Thursday, May 28, 2009
Hymn of the Week
He Touched Me
Words and music by Bill Gaither
Shackled by a heavy burden
Need the Lord again and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me
And now I am no longer the same
For He touched me, He touched me
He touched me and what a wonderful joy
What wonderful joy that foods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole
NOTE: Do a search on IMEEM and see all of the people that have sung this song. Elvis, Barbara Streisand, The Isaacs, Donny Reagan, George Beverly Shea, Benny Hinn and many more. I like the version below.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
|From Small Group Camping|
We meet with a group of people every other Sunday night to study, discuss, worship, and get to know each other. Five families, more than 20 kids, 3 babysitters, 1 house. It is an often rich and chaotic time. These are the kids that we imagine our kids growing up with in Sunday School and youth group. These are the families we imagine walking with in good and bad, mourning and rejoicing.
This weekend we went camping with most of the small group. We missed those who weren't able to come, but we had a grand time with those who did. Here are a few of my highlights.
- Walking into the campsite and looking out to the river, looking up at the huge trees and knowing that we were going to enjoy ourselves.
- Seeing Madelyn dive into the river and come up with a HUGE smile.
- Watching (and not watching) the boys play in the woods with all of the other kids.
- Getting in the tent at the end of the night and then getting out again once the kids were asleep.
- Preparing food over the fire with the guys.
- Hiking with my boys and the other dads and kids.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Yesterday in a scene right out of "Soup and Me," I came home and Amanda yelled to me, "Andy, come back here quick."
She pointed up to the tree and said, "Look at Ben."
He was at the very top of our pine tree in the back, past the telephone wires. I love that he is becoming adventurous and spreading his wings. When he got down, I gave him a high five and said, "Let's not go quite that far any more."
Monday, May 18, 2009
Just recently I have taken a greater liking to candy bars. I appreciate the traditional Snickers. My favorite of the new ones is Take 5. But Amanda and I both agree that the best one is a Butterfinger. It is the perfect mix of chocolate, salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy. Mmmm. I'm actually about to finish one off right now. I love an afternoon snack of a Butterfinger and the remaining gulps of my morning coffee.
How about you? Sugar candy? Chocolate? What's the one that you reach for when you need a sugar fix?
Friday, May 15, 2009
Remodel recap: Two months ago we hired Piper Construction to finish our basement. They were to complete a bedroom with egress window, a bathroom and a family room with a new gas fireplace. Here are a few before pictures.
Then the wizards from Piper Construction, Ben and Phil, went to work and we now have something that we could not be more pleased with.
Here is a list of my favorite things about the remodel.
- The boys hanging out with Phil everyday. Phil being so kind and gentle with them and including them in his work.
- Getting to know Ben and Phil.
- The fireplace
- The details--puppet window, the two extra inches Ben bought us coming down the stairs, the clean and interesting lines.
We are now excited to begin to share our new space. If you're interested, drop in and see it. We are thinking about other ways for us to open this space and work on our hospitality. Amanda and I both love having people in our home, but are not "naturals." I am praying that God will use this new space to push us to growth in this area.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
QUOTED FROM THE DESIRING GOD BLOG
Some of you may have little or no experience with what I mean by preaching. I think it will help you listen to my messages if I say a word about it.
What I mean by preaching is expository exultation.
Preaching Is Expository
Expository means that preaching aims to exposit, or explain and apply, the meaning of the Bible. The reason for this is that the Bible is God's word, inspired, infallible, profitable—all 66 books of it.
The preacher's job is to minimize his own opinions and deliver the truth of God. Every sermon should explain the Bible and then apply it to people's lives.
The preacher should do that in a way that enables you to see that the points he is making actually come from the Bible. If you can't see that they come from the Bible, your faith will end up resting on a man and not on God's word.
The aim of this exposition is to help you eat and digest biblical truth that will
- make your spiritual bones more like steel,
- double the capacity of your spiritual lungs,
- make the eyes of your heart dazzled with the brightness of the glory of God,
- and awaken the capacity of your soul for kinds of spiritual enjoyment you didn't even know existed.
Preaching Is Exultation
Preaching is also exultation. This means that the preacher does not just explain what's in the Bible, and the people do not simply try understand what he explains. Rather, the preacher and the people exult over what is in the Bible as it is being explained and applied.
Preaching does not come after worship in the order of the service. Preaching is worship. The preacher worships—exults—over the word, trying his best to draw you into a worshipful response by the power of the Holy Spirit.
My job is not simply to see truth and show it to you. (The devil could do that for his own devious reasons.) My job is to see the glory of the truth and to savor it and exult over it as I explain it to you and apply it for you. That's one of the differences between a sermon and a lecture.
Preaching Isn't Church, but It Serves the Church
Preaching is not the totality of the church. And if all you have is preaching, you don't have the church. A church is a body of people who minister to each other.
One of the purposes of preaching is to equip us for that and inspire us to love each other better.
But God has created the church so that she flourishes through preaching. That's why Paul gave young pastor Timothy one of the most serious, exalted charges in all the Bible in 2 Timothy 4:1-2:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word.
What to Expect from My Preaching and Why
If you're used to a twenty-minute, immediately practical, relaxed talk, you won't find that from what I've just described.
- I preach twice that long;
- I do not aim to be immediately practical but eternally helpful;
- and I am not relaxed.
I standing vigilantly on the precipice of eternity speaking to people who this week could go over the edge whether they are ready to or not. I will be called to account for what I said there.
That's what I mean by preaching.
Monday, May 11, 2009
We live in a world of here, but not yet. Our church tries to be a part of these two paradigms. We celebrate Mother's Day, but recognize that not everyone is able to celebrate this. We praise and lament. We worship and confess. We are both Holy and broken. This is one of the reasons that I love church and need it so much.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Hymn of the WeekFor the Beauty of the Earth
Words by Folliot S. Pierpoint
Music by Conrad Kocher
For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
This our hymn of grateful praise.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
One other thing that I wanted to write about when we lost Caleb was how much I love Brad. When we figured out that we had left Caleb on the trail, Brad didn't even hesitate. He said, "I'll run back," and he took off. Brad has never hesitated to love our kids. From the moment that he arrived at the hospital in his Junior year at Calvin, to meet Benjamin for the first time, he has been an amazing uncle to our kids. He is one of their favorite playmates, all-time best storyteller and one of their biggest idols. We all believe in Bradleyman.
Thanks, Brad. We love you.
It was a great weekend. We are a little tired. You can see all of our photos from the weekend here. It looks like our remodel will be complete this week. We have a lot of cleaning up to do and the carpet will arrive in a couple of weeks. I think we'll be living down there by mid-May. We can't wait.