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Monday, April 30, 2007

Run The Race Set Before You

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24

let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1b

Caleb and Cameron are both running track this year. (Pictures of Cameron will be after a meet where I get good photos ) Caleb runs the 2 mile race at some of the JV meets. He's not the fastest runner, but he does run with perseverance and finishes each race he is in. He has yet to get a "prize" for running one of these races. Maybe he never will. But...persevere he does.

But that is NOT what Paul is talking about when he says "Run in such a way as to get the prize". or the author of Hebrews, when he says to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us". They aren't talking about track meet races. God has placed a "racetrack" of life in front of us. We have to each run our own individual race, on the path He has marked out for us. We have to run the race of our life with perseverance. We must keep our eyes on the prize, even when we are getting "lapped" by others running the race with us. The only prize that means anything... after we live our life of faith, we will receive the prize of Eternal life in heaven.

Now THAT is a race *I* can run! And I'm guaranteed of winning the eternity in heaven, with my best friend Jesus, singing the praises of God with the heavenly host of angels!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Landscaping Project

God has blessed us with truly WONDERFUL friends! Our longtime friends, Erik and Kelly and their 3 boys, came to Iowa for Cameron's confirmation. We met at the seminary 15 years ago this fall, and Erik informed us that this past weekend was our 10th annual "after Easter" get-together!

Well, it takes an amazingly good friend to give a "vacation" day for landscaping, although Erik assured us that he loves doing this kind of work and does consider it a vacation. He plotted and planned. Then he got Cameron and Ron and Ron's dad going on getting some shrubs cut down, and more garden area dug up. While they were working on that, we went shopping and Erik pointed me to the direction of things that would grow and look nice in the shady yard that we have.

Then, Ron, Erik, Lester, and Cameron worked on getting stuff planted and mulched around. I took pictures and did some of the mulch work. But mostly, it was a hard days work for the men!

Here are a few pictures...before, during and after!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What a Glorious Weekend!

Cameron Philip Koch was baptized on March 7, 1993 at Our Hope Lutheran Church in Huntertown, IN. At that time, the Holy Spirit bestowed on him the gift of faith. During the past 14 years, Cameron has studied the Scriptures and Martin Luther's Small Catechism, and on Sunday, April 22, 2007, he confirmed the vows that were made on his behalf at his baptism. We are so proud of him, and thrilled that he has reached this milestone event in his life! We praise God for the gift of faith He has given Cameron!

Here are some photos from the weekend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Praise instead of Panic!

I know that God tells me not to worry. He tells me that He will take care of me. He cares about every little detail of my life. I should NOT be surprised that He worked out this electricity problem. The mayor called Ron on Monday afternoon and said that due to all that was going on in town on Sunday, they are POSTPONING the electric upgrade. Woo HOO and Praise God!

He said that they don't know yet when they will reschedule it, and "it might still be on a Sunday",'s NOT on confirmation Sunday. I'm just really happy that our city council listened to the people and they made a good decision :)

Now...I still have lots to do, and lots of company coming! I love company, and can't wait for all the work to be done so I can enjoy the family and friends who will be here.

Cameron and the girls he will be confirmed with had their public questioning tonight. It went well. They were questioned on the 6 chief parts of the catechism. They have learned a lot in their years of study. Of course, our prayer is that they retain what they learned, and that they will continue to live their lives as a witness to the faith that they will publicly confirm on Sunday.

Come back and check after Sunday for confirmation pictures!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sigh...Trying Not To Panic

Ok, so our really on top of things City Council has decided to upgrade our city's electric service. Sounds like a good idea...,except that they've chosen to do it on Sunday, April 22 at 7 am in the morning. And in order to do the "upgrade" they have to turn off the power in most of the city. At 7 AM!! SUNDAY morning! What about the 500 - 600 people in town who are church goers?
Bad enough on a "typical" Sunday, but this day is CONFIRMATION Sunday. Cameron's confirmation. I have a houseful of guests for the weekend plus I'm cooking dinner for 40+ people on Sunday! All with NO POWER!

My mind is scrambling to figure out how to feed people a nice dinner with no power.

Man. What were they thinking? Couldn't something like this be done overnight, so people aren't stuck without power when they NEED it?


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

If April showers bring May flowers...

what do April SNOW showers bring? We have a SNOW day today! Right now there is about 4-5 inches of snow on the ground, and it's still coming down and blowing. UGH. It's APRIL 11th, for pete's sake!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A scrappin' weekend

Ron, Cameron, Rachel and Ethan traveled to Ohio for Ron's nephew (and Godson's) confirmation last weekend. Caleb couldn't go because he had Band Solo contest all day on Saturday. I had to work on Friday and Monday or face a huge pay cut in the long term sub situation. So, while Caleb was gone all day Saturday, I spent the day at my computer, working on getting caught up with some old pictures. Here are a few layouts I did, with pictures from July and August of 2004. (yeah...I'm THAT far behind!)

Maundy Thursday

Ethan asked us at supper the other night "What does 'Maundy' mean?", and I really had no clue, so I looked it up. Interesting. It comes from the first word in the Latin translation of the Bible verse "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you" (John 13:34) (In Latin it looks like this, but trust me...I just copied and pasted...I can't read it, LOL "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos"

Jesus said this to his disciples as he was washing their feet...explaining to them the significance of what He was doing.

There were several life changing things that happened on the Thursday of that first Holy Week. Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, which we will celebrate again tonight. As commanded, I continue to receive His body and blood, which was shed for me on that long ago Friday. Through the eating and drinking of this body and blood of my Savior, I receive forgiveness of sins, eternal life with Him, and Salvation. What a truly priceless gift He gave, for me and for you, on that long ago Thursday evening.

Later, he had to tell his close friend Peter, that Peter would deny knowing Jesus! Knowing that your friend will turn away, and not stand with heartbreaking. Later that evening, Jesus spent time in prayer at anguish knowing what was going to happen next. How sad he must have been, that his closest friends, Peter, James and John couldn't remain awake with him during this tormenting time! And finally, his betrayal by one of his own disciples. Again...betrayal by a friend...being let down by one who is close to you. What a bad day!

And yet, for your sake and for mine, He continued on the path set before him. Knowing his close friends would betray, deny, run away...Jesus continued on that road. Knowing that a simple word could have stopped it all. Knowing that, even though He was going to give up His life so that you and I can someday live with Him in glorious eternity, WE would also deny, betray, run away, hide, cut and hurt Him with our words and actions. We are no better than Peter who denied knowing Him, or Judas who betrayed him into the hands of those who would kill Him...we are no better than those who's hands stripped away His clothing, pushed the crown of thorns onto His head, whipped Him, and pounded the nails into His hands!

Knowing our desperate NEED for a Savior...someone to make us Holy in God's sight, Jesus continued on to Jerusalem that Palm Sunday, celebrated His Last Supper with His disciples, and continued on to Gesthemane where He would be taken into captivity.

As undeserving as we are, Jesus continued on this path for YOU, and for ME. THAT is how much He loves us!