October 31, 2009

Green Light: House

Well, we had a wild night last night. While we were continuing the waiting game, there was a big push by the Bank to get all the paperwork done and closed before the end of the business day. At 3:15 we were told to be at the closing attorney's office in Alpharetta at 4:00p.m. Traffic was bad, of course, so we didn't get there until 4:45. The Sellers, also Andersons, and our Realtor, Mike Robinson, arrived about 15 minutes later. Once we got there the attorney told us that our paperwork package had not arrived, neither had a closer been assigned, nor was it going to be funded until Monday. If our package did not arrive until 6:00pm then we would have to wait to close on Monday (if there was an open appointment).

So we waited and it finally arrived at 5:58 p.m. Then the attorney prepared the paperwork and we sat down to sign at 6:45 p.m. We got the keys. :-D

So today, we've been moving. Jeramy and I still have a lot to clean at our townhouse, but we'll get it knocked out very soon!


October 29, 2009

When Trials Come

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:2-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 1:3-7


When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told
And there His faithfulness is told

Within the night I know Your peace
The breath of God brings strength to me
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow
As treasures of the darkness grow

I turn to Wisdom not my own
For every battle You have known
My confidence will rest in You
Your love endures Your ways are good
Your love endures Your ways are good

When I am weary with the cost
I see the triumph of the Cross
So in it's shadow I shall run
Till He completes the work begun
Till He completes the work begun

One day all things will be made new
I'll see the hope You called me to
And in Your kingdom paved with gold
I'll praise Your faithfulness of old
I'll praise Your faithfulness of old


In Today's News . . .

Calcium protrusions continue to develop in Lily's mouth. Yesterday a new tooth broke through the surface of the lower gum on the left side. Soon there will be a total of seven teeth in the youngest Anderson's mouth. Her parents are generally excited.

Moriah astounded her Father today by consuming an entire 1/3 pound grilled hamburger single-handedly. Said burger was chopped and served with ketchup and spicy original barbeque sauce. Afterwards toddler was rewarded with several pieces of Hershey's chocolate. However rebellious acts continued as she was subjected to disciplinary measures after keeping her feet on the dining table and disobeying other obvious commands from her Father. Currently the near two year old is taking a nap.

After several calls to the Loan Officer, Realtor and Mother, Jeramy has come to his wit's end regarding the acquisition of a new home for his family. The 31 year old reserve Air Force Captain has bought and sold a house in the past with less trouble than he is currently receiving. The closing for the Lawrenceville house was scheduled to occur this past Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. However after paperwork delays from the Appraiser and subsequent Underwriting, the conclusion has been made to blame the Appraiser for faulty reporting. Investigations are currently underway with said Appraiser and the representing company. Plans are continuing to change with no certainty as of yet where the family will be residing over the next few weeks. The street is not a possibility at this point.

And while the stay-at-home mother of two faces joys and trials of her own separate from any current circumstances, Meggan, Jeramy's wife, continues to find it difficult staring at boxes for the third straight day with the house a tornado path of mess. Likewise she has come to her wit's end and hears the song, "Tell me something good . . . " though no actual music plays in the background. While a brief nap has improved her spirits somewhat, dense clouds of disappointment loom heavy in the heart of the Anderson household. Prayers and encouragement are appreciated.





October 28, 2009

The Waiting Game

For four or more players, ages 18 and up.

Player pieces: Buyer, Realtor, Loan Agent, Bank, Underwriter, Appraiser, Moving Helpers, Babysitters, Cleaning Helpers.

Objective: The Buyer must obtain a house with the aid of the Realtor.

Rules of Play: The Buyer must move from the Start position through 100 spaces toward the house. The Buyer and Realtor must select a house and obtain a pre-qualification from the Loan Agent and Bank and proceed quickly through the first 95 spaces. The Buyer must proceed through the last five spaces very slowly. The Buyer can only move to the next space until the Loan Agent has sent an email or answers a phone call. After receiving an email or phone call, the Buyer can move to the next space after signing and dating a stack of paper forms or go back a space if the Underwriter, Loan Agent or Bank asks for a repeat form or the pre-qualification expires. The final three spaces before obtaining the house, the Buyer must wait and call the Loan Agent every hour for positive news before moving to the next space. In the meantime, the Buyer must contact all other players 15 times to maintain status reports and configure countless additional modified strategies before moving ahead a space. The Buyer must remain by the phone, refresh the hotmail inbox pages on the laptop, keep an anxious attitude and a helpless, frustrated facial expression.

----------
The mind of man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6


October 27, 2009

Moriah

Moriah turned 23 months yesterday! I can't believe that she will be two years old next month! Here she is wearing her Dad's straw hat.

She has really come a long way with her speech and language this past month. Any word we say to her that she doesn't know, she repeats it back to us - even 3 syllable words, like "dangerous" and "rectangle." We're still teaching her that 1 through 10 represents a number. We're counting Cheerios at the breakfast table. Colors are still a little difficult for her. She is also learning directions (left, right, up and down) and shapes. She knows all the animals and what they say: even a rooster and a snake! I'm really amazed at how much she has learned this past month!

She still tests her limits and my patience, but she's obedient in public and that's what counts. :-) She's doing better sitting in church for the entire service. Doing flashcards, helping out and going outside are her favorite things. We've put a hold on potty training and we'll pick it back up shortly. We're very blessed to have her with us. :-)


October 26, 2009

Multitude Monday

holy experience

As I sit here ready to think about more of the ways God has blessed me, a song comes to mind,

"Count your blessings, name them one by one . . . "

I also begin to think of how I wish there were a more theologically rich, Christ-centered text encouraging us to be mindful of the multitude of blessings God has given us. And then I remember that the Getty/Townend combo wrote this one:


My heart is filled with thankfulness
to Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
and gave me life again.
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
and clothed me in His light.
And wrote His law of righteousness
with pow'r upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
to Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
and causes fears to fly.
Whose ev'ry promise is enough
for ev'ry step I take.
Sustaining me with arms of love
and crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
to Him who reigns above;
Who's wisdom is my perfect peace
Who's ev'ry thought is love.
For ev'ry day I have on earth
is given by the King.
So I will give my life, my all,
to love and follow Him.


I'm thankful for:
21. The Christ-exalting fellowship of other believers.
22. The joy of seeing a hardened heart suddenly, unexpectedly show an interest in spiritual things.
23. The joy of seeing a lost loved one repent and believe the Gospel.
24. The encouragement of other contented women.
25. Warm showers.
26. That God, who moves the hearts of kings like channels of water, changes and directs my will toward further Christ-likeness.
27. "My sin, oh the joy of this glorious thought, my sin not in part but the whole is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more!"
28. The sure resurrection of Christ and His followers from the dead.
29. The generosity of other believers.
30. The joy of serving other brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need.
31. Loved ones who never complain.
32. The ability to run.
33. The strength in my arms.
34. The Word committed to memory.
35. Convicting words from my husband.
36. Tender hugs and kisses from my girls.
37. Five tiny fingers that crawl to land on my toes.
38. Love bites.
39. The financial savings of switching to cloth diapers.
40. The harmony in tutti play.
41. The excitement of owning my first home.
42. Packing.
43. Cleaning.
44. Buying cleaning supplies.
45. Reserving a U-haul.
46. Forwarding our mail.
47. Mature trees in a lovely yard.
48. A two-car garage.
49. A basement for our library.
50. A room for sewing.

What are you thankful for today?


A Last Minute Hang-up

Jeramy and I are all ready to go sign the closing contract and move in to our new home. Friday, however, Jeramy gets a suspicious email about signing some last minute documents ASAP which indicated a larger amount than anticipated that we must bring to the closing. :-0

Then Jeramy got a call about an appraisal on the house. It's because of this that might push the closing date a day or two back from what we planned. An appraisal took place on Saturday and if the appraiser gets the paperwork to the Bank by today, then we close tomorrow. If not, then it gets pushed back. :-( That paperwork also determines the amount of cash money we need to bring to the closing.

Well, Mrs. Anderson, Jeramy and I have all packed up the house and are ready to go on Wednesday if we can. Hopefully everything will work out . . . and if it doesn't I pray for God's grace to deal with last minute changes graciously. :-)


October 25, 2009

Sunday Shots

Yesterday I noticed this spider outside right in front of our bay window. It's big. The shot isn't that great but you can see the web really well. The spider will receive our mercy as we have decided to let it live. :-) Mrs. Anderson thinks she's pregnant. (FYI: She names all spiders 'Charlotte'.)



This is a much better shot of the girls today. Moriah will be 23 months tomorrow! She will be 2 years old on Thanksgiving Day! Time sure does fly by when you have kids! Lily looks so much more like a little girl than like a baby now. She is really growing too fast for me; I could keep her a baby if she would sleep 10 hours a night consistently! :-D I can't wait to throw their birthday party!




October 24, 2009

Vegetable & Meatball Soup

My Mom got this recipe from a good friend who now lives in North Carolina. We really like this soup because it's hearty and very filling, considering that it's a vegetable soup. It has a northeastern flavor. Enjoy.

6 cups water
4 cups Italian stewed tomatoes
1, 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 cups diced carrots
5 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
2 large onions, chopped
4 tsp. salt
3 bay leaves
2 tbs chopped parsley
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp ground oregano
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground basil
2 - 16 oz cans cut green beans
12 oz whole kernel corn
----
2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 eggs
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tbs milk
2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Combine the first 13 ingredients in a large dutch oven or pot. Cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
To make the meatballs: combine hamburger, eggs, crumbs, milk, salt, pepper and mix well. Shape the meat into 1 inch balls. Drop raw meatballs into boiling soup and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans and corn for the last 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

This soup can be frozen.

The bay leaves will be difficult to find in all of the soup. Mom and I just serve it and remove the leaves as we find them.

The meatball recipe is really versatile. You can put them in spaghetti, calzones, as an appetizer or make your own meatball submarine sandwiches!


October 23, 2009

Jesus Loves Me

Moriah has a stuffed lamb that Grandma Jane bought for her first Easter (2008). It sings part of this song. Today Moriah has gone all over the house singing the first word, "Jesus . . . Jesus . . . Jesus . . . " It's really sweet. Today at lunch she leaned her head over her plate and said a prayer to Jesus in her cute toddler way. She ended with "Amen." It made me smile. :-)




October 22, 2009

Hearty Bean Stew


This is a really easy and tasty crock-pot recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

3 cans (15 oz. each) brown beans, drained
2 lb. extra-lean hamburger
2 cans (10 & 3/4 oz. each) condensed tomato soup
1 can (11 oz.) condensed cheddar cheese soup
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in crock-pot; stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 10 hours (or on High for 3 to 4 hours). Yields about 3 quarts (8 or 10 servings).

The picture above does not do it justice. I used dried pinto beans, soaked for 12 hours and cooked (crock-pot) for 10 hours. I didn't have any condensed tomato soup so I added tomato juice and some diced tomatoes instead - which made it taste more like chili had I added chili powder, red pepper and cumin. I also browned the meat over the stove before I added it to the crock-pot.

I love using the crock-pot! The recipes are usually minimally labor intensive and the meals come out delicious.


October 21, 2009

The Meaning of Life

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Genesis 1:1 & 26

He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind': and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Luke 10:27

The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.
John Piper


October 20, 2009

Flexibility, a Bad Thing?!

I have been running to lose the extra pregnancy weight after giving birth in January. After gaining a whopping 45 pounds with Lily, losing 20 after the birth, with another 20-25 pounds to go, I had a lot of work to do in order to return to a God-honoring physical condition. :-)

I was in need of new running shoes and I found an AWESOME store here in metro Atlanta: Fleet Feet! They conduct a foot analysis and recommend a handful of shoes just for you. I was so excited to visit their store in Lawrenceville (just 12 minutes from our new house)! I got a new pair of shoes and a warm Nike running jacket for $15 on clearance! I was pumped! They also have really great running watches from $60 up to $400! They can tell you your pace, distance, time, and even have a GPS!

I love to run! I'm no professional and I haven't ran any races but you can consider me a cardio junkie! I love to burn lots of calories and boost my metabolism.

When my feet were being analyzed the trained salesman told me that my feet are flexible. I said, "Oh, that's good." He said, "No, actually. That's bad." As he explained why, I began to understand. With a lot of weight gain the bones in your feet begin to bend and move, flattening out any arch under all of that strain. And although you lose the weight, the bones in your foot do not recover and the damage is permanent. This can cause foot, knee and hip pain for the rest of your life!

Who knew that flexibility was a bad thing?! I might be singing that song about "My Orthopedic Shoes."

So having learned that, I know how much more important it is for me to remain disciplined while pregnant and avoid a lot of weight gain.

Jeramy and I have both gone over to Runner's World online and found some great knee strengthening/stretching exercises that have helped us out tremendously.


October 19, 2009

Multitude Monday

holy experience


I've decided to join the many others (including my friend Erin) within the gratitude community at Holy Experience and begin counting my blessings also. When I first became a believer just one month before entering college I used to keep a journal and daily write down my thanksgivings to God. I confess that it's been a long time since I've done that. It would be a great habit of praise to our Great God and King and would root out ungrateful bitterness with which I battle all too often.

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
1 Chronicles 16:8

  1. The gift of salvation in Christ Jesus.
  2. That for no other reason than for God to reveal the love and kind intention of His will, predestined me to be saved by His grace alone.
  3. The command to rejoice in the Lord always, not some vain idol that yields a negative return.
  4. Reconciliation between a holy and righteous God and myself, a sinner.
  5. The white garment of Christ's righteousness that, of my own works, I don't deserve.
  6. The breath in my lungs.
  7. The ability to see God's wondrous work of Creation, though marred by sin.
  8. The Word of God where He reveals Himself to me.
  9. Forgiveness of ALL my multitude of sins, public and private.
  10. The ability to sing.
  11. The sun shining on a cold autumn day.
  12. Quiet time.
  13. A hunger satisfied.
  14. Warm clothing.
  15. Protective shelter.
  16. All the ways God protected me from harmful things when as yet I was still in rebellion against Him.
  17. Spiritual eyes to see the Truth of God's Word.
  18. The conviction of His Holy Spirit to walk in the Way.
  19. The grace and strength for all my daily happenings.
  20. The blessing of depending on God's grace and not my own strength.

What are you thankful for today?


October 17, 2009

The Ultimate Violin Beast!

Jascha Heifetz performing the Paganini Caprice No. 24.

Wow.

I have this piece at home if anyone would like to look at the score. Don't ask me if I've played this piece - that's a whole other blog post. :-o And by the way, caprices are just an exercise piece, not originally composed for public performance.

A Life of Transparency

Is anyone among you suffering?
Then he must pray.

Is anyone cheerful?
He is to sing praises.

Is anyone among you sick?
Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
James 5:13-20

It is for this reason that I'm not afraid to 'let it all hang out'. Neither am I very good at wearing a mask.

For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
Luke 8:17

The fellowship of believers is enriched and reveals true biblical love when we are transparent with each other about our sins and when we actually do commit to pray for each other as our minds are renewed by the letter and attitude of the Word of God. And we know that we can reveal our deepest sins to each other because we all have sinned and not one of us has failed to commit an offense that we consider especially heinous against our God that we think is too shameful to admit. Sometimes this can be a test to know who really loves us in the Biblical sense (when used with discretion). The blood of Christ covers all sins, no matter what they are, when confessed before God with an obedient turn of repentance away from it.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 8:1-2

I used to think that if I shared my most shameful sin to another believer in confidence that they would then hate me and think less of me, judging me, accusing me like Satan does. But I've seen that this is just another lie from the devil and the opposite has been true.

One thing I will note though, it is easy to be transparent about the sins the Spirit has convicted me of but sometimes it is not so easy to admit the sins that others bring to my attention. But don't let that stop you from telling me sinful things you see. :-)

Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed.
Proverbs 27:5


October 16, 2009

Funny Friday

Here's Tim Hawkins talking about funny prayers. This past Sunday night he talked about "Thesaurus Prayers," they say things like, "Lord, protect us, shelter us, defend us . . . lead us, guide us, direct us . . . "

Enjoy.

October 15, 2009

O Sacred Head


O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown;
How pale Thou art with anguish,
With sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
Which once was bright as morn!

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered
Was all for sinners' gain:
Mine, mine was the transgression,
But Thine the deadly pain;
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor,
Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever,
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
Out-live my love to Thee.


Text by Paul Gerhardt, 1676, melody by Hans Leo Hassler, 1612 and harmony by J. S. Bach, 1750. 1991 Baptist Hymnal #137

J. S. Bach was a Reformed Baroque composer.
Soli Deo Gloria!
For just a tid bit of music history, the Baroque period of classical music ended with Bach's death. Although the Classical era of music was beginning to come on the scene more and more (Mozart) Big Bach remained steadfast to compose music in the Baroque style until his death, completely unaffected by the progression toward simple harmony under a single melody characteristic of the Classical style.



October 14, 2009

T Minus 2 Weeks & a Microwave

Two weeks from today, Lord willing, we will be moving into our new home! Excitement is building! This week we continue to get rid of unused and unwanted items from the past year. In preparation for the girls rooming in together, I'm focusing on getting them in bed at the same time. Next week we will begin packing boxes and it's all downhill from there! Yay!

I've never bought a microwave. I took my parents' old microwave when I moved out of their house and since then most all of them died on me just in time for moving. :-) When I moved from Louisville back home to northern VA, my parents' old '80's microwave died just a few weeks beforehand. When I moved back to Louisville after getting married, Jeramy already had one in his L'ville apartment. When we moved to Statesboro, our microwave died about one month before leaving, too. We were going to rent Jeramy's grandmother's house and there was one already there. When we left Statesboro to come to Norcross, we thought we were going to take that one with us, but it didn't work out. A little old one was given to us by Jeramy's parents. Now that little microwave is dying on us, although it is hanging on as much as it can. It could go at any time. The house we're moving in to has a built-in microwave that doubles as the stove vent. Sweet! Isn't that a funny coincidence?!


October 13, 2009

Prayer Request: ESL Ministry

Today, rather unexpectedly, we learned that the Northchase Apartment complex has been placed under new ownership and management. As a result they have closed down the community building that Jeramy has been using for the ESL ministry. They will be renovating it for office space and there will only be one room open for the community to use. Also, the illegals who may be living there will be evicted. It is heartbreaking and disappointing to say the least because we have no idea when it will re-open or how many people we know will be kicked out.

This raises a lot of questions about vision and God's leading for this ministry and various logistical/financial issues also. (Since being approved for the 501c3, non-profit status recognized by the IRS, there have been no contributions to the ministry -- should we need to utilize an available apartment space to continue the work there.) Through this opportunity we have been able to meet a real need of the people, build relationships with them and share the Gospel with them almost every week for the past 8 months (with a short break). Many of the Hindu people have no American friends and have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ before. We covet your prayers for wisdom, discernment and direction.

Thank you.



October 12, 2009

Contentment

HEAVENLY FATHER,

If I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty,
make my heart prize thy love,
know it, be constrained by it,
though I be denied all blessings.

It is thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants,
for by these trials I see my sins,
and desire severance from them.

Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations,
if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil,
and be delivered from it with gratitude to thee,
acknowledging this as the highest testimony of thy love.

When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul
instead of sin, he became more dear to me
than sin had formerly been;
his kindly rule replaced sin's tyranny.

Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued
I must not only labour to overcome it,
but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it,
and he must become to me more than vile lust had been;
that his sweetness, power, life may be there.

Thus I must seek a grace from him contrary to sin,
but must not claim it apart from himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come,
comfort me by showing me
that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
but in Christ I am reconciled and live;
that in my self I find insufficiency and no rest,
but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace;
that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good,
but in Christ I have ability to do all things.

Though now I have his graces in part,
I shall shortly have them perfectly
in that state where thou wilt show thyself fully reconciled,
and alone sufficient, efficient,
loving me completely,
with sin abolished.
O Lord, hasten that day.

[Amen!]


(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Ed. Arthur Bennett. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975. pp 294-295.)

October 11, 2009

CCM

Or otherwise known as Contemporary Christian Music is more like pop music for the Christian community. It is great to spark the spiritual interest of non-believers, that "Jesus music" can sound just as cool as secular music. The instrumentation, melody, harmony, form, voicing, beat and rhythm can all mimic secular pop music to a tee.

While at Seminary, being taught and influenced by all my professors and church musicians who loved the Word and sang the Word, God opened my eyes to some of the deception within this widely accepted genre of music.

The problem: the theology. The force of any song lies in it's text. More than melody, harmony, or any other factor, the TEXT is what is important in the song. In Classical music, people leave singing the melody. When people sit in church worship services, they often leave remembering more about the songs that were sung (and the text associated with those songs) than even the preacher's message. Melody makes text easier to remember. Jewish rabbis would have the entire Old Testament memorized (!) because they sang it!

If the text of a song presents a wrong theology of God, then it must be abandoned no matter how popular it is. That is one of the many things I loved about joining the worship leading at Southern and here at Christ Church - every song is trust-worthy in it's presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And not only should songs for the Church reflect correctly the Gospel proclaimed in Scripture, it should use Scriptural language but above all it should be Christ-centered!

Example: Michael W. Smith's song, Above All. The verses are good of themselves, however the problem comes with the chorus,
"Crucified, laid behind the stone,
You lived to die rejected and alone,
Like a rose, trampled on the ground
You took the fall,
And thought of me
Above all."

Wrong. God did not think of people above all the powers and principalities He conquered while, at the same time, rescue a perishing people for His own possession. God thought of HIMSELF above all! For God to put anyone or anything higher in His affections than Himself would be unjust, unloving, unrighteous idolatry! God would be a sinner! Many CCM songs can reflect terrible theology if you just listen.

Some excellent sources for Christ-centered music can be found in the link list in my right sidebar: Before The Throne Music, The Gettys, Sovereign Grace Music, and a new website I just explored, Glory Revealed. Which my friend Erin is having a give-away. This CD appears to be the best kind of music to be giving away. I would like to have these CDs for my own collection. *Hint, hint.* :-)



My Cheeks Hurt!

I just got back from seeing Tim Hawkins at Smoke Rise Baptist Church and man are my cheeks tired! :D (That's grinning from ear to ear people!)

He was great! Jennifer and I had so much fun! We got there just after 7 p.m. and you could tell it was a Baptist church because there were awesome pew seats right in front! (So I guess no preacher should be offended, huh?!) We could see all of his facial expressions and everything! He even came and sat on a lady's lap adjacent to me! A brush with fame! (Not really, he's just another 40 year old man, right!) There was a lot of comedy he performed that is not included in YouTube videos that is really, really funny! He did some songs that are familiar like Chic-fil-A, Things You Don't Say to Your Wife, Delilah, the Aging Rockers bit, and he started the show with The Government Can! He really is very funny live. He graciously autographed my ticket.

There is a song he did, Potty Training, off of Prince's Purple Rain that was very appropriate for Moriah, Jeramy and me! Cracked up!

He did tell us that his wife, who has battled breast cancer, has been cancer-free for a year now! That's awesome too! And he performed a couple of original songs that are more like a testimonial. They were great. :-)

And he did give us an insider tip on the Homeschool Family video: he, his wife and their four kids are in the video. I thought that it was some other family, but it's his own with other borrowed children added and his wife is wearing a fake baby bump!

I'm still laughing about some of the jokes. No matter what kind of stress or bad mood I'm in, comedy always turns it right around. Whenever he comes this way again I will definitely see him if I can.


October 10, 2009

Anti-Anxiety Fix

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
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.
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 4:4-8

This is an excellent passage to commit to memory and I commend it to you as well. I have considered this passage in the brief series of prayer in the Scripture because there is often that saints have brought their petitions to our Lord Jesus Christ and have done so while remaining reverent in an attitude of worship and submission. Thankfully they are recorded for us.

Abraham prayed for healing and conception, likewise Isaac for his wife to conceive and Hannah also. Jacob and David prayed for deliverance from their enemies and King Hezekiah from threatening nations. Moses prayed for the wrath of God to relent and for forgiveness. Solomon prayed to dedicate the Temple.

Of course this list is anything but exhaustive, but praise God that there are many saintly petitioning prayers recorded for us that we can come before God reverently and humbly to ask Him to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

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




October 9, 2009

Lily Can Stand!


Here is a picture of Lily standing up! She just started this yesterday for about 2 minutes! It was awesome.

She didn't pull up to stand this time, but she did pull herself up onto her knees the other day!

One thing I will try to teach her is to fall into a sitting position (to bend her knees) and not a lying down position! Otherwise, that's scary and painful!

She's also getting a few more teeth on the top! Soon it will be a total of four. This afternoon she has been very irritable and I'm not sure why but I am certain that her gums are very sore.


Funny Friday: Kids & Marshmallows

October 8, 2009

In Wrath Remember Mercy

Lord, I have heard of the report about You and I fear.
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years,
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.

God comes from Teman,
and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah.
His splendor covers the heavens,
and the earth is full of His praise.
His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
and there is the hiding of His power.
Before Him goes pestilence,
and plague comes after Him.
He stood and surveyed the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
Yes, the perpetual mountains where shattered,
the ancient hills collapsed.
His ways are everlasting.
I saw the tents of Cushan under distress,
the tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.

Did the Lord rage against the rivers,
or was Your anger against the rivers,
Or was Your wrath against the sea,
that You rode on Your horses,
on Your chariots of salvation?
Your bow was made bare,
the rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah.
You cleaved the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw You and quaked;
the downpour of waters swept by.
The deep uttered forth its voice,
it lifted high its hands.
Sun and moon stood in their places;
they went away at the light of Your arrows,
at the radiance of Your gleaming spear.
In indignation You marched through the earth;
in anger You trampled the nations.
You went forth for the salvation of Your people,
for the salvation of Your anointed.
You struck the head of the house of the evil
to lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah.
You pierced with his own spears
The head of his throngs.
They stormed in to scatter us;
Their exultation was like those
Who devour the oppressed in secret.
You trampled on the sea with Your horses,
On the surge of many waters.

I heard and my inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade us.
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:2-19

October 7, 2009

House Update

Today we attended a three-hour inspection of our prospective home! Oh my goodness! It was very thorough and very long! Jeramy contracted Marlon Page of Home Inspection Pros who was very professional and very thorough. There was virtually no stone unturned! I definitely recommend using him if you need a house inspection. (There is no personal incentive for that name drop.)

Praise God that there is nothing major that must be fixed or repaired immediately! The back deck will need to have some construction for the safety of little ones but that might only take Jeramy one day to complete. We are very grateful to be making a smart investment at this time in the drowning economy.

Lord willing, we will go to closing on the 27th, spend all that day cleaning (mainly for allergen removal - cats) and move in the following day. I'm so excited! We haven't started packing yet, but we will in two weeks. I can't wait to get that house cleaned, get settled and have people over! Yay!


Open The Eyes of My Heart, Lord

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

Ephesians 1:15-19


In this prayer Paul gives thanks to God for the faith of other believers and prays for God to continue to reveal Himself and His wisdom to them in Christ.

I consider that the hope of God's calling is that, as He has chosen us, we will not be abandoned to death and everlasting hell, that Christ will never leave us or forsake us and that He will accomplish all that concerns us for His glory and our good.

The riches of the glory of His inheritance have its roots in the promise God made to Abraham, that He would show him a land for his posterity. But in Christ, our inheritance is in heaven, a little section designated just for us. See 1 Peter 1.

The surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe is explained in the verses that follow. Only by the omnipotence of God can He raise a Man from the dead and place that Man at the top of the spiritual chain of command. And not only this but continues to do this - to give life to dead people and place them in a state of spiritual authority - when He regenerates a heart that was once at enmity against Him and now worships Him joyfully! Just think of what we once were without Christ and where we might be now had God not changed our hearts!


October 6, 2009

"Show Me Your Glory!"

Then Moses said to the LORD, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people!' But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, 'I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.'

"Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people."

And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest."

Then he said to Him, "If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?"

The LORD said to Moses, "I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name."

Then Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!"

And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" Then the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen."

The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."

Moses made haste to bow low toward the earth and worship.

Exodus 33:12-23 & 34:5-8


This is one of my most favorite passages! Moses, the only man who "talked with God as man to man" prays to God, wanting more of Him, "Show me Your glory!" It is awesome! God passes by in front of Him and proclaims His own name! You can also see here that God declares that it is He who has prerogative over His creation - His sovereign right to choose and it is not just a knowledge of fore seen faith.

Hallelujah! Amen!




October 5, 2009

A Lot More Than Just a Vending Machine

Sometimes when I'm in a group and we pray, it seems like we're just bringing a shopping list of requests to our Father - things we want Him to do for us to make our lives and those we love better. "God, I know that You have blessed me with so many things, but could You take care of these other things too? Oh, that would be great!"


Personally, until very recently, I have been discouraged from personal prayer because I didn't want to come to God with just a shopping list of requests. I didn't know how to start. There are so many needs, how could I pray for them and keep God's name holy without treating Him like a cosmic vending machine? Since I had forgotten about the Lord's Model Prayer, I went for a time without much prayer at all. I wanted to pray. I knew that I needed to pray, that I should pray, but I just didn't.

So, how was this overcome? I'm still coming out of it. Having a grateful heart is definitely a great place to start. Acknowledging the character and attributes of our God while in prayer to Him helps direct us toward a humble, worshipful attitude. That's when it becomes easier to have an eternal perspective while taking requests to Him. Having reverence for God's holy presence takes the focus off of all the "make my life better" needs and then we can pray for what God told us to pray for: evangelism and conversion, wisdom and grace to endure our difficulties.

These have been my prayers of late, asking God for grace when I'm physically tired, when my children disobey, when my husband complains and when things don't go as I planned. And God has answered those prayers. When I had run out of patience, God gave me grace and strength to act with patience. When my husband complained, God gave me grace and I kept a positive attitude. When my plans must be changed or abandoned, God gave me grace to be flexible and submissive.

God really does answer prayer. Are we praying for what He wants or what we want?



October 3, 2009

Lots of Exciting Things

Yesterday another tooth has popped out of Lily's gums on the top! I'm very excited about that. Now she'll have two on the top and two on the bottom. She only awoke in pain one night but other than that she has been sleeping a consistent 7 to 8 hours this past week! Yay, Lily! The better she sleeps, the better her parents sleep. :-)

Two girlfriends from my church family and I are going to see Tim Hawkins next Sunday night! This is so exciting! My Mom is going to take the girls for their first sleep over at Grandma Wanda's house! I'm looking forward to the comedy, the fellowship time and a night of no-worries! :-) Again, if any other ladies would like to go just click here for the flyer; tickets are only $15 and benefit a local children's hospital.

We're moving this month! We will close on our house October 27th and move in the 28th, Lord willing! I'm so excited! I just can't hide it! :-) My Mother-in-Law will be coming up to help pack, clean and move in. I always enjoy her coming up.

And the seasons are changing. It is so beautiful to watch the leaves turn colors and the days are so nice - blue, blue skies, sunshine, autumn leaves - it's like a Kinkade painting.

I'm also looking forward to the girl's joint birthday party in December! Because . . . it will be in our new home!!!

All kinds of wonderful things happening in the next couple of weeks and months!
Yay for October!



October 2, 2009

Funny Friday: Gettin' Older

Or should I say, more mature?! :-)


Enjoy.

On a personal note: when I get older, I have NO intentions of dying my gray hair. I'm not sure how I'm going to accept gravity and wrinkles though. :-D



October 1, 2009

Married Without Children

Feminism, secular and evangelical, has deceived many men and women into claiming more egalitarian androgynous roles which God did not intend before the Fall. Voddie Baucham has said, "We [our Western culture] are not raising women. We are raising men who are biologically capable of bearing children."

The selfish and self-centered ideals of feminism have created a super-structure in which women determine, apart from a Biblical worldview, their own destinies. Our society, and even the Church, has rejected what has been clearly revealed in the Text.

Now I have seen, and experienced myself (while attending a secular university), a generation of women who desire marriage but have no desire for children and are even content not to bear a single one. But this is not just a mere contentment, it borders more along the lines of unwanted scorn. This idea is not new and should not surprise us. This is one of the off-shoots from the abortion Culture of Death - just don't bear any.

Scripture is very clear that the offices of wife and mother were never intended to be separated. The desire to get married is the same as the desire to have a family. When a man and woman are united together in the covenant relationship of marriage, they create a new family (Genesis 2:24) which includes children (Genesis 1:27-28). There is nothing wrong with having the desire to marry and it is certainly a gift of the Spirit to be content with singleness (1 Corinthians 7). There are many passages that talk about the blessing of children and family life.

Besides the undeniable reality of the union between marriage and family, having its roots in Creation, specifically Biblical Womanhood, dictates that the offices of wife and mother are connected in such a way that they were not intended to be separated (Genesis 1:28 & 3:20, Titus 2:3-5). Of course women marry without the possibility to bear children, but the nurturing qualities which are divine in origin have been communicated to us as God's image-bearers (Genesis 1:27). Within the institution of marriage, we all must be willing to "multiply" as God has commanded us through biological or adoptive means. It is imperative not an option.

All women, especially blood-bought, Christ-redeemed women, must embrace Biblical Womanhood. Passages from Genesis 1-3, 1 Peter 3, Titus 2, Ephesians 5 and the like guide us to joyfully accept the greater glory of the purpose for which God created both genders in His image and how we can reflect that best, as His people.

The emphasis is reclaiming and living in an attitude of pre-Fall existence waiting eagerly for the redemption of all things (Rom 8:19-23, Revelation 21).

If we do not accept our Biblical mandates for God-created, God-intended, Manhood and Womanhood, then the Gospel we preach through words and deeds is a false one.