Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November Family Newsletter - Thanksgiving (Part 2)

Pilgrims: Myth vs. Reality

By Jordan Jachim

Because the Pilgrims are so important to the history of the English colonies in the New World, they have been subjected to several persistent myths (as all great men of history are). So what are these myths? You have doubtless seen the differences between the two included pictures, and I will explain some of them.

Traditionally, the Pilgrims are shown with a bell-mouthed blunderbuss. It is true the blunderbuss was invented in the 1600’s, but only the cavalry carried it, because they needed a short, easy-to-reload gun. The blunderbuss was mainly used by coach drivers in the 1700’s to repel highwaymen, or sailors fighting in close quarters, because it was only accurate at short ranges. The Pilgrims, in common with all fighting men of the 17th Century, would have carried a matchlock musket, which was longer and more accurate than the blunderbuss.

Figure 1: Matchlock Musket (42” barrel)

Figure 2: Blunderbuss (15” barrel)

Facial hair for men is also inaccurately shown. Pilgrims would not have worn mustaches without beards, nor beards without mustaches. The only clean-shaven men were those too young to grow beards, and some of the gentry. Pilgrims wore beards and mustaches, or mustaches and goatees.

The popular “sugar-loaf” hat would have been worn, but the Pilgrim men also had knitted “Monmouth” caps, and round-hats turned up on one side, along with metal “Morion” helmets for soldiers.

Figure 3:

Top: Monmouth cap (left) and Morion helmet (right)

Bottom: “Sugar loaf” hat (left) and round-hat (right)

Collars are shown larger than the Pilgrims really wore. The Pilgrims’ collars were shorter, and often went right around the neck. They did not wear something that looks like an oversized modern shirt collar.

The somber black-and-white color scheme is just plain wrong. The Pilgrims, in common with other Englishmen, wore colorful outfits. In fact, black was an expensive color to dye clothes in the 17th century, though the preachers wore it.

Log cabins were not built by Pilgrims, but by Swedish settlers in 1638.

The hair of the women would be pinned up under the hat, not worn loose (definitely no bangs streaming out from under the cap, ugh!), while the common aprons are much too small.

The Pilgrims did not sail to America for religious freedom. They left England for freedom, but they went to Holland, not America. They left because the Dutch were a bad influence on their children, and because a truce during the 30 Years’ War might expire soon.

Buckles are dished out liberally to our mythical Pilgrims, placed on hats (definitely not), waist belts (sometimes), and shoes (wrong). The Pilgrims did wear buckles on their shoulder belts.

Every man carried a dagger, and many had swords.

While the real Pilgrims wore doublets (like a jacket that only comes to one’s waist, with or without sleeves) with coats on top, the mythical ones seem to wear coats exclusively.

The Indians to go with the inaccurate Pilgrims look as if they were pulled from the Wild West. The real Indians the Pilgrims met would have looked more like Mohawks.

The list could go on, but this article shows that the modern perception of Pilgrims is highly inaccurate.

Much of the information on myths is taken from The Thanksgiving Primer. The blunderbuss and matchlock photos courtesy of, hats from the collection of Aidan Jachim.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November Family Newsletter - Thanksgiving (Part 1)

Offering Thanksgiving to the Lord

By David Jachim

As we draw near the Thanksgiving holiday, let us turn our attention to God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and His Holy Word - looking for His wisdom about how and for what we should be thankful. The Bible teaches that we are to offer thanksgiving to the Lord God Omnipotent. “And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.” (Psalm 50:14, KJV). The Hebrew word that is most often translated “thanksgiving” throughout the Old Testament is “toda”. The meaning of this word involves an extending of the hand and usually signifies adoration. Based on this meaning, our thanksgiving to the Lord should be filled with praise and adoration. This Thanksgiving, let us all be truly giving thanks to the Name that is above all names by honoring and glorifying Him for Who He is and what He has done. Consider the following specific issues for which we can all be thankful as children of the King:

  • God’s gift of salvation - Our salvation in Christ is nothing that any one of us have earned or deserve. Our sin nature and our specific acts of rebellion toward God’s Law deserve hellfire and eternal damnation. The very idea that God allows us to have ANY means of escaping this just judgment is nothing short of amazing grace - and how sweet is its sound. Give thanks that “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10, NIV)
  • God’s perfect and inerrant Word - The Bible is an incredible gift that God has given to us for teaching, doctrine, reproof, and instruction in righteousness for the purpose of thoroughly equipping us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Praise the Lord that you can read, study, meditate upon, memorize, and apply God’s Holy Word. Scripture is sufficient for every area of faith and practice. It will be a light to our path giving us clear direction if we will diligently and rightfully use it.
  • God’s Holy Spirit - What an amazing truth that not only has God given us the gift of His Word, but He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us to help us properly understand, interpret, apply, and recall the truth communicated by the Lord. Show gratitude to the Lord for graciously giving the Counselor that lovingly guides His children into God’s perfect truth. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5, KJV)
  • God’s sovereignty - Praise the Lord that our God reigns! He is in control of all things and He is working out His plan and purpose here on this earth as well as in heaven. Our hearts should be filled with gratefulness that our God is King of kings and Lord of lords both now and forever. “The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 146:10, KJV)
  • God’s love - God IS love and provides us with the capacity to love. While God’s love is perfect, our love is imperfect because we are sinful human creatures. Nevertheless, we should be ever grateful that He has given us the incredible gift of being able to see His love and has given to us the ability to love. God demonstrates His love for us in many different ways, including the gift of life on this earth, the blessings that He provides while on this planet, and the glorious hope that we have of the life to come. “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, KJV)
  • God’s faithfulness - The God that we serve is faithful to His covenant. Thank the Lord that He is just and shows His faithfulness whether we are breaking His covenant or are walking consistent with it. He will bless us when we are upholding His Law and will discipline us when we are in rebellion against that Law. “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9, KJV)
  • God’s holiness - God is perfect in character and His perfection is prominently shown in His holiness. He has nothing in Him that would mar this perfect holiness. In the book of Revelation, He is praised around His throne by the four living creatures as they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, KJV) God’s holiness should cause us to praise His Name and give thanks to Him for being beyond description.
  • God’s purpose - God is working in this world according to His purpose and He allows us to be a part of His purpose by preparing us to accomplish good works. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV) What a gift we have been given to be a part of His plan that He has determined in advance. Offer your thanksgiving for the privilege that you have of being a part of the purpose of the Almighty!

The above list is in no way meant to be comprehensive, but details only some of the many good works and divine attributes of the One True God. All of God’s perfect character qualities, all He has already done, everything that He is presently accomplishing, and everything that He promises for the future should cause us to be giving thanks. This Thanksgiving, take the time to reflect upon the Lord God and may our Heavenly Father be pleased as you joyfully present Him with your offering of thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

The last couple blog entries from our family newsletter were about Operation Christmas Child. There is yet time to be involved in this worthwhile project. The final collection date is this Sunday, November 22, 2010.

For information on why and how to pack a shoebox, along with a list of collection centers near you, go to Samaritan's Purse.

It brings great joy both to yourself and the young child who receives your box. :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

October Family Newsletter: Giving to Others - Part 5

Operation Christmas Child Packing Party

By Amara Jachim

I like packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child at a packing party. First, I walk to where some people are wrapping shoe boxes with fun paper. I pick a box I like and open the lid. I go to the first table that has T-shirts, socks, and underwear. After that, I walk to the next table that has toys like small puzzles, little cars, stuffed animals, dollies, little balls, and hair things such as ponytail holders, barrettes, hair clips, and bows. On that same table there are also school supplies like pencils, colored pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and notepads. On the next table, there is candy like Tootsie Pops, small candy canes, and various hard candies.

On the other end of that table there is toothpaste, tooth brushes, soap, combs, hair brushes, and small purses. When I finish packing the shoebox, I walk to the end of a table that has rubber bands, tape, and labels that you mark if the box was for a boy or girl. The label also shows the age ranges of 2-4 years, 5-9 years, and 10-14 years. I pick up the pen that is nearby and check one of the squares. Finally, I put one rubber band on each end to hold it closed and then tape the label on the lid. I pack several more boxes like this and it is fun.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy 14th Birthday, Aidan!!

Happy Birthday, Aidan!

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7, KJV)

It is with great joy that we celebrate your 14th birthday! You are a great blessing from the Lord and we are very grateful that God has given you as a gift to us! As your parents, we are committed to training you for your future, which includes your future as a committed husband and godly father, your future as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ contributing to the growth and life of the church body, and your future as a disciple-maker of nations.

Birthdays are a great time to look back and to look ahead. As we look back, we are filled with gratitude for you. Our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness for your life, as well as your growth and development these past 14 years (plus 9 months as an unborn baby!). The growth that we have seen is not just physical, but also spiritual and we pray that you will continue and accelerate along the path of growing in Christ-like character. As we look ahead, we have great hope for you. We know that God has a plan and a purpose for your life and He has prepared you for good works in advance of you accomplishing them (Ephesians 2:10). We are excited to be contemplating the future knowing that we serve a great and mighty God who will use you mightily in His kingdom work if you will be humble before Him in all that you do.

As you turn 14, you are growing into manhood and as a man, you need to have wisdom and understanding. The Bible teaches us that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). May you be seeking to be a man whose ONLY fear is the fear of the Lord and may you know that which is holy (including the perfect Word of God) so that you will have understanding.

Aidan, the foundation of faith in Christ will serve you well for a lifetime and we pray that you will be building on this foundation in the days that are to come. This building happens day-by-day and decision-by-decision. Do not allow yourself to follow a path of ease and comfort, but seek to do the hard things of standing up for what is right even against opposition and persecution. As you seek wisdom, gain understanding, and live by what the Lord teaches you, you will know God’s blessings!

Happy birthday, son! We love you dearly!

Love Always,

Dad and Mom

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

October Family Newsletter: Giving to Others - Part 4

Why is Operation Christmas Child Good?

By Aidan Jachim

Operation Christmas Child is a worthwhile ministry to give to, because it allows poor children around the world feel that someone cares about them. First, people that they do not even know sent them things that they need and can enjoy. Second, they put money, time, and effort into sending them these things.

Most importantly, the good news of a Savior is shared with them. Each child receives a little book about Jesus in their own language and the people that give the boxes to the children pray with them. Often, they will even deliver a fun message about Jesus if there is a big group of children.

Around Christmas time, we tend to think about what we want. Acts 20:35 says, “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Operation Christmas Child provides us a good way to think of and give to others. On the first Christmas, God was thinking of others by sending his son to earth to save us from our sins. We should do the same by thinking of others. Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”


We have fun packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and the easiest place we can find the items we need is a dollar store. We each have something we hunt down. Puzzles, games, and other toys are the gifts for which Dad and Jordan search. Mom sees how far each dollar can go on school supplies. Amara digs for the cutest, softest baby dolls.

I like finding balls and cars. I get balls with which you can bounce or play catch. The cars I choose are small ones, because they fit in shoeboxes easily. I check the cars to see if they are in good condition, that they are not scratched, cracked, or missing stickers or wheels.

When we are finished, we compare our items with each other. We make sure not to buy things that can leak or melt, such as shampoo, snow-globes, bubbles, chocolate bars, or other candy that can melt. We also avoid war-related toys because some countries have wars, so the children there would not like to be reminded of them. Once we finish inspecting, we buy everything in our cart and take it to our car. We are excited about packing our treasures in shoeboxes for others when we get home.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

October Family Newsletter: Giving to Others - Part 3

Don’t Tread on Me!: The Role of Civil Government in Aiding The Poor

By Jordan Jachim

In helping the needy, a common response even from Christians is, “Take government money! Let the government handle it; I’m too busy (or financially strapped, or whatever)!” Does the State have a role in helping the poor? The Apostle Paul gives us the clearest definition of the civil government’s role.

“For he [that is, the magistrate] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4, KJV)

The purpose of civil government in the Bible is twofold.

  • First, to punish evildoers
  • Second, to reward those who do good

Pretty simple? No 501(c)3’s or Health Care Bills or even Stimulus Packages. Just reward the good guys and punish the bad guys, either via restitution or execution. That’s it. Wait, isn’t it nice for the State to help the poor? Beware!

God established separate and sovereign spheres of influence. There is the Family, and their symbol of authority is the rod with which to spank a rebellious child. Then there is the Church. Their symbol of authority is the keys, by which they can bar the Lord’s Supper and the fellowship of the church to a member living unrepentantly in sin. The State holds the sword to symbolize their power to deliver justice to those who have committed crimes (as defined by the Bible).

Now, if for some reason (barring Divine judgment) a man or woman becomes poor, their family is to care for them.

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:7, KJV) Paul does not say that the state is to provide for the family, but that the father is to provide, because this passage is addressed to fathers. But what if, by some divine working of God, the father is rendered unable to provide the basic elements of life (food, clothing, shelter)?

“At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.”

(Deuteronomy 14:28-29, KJV)

This section of verses teaches a few interesting things. First, that you must pay tithes to God’s minister. This is non-negotiable. Far from being done away with at Christ’s death, we must pay not only tithes but also offerings. The only things which we are no longer obligated to do were ceremonies which foreshadowed Christ (e.g. animal sacrifice to atone for sin showed Christ’s sacrifice). Notice the phrase “within thy gates.” This teaches a local jurisdiction of the church, as opposed to one man or committee ruling the Church catholic (“Church catholic” just means the universal church; not to be confused with the “Roman Catholic church”).

Now, look at where the tithes go after being laid up. They are fed to the Levite (the Lord’s minister) the stranger, fatherless, and widow, three groups who tend to be poor. Again, study the phrase “within thy gates.” This teaches a local division of charity. One centralized organization lording it over independent jurisdictions (e.g. the Federal government as opposed to the state governments) has no business distributing either the Lord’s tithes or the wages stolen from you by the State.

But why is local better than national, anyway?

First, the local minister or sheriff knows the people of the community more closely. To a high-level bureaucrat (either the church or state kind), the people are just so many nameless revenue-producing sources to provide nest-feathering material. The local sheriff or pastor knows the community, and their unique situation.

What if the church won’t provide for the poor? Does the State come in then? The answer is a solid “No”. If neither the family nor the local church will provide, other believers in different congregations must take up the ball that the other institutions have dropped.

Sadly, other believers must take the brunt of provision now, because the church is more interested in entertaining the congregrants than helping the needy. It will not be pleasant for those churches when the Lord asks them what they did with His money. They had anti-Biblical programs to draw the crowds, but what about the single homeschooling mom that they staunchly refused to help, even telling her to apply for government aid, get a job, and sacrifice her children to a pagan idol called public school? “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

As God designed it, family provides first, church provides next, while the state keeps bad guys from interfering with the provision. If the State provides, it logically follows that the State can take away. If they give you money, they can also tell you what to do with it. Our response to a government handout (of money stolen from the working man) should be the same as our founders put on their first national flag: “Don’t Tread on Me!”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

October Family Newsletter: Giving to Others - Part 2

Ministering Unto the Least of These

By David Jachim

One of the great teachings of Holy Scripture can be seen in Matthew 25, where Jesus is communicating the truth about the separation of the sheep from the goats at the time of the eternal judgment. In this passage, the sheep are those who are righteous having received that righteousness through their faith in Christ, while the goats are those who are unrighteous based on not bowing before God’s throne of grace to become born-again believers.

There is a message that we as children of God can learn from the words of Christ to both the sheep and the goats that should serve to spur us on toward love and good deeds. As we examine these words, we should be inspired to diligently minister in the Name that is above all names. In this passage, Christ commends the sheep for giving Him drink when He was thirsty, food when He was hungry, clothing Him when He was naked, visiting Him when He was sick, and coming to Him when He was in prison. When the people of faith question Jesus asking when they served Him in this manner, the Lord responds with the following:

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40, KJV)

We see that by reaching out to others and giving to them in their time of need, the view of our Lord and Savior is that we are ministering directly unto Him. Therefore, we should first be looking to those that are around us to determine what their needs are and then we should be prayerfully considering how we can meet those needs. Christ’s words should cause us to ask the following question: “If Jesus had these needs, would I be willing to meet them?” I would hope that we would all be able to answer that question without hesitation or reservation with a resounding “YES!” While it is true that there is no way that we can meet every need that we see, that should be no excuse to be people of inaction.

God has given us a tremendous privilege as His children to be ambassadors for Him and represent Him to the world. What an incredible blessing to know that as we help others and meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, we are doing that which is pleasing in the sight of the Lord. There will be at least the following five blessings that result from these acts of love and service:

  • First, the most obvious blessing is that the receiver will be provided something that they need.
  • Second, the receiver will be provided with the blessing that they are not alone on this earth in whatever situation they are facing.
  • Third, the giver will be blessed with the joy of being needed and able to help someone.
  • Fourth, the giver will be blessed with the knowledge that the Name of Christ, as well as Christ Himself, will be honored.
  • Fifth, the giver will be blessed in the life that is to come by the Lord Jesus Christ.

After the conversation with the sheep, the Lord addresses the goats. When the goats are told that they ignored the needs of the Lord, they question Jesus when it was that they failed to meet His needs. In a manner that is similar to the words to the sheep, our Lord indicated that by not ministering to those that God brought to them that these goats did not minister to Him. The following words of Christ represent His judgment on these goats for their failure:

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:45-46, KJV)

Just as satisfying the needs of the least of these was honored by Jesus, so the failure to fulfill these needs is judged by our Lord and He counts this abandonment of others as being done directly against Him.

To be certain that this passage is clear, the Lord is not teaching that whether we enter into heaven is dependent upon the works that we do here on this earth. It is only by faith that we are saved from our sin and the eternal judgment that our sin deserves. While we are not saved by our works, as followers of Christ we are to be bearing good fruit (Luke 6:43-45). We should be joyfully seeking to serve others as a way to honor and glorify our Lord. Our desire should be to shine our light before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. In so doing, we will be directly serving our Lord and can look forward to receiving a reward when we stand before Him at the final judgment for carrying out these works. Go forth and serve Christ by wholeheartedly giving to those that the Lord brings to you who are in need - even the least of these!

Monday, November 1, 2010

October Family Newsletter: Giving to Others - Part 1

The theme of our irregularly scheduled family newsletter for the month of October is "Giving to Others". God's Word is sufficient for every area of life and as His children we are to be reaching out to those in need with the love of Christ. May these series of articles be a great blessing to you as you read them and may you be inspired by the great privilege that we have in ministering to the needs of others. This first article is written by my beloved bride, Jill, about the Gleaning the Harvest ministry.

Gleaning the Harvest

By Jill Jachim

When a Christian homeschooling mother, for various reasons, finds herself without a husband to financially provide for her and her children, what should she do?

The world's wisdom would tell her that now she must obtain government assistance, place her children in daycare and public school, and get a job outside her home. This would create more upheaval in the already fragmented family, and most importantly, the mother would be abandoning the God-given commands to train her children and keep the home (Titus 2:5).

God's wisdom as found in Scripture, however, would instruct the mother to do all things commanded by Christ (John 15:14)--that means EVERYTHING commanded in the Bible, not simply the things that are comfortable or convenient. She is to teach her children and raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Deut. 6, Eph. 6:4). She is (as is everyone) to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things (food and clothing) shall be added unto her (Matt. 6:33).

Just how will these things be added unto her? How IS the mother who stays at home without a husband's income going to provide for her family? The Lord Himself will take care of the mother who trusts in Him (Matt. 6:26).

There are several ways the Lord will provide. To the prayerful mother, He may give creative ways to save on expenses when she is seeking solutions. Our God is a wonderful, creative God and He made us in His image. We can be very creative when we are devoting our trials to prayer and asking for help (Psalm 55:22).

Another way the Lord provides is through the mother's (and sometimes children’s) industry from the home. She may be able to sell things she no longer needs. Perhaps she even makes things that can be sold. There are so many wonderful avenues through the internet now that enable a woman to stay home and yet sell her wares. Being industrious and creative and doing her best work will often help supplement her income. This, too, is supported by the Bible in Proverbs 31.

God supports a single mother through the gifts of His people. We are to feel compassion on those that need help (1 Peter 3:8). We pray for them, and give to them.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27, KJV). When God brings a need before you, prayerfully consider just how you can help. Even the smallest gift could make all the difference. If everyone gave even a little bit, how much better off these moms would be!

Gleaning the Harvest is an internet ministry that helps you to minister to the needs of widowed and single home schooling Christian mothers. Gleaning seeks to support the single mom who chooses to obey God’s commands to train up her children and keep the home. This ministry does not take any portion of your gift--they are simply a clearing-house. Your donation goes directly to an account of the family of your choice. It provides you with an outlet for leaving “gleanings” from your field, albeit a virtual, though not literal, one (Deut. 24:19-22). There are currently six families listed on Gleaning the Harvest, and you can read a profile on each family at the following website:

One of the families on the roster of Gleaning the Harvest is my friend, Bridgette Silvas. She was suddenly thrust into the position of acting as a single mom when her husband was taken to jail a few months ago. She desires very much to obey the Lord’s commands to stay home with her 8 children--to continue to teach them at home, and to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. She is fearful at times, yet she has learned to have greater trust in the Lord. He has shown Himself to be faithful to take care of her as she obeys Him. God has provided in part by moving in the hearts of others to give to her.

Please pray for her! She has greater responsibilities now, and needs wisdom, endurance, and grace to persevere each day. Please consider giving to her Gleaning fund if you are able. As we reach out to help others with the love of Christ, we can dispel the darkness of the world’s wisdom with the light of God’s wisdom.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tirzah's First Year

Okay, so I don't know much of what I'm doing on here. That's why it has taken me this long to load this video. I tried and tried--it was made in time for her birthday--but it wouldn't work. My son and husband took pity on me, figured it out and VOILA!! Here it is!

This is a slideshow of Tirzah's first year. It is precious to us--I love technology when it works and when it can do something special! ;-)


Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, My Dear!!

It is always a very special time to be able to celebrate a birthday in our family! It is with a heart of gratitude that I provide this post honoring the birthday of my precious bride and wife.


Happy birthday to my best friend, the mother to my children, my precious covenant life partner, and my co-laborer in taking dominion for the Name above all names - the Lord Jesus Christ! I am so blessed to have you as my dear wife and I am thankful for who you are, for all that you do for our family, and for the bright hope that we have as we look toward the future!

Your birthday is a great time to give thanks to the Lord for the gift that He has given me in you! It is exciting to see how God is working in the lives of each of us in our family and I have great visions for the days that lie ahead for how our Heavenly Father will use the efforts of our family to bring honor and glory to His Name.

Jill, may you know how much I appreciate your words of encouragement, challenge, care, and love! You are a gift from the Lord and worth far above rubies! The Bible teaches us that:

"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." (Proverbs 18:22, KJV)

I am so honored to have received God's favor through His gift of you!

Happy Birthday, Jill! I love you!

Love Forever,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our Oldest Son's New Blog: Defending the Legacy

Our son, Jordan, loves history! He researches, writes, draws, speaks, breathes history! We are all especially careful that our knowledge of history be actual, drawn as much as possible from primary source documents so as to not be tainted by modern revisionism (e.g. the stuff you learn in public schools).

He will be writing about various historical events, theology, cinematography, toy soldier-ology, as well as anything else he feels like! :-)

Please stop by his blog, Defending the Legacy, and enjoy learning some true history!

~Jill (aka his proud mother)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy 9th Birthday, Amara!!

Amara reached a milestone on July 25 by turning 9 years old! It is with a heart of joy and love that we provided her with the following birthday letter in honor of this special occasion!


It is with great joy that we celebrate your 9th birthday!! We love you very much and it is very special to see you growing, learning, and developing day by day! You have shown yourself to be a loving sister to Tirzah and we pray that you will always have a very tender place in your heart for her (and each of your siblings). We also pray that you will continue to have a great love for babies by seeing them as a gift, blessing, and heritage of the Lord. May you be making the most of the time while you are growing up in our family by following our direction in training you for your future. With your commitment to Christ and your dedication to following the Lord, your coming years are very bright and full of promise.

We will be diligently working to prepare you for being a help-meet to your future husband and a loving mother to many children. As a part of this training, there are many skills that you will be needing and many additional skills that will be beneficial in these future roles. One of the joys that we have in being your parents is to provide you with tools that will help you in your life. Two of the skills that can be a blessing to those around you now and those that God will provide in your future family are knitting and crocheting. It is with this idea in mind that we include gifts for you this birthday that will enable you to develop these skills. We hope that these gifts will be useful and a joy by allowing you to learn new crafts. In addition, we hope that these gifts will communicate our love to you, as well as our commitment to training you.

Amara, it is a blessing to have you as our daughter and we are praying that you will be growing and learning day by day. We are excited to be on this journey of the Christian life with you. We are confident based on Holy Scripture that as you are obedient to the commandments of the Lord, that God will bless you with a life that is joyful, exciting, and filled with great hope!

We love you, Amara! Happy Birthday!!

Love Always,

Dad and Mom

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First Birthday Letter for Our Dear Daughter!

Birthdays are a great time to reflect on God's goodness, grace, and mercy! It is with joyful hearts that we provide this letter for the very first birthday of our dear daughter, Tirzah!


What a blessing it is to celebrate your very first birthday! You are so precious and dear to us and it is with great joy that we have welcomed you into our family! God answered our prayers with you as we desperately desired to have more children added to our number.

We already have so many special memories of you. These memories include not only your first year after being born, but also all the days leading up to your birth--starting with the moment that we first learned that the Lord was forming you inside the womb. The time of awaiting your birth was very exciting to us and we praise the Lord for bringing you safely into this world and safely into our loving arms! You are a treasure and watching you grow and learn has been a great privilege. Seeing you smile, listening to you laugh, and watching you develop from being a newborn that was unable to hold her head up to becoming a 1-year-old that can crawl and feed herself has been a great joy. Each stage of your life has been a blessing and we look forward to your future with excitement. We will be training you to be a girl (and later a woman) of virtue and character based on what is taught in the Bible.

On your birthday, we were at a very special conference that was called The Baby Conference in San Antonio, Texas. One of the messages of this conference was that children are a blessing from God and are to be eagerly sought! We wholeheartedly agree with this message and YOU are a blessing, a gift, and a heritage from the Lord. May you ALWAYS view children with this godly perspective. Our prayer for you is that you will know our love for you each day, that you will commit your life to Christ very early in life, and that you will live according to God’s perfect plan communicated to us in Scripture.

We celebrate this very special first birthday with you and we remember the blessing of your birth, we thank God for His very special gift of you, we think about all the wonderful times that we have had with you already, and we anticipate many special memories with you in future coming days!

Happy first birthday, Tirzah! We love you very much!

Love Always,

Daddy and Mama

Friday, July 16, 2010


Packing is not a dreadful chore when you have good help! :-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Tirzah!!

We were at the Baby Conference during Tirzah's 1st birthday (how appropriate!) so we did not get a birthday post posted (is that like going to mail mail?)

Here is a pic from her actual birthday on the 10th of July. What a big girl!! What a blessing she has been. We praise the Lord for her.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy 16th Birthday, Jordan!!

“A wise son maketh a glad father” (Proverbs 10:1, KJV)

“My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.” (Proverbs 6:20-22, KJV)

It is with a glad heart that we celebrate your 16th birthday today! What a blessing it is to see you growing in godly manhood! Your growth in becoming a self-disciplined man who is being sanctified by the Lord Jesus Christ has been very evident and we are very blessed and privileged to be a part of preparing you for a special future of service to the God of the Bible! The upcoming years will continue to shape you for your life work that the Lord has providentially planned for you. We pray that this time will provide you with a solid foundation on which you can build and it is with great joy that we look forward to these years.

We are seeing many of your strengths with increasing clarity and have great hope for the dominion work that the Lord will enable you to accomplish. Your gift of writing, your interest in history, your growing foundation in theology, and your steadfastness in committing to doing what is right will serve you well for a lifetime. As we look to the future, we see that these building blocks are being put together for a very specific purpose that God has ordained.

The presents that we give to you for your birthday are intended to encourage you in a godly pursuit involving your gifts and interests. The first book that we give to you (Adventure in the Wilderness: The American Journals of Louis Antoine De Bougainville, 1756-1760) is one that you have often referenced and we hope will serve to help you gain in knowledge of the French and Indian War, gaining an appreciation from a primary source about the providence of God in this conflict. The leathercraft set that is our next present to honor you on your birthday is for learning the valuable skill of working with leather that can be another avenue of being productive with your own hands, blessing others, and honoring our Lord.

As you have shown yourself to be an honorable son, our gift for your trunk (which contains many special gifts in preparation for your future) is a reflection of our desire to honor and bless you for your commitment to honor. We gladly add to the trunk 20 volumes of the G.A. Henty library. We hope that you know that these books are much more than simply words on paper to us, but that they represent our desire to give to you a special gift from our hearts in appreciation for the son that you are today and that you will become in the future. We joyfully give these books to you, knowing that you will enjoy reading them, that they will be filling your mind with themes that are consistent with what God teaches in His Word, and that they will be a tangible reminder of the blessing that you are given as you are obedient to the truth of Scripture!

We love you, Jordan, and may you pursue a godly, righteous, and holy path for the honor of the Lord! You are a great blessing and we are so excited to see how God is using you today, as well as His plans for you in the future! May you always lay whatever God accomplishes through you at his feet and be humble before Him so that you can have a great impact for His kingdom!

Happy 16th Birthday, Jordan!