Tuesday, March 30, 2010

lectio divina:: genesis 16

way back in Genesis 12, God promised Abraham that he would make him into a great nation; but Abraham and his wife were old and they had no children. in chapter 16, they get impatient and force the promise to come faster. Abraham’s wife Sarah tells Abraham to sleep with her Egyptian servant Hagar and he does. (which also raises some questions; because that’s a wrong thing to do…right? God never brings it up.)

so Hagar gets pregnant and the bible says that she despised Sarah. (I probably would too). then the drama comes out. Sarah tells Abraham: “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the LORD judge between you and me." and Abraham basically shrugs his shoulders and says, “Your servant is in your hands, do with her whatever you think best." the bible says that Sarah mistreated Hagar- so much that Hagar ran for her life. way to go Abe.
then it says that the angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert. (the commentators all have all sorts of ideas about the angel of the LORD. This angel speaks for God in such a way that its pretty much God speaking. and when people speak to the angel, its like they are speaking to God- so is it an angel, or is it God? or is it Jesus Himself, before He was made into flesh?)
the angel asks Hagar, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?" (I love this question- did Hagar even know where she was going? or was she just running?)
“"I'm running away from my mistress Sarai," she answered. Then the angel of the LORD told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." The angel added, "I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count."
The angel of the LORD also said to her:
"You are now with child
and you will have a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the LORD has heard of your misery.”
Ishmael means “God sees.” and even though this lady was just a servant in Abraham’s house, God saw her. and when Hagar was the victim of Abraham and Sarah’s dumb decisions, God saw that too.
I love what it says next:
“Hagar gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me."
we all deal with messes- some of them are our faults, some of them are the result of someone else’s decisions, but through it all, God watches us and watches over us. He sees. He sees the patriarch and he sees the servant girl, and He sees you and me- and He cares.
“May you now see the One that sees you.”
God is love.

Monday, March 22, 2010

this made me laugh

I found this among a bunch of old files. it was recorded SEVEN YEARS AGO for a new members class that chris and I did not go to. back then I was much skinnier and way more serious. and I apparently talked funny. I remember that this took us a bunch of times to film. If you look close, you can see us checking our lines on the screen in front of us. there is also some hilarious footage of kids that are now in college giving testimonies when they were in junior high and high school- but I left that part out since I don't have permission to put them on my blog.

newmembers01 from rob walter on Vimeo.

newmwmbers02 from rob walter on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

homemade toys:: paz and beetle

jane has rediscovered a show on discovery kids called "ready set learn" with her favorite little penguin, paz.
discovery does not make a whole lot of paz merchandise. jane has a book and that's it. so yesterday I got it in my head to go to the fabric store and make a little paz penguin. it turned out ok. someday I'll make a better one.

we also made a VW beetle to match the one deanna drives for the upcoming awana pine derby. this one if driven by a little blonde girl!

being a dad is fun.

patriology:: entry 124

I do some of my best thinking in the shower. yesterday, I was in the shower, and the thought came to me to go and get a bike for jane. it was perfect bike riding weather out, and she seemed to be more and more interested in bikes recently. so after we got ready, we went over to target and picked out a pink and purple big-kid bike. not a tricycle- a big kid bike with training wheels.

we took it home, pulled it out of the box and got it all put together. Deanna got a matching helmet and a bell for the handlebars.
in the afternoon, we took it for a spin in our little parking lot. it took a little getting used to, but jane did really well. I walked next to her the entire time she was on it. sometimes I was in front of her, sometimes behind, sometimes right next to her. when she was about to fall I would catch her. sometimes I saved her and the bike, sometimes I just saved her to show her what would happen if she wasn’t paying attention or steering straight. there was this moment when I was walking next to jane; her handlebars started wobbling and I reached out one hand in front of her, one hand behind, ready to catch her. and I was reminded of a verse out of psalm 139, “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” I think I took a step forward in understanding what that meant.
today jane and I took her bike to a trail near our house to get more bike-riding practice. as she was riding I walked next to her thinking about that verse. “this is how God deals with me. He follows me. He catches me. He rescues me. He does this more times than I even know- and I'm sure most of the time I’m completely unaware of it.”
that psalm goes on to say, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”
God watches over you and me like a father watches over his child riding a bike for the first time. sometimes we are rescued, sometimes we fall, but we are never alone.
this morning, on the trail, jane went down a little slope and her bike picked up speed. she panicked a bit. instead of letting her bike slow down on its own or hitting the brakes, she let go of her handlebar and reached out and grabbed me hand.
sometimes along my way I panic too. I could try to fix the problem myself, or I could reach out to the One who can rescue me. since He’s right there, its not a bad idea.
God is love.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

talking about things

when we stayed at our hotel in Anaheim, one of jane’s favorite things to do was to “talk about things” with me after we turned out the lights, and before we all fell asleep. we would get into our beds and turn out the lights and jane would say,

“hey dad- want to talk about things?”

and of course I would say, “sure! what should we talk about?”

and she would list of a set of topics for our conversation.

every time, the first topic would be, “let’s think of our favorite parts of our day.”

since we have been back from vacation, “talking about things” is a new nightly routine for us. Deanna gets jane ready and gets her tucked in; she reads her a story and has a prayer time; they turn out the lights and then they call me in to talk about things before jane falls asleep. and every time we talk, we begin with, “so- what was your favorite part of the day?” sometimes it gets late, and sometimes we run out of things to talk about, and I tell jane that it’s time to sleep.

she hates to end talking time. a few nights ago she wanted talking time to go longer and she hugged me with tears streaming down her face yelling, “but I want to keep talking!” she loves it so much that an extra-long-talk-time has become a big incentive for jane to try new foods.

to be honest, I love talking time. I love any time I get with my kid. I love listening to her tell me her feelings and experiences. I just enjoy hearing her voice and hearing her talk about anything.

its my current-favorite-part of being a dad.

I used to write these blogs about how being a dad gave me perspective on how God feels about being a Heavenly Father to me; and I can’t help but see the similarities between my love for spending time talking with and listening to jane, and God’s joy in spending time talking to me and hearing me talk to Him. wouldn't that be awesome if I refused to end my talking time with Him!

the other night we went to dinner at the food court in the mall, before jane and Deanna went to jane’s awana class. we finished early, so we decided to check out the disney store- it’s the closest thing we have to Disneyland in town! we were walking and I was carrying jane and she said, “hey dad! I have an idea- let’s talk about things while we’re walking to the disney store.”

“ok!” I said.

“what was your favorite part off today?” I asked.

jane said, “my favore part of today was…right now.”

and she wrapped her arms around my neck.

“right now is my favorite part of today too.” I said.

someday talking with dad isn't going to be cool anymore, but I'm taking it while I can.

being a dad is fun.

God is love.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

lectio divina:: proverbs

I’m finishing up the book of proverbs in preparation for a series in middle school this summer: the quest for solomon’s treasure. I’ve read proverbs a bunch of times, and when I read it, it sounds fairly familiar. but with my recent study on attitude, I saw an old verse in a new way.

there are 4 different times that proverbs talks about “the quarrelsome wife.” usually I read this and thank god that I don’t live with a quarrelsome wife, and feel sorry with those who do. but this time it sounds a little different. here are the four verses:

Proverbs 19:13
“A foolish son is his father's ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.”

Proverbs 21:19
“Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.”

Proverbs 25:24
“Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.”

Proverbs 27:15
“A quarrelsome wife is like
a constant dripping on a rainy day;”

so the quarrelsome wife is like constant dripping- they are annoying- they drive you crazy; and you would rather live in a desert, or on the corner of your roof than spend time with them.

this doesn’t just apply to quarrelsome wives- this applies to a quarrelsome anyone. this applies to people with complaining, bad attitudes. the Bible says what we’ve all known all along- no one wants to be around someone with a bad attitude- they are not likable. complaining drives other people crazy. complaining can be so cathartic, and people may entertain you when you have a bad attitude; but in reality, they would rather be anywhere else than around a complainer.

so a good attitude isn’t just good for the soul, its good for relationships too. I recently read this quote from wayne cordeiro in his book on attitude. he’s from Hawaii and he says that a great attitude is like a Hawaiian lei. when you wear it, everyone you interact with has a pleasant aroma when you are near. and no matter who you’re with, or where you go, everything smells sweet. but when you have a bad attitude, its like wearing a lei made out of dead fish. you stink, and so does everyone else. whether we wear a fragrance or an odor is up to us.

I know some people that smell fishy, and I know some people that smell fragrant; and I want to be fragrant. I want my demeanor to be attractive. it’s a choice.

God is love.

Friday, March 12, 2010


jane LOVES a series of stories about a character named amanda pig. they are easy to read, and she reads them to herself for hours. she also acts them out. they don't make any amanda pig merchandise, so different dolls and stuffed animals in her room often take the role of amanda and her friends lollipop and oliver. some times jane acts out the books herself.

the other day, deanna heard jane chatting, and she had created her own commercial for a site that doesn't exist, amandapig.com. she has also created a computer game for amandapig.com. check them out below-

amanda pig 02 from rob walter on Vimeo.
she reminds me of myself when I was a kid. I loved to read, and I loved to play.
being a dad is fun.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

homemade toys:: disneyland

I recently wrote about some homemade toys that I made for Jane- I have actually done this a few times in the past- its fun for both me and Jane to create something unique for her to use her imagination with. after visiting disneyland, jane has decided that her dolls go too-

so we made "It's a Small World" out of legos and construction paper- what do you think?
we play the small world song on repeat on iTunes, and different dolls wait in line and then take their turn on the ride-

another one of Jane's favorite rides was the ladybug ride in california adventure. the first video is Jane and Deanna riding the ride- the second is Jane playing the role of ride operator with the toy ride that we made. she does a pretty good job at it!

ladybug01 from rob walter on Vimeo.

ladybugs from rob walter on Vimeo.
here is a close-up of the bug-cars. we made them out of that colored-foam that you can get at Michael's.
being a dad is fun.

Friday, March 5, 2010

disneyland part 2

there was this moment, just before we left Disneyland on our second day there- I was riding ‘it’s a small world’ with jane and Deanna for the third time. it was our last ride of the trip. we were all snuggled in together, watching the little characters sing the song; and I thought to myself, “is there any other place I’d rather be, than right here, right now, with these two?”

here are some images from our trip!

we had a LONG six hour drive to anaheim, but jane passed the time watching dvds in the car:

our friend chris got us an autograph book so that we could meet characters and get their signatures. jane is normally afraid of these characters, but by the end of our first day, she treated these characters like old friends:

we were glad to meet all of these friends, but the ultimate prize would be Mary Poppins. Jane is a long time fan of Mary Poppins. we heard that she could be near the carousel or the castle, and we had our eyes peeled for her. jane and deanna were in the restroom when I spotted her. I got on the cellphone and started following her. jane and deanna were close behind me. Jane yelled out, "MARY POPPINS!" she turned around, took jane's hand, and walked toward her picture taking spot. it was the highlight of our trip.

and of course, we also very much enjoyed all of the RIDES at disneyland!

this trip was also jane's first trip in a hotel. this was weird for us, because we all had to go to bed at the same time, and sleep in the same room. jane got a rollaway and we pushed it up next to my side of the big bed. each night before we went to sleep, jane and I spent a long time talking about our favorite parts of the day.

disneyland was awesome! we can't wait to go back!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

disneyland party 1

wow! we had such a great time! I'll write more about our little vacation later on- until then here are 3 short videos from our trip: (keep in mind that this girl was super-afraid of meeting costumed characters! I guess that's over!)

bounce party from rob walter on Vimeo.

bouncers! from rob walter on Vimeo.

poppins from rob walter on Vimeo.