Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paul is my new hero....

But I'm sure he wouldn't want to be.

I have a new-found appreciation for Paul in the Bible. (Saul of Tarsus--you know the one, who killed Christians until he met Jesus?)

I just finished reading the book "Paul: A Novel" by Walter Wangerin Jr.
It is an incredible story based on the real-life players of the New Testament: Paul (of course!), Titus, Timothy, Priscilla and Aquila, Lydia, James....as well as real-life historical people: Nero, Claudius, etc. Although it is a novel--it weaves together Paul's writings and journeys in a way that makes his life (and therefore the spread of the Gospel) come ALIVE!

I used to read Paul's writings and think he was a bit of a pompous, sexist guy. (Women can't talk in church??? SERIOUSLY???) But after reading this, (and his New Testament letters again and again...) I'm starting to see instead a guy who was absolutely transformed by Jesus Christ. Who didn't give a single thought to his own life...or his reputation...or his own past, for that matter...but rather, was so consumed with sharing and preserving the TRUE gospel that he stopped at nothing to make that happen.

I was reminded through this book that:
1. God can use ANYONE to accomplish His purposes....
2. An encounter with Jesus Christ is JUST as powerful and life-changing today as it was 2,000 years ago!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ohio/Indiana 2011

We were fortunate to be able to take a relaxing trip to visit Joel's family again this year. It's always so fun to spend time at the lake house! It's so fun to see the cousins (all 8 of them!) playing so well together....and we are very thankful that Joel's family is able to come up to the house when we are coming.

We left at 3:30am both trips (there and back) which worked WAY better than trying to sleep in a motel. The kids were PUMPED that we were getting up "in the middle of the night"....so excited that Oliver didn't sleep until Kansas City. (2 1/2 hours later)

But they traveled VERY well, and really were so good for the whole trip. Here are some highlights--we were so busy having fun we didn't take a great variety of pictures--but boating and swimming was DEFINITELY a highlight!
(playing Polly Pockets all together...)

(supper out on the deck)

(jumping and swimming off the boat--couldn't get a good 'in the water' one...)

(jumping in the water...this guy got so good he was turning somersaults UNDER the water! A big step for him!!)

(Oliver mid-dive)

(playing in the sand)

(guess who decided to pull out the cherries in the van on the way home?? Me. It got a little messy...)

(Thankfully, we all got lots of rest on the way home!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Visit

A few weeks ago, we had a special visit from my aunt and uncle, and grandparents! It was so fun to see them, and Oliver and Lily loved seeing Grandma and Grandpa GG again! ("GreatGrandma"--that's where the GG comes from)

Oliver played catch with Grandpa GG and loved sitting by him at supper. Those two are buddies!

(These are NOT great pictures....and my camera must have been on a funny setting...but you get the idea!)

It's too bad they had to come during July--we couldn't even spend time OUTSIDE!