Archive for May, 2011

The Children Left Behind….

May
31

…are trying to figure out what in the world to do when everyone is gone! Benjamin and I are the only kids at home right now and it’s really quiet.

John-Clay is home but he’s working, Hannah, Caleb, and Abbie drove up to Nashville with some friends to attend the ATI regional conference, Maggie and Carinna are spending the week at our grandparent’s house (and took our dog with them), Dad is at work, and Mom is at a going away party for some friends. But we’re surviving…we’ve cleaned up the house, played games, watched a movie, and are having fun! It should all be back to normal on Saturday.

                     -We’re enjoying the rare occasion while we can!-  =D

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Beware of the Choir

May
30

On May 22, John-Clay had the privilege of preaching his first sermon at church! With humility and passion, he shared the Word of God from his heart. We welcome you to listen to his message below or download it as an mp3 to listen to later.

Beware of the Choir – 73min
Knowing about God and knowing God are two very different things! Too many of us think that “following rules” and “normal Christianity” are all that God expects of us. Oftentimes it takes trials and difficulties in our life to show us that there is something deeper that we have been missing. Unfortunately along the way we seem to have decided that a select group of believers has the Christian life all figured out and therefore don’t need the teaching or conviction of God’s Truth in their life. If you are looking for a cute little sermon about a cozy soft way to live for Jesus, then you’re in for the unexpected!

Beware of the Choir

To Play: Click the little gray arrow next to the big blue words.
To Download: Right-click on the big blue words and choose, “Save Target As” – then pick the folder you want to save the file into – and click “save”

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Thirsty.

May
21

O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1

Photo courtesy of Charity

Are you thirsty for God?

I am.

No matter how good coffee, Kool-Aid, and orange juice taste, nothing can take the place of water. Pure water.

These last few weeks have been a wake-up call to how “dry” I am.

I. need. God.

Without Him, I’m just a shriveled up plant. A disappearing pond. A handful of powdery dust. He’s the only life I have.

If I’m parched, it’s my own fault. He’s given me the invitation to come. I’m the one who hasn’t been earnestly seeking and drinking of the Living Water.

So here I am, realizing yet again, that nothing can take the place of the Living Water. I can’t just seek Him if I feel like it, but I must seek Him because I’m desperate.

Let me ask you again, are you thirsty for God? I mean really thirsty?

Join me in seeking Him – not as all you need, but as all you have.

How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They feast on the abundance of Your house,
and You give them drink from the river of Your delights.
For with You is the fountain of life;
in Your light do we see light.

Psalm 36:7-9

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Big Sandy Highlights

May
13

A couple weeks ago, we attended the annual ATI home school conference in Big Sandy, Texas! It’s always a highlight of the year for our family to see old friends, meet new ones, serve in various ways, and be refreshed and encouraged in the Lord. Attendance was up a lot this year, breaking the 2,000 mark!

Opening night was especially memorable as we all took shelter from a tornado in the bathrooms and other safe rooms of the convention center. :) Praise the Lord, there wasn’t any damage, just lots and lots of rain!

Photo courtesy of Brittney Chatham
Charity, Brooke C., Abbie, Hannah, and Brenna C. – fun times!!

Unfortunately, John-Clay and Caleb had work commitments and were unable to make the trip. The rest of us were involved in different ways throughout the week, so I thought I’d ask everybody what a special highlight was for them.

Dad had several highlights :), including getting to see his children on stage at one time or the other, sneaking away for lunch with Tom and Joyce Harmon, and Roger Magnuson’s presentation in the morning men’s meeting on "More Fun than Video Games" and the "Let’s go lion hunting" story.

One of Mom’s favorite sessions was a talk given by Michelle Duggar to all the mothers, followed by an insightful Q & A time, full of good reminders.

Hannah – I had the privilege of serving with the COMMIT program for girls ages 12-15. Being able to talk to them about the beautiful meaning of living for the glory of God was exciting for me!

Big Sandy
COMMIT staff giving a presentation

Abbie was encouraged by Mr. Gothard’s session on what it really means to “lay aside every weight” (Heb. 12:1). After an exciting time of letting us attempt to guess the right answer, he explained that a weight is not necessarily sin, because the phrase “and the sin which so easily besets you” comes next in the verse. A weight can simply be defined as “anything that slows us down and takes time away from the goal”. How is your race going?

Big Sandy
Abbie played a solo arrangement of “I’ll Be a Sunbeam”. Beautiful!

Charity doesn’t have a favorite highlight – she likes it all. :) Catching up with friends and hearing truth from God’s Word makes it a delightful experience!

Photo courtesy of Brittney Chatham

Maggie especially enjoyed a session for the young people taught by Paul and Jenny Speed. She was challenged by their message to not let other people validate you and give you self-worth , but instead let Christ define who you are.

Big Sandy
Alto section of the student choir. It sure was fun to have our former church music director, Paul Boone, leading this year!

Carinna’s favorite part of the week was when we had an impromptu student session on the hillside instead of in the meeting room. It was quite the experience to sit on the ground with a couple hundred young people, on an absolutely gorgeous day, listening to Tom Harmon preach in the open air!

Benjamin thoroughly enjoyed participating in the ALERT Cadet program again. Maneuvering the low ropes course and rappelling from a 20 ft. wall were his favorite activities. He learned that obedience and team work is a must!

Big Sandy
The Cadets’ program presentation

So, that’s a recap of the Burnetts’ conference experiences. :)

Another special treat for all of us was meeting several of our blog readers in person!! =) =) =) If any of the rest of you are going to be at another regional conference this summer, come see me. I’ll be there with COMMIT!

More posts to come in the near future, I hope. Until then, be blessed of the Lord with complete joy in His presence!

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P.S. Anniversary Surprises :)

May
05

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22

On May 2, 2011, Cheryl and I celebrated 30 years of marriage. I say celebrated because even though we have had our share of challenges in thirty years, the blessings far exceed the difficulties. It has been the character of the Lord Jesus Christ in my wife that has allowed us to endure. She has demonstrated His love, forgiveness, faithfulness, generosity, flexibility, honor, and virtue, time and time again.

While I wanted to do something really special (like an Alaskan cruise or something), other circumstances dictated a less extravagant celebration. However, our children through their love, creativity, honor, discernment, enthusiasm, gratefulness, and sensitivity surprised us with a special evening.
I rose early May 2nd and left my wonderful wife over thirty "Happy Anniversary" type notes throughout the house that she would find as she followed her normal morning routine. I brought home a dozen roses for each decade of marriage and took her to dinner at the place of her choice – Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ.

Dad's notes and Mom's roses

We took a scenic drive home, determined to arrive home before dark – we must be getting old! :) The approach to the house revealed the van gone; my thought was, the children have gone to the local grocery store to get ice cream and root beer or some special treat. Then, we noticed the porch light on and a note on the door:

Note 

Determined to obey the note, we entered the door finding a romantic atmosphere we could never have created, even on an Alaskan cruise. Flower petals graced the floor, the TV had a fireplace video playing (believe it or not, it was a cool day, low in the 30s, high in the 50s), and there was a handmade sign: Johnny and (heart) Cheryl.

Rose petals

We were amazed at the sparkling cleanliness of the house, the sweet fragrance of a scented candle, and the romantic decor. The flower petals led the way to our bedroom (Cheryl has decorated our room to give the feel of a Victorian B&B already) where we found soft music playing, a Bible open to Song of Solomon, a tea table by the love seat with Cheryl’s favorite tea, chocolate cookie dough truffles sprinkled with Xs and Os, and our album of pictures from our wedding day 30 years ago.

Goodies

Song of Solomon :)

Wedding album

We felt wonderfully special, romantic, and blessed. Some of the children had made other drawings or notes and I had already placed another anniversary card on the bed pillows before we left for dinner. We enjoyed the scene and each other as we snuggled on the couch, sipped our tea, indulged in the truffles and reminisced through our wedding day pictures. But, most of all we delighted in the blessing of the Lord in His goodness to us during thirty years of marriage and the eight children He has given to keep us feeling special.

Thank you, God. Thank you, children.

"…rejoicing in the wife of my youth…" Proverbs 5:18-19

Love,
Dad

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