Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Saturday, September 30, 2006

a fun night out...finally

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.

Ryan, Megan, Brad and Sandy (no ages necessary), between hands of cards, picture complements of Paige (hey, at least all our heads are in the picture)
 Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 29, 2006

Our babies...

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!

 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some encouraging words from the Lord..

Another promise from God, where our very happiness can be found.
Psalm 119:25-45 (New Living Translation)
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;
revive me by your word.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
Now teach me your principles.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
and I will meditate on your wonderful miracles.
28 I weep with grief;
encourage me by your word.
29 Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your law.
30 I have chosen to be faithful;
I have determined to live by your laws.
31 I cling to your decrees.
LORD, don't let me be put to shame!
32 If you will help me,
I will run to follow your commands.
33 Teach me, O LORD,
to follow every one of your principles.
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your law;
I will put it into practice with all my heart.
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
36 Give me an eagerness for your decrees;
do not inflict me with love for money!
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word.[a]
38 Reassure me of your promise,
which is for those who honor you.
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
your laws are all I want in life.
40 I long to obey your commandments!
Renew my life with your goodness.
41 LORD, give to me your unfailing love,
the salvation that you promised me.
42 Then I will have an answer for those who taunt me,
for I trust in your word.
43 Do not snatch your word of truth from me,
for my only hope is in your laws.
44 I will keep on obeying your law
forever and forever.
45 I will walk in freedom,
for I have devoted myself to your commandments.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A warning and a promise

The verse that popped up on my blog this morning through was the very verse that I have both said and heard many times in the past few weeks. It is speaking to Christians that God will take vengeance. But as I read the entire passage, I am grieved over my own sin, and how I have "trampled on the Son of God" and treated my covenant with him. He promises consequences for that, so why are we surprised by his discipline? So we must first change our thinking about God. A great passage to follow up with is James 1:21-25. This verse promises a blessing. A blessing from God for obedience sounds much better than enduring his vengeance for deliberately choosing sin. It is so worth it. Choosing God and His way, even when we don't understand it is always the best thing to do.
Hebrews 10:26-31 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by
International Bible Society

26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,
27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[a] and again, "The Lord will judge his people."[b]
31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

James 1:21-25 (New International Version)
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
24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Monday, September 25, 2006

riding the mower

Peyton, Paige, Brad and Coal enjoy a nice fall day while getting some work done

Hi Mom!

 Posted by Picasa is marvelous in our eyes

Over the past few days, I have had the phrase of the verse "It is marvelous in our eyes" running through my head. The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions, however, it is my desire to give praise and glory to God no matter what my circumstances are. I need to praise God in my happiness, fears, and sadness. When I got home from work this morning, I decided to look up that passage, and I was blessed by the entire chapter. I am posting it in the NIV here.

Psalm 118
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
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,
and he answered by setting me free.
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
I will look in triumph on my enemies.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me on every side,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
but they died out as quickly as burning thorns;
in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
"The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!
16 The LORD's right hand is lifted high;
the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"
17 I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
18 The LORD has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
23 the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you. [a]
27 The LORD is God,
and he has made his light shine upon us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up [b] to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Steph!

Steph and Sandy, 3 and 4 months old. looking on, cousin Candy, Aunt Kelly, cousin Chris and my sister Jamie. Our first Christmas 1974

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.
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A note on friendship..

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. :)

 Posted by Picasa

A bit of a debate from ss class..

In our Sunday school class we have been talking about the 12 disciples. Today, we began to talk about Judas. You know, the one who betrayed Christ. Our teacher gave 4 possible scenarios as to what happened that caused Judas to betray Christ. One of the scenarios was that Judas was merely a pawn that God was using to fulfull prophecy. The other 3 scenarios involved Judas has being subject to free will only. This sparked a huge debate unlike I have ever seen before in this class. A few of the verses mentioned were John 15:16, Ps 41:9, Zach 11:12-13, Matt 27:9-10, John 6:63-64. We came close to discussing predestination, but of course, class time ran short. I am sure we will continue our discussion of Judas in the coming weeks. I am looking forward to more discussion and learning more. How do our poor choices factor in to God's plan? I personally feel that God uses our free will decisions, good or bad, and uses them to give himself glory at some point. I woul love to hear any thoughts on this subject, from my limited information, so I might have something interesting to take to the discussion next time! By the way, I totally agreed with my cousin Stephanie in every comment she made today in the discussion, and that does'nt happen every week;)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What I am learning, and what I wish I'd know long ago..

In my Focus on the Family bible study that I am working on, this morning it was about repentance and godly sorrow. As most believers, I have grapled with sin in my life and how to deal with it. Of course, the answer is right in God's word, if I had bothered to look for it. In 2 Corinthians 7, God tells us just how to deal with sin.

...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.

Proverbs 16:20
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

Friday, September 15, 2006

words of comfort from God..

Psalm 62:5-8
My soul, wait thou only upon God: for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation. He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory. The rock of my strength, and my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour our your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The text for my devotions today...

Lamentations 3
Hope in the LORDs Faithfulness
1I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the LORD's anger.
2He has brought me into deep darkness, shutting out all light.
3He has turned against me. Day and night his hand is heavy upon me.
4He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones.
5He has attacked me and surrounded me with anguish and distress.
6He has buried me in a dark place, like a person long dead.
7He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains.
8And though I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayers.
9He has blocked my path with a high stone wall. He has twisted the road before me with many detours.
10He hid like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me.
11He dragged me off the path and tore me with his claws, leaving me helpless and desolate. 12He bent his bow and aimed it squarely at me.
13He shot his arrows deep into my heart.
14My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs.
15He has filled me with bitterness. He has given me a cup of deep sorrow to drink.
16He has made me grind my teeth on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust.
17Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18I cry out, "My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!"
19The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.[
20I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
21Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
22The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
23Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day.
24I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"
25The LORD is wonderfully good to those who wait for him and seek him.
26So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.
27And it is good for the young to submit to the yoke of his discipline.
28Let them sit alone in silence beneath the LORD's demands.
29Let them lie face down in the dust; then at last there is hope for them.
30Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them. Let them accept the insults of their enemies.
31For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever.
32Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love.
33For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.

God is teaching me about my emotions being ruled by my thinking. In these verses, we see a very emotional Jeremiah and how he changes his thinking about God, and therefore his thinking changes. Verse 20 brings about a change if his thinking. This verse really speaks to me because he says he will never forget what has happened to him, but in the next verse he dares to hope in God's unfailing love. This is where I want to spend my life, daring to hope in God's unfailing love. My bible study, while ultimately timely words to me from God through Lamentations, came from a Focus of the Family bible study Healing the Heart, study topic Restoration. While this study is primarily for women, there are great things in it for all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Labor day fun take 3

family softball take 3

Paige is the pitcher in this installment of family softball. We had a great family day on labor day this year. I felt blessed to have us together.

Labor day fun take 2

family softball take 2

more softball in the Reese backyard on labor day.

Labor day fun take 1

family softball take 1

If only we had video of when I was batting and I pegged Brad right in the jugular! Now that would have been good video.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A song of praise

By Casting Crowns
I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
and wiped our tears away
,stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
that it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear your whisper through the rain,
I'm with you
and as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away
And i'll praise you in this storm
and i will lift my hands
that you are who you are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
you hold in your hand
you never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm
I remember when I stumbled in the wind
you heard my cry
you raised me up again
my strength is almost gone
how can I carry on
if I can't find you
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear you whisper through the rain
I'm with you
and as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy retirement, Mom

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.

My mom (Fran) and her boss and dear friend, Dr. Labayog
 Posted by Picasa
batting practice

Granny, Grandad and mommy watch while Brad and Peyton and Paige practice