Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
We attended our first Foster parent class on Saturday. It was an all day class that lasted from 8:30 to 4:30. The majority of the class was a question and answer session. There were about 40 people in the class, most of which were there to become foster parents for a child they were related to. There were only 5 couples (including us) that were there to learn about adoption and what they called "general applicant foster parents" which means we were looking to become foster parents without a specific child in mind. One thing that was very apparent from the class is that the State of Oregon's main objective is to reunite all children with their biological parents. If an offending parent can demonstrate that a child's physical and mental safety is no longer a concern, then the State will do everything it can to return that child to its family. The State sees being with the biological parents as the best possible home for a child as long as those safety concerns do not exist. On one hand I agree with this as I think every child should have the chance of growing up with the parents that conceived them, on the other hand this policy does not take into account the overall quality of home that the child is in. If we decide to become Foster parents, then we have to be ready to return a child to a home that is not ideal or even healthy according to our standards. It is a sad consequence of living in a secular society. Although it is sad and fustrating that the state does not hold the same values as the Word of God, I still think that God can use us to plant seeds in the both the children and parent's of children that come into our lives. One interesting thing we learned in our class is that the State encourages foster parents to meet and communicate regularly with the biological parents. We both saw this as a great opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ to both the child and the parents. What a great ministry this could be for us. With that said we are still seeking God's plan for us through prayer and appreciate all of you that are praying for our decision. We feel God is definitely leading us in this direction, but want to make sure that our feelings are truely God's will. All our love, - The Benningtons
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
My Dad wanted to get a picture of us all in our Beaver paraphernalia!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
View from our balcony
Astoria - the mini San Fransisco
Looking down from the Astoria Tower
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Aren't they cute?
4 days is never enough with great friends, but it sure was fun... Thank you Ben and Mary!
Friday, August 3, 2007
I have had many opportunities to put it to practice this week at work. I succeeded at some and failed at others. One thing is for sure, it has really reduced the stress of having to deal with conflict. Instead of going into it with the "I have to win" mentality, I try to think "how can I make this a win for them." For example, if the cashier at the grocery store is talking for a long time with the customer in front of me instead of keeping things moving (we have all experienced this), I generally will think about how inconvenient it is for me and how "if this store had customer service then I would have been through this line 5 minutes ago." Instead, I could ask, how can I serve her/him today. Maybe it is by being patient. Instead of getting to the front and being short and ticked off, maybe I can ask how their day is going. Maybe I could assist in bagging my groceries or thank them for standing on their feet all day to help customers like me.
When someone calls my office and is being very rude and unpleasant, instead of getting self righteous and rude and unpleasant back, I can serve them by being pleasant, understanding, compassionate, and giving.
I could really use this in my marriage. If Holly has had a rough day and is tired an irritable. Instead of snapping back at her, I could give her a back rub, cook dinner, help around the house, or look for other ways that I could serve her.
Jesus gave up his throne to come to Earth so that He could serve humanity. If God is willing to serve the likes of us, it shouldn't be a problem for us to serve each other. Most importantly, by serving each other, we are also serving God. - RB
Mark (Chapter 10: 42-45)
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Luke (Chapter 22: 24-27)
Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
There is so much junk on the big screen these days that it only makes sense to do your homework before you spend your whole weeks salary to see a movie. Holly and I stumbled upon this excellent Christian website called "Christian Spotlight On Entertainment." Not only do they review and rate all of the new movies, but they also have a section where readers can post their opinions about the movie. Often its the opinions from viewers that more accurately describe the movie. There are a number of Christian websites that review the top movies, but Spotlight is the only one we have found that allows its readers to post comments. Check it out at: http://www.christiananswers.net/spotlight/
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Today we are painting our fireplace room a lovely earth color and tonight we will celebrate the great summer weather with salmon barbecued on cedar planks - yum!
Here are some pictures of my flowers...
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Robert took this one by setting the timer and running really fast:)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
So after four nights on the Champagne Lady, we've done more walking, eating, and shopping that I think I've ever done in my life:) Robert and I have been napping regularly, eating plenty of fruit and oreos (not necessarily together), and drinking lots of yummy Pinot Noir from all over the world. We tried a French one tonight which I particularly enjoyed. We began our journey in Anacortes, Washington where Gene and Penny keep the boat, and have been travelling through the San Juan Islands into Canada. Tonight we're in Sidney, Canada on Vancouver Island. Robert and I spent six hours walking around town today with Kai, and realized that sunny days mean we should wear sunscreen; both of us are suffering from major sunburns to the face and neck regions. Not sure about Kai since he's covered in fur:) I did find a really great pair of sunglasses though, so the pain is well worth it! I think we'll be spending the bulk of our time in Canada since we managed to make it through customs (Robert doesn't have a current passport and mine still has Smith as my last name... oops!). A little explanation of the above photos: top one is us on Jones Island. We took the Dinghy boat over to the shore so the doggies could go potty and snapped the photo of us with our boat in the background. Middle photo is a close-up of our furry son, and the bottom one is us with Popeye... he's a real seal that hangs out at Friday Harbour. He has a funny eye (hence the name), and we actually saw him just floating/napping in the harbour. Alas, it was a Tuesday and not a Friday:)