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June 30, 2006

Chapter-a-Day Revelation 19

KissLet us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. (Revelation 19:7 TM)

As a guy, the whole concept of being "the bride of Christ" has been a difficult metaphor for my mind or heart to embrace. And then I married Wendy. One of our dear small group friends commented a while back that it was fun to watch Wendy "bloom as a woman" through our relationship. She was right, it is fun - and amazing - to watch. In fact, watching it gave me a much better idea of what it means to be Jesus' bride. I've watched Wendy be more at peace with herself and others. I've watched as the safety that comes from the marriage relationship has allowed more of herself - her true self - to emerge. Watching it has given me an appreciation of what it means to finally be one with Christ - to finally know peace and safety. I'm looking forward to seeing the fullness of who I am and who I was created to be emerge as I'm united with Christ. And, knowing the joy of watching Wendy - I can appreciate the joy it will be for Him to watch it happen.

To top it all off - the wedding reception's going to be a blast.

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June 28, 2006

Vander Well News Briefs - June 28, 2006

Newsbox_by_jdunlevy Whew! The summer is already flying by!

  • Madison has her last Driver's Ed class on Thursday. She's still a year and a half away from her license, but happy to have the class over. She's packing for Thailand and leaves July 11.
  • Taylor, on the other hand, is not too far from having her license - seven days to be exact. Our 4th of July kid will be driving "old blue" around Pella  next week. Yikes!
  • Wendy has been doing well with the commute to Sully each day. It hasn't been a huge deal except when she got stuck behind the Great Iowa Tractor Ride coming home Monday and going to work yesterday. She called me to vent her frustrations as she putzed behind a million puttering tractors that were in her way.
  • We're enjoying a respite from the stage for a few months before Wendy begins directing The Christmas Post in the fall. It's strange to be able to sit in our home at night and...do nothing.
  • Brown Construction arrives Friday to begin our 2006 home improvement project. We're putting a shower in the main floor bathroom and expanding/adding a shower to the upstairs bathroom for the girls.
  • Looking forward to seeing the family at Grandma VH's birthday party on Saturday!

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Flickr photo courtesy of jdunlevy

June 27, 2006

Fun Weekend on Lake of the Ozarks

Mkandhollie0606lr We had a great time at the lake this past weekend. It's so relaxing. I'm still trying to adjust back to real life. There's something about the water, the trees, the wildlife and the slow sonorous pace that just melts you down. I think I could have slept all weekend.

Madison had a blast. She passed her test and got a Missouri Boater's permit. Which meant that she and her friend Hollie could go out on the waverunner by themselves. They went hard at it -tubing, swimming, sunning, boating and on the waverunner - which meant they were pretty much dead to the world by 10:00 each night.

Wendy and I enjoyed tooling around on the waverunner, too. But we generally go slower and like to look at all the houses and sights. Saturday night we took the boat over to our favorite restaurant on the water - Quackers. We played pool and listened to a great blues band until late. We motored back to the playhouse before midnight. The lake by moonlight is gorgeous.

And then there's all of Grandma Jeanne's sweets. Mmmmmmmmm.

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Photo: Madison & Hollie playing on the dock

Chapter-a-Day Revelation 16

Alarm_clockKeep watch! I come unannounced, like a thief. You're blessed if, awake and dressed, you're ready for me. (Revelation 16:15 TM)

As a dad, I've gotten to the point that I'm not going to be responsible for getting the girls up and make sure they're ready. They're big girls. They can take care of themselves, and they need to be responsible to set the alarm, get their hinies out of bed and be ready to go. If they're not up and ready - I'll go on without them.

I guess our Father in heaven parents with similar principles :)

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Flickr photo courtesy of digitalhen

June 23, 2006

Heading to "The Playhouse"

PlayhouslrWe're ready for a break. Wendy and I have been in back-to-back stage shows ending last week. I've been sick and in the hospital. Wendy has been working like a mad-woman with the transition in her business. I've been on the road a good part of this week. Whew!

[exit Pella stage left]
[enter Lake of the Ozarks stage right]

We take off this noon with Madison and her friend Hollie for a weekend at Grandpa and Grandma Vander Well's playhouse on the lake. Can the next five hours go by faster? What was it I said in my last post? :)

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Chapter-a-Day Revelation 14

JudgementI saw another Angel soaring in Middle-Heaven. He had an Eternal Message to preach to all who were still on earth, every nation and tribe, every tongue and people. He preached in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory! His hour of judgment has come! Revelation 14:6-7a (TM)

We are such an instant people. Instant coffee, instant breakfast, minute rice, fast food, quick stop, high-speed internet - you catch my drift. I think our appetite for speedy convenience has made us an impatient people when it comes to justice. We see injustice and want God to act immediately to punish the ne'er-do-wells. When he doesn't meet our demands like the marketplace has, we do what all good consumers do - we complain and/or walk away.

Judgement is coming. God promises it, and God always makes good on a promise. Unlike me, though, He sees a bigger picture. He has a plan that encompasses more than I could possibly comprehend with my finite little mind. I don't understand why He waits. I don't understand a lot of things about God. When I was a child I didn't understand a lot of things about my parents. But in time I learned that they knew a whole lot more than I give them credit for. I think God is like that - only on an infinitely larger scale.

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Flickr photo courtesy of Komal Soin

June 20, 2006

Ahhh, a Teenager's Life

Mknmeredith0606 Last week Taylor and Madison were with us. Both teens are in full summer mode: going to the beach, hanging out with friends, staying up late and sleeping in late. Wendy and I had to laugh when on the same day both girls, independent of each other, asked us "Where have you guys been all day?!"

Ummmm...it's called work.

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Photo: Madison & her friend Meredith goofing off (June 2006)

Chapter-a-Day Revelation 11

HandelThe seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out, "The kingdom of the world is now the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah! He will rule forever and ever!" Revelation 11:15 (TM)

Of course, I read the verse and I hear the music of Handel. How long has it been since you heard the Hallelujah Chorus? Do you know the story? When he was handed the libretto for "Messiah" he was broken, discouraged and ready to give up on music.

Handel set to work composing on August 22 in his little house on Brook Street in London.  He grew absorbed in the work that he rarely left his room, hardly stopping to eat.  Within six days part one was complete.  In nine days more he had finished part two, and in another six, part three.  The orchestration was completed in another two days.  In all 260 pages of manuscript were filled in the remarkable short time of 24 days.

Sir Newman Flower, one of Handel’s many biographers, summed up the consensus of history: Consdering the immensity of the world, and the short time involved, it will remain, perhaps forever, the greatest feat in the whole history of music composition.”  Handel’s title for the commissioned work was simply Messiah.

Handel never left his house for those three weeks.  A friend who visited him as he composed found him sobbing with intense emotions.  Later, as Handel groped for words to describe what he had experienced, he quoted St. Paul, saying “whether I was in the body or out of my body when I wrote it I know not"

I'm no expert, but it wouldn't be surprising for me to arrive in heaven and hear it being sung just as Handel transcribed it. I can't hear it without being moved.

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Flickr photo courtesy of Char111

June 16, 2006

Blown Away!

Muchado1lrIt would have been more appropriate to perform Shakespeare's The Tempest last night. Our performance of Much Ado About Nothing took place with a large "Thursday Night in Pella" crowd and loud, gusting winds. The set blew over. Our voices died amid the roar of the wind in the trees. We couldn't hear what was happening from back stage which resulted in missed entrances. It was awful...

...but we had fun! :)

And here are some of the results:

  • People who couldn't hear were impressed enough in the action, costumes and energy that they vowed to return Friday or Saturday
  • Contributors stepped up to express interest in investing in a sound system for future productions
  • Pella Shakespeare Company has received donations from local companies and individuals simply because we're out there doing it

So the effort pays off - even when you feel that you are, in futility, screaming into the wind!

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Chapter-a-Day Revelation 9

Heart_1The remaining men and women who weren't killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn't change their way of life, didn't quit worshiping demons, didn't quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn't see or hear or move. There wasn't a sign of a change of heart. Revelation 9:20-21 (TM)

Suffering, struggle and persecution are spiritual signposts directing us to internal matters of eternal importance. How we respond to difficult times and circumstances is a spiritual EKG. Despite my general optimism, I can't deny the fact that some people are spiritually walking around with hearts that flat-lined long ago and they will not change. It's not my job to change that fact or to judge them - it's my job just to love, to accept, to forgive and to keep my own focus on things eternal.

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Flickr photo courtesy of Shimon21