He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9

THANKSGIVING:
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family & friends. Thanks, Mom & Dad, Debbie, Alex, Tami & Davin for spending two days on the road to come see us! It is always such a treat. We had wonderful food, played a few high-powered rounds of Pit, and did some good shopping, too! We're also glad you got a deer, Davin, so now you have to come back to get another one in January. By the way - CONGRATULATIONS on tying the knot, Tami and Davin! We love you, and we loved having you here.

We enjoyed having some friends from church, Winston and Ms. Venola, join us for Thanksgiving. Winston treated us with his famous homeade holiday ham. It is the best we've ever tasted!




Kayla and Karissa did a guitar & piano concert for Grandma and Grandpa Fry. (Kayla was hammin' it up - shamelessly trying to earn shopping money from Grandma. It worked. :)



Sunday included our holiday baskets for the people to end layman appreciation month and an evening "Fry Family" concert for the first Sunday of Advent. (I know -- yippee -- But David told the people it was a treat for them to not have to hear him preach, so we sang instead :) Kayla joined us for Away in a Manger. Thanks to: Mom Wolf for keeping me stocked up on gift basket stuff, Mom Fry for helping get the baskets started, and Dads Fry & Wolf for donating tapes!
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Appearance Study #3 - BIBLE & THEOLOGY: The first principle to consider is perhaps the broadest one in that it encompasses much more than outward appearance, but nonetheless it is all-inclusive. It is the principle of Separation as taught by Paul in Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

The big idea is this: Whatever "worldly" is, we are not to be it!

There are two words for "world" used by Paul - they are kosmos and aion (pronounced i-own). The first appears much more often than the second and often the two are almost synonymous. In Romans 12:2 Paul uses aion which is significant in light of the fact that he uses kosmos most of the time. The difference is this: kosmos has more to do with the material world and so "worldly" in this sense is that which is material rather than spiritual. Paul does not use kosmos in a negative sense that it sometimes carries (kosmos = sinfulness). Aion on the other hand has to do no with material versus spiritual, but with temporal versus eternal. In summary, kosmos deals with material versus immaterial; aion deals with temporal versus eternal. One is a substance issue, the other is a time issue. *Just for a side note, the Apostle John use of kosmos is very similar to Paul's use of aion.

To be "worldly" in the aion-sense is to be temporally-minded; that is, to think of the here-and-now to the detriment of the then-and-there (eternity). When this passage tells us to not be conformed the here-and-now it is talking more about an attitude or mentality than the consequent actions that come from that attitude (but naturally the actions are included).

Aion worldliness is twofold:
1. It is outright rebellion against God.
2. It is the residue of old habits in the mind even in the surrendered life.

While rebellion is certainly not characteristic of the believer, Paul indicates that there is still aion-worldliness left over in the believer. For example, many people are rightfully careful about what they wear and where they go, but are very careless with the material wealth God has entrusted to them - this is aion worldliness.

Concerning outward appearance, this principle tells us that there is a general tendency to be this-worldly-minded; to allow our dress and appearance to be only for self-gratification in this world. Acceptance by our culture or world is not the end. Our habits ought to rise above the need to "fit in." Grant it, this principle is subjective because it deals with the attitude. But we must ask ourselves, "Am I doing this for my self-recognition or for God's glory?" So the issue of separation is primarily about being separate in our attitude and motive for living.

For His Glory,

David
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FAVORITES: This is a section for some of our favorite resources (books, videos, websites, etc) & ideas for just about everything. We'd love it if you add your own favorites & ideas to the comments section of this post! Some websites are listed for books, but it's usually much cheaper to check http://www.amazon.com or http://www.fetchbook.info first to find them used or discounted. Check back later for more detailed descriptions and new additions to these lists.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS:
  1. Bible Stories for Preschoolers - New Testament (And all of the Family Nights Tool Chest Resources by Heritage Builders.) Available at http://www.family.org
  2. Preschool Scripture Memory Cards - Available for under $3.00 from A Beka Books http://www.abeka.com/
  3. Hymns or a Kid's Heart. by Bobbie Wolgemuth & Joni Eareckson Tada
PRESCHOOL:
  1. Before Five In a Row by Jane Claire Lambert
  2. Mudpies to Magnets - A Preschool Schence Curriculum by Robert A. Williams
  3. Hop Skip & Jump - by Peter Walker (Exercises, activities and games to promote your child's movement, osture and balancing skills)
  4. Slow and Steady Get Me Ready - by June R. Oberlander (260 Weekly Developmental Activities From Birth To Age 5) This is an awesome, easy-to-use resource. I'd love to be able to get it for all of my friends having babies!

HOMESCHOOLING

  1. So You're Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel. available at www.lisawhelchel.com
  2. The Well-Trained Mind. by Susan Wise Bauer
PARENTING:
  1. The Ministry of Motherhood & The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
  2. Creative Correction by Lisa Whelchel
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. by Stephen R. Covey

HOME ORGANIZATION/TIME MANAGEMENT:
  1. http://www.flylady.net
  2. Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley

SPANISH:

  1. Muzzy Spanish Video Curriculum by
  2. Bilingual Children's Books published by CandyCane Press (Available @ Barnes & Noble)

HEALTHY LIVING:

  1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition. by Phyllis a. Balch, CNC and James F. Balch, M.D.
  2. The Maker's Diet. by Jordan S. Rubin

FAMILY TRADITIONS (Check back later for descriptions of these traditions.)

  1. The 18 List
  2. The Sabbath Eve Meal
  3. The Mealtime Catechism & Training Routine

MUSIC

  1. Free Broadband Radio: http://www.live365.com/index.live (we especially like the station "Word of Truth Radio")
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CHILDREN'S HANDS-ON MUSEUM: We've only been there once so far, but we've found a new favorite place to go! This museum was as much fun for me as it was for the girls. We had a blast. The dress-up play area had amazing costumes in every shape and size (pic. 1)). We loved the hiking area, where you learn about habitats and animals and insects and crawl through a beaver's dam (pic. 2). Kayla and her friend Ethan Bender worked busily in an old fashioned soda fountain (pic. 3). We also spent a lot of time in the little-folks' farm area. Posted by Picasa
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HURRICANE KATRINA:













David securing the tin roof before the storm hit.


As the warm hurricane rains began to reach us, the girls and I couldn't resist a little puddle play! Now that the rains are cold, Kayla can't understand why we can't go out and play every time it rains. Posted by Picasa



Cleaning up the damage Katrina left. (Our damage was extremely mild compared to many, but we do have to replace the roof on the church.)













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Our "preschool" room on the back porch. We all loved it, because the girls could paint and build and color and use playdoh without ruining any carpet or keeping the kitchen a mess. We had to re-convert the porch to storage, but it was fun while it lasted! Posted by Picasa











Playing with Oatmeal & Water. Popular preschools call this "sensory play". I call it "making a mess in mama's kitchen".
Kayla teaches the school lesson with passion & zeal.
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Our first ultrasound of baby dear, taken at about 11 weeks. They say they can't tell the sex of the baby, but we have our suspicions..... Posted by Picasa
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MISCELLANEOUS PICTURES from our archives, just for fun:
Time with Great Grandma Wolf at the new house in Cincinnati.


Sarah misses singing with the Mississippi Chorus!










Kayla and Karissa working hard at their office by mom's desk: typing, cutting sorting and throwing away some important stuff!


Kayla's first violin lessons (2 years old). Kayla now uses her real 1/16 size violin. Karissa has inherited the margerine box violin pictured and Kayla's old violin bow. She is allowed to carry them around the house and play with them. However, she isn't too thrilled with her "box" violin anymore, and prefers Kayla's big violin. She very often carrys the case around, begging me to open it and let her play it.
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ABOUT FAMILY: We are missing our families right now! Thanks to online video chat and speaker phones, we've recently "been" together with our families for a little conversation, but it's just not the same as sitting down together for a meal and talking for hours. These pictures are from our latest visit up north for the Aldersgate forum at GBS. Grandpa Wolf took the girls for a ride behind his tractor, and we met Grandma and Grandpa Fry in Indiana for a meal before heading back down south. It was great to get to go bargain hunting with Mom, sit in front of the fire and just spend a little time together over Cracker Barrel. We shared the news about "baby dear," but no one was too suprised! The Frys will be coming again to spend Thanksgiving with us in Alabama. We're thankful to be able to have our family here each Thanksgiving. This year it looks like Tami and Davin will be able to come, as well! David and I have talked so many times about how blessed we are to have such close families. We've seen that not all families live and love to be together as much as we do. It has made us want to create that kind of relationship with our own kids. We love you all....see you soon!


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APPEARANCE STUDY #2 - BIBLE & THEOLOGY: If you have not read my post from 10/31/05 please read it before reading this one.

2 Corinthians 5:12 says, "For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory (literally "boast") on our behalf, that you may have somewhat (be able) to answer (implied in the context) them which glory ("boast") in appearance, and not in heart."

I previously attempted to establish that outward appearance matters to God...but how much? This verse uses a different word than is found in 1 Thesslalonians 5:22, but it is a word often synonymous with it - it is the word for "face" or "presence" (prosopon). If you compare various translations it is quickly apparent that the word is somewhat vague in this context. Most versions understand it as I do - that which is visible versus that which is invisible ("in heart") in a general sense. However, the RSV and NLT understand it as a wrong attitude toward position in ministry. The context allows for this possibility, I believe, but by no means requires this narrow of a definition of prosopon. I bring up this verse because I believe it makes the point that while outward appearance matters to God, the heart condition is of primary importance. Or to state it in another way: the content is more critical than the form.

It is very easy to allow outward appearance (the form) to be the content; in other words, to define a true Christian on the basis of form rather than the content of the heart. It is my opinion that the form is critical to maintaining the content of the heart, but it is never a substitute for it. I am encouraged by several sermons I have heard preached by some of our leading preachers and evangelists lately along this line. Form should never be a substitute for a passionate desire after God. Rather, it should be a handmaiden for focusing on our pursuit and enjoyment of God. By maintaining the principles concerning form, we ought to be enabled to more fully focus on our relationship with God. Too often we have been more interested in form for form's sake and it has calcified our Christian experience. Let's practice the form for God's sake, and none else.

Just for a look ahead, I hope to cover the following principles concerning outward appearance:

1. The Principle of Separation (Romans 12:2)
2. The Principle of Self-control (1 Timothy 2:9)
3. The Principle of Sufficiency (Genesis 3:7, 21; Exodus 28:42)
4. The Principle of Stewardship (1 Timothy 2:9)
5. The Principle of Sexuality (Deuteronomy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 11)
6. The Principle of Sensitivity (Romans 14)

Blessings,

David Fry
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CULTURE: What does it say about our culture when we celebrate Halloween in place of All Saints' Day and Mardi Gras instead of Ash Wednesday? Sarah and I have chosen not to partake of the activities of Halloween, for what we believe are obvious reasons. Yet we are continually amazed at our Christian neighbors who not only participate in the day's activities but actually decorate for Halloween.

One of the local Baptist churches had a good idea - they have what they call Living Bible Land. We took the girls to it and it was very nice. The people of the church had every classroom decorated as a story from the Bible. One room was actually the belly of the whale. So when we stepped into the room we actually stepped into the story with the actors performing around us. It was a neat experience and one I would love to see reduplicated in some of our churches.

I would challenge any parent reading this post to not assume anything about Halloween but to study its origin and history as well as biblical principles that might guide us. Sarah and I have found it awkward at times to say much when people ask us if we are taking the girls trick-or- treating. We usually just simply say no. There is something about saying, "We don't observe Halloween" that immediately places us against the one who is about to take their child out for a trick or treat. The point seems clear: Is there nothing obviously wrong with Halloween? Not that getting candy is bad...but what is the day all about? It makes us look forward to Christmas!
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