Biblical Manhood

January 15th was Jamin Marshall's 16th birthday!
We had a "Rite of Passage into Biblical Manhood" ceremony for him, and invited several families to join and help celebrate this stage in his life.  Some were family members; others were friends who have had an impact on his life.  It was wonderful!
Jamin is full of Godly character, and to have these men speak "Truth" into his life, to encourage, and to challenge him was such a blessing.  Go to the link above to his sisters blog to view parts of the ceremony.  Sarah did a wonderful job in describing it (before I did), so I thought I would give you a glimpse of his life throughout this past year.  You can look into his life a bit and see the man of character and the man of God he has become.

Wading in the lake at Indian Boundary

Riding bikes on the beach

Working at the barn (the dirty jobs)

Replacing caps on the septic pipes in the attic

Schoolwork, of course

Helping celebrate his twin sisters' birthday

A bit tired in the van (he won't like this one ;0 )

Waiting his turn to load the hay wagon

Working with Poppy

All loaded, now to the barn

Unloading to the elevator into the barn

Playing with little cousins, K and J

Helping Little J up the hill

Playing for his sister (with tractors and balers)

A nice smile!

Gotta love those guitars!

Playing softball with cousins, tagging Big J

I think he is becoming a real man

Tractor driving, always on the farm

Reading the newspaper-always reading something

More guitar!

Helping his dad find the septic tank - EWWW! 

Keeping the garage, nuts and bolts (literally) organized

Waxing the van (which we are trying to sell)

More schoolwork

Singing and playing

Family tradition-taking turns reading the Christmas story

Christmas morning!

Helping dad with a present for both - a dehydrator
for turkey jerky!

Working at Poppy's - a great teacher!

Moving an old couch out of the cabin-resting a bit

LOVE Steak n Shakes Chocolate shakes!

A good looking young man!

Making his paracord bracelets and keychains

Enjoying a trip with family

"Did someone holler?"

Looking toward the future

Whether he is working, learning, helping, playing guitar, or simply playing, he has grown into a good-looking young man, well-deserving the ceremony of Biblical Manhood.
His character shines through as he is willing to do anything and help whenever needed.
A Godly young man, a young man we, as parents are so proud of!
We Love You, Jamin!

He received 18 letters and some cards from men who spoke into his life.
I knew it would be hard for men to "write" letters, but they did!
In times of trials and temptations, along with God's Word, he will have the words of these Godly men to look to for encouragement and strength.
He received a plaque commemorating this day, and a sword, representing him as a provider and protector, and the Sword of the Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 13:11
"When I was a child,
I used to speak like a child,
think like a child,
reason like a child;
when I became a man, 
I did away with childish things." 

Always Experiencing Him,

Teach Me Your Way

"Teach me Your way, O Lord; 
I will walk in Your truth; 
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will give thanks to You,
O Lord my God, with all my heart,
and will glorify Your name forever."
Psalm 86:11-12

"Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, 
O Lord, we have waited for You eagerly;
Your name, even Your memory,
is the desire of our souls."
Isaiah 26:8

"I love the Lord, 
because He hears my voice and my supplications. 
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live."
Psalm 116:1-2

"Let the words of my mouth, 
and the meditations of my heart,
be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer."
Psalm 19:14

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!"
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
and from the deadly pestilence."
Psalm 91:1-3

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, 
so walk in Him,
having been firmly rooted 
and now being built up in Him 
and established in your faith, 
just as you were instructed, 
and overflowing with gratitude."
Colossians 2:6-7

Always Experiencing Him,

Restore Us, O Lord

"The favorable smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."
George Washington

As we head into the election year, pray, go to God's Word, seek His will, and pray some more.  

2 Chronicles 7:14
"If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land."

The key words are "and" and "then."
We must do four things, humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, AND turn from our wicked ways, not one, but four, before He says, THEN,  He will hear from heaven, will forgive our sins and heal our land.  If we are only praying, He will not hear.  If we only turn away, He will not hear, but the abundant blessings from being totally obedient to His Word would be overflowing and overwhelming for us as individuals and us a country!

Lord, make us Yours, 
guide us in Your will and Your way, 
go before us with a pillar of cloud by day 
and a pillar of fire by night, 
cover us with Your Blood as You Pass-over 
because You are God!
You are I AM!

Always Experiencing Him,


We know we are offspring of "The Fall," for in Genesis 3:17-19 we find God telling Adam, 

"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

It doesn't take much to see all the weeds around us.  I don't like showing how we had let our walk be overtaken with weeds, but that is real life, and this is what happens when we do not stay on top of things.  So, as a family we went out and worked together to be rid of all the weeds, pulling, and digging, and tugging, and sweating, just as God said.
Life is like that, we must allow Him to work continually in us, pulling and even digging at times to get the weeds, thorns, and thistles which shouldn't be in us.  Turning from Him, even the slightest bit, we hear the enemy's voice and begin to stray.  Being daily in God's Word, praying ceaselessly, in repentance, in requests, in listening and hearing, and daily depending on family and friends to help guide us, we may keep those weeds from overtaking us.  Life is much easier that way.  One would think we would have learned from the First Family, but so often we must learn ourselves, the hard way. 

"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife," is another weed which needs pulled from our hearts.    We are to be "helpers," not taking the lead, and we will deal with this another time as we discuss what respect and being a true help meet really means.  Heart surgery is God's best, and although painful, as is weeding, we always come through surgery in better health.  His way is always best, so be thankful for those weeds and start pulling! 

Oh, Jesus, forgive me!
Help me stay continually in Your Word.
Help me to constantly be in conversation with You.
Guide me as I listen for Your will and Your way.
Help me to walk along Your narrow path as I enter through the narrow gate and use those around me to weed when necessary.
I love Your will, Your Word, Your way!
Guide me to walk in it!

On our knees before Your throne is where we want to be.
If it takes the weeds to keep us there, thank You.
We will be grateful IN ALL things!

On our knees together
weeding as a family-literally and through prayer
the weeds He brings to mind
the thorns that prick the soul
God's Words to pull them out
Your forgiveness, O Lord
repentant hearts
Bless the Lord, O my soul
blessings from obedient hearts
father and son on their knees
sisters and brother in one accord
love for one another

Always Experiencing Him,