Sunday, January 31, 2010

"The Dogma is the Drama"

Dorothy Sayers:

It is . . . startling to discover how many people . . . heartily dislike and despise Christianity without having the faintest notion what it is. If you tell them, they cannot believe you. I do not mean that they cannot believe the doctrine: that would be understandable enough, since it takes some believing. I mean that they simply cannot believe that anything so interesting, so exciting and so dramatic can be the orthodox Creed of the Church.

Somehow or other, and with the best intentions, we have shown the world the typical Christian in the likeness of a crashing and rather ill-natured bore—and this in the Name of One Who assuredly never bored a soul in those thirty-three years during which He passed through the world like a flame.

It is the dogma that is the drama--not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and uplift, nor the promise of something nice after death--but the terrifying assertion that the same God Who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death. Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that a man might be glad to believe.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Updates (a little long)

It seems like we just got back, but we're going to So Cal on Monday for two weeks. Since Mark is done with classes, he can do almost all of his work from anywhere. So, he'll be working and me and the girls will be having fun in the sun, I hope. No more rain, Riverside! Even if its in the 60's we'll be in our flip flops and shorts. Just kidding, of course.

We're going to go to Disneyland. We haven't been since our old dating days when going to Disneyland was no big deal because we had passes and could go anytime we wanted to. Those days are long gone. We tried to go after Christmas in '05, but when we pulled up in the parking garage, the sign said "Disneyland Full." That was the worst Christmas of my life. For that, and many other reasons. We found a Cinderella dress on clearance at the Disney store so we're planning on having a lot of fun watching Hope prance around the park.

We'll also get to watch the LOST season premier with my family and have a party, go to the Wild Animal Park, be there for Super Bowl Sunday, be there for Valentine's Day, and go to a couple of CBU homecoming activities. I'm looking forward to the girls getting some good Grammy, Pappy and Auntie Rah-rah time. And our flights over Christmas went MUCH better than this summer, so we're not dreading the travel as much :)

Due to my sister's inspiration, I started the 30 Day Shred. Don't expect me to be shredded in 30 days, though. Yay, for New Year's resolutions!

Our little precious girls are SOOOOO sweet we can barely handle it. Anna's personality keeps coming out more and more - she is really funny. She's keeping her deep throaty laugh. She's continuing to be a very messy eater. She stands on her head for laughs and just seems to intuitively know what is funny and silly. She's almost walking. So close. She just needs some confidence.

Hope is slowly transforming from a toddler to a little girl. Sniff sniff. She likes to accessorize, and she has deep thoughts. She loves to be read to, and will interupt after nearly every sentence to ask a "why" question. I know this is good, but sometimes I just want to read the story :) Her favorite things to play right now are: grocery store, church, doctor, and babies. You should see her preach - it is really something. She is kind of obsessed with babies. And she's hanging on to Christmas by stuffing dolls up her shirt, pulling them out and naming them "Baby Jesus." We've explained to her that people get married and then they have babies (right?). In preparation for Disneyland, she's been watching some of the princess movies. But she's always a bit disappointed at the end when they don't have babies.

We're looking forward to In and Out, BJ's Pizza, Bakers, some new sandwich shop my sister told me about, and any other good food that comes our way. I better get to shredding.

Well, Mark has lots going on with work, writing and schooling, too. He's got to learn French for reading in the next few months, pass a test and then learn everything there is to know about Church History to take his comprehansive exams in June. He's also writing other things and teaching and preaching in the meantime. Oh, and he's a spectacular husband and daddy.

It's currently about 20 degress outside.

I get to get my hair cut on Saturday and I'm pretty excited about that. I might throw in a Starbucks drink while I'm out, too ;)

Okay, here are some recent pictures:


Papa consoling little Anna at Turtle Bay in Redding.


This little trick has made outings so much better! Hope loves pushing Anna around.


Decorating cookies at Nannie and Papa's!


Uncle Kevin patiently tried to teach Hope how to play a Wii game.


Andrew and Hope were best buds. I think their TV faces look funny in this picture.


You'd think we'd go to California to get away from the snow, but it found us! We took a morning trip out to go sledding on Mt. Shasta. Hope was pretty timid at first, but then she got into it.


Us.


Warming up by the fire in the morning.

Nannie and Anna cudding. AND behind Nannie is the beautiful new Christmas quilt she made us for Christmas.


The chaos that was opening presents. Anna was really into it.


Here's a picture of us on our 6 year anniversary date to Applebees.


They are so sweet!


Sweet Little Silly Anna.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reason # 1,234,567,891 Why I Love Him So...


Because he'll carry a pink and yellow car seat, strapped to his back, through airports.

Happy 6th anniversary, Mark! I love you.

(It was actually on the 10th).

Thursday, January 07, 2010

10 Ways to Encourage a Missionary

Mark recently wrote a short article on "10 Ways to Encourage a Missionary." He contacted real live missionaries to ask them what would be encouraging to them on the field. Many of the suggestions they gave were very helpful, and things that I would have not thought of myself.

Our dear friends, who own the house we're living in, are getting ready to head to North Africa next week, so their departure is close in our minds and hearts. Watching them go through the process of getting ready to go, giving away most all of their belongings, saying good-bye to their family after visiting them for Christmas, and doing it all with grace, joy and great faith is humbling and sobering. It will be hard to say goodbye, but we are excited for them and for all that they will get to be a part of.