Monday, July 6, 2009


Matthew 6:28-29 "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these."

We can learn a lot of lessons from flowers! My favorite flower is the Stargazer lily. If you think about it, whenever we look at a flower, we should remember not to worry about the uncertainties of the future. Just as God cares so delicately about the lily, he cares infinitely more about you and me! He holds our hopes and dreams in His hands. He will provide us with the strength and patience to trust in His goodness and His plan.

As I said, the Stargazer lily is my favorite flower. Often when I look at the Stargazer, I draw some additional lessons from it. Jesus is known as the Lily of the Valley. He really must be beautiful if He is anything like the lily! The Stargazer tells a hidden story. If you look at the pedals of the Stargazer, you will find that they begin a reddish-pink color and change to white. The Stargazer is a picture of what we are like when the precious blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from our sin. We are declared righteous when we confess that we have sinned against God and believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay our penalty. On the Stargazer, the red represents the blood of Jesus, and the white represents the fact that we are declared righteous. The green of the stem represents our growing to know His Word and growing to know better who He is. Lastly, in name and in actuality, we should be like the Stargazer and always look heavenward in worship of our Savior who created us.

On a different note, this arrangement of flowers is probably the nicest that I have ever seen! Besides the beauty of the Stargazer, the little red flowers with their yellow highlights perfectly accent the arrangement.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Friday, June 26
My parents, two younger brothers, and I all got to join the McCluckeys at their house for a fun day of "haying"!!! The night began with people gathering at their house and talking and having fun. In the McCluskey's living room, Matthew Beaty instructed Megan (it was filmed) as to the finer points of wisdom on getting others to like you! ;)

There were lots of people there who all had a great time!

Here are my little, and yes they still are shorter than me by a little, brothers. Michael (left) is 17 and Daniel (right) is 15. They were a big help in the haying and had a blast!!

I was determined to take as many photos as I could that night. I could have posted the funny one of Megan and I, but I thought that she would not want me! :) I will add it later if she wants me to post it!

So many people mistake Josh and I as either brothers or cousins. But then again, I have been told that I look like a lot of different people!

A very nice picture of Matt and Stephanie!

Zeke chilling out on the deck.

Mrs. Hamacher keeping vigil over two of her sons.

No, this is not Joel's son, this little fellow belongs to Andy!

My mom and Mrs. Riefer were able to have a good talk in the McCluskey's kitchen.

It is funny how small is all so relative! Small to one person is not so small to another!

Some recipients of the dreaded picture taking were quite stunned, like Chris here! :)

Here is my dad, Jim. My parents are the best in the whole world. They have been such a blessing to me. I thank God for the privilege of growing up with Christian parents!!

I really liked this shot I took of Jenny! The lighting on her hair is perfect!

Though most older people preferred not to "die twice" (according to them ultimate frisbee was one death and haying was another because of the intense heat), some of us younger people got in some playing time.

I came in late to the game because I was enjoying a great conversation!

Ashley and Megan took control of my brother's camera while we were working. I like the lighting contrasts on this one!

Talk about posing for a picture! This looks like the cover for an album or CD!

Some of the girls and younger people rode on four wheelers and brought us guys water and gatoraid! Thanks, girls!!

Another really nice picture!

And another!

My parents really enjoyed themselves. They hit it off very well with Mr. and Mrs. Riefer and the McCluskeys and the other people at the party!

We piled the wagons really high! Once in a while, if we piled them too high, some of the bales would fall off!

Here Daniel is organizing the bales as fast as he can, so we can take the bales and pile them in the loft of the barn. After we finished haying, the girls bombarded us with water balloons and dumped water on us. :D Everyone was soaked to the skin! It was a blast!!!

Here is what we looked like soaked. Some people even took out the hose and sprayed people! Some people really enjoyed getting wet! Others got wet by "accident"!! ;) It is always so sad when this happens!

When everyone had cleaned up and had eaten some delicious pies and desserts, many people gathered around the piano to sing while Mr. McCluskey played. We had several people sing and play the guitar to accompany him.

I know the pictures are reversed, but we next gathered around in a circle to play the guitar and sing.

It was a great night that I hope to remember forever!! There was a sense of victory when Matthew Beaty and I through up the very last hay bale into the loft! What a neat memory!!

Visit to Salem

Wednesday, June 17
Joel, Carl, Mark, and I decided to take a bike ride out 72 to go to Salem.  It turned out to be an eventful ride!  Here we are preparing to set out from behind to brand new and famed Walgreens!  I got some peanuts as some power food for the ride. 

About five miles out of town, the group stopped at a small stream flowing by to cool off for a short time.  Knowing that the tread on my back tire was low, I did not ride my bike all the way down to the stream but decided to walk down.  Here Mark is cooling off in the stream.  I got him unsuspecting! ;)  When we got back on the road, my tire was flat with a shard of rock that was almost like glass in sharpness.  Nathan Hickle was nice enough to drop off another bike and pick mine up in his truck!  You're the best, Nathan!!!  We still owe you ice cream!  :)

The ride to Salem was more tiring for me than it should have been.  I guess I was worn out from all the work and little sleep that I had been having for the last week prior!  We finally made it to Salem!

Carl, Mark, Joel and I stopped at Burger King at the end of our ride.  Carl had a trip gauge on his bike.  We went an average of 14 miles per hour and officially reached our 30 mile mark at a mortuary in Salem.  This was to save costs for us when we dropped dead from our ride!  :)  Dave Eldredge and Noah Cohen picked us up from Salem in Dave's truck and took us back.

Finally Updated Posts

It seems like forever since I have posted on my blog!  So many things have happened, I just have been waiting for my pictures and have been so busy lately.  First, I want to post a few more pictures from our latest ride with the Nisbetts before moving on to other events.

June 12
Group Alpha during our 20 mile ride to the Nisbett's house.

Our route looked similar to the hike route with small paved bridges that crossed over small streams.

Our halfway point to take a break, get some water and Eclair cake, and play some chess, was the Hamacher's house.  We all had a nice break.  Jacob was away being involved in a chess tournament.  Mr. Hamacher and I played two very quick games of chess to satisfy his chess bug.  I won the first, and he won the second! :)

When we got to the Nisbett's house, everyone was ready to work, even Glory.  Here, she was helping me get ready to do some trimming of grass around the Nisbett's house.

Several of the guys worked on the siding of the Nisbett's house.  Here, Josiah is using a nail gun to nail the siding up while everyone watches intently.

Joel and I took the tractor down to their pasture to finish putting up their barbed wire fence.