Friday, June 29, 2012

Currently facebook is not my favorite place. If you get on someday in the near future, and I’ve disappeared, it doesn’t mean I deleted you and blocked you as a friend. It may, however, mean that I triumphantly overcame the networking norm and compulsive cyber-social world, and deactivated. Presumably, at this point I am flooded with peace and quiet, take a deep breath, and… go to my blog. I need to keep it until the Mbewes come, though, and til after a photo job this weekend. I’m just using it for too many legitimate things at the moment. This way, my pictures are here, where people can choose to look at them. Also, I really can’t come up with a decent status that seems worthy to throw into everyone’s home page. Anything really clever that I have, I can just… text to my sister. I haven’t been on enough to chat with people, since if the internet is up for any significant amount of time, it’s because I’m editing photos or playing spotify. Which leaves facebook there just as a stalker tool.

This post? Frankly, it’s just an excuse to put up all the photos I’ve been playing with. So.

Me with my nieces last Sunday…I was holding Hannah, (sleeping), and Abigail wanted an excuse to have her blankie and suck her fingers. I  don’t know if mom or rachel took the picture. Typical Sunday afternoon.


I was playing with shutter speeds and water… Froze mom’s fountain. One of them… Contrary to appearance, the shot was taken in broad daylight. Not the coolest or artsiest in the world, but I like it cause each water droplet is so individual and clear.


Since I was having fun with water stuff, I wandered up highway 410 all by my lonesome to see what shots I could get. While the solitude was wonderful, it was a little difficult to drive and scope out the shots at the same time. You will be relieved to learn that I resisted the impulse to take pictures and drive simultaneously… ;-)



And the opposite shutter speed with a waterfall. You have to compensate with a really low ISO, and I had to do some creative tripod-stand in stuff til I buy my Manfrotto… :)


“Thou flowing water, clear and bright…” Minus the clear part. I did that on purpose… :)



Anyway.  I need to clear out my full memory card and charge up the battery…

I adore my camera. That’s all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Last Sunday. Also known as Father’s Day.

We wanted a “papa and his daughters and granddaughters” picture… But I didn’t like my face in them, so I left it with Rache and her kids. :)



Jacob and Liz—One year anniversary!


Adorable. :)




Too bad the girls wouldn’t look the right direction…



“Hey Jacob, take a picture of us with Clark!” This is about as far as we got.


But for some reason he managed to be in most the ones of “Rachel and I”… ;)



Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Shot

I have about, oh, a couple thousand pictures on my facebook. But, since that is clearly not quite enough, I’ll have to post a few more of my favorites here. That way it’s more optional, so they aren’t constantly showing up on your homepage. A couple of them look better full size, so you can click on them and they’ll open up in a different tab, I believe.

Went hiking when I had the kids overnight a few weeks ago. It rained. Actually, it downright poured on us. Gabriel was mostly a good sport, and Abigail was perfectly content, because she was riding in a hiking backpack… That girl is no lightweight. My back still hurts from that. Couple of my favorite pictures:




Then, since I take the scenic route whenever possible, I ran across this eagle. Had to slam on the brakes and grab my camera, and this is all I ended up with. Next time I will get the better shot!


Kitchen floor! New one, finally. We started tearing up the hideous linoleum a while ago, and underneath was this funny particle board stuff. My mom needed a new floor for a long time.

Before shot:








And a few shots that I got out and about on drives….



This one is actually a view from our deck:


Looked up and saw this:


He had a few friends, too.


And finally, here are some of my favorites from the conference that I didn’t put on facebook.






And that’s it for now.

It’s that moment when I walk out to my dad’s office, enter calmly, then burst out with “Why is it that all the people I connect with have been DEAD for 400 years!???” The fact that all he does is look at me and quietly take off his glasses, waiting for the rest of the storm to hit, is a testament to his vast patience and experience with dramatic daughters. When I finish talking, he says, “You must have been reading the Puritans.” He’s right. We have noticed that it’s like a different world when you open something by Owen, Manton, Brooks, or Swinnock. It’s this lovely place where they understood the gospel, had their priorities straight, and knew what it meant to stand firm for an undiluted preaching of the truth, never allowing the world a foothold, never compromising with iniquity, and most importantly, were working to live holy lives to the glory of God. Heaven on Earth, by Thomas Brooks, is encouraging as he speaks about assurance of salvation, and his other works are comforting when he addresses affliction. Jonathan Edwards doses out conviction by the bucketful, and spurs you on in your prayer life in sermons like “Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer,” and “The Most High: A prayer-hearing God.” Manton’s “Sermon’s on Hebrews 11” are chalk-full of clear definitions, and unbelievably helpful in showing how faith and hope work together in your Christian walk. When I have spent some time in these books, I am disappointed to close them and return to my day to day life, where the vast majority of people simply do not get it. The great thing is, those men listed above (And I didn’t even tap half the list of books I am in the middle of), have finished the race. They stayed strong until the end, and that is part of what makes their writing so good. They didn’t stop halfway through and give up. They didn’t take the last part of their life over to apostasy and heresy. I meet people all the time who have no idea what a pastor really does. I even know people who think that being a pastor means you relax all week, then jump up on Sunday and share some thoughts. Embarrassingly enough, in the evangelical world (and admittedly, saying “evangelical” can encompass a wide range of people), there is a small percentage who truly understand what kind of labour and work it is to stay faithful, day in and day out, spurning all distractions and shaking off discouragement, to do the preaching that God has called them to do.

And that is one of the reasons why going to the conference this weekend was so great. To be able to sit and listen to men who have given their lives to ministry encouraging Christians and pastors to stay faithful was wonderful. These men understand. They get it. They know the struggles of serving, of dealing with people, of working day in and day out, in season and out of season, to preach the undiluted truth. They are in the trenches of ministry, fighting constantly against the devil to lead the people in their church to a high call of Godliness and holiness.

The last month has been rough. I’ve been sick on and off, and that means that sleep has not been my friend. I’m just so tired. In my case, tired means I can get discouraged and cynical. (And when I say “can”, what I mean is “I have definitely been edging toward depressed, discouraged, cynical, and grumpy.”) Being in the sessions we sat through helped with some of that. It was a good reminder that the five or six churches I like are not the last churches on earth working for the truth. In addition to that, with a group that size, there is a high concentration of Christians in one place. Generally you end up chatting with random people at conferences, and it’s a great feeling when one of the people you talk to says something specific that you have thought a hundred times. That happened a couple times this weekend. A few different people I spoke to said things that just brought a smile to my face. It’s amazing that in one or two sentences, they can confirm that they are on the same track as you, fighting the same battles, and understand all the same struggles. When you meet someone you connect with at a fundamental level, it’s a rare joy. It is worth hanging on to people like that. It’s encouraging, and suddenly the dead people in the books I read aren’t the only ones who I connect with. Whoa, there are still people in the world who understand this Christian life! There are still people who are hungering after the truth and love to hear the doctrines of grace preached! And even better, they are right here in this room. It’s beautiful. Almost every song we sang, I stayed silent for one verse, just to listen. Hearing thousands of voices singing the words to Holy, Holy, Holy, is indescribable. For a few moments, there is a glorious unity, a joining of minds and hearts in worship that is very difficult to attain. Most of all, you know that in that room, God is being glorified, by thousands at once. We are singing to the same righteous One, the same King, the same Sovereign.

And that is reason 214 to go to conferences. You learn so much. The sessions are packed with good stuff, full of teaching and preaching that you could listen to for hours.

I came back with a million thoughts running through my head. More than a million, actually. I was disappointed that Phil Johnson couldn’t preach on Sunday, but my dad’s message was on the sovereignty of God, and it was precisely what I needed to hear. My God ordains all things, and He will ultimately be glorified. That is such an encouragement! Whatever is happening in our lives, whatever is going on in the world, in the end we are only here for a few years. “The years of our life are seventy, or by reason of strength eighty, yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.” And when it’s over? “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.”

Priorities are straight. Lovely feeling, that.

Now, it’s time for me to get away from my poorly organized writing, and finish my hazelnut-englishtoffee-caramel latte. Hopefully this afternoon I’ll get to spend some time out back with the punching bag. Such a good workout. But first I’m leaving you with an excerpt I enjoyed, even thought it only goes with part of my post.

“Learn then this basic truth, that the Creator is absolute Sovereign, executing His own will, performing His own pleasure, and considering naught but His own glory. “The Lord hath made all things for Himself” (Prov. 16:4). And had He not a perfect right to? Since God is God, who dare challenge His prerogative? To murmur against Him is rank rebellion. To question His ways is to impugn His wisdom. To criticise Him is sin of the deepest dye. Have we forgotten who He is? behold, “All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God?” (Isa. 40:17, 18)… If the Lord Jesus possesses all power in Heaven and earth then none can successfully resist His will.” (The Sovereignty of God, by A.W. Pink)

Saturday, June 09, 2012


Alrighty! My blog still exists! I think it was starting to feel grossly neglected. At the very least, I had begun to feel awfully negligent… Now that I am “back” (and yes, I highly enjoyed my week-away-from-the-internet), I am throwing out all the random updates.

Life: Good. Up and down.

Job: Great. Love it most days. There is an occasional moment when I nearly panic because some man wants two different flavored smoothies, three lattes (one nonfat, one with coconut milk, one regular milk. One decaf, two regular. One with one pump of vanilla, one with whip, straws, and double cupped.), and who knows what else-- then I spill one. The whole thing… ALL over me. Win. Did I mention that the lady at the other window wants four drinks as well? Just me here, folks. 

People who don’t have a bartender to tell their troubles to apparently count on their barista as a backup. No, sir, I don’t want to know, again, what your monthly income is, and that’s why you aren’t getting a frappuccino. No, ma’am, I didn’t need to know all that about your soon-to-be-ex-husband. (He seemed rather nice to me… ) Sir, why aren’t you wearing a shirt?

I have saved approximately a million dollars on Starbucks, though! 

California was a fun whirlwind. I used a terrible camera to take horrid pictures, then promptly put them all online afterward. I flew down, then met up with a friend to drive back up, bringing back all her college stuff. Someday, I will do that trip again… WITH the D7000. Oh, did I not mention that yet? I got it! A step up from the D90 I always wanted, so far I adore my new Nikon toy.

And that brings me to…

The Ligonier West Coast Conference, 2012!

I just got back from that. A plethora of excellent speakers, half of our church, 3,000 other people, couple new friends, and lots of trips for coffee made it an absolutely phenomenal weekend. And yup, I was the annoying girl with that big necklace who always had her camera. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one… So sorry for any of you that happened to be within range of my moderate zoom lens. Keep your eye out and I’m sure you’ll see a picture of you popping up somewhere. Possibly later on the blog.

Sincere apologies for the brevity and lack of substance of this post: I have some excellent excerpts and fun pictures for the next few. At the moment, my creativity is shot, and my brain is even worse, so I’ll stop before I do permanent damage…