Family Fun

Since I am not preaching Sunday morning, I thought I would take a break from my usual weekly update and share some fun stuff we did as a family the past couple months.

WE WENT ON VACATION

Both with my (Nick’s) family, as well as a few days with just us, we spent some time in Illinois and in Branson, Missouri.

THE KIDS STARTED SCHOOL

Only Marsha and Micah remain home during the week, as I am off to work, and Noah, Levi, Silas and Zoe attend Hatton-McCredie Elementary School. This is Noah’s last year there before he moves to North Callaway High School, at which time Micah will begin kindergarten at Hatton.

To see more pictures from the first day of school, click HERE.

WE GOT A DOG

Lottie is a yellow labrador who was born on June 23, 2019. She has added even more fun (sometimes) and frustration (sometimes) to our family.

To view more pictures of Lottie and her pals, click HERE.

JUST A GLIMPSE

Well, those are just a few big things we did over the past couple of months. We also had Silas in urgent care multiple times (he is better now), celebrated Papa Tony’s 75th birthday, spent more time with family, played a lot outside, ministered alongside our church family, and got on each other’s nerves.

Praise God for family!

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Who do you resemble?

While I honestly never saw it clearly myself, people often said I looked like my dad. Those who knew him, in fact, still say that. Likewise, people often say my son Noah looks like me. You can be the judge of that from the same-age picture layout of the three of us (above) and another picture layout of Noah and me (below).

The reality, though, is that children do tend to resemble their parents. This is the natural result of DNA. As children grow, they take on the physical attributes (and oftentimes the emotional, psychological and intellectual attributes) of their parents. Kids become more and more like their parents. This has always been the case and always will be.

A child resembling his parents is evidence that he belongs to them. The connection and relationship are undeniable.

A Christian resembling His Christ is evidence that he belongs to Him. The connection and relationship are undeniable.

Obedience and Transformation

The one who says he remains in God should walk just as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). What does it mean, though, to walk just as Jesus walked? Quite simply, this means to act like Jesus acted. God the Son obeyed God the Father, and John made the case that if we claim to have a relationship with God, we too will obey God.

While DNA (and the resulting physical transformation) are the reason an earthly son resembles his earthly father, spiritual transformation is the reason a child of God resembles his Heavenly Father. And, obedience is the proof of that transformation.

This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands” (1 John 2:3).

Personal Examination

Are you sure you have come to know Him? Is there evidence of transformation and obedience in your life?

If someone wants evidence of being related to someone else, a DNA test can be done to determine if a biological relationship exists. While there is no physical DNA test to determine if someone is a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, 1 John does provide a test of sorts. His whole letter points to the evidence of a true relationship with God.

On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching through 1 John 2:3-11 on the “Proof of Salvation,” talking about two ways to be sure you have come to know the Lord.

Would you consider examining your own heart today? God does not need to do a test because He does know your heart. He knows if you have truly surrendered your life to His Only Son for salvation, but do you know?

Again, what do you think? I honestly do not see the resemblance myself, but it seems people often do not notice it when looking at pictures of themselves and/or their children.

Snapshots of Fun

Here are a few pictures from this past week. As usual, we’ve been happily busy with church activities, family gatherings, sports and school.

kids with the hornet
Although we were cheering for Noah and North Callaway, we were happy to pose for a picture with the Fulton Hornet.

Own, Tanner and Silas at Soccer Match
Three of the “Fearsome Foursome” (cousins who love hanging out together). Pictured here are Owen, Tanner and Silas. Hudson is the one missing.

Micah looking at pictures
When I was working from home one day, Micah sat right next to me and looked at photo albums for several minutes.

Cox cousins at Starkey's making pyramid
The Cox clan trying to make a pyramid in Starkey’s Lake.

swimming at Starkey's
Beautiful day with beautiful scenery and awesome people.

Tony Cox turned 74!
We celebrated Papa Tony’s 74th birthday on Monday!

Micah napping on the couch
Micah insisted he didn’t need a nap the other day. Minutes later, he was out cold.

Understanding: Essential but Limited

Although Silas learned how to ride a bike a few years ago, he did something new a couple weeks ago – he rode an adult-sized bike. Clearly, Silas already understood how to ride a bike. And, with a little explanation and demonstration, he was able to understand how to use those same skills to ride a much bigger bike than the one which he is accustomed to riding.

In order for Silas to actually successfully ride that bigger bike, though, he had to not only understand that it was possible; he had to embrace the task.

Similarly but in a much more important way, we must both understand and embrace the message of the gospel. We must understand who Jesus is and what it means to be His disciple, and we must choose to follow Him (to embrace who He is and what He has called us to be and do).

During our worship service this morning with Richland Baptist Church, I preached on “The Message of Discipleship” from Mark 8:27 – 9:1. Will you consider both seeking to understand and choosing to embrace the message? It all begins HERE.

Below is a one-minute video of Silas riding Grandma Jo’s bike (and Micah trying to tag along on a trike).

Right Learning

Our church’s Vacation Bible School finished Thursday, and our big family celebration was today. Praise the Lord for those who have decided to follow Jesus for the first time and for the many volunteers who served our children and church family so well!

There are various reasons VBS is so valuable, not the least of which is what children learn about Jesus and following Him. As should be the case, Jesus is the focus of our teaching, and following Him is the focus of our plea.

Yes, there are a lot of valuable things we can learn in life, and there are a lot of good things we can do. But, should we not prioritize the best things over simply good things?

That was my challenge to those in attendance at our worship service this morning. Preaching through Mark 8:1-26, I talked about the “Teaching of Discipleship.” Will you prioritize learning the right things from the right One?

It is very easy to fall into the trap of settling for “second-best” in many areas of our lives, including where we spend our time and energy.

When you think about your family, your commitments and your daily routine, are you prioritizing things of eternal value? Only through a right relationship with God and daily devotion to Him can anyone possibly be faithful in prioritizing the right things.

If this is a struggle for you, cry out to God for His help, seek Him with all your heart, and make sure you are actively involved in a Bible-teaching church that will walk alongside you in this lifelong journey.

Levi at crafts VBS 2018
Levi was one of many kids who had a blast in crafts during VBS, using creativity to learn important truths about following Jesus.

Family Vacation to Windermere

We had a blast with Marsha’s side of the family during our vacation to Windermere this week! All 27 of us (10 adults, 17 kids) stayed healthy and safe, despite our active, daring adventures on the ropes course, in the lake, during archery tag, etc.

Praise the Lord for family vacations!

If you’d like to see pictures from our week, you can click HERE.

windermere