Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Helping Hurts

I wasn't going to order this book. The title looked boring and it also looked like an entire book about why I shouldn't have to give or serve those less fortunate than me. Thankfully I resisted my initial reaction to the title based solely on the person recommending it to me: Todd Pruitt, my former preacher. He has a great library and almost every book he's ever recommended I have love and learned tons. So I ordered it. It has since sat on my shelf. I picked it up this morning and started reading it and to my great surprise I am completely riveted. The author's premise isn't to enable lazy Christians to remain lazy; but to prod them out of their seats, encourage them to consider the poor, and urge them to set about helping them in constructive ways that really make a difference.

I have already been convicted and challenged just in the introduction and first chapter. The author has already exposed error in my thinking and beliefs about the gospel and Jesus mission here on earth.

For all of my friends who freak when they hear about the cause of the poor mixed with the gospel and think , "Oh I know, it's some of those emergent church folks in sheep's clothing pushing social activism and watering down truth," You are wrong here. I've read their literature and this is absolutely NOT it. The author, Brian Fikkart, was raised in a rural Wisconsin "that consisted of twelve-hundred no-nonsense, fourth generation Dutch immigrants." He has been a member of a theologically conservative Presbyterian churches his entire life. He is not a wishy, washy theologically weak, socially conscience liberal. So with this in mind, consider the following statements and if they peak your interest, order the book. I personally can't wait to finish it. I can't wait to see how my theology can be tweaked to be more accurate and my life better reflect my Saviour Jesus Christ because I fall short; way short.

Brian Fikkart begins by telling a story he read another book. The author described his father, a model Christian named Reverend Marsh who lived in Laurel, Mississippi during the civil rights movement. During this time The Ku Klux Klan was killing African Americans, burning their churches and was responsible for numerous physical assaults. He says this;

"…the daily installments of Mississippi burning, the crushing poverty of the towns African American inhabitants, the rituals of white supremacy, the smell of terror pervading the streets like a Masonite's stench, did not figure into his sermons or in our dinner table conversations or in the talk of the church. These were, to a good Baptist preacher like him, finally matters of politics, having little or nothing to do with the spiritual geography of a pilgrim's journey to paradise. Unwanted annoyances? Yes. Sad evidences of our humans failings? Certainly. But all of these would be rectified in some eschatological future – "when we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be."

Fikkart reflects on this story and writes:

"Reverend Marsh had reduced Christianity to a personal piety that was devoid of social concern emanating from a kingdom perspective. He believed Christianity consisted in keeping one's soul pure by avoiding alcohol, drugs, and sexual impurity, and by helping others to keep their souls pure too. There was little "now" of the kingdom for Reverend Marsh, apart from saving souls, For Reverend Marsh, James 1:27 said, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:…to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.": Somehow he overlooked the phrase that pure and faultless religion includes "looking after orphans and widows in their distress,"

Fikkart then reflects on Jesus' ministry. He writes;

"Jesus earthly Ministry began one Sabbath day in a synagogue in Nazareth. Jesus stood up and was handed a scroll from the prophet Isaiah. "Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 'the Spirit of the Lord I on me, because he ahs anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." …the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and began saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in you hearing." (Luke 4:17-21)

Interesting stuff…huh? It's even better than this but I can't quote the whole thing! I would encourage you to pick up a copy! I believe it will be worth your time. Click Here to order.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why all children should be 13 years apart

He swings with her
She rides on his shoulders

He loves to carry her.
...on his back too!!!
Try any of this when they're only 15 months apart!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Counterfeit Gods

I'm currently reading the book, Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller. In it, he reveals the idols we now worship in our modern society; money, sex, and power. He details, how they, and all idols, enslave us, and how blind we are to them. Here is one candid quote about the signs of political idolatry:

"One of the signs that an object is functioning as an idol is that fear becomes one of the chief characteristics of life. When we center our lives on the idol, we become dependent on it. If our counterfeit god is threatened in any way, our response is complete panic. We do not say, "What a shame, how difficult," but rather "This is the end! There's no hope!"

This may be the reason why so many people now respond the U. S. political trends in such an extreme way. When either party wins an election, a certain percentage of the losing side talks openly about leaving the country. They become agitated and fearful for the future. They have put the kind of hope in their political leaders and policies that once was reserved for God and the work of the gospel. When their political leaders are out of power, they experience a death. They believe that if their policies and people are not in power, everything will fall apart. They refuse to admit how much agreement they actually have with the other party and instead focus on the points of disagreement. The points of contention overshadow everything else, and a poisonous environment is created."

This book is fabulous! I highly recommend it!! To order this book click here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


After bath

Looks like she's ready for ballet!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


My nieces...REALLY not in the mood for a photo shoot. Their mother had to force them to stand together for this picture! I clearly do NOT have a future in children's photography.

She's thinking..."hurry up lady!!!"

Baby Airyn...a couple weeks old now.

Just chillin' in his mommy's arms!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Verdict: Cast for 4 weeks

The orthopedic surgeon said Drew's thumb would need to be in a cast for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, he will be checked again to see if it has properly healed.

This means no swimming for a month and learning to be a lefty. Drew is thrilled.

He is very thankful he didn't need surgery, but not so excited about a cast.

He asked me to post the x-rays. He thought they were very cool.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A day in the life...

Tussling with Drew. She loves to crawl all over her brothers.

Sitting on her pink car.


Laughing after eating M & Ms (notice the chocaloate on her dress collar?)

Her mischievious look...after she emptied one of my cabinets.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jacker Turns 9!!

He invites some friends over...they play guns & video games.

We grill hamburgers, brats, and eat watermelon. the garage...I can't have this many boys in the house...eating..and burping.

Jack got some gifts.

Addison really liked his new football!
(I don't know what happened to her hair here?!?)

yes...I made that cake!!! (from a box mix, but I'm still proud!)

They camped in our back yard. (again..not in the house..notice a theme?!?)

They had watergun fights. (outside of course!)

Defending their territory. (Drew and his cousin)
All the boys with their water guns.
I think everyone had fun!
Happy Birthday Jack!!!

Addie's Favorite Way to Eat

How does Addison like to eat? Sitting in someone's lap...

Having them cut up little bites for her while she chills....

Carefully placing each bite in her little mouth....

Carefully...without dripping that syrup...


Monday, June 14, 2010

A Broken Thumb

This is what happens when you dive for a ground ball and your thumb gets stuck in the ground and your body keeps moving: it breaks!

On his right hand no less; now he'll have to be a lefty.

In good spirits; despite the injury, and perhaps inspired to be an orthopedic surgeon!

No more of this. He's out for the rest of the season.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A New Nephew

My Brother & his wife just adopted a new baby boy!!!
His name is Airyn Sayge (pronounced "Aaron Sage") He is currently about a week old and is doing wonderfully! We are so excited that this little boy has entered out lives! Here are some photos of him. We think his eyes will be blue, but there is no telling.
He appears to be very fair complected.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kansas University Basketball Camp

Drew attended a basketball camp where he got to interact and play with players from KU and K-state. He didn't care so much about the k-state players, but he was enamored with the KU players. Here are some photos of his fun!!
Marcus Morris is the first one in line and Brady Morningstar is last.

Brady Morningstar

Drew watching the players shoot. (he's in awe!!)

Cutie pie!

KU's Mario Little playing around with the kids

The video is of Drew's team going against the college all-star team in a game of Bananza.
The all-stars won. It wasn't really fair, but it was fun!