It’s Alive

Status.

The blog is alive.

Needs to get active.

We are aware of the need.

There is still time to write, probably.

Sometime it will happen, at least we think.

Old Xanga posts

I found I could download our old Xanga posts and open them on wordpress.   So I had fun looking at old pictures and reminiscing old times.  If you have the time and interest, you may be able to access them too.

Rich

family pics

 Some of these are centered at or near Grandpa Miller’s old sugar house, which is still a wonder but in various stages of decay right now.

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Avery Mitchell Schwartz, 6 years old

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Rich and his hot wife Sandy, together.  Married ten years. 

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Brianna Raquel Schwartz, still 8 years old here.

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Benjamin Dante Schwartz, 3 years old

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Corinne Ida Schwartz, 18 months old.

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Dad and Ada Mae, together.  Married six months.

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The four pluebers

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May God arrest you and ask you to live dangerously for Him this day!

Rich

Rambles, Brambles, and Rich’s introspection

Wise investment counsel to heed in these troubled financial times….

Spend your life on Jesus; the ultimate antidote to dead-end consumerism.

Some stories.   After we got back from boys’ camp at Camp Andrews in August, Benjamin needed a spanking for something, and apparently the fire of conviction burned in the belly of young master Avery, so he came crying to me in the bathroom and said that he was sorry for something that he had done about six months previously.  I think he had thrown a ball and hurt a girl at church and had never confessed it to me, and had actually thought he lied about it.   I thanked him for telling me then, and reminded him of the importance of telling the truth right away.  He said that I could do “whatever you want to me” and seemed prepared to get a spanking, possibly to soothe his jaded nerves.  Not the nerves around the gluteous maximus, but you know what I mean.  I told him that I wouldn’t give him a spanking, held him for a while, prayed with him, and then asked him if he wants to go with me to a recap meeting.  On the way over he told me “Dad, I feel kind of free.  Almost like I just worked a job and got paid at the end, and now I have the money or something.  Huh, feels kind of good, Dad.”   This was said in his serious, somewhat matter-of-fact tone of voice that is vintage Ave.  What lessons my children teach me.

Benjamin needed a spanking today and I was working in the office.  Sandy brought him in and set him on the small desk beside mine and told him that she would come in and get him when her friend leaves him. He sat quietly for some time, then leaned his head over on my closed laptop and fell asleep just before she came in.  He never peeped as we talked about what we should do, so we put him up in the bed.  I wonder if he would have opened his eyes if I had started talking about candy. 

Corinne is a trip.  Some weeks ago I was up for several hours with her at night.   I would take her out in the living room with me on the recliner, lean back, fall asleep, and wake up and she was nowhere to be found so I would go find her playing with toys in the dark.  This repeated itself multiple times, when I would wake up hearing her pitter-patter around the house.  The next morning I was discussing this dismal state of affairs with Sandy and we were both pondering what was going on.  Sandy had one of those light-bulb moments and said “I wonder if she was up because I gave her some of coffee at 9:30 last night while she was sitting on my lap.”  Wonderful.  Thanks, babe.

Bri turned 9 yesterday.  She is such a little lady.  My daughter is a very perceptive feeler, and can read my emotions even when I don’t know what they are.  When I hear her ask “Daddy, are you frustrated” I think she likely sees something there. 

I’ll put some pics up sometime soon.  Soups on.

Good day,

Rich  

Vacation Bible School

DSC05500 DSC05502 So we had VBS at Highland Park again this year.   Bri and Ave were there for two weeks.  The anticipation of attending each day was very high in the Schwartz household.   Brianna announced about every hour, beginning at 9:00 a.m., when the VBS pickup would arrive.   Incredible.  

We had 131 kids there the last day, with the average attendance for the nine days being in the 100’s somewhere. 

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I post a few videos here, two of which have Brianna and Avery in them.  If you can’t get them because of slow connection, sorry.  If you can get them and think the resolution is low and grainy, you’re right.  I tried to video it on low resolution so more people could see them, but the quality is rather poor.

Here is an exciting truth that God is waiting to have lived out in more of His disciples.   When we “look unto Jesus, the author and Finisher of our faith” we find that our lives become more and more an expression of the gospel message of Jesus, in word, in spirit, in action, and even in faith.  

What are you doing with the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST?    Don’t bury it under a stump somewhere, or you’ll just be another bump on a log.   Since you’re a child of God and not just another bump on a log, shine the light! 

Rich

 http://video.xanga.com/xangavideoplayer.swf?i=826518&m=4c4ae&xt=1

http://video.xanga.com/xangavideoplayer.swf?i=826523&m=a7daa&xt=1

http://video.xanga.com/xangavideoplayer.swf?i=826525&m=85157&xt=1

Accidents and God’s Will

I missed the news earlier this week about Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 year-old daughter’s tragic death in their driveway.   It would be interesting to do a time log over the years from the time I was fourteen until the time I was about twenty-one, in an attempt to discover how many combined 24 hour segments of my life were spent listening and/or singing with Steven Curtis Chapman songs.  I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to put the estimate at 300 hours or more of my life that were spent listening to or playing or singing his songs. 

It’s another reflective moment in the life of Rich.  How have I been so blessed to have had the opportunity as a young person to listen to a passionate musician, dedicated to God?  So many areas of my life I have taken for granted: parents, brothers, church, Christian school, Christian friends, Christian musicians, move to NYC, my wife Sandy, my children, troubles, jobs, education, money, no money, suffering, joy…   IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS.

This link is informative and moving:  http://www.stevencurtischapman.com

 

jumble (life). bumble (me) humble (action plan)

jumble.   life is actually fascinating even when it is in a jumble.    what is a jumble?   schedules that change with the wind and plans that are expressed but for some reason are difficult to execute, projects that drag on and on, and relationships that take an unexpected twist in the road.    jumble.   I serve the one true God who understands my jumble and doesn’t mind my bumble and loves me enough to make me humble.   wow.  such a God.   the only true God.   I don’t deserve to be so blessed.  

Sandy’s grandfather died this morning, so the week ahead has changed.    The Lord brings down to the grave and the Lord raises up.   For some reason death is never convenient.  Heaven is still a wonderful hope. 

My sister-in-law asked me recently “So Rich when are you going to start acting like a lead pastor?”   A very pertinent question for such a time as this.  It’s safe for me to say this because I have eight sisters-in-law and they are never going to guess which one asked such a probing question.  I am happy to report that God gives strength and does allow me to be a “servant to the servants” (a phrase used by someone in church history.   Can you guess?)  I feel kind of like a doorkeeper before the house of my God, blessed beyond words and too wordy to deserve to be blessed.  I wonder how to respond to “when are you going to start acting like a senior pastor?” or “How are you, your eminence?” or “congratulations, head honcho” or “what does it feel like to be the HPIC?”  (head pastor in charge) 

Rich here, reporting LIVE from a place where there are dead people walking around.  May the LIFE of God through the Holy Spirit lead our unbelieving friends and neighbors to Jesus!