Monday, April 30, 2007

It's Officially Spring When ...

I can start getting the garden ready to plant!

Police Assistance


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HR 2015 - ENDA

A new bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), has been introduced in the House of Representatives by homosexual Congressman Barney Frank. The bill (HR 2015) would force organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Veterans of Foreign Wars, day care centers, Christian business owners, adoption agencies, public schools, municipalities and a host of other businesses and organizations to hire homosexual applicants.

ENDA would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on his or her sexual orientation or "gender identity." Such acts would be considered crimes subject to severe penalties. For a list of the co-sponsors of ENDA, click here.

Take Action

  • Send an e-mail to President Bush asking him to veto ENDA (HR 2015).
  • Call your representative and ask him or her to vote against ENDA. You can reach your representative at 202-224-3121. If you don’t know your representatives name, simply give the operator your address and you will be given his or her name and connected with his or her office.
  • Forward this information to your pastor, family and friends. Ask your pastor to urge members to send this e-mail and to call your Representative.

Send an email to President Bush

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Step on It!

I came across this photo, and thought it was too good not to share. The "missles" are helium filled balloons that you attach to your automobile. The advertisement indicates that as you pass unsuspecting people on the highway, you will get some interesting reactions.

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Slow Week

Not much has happened this week. The batteries died in our camera. I got some new batteries and was able to retrieve the one picture we took last weekend. Here is Josiah pulling his cousin Hannah in a wagon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Catching Up

We've had a busy weekend ...
  1. On Thursday, we took Jessica, a young lady from our church, to VIP Day at God's Bible School.
  2. We spent some time visiting with Esther's family on Friday.
  3. Saturday we returned home from Cincinnati.
  4. Sunday we hosted our Conference President, Rev. Blake Jones for the morning service and Sunday Dinner.
  5. Sunday Evening was our "Fourth Sunday Rally" -- a joint service with 3-4 churches participating.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Joyful Heart Online Bible Study

I just signed up for a free online Bible Study through the book of Hebrews, beginning April 27. I participated in one of these about 6 or 7 years ago on the Sermon on the Mount, and it was very profitable. If you are interested in this Bible Study, click on the this link to join -- Hebrews Bible Study

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tax Day -- April 17th this year!

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Vegetable Visitor

Alayna is learning about the letter "V" this week in school. Tomorrow is their "Vegetable Visitor and Vehicle" Day. We shaved the volume of a potato via knives; invented a visage on the diminutive carrot; Riveted four wheels on the vehicle; and we believe it was a very valiant venture.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Listen to the Bible while you surf the Internet!

I found this website during the week, and mentioned it this morning at church as another way to incorporate the Bible into your everyday life. You can choose to listen to any chapter in the Bible.

Note: I was not able to get it to work using Firefox browser, but it works in Internet Explorer.

Today's CleanLaugh - "Sermon Follow-Up"

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17.

Every hand went up.

The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."

Source: The Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Little Boy, You've Had A Busy Day

Josiah loves a video we borrowed from the library about farm machines. He asked to watch it before bed time tonight, but he didn't make it all the way through the video.

Church Hymnal = Dangerous Weapon

I have heard of preachers throwing hymnals at people sleeping through the sermon, but Wednesday evening, during a Missionary Service, we discovered another way that hymnals can cause injury. Josiah did not take his afternoon nap (that tells you it's going to be a difficult time in church right away). Anyway, as Esther leaned over to assist Josiah in his behavior, he raised a hymnal and the corner of it accidentally jabbed Esther in the eye. It hurt her all day Thursday, so this morning we went to the eye doctor. The diagnosis -- torn top layer of the cornea. She has some antibiotic to take, and should be o.k. in a day or two. Does this mean we should stop using hymnals and go to projecting songs on a screen? Hmm....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Global Warming? Not Here!

I heard on the news that so far in April we have had more snow than we did the whole month of December last year! Also, it was colder on Easter Sunday than it was on Christmas Day.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Baskets

The Ragman -- Easter Story

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: "Rags!" Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music. "Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!" he sang.

"Now, this is a wonder," I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city? I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn't disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X together. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers. "Give me your rag," he said so gently, "and I'll give you another."

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then he began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

"This is a wonder," I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from a mystery.

"Rags! Rags! New rags for old!" he sang.

In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl child whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.

"Give me your rag," he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, "and I'll give you mine."

The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood — his own!

"Rags! Rags! I take old rags!" cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry.

"Are you going to work?" he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head. The Ragman pressed him: "Do you have a job?"

"Are you crazy?" sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket, flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.

"So," said the Ragman. "Give me your jacket, and I'll give you mine." Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman and I trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman's arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one.

"Go to work," he said.

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, an old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider's legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.

The little old Ragman, he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped into a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know — how could I know? — that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too.

But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence.

Light — pure, hard, demanding light — slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and, trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: "Dress me."

He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!


This story illustrates Easter. What do you have to exchange with the Ragman, the Christ?
  1. He is willing to take on your pain. He suffered and died and bore untold agony, and He is offering relief from your pain and your guilt and depression. Will you give Him your bandage that is soaked with tears and blood, and let Him give you a bonnet of peace in its place?
  2. He is willing to bear the scars from your past. He is offering new rags for your old ones. He is offering to take those rags that carry all the abuse and neglect, the mistakes and addictions, the failures and rejections, and replace with new fresh garments, symbolizing a new start. He will make you a new person!
  3. He is willing to take away your disease of sin. Jesus is called the Great Physician, and His specialty is curing the sickness of sin. He will take the jacket of sin that has left you dysfunctional and will heal you of your sin. He will fix you up, and help you live a Christian life. He met person after person who was decimated by sin, and He healed them, telling them, "Go and sin no more." The ragman will do the same for you today!

    • Jesus took all your infirmities and scars and sins upon himself at Calvary, then He died. But three days later, after descending into Hell and proclaiming victory over Satan, He rose again!
    • Today we celebrate His resurrection. He conquered death! He is Lord of both the living and the dead!
    • He wants to give you new rags for your old ones! Who is here today that has some rags they need to exchange? Who here wants to give The Ragman their sleeveless jacket, their blood soaked bandage, their blanket of addiction, their dirty handkerchiefs?
    • This Easter Sunday would be the perfect opportunity to take the new garments that He offers. Allow Jesus to dress you in garments of white, and prepare you for an eternity in Heaven.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

There goes #10

Melanie lost her tenth tooth today at Target. It had been hurting all day, and it is a relief to have it out!

Snowy Easter Egg Hunt ... BRR!!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Trip To Impression 5 Museum

Esther's mother and step-father are visiting us today. We went along with Esther's sister's family to a kid's "hands on" museum in Lansing, MI. Below are some pictures of our visit.

Ever wondered what it would be like to be inside a mouth, looking out? Luckily we didn't taste very well, and we were spit out!

These chairs taught about the use of pulleys.

Josiah loved the backhoe, or as he calls it ... "a ractor" (tractor).

The kids enjoyed the "Bubble Room."
Here I am creating a giant bubble around Josiah.

Good Friday

"Good Friday" is the Friday before Easter, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The English and Dutch call it "Good Friday." Other languages call it:

  • Israel = Big Friday
  • Germany = Sad/Mourning Friday
  • Several Eastern European languages= Great Friday
  • Latin America = Holy Friday
  • Scandinavia = Long Friday

Why do we call it good?

  • Some say the word good has a secondary definition of holy.
  • Some think that the word used to be God's Friday, and over time has been changed to Good Friday. Similar to the popular phrase "Good-bye" was shortened from "God be with you."
  • Friday is good in spite of all the tragedy and pain, because it brought about the greatest good in that death could not hold Jesus in the tomb, and HE AROSE victorious over sin, hell, and death!

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

What happened to spring?

A couple days ago, we enjoyed being outside without any coats, and were admiring our blooming daffodils. Now it's cold and snowy -- what a revolting development!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sports Update -- WV's losss is UM's gain

I have interest in this story because I was raised in West Virginia, and am now living in Michigan.

West Virginia's perspective:

MORGANTOWN John Beilein made it official late Tuesday afternoon.

He resigned as coach of the West Virginia University men’s basketball program and accepted the same position at the University of Michigan.

Right now it’s a sad moment, but it’s something I had to do,” the Burt, N.Y., native said at an impromptu press conference in the Coliseum shortly after 5 p.m.

“I just left my team meeting and we’re all very sad about the team we just had. Now we move on without myself as the coach anymore.”

Beilein called his five years in Morgantown “a great experience.” He thanked the “great fans” and the “wonderful student body” for their support.

He said he made his decision to leave early Tuesday morning and tendered his official resignation in early afternoon.

In a prepared statement Tuesday night, WVU athletic director Ed Pastilong said:

“We want to thank John Beilein for his five years at WVU and the success that he has brought to the program. Under his leadership, WVU has achieved new levels of national prominence and success within the Big East Conference.

“While we wanted John to remain our coach for the remainder of his coaching career, he has made the decision to leave. We wish him the best in this new chapter of his coaching career.”

Source: Micky Fufari,

Michigan's perspective:

University of Michigan director of athletics Bill Martin announced Tuesday (April 3) that John Beilein has signed a multi-year contract to coach the University of Michigan men's basketball team. Beilein becomes the 16th coach in the program's 90-year history.

"I am very pleased to announce John Beilein as our new head coach for the men's basketball program," said Martin. "He is an individual with a great knowledge of the game. He is a proven winner. He is an extraordinary teacher of the game. He is a great basketball coach. We welcome John and his family to Michigan."

"This is an exciting opportunity for me and my family to join the University of Michigan basketball program," said Beilein. "I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead and getting to know the University and Ann Arbor community. I am anxious to meet the team, visit with the recruits and all the Wolverine basketball alumni and fans. This is a great opportunity to build Michigan as one of the elite programs in the country."


I've heard of "drunk driving" ... but "drunk riding"??

SYLVANIA, Ala. (AP) - A woman who went for a horseback ride through town at midnight and allegedly used the horse to ram a police car was charged with driving under the influence and drug offenses, police said Tuesday.

"Cars were passing by having to avoid it, and almost hitting the horse," said Police Chief Brad Gregg.

He said DUI charges can apply even when the vehicle has four legs instead of wheels.

Police in the northeast Alabama town received a call around midnight Saturday about someone riding a horse on a city street, Gregg said.

Officer John Seals found Melissa Byrum York, 40, of Henagar on horseback on a nearby road and attempted to stop her. Seals asked the woman repeatedly to get off the horse, but she kept trying to kick the animal to make it run, the chief said.

"She wouldn't stop. She kept riding the horse and going on," Gregg said.

After ramming the police car with the horse and riding away, the woman tried to jump off but caught her foot in a stirrup, Gregg said. The officer took the woman into custody and discovered that she had crystal methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, pills and a small pipe, the chief said.

York was charged with DUI for allegedly riding the horse under the influence of a controlled substance. She was also charged with drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, assault, attempting to elude police and cruelty to animals.

Gregg said the horse, which belonged to York, "wasn't in the best of health, but it's still alive."


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Spring Pictures

Sunday was a lovely day. Here are some pictures of the kids after church.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Palm Sunday

Luke 19:29-44 (NKJV)
And it came to pass, when He came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, [30] saying, "Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. [31] And if anyone asks you, 'Why are you loosing it?' thus you shall say to him, 'Because the Lord has need of it.' " [32] So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. [33] But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, "Why are you loosing the colt?" [34] And they said, "The Lord has need of him." [35] Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. [36] And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. [37] Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, [38] saying: "'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!' Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" [39] And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." [40] But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."
[41] Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, [42] saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. [43] For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, [44] and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."