Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June Newsletter

Houston weather report … We’re experiencing one of the worst droughts in about 100 years. Even trees have been dying. We have some dead ones on our property which will need to be removed. Our neighborhood is on well water and some wells have run dry. Thankfully we received almost two inches of rain this week. We’re still far below normal so are hoping for more. The one bright spot is that there have been fewer mosquitoes!

From Laura, 12 … Settling into the new normal with John being gone is certainly an adjustment for me. Prior to the wedding I had thought that perhaps John moving out would not be as hard as Katie moving out, because he was not home all day as was Katie. Now that it has happened though, I think it is harder for me this time because, first, I was only nine when Katie got married, and second, more of my life has been spent with John living at home than with Katie.

From Becca, 14 … The other day Papa explained the third law of planetary motion to me, which says that the distance between any planet and the sun is proportional to the time it takes to orbit the sun. If you multiply the time by itself and the distance by itself three times you will always come up with the same number. I thought that was wonderful and I wondered how Johannes Kepler could have discovered that. Papa said that Kepler suspected that there would be a rule and so he just played around with the numbers until he found one. Kepler believed that God created the universe with order, so he looked for it. Someone who believes that the universe was created by random chance would not look for laws like that. How could something like this occur any other way than by a God of order? How wonderful it is that God has designed things in our universe to be dependable and yet he is far more dependable still!

From Seth, 18 … I spent a few days working for John during the week after he returned from his honeymoon. The task at hand involved painting dentil molding, which is a type of molding that has hundreds of tiny cube-like shapes in-set along the length of the molding. The cubes, with all their tightly-packed interior right angles, make the molding very painstaking to paint. Though the work was not that enjoyable, I was very glad to be able to work with John. We had worked on jobs together several times before his marriage, and it was nice to do so again after he was married. Because I rendezvoused with him at his house, I was able to see a little of his new family life. I enjoyed seeing John’s house becoming a new Pedersen home and being with them while they prayed and spent time in the Word.

From Anna, 21 … We ended up with a handful of video clips from John and Megan’s wedding that we would like to put together with some audio clips and photographs to make a nice finished product, so I’ve been playing around with transitions and special effects. I’ve never done any video editing before, so I’ve had to figure out what I’m doing, but I’m having fun. I put together a three-minute sampler video just to try everything out, and I’m looking forward to doing the real thing.

I’m currently reading a volume of the letters of John Newton (author of the hymn Amazing Grace). He demonstrates deep insight, great humility, a caring shepherd’s heart, and a joyful awe at the nature of God and the gospel. That would be enough to make his letters edifying reading, but knowing his background as a former God-hating, rebellious slave trader adds a fascinating dimension. In one place he is writing to his unbelieving brother-in-law and speaks of how he had tried all the pleasures the world could offer—and he certainly had! This hardened seaman-turned-caring pastor is a shining example of the sanctifying power of God’s grace.  (See some excerpts here.)

From John and Megan … (by Megan) Life after the wedding has been wonderful! These last three weeks have been busy, but productive, as we have been settling into a new normal for our own family. John has been keeping busy with work, and I have been getting our home set up and running. We have both been learning the new dynamics of life for two.

From Ray, Katie, Peter, and Samuel … (by Katie) Ray's business has been the busiest it's ever been lately. Clients seem to be coming out of the woodwork. Ray is enjoying it, even though it's a lot to juggle, and we're thankful for the Lord's provision. Samuel is a happy, healthy, delightful baby who seems to get bigger every day. He'll catch up to Peter soon at this rate! Peter is enjoying his new little baby brother. Ray and I are learning to juggle TWO little boys. We enjoyed the visits of relatives who came to town for John and Megan's wedding, including Ray's dad, Carl, who hadn't seen our 'new' home yet. Carl got more than a little of our Texas heat, but had a great time here.

From Judith … Life just goes from full to fuller! To my great delight I now have my very first daughter-in-law! Megan has become a treasured friend to me. I look forward with joy to our relationship deepening in the years to come.

Another new treasure in my life is the parcel of sweet memories I came home with from John and Megan’s wedding. Though all the words spoken and sung in the service were deeply meaningful, it was particularly moving to me to hear my son vow before God to be faithful in every regard as a Christian husband. Years of preparation were bearing fruit in those moments. Later during the reception John washed Megan’s feet so as to illustrate that the husband’s leadership role should be characterized by servanthood. This showed me yet further fruit. I thank God for this new treasure freshly stored in my heart.

From Gerald … Today we participated in an activity called “The Tabernacle Experience.” A local church sponsored this traveling exhibit. It consists of a nearly full-scale replica of the Tabernacle of God from the time of Moses. A narrated presentation explained each element of the Tabernacle as participants moved from station-to-station within the structure. I thought that it was a worthwhile experience. Even though it was not doctrinally accurate in every aspect, they did a good job of recreating the structure and in the narrated presentation. The explanation of each element of the Tabernacle looked at its historical significance and also showed how it pointed ahead to Christ. For example, the altar where burnt offerings were sacrificed pointed to the sacrifice of Christ. The mercy seat on the ark of the covenant in the holy of holies was a cover over the ark which contained God’s law. Christ’s perfect obedience to the Law and his atoning sacrifice provide a cover for us against the righteous wrath of God.

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