8 Years in Portland

February 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Last week marked 8 years since we packed-up all of our belongings and drove from California to our new city, Portland. Portland has become so dear to my heart and I don’t think that I could love any city more.

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Matthew Graduated!

May 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Annelissa Greeting Her Newly Graduated Dad

Last night Matthew graduated from Multnomah Biblical Seminary with the degree of Master of Divinity. This weekend has been filled spending time and celebrating with family and friends. We had a beautiful lunch party yesterday which was hosted by my parents and attended by our siblings, Matthew’s dad, Matthew’s grandpa and his wife, and my great uncle and aunt. We also went to a wonderful party today to celebrate with many friends.

I am so happy for my husband! It has been such a joy to be able to live with him and love him for the past three years while he has worked for this degree. The most amazing part is, even through the busyness and difficulties associated with being a full-time seminary student as well as a pastoral intern, Matthew has been such an amazing husband. I have never felt neglected or cast aside for the sake of his education and I can say, without exaggeration, that Matthew has become a better husband and father in the past three years.

Today my husband said that learning should always lead us to worship. I am so grateful to be married to a man that desires to love God more and love people more. I am also glad that he teaches me to desire the same.

Congratulations, Matthew!

Alatheia at the Graduation Party

Our Family after Baccalaureate Chapel

A Quote About Spiritual Disciplines

April 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Spiritual disciplines are provided for our good, not for our bondage.  They are privileges to be used, not duties to be performed… But the spiritual disciplines are fertile ground for legalistic thinking.  They can easily become a performance measurement by which we gauge whether to expect God’s blessing or not.  If I’ve been doing pretty well, having a regular quiet time, studying my Bible, and so on, then I’m hopeful about God’s blessing.  But if I’ve not been doing so well – then, I might as well go back to bed… I do think we should actively promote spiritual disciplines.   They are absolutely necessary for growth in our Christians lives.  But we should promote them as benefits, not as duties.  Perhaps we should stop talking about being ‘faithful’ to have a quiet time with God each day, as if we were doing something to earn a reward.  It would be better to talk about the privilege of spending time with the God of the universe and the importance for our own sake being consistent in that practice… We need to teach grace before commitment, because grace understood and embraced will always lead to commitment.  But commitment required will always lead to legalism.”

Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace, pg. 127-128

May 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have not read Christless Christianity, by Michael Horton but I had heard a section quoted a few years ago and was never able to remember where it was from so I was excited to find it used in Elyse Fitzpatrick’s new book, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus.

” What would things look like if Satan really took control of a city? Over a half century ago, Presbyterian minister Donald Grey Barnhouse offered his own scenario in his weekly sermon that was also broadcast nationwide on CBS radio. Barnhouse speculated that if Satan took over Philadelphia, all of the bars would be closed, pornography banished, and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say, “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am,” and the churches would be full every Sunday . . . where Christ is not preached.”

Alatheia Hope is 3.

October 23, 2010 § 2 Comments

Our sweet little girl, Alatheia, turned 3 on Thursday. I really like birthdays and I always try to make them special for my family members. We like to take the time to celebrate and thank God for the person’s life. For Alatheia, I made a picture board and put it out the night before so that she could wake up to it (thanks to my friend, Chelsi, for giving me this great idea and inspiring me to make it a family tradition). We also spent the day taking a family trip to Cannon Beach where Alatheia’s dreams of taking her shoes off and eating candy came true. Here are a few pictures from the day.

3 years old!

Daddy with the birthday girl

Waking up to her birthday board and the pom-poms that Aunt Megan helped me make.

Annelissa at Cannon Beach

Benjamin enjoyed the wind

Benjamin was excited about his sister's birthday

It was really windy

God at Work

October 13, 2010 § 1 Comment

Just as in the spiritual kingdom our state is one of utter dependence on God, in the earthly kingdom our state is one of utter dependence on other people. This truth, of course, flies in the face of our contemporary values, especially for us Americans. We have an ideal of self-sufficiency. We would love to be able to grow our own food, build our own home, and need no one. Our horror of being dependent on someone or something else is so great that when we are sick, many of us would rather die than have to “depend on some  machine to keep me alive.” Many would rather be killed. “If I get really sick, I don’t want to be a burden to my kids. Send for Dr. Kevorkian.” Never mind that when your adult sons and daughters were babies, they were utterly dependent on you to feed them, clothe them, pay their medical bills, and change their diapers. Whether we want to accept it or not, self-sufficiency is an illusion. We do depend on other people – the farmer, the plumber who put in our water system, the doctor, our parents – for our very lives.

“It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). From the beginning, God put us in families, tribes, societies. God ordained that we be in relationships. He ordained that we need each other. From ancient hunters and gatherers who had to join together to bring down a buffalo that is much stronger than any one of them, to the complex division of labor in modern industrial economies, we are all in this together.

From God at Work, Gene Edward Veith, Jr.

Matthew’s Recent Sermons

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Matthew has preached at our chuch, The Gathering Community Church, for the past 3 Sundays. If you would like to listen to his sermons, you can find the audio on the church’s Sermons page or by following the links on this blog’s Sermons page.