Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Testament in 30 Days

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." - 2 Timothy 1:7

I read this verse a few weeks ago, and sensed God calling me to walk with confidence into the power and self-discipline that we have in following Christ. Then I read a blog by my buddy Josh Young about motivation to start doing the things in life that are most important.

So, starting tomorrow, February 1st, I'm starting a Bible reading program that goes through the new testament in 30 days. It's a pretty intense program, about 30 to 40 minutes of reading a day, but I kind of view it like getting in shape. You work out really hard and intense for a few weeks to get into shape, and then once you are in shape, you can back off and do simpler workouts to simply maintain your fitness level. A few other guys are doing it with me, and anyone else is welcome to join in. Here's the link to the Reading Plan we are using.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yeah, its sad...but its pretty funny

Judah has become our little hawk - perched on an arm eyeing every bite of food or drink hand to mouth. But he doesn't do it silently; with a yearning moan he "begs" for a taste. And bless his heart, he reaches with his little hands attempting to just help himself if you are none too willing to share.

I was lounging in our bedroom trying to do my homework for Bible Study when Aron walked with Judah & a glass of Verner's Ginger Ale. I turned the Mac to catch Judah in action.
This is sad! Amber, you can put this as an illustration in your "How Not to Parent your Children" book.
Seriously. This is why our 3 year old has a L-O-V-E for diet coke (that & she lived with 3 people who had McDonald's diet cokes on a daily basis). Thankfully, we can curb her cravings with chocolate milk.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

mid-week Message: 32 Hours - the Church in Haiti.

This is the first installment of a new feature here on Kirkhaven. Erica and I listen to sermons throughout the week by various well-known pastors and preachers across the country. Thanks to the internet, you can listen to some of the best communicators of the Word of God at the click of a mouse. So, every Wednesday we'll be posting the best messages we've heard in the past couple of years. Each one is sure to give you a greater perspective and understanding of God, and inspire you to love him more deeply and obey him more sincerely.

This week's mid-week message is by Mark Driscoll, the preaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. Mark had the amazing opportunity to go to Haiti just days after the devastating earthquake, and he took a film crew with him. This message walks through his experiences in Haiti and God's Providence in it all. This wrenched my heart and challenged my assumptions of affluence. Enjoy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

you know i love you so - part 2

dear pancake saturday - you know i love you so (even when you get derailed by baking soda)
dear babies fresh from bed with tossled hair and sleep in your eyes - you know i love you so

dear isabelle rose - your scent so sweet & voice so darling - you know i love you so
dear judah paul - how can i resist your sweet smile - you know i love you so
dear biter biscuit - you know i love you so
even if I can't - quite - force - you - into- my - mouth
and you're smeared all over my face
dear warm splashy bath, you know i love you so

Sunday, January 24, 2010

you know i love you so

I love to watch Aron interact with our little ones. Even more, I love to watch the way they adore him. I've got some great footage of Belle when she was a baby looking at her daddy, but I'll have to figure out how to upload it (its a mini dvd). However, I did catch Judah last night simply LOVING attention from his daddy. If Judah sees Aron walk by, he will begin cooing and grunting until he captures his attention. Once he has it, he can hardly contain his delight.

aron & judah from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

ps...finally updated my new ilife suite - aron had to show me how to use the imovie. its so fun!


Friday, January 22, 2010

treasure hunting

I love my husband; he is so good to me!
We just returned from our most recent adventure to pick up a vintage cast iron farmhouse sink I found on Craigslist.

Its just lovely - apron front & drainboards. And we bought it for a steal.  This is the closest picture I could find to represent it:

here's another one that is similar to ours - only ours has one large, but shallow sink with drainboards:
Thank you, Father, for loving us in the details. You are so wonderful.
Thank you, Aron, for taking the time out of your day off to do this with me. It means more than you know.

your hands

for all of you who have known disappointment, felt your spirit crush under the weight of heartbreak and reeling, wonder where is our God...

if you appreciate an acoustic folk original as much as we do, I know you'll enjoy this.

when my world is shaking
heaven stands

when my heart is breaking
i never leave your hands

one day you will set all things right

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

dear grandma & grandpa,

I am growing into quite a big boy as of late.I think of you often.
I am learning so much every day. This week I have found the most amazing toys...toesand fingers...oh so tasty!
My hands are moving where I tell them to go - it is fabulous!

I love to chew, gnaw, and gum anything I can get into my mouth.

My gums are so sore; sometimes it makes me sad.

Then I find my fingers, and life is good again.

I love to feel my soft blankets and rub them on my face.
But you know what I love even more? When I can reach up & grab someone else's face. I grab mom & dad by both cheeks and feel their skin.
I can't wait to see you again.
You will be surprised how I have grown.
I love you!
judah paul

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

dear husband,

image from dottie angel

and because I paid close attention during our "Love & Respect" training,

i do
respect you
and all of what you do
my strong


Monday, January 18, 2010

Lion Chaser's Manifesto

Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church and author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase, and Primal, posted on his blog his Lion Chaser's Manifesto.

I want to share it with you as it is heavy on my heart today:

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Criticize by creating. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

the fam

so blessed to love these people


Friday, January 15, 2010

Seduced into Irrelevance

"...I suspect that the greatest weapon in Satan's arsenal is the trick of teaching us to cherish nothingness-- and most people buy into his lies." -- Calvin Miller, The Power of Letting Go

How many people do you know that are pouring their lives out for things that don't matter? My wife and I have been following the ministry of Matt Chandler, a pastor recently diagnosed with a serious form of brain cancer. We'll listen to his messages online and I've had the privilege of seeing him speak in person as well. He recently echoed the above quote in a video address to his church when he said that his cancer has reminded him of what's important in life, and that "most men are wooed and seduced into lives that don't matter."

Satan is a deceiver, and he will try to get you to find your fulfillment, joy, and happiness in things that do not matter. I believe this specific deception is extremely prevalent in the Church. Satan has other tactics for non-believers, but for Christians this is one of his favorite. He will get you to think "going to church" is the extent of your relationship with and calling by God. For those who work within the church he will get you to focus on the tasks, administration, and programming side of your work as he tries to crowd out the very spiritual source and relational fabric by which and for which we pursue our vocations. 

It seems like God will show me what's "next" in my walk with him, and I'll begin moving that way, and after awhile I end up "going through the motions" instead of putting my heart and soul into his will. That's when the stirring comes, and God whispers, "focus..."

Have you had that stirring from God lately that you really need to focus? That you need to reevaluate every area of your life-- work, home, free time-- and begin focusing in on his will and what truly matters?

Satan will try to keep you in a place of complacency or acceptance when you being to hear God's calling to focus. But I challenge you to not be content with going through the motions. Don't be seduced into irrelevance. Make the tough decisions that will re-focus you on the will of God in your life.

"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 
-- 1 Timothy 4:8


Thursday, January 14, 2010


I decided to resurrect an old homemade bread recipe that I haven't made since we lived in Indiana. Its Aron's favorite - a very fluffy, sweet bread - and I had Panera's Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe that I've been wanting to try.

Isabelle LOVED the process...
but unfortunately
HATED the smell of the yeast.
It gagged her, infact. 
"Mommy, what is that smell? Its DISTASTIC!"
The entire day the scent of rising bread filled the house.
Isabelle kept a towel over her nose, reminding me every few minutes 
of  "that terrible, distastic smell".
She loves rolls, but refused to even try our finished bread bowls.
Apparently one too many gag reflexes in one day (it was pitiful, but I had to laugh as she literally gagged at the smell).
She sure missed out on a yummy way to warm up a January day.
much love 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

tender moments at dawn's first light

Both babies have been awaking early, early in the morning...around 5 am, and subsequently ending up in our bed. (Probably a bad habit, but its so close to time to get up, we don't want to waste those precious last minutes coaxing them back to sleep.) This has created some special moments in the early morning light.

This morning I nursed Judah at 5:00, and after finishing up, I layed him on my chest (his perferred sleeping position). With eyes closed and tummy full, he proceeded to sing the sweetest song for about 5 minutes. Immediately a verse I've shared several times on our blog flooded my mind:
Nursing infants gurgle chorus about you... psalm 8:2 (the message)

At 5:20 Judah and I had just drifted to sleep, and I awoke to a little Belle snuggling in next to us. Sometime later, I felt a tiny finger tracing the features of my face, then a delicate hand stroking my hair. What a treasure to a mommy's heart.
I will miss these moments when my babies are grown. 

Do you think they'll still crawl in bed with me when they're 15? I hope so.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh to make much of Him

Oh to make much of Him.
That is the cry of my heart.

Somewhere in my comings and my goings 
Nestled between rushed morning make-up
Dishwasher loading, diaper changing
feeding frenzy, laundry loading,
facebook friending, podcast preaching,

I lose sight.
My heart allegiance swerves
And subtly, my day becomes

Making much of me.

Oh the disgust at the thought,
What a heartbreaking conclusion
To such glorious potential.

The sin of all mankind - 
Of the deceiver, himself.

To claim for oneself the glory that belongs
To the One and Only.
To crown Self at the center of the universe.

I confess my daily idolatry.
My feeble attempts to validate my worth.
For prostituting the crown of my heart
for fleeting fulfillment and self-righteous gain.

Humbly I offer you your rightful place.
The center of my being.
Be the air that fills my lungs,
The blood that runs through my veins.

May every breath,
Every heartbeat,
Make much of You.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

sibling love

These two babies crack me up. I never dreamed what joy they would bring one to another. Isabelle can hardly stand it when Judah is sleeping; she wants him with her at all times.
And she only needs to look his way, and he lights up to the point of giddyness.

I hope they always find this much joy in one another


Untitled from Aron Kirk on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year Pruning.

1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

Ouch. God is pruning a lot of people I know. Ouch. He just pruned me. It was a branch of laziness--sleeping in later than I should-- I really liked that branch, it made me feel good. But I guess it wasn't producing much fruit. Well, I know it wasn't. (That's my time in the morning to spend with God before anyone else wakes up. The time when he can plant the most seeds, and I sleep through it. And I wonder why I don't have much to give throughout the day? Perhaps because I'm missing my time to be filled and fueled).

How is he pruning you? I'm going to guess (an educated guess, of course) that the hardship you're facing right now is FORCING you to do things that you know you SHOULD have been doing all along. Things like praying, being responsible, considering others before yourself, budgeting, etc. Well, that's exactly what pruning is. It forces a tree to quit spending valuable energy and resources on branches that don't produce anything. 

I think God prunes us sometimes, and we accept it, but then after it's over, we try to go back and find the branch he cut off and put it back on. Any tree would tell you that's ridiculous. And yet we do it. 

This is a new year. Perhaps you just faced the hardest year ever in 2009. Perhaps 2010 is looking daunting. I challenge you to accept God's pruning, let the unfruitful branches die, and focus your time and energy on the things that will produce fruit. 

For me it's going to be reading the Word. Studying the Bible. Waking up early to let it permeate me. That lazy branch is going to have to wither and die, but I'm cool with that. 2010's going to be a lot better without that dead weight, and I can't wait till harvest time.

God, prune me. I give you permission. And help me let the old branches die. Help me to love as you have loved.


Monday, January 4, 2010

could you be any more adorable?


Ah, yes...the ugly Christmas Sweater Party
with our home group
January 3, 2009

Dear Andy...somehow your ugly sweater picture got erased from my camera! You got off lucky this time!
When it came time for the judging, we modeled our attire down the catwalk to none other than "I Saw the Sign" by Ace of Base.

I caught a few of us striking our 'Blue Steel"
Ron Weir, ladies and gentlemen.
Mr. Aron Kirk
Craig "Deckin' the Halls" Knepper
Can we get a doctor in here??...Ben Loyd, beloved P.A.
Barby "Shoulder-Pad" Knepper
And the winners

1st place: Aron Kirk
2nd place: Ben Loyd
3rd place: Kyle Knepper