"bells on bobtail ring" definitely confusing

Multiple people found our blog from google searches over the past week (a noticeable increase), and I wanted to see why the sudden rise in hits from google....The searches all centered around the phrase "Bells on bobtail ring".

If you search the phrase below, our blog is the #1 entry returned. I guess this provides a little vindication to my sister-in-law. She's not the only person confused by this phrase.

what does "Bells on bobtails ring" mean

Reflections: Saddam Hussein's Death

Reflecting on the death of Saddam Hussein, a multitude of questions come to mind related to Saddam before and after death. What is he thinking now? Did he have regrets and fear as he died (probably)? Is judgement an actual event before the throne of God or was he cast directly into hell? Did he realize he was wrong in worshipping allah 1 second after death or were there a few moments before that occurred. The details of life after death are a mystery to us in this world.

As creatures of God, we have eternity in our hearts, and for this reason, the extremely publicized death of an outspoken enemy of the God of scripture causes me to think about God and what death is really like. I know Christians go immediately to the presence of God upon death (no purgatory, holding area, or time of unconscious sleep), but what exactly does that look
like. The immediacy of God's actions upon His enemies is true as well. As we watched Fox News last night moments before Saddam's death I had conflicting feelings and thoughts.

I felt relief that many people would no longer worry that this man would kill them. Saddam, as an enemy of God, deserves his eternal fate, but I was reminded last night that were it not for God's grace, I would be a recipient of the same eternal wrath of God. At about 8:30 (central) last night, it struck me that Saddam was moments from knowing beyond a doubt that God
truly revealed Himself through the Bible and not through the koran or mohamed. Saddam sought his own glory throughout his life, and he has now seen the severe folly of this, but if my pastor's explanation of Mt 25:30 is correct, Saddam is probably weeping and gnashing his teeth in defiance of God even now as he receives the wrath of God.

We have a sickness in our society. We often look upon other religions (ex. Jewish, Muslim, etc.) simply as other ways of believing, but the reality is that God hates these religions. As I read through the book of Kings in the Bible, I am reminded of God's hatred for religion that calls people away from worshipping Him as the true God. The death of an outspoken
enemy of God has drawn my mind to God's power and glory. It reminds me that God is to be feared and revered. My joy increases as I realize I will not receive the same punishment that Saddam is now experiencing and will experience eternally.

If you haven't, take time to reflect on the final moments of Saddam's life as he waited to be hanged, stop a moment today and think about what waited for him upon his death. Realize you will receive the same eternal punishment this evil murderer is receiving unless Christ took your punishment upon Himself. Oh sinner, will you not repent and believe today. When will
death come our way? Saddam, as the leader of a nation, would have answered that question quite differently a few short years ago. As sinners in the hands of an angry God, our only hope is in satisfying that anger through the death of Christ.


"Bells on bobtail ring"

This is a discussion from dinner tonight at the Catt house (Peggy's family):

Emma (Peggy's 15 yr. old sister): "In Jingle Bells, what does it mean when it says bells on bobtails ring?"

Sarah (Peggy's 25 yr. old sister): "BOB's TAIL! The horses name is Bob and the bells are on his tail."

The funniest part about this is that Sarah was dead serious and the pause of silence afterward made it a golden moment. After a short discussion, Jordan (the Catt mom) came to the rescue and explained that a bobtail is a "bobbed" tail which is a tail that has been cut short.


Happy Birthday Kate!


It’s your 2nd birthday today and I am amazed by you! You are beautiful and extremely smart. You talk all the time, you sing songs that I don’t even know, and you are even potty trained (of course we haven’t tried at night yet!). I am extremely proud to call you my daughter and look with anticipation to all the excitement you will bring our family in the future.
Scripture says children are a blessing from the Lord. This is true for many reasons. Not only do you bring joy to each day for us, but the Lord uses you to sanctify us, challenge us, and draw us to Himself. We are proud to see you advancing mentally and physically, but our deepest desire is to see you transformed spiritually. Each night before bed, we say, “Let’s pray” to you and you always get on your knees with eagerness. Unfortunately at this point, I think it is simply a stall tactic so you do not have to go to sleep. We will continue to pray with you and teach you catechism questions hoping the Lord will use these things to draw you to repentance, and salvation in Him.
Claire was baptized this month, and while in front of the church, Sam (your cousin) was being baptized first, and you said, “What about Claire!” Later that week, you pushed Claire over again (after we told you not too), and I had to spank you. You quickly realized that spankings hurt much more when you don’t have pants covering your legs! I hear people often speak of the “terrible twos”, but you are so obedient that I cannot see how those “terrible” days will come. You listen to everything we say and we rarely need to tell you to do something twice and we correct you with spankings even less often (your mom and I are both glad for that).
As we’ve led up to your birthday, we continue to ask what you want for your birthday, and your continued response is “Cupcakes!” You even asked God for them a couple of times. Your party is tomorrow (December 23), and your mom made you these really cool snowman cupcakes that took nearly 3 hours to make 19 of them! You are truly cherished.

We Love you!



Claire-8 months old-12-19-06

My dear Claire,
Today you are 8 months old! This has been such a busy month for you! You were baptized this month and it was so wonderful. Your father and I are so thankful for you and it was great that you and your cousin Sam could be baptized together. Also, you started crawling this month which has made things harder for me! Now I'm chasing Kate and YOU around! It has been so much fun. You also can pull up so we've had to lower your crib mattress.
You also can do a "trick." When I say "pat, pat, pat", you'll pat whoever is holding you. You also are learning to wave. I'll tell you to wave and sometimes you'll raise both of your hands which is funny. Every once in a while you'll wave your hands. You are such a happy little girl and you love to play.
This month you got your first ear infection which we are still battling. It's always hard to know when to take a baby to the doctor to get checked out. I know that something’s wrong with you when you wake up in the night or don't take a good nap.
You are also eating very little baby food now. You've almost totally made the switch to "real food." I still use it some now when it's easier. You are a great eater and love food! I don’t blame you because anything’s better than baby food! I still nurse you 5 times a day but this will probably be the last month. Your father and I are going out of town in February to celebrate our 5th anniversary which was this past August so I’ll need to be finished by then.

I can’t wait for each new month with you and I am so thankful for you.
I love you baby girl…..



Christmas Card

We didn't send out a Christmas card this year
for fear it might end up like this one!!


Claire Elizabeth's Baptism

Claire Elizabeth was baptized today. It was wonderful...right in the middle of Advent. She was baptized at the same time as her cousin (Rick's sister's son) Sam.
Sam was baptized first and Kate was saying "Sam's getting baptized!" and "What about Claire??"
After the covenant vows, the father names the child and gives a blessing. Here's how it went:

Pastor: Father, name your child.
Rick: Claire Elizabeth.

May God make you wise among your peers. May He give you eyes to see His truth and a heart of repentance and faithfulness persevering in His ways throughout your life.
Your mother and I love you and our hope is that you will be a blameless and innocent child of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as light in the world, holding fast to the word of life. (Phil 2:15)
May you regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3:15)


Peggy's Source of Pride

When Peggy was pregnant with Kate, she spoke often of this one "little" arm hair that was extremely long. She joked (more than once) that we should call the guinness book of world records.

Well, it looks like she was right, and if we had called, the article below might have been about her!

Man seeks record for arm hair length


Kate-23 months old-11-22-06

My dear Kate,

Wow! I can’t believe you are almost 2 years old! You’ve been sick a lot this month which has been hard. We keep passing stuff back and forth. You are such a sweet girl and you love to sing and to color. You can sing your “ABCs” now except you leave out T-U-V. You LOVE to play with makeup!! You still sleep from 7pm-7am and take one nap from 1pm-3:30 or 4pm. You are such a great big sister to little Claire and the 2 of you are interacting more and more now that she can do more things. Sometimes you try and share a toy with her but you take it right back. It’s hard to learn to share!
You love to pray each night and you say you need to “get on your knees.” Sometimes I think it’s a stall tactic not to go to bed but you do like to pray and thank God for everybody. It’s so sweet and I love to hear you say “I love you God…I love you Jesus.” How I pray that you will always say so.
I’m in a bible study each week and you get a little lesson while I’m in class. You learn bible stories, sing songs and have a memory verse. Right now you know, “Do not be afraid…your prayers have been heard.” Luke 1:13 It’s sung to a little tune which is helpful. You say “do not be afraid…your CARES have been heard.” It’s really neat though because I’ve been able to use it with you lately because sometimes you are scared of different things and I’ll say your verse to you. What a great verse to know and how great to learn it so young.
We have an exciting month coming up! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we also have your birthday party! I am thankful for you Kate and I do love you.

I love you now and always,

Kate's ABCs


Claire-7 months old-11-19-06

My dear Claire,

Today you are 7 months old! This month I took a picture of you and me together. I always think it is fun to look back at pictures of my mom when I was a baby and so maybe you’ll feel the same way when you see us together.
You sleep from 7pm to 7am and take 2 naps during the day; one from 8:30-10:30am and one from 1-4pm. Your black hair is getting a little lighter now and turning dark brown. Your eyes are still blue so I’m thinking they will stay that color now. Also, some big news…You cut your first tooth this week! I’m still nursing you 5 times a day and you eat baby food for breakfast and dinner. I am going to start feeding you lunch this month too. Also, I think I’m going to stop feeding you baby food in the next month or 2 as well. One of the good things about being the second child is that I’m a lot more laid back and that baby food is gross so you’re going to get regular food! You’ve already had some and you do great with it.
You say “rah rah rah” all the time and you make this clicking noise too which is funny. A few days ago you started squealing which is extremely loud! You haven’t started to crawl yet but you do get into the crawling position and lunge forward. I’m sure by my next letter, I’ll be chasing you around everywhere.
You are very tough because Kate likes to push you over (I think I’ve finally stopped that), try to pick you up by your neck, and sometimes when you get into a crawling position, she’ll get on your back and say “Giddy up!” You never really care what she tries to do to you. She just thinks you are interesting and likes to figure you out. You girls love each other already though and sometimes I’ll find the 2 of you just laughing about nothing.
You are a joy to me and I am thankful for you. I pray that you will learn to be thankful for Christ and for all that He has done for us and given us. As much as I love you my baby girl (words cannot express), Christ has died for you and loves you with a perfect love that is far greater. I pray that you will know this and be thankful for this your entire life.
Until next month…I love you now and then,


1-2-3 Push....

Now that Claire can sit up by herself, Kate thinks it's hilarious to push her over. Here's what happened one day last week.

Kate sees Claire sitting and playing with a toy and immediately pushes her over and starts laughing.

I immediately look at Kate and tell her, "Kate, if you push Claire over again, I am going to have to spank you."

Kate looks at me....looks at Claire, raises her shoulders, braces herself, looks back and me one last time, closes her eyes and pushes Claire over.

Did I spank her?.....Yes, I had to.
Did I laugh later?.....I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't think it was funny!!!


Nov 2006 Elections

I got this in an email from the "Traditional Values Coalition". It is a reminder that God's graciousness still shines on our country.

America is Great
After-Thoughts about the Election

By Rev. Sheldon

“This election has caused me to marvel at our Constitution and our way of government. We have just been through a revolution and yet there was no bloodshed. Some may have been mad, cried, been depressed, got drunk, etc. but no one was killed.

“We were in the Ivory Coast earlier this year. They are having a revolution over who is going to be in the leadership of that country. Some were not happy with the results of a majority vote so they caused bloodshed, forced people out of their homes, in some places it is unsafe to travel, in some places thugs have taken control, the countryside savaged, people have had their businesses stolen and their money confiscated.

“History is replete with examples of atrocities which occurred over the change of leadership such as following the French Revolution many people including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded and even in England these things occurred until, under the influence of the evangelist Charles Wesley, they had what was called “a bloodless revolution” because the gospel took hold causing the leadership to change peacefully.

“Tuesday our Congressional leadership changed, but our lives and our government are still intact.”


Mo Candy

I took the girls trick or treating tonight by myself. Rick had 2 seminary classes and insisted that you can't skip seminary for Halloween :) I carried Claire in one of those baby carriers that you wear and just held Kate's hand. It took us 45 min to go to 7 houses. At first she didn't really understand why she was wearing a "cos to men" (costume) but when I told her she'd be getting some candy, she said "that sounds fun to me!" so off we went. At the second house we came to, she got a piece of candy and I told her to put it in her bucket. She said, "no, no...I put it in my mouth."....and she did. Well, after 45 mins, 7 houses and one burned hand from a pumpkin candle, I thought it was time to go home. We had the best time...and Rick even called between his classes to see how we did. (OH...and on a related Halloween note, Rick told me he won a contest at work today by stuffing 94 candy corns into his mouth in a minute!!!)


Real Beauty?

We've all heard about the work that goes into making the people on TV beautiful, and this short video shows the process. It's really interesting to watch.

Click Here to see the video


Kate-18 months old-10-22-06

Dear little Kate,

Today you are 22 months old! Right now I am watching you dance around the room. It is so funny and a wonderful thing to watch. There are few things in life more fun than watching that. You are such a good talker! You speak in sentences all the time now so we have some funny conversations. You’re new favorite sentence is “I think so.” I’ll ask if you want to go somewhere and you say “I think so.” You are also picking up on things and understand a lot more than we think sometimes. Your father was explaining to you how to paint and the next day, I turned my back for 30 seconds (I wonder how many more stories will start with that…) and I heard “helping daddy paint!” I turned around and you had taken the lid off of the paint can and had dipped 2 paint brushes in the paint can and there was paint on the kitchen table and on the floor! I wish I had taken a picture but at the time, I was in a panic as to what to do! One day this week, I was having “one of those days” and was pretty tired. You had gotten into the paint, fallen off of a chair, Claire was screaming because she was hungry….but then out of no where, you looked at me and said “I love Jesus.” Sweet, sweet Kate…I love Jesus too. Right now I think your favorite thing to do is to go get candy at Boo’s house. You are always asking to do that. You love your aunt Sarah and she loves you. She helps me out a lot and I hope that you and Claire will be as kind to each other and she is to me.
This month we went to the zoo, the pumpkin patch and the playground (a LOT.) At the playground, you are becoming bolder and you like to try hard things like climbing up ladders and once you do it you’ll say “all by myself” or “I’m so proud of you.” You are also becoming more scared of some things like the bathtub, riding lawnmowers and noises you’ve never heard, so we’ll see what happens with that. I will write to you again next month but know now I love you and I am thankful for you.

I love you more than you know,


Claire-6 months old-10-19-06

My dear Claire,

Today you are 6 months old! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. You are such a sweet little baby. You are eating and sleeping great. You sleep from 7pm-7am and I am still nursing 5 times a day and you eat baby food twice a day. You can sit all by yourself now. The longest you’ve gone has been around 30 min. I’ll put some little toys in front of you and you’ll pick them up and play with them (by playing with them I mean you’ll chew on them!) Also, you’ll stop chewing on your toys to look and see what Kate’s doing which is sweet. You also grab everything so I can’t do anything holding you without you trying to take something from me!
With Kate, I used to always wonder and anticipate when she would reach the next “milestone.” When would she sit-up, crawl, walk, talk, etc. Not because I didn’t like the particular stage she was in but I guess just out of excitement to see her grow and learn.
It’s a little different though with you. I know how fast you will grow and how this time next year, you’ll be a little girl walking around everywhere and saying little words. So this time, I really do try and enjoy everything and not wonder what’s coming next. I just want to hold you and see you smile.
I pray that the Lord will give you a little girl; (maybe you can read these letters to correspond with her age) then you will know how I feel about you. I don’t think, well, I know that there are no words to describe my love for you. They do not exist. I cannot explain the feeling that comes over me when I look at you and when I hold you. To see that smiling face (with no teeth)…there is something physically that happens to me. I can’t explain it but that’s why I hope you will have a little girl of your own some day so that you will know what I feel for you. The bible says “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:32) Loving you and knowing the depth of the love that a parent has for a child, helps me wonder at my Savior even more.
My mother says I will love you more and more and that this moment is not even close to the peek of my love for you. That must mean that there will never be words that I could find to express my love for you.
I love you and Happy 6 months…..
Love now and always,


II Timothy 3:1-9

II Timothy 3:1-9 was read before our seminary class started the other night. I could not help but notice how well it describes the society we live in and the temptations with which I struggle (lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, proud, etc.). These things do not please God. These are described as "time of difficulty". Let us all hear and learn rather than be "always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth".

II Timothy 3
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.


Here's what happened today:

Here's the setup: Rick brought home a little bag that he had received from work and gave it to Kate (she loves purses.)

Rick: Kate! Here's a new purse for you!
Kate: (very excited...looking at the bag)
Me: Kate...what do you say?
Kate: (looking in the bag then up at Rick)....MONEY????

Me: (Placing a box of rice on what I thought was the counter but was apparently really not the counter....the rice falls all over the floor.)
Kate: Mommy's making a mess!!

Kate: (Hysterically laughing while pushing Claire's nose)
Me: Kate...what are you doing???
Kate: (Hysterically laughing) LAUGHING!!!!

Kate: (while praying with Rick) Thank you for Mommy.

I didn't really say much about Claire. She got her nose pushed by Kate and snorted greens beans up her nose....hmmm.....


Interesting illusion

This is weird. It's a cutout dragon statue that appears to follow you around the room with its head, but it does not move.


Can you do this?

Kate-21 months old-9-22-06

My dear Kate,

Today you are 21 months old! I can’t believe you are almost 2! You are so much fun! You love to dance and you talk all the time! Your favorite sentence right now is “That sounds good.” Anything I say to you, you’ll respond with, “that sounds good.” You also say “Mommy/Daddy/Claire’s coming too.” So wherever we go, you’ll say, “Mommy’s coming too?” We basically don’t have a quiet moment around here. You are always saying something.
You are still screaming every time I leave you at the church nursery but you always have a great time and will yell “BYE FRIENDS!” whenever I come to pick you up. You take a nap in the afternoon from 1pm until between 3pm and 4pm and you sleep from 7pm-7am. You are a good helper and will help me “pick up” all of your toys each day. You love Pop-Tarts and whenever I go and get you up from your nap, you ask for a Pop-Tart and some water!
You close your eyes (at least for a few seconds J) when we pray now and say “AMEN” at the end. We were all praying at church Wednesday night before dinner (about 300 people were there) and you started off holding our hands, quiet, with your eyes closed and then all of a sudden we heard “HEY SISSY!” and you started talking to Claire.
One day you’ll probably feel like I do that you just have a hard time staying on top of the ironing and keeping the house perfect. My mom tells me that’s normal. I have 2 sweet little girls to take care of and sometimes after diapers, feedings, baths, and playing, things like ironing get put on hold. I do straighten up each day though before your father gets home (you help) so he can come home to a straight house. I think that’s important. We have a couple of big toy buckets that you can put your toys in so that way they are all together and can easily be pulled out or put up. I try to do different chores on different days so it’s just a few things to do each day. I’m going to start doing that with the laundry too. I just seem to get a pile of ironing otherwise. One month, I’ll share with you what my schedule is. I asked my mom and she helped me out a lot with some good ideas that I’ll share with you. I think it’s important for mom’s to teach their daughters all sorts of things and I’ll do some of that in my letters to you.
The weather is getting so nice now so I can’t wait for this month because we’ll be able to go to the park and zoo!

I love you now and always,


3D Chalk Drawing - this is cool

In a world where we question everything, I wonder if this real, but it sure looks real, and it is amazing!

I wonder how long it takes to create one of these?

Amazing 3D Sidewalk Chalk Drawings


Claire-5 months old-6-19-06

My dear Claire Elizabeth,

Today you are 5 months old! I can’t believe how fast the time is going by. Everyday with you is a gift and a blessing. I asked my mother all kinds of questions when Kate was born about when she would do certain things so I’m going to try and tell you each month about the new things you are doing so you’ll know when you have your children. This month I have started carrying you on my hip (I know that sounds funny but I think it’s a pretty big deal!) Also, you can “tripod” sit on your own now for a few minutes at a time. You are eating some baby food now in addition to your cereal and you really like it! You can still only roll over from your tummy to your back (and you have started doing this early in the morning which is waking you up and well as me and your father…see your Bible verse for this month!) We’ve had to get up the past few mornings and go roll you back over so we can all go back to sleep so I’ve been practicing with you to teach you to roll the other way! You sleep straight from 7pm to 7am (except when you roll over at 5am) and take 2 naps during the day. Your naps are normally from 8am-10am and then from 1pm-4pm. I normally have to wake you up from both naps because I want to make sure you’ll sleep well at night. You still nurse 5 times a day and eat 2 “meals.” You’ll eat cereal at breakfast and then cereal plus a fruit or vegetable at night. Kate is becoming attached to you now and every time we go anywhere (out of the house or even in the house to another room) she’ll say “Claire’s coming too.” You are pretty attached to me this month and seem to want me to hold you all the time. Our days are fun and you are a joy. I love your big smiles and the little baby noises you make.
I love you now at 5 months old and I’ll love you always.


Psalm 57:8
Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre!I will awake the dawn!

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


Joel Osteen teaches a false gospel

This article regarding Joel Osteen's church is disturbing. Many are able to see Joel's gospel as false teaching, but there are also many believers in the church deceived and unable to see the work of Satan in Osteen's teaching.

Reading scripture reveals God's purpose in creating man. We were created to glorify God. Osteen's message is glorifying to man. I read an article last year that quoted Osteen as saying his church does not talk about sin becaue it is a downer. Well, to all those blinded to the false teaching coming from Joel, please remember that not talking about sin will do nothing but fail to convict the sinner. Without conviction, repentance does not come. Why would anyone look to Christ to take punishment for the sin they cannot see?

This is not the Gospel of God. Please do not be deceived!


A story about a dog, a little girl, and her mom

A few times a week (during a good week) I take Lucy (our dog) on a run (with a good bit of walking). I also take Kate our 20 month old daughter in the stoller on these treks. I usually let Lucy run free off the leash because she's good at staying close. Every once in a while she'll get a little to far away and I'll give the "Lucy, Come!" directive.

Well, as would be expected, Kate has picked up on this and now calls "Come!" quite often as we walk. Unfortunately, Lucy the dog does not understand Kate's version of english.

The humorous twist to this story happened this afternoon at the end of Kate's nap. Kate as usual calls "Mommy!" There is a short pause and another call, "Mommy, Mommy!"

Before Peggy had time to go into Kate's room, we finally heard, "Mommy COME!..COME!"


Football vs. Worship (War Eagle!)

We have many gods seeking our devotion in our country. The big elephant in congregations in the south is football. Most would admit that our devotion to football may be a "little unhealthy", but we either don't talk about it or we jokingly "admit" our "problem".

With college football season beginning this past weekend both Alabama and Auburn played at home as usual. Auburn was on ESPN2 so the game was at 6:45 pm. I wonder if people going to these games on a regular basis are ever concerned with how attending the game will affect their worship. I would assume that for most people, attending a game starting at 6:45 pm that is 2 1/2 hours from home usually translates into staying home from worship the next morning.

I imagine this happens quite often in the south (and maybe in other parts of the country). I don't attend very many football games so it is easy for me to be critical of this lifestyle, but then again I must question my own thoughts from yesterday evening....

I watched Auburn defeat Washington State (War Eagle!), but then found UAB in a close game against Oklahoma after the AU game was over. Watching the UAB game put me in bed about 30 - 40 minutes later than usual, but never once did I question "How will this affect my worship of our Creator God tomorrow." I was exhausted this morning. Granted our 20 month old waking up at 2am did not help, but I must wonder what an extra 40 minutes of sleep might have accomplished. I do not want to condone that football is evil, but rather want to challenge myself and others to consider the spiritual condequences of our decisions.

May God put this question on my mind regularly. Not just in regards to football, but about all of life.


Thoughts on Corporate worship

Pastor Mark Balthrop has a post he titled "Outreach vs. Worship". It is a good post, and I'd like to post some thoughts on the subject here.

Indeed it is disheartening to see the church in America miss the priority of worship in scripture. When I first began to see things from a reformed perspective, I found that the purpose of man, according to the shorter catechism, is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I wasn't sure where that came from, but it was the first time I had heard something concrete regarding man's purpose. At that point I began noticing and often underlining the numerous times in scripture that God says He is doing something to make His name known. I then found Ephesians 1 where God says 3 times that the purpose for Christ's death and resurrection, our adoption, and our salvation is to praise His glorious grace.

It has become very clear that God desires to be worshipped. Take this in light of Romans 1 where Paul tells us that the problem with mankind is that we refuse to worship God as creator and trade the truth for a lie. Paul says we worship the creature, and this is the underlying issue of sin. The Holy Spirit's regeneration removes the hunger to deny our knowledge of God and to not worship Him as He deserves to be worshipped.

With all this being said, the main movement in America seems to be focused on making people turn their lives over to Jesus Christ, but the full message isn't articulated. Isn't faith in Christ an outworking of God's grace in our lives. We are saved by faith alone and even faith is a gift. God predestines, calls, justifies, adopts, sanctifies, and glorifies. The regenerated heart is looking to worship and rich public worship overflows into a lifestyle of worship where God is all in all and people see this in the regenerated believer.

Yes, the gospel call to repent is needed, but the message must be purely one that calls us to repent of our denial of God as Lord and creator. We should be called to turn to God trusting that our very being is in His control. We must be called to repent of our sin and become active worshippers of God. Corporate worship encourages us and spiritually moves us to be Holy and Blameless, but the church today tries to make Holy and Blameless evangelists without emphasizing the importance of corporate worship.

Evangelism is an outflowing of a heart that truly recognizes God's power, holiness, and grace. Evangelism is praise of God in that we pass on the good news of God's mercy. The message of grace and mercy flows out in our thoughts, actions, and conversations when we truly believe the word of God and experience God's renewal regularly. This renewal comes through interaction with God through prayer, sacraments, and the word read and preached. So, I agree that corporate worship is extremely important in the life of the believer.


Kate-20 months old-8-22-06

My dear Kate,

Today you are 20 months old. I thought I’d run out of things to say to you but there is so much to write. You are starting to speak a few sentences which is really cute. You say “Where’s the other ____(bear, cup, shoe, etc)” all the time. You can say “I don’t know”, “Claire’s hungry” (which you say every time she cries) and many others. It’s amazing to watch you learn and grow. You love when I scratch your back and you’ll say more scratch “mo skatch.” If I’m only using 1 hand you’ll always look at me and say, “2 hands.”
Your favorite thing to do this month has been to go swimming “swimmy” at aunt Sarah’s condo. You can count to 4 (well almost). You’ll say 1, 2, 3, 4 SHUT THE DOOR!! I was watching the news one day this month and you said “no news” and I said that I wanted to watch the news for just a few minutes and you looked at me and said “2 minutes.” You sleep with your 2 little blankets that you just love! You also rotate between sleeping with either 3 bears or 3 bunnies. I don’t know why you like to have SO much with you.
Today you have 2 ear infections (again.) You’ve had a lot of these and always seem to get them in both ears at the same time! You got that from your father I’m sure because I’ve never had an ear infection and he had them growing up.
Claire can hold your thumb now so you love to hold hands with her.
You’ve really started to follow me around and always want to be right with me doing whatever I do. It’s very sweet and I really enjoy this time with you because I know it will go by too soon. Please know when you are reading this that I love you. You are a joy and a delight. Besides your father, I love you and your sister more than anyone else.

I love you and I’m thankful for you,

Here is the verse your father picked out for you this month.
Deut 6:4-6
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your
God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.”


Claire-4 months old-8-19-06

My dear Claire Elizabeth,

Today you are 4 months old! You have changed and grown a lot this month!
You’ve started to suck your thumb, you grab your feet, you are laughing, eating cereal and no longer like to be held like a baby (which is a little sad)…you like to sit up on my lap (with my help of course!) Your daddy always comments how much your hair is falling out and that you are paying attention to things around you more. I guess you are just interacting with the world which is fun to see. Kate keeps getting you sick but then you’ll turn around and get her sick (which isn’t a fun cycle.) You went swimming for the first time this month at aunt Sarah’s condo which was really fun! EVERYONE we meet, says you look just like Kate but see your uniqueness.
It really is amazing how quickly you grow and change. I always like to think of what you learn about God from having children and this month I really thought about how creative and powerful He is. He is the one who keeps you alive each day. He has given you your personality and your looks. He is the one who enables you to grow and learn new things. It’s really amazing to watch. It’s also a glimpse for me as to how He loves me. I am your mother and of course I will always take care of you and feed you and give you everything you need. How much more will God take care of us as He is the one who is the giver of all things? Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever and I do think that you help me do that.
I will always love you-

PS. Here is the verse that your father has picked out for you for this month:

Gen 1:27-28a & 31b
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them…… And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”


5 Things about Rick on our 5 Year Anniversary

Today, August 18, is our 5 Year Wedding Anniversary!
To celebrate, here are 5 things I love about Rick:

1. He gets up an hour before anyone else to pray and read the Bible.
2. He has integrity and does what he says he will do.
3. He is very smart and fun to talk to.
4. He works hard at whatever he is doing.
5. He is a great father and loves his little girls. He values our family and our time together.


Practicing the Catechism

As we continue to work with Kate to teach her the truth of scripture, we had this conversation tonight:

Me: Kate, who made you?

Kate: God

Me: What else did God make?

Kate: All things

Me: Who made all things?

Kate: Daddy

Me: No. Who made all things?

Kate: Mommy


Google updates tools (Picasa Web and Blogger)

Looks like blogger is about to get more functionality (read about it). It's about time. The functionality provided by blogger is very limited and there are basic blogging features that are very useful that we've done without. Hopefully blogger will move out of beta soon.

Also, I've enjoyed Google's picasa photo organizer, and am glad to see it now has a web component. Not sure how long it's been around, but I found it yesterday. Click Here to see an album I uploaded from a recent trip we took to the beach.

So, yes, it's safe to say I'm on the google bandwagon. I like the way they put out updates and new tools randomly. Some people would like to see more organization from google, but I like new surprises. It's more fun this way!


God made all fangs!

Would Calvin approve of these answers?


Watch this Hilarious Video !

I haven't been a YouTuber prior to today, but I may spend more time on the site after seeing this video!


Try Gliffy for diagrams

At work we have a guy that draws screen mock-ups for us to view during design meetings. He'll design a new screen for our software, and provide us with a visual representation of what that will look like. He uses Microsoft Visio to create the drawings, and does an excellent job with them.

Today, he introduced me to gliffy. It's simply amazing. If you need to draw out a room arrangement, create flow charts, or basically create a graphical representation of any type of design, this is the place to go. It's free (supported by ads with a pay version available), and it works great. Its extremely easy to use. I was up and running in less than 5 minutes.

The coolest feature is that it automatically saves versions every few minutes. So, if you realize you need to go back to what the screen looked like 2 hours ago, and hitting undo 125 times isn't an option, simply click on one of the automatically saved versions and your back to where you need to be.

I love it. I don't work with this type software often, but occasionally I need it, and this will be the place for me from now on. You should try it out. I'm sure you'll love it to.

Oh, and it's definitely web 2.0 style. You can save it online (of course), and share it publicly on the web or privately with your friends and/or coworkers. You can imbed it into web pages, blogs, etc. seamlessly. It will take quite a bit to top this offering.



The Committee will Decide.....

Hmmm....another strike against public education.

My parents are trying to drop an AP European class that my 15 year old sister is currently enrolled in (for the upcoming school year) for a normal 10th great history class. Their repeated attempts at this have been denied. (Yes, they have told my parents she is not allowed to drop an AP class to take a normal state required class.) So today my parents went to see the Vice-Principal who also denied this request but here is where it gets really good. The Vice-Principal told my parents that she would send it to the committee to review. At that point the committee would decide "what's in the best interest of the child." Hmmm....my father at that point said, "I am the father. I decide what is in the best interest for my daughter."
The Vice-Principal kindly disagreed.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out...I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE: The committee decided after 2 seperate meetings that it was "in the best interest of the child" to let her drop the class....hmmmm....thanks.


7 years ago today...

7 years ago today, Peggy and I had our first date. I'd like to tell you a little about it....

...A few weeks prior to that 1st date I spoke the now "famous" (only because Peggy tells everyone about it) pickup line, "Do you have a screwdriver?" I was a computer technician and she was a nursing something or other. We were working summer jobs during college. We met, we talked, we ate lunch together. Well, truthfully, I did most of the eating and I probably talked with my mouth full of food. But somehow I managed to convince her to still go out with me.

Believe it or not, I do remember our first date. I wore light khaki pants and a shirt that I still own (I should probably throw it away now). We ate at the Outback Steakhouse and we had chicken. I don't remember what we had, but I always get chicken there for some reason.

Anyway, there is one humorous part of the evening. When I arrived at the Catt (Peggy's maiden name) house, I had been there maybe 5 minutes when I was quickly ushered into her parent's bedroom. I don't remember all the details of how they got me in there, but it had something to do with a computer question. At this point, I found myself talking to her 8 year old sister. It's amazing how little we had to talk about, but she sure tried to keep me busy.

Well, I later found that Peggy's old boyfriend had shown up to try and stop her from going out with me. If I remember correctly, she was embarrassed and afraid of running me off, but this only built up my pride. I'm thankful sanctification (and maturity!).

Well, needless to say, that first date went well, and this year we will celebrate 5 years of marriage on August 18. Our marriage has been one of many sources of great joy in our lives. Thanks be to God for His love, mercy, and grace!


Deep Thoughts by Peggy Hutchinson

Rick says I always write fun blogs and he writes serious ones so we are switching this time:

Rick is responsible for finding teachers for our Sunday School class. we have the typical quarter system which means we have to find 4 different teachers a year(sometimes more for various reasons.) It is often difficult to find teachers who want to teach anything but "application". It's interesting that people basically don't want to teach unless they can tell you what you should do in different areas of your life. what happened to teaching the word of God and letting the Holy Spirit convict and apply. I know the word of God transforms only when the truths are applied to our thoughts and actions, but my concern is that we are confused on how this occurs. I must say that we have had great practical teachers who do a great service to the Lord. It is just interesting that we appear to have many more of those type teachers in the church.Basically I don't really know where I am going with all this....but just thought it was interesting....there are a plethora of practical teachers and few doctrinal teachers...what does this say...what does this mean...is this growing trend...i don't know...but it does seem that fewer and fewer people are "doing" holiness so is this application teaching really working?I am thankful for teachers of the word of God. I am also thankful for men who will present God's word and allow the Holy Spirit to convict and apply for it is the Holy Spirit that renews our minds.



I used wufoo.com for the first time this week. It allows you to create a quick survey and post that survey on any website. I used it to allow people to signup for a team in Sunday school (the teams will organize various aspects of the class).

It worked really well and was simple. Go to http://hutchinsonfamily.googlepages.com/home to see it in action. The form is at the bottom, and it took me all of 5 minutes to setup. I can access the information as an excel export or in the wufoo gui.

But of course, as a tester, I must point out a bug I found. A phone number of 234-555-6789 displays as 234-55567-6789. I love web 2.0, but the "no testing" and "perpetual beta" aspects will start to drive me crazy at some point. Software must work to be useful. End of story.


Pictures from Hilton Head

I've been FIRED!

All of our faithful readers (Ha!) will know that a few weeks ago, I posted about my new job...cutting Rick's hair. You'll remember I did NOT want to cut it but because I'm a submissive wife, I did it with a smile on my face and a song in my heart (HA-again!) Well, the first week or two after I cut it, Rick commented almost daily how much he loved it and how it looked just like a professional cut it. This past week though, the comments from Rick are still daily but a bit different. Now they are "Is this part too long, Is this part too short, Is this part too weird", etc.
So apparently the joy of the hair cut is gone and so is my new job! YEA!!!!!


Kate-19 months old-7-22-06

My dear Kate,

You are 19 months old today. What fun you are! Your favorite song to sing is "Happy Birthday." I'll sing the song (and you'll try to sing along) and then I'll stop at the part where you say who's B'day it is and you'll say someone's name. It is really funny. Your favorite person to sing Happy Birthday to at the moment is Daddy, so we sing Happy Birthday to Daddy all the time.

You have known for a while now how to say "please" (peas) and "thank you" (ta chu)but in the past 2 weeks, you've started to say "thank you, you're welcome" (ta chu u welkum) at the same time. It is very funny. I'll give you something and you immediate smile and say "thank you, you're welcome." I guess you are just extra polite.

We were on vacation this past week and we all slept in the same room and you decided that you'd like to wake up every night at 2am. Well, normally I wasn't very happy about this, but one night I awoke at 2am to you talking and yelling at Claire, "wake up baby"(week up bebe)! Thankfully, Claire did not wake up but I had a good laugh in the middle of the night.

You still mostly call Claire "baby" (bebe) but one of the first times I heard you say her name on your own was also when I first saw some jealousy. I was holding Claire and talking to her saying "hey claire" and you came up to me and said, "No Hey Claire" (no hey clee-o) Another time Claire was in her bouncie seat and I left the room to hear a scream from Claire and I came back in the room to find you laying down completely on top of Claire in the bouncie seat! But about 99% of the time, you are as sweet as can be to her and love to touch her and say "hey baby."You still sleep from 7pm-7am (except on vacation I guess), take a 2 hour nap in the afternoon and sometimes will still take a nap in the morning (I still try to put you down everyday though.)You are a joy to us and we love having you in our family.

I love you now and always,


Conversations from the car

On our 8 hour trip to Hilton Head Island this past week, Rick and I had some interesting conversations. We left at 3 am so you can imagine how tired we were...

Rick: Are donuts the only food you can eat for breakfast and dessert?
Me: (thinking for a few seconds) Yes
Rick: They should make more of those

Me: You know how when you are driving and you are so tired that you need to close your eyes for a few seconds....
Rick: Pull over...

Kate: music, music (what she says when she wants to listen to her CD)
Me: Not now Kate....
Kate: (screaming!!!) MUSIC....JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW!!!!!!! (translation by Me)

Educating Children - Discussion of school options (Part 2)

It is interesting to look at the various groups of people seeking to push their way of thinking through the school system. I remember "Channel One" coming to our school when I was in middle school. Channel One provided televisions for each class room in exchange for having us watch a short program each morning. The program contained information about current events and was paid for by advertising.

The idea is genious, if carried out properly, especially in today's world since many children run the household dictating purchasing habits for the family. The people introducing this concept know the power of reaching the children of the world. Not only do they produce revenue for today, but the advertisers gain adherents to their products for years to come. This is what many groups seek when they try to push their message through the school system.
Let's look at one example. The DARE program is widely used throughout schools and it seeks to build self-confidence in children in hopes this will keep them away from drgus and other things. The goals seem good. Although I never participated in the program I did read part of the DARE curriculum for a local school system (it's available online). The concepts never mention God (of course). How can one build self esteem apart from God? DARE teaches children to have confidence in their own abilities looking within themselves to build self-esteem. Without recognizing sin in the individual and reliance on God as the giver of all abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and change, one will delve into a man centered self gratifying lifestyle that neither glorifies or pleases the Creator.

So, often the end goal of public school programs seems generally good, but when looking at the details of how those goals will be attained glaring faults arise. The people leading the programs aren't evil or seeking to corrupt the children, but many have bought into the false hope that these concepts are truth and will work. This is concerning. And one must wonder what can be done about it.


Claire-3 months old-7-19-06

Dearest Claire,

Today you are 3 months old. Your father and I love you and are thankful for you. You love to smile and talk to us. You can hold your head up well too. Also, this past month you've started sleeping from 7pm-7am which is great of course! When you cry, you will almost always stop if I place you in front of Kate...apparently, she's fun to look at! You are still an easy baby and you love to be held. I am writing you these letters and taking a picture of you each month to one day compile and give to you. I don't know how long I'll do it monthly but I hope to keep writing to you until you leave our home. I want you to see how you've grown and know all the things you've done as well as tell you things that are on my heart.

The bible charges your father and I in Deut 6:4-9:
"Hear, O Israel: "The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

We love God's word and will do what it tells us to do. When you are all grown up and leave our home, we hope you will be a woman who worships God and obeys His word. Sometimes it will be hard for us to be diligent in teaching and in discipline. It will sometimes be hard for you to learn to obey but we will continue in our work because we love you...but most of all, we love Christ. We will remain in His word so we can learn to love Him with all of our heart, soul and might and so we can learn to teach and love you as we should.
Know you are a blessing and a gift.
I love you always,


Zephaniah 3:17

17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.


Unfortuantely, I have a new job.....

.....as a "hair stylist."
How did this happen? It went something like this:

Rick: I want you to cut my hair.
Me: WHAT?!?
Rick: I want you to cut my hair.
Me: WHY??
Rick: Well, we'd save $15
Me: But I don't know how to cut hair!
Rick: would you rather me pay someone $15 to cut it or do you want to cut it?
Me: I want you to pay someone $15 to cut it!
Rick: I want you to cut it....

So, as you can see I cut it and I think Rick actually likes it. So unfortunately, I think I have a new job. :)


Crazed Obedience

When a person steps outside of their normal way of life in service to God, several questions go through their mind. Some of those questions may look like this:
  • Is this really what God wants me to do?
  • How will this change my life?
  • What will other people think?
  • Am I strong enough to do this?
  • Does this conflict with my other things I want to do?

Sin corrupts our understanding of God, our communication with Him, and our desire to worship Him as our Creator. Christ has defeated sin in those who trust in Him alone for salvation, but sin lingers in us until we are glorified in Christ at His second coming. This lingering sin causes us trouble as we seek to shine as stars in a crooked and perverse generation.

One thing I've noticed about sin is that it makes all obedient people crazy (from my perspective at least). Why on earth would anyone want to go to the jungles of Ecuador to share Christ with Indians known for being killers. Why would a group from our church want to go start a church in a foreign country? How could missionaries go to Iraq in the middle of a war? Why would anyone desire to be a missionary in the Philippines where the Abu Sayyaf hunt for people to kidnap? The answer is that all these people are crazy. God knows this as obedience, but with sin corrupted eyes, I am tempated to look upon these actions as crazy.

God moves within each of us to do things He wants done. He does not give everyone the same desires, and since we lack perfect communication with Him and our fellow brethren, we often cannot fathom why people would desire to do the things God calls them to do. If you are contemplating an action in obedience to God and have questions about whether or not to do it due to a fear that people will think your crazy, that may just be an indication that God is indeed moving within you.

Granted, this cannot be the final litmus test for determining God's call upon our lives, but it does make me wonder if I do anything appearing crazy to sin-ridden mankind. And if not, should I?


From the No Child Left Behind Act report

The no child left behind act is supposed to make our children smarter by making our public schools more affective. I found a report on the "Center on Education Policy" website and I found the following information interesting in the summary of the report.

Scores on state tests have risen in a large majority of states and schools
districts, according tothe state and local officials we surveyed.

Seventy-one percent of the school districts we surveyed reported that
they have reduced elementary school instructional time in at least one other subject
to make more time for reading and mathematics—the subjects tested for NCLB.
In some case study districts, struggling students receive double periods of
reading or math or both—sometimes missing certain subjects altogether.

Regulatory changes may also affect percentages proficient. Many states have
also taken advantage of additional flexibility from the U.S. Department of
Education (ED) to make policy changes that may result in more students being
counted as proficient. These changes include testing some students with
disabilities against modified or alternate standards and counting passing
scores from students who retake a test they previously failed. It is not
clear to what extent state policy changes have contributed to rising
percentages of students reaching proficiency.

So, basically, the solution to our children not learning anything in school is to teach longer on the few subjects they will be tested on, and then lower the standards. Is this the new American way?


New Flash: Raising Children Waste of Time?

"It is not the number of books that makes the learned man, nor much reading,
but good books often read, however few, makes a man learned in the Scriptures
and pious.” Martin Luther

The age of the internet allows anyone to publish their thoughts on life. It can be interesting and even scary to look into the minds of some people. Some may consider it scary looking into my mind through this blog. I read an article (click here to read it) that says child rearing is not worth the time and talent of intelligent humans. Oh that we weren't bombarded with false truth all the day long.

Don't fall into the trap of lies. Exposing ourselves (especially our children) to all the possible worldviews and ways of thinking in life does not bring us closer to the truth, and can quickly lead to confusion.


It's funny how one minor word can really change the meaning of something. I left the word "not" out of the last sentence when I first wrote this blog, which conveyed the complete opposite of what I wanted to say. I've just now noticed it and corrected it.

Through Gates of Splendor

I just finished the book Through Gates of Splendor, and am once again amazed to see what men will do when gripped by the hand of God. My sin leads me too often into comfort with my life causing me to be overjoyed at the "sacrifices" I make for Christ, and it is times like this that I am brought face to face with reality. The life I live in America is easy, and what I call sacrifice, the men in this book (and many other Christians throughout history) would call luxury. I am blessed by God more than I can fathom, and when I read stories like this one written by Elisabeth Elliot I am challenged to live for Christ recognizing a little more what Paul means when he says "to die is gain."

A couple of times over the past few years I have asked Frank Barker what are some good books to read, and each time he has given the same answer. He has told me to read missionary biographies. Well, I headed his advice this time and I can see why he gave it. This book is encouraging, challenging, eye opening, and much more. Looks like I'll be reading more books in this genre. I've already started The Savage: My Kinsman, which is the follow-up to Through Gates of Splendor, and I cannot put it down either!

My hope and prayer is that God will grip me and use me in ways beyond my comprehension. I don't know that that will look like of course, but I am praying it now.


Kate-18 months old-6-22-06


You are 18 months old today and you are so adorable. You talk ALL of the time! You can walk, run, sing, dance and do just about everything now. Everyone always commits on your beautiful eyes and your long eyelashes. Your hair is dirty blonde and has cute curls in the back. In the last 2 weeks, you’ve started to resist taking 2 naps a day so it looks like we’ll be spending more time together during the day. You love your little sister and are very sweet to her. I am beginning to teach you the children’s catechism and was so proud when you started consistently answering the first question correctly. Q: Who made you? A: God. I then moved on to teaching you how old you were. You were doing pretty well at that but the other day I asked, “How old are you”? and you said “God.” It was so cute. You obviously you don’t really know who God is or how old you are but you will. You LOVE “Veggie Tales” and “Barney” and you like to color. We are beginning to discuss now when to start potty training you and when to move you into a “big-girl” bed. You are growing up so fast and soon will no longer be our little baby girl. We are enjoying our time with you at this stage in your life but I must admit, it is moving too fast. You are beautiful and funny and happy.
Your father and I love you now and always,


Skating on thin ice

Some people do not deserve to be American citizens. Make me king for a day, and I will remove all the ignorance that seeks to take away the basic liberty that this country was founded upon. Christian or not, freedom is at the of defining our country, and ignorant people continue to try and "save" the world from us crazy Christians.

Are people not intelligent enough to understand that once liberty is removed from the group they dislike, it will one day be removed from them as well. I have nothing more to say about this. Please read the article, and judge for yourself.

Skating rink investigated for playing Christian music

Educating Children - Discussion of school options (Part 1)

The government run school system has become central to
our society in regards to educating children. As we plan the education of
our children, it has come to my attention that many people in the Church feel
responsible Bible believing parents should not send their children into the
public school system. A multitude of arguments exist, but the base of each
is that our government schools do not teach from a kingdom worldview and
actually reject that worldview at its core. Over the next few days (or
weeks depending on time), I'm going to write on this topic. My main
purpose is to organize my thoughts on this topic, but hopefully someone else may
benefit from my writings.

The State of Our Nation and Its Affect on Public Schools

An argument often made against the public school system is the humanistic values that are guiding it. I've often looked at this argument and found it hard to believe that the people setting curriculum and performing other administrative duties in the public school system are purposely pushing their ideas hoping to make our society more humanistic. After hearing this many times, I think I finally get it.

Humans are fallen and totally unable to do anything good in the flesh (Romans 8:8 "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.") and since this is true, we cannot do the one thing that we were created to do, which is to bring glory to God (I Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or uwhatever you do, do all to the glory of God. "). So, to the humanist mind, which is in direct opposition to Christ, the glory is directed toward man. Fallen man considers himself as the most important object in the universe. All things exist to bring man enjoyment.

Christians understand that all things exist to magnify God's power and grace. Humanists believe all things on earth are meant to be used for to make man's life better. So, the problem with public schools is not that every single person in the system is pushing humanist ideas, but rather that a large majority of people making the rules are grounded in humanistic thinking to various degrees. Other non humanistic thinking people involved in the government system support this worldview out of ignorance or denial. A self esteem program at a local high school seems like a good idea on the surface. The problem is that the school cannot teach children to look to God for their self-esteem. We are strong people because we lean on God for all things, and no government entity will ever teach this.

Ultimately, a government school system run by a government that continually pushes against Christian values and supports humanistic thinking cannot raise children properly. On the contrary it can make it very difficult for parents to break the incorrect teaching in a child. The people leading our school system honestly think they are working to build strong people ready to lead our nation in the next generation. The truth is that the core values of this government school system actually removes all possibility of creating strong Christian leaders; therefore Christian parents should seriously consider the consequences of putting their children into the hands of this system.

If he were only gay

An article I read just now talks of a first grader beaten because his parents have tried to keep him from being exposed to teaching that says homosexuality should be an excepted part of life. Why on earth are people not talking about this?

As we are trying to decide whether to send our children to public school, private school, or home school, stories like this make it easier to rule out public schools. These things may not be in Alabama yet, but they are coming. Human depravity runs rampant when the common grace of God is removed from a pagan society.

Click here for the article


Knowing God's will

The Holy Spirit moves in every believer to create a person more like Christ every day. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, God tells us His will for His people "For this is the will of God, your sanctification:". How do we know if the things we are doing, thinking, and saying are within God's will for our lives? After all, most people will say that God has a plan for our lives.

The following is a list of items that are important for knowing God's will:
  1. Trusting in the death, resurrection, and power of Christ alone for salvation
  2. Seeking intimacy with God through prayer daily
  3. Personally reading and studying scripture
  4. Sound preaching

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it can be exhausting since we are weak in the flesh. A few notes:

  • We are told to pray continuosly so consider praying multiple times per day
  • For studying, commentaries are extremely helpful, but should not be overused
  • All preaching is not sound

Today's church contains much preaching that is void of truth or lacks solid meat. If you hear more about what you should be doing than about who Christ is and how majestic He is, it may be time for concern.

Claire-2 months old-6-19-06


You are such a joy to your father and I. We love having you in our family and I can’t imagine it without you even now. You are an easy baby and you hardly ever cry. You have been sleeping 9 hours straight since you were 5 weeks old so I really like that! Right now you go to bed around 9:30 and wake up around 6:30. You are holding your head up really well and have the cutest little smile. People say you look like your father and you still haven’t lost any of your beautiful jet black hair. This month you took your first overnight trip with us to your grandparent’s house in Gadsden and did great. I can’t wait to see what you will do this next month!

I love you,

Can the Pope laugh at himself?

Thought this was funny.

Click this link to read comments on the pope and the davinci code


Why is it always about stopping Gay people's rights?

An article on yahoo is titled "Senate takes up Gay-rights ban amid criticism". This article is about the constitutional "ban" on same-sex marriage. The funny thing about this is that you cannot necessarily place a ban on something that does not exist. Currently, men can only marry women in our country (except for Maine of course since they rewrote their laws). So, a change in the constitution would simply solidify laws that already exist.

Please, watch out for the propaganda that exists in our media. The people writing these articles have a bias and an opinion and they act neutral to dupe people, but truthfully, they do not have the ability to remain neutral. I can hardly blame them. If people would read what I write, they would constantly see Jesus Christ flowing throughout it. We push what we are passionate for.


I've Got You

Rick has this game that he plays with Kate (which I'm sure every father plays with his children) where he'll pick her up over his head, spin her around or run around the house with her. Now, this is supposed to bring joy but from time to time Kate will get nervous or scared and even cries out. Obviously, Rick would never do anything to harm her and will reassure her by saying, "I've Got You....I've Got You."
I can't help but think about my relationship with my Father. I am meant to be joyful but at times am not because I don't understand what He is doing. If only I would be still and listen to His Word, I know I would hear, "I've Got You....I've Got You."


Where do we get these "Experts"?

An article on www.babycenter.com provides information from "The Experts" that isn't very expert advice. If you ask my opinion (which I get to share on my own blog), these experts are not very intelligent. They have turned from the truth. Read my previous post and then read the excert below as it discusses living with a 17 month old child.

You may also notice that your child occasionally
but very deliberately disobeys your orders. You say, "Please stay away from that
vase," and your toddler looks right at you, reaches out, and touches the vase,
or plucks a flower from it. You know he got your message, so rather than let the
defiance become a big deal, experts say to simply ignore it whenever possible.
In fact, it's important to try to avoid a confrontation with every little issue.
Click here to read the full article

If we overlook some disobedience, they aren't learning right from wrong, but rather we are confusing them. They need to learn that what mommy and daddy says goes, and how will they learn this if they ignore us and we say nothing? A 17 month old CAN learn and WILL learn. And they will learn much faster if they respect their parents.

Teaching a child

One thing I've learned is that a newborn baby must be taught everything about life. Right now we are teaching our 18 month old how to use a spoon and fork. She wasn't real interested in learning to put a puzzle together. She likes puzzles, but she doesn't like to play with them the way I do (actually putting the right pieces in the right places).

It amazes me how many people do not understand this basic concept of parenting in today's world. People will probably disagree with me, but a child needs to learn to sleep in their own room. A child needs to learn to be away from a parent for certain periods of time (at night). A child needs to learn to fall back to sleep after waking up. We do not allow this today, though. Children continually sleep in their parents room and even IN THE BED with the parents in some houses. This makes no sense to me. "Experts" suggest putting the child in the parents room because they need to be near the mom or because it is easier on the mom, but this is simply not true.

Let the child sleep in their own room and when they wake up, feed them. I understand that all babies are different, but we have friends with children that do not sleep through the night after an entire year of life. This should not be so, and it can most often be attributed to the fact that they never let the child cry and didn't put the child into their own room for several months after birth.

Children are indeed helpless, but it is the role of parents to raise them up to be wholly reliant on God while using God given abilities to survive. If we as parents raise our children with our own interests in mind (It's better for the mom or dad if ....) or if we raise our children only to protect them from everything, they will never learn to survive, grow, or live in a way that isn't wholly dependant on other humans. Is this what we want?

Finally, this is the duty of the husband. It is natural for the mom to care for the baby and to nurture them. The dad must watch out for the good of his family (wife first), and ensure that his actions along with his wives actions are preparing their children to be children of God relying wholly on Him for life and serving Him through their abilities.


The new Dr. Phil?

I'm a sucker for points. Sure, I'll take that survey if you'll give me 1000 points. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the points, but I'll figure that out later. Just give them to me now!

A recent survey I took online required me to watch a 6 minute video of an upcoming show on TLC. I forget the name of the guy, but it was basically a show about helping people. The host is a psychiatrist. He looked and talked like a young Dr. Phil.

I'm not sure what the obsession with these self help guys is, but they act like they are God's gift to mankind. Give me a T.V. show and I'll help everyone get better. Contrary to popular belief (and to what this guy says), the issues people deal with are rooted in sin not in our past. The solution offered is always to dig into the past and see what made you think, act, and feel like you do today. Once this occurs, everything will be better.

The truth is that digging into the past like this will only create more angst and grief if it isn't realized that we are all filthy from sin. The issue in marriages and all other relationships is that we view ourselves as deserving, important, and any other catch phrase that brings glory to ourselves. The truth is that we are worthless sinners saved by Grace, and all the glory is due to our creator.

So, give me a T.V. show and I'll help people see the real problem. Look into a mirror, and see the filth. Until we see how dirty we are, we'll never attack the root problem, and we CANNOT attack the root problem until we repent of our filth (sin).


Macy's Memorial Day Sale

Went to buy a suit yesterday. Deacon duty in the parking lot at church during the hot month of july almost requires I have a second suit. I didn't end up getting a suit, but I did have an interesting discussion with the sales associate.

He was a nice guy with bad theology. That seems to be the standard for our day. Unfortunately, as I got deeper into the conversation, this man gave signs that he is not trusting in Christ for salvation. Bad theology is expected when living in darkness, but once God has turned on the lights, we can and should expect more.

As this man said, God is definately a loving and forgiving God, but he didn't seem to understand that God says He will by no means acquit the guilty (Exodus 23). This conversation included discussion regarding this man and his ex-wife. Apparently, he had tried to "do the right thing", but the ex-wife made it difficult. We always see our actions as good and others as bad. Seems like God says something about a plank in our own eye...

Anyway, I left this man with the assurance that God wants us to be 100% sure we have eternal life (I John 5), and I hope this causes him to dig deeper since he said he wasn't 100% sure, but definately does not fear death. If you aren't sure of eternal life, you definately should fear death. Hopefully, he'll lean on Christ soon.

And for you, the reader. If you claim the title "Christian", please be careful in sharing your doctrine with others. If you don't regularly read and study scripture, please be careful when telling people what you know about God beyond the truth that Christ died to take the punishment for our sins.


No moral absolutes?

Does this sound familiar? Everywhere people commune, problems arise; therefore, we have rules and laws. If everyone makes their own rules or laws based on their own feelings and desires at that time, anarchy exists. Why is this so difficult for some to understand?


Claire is here!

Claire Elizabeth Hutchinson is here. Born April 19, 2006 weighing 7 lbs 6 oz and 21 1/4 inches long. Claire has a full head of black hair.