Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Not nearly as interesting as that cat though...
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Boy is that ever an interesting faucet
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I just love splashing
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Like father water rat, like daughter water rat...
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such a sound sleeper
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And doesn't think too much of the onsies idea
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somebody enjoys not being confined by clothing altogether too much...
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such a cuddle bug
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Our little singer... such drama
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the mohalk is a nice touch don't you think?
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Ah... another week almost done. It's been very busy here for me these past days- classes have me going from 8 till 5 most days and on wednesday I go from 6 in the morning till 5 at night... quite a bit differant from last year thats for sure. I'm very much enjoying the classes though- very applied material for a change. The trade off is that there is a LOT of material to gain a firm grasp of and making sure everything sticks is a job that requires constant attention. We're in the thick of Clinical Medicine now, with Dermatology taking front and center- Dr. Hopkins is keeping us hopping in Disturbances of Reproduction, with Clincial Pharmacology and Therapeutics providing much entertainment in the brain gymnastics department. Surgery is amazing, albeit overwhelming at times, and Clinical pathology, Radiology, Beef Records Analysis, Small Animal Infectious Disease, and Seminar seeing to it that all free time is well spent :). Throw in a brand new baby and a beautiful wife and you have a recipie for a grand time :)... Seriously, life is good, although busy and I do count myself the most blessed man on the face of the earth. God is so good. I figured you all would like some more pictures, so enjoy... Heather and I will be gone for a few days visiting family in SK, so have a great weekend! ~Ben
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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Well here it is Sunday evening- the big day is tomorrow... the first day of classes! I'm glad to be back at it again- although I've thoroughly enjoyed the mental respite of summer break, it will feel good to get back to work on this my LAST YEAR of didactic instruction... all thats left to do after this is my clinical rotations. Time surely has flown by, and it's definitely good to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel- God's sure been faithful. Emily had a bit of a rough day- seemed like her tummy was bothering her. We're still working on figuring out what heather can and can't eat (though like my mom says, sometimes it gets down to a choice between your favorite foods and sleep- lol)... we are making progress, however slowly; thank God for gripe water :). There are pictures building up on my camera, so look here soon for an update.
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Friday, August 19, 2005


If the world only knew what it had in store...
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Correction... ACK I just was made aware that I published Emily's birth day as the 9th... It was not the 9th, it was the 10th of August- a wednesday, at 2:48 in the afternoon. Please don't injure yourselves in your mad dash for your datebooks ;^).
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papa's little cuddler
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Enjoying some of those fancy cloth diapers Grandma Nila made for her
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Some more of those proud uncles
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Those air conditioned 4-H buildings sure came in handy!
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It was a very hot day at the Iowa State Fair, we almost didn't go- but we figured that we couldn't live in Ames for 4 years and not go at least once- and so we did. This picture was actually taken around 7:30 in the evening- it was around 95 during the day!
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and a new sink and toilet
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Our new bathroom floor
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Well... the boys are on the road and headed back to ND. We're already ready to go with them- lol. Iowa is certainly very different from ND, thats for sure! But we have a beautiful new bathroom thanks to my great brothers and friends- and between the new baby and school I'm sure we'll find plenty to keep busy with. Emily is growing more by the day and despite what we heard about newborns losing weight to start off, on the day after her first week birthday she weighed in at 9.88 lbs! And heather was concerned about her losing weight! Praise the Lord. It's hotter than ever here in Iowa- when we were at the Fair yesterday the temp peaked at about 95 degrees. Way too hot for us Northerners, thats for sure. I'm getting in the mode for classes finally- going to get my books today at noon. Hope my checkbook can sustain the crunch :^). Ah well... now I'm rambling.
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Keepin' cool at the Iowa State Fair
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aren't these socks darling? I would have preferred Jersey- but I guess Holstein will do.
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trying out her new singing voice :)
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and emily is one week old! Well actually she was one week old on wednesday...
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Thursday, August 11, 2005


have you ever seen more darling lips??
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ahh...feels good to stretch out
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yes she's a sound sleeper :^)
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Our wonderful midwife checking Emily over
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Whew... what a trip
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Announcing... Emily Faith Stegman!!! At 2:48 in the afternoon of Wednesday August the 10th, our 9lb 20.5 inch miracle arrived. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness! More to come...

Sunday, August 07, 2005


but well worth it :^) just look at that sunset
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ok so it was a little colder than expected :^P
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getting ready for the water at a nearby dam
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beautiful north dakota...
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some of the catch (and one proud fisherman) on a recent trip our church group took to Devil's lake.
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playing vollyball on Canada day in SK with family
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Our little house in PR where we're staying this summer
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Whew... long time gone... Well, so much for all the wonderful plans I had for keeping you all updated... This has been a very full summer for me. I've been working full time at the clinic (I think I've learned more this summer than all the others combined), and the rest of my time has been spent caring for my veeery pregnant wife (any day now... :^) ), taking long walks in the cool of the evening, researching business ideas (lots of new ones and new twists on old ones :^) ), visiting with family and friends, and just generally enjoying life. It's Sunday today, Heather is still sleeping, and I'm preparing for the meeting that will happen in a few hours. I love mornings like these, where I can spend extended time studying the Word and just enjoying close fellowship with God- it makes such a difference to my outlook on life. Ever since the middle of this past week I've had the hymn "He leadeth me" running through my head, I couldn't remember the words to any of the verses, but the words of the chorus kept on playing over and over. "He leadeth me, He leadeth me, by His own hand he leadeth me: His faithful follower I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me". What a profound thought; here I am, a man of questionable significance, a seeming mere speck in the universe... and the God of all creation cares enough about me to lead and guide my steps. If that doesn't excite you I would recommend having someone check your pulse immediatly. I kept on ruminating on these words and finally looked up the rest of the song's lyrics:

He leadeth me, O blessed thought! O words with heav'nly comfort fraught! Whate'er I do, where'er I be, Still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me... Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom, Sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom, by waters still, over troubled sea, Still tis His hand that leadeth me... Lord I would place my hand in Thine, Nor ever murmer nor repine, Content whatever lot I see, Since tis my God that leadeth me... and when my task on earth is done, When by thy grace the victry's won, E'en death's cold wave I will not flee, Since God through Jordan leadeth me.

I began reading in Psalm 23...

Psalm 23:3: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
When I looked closer at this verse, I made a few observations:

"He restoreth" is from a Hebrew word that means to return back, or retreat for the purpose of gaining strength and purpose. Sometimes God will place us in situations that force us to refocus on Him (the children of Israel didn't forget God in the bad times).

"In the paths" means a track; a rampart (as circular), trench. Here's a definition of a rampart that I found:

"The mass of earth and masonry formed to protect an enclosed area from artillery and small arms fire and to elevate defenders to a commanding position overlooking the approaches to the fort so created. A bulwark or defense upon which parapets are raised. The main wall of a fortress."
In other words, when we are willing to live lives of obedience, God will lead us in paths that are free from true danger.
Mat 10:28: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
God doesn't necessarily promise paths that are free of physical discomfort...
Psalm 34:19: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
but when we allow Him to lead us in these paths, we are privileged to lead lives that are lived in the power of the living God!
Col 1:29: Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
"For his name's sake" : for his glorious purpose. (Our conformation to the image of His Son).
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

It struck me that leading has two contexts in the Bible; the push and the pull.

A push in the right direction.

Psalm 23:2: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Nahal (naw-hal' )"to run with a sparkle, that is flow: to conduct, protect, sustain, carry, feed, gently lead on."
Isa 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepard: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

A pull through the difficult areas.

Psalm 23:3: He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Nachah (naw-khaw) to guide, by transport: bestow, govern, straiten.
Psalm 78:14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire

Leading involves education, God doesn't throw a rope around our necks and drag us toward righteousness, He uses our experiences and the influence of the Holy Spirit. Notice Hebrews 12:5
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him

And Heb 12:6
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Chastening is not just discipline- it is true education. The word Paideuo (translated Chastise) is used many other places as "learn, teach, educate, etc". The fact that God cares enough to teach us through our experiences is evidence of His love for us.
Revelation 3:19: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Verse six elaborates on this concept, chastening is accompianied by scourging...
Both gentle training and consistant discipline are involved- as with children, the two cannot be divorced without disastrous consequences. God cares enough to guide us in the paths of righteousness, maturing and strengthening us if we allow Him.

David in old testament times understood this. Though he did make some terrible mistakes and received some bitter punishment, he received and accepted the admonition of the Lord and grew. David's attitude, not his accomplishments were what gave him favor in God's eyes. Consider:

Psalm 25:5: Lead me in thy truth and teach me: for though art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Psalm 143:10 : Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
It's all back to trust again... God has promised to work all things together for good.
Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to this purpose.
...And obedience.

Be encouraged my friends, God has not left us to our own devices- let Him guide and direct your life, He is so very able.

Till next time,
Benjamin