Forever Young

Monday, April 30, 2007

Our new addition

Here are some pictures of the newest addition to our backyard! We were blessed to have this trampoline given to us by some friends of ours. Their son had outgrown it and they wanted it out of their backyard. So, my kids were thrilled to help them clear out their yard!!

Tea Party

On Sunday afternoon Bekah got to attend a tea party at our next door neighbor's house. There were 5 little girls there all dressed up and ready for some fun! Bekah really liked the vanilla tea and felt so grown up to drink "real" tea out of a "real" teacup! She was also very excited because they each got to paint a flower pot and they put paper flowers in them.

Before the party

Sipping tea

Mrs. Sonja is one of Bekah's favorite people!

All the girls having tea

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Bekah has really been enjoying her gymnastics classes. Every Thursday she runs around the house wanting to know if it is time to go yet! She has finally learned to say "gymnastics" instead of calling it "nastics." She has been working on forward rolls, rolls with no hands on the ground, backwards rolls, balance beam, rings, bars, handstands, cartwheels, etc. These are her team photos that she had made at Sigs Sportsplex where she takes her classes.
Right now her class is preparing for their spring performance day. The theme this year is the movie Cars, so she is learning a little routine to "Life is a Highway." It's pretty cute to see the little kids try to perform to the music. (However we won't be participating in the performance day, so I'll just have to enjoy watching her practice!!)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Prayer Request

I am writing to ask you all to pray for a little boy named Nathan McLean. His dad is a student at Southern Seminary, and I met his mom, Amanda, at a women's event at the school. After the event, Amanda brought her 2 boys, Jordan and Nathan, over to our house to play with our kids. They are close to the same ages as Brandon and Bekah. (Since then Amanda has had a baby girl.) Recently, her son, Nathan, was diagnosed with cancer and has just begun chemo treatments. You can check out their web site at Please pray that God would heal this little boy and would provide the family with the peace that only He can give. Thank you.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Gospel

This is a presentation that I put together and presented to the women in our Bible study at church. We were just finishing the book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, and this seemed like a good conclusion for it. The week before I asked them to write the answer to this question, "If you die tonight and stand before God, what will you say to him? Why should he let you into Heaven?" The majority of the women were unsure of what to say, so I felt it would be good to go back to the basics.

· What is the truth?

John 8:31-32, 36
31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

· So, if the truth will set us free, and the Son sets us free, then the truth must be the Son. The Son is Jesus Christ!

John 14:6
6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

· So, if Jesus is the truth and he sets us free, how does it happen? Through the good news of the gospel. What is the gospel?

· First, we acknowledge that God is holy and perfect and does not have fellowship with those that aren’t also holy and perfect. If we want to have communion with God we must be holy like Him.

1 Peter 1:16
16since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

Matthew 5:48
48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

· Now we have a problem. Man is sinful and can’t be holy and perfect like God.

Romans 3:10, 23
10as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

· So, now what can we do? God provided a way for us to have fellowship with him by sending his son, Jesus to earth. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life.

Hebrews 4:15
15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

· Then, after obeying the law that we cannot, he took our place and died on the cross to be the payment for our sins. He was our substitute.

Romans 6:23
23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 10:10
10And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

· So, he paid the penalty for our sin, but then he also credited to us his righteousness, or holiness. This is what gives us the access to have fellowship with a holy God!

2 Corinthians 5:21
21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

· This exchange of our sin for Christ’s righteousness was a free gift of God. We do not have to work for it or earn it.

Romans 6:23
23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 3:5
5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Isaiah 64:6
6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 5:1
1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12
12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
(Salvation in no one else includes our own self!)

· So, if this is a free gift that we can’t earn or work for, then how do we receive it?

Romans 10:9-10, 13
9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
13For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

John 3:16
16"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

· So, if we accept this gift by believing in Jesus Christ, what happens when we die and we stand before God for our judgement?

Romans 14:10b-12
For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
12So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Hebrews 9:27
27And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

· We are promised eternal life – an entrance into Heaven

John 5:24
24Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

1 John 5:12-13
12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

· What if I don’t accept this gift from God? Then what happens after I die?

2 Thessalonians 1:5-9
5This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering-- 6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
(it says those who don’t know God or obey the gospel….it doesn’t say those who don’t obey the commandments. The gospel is the good news of Jesus, and that is what we need to obey.)

John 3:36
36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Revelation 20:15
15And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Jesus told a story about what it would be like in the lake of fire.

Luke 16:22b-24
The rich man also died and was buried, 23and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.'

· So, what will you choose? Will you choose to accept or reject this gift from God? If you choose to accept it, all you need to say when you stand before God is that you have accepted Jesus as your substitute. You are not righteous, or holy, on your own, but you have received Christ’s righteousness that he gave to you!

Closing illustration from Journey magazine:

Recently a dear friend and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a rather pricey restaurant. We ate in a softly lit room, and the service was top-notch. Even as I enjoyed my trout and wild rice, I had the cost of the meal at the back of my mind. Being on a just-out-of-college-with-a-new-job budget, I was a little nervous about receiving the bill. I had put money aside for the special occasion, but I would have to scrimp the rest of the pay period to make ends meet.
As we sipped our coffee after the meal, I began to regret my indulgences. I wondered if I should have turned down my friend’s invitation to celebrate her new job. But when the waitress arrived with the bill, my friend quickly took it and proclaimed she was paying for my meal. Relieved and grateful, I reached for my wallet anyway and said I would cover my tip at least. My friend put her hand on mine and said, “No, I want to take care of it all because you’ve been a special friend to me over the years, and this is my gift to you.”
Later that night, as I spent some time with the Lord, He brought those words back to my mind, and I realized that Jesus had also taken care of it all when He died on the cross. He paid the price in full.
Some people mistakenly believe they also need to do something to contribute to their salvation. They try to “leave the tip” by doing good deeds, living above reproach, or serving God. But they are doing the right things for the wrong reason. Acts 16:31 teaches that all you need to do is “believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”
· So, what we need to do is thank Jesus for paying the price that we could never pay on our own. And then we show him our love and gratitude by our obedience and service.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Last week our friends, the Downings, came down and spent the night with us. It was so great to see them again! We went to the zoo with them and our other neighbors, the Russells (and Liberty brought along another friend too). I can't believe we actually got a picture of all 8 kids cooperating and mostly looking at the camera.

Brandon was thrilled to get to spend some time with his good buddy, Jacob. They are 6 months apart in age and enjoy a lot of the same stuff. Everything was great until they had to leave and then Brandon did not want Jacob to go back home!

Jayden had just celebrated his 2nd birthday, so we had a little party for him. We got him this lawnmower which he seemed to enjoy!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter

I hope you all had a very Happy Easter celebration. Here is a picture of our family before we went to church on Sunday morning. We had a busy Easter weekend......there is always too much to do and not enough time. We were all excited that my parents came to stay with us and help us celebrate Easter. We always love to have our family and friends come and visit us.