Archive for December, 2009

But God has it all scripted. For those who know Him, we are standing here on a brink of this great opportunity and joy, safe in Christ. A pilgrim is a person who lives for another time and another place. Go be valiant as you go onward.

The Things That Haven’t Been Done Before

by Edgar Guest

The things that haven’t been done before,
Those are the things to try;
Columbus dreamed of an unknown shore
At the rim of the far-flung sky,
And his heart was bold and his faith was strong
As he ventured in dangers new,
And he paid no heed to the jeering throng
Or the fears of the doubting crew.

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Merry Christmas From Us

The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”

If 2007 was the year of the surprise (We are moving?!!?), and 2008 was the transition year, then 2009 has been a year of settling-in and standing in wonder at God’s provision.

Tennessee is fast becoming home. We love exploring Nashville and the surrounding areas and are endearing ourselves to our wonderful new family at church and school. We have been inundated with visitors too, which suits us just fine; we had seven nights in November with no overnight guests.

Thankfully, we moved in June to a larger house in Whites Creek. It’s closer to church, school and the city and it gives us a more flexibility to be hospitable. It was providential that God provided it for us. It was also a blessing to us that Andrew and Dana Blondo moved here in June; it’s good to have family nearby.

We have been amazed at how God has blessed JECA this first year. We have had something like four amazing miracles (spread from January through December) that have demonstrated to us that God is in it and He is the Doer and Sustainer of it. It is crystal clear that this school exists because He allowed/made it to be so and maintains it only with his grace. We could not have done this without His help. It is a joy and a benefit to be involved in this wonderful work with a wonderful bunch of people.

We were pleased to have a little girl added to our home in September. Claire Danielle is all that a baby girl ought to be. She is much-adored by her larger and more cantankerous brothers. We look forward to showing her our homeland when we go north for Christmas.

Karsten, Haddon, Lincoln and Knox are well. The older two are graced with wonderful classroom teachers who are improving them to good degrees. The younger two are faced with the rigors of dragon-slaying and have shifts of Queen-and-princess-protection-duties throughout the day.

We are blessed greatly. But there is nothing mundane or regular about it. God upholds us each day and gives us strength and provision for all of our trials, needs, doubts and tumbles. “Every hour is a precious boon. Every breath is a mercy.” We are, very imperfectly but sincerely, trying Him, finding Him faithful and wonderfully good, and we are grateful for tongues and keyboards and strength to live and tell others (especially our children) how He is always good and always faithful and always true.

And while we trek toward our final home, while we face the rigors of our own imperfections, we still give thanks and we enjoy the parts of Creation that were gifted to us here: baby giggles, bananas, adventure stories with horned hounds, loose teeth, Facebook, the Natchez Trace, The Dog of Nashville, Narnia, MoonPies, the Food Network, and the 100 cute little fingers and toes attached to the 5 cutest little kids anywhere.

May God find us faithful,

Ryan and Christie

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A new liberal arts school is forming in New England. It’s called the C.S. Lewis College, and it has a beautiful home to move into when it starts in two Falls.

There’s a very interesting triangle involved here: CS Lewis, DL Moody and Hobby Lobby (and it’s close to Jonathan Edwards’ old stomping grounds, too). Good story you can piece together on the Press Releases page!

C.S. Lewis College

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A brief lesson in economics. Sit up. Pay attention. There will be a quiz.

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On December 26, 1944, Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda of the Japanese army was sent to the Philippine island of Lubang.  His mission was to resist the American advance, and he was ordered to fight on indefinitely.  Onoda never got word when the war ended some months later.  For thirty more years he went on fighting World War II.  He lived in hiding, came out at night to steal food from the villages, shot at people now and then.  About ten years into it he found a newspaper article about himself, but he thought it was a trick to get him to surrender.  The Philippine government dropped leaflets into the jungle, asking him to come out.  They brought loudspeakers in and shouted, “Onoda, the war is over.”  One day his own brother stood at the microphone and begged him to give up, but he didn’t believe it.  He fought on until 1974, when the Japanese government sent in his old commanding officer, Major Taniguchi, who ordered Onoda to surrender.  He finally gave up.

That man’s mind was trapped in 1945, he shut out the good news of peace and lost 30 years of his life hiding in the jungles, loyal to a lost cause.  We can be like him today, with our thoughts and feelings trapped in a war that ended long ago.

The night Jesus was born, the angels stepped up to the microphone and shouted, “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14).  For 2000 years God has been dropping leaflets of the good news into the jungles of our minds.  Through his cross Christ won the victory over everything against us.  It’s time to give up our lost causes, come out of hiding and live again in a new, post-war world of grace, ruled by Christ.

Written by Ray Ortlund

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Probably my decade review will be limited to just two installments. It was fun.

1. The birth of Karsten, Haddon, Lincoln, Knox and Claire – Nothing like progeny to make you wish you had slept in more when you were a kid.

2. September 11, 2001 – I’m still floored…and mad.

3. October 2008 – Introduced to the music of Andrew Peterson. Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ!

4. June 2008 – Moved from Michigan to Nashville to start a school. Good move.

5. November 13, 2008 – The day my Grandpa died. Sad day, but his funeral was a triumph of God’s favor to us for having known him.

6. January 2, 2000 – My last moving violation

7. May 12, 2006 – The first post on TBAP. Still a good one.

8. The resurgence of pirates – Pirates rip me off!

9. Travel: Eight weeks spent in New England, NYC and Philly (2005-2008) / Two weeks in England and Paris (2004) – I was built to be a tour guide.

10. June 12, 2009 – 10 years with Christie

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