Archive for July, 2008


On the tracks

   Posted by: Mark    in General

We took a walk last night up to a set of rarely-used railroad tracks not too far from our neighborhood. My patient wife let me take some time to get some pictures. I have a lot yet to learn about Photoshop editing, since there are some things I want to do with these that I can’t quite figure out yet. But until I do figure it out, I’ll keep practicing!




This past Saturday we stopped by Fort Vancouver to check out the Soldiers’ Bivouac and the 1860’s vintage baseball game. It was a beautiful day, and the folks from 1st Oregon Volunteers and other area groups did a fabulous job. The ladies dresses were more than enough to keep Lindsey talking, and we pushed her to ask one of the younger girls about her dress (this particular girl had received hers as a hand-me-down from the organization, but they provide extensive assistance for any members who would like to make their own). And Timothy and Isaiah remained enthralled with the muskets and cannons.









   Posted by: Mark    in Wayback

Mark and Amy


Grandma and grandchildren

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

Here are some pictures from the annual July 4th picnic at Uncle Mike and Aunt Bonnie’s. I think they forgot about leap year, because it ended up being on the 5th instead. But it sure was a production, and we’re thankful they were so generous in allowing us to come!

These are some pics of Tami’s mom with her two youngest grandchildren:


All of her grandchildren:




Forced to shoot

   Posted by: Mark    in General

My sister is ever the motivator. She pushed me to go out last night and shoot 15 pictures. Of anything. Anywhere I could. Just make it work. I took about 20 shots, and though most were junk, I did get a couple that could be edited to something “not so boring.”




Laws of attraction

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

Children exhibit an unusual attraction to dirt. Or dirt exhibits an unusual attraction to children. But either way, the two end up together a lot.




Luther on Kingdoms

   Posted by: Mark    in General, Tech

During our trip to Ohio, I had opportunity to read some of Martin Luther’s writings. I brought a copy of “Three Treatises,” which ends up not being all that focused on theology proper, but was a highly enjoyable read. The first treaties is An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate. This was written in 1520, and Luther was apparently quite aware that his relationship with the Catholic Church was damaged beyond repair by this point (by this time in his life Luther had clearly proclaimed his questioning of papal authority and numerous specific practices of the Church). Even in his written word in this essay it is possible to see the passion he must have had regarding the comprehensive lack of discernment and holiness in the Church, and specifically in the person and office of the pope.

There were numerous passages in the essay that were noteworthy and concise enough to quote, but one related generally to politics really jumped out at me. He was crying out against the actions of Rome (referencing the Church) in its dishonorable acquisition of the Roman Empire from the Greek Emperor, and then his giving it to the German Nation in order to establish a “Second Roman Empire” under his own rule. Luther’s statements are still relevant today:

For the Lord God it is a small thing to toss empires and principalities to and fro! He is so generous with them that once in a while He gives a kingdom to a knave and takes it from a good man, sometimes by the treachery of wicked, faithless men and sometimes by heredity, as we read of the kingdoms of Persia and Greece, and of almost all kingdoms; and Daniel 2 and 4 says: “He who ruleth over all things dwelleth in heaven, and it is he alone who changeth kingdoms, tosseth them to and fro, and maketh them.” Since, therefore, no one can think it a great thing to have a kingdom given to him, especially if he is a Christian, we Germans cannot be puffed up because a new Roman Empire bestowed on us; for in His eyes it is a trifling gift, which He often gives to the most unworthy, as Daniel 4 says: “All who dwell on the earth are in his eyes as nothing, and he has power in all the kingdoms of men, to give them to whomsoever he will.”

This is indeed a good reminder that it is God who gives and takes kingdoms and establishes rulers. Beware of those who suggest that God is any less capable of or active in doing this in a democratic republic!

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Home again

   Posted by: Mark    in General

We just got back this morning from nine days in Akron, Ohio, visting Tami’s family. We stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Rhodes (with John, Tara, and four girls, too!), and got to relax a bit. There are so many things to post about, from the airports and plane rides, to the 60th anniversary party, the annual July 4th picnic, Wall-E, and more. I think I’ll create separate posts over the next weeks with pictures, but for now, here are a few of the 700+ images I captured: