May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday!


Today is Jeramy's 31st birthday.  We celebrated by hanging out at McDaniel Farm Park with church family and grilling lean pork chops, burgers and franks.  It was a gorgeous day, full of sunshine and moderate temperatures.  I totally forgot to bring my camera to our lunch celebration, but I took a picture of the birthday man afterwards, when he volunteered to masterfully craft a wonderful dinner dish creation - sauteed tuna, onions, peppers & mushrooms, combined with cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, fresh grated parmesan cheese and whole wheat shell pasta and steamed broccoli - yummy in the tummy!

Happy Birthday Jeramy!

May 29, 2009

Our Garden

After 3 weeks, our garden is doing very well!  Jeramy has a wonderful green thumb - the advantages of growing up on a farm!  Our Cherry Tomato plant actually has three little green tomatoes already!  It's awesome!  And our squash is busting loose!  
(I feel like bustin' loose, bustin' loose . . . )



Funny Friday



It's plastic!

:-D

This badge was given to Jeramy as a joke by one of his superiors.


May 28, 2009

A House Choice

Well, after viewing about 45 houses, Mom has finally settled on one and the realtor is drawing up a contract as we speak.  Praise God!  Perhaps she will have a place when she returns in two weeks after closing on her house in VA, June 12th.  

I think that she's thoroughly tired of viewing homes now and just anxious to secure the one she's chosen.  If you click here and search by Street Name and type in "Raventhorpe" and search, 5062 Raventhorpe Ct will appear and you can see 16 pictures of the property and interior rooms.  I pray that she will be able to secure this house and be satisfied with it.  So, we rejoice!


May 26, 2009

Moriah at 18 Months


Moriah is 18 months old today!  She's doing extremely well on the potty and we're all very excited!  I don't have any stats regarding her height and weight until her June 4th doctor's appointment.  

She's fallen in love with the outdoors.  Jeramy, in an attempt to assure that she will not develop nature deficit disorder (psychological term for the inability to identify basic animals and plants), takes her out often for strolls and to play in some of our garden dirt.  She loves to walk in the grass and pick up every stick, pine cone, and leaf.

Moriah sleeps about 11-12 hours a night (like heaven!) and 2-3 hours for her afternoon naps.  She has begun to use her fork and spoon about half of the time she eats and she's leaving less of a food deposit on the floor afterwards and she picks up her toys.  She likes to help with laundry and dishes.  

She loves her Daddy's milk chocolate chip cookies, spaghetti, spicy Mexican food, ice cream and grapes.

She waves to almost everyone and loves to smile and talk up a storm, except on the telephone.

We are very blessed to have her.

May 25, 2009

Two Things, Real Quick

First: Moriah peed in the potty again last night and tonight!  That's four nights in a row!  YEAH, Moriah!!

Second: Our mothers went out all day Saturday, Sunday and again today looking at houses.  After viewing about 35-40, Mom will have to narrow it down to about 3-4 and hopefully get one under contract this week.  Some houses they've seen have been awesome and others . . . not so awesome.  Mom really likes the Suwanee area.  We'll see what she chooses - it's a buyers market.  Which is good for Jeramy and I, as we will look for a house this summer.

May 23, 2009

The Potty!

Moriah has peed in the potty about 5 times total this past month!  She peed two nights in a row, last night and tonight!  I'm so excited!  I think she's beginning to understand what I'm asking her to do when I tell her, "Moriah, pee pee in the potty."  And when she does - whoo boy, do I have a royal cow!  I squeal and yell and shout and dance and make her laugh as hard as I can.  :-)  I usually don't go overboard in emotion in a whole lot of things, so for her to see me be crazy - it's a big deal.  :-)  Tonight both grandmothers got to witness the wonderful yellow liquid in the bottom of the potty and also had a little party!

Does anyone have any ideas about potty training they would like to share?

Our Growing Garden

I was reminded of this passage of Scripture as we have been watching our dirt, waiting for our herb seeds to germinate:

And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Truly, truly, I way to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.
John 12:23-25





May 21, 2009

Funny Friday: Toddler Talk

Moriah is really quite a talker, until you put the phone up to her ear!  :-D 

Here are some of the funny things she says:
all done
bah pee
(diaper or potty)
baby
bay pds 
(grapes)
bee 
(bear)
bah pf
(buckle)
chee oh 
(Cheerio)
cheese
datz 
(socks)
Daddy
Mommy
nose
sheesh 
(shoes)
nnah na 
(banana)
tay doo 
(thank you)
uh-oh
wah wah 
(water)

:-)

Here is a funny video of kids.  My favorites are:
the girl on the stairmaster trying to burn off the excess baby weight!  :-D,
the boy eating because he has to,
and the one with the water hosed diaper.  :-D



Note: we can assume that since kids are so resilient, that none of them were harmed in the making of this short compilation, otherwise the parents might not have shared.

May 20, 2009

Comforts

Giver of all good,

Streams upon streams of love overflow my path.
Thou hast made me out of nothing,
hast recalled me from a far country,
hast translated me from ignorance to knowledge,
from darkness to light,
from death to life,
from misery to peace,
from folly to wisdom,
from error to truth,
from sin to victory.
Thanks be to thee for my high and holy calling.
I bless thee for ministering angels,
for the comfort of thy Word,
for the ordinances of thy church,
for the teaching of thy Spirit,
for thy holy sacraments,
for the communion of saints,
for Christian fellowship,
for the recorded annals of holy lives,
for examples sweet to allure,
for beacons sad to deter.
Thy will is in all thy provisions
to enable me to grow in grace,
and to be meet for thy eternal presence.
My heaven-born faith gives promise of eternal sight,
my new birth a pledge of never-ending life.
I draw near to thee, knowing thou wilt draw near
to me.
I ask of thee, believing thou hast already given.
I entrust myself to thee, for thou hast redeemed me.
I bless and adore thee, the eternal God,
for the comfort of these thoughts, 
the joy of these hopes.

[Hallelujah!  Amen.]


(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Ed. Arthur Bennett.  Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.  pp 300-301.)

May 19, 2009

Green Light: Cloth Diapers

Yesterday I received a box of Kushies Diaper Wraps and Diaper Liners in the mail.  I'm so excited to embark on this journey!  I washed them and tonight, Moriah has gone to bed wearing a new cloth diaper.  The smell in the morning will be a little rough (understatement!) but I'll get over it (maybe).  

Basically Baby has diaper covers less expensive than the other guys and they offer free shipping on all orders.

I'm still working on the diaper sprayer.  I attempted to make one off of a do-it-yourself tutorial on Gidget Goes Home, but my toilet supply line is 1/2" not 3/8", so I've had a slight hang-up, but that's okay because we're going cloth!

And Jeramy is excited about the financial stewardship and he's not shying away from the added work!

Woo hoo!

May 18, 2009

I Need Thee Every Hour

These last days have gotten progressively more and more stressful as I anticipate my mother moving down to live near us.  My entire attitude and spirit have been affected as I battle the easy tendency to let that stress morph into anxiety.  Over the past week, as I've prayed without ceasing, the Holy Spirit has reminded me of this passage:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

And yesterday I read in chapter 17 verse 3 of Proverbs:

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the LORD tests hearts.

I was reminded of a sermon illustration: when you squeeze an orange, what comes out?  Orange juice.  When a person is squeezed, what comes out?  Often a lot of sin that needs sanctifying.  You can really tell what's inside a person when you apply an ample amount of pressure.

Today as I poured my heart out to the Lord, desiring the peace and joy that accompany the realization of the fullness and sufficiency of Christ, I praise the Lord that He relieved my anxiety so that I could say:

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, 
Your consolations delight my soul.
Psalm 94:19

Jeramy also reminded me of this passage as I take every thought captive to Christ:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

How appropriate that a homemaking woman penned the text to the hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour!  I certainly do!



 I Need Thee Every Hour

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

(Refrain)
I need Thee, o I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee.
O bless me now my Savior I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

I need Thee every hour, teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.


May 17, 2009

A Political Proverb

It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts,
For a throne is established on righteousness.
Proverbs 16:12




There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 16:25


(I have no idea about that weird frog thing at the end!  Some strange logo I guess.)

May 16, 2009

God, The Source of All Good

O Lord God, who inhabitest eternity,

The heavens declare thy glory,
The earth thy riches,
The universe is thy temple;
Thy presence fills immensity,
Yet thou hast of thy pleasure created life,
and communicated happiness;
Thou hast made me what I am, and given me
what I have;
In thee I live and move and have my being;
Thy providence has set the bounds of my habitation,
and wisely administers all my affairs.
I thank thee for thy riches to me in Jesus,
for the unclouded revelation of him in thy Word,
where I behold his Person, character, grace, glory,
humiliation, sufferings, death, and resurrection;
Give me to feel a need of his continual saviourhood,
and cry with Job, 'I am vile',
with Peter, 'I perish', 
with the publican, 'Be merciful to me, a sinner'.
Subdue in me the love of sin,
Let me know the need of renovation as well as 
of forgiveness,
in order to serve and enjoy thee for ever.
I come to thee in the all-prevailing name of Jesus,
with nothing of my own to plead,
no works, no worthiness, no promises.
I am often straying,
often knowingly opposing thy authority,
often abusing thy goodness;
Much of my guilt arises from my religious privileges,
my low estimation of them,
my failure to use them to my advantage,
But I am not careless of thy favour or regardless of thy glory;
Impress me deeply with a sense of thine
omnipresence, that thou art about my path,
my ways, my lying down, my end.

[AMEN!]


(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Ed. Arthur Bennett.  Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.  pp 6-7.)

May 15, 2009

Funny Friday

David Dean is another Christian comedian I found on YouTube.
Here he is talking about gender differences in regards to humor.  
:-)



The Stewardship of Our Bodies, part 3

Today I hope that you will be encouraged to honor God in all things regarding your body, whether food, drink, tattoos, dress, etc.  Let us (me too) remind ourselves of a few Scripture passages:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10

Two things must be first and foremost as we consider the stewardship of our bodies:
  1. Godly motivation - that we are not doing this to wear whatever clothes we prefer, or because we receive a lot of social pressure, or any other earthly reason.  We are doing this because this is a way that we can honor and glorify a holy and righteous God, the Creator and Redeemer of our bodies.  We are not just spiritual beings, we are physical also and we are accountable for the things done in the body.
  2. Discipline - there is no method of weight loss or healthy living in which we will succeed if we lack discipline and self-control!  We can count our calories, go to Weight Watchers meetings, get Curves gym memberships, etc. but if we do not remain faithful and consistent in the new habits - to be disciplined in them - any attempts will fail terribly and we'll become discouraged by our own making!  

But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.  On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:7-9

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Hebrews 12:11

Here are some helpful tips as we consider glorifying Christ with the bodies He redeemed.

Surround yourself with support.  Tell a few individuals who will encourage you as you seek to honor the Lord in this way.

Find an accountability partner.  Find a wonderfully honest person to speak the truth to you in love who will ask you the tough questions, "what did you eat today?" "Did you exceed your calorie or points limit for the day?"  "How much weight have you lost this week?"  "How many times did you eat fast food this week?"  "Do you think that third doughnut really honors God?"  "How many times did you exercise this week?"  etc.

Don't deprive yourself of your cravings.  If you really like ice cream (amen!), get a healthy name, Breyer's, and only eat one serving a day.  Or if you like cheesecake (amen!) take note of how much a serving is and be conservative the rest of the day.  If we deprive ourselves of some of the things we really like, then when we do get them, we go crazy overboard and eat the entire box of cookies instead of pacing ourselves like we should.

Find an exercise buddy.  If you like to go to the gym or walk in your own neighborhood, take someone with you.  Not only will you enjoy the fellowship, but you're doing something good for the body also.  This person could double as your accountability/support partner.

Keep a food diary.  Seeing the foods I've consumed really kept me accountable with what I've eaten that day.

Don't get discouraged if we slip for one day or one meal.  Keep pressing on!  Pick it back up the next day or remainder of the day.  Now, if we continue slipping day after day - then our accountability partner should kick in, put our noses to the grindstone and tell us to exercise more self-control and personal discipline for godliness.

Don't let yourself get bored with exercise.  Whatever it is that you like to do that's active - find a way to do it.  If you hate to be indoors while sweating, then go out.  If you prefer soccer over kickboxing, then indulge yourself.  Enjoy doing the exercise that suits you.  And don't succumb to laziness (preach it!).  If you cannot exercise, then be disciplined with your eating habits, again keep in mind the motivation for godliness.  God knows what you're capable of.

Give yourself some time.  If you're trying to lose weight, don't try to lose it all overnight.  It might take several months to reach your fitness goals.

Make lifestyle changes that you're willing to live with permanently.  Start with a small change and get comfortable with it before making another change.  Eating salads twice a day might not be the best change that you can keep the rest of your life.

Eliminate unnecessary temptations.  Just because that box of Little Debbie Snack Cakes are selling buy one get one free, doesn't mean you need to buy them!  The calories are not eat one eat another one free!

Set short-term and long-term goals for every week, every month, and in one year.

Don't give up.  Our pursuit is glorifying Christ.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Our joy comes from honoring Him in obedience.  Remember that we are relying on God's grace to accomplish all things.

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9


Here are some more tips from Fitness Magazine.



May 13, 2009

The Stewardship of Our Bodies, part 2

After the conviction from the Holy Spirit, I repented of my sin of physical carelessness, i.e. gluttony.  Here is another pivotal Scripture to which we can consider in regards to the stewardship of our physical bodies:

What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?  May it never be!  How shall we who died to sin still live in it?  Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.
 . . . 
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.  Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go one presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:1-14

By God's divine providence the only job I could immediately get at that time was at a women's gym!  I completed a workout 5 to 6 days a week which included cardio and strength training with both free weights and machines.  I began to slowly change my eating habits by monitoring my portion sizes and eating more fruits and vegetables.  I weighed myself once a week at the same time everyday after similar activities with similar clothing so that all things besides my weight would be equal.

I began to get frustrated as my weight would remain the same after 4 weeks.  My coworkers encouraged me that I was gaining muscle mass and to continue in my efforts.  I began to keep a food diary.  It convicted me to be further disciplined with the contents of what I was eating, seeing it all written down.

After learning that it was necessary to consume at least 1200 calories a day to function or else the body would go into starvation mode, I was concerned that I might not be eating enough and began to count my calories.  

First I went to Fitness Magazine online and found their Caloric Needs Calculator to determine how many calories I needed in order to maintain my current weight.  In order to lose weight, I needed to consume fewer calories than what I needed to maintain, about 500 calories less.

Now my food diary was also used to count my daily caloric intake.  This was very helpful because I could eat whatever foods I had a craving for, :-D, as long as I remained within my caloric goal for the day.  I used a food calorie database, Calorie King, and found the quantity of calories in all the foods most anyone ever eats, I just had to measure how much of what I was eating.

After the first 4 weeks of muscle gain, while continuing the discipline of exercise and calorie counting, the weight (fat) came off easier than I anticipated.  I lost a total of 34 pounds from August to December and went from 184 to 150 pounds, a size 12/14 to 8/10!  When I started my measurements were 40.5, 41, 45 and I finished at 38.25, 33, 39.5, that's chest, abdominals, hips!

Anyone looking to honor and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ with the one body they've been given, which was created by God, purchased with the blood of Christ, by losing weight or adopting healthier eating habits can do so.  Be encouraged: you CAN do it!  

Stay tuned for some helpful healthy living/weight loss tips in the final part 3 of The Stewardship of Our Bodies.


May 12, 2009

The Stewardship of Our Bodies, part 1

After meeting my wonderful husband-to-be, I was convicted about the stewardship of my body.  By this I mean treating the body I've been given as though it were mine, especially in regards to the sin of gluttony.  America is very decadent and every luxury is at our fingertips.  The waistline of the average American has been getting increasingly wider.  So much so that bus seats, subway seats, hospital wheelchairs and beds, and the like have been modified to contain our expanding derri√®res and bellies.  

What about the cry during the feminist movement that essentially proclaims, "let's take back ownership of our bodies," with the rise of birth control and abortion.  "It's a woman's right to choose what she should do with her own body," they say.  It's a woman's right to choose unprotected, promiscuous sex and the consequences of pregnancy thereafter.  After all, it's her body.

For believers, we must cry out against this with an emphatic, "NO!"  These two Scriptures are what convicted me most.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.  Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them.  Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.  Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.  
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?  Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?  May it never be!  Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her?  For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH."  But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  

Flee immorality.  Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 
1 Corinthians 6:12-20

This passage is specifically referring to sexual immorality among members of the Body, but note the principles Paul states:
  1. The Lord is for the body; the body is not for sinful purposes.
  2. As the believer is joined to the Lord, so his/her body is joined to a perfect, holy, righteous Lord Jesus Christ, we are one spirit with Him.
  3. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  It is where God dwells.  
  4. We do not belong to ourselves because Christ purchased us from the power of sin by the blood of His cross!
  5. Everything we do with our bodies should glorify and honor the Lord. 
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
1 Corinthians 10:31

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:17 

There is no sinful purpose for which I can allow my body to willingly undertake after receiving the conviction of the Holy Spirit, whether that be birth control, gluttony, bodily mutilations like excessive piercings, etc.

This is the second passage in the following chapter that continued to convict me about claiming ownership of my own body.

The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
1 Corinthians 7:3-4

So now I understood that as a believing single person, my body belonged to the Lord and as I was about to be married, and now am, my body belongs first to the Lord and second to my husband.  No where have I found that my body belongs to me and me alone, although I am completely responsible for the things I do with and to my body.

Therefore, I could not honor God through my body by eating whatever and however much I wanted.  I was not an overly obese person (I weighed about 185 pounds) and I still exercised about 3 times per week.  Eating the entire bag of Tostitos lime tortilla chips and the entire jar of salsa is not honoring the blood which bought me.  Nor eating any other sweet, salty, cheesy, gooey, chocolatey, crunchy substance without restraint until my stomach told me, "no more" is not God-glorifying either.

After the Holy Spirit convicted with the Truth of God's Word, I began to look at everything differently and realized that I needed to change my eating habits and lose weight for the glory of God, my Father.


May 11, 2009

Creation Ministry

Going to church as I was growing up, I knew basic Bible stories, could locate passages in Scripture, listened to Sunday School lessons and sermons all of which taught that God created the heavens and the earth. All of this instruction I received in about 3-4 hours per week. None of those teachers presented any scientific evidence on which to base the Creation account.

However, going to public school, I heard a very different version. God was taken completely out of the picture and I was taught that all of life began rather spontaneously out of nothing: water, electricity, various debris, etc. and that life started as bacteria which evolved over billions of years into everything we see today by random genetic mutations and natural selection. This atheist Darwinian evolution was being reinforced repeatedly over more than 40 hours per week.

In my young mind, I didn't think anything of it. I knew that for school I had to repeat what was taught on tests to make good grades and I knew that the same applied in church to win favor and pridefully show off what I could recall.

In high school I fell in love with a few things, biology being one of them. Shortly after I became a believer at 17, I began to rationalize a marriage between these two schools of thought: creation and evolution. Perhaps one day was as a thousand years or an age (The Day/Age Theory). Or maybe there was a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 where the dinosaurs lived and died (The Gap Theory). Somehow, I knew that God had created the world and everything in it, but as to the method with which He used, I had no clue and just accepted it by faith, still regurgitating information to make good grades in public school.

I continued with this shallow view of creation (Deistic Evolution), until I met my wonderful husband, Jeramy, who was very much "The Creation Guy". He introduced me to Answers in Genesis and told me about their Creation Museum. Completely intrigued, I willingly watched creation media which explains in scientific detail the presuppositions behind the "billions of years" and radioisotope dating methods. Other videos I've seen explain irreducibly complex systems (like all the individual components for reproduction, for example) which testify to a Creator and present a strong case against evolution and natural selection.

Well, now I'm convinced that Darwinian evolution scientists are the ones really accepting their belief system and presuppositions by faith. They hold onto it so tightly, they deceive themselves. If Biblical authority in Genesis is compromised then the rest of the Bible means nothing. If you can't believe what is written in the first 10 pages, then what grounds would anyone have to accept what comes after that? If God didn't create the universe, physical and spiritual, in 6 days then maybe Christ wasn't born of a virgin, maybe Christ didn't even rise from the dead! As believers our reading and understanding of the truth of Scripture must remain consistent if we're going to live and evangelize the Gospel.

I encourage you to check out the Answers in Genesis website in my link list and find the answers to the questions you have about Creation, the Flood, people groups, etc. See this snippet of Ken Ham, founder of AiG, give a lesson. (Note the video is provided by cynical evolutionists.)

Also, my friend Erin at A Full Heart is conducting a DVD giveaway which includes some of their material provided by Vision Forum. Check out her popular, encouraging blog also. (Vision Forum DVD giveaway) My husband, Jeramy, has a wonderfully, educational blog that engages the issues of our postmodern era at The Jeramy Anderson Evangelistic Association also in my link list on the right sidebar.

May 10, 2009

Potty!

Moriah has given me a wonderful Mother's Day gift . . . 

She pee peed in the potty!!!

After her bath, I dried her off and sat her on the potty while I finished up with Lily.  Then I drained the tub and told Moriah that she may get up.  Twenty minutes later when I cleaned out the tub, I looked in the potty and she had produced a wonderful yellow liquid in the bottom.

I holler and shout and scream and sing, "Pee pee in the potty.  Pee pee in the potty."  I point to it and smile and shout some more!

Yay!!!

May 9, 2009

For Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers and grandmothers!

What makes a mother?  
Not the ability to conceive, for there are mothers who are not able to conceive.  

What makes a mother?
Not the choice she makes to keep the child, kill the child or give him up for adoption.  Because even those who deny the fruit of their womb, in God's eyes, are still parents.

What makes a mother?
Not the ability to endure the pains of labor, for there are many who do not.

What makes a mother?
Not the ability to breastfeed, for there are some who cannot.

What makes a mother?
A woman with:
The willingness to put someone else's needs ahead of her wants.
The realization that someone else's life is just as important as her own.
The vision to see the potential and innocence of babies, though still affected by the Fall.
The courage to take responsibility.
The strength to physically care for another person.
The grace of God to do all these things well.
The dependence on God to rely on His promises out of His goodness.
The wisdom to train a child up to fear, love and worship God in Jesus Christ.
The God-given ability to nurture, as at woman's creation.
The perseverance to supply the rod of discipline at the appropriate time and severity as warranted.
The spiritual insight to know that through woman God gives the gift of physical life and that by the Holy Spirit God gives the gift of spiritual life.
And the humility to know that all this revelation comes through Christ by the kindness of God.

Enjoy these comedy clips on natural child birth.
Bill Cosby: Himself


Really Easy Meat and Cheese Balls

Do you make your own meatballs for your recipes or do you buy them pre-made? I have a very easy recipe for homemade meatballs I got from my Mom. They're so easy that you can add them to spaghetti, soups, swedish recipes, sweet & sour meatball recipes (see Menus 4 Moms), and others galore! They're easy to freeze. Yay, meatballs!

Way Too Easy Meatballs
1 pound of lean ground beef
1/4 cup or 1/3 cup of bread crumbs*
salt & pepper
other spices you may like
egg (optional)

Mix well all the ingredients together in a bowl and form the meat into balls. If you're making soup, drop raw meatballs into the boiling soup or spaghetti to cook thoroughly, about 10 to 15 minutes. If you're adding meatballs that need to be thoroughly cooked before going into the dish (sweet & sour for example) then you can place them on a microwave bacon tray and nuke them for 5-6 minutes depending on how large your meatballs are. That's what makes them super easy and you drain excess fat while cooking on the bacon tray!

*You can make your own homemade breadcrumbs by toasting bread and grinding in a food processor. It makes a lot of crumbs, it's easier to count the calories too and you can season your breadcrumbs any way you like.

Jeramy likes the singed taste of the skillet instead of the microwave, which seals in flavor better, but the meatballs lose their shape as you try to turn them to cook thoroughly.

What about cheese balls? My Mom makes a really awesome Chicken Cheese Ball. I've misplaced my recipe card, but it essentially goes like this:

Chicken Cheese Ball
8 oz Cream Cheese
10 - 13 oz can of white meat chicken*
dash of Worcestershire sauce
paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper to taste preferrence
crushed nuts or wheat germ

Combine all the ingredients except the nuts or germ and mix very well by hand or in a food processor. Form into a ball and roll or press nuts onto the outside. Ta da! Serve with crackers or it's also great as a sandwich spread. Click here for a picture.

*If you already have cooked chicken left over, use 8 oz packed of shredded chicken.

Last Sunday at church I prepared a cheese ball using only a flavored cream cheese and crushed nuts and it was a hit. Yeah, that was easy!




May 8, 2009

Funny Friday

My baby girls aren't old enough to be able to say, "I dun no".  But I know the day is coming.  Enjoy this snippet.  We own the DVD and I bust a gut whenever I watch it.

Bill Cosby
Himself

May 7, 2009

The Power of Words

Lately I have considered the power of our words.  My first thought of all, was how Christ is the Word.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
John 1:1-3

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.  For of His fullness we have all received and grace upon grace.  For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.  No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
John 1:14,16-18

The Word is eternal, self-sufficient, uncreated, powerful and authoritative.  The Word is the Creator; the Word gives life and Light.  The Word, which was spirit initially, has taken a physical form, dwelling among a fallen humanity originally created in the image of God as the peak of His glorious creation.  The original glory of humanity was forfeited in the Fall, but Christ exhibits an even greater glory than has ever been seen - the glory of God Himself.  The Word is also described as being full of grace and truth.  This grace is without measure, for just as God is eternal and infinite in His fullness, so is His grace.  The power of God's grace in the Word, who is Christ, is powerful enough to effect a change in sinful individuals who, as a result, repent and receive salvation.  God's power as the Word, Christ, is limitless.

My second thought was the Scripture as the Word, breathed out by the Spirit of God.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.  
2 Samuel 22:31 NIV

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 NIV

What are words but breath exhaled over the vocal chords, shaped and formed into consonants and vowels with the aid of the mouth.  If the spoken Word at Creation, "And God said . . .", was powerful enough to create everything from nothing, then it is effective enough for all of our living, physical and spiritual.  And what is the Word of God, but that which He spoke and is, of His grace, recorded accurately for our benefit and accountability.  

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
Deuteronomy 8:3 NASB

Scripture also calls the Gospel, or God's commands, the Word of God and the word of truth.
 
But [Jesus] answered and said to them, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it."
Luke 8:21

The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Acts 6:7

So, it stands to reason, therefore, that since the Word of God is so powerful as to create everything into existence, to give life and rescue those who are spiritual dead by effecting a salvation by grace through faith - that words incite action.  Our words have impact on those who hear.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

I confess that oftentimes I speak without regards to the person listening.  Sometimes the words I say, or the words others say, do not impart grace, but on the contrary suck the joy out of someone else's heart.  When believers speak, we must be conscious of those who are listening and guard our tongues.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.
James 1:26

The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; 
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 13:3

But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
Matthew 12:36

Whoa, that's convicting!  Sometimes the words we say can create a joy vacuum, or can convey critical or judgmental thoughts.  There have been many nights in my short life, where I have lost sleep over the words that have been spoken to me by believers and non-believers alike!  The power of our words can hurt, heal, encourage, edify, teach, rebuke, correct, discipline, nag, complain, reveal anxiety, reveal evil and malicious intents, and even tear down our homes without the use of our hands!  (Prov. 14:1)

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
Matthew 12:34b

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

How easy it is for a woman to let her feelings, emotions and thoughts create a flood of words, of which we may or may not realize their potential effects on those who hear.  How often do we "vent" or "collect" our thoughts verbally, audibly, with little regard for the person listening, while they provide a ministry to us in their listening!  How much more relieved do we feel, as women, when we've unloaded all our thoughts onto some unsuspecting listener and call it fellowship?  

What we need is heart transformation, heart transplantation.  If our hearts are changed, if we see the glory and beauty of the holiness of God, repent in utter humility (I preach to myself also!), then grace will be given to us to take "every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corin. 10:5)  Our hope, as we obey Christ, is that the abundance that will flow from our hearts over time and practice will be full of the same grace and truth as the Word who is Christ.   

Moments Together


Two nights ago, Jeramy and I made milk chocolate chip cookies together!  It's just a little way that we could do something fun and yummy while enjoying each other's company by ourselves.  The marriage always comes before the children, for the blessing of children is the fruit of a loving relationship between husband and wife.

Also, last night we got our deck garden started!  We're so excited!  From left to right we planted two squash plants, a cherry tomato, two other tomato plants and a green pepper plant.  On the front row: a red pepper, cilantro, empty (in waiting), jalapeno pepper, banana pepper and green pepper.  Inside we're germinating oregano and chives.  

Jeramy and I had so much fun digging, planting and watering.  We can't wait to see the fruit of our labor!  (Glide your mouse over the pictures to see the captions.)


May 6, 2009

Moriah's Birth Story

Jeramy and I became pregnant with Moriah on our honeymoon, probably the third day of our marriage!  We had decided before our wedding to accept whatever the Lord gives, whenever and however many He may give - all accepted, on my part, by faith!  :-)  My pregnancy with Moriah was very easy physically because I remained as much physically active as when I wasn't pregnant, exercising 5 to 6 days a week by walking, kickboxing, strength training, swimming and other cardiovascular workouts.  However, I struggled up until labor with nausea and vomiting daily.  As a result, I gained only 28 pounds with Moriah.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, 2007, Jeramy and I attended church as usual and nothing was out of the ordinary all day.  That night, after engaging in *normal marital activities* (hint, hint), about 5 minutes later, at 11 p.m., my water broke accompanied immediately by mild contractions roughly 6 to 7 minutes apart.  However I thought that it was unusual bladder leakage and not my water because it trickled out with every contraction - not a big gush and not like a constant flow, like a faucet.  When I tried to lay down to sleep, I could not because the contractions prevented me.  

After lying there for about 60 minutes, I got up to walk around, testing whether or not they were real.  For the next 30 minutes I paced the floor and the contractions got closer together.  Then Jeramy and I waited 30 more minutes and they became more painful, but I could still walk and talk normally.  I kept putting off going to the hospital because I wasn't completely sure I was in labor, being the first time and all.  But by 2 a.m. we left for the hospital in Statesboro, GA.  

We arrived at the hospital at 2:30 a.m. and the nursing staff didn't take me seriously because of our activities* over the previous hours.  It took quite a while for me to check in, signing all the paperwork.  Once I got to the LDR, the nurse left me and Jeramy and we were all alone in the room for about 20 minutes.  The nurse would come in, here and there, checking me and getting me to get undressed.  At one point before 3 a.m. they checked my cervix and I was 7 cm and they took a sample of the fluid to see if it was, in fact, amniotic fluid.

After more time than we would have liked, more nurses entered the room and got me on the bed and the contractions were so over bearing by that time, my hopes of survival were fading fast.  I had never experienced pain of that magnitude ever in my life!  Previously I had wanted a natural childbirth, but in that moment - I screamed for drugs!  I literally thought I was not going to live through this experience!  I began to feel the need to push, but I resisted because I didn't want to wear myself out if I was going to end up pushing a long time.  I wanted someone to tell me that it was okay to push.  

The nurse with the lab results finally returned; yes, it was my water that was broken.  They checked my cervix again and I was fully dilated.  I assumed the labor position and screamed with all my might as I pushed Moriah's head out.  I pushed about 3 or 4 times and she was born at 3:19 a.m. delivered by the nurses.  Immediately they took her to the side to clean her off.  Moriah cried just for a few minutes and was looking all around.  I was so infinitely relieved that I had survived that intense pain without drugs.  I came to find out that the anesthesiologist was standing in the hallway waiting until my work-up was complete.  He never entered the room!  :-)

My O.B. doctor arrived about 3 minutes too late and missed the birth.  But she was there to deliver the afterbirth and sew me up.  I got to see Moriah but I didn't get to hold her after the delivery.  They were concerned about her breathing rapidly and took her to be observed and get tests.  In hindsight, I wish I would have been more insistent about holding her, but I can't go back.  As a result, I didn't get to attempt breastfeeding until about 6 hours later.

I thank God so much for Moriah!  She has been an incredible source of sanctification for me!  Through her, God has exposed so much selfishness, self-centeredness, discontentment and foolishness and weeded it out of me so that I am able to have so much more joy I would have never known if I hadn't become a mother.  Now I can have more patience, contentment, grace and kindness.  She has been a wonderful blessing to both Jeramy and me and I could never imagine what it would be like to be married without her.  Moriah is our honeymoon baby!


May 4, 2009

Lily's Birth Story

The pregnancy went pretty smoothly, apart from a huge weight gain of 45 pounds!  During the entire pregnancy we were chomping at the bit because of the due date and issues with insurance.  All of our prenatal care, ultrasounds, blood/glucose tests, etc., we had to pay out of pocket until 1/1/2009.  So I was doing my best to lay low physically until Jan. 1 so that we would not, in any way, induce labor, apart from God acting on His own initiative and will.  

After Jan 1, I resumed my normal activities and went shopping at Super Walmart on Saturday the 3rd which wore me out.  Everything was pretty normal the rest of the day until I laid down to bed about midnight.  As soon as I laid down I felt some contractions.  They were about 7-8 minutes apart and not at all serious but they were regular and effective enough to keep me from falling asleep.  So I got up and paced the floor for about 30 minutes and they increased to about 4-5 minutes apart but still no serious pain yet.  I laid back down and they resumed the 7-8 minute intervals.

Back and forth it went.  Finally at 2:30 a.m. I called the midwife who told me that I have plenty of time and to try and get some rest.  She advised that I drink some cold water, get a snack, and pay attention to baby's movements.  Well, after I drank the cold water - BAM!  Not five minutes later I had serious, painful, yeah . . . this is it, contractions every 3-4 minutes.  I called the midwife again and told her that I was going to the hospital - even though she kept telling me to wait 60 minutes with these contractions.  I knew I didn't have that much time!  I woke up Jeramy and we both got dressed.  At 3 a.m. I call the Cassidy's, a wonderful family from church, and Karen comes over.  During those 10 minutes after I called them, Jeramy is going frantic saying, "Where is she?!  Why is it taking so long?!" with every passing contraction, his anxiety increases.  :-)  Wonderful Mrs. Karen arrives dressed and smiling.  I'm already in the car, focusing to breathe, praying we make it to the hospital before she comes out.

We left the house at 3:15 a.m. or so.  It was raining and Jeramy couldn't drive as fast as we would have liked, but he did get to run a few red lights with our flashers on, of course.  :-)  Who's on the road at 3 a.m. anyway?  We arrived at the hospital at about 3:30 a.m. or so and they checked me in rather quickly, thanks to Jeramy's promptings, then they check my cervix.  I was about 5 cm dilated and they admitted me.  After undressing, they checked me again about 5-10 minutes later and I was 7 or 8 cm.  It happened so fast, I don't remember as specifically as I did four months ago.  :-)

The nurses wheeled me into the LDR and on the way down the hall, I began to feel the need to push.  The midwife arrived and was about to check me but once I got to the LDR, accompanying the need to push, I felt her head coming also.  So I pushed and my water broke.  After I told the nurses that my water just broke (not my bladder), the midwife checked me and verified, "yep, that's the head!"  I assumed the labor position and pushed once and took a deep breath of relief.  Then I pushed again and out came Lily at 4:15 a.m.  Right after she came out they laid her on my belly and she was slimy, covered with white gunk.  And I was so surprised that she was SOO pale.  She had not taken her first breath yet.  I don't remember if Jeramy cut the cord or not.  Then they took her and cleaned her off and she began to cry.  

After delivering the placenta, they sewed me up and Lily was still crying.  After the clean-up I got to hold her and nurse her.  As I held her and studied her face, I was still quite shocked at her color.  She was no longer pale white, like a sheet, but pink.  VERY pink!  A black woman just delivered a white, WHITE, PINK!, baby!  

But from the moment I held her, there was a flood of joy, inexpressible, unpredictable, that I never thought I would experience, that I've never ever experienced prior to her birth.  I could only really attribute that to a gift from Christ.  I didn't experience that amount of joy when Moriah was born (it was the same incredible amount of relief).  I got to hold her as we moved into our hospital room and it's been nothing but joy since, even with the middle of the night feedings.  There are occasional moments where she cries for an unknown reason, but she still brings me so much joy!  If we had stopped at one child, we would have never known this beautiful little girl.  If there is going to be this much joy with each successive child, why not have as many as God would allow?!  Jeramy and I are so thankful to have Lily and Moriah in our lives.  I pray I can raise them to be godly, gracious women that they might be a blessing to some strong, godly men one day.  

May 3, 2009

Lily Is Four Months!

Lily is four months old!  It's so crazy how time flies - literally!  It seems like only yesterday I was pregnant with her and on my way to the hospital - FAST!  (But that's a whole other blog post.)  She has begun strengthening her legs, feet and ankles by standing when held.  She makes the most adorable baby noises, cooing, throat gargling, all of which makes my heart melt and my face smile.  :-D  She enjoys tummy time and sucking her fingers while awake and sucking her thumb when she's sleepy.  When I lay her down for her naps and finally to bed at night, she doesn't so much as whine or cry to lull herself to sleep - in goes the thumb and just a few minutes later, she's in Sleepy Town.  

Currently, I'm teaching her to roll over.  She has done so about two times on her own, but I attribute that to the incline of our bed.  :-)  She has great eye-hand coordination and prefers reaching for my hand and fingers during play.  At home and on outings, she is very low maintenance.  She will usually sit quietly, held or not, just sucking her fingers or people-watching.  Sometimes she'll talk to herself or maybe it's the angels.  :-)  When she's tired then she becomes the most vocal, though it's not crying outright - just talking.  

The sin nature is starting to come out more.  Sometimes she will cry impatiently waiting to eat.  If you wait too long to put her down for a nap, her talking becomes more amplified and turns quickly into a cry or holler.  A few times I have caught her crying just for one-on-one attention, which, I don't think I could totally be labeled sin or not.  :-)

She is still breastfeeding exclusively.  She has never taken a bottle in any form.  Just before she eats, she often smacks her lips. :-D  And sometimes, she'll come up from the breast and take a break just to talk to me!  I'm so thankful that breastfeeding is going so well.  I really have no idea when we'll stop; I'll just re-evaluate every three months or so, I guess.  I have no intention of stopping this month.

Lily is pretty soon going to catch up to her sister in regards to weight.  About 3 weeks ago she was just about 12 pounds.  She's probably around 12.5 or 13 by now!  Moriah still hasn't hit the 20 pound mark yet - so I think that Lily will be bigger than she by her first birthday.

Her sleeping through the night, 7 to 8 consecutive hours, has not been as consistent as I would like.  Her illness has really thrown her off and we're still trying to adjust from all of that.  She has the ability to sleep through the night, but her feeding schedule must remain really strict in order for that to happen - every 2 hours during the day.

Moriah is my princess and Lily is my sunshine!  Jeramy and both of these girls have been the biggest blessings to me in the past 2.5 years!



May 2, 2009

The Mover

O Supreme Moving Cause,
May I always be subordinate to thee,
be dependent upon thee, 
be found in the path where thou dost walk,
and where thy Spirit moves,
take heed of estrangement from thee,
of becoming insensible to thy love.
Thou dost not move men like stones,
but dost endue them with life,
not to enable them to move without thee,
but in submission to thee, the first mover.
O Lord, I am astonished at the difference
between my receivings and my deservings,
between the state I am now in and my past
gracelessness,
between the heaven I am bound for and
the hell I merit.
Who made me to differ, but thee?
for I was no more ready to receive Christ 
than were others;
I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not
first loved me,
or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so.
O that such a crown should fit the head of such
a sinner!
such high advancement be for an unfruitful
person!
such joys for so vile a rebel!
Infinite wisdom cast the design of salvation
into the mould of purchase and freedom;
Let wrath deserved be written on the door of hell,
But the free gift of grace on the gate of heaven.
I know that my sufferings are the result of my
sinning,
but in heaven both shall cease;
Grant me to attain this haven and be done
with sailing,
and may the gales of thy mercy blow me safely
into harbour.
Let thy love draw me nearer to thyself,
wean me from sin, mortify me to this world,
and make me ready for my departure hence.
Secure me by thy grace as I sail across this 
stormy sea.

[Amen!]


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Sing the glory of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God, "How awesome are Your works!
Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You.
All the earth will worship You,
And will sing praises to You;
They will sing praises to your name."
Psalm 66:2-4

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
John 1:1-3

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Sprit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 
Romans 8:6-8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10


(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Ed. Arthur Bennett.  Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.  pp 12-13.)