Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fireworks and Family Fun

The other night after church we and some other families carried out a fairly new tradition of going to the mall parking lot,eating a light meal and fellowshipping. The kids play ball and run around having a good time with each other. Soon the sky is lit up with all sorts of colored lights for a nice display of fireworks. We even had "George Washington" visit us :)

A nice display of fireworks light up the sky.










Families fellowshipping in peaceful surroundings.




Kids playing without fear in our free country...let's never take this for granted.




This is what freedom is all about! "Dear God please continue to bless America for the upcoming generations!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vacation Bible School

We just finished our VBS program last week which was based on the book, Pilgrim's Progress. We had puppet shows, Bible stories, crafts, snacks, Scripture memory verses and playtime on inflatables. Years ago we scaled back to four days of VBS. The night of the fourth day we have a parent's night. The kids sing the songs they have learned that week and our pastor gives a message with a challenge to receive Jesus Christ as personal LORD and Savior. I come away very tired but also with a satisfaction knowing the truth of the Bible has been presented clearly to each person involved in the whole program. Even as a teacher I couldn't help but be challenged with the Bible stories and the truth contained in those stories. Little ones have had seeds of faith planted in their little hearts through God's Word and in the songs they practiced over and over. Even the crafts were geared to teach a lesson from God's Word. We had 3 Korean boys in our group. While we were eating our snack one day I asked them to say different words in their language. The next day one of them brought their Korean Bible and read the verse we had that day. What a wonderful God we serve who loves all the children of the world both big and small.

One of my highlights is working along side two of my grandchildren. They have such servant's hearts and work well with children. I feel so blessed to have them. Again my Lord reaffirms His love to me in this special way. VBS may be geared to little kids but I have to believe we all come away challenged and blessed.

On the way home we saw some deer and since I had my camera I had to take their pictures, too :)



Little children singing praises to our BIG GOD!!



Our pastor giving a mini message of God's love... the Gospel.



My grandchildren Tyler and Ashley made me look like I had it altogether in our group.



The little guy and the guy next to him singing from the heart are our grandsons :)



"Well, hi there."



We frequently see deer in our neighborhood, this one has antlers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rummicube Competition

My Rummicube buddy was in town for about a week so we got together tonight for 3 rounds of the game. Jean and her husband along with me and my husband both share the same grandchildren. Their son, Donn, is married to our daughter, Sherry. We enjoy their visits and count it a privilege to have them as family and good friends. Even though I lost all 3 games, it still was fun :)


The competitors!! Grandaughter Ashley.....Nanny Judy......Grandma Jean



Winner # 1!! Grandma, Jean


Winner #2 & #3!! Grandaughter, Ashley

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sometimes the best answer is the simplest.

Once in a while a little humor brightens my day. How about you? I love the comic section of the paper, especially "Pickles." The rest of the news paper is usually depressing but the delight of the comics . . . a few minutes of relief as you look upon the "lighter side." Here is one of my favorites!

The Lone Ranger and Tonto are camping in the desert. They have set up their
tent and are asleep. Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger.
"Kemo Sabi. Look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
The masked man replies, "I see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?" asks Tonto.
The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute. "Astronomically speaking, it tells me
that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it appears to
be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it's evident the Lord
is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it
seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, my
faithful friend?"
Tonto is silent for a moment, and then speaks.
"Kemo Sabi, Someone has stolen our tent."

Look for the second right answer and you'll find it is usually the simplest.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Watchout For Those Little Foxes

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. So. of Sol. 2:15

The formula for a successful future for your child lies to a large degree in their daily routine. In the daily routine of life habits are converted into character that lasts a lifetime. In that routine “little foxes” can sneak in with us being unaware and develop into dragons that destroy life! As parents we need to be on guard to protect our children from these predators. To our shame, often we open the door and let these “little foxes” in through our own lives lived out in front of our children. Search out these seven little foxes before they ruin those tender vines!

1. A Little Laziness (Pr. 6:10-11)
A little laziness grows bigger and leads to poverty in many areas of a child’s life. Chase that little fox out of each child’s life while they are still young. They can get up on their own. Buy them an alarm clock and make them use it. They can make the bed, clean their room, put away the toys neatly, and help with house hold choirs like the dishes. Parents, follow through with a list of daily routines each child is expected to do and inspect it!

2. A Little Folly (Ecc. 10:1)
Teach your children the difference between good wholesome fun and folly. Folly is vanity and has no lasting value. Folly tears down, teases, discourages, is mischievous, and will eventually cause shame. Build your children in wisdom and honor. Read together as a family. Talk together, plan together, serve together, and play together. Just as an example, the TV steals family unity and togetherness and in my opinion is usually folly. And in many homes it’s not just a little fox but a fire-breathing dragon!

3. Little Faith (Matt. 6:30)
Without faith it’s impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6) but also the Lord is displeased by our little faith. Take advantage of opportunities to nurture “mustard-seed-size faith” in your children. Remember faith comes by hearing God’s Word. It should be heard continually in our homes. I would suggest keeping a family prayer journal to help in building faith by seeing God answer prayer.

4. Little Love (Lk. 7:47)
We are all tempted to leave our first love from time to time. (Rev. 2:4) Maybe that’s why Jesus summed up all the law in one command, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind..” Be alert to anything or anybody that comes into your child’s life and steals that first love for the Lord!

5. A Little Leaven (1 Cor. 5:6)
No one wants a little cancer, do they? Yet we tolerate a little leaven in our homes. It comes in many different disguises such as: books, games, toys, videos, music, TV, radio, and clothing. Sometimes it comes in the form of a dishonoring attitude as opposed to open rebellion. None of us live or die to ourselves. These foxes can destroy a whole family. Be alert to the wiles of the devil! (Rom. 14:7, 1 Cor. 15:33, 1 Pet. 5:8)

6. The Little Tongue (Ja. 3:5-6)
Insist your children speak kindly one to another. They need to speak respectfully to all their elders. Only good, loving, gentle, truthful words should be acceptable in our homes. Our homes are to be a refuge, not a war zone. Parents, it begins with you.

7. Little Gratitude (Zech. 4:10)
Develop an attitude of gratitude for our daily usual blessings. This includes our family, home, food, health, church, and salvation. The list is endless. Children should be taught by example to have a grateful spirit. If gratefulness does not flow from their lives, you know a fox has stolen something precious. Rescue that child before it’s too late.

Love your children enough to be ALERT to the dangers outlined above. An ounce of prevention is worth a TON of cure. But when cure is needed it is ALWAYS rooted in the gospel. (Repentance, confession, forgivness, peace)

Wise parents are alert for these same dangers in their own lives.

PB

Thursday, June 11, 2009

IMPACT PLAYERS

I wrote the following article in March of 1995 as a testimony and a charge to other fathers. I took the thoughts for the article from my spiritual journal of January 1984. Today, more than 14 years later I am still driven to desire to have an impact on this world for the glory of God and the good of others. Recently there have been great books written like “Don’t Waste Your Life,” and “Do The Hard Thing.” These books contain life changing truths that come right out of the heart of God via His all sufficient Word. This article has a similar theme and I hope it will be a blessing, especially to you fathers.

" And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed; because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." Gen. 26: 4&5

In January of 1984 the Lord spoke to me through the above verse. God placed a desire inside my heart to live a life that would impact others for generations to come for the glory of God, just like Abraham did. Believe me; I realized I was no Abraham. God, however, was still the same God and He is the focus of this verse. He is still looking for people who would live by faith and as a result impact their world for Christ. As I write this more than eleven years have gone by since God placed the above desire into my heart. God has been faithful and perhaps in some small measure allowed Judy and I to impact our world for him. The following thoughts are taken from my spiritual journal, January 22, 1984.

"I want to be continually reminded of the faithfulness of God. Isaac and his people were being blessed by God, but why? They were being blessed because of Abraham's past obedience. Abraham had yielded everything he had to God and God promised to bless him and all the nations of the earth through him.

I believe I have been blessed in 1983 because of the obedience of believers at Calvary Baptist Church. The same principle applies. Their obedience has brought blessing on me and my family. That's the way of God. One man gets right with God like Abraham did and God will pour out his blessing even unto all nations through that man. God is the same God today for us as he has been for all past generations. As I look forward to 1984 what does this mean to me?

If I will get serious about yielding every area of my life to God it will have the effect of blessing others. If I will lay my all on the altar just consider what God might do. If I would allow God's grace to truly revive me maybe it would start a new revival at Calvary Baptist Church. If our church were revived they would reach out and bless the city of Midland. If Midland were revived this would impact our whole state. If Michigan were revived maybe revival would sweep across our nation. If America were to experience revival then once again we could lead the charge to evangelize the world.

It all sounds impossible but God makes the impossible possible. It all starts right here in this room today with me. Now is the time for me to yield all that I am and all that I have to thee. God, I do just that and ask you to use this clay pot for your glory and the good of others.

Today is March 8, 1995. The years have flown by. I have much less hair now and my wrinkles are more pronounced. My children are all grown and married. Grandchildren have graced my life. The thirties gave way to the forties and the fifties lay straight ahead. Growing older has changed many things but the fire and conviction God put into my heart that cold January morning still burns hot. The degree of impact God has allowed me to have for him can only be honestly measured by Him and all that really matters is that my life counted for His glory. By God's grace, I'm still pressing on with an eye to reaching the world with the gospel.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. Are you having an impact on your world for the glory of God and the good of others?
2. Do you want God to bless others through your life?
3. By the grace of God what do you hope to accomplish by 2005?
4. Is there anything keeping you from being an impact player for God's team?
5. Are you ready to repent and return to walking in truth?

PB

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

PARENTS - THE ORDER IS IMPORTANT

There are three major decisions your child faces that tower above all the other decisions they’ll ever make. You as a parent must have an ever-present awareness of these pending decisions. You must battle to keep them in the proper order. I deal with adults on a regular basis who are discouraged and feel “trapped” in life. Why? Because they made three life changing decisions without considering the importance of those decisions and the proper order for making they. Here are the three decisions I’m talking about and their correct order. I call them the “Big Three.”

1. LORDSHIP
2. LIFE-WORK
3. LIFE-MATE

God’s desire is for parents to lead their children to salvation and a life yielded to Christ. Yes, a surrendered life where “Jesus is Lord” in the life of the child. Without this being accomplished very few will make good decisions on the next two.

Secondly, God wants us to train our children according to their bent. (Spiritual gifts, physical gifts, personality, life experiences, motivational desires, etc.) We are to prepare them for an adult life that fulfills God’s individual purpose for them. This includes them having proper preparation to be good spouses, parents, church members, and neighbors. Each child should have been trained in a vocational skill. If God chooses for them to be a family of one they should have the skills necessary to provide for themselves.

Once these two areas are accomplished then, and only then, should our attention turn toward finding a life mate. Relationships between opposite sexes that become emotionally or romantically dependent in the teen years have become a normal way of life in the world. It’s robbing our youth of virtue. It’s depleting the motivation for God’s preparation of a life lived seeking Him first. Don’t make that mistake with your children. Keep them focused on number one and two. There will be plenty of time for courtship later. The time to lay down this expectation is when your children are very young. Four years old isn’t too early. You should reinforce this concept all the way up to and through the teen years. It will take alertness, diligence, wisdom and prayer on your part but our children are worth the effort.

These three decisions are more important than the issues of “did they make the team?” or “do they have a driver’s license?” Please parents – Get the order right for the sake of your precious children. Lordship – Life-work – Life-mate.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wedding Bells And Scenic Views

We recently attended a lovely wedding and on the way home we saw some more of God's beautiful creation. Just wanted to share our time with you all.



The husband-to-be came for his bride just as Christ will come for His bride one day!



Making a covenant.


Beautiful mountain views.


Decorated fence.


Bi-winged airplane.


Countryside elegance.


PB&J

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Looking In The Face Of Love

They say the longer you are married the more you start to look like each other.

I wonder about that statement... I'll let you all be the judge.






Does he look more like me or do I look more like him?


Some things wiil change but love will remain the same!



What do you think?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spring Pictures II

We have had a wonderful supply of rain which has made for a lusious green and colorful Spring. I don't like rain that much but without it the earth would be dry and the foilage not as colorful. Sometimes life brings lots of rain in the form of trials but if we persevere in the Lord He makes our lives a beautiful sight to behold.
May we each have showers of blessings from His Good Hand!
PB&J


Little potted geraniums soon to be transplanted to bigger pots.


Hey, where did that come from ? :)


The blossoms are so gorgeous on this tree.


Mr. and Mrs. Goose and the kids.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spring Pictures

We have such beautiful sights where we live of God's awesome creation. I'll post some more next time after downloading pictures from my camera. It's getting late so hopfully tomorrow I will continue our Spring Pictures.


Purple Glads.


Yellow Glads.


Fun fishing.


Momma duck and her ducklings.


Pretty pink flowers on a (?) bush.


Impatiens in a pot decorated by our grandchildren.