Monday, March 31, 2008

Testing our "New" Camera

Well, about 6 weeks ago Jaden decided to close the lens on our Nikon digital camera (the one we used primarily for about 3.5 years). Let's just say that he didn't know what he was doing and ended up ruining the camera. Much to our dismay this tragic event happened just 3 days before our favorite US Congresman, Ron Paul, was to be in the area for a rally! Aaaarrrghh! Why do these things happen at the most inopportune times? The answer I think is, "to test our patience and character" (in other words, to see how we will respond to such tests - in a Christlike way or in a way that dishonors Christ).

Anyway, after we cooled down from our extreme frustration and disapointment with the situation, we decided we would make do using a digital camera that some friends had given us a few months ago. (This camera is not nearly as good, both in quality or photo setting options, as our Nikon, but it seems to do the job fairly well.) The only problem was that we didn't have a USB cable to connect the camera with our computer. So, we took quite a few pictures over the course of the last 6 weeks, and they just stayed on the camera... Then this past Thursday I was able to purchase the proper cable to connect our "new" camera to our PC. And today I was able to get the pictures uploaded from the camera to the PC.

So, now I will test our "new" camera pictures by posting a video (the one thing that sets this camera above our Nikon is that it takes video clips with audio, where the Nikon only recorded video clips) of a train that we saw in Sherman about a month ago. I will let the girls post the other photos over the course of the next few days and weeks.


Joel
video

Friday, March 28, 2008

~ Thought for the day ~

Here are a couple scripture passages that I was reading this morning in my personal Bible time:

Luke 21:8-19, 22:

8And He (Jesus) said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them.
9"But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately." 1
10 Then He (Jesus) said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 2
11 "And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 3
12 "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake.
13 "But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
14 "Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 4
15 "for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. 5
16 "You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 6 7
17 "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. 8
18 "But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 9
19 "By your patience possess your souls.
22 "For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Here is the second passage of scripture:

1 Kings 8:33 - 40:

33 "When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and when they turn back to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication to You in this temple,10
34 "then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers.
35 "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, 11
36 "then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance. 12
37 "When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is;
38 "whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all of Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple:
39 "then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hears of all the sons of men), 13
40 "that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers."14

When I think of the continuing evil of America, the continuing downward spiral that we are on, spiritually & politically, I think of these verses. When I think of the foreseeable persecution coming to America I think of the passage in Luke (Luke 21). When I think of the many droughts, famines, wars, I think of the passage in 1 Kings (1 Kings 8), and the passage in 2 Chronicles (2 Chron. 7:13-14), talking about the Lord's people obeying, not the whole country. If only the Lord's people will humble themselves, pray, seek Yahweh's face, and turn from their wicked ways, then the Lord will heal our land. It only takes the people who are called by the Lord's name, to do the necessary repentance, praying, seeking, etc. Remember the destruction of Sodom in Genesis 18? Do your part.

P.S. The past 2 or 3 days some of my family and I listened to a, 4-CD, book-on-tape about a man named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You might have heard that name before. I had heard of the name before, but didn't know much about his life. Dad got 3 or 4 different books-on-tape from the library, about different people (John Calvin, Bonhoeffer, and 2 others.) Here is a little summary of Dietrich's life, taken from the back of the CD case we got:

This is the biography of a man who refused to compromise his beliefs to save his own life.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) paid the ultimate price for his faith and principles. A pastor and founding member of the Confessing Church in Germany. Bonhoeffer participated in underground conspiracies against Adolf Hitler. This gripping account of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life puts in context the horrors of Nazi Germany and the challenge Hitler presented for dedicated German Christians. The events of World War II take on a new reality when viewed through the life of one man, his family, and associates.

Best remembered for his writings, Bonhoeffer and his story continue to inspire and instruct Christians more than sixty years after his death.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer helped in several conspiracies theories, which all ultimately failed. For this, one he was found out, he was imprisoned, interigated, and ultimately hung. While the Nazis took over every aspect of German everyday life, the Nazis did not take over Dietrich's beliefs. He calmly endured pursecution, and was even calm while climbing the steps to the gallows.

While listening to this book on tape, I reconized many familiar things (bad things) that happened during Adolf Hitler's 'reign', that are happening...right here in America. The government taking over the schools, jobs, family, pursecuting Christians, etc. Yes, it's not as bad as in Hitler's day in Germany, but if we don't do something really soon, it will be that bad...maybe even worse. We must stand up for our faith, and our Constitutional rights. Act now!

Foot notes: 1. Rev. 6:4, 2. Matt. 24:7, 3. Rev. 6:12, 4. Luke 12:11, 5. Acts 6:10, 6. Micah 7:6, 7. Acts 7:59, 8. Matt. 10:22, 9. Matt. 10:30, 10. Solomon's Temple (see 1 Kings 6 - 7), 11. Lev. 26:19, 12. Psalm 25:4, 13. 1 Sam. 16:7, 14. Psalm 130:4

Writer's note: The words in red are the words of Jesus.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Take the Quiz

Test your knowledge on the Constitution. I took it and was shocked to find that I was a "constitutional whiz kid", getting 40 out of the possible 50 answers correct. The national average is sadly 35.861 percent. I invite you to take a few short minutes out of your day to take this quiz, and learn something important about our courntry's founding document.

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation
be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction
in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they
are not violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I
reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
- Thomas Jefferson 1781, in his Notes on the State of Virigina

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is Mom's 4- Birthday!

Happy Birthday Mom!
We love you very much and hope you get well real soon!

With love,
David, Joel, Abby, Caleb, Phoebe, Johanna & Jaden

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies..." Prov. 31:1
YYY

Friday, March 21, 2008

John Piper's Good Friday Meditation::

I thought this interesting. Of course, for those of us who have read anything by Pastor Piper, we know it will be interesting... enlightening. You can read additional posts on Holy Week at his blog.


Happy Good Friday!

Good Friday:: Reflections

Today is Good Friday. The day Jesus was crucified for our sins. He died because of us. Because of the inter-trinitary plan from the foundation of the world, that Christ would die for the sins of mankind. So, I wanted to share some scriptures to help us focus on what a wonderful gift we've been given.

3 He was despised and rejected by men;a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefsand carried our sorrows;yet we esteemed him stricken,smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;we have turned—every one—to his own way;and the Lord has laid on himthe iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,yet he opened not his mouth;like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,so he opened not his mouth.

9 And they made his grave with the wickedand with a rich man in his death,although he had done no violence,and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt,he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,make many to be accounted righteous,and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to deathand was numbered with the transgressors;yet he bore the sin of many,and makes intercession for the transgressors.
________________________________________________
I love this text, because each time I read it, I am reminded of how "He was He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed." Thank You Lord that we are healed by the stripes of Your Son, Jesus.

John 19:17-19, 28-37
"17 And He, bearing His cross, went out
to a place called the Place of a Skull, which
is called in Hebrew, Golgatha, 18 where they
crucified Him, and two others with Him,
one on either side, and Jesus in the center.
19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the
cross. And the writing was:
JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF
THE JEWS...
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all
things were now accomplished, that the
Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"
29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting
there; and they filled a sponge with sour
wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.
30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine,
He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head,
He gave up His spirit.
31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day,
that the bodies should not remain on the cross
on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day),
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken,
and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers
came and broke the legs of the first and of the other
who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to
Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not
break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His
side with a spear, and immediately blood and water
came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and
his testimony is true; and he knows that he is
telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For
these things were done that the Scripture should
be fulfilled, *"Not one of His bones shall be broken."
37 And again another Scripture says, *"They shall look
on Him whom they pierced."
(* Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12; *Zech. 12:10)

More to come::

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

*Picture post*

JUST SOME RANDOM SHOTS FROM THE PAST FEW MONTHS. DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME TO WRITE A "POST" RIGHT NOW, BUT I'LL TRY AND SQUEEZE THAT IN LATER. HOPE YOU ARE ALL HAVING A GREAT WEEK SO FAR.

~a~


Caleb, Jaden, Johanna & Phoebe having a good time!

Chandler, Dustin's pup


I Y U!



Thinking up a good sentance

Playing Bible Scattergories with our cousins

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More 'Springy' Pictures










I thought I'd share with you some more of our "stock" of photos. These are not from this year (since our camera is on a 'blackout' right now), but are ones we took from previous years. They are still beautiful non-the-less!



Happy Spring! (Not officially!) :)



Phoebe

Art ~

Here is another of Caleb's many beautiful drawings. He drew this one a few days ago while sitting in with Mom. He has such a 'fine hand' at art, and a very unique touch. He is almost done with his art book, and we all can tell that he has learned a lot from it. I guess I'm not much of an art person, I like to draw, but I'm not very good at it (yes, I know: practice makes perfect, but I'd much rather work on math, or go outside and enjoy the sunshine!).

Enjoy!

Phoebe

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring













Spring has sprung here in North Texas (I think). :) The sky was blue, not a cloud in sight and the sun was shining brightly.

Ah, I can't wait for the trees to bud, the flowers to bloom and the grass to start growing, even if I'll have to mow. Today I did a little gardening of my own, potting a few flowering plants that I hope will grow.

We have the windows thrown wide open all over the house and right now, I'm enjoying the cheerful sound of a cricket singing. Due to the fact that our digital camera is "in the shop" and the other digital requires a new transfer cable (one we need to get). I'll have to share some pictures of years in the past, of the beauty of Creation from Joel's perspective. I'm glad that spring has come to our area, and I hope that it's here to stay. The snow was a nice "surprise", but I love the sunny weather we receive here 90% of the year.


"All nature sings and round me rings, the music of the Spheres, this is my Father's world..."

Enjoy spring everybody!

~Abby

Monday, March 10, 2008

Life~



Life. It can be downright hard! It seems like that's just the nature of it after the Fall of Adam back in Genesis 3. Actually, I'm glad that life is not a bed of roses, not a piece of cake. The challenges we receive in life help to mold us, shape our character, and make us stronger... if we allow the Lord to lead us submissively. That can be difficult when we want to do things "our" way. Somethings are learned the hard way... for instance:



  • Being a consistant Christian
  • Baking bread the very first time
  • Trying your very best not to fight we your siblings
  • Learning to walk, falling down but getting up again and trying it again
  • Learning to ride a bike without training wheels
  • Math
  • Loving your family, and being kind to others
  • Reading your Bible on a daily basis, and applying it to your life
  • Learning to drive a car, manual or not :)
  • Obeying the first time your parents ask you... without arguing

The list seems endless, and because we are fallen sinners, living out life in a sin cursed world, in mortal flesh that longs to sin... constantly, we must strive against what our flesh wants! A big chore, so big in fact, that only with Christs help can we overcome our Enemy and his temptations. That's why Paul exhorts us in Ephesians chapter 6:10 to "put on the whole armor of God".

"*Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may br able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints..."

When life gets tough, and you are down, tired or depressed. Remember along with David the Psalmst that "*God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." He is with us at all times, no matter where we are. His grace helps us to be better followers and shining lights for His cause. "*Come unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

Run to Jesus with your burden, your hard life.... He will help you, He will carry you through.

*Ephesians 6:10-18 [emphasis added];Psalm 46:1; Matt. 11:28-30

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Poll

15 hours before our poll is officially closed! You will be able to vote until midnight tonight. Thanks to all of those who have participated in our presidential poll!

Snow!!

Last evening it started snowing. At first it was a light, frothy snow, but it soon became heavy and lots of snow was falling. By 10:00 PM the ground was very much covered and when Phoebe and I went out to make a snow man, it was coming down very hard. This morning the whole world is white and bright! The snow is already melting because the sun is out and shining. We are so glad that it snowed like this, because we only get this "kind" of snow every blue moon as the saying goes. Sadly our digital camera is on the blizt right now, so no pictures, but this memory will always be with us in our minds.

Jaden was very excited to get to play in the snow. This is his first "real" snow fall and he loved it! So did everyone else that got to go out and have an early morning frolic. We received between 4-6'' of snow! It is great for snowballs, snowforts, and of course snowmen! Phoebe and I both made a snow man. Phoebe's feel down sometime during the night, but I think mine is still there... at least for now it is.

All of the trees in our neighborhood are heavily laden with snow and it looks so pretty. Also, all of the shrubs and small bushes are bent over with their white load. It certainly looks like a winter wonderland! Such strange weather for early March in North Texas. If it's going to snow here it usually does it in late January or early February. February was unseasonally warm this year! Sunday's high was in the upper 70s and then it started to cool off that evening.

I wonder how the weather is going to effect voter turn-out in today's Primary in the Lone Star state! It could be very interesting! I hope that you all are staying warm and cozy on this gorgeous day!

~Abby

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happy 18th Birthday Abby!

Abby, the chief cook, making one of her famous (and delicious) meals (stir-fry).


Today is March 1st, a very special day in the Kautt House. Why is it special? It is our dear Abby's 18th birthday! Wow, can you believe it, 18?


Abby at 5 weeks old, April 1990.


Dad holding Abby 8 hours after her birth.


Abigail Charisse Kautt was born on Thursday, March 1st, 1990. She was delivered at 5:37AM at the Hillcrest Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Abby weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. Her name means Her Father's Joy (Abigail) and Gift of Grace (Charisse).

Abby have matured a lot, especially in the last year, and she is becoming a godly, Proverbs 31 woman, every day. She is the chief cook, cleaner, and organizer. I (Phoebe) admire her unselfish and cheerful attitude that she has, most of the time. We do not know how we would make it without Abigail Charisse Kautt. May the Lord bless you Abby, and grant to you many more years of life, and servitude to the Lord and to others.

Happy Birthday Abby!
Love,

Dad, Mom, Joel, Caleb, Phoebe, Johanna & Jaden

P.S. We will report on how the special day went soon, Lord willing.

Thought for the day

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers , and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh to thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou has made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone
Thou shalt tred upon the lion and 1adder: the young lion and the 2dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.

Psalm 91:1-16 (King James Version)

Side Notes: 1cobra, 2serpent

Poll

3 Days left to vote on the poll!

Johanna's Birthday ~ Finding the clues

For Jo's birthday (02-05-2008), Caleb & Phoebe decided to have a "little fun", and create a treasure hunt of sorts for Jo to have to "work" to find her gift. It was really quite funny watching, and following her around the house as she found clue after clue leading her to the gift. Here are some of the pictures we snapped whilst she hunted. Enjoy!

The message on the first note read:

Dear Johanna,

We just wanted to say a BIG "Happy Birthday!" There is a surprise for you, but you have to follow the clues to find out what it is!


The first clue! On the piano.


Clue # 1: You use me every day, with which you like to play. I have strings, cushions, and a seat.


What's this? One in the broom closet?!


Clue # 2: I'm thin, I'm tall, and I have four walls. I hold something with which to clean, that is thin and tall.


Aha! I found it in my boots!


Clue # 3: I am well worn, I am daily worn (usually), I am quite warm, and I am made of black leather.


Another one on the fridge!

Clue # 4: I have two doors, I am cold inside, I am ugly green, I am fat, I am tall, so what do you think of that?



Reading it carefully, on the closet door.


Clue # 5: I hold apparel, I have four walls and a roof, I hold boxes, I have a door that faces south, and I have a light.



Eurecka! I have found it... at last.


Clue # 6: Good job! Okay, here is the final clue: I am dark tan, and I am hiding behind an aerosol can.


Happy Birthday!!


With Love,


Dad, Mom, Joel, Abby, Caleb, Phoebe & Jaden.





A twine holder for me! Made especially (and with love) by Caleb.