Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, September 28, 2015


Psalm 139:13-16 "For You formed my inward parts;
    You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them."

I know I wrote a post once about life being precious, but I can't help but write one again in light of the sermon I heard on Sunday. The sermon was titled "The God Who Gives Life". I love it when you hear a sermon on a passage of scripture that you've read many times, but you learn something new and move to a deeper level of understanding. Yesterday we looked at Luke 20:19-26. When I initially was reading the passage of scripture I thought to myself, "How in the world does this passage of scripture tie into God giving us life?" Luke 20:25 says, "He said to them, 'Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.'" Just as the people who carried the denaris around with Caesar's image pledged their allegiance to Rome, God has put His stamp (His image) on humanity. We are His image bearers and we are to reflect Him. Since we are made in the image of God, we owe Him all our allegiance...He created us and He owns us. Choices of life aren't ours to make because He is the giver and sustainer of life. God is the author of every human life, as Psalm 139 so poetically states. God is involved in the life making process and He has our days numbered. Not only has God created us and numbered our days, He also created us for a purpose. Isaiah 43:7 says, "everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made." God made us for His glory! Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." We were created by God for good works. The work we are called to do is tied to His glory. Every life is precious and valuable...both young, old, and the unborn. God created each one to fulfill a purpose that He has for them.

It breaks my heart to hear stories of people celebrating "their right" to terminate their babies' life. Who are we to chose who can live and who can die? God has a plan for each life that is tied into His glory. We have no right to end a life for which He has a plan. Where we see an inconvenience, He sees benefit. Where we see defects, He sees a purposeful life to bring Himself glory. My cousin has down syndrome. Many today would terminate this life. Over the course of my cousins life, I have seen him bless more people then many "normal chromosome" people. The depth that he has in his love for God is amazing, his prayers are heartfelt, and the love he shows everyone is beyond comprehension. Man may see an extra chromosome, I see someone with extra love and compassion. God uses each life, each defect, each disability for His glory. We may not be able to understand why, but God uses these lives in amazing ways. Throughout the scripture there are countless examples of God using the least among us to bring about mighty things.

The final example given in church was end of life (euthanasia). Once again, we are made in the image of God and we are to be His image bearers. Who are we to end life because we deem it too difficult to continue? God uses pain and suffering in our lives, caused from living in a fallen world, to bring glory to Himself and to be a witness to the world. The world watches us constantly. What better way to show them the image of God then to hold tight to our faith as we walk through deep waters. He promised that He would be with us. Isaiah 43:1-3 says, "But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.'" Our difficulties, suffering, and pain can be used as powerful pictures to the world. Instead of running, what if we asked ourselves "How can I bring God the most glory through___?" We have a chance for God to be magnified in our lives and in our suffering. How can we be the best image bearer for God's glory? Would Wayne have been better off ending his life like Brittany Maynard who has the same cancer as Wayne? We would both argue no. It has been our prayer from the beginning for God to get all the glory in this, regardless of the outcome. After hearing the sermon yesterday, we are both committed to this even more. We want to be the best image bearers that we can so that God gets all the glory!!

C.S. Lewis said, "100 per cent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased." We are all going to die one day. For some it may be today, others it may be fifty, a hundred years from now. The bottom line is we are all going to die. We have to ask ourselves what are we going to do with our lives. Are we going to live lives that bring God glory? Are we going to be reflections of Him (an image bearer) to the world around us? AW Tozer said once, "We can never know who or what we are till we know at least something of what God is." In order to be a reflection of God, we need to understand who He is and learn more about His character. How can we reflect God when we don't know who He is? The place to start is by opening God's Word and read what it teaches us about God. Study God's names, His attributes, earnestly seek God in prayer and ask Him to teach you about Himself. I still have a LONG way to go in my understanding of who God is. I could spend my entire life studying God and barely touch the surface of all He is. I was challenged yesterday to know God at a deeper level so that I can be an image bearer that fulfills my purpose in being created and bring Him glory. My challenge to all of you is the same. Let's passionately pursue God, to know Him more intimately, and to reflect Him brightly to the world around us. The world is in great need and we are to lovingly and compassionately be God's hands and His feet. Let's allow God to use us as His image bearers!!


Wayne starts his 5th chemo round on Thursday night. We are 10 days from being done with chemo!!! God has been so good to us through this whole process. Wayne traveled again for work. He is feeling so well that on Saturday we took a 6.5 mile family walk. I told the girls that they are more then ready for the 5k we are walking on Saturday. If you want to join us, we are doing the Christmas Without Cancer 5k in Evergreen Park. This organization was started by one of Wayne's radiation nurses. 

Below are some pictures from school the last few days.

Sophia working on her spelling

Micaela working on her letter of the week

For Sophia's birthday, Wayne and I purchased her a painting class. On Thursday night, Sophia and I went to the art studio. When we showed up, we discovered we were the only two people in the class for the night. Sophia had a blast. She wants to be either an artist or a baker (or an artistic baker) when she grows up. She was in heaven painting!

On Thursday, we had someone special come for a visit. Jeff Graves, who was the College Pastor at the church where Wayne and I met, came over for a visit. Jeff and his wife Jody have a very special place in our hearts and our lives. It was fun to catch up. Thank you Jeff for taking time to come see us. We all enjoyed our time with you!

Friday the girls celebrated their friend Giana's birthday. The great thing about homeschooling is the flexibility that it offers. We were able to get almost all of our work done by Thursday. Friday morning we took spelling tests, vocabulary tests, read our history, and got our math done. Whenever we have an incentive, it is amazing how quickly school work can get done. We went out to lunch and had pizza and cake. Afterward, we headed to Extreme Trampoline for some jumping fun (aka P.E.). Above is a picture of Naomi and her best friend Giana.

Joella, Olivia, and Micaela

Grace rock climbing. 

Naomi rock climbing



Impromptu science class (today)...watching two different size ants fight one another.

We are studying Egypt and are learning about preservation/decay. We dug a hole and put a stone, a piece of wood, two carrots, and two apples in the hole. We dig it up in a week and will write out our results

We also had to do a science experiment with bread. I now have 5 baggies of bread hanging up in my window! How can you tell a homeschool mom? By the number of science experiments and books lying around the house. :)

We also learned about reed boats that the Egyptians built. I told the girls they could just draw a picture of what they thought the boats looked like. My creative Grace decided to cut up a paper towel roll into strips and create her own reed boat. She sure doesn't get that creativity from me!

The last thing we needed to complete from last week was a play about Upper and Lower Egypt. We had done a quick run through last week, but the girls wanted to make costumes and do the play again.

King Menes beating Upper Egypt

For your entertainment! They spent almost 2 hours making their costumes, doing makeup, and practicing.

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