February 28, 2007

A Lot Happening!

Well, it is been a busy past few weeks. Some because of mental stress, some because of traveling etc.

I thought you might want the grad school update, especially since it has been occupying most of our thoughts over here.

As I mentioned last time, David received an e-mail saying that he had been accepted to the University of Minnesota. Although I didn’t mention the school. Well, a week later we got the official letter from the U of M saying he has been accepted, but it also held some other information they didn’t tell us in the e-mail. Has has also been accepted for paid tuition and a stipend! Oh horray! we thought! We said we would not be able to go unless they would pay us to come, it just wouldn’t work. Now we just had to wait for the other school.

It wasn’t a week later when we got a package from the second university, Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. They have also accepted David into their engineering program, and were offering him tuition paid and a stipend. Wow! how exciting! Although, David’s first reaction was “oh Shoot!, I didn’t want to have to make this decision.”

Both universities are having visiting weekends. The U of M is this weekend, and Cornell is next weekend. They are paying for David to come and check them out, and I’m going along with him.

It’s been a long month, thinking back and forth about both universities, or even university at all.

Two weekends ago we went to the L’Abri conference (David’s Christmas present from me) . Long story short, it confirmed to the both of us that we should be going to university. We are praying about which one still, and would love it if you could join us in prayer!

So, that is the update. The other bit of interesting news, last Sunday we were without power for 13 hours! It was Exciting! I loved it! We even hosted Growth Groups here and had meeting by candle light. (and flash light to see our books)

I hope to have a few more pictures up in a bit of my carving. But the way I am working, it might be longer than a bit ;)

I hope you are all doing well! In Christ Rita

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February 05, 2007

Perfect Forever

For about the past two years that we have been living in Sioux Center, David and I have hosted a Bible study. First it was with a group of our friends, now it is a group of college students who have become our friends. I love hosting this Bible study. It gives me something to do every Friday night. It gives me a reason to clean the apartment, and gives me people to “spoil” to my hearts content :)

For the past year we have been working through a commentary on the book of Hebrews. For me, most of the time I participate in a Bible study, I enjoy it, but I don’t feel like I learn a lot that I didn’t already know, or think I knew ;).

This past Friday I feel like God broke through a wall that I have not been able to get through, no matter how hard I tried.

Here is a piece from my journal that I wrote on Saturday morning:

“Dear Daddy, Thank you for being so big. Thank you for the lessons you taught me, or made me know last night. I am flying high. Last night at Bible study we read the passage in Hebrews as usual and my thought was, ‘I’m starting to get it now, and it is very cool!’ Jesus’ death is the real deal, where as the blood offerings and sacrifices given before Jesus were just a shadow of his offering.

“I loved the first verse in particular. ‘The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming - not the reality themselves’ (Heb 10:1a) My though was, how cool, I get it. Just as Melchizedek was a high Priest before Jesus, and the Levitical high priests were a shadow of Jesus, and the temple just a shadow of what is in Heaven, and the blood offerings just a shadow of Jesus’ offering, so the law too is only a shadow of what is to come.

“But, it doesn’t talk about how it is the shadow of what is to come, like the tabernacle is to the temple in heaven, but it says the law is a shadow of what is to come ‘For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.’ (Heb 10:1b) So really, the law is not the shadow so much as the sacrifices are the shadow. They cannot make us perfect, and that is where they are the shadow. This is the good part from the commentary last night.

“Well, I don’t think I can quote from him (Hywel R Jones, author of Let’s Study Hebrews, through the Banner of Truth Trust) on this one, it won’t make so much sense, but he said that verse 2 ‘If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilt for their sins.’ It is not the old sacrifices that are able to do this. Over and over and over again the Israelites came to sacrifice at the temple because of their sins, but never left them guilt free. Maybe for past sins, but not for future ones too, that is why they did it year after year after year. To continually be cleansed for their sins.

“And then the commentary draws attention to verse 10 ‘And by that will {the will of Jesus to become the sacrifice for us} we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ Note the words ‘been made holy once for all.’ Then to verse 14 ‘because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.’ and for good measure, verse 17 ‘Then he adds “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”’

“What the law and sacrifices were unable to do, Jesus did! He has cleansed me, forgave me of my sins and lawlessness and I am PERFECT FOREVER in God’s eyes. I am not the worldly perfect, but I finally see that I AM perfect in God’s sight because of Jesus. Yes, I sin, but ‘Jesus died for that too’ as David says so often to me. “Jesus died for that too!’ I AM PERFECT… Forever! Hallelujah Amen!”

What an exciting truth to learn! To know with my heart and not just my mind. God has made me perfect forever! Praise be to HIs name!

in Christ Rita

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February 03, 2007


So this past month I’ve decided to pick up carving again. Two years ago I tried my hand at whittling a piece of wood into a spoon. That was an exciting accomplishment for me. But since I also carved a hole in my hand I was a bit fearful of knives and decided to put them away for a while. Now two years later, a little bit wiser, I thought I’d try again.

So I was looking up carving in the local library and was a bit discouraged because there are SO many different types of carving! I know that if I tried many of them, I would quit before I got anywhere. I’ve always loved the idea of being able to pick up a piece of wood and a single knife and making something beautiful. In looking at the books it looks like you need wood and tools galore! I don’t want to use tools galore, just one or two would be nice.

In one of the books I read that “love spoons” was a type of carving too, I thought it meant that someone else loved spoons too, and loved to carve spoons, so I googled spoon carving to see who else carved spoons. (I have since learned that “love spoons” are a certain type of spoon, and to say “love spoons” is not short for saying “I love spoons” but is a category/type of spoon to carve :).) Oh how encouraging this research was!!!

The first page that came up was the Spoon Lady. Horray! A woman who also loves to carve spoons and does it as her “work. That was VERY encouraging to me, so much so I had to e-mail her to tell her.

The second page that caught my attention has been my favorite by far!! It is titled Eating Spoons That intrigued me. :) I love silverware, especially spoons. I spent a quite a bit of time exploring the links on the bottom of this website, and loved it all! Then when I was researching knives (The knife blades I have been using continue to break on me and I have no way of keeping them sharp, it was time to decide if I would invest in this hobby or be done with it.) I came across the homepage, Pinewood Forge, the only link I didn’t explore from the eating spoons page. And there I found so much more to look at. I especially love his hugarian spoon pictures!

Longer story shorter ;) I was so impressed with the information on his web page, and his knives that we decided to invest in them. They are very much worth the investment! I love them! Even David is very impressed! :)

Oh, and just when I thought I had explored his pages inside and out, I remembered that I didn’t finish checking out his links page, and there, just yesterday, I found a wealth of spoon carver/ing sites that just made me giddy! :) Hours later and I am still going through all the links to see what there is to see!

So, after all of that, if you want to see the results of my carving thus far, check out the photo’s under “Life in 2007” If I end up carving so much then I will make a separate page just to show you the results. I am challenging myself to carve a hedgehog right now. I don’t know why a hedgehog, but that is what it is. Well, I should say, I was challenging myself, but with the delivery of the knives and spoon blanks, I’ve gone back to spoons for the time being.

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Brief January Update

Hi hi All! Here I am to give another update about the past month :) We are getting back into the swing of things. The Dordt students are back and bible study is started up. It is great to have them back! I was able to get the Veggie Tales Dance Dance Dance game. :) We have been having a lot of fun with that one!

Oh silly me! I almost forgot! My girlfriend Robin had her baby boy two weeks ago! Stetsen James, a beautiful baby he is too!

I have been able to join a bible study with ladies from church. And I am now volunteering at the public elementary school Library on Thursday mornings and loving it! So now all my mornings are busy with aerobics, story hour, Bible study and working at the library. That has been a lot of fun! But I haven’t been able to visit with Robin as much as I’d like.

The big news of the past few days…. David received an e-mail from one of the universities he applied to and has been accepted into their grad school program!!! Horray! This is especially exciting for us because this past month we have been feeling even more like it is time to move on, we just haven’t been sure how or where. I haven’t said which university yet because there is another that we have also applied to that we are waiting to hear from. Please continue to pray for us as we move forwards and seek God’s will. We don’t know about financial aid, or if we are going for sure, but it is encouraging to know that he has been accepted. If this is where God wants us, he WILL work out the details.

Love you all! In Christ


PS, yes, with a new post, comes new pictures! Check out the “Life in 2007” page under photo’s, that will give you the most recent ones.

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