Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What About Baptism

So, a little while back in our small group/ Bible study we got on the subject of baptism and it's importance. The discussion also went to the question of whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation. I am not going to get into a topic about which some Christians argue or disagree. That's not necessary in my opinion.

I would say it is pretty clear from reading the New Testament that baptism is important either way. My question is this- why does it feel like baptism is so...forgotten, or at least given less importance than it seems it had in the early church? As I have been reading my Bible post resurrection, baptism usually directly follows a decision to follow Christ. Believe and be baptized. Right?

And perhaps it's just me, or where I live or something, but I feel like it's treated as something separate. When a gospel presentation takes place, should not a call to baptism go right beside it? From my experience it's not like that. First there is sharing of the gospel and what Christ has done for us, then there is a leading in prayer, or an offer to pray with. It is usually stated that if you have made a decision to follow Christ there should be follow up and discussion about what that means, etc. (Please don't misunderstand my feelings. I am not trying to take away from the importance of that, or the goodness of it.)

Baptism is something that is presented at a later time. It doesn't happen based on the time frame of a decision to follow Jesus (again, this is just from my experience...I may be observing things differently than most). Baptism is called for when one is planned. "We are having a baptism on such and such date. If you have not been baptized and would like to be, please talk with so and so..." or something like that.

I feel like this makes baptism take on less importance than perhaps it was meant to have. It feels like it has become something that we do at our convenience rather than as a first act of obedience. Now, I might be a little confused on the subject, so please give insights if you have them. Also, I do understand that perhaps here in the Pacific Northwest with our weather it might make a difference. I suppose that if you do not have an indoor baptismal font it might make things hard to do. There might be the reason that if you are in a large church you would be doing it all the time. But should that matter? Can't other means be figured out?

This is just something that has been on my mind. Please feel free to share any insights that you might have. I am not meaning to ruffle feathers if my observations are off either. If you have experienced something different, please share. I would love to find out that this isn't as normal as I might think it is.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


You may have noticed some pictures of my precious little ones at the top that have changed and wondered what they are doing. They are playing in their bouncer. It's one of those things that fills up with air and they jump on it. Cool stuff.

Curly has played on it plenty of times. We got it around the time she turned 18 months old. She doesn't have as much fun all by herself though, so to have a brother old enough to start playing in there...well that was great!

Smiles had quite a bit of fun too, but was still figuring out what to do in there. He still isn't a crawler, he does so well with his army crawl that he doesn't care to figure the other way out. The bouncer was a bit interesting for him.

He is telling his sister to stop jumping on him in the above picture. At least, that's what I am guessing.

And she of course proceeded to tell him that she is his big sister and he can't tell her what to do. Or something like that.

She is pretty bossy sometimes.

But she also sure loves that boy. And he loves her too.

I just think he might wish she was a little less...

rough sometimes.

This is the Smiles pose. He is always sitting like that. Seriously. Always.

It's like he thinks he's awesome or something.

Curly thinks it's fun to go in and out. In the bouncer. Down the slide.

Smiles just thinks she is weird.

(And yes, I was in the bouncer with them. I was sitting. It's all good.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wake Up!

Big sister loves to get little brother up when nap time is over! She would like to get him out too, but of course Mommy isn't so keen on that desire. I do let her get in the crib with him from time to time though and they both love that.

As you can see, Curly hair wakes up much messier from nap than those with non-curly hair.

They love to wrestle =).

Something light for you to chew on this afternoon. Thoughts at our house are way too heavy (in a good way though) to share just yet. If you think to pray for us that would be wonderful. We are in the process of making some major decisions and just want to be in God's will.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Psalm 86

1 Hear, O LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.

2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
You are my God; save your servant
who trusts in you.

3 Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I call to you all day long.

4 Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.

5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.

6 Hear my prayer, O LORD;
listen to my cry for mercy.

7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
for you will answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.

9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.

10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life—
men without regard for you.

15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
grant your strength to your servant
and save the son of your maidservant.

17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

March for Babies

Today was the March of Dimes, that walk I have been raising money for on my sidebar. We walked 5 miles...much less than the previous 12 that the walk was when I used to walk it. Back then I was young and spry. Back then I was practically a baby. (My first walk was when I was in 4th grade.) I was decidedly fine with that shorter distance today.

This year was the first year that I actually had the unfortunate honor to walk in memory of someone that had touched my life though. Not something that I ever hoped would happen, but it was the case none the less. It made for a somewhat more emotional walk this time.

Our team wore yellow lays to show that we were walking in memory of babies that were born and lost. Others wore purple (premature) and green (birth defects). And there were many that walked with none. (That's a good thing IMO.)

Here is the beautiful Mama of our team. Brie worked very hard to raise a lot of money in memory of her little girls. Isn't it special that so soon after her loss she was able to find something that she could do to help others that might encounter the same hardship. How special. You are a wonderful woman Brie. I sure do love you.

This is her husband Mike, Daddy of Emily and Allison.

And their big brother Jaden. He was planning on walking 100 miles today! I wonder how that went for him...

Brie giving Curly her "necklace" to wear. She gave it to Daddy and said that she wanted to save it until we got home.

This is Brie's mom, Katie. Grandma of the girls.

Smiles on my back. Boy how glad I was that my new hiking backpack had come in the mail before the walk. I did pretty well with it, just a little sore. Come to find out I didn't have it properly fit to my body, and it still felt pretty good until the very end.

My handsome Handsome walked with us too. Then he promptly had to head to work for a closing shift. I'm sure he will fall down on the floor the moment he walks in tonight!

Smilesy poo. His nose and cheeks got wind burn on them, but he didn't cry or fuss the whole way. He fell asleep early on and then after he woke up, he just talked mostly. The last few blocks he started to get antsy for some movement. It was SO cold that we had him bundled too tight for much movement.

And little miss Curly got to ride in a stroller. She didn't walk very much, but ate plenty of fruit snacks along the way. (Given at the mile markers of course. We do not do fruit snacks at our house...unless Grandma S. brings them over.) Notice Grandma Burger with her too.

Some other walkers on our team. This little one below is having people sign her shirt.

Aunt Meatloaf was my walking partner in the old days. Back in the fourth grade days. She walked with Mom a lot and they got to catch up. Can you tell it was really cold this morning? Like numb your butt cold! (Did I just write that? HA!)

My little sister Aunt Artsy. She was trying to hide from the cold. Poor girl has absolutely no meat on her bones, so I am sure she was about as close to a popsicle as a human can come. I could hardly see her with that dark hood over her face.

Vicky was there too. Also freezing her bootay off with us.

And now it's time to share in Jaden's "warm up dance"...or silliness...or something like that.

Here is part of the crowd. We were crazy ready to get started. We needed circulation! It was crucial.

And finally, we're off!

Thanks to all those that donated in support of this cause. I'm very grateful that you cared enough to show your support in this way. And thank you to those of you that have supported this family in prayer. That is the best gift of support that one can give.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Meet the Family: She She

Meet She She. Or Shn Shn if you prefer. She is the next oldest of my younger siblings. Curly couldn't say her name properly, so this is what she was called at our house for a long time. It was a sad day for She she when Curly actually started to call her by her name.

While on the subject of my siblings names, I might add that you are better off for memory with the false names. The ones that are from my dad and his second wife all have very interesting names that I had a hard time learning to spell. I remember being so proud the day that I learned to spell the third one's name properly...but that's a different topic in itself.

So, as I just shared in passing, She she is a daughter of my Dad and his second wife, S. (Not to be confused with Grandma S...which I guess could be confusing now that I write that out for you. Grandma S just happens to have the same first initial and did not give birth to She she. Different wife that starts with S.) All siblings hereto after born to my Dad are children of his second wife, S. I'm letting you meet them by order of their ages, so I will clarify at the start of their posts which parent they belong to and whom their other parent is. It will go back and forth from Mom's kids to Dad's kids quite a bit. Just to let you know ahead of time.

Okay, She she. Well, there are lots of things to say about She she. I could probably go on for ages about her...but I won't. You see, She she and I have had our moments. We don't always get along, and that's partly because we both have the same weak areas. We are both first-borns (and I bet not many siblings share that!), and we both like to be in control. That's part of being a first-born and also part of a childhood that feels out of control.

Stop for a sec. I just have to clear up that I turned out well in spite of divorce and I never wished that my parents had stayed married just for me. I don't want you to take that as me saying that I had a terrible childhood or that my life wasn't fantastic as a kid. I had an amazing childhood. That was just to state that divorce does play a role in the way you view things and I do think that some of my desire for control and controlling nature come from that. Some of it is just part of the genetic make up that made me.

Okay, this is bound to be a long post...

So, we have a lot of the same weaknesses and thus have butted heads. But, I also have some of my fondest memories with She she. Because we understand each other in a lot of ways. She is probably one of the sisters that I have had the most late night chats with and is definately the one that I feel I have been able to be a "big sister" to the most.

When Handsome and I lived in the milking barn on my Dad's property, she would come over all the time. There was a time period that wasn't all that small where I wasn't working (we didn't have children while living there either) and I was home all day. She would come over and we would talk and cook and all sorts of things. There wasn't a lot of learning of home making skills at Dad's house, so she came and "tried" to learn some of those. Now that she is married I will have to ask her husband how she is doing with learning those skills. =)

She would come over all the time. Probably more than once daily. I can't even remember what we did all the time, but I know that our conversations ranged from silly to very deep and everything in the middle. I had this pair of black mules (slip on shoes) that she would wear to run over to her house if she needed to go over for anything. Recently I was getting rid of them since Smiles made me go from an 9 1/2 to an 11 (DARN that boy!) and she took them. They weren't anything pretty, but she said they had memories for her. Because of this I know that she has fond memories of those times too.

About a year before Smiles was born, maybe a little before that, She she came to live with us. There was a lot going on in her family and she didn't have anywhere to go. She came to live in my craft room, which is now Smiles' room. During that time I think we both learned a lot. I would say this was when we butted heads a lot too. She didn't have a car or a job and I was at home all day with Curly and her little friend that is 5 months younger than she is. We were all stuck in the house all day long. ALL DAY. Every. Day.

After some searching in the locations nearby (because she didn't have a car yet and so I had to be able to take her to work at first), she got her first job. It was at our friendly neighborhood Fred Meyer. My favorite store! (Other than Target of course...and that's the truth!) She did awesome and I knew she would. One of the greatest feelings that you can have is feeling like you can take care of yourself. That feeling of accomplishment that employment gives you is a wonderful thing and I knew it would have a good effect on her. I didn't have a clue how much she would grow through it though.

Can I just tell you that I am so proud of that girl? She has grown up so much in the last year and a half, it's amazing. She took her life into he own hands (and don't take that to mean that the Lord was left out...I just mean that she stopped expecting everything from her parents) and learned how to take care of herself. She has blossomed into a wonderful young woman and has matured in so many ways. She she has worked hard to turn things around and that hard work shows.

A couple of months ago she got married to Rosie. Yep. You get the name Rosie "C", and I'm sure that's no surprise to you =). Rosie is in the Army and is a good clean cut boy. He has a good effect on She she, he has brought some things to her life that she desperately needed and I love that she found a man that is as great for her as he is. They both have the same solid beliefs, which I am also glad for. I know that they will raise a fine young brood of children (okay, or just a couple) when the time comes. I am still mad at them for going off and getting married before they were supposed to though. They were supposed to be the first wedding that I got to photograph.

Okay, maybe not. I still forgive you.

She she is extremely silly. I mean EXTREMELY. And random. So random that it doesn't make sense most of the time. That's a J family thing though. I have been known in my day to be nearly as random, if not equally so. Most would say that I have grown out of that now. Most of the time. BUT, She she can bring it right back out. It's the special bond of sisters. She is, in fact, so random and silly that I can't even think of an example or how to fit it so that you could possibly grasp and understand. I don't know how to type out such sounds and make believe words. Just can't do it.

She she and the J clan are a mystery that you have to unfold in person to fully understand. The pictures of me in this post might give a glimpse. Or the one of Brody and the lens cap that became a great many things in this post. That's about all the glimpse you are going to get right now. And She she, well, she is right up there with the silliest of them.

She she loves ASL. She is thinking about going to school in order to become an interpreter right now in fact. (She she- did you register for school yet? You better get your booty in gear and do it before it's too late for the next quarter. You know this sister will be on you about that, but only because you asked me to.) While she lived with us she was working very part time as a tutor for ASL at the local community college. It was fun to have someone to sign with from time to time. It had been so long for me since I had learned ASL that I had forgotten it all. Sadly, I would probably say that I am back in that boat again. Now there are some fun memories. Being silly while signing is even more fun!

I just got a flash back of when she was living with us and we didn't have a bed for her. Poor girl was sleeping on an inflatable mattress. Well, after a few weeks of daily sleeping on our cheap air mattress, it sprung a leak. She was on the floor by morning...even within an hour or so I would say. So, I remember going in and chatting until way too late at night, giggling and bugging Handsome to no end. And I recall sitting down on the mattress so that it would raise her up off the floor for just a moment. And don't think that we were slight of mind (did I just make that term up?). We tried to patch it, but you know how when you get a hole on the seam it just won't be patched? Well, that was our issue.

Don't be too dismayed. Nana loaned us a good air mattress shortly after and then a little later she was given a bed by her church that she got to keep. It was a very nice bed. Much welcomed after such a rough time for the first weeks of being here.

Oh! And she got me addicted to Free Cell, you know the solitare game on the computer. Yep. That was all her and I was really addicted. Like really badly. But it's okay. I am now free. Freed from Free Cell!

Blogging may have taken it's place...

You see, I could go on for ages about She she. Being that she lived with us as an adult it gives you way more stories. Just like I could tell you oh so many things about Handsome or Curly. But I will stop now so that you can rest your eyes. I know that they hurt now.

I think you should go give your eyes a cucumber or two after that. Oooh. I have a cucumber in the frige. That sounds good.

Happy Friday! More Meet the Family next week!