Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

For those of you who have either met my dad or read his books or Seriously e-mails, you know that he’s a man who fears the Lord and loves his family.

My dad has been an awesome role model of what a dad should be. When we were growing up, he always had time for us. He had gentle, kind words to encourage us in the endeavors we pursued. He spent quality time with Mom, taking walks with her, and going on weekly dates during our growing up years. He shouldered the grocery shopping so Mom could have a quiet evening at home (brave guy to take all of us!). He ran errands during his lunch break in Kansas City to help Mom out.

Now, with five adult young people at home, he still has time. His affirmation of our lives is so encouraging, and he provides counsel when we ask for it. He loves his grandchildren, and truly, he has no greater joy than to hear his children walk in truth.

I’ve seen in real life that Dad will do anything for his family. He is an incredible example of a godly man who fears the Lord!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

An extra “Happy Father’s Day” to my brothers, Nathan, Christopher, and Joseph. I delight to see you raising families for Jesus!

Dad and Mom
Dad reading to Tina, Drew, and Betsy
The Maxwell Family

“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man
that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly
in his commandments.”
Psalm 112:1

One Bite at a Time

When the children were little, we had no trouble getting them to eat any leftover sweets we had. Now as adults, who practice more moderation, that can be a problem. A half dozen left-over cookies might sit in the Tupperware on the counter for a week.

Then Anna discovered the solutionbreak them into bite sized pieces. Before long, the left-over goodies disappear.

I wonder if that isn’t what we need to do for projects we are avoiding.  If it is a visible project, it almost seems to look back at us, but we don’t want to tackle it. It is too much, too big, too hard, or too inconvenient.

What if we did what Anna does with left-over cookies or brownies? What if we cut that project into small, bite-sized pieces? Rather than spending 4 hours on it, what if we spent 15 minutes and then put it away until the next 15 minutes became available? Of course some projects don’t work that way, but many might.

For example, to thoroughly clean our refrigerator, it takes about 3 hours. My life and schedule is full enough that coming up with a 3 hour block of time is difficult, but I can usually produce 30 or even just 15 minutes. If I take 30 minutes a day and put it toward refrigerator cleaning, it will be done in 6 days, and if I give it 15 minutes a day, it is 12 days. That is a minimal investment any particular day with a satisfying cumulative result.

What might it be for you? Correspondence, study, meal planning, organizing, dejunking, ironing, cleaning, reading? What do you think? Any big project you could tackle one bite at a time?

Trusting in Jesus,

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6).

Content in Christ: One Recipe for a Debt-Free Home, Part 2

We’re very excited to give you the final part to Amos’ house story. His testimony shows how it is possible for a young man to start off debt-free. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here

I got a used water heater from a neighbor, which is still serving us 10 years later without trouble. I bought windows and a used door from another person. My grandpa procured some interior doors that the company he worked for was getting rid of. Some friends of my wife’s family gave us their used (but working!) washer and dryer. I also got a used fridge and stove. Instead of cabinets, I made shelves from some plywood crates I tore apart but eventually I replaced these with normal cabinets.

Most of the building was done by my family and myself but a lot of others helped. I traded a calf to a carpenter from our church for a couple days of help, and he loaned me a book on general contracting, which was very helpful. We didn’t have high speed internet then, and I don’t recall googling how to do anything. We did all the plumbing ourselves and the wiring too.

The week before I headed to my wedding, some friends from a few hours away drove up and helped finish mudding and painting the drywall on the main floor. The second story had no inside walls framed yet and no insulation in the roof so we lived on the first floor for a while. When I was gone on my honeymoon, my family laid some flooring and finished getting things livable. The house was only covered with house wrap, but a couple years later I put on siding.

I believe that if a person is committed to remaining free of debt and is trusting God to provide, He will do so. One may need to start small and patiently move forward, but life is not about the things we possess. If we are willing to learn, work, and be creative, I think that much more can be accomplished, in saving money and buying, or in building a place, then what might first appear. I’ve also found that often people in one’s church and family are willing to share knowledge and help in various ways, especially when they see a young man with a worthy cause.

Here are a few more testimonies from people I personally know.
  • My brother Isaac saved his money and bought some land with a small old trailer house and barn.
  • I have a friend, who has steadily held his job with a low income yet bought a fixer upper without debt when he was getting married.
  • Another friend works at Culver’s and pastors a small church. He has never had a job for more than a few years and never a high paying job, but he has had multiple homes with no debt.
  • A friend, Bob, with ten children, moved here and bought an old cattle barn which he converted into a home so he could have a house with no debt.
Amos and his wife
Amos and his family at present. (If that happy crew doesn’t make you smile, we don’t know what will. It sure put a smile on our faces at the Maxwell home.)

In closing I’d like to share a couple specific ideas that have become part of my thinking, and I think probably come from your materials. One is avoiding expensive hobbies like flying planes. Another is viewing computers as tools and not as toys. Thank you for teaching truth.


“That the generation to come might know them, even the children
which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their
children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the
works of God, but keep his commandments.”
Psalm 78:6-7

A Good-Bye Ice Cream Party

Our long time neighbors of 13 years are moving. We will really miss them! They’ve been great neighbors. Anna and Mary sprang the idea of a “good-bye” party, so we made things easy and just did an everyone-brings-ice-cream-except-our-guests and hosted it in the backyard. What could be better than dessert?

We had an awesome time talking and the little kids played, and of course, lots of ice cream was enjoyed!


Decisions, decisions.
Drew wanted his cone separate from his ice cream. 🙂

Love Benjie’s smiles!

“Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens;
and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.”
Psalm 36:5

June at the Farm

When I woke up the other morning, I read a special e-mail from my son, Christopher. He said they were going to the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead that day, and they had a seat available in their van if I wanted to go along.

I love those outings with my grandchildren so I immediately thought through how I could rearrange what I had planned that morning to join the party and said yes!

Melanie and her children decided to go as well, and they had room in their van for my mom, Gigi.

Five-year-old, Joshua, was delighted with the possibility of arriving at the farmstead in time for the 9:30 milking, which we managed. At the farm, the children fed baby goats from bottles in addition to petting them. They rode on the John Deere look alike tractor trikes around the little track and played hard on the playground.

The weather was delightful for June, and the adults loved watching the children. We ate a picnic lunch at the end of the morning so we could be back home for the children’s naps.

Trusting in Jesus,

I stayed out of the goat area with Danny so Anna Marie could be with her other kiddos.

“I delight to do thy will, O my God:
yea, thy law is within my heart.”
Psalm 40:8

A Pitting Party

Try to say “a pitting party” several times in a row. 🙂

A neighbor blessed us with loads of fresh cherries yesterday, so after dinner, we had a pitting party. Yep. Such a blast! Lots of good times as we talked, laughed, and let our competitive streak shine through to see who could do the most.

The best in-house tool we’ve found is using a straw to remove the pits ( stainless steel straws worked top-notch). We’d love to hear your best advice on how to remove pits in the comment section below. We still have some left, and I’m sure others would benefit from reading your pro-suggestions!

I love my family, and I love spending time with them.

Anna looks like she has a kabob going.

“The wise in heart shall be called prudent:
and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.”
Proverbs 16:21