Monthly Archives: February 2013

Good News from Hawaii

01Daniel and Brianna just returned last night from visiting Mike and Grace for a 10couple of weeks in Hawaii. As always (when it comes to any of our family visiting 08any of the rest of us), they had a simply grand time! I’m sure before too long,  JudahBrianna will have lots of pictures out on facebook, but in the meantime, Michael 02 is gracious enough to let me share a few pictures of their adventures. Of course, 03the main attraction (besides family) in Hawaii is learning how to surf, and it 04takes a lot of arm strength, leg strength, coordination and balance to pull it all off, but Michael says that Daniel was a natural! (Must be all that time he spends playing Pump It Up, ’cause I sure couldn’t have done that!  🙂 ) Brianna was a 05little more timid, but Grace told me that she was actually a quick learner, very Brianna Makes it up!!strong, and made it up before they had to leave for home! Way to go, Brianna! 🙂 07Grace called me yesterday with two other pieces of wonderful news. Nothing is in Michael stone yet, but it sounds like they will be moving to Korea after Michael graduates 09this summer. Even more exciting, Eowyn just asked the Lord to forgive her of Heaven. Walking towardher sins yesterday, making her His very own child by faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!!!Sunset last night

It’s exciting to visit new places and have new experiences, but isn’t it most wonderful of all to know that in the end, God is preparing a home in heaven for us?! The Bible says “God is not willing that any should perish.” Instead, God desires that all of us repent and be reconciled to Him, being “born again” through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. Have you received His free gift of salvation? If not, I pray that before the sun sets today you will give your heart to God…just like little Eowyn…and become His child.

“Behold, now is the accepted time; today is the day of salvation.”

Dr. Armstrong’s Church History Class Goes Live and Free On March 5

Jon's ClassLast week I got to participate in (as far as we know) the first-ever prototype college class that is interactive and absolutely free. Moody has given my son permission to share his lecture series, “Christianity and Western Culture II” with anyone who has time and would appreciate the opportunity for free theological training, beginning on March 5, 2013 with a lecture on John Calvin and continuing on through the spring with such topics as the English reformation and counter reformation, “Great Awakenings,” “Modernist Controversy,” “Missions Movement,” “20th Century Evangelicalism,” “Pentecostalism,” and “World Christianity.” I realize this might not work for many of you who have day jobs or are homeschooling small children, but it might be perfect for some of you, your teenaged kids, or for friends you might know. Jon’s dream has been to make quality theological education available to everybody, even those in foreign countries or who cannot afford to pay for a college education but would love the training…including missionaries or believers around the world. I am praying that it fills a real need, and that Moody will continue to allow this wonderful ministry free.

Many of you know my son, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a quick version: Jonathan J. Armstrong is a graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the Chicago area (M.A., 2001) and Fordham University in New York (Ph.D., 2006). He has served as a postdoctoral researcher at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany and has lectured at Wycliffe Hall as a full member of the theology faculty of the University of Oxford. Jonathan now serves as an Assistant Professor of Bible and Theology at Moody Bible Institute‒Spokane. Jonathan’s passion is to serve the church by providing theological education for pastors and laypeople throughout the global evangelical community.

I believe Jon has a very unique background by being brought up in a conservative, evangelical home with continued training at Fordham (Catholic), in Germany (Lutherans), and England (evangelical Anglicans). He’s traveled to Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe sharing the gospel and teaching church leaders, and Jon truly has a heart to see the Church united through Christ and the orthodox (as in straight and true) teachings of the Bible. I loved his lecture on Martin Luther and the Reformation and am looking forward to hearing him again. Please help me spread the word to anyone who might be interested, even friends in other countries around the globe who have internet access! Thanks, and I hope to “meet” you in class this spring!

Aqueduct Project Logo

Broadcasted Classes Have Arrived!

Dear Friends,

I’ve dreamed of facilitating an interactive broadcasted class for over a year now, and this semester the dream has finally become a reality. I am pleased to announce that we are now broadcasting lectures in the “Christianity and Western Culture II” class at Moody Bible Institute‒Spokane. The broadcasted lectures are interactive, publicly accessible, and absolutely free!

To learn more about this project or for an information sheet containing step-by-step instructions on how to join these live lectures, please visit www.aqueductproject.org

I’ll see you in class!

Yours,

Jonathan

“For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tiding of good things’…so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:13-17

03PS—BTW, just as a fun aside, Jon’s wife is from Germany, and so their baby, Amelie, is being taught both German and English in their home. 02Last week for her first birthday, we skyped with them and discovered that Amelie is very precocious: She was toddling around with a book in her hand 04          chanting both “No, no, no!” and “Nein, nein, nein!”   🙂

The British Museum: My Vote for Best of Kind

IMG_2203The British Museum was established in 1753 and to my mind has the most IMG_2430comprehensive collection of artifacts and art works (about 8 million) any where IMG_2248on the planet because it depicts the development of human history and culture IMG_2218not simply of the western world, but throughout every continent on earth. IMG_2161Among the museum’s most revered treasures are highly contested pieces, like  IMG_2173the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon, and then there are amazing storesOxus Treasure of golden objects such as this chariot from the Oxus Treasures of Persia. IMG_2169However, for those of us who love history, and in particular those of us who  IMG_2159believe in the biblical accounts as being accurate narratives of historical truth, IMG_2236the British Museum is a gold mine, not only of gold, but of historical affirmation.IMG_2189Perhaps the most famous artifact is the Rosetta Stone, on which is written an  Rosetta Stone ancient Egyptian edict inscribed in 3 languages. This stone became the key to IMG_2170unlocking ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. There are also hundreds of finds IMG_2154 that depict or describe events recorded in the Bible, verifying the accuracy of  IMG_2145biblical accounts. The Black Obelisk of Shalmanezer III is one of the most  IMG_2146famous artifacts, but it is just one of a multitude in a vast collection of evidence  IMG_2171supporting the existence of the people who became the Israelites and settled in IMG_2200the Land of Canaan after being freed from bondage in Egypt.IMG_2303If anybody is skeptical of the historical accuracy of biblical records, I think a trip IMG_2304to the British Museum might give them reason to reconsider! Cyrus really DIDIMG_2281 exist! Someone back there thought a ram really did get caught in a bush! IMG_2336Ancient women really did have mirrors made out of bronze! IMG_2373Want to see what a Roman nail looked like at the time of Christ? IMG_2258 Ancient texts?  IMG_2276Ancient musical instruments? IMG_2313How about a golden cape that brings to mind the story of Gideon making a IMG_2314golden ephod for himself to wear back about  1249 BC.? I mean, this one was found in Wales, but it proves such articles were made. I was totally fascinated!IMG_2419There are treasures from every period of history and from around the globe.IMG_2431It would take about 8 million pictures to attempt to share everything, IMG_2434and Alan wisely reminds me I need to refrain from trying to share too much infoIMG_2433since nobody has that much time, so I’ll just say: If you get a chance—GO! IMG_2144If you can spend the whole day, they have a great cafeteria for lunch or tea time. Jade BoulderI am sure you’ll be delighted with all the treasures you find hidden there, IMG_2421and I hope it strengthens your faith in the credibility of the Bible, as it did mine!

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endures forever” (Psalm 119:160).

Mighty Hunters of Modern Times

It occurs to me that hunting and trapping have changed over the years for most of us, and so for fun today I wanted to share an adaption of a poem that my father wrote during his college days in the 1930’s:800px-Battle_of_Montiel “In days of old when knights so bold rode off on prancing steeds,                    ‘Twas easy then fair maid to win with bold and showy deeds. Rex But now alas, a modern lass to win for his loving spouse,                                           Man walks her dog, shoots dread hedgehog, or brags, ‘I killed a mouse!’ ”   (adapted from “The Modern Knight” by Louis R. Ward, copyright 2012)
AlanSpeaking of killing a mouse, Alan has pretty much perfected mouse trappery with a 4-trap better mouse trap. We’ve lost track of how many mice have lost their lives trying to invade our garage this winter. Alan made a super trap by grouping several mouse traps with the peanut butter only accessible for those intrepid mice who tried to tread over the top. If you’ve got a problem with invasions from the tiny dark side, try it! I think you’ll like it. 🙂

“Likewise, husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7) Trapping pests is one area where I’m delighted to praise my husband for being valiant, since killing anything is totally traumatic for me. Thanks, men, for taking care of us!

*Pictures of our fearless knights are of Rex, my dear friend Cindi’s husband, who took out a very destructive hedge hog, and Alan, who’s keeping our home rodent-free since we had to give away our cats last summer.

Rise Up, My Love (21): Beautiful Tabernacles

BerberTent Etan J. Tal.WlikipediaSong of Solomon 1:5 “I am black, but comely.” So, back to our story. The new bride takes stock of her situation and recognizes something she’d never admitted before!  Her spirit is black. But, in the same instant, she remembers her new beauty found in Christ.  She is black, but “comely”…handsome.  Now she experiences the antagonism between her old and new natures.  “Black as the tents of Kedar…” the old, smoke-blackened, smelly, goatskin tents the shepherds www.bible-architecture.infoused as they followed their herds around. What a perfect picture of our sin-soiled tabernacles of flesh as we eke out an existence in the arid wilderness of this world! As the psalmist cried out, “Woe is me…that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!” (Psalm 120:5). In the same breath, she now remembers her new tabernacle. No longer does she have to live in the wretched surroundings of her sin-cursed life; she belongs to God, and his very presence within her makes her pure and holy!Tents_Himalayan_landscape. www.bible-architecture.infojpg Her heart has become God’s dwelling place (Revelation 3:20). “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are to “put off…the old man” and “put on the new man” (Ephesians 4:22-24)!Andew Dunn at Wiki CommonsWhile in Chicago visiting my “Little Sister” Lizzie some years ago, I was privileged to attend a fundraiser for Chuck Colson’s prison ministries. While there, I heard the testimony of a notorious woman—once on the Ten Most Wanted List of the F.B.I.—who was marvelously converted in prison and had become a Pauline-like evangelist to the downtrodden. The story was told of a converted prostitute, sitting on the front row of one of the meetings, dressed all in white, tears streaming down her face as she listened in rapt attention. This dear woman had learned the secret! She had been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14), and though her sins had been as scarlet, she was now white as snow ((Isaiah 1:18)…her sins as far removed from her as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12)! That just thrills my soul!!! “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1).Khan-Shatyr. by Ismukhammed. Wiki CommonsjpgAnd so the bride sees herself as black but beautiful because of her new abiding place…her new nature…her new beauty.  She has a beauty about her, and access to a new dwelling place:  the tent of her kingly husband. The tents of the ancient oriental kings were extraordinary indeed, and Solomon’s tent—in keeping with his preeminent wealth—might very possibly have exceeded them all. I remember hearing that one king’s tent was the burden of 40 camels and when spread could accommodate the monarch’s entire army.  Some curtains were embroidered with gold, studded with precious jewels, and adorned with intricate paintings, and sometimes the supporting pillars were overlaid with gold.  In Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on the Song of Solomon, he quoted one ancient writer as saying that when the king’s tent was pitched, “who ever looked upon it was confounded with the variety of representations and the brilliancy of the silver and gold; so magnificent was the whole that when the pavilion was pitched the land was illuminated by its splendor.”

What an inspiration and challenge for us as believers!  As we are joined to Christ,  our body becomes the tabernacle (“abiding place”) of the Holy Spirit, and if we are willing to abide in Christ, His Spirit will shine out with a warm glow that will illuminate our otherwise shadowy surroundings!  This is our privilege, and this is our calling.  Are we willing to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)?

*Credits for the above pictures: 1. and 2. http://www.bible-architecture.info  3.-5. from Wiki Commons: 3. Etan J. Tal  4. Andrew Dunn 5. Khan-Shatyr. by Ismukhammed

The Armstrong Archives (21): The First Year of Medical School Ends…at Long Last!

200Monday, May 24, 1976 Right now Aaron is playing with Alan for a second while Alan takes a study break…now he’s back chewing on my knee. Aaron has gotten to the game-playing stage. I’ll drop the washcloth on his tray, and he’ll whisk it off and try to throw it on the floor. I’ll catch it and throw it back on the tray. He will play this until I’m tired! In the morning, Alan will hide under the sheet, and Aaron will pull the sheet off his face. Over the face again, off again. Over—off—over—off…of course accompanied by much laughter and squeals of delight.

Only one more packed lunch this year, 1½ days of class for Alan, one final, and two days of comprehensives!

Tuesday, June 1, 1976  Well, Aaron has mastered the art of whisking open the curtain around Alan’s desk area, and now unless I put up an additional barricade of pillows, I have to chase after Aaron every five minutes or he’s in trying to help Alan study. Right now, he is, per usual, trying to help me write by moving my clipboard and chewing on my knee. He’s gotten awfully demanding since he seems to know that Alan doesn’t like him to cry these days while he studies.129Sunday we went to Jackson to Alan’s Aunt Annie and Uncle Bernard’s cabin at Round Lake. It was Aaron’s first crawl in the grass, and he just seemed to love it. There are so many dogs and so much garbage around Detroit that we never let him roam free. He busied himself eating grass and maple tree spinners, twigs, ants, etc. Luckily he’s pretty clumsy yet and didn’t catch any ants!201We finally got Aaron a car seat, and I think it’s an excellent one. [Car seats for infants weren’t mandatory until the end of the ’70’s.] He’s all strapped in like a race car driver and a lot safer than he is on our laps. He really fussed at first when we went on a trial run, then played, and eventually fell asleep. We’re hoping he sleeps a lot on the way home to the Soo.

Wednesday, June 9, 1976  Last day before Alan’s comprehensives. He was up at 5:00 am as usual but is also quitting at 5:00 pm for dinner and prayer meeting as usual, then an early bedtime so that he’s hopefully refreshed for two very long days of exams!

Aaron is sitting at my feet under the kitchen table, munching on a tidbit of banana from lunch that I accidentally forgot to wipe off his high chair at lunch time. He has spent the morning rolling around some cans of pork-n-beans and empty margarine containers, checking out all the rooms in the house for lint balls or other taste treats, and pushing the kitchen chairs around the floor. Now I see he’s snagged a thread off the edge of my blue jean cutoffs!

Yesterday the two of us went for a trip to see Annie Lull (and her mother), who is now one year old. She has lots of dandy toys and is pretty interesting herself. Both the kids are relatively gentle, and although Aaron is smaller, he is typically more often interested in joining her play than she is in joining his. If he starts to reach for something that she has, Annie puckers up to cry, and I whisk him away to play with something else, which suits him just fine.

Unless you hear otherwise, our plans—as of today—are to head north on Wednesday. Alan is done Friday night; Saturday is the freshman class picnic. Sunday is church and a trip to Jackson to take our stereo and other valuables to store at Aunt Annie’s. Monday is a trip to the zoo for Aaron. Tuesday is clean, wash, and pack day, and a dinner date with some friends. So, I don’t know how rested we’ll be when we land, but we will have had a very good “honeymoon” to recover from school I think. We are very excited to see you!

HAPPY END OF FIRST YEAR MED SCHOOL TO US…WE SURVIVED!217

Mighty Hunters Of Days Gone By

220px-Laura_Ingalls_Wilder For those of you who grew up on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Little House on the Prairie series, hunting and trapping are an honored part of our heritage. Laura lived from 1867-1957 and wrote about Pa & her family’s struggles to survive in the great wild Midwest during the late 1800’s. What a hero her father was to her, and what a mighty hunter and trapper! But, today I want to share a little bit10about Alan’s cousin, Phyllis (Armstrong) Suggitt, who grew up in the great wild Midwest nearly a century later. Phyllis and Alan grew up together in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where hunting and trapping were (and still are) time-honored 01 traditions. For instance, in this picture you can see Uncle Ross and Uncle Keith (far left and right) with Phyl’s mom and her older brother along with their dear friend, Milton Hembroff (who is Larry’s dad, for those of you who are family friends.) Phyllis has been posting old photos of her father, and I’ve been just thrilled to see these pictures from long before I’d ever met Alan or knew his 05                family well, because Uncle Ross was a bit of a hero to me.06Not only did he bring up three of the world’s sweetest daughters, who brought up 07really great kids of their own, he left a heritage of beautiful, gracious people to08                                      bless the U.P. for generations to come! 🙂Uncle Ross' polarisUncle Ross was also a hero to me because he died at the age of 77 of a heart attack while out chasing coyotes on his snowmobile, and I can hardly think of any way I’d rather die than having a heart attack while doing something that I really found challenging and felt passionate about! I mean…what could be finer?Deer pet with PHil QuinnPhyllis shared some awesome pictures and memories with me: “Dad always had04 so many animals around. We had coyote pups in a box in the living room behindCoyotes Phyllis Suggitt our oil stove till Dad could take them to the D. N. R. Cute fluffy little pups…Keith raised one like a dog. He had it as a pet but it got out on the track and was hit by a train. Dad kept a young fox for a while to train his dogs. We girls were upset we 03couldn’t keep it for a pet.” But Uncle Ross was a serious hunter, and his dogs were record-setting trackers that couldn’t afford to be Fox and Hound friends!img281Uncle Ross was the only person in the U.P. in the 1950’s to bag a lynx, and he Uncle Ross with a Bobcattrapped dozens of bobcats, foxes, and other game animals. His grand kids tell mePelts that there’s still wild game in the U.P., although not as much as there used to be02 in the mid-20th century when we were growing up. At any rate, I was just delighted to know that The Little House in the Big Woods still existed in my childhood and that it’s not yet entirely gone today! I may not die while out Uncle Rosschasing coyotes or lynx on a snowmobile, but I would so love to die while out in hot pursuit of something challenging and exciting! If you could choose, how would you die? Since we’re all going to die sometime…have you got any better ideas?

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).