Sunday, June 29, 2008

jonah's group singing

Jonah had such fun also; already looking forward to next year's vbs!
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benjamin singing w/ vbs friends

all grins, happy boy!
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VBS Power Lab

Amberly had the priveledge of being a song leader for our VBS this year! She had so much fun and was thankful that she got to be involved. She had so much enthusiasm and excitement, it was contageous!
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Friday, June 27, 2008

Photos of Cali and VBS

pictures from our trip to Southern California. These are at Laguna Beach in Crescent Bay.
Next, there are pictures from our week at VBS, Amberly was a songleader!

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Monday, June 23, 2008


You have not conquered
You have no power
Over God's holy ones.

Is more than we see,
More than lungs breathing
And hearts beating.
It is the soul, the spirit,
The inner man, the heart.
That is what life is.

Though the heart aches
and the eyes weep
The spirit is not crushed;
For our hope is in Jesus
The conqueror of death: Life's King!

As our Father takes his children home,
His loved ones one by one,
we leave this corrupted, sinful world
and enter into his glorious majesty.
What life is this on earth to live? But for the life to come?

For home is where the heart is.
O Jesus draw us home.
Forever, we will worship in peace, joy and love.
Now this is life.

As the spirit separates from the body,
sadness overwhelms the ones who love.
But those who love in truth smile joyfully knowing...
Death is the birth of life,
Complete in the presence of Christ!
Live on, O holy ones,
Who've left this land.
Live on and on and on in the Savior's blood-stained hand.

Jodi Meiter
written on the day of Grandpa Judson Briegel's death, published again today in honor of the celebration of Rachel Briegel's life

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Speak your praises!

Tonight my grandma Briegel passed away; safe into the loving hands of God, as they say. She was 92; a long life lived mostly on God's path. She is now at peace and rest and I am sure to her great joy, reunited with her husband of 60 years. To her credit, I never heard her say a bad thing about the guy. She loved him. She always said, "He was so good to me." I fumbled upon a fitting Bible verse today,
Pr. 22:1 "A good name is more desirable than great riches, to be
esteemed is better than silver or gold."
By honoring her late husband she blessed him. And she gave herself a good name in my book; a woman who spoke praises of the one she loved. Over the past several years, she has lived nearby with my Aunt and Uncle. And what did I hear about them? "They are so good to me."

Maybe the biggest lesson she learned in her long life was to appreciate the good in people and to be thankful for what they do for you. Not bad, for 92 years. I hope we younger folk can take that advice and run with it too!
I want to be a glass half-full not half-empty sort-of gal. I want to be the one that sees the flowers after the rain, instead of dwelling on the rain ruining my picnic. I want to be one that enjoys the sufferings of life along with the happy moments, knowing that they will all be bound together in God's special tapestry of my life and will paint the picture that He so chooses. Beauty. It is reflected. Who or what are we reflecting?
I hope I can take the good old-age wisdom from my "Nena" as I called her, and pass it on to my kids and grandkids: Speak blessings on people and tell them how much you appreciate them. Speak well of them to others.........and you will be blessed. With long life, yes..........but also with a trail of spiritual fruit! I am sure she would admit she was not perfect, but she did leave a trail of people behind her in her life that love Jesus with all they've got. Now that's something to be grateful for! I have to believe she prayed for her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know and love Jesus. Maybe she did not do "great things" for God in her lifetime, but maybe, just maybe, she passed the torch of love for God, despite her shortcomings, and left a legacy of thanksgiving. I hope we can all continue the good habit she started by speaking her praises to God and to others!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the bob.......

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Happy, finally!

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the after picture, see, he's happy....

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new 'dos

Mommy and Daughter out on a HOT June Night in Az, sporting our new 'dos. We had a lot of fun getting our hair done together today. We both had a "blow-out" and of course, i'm hoping to make mine last as long as possible, while Amberly's was sopping wet from the kiddie pool before we left our hairdresser's house! We had to re-blow-dry when we got home so daddy could get a look at the new "stacked" bob :)
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Hair days

It's officially summer here, over 100* and we are ready for fun. One adventure we like is Hair Play! Jonah is growing his out surfer-style, Amberly just got a stacked bob :) Mom got bangs.....and Benjamin got bleached! No, really, he loves it! And it is really cute. This is a "during" picture, he's much happier after....
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Devotions/Quiet Times

I believe there is an ongoing debate among Christians as to what constitutes a "devoted" life and what in the world is a "quiet time?" I think it all boils down to the heart. Where is my heart? What/Who do I long for? Where does my heart go back to when there is a quiet moment? Am I inclined to talk with Jesus whenever and wherever? There is much to be gained by practicing spiritual disciplines such as designated times for prayer, bible study, meditation, fasting, solitude and silence, worship/praise, etc; but all of those practices are just means to an end. The end is sweet fellowship with Jesus. The life of abiding. The life that remains connected to the Life. We do ourselves a disservice when we check off our "quiet time" box on our to-do list, if we are neglecting the moment-by-moment life together with our Savior. The "devoted" life is one that is consecrated to God daily, morning and evening and in the in-between times. A disciple is one that wants above all else to bring glory and praise to God in all he thinks, says and does. A true Christian hungers and thirsts for righteousness and asks continuously to be filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to do the work of the Father on earth. To be used. To be instruments of Christ's love and peace to the lost world. The passion is caught by spending time in His presence. The point is that we are always in His presence if we are believers. He comes into our lives and makes his home with us. The telling difference is this: are we acknowledging the King's presence or are we ignoring Him and reverting back to old habits or patterns of living before Christ? In that case, we need to confess our sins and ask God to draw us ever closer to Him and set desires in our heart for His glory and pleasure!~indeed, to experience the abiding life in all we do, whether it be a "quiet time" or a busy parenting time, let it all be done in His Name and for His glory.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mary turning Five

I had the honor of celebrating Mary's 5th birthday while I was visiting the Eckles Family in Portland. She was thrilled with her Luau party and was a true "princess!" Check out those delighted eyes! I did some spa treatments for Mary and Sarah (some purple and pink temporary highlights :) and put their hair in party fashion!) It was fun to be with little girls!
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Visiting Laurie

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Joyful Girls!

Oh, the job of Motherhood is immense. I reflected through sobs to by best friend, Laurie, that I cannot imagine what she is doing. These precious girls are hers to raise, what priceless gifts! Sometimes I have a hard time loving the children from my womb, whom I have bonded with since before they were born. Laurie became mom to these little princesses at ages one and three. I know many families blend, adopt, etc., but her situation is unique in that Mary and Sarah lost their mom Heidi when Sarah was born. Heidi was a friend of mine from MOMS group at church, and it was quite an earthquake shocker when we lost her. Her husband Dave has been amazing to raise the girls; and also, God found in His good pleasure and grace to give Dave an awesome new wife in Laurie and an amazing mom for Mary and Sarah. I stand in wonder at God's plan for all of their lives. I know how much I love and treasure Laurie as a person and that these girls will be blessed to have her in their lives. My "moment" of tears during my visit was over how Heidi is missing these memories......not seeing the girls twirl their dresses at the beach, or celebrate their birthdays, or spill their cereal, for that matter. It's one of those wake-up-call, AH-HAH moments when you realize that life is but a breath. Enjoy each day. Each hug, each kiss, each snuggle, each mess, each poopy diaper! For real, life is passing us by! I want to be able to look back on my kids' childhood years and know that I was "present" and I was enjoying them. I think this is the way God would have it. As for Heidi, she's fine. She's celebrating life with Jesus in heaven and enjoying getting to be with Him. I am the one that doesn't understand the perspective of eternity and heaven, so I think Heidi would be sad missing her girls' milestones. However, I just don't think that's the case theologically. Emotionally I am projecting how I feel about my kids and how I think I would miss them (because I am stuck in my finite mind and my earth-grounded love) and in the context I forget Who life is all about and Who IS life! My Jesus. He is the all in all; the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is Peace, Hope, Joy and Love. He is everything we will ever need and more. More than we can imagine. He will fill our eternal lives with great joy in His presence. When we die, we will let go of every sorrow, suffering or pain; any hurt, fear, regret or bitterness...........all gone. We enter his presence with only the Grace He has given us, and the gifts of everlasting life that He was able to bring to life by living His Life in us, bringing us to completion and maturity, and transforming us to become more and more like Christ Jesus. When we meet Him, he will find us beautiful, for we shall be as He is!
As I ponder, I can't help but revisit the joys of this life. Yes, they are good. They are pleasing. We should enjoy the moments. But we need to place them in the paradigm of eternity. Like Jim Eliot is famous for saying, before he laid down his life as a missionairy in Equador, "He is no fool who gives what He cannot keep, to gain what He cannot lose." I believe I should savor each day I have with my kids, and love them to pieces; but even more importantly, Show them Who is LOVE and Who is Joy, Who is LIFE! Because if somehow, by God's grace, I have Shown that ONE to my kids, I have done my mothering well.
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A Hike of Insight

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Meeting God by the Sea

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Daddy and the Kids on the ATV

Bill and the Kids are really enjoying the ATV we are storing for my brother Cody. They will be sad when its time for it to "move on." They look forward to their joyride with Daddy every day after work (and I actually came home at lunchtime today and Daddy had friends over, our Senior Pastor included, who were playing on the ATV during their lunch-recess I guess!) Happy riding!
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