I was reading this morning when Pandora played Nothing But the blood of Jesus. I love the simplicity of these lyrics. It takes all the things I’m worried about in life like what do people think of me and the future of Manhattan Pres. It also takes all the things that I should be worried about like sin and right standing before God and it points to the one universal solution. The Blood of Jesus.

Hebrews 9:22 “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”

Isaiah 1:18, “Says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

I like to think visually. As much as I love words, I love when concepts are displayed without words. So I tried to make a symbol for this. My first version was like the one above except the heart was little and below the blood droplet and it was black. It was a symbol of my heart just before the blood of Christ transformed it. I thought that was too focused on looking back though and the song points to what is real, and what is true at this moment so I kept thinking until the version at the top of the page.


What was really fun was I made this at home while Sadie Piper sat over my shoulder and watched. I asked her about it and she figured it out. She read the words and then without missing a beat she sang the next line of the Hymn. On the first version she said she didn’t like the black heart, I told her I didn’t either.

I want to meditate on this today. The Blood of Jesus and nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What will take away my sin? Nothing but the blood.

What will take away my anxiety? Nothing but the blood.

It bought me access to God through prayer and it transformed me from creation of God to child of God.

It made me His, I now belong to God and I can only look to the blood of Jesus for this most precious gift we have to be thankful for.


Inventure Wednesday: Western Heritage Trail

This is Boo at 4pm on Wednesday. She’s in the middle of eating a string cheese tucked behind her back and she knows we are taking her little bike somewhere for Indventure Wednesday. That brings a smile to her face. And that, brings a smile to my face.


Today we went back to the Rocky Ford area because we saw a trail last time, and as anyone who has ever played Zelda knows, until you explore an area it’s not on your map. The trail is called the Western Heritage Trail and we went north today with plans to go south sometime in the Spring. Assuming we make it through Donner Pass in the winter.


Becks is pretty speedy and Berkley pedals hard to keep up. She’s really proud of herself for using the pedals at all given that she usually just flintstones her bike.


There seems to be a built-in nature to boys to throw things into bodies of water. At RiverRanch every year it happens. I remember an Elder’s retreat at Redeemer when a pond was frozen solid, even that didn’t stop the instinct to throw rocks into the pond. Beckham throws in everything he can find. Berkley does a little a dance and asks, “Why are all the trees sideways?”


Further down the path we find a beach covered in rocks and I wonder if we had a few hundred second grade boys if we could build a bridge from all the rocks they throw into the water.


We saw a path that was off-road so Berkley headed up it asking for a “boost” every so often.


Later she proudly announced that she could ride her bike with only one hand and then asked me to take a picture of this new found skill while she rode down hill with the confidence that this just might be the coolest thing someone has ever done.


 I found a stump and a rock and they worked together to take a photo of the three of us. There is something awkward about a 15 second timer with no idea when it will actually go off.

I found a perfectly worthless tire in the woods and showed Beckham. He planned to bring it home, I canceled his plans, but he still wished to take it for a little walk. Eventually he rolled it down a hill and it ran off the road crushing a little tree that had been working hard to grow into a big tree.


 When we found a little dam, Beckham again threw stuff in the water and Berkley just sat in the leaves making a bed.


 This is what the farmers field looks like in winter.

On the way back from our mile or so walk Beckham on his own realized Berkley would be tired and had her sit Criss Cross Apple Sauce (Indian Style if you ask me) as he pushed her back to the car. 

Snap Shots: Mid November

Life is good. It really is. Not because it is easy, cause it is not that. But it is good. God is doing things that we didn’t expect. Surrounded by those who get the vision for a local church that is about the Worship of God and about loving the community as we seek to show others that life is more about God than it is 1,000 other things that we stress about day in and day out. I just feel a great sense of thankfulness for God and the Church today.

I tend to lean on the side that says busyness is productiveness. Even a moment of idle rest makes me feel guilty for not being in motion and guilt is never restful. I have learned that we are still learning. Learning boundaries and where to focus time and effort. Learning how to be a people pleaser who is primarily called to be a God pleaser. Learning that prayer is a priority and an actual doing of something. We are learning what covenant family is and dreaming of what it can be. And in all this we cling to the gospel and invite others to cling to the cross along side us. So please continue to pray for Manhattan Pres, for our family and for the campus and city where we sojourn.

Laura is taking Aerial Arts Lessons with her friend Heidi who runs Little Apple Aerial Arts. She was a little unsure of it at first having no background in anything related to this, but now she loves it, as exercise, fellowship, as just a fantastically fun time.


 Laura and I had to run to Topeka and since we were there we used our Sunset Zoo passes to check out their zoo for free. Very good zoo. Even has a humid dome.

Here Laura and Boo realize they need two more friends.

Berks and I did a little camping.

Saw this…thing near the mall in Topeka. One of the weirder hobbies I’ve ever witnessed.


Berkley Boo and me if we were magically transformed into Lions.


The picture at the top of this post and this one came from a bicycle ride Monday. In the afternoon I needed to just get out on some bicycle therapy. Eventually I rode to Travis and Amy’s home on a route that turned into a 26 miles bike ride. So refreshing though.



I went up the dam, walking. This is looking out over the lake and whatever this thing is.


South of Manhattan I found this bell. It had a story affixed to it. Mr. Hunter bought a bunch of land south of Manhattan in the late 1800s. The river changed direction after a flood and turned his land into an island. They built schools and all sorts of other things on Hunter’s island. Then one side of the river dried up and it was no longer an island. Today there is only a bell left. The school is a Kennel Club.


When I got close to the Shanahan’s house I had to go through fields and woods and across a river to get to their house as their were no roads from my angle of approach. This picture is about 300 yards and 20 minutes from their home.


Damian’s old cheer partner was in town so they showed us some stunting. I don’t think I could have done this in my prime, no idea how he does this now. One day we were at the grocery store getting stuff and I challenged him to a contest to see who could hold a frozen turkey out in front of us the longest. Stupid me, stupid me.

Just another day tailgating.

Our neighbors have a tailgate that is like a city of tents. In the tents this time were these huge chairs. It reminded me of Texas and made wonder what size beer goes in the cup holder.

I shrunk my kids! #ksu #kstate

The Durretts and us Houghs collected food for the Breadbasket Food Pantry. George was a natural at engaging people and getting them to participate well. Berkley laid down on the job. It was a good time, good to see Beckham get excited about serving. He has such a heart for helping people and I just love to see it in action.

I was shocked by how many people were willing to help out. As a whole I couldn’t be more impressed with the eagerness of people to pitch in. One guy had benefited from this ministry in the past and wanted to give back now that he could. There was one bad apple that was pretty angry we were there, she even stated her reason for being so angry, she was a Christian and thought we did people no favor by helping them. All in all though like I said, overwhelmed by the amount of people who gave.

Berkley hard at work.

RUF has a bonfire at the Shanahan’s. It was huge at first. Not Aggie huge, but still a good sized inferno. Nathan Bailey had to throw a couple of buckets on the fire to keep it from getting so big that we started a forest fire.

Decided @the_life_of_joe was a witch after realizing he weighed the same as a duck, so we burned him.

Here you can see Harriet Reymond roasting a hotdog covering her face and hands so they don’t melt off.

@harrietreymond roasting hotdogs in the inferno.

Joe Bartu and Nathan Bailey visited and went on the Lion Trail with us.

Found these weirdos in the woods. #liontrail

The bicycle council in town talked with the city who agreed not to fence off our bike route to school as they were planning. Glad to see them come to an agreement to make this gap in the fence for us and others who travel that way.

Inventure Wednesday: Rocky Ford

Most Wednesday’s Laura and Sadie Piper head to dance class at Bates and us Killer Bees (Brian, Beckham, Berkley) head out for an adventure, or as our kids call it, “Inventure.” The evening even has a song that goes, “Inventure, Inventure, [then any crazy line you want]” over and over again.

Today was early release and so we headed out to the Rocky Ford Fishing Area. There was a waterfall here in pre 1900s for a saw mill and a flour mill. At a later date it was re-made out of cement. That time the waterfall was for a hydropower plant. Today it’s just there to tempt me to ride a kayak over it.

Inventure Wednesday

Beckham tried to do some fishing with a string. No hook, no net, just a string. Results were as expected.


 Becks found this island to fish from.

Inventure Wednesday

Berkley used the same island for Barbie’s personal island resort.


This is how we got to this new section. 
Inventure Wednesday

Berkley was wearing crocs cause her dad didn’t pay much attention beyond telling her to dress warm. She also walked right into the Blue River getting wet. @christopherearnshaw @rudyprins Kayak over the falls?

Inventure Wednesday

You’re gonna hear me roooooaaaaaarrrrrrr!

Inventure Wednesday

Inventure Wednesday

After that we saw this building in a field so I used all my childhood poaching skills to sneak up on it and check it out.

Inventure Wednesday

Inventure Wednesday

Berkley liked the old house better than our house, asked if we could move in. You can see the moon in the sky below which I thought was cool.

Inventure Wednesday

The  house next door didn’t age as well.

Inventure Wednesday

Eventually the cows came after us. I’m pretty sure they thought we were bringing food, but these two thought they were coming to eat them and ran for their lives. You can see Boo took off running a little early in background of photo above.

Inventure Wednesday

After that we stopped by Pizza Hut in Aggieville, who had $6 customer appreciation pizzas. This happens to be “the oldest Pizza Hut in it’s original location in the entire world.” I wonder if Guinness Book confirms this.

Inventure Wednesday

Dollar shots for everyone at the bar attached to the Pizza Hut.

Inventure Wednesday just got a little crazier. Little drinks for little kids. $1 shots!

We impromptu decided to go visit Mich with Pizza. He provided Apple Juice and Russian hats. Berkley appreciated the Apple Juice. She did not appreciate the Russian hats.

Night got even crazier

Veterans Day Parade 2013

Sadie Piper marching in Veterans Day Parade with her class. #mhk #manhattanks #leeschool

This year Beckham & Sadie Piper got to march in the city’s Veteran’s Day Parade through downtown. It was really fun for them to be a part of being thankful for the men and women who have fought for our freedom. 

Below is a drummer for the Manhattan High School marching band.

Took this during parade today. Seems there is a parade in Manhattan every 3.4 days. #mhk #manhattanks #manhattanhighschool

There is a really cool theater downtown called the Wareham. They hosted a number of Veterans there and Beckham’s grade was selected to perform a song there. Really great building and they did a fantastic job.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Here they are singing in front of this awesome American flag. There was a beautiful prayer at the start of these festivities in the name of Christ.

Beckham's class singing at Manhattan Veterans Day event in Wareham Theater. #mhk #manhattanks

If you really want, you can watch performance here.

The schools located near the parade route all come out and watch the parade.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade


Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

This man was a hoot. Not sure I can repeat his stories here, but very interesting to listen to.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Senator Morsley or something like that.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Some soldiers from Ft Riley

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Sweet Army stuff.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

They wear the uniforms from a long time ago, was interesting thinking the same uniforms marched down this same street when they weren’t costumes many years ago.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

This is the High School band again. Did a great job.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

These old firetrucks are my favorite, just love them.

This picture could have been taken 60 years ago. #mhk #manhattanks

I thought this picture represented the town well. Manhattan, K-State and The Riley County Court House in the background.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Here is Beckham’s School Lee Elementary. Love this school so much.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Shriner in a pretty sweet car.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Sadie Piper’s class again.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

I took this just cause it was cool to see how many people come out for this. It seemed to go on forever.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Same idea, going the other direction.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade

Another great thing about this town is how bicycles can get you just about anywhere. Laura and I were all over downtown today only using bicycles.

Manhattan Veterans Day Parade


SnapShots: October 2013

Turkey Hats at Target.

No really. I live with a bunch of turkeys.

Fridge Magnet Scrabble.

14 Point word. #manhattan #manhattanks #scrabble

The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Like father like son.

Here are our offices, we are very committed to low overhead.

Manhattan Presbyterian Church office

Found the perfect K-State Flag.

We found the perfect flag...the best of both worlds! Texas and wildcats together!

On our way to the Hilton’s tailgate, so much fun!


Jake took this photo from our first worship service at Manhattan Presbyterian Church.

Party at our house with MPC & RUF. Mich is working on a project.

Sandbox that Ron our old neighbors picked up for us back in the day, finally got it installed here.

Berkley Boo is pumped about party at our place tonight. Come, we'd love for you, yes if you are reading this, seriously you, to come. Come early, late, stay a little, stay a lot, whatever works for you. 2300 Chris Dr. starts at 5pm.

This is a London Fog from Radinas, a fantastic local coffee shop. It’s basically my office.

It's called a London Fog. Earl Grey Tea, foaming milk. #manhattanks #radinas #aggieville

Here is Sam, Ryan, Aaron, David and Rudy’s Soccer team.

Salty Dogs Team Photo. @rudyprins @tompkins_david @aaron91baxter @ryan_manring @sam_preston29

Here is the Wareham theater, historical place in downtown. May or not be where Lincoln was shot, but there is a balcony so maybe.

Downtown Manhattan on a beautiful day

We had a tree cut down and the guy made part of the tree into this chair for the girls.

We needed a tree cut down and the man who did it turned part of it into a little chair.

Fellowship meal after the first service.

This is Laura making the bread for the Lord’s Supper. We have the best bread of any church ever, make sure you take a big piece if you get the chance.

Bread number three may be a winner, so good. Rustic Crusty Bread from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

These are our signs. Unfortunately we are only allowed to put them up a couple of hours before the service.

First service tomorrow at 4PM. 1000 Fremont Street. #manhattanks #ksu #kansasstate

This is Saint George, nearby town.

Manhattan Avenue is a Bicycle Boulevard. Means it’s 20 MPH speed limit and theoretically cars won’t run you over. Given it runs through the bar district of Aggieville the running over part of that deal is void on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Bicycles in Manhattan

We found an actual rooster on a Wednesday Inventure Day. Contrary to what just about everyone has told us, this rooster was very nice.

Wendy's Rooster Red

Berkley was collecting minnows Beckham caught in her dead clam shell near the Kansas River. They died.

Minnows in clam shell

A frog made it home though. She was playing with a pretend frog, so I snuck the a real frog into the tub to see what she would do. Didn’t skip a beat. Just started following real frog with fake frog.


This is a church in neighboring Junction City. Junction City is where Manhattan was supposed to be before a boat broke down in the 1860s.

Church in Junction City

Chris was invited to speak at the See You At The Pole for K-State.


This is a great group of local pastors who I pray with every other Tuesday in town. These guys are about the Gospel for Manhattan and not just their own little kingdoms which I find to be refreshing and encouraging.

Every two weeks I meet with these Manhattan area pastors for Prayer. It is so encouraging to hear their prayers for the lost and broken in this city. Please pray for these men to be bold and gracious witnesses for Jesus Christ.

You sampled these wines to pick a good one for the Lord’s Supper. It had never crossed my mind that we would need to do that until about a week before the first service. Bet you never thought of that either.


I got to marry…I got to officiate these two  getting married. Great couple with helpful labels on their shirts.

They grow up so fast.... @roamingredhead3

This is some modern art in Olathe, we see this kind of art all the time in Manhattan, but no one calls it art.

Found a little art in Olathe. We see this stuff in Manhattan all the time, but it's mostly spread out and no one calls it art.

While in KC we visited our kids at HCA, so good to see those in this picture and so many more. Miss them tons.

So great to see these girls today! #HCA

This is our first bulletin.

Bulletin trial for first service.

This is the beach or rather the Kansas River at low tide. No river’s don’t really have low tide.

Wednesday night adventures. Shoes were a casualty, but so worth it. #manhattanks

Berkley’s self-portrait

This is how Berkley views herself.

This table is in the field in our backyard, we cleaned it up so we could eat on it.

Cleaned up this picnic table in field behind our house. #manhattanks #sunsetzoo

Random Manhappiness

 Here’s a random post catching up on the last few months!

We hit up the Reptile Expo with the Hiltons! Just looking at this picture gives me the ewwies. That’s a real snake. In my mind, there’s no such thing as a “safe” snake…

Becks speaking parseltongue with aiden at Reptile Expo  #manhattanks


And this is the grossest spider EVER!

Creepiest giant spider ever.

Afterwards a little dance lesson from Heidi!

New friend teaching Berkley some Ballet.


Found an old fire truck in front of the a frat house. So we rode it…of course!

Becks has been working on his mustache since we moved here.



Possibly my favorite place here so far is Pillsbury Crossing. There’s a waterfall here!

Today's adventure: Pillsbury Falls! This place is a keeper!


One more of Pillsbury Crossing.

On our way home from Pillsbury one day we found this random building….

…so we let ourselves in and signed the guest book!

Brian, Annie, Jon and Emily joined a Sorority!

And then with the peer pressure, me and the girls did too!

Berkley, just being cute at the hair cut place.

So I know I just said it was Pillsbury Crossing, but we REALLY love the zoo too. It’s 200 yards from our house. You can’t beat that. Literally.

We laughed really hard at this picture cause it looks like the monkey is wearing Beckham’s shirt!

This looks like the monkey has on Beckham's shirt!! #sunsetzoo

Sadie hoping for the same pic. No such luck, but her face is cute!

SP went back to 1980 this day with the head band and the exercise bike. It’s at Varsity Donuts. I guess so you can burn some calories and eat more donuts?

Brian FOUND this rock!!! L for Laura!! Yay! It’s my best rock! 🙂

Found a swing. Rode it.

Berkley drew a zoo on our sidewalk one day.

Here’s the monkey.


Turtle and flamingo. (those are WINGS!)




Duck (again with the WINGS!)