Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Family Introduction



Let me introduce my wife: Margaret and I married in 1973 and God has blessed us with 6 children.

Margaret is a teacher. She taught school while I attended seminary, homeschooled all of our kids and now has taught 6th grade at Grace Academy in Marysville, WA for the past 5 years. She loves to exercise, read, teach, read Scripture, play her flute and enjoy her family.

Our children are all grown and scattering around the country.





Tim, Kim, Jason and Aaron live near us in Smokey Point, WA.









Michael and Angie are expecting their first child this summer and they live in Colorado Springs.















Bryan and Janie Hartfelder live in Michigan and they are also expecting their first child in early summer.











Jonathan, David and Annie are all living in or near our house in Everett, WA.








We rejoice in the blessings God has given us as a family. To Him be glory and praise.

When one member is suffering


Suffering is painful for those going through it. We do not enjoy the process, yet the process has helpful results. I injured my knee some 6 weeks ago and so now I am going through physical therapy and exercises to get the think working correctly again. The knee is a small part of the body, but so essential. It is amazing how many things one cannot do when the knee is not right. And so, another lesson in the place that each of us has in Christ's body. We cannot get along by ourselves unless we do damage to the body as a whole. And we are in need of other parts of the body to compensate for us when we are hurting.
I am hoping that this knee gets knit together well again soon. I have some mountains to climb again this summer. I am looking forward to getting fit in the spring after being off of my exercise the past few weeks. I am not walking the trails right now, but looking ahead to the time when through patience and perseverance I can walk physical trails because I have learned spiritual lessons alongside the trail.

See you on the trail.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rocky Mountain Trail


I DID IT. Hiked to my first mountain elevation of 14,000+ unassisted by pack animals or sherpas. Mount Cameron Colorado.

Lessons learned on the trail:
When it is too tough and the air too thin, take only one step at a time and rest in between - called the rest step. Takes a long time, but it works. I put my nose in the trail and disciplined myself to breath, step and keep going. Than after a few minutes you look up and see where you have gone. What a thrill.

Exertion and high altitude fill the body with adrenalin and it takes a while to come down from that. On the way home from a hike I am usually doing all I can to stay awake and if someone else drives, I am asleep in minutes. This time I was fully awake, no joint pain, talking, involved, active and very surprised. When we returned home, the same feeling kept on. Lasted until about 2:30AM which became quite annoying. My skin felt like it was 100 degrees and very tingly. I took a glass of water and sipped on it for a half hour and then sleep came. I have never felt anything like that before. Not sure I am anxious to repeat it, especially if it takes the same effort as this time.

Walking with God is like hiking the hills - one step at a time and constant effort with Him giving the strength for each step. What a great day of hiking accomplishment - of spiritual development - of personal growth. I accomplished something I never would have thought possible with strength I did not possess. This has helped make my summer a time of spiritual renewal. Praise God.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Scripture Heritage


Some work done by Chadi Moussi and me as we work to illustrate the teaching of inspiration in Scripture.

HOW WE GOT OUR BIBLE
The Bible we have is inspired by God. The word inspiration comes from a Greek word meaning “God-breathed.” ( 2 Timothy 3:16). Words that are inspired by God are exactly what God wanted to be said. God the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture, not people. The authors of the Bible were moved by the Holy Spirit so that they wrote the exact words that God wanted them to write within their own styles. ( 2 Peter 1:20-21) The scope of the Bible’s inspiration is plenary verbal inspiration, which means that every single word of Scripture was exactly as God intended.
God is the source of this process of inspiration, causing the original autographs to be inerrant. Scribes and others copied the Bible, producing copies that were accurate. These copies were then taken, copied repeatedly, and translated. People since then have preached and taught the Word, are illuminated and then apply biblical principles into their lives. This entire process produces an infallible Scripture which will never lead astray those who trust in it. We can say without apology “I have an accurate English translation of an accurate copy of God’s written, inspired Word.”

THREE STEPS TO BIBLE STUDY AND PRAYER’S IMPORTANCE
The first step of Bible study is Observation. Observation is when you ask the question What does it say?. When doing observation, we find out what is in the text and ask a lot of questions in order to better understand it. The second step of Bible study is Interpretation. Interpretation is when you ask the question What does it mean? We must make sure to have a correct interpretation of the Bible; otherwise, we can mislead ourselves when we go to apply it. The third and final step of Bible study is Application. Application is when we ask How does it apply to me? We cannot just be satisfied with knowing what there is to know; we must take what we study in the Bible and apply it to our lives.
What is prayer? For true Christians, prayer is “communion with God”. Through prayer we actually experience relationship with God. Prayer is talking, listening, and enjoying the presence of God. We pray because we love God, because we depend on God in order to resist temptation and most importantly because He commands us to. Before studying the Bible it is vital that we pray for God’s guidance since He is the author of the text.

WRONG VIEWS OF BIBLE STUDY
There are many reasons why people don’t study the Bible. Some might say, “I need something that works”. The problem of relevance may be the number one reason that people are not studying God’s Word today. God’s revelation is as alive and working today as it was when it was first delivered. Some say “I don’t know how”. The problem of technique is also common; we’ve been saturated with visual images, and we’re losing our ability to read. Studying the Bible can be easy if you put forth time and effort; if you don’t know how, then learn. Another response is I’m just a layman. Many people think they understand the basics, but don’t work on uncovering His truths. They think they can’t do it because they aren’t preachers. You don’t need professional training to understand the Bible. A very common excuse is I just don’t have time. If we find ourselves saying this, then ask yourself where the Bible fits on your list of priorities. We must learn that the study of the Word is not an option - it’s an essential. Others say I have my doubts about the Bible. These people ask if the Bible is reliable and authoritative; we must learn that it is completely reliable, and the more we study it, the more consistent and reasonable it turns out to be. One last wrong view is I can’t seem to make it interesting. It is very difficult to get people excited about one’s own insights into the Word.

An excellent resource for Bible study is the web site http://preceptaustin.org/ Here you will find helpful word studies, commentary and resources to enrich your personal Bible study.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Goat Lake







Superior day with perfect Northwest weather. Low 70's, dry, cloudy for most of the day and sunbreaks included. 5.2 miles one way along a rather easy trail for most of the distance.

They said the last half "rudely switchbacks" up to the lake. Perhaps it was because during that time one's tongue was hanging out - - I don't know. Jonathan, Annie, Margaret and I made a day trip out of it.
Included some pondering at the lake - - that is leaning back against a tree and taking in all of God's power and grandeur on display before us. Lots of mining in the area 100 years ago, and a small settlement, which is now gone. Huge cedar trees along the way.

Much of God's beauty and creativity on display as we traveled.



Great Quote
The hiker can go without combing his hair or shaving and will be accepted as perfectly normal. He can get dirty and his friends will still speak to him jovially. His clothes may be in tatters, and people will think nothing of it. If there happens to be a little rock dust on his shirt or trousers, or if his clothes are a trifle torn, so much the better. Of such stuff are hiking heroes made. The hiker doesn’t have to have to talk very much, say witty things, hold a glass in his hands, or laugh lightly at banalities. His is a world of opposites, and no one cares or worries about it. —ANN and MYRON SUTTON, The Appalachian Trail: Wilderness on the Doorstep, 1967

Friday, June 18, 2010

Six Blind Men and an Elephant



The Blind Men and the Elephant

John Godfrey Saxe's ( 1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend.

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"Oh bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!




MORAL.
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!