“The finest men in all the world are not to be found in the warm, genial climates, where the earth has only to be tickled with a hoe, and it laughs with plenty; but the strongest and the most enterprising spirits have been found at the back of the north wind, where there are frosts and ice, and long, dreary winters, and men have a hard struggle for a livelihood. They become really men under that stern training. Now, if there were no thorns and thistles, no struggles and no trials, should we have any brave Christians? Should we have any great and noble souls at all? When did the Church yield her best men for her Lord’s service? It was in the persecuting times, when they had to swim through seas of blood to hold fast the truth of Christ. These are silken days, and we have wretched specimens of Christians everywhere; but if the times of persecution were to come once more, with the rough winds blowing, and the whole sea of the world tossed in tempest, we should then find brave sailors who would put the ship’s head to the wind, and ride safely over the stormy billows in the name of the Eternal God.” Spurgeon, C. H.

From the Thorns and Thistles Sermon, Vol 39.


Claire’s Prayer for Haiti

The Simple Faith of a 2 Year Old

At the end of our family worship we ask each of our children to prayer for something. We asked Claire if she would prayer for the children in Haiti. We explained that their houses were crushed and some of them don’t have any mommy or daddy.

Claire said, “I share my daddy; I share my mommy” (She’s only two, so the English is a bit broken).

Jenn and I looked at each other and were moved by her compassionate response. We asked her a second time to confirm that she would really want to share us: she did. What a simple solution, at least form her perspective!

In her prayer she continued to voice her desire to share her daddy with the children of Haiti. I must admit I was a little choked up at that point. We all finished our prayers and Jenn asked, “so, will we be adopting a child from Haiti?”

I said, “Who knows, I guess we’ll see.”

Well, that’s quite a prayer. It’s easy to discount her little prayer as just the naivety of a 2 year old who’s prayer is straight from the heart. She really wasn’t thinking about the difficulty of the thing she was asking. At the same time, the Bible calls Christians to do this very thing.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (JasĀ 1:27)

Perhaps this is one of the qualities of a child that makes them the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3-4).


Brother Anthony Engaged to Lisa

And the Ingredients for a Delicious Cake

Here’s the announcement as it was communicated by email from by brother Anthony this morning:

Guess what!  Lisa and I are engaged!

We just enjoyed the most amazing ice cream cake that I have ever made
... and the only one!  Here’s the list of components, all of which
were homemade:

1. chocolate cake
2. coffee ice cream
3. almond buttercrunch toffee
4. chocolate ice cream
5. hot fudge
6. caramel
7. whipped cream

So I immediately emailed back:

You must be kidding: “we’re engaged, here’s a list of ingredients for a delicious cake”? Can you please elaborate more on the engaged part! Forget the cake!

Was the cake so delicious that Anthony was inspired to marry Lisa? I’ve known cake to be good, perhaps this cake was just blow your mind good that all things, including engagement, pale in comparison. Or maybe the cake helped give Anthony a perspective on life that recognized the importance of enjoying good cake with the person you love. wink

Stay tuned. Certainly more to come.

Update: Juicy Details

Anthony responded:

Haha.  Sorry about that.

It happened at the apartment.  I just wrote the proposal on top of the
cake in chocolate and the ring was sticking up inside the ‘o’ of
‘you’.  I led Lisa to it with her eyes closed.  It was spelled funny
in a way we like to talk to each other for fun and she laughed out
loud when she saw it.

Earlier in the day we went to Giorgio’s since we hadn’t had their
pizza for a while.  That’s always as good as we remember.  After that
we watched a movie called Visioneers on DVD.  It has that guy Zach
Galifianakis from The Hangover in it.  It was a pretty good dark
comedy but we didn’t like the ending.

Fortunately my proposal and the cake saved the day.  Lisa was very
happy and surprised.  We’ll send some pictures soon.

Update: Photos

Mewy MeI’m not expert on marriage proposals, but this is cute, clever and fitting for Anthony and Lisa. They’ve been on a baking trend for a while now. Anthony has a blog that he writes about different baking adventures. There are more photos of the ring, the cake, and Anthony and Lisa in their photo gallery.


Family Photos

Snapshots of Us Around the House

Matthew and RobHere’s some photos of the family the Sunday before Christmas. There’s actually a few of me this time.



Christmas Play

The Birth of Jesus as Shown by Our Kids

Matthew and Claire’s Mommy and me co-op preschool put-on a birth of Jesus play. All the cute little kiddies dressed up in outfits and took their place on stage while one of the mommies narrated. The kids were cute and overall it was a fun event. Click the slideshow button below to see the photos.

For any of you parents that want a full resolution version of the photo, just click on the photo in the slideshow and it will bring you to the Smugmug gallery. At that point hover you mouse over the displayed image, choose a size and right-click and save the image.



Jenn’s Photos

Photos by Jenn Lombardi in and around November 2009

Here’s a collection of photos from Jenn’s little point and shoot camera. It covers a couple months up to November 2009.