Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Campout: Pedernales State Park

We had a grand time camping at Pedernales State Park a few weeks ago.  The weather was a bit warmer than we would have picked, but we were still able to enjoy hiking, playing games, fellowshiping with friends, singing, sitting around the campfire, and enjoying God's beautiful creation.
Vultures spotted on our hike.

Crossing the river at the low-water crossing.

These yellow flowers were all over the park.

Cypress roots along the river.

John and Megan shared our campsite with us.  This was James' first campout, and we all think he liked it!

At the falls.

Sleepy boy.

There must be a way up this rock...

More vultures.

Exploring the rock formations.

Mama with a friend.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Conference This Weekend!

If you're interested in the conference our church is doing this weekend, but can't make it, there's good news!  GfBC will be offering live streaming for free via UStream!

Check it out here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boys Together

Samuel wanted to pull the wagon too, even though he just learned to walk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Semper Reformanda 2012

Our church is getting ready for Semper Reformanda 2012, and it's going to be good!  Speakers include Michael Horton (of White Horse Inn), Thabiti Anyabwile, our own Voddie Baucham, and others.

They will be discussing church membership, a vital yet largely misunderstood or ignored topic in the church today.  From the website:

"Does 'membership' in a local church matter?  Should I be committed to placing my name on a 'church roll'?  If so, what should that commitment look like?  What are the responsibilities that pastors have to their flocks, and don't they have those same responsibilities to 'everyone'? 

"In the 21st century, many pastors are afraid to ask for commitment from the local body.  Committed church membership is an assault on the individualistic, self-centered ideas of our culture.  The local church is predominantly viewed as simply a place to meet 'my felt needs'; and when those felt needs are no longer met, it is appropriate and right for the believer to 'move on'.  But is that really the idea behind church membership?"

In addition, there will be several breakout sessions covering other related topics.

Check it out on the website!

Monday, October 8, 2012

October Newsletter

From Laura, 13 … For the past few weeks, my life has been enveloped in our study of Korea.  It took hard work to get my report about Korea done.  I had to finish it and my poster before September 29, because that day was the culmination of our Korea study.  My report was about Kim Il-sung, the first premier of North Korea.  I had to do a LOT of research for my report, because I was talking about his whole life: 82 years!  My poster consisted of six pictures representing different aspects of the Korean culture.  Becca helped me quite a bit.  She drew some Korean characters, a family eating a meal, and two girls playing on a Korean seesaw.  I drew a brass horn, a religious symbol, and a hanbok.  The hanbok is the traditional Korean clothing.  It’s a really short jacket with a really long skirt underneath it.  A Korean seesaw consists of a rolled up straw mat with a board across it.  One girl stands on either end and they time their jumping so that they can go really high.  A long time ago girls never had the privilege of seeing the world outside their own courtyard walls, except, that is, when they were jumping on a seesaw.  Then they could peek over on each jump.

From Becca, 16 … Last week I watched a webinar about beauty, so I thought I would share some significant points from that.  God invented physical beauty.  He even invented beautification.  He told Adam to tend the already beautiful garden and make it even better.  Some of the purposes of beauty are for understanding God’s nature and proclaiming God’s glory.  Beauty can be corrupted and used for all the wrong purposes, but that doesn’t mean that beauty is bad.  It just means we are bad.  In order to be good stewards of the bodies God has given us, we must care for them and dress them in a way that glorifies him.

From Seth, 19 … I am quite busy right now studying and completing assignments.  It feels a bit overwhelming at times.  I was thinking the other day about how understanding is a gift from the Lord.  We are to work hard and be good stewards, but in the end God is the one who gives insight and skill.  Realizing that God is the giver can help me to rejoice in other people’s academic successes, because the point is not me and what I do, but what God does, maybe through me, or maybe through someone else.  In a similar vein, academic success must not be my highest aim.  What is a good grade?  A broken and sludge-filled water cistern compared to God, who is the fountain of living waters (Jer. 2).

From Anna, 22 … Last week I had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time in the home of a family who had just had a baby and needed help with the care of their other children.  It was the most babysitting I’ve done in one stretch, so the dynamics were a little different than what I’ve experienced before.  It went well, though, and I’m glad that I have the flexibility to take opportunities like this, both as a ministry opportunity and as a great learning experience!

From John, Megan, and James … (by Megan) September has come and gone, and it's amazing the year is close to being over! 

This past month I (Megan) got my wisdom teeth pulled.  All four.  Thankfully my experience was not a bad one!  The teeth were fully erupted and the bottom ones were just a partial soft tissue impaction.  The oral surgeon said I almost had enough space for them.  I did local anesthesia instead of going under because I'm still nursing James.  I was down and taking it really easy for the first two days (Friday and Saturday) and then, on the Sunday after my teeth were pulled, I was almost back to my old self.  I even helped John trim the tree in our backyard that afternoon!  Healing has been good, and there were no complications.

James is getting bigger every day it seems.  He is now almost 6 1/2 months old.  He has two teeth on the bottom, is rolling all over the place, and is trying to figure out how he can move forward to get something he wants.  He's migrated here and there when we aren't paying that much mind to him, but when we are right there and he knows we could get it for him, he plays helpless!

It'll be fun to see how he does next weekend during the fall campout.  He really enjoys the outdoors!

John's work is going very well.  The Lord continues to bring more work his way.  The kitchen job is almost completed - there are just a few loose ends to tie up and then it's done!

John is a wonderful husband, father, provider, and hard worker for our family!

From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel, and Andrew (by Katie) We just bought a new house!  It is much bigger than our old house, and on an acre of land.  It is just down the street from my parents, so we know the neighbors are nice!  It's been quite an adventure going through the purchase process.  To make a long story short, it became increasingly clear that the Lord really wanted us to have this house, and nothing was going to get in the way.  We are very thankful, relieved, and excited.

From Judith … Last month’s work for me was primarily tasks related to our annual international study and celebration (see Laura’s entry), so my work in the apartment was less.  I did, though, make a bit of headway with the thinning/sorting and I gutted the bathroom (all but the tub) down to the studs.  Surprisingly, after a very deep cleaning, the tub looks like a keeper, though we’re likely to resurface it eventually.  With the walls opened up now, Gerald has been able to replace a considerable amount of the old steel water-supply pipes with plastic pipes.  This work has also involved the two bathrooms directly above the apartment bathroom.

We’re thrilled that the siding phase of the exterior work is virtually done!  We just have one small wall on the front porch to do.  Since Seth is buried in school work, Anna chimed in as the third person on the team for the west wall.  For nearly three full days, Gerald cut the boards while John and Anna remained at the wall installing each board.  Next we will caulk, power wash, paint, and put up shutters.

From Gerald … One day this past month I was reflecting on my mortality.  I don’t remember if I was tired at the end of a day of working on the house, or if I was just being contemplative.  At any rate, I am beginning to see signs of my aging.  I don’t have the stamina I once had, my hair is thinner, I walk more slowly, and I really don’t like to drive at night.  Don’t take this wrong ... I feel fine and I do not have any sense of impending doom.  But we all suffer from a condition that ends in death.  Most of us just don’t know when it will happen.  

I hope to see all of my children get married, as the Lord provides, but there is a good chance that I will not live to meet all of my grandchildren and a great certainty that I will not meet all of my great-grandchildren.  My life in the flesh will end as I go to be with my Lord and my active participation in the lives of those I love will end.  These thoughts have increased my determination to remain actively involved in the lives of others and to use my time wisely.  

With love from the Pedersen clan

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Korean Celebration

This year we picked Korea for our annual unit study/international celebration.  (Click here to see pictures from other celebrations we have done.)  The national dish in South Korea is kimchi, fermented cabbage spiced with ground red pepper. It is eaten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our version was milder than most, as we only let it sit and sour for two days instead of a number of weeks.  We thought it smelled and tasted terrible, but we found some people at church who really like kimchi, so we happily got rid of it all. 

We bought some of our supplies at a Korean market.

Our friend, who used to live in Korea and helped us extensively with our celebration, showed us how to make kim bop (seeweed rice rolls), using bamboo mats.

We made dumplings in this steamer.  It is suspended with chopsticks over a pot of boiling water.

The Koreans have a very specific traditonal outfit called hanbok.  The woman's hanbok has a long full skirt which is really more of a dress and a very short jacket with a bow tied to one side.  Mama made some of the pieces for these costumes, and we borrowed a few from our friends.

Koreans usually eat sitting on cushions around low tables.  They put all the food in small bowls in the middle of the table.  Each person has two bowls of his own, one for rice and the other for soup.  They serve the food into their bowls with their chopsticks.  We weren't quite that authentic, but we did manage without any plates or forks.

We had quite an array of food. 

I read my report on the Korean War.

 Laura read her report about Kim Il Sung.

Then we had dessert: Jello cups, rice cakes, Asian pear, and strawberries.
We had a good time and learned a lot about Korea.