Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Babysitting Bachelor

After only 3 weeks of having 4 children including 1 newborn, Audrea couldn't take it anymore and left me... okay, so she took the kids too. I've been a bachelor since last Monday (the 23rd) and it has been a very lonely time. Okay, again, so I'm still not telling you the whole story...

Audrea's brother Jared and his wife Stephanie were moving to Phoenix and decided to come up to Wisconsin 2 weekends ago to visit one more time before the move. Audrea had already planned on heading over to Wisconsin during the middle of the following week to go on a trip with her parents and the kids. So we figured it would be foolish for her to make two trips over there so she might as well just stay 4 more days. So we've been apart for 9 days.

While I've been able to catch up on a ton of reading, it has been a very lonely and quiet time. I've been able to spend a lot of time in the Word and reflecting on God's goodness to me. Being alone for such a long time is not a good thing for a guy. Myself, I am prone to stay up late, overwork, overeat, watch movies that would not build up my faith, and the list could go on. So this time I made some resolutions that so far I have stuck to. One of the toughest has been to not crack open the TV armoire. After spending several hours reading and studying on Saturday and Sunday, my brain was kind of on overload. I couldn't handle much more. I reeeallly longed to just sit down in the easy chair and watch the Discovery channel. But I prayed for grace and (no, I'm not saying watching TV and etc. is sinning, this is about me fleeing temptations--temptation to be lazy, to watch violent movies, or to lust) God was faithful... The funny thing is, sometimes the Holy Spirit just speaks common sense to you. This weekend it was, "Just take a nap, you big dummy!"

Anyway, you may wonder about the "babysitting" part in the title of this post. My mission while Audrea was gone was to keep Savannah's hamster, Jesse (so does that make Savannah "Jessie's Girl"?), and her flowers alive. The hamster was going to be a piece of cake (not these hamsters), but the flowers were going to be another story. Twice this summer our flowers on the porch have suffered severe neglect. As a matter of fact, we were worried at that time that Audrea and I may be arraigned on child abandonment charges over those poor suffering flowers.

However, I resolved as well this week to make sure those plants got all the water they could handle. And amazingly those little things are on the mend. While one of the types looks like it is past its season, the snapdragons and little blue things and little yellow things and little maroon thingys (note my vast knowledge of horticulture) have made a turnaround. And just today, I noticed a little bud growing on the geraniums (see I know one more!).

Audrea took the cameras with her on the trip so the only thing I have left to use is my Razr, but that's better than nothing... Here they are reflecting God's glory:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Paul David Tripp on Forgiveness

The content of the Bible is the worst of news (you're a sinner) and the best of news (God is willing to forgive). It's only when you're ready to admit the worst that you then open yourself up to what's best. All of this means that you and I don't have to live in denial and avoidance. We don't have to play self-excusing logic games with ourselves. We don't have to give ourselves to systems of penance and self-atonement. We don't have to point the finger of blame at others. We don't have to perform our way into God's favor. No, we can come to him again and again just as we are, flawed, broken, and unclean and know that he'll never turn away anyone who comes to him and says, "I have sinned, won't you in your grace forgive?"

There's no sin too great, there's no act too heinous, and there's no person beyond hope. The offer is open and free. There's no requirement of age, gender, ethnicity, location, or position. God welcomes you to come. He only asks that you admit your sin and you seek what can only be found in him, forgiveness. He is able, he is willing, and with grace that we will maybe never be able to fully grasp, he says, "Come."

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Friday, July 06, 2007

God's Blessings!

Here are some updated pics in honor of William's one-week birthday.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Will's Birthday Slideshow

In case you hadn't taken a look at his photobucket... here's a compendium of his first day: