Wednesday, March 31, 2010

today i saw...

My baby girl. Losing another tooth. And growing up.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I love poetry. I've given it several attempts and honestly, I've failed at most of them. I enjoy reading poetry, when the poet avoids cliches. Which pretty much means that country music is not at all poetry to me. But, Selah and I had a go at it this week in home school. And I'm sure you know the saying "every victorious poet must first defeat the limerick."

Ya, pretty much it's just me who has said that. But it's true. If you can successfully conquer the limerick, I think the "higher" forms of poetry are a cake walk. I'm not going to label who wrote which one, but here are a few.

Little Man Lee

There was a small man named Lee
Who was sick for all people to see
He spit out a loogey
To get rid of a boogie
And it landed smack dab on a tree

Old Lady and the Monkey

There was an old woman named Mary
Who had a monkey that was very hairy
He climbed up a wall
And made a great fall
And now he looks like a canary

The Van of Selah Anne

There was a young girl, Selah Anne
One day she drove out in a van
She got in a wreck
And broke her neck
So now her face looks like a man

You're welcome. For the cultural tour of sophistication that was just taken by reading our limericks. I'm sure you feel not only enlightened but awed.

I will give you all time to hide away and contemplate. And always remember dear friends, let us not find ourselves patronizing the limerick.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm Sewing!

So, I'm starting to sew. My cousin bought me a sewing machine and brought it with her on their recent trip to visit. I have been beyond excited about starting to sew. My favorite part is taking old clothes and making them into something new. We've got just a few kids in our house and they grow out of things by the second. The thought of this sewing machine made my little heart pitter patter.

This was my first creation. A little pair of leg warmers for Makaria's not so little pair of legs. I just chopped off the sleeves to a shirt that was a little snug in her waist. One of my glaring personality flaws is that I don't like to wait and read instructions. I want to just jump right in. I did watch the DVD to show me how to get the thread wound around every knob and lever on my machine and get it to sew. After that, I pretty much just started. This picture above is Makaria's new pose for every picture she takes. It's the jr. high school picture tilt on crack.

It was really fun. And as long as you don't look on the inside, I don't think they look to shabby.

Ok, so now I had a shirt that with cut off sleeves that needed to be reworked. So I chopped up another shirt and did a little snipping and there you go!

It really didn't take very long at all. Although, if you did it correctly and accurately it might have taken a little more time. But, who has time for that, really?!

My grandmother used to be an incredible seamstress. She was always trying to get us to start sewing with her. I did a few times, but very much regret not spending more time with her learning. Ugh, I hate that we have to be young and stupid. So, maybe I'll try out using a pattern sometime soon. But for now, I've got lots of chopping and improvising to do!

Prayer of Boredom

From Elyse Fitzgerald's "Comforts from the Cross":


I'll admit that your love both bores and frightens me. I mistakenly think that I understand it, so I skim over it as if it were yesterday's headlines. But sometimes it breaks through and I begin to see what it's really like and I'm terrified. So I run from you. I numb my soul to its influences through futile amusements and self-assuring good deeds.

I rarely start my day with the thought, "My Father, who art in heaven." Please forgive me for this and for neglecting what your adoption of me really means. I've taken this truth for granted and resisted your Fatherly intrusion into my life because I haven't trusted the goodness of your love.

Please open my eyes and grant grace to see you, your love, the security of my place in you, and the inevitablility of my complete transformation, and then give me grace to draw near to you for strength to war against our enemies.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Believer's Baptism

People tend to underestimate or overemphasize the importance of baptism. Frankly, the most common arguments I hear from baptists are rather weak. However, those who support infant baptism have to do a lot of speculation and guessing to justify their position. (In seminary, I tried for a year to convince myself of infant baptism....reading everything I could to persuade myself. The reason was that some of my very favorite people in history were Reformed theologians. In the end, nothing I read was convincing)

In the process, I gained an appreciation for the complexity of the question. It's not as straightforward as people like to think it is. Also, I realized what is at stake--our thoughts on baptism influence our communicating of the gospel, thus people's salvation, and the identity of the local church, among other things.
I recently had to read a book, "Believer's Baptism" (edited by Thomas Schreiner and Shawn Wright). Two chapters inside of it are worth twice the price of the book. Chapter 4, "Baptism and the Relationship between the Covenants" (by Stephen Wellum) and Chapter 7, "Baptism and the Logic of Reformed Paedobaptists" (by Shawn Wright) are probably the best writings on baptism I have ever read. Thoroughly Scriptural, directly engaging the arguments for infant baptism, and logically sharp.

Regardless of whether you accept infant baptism or not, if you are serious about the Bible and obeying Christ's commands (including baptism), this is an essential read. I honestly can't see how someone could read this book, especially these 2 chapters, and not be challenged, encouraged, and baptistic in their theology.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care Reform and the Heart

Russell Moore has some good words about fear amid this Health Care debate.

In short, he challenges us to examine whether we get more emotionally worked up and concerned about the politics and economic of health care reform than we do about God's glory, His word, obedience, our sin, and people going to hell because those who don't know Jesus.

Here are a few quotes:

Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and ecclesial mission are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC? Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months or years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street about how scary national health care will be?

If we were half as outraged by our own sin and self-deception as we are by the follies of our political opponents, what would be the result? If we rejoiced as much that our names are written in heaven as we do about such trivialities as basketball brackets, what would be the result?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Orton's Time in China

Carrie's cousin and her family got to come and visit for a week. We had only met their son before and at that time, he was only 6 months old. It was a lot of fun getting to know their kids and hanging out with them. We did lots of things, chatted about lots of topics and ate lots of great food. I'm going to post pictures and go fast and furious through the week. It's always sad to have visitors leave, but it's also fun looking back at pictures and remembering the fun we had. Thanks Ortons for hanging out with us (and by that I also mean putting up with us for 7 days).

Here we go. We:

put fire into cups and got small glass jars suctioned to our feet, set our knees on fire, got an amazing massage with wonderful friends.

We screamed, fed pigeons and mooched corn off the unsuspecting Chinese ladies.

We laughed, ran around, kicked the soccer ball and attracted a crowd.

We flew kites, drew with chalk, made new friends, and blew bubbles.

We swang the raquets, picked up the birdie and hit it maybe one time.

We ate Korean food, told stories and encouraged one another.

We metamorphisized, made sand art and saw the inside of a nose at the science museum.

We played with trucks, dressed up and had ball wars.

We read books...naked, sang songs and danced to rap music.

We made a mess that eventually turned into Chinese dumplings. We ate. It was good.

We played at a local park, walked around the lake and froze our hands off.
We took lots of pictures and had lots of pictures taken by strangers.

We introduced 3 or our children to my cousin and her family. What a blessing!

We posed, ate local snacks and peed in trash cans.

We ate at a restaraunt with 12 adults and 16 kids (all 8 and under).

We did Tae Kwan Do, learned how to do sit-ups, and ran laps outside.

And we smiled. Lots.

Selah's Spring Festival Performance

I realize that Selah's performance was a good two months ago. Let's just be glad that the post has happened, shall we? Selah has been pouring sweat and blood into her dance class for the last semester. All this was climaxed into a Chinese New Year performance. She was wonderful. She loves being on stage and especially if it means wearing sparkly costumes and pink eye shadow.

I wasn't all that excited that they did a last minute costume change from cute black satin shorts to these mini skirts. But, what's a mom to do at that point?

It was a modern dance class that involved hat tossing, hip shaking and stage stomping. It was fast and really fun. The girls worked hard the entire semester to learn the routine.

Most of the other performances were rousing nationalism routines. My daughter's was an unabashed expression of modern dance. I'm sure they thought that my American daughter felt right at home shaking her hips up on stage. They all think that we Americans live out a 90210 type reality.

During the intermission, they played a game of musical chairs. Charis and Malachi volunteered to play. Honestly, I was little nervous because I wasn't sure that they knew how to play. But, they caught on quickly and Charis took 3rd place. Malachi was out in the first round, but was given much applause after his interview with the MC.

Most events my children attend end with them being interviewed.

Here a few of the more traditional routines. Lots of saluting and admiring of various military regimes. You know, your normal childhood type performances.

Then, it was Brad's turn in musical chairs. If you know my husband at all, you also know that he was not leaving that stage with any other title than 'Champion'. He picked up his chair and walked around the circle with it and elicited many laughs. There were also several occasions where petite little Chinese women ended up on the floor. But, they weren't all hubs' fault. Maybe just one or two.

And then, there was the interview.

We were proud of all the girls. Happy late Chinese New Year!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Driscoll on Ministry Idolatry

Driscoll asks 11 questions about ministry idolatry in particular:

1. Attendance idolatry: Does your joy change when your attendance does?
2. Gift idolatry: Do you feel that God needs you and uses you because you are so skilled?
3. Truth idolatry: Do you consider yourself more righteous than more simple Christians?
4. Fruit idolatry: Do you point to your success as evidence of God’s approval of you?
5. Method idolatry: Do you worship your method as your mediator?
6. Tradition idolatry: What traditions are you upholding that are thwarting the forward progress of the gospel?
7. Office idolatry: Are you motivated primarily by God’s glory or your title?
8. Success idolatry: Is winning what motivates you at the deepest level?
9. Ministry idolatry: Do you use the pressure of ministry to make you walk with God?
10. Innovative idolatry: Does it matter to you that your ministry be considered unique?
11. Leader idolatry: Who, other than Christ, are you imaging?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


It's been said that humility is not only thinking less of yourself but also thinking less about yourself.

One subtle addition should be made to that comment. We should add that humility is assuming that others are thinking less about you, too.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

'Poor Man's Matt Damon' List

We once read an article about Mark Wahlberg being the 'poor man's Matt Damon'. There's this sense that Mark Wahlberg just can't obtain Matt Damon's stature and place in life. As we pondered on this, we came up with a whole list of things that fit that very categorization:

Matt Damon-Mark Wahlberg
Dr. Pepper-Mr. Pibb
Z Cavaricci's-Girbaud jeans
Texas-Louisiana and for that matter, Arkansas
United States-Canada (at least, that's how our Canadian friends feel)
Starbucks-Dunkin' Donuts
U2-Depeche Mode
The Beatles-New Kids on the Block
Papa John's-Little Ceasar's
Madonna-Brittany Spears
24-American Gladiators
Yankees-Red Sox
Tex Mex: Mexican Food
Summer Olympics-Winter Olympics
Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson
British English--American English
Mark McGuire on steroids-Mark McGuire off steroids.
candidate Obama-President Obama
Ronald Reagan-Sarah Palin
Hammer Pants-jams
Chris Farley-Jack Black
Matrix: Matrix Reloaded

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Just hangin'

A friend of ours just got a new camera. We found her outside the other day trying it out on our kids. She knew our kids would be suckers for posing. So after about 45 minutes of picture taking, she ran inside and dumped them onto a disk. Here are a few:

Here's me in my usual "I'm pointing and talking. But to whom, who knows?!" pose.

Don't be fooled by the short sleeves and no jackets. That was a freak day. A day that the Lord gave to just me.

For all my China friends, my son has voluntarily adopted many China poses. This was my favorite.

This is one of Selah's best friends here. She and Tian Tian play together all the time. Over the holiday, Tian Tian's parents were at work all day. So, she spent lots of time at our house. She's a sweet girl and we had a blast with her.

That's all.
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