Monday, August 26, 2013

Almost Over

Summer is nearing its end, although you would not guess that judging by the ninety degree weather we are having.  Yesterday we watched a baseball game in Fargo and baked in 98 degrees F.  Our sweet Gretchen has begun seventh grade already at a new school and appears to be loving it most of the time.  Her Junior High picture is classy.  Gretchen is in the front row, the fifth from the left.

Peter John is also beginning fifth grade at a new school.  We met his teacher two weeks ago, and she made a very good impression on us.  I cannot wait to get him back into school.  His summer boredom is about driving me up the wall! Thankfully, he has discovered the game of chess, courtesy of his cousin, Mark, who spent a few weeks in this area in July.  He is a chess nut who taught my little girl, Lizzy, to play last year.  Now Lizzy likes to teach others.  The kids know how to play it on the computer, and we have a great board called "Quick Chess" that is good for amateurs like me who need to play much younger "experts."  At least I can get through the game when I play this version.

Well, one relief to our children's summer boredom has been the presence of their cousins (four of my nieces and nephews) and another friend whom I have been babysitting during the month of August.  There are all kinds of activity going on around here!  It is a challenge keeping food on the table and in their bellies and keeping enough dishes clean for eight kids!  I think I spend most of my time in the kitchen these days.  Along with preparing meals, I have also been canning and freezing veggies that were given us by our very kind and generous landlord.  So far, I have frozen about 45 quart bags of sweet cord, about 15 jars of salsa, and 3 jars of tomato juice last week.  I will have to take a break this week to put on a garage sale.  Hopefully we can get rid of some of the excess in our home through this sale.

This is a busy life, but we pray for God's glory and for a heavenly perspective every day.  Jesus, be our Lord, save us from our sins, and comfort us with the presence of the Holy Spirit who is with us.  We love you, Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fair Days

Peter John, Lizzy, Gretchen, Amy at the 4H Shake Shack

A couple of Gretchen's drawings
Peter's 1st Prize legos in the yellow box and the pink dress I sewed.
First Prize ribbons for PJ!!
The County Fair is SO fun for our family because we like to create things.  We are not superstar athletes, models or brains, but we love to make things with our hands.  Each of the kids entered items into the fair in the Open Class Exhibit, and EVERYONE was awarded ribbons for their work. This was only made possible because our friend, Christine, offered to pick up our things at the end of the fair.  She took some pictures of our items on display, too.  Our family went to Bottineau, ND for the weekend to visit Ethan's parents, so we couldn't stay to pick up our things at the end of the fair.  We are SO grateful for Christine's assistance.  It is always rewarding to be able to show some of the things we have worked hard on throughout the year.


"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers loved by God that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." I Thess. 1:2-5a

When God has turned on the light in our souls, given us the gift of the Holy Spirit, and saved us from our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, we belong to Him.  Jesus warned that there would be those who claim to have the rights as sons and daughters like true believers. They might try get to God some other way by climbing over the wall rather than going through the narrow gate (only through Jesus), but they are only thieves and robbers.  Jesus said some would act like Christians and grow around the true plants, the wheat, but they are weeds and in the end they will be pulled up and thrown into the fire.

But there are some who have entered through the narrow gate of Jesus Christ, people like Christian and Hopeful from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, who are fully convinced that Jesus Christ is Lord.  They receive the gospel of Jesus when they believe.  They believe that He has removed the burden of sin from their lives through the sacrifice of His life and blood shed on the Cross.  Their lives are changed when they are transferred from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of His love and God's power has forgiven their sins.  They turn from idols to the Living God. They now worship the Father in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:23). Their faith in Jesus in evidence they are chosen by Him.  We do not have to wonder when they die that they are now with God worshipping before His throne in Heaven.  Jesus is their life.  Can I convince you to turn to Jesus, who loves you and gave His life for you, today?  You can have full assurance that your sins are forgiven and that you will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. All your shame will be removed because His blood washes away Your sins when you confess and believe in Jesus.  Nothing will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).