November 17, 2008

I've been tagged!

Erin at Glimpse Into the Life of the Stanfords tagged me to share fifteen things that I'm not afraid to admit. Now I'm just admitting, not explaining!

1. I like sugar in my grits.
2. Touching fresh chopped tomatoes make me gag, but I can eat them cooked.
3. I have seen all 3 High School Musicals.
4. My sister and I communicate in songs...mainly from musicals that we have grown up watching.
5. I would love to be a fly on the wall in CJ and Carolyn Mahaney's house.
6. Every year at Christmas, from the time I was 16 until I was married at 22, I secretly wished that I would unwrap a set of car keys.
7. I don't like scary movies AT ALL!
8. I don't like movies with witches in them.
9. I've never lived in one place longer than 6 years.
10. I don't like sleeping in a room by myself.
11. I like to try new recipes.
12. I know every line and every song to Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and the Sound of Music.
13. I listen to the Rick and Bubba Show every morning from 6 am until 10 am.
14. I dry my hair in the mornings in between the commercials to the show (so I don't miss it...I know, sad isn't it?)
15. I have been to every state east of the Mississippi River.

Ok, so that was sort of fun! You can ask me about any of them, but I might not explain...Erin didn't tell me I had to explain! Haha! :-)

November 05, 2008

My AWESOME Husband!

I am so thankful for my husband and what God is doing in his life right now. I'm so excited to be apart. Last night after the election results came through, about 10:00 our time, my husband gets VERY excited. He is grinning from ear to ear and for those of you that know him...he is rocking A LOT in his chair! Evidently he has been communicating with Mars Phoenix. When he told me, I had no clue what or who he was talking about. For those of you (like me) who don't stay on top of our space exploration, it is the spacecraft that is exploring the planet Mars. Shane twittered with Mars Phoenix, asking him to turn the mic on so blind people could get an idea of what being in space is like. Anyway...Here is the blog entry if you are interested, and Shane is the "blind man" mentioned towards the bottom of the blog entry and the entire twitter conversation is below...check out that my husband (jack728) says "Blind people would really dig it..." I love how he says "dig it" talking to a funny! Isn't this so COOL though??? Or is it just me?

October 30, 2008

Where I am today...

At just the right time I got this in my email box this morning:

“Jesus Christ is stronger!”

“Ready for some good news? . . .

Jesus Christ is stronger!

Stronger than my fears about the future or my shame over a past that cannot be altered though I wish so much I could do some things differently.

Stronger than my tired prayers with well-worn phrases and weary pleas.

Stronger than my need to know now, and have the trial terminated.

Stronger than the enemy of my soul who would discourage me with my own failings and disillusion me with the faults of others.

Such a simple truth—Jesus Christ is Stronger. ‘Stronger than what,’ you ask?

Stronger than whatever would cause you doubt or discouragement today.”

—James McDonald,
“Jesus Christ is Stronger”
(HT: Tim Challies)


Sharing the Wealth

Shane and I are going to try this for a week and see how it goes:

Redistribution of Wealth

Published at 12pm on 10/27/08

An Inside the Beltway Forward …
In a local restaurant my server had on a “Obama 08″ tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference–just imagine the coincidence.
When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need–the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.
I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I’ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.
At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more.
I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

You can find more insight on politics at William is a good friend of ours who lives in Washington D.C. with his wife, Diamond, and his 1 year old son, Will. His blog is very good and provides some different perspectives on what it is to be a conservative.

September 22, 2008

Let the Bidding Begin

I made 3 kinds of cookies over the weekend and they are ready to be shipped to you. Bidding starts @ $20 per dozen. Go over to Landra Lynn's blog and you can see how this will work. The bidding starts @ 8 am Arizona time and ends at 9 pm Arizona time. These are the 3 kinds of cookies I have to send to you:
Sharpe Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Oatmeal Raisin Cake Mix Cookies

September 10, 2008

NieNie Cookie Sale

So I met this lady through her blog a couple of months ago, her name is Stephanie Nielson and you can find her here.  Her love for her family and for the role that God put her in as wife and mother are encouraging in this world where so many women consider these roles as detrimental to society.  Anyway, about 3 weeks ago, she and her husband were in an airplane crash and 80% of her body is burned.  Her husband, Christian, has suffered burns to 30% of his body.  They are both in the hospital and her children are living with her sister.  The love of the blogging community has been so overwhelming.  2 weeks ago there was NieNie Day where a lot of auctions took place...seems as if they raised $100,000 so far for their medical bills.  Well I have decided to help in the Cookie Sale that will take place on September 22nd.  Check out the list of cookies that will be available over here.  I have plans to make oatmeal cookies, Sharpe chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter blossoms!  Go and bid or sign up to sell your cookies...believe me, these people will buy them!  

September 05, 2008

Guess what??? It's FRIDAY!!!

The Republican VP

So what does everyone think about Sarah Palin? This election is very interesting to me for some reason. I have voted in 2 previous presidential elections but this one seems to stand out. I wonder if it is because my husband has encouraged me to understand what I'm voting for or if it is because I realize that the taxes coming out of my check every week seem to be growing and I'm afraid of what is to come. A week ago today, was the first time I had heard of Sarah Palin but immediately I started doing my research. I am not a big proponent for women in politics basically b/c I know how emotional I can be and do I really want that governing the United States? Anyway...all that to say, I like her. I think she is great. I respect her and what she has done for Alaska. I thought her speech on Wednesday night was phenomenal. Just wanted to see if anyone else has an opinion about her?

Some personal reasons I like Sarah Palin:

1. She is pro-life and proved it...not once, but twice. She was told her son had downs syndrome and in a world where parents are almost always encouraged to abort their baby when this is found out, they did not. And then when it was announced that her 17 year old daughter was pregnant, they did not hide her or keep it a secret or encourage her to have an abortion...they told the world and supported their daughter.

2. She has a big family. You don't see that much these days

It sounds like Alaska is flourishing because of work that she has done on their behalf. I like the idea of drilling for oil in Alaska. I had a suite mate in college who was from Alaska (Hey Kimber!!!) and she was always a proponent for drilling oil. Side note: Did you know that people in Alaska get a dividend every year for living there? You have to be a resident and all those from birth to death get a dividend. How cool is that? Anyone else want to move there? Shane and I are looking into it! Ha ha!

Update:  I read a GREAT post here about Sarah Palin and being the VP.  I'm so thankful for wise counsel on the subject.  

September 04, 2008

Living Vicariously

Since becoming a "blogger" I have found myself living vicariously through blogs. A lot of times I don't have the time or the money to do things so I'm finding it fun to go on these adventures through the blogworld. Most of these people I have never met, but I feel like I know them. Some I read are a challenge to me, some make me pray for their situation. Does anyone else do that or is it just me? Thought I would share some of my adventures lately:

I experienced a youth I don't have to go through that again:

This is a balloon launch in Utah that I went to in honor of Christian and Stephanie Neilson:

I have also met a new little one, MJ Bradshaw:

I have made this cute garland to use for decorations for birthdays or parties:

I have been to South Asia and actually ridden (is that a word?) on this elephant:

These are 2 precious families that I am praying for because of knowing them through their blogs: Magdalena and then the family of Asher Chappell:

So where have you been lately?

August 08, 2008

A lot going on!!!

So this week has been REALLY busy for me but I am SO glad that I am here! It has been a week of emotional highs and lows for me. Nothing major but just mountains and valleys this week. Last night I watched Larry King and the Chapman family discuss their journey since May 21st. I encourage you all to go and listen to the 1 hour long show. You can go here which takes you to Jim's blog (Steven's manager and best friend) and then from there you can link to the You Tube links. I guarantee that you will be blessed and encouraged by their testimony.
Some exciting news from my family here in Birmingham, well church family but they are still my family. We have 2 new baby girls, Pearl and Laila. These are their pictures with their brothers. We are so excited to be growing in these ways at Grace Covenant Baptist Church. The first is Jacob and Laila, the second is Luther and Pearl.

July 29, 2008

Character Training

Last week my mom mentioned to me that she had character training that afternoon. I thought "What is character training?" She told me it was her physical therapy. In early June my mom fell and did a good number on her knee, which required surgery and after surgery she was prescribed physical therapy. The first few times were very hard on her, and as expected caused a lot of pain. She soon saw the benefits of the therapy though and even though now they are still tough, she considers them necessary for her character. In fact she said "It is teaching me that I can push myself beyond what I want. It is teaching me that I must work through pain to achieve the optimum goal. It is showing me that everything doesn’t happen on my timetable. I must be patient. I’m not saying that I like the character building, but I know it is working."
As we talked about her therapy my mind kept going back to the word character and how we as Christians are to desire the character of God. We are made in His image but His character is what we really desire. A lot of times I am quick to ask God to relieve me from the current "therapy" and I forget that it is building my character. I know that I will not always like the character training but I can see glimpses that it is working and that one day! I don't necessarily fall into the same traps anymore...PRAISE THE LORD!!! May He continue to build my character so that His glory will shine brighter!

July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!!

Hope you are enjoying your holiday! Remember our troops and their families today and the sacrifices that have been given so that we might be free! I hear some of the bases in Iraq enjoyed the holiday with ribs, corn and red, white and blue cake! How fun and festive is that? How blessed we are to live in a country where we are free to worship our God!

June 24, 2008

Disappointment Met With Peace

Why is it that when we pray for God to give us a clear answer and He does, we tend to not rejoice about it? Why do we pray for God to shut doors and then we He shuts the one we didn't want shut we complain and say "God are you not listening to us? Do you really love us?" Well I have been "disappointed" in my "mind" but in reality I have been blessed. God has closed a door for us. I'm striving to keep in mind that God does not disappoint.
Shane had a job opportunity present itself near the middle of May at the VA Hospital here in Birmingham. The job would have been right up his alley, he would be perfect for the position. Before this job came up he had signed up to take the LSAT on June 16. We have been waiting for an answer from the VA since he interviewed with them in May. Shane has been proactive in calling his VA contact for the last two weeks, but no reply from them. No letter has come in the mail so we were still waiting. Meanwhile, he took the LSAT last Monday and feels like he did really well. He wants to go to law school, a dream he has had ever since I have known him. We have been praying since last week that God would give us wisdom if we had to choose between the VA and law school. We don't get our LSAT scores until July 7th. Well tonight we found out that the job at the VA was given to someone else and instead of me thanking God at first for answering our prayer (not having to choose between both options) I was sad. I was sad and mad that once again my brilliant husband had been turned down and they couldn't even call us or send a letter saying the position had been filled. Now I realize that this was really an answered prayer. Instead of God making us choose between one or the other, He just took an option away. Thank you Lord for doing this for us, for not making us go through such a hard decision. I pray that next time I will realize sooner that You are still on Your throne and that You go before us every step of this journey! Thank you for loving me so much that you take things away! Teach me to be more willing to lack that which You withhold!

VBS and a Busy Month

Sorry it has been such a long time since I have posted, I guess I just didn't have anything to write about...or so I thought! We have been busy this month.

We had VBS at our church, the first we have ever had. I have to say it went off without a hitch...God was very gracious. We had some great teachers who taught us that God Always Wins, our kids raised over $100 in their penny race which was sent to South Africa to our missionaries, and we even learned some new songs and they absolutely loved Pacman Tag (see below), even the adults played it!!

Shane was involved in the mini puppet shows every night at VBS...he did a GREAT job, he has such a talent for doing different voices. His first character was King Nebuchadnezzar and he did his voice in a British, old man voice (which by the way, why do Bible characters have British accents?). He then did Casey the Camel like the voice of Casey was hilarious. Then he was Jack the Jack Rabbit with an Australian was GREAT! The kids loved it and I think they even learned something from the puppets. Only God knows the fruit that will be yielded from this week. I pray that seeds were planted and that one day God would bring these children to a complete understanding of Him and their need for Christ! I can't wait to see what He does!

Next week for us we will be in Destin, FL...WAHOO!!! We can't wait to go on vacation! I'll try and post some pics from our family trip to the beach!

May 26, 2008

Major Breakthrough

We have had a major breakthrough in the Jackson house today. My husband, of 4 years last Thursday, ate an actual Mexican meal in my presence. Not only that, but it was his idea to go. We went to Sol Azteca and after I read the menu to him, to which his nose turned up LOTS of times, he finally asked the waiter a serious question, "what does not have sauce on it?" I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. So he ordered taquitos, easy enough, corn tortillas and chicken. While we waited less than 5 minutes for our food (they are really fast there) he ate 3 chips and said that was all he needed of those. I know it's not a big deal for most people but for my husband to eat those 4 taquitos, it was a MAJOR event in our family. I love him SO much!!!

A Father's Hand

"My times are in your hand." Psalm 31:15

Our times of adversity are also in God's hand. As every sunbeam that brightens, so every cloud that darkens, comes from God. We are subject to great and sudden reverses in our earthly condition. Joy is often succeeded by grief, prosperity by adversity. We are on the pinnacle today, tomorrow at its bottom. Oh! What a change may one event and one moment create! But, beloved, ALL is from the Lord.

Afflictions do not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Sorrow cannot come until God bids it. Until God in His sovereignty permits—health cannot fade, wealth cannot vanish, comfort cannot decay, friendship cannot chill, and loved ones cannot die. Your time of sorrow is His appointment. The bitter cup which it may please the Lord that you shall drink this year will not be mixed by human hands. In the hand of the Lord is that cup! Some treasure you are now pressing to your heart, He may ask you to resign. Some blessing you now possess, He may bid you to relinquish. Some fond expectation you now cherish, He may will that you should forego. Some lonely path, He may design that you should tread.

Yes, He may even bereave you of all, and yet all, ALL is in His hand! His hand! A Father's hand, moving in thick darkness, is shaping every event, and arranging every detail in your life! Has sickness laid you on a bed of suffering? Has bereavement darkened your home? Has adversity impoverished your resources? Has change lessened your comforts? Has sorrow in one of its many forms crushed your spirit to the earth? The Lord has done it! In all that has been sent, in all that has be recalled, and in all that has been withheld—His hand, noiseless and unseen has brought it about!

Ah! yes, that hand of changeless love blends a sweet with every bitter—pencils a bright rainbow in each dark cloud—upholds each faltering step—shelters within its hollow—and guides with unerring skill, His chosen people safe to eternal glory! Dear child of God, your afflictions, your trials, your crosses, your losses, your sorrows, all, ALL are in your heavenly Father's hand, and they cannot come until sent by Him!

Bow that stricken heart—yield that tempest-tossed soul to His sovereign disposal, to His calm, righteous sway, in the submissive spirit and language of your suffering Savior, "May Your will, O my Father! not mine, be done. My times of sadness and of grief are in Your hand." Beloved, all is in your Father's hand! Be those times what they may—times of trial, times of temptation, times of suffering, times of peril, times of sunshine or of gloom, or times of life or death, they are in your Father's hand!

Has the Lord seen fit to recall some fond blessing, to deny some earnest request, or painfully to discipline your heart? All this springs from a Father's love as fully as though He had unlocked His treasury and poured its costliest gifts at your feet! All of our times are in our Redeemer's hands! That same Redeemer who carried our sorrows in His heart, our curse and sins on His soul, our cross on His shoulder; who died, who rose again, and who lives and intercedes for us, and who will gather all His ransomed around Him in glory, is your Guardian and your Guide! Your times are in the hands of Him who still bears the print of the nails! - Octavius Winslow

The pastor at Christ Community Church in Nashville, TN shared this with his congregation after one of their congregation lost their child this week. This seems to be the theme of my life right now. No, I have not lost a child in a tragic way or really lost anything of that value but I am learning to trust the Father's hand.

May 19, 2008

Death Gives Way to Victory

My dear friend's mother has passed away this morning, one that was loving known by our church as Nana. Though as I talked with my friend something more than her grief struck me. It was her desire to see her family come to know Christ through this death. She did not tell me how much she was going to miss this precious lady in her life or how she didn't know how she would go on without this woman in her life but instead she wanted prayer that her family would come to know our big, GREAT God. I was so encouraged by her hope and today my prayer is that if the Lord desires, that her family would come to know this BIG God we serve. That even today, as they are facing this world without a mother, sister, grandmother, friend that they would feel the comfort that only our Savior can give. I also pray for my friend as she is entering into a battlefield with her family, that she will continue to be strong and to be a light to them. I know that God is capable of mighty, mighty things and I pray that we will see God complete another miracle in this family!

May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day (a day late)

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
This is my mother. To my knowledge my mom has done good to my dad ever since I can remember. She always seeks to build him up and not tear him down. She is such an example to me.
She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens.
One precious memory I have of my mom is waking up for school and finding her in her chair reading her Bible and drinking coffee. I knew that when I got up she was there either praying or reading. Sometimes she would have tears and she would tell me what God taught her that morning. Even when I went away to college I remembered that around 6:30 or so she would be reading her Bible and praying for me. Now I'm sure she missed some days here and there, for after all she is not perfect, but it is a memory that I believe puts her in this category of being a virtuous woman.
She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night.
Now she never bought a field but for many years she would actually plant a garden that did in turn yield vegetation that she would either freeze for the winter or we would eat during the summer. I remember her spending time canning vegetables or fruit that later we would when veggies are so expensive. Also I remember her making applie pie in a jar to give as Christmas presents to her family. One year she also used slate from our yard and painted a stencil design on them and gave them as gifts. My mom is very frugal. Recently I learned that my dad's income when we were little was about $1000. I don't know how she did it, but she did. She managed to feed and clothe her family of 5 w/ little money. She has taught me several cost saving techniques and I am thankful for it!
She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy.
Many times I got to see my mom bring food to friends or invite people over to share with them a meal. She really has a gift when it comes to hospitality. She makes anyone who comes in her house feel like they are home.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Mom is a beautiful person anyway but anytime she leaves the house she is dressed modestly and classy. Many times she made do with what she had in her closet so that we could have new Easter dresses, but yet she always seemed to come out of her room looking very springy and fresh on Easter morning. She made several dresses for me, she even made my high school graduation dress (that had to be white).
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
I believe my mom was the first one to really teach me about the faithfulness of God. How he provides for our every need. She, along with my dad, taught me to trust that He would guide me in all decisions. They rarely shielded us from harsh times in our family. We prayed together as a family and it was as a family that we "learned to trust the smile of His face, but also to trust the blows of His fist” (Spurgeon).
She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Mom was definitely not idle. Not once do I remember her sitting down to "watch her tv show" or "read her book" without seeing to our needs and the needs of her house. She taught us what it means to keep a clean house and also how to cook for your family. The cooking part I think I've picked up on, the clean house I am NOT as disciplined as she is.
Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: "Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all." Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
I truly believe that my mom resembles this virtuous woman. She truly does fear the Lord and it shows in her life. Her comforting words, her constructive criticism and her teaching illustrations have all shaped me into the woman that I am. I appreciate my mom more now that I ever have. I'm thankful for her friendship and her witness to me! Thanks mom! I love you!!!

May 06, 2008

College 6

I have 5 friends from college that I absolutely love! Believe it or not we actually still keep in touch with each other and we live in 5 different states - MS, TN, AL, FL and NE. So much so that we even seem to have a "reunion" almost every year. Actually in 4 years we have had 4 reunions. I think that's pretty good myself. Now granted 3 of them have been at each others weddings but they are still reunions. Have you ever had friends that you can talk to and know immediately that they know what you are talking about? Or have you ever had a friend that when you ask them to pray for something you know without a shadow of a doubt? Well I am blessed with at least 5 ladies that do just that. They are such a blessing in my life. They encourage me and challenge me to live a life that glorifies God. I love to talk with them and hear about what God is teaching them and then in turn it challenges me. Well we just had another reunion in Memphis this past weekend. We laughed so much it was just like we had never been apart. We also prayed for Lori, who got married on Saturday. It was a special time to get to pray for her as she was about to marry the love of her life, the one that God designed for her to complete. We were reminded that God is faithful over and over. It rained so hard on Friday night and then Saturday morning the skies opened up with the most beautiful blue and the sun was so bright and then there was a nice cool breeze (the wedding was outside). It was a great weekend to get away and be with the "College 6". That's our name! I love you girls!!! You have blessed my life!!!

Am I Willing?

Lord, I am willing to-
Receive what you give,
Lack what you withhold,
Relinquish what you take.

This is from Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. My prayer today is that the above will be my response to what God provides for me. Bridges challenges us that we have to accept the good God gives but also the bad. He says "Lord, am I willing to receive this bad thing you have given me or am I willing to lack what you withheld?" I have to confess that I am not always willing to receive the bad that God gives me. I want to be labeled as content in where God has me. I want to be able to take joy in what God has decided to withhold from me at the moment. I want to trust God so much that when He takes something away from me, I will relinquish it without a fight. I know this is all apart of sanctification in my life and I trust that God is completing the work He has begun in my life. So what about you? Do you gladly relinquish what God takes from you? Do you gladly receive the bad things in your life that God has given you?

April 25, 2008

No Fear of Death

The ladies at my church are doing a book study on "Stepping Heavenward" by Elisabeth Prentiss. It is such a great book filled with truth and experiences that we as women encounter. It's hard to believe that a book written in the 1800s could mean something to a 26 year old in 2008, but it does. One of our topics last night was on no fear in death. I wanted to share Caroline Fry's dying words and what a peace that she has about dying.

"This is my bridal day, the beginning of my life. I wish there could be no mistake about the reason for my desire to depart and to be with Christ. I confess myself the vilest, chiefest of sinners and I desire to go to Him that I may be rid of the burden of sin - the sin of my nature- not the past, repented of every day, but the present, hourly, momentary sin, which I do commit, or may commit - the sense of which at times drives me half mad with grief!"

Now I have not been at death's bed but I want to have this same attitude, that dying is the beginning of my life. I want to live with the peace that surpasses all understanding that not even death can separate me from the love of Christ.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39

April 22, 2008

Why Preach Christ Crucified?

What is written below is taken from my pastor's sermon on Sunday. Read it and make it part of your life:

“Why Preach Christ Crucified?”

1. Christ crucified proclaims the holiness of God
“My brethren, I plead that we may get that note back into our religious life. We are never going to have grand trees of righteousness until they are rooted in a rich soil of reverence, and we are never, I think, going to get the requisite reverence until we find time to contemplate God’s holiness; and I do not know any place that will lead us to such a fruitful contemplation of God’s holiness as when we take our place near the cross.”

2. Christ crucified reveals the awfulness of sin
“We preach Christ crucified, because it is the doctrine that incomparably creates and preserves the sense of the nature of sin. Any doctrine that unveils the holiness of God reveals also the horribleness of sin; any doctrine that obscures God’s holiness veneers man’s sin.”

3. Christ crucified demonstrates the grace of God
“The cross is not merely the birthplace of my fears, or the birthplace of my shames, or the birthplace of my disgusts. It is the birthplace of the radiant and immortal hope.”

4. Christ crucified prompts a life of holiness
Quoting David Brainerd:
“I never got away from Jesus, and Him crucified, and found that when my people were gripped by this great evangelical doctrine of Christ, and Him crucified, I had no need to give them instructions about morality. I found that one followed as sure and inevitable as the other… I find my Indians begin to put on the garments of holiness, and their common life begins to be sanctified even in a trifle when they are possessed by the doctrine of Christ, and Him crucified.”

April 20, 2008

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Ok...I know you are singing it now..."a bulwark never failing..." Martin Luther wrote the unbelievable words to this beautiful hymn. I can barely sing this song without tears building in my eyes because of what it says about my great, big GOD.

Well we had pick your own hymn tonight at our church. After we sang this song our pastor read to us Psalm 46, the psalm that Martin Luther based A Mighty Fortress upon. Pastor Todd read,

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

That is our very present, not absent, not distant God. He continued to read..

"Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride."

No matter what happens, if the mountains in Germany that Martin Lutherwere to fall into the Altantic Ocean, we should still not fear. He continued to read...

"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy dwelling places of the most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire."
And then here is the great part...
"Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold."

Our God tells His people to cease striving...cease means to stop in case you didn't know . So as we begin this week, let's cease striving and behold the works of the Lord. Let's cease striving when the mountains in our life fall into the ocean and know that He is God. This reminds me of a song and I don't know where it came from but my mom used to sing it to us:

"Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God"

April 07, 2008

Christ as our Forerunner

I love our church! God has been so gracious to bless with the people and more importantly the teaching. Since Shane and I have been going to Grace Covenant, in Sunday School we have been going through, verse-by-verse, the first 5 books of the Bible. Well in January we started in Hebrews, a bit surprised by this, we were encouraged to read through Hebrews at least once a week and also to memorize some key verses. I have to admit the memorization, I am not doing so well but the reading of Hebrews has become so precious to me. I didn't realize it but Hebrews has just come alive to me and I think it is mainly because of the studying we had done of Genesis and Exodus. Anyway...2 weeks ago Dr. Cowan taught us from Hebrews 6 where it talks about Christ as our anchor and forerunner and what that really means in the original text.

Forerunner is a nautical term. One of the safest places to be on the ocean is in the harbor. Well big ships could not get into the harbor unless it was high tide b/c of the sandbar. So if they arrived and it was not high tide they would send a "forerunner" that held the anchor ahead of them into the harbor. The forerunner would throw the anchor into the harbor and therefore the ship would be safe and secure in case of a storm. Well then he brought this back to the text. Christ, at the cross has taken the anchor and thrown it into the harbor. If you are anchored to Him, you are safe, even though the storms will come, your anchor is in Him and it will not be moved. Also, that is a promise to us that one day we will also enter into the "harbor" where we will not see another storm. What a great picture! Thank you Lord for being our forerunner!

April 02, 2008

Get to Know You Thingy (adopted from Manders)

So, I was tagged by Manders to do this little get to know you thingy. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.- Each player answers the questions about themselves.- At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people, posts their names, and then leaves a comment on their blogs, letting them know they've been tagged. Here we go....

What was I doing 10 years ago (April 1998)?
I was a sophomore at Baker High School. We had just moved from Collierville, TN in December so I was still meeting new friends. I was learning to chew on the meat that we received through the teaching at Dauphin Way Baptist Church...what a blessing!!!

5 Things on my "To Do" list today:
  1. Finish my Stepping Heavenward Bible Study
  2. Clean my kitchen.
  3. Wash the darks.
  4. Write some notes
  5. Plan a lingerie shower
5 Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:
  1. Pay off my student loans.
  2. Go to Disney World.
  3. Take our friends to dinner instead of them taking us.
  4. Buy a house.
  5. Buy a VERY new a Jeep Liberty or something like that has the works!
5 Bad Habits:
  1. Biting my nails!
  2. Being LAZY!
  3. Watching too much TV
  4. Waiting to the last minute
  5. I'm sure there are a whole lot more but I can't think of them right now
5 Places I have lived:
  1. Jackson, MS
  2. Ticonderoga, NY
  3. Collierville, TN
  4. Mobile, AL
  5. Birmingham, AL

5 Jobs I have had:

  1. Counselor at Day Camp
  2. Student Worker in President's Office @ MC
  3. Tax Resolver at MS State Tax Commission
  4. Tax Preparer at Jackson Hewitt
  5. Clerk/Office Manager at Comau Inc.

1. Beth @ A Debtor to Mercy Alone
2. Claire @ Cooking is Medicine
3. Angela @ The Busy Mama
4. Jennifer @ The Believers Rest
5. Melody @ MountainMelody

March 27, 2008

Bible Drill

I get the wonderful privilige to be with our children at church on Wednesday night...they are a blast. I am always amazed at how God brings us to Himself. Last night I got to be with the kids as they are practicing for their Bible Drill in May. I have been able to see God working in these little hearts and it's just amazing. Both children are from christian families, they "know" the answers and yet I am starting to see a change in one of them that is just remarkable! I'm praying that God will continue to work in her life and that He will bring her to's the greatest gift of all and I pray that she will accept it one day. I'll keep you posted...

March 05, 2008

God's Grace is Sufficient!!!

But God “knows our frame.” He’s counted every hair on our head and knows the exact level of every hormone in our body. He made us this way. And not as some kind of cruel joke; but rather, so that through our weakness, His power may be “made perfect.” Yes, the hormones may be raging, our feelings may fluctuate and our body may have worn out. But God’s grace—that comes to us because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross—is real. It is not a myth or a placebo. His grace is real. And it is more powerful than any out-of-whack hormones in our body. It is, as God told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, “sufficient for you.” -Nicole Whitacre from GirlTalk

As I read this today, my heart leaped, my eyes teared up and my mouth smiled. This truth has been told to me over and over in my life. I know this truth, but to read it again never hurts anybody. This has been a time of pruning in my life. Our pastor told us a couple of Sundays ago that to heal you were hurt and to hurt you were injured and to be injured means you were cut, at least that's what I got from what he said. This is where I am right now...I am healing from the pruning that God has been doing in my life. From being submissive to my husband to pride to self-control to wordliness, God is pruning away. I have been feeling this cutting and this hurt for a few weeks now and feel like maybe I am just now getting it. And I read the verse that says "therefore there is no condemnation" and then read 2 Corinthians 12 that says "my grace is sufficient for you!" God, thank you for your grace! Forgive me for not remembering that I am mere dust, that I need you for EVERY part of my life. God, as Nicole said, let me be "content in my weakness," may I boast in the fact that Your grace is sufficient for this frail frame! Allow me to "testify even more loudly of the grace of God that is real, the power of Christ that is sufficient!"

I love you Abba!

February 25, 2008

God Is So Good

God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He's so good to me!

This is the song of my life right now!

January 24, 2008

January 23, 2008

What's Going On?

So it's been a fact we are now in 2008! WOW...I can't believe it is 2008...I'm getting so old! I am really writing today because of a sad loss that the Birmingham area is experiencing. The 2 yr old son of Rick and Sherri Burgess passed away last Saturday night due to a drowning in their family pool. It is a very tragic story but on the other hand there is so much hope that has come out of this situation. Rick is one of the hosts of the Rick and Bubba show that is syndicated all over the country. It is a funny show and many times they talk about their faith in Christ. Well this week we have seen that faith play out. Rick and Sherri could not be anymore faithful in their response to the loss of their son. They have said many times that this is from God and although they do not understand what they do know is that God is in control and this will bring Him glory. Rick spoke on Tuesday to a crowd of about 4,000 people and he didn't fill that time with cute stories of his son, he shared the gospel. He said the worst thing you could do to our family today is to leave here and not be changed. His concern for his wife during this time and in the weeks to come is so honorable. I am not trying to brag on Rick, I am really trying to brag on God for the work he has done and is doing with this family. Casting Crowns made an appearance at this memorial service and sang Voice of Truth. This song is unbelievable and is now one of my favorite songs. Hearing what Rick said yesterday has energized me to share the gospel with all I come into contact with. Will you join me? Go to to hear Rick's message called "A Father's Heart". I definitely recommend's worth 45 minutes of your time! I'm excited to see what God is going to continue to do in Birmingham through this tragic event. It reminds me that what satan meant for evil, God means for good. It's AWESOME! What an awesome, faithful God we serve!