Monday, September 27, 2010

Verse of the Day - Know Your Flock

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks. For riches are not forever, nor does the crown endure to all generations." - Proverbs 27:23

In the era of Solomon when this passage was written, the shepherding trade was thriving. This analogy of the shepherd knowing how his sheep are faring not only applies to shepherding, but also to one's heart. We must know where we stand in our relationship towards the Almighty, and in our relationships towards our fellow human beings. This passage goes right along with Proverbs 4:23, which reads, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Enjoy People While You Can

This is a article written by my dear friend Elisha Wahlquist The article is titled "Gone!". You can read the article below:

"It is only when you lose something do you realize its value.

       How sad! Days, hours before, we could have enjoyed that person, or thing, or experience; but we took them for granted, and hurried on our preoccupied way. Then, when we realize the things' worth, it is no longer there. 

       In 2003, there were 6,328,000 car accidents in the US, or roughly 17,337 crashes a day. They were each unexpected events, ending in an average of 8,062 injuries and fatalities per day in the US. These statistics should be a warning to us of the brevity of life. Without warning, the lives of family members could be ended or drastically impaired, at any time. We think death is something far off, or something that will give warnings ahead of time, allowing us to then really enjoy that person--- but, for the grace of God, it could happen to anyone in the blink of an eye.

       A less momentous example is that of one of my dear friends. Last Christmas, she was enjoying Christmas with her large, happy family, with no inkling that she would not be a maiden in her father's house the next Christmas. However, in January, she was told that a young man wished to court her--- and by October this year (Lord willing) she will be married. There will be a different flavor to her Christmas this year--- a wonderful and special difference, but a difference nonetheless. She will never be able to wholly relive those Christmases when she was an unmarried young woman living with her siblings. Those times are gone forever.

      Whether it is a move, a water main breakage, or something as tragic as the death of someone dear to us, we all face situations in which we realize--- too late!--- how we took something or someone for granted. 

       As a preacher aptly said;

"Life is what happens when you are waiting for life to start."

      I think this is a very rampant problem, especially among us young ladies. I have corresponded and talked to many girls over the years, and it seems like almost every one of them would agree with me that we face temptation to view some event in our future as "when real, enjoyable life will begin," to "just live" life right now as we look forward to that rosy day when Prince Charming will come, or when some other momentous event occurs. I am preaching to myself as I write this. I continually catch myself becoming too focused on my own things, and not earnestly putting myself into my family life and what is happening right now.

      When I was a young girl, I viewed the book of Ecclesiastes as mystifying in some ways. But now I can see the rich wisdom in verses such as these:

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
   A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;
   A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
   A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
   A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
   A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

   As the above verses show, there are so many different "times" and seasons in our lives! They also emphasize that we need to live wholly in whichever one God has brought into our life. 

   How can we truly rejoice, if we have never truly wept? How can we enjoy the embrace of our beloved, if we have never set ourselves apart and refrained from embracing? How can we appreciate the gift of speech, if we never had times of silence? How can we be pleased with the ability to keep things, if we never had to give things away? As Paul says:

"...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:11b-13)

    The point is this. We need to be focused on enjoying whatever God has placed in our lives right now. Don't even push off until tomorrow, thinking "I'll be less busy then," or "I won't be tired tomorrow, and then I'll be able to enjoy my siblings." By tomorrow they may be gone. But even if they are not-- even if nothing seems to changed-- you will have cast away moments of that will never be regained. Nothing-- no amount of tears or repentance or wishing-- will ever be able to regain or change those hours you lost.

    We have to be so, so careful that we do not let other things get in the way of the most important relationships in our life-- those of our family. Writing letters, doing online courses, tending your garden, crafting, talking with your friends, drawing, practicing music, scrapbooking, photography, training animals, etc. etc. etc. ... all these can be very good, But they are black time-stealers if we become so busy with them that we neglect our relationships with our siblings. 

    Have you ever just sat back and tried to enjoy your family members? You may say, "You just don't know my ________ (mother, dad, brother, sister, etc.)." You know, I have noticed something interesting that happens once a person dies. Maybe Mr. X was a "bear" at home; perhaps he had a terrible temper, or just had quirks that annoyed those around him. But once Mr. X is gone, something happens. Usually there is a mindset change among even the ones he annoyed or bothered. So many times, I have seen people--- who would complain volubly about Mr. X while he was alive--- begin to remember the good things he had done. His faults fade away now that they have no longer have to be dealt with, and Mr. X's better qualities come to light. This is very unfortunate, in one way. It is only when the person is gone--- when Mr. X's special story-telling gift will never be heard again--- that they are truly loved and missed. And that is the true tragedy. 

   However, this does not have to happen. Sister in Christ, it is a grand shame and a disgraceful one that such would ever happen among us Christians. But it does, far too often--- and we, who willfully spent our time hastening to events or doing our own pleasure, our words to that person usually those of criticism, indifference, or irritation, will mourn the things that we missed in our preoccupation. 

  Be thankful now! We need to be counting our blessings, and looking for positive things in our present situation, Start small--- just looking for things to be grateful to your parents for. Then expand, thinking of your siblings and bringing to remembrance all the good things you can think of. Then, are there others who have had a good influence on your life, or been a blessing to you? And don't forget God, and ALL the gratefulness we owe to Him--- even for every breath we take. Once you have listed out things you are grateful for, thank them! Develop a spirit of gratefulness-- it will help you to never take anything for granted again!

   But there is another thing that comes to mind about the death of Mr. X or Mrs. P or Miss L. What if, before Mr. X died, those around him had lovingly enjoyed his good qualities, and from the fullness of their love (instead of the greatness of their fault-finding and criticism-- people so quickly pick up those attitudes, and stiffen against them) had encouraged him to do what was right and to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of God? What if, instead of nagging or seeming distant most of the time, his siblings had been noted for their sincere, constant interest in him, and their enjoyment of  and friendship towards him? How much that would have changed--- not only bringing blessings and pleasure in the lives of his siblings, but perhaps change and sincere growth in Mr. X himself!

   Sisters in Christ, I plead with you--- don't waste your life! Don't throw it away by not wholeheartedly delighting in your life now and all its aspects! Too soon, life, which is but a vapor, will pass away, and be gone--- and you will discover, with sorrow, that because you did not rejoice and thank God now, you were not able to full enjoy even the events you wasted your whole life waiting for.

Colorado Panoramas

This panorama was taken atop California Pass. [Note: the two pink people are both Abby. =)]

The view from Engineer Pass.  What an awesome sight to behold!

We stayed at Red Cloud, a christian camp located in the heart of the San Juan mountains.

One of the nights during sunset we could see the sun reflecting of the rain in the distance.  It was quite spectacular! 

If you look very closely at the bottom right side of this panorama, you'll see the lodge at the camp we were staying at.  We took this from the side of one of the neighboring mountains. 

A truly awesome view from O-Point, looking out into Ouray, Colorado, located somewhere back in those mountains. 
Abby and I had such a wonderful time in Colorado, enjoying God's beautiful creation, relaxing, serving the Lord in different projects at the camp, and going on intriguing adventures.

I hope to post some more photos, as well as a more detailed description of our trip, very soon!  Stay tuned.

Note: all photos are the property of the Kautt family.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

They're Back!

Abby and Phoebe got home safely this afternoon (around 3:00p.m.). We are all glad to have them back! Photos of their trip will be up soon, I'm sure. :) Aunt J. came down, because Poppy (Mom's Dad) and Grams (Mom's Mom) came to drop off Abby and Phoebe. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Glorious Colorado!

We have had so much fun playing rounds and rounds and rounds of Mexican Train!
The beautiful view at the Head Waters of the Rio Grande River.

Aspens surround an old cabin at Capitol City, Colorado.
It's amazing the color variety in just one kind of tree: Aspens.
Yes, we made it all the way to the top of California Pass!  The view was literally breathtaking.

On the top of the world: O-Point.
You get yet another awesome view on top of Engineer Pass.

More photographs to come later!

Labor Day: With Family and Friends

On Labor day, we first went to Dad's parents' home in Dallas. Aunt B. and her family were there. Above are Cousin Rachel and Abby
Quite a bit of the clan
Uncle D. and Jaden talking about "legos" :)
Later on, we got together with some of Joel's co-workers and friends to play Ultimate Frisbee. That was very tiring! Then, we headed to the D.'s house and had ice-cream and played "Apples to Apples" and "Dodge ball".
Phoebe, Caleb, Andrew D. and yours-truly playing dodge ball (photo by Abby)
Phoebe, yours-truly, Caleb, Isaac D. and Jaden
Jaden had a blast playing soccer with Andrew! Here he is with Andrew, playing dodge ball.


Recently, we visited our friends the C. family. Here's Jaden with their son Jadon (11).This was before Abby and Phoebe left for Colorado.
Friends: Jaden and Jadon
Mr. and Mrs. C. visit with Mom and Dad
Jared and Jadon C. , Caleb and Jaden 
Here I am with Brittany. I really enjoyed helping her make potato bread :)
Jadon, Jaden, Abby and Phoebe
Mr. C., Jared C., Mrs. C., Caleb and Dad

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Recently (before Abby and Phoebe left for Colorado), one of our friends (from Oklahoma) came to visit with us for the afternoon. We really enjoyed the time with Ana Marie, though it was way too short-- you'll just have to come back soon-- and with your family! :) Below are a few photos of her visit. Enjoy!
Ana Marie treated us to playing the piano a bit
Momma, Ana Marie and Abby visit
Ana Marie and Abby visiting

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Glimpse of Colorado

This is just one of dozens of awesome sights we've seen so far.
Yep, that's where we are...

(L to R): Uncle Jay, Phoebe, Grams, Abby and Poppy; at North Clear Creek Falls.

Sorry, you'll have to wait a few more days to see the rest of our beautiful photos!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh where, oh where, are my sisters?


Abby and Phoebe are on there way to...... COLORado! And, boy do I miss them!!!  They bought a small Canon (digital) camera for the occasion. I hope they get a lot of good photographs. If there is a slack in posting, just know that I am probably cooking, doing laundry or some other chore. Above are some photos of Joel, Abby and Caleb's trip to Colorado last year.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Patrick Henry Hughes

You think you've got problems!

Watch this video about a blind musician and you will be glad for what you have.  But you will also be inspired to lean on the Lord to help you overcome any roadblocks in your life.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pictures from the Past

Jaden - August 2004

Some of us on a large rock at the "Garden of the gods" in Colorado (August 2004)

Caleb bowling - August 2004

Jaden and Joel, best buds (summer 2003, I think)

Jaden, asleep in highchair (2002?)

No, Mom didn't have another baby. This is from when Jaden was born (December 2002)

Abs - Fall 2009

Caleb and Phoebe

A.Y. and Phoebe - November 2009

Dear friends: Elisha and Elizabeth - June 2009

Friends - June 2009

Family portrait - summer 2009

Uncle Jim and Aunt Naomi -- we LOVE you and miss you! - summer 2009

A meal with friends (June or July 2009)

Mrs. B. and Mom (July 2009)

Abby working on her photo album

Jaden and Mr. Amos Mr. 'A'

Cousins: Phoebe and  Andre

Here I am bowling, at age 6 1/2. :) - August 2004