The Olympics & the American Guy

This is the first year that our kids have watched the Olympics. They were too young in years past. It is interesting in that none of them have shown much interest in sports, but they are virtually eating up whatever we allow them to watch.

This past summer they learned what the American flag is when we put one up in our backyard campground. Now they have learned there are “American Guys” competing in various sporting events. They love the “American Guys.” It matters not what the event is. When the TV puts that American flag super-imposed on the track or the pool my kids watch intently as the American Guy makes his way to the finish line.

I think the events that are short in duration are specially made for our kids. They can’t endure a football or baseball game, but a 100 meter run, dash or swim suits them well. 

This reminds me of our first trip to a Greenville Drive baseball game a couple of years ago. After about two innings Tristen, who was four at the time, looked up at me and asked, “Daddy, when are they going to move?”

BIG SINNERS vs. little sinners


My Wife’s Journal Entry: September 6, 2003 

I can only attribute the glow I am beginning to feel to God’s graciousness and the teaching on what the gospel really is — all Christ’s work, none of mine. It is like spring after a long winter.

I was resigned to being spiritually unmoved forever toward the things of God, but God saw fit to use the teaching from Galatians to break through my heart. God quickened my heart, He drew me to Himself. For the first time, probably in my life, I realized I can contribute nothing to my salvation. That realization, along with seeing how all my wrongs are enough to crucify the Savior, has impacted me.

Rick is thrilled to have a dimension of joy added to our relationship. We have been discussing for some time now how I should have gratitude and joy even if I haven’t done drugs, theft, or “wild” living. Those are “big” sins. I have always seen how a “big” sinner could rejoice — they have been saved from much. I didn’t see myself as being saved from much. I viewed my sins of anger and laziness as acceptable.

Now, I am thrilled that my heart isn’t stone. I have a long way to go in realizing that I sin every day (and many times throughout the day) and even though it isn’t murder, it is enough to warrant hell and thus my need for a Savior. I am glad our local church will help me grow and point out how I can change. God has patiently brought me to a very good place.


Tristen’s Ultrasound

Neither one of us realized the miracle we would see. We were nervous. We were not sure if the baby would be there. Would the baby be healthy? Would it be growing properly? We had seen an ultrasound of our first babies sac but no signs of life and our second babies heartbeat.    

This pregnancy was at sixteen weeks — the day after the home pregnancy test came back positive. When the technician put the image on the screen we were stunned. There was a little fully-formed face staring back at us. Then the tech played the heart-beat, what music to our ears! Rick was on the verge of tears and didn’t want to hold my hand for fear of bursting into tears and missing the rest of the action.

The tech gave us some incredible pictures. All the parts were present and on track. We saw sections of the brain, the four chambers of the heart, the liver, bladder, and so on.  When the tech finished Rick and I embraced and Rick gave a prayer of thanks for God’s miracle and asked for a healthy baby at birth. We were both choked up. 

We told dad and mom the next day. Rick told the church after preaching in the evening service. He put the ultrasound pic on the screen for the church. I called my sisters afterwards and they all were excited.

Positive Pregnancy Test

The day after the home pregnancy test came back positive I schedule lab work at the OBGYN. I was nervous and concerned. The lab workers were so sweet in response to my fidgeting. I told them I thought I had the flu and I was nervous about a potential pregnancy because our three previous pregnancies had ended in miscarriages.

This would be the fourth time blood had been drawn to confirm a pregnancy. Would they put me on Prednisone to keep me from losing the baby? If I was pregnant, would they find a heart beat? Would I start bleeding in few weeks in spite of medical intervention? For the past three years we had been in an emotionally draining cycle of conceiving and miscarriages. If God chose to take this baby it would be our fourth loss. 

As I talked to the nurse about what the doctor would recommend for treatment, the lab workers ran the test and got results. When the tech came out with the result I was shocked, I had always had to wait a day. The test was positive. I began to cry. The nurse was very helpful in answering my questions and concerns. She checked with Dr. Stoner and determined that Prednisone would not be necessary since we were already at four months. I was on cloud nine by the time we left. 

Because of our history, the doctor wanted an ultrasound as soon as possible; we were able to get an appointment the next day. 

Six months pregnant with Tristen

Six months pregnant, almost seven (our 27th week), its gone by quickly. The progression has been rather uneventful. After 8 weeks of nausea, my stomach settled down. I’m not one that throws up. I was just “yucky” in my stomach all the time. After I figured out I didn’t have the flu (it was flu season and many were sick) and started eating every two hours, I felt better. I was ravenously hungry, but only a few food agreed with me: Saltines, mashed potatoes and plain noodles. 

I don’t think I have ever been so continuously hungry, but not able to be satisfied. Amazingly enough around the middle of April the nausea went away. What further astounded me my appetite was gone also. I no longer wanted to eat and food had little appeal.

Lucia’s Life

  • 1969: Born in Erie, Pa on August 23, 1969 at 12:53 pm. 7lb 11 oz 20 in long, head 14 1/2″. My Mom was at Hamot Hospital in room 335 and Dr. Semple-Kinsey did the C-section. 
  • 1970’s: Winter trips to Florida!
  • 1974: Began Rolling Ridge Elementary in Erie, PA. Mrs. Smock was my teacher.
  • 1977: August 12 completed Western Horsemanship Training at Miracle Mountain Ranch in Spring Creek, PA. 
  • 1977: November 13 publicly confessed Jesus as Savior and was accepted as a member of Bethel Baptist Church. 
  • 1977: November 20 was baptized by Pastor Kenneth L. Andrus.
  • 1978: July 15 finished a week at Miracle Mountain Ranch
  • 1981:Began Middle and High School at Bethel Christian in Erie
  • 1987: Moved to Greenville, SC
  • 1987: First job: at Burger King (summer)
  • 1987: Began BJU
  • 1989: Trip to South America
  • 1991: Graduated BJU with Office Admin degree
  • 1991: Temped for TRS (temporary service)
  • 1992: Temp to Perm at Flour Corp
  • 1994: Met Rick
  • 1995: Went to wrestling with Rick (Hugged Klondike Bill)
  • 1996: Said “yes” to Rick on top of Empire State Building
  • 1997: Married Rick
  • 2000: Hawaii!!
  • 2001: Quit Fluor Corp
  • 2001: Tristen was born (3 days later)
  • 2003: Grandma Katie died (mom’s mom)
  • 2003: Haydn was born
  • 2006: Ansa was born

Re-Categorizing My Problems

Christians are rapidly losing sight of sin as the root of all human woes. And many Christians are explicitly denying that their own sin can be the cause of their personal anguish. More and more are attempting to explain the human dilemma in wholly unbiblical terms: temperament, addiction, dysfunctional families, the child within, codependency, and a host of other irresponsible escape mechanisms promoted by secular psychology.

The potential impact of such a drift is frightening. Remove the reality of sin and you take away the possibility of repentance. Abolish the doctrine of human depravity and you void the divine plan of salvation. Erase the notion of personal guilt and you eliminate the need for a Savior. 
From John MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience, p. 11