it is a large, ugly, and fascinating turtle. The alligator snapping turtle has quite the life. It will not hunt its food, its food comes to it. Using a growth on its tongue that looks like a worm the camouflaged turtle lures fish into its mouth and devours them afterward. When the turtle hibernates, it remains under water for at least one month. Is not our Creator amazing?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jewelry

today for our Christmas present Mommy took us to a friend of ours, and let us pick out some jewelry. Michaela picked out a silver bracelet with blue stones, and a necklace to match. I picked out a pearl bracelet and a pearl necklace so I can wear them every Sunday.(They will match with everything I wear.) We both wanted adjustments on our necklaces Michaela wanted it longer, and I wanted only one string (it was originally two.) We are now wearing them. Michaela shows it off by shaking it very rapidly. We both like ours a whole lot.
Hope to write to you soon,
Love GRACE.

Annihilation

On New Year's Eve our tradition is to go the Greene's some friends of ours. After eating a delightful meal, watching two movies, and counting down to midnight we came down to the serious business. Ethan, Joshua, and I sat down to a game of Monopoly. Olivia was my secretary who was starving because she wasn't being paid. At the beginning of the game Ethan predicted that we would be on our knees begging for mercy and for money. He related a game recently played when he had had Olivia down to $1 and in $10,000 dollars of debt. Obviously we were supposed to be impressed(especially when Olivia verified the account). So I prepared myself to fight Ethan and not be on my knees begging for money. At first we were all very poor, then Joshua began to gain the upper hand. We all had matches and I decided to put houses on mine. You cannot imagine the absolute glee on my face when Ethan landed on one with two houses! He offered me the property Parkplace( I already had Boardwalk), but not complately. For $200 I could have half of it. After very little thought I told him, "But I'm a selfish person and I want all of it." Consequentl he sold the whole thing to Joshua. After I had three houses he landed on it again and owed me $550. Olivia and I were estactic! I probably would have won the game but Ethan was saved by the call, "Time to go home." He had only a little over $100 and I went home very satisfied. This was the highlight of New Year's Eve.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Incredible Discoveries

We have owned our digital camera for over 6 years and we have just discovered two features. One is that it can make 16 second videos without sound. I have uploaded a video as proof of that fact. The other is that we learned how to use the timer. For the first time we have taken a picture with all of us in it without the aid of another person. This is especially distressing for me because I am a read the instructions kind of guy and am ashamed that I didn't know all that this camera could do from day one which is usually the case for things I purchase. So here is the first picture that uses the timer. We are visiting Betty Lisman on Christmas
Eve. She is the grandmother of 2 former students. I did the routine of checking the picture in the view finder, pushing the button and running over behind the group. Then we remained motionless except for statements through smiling teeth like "Is it working?", "Are you sure you pushed the button?", "How long is the wait?", and "Oh!, I see a red light, get ready" (click/flash). I am torn as to the video to use. The first video I took with the camera was Michaela reading her Bible in the bed the morning of January 1, 2009. Later that same day we shot some videos of playing ping pong with a new game that were given to us by the Malones, parents of the same 2 former students. Michaela says that her video is too boring because our camera doesn't record sound. I will post both and let you decide. Michaela's video, though, is the official first use of that function on the camera. Please note who wins the most volleys of ping pong.
video

video