Brad and I and the girls were invited to spend Friday evening at our friend's Ryan and Megan's house. We haven't made the time to spend time with them in quite a few months. We have been going over there for dinner, cards and conversation since our girls were little. I can remember Ryan and Megan's house being one of the first places, other than family, that we took Peyton and Paige after they came home from the hospital. They have added two boys to their home since then, so it makes for a lively evening! We were grateful for the upstairs toyroom. We spent lots of time laughing, and it was so good for all of us. I felt actual contentment on the way home from their house. I know that I get daily grace from the Lord to be content with whatever circumstances, but it is great when it gets handed to you effortlessly for just a little while. I felt very blessed to be part of my own little family, and part of our circle of friends who love us.
Neil (2 1/2), Peyton (6 1/2), Caleb (almost 5), Paige (6 1/2)
as they wind the evening down with Toy Story 2.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
By popular demand! Here is a newer picture of Coal. He is still a puppy, but a big puppy he is. At the vet a couple of weeks ago, he weighed 63 pounds. Here he enjoys some attention from Daddy when he got home from work.
Paige and Peyton in their new clothes! Brad and I went shopping last night and couldn't resist these outfits. We absolutely love our brown eyed girls!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
25 I lie in the dust, completely discouraged;
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
28 I weep with grief;
29 Keep me from lying to myself;
30 I have chosen to be faithful;
31 I cling to your decrees.
32 If you will help me,
33 Teach me, O LORD,
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your law;
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
36 Give me an eagerness for your decrees;
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
38 Reassure me of your promise,
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
40 I long to obey your commandments!
41 LORD, give to me your unfailing love,
42 Then I will have an answer for those who taunt me,
43 Do not snatch your word of truth from me,
44 I will keep on obeying your law
45 I will walk in freedom,
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
Monday, September 25, 2006
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
2 Let Israel say: "His love endures forever."
3 Let the house of Aaron say: "His love endures forever."
4 Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever."
5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
10 All the nations surrounded me,
11 They surrounded me on every side,
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
14 The LORD is my strength and my song;
15 Shouts of joy and victory
16 The LORD's right hand is lifted high;
17 I will not die but live,
18 The LORD has chastened me severely,
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness;
20 This is the gate of the LORD
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
22 The stone the builders rejected
23 the LORD has done this,
24 This is the day the LORD has made;
25 O LORD, save us;
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
27 The LORD is God,
28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Steph and Sandy, First Baptist Spring Formal, 1992
Stephanie showing off at Christmas, behind her is (l), Grandma Boo Boo, Grandma June, Uncle John (Steph's dad), Jamie, Aunt Shawn (her mom) and Grandpa Bruce
Hey girl, I hope you had a good day. Sorry it took you-know-who to remind me. I love you for all of your endless support over the past 32 years. I am so blessed to have you for a friend, cousin, and Sister in Christ.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
For many years, I thought I had missed the boat on true friendship. In many ways, I had. You see, I didn't quite know what true friendship looked like. So now, at the ripe age of 32, I am getting a clue. I am glad to get this information while there is still time to teach it to my two young children. My pastor has been doing a series on adversity at church. This morning, he spoke on how Adversity can be a test of true friendship, God's way of sifting our friendships. He spoke from I Samuel on the relationship between David and Jonathon. .He posed the question, are you building true friendships that will strengthen and encourage your walk with God. Well, I did end up with Christian friends, but that wasn't generally our focus. Oh, there was always, "I will pray for you." But until recently, I didn't understand the importance of this need.
We should examine our friendships for character. God wants friendships to be edifying, to be proactive, to first and foremost want to please God. Is my life about what pleases me? Is my life about what pleases God? He used the example from 2 Sam of Amnon having a friend that gave him bad advise, and he ended in destruction. This quality is about Lordship. Also under this category is that a true friendship is a Covenant based on trust, which is each individual's responsibility. This is apposed to a contract, which is based on limiting your liability. A covenant cannot be broken even if circumstances change. David's friendship with Jonathon was a covenant with God.
The second quality is Love. Real love is a decision of our will. Sacrifice all we have, lay it down on the behalf of someone else. A feeling of oneness comes in that relationship decisions. This leads to right feelings. The third quality is Loyalty. This is characterized by staying even when things get tough, enduring when there is adversity. Jonathon and David had loyalty through thick and thin. Jonathon put his own life on the line for David, even though he could have jealously wanted to be king himself. The 4th quality is of Conduct. Look in Luke 10: 30-37 and 15:12-16. We see a picture of the Prodigal son and also of the Good Samaritan. The componant of conduct are sacrifice, endurance, consistency.
None of this is from me, it is totally copied from my sermon notes this morning. If anybody wants a tape, I can arrange that. God really spoke to me about my responsibilities in my relationships. So I want to take this moment to say a bit about my three best friends. I am reposting this last picture of us together over the summer. Charity, Stephanie, and Amanda have shown Lordship, Love, Loyalty and Conduct to me over the past month in a huge way. God has used each of them to give glory to himself in my life. I know that I will make mistakes ande so will they, but ultimately, we can all learn how to be the kind of friends that God wants us to be. What a huge responsibility, and a huge gift.
Girls, I love you all, and on a lighter note, I am looking forward to the Covered Bridge Festival, as long as someone besides me is responsible for directions. :)
Saturday, September 16, 2006
...but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such readiness to punish the wrongdoer. You showed that you have done everything you could to make things right. (vs 9b-11 New living translation)
Paul had sent a letter to the Corithians to expose their sin, and this was uncomfortable for all of them, including for Paul. They needed to rebuke in order to grow. I can apply this to my life in being sure that I have repentance for my own sin and deal with it correctly. But I can also have respect for those in authority that sometimes have to use discipline in order to see true repentance toward God in someone's life. This is more truth about God.
The next thing that I read this morning was from Proverbs. I am reading the Proverb that goes along with that day of the month, so today I read Proverbs 16. I would encourage anyone to make a habit of reading the Proverb of the day. I don't always know what to do and I must depend on God to give the answer, either through a peace with prayer, with wise counsel, or under direction from authority. This verse gave me assurance today.
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Hope in the LORDs Faithfulness
4He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones.
7He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains.
10He hid like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me.
13He shot his arrows deep into my heart.
16He has made me grind my teeth on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust.
19The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.[a]
22The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
25The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him.
28Let them sit alone in silence beneath the LORD's demands.
31For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
My mother has been a nurse for 40 years this year. She took a few years off when I was small, but she has worked for the same hospital since Sept 5, 1978. The hospital has changed names several times since then, and mom has worked different shifts in different areas. For over seven years now, she has been serving in the Cancer Center and she has loved it. Of course, I take some credit for this because I pushed her into applying for that job. Mom's health hasn't been the best in the past few years, so she has decided to stop being paid to be a nurse. Lucky for me, she will still be doing so for free for those of us around her. I have been a nurse for 9 years now, and I can only hope to obtain the level of respect and genuine affection she has obtained over the past 28 years. Everywhere I go in that place and beyond in the community, I am told by others who have either worked with her or been cared for by her what an exceptional woman my mother is. Of course, I wholeheartedly agree. I know she will miss her coworkers, her patients and their families. I also know that while God has used her as a witness to many of these people who are living with Cancer, God will continue to use her no matter where she is. I am personally looking forward to an expanded"mother and grandmother" role! Seriously Mom, I love you so much. I know you have been saying it to me lately, but I need to say it to you, I am so proud of you.