celebrating a life

A few weeks ago, we visited Oklahoma to mark the passing of Brent’s grandfather, Wesley “Bud” Martin.  It was a bittersweet trip.  We were sad to see him go and we miss him, but we were glad that he didn’t have to battle against cancer anymore.  And the final weeks of his life were filled with a renewed closeness to the Lord, which is the most important thing of all.  He was a big man with a big personality.  He worked hard and played hard.  We rejoice is his homecoming in heaven.  We also continue to pray for Grandma Sue as she begins a new chapter in her life, but she’s a strong woman and we know that the Lord will give her the strength she needs.  And she has a wonderful family surrounding her for support.

laying flowers at Granddad's service

The family together. There is a lot of love in this picture!

Anytime a loved one passes away, it’s only natural to reflect on what really matters in this life.  We were continually blessed by our relationship with Christ and by our relationship with family.  Those two things are always worth the investment.

We are looking forward to the day when we will get our turn to join the saints in heaven, and be reunited with our family members who have gone before us, including Granddad Martin.

Happy Anniversary, Elwyn and Evelyn

The greatest in-laws on the face of the planet are celebrating their 41st anniversary today.  We had a wonderful time at lunch listening to them answer questions about  their romance:  How did you meet?  How did you start dating?  Grandpa, how  did you pop the question?  (Our kids didn’t even know what “pop the question” meant.)

Some might say that 41 years of marriage is a big deal, and by today’s standards they would be right.  But one of the things I love about Elwyn and Evelyn is that they aren’t trying to live by today’s standards.  Instead, they are modeling their lives after God’s principles.

I cannot express how grateful I am for the example they have set for us, and for the role that they play in our lives.  We love you so much.  Happy Anniversary!

March bible reading

It’s time for my monthly post about my bible reading.  If you ever see me going a month without posting about this, please say something.  I want the encouragement and I especially want the accountability.  Last month I started in on the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) to prepare myself for Easter.  So I’ve finished Matthew and now I’m reading Mark.

One thing I’m loving about reading these accounts of Jesus’ life is the lack of apologetics.  No one is trying to prove the existence of Jesus.  They are simply telling you what they saw and lived during their times with Jesus.  Faith really can be simple.  If it seems complicated, it isn’t because of God, but because of us.

When Easter comes next month, I want to be immersed in the life and ministry of Jesus.  And I want to be so focused on Him that I can have a simple and profound faith, rather than a complicated one.

Mark is a short book, so I should be heading into Luke by the middle of March.  Join me if you like.  Happy reading!

Happy Birthday, Emma!

It was eleven years ago today that we became parents.  It’s all thanks to our amazing eldest child, Emma.  What a jewel!  We were so excited the day you came into the world, but it’s still just as exciting to watch you grow into a beautiful young lady.  You’re charming, intelligent, and thoughtful.  And if something needs to be organized down to the last detail, you’re the one to call.  You are entering a very transitional stage of life, but we are confident that you’re ready serve God and others through it.  We love, love, love you!

Emma at 6 years old. Notice the brown tooth in front. You got that when you fell in the parking lot of the church in Minnesota when you were a toddler. It was an big deal when that tooth finally fell out years later.

our young lady