Monday, February 28, 2011

Moms: The watchmen of the home

"She looks well to the way of her family..." Proverbs 31:27

Mary Somerville in her book "One with a Shepherd" says this about that verse:

"The Hebrew word for "looks well" is the one used of a watchmen who guards a city from enemy assault. Just as you would not want a watchman to come on duty tired and strained from another job, you do not want the watchman of your home expending all her effort and energy on other pursuits and giving her leftover attention to her family."

What a great picture for our minds, huh?

I can't help but wonder how many times when I am completely exhausted and just trying to "survive" it's because I have poured too much energy and effort into selfish pursuits, or even good pursuits, that are not what God has called me to in this season of life, or this week, day, or hour?! I like to blame it on low iron...but I have a feeling that just might not be the only culprit! :) Of course, as you are reading this, you are probably thinking, "Hello Girl! Maybe it has something to do with the six kids you have!!!" :) But, here is what Mary goes on to say:

"Yet even the responsibilities we have in fulfilling just these few essentials ( our own character, our husbands, our home, and our specific area of spiritual giftedness) could appear terribly daunting. That is because it is impossible to do this in our own strength. Fortunately, we have God's promise that He will enable us. Aren't you thankful that you have God's grace, not only to survive, but also to thrive in your role? He called you to it, and He will enable you for it. This is the promise: "God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed" (2 Cor. 9:8)."

"Survival Mode" may very well be God's call for our lives right now (I think of a friend who just had a new baby and is facing sleepless nights and my sister, who is still fighting daily nausea in her 4th month of pregnancy), it might very well be related to a medical condition or, just maybe, it might be because we are pursuing more than we should. Whichever it may be, Proverbs 31:27 gives all of us a reason to pause and ask the Lord if we are being the best "watchmen" we can be!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Please pray...

There is a search going on right now in our area for a woman that my kids affectionately call "Grandma". When Caleb was asked who is friends are, she made the top of the list. She lives with her daughter, Cindy, and her family. She has dementia and she has been missing for the last 4 1/2 hours.

Would you please join in the effort by way of prayer for Hilda and her family?!

I just read Girltalk's post from yesterday and it seemed so fitting to repost it here for such a time as this:

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Not only will He never leave you--that's the negative side of the promise--but He cares for you. He is not just there with you. He cares for you. His care is constant--not occasional or sporadic. His care is total--even the very hairs of your head are numbered. His care is sovereign--nothing can touch you that He does not allow. His care is infinitely wise and good so that again in the words of John Newton, 'If it were possible for me to alter any part of his plan, I could only spoil it.'"

-Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, p.199.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thanking God for THIS season!

It's drawings like this one that make my mommy's heart melt and remind me what a brief but beautiful season I have with my precious kiddos before they "leave the nest"....before my son's best friend is not me, but his wife!

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snacking on the Word

When I started reading the following blog post by John Piper (on the Desiring God blog) my first thought was to think "kinda corny".:) But, as I finished reading the post, I realized that Piper was speaking right to me. I don't think twice about clicking my email page multiple times a day or or checking on Craigslist to see if an item I am looking for has finally appeared?! But how often do I follow my morning meal of the Word of God with much needed snacks throughout the day by way of His Word?

I don't have a smartphone, an iPad, or even a facebook account that I regularly use...but I do have Bible programs available on my computer and I have the Bible in ink and paper sitting right next to my computer...and I am without excuse. Maybe you are to!:)

Are apps a threat to God-focus? Yes. But it works both ways. Fight fire with fire.

If you are reading your Bible on your computer or your smartphone or your iPad, the presence of the email app and the news apps and the Facebook app threaten every moment to drag your attention away from the word of God.

True. Fight that. If your finger offends you, cut it off. Or use any other virtuous violence (Matthew 11:12) that sets you free to rivet your soul on God.

But don’t take mainly a defensive posture. Fight fire with fire.

Why should we think of the Facebook app threatening the Bible app? Why not the Bible app threatening the Facebook app, and the email app, and the RSS feeder, and the news?

Resolve that today you will press the Bible app three times during the day. No five times. Ten times! Maybe you will lose control and become addicted to Bible! Again and again get a two-minute dose of life-giving Food. Man shall not live by Facebook alone.

I’m serious. Never has God’s voice been so easily accessible. The ESV app is free. The OliveTree BibleReader app is free. And so are lots of others. Let the Bible threaten your focus. Or better: Let the Bible bring you back to reality over and over during the day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Doing vs. Serving

I have been convicted this past week about a simple question that I often ask myself.

"What should I do next?"

I am very task oriented. Once a job is completed I tend to move right on to the next task at hand. So, I'll often ask myself the question, "What should I do next?" Sounds pretty innocent, huh? No lazy bones here...and, isn't that a good thing?!

But I have been convicted this week that the better question I should be asking myself is:

"How can I serve next?"

Truth is, I often ask myself the first question without giving a thought to the people around me and how I can serve, encourage, build up, and/or minister to them. Sure, the "next thing" I do may very well be the laundry, cooking a meal, or cleaning the bathroom (all things that my family benefits from) but often it is motivated by a selfish heart filled with MY agenda and not necessarily what is best for those around me. Dinner does have to be made...but stopping to listen to my son who needs help with a problem that seems bigger than life to him is MORE important.

It's about serving not just "doing".

I wanted to get this blog post written..but when my daughter asked me to come and cuddle with her on the couch, I had an opportunity to serve. I may have extra time to sit down and catch up on a few blogs I have been wanting to read...but my husband has been trying to finish a conversation with me that he started when he got home (and gave up because of all the interruptions :))...and I have a choice to make, an opportunity to consider him more important than myself.

One of the lines in a chorus we sung this morning in church was, "And may the prayer of my heart always be...make me a servant today."

There are many times when "doing the next thing" and serving are one and the same and there are other times when they are worlds apart!

"Be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of your time because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:18

Friday, February 18, 2011

Regression can be a good thing

Here is another man's brain that wrote some great truth about "unlearning". Pondering what he wrote, I can't help but think that "unlearning" and then "learning" is what life is all about for the believer. "Unlearning" what we hear from the world and tend to buy "hook line and sinker" and "learning" what it is that pleases the Lord...learning to fear Him and know Him (Proverbs 9:10). It's an article well worth reading!

Learning to Unlearn by David Gunderson
November 11, 2010

Learning is a process. But it’s not all progress. Sometimes we need regress. Trailblazing often begins with backtracking.

What do I mean?

Unlearning is as important as learning. We enter this world as instant learners. Before we can even feed ourselves, we’re digesting everything around us. We are innate, insatiable, incessant learners.

But there’s a problem with our learning, a problem which is no less dangerous for its necessity. The problem is that by definition we have to start somewhere, even though that somewhere is often far from the final destination.

So we learn the what before we learn the why, and we learn the simple why before we learn the complex why. We learn the when, but not the if upon which the when depends and the unless that conditions it. We learn the do, but not the how, and certainly not the difficulties that attend the doing. Or we learn the how but not the do, and certainly not the vanity of an intricate how without a rugged do.

We imbibe our political views from our families and our surroundings without facing the need or sensing the desire to learn about ”the other side,” the far-away “them.” We learn that Goliath was a giant and David was a boy and that the latter killed the former in grand Sunday School fashion, but we don’t learn what it means, why it was important, and why it still is. We learn not to run with scissors before we can comprehend the value of an eye, not to touch the stove before we’ve grasped the material reaction of heat on skin, not to talk to strangers before we know the monstrosity that lurks within every human soul.

So we learn, and we learn, and we learn — good things, healthy things, even life-saving things. But things that are incomplete at best and misleading at worst. And we learn these things young — if not in years, at least in maturity — with the result that we build and build and build upon these unripe learnings, whether they were worthy foundations or not.

These intricate buildings make unlearning difficult, and not only because unlearning involves the deconstruction of firmly established frameworks and the excavation of deep-lying layers of learning. Unlearning is also difficult because learning is a social thing, and most of what we’ve learned we’ve learned from people. So we must learn to unlearn with respect and perspective and without resentment or reaction.

Because no, your politically one-sided father didn’t lead you hopelessly astray because you were rarely exposed to the best opposing views. No, your Sunday School teacher wasn’t a shallow Christian and a ruthless prooftexter just because she didn’t explain much in Daniel besides the lions’ den. And no, our parents weren’t unmissional because they instilled in us the potential danger of strangers. Often each of them were just starting where they knew we needed to start, even if they never got to finish the job.

That being said, we still need to move from bombastic political pundits to reasoned consideration, from flannelgraph theology to robust study of the sacred Word, from uncomfortability around strangers to a sincere love for all upon whom God has stamped His image. We must continue to learn, and continue to unlearn.

A man who refuses to unlearn has not yet learned one of life’s most basic and evident realities — we are often wrong. No garden can thrive without regular uprooting, and no finite and fallen human being can learn well and wisely without a regular pattern of unlearning. It will be difficult, but the gathering of the harvest is worth the breaking of the ground.

So learn on, but for the sake of wisdom, never be afraid to unlearn. Sometimes regress is actually progress, and unlearning becomes the mother of learning.
Posted by Gunner

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The thoughts of other men's brains

The man who never reads will never be read;
He who never quotes will never be quoted;
He who will not use the thoughts of other
men's brains proves that he has no brain of his own.


Bryan read me this quote and we both couldn't help but giggle!

While I really enjoy writing, I also like to post things that other people have written. More often than not, there is someone else who can say what I am thinking way better than I could say it myself! And then there are the innumerable times where the wisdom of others hits me right between the eyes and I am left in a thankful state of pondering over what the Lord taught them that they, in turn, taught me.

Keep an eye out for some of those "right between the eyes" articles these next few days!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I wish it had never happened....

Have you ever said those words or at least thought them in your mind? I have! And with those words often comes regret...and a weight of sadness. It's a weight we were not called to bear, but we often think we are supposed to. That is why I was so blessed by the following article. Ed Welch did a beautiful job addressing what we should do when "regrets" creep up! Thought you might be encouraged too:

“If Only . . .” Living with Regrets

It feels so right – so spiritual – to live with regrets. It means you feel bad for the wrong things you have done or think you have done, and that sounds like a good thing. If you forget those wrongs, you are acting like they were no big deal.

How many “if only’s” do you have in your life?

If you have a scrupulous conscience, you lost count long ago. For the rest of us, there are a few basic categories of regrets.

1. Things you did that were especially shameful, which means that they became public and the public did not approve of them. Perhaps you failed in school or work, had legal problems, or did something immoral.
2. Things you did that either purposefully or (more often) unintentionally hurt someone else. Car accidents, sexually transmitted diseases, poor parenting of a wayward child, and recklessness while intoxicated make this list. “If only I had left 5 minutes later I wouldn’t have hit that person.” “If only I hadn’t gone to that party…etc.”
3. Things you think you could have done to avoid a catastrophe. If you have a specific moment when the course of your life took an irreparable turn for the worse, then you will be able to think of dozens of things you could have done differently. Bad marriage? You will review the list of old marital prospects and wonder why you didn’t pursue them. Most anyone who has known someone who committed suicide will be afflicted with regrets. “If only I had just called.” Most women who have been sexually violated ruminate, “If only I . . . (yelled, trusted my instincts that something was wrong, went with my friends).

I knew a woman who was so filled with regrets that the burden of them felt normal. The first “if only’s” registered as weights on her soul, but it’s like wearing ten-pound ankle and wrist weights all the time, after a while you no longer notice them. You feel sluggish and tired all the time, and everyone else seems to be going at a different emotional tempo, but, somehow, that’s normal.

Here is the paradox.

We live with regrets because we think we should. We think it’s the right thing to do—that it is our duty before God. But…

The Kingdom of Heaven is regret-free. The truth is that the triune God liberates us from past regrets. His will is being done. Bank on it. Neither your human limitations nor your sins hinder the good plans of your sovereign Father.

Let’s go one important step further. It is God’s will that you jettison past regrets. They only make you feel unqualified and, therefore, unfruitful.

Now to the line up. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter and Paul, to start. They all had good reason to have a bad case of the “if only’s”. King David is the most severe example. His sin with Bathsheba resulted in the death of their son and his conspiracy to cover up the adultery caused the death of her husband. (2 Sam.12) Even worse, his sin of numbering the people led to the death of 70,000 Israelite men (2 Sam. 24). His remorse was great, and his repentance sincere, but you won’t find lingering regret. In its place is doxology to the Lord who freely forgives sins.

Consider Jonah. He was an enigmatic character whose flight from the Lord nearly resulted in the death of an entire crew and did result in his being swallowed by a fish. A belly of a fish is an ideal place for regrets, especially when you know you brought it on yourself – “if only I would have just gone to Nineveh” – but instead it became a holy place where Jonah came to his senses and proclaimed, “Salvation is of the Lord.”

Regrets? What about Paul? He watched approvingly as Stephen was stoned to death. (Acts 7:59-8:1) He zealously hunted down Christians, sent them to prison and approved of it when they were put to death (Acts 26:9-11). Yet, after his conversion, though he clearly disapproves of these acts, he does not dwell on past sins, rather he writes: “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14) The irony is that Paul isn't even talking about his sins, because he is so confident that his Lord is in control and his sins are completely forgiven. He is talking about the "good" things on his resume.

But, in the post-resurrection era, it is Peter who is our mentor in handling regrets. After all, he knew Jesus from the beginning, and assumed that his egregious sin of denying that on the night of Jesus’ arrest demoted him back to the rank of fisherman. Not that there is anything wrong with fishing, but Jesus had changed Peter’s vocation to fishing for people (Matt.4:19), and, for Peter, regular fishing signaled his own conviction that his sins disqualified him from Kingdom service. Peter assumed that his calling was no longer valid. But breakfast with Jesus and a walk on the beach changed everything. (More on this in the blog, “The World’s Best Epilogue— Ever”).

Try to find a hint of regret or “if only’s” in his two letters. Instead, following King David’s lead, Peter opens with perhaps the most spectacular and eloquent statement of hope in the New Testament, which ends with this exhortation: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). He is reminding us that life in Christ rests in what Jesus has done and looks forward to what he will do. We are visionaries. We look ahead. We hope. We aim to be drawn by the beauty that is almost within reach rather than be restrained by the regrets of the past.

Hearing anything here? Hope rising? If not, you believe that the Kingdom of Christ is where you pay for past sins, past indiscretions, or just being a human being who isn’t omniscient and omnipresent. You believe that if you store up enough regret and remorse you can finally sneak out of your self-imposed purgatory – though, as you already know, no matter how much you stockpile the stuff you always feel as though you must add a little more. That is not the Kingdom where Jesus reigns.

Maybe you believe your regrets will be your protective talisman to help make sure you don’t repeat past sins. That makes sense and sounds spiritual, but it’s a false gospel. It is the sweet mercies of God that compel us to fight sin. One way to identify the nefarious nature of regrets is that they do not give mercy the prominent seat at the table. These regrets might be so stubborn that they will only leave through repentance. While you have been repenting of your perceived contribution to past regrets, the real reason to repent is much closer to the present: you are saying, “Lord I don’t believe that you cover my past, though you probably cover the pasts of other people, and I certainly don’t believe that confidence in your goodness and hope for tomorrow is even permissible.” Call it unbelief. If you want to get nasty, call it pride, in which you believe yourself rather than the Lord. Either way, repent.

I have my own regrets—you have yours. God’s mercies are stockpiled even higher.

Ed Welch

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching Up!

The last couple of weeks have been full...full of sickness (we got a cold/flu bug that has taken it's time making it through our house...we ended up taking Titus to the walk-in clinic on Saturday for an ear infection, poor guy), a visit from my brother Paul (before the sickness really hit), a precious afternoon enjoying our first "high tea" and a walk around Fort Langly, arts and crafts (Faith), and lively imaginations for which I am so thankful for! When it rains a lot (as in, they are predicting that we will not see the sun for something like 20 days!) it's a blessing to have kids with imaginations to fill up the "rainy day time". Although, if I am being honest, between the sickness and the rain there have been many more DVD's watched, Wii games played, and Nintendo DS time then they would normally have!

We are still waiting for Bryan's work visa...but at least we have a time reference. It's looking like it should be here the last week of February! Our biggest prayer, right now, is that it would come in time for Bryan to be able to go to the Shepherd's Conference the beginning of March. So, if you are praying, could you keep praying?!!!

Here is a peak at the last couple of weeks...I figured you didn't need to see pictures of sick kids, so here are the more pleasant ones!:)

We had such a special "girls day out" with "Miss Donna"! Very sweet memories!

Titus and Caleb truly do love to play together (in this picture they are being "tough guy hockey players). But Titus does love having the upper hand! Hence, the "ref" picture below :)

Faith moves from one art project to another...she used up all her window art paint and then moved on to making paper beads! I love her creativity!

Click to enlarge the picture and look closely...can you see the mountains?! On a clear day in the winter when the leaves are off the trees, we can glimpse those magnificent mountains through our kitchen window!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One Hundred Percent!

Grace will be the first one to tell you that school just isn't that easy for her...and, no matter how hard she works, 100% are typically not a grade she is able to walk away with. And we are all okay with that! But that is also what made Thursday so special...

Grace did something that no one else in our family of school kids has done this year...Grace got 100% on every assignment she had!!!! And, if that were not amazing enough, one of those assignments was a TEST and two of them were QUIZES!!!! She was SO excited and SO tickled! So were her parents!:) Bryan brought home a Tim-bit treat just for her and we are delighted to recognize her not only at dinner but now here on the blog!

Way to go Gracie-girl! Way to "do your work heartily as for the Lord" even when it is not easy and you have wanted to give up! We are thanking the Lord for how He chose to bless you and encourage your heart this week!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Be Silent

"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." Exodus 14:14

I read that verse last week and thought, "What a neat verse". This week, some financial circumstances (good ol' government!) arose that made me have to live out that verse and my thoughts have moved way beyond "neat" when I think of that verse. That verse brings hope, that verse brings comfort, that verse is a precious promise that commands a heart of trust!

After Moses said those words, the Israelites watched as the Red Sea turned into two huge walls of water with a path for them to safely go through and for the Egyptians to end up drowned in. This week, I did not see the waters part but I saw God work on our behalf, saw Him use others to help in a "battle" that looked bleak, I saw God fight for us and it was all done while we were silent. Silently dependent, that is.

There are times God call us to fight, to take action, to be deliberate. And there are times that He calls us or places us in situations where we have no choice but to simply stand, watch, and pray. When the only thing He calls us to do is to be silent: not to fret (I didn't do that one too well), not to scheme, not to despair, and not to be afraid but to "stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord" (Exodus 14:13).

The Red Sea may not have parted today...but it might as well have!

"Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?" Exodus 15:11

Monday, February 7, 2011

What am I living by?

Two Sunday mornings ago during prayer, Bryan prayed that we would be a people that "lived by the compass and not the clock"...and boy did that resonate with me! I can often be so driven by what needs to be done, the time it takes to get it done, and the multitude of things that still need to be done once that "thing" is done...that I can easily forget that the "goal" in all that I do is not ultimately to "get it done"...the goal is to glorify the Lord.

The compass of my heart must always point to Jesus' face and all that I do should be done "in a manner worthy of the calling with which I have been called"(Eph. 4:1). In the end, it's all about the compass and...the clock...well, it was never my time anyway!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Whose clothes are you wearing?

About a month ago, a couple in our church was baptized and their testimonies kept tears rolling down my cheeks the whole time (and, yep, if you know me you know that I am not much of a "crier"). You see, their testimony could have easily been Bryan's and my testimony or your testimony and could one day be our kid's testimony. They both grew up in a Christian home and had all the head knowledge they needed...but, though there may only be a foot between your head and your heart, Biblically speaking, it might as well be a space the size of the Grand Canyon!

The truths of being "in the church" but not "in the family of God" came alive to me again this past week in a parable Jesus taught. In Matthew 22 Jesus shared a parable comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. The king sent for all those invited (the Jewish people) but they rejected the invitation; so he called to all those found by the main roads..."both good and bad" be the wedding guests. Here is where it gets interesting! Matthew 22:11-14 says:

"But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, "Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?" And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, "Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." For many are called but few are chosen"

Here is what John MacArthur says about the text:

"All without exception were invited to the banquet, so this man is not to be viewed as a common party crasher. In fact, all the guests were rounded up hastily from "the roads" and therefore none could be expected to come with proper attire. That means the wedding garments were supplied by the king himself. So this man's lack of a proper garment indicates he had purposely rejected the kings' own gracious provision. His affront to the king was actually a greater insult than those who refused to come at all, because he committed his impertinence in the very presence of the king. The imagery seems to represent those who identify with the kingdom externally, profess to be Christians, belong to the church in a visible sense - yet spurn the garment of righteousness Christ offers by seeking to establish a righteousness of their own. Ashamed to admit their own spiritual poverty, they refuse the better garment the King graciously offers - and thus they are guilty of a horrible sin against his goodness."

The choices this man made are not unlike so many of the choices made by thousands in North American churches today. It is a path that has often been trod. Maybe it's the path you are on today...or the one you see your kid starting to walk down.

I pray that Dan and Pam's testimonies will bless your family as it did my family (and our church family) and that their example would continue to shine forth the glory of being found "in HIS righteousness alone"!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl Prayer

I read the following article yesterday on the "True Woman Blog" and I wanted to repost it here. May we all join in prayer for the girls and women who will be in desperate need of help and rescue tomorrow (and every day) and for wisdom for the investigators and cops who will be out making "touchdowns" that will last well beyond tomorrow.

How are you getting ready for the “big game?” Planning a party? Or maybe looking for a good book to read while the guys are engrossed in the festivities? Unfortunately, the Super Bowl has a very ugly side. The city hosting the Super Bowl can count on millions of dollars in revenue from all of the people who flood the city with extra time and money. Super Bowl fans are not just looking for good food and entertainment. Many are looking for sex, making the Super Bowl the largest annual event for sex trafficking in the United States. Tens of thousands of women and children were brought into Miami for last year’s game to meet the demand for prostitution. This year promises to be even worse as trafficking is already a huge problem in Texas. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the state may account for 25% of all human trafficking victims, with thousands of women and children trafficked in and through the state each year.

Until about a year ago, I thought that the sex trade was a tragedy that occurred primarily in distant lands like Africa and India. I was shocked to discover that over 300,000 girls between 11 and 17 are lured into the sex trade industry in the United States each year! Most of them are runaways who have been taken far away from home, drugged, and threatened that if they say anything, they will go to jail. In essence, they become sex slaves without a means to escape, dependent on pimps for food and shelter. This is a real problem within our own borders!

So what can you do?

First of all, get on your knees. Scripture reminds us that there is a spiritual battle going on all around us. While the Steelers and the Packers are playing football, spiritual forces are doing a different kind of battle. We cannot hope to make a difference unless we engage in this battle with prayer.

Secondly, begin researching the scope of the problem by looking up websites like Stop Child Trafficking Now. Organizations like this one have practical ways you can help by raising awareness, participating in events, providing healing to victims and even tips on how to spot and report suspicious behavior that may involve trafficking.

Thirdly, have zero tolerance for sexual immorality. The sex trade would be out of business if no one engaged in prostitution or pornography. Many of these sexual acts involve victims. Just because something like porn use is commonplace doesn’t mean it isn’t a vile abomination of human dignity.

The issue of sex trafficking just seems too ugly and overwhelming to embrace. You can’t stop it and neither can I. However, we can ask the Lord how we can begin to engage in the battle.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You'll want to check these out...

I just love February! Right now, I am loving it because the sun is actually shining :)...but I also love February because it's the one month of the year that Sovereign Grace Ministries has their HUGE SALE on everything from books to music to audio messages!!! Some of our family favorites are:


-Feminine Appeal
-The Cross Centered Life
-Love That Lasts
-Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God
-Shopping For Time
-Stop Dating the Church and Fall in Love with the Family of God
-When Sinners Say "I Do"


Walking With the Wise
To Be Like Jesus
Awesome God

Come Weary Saints
Savior (Christmas)
Valley of Vision
Sons and Daughters


Gospel Centered Parenting

Mothers and Daughters (Haven't listened to it yet...but can't wait to get it!)

And, in other news, I just got an email today from a friend with a link for a FREE audio download of the book "Adopted for Life" by Russell Moore. It's a fantastic book on not only earthly adoption...but, so much more, our adoption into the family of God! You'll never look at the word "adoption" the same way again after reading (or listening) to this book!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Beloved!

Yesterday my hubby turned 35 and boy does this family celebrate his life!:) Truly, my heart is so filled with thanksgiving for the man that God had planned before the foundation of the world to be my husband and my kid's daddy! Our wedding invitations had Song of Solomon 3:4 on them: "I have found the one whom my soul loves" and I can honestly say that I keep falling in love with him more and more as the years go by! It's amazing how well I thought I knew Bryan...enough to marry him!...and how much I keep finding out that I still have so much to learn about him!

I had no idea when I married him that he had an "artistic flare"...but I have learned over the years as I have been blessed by poems and the kids have been blessed with a dad who likes to sit down and draw with them!:) I had no idea just how much time he spends THINKING...and the things he says are often truly quotable!:) His wisdom and discernment when it comes to "life and godliness" have, over and over again, made it a joy to submit to his leadership and filled me with a heart of gratitude! I am amazed at how many times he picks up on "issues" with the kids that, although I am with them all day, I failed to recognize. His perception is amazing both in ministry and in our home.

He loves to "play" and, as a result, he holds all of our kid's hearts! Whether it's mini hockey tournaments, painting or drawing with the girls, a game of baseball, or a new "addition" to one of Titus' costumes...he knows how to make our kids feel special and important. And they are not the only ones who feel special!:) If you know Bryan well, you know that his favorite time of day is NOT the early morning hours! But, for over a half a year he has gotten up before the kids get up to spend time we me (and a cup of coffee)...talking, reading, and praying. Time with God and then time with my doesn't get much better than that each morning!

Happy Birthday, Bryan! Thanks for loving Jesus most of all...the overflow of your relationship with Him makes you one incredibly wonderful husband and dad!!!

(Bryan, I know when you read this you'll get a bit irritated with me for putting all this on a blog for "the world" to are not one to parade yourself. But, I couldn't pass on an opportunity to share a glimpse of who you are and why we love celebrating your life!)