Sunday, October 7, 2012

Wretched Sister

First things first: I know I have been a terrible blogger as of late. I didn't realize just how distracting becoming engaged would be! So, until things calm down (I'm not sure when that will be) don't count on regular posts from me. I do hope to be a little more active in the blogosphere in the near future, so don't give up on me totally!

Okay, so today, Blane Jr. shared his talents of recording and editing with us, so that Nathan and I could share our talents with you. This song is so very special and we performed it in memory of our brother Jed 2 weeks ago, right before the 10th anniversary of his death. See more about him here.

I hope you will be able to see past the imperfections and listen to what the song is saying.
Here are the lyrics:

VERSE 1 It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high 
Who’ve found their home with God
It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne 
Delivered from our fears

CHORUS 
O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save 
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

VERSE 2 
It is not death to fling 
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing 
To live among the just
It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years 
To praise You evermore



God bless! (and thanks Blane!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Very Over-Due Announcement


What is it they say? "One picture is worth a thousand words".

Well, what does this one say to you?

The 'thousand words' to follow in the next few days...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Nothing But Yarn



Who would think it would be so time consuming to shop for yarn online? Well, it is and that's what I've been doing this afternoon. I took a long break from knitting (6 months) and now I'm building up my supply for Star Hill Baby Knits again. It's exciting to be getting back to it, looking at new yarns and new pattern possibilities, but doing all this ate up my "Thoughtful Thursday" time. So, I'll give you a Psalm I read recently to chew on:

Psalm 20
May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah
May he grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
O LORD, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.

And a song that speaks to me:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--It is Not Death to Die

In the words of a dear friend, my blog has gotten "cobwebby". So, I didn't want another Thursday to slip by without a post.

My precious grandmother, 'Guh', who has suffered from Alzheimers disease for the last 15 years or so, is very near the end of her earthly journey. It is amazing how good her physical health has continued to be for so many years, but now she is rapidly deteriorating.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Sunlight and Dust


I was at work the other night, when the Lord reminded me of an important Truth through a very simple illustration. Sunlight and dust.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--"Years"



I feel like the three main lessons of my life have been learning who I am, who God is and how to be patient.

Learning to wait. A lesson in which you need to have patience in order to learn it. I'm sure you all have had the experience of waiting for something. As a child, waiting an hour seemed like an eternity. Thankfully, I have learned a little patience so that an hour is no longer a challenge. But days, weeks, months, years?! Still hard. And the more you focus on the thing you're waiting for, the longer it seems to take. Like the watched pot that never boils.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Freedom Friday--Taking Grace for Granted?




I titled today's post Freedom Friday because, even though I have set the precedent of Thoughtful Thursday, I am free to miss a day, to skip a day, and write some other time. So, I trust my readers will give me grace.

Grace.

Now that is something the Lord brought to my attention a couple nights ago...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Desire


    
"Trust in the Lord, and do good;
     dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 Commit your way to the Lord;
     trust in him, and he will act.
Psalm 37:3-5

This is one of the most comforting passages in Scripture...of which there are many. It's so good to know that our God is trustworthy, isn't it? The author of the Psalm says to trust in the Lord, because we can! He has proven Himself again and again, throughout Scripture and throughout the lives of people around me, that He is worthy of trust. By His very nature, which is perfectly good, He cannot be anything but trustworthy. If He were not, He would not be God.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--More Important Things...


Well, here I sit, trying to get started on an interesting, impressive post. The dogs are sleeping, mom is getting groceries and Natalie has been playing nicely by herself. That is, until I started typing. This happens almost every time, and I get irritated at it. But for some reason this time, I'm reminded that she is more important than the deadline I've created for myself in writing Thoughtful Thursdays.

People are more important than any 'good thing' we may be trying to accomplish. When we seek to push them aside, we are being selfish and losing proper perspective.

So, while I realize it's Friday, and I missed last weeks post, I just don't have the time this week for a nice complete post. I'll be at the beach next week (YAY!) and that sounds like a good time to do some writing...maybe I can get more than one post prepared?!

Until next time, I was blessed by Psalm 86 recently. Give it a look!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Forgetful Friday--Feelings


In preparing something to write today, I went back and read last week's post, A Reflection of Me. It got me to thinking about my attitude last week, that while it was wicked and sinful and rooted in discontentment, there was another factor to consider: how I was feeling.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--A Reflection of Me

Through different circumstances today, my Lord has held up the Mirror of His Character to my soul and has shown me where I have been falling short recently and why.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Oops!

Sorry, everyone. Thursday came and went before I blinked!
Will try to make up for it... : )

Here's a pretty picture to think about in the meantime:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Not-so thoughtful

Well, it has been quite a week so far. We got back home from our Florida trip Sunday night, after a long, but smooth, drive.

The visit with friends and family was so great. I am very thankful we were able to make the trip. More about it on the family blog...

So we got back home late Sunday, then my dad and brother got up Monday morning and drove to Wake Forest to pick up our new Puppy, Titus II. He is so precious, and I think Nathan already shared some pictures on his blog, but here's a video!

video

As Nathan said, Titus is doing wonderfully, but our other dog, Adrian, is having a hard time understanding why we have a strange dog in our house. All it is really, I think, is his skittish-ness. He has always been very skittish with people in the past, and really hasn't been around other dogs. So when Titus lunges at him to play with him, Adrian takes that as aggression.

We've figured out that the best way to let them interact is for Titus to be on the leash, so we can control his lunges. Then Adrian can move around as he likes, without Titus jumping in his face. They both do really well when my dad is around. He must be the alpha dog : )

I think we are seeing progress, though, in each 'socialization session' and we are hopeful that they'll get along eventually.

Thursday is almost gone, so I will sign off for today...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--The Privilege of Abiding in Christ


Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 ESV)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heavy Machinery and Sunflowers

So, since I had to postpone the second part of my Thoughtful Thursday last week, so that I could plan for these cakes adequately, I thought you all might like to see what kept me from writing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Forgive Me?

Yes, I know I said I would continue with my post this week, talking about abiding in Christ. But, I must ask my readers to forgive me, I am going to postpone that until next week. My research time has been cake, cake, cake! Which I love. I love having cakes to plan and bake and decorate.

So, until next week...



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday-- Bearing Fruit (100th post!)


Imagine you are walking through a beautiful, lush apple orchard. Rows and rows of lovely looking trees, pretty pink apples blushing through the fresh green leaves.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Sunday Afternoon Project

Moss. 
Ferns. 
Rocks. 
Frogs. 
Miniature trees. 
I've always loved these things.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Psalm 34

And yes, I took this picture. Almost 3 years to the day!


Chelsea, over at 365 Devotions For Unmarried Christian Women, shared this Psalm last Sunday and I was struck by the beauty of it. Take a little moment to read it.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.

Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!

The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?

Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.

Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.

The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.

Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

(Psalm 34 ESV)

Have you experienced the goodness of the Lord? Have you cried out to Him and had Him answer? Has He delivered you from your fears? Have you felt His presence surrounding you, protecting you, comforting you when you are crushed?

Why is He so good to us? Because He is just that good.

Have a blessed Thursday!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Testimonies

I watched these two testimonies the other day and was simply amazed at God's goodness...





Doesn't that just make you smile? Think about and thank God for your testimony. I know I have!




Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Legalism or Love?



I believe that from the beginning, God's Law was built in to His creation: 

"Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:29-31 ESV)

It was simple, uncomplicated. The only 'shall not' that Adam and Eve had to worry about was:


"but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
(Genesis 2:17 ESV)

But mankind sinned. The simple principle of love was not specific enough. The wickedness from each successive generation built upon the ones before it. There needed to be something to restrain mans sinful actions.

That is when God laid down His moral Law, through His servant Moses. This time He was specific; He listed 10 commands for His people to obey. The first 'checklist', if you will. This 'checklist' was given, not to provide a way for a man to be perfect (not possible), but to be a Guardian, a restraining influence. (and more, most importantly to point to the need of a Savior!)

"Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed."
(Galatians 3:23 ESV)


"I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world."
(Galatians 4:1-3 ESV)

God's Law is perfect, but mankind is far from it. Even this specific list of 'do's' and 'don't's' could not make man any better, in his heart. (For a word of clarification: I don't want to make it sound like this was some kind of 'trial and error' attempt on God's part. This was His plan of redemption from the beginning, to show us His love and our need for Him.)

Then the time was gloriously fulfilled that God should send His Son. God the Son, writer of the Law, born under the Law, the only One who could completely keep the Law, came to redeem those restrained by the Law.

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son, born of woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." 
(Galatians 4:4-5)

God's Law is still in effect. It is still wrong to lie, or steal, or kill. But because of Christ's sacrifice we are free from the burden of the Law, since it is Christ's Righteousness we have received and not our own through fulfilling the Law (like we could).


"So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,"
(Galatians 3:24-25 ESV)

I daresay we are no different than the Jews who were trying to keep the 10 commandments all those years ago. The same sinful people in need of redemption. I know I still desire 'checklists'. Specific directions to follow that will guarantee a specific, pleasured outcome. And I'm not the only one.

Just look at all the 'self-help' books on the secular and Christian shelves. Yeah, we Christians have self-help books too. The most popular one's being about getting married, staying married and raising children.

From the time I was 13, I read and listened to everything I could find about the 'Dating vs. Courtship' debate. Books, articles, tapes, cd's. All of them attempted to lay out a formula to follow. Which, in all honesty, I can't blame them for. Our culture had gotten so far removed from any semblance of biblical principles in relationships, there needed to be some defining and redefining of terms.

But the dangerous thing was that people, myself included, took these 'rules', these 'checklists', to heart, without stopping to consider if these rules were found in Scripture. When you take a formula and just go with it, it is possible to leave faith in God totally out of the process. How devastating! I'm afraid this is what happened with the Jews in their efforts to follow the Law in their own righteousness.

Now, let me clarify: The books, articles, tapes and cd's that I learned from did serve a good purpose. A lot of them did take principles from Scripture and they did 'reset' my thinking about how I would 'do' relationships. My issue is that I and so many people grab hold of the external and believe that 'one size fits all'. Unless God directly commands something, it takes a little bit of faith to interpret how Scripture applies to things, and sometimes it is different for each individual situation.

Legalism vs. Love, Law vs. Grace has been a recurring theme in my life and especially for the past month. Beginning with something Paul Washer said, then Voddie Baucham, then last weeks sermon from Pastor Blane, and finally a homeschool seminar and a conversation with a friend.

Now, I don't want anyone to think I'm backsliding, or giving up any convictions, this past month has simply been an awakening of the understanding (not just knowing) that the Gospel truly is the CENTRAL thing for any issue. I'm not giving up my convictions about biblical relationships, but I am seeking to evaluate the formula I've learned, comparing it against Scripture.

I want to seek the Lord in all areas of my life. The more I learn to depend on Him for everything, the more my life will line up with biblical principles. This is a scary statement to make; it takes a tremendous amount of faith and it's so much easier to lean on a checklist than to search the Scriptures! (That's why I've done it all these years)

There are many good 'checklists', the Law especially, but that's not enough. I really do believe a real, living, breathing relationship with Christ is the best way to learn what His will is for every season of life.



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Five-Minute Friday--Delight

This weeks word is:

Delight



GO.

"And his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and on His Law he meditates day and night."

The Law of the Lord truly is the most delightful thing. His decrees, His promises, His commands. But do I delight in them? Do I even think often of them?

I have a very deep sense of morality, of right and wrong, of God's Law. But is it because I delight in it?

Lately I have wondered if I would be described by others as a lover of Jesus. If someone was talking about me, would they say, "Oh, she loves Jesus with all her heart."? I really don't know. But, I want that to be what defines me: Jesus. 

I want Jesus to be my delight.

How is this accomplished? 

I believe the way to love Jesus more is to understand more deeply what exactly He has done for us. To learn more and more of the Gospel. When I began to study more about Theology and learned more of God's attributes, I was simply in awe of what a great God we serve.

So, in order to make Jesus my delight, I need to delight in His Word, the Gospel.

STOP.

Hop on over to Gypsy Mama's blog and join the fun!




Thursday, February 16, 2012

Time Flies...

Oh my goodness. Where does the time go? It slips away when we're busy. Or like John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

Anyways, I do have a Thoughtful Thursday I really want to do! But, I've yet to get the time to do it. I want to do it justice, so it may have to wait until next week. : (

But meanwhile, this is what we had for Valentine's Day:


And here is the Valentine bouquet made by me and Natalie-Rose


And these are some pictures from a recent 'Sisters baking class'. I had a lot of baking to do around my birthday and Natalie was begging to help. I told her we would bake a cake together later. We actually got to do it!

All from scratch!


Silly faces!

 (Ooh, that's a little scary)

Natalie loved getting to use the camera : )




Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sissified, Needy Jesus

Whoa, this will give you a boost! 


"If you can't say 'amen' you better say 'ouch'!"

My Last Birthday Hoorah

Tonight, as a late birthday gift, my brother is accompanying me to the Asheville Symphony Orchestra's performance of Beethoven Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”, Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1, and Wagner's Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde. It's really so wonderful to have this opportunity! (and to have a brother that shares my love of music)

I'm not a particularly big fan of Beethoven, but the "Pastoral" symphony is beautiful. I mainly wanted to go to this event so that I could hear a piano performance live. Again, I'm not a particularly big fan of Liszt, but I am of Chopin, and they were contemporaries. So it should be good. And the Wagner Prelude, I have no clue about. Here are a couple videos, if any of you are curious:





Friday, February 10, 2012

Five minute Friday



So, I missed Thoughtful Thursday yesterday. 

But, I thought I'd try this "Five minute Friday" thing from The Gypsy Mama


This Friday the word is "Trust".

Okay.

GO.

All my life I have been learning to trust. 
And I have been taught to trust. 
And I have learn who I can trust and who I cannot. 

The earliest lessons came when an infant. When I needed nourishment, I cried and I was fed. When I needed comfort, I cried and I was held. I learned early on that I could trust my parents and they showed me what a trustworthy person looked like. 

Sometimes, I have started off trusting someone but after a time realized they were not trustworthy. 
That's a hard lesson, but I learned to be a little more cautious with where I put my trust.

The ultimately trustworthy person though, of course, is my Heavenly Father. He ALWAYS has my best interest at heart and is all-knowing. I know I can always trust Him.

STOP.

Visit the link and give it a try yourself! You might be surprised at what comes out : )

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Scripture Memory Tool


I found this website through...I don't remember. Hmmm. Well, anyways. I love it!

You don't have to sign up, but it's free and you get more use out of it if you do.
Once you sign up, you can import your own favorite scriptures to memorize or use the ones they already have available. Then you 'type it' - type out the verse as you read it, 'memorize it' - type the verse with every other word taken out, and 'master it' - type the verse completely from memory.

I hope you try it and that it works for you just as well as it does for me!

(Click the image above to go to the website)

Thoughtful Thursday--Life Lessons from Mosquito Coast



Mom picked up a movie from the library the other day (I'm so glad they've gone back to loaning them for free) and we watched it night before last. We had seen it before, but that was a long time ago, and I felt like I hadn't really liked it, but couldn't remember why. It all came back to me when I started watching it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--Courageous

I saw this movie last night and it was on my mind a lot today. Just processing the different situations and issues that were touched on. What a great way they handled such an important message! To me, the movie was top-quality, the acting was great, the story incredible and the message eternal. Hopefully it makes you thoughtful. Please take a couple minutes to watch the trailer for "Courageous".

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--I'm 27!

Last Monday, January 16th, I turned 27. 


It is a strange thing, feeling that I have that many years of experience under my belt, and yet that those years of experience do not add up to much. I feel like I have just begun gathering wisdom. That all the years I've lived have been spent 'growing up' and now learning wisdom is the new phase I'm entering.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Kitchen is Clean...

I delivered the last of my cake orders this afternoon.

Sure, it's a lot of work, the planning, the mixing, baking and decorating. 
But there's something I just love about it. And when the cake is eaten and the kitchen is clean, I am bereft.

Special Music

Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of our church, Simple Truth Bible Fellowship. As a part of the celebration, Blane Jr. had the idea for us to do this song. Daniel and I were the 'guest wretch' and 'wretched sister'. : )



Plus, he did a special birthday song for our music leader, Philip and me.

Birthday song

Thanks so much Brothers! : )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday-- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead



No, I'm not describing myself. But that is the title of a documentary I watched just recently. It was so inspiring, I went 5 days without eating. Yep, that's right. 

A whole work week with no food.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday--A To-Do List for 2012



Because of the success of last years goals, I am making a list for this year. And yes, I do consider last year a success, because I did accomplish half of my list. : )

This year's goals are not big ones, but they are important to me, nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Captivated

As a *delayed* follow up to my Thoughtful Thursday post "Technically Fed-up", this documentary looks right on time. Take a look!