Thursday, December 2, 2010

November Newsletter

From Laura, 11 … On Tuesday night we had our Thanksgiving dinner! We had pumpkin pie, rolls, turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (which is sweet and yummy), cranberries, and gravy. It was very good. Each year we do a devotional. We each choose a part to say, and read them intermingled with “We Thank Thee All Our God” and “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”. Grandma came to stay for several days over Thanksgiving. It’s been a lot of fun having her here.

From Becca, 14 … Laura and I did an entrepreneurial endeavor recently. There were a lot of small sago palms growing where there used to be a big one. We dug them up and put them in pots and sat outside with them and a sign. We got some buyers, so that was fun. One was an Englishman, and we had fun talking to him. We still have a lot for sale, and they only cost one dollar.

From Seth, 17 … Recently I’ve been reading a booklet called “Christ is All,” an excerpt from J.C. Ryle’s book, Holiness. So far it is a very good read; it lifts up Christ and shows him to truly be “all.” He is the ultimate message of the whole Bible, the pillar of our justification, the one who drives our sanctification, the rock on which we stand through the trials of life, our only hope for the future, and the brilliance with which heaven will shine.

From Anna, 20 … I have recently been reading a book written by a woman who married a man working at a mine in Colorado in the early 1900’s. It is interesting to learn about what it was like living in a rural mining settlement nestled at nearly 12,000 feet in the mountains. In the winter, the only way they could get supplies was by mule train, and sometimes they went days without even the mules being able to make it through. The snow would pile up several feet deep in the winter, half-burying all the cabins. The people who lived there were constantly worried about possible avalanches. Reading about such a rugged life makes the inconveniences that I experience seem like nothing.

About John, 26 … John was off at his annual dance camp for the Thanksgiving weekend and wasn’t able to transmit a newsletter entry to us. He has recently finished up a busy dance performance season. Also he has been working hard at building up his business.

About Ray, Katie, and Peter … It has been fun to see Peter toddling about. He walks more than he crawls now and has ventured to carry toys while he walks. He plops down often but readily gets back up. Katie’s pregnancy is going well. Peter still nurses a few times a day, so Katie has to eat quite a bit these days. She is due in May. Ray continues to develop his real estate business. The flexibility, along with being home-based, has been a blessing to their family.

From Judith … My big project this month has been a pencil portrait of Gerald’s parents. After his dad died in April of this year, I decided to do it for his mom as our gift to her this year. I worked from a photo Seth took shortly after Gerald’s dad’s cancer diagnosis two years ago. It happened to be one of our favorite pictures of the two of them. (See photos here.) I really enjoy doing pencil portraits, but have only done about a dozen of them in my lifetime. The hardest part is getting the likeness. The shading is the most fun because it brings the person to life.

Now I’m turning my attention to valances for two of the large windows in our main living area.

From Gerald … We are just finishing an eight-week, home-group Bible study. Our family has been working through the study each day and then we meet together weekly with others from our church to discuss it. It is a course by Paul Washer entitled “The Truth about Man.” It has been very helpful to examine various truths. We have been reminded that even though man was created in God’s image, Adam, and all humans after him have sinned. Consequently, we all are under God’s judgment and deserve punishment. It is often said that God hates sin, but loves the sinner. However, the truth is that in order to be righteous, God must hate the sinner and punish him because of what he has done. But the extent of God’s love is that even while we were still sinners and unable to turn to him, Christ suffered the punishment on behalf of the elect and gave them new life. We have the promise that those who repent and trust in him experience God’s forgiveness.

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

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