Lately in the Parfitt home

I hope to keep this concise, as I have many other things to do.

This past year has included (in random order): replacing our older Subaru wagon with a newer model, having son number three move to a nearby town to work construction jobs, losing that son’s four goats but then gaining two for ourselves, building a new chicken pen for my two banties, getting a new tractor with mower and tiller attachments, breaking and fixing the old JD skidloader several times (it’s currently down), getting the mini-excavator repaired, keeping up our journals, blueberry picking, starting the new school year, making plans to visit New Zealand next year, getting a real wooden pantry built, chasing the boys’ loose steers, taking the neighbor to court about their dogs continually coming into our yard and terrifying the girls, praying my mom through a road trip to California and back, buying a 15-passenger van in Pennsylvania and taking it to the other side of PA to Quigley to have it converted to 4WD and then picking it up one month later, taking a boat ride on the Erie Canal, camping with friends for two nights on an island in Lake George (turns out we don’t want to repeat that, but we would like to tent camp somewhere when the animals are all butchered), picking volunteer squash, NOT putting in a garden this year, enjoying the gladiolas that Ken planted in 2010, losing Trevor’s cat, getting a new cat to keep Annabelle’s cat company, receiving three kittens from the new cat, cleaning out our shed, getting rid of scrap metal, taking Bible Institute courses, having some carpentry work done, attending missions’ conference, Bible conference, and God Weekend, street singing and preaching, getting new wardrobes for the girls of more conservative and feminine dresses, stopping at our old house and being invited to look in every room of the house (they changed a wall we wanted to change and it was great to see that Ken’s idea DID work!), getting walking pneumonia (some of us) and hives (Karen), helping at the air show for three days again, helping the church hand out literature at the county fair for a couple of hours and then looking at the animals for the first time in some of the kids’ lives, taking a hunter safety course, deer hunting, taking a bow safety course, singing in nursing homes, having musical instrument lessons, scraping a car in a parking garage, ice skating, going to dinner at Japanese, Chinese, and Mexican restaurants, getting a delivery of a huge load of logs to split, splitting the last of the 2010 log delivery, getting our granite countertops chosen and installed finally, installing cabinets for a family that is expecting a baby any day, helping people move, attending calling hours and memorial services, videoing a wedding, and breaking my little toe.

That’s a long sentence, but I think I will leave it as is. No emotions expressed here, really, but you can fill in how you would feel doing all that and trying to also do school. All those experiences ARE school, but somewhere in there we have to memorize our times tables and learn what the subject and predicate are! 🙂 The glue that holds our lives together is attending church. We may have almost all the rest of our lives on a different schedule now, but we still go to church and see the same people week after week. Wise, godly men help the boys with “Dad” type discussions and kind, godly women and girls take us into their hearts to comfort us and encourage us.  It helps so much that they know the one we miss. We know we can’t be babied forever. We need to baby others now. I have found Bible time to be more interesting than ever as I actually ask questions and the Lord answers them quickly. I am forming a close relationship to Jesus! My Father in heaven is patiently showing me things I need to change not only my actions about, but my thoughts or philosophies about.

Reese and I are scheduled to take an electronics course together at the local community college. I just couldn’t find a homeschool electronics course, and I would not be able to explain any problem areas anyway. He may also begin piano lessons from one of our pastors’ sons. The boys will continue to take a Bible Institute class and we hope to go to New Zealand in February and March, with a short jaunt into Papua New Guinea. Dylan hopes to make it to the Philippines once this coming year. We wait to see what God has planned for us and we are ready to change our plans at a moment’s notice if the Lord tells us to.

Perhaps some day I will post pictures. For now, I’d better get some sleep and try to get back on the right schedule.

Thanks for reading!–Jamie

Fatherless – Yet not Alone

A year. A whole year! My siblings and I have been fatherless a year. My dear mother has been a widow for a year.

I can’t even explain to myself how I feel. My heart seems to go into fibrillation when I think about the incident or see pictures. I feel kind of nervous, and an incredible depth of sadness. And the strangest feeling is the one of disbelief. I still can’t fathom the fact that my father is dead. I can’t believe that my mom is a widow. How did this happen? When did this happen? Whose story am I reading? It can’t be mine.

I am trying to keep everything under control. I have a job to do, and I want to do it properly. Here I sit at my test bench, surrounded by coworkers, bravely plugging on through my daily routine. But it somehow seems so unimportant. I am randomly gripped by an overwhelming grief, and I start to cry. But I have to keep it under control. Professional. So I just breath heavily.

I am so grateful for the support from everyone around me. My friends, my family, my coworkers; all have rallied around us to let us know: we are not alone. I keenly miss my father, one of the best and godliest men I have ever known. No one can replace that earthly position he filled in our lives. But we have a heavenly Father, one who will never leave us nor forsake us. He is the one who gives me peace and joy through my grief. He is the One who helps me keep going when all I want to do is give up.

Thank you to everyone who has allowed God to show love through you. Thank you for serving and comforting and being a shoulder to cry on. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

I love you guys. Because of you, I know I’m not alone.

Allen D. Parfitt

Ken Parfitt – Photo for Test and Measurement World Magazine

This photo of Ken Parfitt was taken at Harris Corporation Jan. 1. The photographer worked for Test and Measurement World, and Ken was the supervisor of the man who won the award for Test Engineer of the Year.l The photograph appeared in the Test and Measurement World magazine. The article with the photo can be read here: Test for the digital battlefield at Harris RF Communications.

Ken’s story to submit to his college alumni magazine

Ken Parfitt, the love of my life, has left this world to be with his Lord forevermore. He left behind a history of service to God that many men would wish for.

 

Ken was raised in a small town in Western Upstate New York and had an aptitude for two things: electronics and humor. He narrowed down his college choices to LeTourneau College and began attending in the fall of 1982. He was 17 when he arrived on campus. One of the main reasons he chose LeTourneau was the fact that it was a Christian college. He chose to work to get an Electrical Engineering Technology degree and did well his first semester. He didn’t like the heat of East Texas, but he enjoyed the many activities on campus. His humor showed up time and again as he and his dorm mates planned activities to pass the time between studies. When he later lived off campus, he made some poor personal choices and his relationship with God was weakened. Then he met me at work at the local newspaper and I challenged every one of his beliefs about God. It was a lot of work for him to prove me wrong on every point, because I had been raised in a cult (WCG) and I was as indoctrinated as they get. But he had many good professors to help him dig out from the Bible the proofs of what he believed so that he could show them to me.  And the good thing about LeTourneau was that these were not his theology professors. They were his welding professor, his computer professor, his electronics professor. He patiently kept pointing me to the Jesus of the Bible, and I was finally saved by Jesus’ blood alone. Gone were my law-keeping and my reliance on membership. In their place was a sealed promise from God the Father to keep me until Christ came for me. We married after this and he spent two years as a married student, working full-time and caring for his new wife and son. He graduated in the spring of 1988.
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Allen’s Real-Life Nightmare: Locked out of his Laptop!

I had a nightmare yesterday. My new laptop came on Wednesday, and because I was out all day and evening, I barely had time to set it up and log in before I went to bed. I was super excited, because I haven’t had a laptop in over 6 months.

Well, last evening, I opened my laptop and turned it on and tried to log in. Wrong password. Oh, snap. I tried again. And again. And again… I could not believe that I had forgotten my password. See, I knew what two words made up the password, but I could not figure out which letters were capitalized, and which had number substitutes.

So here I was, with a brand new laptop, and no way to get in. I mean *NO* *WAY*. I hadn’t had time to create a password restore disk, or an OS backup disk. I was sunk. Dad said to call Dell and find out if they could remotely get me back in. Well, I didn’t have the software warranty thing. I could get it for something like $250, or I could pay a one-time charge of $80 for them to unlock my computer. No way.

I did have the option of reinstalling the OS, since I had access to a legal copy if Windows 7 from school. I started the download, which would take… 8 hours? Besides, I didn’t really want to reinstall the OS.

I found a web page (using my desktop computer) that listed 6 different tools for getting into such an account. However at least 4 of them required that I have access to another account on the computer. Um… not an option – there was only one account, and it was locked!

I tried two of them, plus another tool from another page, and none of them worked. I was feeling really unhappy. I happened to see that my friend Parker, a fellow computer geek and a good friend, was on Gchat. So I told him my issue and asked what he’d do. His comments didn’t sound too hopeful, but then he contacted our mutual geek friend Stephen, who told him of a tool, and then Parks sent me the link. Like the cliche of a man clutching at straws (except this was more like a 2×4) I downloaded the tool and burned it to a CD – the third CD of the night.

I tried it, and alas, though it said that my password was erased, I still couldn’t log in. I was very sad at this point. But then I though, well, maybe I had to use the tool to reactivate my account, not just clear the password. So I did that. (I don’t know how many times I had to reboot the poor machine!)

And behold, the computer started up and loaded right into my account. I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!!!! You cannot imagine the relief when that happened. Well, maybe you can, but the ordeal is over now. It took me over 4 hours to hack into my account! I will be much more careful in the future.

George Wishart – Martyr for Jesus Christ, Part 3 (final)

Third and final part of three in the George Wishart series. Read part 1 and part 2.

Soon after his return to Montrose, the cardinal again conspired his death, causing a letter to be sent him as if it had been from his familiar friend, the laird of Kennier, in which it was desired with all possible speed to come to him, as he was taken with a sudden sickness. In the meantime the cardinal had provided sixty men armed to lie in wait within a mile and a half of Montrose, in order to murder him as he passed that way.

The letter came to Wishart’s hand by a boy, who also brought him a horse for the journey. Wishart, accompanied by some honest men, his friends, set forward; but something particular striking his mind by the way, he returned, which they wondering at, asked him the cause; to whom he said, “I will not go; I am forbidden of God; I am assured there is treason. Let some of you go to yonder place, and tell me what you find.” Which doing, they made the discovery; and hastily returning, they told Mr. Wishart; whereupon he said, “I know I shall end my life by that bloodthirsty man’s hands, but it will not be in this manner.”

A short time after this he left Montrose, and proceeded to Edinburgh, in order to propagate the Gospel in that city. By the way he lodged with a faithful brother, called James Watson of Inner-Goury. In the middle of the night he got up, and went into the yard, which two men hearing they privately followed him. While in the yard, he fell on his knees, and prayed for some time with the greatest fervency, after which he arose, and returned to his bed. Those who attended him, appearing as though they were ignorant of all, came and asked him where he had been. But he would not answer them. The next day they importuned him to tell them, saying “Be plain with us, for we heard your mourning, and saw your gestures.”
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George Wishart – Martyr for Jesus Christ, Part 2

Second installment of three in the George Wishart series. Read part 1.

A short time after this Mr. Wishart received intelligence that the plague had broken out in Dundee. It began four days after he was prohibited from preaching there, and raged so extremely that it was almost beyond credit how many died in the space of twenty-four hours. This being related to him, he, notwithstanding the importunity of his friends to detain him, determined to go there, saying: “They are now in troubles, and need comfort. Perhaps this hand of God will make them now to magnify and reverence the Word of God, which before they lightly esteemed.”

Here he was with joy received by the godly. He chose the east gate for the place of his preaching; so that the healthy were within, and the sick without the gate. He took his text from these words, “He sent His word and healed them,” etc. In this sermon he chiefly dwelt upon the advantage and comfort of God’s Word, the judgments that ensue upon the contempt or rejection of it, the freedom of God’s grace to all His people, and the happiness of those of His elect, whom He takes to Himself out of this miserable world. The hearts of his hearers were so raised by the divine force of this discourse, as not to regard death, but to judge them the more happy who should then be called, not knowing whether he should have such comfort again with them.

After this the plague abated; though, in the midst of it, Wishart constantly visited those that lay in the greatest extremity, and comforted them by his exhortations.

When he took his leave of the people of Dundee, he said that God had almost put an end to that plague, and that he was now called to another place. He went from thence to Montrose; where he sometimes preached, but he spent most of his time in private meditation and prayer.
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George Wishart – Martyr for Jesus Christ, Part 1

Excerpted from Fox’s Book of Martyrs

Zondervan, 1967
pp 199-204
0-310-24391-2

An Account of the Life, Sufferings, and Death of Mr. George Wishart, Who Was Strangled and Afterward Burned, in Scotland, for Professing the Truth of the Gospel

About the year of our Lord 1543, there was, in the University of Cambridge, one Master George Wishart, commonly called Master George of Benet’s College, a man of tall stature, polled-headed, and on the same a round French cap of the best; judged to be of melancholy complexion by his physiognomy, black-haired, long-bearded, comely of personage, well spoken after his country of Scotland, courteous, lowly, lovely, glad to teach, desirous to learn, and well travelled; having on him for his clothing a frieze gown to the shoes, a black millian fustian doublet, and plain black hosen, coarse new canvas for his shirts, and white falling bands and cuffs at his hands.

He was a man modest, temperate, fearing God, hating covetousness; for his charity had never end, night, noon, nor day; he forbare one meal in three, one day in four for the most part, except something to comfort nature. He lay hard upon a puff of straw and coarse, new canvas sheets, which, when he changed, he gave away. He had commonly by his bedside a tub of water, in the which (his people being in bed, the candle put out and all quiet) he used to bathe himself. He loved me tenderly, and I him. He taught with great modesty and gravity, so that some of his people thought him severe, and would have slain him; but the Lord was his defence. And he, after due correction for their malice, by good exhortation amended them and went his way.

Oh, that the Lord had left him to me, his poor boy, that he might have finished what he had begun! for he went into scotland with divers of the nobility, that came for a treaty to King Henry.

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What we have been doing the past month

Some highlights of the past month include: harvesting 5 1/2 gallons of honey from our hives, almost finishing the siding on the house addition, finishing the concrete layer around the radiant heat (all four zones are now operational), scanning old letters from my great-great-great grandmother to my great-great grandmother, attending our church’s annual homeschool fair and getting a few prizes, special meetings at church with guest missionaries with an emphasis on Papua New Guinea and aviation, a pie social at church after one of the meetings, learning to cook with honey for the sweetener, eating our own home-grown beef (it really DOES taste better), celebrating Elliott getting his pilot’s license, and helping another man named Parfitt find out some of his family heritage.

We are now planning a special trip: going to visit my mother and grandmother in Arkansas the last week of December. I hope to meet my father’s uncle while we are down there. But I want to concentrate on visiting with Grandma Laura because she is 98. We will probably go bowling with her one day while we are down there. Ken and the boys want to do some work on their house, and that will probably take the form of replacing the floor in her bathroom.

Who I Am and What I Do, etc.

(I saw this list on the Reynolds Family’s blog and wanted to fill it in for myself.)

I am: a wife that grew up on a small Ozark farm and got born again to be married to an electrical engineer and be a mother of eight children
I think: raising children is more of a challenge than I ever imagined
I know: I learn more every year, especially from my husband and children
I have: the gift of God–eternal life 🙂
I wish: I had more time to do genealogy
I hate: hearing English used incorrectly, especially at church
I miss: seeing the dogwoods bloom on Matney Mountain in the spring
I fear: spiders
I feel: tired much of the time
I hear: my daughter’s feet running on the bare floor
I smell: the fresh stain on the new cedar balcony
I crave: sleep
I search: the house for lost keys, glasses, fingernail clippers, socks…
I wonder: if my lost family members will get saved
I regret: not praying for my family all these past years
I love: ice cream, tomatoes, and watermelon; but most of all, my husband
I ache: after pulling the weeds that I let get too big in the garden
I am not: a good encourager, but I want to learn to be
I believe: we need to want to be with Jesus, our Holy Creator, for all eternity
I dance: when I stub my toe
I sing: soprano, first soprano, descants, alto, and tenor; hymns and classic oratorios
I cry: sometimes when I pray for unsaved people
I don’t always: get to bed at a good time
I fight: my selfishness
I write: emails mostly, and daily entries in my calendar-journal
I win: at Pictionary with my husband as partner
I lose: at four-square
I never: cut my hair
I always: want to sing
I confuse: my husband and children probably
I listen: to the tape of our family singing
I can usually be found: at my computer
I am scared: of driving fast
I need: to praise my children more
I am happy about: going on trips with my husband
I imagine: visiting Arkansas
I am wearing: a worn-out denim jumper and floral short-sleeve blouse
I look forward to: finishing our house addition and moving things around

Jamie