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Sep 30, 2010

SeriousLife Magazine - Don't Miss the Brand New Issue - You'll Love It!!

We just published a new issue of SeriousLife Magazine! Take a few minutes and check it out. You'll find great stories and articles about:

  • What to Do If Your Life is in a Funk
  • Can You Love Jesus and Hate Church?
  • How to Love God When Life Stinks
  • The Importance of Patience
  • Warnings About Debt
  • Trying Too Hard to be Perfect?
  • It's Time for a Faith-Based Response to School-Based Bullying
  • Why Your Employees Are Miserable
  • Health: Is Soy Bad For You?
  • Parenting: Building a Strong Foundation
  • A Story About An Amazing Young Lady
  • Science & the Bible: The Moon Shall Be Turned Into Blood
  • A Letter To My Mother
  • Serious Recipes
  • Mood-Driven or Mission-Driven
  • Unconditional Love
  • A Call To Spiritual Maturity
  • Livin' on a Shoe String and Lovin' It!
  • Jesus Was Just A Wise And Good Man, Right?
  • They Are ALL SO Judgmental!

Another issue comes out in about 2 weeks. Be sure to submit your stories, blog posts, suggestions, and photography to be considered for publication in the next issue. Go to the site, look up at the top for links where you can enter your submissions.

We've had issues that have gotten over ONE MILLION page views... come on and join us. Sign up for your FREE subscription!

Sep 27, 2010

Abby's Smile - Update

From Michelle:

Abby's days, for the most part, have been filled with dance lessons, church and school. We feel blessed that our days have been packed with things we love doing after 2.5 years of things no one wants to do. Sure, there have been more medical interruptions than we wished for but we are thankful for our time with friends.

Abby's spunk continues to amaze me. Last week Abby's temperature climbed and we were told to take her to ER for blood cultures. The ER doc discovered a simple ear infection, ran the labs and then thankfully sent us home. When we tucked the princess in bed at 2 am and fully expected Abby to sleep until noon the next day.

Abby greeted us with a smile just a few hours later as she ran across the house to get ready for school. Her teachers reported that she had a wonderful day and she was full of stories about her friends. She did end up taking a 3 hour nap after school but not until I made her "rest her eyes" for just a minute.

We've got 51 official days left of this difficult journey. If you can join us for a BYE BYE CANCER celebration, be sure to sign up so we can know how many are coming. Details here...

Abby is all grins going into dance class.

We are working really hard to bring SpideyLandis out of his shell.
He's shy, introverted, has no personality and doesn't communicate.

Sep 24, 2010

As Sure As The Sun Rises

From Brent

I love the innocence of kids and they way they think. Here's what Landis said the other day:
"Every day, the sun comes up, the sun goes away. The sun comes up, the sun goes away. I wish God would make up His mind!"
Let's share some more laughter today... leave a comment with something funny your kids have said.

Sep 19, 2010

Can You Come To A Big Huge Party For Abby?

From Brent

I'm just floating an idea to see how much interest there is. Abby's gets done with 2.5 years of chemo for her Leukemia on Nov. 19th.

We would love to throw a great big HALLELUJAH party on Sat Nov. 20th. I'm guessing 2-3 hours in the afternoon starting with lunch.

How many of you could make it to Norman, Oklahoma to celebrate with us? If we could get an idea of the interest level, and how many guests, we might just have to make it happen. I know a lot of you wonderful folks have a walked with us through this ordeal and we would love to have you celebrate with us.

If you think you really would come join us, leave your 1) family name, 2) how many are coming, and 3) where you are coming FROM on the Linky list below. Putting your name here doesn't obligate you. We just want to get a feel. Closer to the date, we'll ask people to give us a firm confirmation so we can plan accordingly:

Sep 17, 2010

Abby Update Spider Snake Cats & Bears

From Michelle

Abby is doing pretty well. She had some tough chemo last week and today. She is going to school, has had a couple of fevers but overall, is doing pretty good.

Look at all that hair. Isn't it marvelous?
Abby is growing up fast. Hard to believe she has been
suffering through cancer for almost 2.5 years.
It's weird to think she was THREE when diagnosed.
A year ago she had NO eyelashes... now she's got
the "every woman's dream" eyelashes.

I Want a Pet

Abby has been on a kick lately about wanting a pet. When she didn't get a kitty or puppy (after only two days of asking) she decided she would befriend anything that moves. She followed a spider around the living room giving it a name and asking it over for a slumber party. She has several beetles and lady bugs in her entourage now.

Today she adopted a dead snake in the flower bed. Her and SpideyLandis have been praying that God will "undead" the snake (haven't reminded Landis that snakes eat spiders). Seriously, they are praying for it. Abby and Landis wanted to lay hands on the snake but we told them intercessory prayer would have to do. If it was a little bigger we might have to anoint it with oil and fry it up. Here they are doing their best "Lazarus come forth":

Dead snake...

Rise and come forth!
Abby prayed for it to be "undead".

For You Halloween Moms

Abby would befriend a bear too but the one we have isn't alive. It's this adorable 0-6 baby costume on our Ebay store. We know it's hard to find good, wholesome, cute costumes these days. Since alot of our readers, Christian or not, would love this, we thought we would tell you about. The auction ends about 8pm Friday night. It is brand new, very nice quality still with the tags and would probably be $40 or more new. It's currently on a 99 CENT auction here:

Sep 2, 2010

Grab The Kids and The Dog Ethel!

From Brent

The storm came and went. Ma and Pa, Aunt Bernie and both cows are all safe.

Looking northeast as the front edge passes;
the wind was gust 50-60 mph. I usually try to get the poles
out of the photo but the light showed how dark
it got even though the sun was still up.

Looking southwest. See the car lights? That's how dark it got.

This was the start of that cloud lowering...

And this was the lowering at its most organized point.
It fell part a couple of minutes later.

There's a Storm A'Brewin Ethel

From Brent

Beautiful and scary storm coming right this minute. Got some great shots before the lightning lit up my common sense.

I love these kind of clouds. Anyone out there know the science
behind how they are created? Right outside our back door.

Front edge as the sun was going down.

Okay, I know some of you ladies are going to chew me out for being
out in this stuff, but LOOK at that lowering! For you non-tornado alley folks,
that when a rotating center of clouds in a storm (this one really was not
very "tornadic" in reality), starts to tighten up and drop, the precursor to
a possible tornado (but not likely).

Most lowerings just skitter along for a little while and fall apart
which this one did. Look really close at the ground below the lowered clouds.
See the red dust (Oklahoma's version of dirt) getting sucked up into it?

Magnificent to see!

More to come. Heavy lightning now so the power will probably go out.

Sep 1, 2010

Adopting & Daycare

From Brent

In yesterday's ANSWERS post, I wrote something to the effect: we aren't about to adopt kids and put them in daycare.

We received some criticism for that statement and I think the criticism was fair. I've since changed it to "we feel it is best for our situation that Michelle be at home, and we try to grow a business from home."

That was a poorly worded statement and not very well thought out. I stated our personal conviction as something that sounded like it ought to apply to every one and that ain't right. "Universal truths" apply to everyone but my personal conviction about my own children certainly does not.

We have good friends who have adopted and for various legitimate reasons need to use daycare. I'm sure there are many other families in the same situation.

I often teach about being very gracious with liberty. Stating my opinion in a way that sounds like a broad stroke criticism of those who would do differently is in fact, legalistic and truly insensitive (as opposed to fake politically correct sensitivity). I did that, and it was wrong.

Thank you for the feedback and the deserved criticism. I'm always grateful for respectful and useful criticism. It will help me to be more thoughtful in the future as a writer.

- - - - - - - - -
While we are on the subject of NOT well-thought-out legalistic opinions, here's a perfect example I came across earlier today and was going to write about anyway.

Check out this infuriating nonsense written by Michael Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries (this part is almost at the end of the post; emphasis mine):

I will say this again. Never adopt children even close to the age of your own. You should be past child bearing age, and your children should be at least 10 to 15 years older than the adopted kids. I don’t think there is any such thing as an orphanage raised child who has not been a participant in sexual perversion. If you are older and your kids are grown, it is a wonderful, full time ministry to adopt foreign kids. You will experience heartache, possibly failure, but you may just save a soul from sure destruction. But if there is failure, at least your kids will not go down with them.
I was enraged at such an uninformed, untruthful, IGNORANT comment made to people who look to this man for Christian advice. Is there SOME truth in statement? Yes, there is sexual abuse inflicted on kids who end up in orphanages. ALL KIDS? What biased stupidity.

I don't know Michael Pearl and maybe most of his advice is right on. He may be a whole lot wiser than I'll ever hope to be but he sorely missed the boat with that comment. It is not only untrue, it will serve to scare off adoptive parents, leaving orphans to linger in poverty and (sometimes) abuse. It also stigmatizes all orphanage raised kids as broken, damaged goods.

And sorry my friend, I missed the part of God's command that puts all those conditions on when and which orphans we should care for and rescue:
James 1:27 (NKJV) Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
For everyone out there who has adopted and knows what kind of ignorant hogwash Mr. Pearl's statement is, why don't you go visit his website and tell him so.