The Joy of Working Together

Steve and I have a goal of helping our children learn to enjoy working. Therefore, we often use Saturdays for projects that can be done together. From the time the children are very young, and no help at all, Steve finds ways to include them in the project at hand. As a result, we now have a powerful work team such that Steve and my time for a project is multiplied many times over. The family goes to bed exhausted that night, but we sleep the sleep of a “team” that has expended themselves for what needs to be accomplished. We want the children to take this working mindset into their daily service for the Lord Jesus.

This Saturday’s project was beginning of the removal of diseased elm trees in our yard. Steve hired out the job of topping off some of the trees because of their proximity to the power lines. Then the team went to work cutting up and then cleaning up the felled trees.

Teri

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Joseph and Christopher

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John on the tractor

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Mary was thrilled to drive the tractor!

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John was next to Mary as she drove, helping her if she needed it.

One Courageous Dad

Uriah is one of my favorite men of the Bible. He lived in such faithful service to his king. He was willing to for-go the pleasures others thought were acceptable because he was called to serve. That is the desire of my heart. Oh Lord Jesus, may I be busy about Your work. Those God has given us are our first responsibility to disciple. As this month’s Dad’s Corner encouraged, being entertained by the TV will win out over feeding our families the Word of God EVERY night. Dads will occasionally write, sharing, that they are taking that responsibility seriously and taking bold action.

This brother was willing to throw out $10,000 worth of “trash” to put his family on the right course. The Lord will pour out blessings into the lives of his children such that even if what he discarded had been valued at $100,000, it would still be worth it. When we eliminated TV, I didn’t throw out that much “trash” but the dividends in my children’s lives are priceless to me. I praise God for this brother, and I’m confident his wife does also.

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One “beast” bites the dust

One Dad Responds as Why They Don’t Have a TV

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. (Psalm 119:37)

Rid me and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. (Psalm 144:11-12)

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)

I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (Romans 16:19)

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. (Psalm 119:101)

Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (Deuteronomy 7:26)

Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker. (2 Timothy 2:16-17)

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. (2 John 1:10-11)

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Psalm 101:3)

… one sinner destroyeth much good. (Ecclesiastes 9:18)

For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:2-3)

They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. (Psalm 106: 34-36)

I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid. (Job 31:1)

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. (Luke 11:34-36)

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (2 Corinthians 15:33)

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. (1 Corinthians 5:6-7)

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:33)

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. (Matthew 6:22-23)

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:7-8)

Earthly entertainment is for a moment, eternity is forever.

As Arrows…

Our family hosted our first, “Unless the Lord Build the House” marriage retreat this past weekend, and it was a tremendous blessing for our family. We had room for twenty seven couples, and even with last minute cancellations, we still had twenty seven couples attend. We were humbled by the honor of encouraging families from 13 states to include as far away as Hawaii. Many drove long distances, and our prayer is that God blesses their families with lasting fruit for their investment of time and effort.

It began months ago when God put the idea on our hearts. The children immediately were thrilled, and it became a vision that they owned.

Teri and I are often greatly distressed over families where the dad and mom are not united in heart in pursuing Jesus. The primary goal of this retreat was to help Dad and Mom have a common vision for the future of their family. I saw a secondary benefit of hosting a retreat like this to be the opportunity to teach our children what it was like to successfully organize an event.

The children excitedly discussed and planned for weeks because they were responsible for all of the logistics concerning hosting the retreat. Teri and I worked on the material for the sessions and critiqued their plans. Finally, the weekend arrived and is now gone. We are all feeling quite spent, but what a good feeling that is.

We also invited any couples, who had the time, to worship with us on Sunday. In addition to four families from the retreat to our church, there was another family that visited from Texas. It was a blessing indeed.

Steve for the family

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Sarah took this picture as several of the children were unloading. Notice the walkie talkie? The children enjoyed communicating with each other during the weekend.

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Jesse was our “chief soda conference servant.” He did a great job at keeping the sodas cold! Here he and Mary are pushing the big cooler out of our hotel room and down to the meeting room!

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Saturday evening, I felt prompted for the children to sing/play “I Feel Like Traveling On.” The guys had just played/sang this song for the men at the homeless shelter that morning. Sarah took this picture.

Prayer Request

We wanted to share some recent news we’ve received regarding our baby/pregnancy with those who are so graciously praying for us. We recently had a sonagram that showed some abnormalities. Specifically, it appears like there is a cyst of some sort on the child’s brain stem. We find out more during an early December appointment. Our doctor encouraged us not to worry but to pray. Our desire is God’s healing while we continue to rejoice in the gift of life He has blessed us with. He is in complete control and we want Him to be glorified in all areas of our lives.

Nathan

The Blessing of Reversal Babies

Anna many years ago!

It’s hard to believe my “little” sister is 14 (Happy Birthday, Anna!). Even more amazing is that if my parents’ had not chosen to reverse a bad decision, she and my other four younger brothers and sister would not be here.

You see, there’s a seven year age difference between Joseph and I. After Dad and Mom had me, they decided three was enough. Several years later, Dad was home sick from work and decided to study the topic of what the Bible had to say about children. He came away broken by God. He had a reversal soon after, and within a year, Mom was expecting Joseph.

As I look at my five younger brothers and sisters, now 17, 15, 14, 12, and 10, my heart is filled with joy and gratitude to the Lord for giving us such blessings. I’m very, very grateful to my parents for choosing to go back on a decision they see was wrong (to limit the size of their family) and make things right.

My heart’s desire is that parents who have chosen to limit the size of their families may reconsider and see the blessings that children are. Dad wrote a Corner on this subject several years ago.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalms 127:3-5).

Only for Jesus,
Sarah

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This picture of Anna and Jesse was taken probably 9 years ago.

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This was probably taken 9 years ago!

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The Maxwell Ladies, October 2006, Left to Right – Melanie, Sarah, Mom (Teri), Anna (the birthday girl!), and Mary

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.