Monday, September 28, 2009

2 Months of love and cuddles



Look at me, I am 2 months old! (yesterday actually, but mom was having a busy day)

I have really gained some poundage over the past month. I now weigh between 12 and 13 lbs. I am 24 inches long and I am cute as a button.

I have become quite interactive lately. I have been smiling for weeks now and just in the past few days I have been cooing at mommy. She thinks it's the most precious ever.

My brother and sister provide quite the entertainment. I love to watch them and smile at what they are doing even when they aren't paying any attention to me. Then, when they notice me, they rush over and begin to pay LOTS of attention to me.

Like today, when my sister was dressing my brother up like this:



See? Lots of smiles all around.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Read and Share Toddler Bible


The Read and Share Toddler Bible is a children's Bible directed at toddlers aged 1-4. Based on our experience with this Bible, I would say that it is better directed toward children aged 1-2. The stories are short and simple and easily understandable for this age range. Plus, they cater to a very short attention span with each story containing around 4-6 pages with very few words.

The Read and Share Toddler Bible is the perfect size for toddlers to carry around and read without it getting bent or the spine getting loose. It's perfect for chubby little fingers to wrap around and it's the perfect size for taking to church, to keep the little ones amused during the service.

I love it that there is a DVD of stories that accompanies the Bible to enforce what your children are learning during family worship and independent reading times in the Bible.

I love the concept that they use at the end of each story, which is to engage your children with a particular activity that pertains to the story or questions to draw out your children about the story.

Now, most people may not have an amazing children's Bible to compare this to. I do. The Big Picture Story Bible is packed with God's amazing character interwoven into the stories that it depicts. His character and his promises are emphasized as you read through the Old and New Testament. The Read and Share Toddler Bible fails to emphasize God's character as it tells the stories. Here is an example:

Jesus Helps a Little Girl

The conclusion: "He (Jesus) took her by the hand and said, 'Stand up!' She stood up! She was all better."


I read the last page of this and flipped the page waiting for more.

An explanation.
A praise.
Something about who God is.
Please!

Nope. And most of the Bible is like this. I want a Bible that emphasizes God's character in the story. I want to instill faith in my children by revealing the character of God, not by simply telling them a nice moral story. The stories told are true and accurate, but the missing ingredient is an important one: God's revelation of himself through these stories.

This Bible is fine to add to your children's library as a storybook, but as you read the pages I encourage you to ask yourself, "What does this say about God?" and to teach those truths about God to your children as He reveals himself through the pages of the Bible. As your children learn more about His character they will have a greater sense of their own sinfulness, which will lead them to a greater dependency on God, and this is ultimately what we desire for our children.

If you decide to purchase this Bible, keep this last point in mind so that your children don't simply come to know the morals of the Bible, so to speak, but that they can also understand the God of the Bible who wills and acts according to His good purpose throughout the pages of Scripture.

Monday, September 14, 2009

State of the Duty Union

Hey friends!

Sorry it's been so long since I posted pictures! I know that is unacceptable when you have a newborn and they are growing and changing so much.

Easton is putting on some weight (especially in his cheeks!) and is quite tall. I still think he looks more like Taylor Joy did when she was a baby with the exception of his smile. That is totally Beckett. I must admit, I am so thankful to Allen for his genes since he gave all our our children adorable dimples. I always wished I had them and now I can be thankful that our children have them. Oh, the little things!

As for the other kids, they are really enjoying having weekends filled with family and friends. Allen's family came 2 weekends ago and my mom and sis came this weekend. Taylor Joy has started her weekly Bible class with Asher and is doing some preschool work on the off days.
MOPS just started up, which we go to every other Tuesday, and I am still coordinating crafts for the group. So, if you have any cute crafts that a group of women could easily do together, please let me know! I am always looking for good ideas.

New Life is really growing and we love it. Allen just started a series on Matthew (The Sermon on the Mount) called Righteousness Redefined. Last night was an overview of chapters 1-4 and Jason Kinnard, another elder, will be preaching next week.

We are also excited because we are on the verge of becoming an Acts 29 church. You can read more about what that means (if you are interested) here. Allen and I will be assessed on Thursday of this week and should know very soon if New Life will be approved. Some of our favorite pastors are of the Acts 29 variety: Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, and Jonathan Dodson plus they are closely tied to our other favorite pastors, John Piper and C.J. Mahaney. This would be a wonderful alliance for Allen to have with others who have been very successful at church planting.

Our second membership class starts at the end of this month so we will more than double the members we have now. For those who are visiting New Life and aren't intending on joining or those who don't really know the purpose of the church or church membership, please listen to this: Mark Driscoll's, "What is the Church?"

Now, for the pictures! Enjoy!




Nanny (Kendra's mom) with the kids


Nanny and Easton


Aunt B (Kendra's sis) with Taylor Joy


Dad's MVP



Soon-to-be Uncle Ryan playing blocks with Taylor Joy


Aunt Cathy with Easton

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rooted

Now that the students are back, New Life is exploding and it is a wonderful thing. I love having students around at church and at our house (at the grocery stores and on the roads...not so much).

They love on our kids and reinforce to our children that what we are teaching and instructing them isn't isolated to our family alone. Other people live this way and see the value in living this way, according to God's word. I love that!

I love it that our home is a wonderful place to be, a place where the word is opened and taught, truth is discussed, and we pray, sing, fellowship and break bread all to bring God glory for the things He has done. I love it that my children see others doing these things in our home with us. My desire is that our home will always be a place of ministry, where discipleship and evangelism are on the forefront of our minds in regards to our children, the church body and our community.


All that to say, New Life has been going through a series that outlines the vision of our church and since many college students were gone for the summer and the past two weeks, it would be worthwhile to listen to the past two messages that Allen has preached.


Here they are for your convenience:


Know the Vision

Making the Vision Known


If you haven't made it out to New Life yet, we would love for you to join us at 5 p.m. on Sunday nights.

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