Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birthday and a vacation

We have been having lots of fun lately!

Caleb turned 5 so we celebrated his b-day.

His John Deere cake compliments of Grandma Bauer. She did a great job, he loved it!

Getting ready to open gifts.

The big reveal -what is in that trunk....???


Caleb had some special visitors to his b-day party. My Aunt's foreign exchange students came back to visit for a few weeks this summer. MiSo is from Korea and Evelyn is from Germany. It was so good to see them again.

MiSo and Evelyn brought gifts for the kids - t-shirts and chopsticks from Korea and German chocolate - yum!

On to our vacation to Colorado...after driving straight through the night to Colorado Springs, this is how we looked for awhile :-)

We met up with Andy's parents in the Springs which was so fun! This is the crew at Garden of the Gods.

Brothers and buds (most of the time anyway!).

The girls posing in an old fashioned sleigh. Dad and mom and our family went to a ranch for a cowboy supper and western singing.

Dad and mom enjoying the show at the Flying W Ranch.

Eating at Focus on the Family.

Drinking the famous "wodfamchocsa" any Odessey fan knows what that drink is.

After we were in Colorado Springs for a few days, we took off for the mountains. I love the drive- such beauty! We spent the rest of the week at a christian camp called Horn Creek.

Horn Creek had fun water slides that the kids (and Andy & I - sorry no pics of us in suits!!) enjoyed.

At Horn Creek you are free to do what you like during the day then their are special activities in the evening for everyone to participate in. This is a famous Horn Creek activity - the hanging log - where you try to knock off your opponent with pillows while balancing on a hanging log.

We were at Horn Creek with the Monroe family. Here is Caleb and Carter on the log.

Fierce competition on the log but buds afterwards!

A random picture of Hope. She has been posing lately by folding her hands together and giving a cheesy smile ~ love it!

A true highlight of our trip was a family rafting adventure down the Arkansas River. Thankfully Caleb had just turned 5 since that is the minimum age. The kids loved it.

Getting suited up. Here is our kids with the Monroe's kids, they all played so well during the week. We miss them!

Hiking the 'Rainbow Trail'

Hope's strenuous hike :-)

Here is Michael and Amy Monroe the parents of those gorgeous children. We had so much fun staying up and talking or playing Mexican Train Dominos after the kids went to bed.

The kids all went horse back riding too.

That is all the pictures! It was such a blessing to go to Horn Creek and Colorado Springs. The rest of our trip was driving, driving and driving home!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Soda Can Theology?

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"

But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks on his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "put your finger here: see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Thomas said to him, " my Lord and my God!"

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. John 20: 24-31

I have been touched by this passage from John . I guess I can identify with Thomas. I can have doubts too.

I love how Jesus indulges this request of Thomas. "Thomas, "put your finger here, see my hands. Reach your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe. " I am thankful for Jesus' compassion with Thomas.

I am also struck by the final words in John 20, "
Because you "have seen me, you believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

Oh, there is much evidence for God in His creation, the authenticity of the Bible and we need to know these evidences to relevantly share our faith, but, it is that word - faith - that it comes down to. Faith in God or faith in self? Either one takes faith.

I love this thought by Francis Chan in his book Crazy Love:
"Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending. What a stunted, insignificant god that would be! If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can. God is so much bigger, so far beyond our time-encased, air/food/sleep-dependant lives."

Can I worship a God who isn't obligated to explain His actions to me? Could it be my arrogance that makes me think God owes me an explanation?

Oh, God, I believe, but help my unbelief!!