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Archive for June, 2006

My first class finished this morning, and we drove to beautiful Charleston this afternoon.  We have a great room on the Cooper River with a great view.

Tonight we ate at one of my favorite places…Sticky Fingers.  It was time to baptize Karsten into one of his papa’s favorites.  We shared some wonderful ribs together, and he enjoyed himself thoroughly.  I unfortunately failed to get a picture of his satisfied smile.

We also took an hour-long carriage ride through historic and blooming Charleston.  Though it was really warm it was enjoyable, and you don’t really know a city until you’ve taken a carriage ride.

We also drove by Patriot’s Point to see the outside of the USS Yorktown.  Maybe we will tour it tomorrow.  It’s about 1/4 mile from our hotel.  But the major item on the agenda tomorrow is to spend some time enjoying the salt water and the ocean breeze.  It’s been hot enough that we should probably start early and then go back early evening.  At about 9:30p tonight, we ran out (it’s about 30 feet) and had the pool to ourselves for 45 minutes.  Karsten demonstrated bravery as he fought his fears.

We get very few opportunities like this, and we’re enjoying it.

Here are some pictures of our day, and then the view of part of the spectacular and unique bridge connecting us (we’re in Mount Pleasant) to Charleston…

boys on bedNice doorLeafy stairwayFloral entryUSS YorktownThe View from our place

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A.W. Tozer…

“We are all the sum total of our hungers.  The great saints have all had thirsty hearts.  Their cry has been, ‘My soul thirsteth for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’  (Psalm 42:2).  Their longing after God all but consumed them; it propelled them onward and upward to heights toward which less ardent Christians look with languid eye and entertain no hope of reaching.”

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This current class (The Principalship) is nearing completion.  Today there were three projects due.  Tomorrow there is one.  Thursday there are two and my 50 minute lecture.

Tonight we fellowshipped for almost two hours with the Dr. Farmer family who just got into town.  Dr. Farmer and Dr. Saldivar will be taking off on Saturday for a full-week of hiking in the Grand Canyon.

Even though we are away, there are still things going on with the family.  On Saturday morning we spent 2-3 hours downtown Greenville visiting the Children’s Garden and the must-visit Mast General Store.  Also…

100_7121.JPGLincoln has been crawling since the last few days at home and is now moving more ably and quickly.  He has been able to go from belly to sitting.  He enjoys sitting at our sliding glass door and looking out at Harry–the squirrel who visits a couple of times per day–and the geese who walk back and forth all day munching the grass.  We especially like Slowpoke (named by Karsten), the goose with a bum right leg who limps behind the pack.

Haddon is always the same.  He’s a happy guy.  He’s been coloring and playing with play-doh.  He likes putting tractors and cars in nice neat rows.  He’s been doing lots of reading (they are currently working on a biography of Adoniram Judson), taking walks in the hot SC sun, and eating lots of grapes.

Karsten has been learning how to write.  He’s working on the capital “K” right now.  Tonight I also spent about 5 minutes teaching him how to read a clock.  After 5 minutes, he’s applied what he has learned about 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock to the rest of the hours.  He has enjoyed eating strawberries and bananas and doing play-doh and watching the geese and watching Harry and Slowpoke and eating basketti [spaghetti] and doing his workbooks [matching skills and opposites] and learning to color in the lines and to use scissors [he recited this list to me].

For those of you who don’t know I teach a new vocab word to the boys every week or two.  We’ve covered words such as arduous, pusillanimous, and egregious [yes, they are only 4 and 2] and the word for this week is vigilant.  Their definition for vigilant is “always watching” [they have simple definitiions for each of the words].  They have been learning that there are lots of things we should be vigilant regarding: how we walk on the stairs, how we walk in the yard where the geese roam, but especially watching out for the Devil…who is like a roaring lion…who tries to make people sin [their words].

Chrissy just read The Time of Your Life which she found very helpful and God-honoring.  Now she is reading Treasuring God in Our Traditions which she is finding to be a must read book for all parents.

We are looking forward to the weekend.  If God keeps the weather clear, we will be leaving after my final exam on Friday morning for a weekend in Charleston (our only real family vacation of the year).  Spurgeon spoke highly of the healthful benefits of a stiff ocean breeze in the face.  We look forward to a nice hotel reserved in our name, a quiet span of beach, beautiful, historic downtown Charleston, and perhaps the USS Yorktown (aircraft carrier) tour.

But there are miles to plow before we go.  I’m off to do my late night habit.

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Busyness is a plague.  All of our comings and goings trying to keep up a form of godliness (because there are so many more things that must be done and can be done for the ministry's sake) are actually a hindrance to our spiritual health. 

Busyness makes our lives broad.  We dabble in lots and lots of things.  Yet we only dabble.  We are very broad, but we are very shallow.  We do so many things that we are unable to do many things very well or fully.  We especially do not know how to rest well.  We do not know how to wade in rest.  We do not have a clue what meditation is.  We cannot drink deeply while we are running.

Being here in SC has afforded my family some time to be still.  While my schedule is relatively the same or maybe even greater, our quiet times are quieter because I have one agenda–one task on which to focus.  Christie's day's gets to be stiller.  The boys get real mama time.

Similarly, this quotation by Lord Avebury, speaks to the issue…

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means a waste of time."

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Augustine…

"Love God and do what you please."

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…the heat from inside was more than oppressive.  It must have been 130 degrees inside.

I'm certainly not accustomed to the heat, but still finding SC enjoyable (not that I am able to really see the outdoors very much–save for walking the three blocks back and forth to campus).

Yesterday there was no air conditioning in the library.  It was funny sitting there working with sweat dripping off my forehead.  Really!  It was funny.  I started laughing at how spoiled I am.

When I come back to the apartment, Karsten updates me on what kind of birds he saw that day out the big sliding door.  Haddon tells me that he's going to eat all the grapes, and I can't have any.  Lincoln just smiles; smiling is his hobby and he is always practicing his hobby.

Right now I am sitting on the couch settling down from the busyness of the day…in a holding pattern waiting to land in bed.  Lincoln is asleep on the couch next to me.  He decided in his dream to prop his little, bare feet up on my arm.  I can't make myself remove them.

An administrative principle that hit me upside the head today was a reference to how Jesus dwelt among them (the people to whom he was ministering).  I'm very comfortable in my office, and need to get out more and see the needs of staff and students and learn to address them better.  But I better stop there.  The more I put in print, the more I hold myself accountable to. =)

Tomorrow things get gritty as I have to start prepping for a 25 minutes presentation I'm doing on Friday.  Next week is a 50 minute presentation.  Ergh.

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We spent 12 1/2 hours Sunday driving from home to Greenville, SC — our home for four weeks while I finish this degree.  We are in a small one bedroom apartment–we happy band of 5.  Lincoln is learning to crawl here.  Karsten and Haddon are hard at play.  Chrissy gets to rest…which she has well earned.

I get to sling my burden on my shoulder and bear it these final four weeks.  As opposed to a correspondence course (which I extend to the maximum 15 months) I like the idea of getting each of these courses done in 2 weeks each.  It's intense and beneficial…usually.  This promises to be a good one.  Happily, there are only three of us enrolled, and it has already made for much more interaction than is normally available.  Sadly, one of the three had to leave his wife and three small boys (same ages as mine) at home in Guam.  I understand his sadness as I have had to do that before.

I don't get to enjoy the hot and humid and sunny and beautiful daylight hours.  I spend them under fluorescent lights in air conditioning working off Adam's curse.  I am tilling my brain and soul, and it is hard ground.  It's Day 1 and I've already feeling the pressure.

This morning as I was praying for good success, I remembered to pray for it like Jim Elliot taught me (in his book)…

"Lord, make my way prosperous–not that I may achieve high station, but that my life may be an exhibit to the value of knowing God."

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