1-Jan-2005

Happy New Year!

No wise words, resolutions, or deep thoughts. I am grateful that another year has gone by and as children grow physically every year, so I have grown as a child of my heavenly Father. I look forward to another year to grow in His grace and in obedience to His will.

I want to count the blessings of good friends who will play volleyball from one year to the next; for brothers and sisters who will “polar bear plunge” into the pond with you; and for our wonderful Texas weather that allowed both of those things to happen. God is good.

1-Jan-2005

Well yesterday was a very full day, lot’s to think about. I went to
work with my brother on his FedEx route and we had a great time
catching up on our lives and discussing life.
One thing we were discussing was life choices and what was behind our
actions. I was also reading a book and came across a really good
explanation of why we have boundaries on our behavior.
  The starting point for our
guidelines has to be a heart desire to honor God…rules for the sake
of rules that are based on human traditions have no value in
restraining indulgence….that only comes by God’s grace. However, an
important part in receiving and applying that grace is establishing
behavior that flees from temptation and puts sin to death. This
involves establishing guidelines that help us. These rules…help us
put our convictions into action.

  The boundaries that we set for ourselves, yes the ones I have
set for myself, are based on what would enhance Christ’s reputation.
Think of anyone going into the public area and coming under scrutiny of
the press; they better have a good track record or any “little slip”
will be blasted to the whole nation and their credibility ruined. A
stupid choice, or a little activity that “wouldn’t hurt anything” now
becomes a source of regret and embarrassment, possibly even ruining a
chance to be effective.
  There was an incident a few years ago (forgive me for not
remembering details) but Bush was trying to appoint a good conservative
lady to fill a key government position. The opposition however found
that she had harbored and helped an illegal alien, albeit out of
kindness, and under the pressure of the accusations she had to turn her
back on the position offered her. She had made a slight “bend in the
law” and with a good motive too, but that compromise ended in defeat by
hurting her character and rendering her useless to serve her country in
a way that would have had incredible impact.
  The same can happen to us as Christians. God has led me to draw
the line in some places that others might not; they might think I’m
weird and try to get me to change. But I’m not doing it for my
reputation but for Christ’s who dwells in me. We have to carefully
guard our reputation, lest after you have preached to others, you
yourself are cast away. Keep yourself unspotted by the flesh.

29-Dec-2004

God knows what we have need of even if we don’t.

After working all week until Thursday and then staying out late at a Christmas presentation that night, dad told me to rest up the next day. (I was staying home Christmas Eve to help mom cook and clean) Well being my normal self I couldn’t imagine sleeping in and messing up my while morning routine so I planned to get up early just like always. One problem, somewhere between getting ready for bed and actually getting in bed I had lost my watch which I use for an alarm. After searching around a bit I was too tired to care anymore and decided to just sleep in until my sister’s alarm went off at six.

For the rest of that weekend I couldn’t find my watch and I continued to get a little extra rest each morning, once I slept all the way until seven! I felt rested, and had high spirits all weekend.  I even started coming down with a cold (the first time I’ve been sick since before I left for college) so it was good to give my body a break.

Finally, on Sunday night I knew that I needed to go to work the next morning. If I wanted to jog and read my Bible before going I would have to get up at my regular time. I set up to use my sister’s alarm and then reset it for her, but I really wanted my watch back. Finally I stopped and prayed, I thanked the Lord for the rest that weekend and then asked Him to please put the watch back where I could find it. I went the bathroom and started looking again and there in my little sisters pajama drawer was my watch! It must have fallen off of the counter and been in there all weekend.

I thanked God not only for the watch but also for His care of me. He also made sure that I obeyed my dad when I thought I would do things my own way instead of listening to him. I’m so glad that I have two Fathers watching over me.

25-Dec-2004

 Last night as we were going to a Christmas eve party God gave me a song. It started out one way, but ended up taking a whole different tack as I wrote it out. After having been at college with my two sisters I still tend to think of us in threes so it has been a common theme and this will be no exception. I thought about the gift that each of us posses and how we can give that gift to others. Try to guess which verse fits which girl. Merry Christmas!

We college girls are 3 in sum,

Bearing gifts, to home we’ve come,

These bestowing, seeds we’re sowing, while

Worshiping God’s dear Son.

Chorus: God of wonder, God of might,

God of royal beauty bright.

Hearts we give, now help us live,

Guide us with Thy perfect light.

Love received, I give to all,

In this way I follow God’s call.

Causing me to worship Him while

At His feet I fall.

Joy I have to give delight,

Spreading fragrance though the night.

Coming from a broken spirit,

Incense rising to the heights.

Peace to set around the room,

Ceasing strife, dispelling gloom.

Coming from my Savior’s presence, I

Pray His return is soon.

20-Dec-2004

Praise God for the unique Texas weather! This morning at six it was 32 degrees and my bare hands ached with cold as I did push-ups on the front porch after my jog. By lunchtime it was 75 so we had a picnic outdoors  and this evening I played soccer in shorts because the weather was beautiful. By tomorrow evening it will be cold again and by Christmas it will be down in the ‘teens, however it will probably be warm next week. God blessed Texas with the ability to please everyone – if you don’t like the weather just wait an hour or so and it will be different.

Now for the real purpose, God gave me a day at home that I wasn’t expecting so I have time to put up another post. This is our family newsletter (minus the pictures). Each person wrote their own section so I take no responsibility for what is said.  I thought y’all might be interested in knowing my family a little better and seeing how God is has blessed us this year.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” At Christmastime, we especially think of God’s wonderful work in sending Christ, His Son, into the world to provide for our salvation. We approach the Christmas season with hearts of gratefulness. This year has been one of changes, of children who are growing up so quickly. We have said god-bye to Jim’s dad, Bobby Jones, and to two beloved uncles, Roy Paslay and E. G. Jones. We have sent our three oldest daughters to college in Michigan. And we have welcomed two new members to our family.

Jim (dad) – I shipped out FedEx (giving my business to Michael) and began remodeling again. I snow skied for the first time, played soccer all year, worked for some wonderful clients, and gained a great daughter-in-law who has already blessed me with my first grandson. God provided new insights as I kept my eye on Christ’s Commands and studied the blood covenants. I am so blessed to have these children who love God and put up with their Dad. God has faithfully and miraculously provided for all our needs.

Anne – Our household has really changed with the girls off at school. I’m continuing with my hobbies of scrap booking and astronomy. I also teach a Chemistry class each week. This spring I had the wonderful privilege of cruising to Alaska with my sister Sue, and parents for their 50th Anniversary. I loved all the snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and the whales we saw breaching.

Michael – 23 Just before Valentine’s Day this year, I married my sweetheart, Lindsey Hebert, on the snow-covered mountains of Angel Fire, NM. We are living in Bryan while she works at Wells Fargo Bank and I drive for FedEx. 10 ½ months into our new life together God blessed us with a son, Connor Andrew, born Dec. 10th, weighing 7lbs 7oz. Gramma and Papa and all his aunts and uncles think he is the cutest thing.

Amy – 21 Leaving home for college life has a lot of trade-offs. Starting with the farm we sold our horses in order to buy laptops; discipleship of the neighbor girls was traded for a new ministry among the girls attending a cooking course held on campus; piano students changed to self-defense students; AWANA kids were replaced by staff kids on campus; triathlon training became early morning workouts and noon walks with the kitchen staff. Leaving the old for the new is bittersweet, but “ I count all these things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord” and being in the center of His will. Shakespeare’s Juliet puts it perfectly in saying, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” My crowning achievement however, was directing and producing a two and a half hour radio drama called The Fall of the King , a Narnia based story starring some of our good friends. I formed a close friendship with Mikaela as we spent two intense months planning, recording, sound mixing and watching the hand of God move on our behalf.

Stacie – 19 This year has been one continual blessing, especially the outpouring of love we received from our friends before leaving for college. My major is History, but I have loved everything I’ve studied, from Humanities to Economics. Opportunities to be involved in drama included, The Fall of the King, Gifts for Madge and Guy, and a Nativity readers’ theater. Lori and I are starting to play flute/harp duets for weddings and banquets; it’s nerve wracking, but I love it. The greatest blessing this year has been the growth of my relationship with the Lord. His word is true when He said, “Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart”. The Lord has become both my delight and my desire.

Lori -17 The last few months of this year have been dominated with college life. However I can’t think of any better roommates than my own two sisters. I learned I am the youngest student at Verity. I like his because if I’m going to be one of the youngest, I might as well be the youngest. I’m majoring in music theory/composition with the piano as my instrument. I have a flute student, which helps bring in a little spending money :) I’m proud to share my birth month with our first nephew (was there ever a cuter baby?).

Brian – 15 This has been quite year for me. In the early part of this year, I went skiing twice at Angel Fire, NM. I skied a few of the easier black slopes. This was my second year of working with Robert Santini in our lawn mowing business, “Po’ Boys Mowing.” (Interested local people can e-mail poboysmowing@juno.com ) I’m taking a chemistry class taught by Robert’s dad , and a basic drafting course which I’ve enjoyed a lot. (Drafting is drawing things like blueprints and machine parts.) My days are now spent studying, eating, playing soccer, ultimate frisbee and paint ball, singing in our church choir, and working with Dad. All in all, this year has been absolute loads of fun.

Hi! My name is David . I’m 13 years old and I am 5’4” and still growing. This year, we have done a lot of stuff like the Blue Bell Fun Run where I won a medal. We also went to Big Sandy and  did ALERT cadets, where we did rafting, knot tying, search and rescue, and an obstacle course.

Timothy – 11 My first time to ever go skiing was an adventure. I fell down a lot and got up a lot. There was a blizzard and it was clod ad fun. I also ran in the Fu n Run, played piano for the Grand Concert and helped with Republican work. I am learning cello.

This is Katie Jones the explorer, Indian, kier, jogger and Christian. I was a flower girl in Mary Lassiter’s wedding. I ran in the Blue Bell Fun Run and won a gold medal!!! At my Indian 7 th birthday party, everyone dressed up like Indians , with painted faces and feathers. We shot arrows, canoe and rode horses. I played a piano duet, “Take me out to the Ball Game” with Mom in the Grand Concert.

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