Merry Christmas 2013

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." -John 3:17

Almost everyone in our country and around the world knows the famous words of John 3:16, but the context of the verses that surround it is amazing. Each of us have broken the law and we can't even live up to our own standards, let alone God's (how are you doing on last year's New Year's resolutions? =)). God didn't send Jesus to condemn, but to save. That is why Christmas is so important.

Merry Christmas to you, from our family.


Baja Vision Trip

Here's a video from a quick vision trip Ross took to meet with churches and an orphanage in the Baja of Mexico. Our goal is to encourage the leaders of the local church and the local orphan care movement over the long haul. We dream of seeing a thriving local church that is taking the lead in caring for the orphans and widows in their area, along with husbands and wives building strong marriages and families, and doing business to the glory of God for the good of the community. More to come on this as it develops!

"Sometimes a single act of courage is the tipping point for extraordinary change." -Andy Stanley


Five Smooth Stones...

Anytime Isaiah or Elijah come to the office, they always ask if they can grab the 5 smooth stones that sit on my desk. I got them from the Elah Brook in the Elah Valley, where the Israelite armies were lined up against the Philistine armies. "Elah" can mean strong as an oak, but it can also mean something to be feared like a curse. 

In the story I find it amazing that there was one man - a giant - who struck fear into an entire nation. And there was one young man, who in spite of the fear, decided to do something about it. David was not fearless, but he was courageous in spite of the fear. It's not about being fearless, because to go through life & to go into battle with no fear is actually very stupid. But unlike the entire Israelite army, David realized that the key is not in waiting for the fear to subside, it is in having courage in spite of the fear and choosing to act upon that courage. 

I think it's cool that David chose five stones to battle against the giant, but God only needed one of those stones to defeat his enemy! I think David was wise in preparing for the worst, and God was gracious in making quick work of the giant. 

Another thing to note is that David's courage was contagious. Saul was a horrible leader whose fear spread like a virus throughout the Israelite camp. He did nothing about the enemy and as a result, the entire nation lived in fear. David's single act of courage ignited the courage of the Israelite army who soon ran out to crush their enemy.

As I see my boys running to grab those 5 smooth stones, I pray that they will always be the ones who step up in spite of fear and I pray that their courage will spread like wildfire to all who see God at work in their lives. 

Are there people in your life who are paralyzed by the fear of giants in the land? Maybe God is calling you to take grab 5 stones and stand up to the giant on their behalf. 

Courage is contagious. When you step up with courage in spite of fear, you empower others to do something they wouldn't normally do.


Merry Christmas 2012!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 

Our favorite Christmas song of the year says what's on our hearts: 

He is the risen Son of God, offering life to me and you.
Turning our mourning into dancing,
Our weeping into laughing,
Our sadness into joy.
By His mercy, we are called His own.
By His grace, we will never be left alone.
By His love, He is preparing our home.
By His blood, we can sing before His throne:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow!

Advent: God With Us from The Village Church on Vimeo.


Twelve months with Judah...

We have absolutely enjoyed the past 12 months with Judah!

He loves his brothers, he's almost always smiling, and if our floor wasn't so slippery he'd probably be running by now, but he mostly does this cute little monkey crawl/scoot/walk.

A few of his favorite words (each one of them is said with gusto):

  • Oh wow! 
  • Got it! 
  • s'good, s'good (it's good/cool) 
  • Da! (Dad) 
  • Amen! (he says this over & over whenever he wants food) =)


Judah is One...

It seems like just yesterday we were doing this:

Last week, we had Judah (and our family) dedicated to the Lord at church:

Tonight, we celebrate!

We praise the Lord for Judah!


Recent Highlights...

Slurping up the last few days of summer...

Enjoying great dates...


for this to cruise by New Life Fellowship's soccer VBS...

 which dropped a whole plane full of candy that the boys will be enjoying 'til next summer...

enjoying the Million Smiles park in Lynden...

and getting the boys involved in the family business while Daddy works on transitioning it in exciting new ways! Visit to find out more.  


Breaking the Silence...

Sometimes it's so hard to break the silence… even when it's on your own blog! 

Since we are back living in the area where most of our family & friends are, it just didn't seem that we needed to keep the blog up to date because most people got their updates live from us. 

We are planning to get back in a bit of a relaxed rhythm of posting again, a mix of photos & thoughts, but I guess it's fitting that the post that could help us get our voice back would be on the topic of Justice

 We attended the Justice conference in Portland earlier this year, along with a few good friends and 4,000 other people who, as conference founder Ken Wytsma said, "believe it is more blessed to give than to recieve."

There were many highlights and God really used the conference to kick us into action, but here are a few highlights:

When we throw our hands up and say "God why don't you do something?" He says, "I did. I made you." -Shane Claiborne 
Francis Chan shared so much good stuff, but the thing that really got us was a fresh look at Matthew 25:34-46 when Jesus comes in all his glory and says that "whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me." Francis challenged us to start taking this verse literally again & not just pass by it too quickly. Then he warned us that sometimes nice Christian people might actually try to talk us out of the very thing Jesus asked us to do! 
It was sobering to think that I might be swayed from doing what Jesus commands, but even more frightening is the thought that I might be one of the "well-meaning" Christians who would try to talk someone (or even my own kids) out of caring for the least of these because they should stay safe, build a career, or avoid wasting their resources on people who won't appreciate them. Yikes!
Frederick Buechner  said "We have to take our deepest passions and apply them to the world's deepest pain." That is what we intend to do. As for how we intend to do that, well that's coming soon. For now, stay weird!


The courage to try again...

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" -Mary Anne Radmacher 

How about you try doing something courageous today? ...even if it's just trying to do the thing you couldn't do yesterday.

"The righteous may fall seven times but still get up, but the wicked will stumble into trouble." -Proverbs 24:16

"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light." -Micah 7:8

Take courage. Get up. Try again.

You might also like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails