Monday, April 14, 2008

Dandylion Prince and Princess

They REALLY love each other!

This is a photo shoot from Sunday! Luke goes for the bow and Sarah goes for the toes!! (Sorry I can't figure out how to rotate the pics.)

Birthday trip to Atlanta

These are some highlights of Mark's birthday celebration in Atlanta. Sorry I don't have any pics of him and Justin playing golf at Stone Mountain. We stayed in the Westin in downtown and the view was amazing even though they had a lot of tornado damage some a few weeks ago. The kids favorite part of the trip was the Children's Museum. Luke got to drive a forklift and a crane, play trains, fish, and tons more!!!
Thanks to Jane Howell for letting all of Smithville know it was Mark's 3-0!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

30 Years of Undeserved Faithfulness

Today is the day. April 9, 1978 I was born. That was 30 years ago. This is my brief reflection on 30 years of undeserved faithfulness.

Many people never make it to 30. Many are aborted without even being given a chance. Many die in childhood of horrendous diseases b/c they don't even have access to clean water. Many die of tragic car accidents and the like in their teens and twenties...and yet none of this has been remotely close to me. Undeserved faithfulness.

I am no different than these who die before thirty. I was born in the United States of America. What did I do to deserve that? Nothing. It is a blessing undeserved. It is also a great responsibility.

I have wonderful parents. My mom and dad worked hard to raise me right. They loved me and gave me opportunities. They stayed married even through tough times. They didn't quit. And for all of this I am the one who is greatly blessed. Undeserved faithfulness.

I have a sister that I got in some good fights with as a kid. We had a lot of fun together. She is as blessed as I am, and now she is a wonderful and gracious young woman. Undeserved faithfulness.

I have a beautiful and wonderful wife who never quits loving me and serving me. I cannot figure this out. Even when I am the hardest person in the world to love and get along with, she is continually faithful to me. She is a godly wife and mother full of patience and kindness. We're moving towards our 7th anniversary this summer. Undeserved faithfulness.

I have two beautiful children who are healthy and full of life (see pictures in other blog entries). They bring joy upon joy into my life. They teach me the lessons of God in a real and tangible way. They allow me the great pleasure of bearing the title, "father." You can never get tired of hearing the word "daddy" energetically yelled out as you enter the door coming home from work. Undeserved faithfulness.

I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Sovereign Lord of the universe. Undeserved faithfulness in its fullest expression...that he would choose to redeem me, his enemy...that he would choose to do so by dying a brutal death...that he would continue in faithfulness to me as I daily continue in my struggle against sin. As I read Romans 9 this morning I am reminded that I was not saved b/c of something in me that was smart enough or was able to make the right decision to choose Christ. No I was saved by the mercy of God. Pure grace. Purely undeserved.

Here I sit, April 9, 2008. The words "undeserved faithfulness" perfectly describe my life.

Thank you mom. Thank you dad. Thank you sis. Thank you Em. Thank you Luke. Thank you Sarah. Thank you Lord Jesus.

May I live a life full of gratitude.