Monday, August 30, 2010

August Newsletter

From Laura, 11 … On the Friday before last, Becca and I got glasses. I got progressives. They’re like bifocals, except a gradual change. I was having trouble with them at first, and I’m not sure if I’ve just gotten used to the different ways I have to hold my head, or if they are still a problem. I like seeing better, but sometimes they are uncomfortable.

It is hot. Sometimes I am especially hot on Sundays when I am all dressed up, or at least I notice it more then. I sure hope it will cool off some soon.

From Becca, 13 … Recently Anna, Laura, and I painted our bathroom yellow. Mama says it makes her feel like she is inside a corn kernel. (The floor is green and the yellow color is called Yellow Corn.) Anna and I really like it, though we are the only ones who do. Up till now, Mama has had every single wall in our house painted Creamy White. But now, in the middle of our house, there is a splash of happy and vivid yellow.
Last week I got glasses. I like them and I am pretty much used to them. It sure seems like they made my vision without glasses worse. At first when I got them they didn’t seem to make much difference, but now I am surprised at how badly I see some things without them. Everyone in our family has glasses now, except John usually wears contacts. We are a family of nearsighted people.

From Seth, 17 … A couple days ago I finished Martin Luther’s book, The Bondage of the Will. He wrote it in response to Desiderius Erasmus’s book on freewill. Overall, the book was good. The reading was usually slow and tough for me, but there were parts where I just stopped and thought, “Wow. That was so good!” The historical introduction by the translators was very interesting. I enjoyed learning all the background that led to The Bondage of the Will. Luther’s language throughout the book can be very vigorous. This definitely adds color to the book, but sometimes I wondered if he could possibly have said some things a little more graciously! You can tell he is passionate about his subject though. The main point of the book is very good: Salvation is all God’s work. Basically the “freewill” he is refuting refers to something that exists in man by which man can come to God apart from God working in him. The bondage of the will is a doctrine that upholds God as truly God and shows Christ’s work, the Spirit’s work, and God’s grace as truly necessary. These things should humble us as we realize that we are sinners with no hope in ourselves. God is our only hope.

From Anna, 20 … We recently had the opportunity to meet a couple who work as missionaries in the Philippines. They are with Wycliffe Bible Translators, so they have been working on a Bible translation for almost thirty years. It was fascinating to hear about their experiences, both as missionaries on a remote island, and as translators of the Bible into a tribal language. It was a reminder of how much Bible translators have to be Bible interpreters as well. One example they gave was the use of the word “we.” In the language they are working with, there are three different words for “we.” One word is inclusive, referring to everyone around, while another is exclusive, referring only to those with the speaker, and not the hearers. A third word refers only to the one speaker and his one hearer. Every time they come to the word “we,” they have to decide which of the three words most closely matches the meaning in the original language. This shows the importance of going back to the original languages of the Bible as much as possible, since every translation necessarily reflects the interpretation of the translators.

From John, 26 … A few months ago, I joined the Greater Houston Builders Association. I was hesitant to do so at first because of the cost, but I decided to go ahead and try it out. So far, it looks like it will be worth the money. There are lots of opportunities for education and networking, not to mention the free publicity I get just by having my name in the directory. I'm also going to be working toward the National Association of Home Builders' Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) designation. Having that will increase my reputability both inside and outside the industry, and I'll gain lots of valuable knowledge and business skills along the way.

About Ray, Katie, and Peter …

By Becca: Peter is just The Most Wonderful Baby in All the World and that’s all there is to it. Except that I am trying to teach him to shake hands and he doesn’t quite get it. He does have a new trick, though. He likes to climb up on a large couch pillow and pull it down, causing him to fall onto the couch with the pillow on top of him.

By Laura: The Wades are doing great and Peter is just as adorable as ever. He’s an expert crawler, and is trying to walk.

From Judith … I’ve been decorating lately. It is work I enjoy very much. There is a lot of “makeshift” and “make-do” around our house, but I have begun to decorate where I can if it won’t interfere with remodeling work yet to be done. I designed and sewed curtains for the kitchen window. There are pictures of them here if you want to see them. Also, Gerald and I chose three large fine art prints to mat and frame for three different spots in our main living space. We should have them back soon. Plus, I’m currently working on window coverings for the three windows which are also in our main living space. For now, I’m altering and lining lace panels. After the art prints are back, I’ll have a better idea of what colors will work for the valance fabric that will be over the lace panels on those three large windows. The lower edge of the valances will arch. I’m all about softening our environment with fabric and curving edges.

From Gerald … We had out-of-town, overnight guests a while back. It was a couple and their two-year-old son. They were in town for the weekend from Arkansas to visit our church. They are diligently working to follow God’s direction for them in the areas of vocation, ministry, and family. It was our privilege to get to know them and to be able to share a bit of our family life with them.

Our Love, Gerald, Judith, John, Anna, Seth, Becca, and Laura

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