Sunday, March 29, 2009

Snow in March

We woke up to a snowy day!  The kids are standing next to our apartment's front door.  The snow was lovely and it made Emily want to sing Christmas songs, but we are ready for spring and bike rides!  The great news is that we are forcasted to be in the 50s this week so the snow will not last long.  Emily made me promise that the snow would be melted by her birthday.  I could give her a confident promise, but my name will be MUD if the weather turns fowl towards the end of the week!  Dave has two midterms this week so he lucked out on some great studying weather.  

Thursday, March 26, 2009


This term I am enrolled in an Old Testament course that I am enjoying very much.  Each week we have a writing assignment and I figured I might as well share a few of them with you.  In this assignment we were supposed to tell the story of Genesis in 600 words.  Here is my 603 word effort!  

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Everything was made by God and nothing was that was not made by God.  Human beings were created in God’s image and God breathed the breath of life into Adam and Eve who were the first two created persons.  Adam and Eve eventually lost trust in God and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in direct disobedience of God’s command.  As a result they were banished from the tree of life.  Their new reality was one in which sin, anxious toil, disease, and death were all present.  Adam and Eve then began to populate the earth with their offspring.

As the generations passed the people of the earth’s sinfulness greatly increased to the point that God was grieved that He had made man.  Noah and his family were the only ones who were faithful to God.  God instructed Noah to build a huge boat in which God brought pairs of all the animals.  After all the animals were safely inside the boat along with Noah’s family floodwaters from underneath the earth and above the earth were unleashed until the whole earth was covered in water.  Once the flood subsided Noah’s family and the animals on the ark began to repopulate the earth once again.

God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again flood the earth in this manner.  The rainbow is the sign of this promise.

Once again the people of the earth began to increase.  The people of the earth began to work together to build a magnificent tower that reached high into the sky and the Lord then scattered them all over the earth by giving them different languages.  Because of this the tower was called the tower of Babel.

The Lord found a faithful man who was named Abram.  God called Abram to leave his homeland and asked him to travel to an unknown land.  God then renamed Abram, Abraham and promised to make his descendants into a great nation even though Abraham and his wife Sarah were nearing a hundred years old and had no children.  God fulfilled his promise to them with the birth of Isaac.  Isaac was blessed with two sons Esau and Jacob.  Jacob was the youngest son but God blessed him and it was through him that the line of God’s chosen people continued.  Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter.  Jacob’s second youngest son was his favorite son and his name was Joseph.  God favored Joseph as well and because of this Joseph’s brothers became jealous to the point of hating Joseph.  An opportunity arose when the brothers were far from home to sell Joseph into slavery and they did this very thing.  The brothers told their father that Joseph had been killed and Jacob grieved mightily for Joseph. 

Joseph continued to be faithful to God in all his ways and God blessed him greatly.  Pharaoh, King of Egypt, had a troubling dream that no one could interpret.  Joseph was brought in as he was known to be able to interpret dreams and God showed him the meaning of the dream.  Egypt was soon to have seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine.  Joseph was suddenly exalted to second in command in all of Egypt to prepare for the seven years of famine.  During the years of famine Joseph’s brothers and father Jacob were dramatically reunited with Joseph as they came to Egypt in search of food.  Soon Joseph’s whole family was together living in the best land Egypt had to offer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Natalie's Birthday!

I wonder if all cultures celebrate the day of birth?  In a way it is like celebrating the Gospel message.  If you have been blessed to experience a birth, you know how much of a miracle it is.  It really is a gift that is ultimately out of our control.  Life is something we simply cannot recreate on our own.  Life is extremely precious, fragile, and truly priceless; it is something we never could earn or deserve, and it hurts us very deeply when life is taken away.  Life on earth is a precursor to the new life that awaits us in heaven as that life too is precious, priceless, and miraculous.  Mercifully it won't be fragile but instead miraculously eternal.  This is news almost too good to be true. 

So today we celebrate the birth of our youngest daughter! God has created her and entrusted her into our care (we can debate the wisdom of that later), and we celebrate the miracle of her birth and we rejoice that we will only temporally be separated from her by death!  I am thrilled that by the grace of God I might get to enjoy Natalie forever.  Natalie was born on that State Championship Saturday just hours before Blake Harffarber experienced a miracle himself.  Yep, I watched him hit that state championship winning shot from his butt holding my brand new daughter!  I've always thought that surely this is some kind of sign...  Speaking of butts (sorry Mom but it is relevant to this tale), I had Natalie pick her brackets for the NCAA tournament today.   Comparing all of the children's brackets, Natalie's is by far the best because of two reasons.  First, she always picked the team I said to her last and the team I said last was always the better ranked team.  She's a smart one!  Secondly the other kids have too many friends who love North Carolina and have convinced them that the Duke Blue Devils should lose every game they play.  Natalie however, took Duke to reach the final four but to then lose to Butler.  Butler is Natalie's downfall, it could very well be the only reason that she will lose the contest.  You see Butler's first game is against LSU and I read Butler's name first because they are the lower seed.  Usually Natalie would have said LSU but instead this time she said "Butt" and smiled. Every game I read Butler's name first because they aren't very good, and every time she picked them to win because, "she liked their name."  

Our life is a miracle but our sin nature is evident right from the beginning isn't it?  Natalie is our little tournament rebel, giving my mom more gray hairs.  Picking the Blue Devils in the final four and saying BUTler breaks two of her rules in just one little innocent exercise!  What can I do?  I can't punish her, it's her birthday after all!  Oh yeah that reminds me, Natalie thinks that people only grow taller on their birthday.  The above picture is Natalie showing you how much she thinks she is going to grow on this, her one growth, day!  Thank you all for being such a large part of our blue eyed miracle we like to call Natalie.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

February Pictures

A quick picture summary of our February: Natalie, Alise and I (Anita) went to MN to see my sister's new baby boy, Caleb. Alise was especially glad to excercise her baby-sitting skills. Then we took the eLTrain with our friends, Matt and Janell, to the Lincoln Park Zoo. What a great zoo! We'll be spending many days to come at this awesome, free zoo. In fact, the following weekend, we went back with more MN friends, Mallory and Matt, and we got to see the giraffes on that visit (behind the kids in the last picture). Oh, and you'll also notice how tiring all of the eLTrain riding was for Natalie. :)