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Don't forget to make some memories!

The Jesus Boat

Posted by on Jan 7, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

Two fishermen, brothers Moshe and Yuval Lufan, trudged along the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel—the same body of water where Jesus’s disciples cast their nets. Moshe and Yuval kept their heads down, their eyes fixed on the muddy ground, searching for archaeological treasure. It was the winter of 1986, and a drought gripped the region, causing the Sea of Galilee to lower. The Lufan brothers were also amateur archaeologists, and they wondered if the receding lake would reveal any wondrous discoveries. It did. The brothers stumbled across the oval shape of what appeared to be a boat sunken in the mud along the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Excited by the possibilities, they called in experts, who carefully dug into the mud, uncovering one of the greatest archaeological finds in Israel’s history. They discovered...

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Netsers in Nazareth!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

My wife, Nancy, and I have lived in the same house now for 33 years, and we have no plans of ever moving. We’ve put down deep roots in central Illinois, where it’s hot and humid in the summer, and can be unbearably cold in the winter. Just thinking about the Arctic winters we experienced in the late 1970s and early ’80s makes my toes go numb. During the first year of our marriage, it once got down to a wind chill of minus 80 degrees, and the blizzard caused the University of Illinois to shut down for the first time in its history. Every so often, Nancy says we were crazy not to move someplace where it’s warm year-round when we were first married, before we put down roots. But now we have family, friends, and a church...

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Thank You, God, for Everything

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

“Thank You, God, that we got to have waffles for breakfast. Thank You that we played Uno today. Thank You that we went to Pop and Tutu’s for dinner. Thank You for my jammies and my stuffed monkey and my pillow and…” I stifled an impatient sigh as my five-year old prayed back through her day, giving thanks for both big and little blessings. Her prayer must have delighted God’s heart, but for this weary mom, it prolonged what I had hoped would be a quick goodnight. By bedtime prayers each evening, I am done. Ready to tuck everyone in, hoping they don’t boomerang too many times for another sip of water or help with a scary shadow or one more trip to the potty. My to-do list is usually still running and I long for some down time...

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Mealtime Matters

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

“I’m glad we eat together as a family,” my pre-teen daughter said as she served up a second helping. Her comment warmed my heart. I, too, love our shared moments around the table. Sometimes they’re rushed as we squeeze in a meal before Wednesday night AWANA or some other obligation. But most often, they’re times of sweet fellowship as we experience life together. Mealtimes provide a regular opportunity for us to touch base and talk about what’s going on in our everyday lives. Relationships blossom as we listen to each other’s hearts and respond with acceptance and love. As parents, we equip ourselves to provide protection for our kids when we discuss interactions with friends, observe attitudes and listen to what’s important to them. Here are some practical tips for creating memorable mealtimes: Unplug We are less distracted and...

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It’s Not Easy Being Big

Posted by on Oct 17, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

The life of a giant is no piece of cake. I recently listened to a book about the making of the classic movie, The Princess Bride, which featured a humongous actor known as André the Giant. André was a gentle giant, according to the book’s writer, Cary Elwes, who played a lead role in the movie. André stood 7 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighed 520 pounds. But all of that bulk left him with an aching back. Imagine how your body would feel if you carried an extra 300 pounds around with you every day. It was difficult for Andre to fit into many vehicles, and they couldn’t find a horse that could carry him in the movie. Everywhere he went, people stared. When children saw him, they would either run toward him in delight or flee in...

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Jericho: French Peas and Kissing Camels

Posted by on Sep 24, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

Beware of kissing camels. As we stepped off of the bus and made our way past an ornate sign proclaiming Jericho as the oldest city in the world, a man in flowing white robes led a camel up to us. Then the creature started kissing anyone who stepped in its path, placing big, rubbery lips on people’s cheeks. But I guess that’s an improvement over what these ornery animals are better known for—spitting. Still, a camel kiss is slobbery, judging by the excruciating facial expressions on the camel’s three victims. Fortunately, I steered clear of the affectionate animal. It was not crowded on the day our tour guide led us past the kissing camel to the Jericho archaeological site. Our guide, being Jewish, wasn’t allowed to take us up onto the site, because Jericho is Palestinian territory. In fact,...

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