Andrew is now officially 13 years old. My, how the time does fly! He has had a whole week of excitement; it's been the birthday that just keeps giving!
On Saturday we had some friends over after supper. The boys had spent all day setting up the yard for an airsoft war -- for those of you who don't know what airsoft is, just think shooting at each other with bee-bee guns only with plastic bullets and you'll get pretty close ;). I wish that I would have gotten some pictures of the forts they set up and the trenches they dug (yes, they went all-out), but I guess I was too busy playing to think about it.
Anyway, after supper we set up some flood lights and played for an hour or so. Once we were tired of playing airsoft we laid a rope across the yard and played capture the flag. I haven't had so much fun "playing" for a long time. It was a blast, and I think that Andrew enjoyed himself as well. The highlight of the night must have been the time when I dove through a gap between the trees trying to get away from my brother and land on top of one of those awful Choya Cacti (you know, the ones that people sometimes call the "jumping cactus")... let's not do that again ;). And adding insult to injury, can you believe that they still took me to jail? How rude is that?! ;P
I love having a big family!!! It's great that we only need another four people to make enough to play just about any game we want!
After we had tired ourselves out thoroughly and were quite covered with sand, we all headed inside to eat popcorn and watch a movie. The movie of choice was "How To Train Your Dragon". None of us had seen it yet, so we had a great time laughing together. My official opinion: "How to Train Your Dragon" is a great family movie. Perhaps one of the scenes might be a little scary for kids under 8, but it is very funny and not at all inappropriate. Two thumbs up!
On Sunday we went to church in Tamazula where a friend of ours taught on the Great Commission and what it means to "preach the Word". It was a great reminder of what our true purpose is here on this earth. It's so easy to get caught up in what the world thinks is important or even in thinking that just living a righteous life is enough. We need to be bold and willing to step up and speak when God calls us to speak. Go when God calls us to go. Stay when God calls us to stay. Do what God calls us to do. Let it not be that we should stand before God in the end and have nothing to say for ourselves. Quite a reminder, if you ask me!
After church we went with the Petits and the Graffs (friends visiting from Southern Mexico) to the mall in Guasave where we ate lunch and hung out for a few hours. Caleb and I were able to spend some time with some friends of ours from Guasave who happened to be stopping in for lunch as well. I think that both of us were pretty happy about that ;).
Andrew got the second part of his birthday that evening since my parents had bought ice cream to celebrate. Andrew even got to pick a movie to watch. Guess which one he picked? Give up? "How to Train Your Dragon". Hey! I did say it was a good movie!
Monday -- that being yesterday -- Andrew got his day off from chores (it's this tradition that we have in our family. On your birthday you don't have to do any of your housework. Pretty cool if you ask me) and then in the evening we had our home fellowship group -- plus a few others -- over for a Bible study, Posole (Po-so-lay the traditional Mexican birthday dish made with puffed corn, beef, red chili, and onion and served with shredded cabbage, cilantro, and tortilla chips) and cake. I am so proud of my little brother. He has such a way with people. There is something about him that makes people love him, and it's such a great gift from God! I can't wait to see what God does with Andrew's life!
But wait, his birthday isn't done yet! I still have my present to finish and give him and Grandma's birthday card hasn't arrived quite yet.
Well, I should wrap things up. I'll end my post with a thought from our Bible class assignment for this week.
We were assigned to find five different places in the Bible that talk about friendship and apply them to our lives. I was reading the passage in Daniel 1 where Daniel and his friends stand up for what they believe is right. I was struck by the thought that friends should be willing to stand beside each other and fight for what is right. Friends should spur one another on to righteousness. How often do the actions that I take cause someone else to stumble when I am not willing to stand up with them or speak out for them? Even in the small things, or maybe especially in the small things, I should be willing to make the sacrifice (sacrifice meaning to give up something good for something better) and encourage my friends in righteousness. That is, after all, what God has called us to do.
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Perhaps on our own we aren't brave enough to be different, but with a friend beside us how much more willing are we to take a stand?