Friday, October 31, 2008

my Jesus

Thanks to Wilbur Miller to leading me to read this blog post by Greg Boyd. If this picture piques your attention, you'll want to read it too.

What does your Jesus do?

Monday, October 27, 2008

breaking out

Tonight we were reading and talking about Mark 12, the middle of it, with our house church group. Next week will be week three with the same chapter but oh well. There are some key teachings in this chapter.
Question: taxes to Caesar? Answer: give everything to God, it belongs to him anyway.
Question: marriage and the resurrection? Answer: God isn't about death but about life.
Question: most important commandment? Answer: Love God and love everyone.
As we were wrapping up our time when one friend from Mexico was sharing about how blessed by God he is that even though he is in another country with people from another race and culture, he is accepted, embraced and contented gathering with us.
I'm usually more pessimistic than optimistic. I notice faults more quickly than triumphs. Yet tonight, during our study, I caught a piece of optimism. Hope. Hope in the good news, the resurrection. Hope in Jesus' words, hope even in his challenges: to give everything to God, to love God wholeheartedly, wholemindedly and wholesouledly and to love everyone, bar none. I don't do it that well, but I think I am finally getting somewhat better and I long to get better still.
As we grow and share together with people like we do with our little group every Monday night, I'm encouraged. My friend, whose wife said that she never expected to see him reading the Bible, feels loved, accepted and counted in. He's feeling and seeing the Kingdom of God. So am I. It is breaking out!
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

saturday evening fun

Saturday afternoon we had a great time with Kenton and Karissa and their kids making applesauce. We started out by cutting up the apples.

Then after cooking them Naty got us started running them through the sauce maker.

The sauce came out really well. I think we made about 20 quarts or something like that.

As we were finishing up the apple sauce, Kenton thought maybe we should try to make some pear sauce with all of the pears on his tree in the backyard. He started knocking them down.
The kids and I worked to pick them up.
Marcus got a hold of the camera and started taking pictures of his friends.
One of the Kauffmans' cats.

And this wonderful self portrait!

After the kids got a little chilly they came in to watch Veggietales. That was when Noah, Kenton and Karissa's son busted out his moves with Addison, Joe and Renee's daughter, who they were babysitting!
I guess Addy had enough of the movie and Noah's moves and decided to play with Nikaya instead.

Naty made some amazing arepas for supper.
After that, Kenton and I scurried to get the pears done before the big Penn State Vs. Ohio State game. Thankfully Naty was nice enough to clean it all up so we didn't have to do it after the game. I think we ended up with 8-10 quarts of pear sauce. It was pretty good stuff!

We were too into the game to take any pictures, but the best part is the Penn State won. It feels a lot better wearing my Nittany Lions gear around Columbus after the beat the Buckeyes!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

we love fridays now!

Our lives have changed a lot over the past two weeks and I haven't written much about it so here goes. Naty started working as a bilingual assistant at Darby Woods Elementary School two weeks ago and we have been adapting to that change since then. The cool thing is that her school day is the same as Gaby's and mine, and the school is only about 2 miles from our house. Since she started working, Marcus is now going to an afternoon preschool on M, W and F. Our friends Jose and Gema that live just up the street from us babysit Marcus those days and so far our friends Carla and Karissa have been taking care of him on T and TH.
It has been a difficult transition for Marcus, but he seems to be used to it now and is getting along better with the idea of not being with mommy all day every day. But now, he really looks forward to weekends. This past week he was counting down the days to Saturday! Then this afternoon we were all rejoicing that it was finally Friday night!!!!
It has been different to have Naty working outside of our house again, but so far it has been a great experience. She really love what she's doing and it is getting us even more connected in the community and we've only deepened the relationships that we've started with friends through this time.
As I think about the interconnected web of all social relationships I'm seeing how the more the web connects the more centered life can become and the simpler life can be.
Another lesson that has been made much clearer lately is the importance of keeping a tight reign on our tongue because if everyone you know knows everyone else that you know you need to be sure that you are saying positive things about everyone around you because whatever you say will come back around to everyone else. If it sounds like I'm talking (writing) in a circle, it's because I am! Maybe I'm adopting a bit too much of an Eastern philosophy but I think they might have something right when it comes to the interconnected nature of relationships. I've been certain of the importance of solid, positive relationships with God, family and church and feel like we as a family are making headway there. Now, we are working in the next domain of solid positive relationships with our neighbors, community and world. The importance of forgiveness, a positive attitude and "building-up" talk about others is so much more crucial here! It still matters in the other domains, but now it becomes the oddity and our witness for Christ becomes all the more powerful because of it.
We've got so much more to learn, but I feel like we are getting somewhere. (Not just going in circles as you might be prone to believe thanks to the language of this post!)
OK, maybe we are circling, but it's a bit like helix, circling somewhere. Not just spinning.

Here are some pictures of Gaby and Marcus with their friend Jose, they had fun with some sparklers and the "Joseph: King of Dreams" movie. As the kids are having fun being friends, we are too and it's been great sharing more about the Kingdom with Jose and his parents.

One last thought... GO PENN STATE!!!!!!! We're gonna get together with Kenton and Karissa and their kids to make some applesauce and arepas and watch the game tomorrow night. We're looking forward to it and hopefully a long sought after win by the Nittany Lions here in Columbus!

how rich r u?

I found this on my friend Kevin's blog and was impacted by it. We might think that times are tough, the economy's bad, but in reality we have SO much and "to whom much a has been given much will be required." We're gunna have a lot of explaining to do some day so we'd better get busy putting what we have to use!

Monday, October 20, 2008


So, I haven't really written much here for quite some time, just posted pictures. But I have been reading all kinds of other blogs. It has brought me to post about a question I've been thinking about for a while: Is it better to read blogs or write them? I know, as usual, both is the best answer for my question, but if it really has to be one or the other, what should I do? I've been following the idea of the Chinese proverb (my paraphrase), "you have two ears and one mouth for a reason, listen more and talk less." But then again didn't Jesus say, "It is better to give than to receive."? So what should I do with my limited time. Read the thoughts of others or share mine? I'd like to do both, but it just hasn't been happening lately. Should I write more often? Does anyone even read this? Or should I just keep reading and forget the writing? How valuable is it that I say anything with so much already being said? BTW, I wouldn't mind comments on this post, either here or else you can E-mail me.

Monday, October 6, 2008

here's the proof

Here are a few pictures from the last several weeks.

we're not dead

OK so this blog has been dead for a while, but we aren't! There has been so much going on and so much I should be keeping you up to date with but basically we've been so busy with life that I haven't had the time to write much about it. Personally I think I'd rather live life than spend time talking about it so, we've been living!

Some of the highlights of the past month:
  • My family all came from PA for a visit
  • Naty's sister and her boyfriend came for a visit
  • We had no power for about 30 hours thanks to a crazy wind storm
  • No Internet for a week thanks to the storm too
  • We helped with an open house and bake sale at Gaby's (and my) school
  • We hosted someone with Mennonite Your Way again
  • We went camping with our church
  • I started a new quarter at OSU
  • Naty got a job as a long term substitute bilingual assistant for six weeks
  • Marcus started going to pre-school
  • We've been to a couple birthday parties and a wedding
  • Oh, and Penn State is still undefeated too!!! (sorry Buckeye fans you can't say the same!)
Lots of fun! I'll try to post some pictures soon, but for now, there's the rundown. Yep, we are still kickin'!