...............The Hellwig Family

Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas '07

Posted by Timothy

This year we were blessed to have our dear friends over for Christmas.
Some of you know them...
...that's right, the Claytons!

We were blessed to first meet them up in NH at our church. And in the 9 following years we have only become more grateful for such dear friends.
Dinner consisted of Lamb, Potatoes, Cranberry Orange Relish.

Desert consisted mainly of a Scrumptious Apple Pie graciously made by Mrs. Clayton for the occasion. Mmmm... if you knew how good a cook she is you'd be licking your lips.
We trust you had as blessed a Christmas as we did this year.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

18 year Christmas Tradition

Posted by Timothy

Our Family tradition, for 18 years.
We have gone around the neighborhood handing out plates of our home made Baklava.

This year Arianne made it...

Then it was wrapped up on plates by the women.

And the endeavor was concluded by the trek around the neighborhood by all.
We always look forward to this as a time to meet our neighbors.
In modern society with every one off doing their own things all day, or seldom venturing from their houses because of the new ability to work from home, it has often been the way we first meet our neighbors!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption

Posted by Timothy

On Sunday evening, December 16, nearly our whole church gathered together for our annual celebration of the advent of Christ through the reading of select passages of Scripture.
This year, instead of the usual reading of Luke, select passages from Genesis to Revelation were picked out, tracing the Scarlet Thread of Redemption.
The passages selected were: Genesis 3, Isaiah 9, Isaiah 53, Luke 2, Colossians 1, and Revelation 22.
Among the people selected to read these passages were:

Dana Merrill, grinning all the time, you just can't see it,Happy Smiley

and Steve Breagy, an elder of our church and appropriately more serious.

Also we were blessed to have a traveling, home schooled, family perform two pieces from Handel's Messiah.
All together it was a refreshing time, very different from the modern Santa Claus, and Reindeer corruption of Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas is coming, the duck? is getting fat

Posted by Gabrielle

I'm sure you've heard of the children's Christmas song: Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please to put a penny in the old man's hat. Well, this morning as we were setting out for a brisk walk around our circle we espied a funny sight:

Our neighbors two houses down keep ducks in their backyard. On the house right next to us we saw three of their ducks perched on the roof eating out of the gutter. They hardly seemed to mind us when we stopped to take pictures. We were surprised that, not being wild ducks, they were still able to fly that high.
Christmas is coming and the ducks are getting fat! I wonder if they are being fattened for Christmas dinner! Yummmm!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Annual Family Portraits

Posted by Timothy

December = Family portrait.
Every year it happens.
Confused Smiley
Well, ok, it's not quite that bad.Happy Wink Smiley
It actually went quite well this year!
We drove about 5 min. to a neighboring farm, and after 10 min. and 15 pictures, we got several good portraits.

Well, here's the voted best family picture.

Do you think every one looks relieved after the picture taking's over?Smile Smiley hmmm . . . . .

Monday, December 10, 2007

Second London Baptist Confession Study

Posted by Gabrielle

On Sunday evenings we attend a study of the Second London Baptist Confession held at the home of our friends, the Damings and led by two of our elders.
Last Sunday night (12/9) we studied point 2 of chapter seven, below:

Chapter 7: Of God's Covenant

2.__Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.

After the elders, who are leading, read aloud the point we are studying that evening, people are selected at random to read aloud relevant verses. Some that were read with this point are:

Genesis 2: 17; Ezekiel 36: 26-27; Galatians 3: 18-22; Romans 3: 20-21 and John 3: 16.

Below are some notes that I took on the bold phrases in the text. They were phrases that we specially focused on.

' The curse of the law is death. When Adam sinned in the garden he brought all mankind under the curse, both physically and spiritually. Essentially, after that there was no hope for his posterity if Jesus had not come to make a way.

The covenant of grace was a one sided covenant, God covenanting with the other members of the Trinity- essentially himself. Basically, in a covenant the two or more parties covenanting agree to it and carry out their part. But we (man) cannot covenant with God. If we did and were able to fulfill our part that would make us equal with God which is the heart of Arminianism.

God freely offers salvation to everyone but only His elect will repent. He gives us the faith 'making us willing and able to believe.' 'John 6: 44- "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

Over all, we have enjoyed and look forward to many more Sunday evenings studying God's Holy Word and the Confession which our forefathers put together as a testimony to their and our faith.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

NCFIC Conference

Posted by Timothy

On November 30-December 1, the Uniting Church and Family conference was held in Wake Forest, NC, about 10 min. from where we live. My father and I were 2 out of around 700 attendees. We met in a local church graciously lent for the occasion, and there we heard several well known speakers including: Scott Brown,

Voddie Baucham,

and Paul Renfro (an elder at Mr. Baucham's church).
One of the topics presented was: "Equipping Men to be Family Leaders." Paul Renfro started that session out with a paradox: There were these two lines of men waiting out side a building; there was a long line of men in front of a door with a sign over it: Men Who Are Not the Leaders of Their Families. The other line consisting of one man was in front of another door with a sign over it: Men Who Are the Leaders of Their Families. A man from the long line walked over to the man in the other line and asked: "What's your secret, how do you lead your family?" The reply was: "I don't know, I'm just standing here because my wife told me to."
Sad but true, this is modern America!
Another topic was: "Fathers and Sons in the Old Testament," by Dr. Andy Davis. He told a true story of a certain man who spent a day fishing with his son. His son, later looking back, wrote in his diary: "went fishing with my father, the best day of my life." The man later wrote: "went fishing with my son, day wasted."
Sad but true, this too is modern America!
The tribulations caused by Fathers not taking the lead in their families are great. On Sunday, December 2, Mr. Brown took his text from Romans 5:3-11.
3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
God makes it very clear to us in vs. 3-4. There is hope!

Friday, November 30, 2007

News from Benaiah!

Posted by Gabrielle

Guess what! Benaiah is now rolling over both ways, from his belly to his back and from his back to his belly; and he is only four months. The earliest the rest of us started was at five months. Says Benaiah, "I'm a big boy and I like to do everything early, even outgrow my clothes that I haven't had a chance to wear yet!"

It's really hard to roll over keeping a fist in my
mouth at the same time.

Aaahhh... that's the way to do it! And who do we have here? (Notice that his
farther hand is still stuck under him. He hasn't
figured that part out yet.)

And, the reward for a job well done!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Day of Thanksgiving

Posted by Gabrielle

We celebrated Thanksgiving dinner with a family from our church and had an evening of fellowship around the table. While the women were busy in the kitchen during the morning, where were the boys?
Working on their fort in our backyard of course!

We were so busy having a lovely time with our guests that we forgot to take any pictures of our evening!
But the Cornish game hens, stuffing, cranberry orange relish, rolls, buttered carrots, peas, baklava, cheese cake and pumpkin pie were all well received and heartily enjoyed.
And thank you to the Ruiz family for blessing us with your company for this occasion!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Farmer's Market in Wakeforest, NC

Posted by Gabrielle

On Saturdays during the summer and now once a month during the winter, we enjoy frequenting the local farmer's market. It is usually fairly busy during the months of June, July, August and September but in the picture below (taken last Saturday) it is not very busy as it is just before Thanksgiving. To the left, you can see Arianne taking care of Benaiah in the stroller while the rest (the cluster of people in blue behind her) shop.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Celebrating One Year!

Posted by Gabrielle

On November 18th, we celebrated our one year anniversary in North Carolina. We rolled up to our new house in NC around dinnertime on November 18th, 2006, slept in our sleeping bags on the bedroom floors that night and attended church the next day. We began unloading the truck on Monday and it did not take too long to get unpacked.
Remembering the events of a year ago, I began to think of all our blessings since we have been here, our wonderful church family, the new little blessing added to our family and most of all our God who never changes.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Eleven already!

Posted by Gabrielle

On October 30th, we celebrated Christianna's 11th birthday! We thank God for her and pray that she will have many years to serve Him.
(This post is a little late because I took the photograph horizontal and was trying to rotate it)
Her birthday is really on the 31st but we attended a Reformation Day Celebration (see previous post) so we celebrated her birthday the night before.

Christianna with eleven candles on her
peach tart (the traditional Hellwig birthday "cake")

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Reformation Day Remembrance

Posted by Timothy

Yesterday our church gathered together to remember five fathers of the reformation: Jan Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and Oliver Cromwell. After a pot luck meal, children (and adults) representing five different families from our church in turn came up and did a play, or gave a report on one reformer.

Above, you can see one six minute play on Martin Luther. It's a bit shaky because I was holding the camera, but it is still distinguishable.After the plays were over, one of our elders gave us an overview of the reformation.
Then came dessert, (and chocolate coins to buy indulgences).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Fishy Experience

Posted by Gabrielle

A couple of days ago we had the exciting experience of preparing a fish for baking and it was a very interesting experience, especially to the younger members of our household. The first step in the process was to cut off the sharp scales so that they wouldn't be in our way when working with the fish. A Red Snapper fresh from Lowe's Foods
After we trimmed off the fins it was time for
a cold bath to make it easier to take the scales off.
Scraping the scales off
Preparing it for baking included removing all
the little bones.

And, the finished product! Yumm!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sewing, Sewing and more Sewing!

Posted by Gabrielle

We have been keeping pleasantly busy sewing eight skirts these past few days. An attempt to sew eight skirts with one machine among three women in our family who can sew is an interesting experience. The first four; which were finished just before the writing of this post are matching navy blue gored skirts and the next four; still to be started, are brown tiered skirts intended for our family picture this year. But altogether, it has been fun and a good experience in diligence and patience.

Monday, October 15, 2007

An Enlightening Sermon

Posted by Gabrielle

On Sunday ( 10/15), Dan Horn, one of the four elders of Hope Baptist Church brought us a wonderful message titled: He is a Jew who is one Inwardly from Romans 2: 17-29.
I want to mention a few points from this sermon that stood out to me.
1. The Jews of Jesus' time had adopted a model of godliness, therefore appearing to be righteous, but they denied the existence of God in their hearts.
2. The Indulgences of the Roman Catholic church were a form of theft; ' I have the power to pardon you from your sin and I'm selling it.'
3. Many go to church all their lives, having no relationship with God whatever, but still believe they are right with God because they observed an outward form of godliness. Knowing about God is not enough; we need to submit to Him as our Savior and truly know Him as our Father.
4. Neither circumcision ( the OT sign of being a Jew) nor baptism save you; they are an outward confession of an inward conversion.' It is what is in the heart that matters.
5. The Reformers developed the doctrine of the Visible and Invisible churches. The Visible church is made up of those who profess to know God, such as the NT Jews. The Invisible church is comprised of those who have truly put their faith and trust in Christ.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Father/Son Retreat

Posted by Timothy

This past weekend my Father, Elliot and I were blessed to be able to attend a father/son retreat hosted by our church. It started on Friday night and continued through to Saturday evening. The main theme was 'fathers and sons walking together'. It was a great encouragement in a world filled with activities designed on separating the family. The speakers were Scott Brown, Dan Horn, and Jason Dohm, three elders of Hope Baptist Church which we attend. It was a great time of lectures, and father/son team games. And with over 200 people there were a lot of new men to meet!

Book Reports

Posted by Timothy

Did we mention that several of our family members like to write and read? Here are a couple of recent book reviews that were published here and in the Young Christian Writer's Club magazine, of which we older three are members.

Beowulf by Timothy
The very idea of Beowulf as an ancient manuscript entices you to pick up the
book, compelling you to plunge into its almost fantastic reaches. And once you've started,
it's nearly impossible to stop. This saga starts as a nostalgic poem, recounting the 'prowess
of speardanes from days long sped', elaborating on some of Beowulf's ancestors. The
reader is soon introduced to the monster Grendel 'of Cain awoke all that woful breed.' 'But
God is able this deadly foe from his deeds to turn'; hence comes Beowulf, 'A greater ne'er
saw I of warriors in world than is one of you.' Great though he is, here Beowulf meets his
match, 'But with gripe alone must I front the fiend and fight for life, foe against foe'.
Beowulf however is resolved: 'I would work the will of your people fully, or fighting fall
in death, in fiend's gripe fast,' and 'I am firm to do an earl's brave deed, or end the days of
this life of mine in the mead-hall here.' The poet skillfully conveys the poem's rich tone.
Here he is building a wall of suspense 'when the sheen of the sun they saw no more, and
dusk of night sank darkling nigh...', '...and shadowy shapes came striding on...', ' Halldefender,
watched for the monster.' 'Then from the moorland, by misty crags, with God's
wrath laden, Grendel came,' to the mead hall where warriors slept. 'He[Grendel] spied in
hall the hero-band, then laughed his heart; for the monster was minded, ere morn should
dawn, savage, to sever the soul of each, life from body.' 'Straightway he seized a sleeping
warrior for the first, and tore him fiercely asunder, the bone-frame bit, drank blood in
streams, swallowed him piecemeal,' 'Then farther he hied; for the hardy hero with hand he
grasped, felt for the foe with fiendish claw, for the hero reclining,--who clutched it boldly.'
The fact that it was written some time between the seventh and ninth century
should give it importance in its interpretive purposes. It refers to a 'Master creator', once
to a 'sovran God who avenged Cain's killing of Abel' and even to 'giants that warred with
God', 'but their wage was paid them'. Though Beowulf is a poem, a work of fiction, it is
also historical and legendary in quality. The poet was either a Christian or familiar with
Christianity, as all of these references are also recounted in the Genesis-pre flood
narrative. Moreover, he refers to God as the 'Life-Lord of men, loaned strength-wisdom'.
Pagan, Germanic tradition is sensed throughout the work, yet the God of Scripture is
dominant, reflective of the transitional times in which the poet lived as Christianity was
being spread in Anglo-Saxon England during this time. The story presents a world view
that so contrasts modern culture and concurs with the Bible that it should cause any
serious reader to question life's most serious question: Master Creator, or Random
If you do not already have a copy of this saga, I would recommend 'Beowulf' A
Verse Translation by Frederick Rebsamen
If you like Beowulf, you might also like 'The Song of Roland'. But that's another review,
for another day.

Little Men by Gabrielle
'Little Men' is the classic sequel to 'Little Women'.
The author,Louisa May Alcott wrote many stories
and articles in her younger years to help support her
family.She traveled extensively and died in Boston
in 1888.
I was especially attracted to this story for several
reasons.I was impressed by the compassion Jo
showed to all the orphans who came to Plumfield in
trying to train them up for God,and by the way she
and her husband managed the boys,encouraging
them to do right.This story has no actual plot,its
point being to follow the adventures of the boys.The
boys are inspired to be boys and the girls to be girls.
The children are encouraged to live in peace with
one another and to solve their differences.The
Sabbath is observed and the children learn that the
Lord's Day can be quiet and still enjoyable. The
children are taught that their jobs come before play
and work is made a delight.
One of my favorite episodes is their composition
day.The Laurence Museum has just been established
and to further their knowledge of the natural world
each of the children writes a composition that he
then reads aloud to the rest of the company.It is a
very humorous occasion.An exerpt from Nan's
composition on sponges:"Another use is to wake
people up;I allude to boys par-tic-u-lar-ly..."Some
boys do not get up when called and, Mary Ann
squeezes water out of a wet sponge on their faces,
and it makes them so mad they wake up."Here the
laugh broke out,and Emil said,as if he had been hit-
"Seems to me you are wandering from the subject."
Another one of my favorites is their celebration of
Thanksgiving Day:their creativity in designing their
play and the general atmosphere of love mixed with
hearty,wholesome fun.
'Little Women' begins the adventures narrated in
'Little Men',and 'Jo's Boys' concludes it.These three
classics offer a healthy dose of a vision of what
family life could become when tempered by love

Why A Blog?

Posted by Timothy

So, why would the Hellwig Family want to start a blog?
Why indeed! In a household where pencils, paper, and pens are to be found in practically every corner, pen pal letters strewn every where, full book shelves lining the walls, and 8 active children with plenty to say, a family blog was the logical next step. Several of us enjoy writing and hope to use the blog as a way of keeping an electronic journal to share with family and friends.