Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This Lenz family got its start twenty-seven years ago on the 29th day of this month.  The world should have taken warning then.  It is not our purpose to leave it in the state we found it in.  By the grace of God we are going places.  Happy Anniversary Daddy and Mama!

Monday, July 25, 2011

It was Daddy's idea...

The deep summer night had frosted the grass with jewels this morning, and I was slogging through the bed of diamonds back to the house instead of venturing from it.  Last night, Daddy proposed an impromptu campout in the back-field.  Short adventures of that kind get infectious responses on most occasions in our family.  Who can resist a good fire, fresh air, and a front row view of the sunset?  The boys and Daddy pitched and batted arcs over the field, (and sometimes over our heads and sometimes into the pig's paddock), with a baseball while we ladies cheered and commented from the fireside.  We made firebrands out of our marshmallow sticks and then roasted prodigious numbers of the fluffy sugar bombs into various stages of charcoal.  It was proposed we try the same method with a few leftover brats; so we added grease sparks to the night-light of our camp and burnt our fingers and tongues on the most delicious portions of meat I have ever tasted.  Crackling and charred on the outside, juicy-sweet on the inside.  Every topic of conversation around our campfire is broached with the happy assurance that we have all the time in the world to pursue it, unhurried by the demands of a schedule. Family jokes are laughed at without reserve, nobody worries about the state of their hair, we all wear the same scent (wood smoke and bug-spray), and no-one has to say anything to be a necessary presence in the assembly.  I didn't bother taking large numbers of pictures.  Once in a while these times are too sacred and precious for the excessive recording of things best painted on the memory alone.   Tucked into those loud swishy sleeping bags where every move is a waterfall or an express train, we admonish each-other about the coming hours and say good-night a thousand times in funny sleepy voices until someone forgets to reply in the twilight of wakefulness and we drop off to the roar of bullfrogs and the flickering of our dying fire.  God quiets my heart most often when I rest for these short moments of time in His countless blessings of the present common-place.  Contentment, I think, is not having things you want, but truly wanting those things which you have with a passion that makes the smallest gifts cause you to worship the Giver.  He calls it gratitude.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Independance Day

(reposted by Aubrey Lenz from July 2, 2009)

March, 1775, Patrick Henry:
“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

On Monday, July 1, 1776, Archibald Bullach, president of Georgia, wrote in a letter,

“This morning is assigned the greatest debate of all,… A declaration, that these colonies are free and independent states, has been reported by a committee some weeks ago for that purpose, and this day or tomorrow is to determine it’s fate. May heaven prosper the newborn republic.”
The question of Independence had already been exhausted in Congress and it was thought that the issue would simply be put to vote, but not so.

Pictured: Independence Hall in Philadelphia, 1776
John Dickenson, of Pennsylvania offered a final appeal that started a debate lasting nine hours. When the preliminary vote was cast 9 out of 13 voted yes. It was decided to postpone the final vote to the morrow.
On this night, the first of 400 British warships were sighted off the coast of New York.

The following morning the final vote was cast and Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Delaware swung towards Independence! The vote is unanimous. July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, the American colonies declared Independence.
Pictured: The Thirteen Colonies
In a letter to his wife, Abigail, John Adams writes,
“The second day of July will be the most epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated to succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illustrations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”
On the third of July, the document, The Declaration of Independence, was edited, cut, and revised and on the fourth of July the final vote for the document was taken and passed, twelve colonies voting in the affirmative and New York abstaining.

The following paragraph is from Lossing’s Lives of the Signers, p. 12,
“On the morning of the day of its adoption, the venerable bell-man ascended to the steeple, and a little boy was placed at the door of the Hall to give him notice when the vote should be concluded. The old man waited long at his post, saying, “They will never do it, they will never do it.” Suddenly a loud shout came up from below, and there stood the blue-eyed boy, clapping his hands, and shouting, “Ring! Ring!!” Grasping the iron tongue of the bell, backward and forward he hurled it a hundred times, proclaiming, Liberty to the land and the inhabitants thereof.”

Only John Hancock’s signature was applied to the document as yet.

On the second of August, 1776 the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence took place. Everything was done in secret and not published in newspapers or correspondence because of the extreme peril of the situation.
“The signing of the instrument was a solemn act, and required great firmness and patriotism in those who committed it. It was treason against the home government, yet perfect allegiance to the law of right. It subjected those who signed it to the danger of an ignominious death, yet it entitled them to the profound reverence of a disenthralled people. But, neither firmness nor patriotism was wanting in that august assembly. And their own sound judgment and discretion, their own purity of purpose and integrity of conduct, were fortified and strengthened by the voice of the people in popular assemblies, embodied in written instructions for the guidance of their representatives.”
Lossing’s Lives of the Signers p. 11

I would be perfectly clear here that the celebration of Independence Day is not a declaration of independence from God, the Scriptures, civil government, or even independence of each other as human beings but independence of tyranny and wrongful, ungodly government. As the concluding line of the Declaration of Independence says, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

In this age we often associate independence with autonomy and individualism, but nothing could be further from the intents of our country’s founders than to be independent of God.
The American Revolution was so wholly different from any other revolution and found it’s roots in the Reformation; i.e. the idea of freedom of conscience, the idea that a king is not divine but appointed by God and thus subject to the Law of God, and further that if a ruler does not hold to the moral obligations of Scripture and violates the conscience of the people it makes void its authority (Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, The Legal Claim Against Tyrants). Where the French sought autonomy from man and God and gained anarchy in it’s worst form during their revolution in 1789, America sought reliance on God and sought to form a republic ruled by the law, fashioned after the Word of God and not a democracy ruled by the mass of people fashioned after their current likes and dislikes.
There is something very deep and awe inspiring about the purpose behind the Declaration of Independence. They, the “signers”, were willing to be “stepping stones” like the pilgrims and sacrifice much so that future generations might honor God in every aspect of their lives. Much has been written in gratefulness towards our forbears by others much better than I. My hope is that we, generations later, would not forget!
Psalm 78 says, "Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God."


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ben harvested a delicious Turkey for dinner!

The flavor was superb and the texture unique, not so tender as our meat but definitely not tough!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Char and Gar...

This is Charlie just home from the hospital: He had surgery on his wrist involving bone grafting from his hip and is still a bit groggy.
"A merry heart doeth good like medicine..."
Garrison stayed overnight with Charlie at the hospital. They had some interesting conversations with the nurses and Charlie was universally established as a sought-after patient. He has that magnetic personality, you know. :o)

Monday, May 2, 2011

"For I know that my Redeemer Lives..."!

We enjoyed a splendid feast on Resurrection Sunday celebrating and remembering the sacrifice and resurrection of our Savior!

A feast of food, fellowship and sanctifying conversation...
Mama with her "new" hair at last!
And then little Kate who charmed us with her sweetness and smiles...
Daddy has always loved babies and can usually win them over in seconds.
Of course, Kate was particularly obliging and several times fell asleep on his arm. :o)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Honor of our Nation’s Greatest President, on His 279th Birthday, February 22, 2011…

As a humble Christian, a gracious and decisive leader and a valiant patriot, George Washington stands worthy of our highest regard. There are numerous descriptions of our first president, how in his youth “the law of truth was in his mouth”; he was never known in a single instance to tell a falsehood whatever the consequences to himself would be, and often they were great. His character as a lover of truth was so well known that his comrades were certain of being believed, when they related anything, if they could say, “George Washington says it was so.” Early on he displayed an ability to wisely and satisfactorily settle disputes between his friends.
We know from his manuscript school books he was largely self-taught; his mother was not able to afford an instructor, but by diligence and industry he developed his intellect. By the age of thirteen he had completed the study of arithmetic (through a series of notebooks beginning with geometry), he had taught himself “Forms of Writing” containing a variety of clerk work, and he wrote a list of one hundred and ten “Rules of Behavior in Company and Conversation” which demonstrate his humble view of himself and his devotion to self-improvement for the service of others and the glory of God.

The following are selections from this volume:
• “Strive not with your Superiors in argument, but always Submit your Judgment to others with Modesty.”
• “Be not froward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear and answer & be not Pensive when it's a time to Converse.”
• “When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speech be ended.”
• “In Disputes, be not So Desirous to Overcome as not to give Liberty to each one to deliver his Opinion and Submit to the Judgment of the Major Part especially if they are Judges of the Dispute.”
• “When you speak of God or his attributes, let it be seriously & with reverence. Honor & obey your natural parents although they be poor.”
• “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
When he was fifteen he applied for a place in the navy but at the anxious request of his mother he gave up his cherished plan and yielded his inclinations to promote her comfort. Had he not completed this act of filial compliance it is not probable that he ever would have deserved or obtained the title of “Father of His Country”.
Four years later he was entrusted, by the governor of Virginia, with a perilous and critical journey through the uncharted, pathless wilderness of the Allegheny Mountains. He showed such courage and discernment throughout his endeavors that none could fail to recognize the blessing of God upon him. And all throughout the War of Independence this same hand of Providence was upon him affording him wisdom and sound judgment on the field of battle and in the camp and mercy for his enemies and betrayers. He continually attributed to God the victory for delivering his people from the hands of their enemies and expressed his “gratitude for the interposition of Providence… for his overruling the wrath of man to His own glory; and causing the rage of war to cease among the nations.”
Washington’s presidency was marked by wisdom and foresight as he channeled the growth of a newborn republic continually reminding his people “of the Divine Author of our blessed religion; without an humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.” He was deeply concerned for the evangelization of the Indians. In 1779, the Delaware Indians had come seeking to learn the ways of Americans and the Christian religion and he wrote to them as follows, “You do well to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.” His service to his country continued through the evening of his life and he died in 1799, his beloved wife kneeling beside his bed with her head resting on the Bible from which she daily read and derived comfort with the assurance of her husband’s transport to a new home in Heaven. At his death (then) President John Adams remarked, “His example is now complete; and it will teach wisdom and virtue to magistrates, citizens and men; and not only in the present age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be read.”

For futher research on the subject see:

Life of Washington by Anna C. Reed

George Washington's Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lillback

Monday, February 14, 2011