Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Friday, August 21, 2009

Little boy Jesus

I was working on Sunday school ideas when I came across this sermon. I don't know anything about the pastor who wrote this (Jon Burnham) but was moved by what he had to say:

We don't often see Jesus' degree of wisdom or devotion in a twelve year old child. In fact, we may assume it has never happened at any time since then. We can only grasp at straws when we try to think of a modern parallel to the love and devotion to God displayed by little boy Jesus. Perhaps the closest we can get to it is a poem. I regard this poem in light of a terrible scene I witnessed once upon a time in Jerusalem. There is a exhibit with a glass front wall at the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem. Behind the glass wall is a room full of little wrinkled leather children's shoes. They are the shoes of children who were killed in the gas chambers of Nazi Germany. This poem was found by the body of a dead child in the concentration camp called Ravensbrook during the Nazi era:

O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will
but also those of ill will.

But do not remember all the suffering they inflicted on us
remember the fruits we have bought thanks to this suffering
our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity,
the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this.

And when they come to judgement
let all this fruit which we have born
be their forgiveness.

This is the loving spirit of little boy Jesus as he demonstrated in his teaching in the temple when he was twelve years old; and this is the forgiving spirit that Jesus demonstrated as he was hanging on the cross, as he said in regard to those who were crucifying him, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Here we see that by continuing to pour oneself out in self-giving love even the darkest evil can be transformed into a scene of incredible love. We can do this ourselves, we can walk this path of self-emptying love, by staying soft instead of hardening our hearts, by not tightening up but by relaxing and letting in the energy of God's love flow into us and spill over into the world, into our families, into the heart of the child in each of us, even the oldest adult. In doing so, we may be more like little boy Jesus, who increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. We may also hear God say of us one day: "You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fun times

We have had a couple of fun days.
Cora's Playground is the same as done.
It still needs a door (where that window is behind that slab of cement).
That door will lead to the Caterpillar Sunday School classroom
- the older toddlers.
And the shade still needs to be put up.
But the toys are in.
The floor is done and so cute!
So I took Hannah and Sophia to play there yesterday.

Today, I was supposed to take my aunt to Paxico, Kansas to visit her granddaughter.
But she came down with the flu.
Jill called. The weather was so beautiful today - in the '70's. This is Kansas in August?! Wow!
She wanted to go to the zoo and did I want to go too? I am under a lot of pressure with getting nursery ready for the fall but I could use the break! So that is just what I did.
We first went to the chimps. Met a very interesting couple there who were personal friends of Jane Goodall. He had helped to train this one chimp and he was "talking" with it. The chimp would nod his head and dance for him. Pretty amazing. After the chimps we decided not to do the usual.
We had not ever taken the girls to see Australia and South America.
It was so very pretty! Not another soul around either. I think most people just prefer to see tigers, lions and gorillas.
Look at this gorgeous bird!

Sophia wanted to push her stroller.

Then we saw this thing.
And it flew right at us.
Jill and I ducked and screamed.
Sophia began to run with the stroller crying and crying.
I held her and calmed her down.
Hopefully we didn't scar her for life and make her terrified of birds.
We saw these wallabys (like a baby kangaroo)
hopping around, right by us. They are not caged up.
I couldn't get a good shot. They kept hopping around.
When we exited, we came to the elephants.
They were feeding them.

By then it was lunch time for us too.
Mindy was on her way home from nursing school.
And Adam was on his way into town too.
He has a hard time studying at the office.
He prefers his second office - Starbucks.
He can work on his sermon just fine there!
So we all met at On the Border.
The music was blaring.
But the food is good.
Sophia loves the music.
I had to film her rocking to the beat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My Dad's birthday is today. 86 years young. Dad grew up on a dairy farm close to Castleton.
One boy with 4 sisters.

He was an ornery fellow...

...who gave his life to Christ after highschool.
Went to Grace Bible Institute and Bethel.
Met Mom.
They had thought they would go to Africa as missionaries.
But the Lord directed them to post-war Japan instead.

He and mom had 4 children,
Dave, Doug, Me and Dan.

He took us swimming at the beach a lot.
He would sometimes grill for us.

Now that they are retired, Dad continues to do lots of volunteer work. At the Et-Cetera store he checks things to make sure they work. If they don't, he tries to fix them. If he can't fix them, they go in the trash. He also gives his time at MCC, his church, and at Kidron. He loves a good joke and you are never around him long before you will hear one. Or two. Maybe even more. He used to give "humor" talks to lots of groups.
Always serving.
And they pray every day for each of us.

Have a great day, Dad!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

60th wedding anniversary

We celebrated my parent's 60th wedding anniversary today.

We used the same candle holders that were used at their wedding.
And at our wedding also.

Jill put pictures of their life on the laptop.
With love songs by Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, James Taylor.
Dad and Mom greeted over 200 guests
at the Kidron Bethel Community Room.
Folks from Buhler, Pretty Prairie, Mountain Lake, MN.....

My sister-in-law, Linda, cut the cake.
Jill and my brother, Dave helped set it out.
I made up the punch and
Al served it.
Very easy recipe! And delicious!
Just mix Sprite with frozen white grape raspberry.So fun to see many friends!
Several missionary friends from Japan.
Dave and I with another Japan MK
(missionary kid) Barb (Unruh).
And our school teacher, Miss Virginia Claassen.

Here is a picture of the one room school house we attended in southern Japan.

Dave is on the right in the middle row.

Then here is a photo when Barb and I were in school.
I am on the front, on the clear left.
Barb is on the front row on the right.
My brother, Dan, who couldn't be with us today, is on the clear right.
Virginia Claassen is 2nd to the left on the back row.
The other adults were our dorm parents.
Back to the party....
Everyone seemed to have a good time.

After the party, Dad treated us at Jackie Chen's.

Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mom!!
Thank you for your faithfulness to each other and to our Lord!
Such an example!