Monday, September 28, 2015

Child Evangelism Fellowship

Last week our family had the privilege of traveling to Child Evangelism Headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri. Teachers & trainers were gathering for their annual Tri-State Conference of speakers, ministry, and refreshment.

It was a delightful treat to tour the beautiful headquarters and to hear testimonies of how the Lord is working in the hearts of children worldwide. Members of our family have taught many 5-Day Clubs over the years, so there was an instant connection with the heartbeat and vision of this conference. We were excited to share as part of the ministry events. 

Our camping spot on-campus.

But Jesus called them to Him and said, 
“Let the little children come to Me, 
and do not forbid them;
 for of such is the kingdom of God.
Luke 18:16

Unfortunately, we didn't get photos of the actual evening conference and our time sharing.
(These photos are from a previous concert.)

"...until the Lord Jesus returns!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Family Camp

Last week we wrapped up another memorable year at our annual Family Camp in Iowa. It was a jam-packed 5 days of fellowship & encouragement, new friendships & reconnecting with families who have previously attended. We had a full camp this year with 360+ people in attendance. Here are a few photos & a recap of the week's activities: 

Nathanael & Hannah led the group in learning the Bible memory verse each morning chapel.

After morning chapel, we split into Father/Son & Mother/Daughter time. The men would start out with teaching & sharing together...

...and end with a practical work project or skill development around the camp.

Repairing fences

Enjoying time in the great outdoors.

Mom shared during the Mother\Daughter sessions.

And... a humorous skit does a great job of bringing home a point & keeping the audience engaged!

Interviewing a 'woman of history'.

The younger children especially enjoyed story time with Grandma Mary Ann.

Very attentive listeners

Mom, ever the artist, drew illustrations for the children's story time.

Much of the afternoons were filled with a wide variety of games. 
Such as Dutch Blitz.





...and Volleyball!

Enjoying the lake

Meal-time...always a highlight!

Good Conversations

Headed to get some more of that delicious food!!!

During each evening session various families shared in special music & ministry. 

Then Dad taught an on-going series from the Word. 

Dad came up with object lessons as illustrations each evening. 
Here, he uses volunteers from the audience. 

Another object lesson

We're so grateful for this time of refreshing & 'iron sharpening iron' as we gather with believers to seek the Lord & build one another up. If your family is interested in attending Family Camp 2016, contact Village Creek Bible Camp soon! 

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Therefore, my beloved brethren, 
be steadfast, immovable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, 
knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Cor 15:57-58

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The smile.

So much is communicated in this one, powerful gesture. Joy. Relationship. Caring.

I remember numerous times in my childhood when Mom would make eye contact with me and smile. Often we would gather around the baby of the family and laugh, grin, and do all within our power to coax a smile from that tiny face.

It's the warmth of sunshine bursting from one heart to another.

As I look over the dozens of photos captured during our reunion weekend together, I'm struck by the visible sign of this connection. Family relationships are so precious. Our family has such a diverse range of personalities and interests. As the younger ones grow and develop -- and new members have joined our family -- this beautiful chord of relationships has only deepened and become more rich & meaningful. We treasure our time together!

And so we look back at these photos and yes, they make us smile.

Smiles of gratitude & thanksgiving for the Giver of all good gifts.

After all -- He created every smile. 

Kori & Charissa

Abi & Asher

Arianna & Andrew

Charissa & Grandpa

Grandma & Kori

Elizabeth & Arianna

Nathanael & Alan

Caden, Nathanael, & Arianna

Charissa, Hannah, Susanna, & Arianna

Joanna & Charissa

Ruth, Alaythia, Bethany, Charissa, Hannah, Kori, Elizabeth, & Susanna
(missing Rachel & Abi as they had to leave a day early)

"A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance."
Prov 15:18

Monday, September 14, 2015

When the Grandchildren Sing

Some songs never retire. 

And over the years, an often requested number has been our children's rendition of "Fret Not". Nathanael has been singing that song since he was around 3 years old -- and from time to time we still get requests. We even had one family dub us the "Fret Not Kids!"

So we decided it was time to pass the song down to the next generation. With our grandchildren getting older and starting to develop musical ability, we taught them the old favorite and handed over the mics. 

Now, as those of you with young children know, you can dress them up and put them on stage, but there's no telling what will actually transpire as they attempt to sing their song. Kori and Bethany captured some of their expressions as they -- and Charissa -- delighted the Old Thresher's reunion with their song. 

Practicing with Hannah beforehand.

A mic for everyone!
(L to R - Asher - 3, Joanna - 5, Charissa - 8, Arianna - 3, Caden - 1)

Caden loved holding the mic!

Asher -- always so dramatic.

Arianna - ever full of smiles

"Commit thy way unto the Lord
All you need, He will afford. 
Never fret, nor be oppressed, 
Commit and trust, delight and rest!"

"Trust in Him, wait patiently,
God knows all and He can see. 
In His presence you'll be blessed. 
Commit and trust, delight and rest."

"Let the Lord be your delight. 
Delight in Him both day and night. 
You the host and He the guest, 
Commit and trust, delight and rest."

Hannah's diligent coaching.

"Let's do that again!"

Fret not - He's watching over you.
The Lord will see you through. 
You're sure to stand the test. 
Commit and trust, delight and rest! 

"Fret not, folks!"