Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Perseverance of the Saints
However, as I have been reading various texts emphasizing God's sovereignty, I find myself even more interested in being a Calvinist emotionally.
The truths behind intellectual Calvinism should fuel one's emotions. Those who call themselves Calvinists would do well to respond emotionally in keeping with what is claimed intellectually. THEN, to God would be all the glory!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
A verse I read this morning is so clear:
"And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.'" (Numbers 20:12)
Moses is punished for not believing, having faith in God (v. 12a). Then, the Scripture clarifying how we know that; in other words, what faith looks like, "to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel" (v. 12b).
We know we have faith when our lives publicly make much of the holiness of God. By "holy", the Bible at least means God's unique glory displayed in his infinite perfections. Therefore, in our attitudes and acts of obedience, are we making him look infinitely precious in the eyes of others? Or, sadly, do we make Starbucks, investments, our children, or our reputation look more precious to us?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Needless to say, we love this video.
We made paper flowers:
Here's our final display:
We dyed eggs, let them dry and then added some marbling. We took tissue paper and put it inside a bowl. Then the kids took a spray bottle to dampen the tissue paper and rolled the egg around in it. It added a cool marble to our eggs. And it was also much easier for little hands to do by themselves. I'll probably just do it that way next year and skip the cup dye.
We had a big party last year with lots of kids, candy, crafts, and an egg hunt. As we were processing Easter this year, all our kids kept talking about was "when is the egg hunt???" I mean, asking until it hurt. So we decided to forsake the egg hunt. We are just really serious about not letting secular traditions trump Jesus. We told our kids it's like them having a birthday and instead, we celebrate Dora the Explorer instead of them. They wouldn't want someone else celebrated when it was "THEIR" day. They got that and seem to get our concern. So the whole weekend has been about Jesus-as it should be.
Here's my handsome little buddy.
Then we peeled the eggs and used the egg shells to make beautiful crosses.
This is a neighbor who is also an art teacher. We spied her this morning painting some of the gifts of spring. She's actually painting the side of our building enthroned in white blossoms. It's beautiful. We've been checking in on her progress all day.
An update from art lady friend: my kids are now being allowed to use her brushes to paint the grass and trees bright orange. Sometimes I have to remind our friends that you CAN tell kids no.
During our family worship time, we reenacted the crucifixion and resurrection using homemade play-dough and figurines. We had teddy bears, rubber duckies and pirates all watching the crucifixion. Then today Jesus (played by a pirate) rose from the dead and the kids had to find him in the house. We wanted them to understand the experience the disciples were having at the time of Jesus' death and resurrection.
It was a wonderful weekend filled with sweet worship. Thank you Jesus!
Monday, April 06, 2009
I can't wait to see a REAL black person. This one is obviously directed to our family, as we live in a country with very little skin color diversity.
One time we were at a park and Addis (a little boy adopted from Ethiopia) wouldn't keep leaves out of his mouth. Every time we put him down, he put a leaf in. A friend at the park with us asked, "Is that what he is used to eating in Ethiopia?" Yes, we found him roaming free on the savannah foraging for berries. He is a baby, not a herbivore.
Ethiopia is in Africa, right? So is he going to be (pause because they aren't sure they are supposed to be saying it out loud) you know, African, black? Generally, this question is posed as informational, as if we haven't considered that we will be raising an african american son.
Speaking of african american, that particular term was difficult for a friend once. "No, he will be african" he told me. "And American," I added. "Yeah, I guess. But it's still not the same." Not sure why that mattered, but it did during that bout of verbal curiosity.
There are various poorly planned stereotypical comments made, generally surrounding sports. Football and basketball are the topics of conversation that usually draws out these awkward moments. I have a standard answer for this one that I will pass along for the moment that it comes up in your conversations. "Yes, and next we are going to adopt an asian baby because we really want an olympic gymnast."
And, my all time favorite, "will he speak english?" This question has been asked in a hundred different ways. "It will be interesting to see what he speaks once he starts talking." "I wonder if he can understand anything you are saying." "He will probably need some speech therapy to get caught up." My general response is, "when your baby was 8 months old, what did they speak?" We got this same line of questioning when telling people we were moving to China. "Will your kids be able to speak English?"
A guy directly asked a an adoptive mom "are you Madonna?" "huh?!" "Ya, you've got fancy sunglasses and you're a white family with a black kid."
It has been asked by at least three people at this point. "Do you plan on telling him he is adopted?" My answer is usually a polite, "Yes." What I want to say is, "No, we prefer him to think his mother had an affair and we don't want him to know his biological father."
My oh my. People.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
On to more uplifting things, we made these fun things over the last two days. We love doing crafts in our house. This was was really fun and used scrap paper and home made glue.
Homemade Glue is super easy and eco-friendly (just don't think about the fact that the ingredients you are using to make glue are also the ingredients in most of the bread products we eat. Colon cleansing anyone??)
Add 1 c. flour to a sauce pan
Add 1 cup hot water to sauce pan
Mix until smooth.
Add 2 c. flour and stir.
It will still be a little lumpy, but stir until blended together. Turn the heat up and bring it to a boil, stirring the entire time.
About 7 minutes later, it will thicken to a pastey texture.
Use paint brushes to brush it on.
You put vaseline or in our case oil to cover a bowl. Then, we ripped up scrap paper. A layer of strips for the base and then smaller pieces for the inside. And just keep on until you've got 4-5 layers. Then I pulled them out of the bowls for a little bit to make sure they wouldn't stick. I put our paper bowls in the sun to let them dry overnight. Then we painted and decorated them this morning. They turned out really cute, the kids did a great job. Selah also made a little fly and stuck it to the end of the frog's tongue, but it's hard to see in this picture. Then we all headed to the store to pick up some candy to put in our little bowls.
While Martha would be proud of our little craft project, she would not be at all excited about our strawberries. Those bad boys aren't coming from any organic farm using natural fertilizer flown in from Argentina and grown in pure oxygen in some remote farm in Connecticut. Sorry Martha.
Friday, April 03, 2009
We got our court date to pick up our sweet little girl-May 22nd!!!! What does this mean in the Ethiopian adoption world? It means that once we pass court, we get to travel 4-6 weeks after. Now many times families don’t pass court the first time. The courts want some other signature or something, but it’s about a 50% chance of passing the first time!!! We are so excited. Be praying that we pass the first time. And recently, some court dates are being moved up. So pray for that too J.