June 30, 2009

An Unresolved Tension

I feel that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all of the things I feel I need to do, I want to do, I'm compelled to do, commanded to do and feel obligated to do. I understand that all things have a certain level of priority to them. But I often think of how some of these women who have many more children than I, who homeschool, nurse babies, teach, sew, do laundry, clean, cook, etc. find the time to do all these things, maintain their sanity and, more than that, do so graciously with a gentle and quiet spirit, completely content in the grace of Christ.

Honestly, I don't know how they do it. I feel as though there are so many of these different things that I am unable to do - but I give them up, reasoning that this time to raise my children is short and could be gone so quickly. I consider that there are some tasks to undertake that will make a more lasting impression, with a more righteous origin and motive. How is it possible that I could do all these things? I suppose that the Proverbs 31 woman didn't have a whole lot of spare time, as active as she was. Maybe my problem is that I need to use every moment of every day more wisely and find more efficient ways of doing those things that are necessary that I find myself doing daily, like laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.

Because of all these things competing for my time, I feel very discouraged, as though I thought I knew what was the most important, giving priority to that task, but I really don't. Perhaps by filling my life with all these things, making the most out of the time I have, I am afraid I would then give in to busyness and miss out on yet something else I might regret later. Perhaps all of this is just the fear of disappointing the people I love, maybe it's pride, anxiety or self-centeredness. I don't know.


Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
Galatians 6:9

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

June 29, 2009

99 Balloons

This video shows the incredible story of a family and the loss of their son, Eliot, to Trisomy 18, aka Edward's Syndrome. I had never seen or heard of this syndrome or this family before and both impacted me greatly. It caused me to realize how I take life, mine and that of my children, for granted. Each day with Jeramy, Moriah and Lily is a gift, a one time blessing from God to be cherished and enjoyed. I could not imagine what it would be like to lose one of them unexpectedly, to have no confidence that they're going to wake up the next morning.

Every life is precious, born and unborn. How many people murder their healthy unborn, unwanted babies and yet this couple is blessed with an unhealthy child, loved him so much and lost him so quickly!

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
You are my God, and I will give You thanks;
You are my God, and I will exalt You.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
His love endures forever.
Psalm 118:24, 28-29

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 132:13-18

June 28, 2009

A Psalm & A Prayer

Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You."
As for the saints who are in the earth,
They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;
I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
Nor will I take their names upon my lips.
The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Psalm 16


O Fountain of All Good,
Destroy in me every lofty thought,
Break pride to pieces sand scatter it to the winds,
Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness,
Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,
Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,
Open in me a fount of penitential tears,
Break me, then bind me up;
Thus will my heart be a prepared dwelling for my God;
Then can the Father take up his abode in me,
Then can the blessed Jesus come with healing in his touch,
Then can the Holy Spirit descend in sanctifying grace;
O Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God,
inhabit me, a temple consecrated to thy glory.
When thou are present, evil cannot abide;
In thy fellowship is fullness of joy,
Beneath thy smile is peace of conscience,
By thy side no fears disturb,
no apprehensions banish rest of mind,
With thee my heart shall bloom with fragrance;
Make me meet, through repentance,
for thine indwelling.
Nothing exceeds thy power,
Nothing is too great for thee to do,
Nothing too good for thee to give.
Infinite is thy might, boundless thy love,
limitless thy grace, glorious thy saving name.
Let angels sing for
sinners repenting,
prodigals restored,
backsliders reclaimed,
Satan's captives released,
blind eyes opened,
broken hearts bound up,
the despondent cheered,
the self-righteous stripped,
the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,
the ignorant enlightened,
and saints built up in their holy faith.
I ask great things of a great God.

(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Ed. Arthur Bennett. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975. pp 8-9.)

June 27, 2009

Homemade Salsa

The cilantro in our garden has been growing very nicely and I was very excited to make some salsa. After viewing and printing off a few recipes, I tried a great one from Great-Salsa.com. This website has so many salsa recipes - it's not funny! They've got to be the salsperts! (salsa experts :-)

Anyway, I followed the Authentic Mexican Tomato Salsa Recipe very closely the first time I made it. We did not char the tomatoes, but used a can of diced tomatoes, no anaheim chili, 3/4 of a fresh lime and a fresh minced garlic clove. It was really, really good and so easy. The flavor and consistency were even better after sitting in the fridge to chill. This is a wonderful recipe! It's the only one I've tried, but it's really great! You can't go wrong with tomato, lime, cilantro and salt.

The second time I goofed and used a can of tomato sauce and Jeramy liked that much better. The next time I make it, we'll probably use a can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes (for chunkiness).


June 26, 2009

Funny Friday: Nyuk nyuk nyuk

Do you remember The Three Stooges?  They were funny . . . slap stick funny  . . . in a violent sort of way.  I think the violence is what made them controversial.  Here they are (non-violently) teaching some old school beauties the alphabet.

Did you get it stuck in your head yet?
B, O, BO
B, U, BU

Isn't it funny how the stooges are wearing caps and gowns, as *intelligent* as they were!

June 24, 2009

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

This hymn reflects my thoughts from yesterday on Galatians ("He, to rescue me from danger") and here lately as the Spirit has caused me to meditate on the abundance of His grace and power at work in every believer, especially in the realm of fighting against the world, flesh and devil (O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be).  For a wonderful list of all the blessings lavished on believers, see Ephesians chapter one, some of which I wrote in bullet format here.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ . . .
Ephesians 1:3

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, 
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
Call for songs of loudest praise:
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount!  I'm fixed upon it, 
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, 
Safely to arrive at home:
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, 
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor 
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, 
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, 
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, 
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen 
How I'll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, 
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry 
Me to realms of endless day.

For all the verses and a brief biography visit cyberhymnal.

June 23, 2009

Thoughts From Galatians

Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore.  Amen.
Galatians 1:1-5

This opening salutation struck me a few nights ago when I read it:

How careful Paul is to clearly articulate that his apostleship is by the will of God (Eph 1:1), not the will of man and that it is the Father who receives all the credit for this.

The language used in this salutation causes mental images to arise, like that of Jesus Christ, the volunteer as He "gave Himself for our sins."  And His volunteering was for the ultimate good, to "rescue us from this present evil age".  

A mental image pops up - that of a damsel in distress.  Imagine an innocent victim captured by a wicked evil doer who plans torture of endless, various kinds and the palatable reality of death who is then miraculously rescued in the nick of time by our strong, triumphant knight in shining armor!  Except the rescue is so much greater than that and the evil of this age is so much worse than what we realize.

The Holy Spirit encouraged me with the following familiar verses:

"We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.  But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin?  May it never be!  For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."
Galatians 2:15-21

In the context of sanctification this phrase, "Christ lives in me," has given me a renewed sense of hope.  I have been rescued from the worst evil, redeemed by a holy and righteous Volunteer who bore the wrath of God - which I could never begin to satisfy against my own sin - and now by faith that comes through grace, CHRIST lives in me! How awesome is that?!  Not only am I rescued, I am empowered to live righteously to the glory of God.  God's grace is enough because Christ - Christ Himself - lives in me.  The "surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe" (Eph 1:19) is magnified all the more.  These thoughts of rescue, redemption, and the infinite immensity of God's power is manifested by the fact, the fact, that Christ lives in me.  This is the power at work in me, that empowers me with the divine will to resist the world, flesh and the devil.  My systematic theology professor, when asked if it were possible for Christ to commit a sin answered that, "No.  He could not because He was God.  Physically He could commit sin, but His will was so opposed to sin, being God Himself, He hates sin and could never execute a sinful act."  This is the same Christ who lives in me!

That is such an encouraging thought.  God, give me the same hatred for sin, personal sin, that you have.  Thank you, Father!

June 22, 2009

Reflective Glory

It's only natural biological genetics that make children look like their parents, right?  How many times have you heard, "You must be so proud?"  Why should we be proud?  Because our children-what they say and do, how they look, etc.- reflect us, their parents.

Where would such pride come from unless we, at some level, have made our children an idol?  My husband, Jeramy, always talks about the idols of the heart and he wrote a really great post on this subject: Children, Anxiety & Idolatry.  We want our children to bring us glory by reflecting us (the best parts of ourselves) in themselves.  This, in essence, must be worship of self disguised as another idol of our children.

So what happens when they do something that we don't approve of?  Willful disobedience demands our immediate and consistent discipline, which is Biblical and necessary.  But what if the issue is not one of sin?  Let's say they marry a person, a godly Christ-like person, but within such a marriage, they do not achieve the career dreams that we had always envisioned and we get angry and bitter over it.  Is it easy for us to give up our hopes and dreams for their lives joyfully accepting whatever God wills for them, or do we struggle with resentment and gossip?  

Perhaps the parents have made their child an idol.  This puts way too much pressure on the child.  For him or her there is a great pressure to perform, to be acceptable, to go over and above what is necessary in order to please the parents.  Parents can be super critical of everything that the child employs: hobbies, activities, projects, even worldviews and philosophies.  So what happens?  In turn, the parents become the idol of the child.  It's like a recurring cycle of idolatry: the parents make the child the idol, to reflect their own glory, and the child makes the parents the idol, to earn approval.  Both would then have grounds on which to boast, to worship themselves.  

The experience I have with this is that I am an only child.  All of my parents hopes for their children to accomplish rest in me and me alone.  I continue to struggle to this very day with vain attempts to please people, especially my parents.  By God's grace through sanctification, I am learning to put away these vain attempts - these idols - to please people and focus on pleasing God.  My hope is that I can teach my children the Word of God and to test everything by Scripture while guarding my own heart and motives, that I don't push them into something for my own sake.  Because what is the end of it all?  We all die and everything we do will be forgotten by following generations - it's vanity!  Why not teach them, train them in the Way in which they should go and let all other matters that are not sin issues rest in the hands of our Holy, Sovereign Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer God whose judgment of us is all that really matters in the end?

June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Let me say that my husband Jeramy is a wonderful father to our little girls!  He is really involved in physically caring for them and he is affectionate in showing love to them.  He willingly changes the cloth diapers!  He takes them for strolls through the park.  He takes Moriah to meet the ducks and geese.  He takes them to run errands.  He feeds Moriah.  He bathes them, clothes them and even brushes Moriah's hair, which is no easy task!  He stays home with them while I go exercise.

Jeramy is also proactive in teaching Moriah!  He has purchased some flash cards with the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, rhyming words and objects that go together, like Dog and Bone, for example.  Sometimes he'll even teach her some words in Spanish.  

He plays well too.  He'll chase Moriah around, let her jump on the couch and make faces at Lily.  He is much more physically playful with them than I am, as much as Moriah actually sits in one place (which she doesn't :-).  And when he's around, he takes the initiative in discipline when needed.

Jeramy is such a wonderful father.  He is not a dead beat dad by any means.  He is the father figure I prayed that my children would have - one that would be involved physically and emotionally, taking an interest in all facets of their lives.  His example will show them what quality of man to look for in a husband (he's affectionate to me too :-D) and because of his involvement, the likelihood of our daughters going off in left field is dramatically reduced (statistically).  I have so much joy when I watch him interact with them, I cannot begin to describe the depths of gratitude I have toward God for giving me such a wonderful, Christ-like husband and father for our children.

Happy Father's Day, Honey!
I love you very much.

June 20, 2009

My Dad

So many things come to my mind when I think of my Dad that I really have no idea where to begin.  I have fond memories of him playing guitar all the time, randomly, in the house.  I remember that he played a few of Grandpa's songs when we went to New Jersey for a Folk Festival in Spring of 2001 where he died before being able to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.  My Dad didn't play guitar as well as my Grandpa, but I always enjoyed his playing.  As a little girl I would dance to it.  When I moved out, that was the sound of home that I missed the most.

My Dad was very quiet in the house; he rarely said many words unless he was on the phone.  He loved to get out and be with his friends and at church.  He loved to joke and laugh.  He was really good at horseshoes and dug a pit in our front yard.  My Dad loved to work with wood and generally he was very handy.  I think his official job title was general mechanical expert or carpenter, something like that.  He could do plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, automotive, remodeling, tiling, etc.  You could call him a Jack-of-all-trades and all of his various trades he performed well.

My Dad was thirty when I was born.  As a kid, I remember that he would cart me around with him after school wherever he needed to go and I didn't mind, because I was with him.  I remember that he would let me hand him tools, nails and screws as he worked with his hands.  When I got bigger, he let me use the hammer and paint the new drywall in the basement.  He built several pieces of furniture for me and always gave me big gifts for my birthday and Christmas.

The Lord caused my Dad to repent at an older age.  Growing up I knew that my Dad wasn't a Christian but when we moved to Manassas he met the preacher at the church Mom and I were currently members of; God used him to draw my Dad to Christ.  There were changes in his behavior and speech.  He completely stopped drinking beer, although he was never an alcoholic, and he started serving  . . . a lot!  He served in our house by cooking dinner, cleaning, doing laundry, walking the dog - things that he didn't normally do before becoming a believer.  He served in the church by ministering to the senior citizens and doing all kinds of various building projects on the grounds.  There is not a room in the church or our house where Dad didn't do something!  It was a joy to see the fruit of the Spirit evidenced in his life as a Christian.  It brings comfort.

I love my Dad and I miss him a lot.  He died two years ago this past May just a few months shy of his 57th birthday.  He was a patient man, the true definition of bearing all things.  Honestly, one of my biggest regrets is how unappreciative I was of him while he was alive and I always wonder if we would have a better relationship now if he were still here.  It was about 6 months before he died that God convicted me and caused me to realize (through the Bible as applied through the book For Women Only) the level of disrespect I was showing him, i.e. that I was a contentious young woman.  God is sovereign and I am glad that he caused me to see how destructive my words and attitudes were/are.  I wish I could go back because he was a better man than I gave him credit for, still a sinner, but better than I believed back then.

Getting Settled

Mom (Grandma Wanda) is receiving the remainder of her items today via PODS.  She has been very satisfied with the able-bodied men she has employed to unload the storage units.  My mother-in-law is helping her unpack and get further settled into her new home.  I'm so glad that they get along so well.  Moriah and Lily have enjoyed seeing both their grandmothers.

Next week Mom will fly back home and pick up her two dogs and drive her other vehicle down.  Rocky and Daisy are always very content to remain in the veterinary office while Mom is away.  They receive many more cookies there than they would at home and probably more attention too.  :-)

June 19, 2009

Our Garden After 6 Weeks

We are watching the fruits of our labor grow, especially on the cherry tomato plant.  We have about 20 or more little green tomatoes.  There is a squash developing and the pepper plants have pretty white flowers budding on them.  The other day I saw a bumble bee visiting, so that's good.  Jeramy planted the okra, chives and basil from seed and the okra was the first to come up in 5 days or less.  It's already 3 or 4 inches tall!  There are several chives springing up out of the dirt, though the picture does not do them justice.  If anyone else likes okra, we still have plenty of seed left, just let me know!

Le Funny Friday

Here's another Looney Tunes clip with Pepe Le Pew.  It was always so funny how the same black cat would get caught with a white paint strip down her back, running like mad away from Pepe who just joyfully bounces along!  Enjoy.

June 16, 2009

A Busy, Blessed Day

Today is packed full of wonderful fellowship and ministry!

This morning Mom left to walk through her new home and signed the papers for closing the deal early this afternoon! So, Mom was only officially homeless for one day. :-) After receiving her items this weekend and unpacking to the point of her satisfaction, she will fly back to VA and drive back down with the dogs, Rocky (chocolate lab) and Daisy (border collie mix).

This morning Jeramy, Moriah, Lily and I went to McDaniel Farm Park for a walk. I enjoyed the fellowship of two young believing ladies and Jeramy took Moriah for an "off roading" adventure.

After our wonderful, hot walk, we visited our church family friends for lunch and Jeramy gave them some green thumb pointers.

Currently, we are back home enjoying the air conditioning while the Jeramy and the girls take naps. Later we will go visit Mom's new house before going to the ESL ministry and afterwards . . . some romantic time for Jeramy and I alone gazing at the stars!

Anyway, I just consider how wonderful it is to fellowship and enjoy time with our Christian brothers and sisters. I'm very grateful and thankful for the ability to spend time with these inspiring young women. As I become more acquainted with them, it encourages me in seeing their examples of how to show grace and gratitude. These are women of virtue who are chaste, content, gracious, hard-working, loving, gentle, thankful and faithful. What they do is not glamorous, but there is glory in it. I'm very glad to associate with women of this extraordinary character because it encourages me in my walk with Christ. So often discouragement can set in while struggling with the presence of sin, carrying around this body of death. Although Christ has come to set us free from the power of sin, struggling is still something we do daily as we desire to depart from its presence and influence. But as I watch these women in their lives, I am encouraged that sanctification STILL continues and I will not always struggle like I struggle now, but there is hope that each day I am becoming more and more like Christ. 

Still . . . .

Come Lord Jesus, come!

June 15, 2009

Consider It Joy

As I think of the days ahead and the various troubles, trials and temptations I will face, and those dear people I know already facing worse hardships, I am reminded of this song.  The trials we've already faced over the previous year I now consider joy, though I didn't before, because now, I am more sanctified than I was before.  The fires of life, as painful and unpleasant as they are, as much as we don't want them - they continue to refine us and God does it out of His love for us.

Consider It Joy

Though trials will come
Don't fear, don't run,
Lift up your eyes.

Hold fast, be strong,
Have faith
Keep on believing
Lift up your eyes.

For God is at work in us,
Molding and shaping us;
Out of His love for us
Making us more like Jesus.

Consider it joy, pure joy,
when troubles come
many trials will make you strong.

Consider it joy, pure joy,
And stand your ground,
And at last, you'll wear a crown.

Joy, pure joy,
Consider it joy, pure joy,
Joy, pure joy,
Consider it joy, pure joy!

Patiently trusting Him
Ready for anything
Until we're complete in Him
In everything more like Jesus.

Grandma Wanda's Move

Grandma Wanda (Mom) is currently enroute to GA.  After a few hang-ups in the paperwork process, Mom is now officially homeless just 2 days after her 56th birthday.  She should be arriving at our townhouse in about an hour or less and will remain with us a day or two or more - I don't really know.  

Her furniture and things will be arriving via PODS on Friday and Saturday and there are some wonderful, strong, hard-working men who will be aiding in the unloading process.  My mother-in-law, who is always so helpful and willing, with a great attitude and work ethic, will be driving up from Statesboro to help her unpack.

Here she comes . . . (I'm really thinking of the Mighty Mouse theme song, but I'm not sure if she's going to actually save the day :-)

June 13, 2009

What The Gospel Is Not

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is not simply behavior modification.  God is primarily interested in the condition of our hearts, not simply our outward habitual practices.

It is true that a changed heart is evidenced by a changed life, i.e. the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25, Romans 6, etc.).  But what is the event that is causing this change, something God did or people did?

Changing our outward behavior of our own effort will not justify us before a holy and righteous God when the Day of Judgment comes.  It is only through faith, trust and hope in Christ alone, His work of redemption and resurrection, that secure the way to eternal life.  And this is all a work of God's grace alone which He does within His elect, His beloved Church.

The motives of the heart change dramatically and are now driven by a desire to please God and remain aligned according to His will, glorifying His name.  Behavior modification is just exchanging one idol (drugs, gangs, self autonomy) for another (hobby, AA, family & children).  The Bible calls us to worship God alone.  Jesus Christ came to redeem those who He has chosen; to free them from the power and slavery to sin and give them eternal life.  

Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.
John 17:3

June 11, 2009

Funny Friday: Looney Tunes!

I loved watching Looney Tunes growing up!  My Mom says that it was the one cartoon show she and Dad would watch and also laugh with me!  Enjoy this one with Bugs Bunny.

Latino Pasta Creation

Today for lunch I wanted to use the fresh cilantro growing in our garden and thought to make a latino version of the Menus 4 Moms recipe, Tex-Mex Pasta (scroll down to Tuesday's menu).  Here's what I did:

4 cups dry whole wheat macaroni
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 can green chiles (4 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1/3 green bell pepper
1/4 onion
1 tsp white sugar
2 cups niblet corn
1 garlic clove
spices: cilantro, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper & salt

I browned the meat together with the onion and green pepper while the pasta was cooking.  After browning the meat I added all the other ingredients and simmered until most of the remaining juices had been absorbed by the pasta.

As prepared above an 8 oz. serving = 258 calories and
a 12 oz. serving = 387 calories.


I would have preferred to add some lime juice for that authentic latino flavor, but alas I can hope for next time.  I did not add any cheddar cheese, which would have added a lot of flavor, because I'm trying to keep the calorie content low.  This would go great with homemade, not fried, beans (pintos thoroughly cooked in the crock pot, then spun in the food processor with salt and pepper) or chips and salsa.

If you want to further cut the caloric intake, you can use less niblet corn or switch to enriched white pasta.

Yum, yum.

June 10, 2009

Our Garden After 5 Weeks

Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them", and it was so.  The earth brought forth vegetation, plants bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.  There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
Genesis 1:11-13

The LORD by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.
By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
And the skies drip with dew.
Proverbs 3:19-20

Well, we gave up on our chives and oregano and decided to do a second attempt but keeping them inside this time.  Instead of oregano, Jeramy bought sweet basil seeds.  In the outside bucket he also planted okra seeds.  

Angel Chicken

My Mom has a great recipe, which we enjoyed for dinner tonight, I thought I would share.

Angel Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 package dry italian salad dressing mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 ounces cream cheese with chives

Melt the margarine in a saucepan.  Add italian dressing mix, soup, wine and cream cheese, mixing well.  Pour over uncooked chicken and cook in a crock pot 4 to 5 hours or oven bake 60 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve over pasta.


I already had cooked chicken, light and dark meat together (I had 2 and 1/4 cups shredded) which I mixed with the sauce in the pan and served over angel hair pasta.  It was ready to eat in 30 minutes or less!  I served this meal with a salad.  I think I'll make this for the next fellowship meal at our church.  It's really wonderful.  Enjoy.

June 8, 2009

Exegesis on Genesis 1-3 for Biblical Womanhood

Currently I'm thoroughly enjoying the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem and learning a lot.  You can read this book online for free.  Here are a few expositional excerpts that I found really encouraging in Chapter 3: Male-Female Equality and Male Headship by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Genesis 1:26, 27 & 31

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."  Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. . . . but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.  The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones, 
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."
Genesis 2:18-23

What will now emerge clearly from Genesis 2 is that male-female equality does not constitute an undifferentiated sameness.  Male and female are equal as God's image-bearers.  They are spiritually equal, which is quite sufficient a basis for mutual respect between the sexes.  But the very fact that God created human beings in the dual modality of male and female cautions us against an unqualified equation of the two sexes.  This profound and beautiful distinction, which some belittle as "a matter of mere anatomy," is not a biological triviality or accident.  It is God who wants men to be men and women to be women, and He can teach us the meaning of each, if we want to be taught.  We ourselves can feel intuitively the importance of distinct sexual identity when we see, for example, a transvestite.  A man trying to be a woman repulses us, and rightly so.  We know that this is perverse.  Sexual confusion is a significant, not a slight, personal problem, because our distinct sexual identity defines who we are and why we are here and how God calls us to serve Him.  

God has no intention of blurring sexual distinctness in the interests of equality in an unqualified sense.  In fact, there are many areas of life in which God has no intention of leveling out the distinction between us.  Consider the obvious: God does not value intellectual or aesthetic equality among people.  He does not value equality in finances, talents, and opportunity. . . . Because God is ultimately the One who shapes our lives, I have to conclude that God is not interested in unlimited equality among us.  And because God is also wise, I further conclude that unlimited equality must be a false ideal.  But the Bible does teach the equal personhood and value and dignity of all the human race-men, women, and children-and that must be the only equality that matters to God.  One measure of our wisdom as God's image-bearers is whether we share this perspective with God.  One measure of our reconciliation with God is whether His sovereign decrees draw from us a response of worship or resentment.

. . .

On the other side of the paradox, the woman is the man's helper.  The man was not created to help the woman, but the reverse.  Doesn't this striking fact suggest that manhood and womanhood are distinct and non-reversible?  Doesn't this make sense if we allow that, while the man and the woman are to love each other as equals, they are not to love each other in the same way?  The man is to love his wife by accepting the primary responsibility for making their partnership a platform displaying God's glory, and the woman is to love her husband by supporting him in that godly undertaking.

It is the word "helper" that suggests the woman's supportive role.  Spencer [evangelical feminist] argues, however, that this description of Eve "does not at all imply inherent subordination."  She adduces the fact that God Himself is portrayed in Scripture as our "Helper, " which He is. She then interprets this fact: "If being 'one who helps' inherently implies subordination, then, in that case, God would be subordinate to humans!"  This reasoning is not really fallacious.  The fallacy lies in the implication of what she says, namely, that God cannot be subordinate to human beings.  It is entirely possible for God to subordinate Himself, in a certain sense, to human beings.  He does so whenever He undertakes to help us.  He does not "un-God" Himself in helping us; but He does stoop to our needs. according to His gracious and sovereign will.

When He helps His people, He retains His glorious deity but (amazingly!) steps into the servant role, under us, to lift us up.  he is the God who emptied Himself and came down to our level-below us, to the level of slavery-to help us supremely at the cross.  Therefore, the fact that the Old Testament portrays God as our Helper proves only that the helper role is a glorious one, worthy even of the Almighty.  This Biblical fact does not prove that the concept of helper excludes subordination.  Subordination is entailed in the very nature of a helping role.

June 7, 2009

A Simple Prayer

"Lord, give what Thou commandest
and command what Thou wilt."

St. Augustine of Hippo

June 6, 2009

An Unexpected Confrontation

Today Jeramy and I decided to take a walk around our neighborhood and get some exercise.  As we were heading up the hill from our townhouse a black man with a book in his hand, determined to speak with us, began admiring our children.  Immediately he asked us if we were Bible readers.  After naming specific books, Proverbs, Psalms, Romans and Ephesians, he continued to speak with us regarding spiritual things.  

My first immediate inclination in response to how quickly he began to speak of divine things cautioned me to think that he was either a Jehovah's Witness or a Mormon.  After offering us an extra-biblical book, Jeramy asked by whom it was published and my suspicions were confirmed - Jehovah's (FALSE) Witness.

Perhaps you've been stopped by them before, even at your doorstep.  My Dad was an object of such proselytization before he came to the Creator and Redeemer, who is God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, as revealed in Scripture.  The only infinitely valuable being able to endure infinite wrath against a Holy God as He became sin on our behalf.

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

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
George Santayana

This heresy is just the Arian heresy (300AD) recycled in 1872 by Charles Russell.  The Church addressed Arianism back in the 300's but when it later revived, where was the church leadership at that time to refute it and herald a Sovereign Savior, Lord and God, Jesus Christ?  This sect of false religions have totally taken certain Scriptures out of context and preached a bad news gospel.

They know their bad translated text very well and can 

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:15

In fact, I believe this man might have been a preacher of such heresy.  But these individuals won't go back to the original Greek and Hebrew.  They don't spend time learning those languages to understand that their "scriptures" are full of calculated heretical support for the propagation of this false teaching and as a result make it very difficult to be dissuaded by actual Truth, who is the Great I AM, Jesus Christ.

The eye is the lamp of the body;  so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Matthew 6:22-23

Do you ever feel like living and preaching the Gospel is an uphill battle?  I think that it's more difficult to correct someone's false doctrines than to preach to those who've never heard.

Praise God that it is HIS grace that saves individuals and not our efforts to work with Him, but only our obedience to His glory, which He affects anyway, again, all to His glory!

Funny? Friday

Friday was yesterday, but I was enjoying reunited time with my honey and didn't get to post anything.

"Yeah, I didn't die."

This guy may be bordering on "looney" but I thought it was a little funny (after the stunt), in the daring sense.

June 5, 2009

Lily is Five Months

She's still just a pretty little girl!  Yesterday she weighed in at 14 pounds!  She is growing like a weed, but she's still sweet as honey.  She's not sleeping consistently at night in any regard, but it doesn't affect her lovely disposition.  

Breastfeeding is still going well, though I've begun to consider when I might stop.  She had rice cereal three nights in a row (to encourage night sleeping) and seemed to enjoy the new experience with a spoon.  The doctor said yesterday that her gums looked a little bit (really, not a lot) swollen and maybe she'll get some teeth in the next two months before her next visit.  I don't know about the teeth and breastfeeding thing.  Ouch!  Any suggestions for anti-biting?

Her legs are very strong now and she can stand for long periods while leaning.  While on her stomach she makes motions like she wants to crawl, trying to get her knees up under her butt, however she needs to develop a little more upper body strength and coordination.  

She loves to watch her sister climb up and down the stairs, and she loves to put things into her mouth, fingers and fists mostly.

She fills up 6 month clothes and has been very content wearing Moriah's hand-me-downs.  (As if she had an opinion about it :-).

There are will be updated pictures of the girls in the right sidebar later today.  Enjoy.

June 3, 2009

Our Garden After 4 Weeks

It's been really hot these past couple of days.  Our leaves normally wilt a little during the day.  Jeramy says that tobacco does the same thing.  Now we've got four little tomatoes and the peppers are beginning to blossom also! The chives and oregano don't look too promising, I hope they survive their transplant - it looks like they took it harder than expected.

June 2, 2009

Dr. Voddie Baucham

There are very few black reformed persons (men or women) in the world of evangelical Christianity.  While I was at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY there were very few reformed black men there, most of whom were already married :-( and the single one I did know was about 13 years older than I.  These were the thoughts of a single, reformed, black woman looking for a husband.  :-)  Jeramy was the only one to show interest and I think I got the better deal anyway!   Here is Baucham giving an excellent sermon/apologetic for intelligently defending "the hope that is within us" without any further adieu . . .

 Please note: the entire sermon is about 20 to 30 minutes long.  This is only the first 5 minutes.  Click on subsequent parts for the full sermon.  If you don't listen to the entire sermon, please at least watch the first 90 seconds of the second part. It's totally worth your time!

June 1, 2009

A Brief Update

My mother has settled on her new home in Suwanee and will close that deal on the 16th.  All her furniture and such she plans to arrive on that Friday via PODS.  So, that's exciting.

Jeramy is taking a certification class every day this week to become an official police communications officer - meaning he will no longer be in the training mode.  He's in a class of about 25 other people: one other man and 23 women.  Needless to say, he sits by the man.

While he is gone, I suppose I'll occupy my time like every other day - mothering and home keeping.  My only plans include a walk in the park tomorrow with a friend and the girls doctor's appointment on Thursday.  I have a sewing project for my mother-in-law's birthday this month and a wonderful book I've started reading: Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem, which has truly been eye-opening for me and liberating in a sense.  It's one of those books I could read without putting it down, but, well, you know . . .  

Friday afternoon I'll drive down to pick up our family leader, provider and protecter, Jeramy.  I admit that I'm a little envious of the time he can spend alone in a hotel room with a pool just outside.  But I would not trade the family responsibilities before God that lie on his shoulders. Urgh, if only the Fall hadn't happened . . . .

Here is a proverb that has reminded me of the state of some individuals and churches within evangelical Christendom:

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
Prov. 28:13

There are some church people (in general!) who walk up on Sunday morning smiling and say, "Good morning!  How ya doing?  Good to see ya!"  But their actions and other words totally contradict this excited greeting.  They hide behind a facade, afraid that their weaknesses, failings, shortcomings, etc. will be exposed - as though no one else struggles or fails, or that they will no longer be respected.  Too many people are afraid of being transparent.  It's true, sin revealed gets ugly, but Christ came to conquer sin, death and the grave.  He sees all our ungodly messes and the blood of His cross cleanses us from sin.  He has seen the ugliest of uglies - aka the ooglies, and loves us enough to transform our hearts and conform us into His image.  I think this is a lie from the devil: if we reveal our true selves, then no one will love us or like us anymore.  But this proverb of truth liberates us to be who we really are without masks, without a fake smile or personality.  The person who truly loves me, will love me warts and all.  Now that is true love.  Now this does not void sanctification, it fuels it.