December 14, 2009

Day 1: Gen 1-13

Some verses that struck me this morning...Gen 2:5-6 - no rain yet and God still provides for the nourishment of the trees and plants of the a mist...not a mist from the sky but a mist from the GROUND!!!! Why do we so often doubt He will provide for us?

And Genesis 4:6-7----God is asking Cain why he was angry...and God says "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." We must master our sin...just like our pastor said Sunday morning...we must conti...nue to put away sin. Our SS lesson also went with this on Sunday...purging out the sin in our midst...but it must begin with us!

Praise God that His word is living and active!

90 Day Challenge

So some friends and I have made a pact to read through the Bible in 90 days. Some of us have never read the entire Bible before (including me) and it's about time! I'm excited and nervous about keeping up with the rigorous schedule but if I can be on facebook every day, I can read 13 or so chapters of the Bible! My prayer is that God will open up my eyes to see Him more clearly, even in parts of the Bible that I have never read. I hope to journal through these 90 days, probably not every day but close to it to remind myself of what God is teaching me through His Scriptures. Anyone want to join us? The schedule is below:
Day 1 Genesis 1 – Genesis 13:18
Day 2 Genesis 14 – Genesis 26:35
Day 3 Genesis 27 – Genesis 38:14
Day 4 Genesis 38:15 – Genesis 49:33
Day 5 Genesis 50 – Exodus 12:51
Day 6 Exodus 13 – Exodus 25:40
Day 7 Exodus 26 – Exodus 36:38
Day 8 Exodus 37 – Leviticus 10:11
Day 9 Leviticus 10:12 – Leviticus 21:12
Day 10 Leviticus 21:13 – Numbers 4:28
Day 11 Numbers 4:29 – Numbers 15:21
Day 12 Numbers 15:22 – Numbers 26:27
Day 13 Numbers 26:28 – Deuteronomy 1:25
Day 14 Deuteronomy 1:26 – Deuteronomy 13:18
Day 15 Deuteronomy 14 – Deuteronomy 28:52
Day 16 Deuteronomy 28:53 – Joshua 6:19
Day 17 Joshua 6:20 – Joshua 18: 28
Day 18 Joshua 19 – Judges 6:21
Day 19 Judges 6:22 – Judges 18:19
Day 20 Judges 18:20 – 1 Samuel 6:21
Day 21 1 Samuel 7 – 1 Samuel 18:30
Day 22 1 Samuel 19 – 2 Samuel 1:27
Day 23 2 Samuel 2 – 2 Samuel 14:33
Day 24 2 Samuel 15 – 2 Samuel 24:25
Day 25 1 Kings 1 – 1 Kings 9:14
Day 26 1 Kings 9:15 – 1 Kings 20:12
Day 27 1 Kings 20:13 – 2 Kings 8:15
Day 28 2 Kings 8:16 – 2 Kings 18: 37
Day 29 2 Kings 19 – 1 Chronicles 4:12
Day 30 1 Chronicles 4:13 – 1 Chronicles 15:29
Day 31 1 Chronicles 16 – 1 Chronicles 28:21
Day 32 1 Chronicles 29 – 2 Chronicles 14: 15
Day 33 2 Chronicles 15 – 2 Chronicles 28:27
Day 34 2 Chronicles 29 – Ezra 4:16
Day 35 Ezra 4:17 – Nehemiah 7:3
Day 36 Nehemiah 7:4 – Esther 4:17
Day 37 Esther 5 – Job 12:25
Day 38 Job 13 – Job 31:16
Day 39 Job 31:17 – Psalm 8:9
Day 40 Psalm 9 – Psalm 33:22
Day 41 Psalm 34 – Psalm 56:13
Day 42 Psalm 57 – Psalm 77:20
Day 43 Psalm 78 – Psalm 101:8
Day 44 Psalm 102 – Psalm 119:80
Day 45 Psalm 119:81 – Psalm 150:6 (Praise the Lord!)
Day 46 Proverbs 1 – Proverbs 15:16
Day 47 Proverbs 15:17 – 28:28
Day 48 Proverbs 29 – Song of Songs 3:11
Day 49 Song of Songs 4 – Isaiah 10:13
Day 50 Isaiah 10:14 – Isaiah 25:12
Day 51 Isaiah 26 – Isaiah 37:38
Day 52 Isaiah 38 – Isaiah 49:16
Day 53 Isaiah 49:17 – Isaiah 63:19
Day 54 Isaiah 64 – Jeremiah 6:30
Day 55 Jeremiah 7 – Jeremiah 17:27
Day 56 Jeremiah 18 – Jeremiah 30:24
Day 57 Jeremiah 31 – Jeremiah 44:18
Day 58 Jeremiah 44:19 – Jeremiah 52:64
Day 59 Jeremiah 53 – Ezekiel 7:27
Day 60 Ezekiel 8 – Ezekiel 21:32
Day 61 Ezekiel 22 – Ezekiel 33:20
Day 62 Ezekiel 33:21 – Ezekiel 45:12
Day 63 Ezekiel 45:13 – Daniel 7:14
Day 64 Daniel 7:15 – Hosea 9:17
Day 65 Hosea 10 – Amos 5:17
Day 66 Amos 5:18 – Micah 5:15
Day 67 Micah 6 – Haggai 2:23
Day 68 Zechariah 1 – Zechariah 14:21
Day 69 Malachi 1 – Matthew 9:8
Day 70 Matthew 9:9 – Matthew 1930
Day 71 Matthew 20 – Matthew 28:29
Day 72 Mark 1 – Mark 10:34
Day 73 Mark 10:35 – Luke 3:20
Day 74 Luke 3:21 – Luke 11:13
Day 75 Luke 11:14 – Luke 20:47
Day 76 Luke 21 – John 6:15
Day 77 John 6:16 – John 16:4
Day 78 John 16:5 – Acts 6:15
Day 79 Acts 7 – Acts 16:40
Day 80 Acts 17 – Acts 28:31
Day 81 Romans 1 – Romans 12:21
Day 82 Romans 13 – 1 Corinthians 12:31
Day 83 1 Corinthians 13 – 2 Corinthians 13:14
Day 84 Galatians 1 – Philippians 4:23
Day 85 Colossians 1 - 1 Timothy 6:21
Day 86 2 Timothy 1 - Hebrews 8:13
Day 87 Hebrews 9 - 1 Peter 2:25
Day 88 1 Peter 3 - Jude vs. 25
Day 89 Revelation 1 - Revelation 17:18
Day 90 Revelation 18 - Revelation 22:21 "May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's holy people."

Will you hold me accountable?

September 04, 2009

Amazing Grace

About a year ago, a dear, dear friend sat in our home and reminded us of verse 4 in the hymn, Amazing Grace. It reads:

The Lord has promised good to me
His Word, my hope, secures.
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Ever since then, those words have been sung over and over again in my heart and reminded me of God’s promise that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6) Even though it hasn’t always been fun or felt like it was good for us, it was ultimately for our good and His glory. Charles Spurgeon said, “Some people have learned to trust the smiles of God’s face, but they must also learn to trust the blows of His fists.” By God’s grace, I have used this quote to spur me on to keep trusting in the Lord and His promises. “Blows” hurt – no matter who you are, whether they are physical or emotional, they still hurt but trusting that God is working those blows for your good, help to endure them. God’s faithfulness has constantly been proven in our life over and over again. God has never failed us, even in the low times we have had in the past 5 years---and may I say that He NEVER will…Praise the Lord!!!

Well last night we received a “smile”. Shane is now an employee of Apple, Inc. He will be working as a “specialist” at our local Apple Store (for those that know, he will be wearing the turquoise shirt). We are very excited, needless to say, Shane is ECSTATIC! In a way, this is our morning. For so long we have been in the night, for the past few weeks, we have seen some dawn and now we are truly in the morning. Once again, God promised us in Psalms that “joy will come in the morning” (Psalm 30:5) and it has. I can’t even begin to tell you enough how thankful and grateful I am to you that have prayed over and over for us, even those that have recently met us…thank you for bearing this burden with us. I am confident that God put each of you in our life to spur us on, to encourage us to press on! To God be the glory we have pressed on! I would covet your continued prayers as Shane learns a new environment and we work with the Birmingham transportation system! Needless to say…I think Shane will have A LOT of podcastable (is that a word?) opportunities in the coming weeks.

Thank you Lord for your constant provision in our life. Thank you for brothers and sisters in Christ who have served me and ministered to my soul. Thank you for my pastors, who have come alongside Shane and I and challenged us and encouraged us to press on. Thank you for their constant teaching that God is sovereign and working all things for our good and Your glory. Thank you for my parents who brought me up in the fear of the Lord, who were a walking example of trust in their BIG God. Thank you for teaching me just how BIG you are at a young age. Thank you for grandparents that have prayed and taught me the power of prayer. Lord, help us be light to a dark world in the coming days and weeks and months to the people that we encounter through the Apple store. Our prayer is that we will be a sweet aroma to You.

August 14, 2009

Cooking 101...Tuition Free

So Shane and I have started cooking together. It started about 2 weeks ago when he got a french press for his birthday. Since I have known him he could master the George Foreman grill and the microwave but he had never learned to boil we started there. But since we started we have boiled water, made turkish coffee and last night we made spaghetti!
Boiling water to use in his french press he has mastered - basically because we are using a tea kettle that whistles but there are several days when he makes his coffee when I'm not there.

Turkish coffee...that's hard! Here is a picture of the coffee pot...

Yes, that's what it really looks like! Basically you put your water in the pot (about 1/2 way full) and then you put it on the stove and let the water boil. Once the water boils, you take it off the stove and put 2 scoops of Turkish coffee in the pot. You stir it and then put it back on the stove but you have to "watch" it and when it foams up you take it off and stir it again. Put it back on the stove, let it foam up one more time and remove, then you pour it into these demitasse cups (the ones on the left). I don't drink coffee but Shane says it is STOUT! :-)

Last night was spaghetti...we starting from browning the sausage to putting the sauce on top of the noodles...he did GREAT! But it was definitely more time consuming!

I'm not sure what is next on our list to cook but I'll let you know...and hopefully take some pictures of Chef Shane! :-)

I have learned several things in trying to teach someone to cook...
1. Always be positive!

2. Multi-tasking when cooking is hard when you can't see!

3. I don't cook with "times"...I cook with how it looks and a gut feeling.

4. I don't measure spices...I just shake a few shakes and then I add more based on taste and how it looks.

Any suggestions on cooking would be GREAT! Oh and this is our new motto!

August 03, 2009

Sweet Caroline...

At 5:42 pm last Thursday, in Rocky Mount, NC a little girl was born into this world. At 24 inches long, she is an answered prayer to many that have prayed for her. She is gaining two parents that love her and know that she is a gift from the Lord. Her mother is one of my best friends. Her mom and I became instant friends when she took the time to call me when I was about to move to her town. I will never forget the day in Collierville, TN in 1997 when my mom told me I had a phone call and it was this girl named Erin from Mobile, AL. See my dad had just accepted a position at Dauphin Way Baptist Church and I had met Erin once…I think it was at a reception. Anyway, she called, told me she was praying for me as we moved and looked forward to me being at their church. I cannot tell you the Godsend that she was. I really feel like God gave her to me so that it would be a comfort and an easy move. I have cried with her, laughed with her, played Phase 10 with her (I don’t think I EVER beat her at that gameJ), and we spent many a Friday night together. Erin was the first friend I found after I got engaged, she was a bridesmaid in my wedding…she even stayed with me the night before my wedding, even when I got a little over emotional. I love her. She is such a great friend and will be such a great mother. She has trusted the Lord in ALL things and especially in having a baby. I’m so thankful that the Lord has seen fit to give Erin and David a BIG desire of their heart, proving that He keeps his promises. They have delighted themselves in the Lord, and He has given them the desires of their heart! Praise the Lord! So without further adieu…here is Caroline Emigh Stanford, weighing in at 7 lbs 4oz and measuring 24 inches long (WOW!)…Congratulations David and Erin!

July 31, 2009

Meet George Jetson...

Do you remember the Jetsons and their flying cars? And their robot maid? What about the doors that opened by going up and down instead of out and in? Well last night the Jackson family and the Riley family made it into the Jetson’s world…well almost. We had our first official Skype dinner! It was the BEST! Shane and I set the computer up at the end of our table, Mom and Dad set theirs up right where we would be sitting! We all had wings and cake and I got to see everyone open their gifts. It really was cool to be 7 hours away and still get to participate in birthday festivities.

What’s next for the Jacksons in the Jetson world? I have a feeling it will be just as fun!

June 12, 2009

More Pictures...

As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a second time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Letters and Papers from Prison, 27–28

Pictures are from Anita Wilson... In Due Season

June 08, 2009

Going to the chapel...

AND WE GOT MARRIED!!! As Beth and I left the house on Saturday morning @ 6:30, we sang with my mom that (of course) 3 part harmony. It has been on all of our phones since was GREAT! Now it has to come off! :-)

We had SUCH a great time! Leave it to my mom and her team to make things as easy as possible. The wedding day was an example of how a wedding should be...calm! Mom had several comments of "I have never seen such a calm mother of the bride!" That's my mom! She worked so hard to have her "team" in place so that the day was peaceful. A peaceful MOB makes a peaceful bride! It was a GREAT service...God was glorified and now Beth Riley is now Mrs. Paul Kay! YAY! Beth and Paul left for Hawaii yesterday morning and I am assuming they made it! I will post some pictures later but I will leave you with this one. Beth wanted something different for when they left! I think the wedding wands turned out GREAT!!! Anita Wilson is the photographer...her blog is She does a GREAT job, not only as a photographer but as a mother and wife!

May 29, 2009

I am His

Of First Importance today..

“I am His by purchase and I am His by conquest; I am His by donation and I am His by election; I am His by covenant and I am His by marriage; I am wholly His; I am peculiarly His; I am universally His; I am eternally His.

Once I was a slave but now I am a son; once I was dead but now I am alive; once I was darkness but now I am light in the Lord; once I was a child of wrath, an heir of hell, but now I am an heir of heaven; once I was Satan’s bond-servant but now I am God’s freeman; once I was under the spirit of bondage but now I am under the Spirit of adoption that seals up to me the remission of my sins, the justification of my person and the salvation of my soul.”

- Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth

Have a GREAT weekend with this in mind!

May 12, 2009

A Love for God's People

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16

What does it mean to have a love for the body of Christ? Does it mean just praying for them? Does it mean that we have to be at their beck and call? And how does that fit in with loving God. Lately I have been struggling with how all of this fits for God and love for the brethren. I have a natural tendency to want to serve and to "do good" to people only sometimes I do that at a cost of neglecting my own family and also my own soul. I also tend to not understand when others do not desire to serve their brothers in Christ. I know there has to be a balance and I am praying that God will help me balance them both. And if you pray for something, God hears and in His time has shown me some things about what it means to love.

Two weeks ago, at my parents church, their pastor preached on 1 John 4:17-21, God's Perfect Love. His fourth point (from v. 20) was "God’s Perfect Love Stands Over Against Spurious Professors of Love!" Vs. 20 says “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” Pastor Quinn goes on to say "In verse 12, for someone to claim they’ve seen Almighty God and in verse 20, for someone to claim they love God, and yet both times, they are found not to love others, whom they do see and could actually minister to, they are liars on both counts. They have neither seen or love God because they fail the human love test!" WOW - if we are not ministering to the very believers that we see on a daily, weekly basis then how can we love God? Pastor Quinn goes on to say... "Are you genuinely reaching out in love toward others? Or, are you one of these spurious professors of love? The difference between the two actually reveals the true nature of your relationship to God. I didn’t say it is the basis of your relationship with God, but it does reveal it to you and others."

Then, pressing on in my attempt to find out what it means to love, I came upon a sermon by John Piper entitled "Savoring God by Serving the Saints". I knew this would shed some more light on my dilemma. Mr. Piper's main Scripture is Hebrews 6:9-12. What of the questions that he seeks to answer is "What is the relationship between serving the saints and showing love to the name of God?" In Hebrews 6:10 it says "serving the saints, as you still do" and Piper goes on to explain this... "Virtually all the translations agree that the relationship here is between the end you are pursuing and the way that you go about pursuing it. The end pursued is showing love to God's name, and the way to go about pursuing it is to serve the saints." He goes on to say (and I'm paraphrasing) is that a lot of churches and ministries stop here and say "well there you go, by serving you are proving your love for God!" Well that is wrong. That just puts a guilt trip on people...that's not showing the love of God. From the rest of that sermon I gain that loving the saints should flow out of an overflowing heart of satisfaction in God and we share that with the saints. Pastor Piper closes the sermon by saying the following "The point is to encourage us that when we serve and keep on serving, even in the small and seemingly unnoticed ways, God will never forget. Every note you write, every call you make, every visit, every gift, every late night conversation, every turning the other cheek, every unrequited kindness, every service out of love for his name God sees and he will not forget them to all eternity. So let us love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and for the sake of his name let us serve one another! He will not forget. His justice guarantees it."

I guess in writing all of this is that I want to challenge you to love the brethren. Whether that means putting aside your own liberties to come along side a struggling brother or if that means praying for them on a consistent basis. How are you serving your church? I will leave you with 1 Peter 4:10-11 that says "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in it various forms. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." I know the prayer for my life and for my church is that as we serve one another, God will be glorified in our service but also that our body will grow in unity as we administer God's grace to each other. How are you serving and why?

April 20, 2009

"The Knife of the Heavenly Surgeon" by Charles Spurgeon

This sickness is not unto death. John 11:4

From our Lord's words, we learn that there is a limit to sickness. In all sickness, the Lord says to the waves of pain, "Hitherto shall you go--but no further!" His fixed purpose is not the destruction of His people--but the instruction of His people. Wisdom hangs up the thermometer at the furnace mouth--and regulates the heat!

1. The limit is encouragingly comprehensive. The God of providence has limited the time, manner, intensity and effects of all our sicknesses. Each throb is decreed, each sleepless hour predestinated, each relapse ordained, each depression of spirit foreknown, and each sanctifying result eternally purposed. Nothing great or small escapes the ordaining hand of Him who numbers the hairs of our head!

2. This limit is wisely adjusted to our strength, to the end designed, and to the grace apportioned. Affliction does not come by 'chance'--the weight of every stroke of God's rod--is accurately measured. He who made no mistakes in balancing the clouds, and measuring out the heavens--commits no errors in measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine of souls. We cannot suffer too much--nor be relieved too late!

3. The limit is tenderly appointed. The knife of the heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. "He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." A mother's heart cries, "Spare my child!" but no mother is more compassionate than our gracious God. When we consider how self-willed we are--it is a wonder that we are not driven with a sharper bit!

The thought is full of consolation--that He who has fixed the bounds of our habitation, has also fixed the bounds of our tribulation.

February 24, 2009

February 24th

Some "God" sightings of His Faithfulness...

  • My sister is engaged to the love of her life, Paul and they are getting married on June 6th!!!
  • A "blogworld" friend just got news that her husband's final severance check will come on graduation day in May!
  • My friend Catie and her husband are moving to MI, their first pick for med schools!
These are just a few of the exciting things we have seen God do in the first 8 weeks of 2009!

A few that we are praying through, trusting that God is faithful to His people, praying that we will be content with what God does in these situations...
  • Steve and Ronda in their making the decision to possibly amputate their 4 year old son's left foot.
  • Erin and David as they wait on their first child to be born in August after much waiting.
  • 6 applications that we sent to Law Schools last Saturday.

“The man who has faith is the man who is no longer looking at himself, and no longer looking to himself. He no longer looks at anything he once was. He does not look at what he is now. He does not [even] look at what he hopes to be as the result of his own efforts. He looks entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, and he rests on that alone. He has ceased to say, ‘Ah yes, I have committed terrible sins but I have done this and that…’ He stops saying that. If he goes on saying that, he has not got faith… Faith speaks in an entirely different manner and makes a man say, ‘Yes, I have sinned grievously, I have lived a life of sin… yet I know that I am a child of God because I am not resting on any righteousness of my own; my righteousness is in Jesus Christ, and God has put that to my account.’”

- D. M. Lloyd-Jones, quoted by Timothy Keller in The Message of Romans (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 59.

January 13, 2009

Magdalena Grace Roberts

This morning this sweet little 5 month old girl left this world. She had Trisonomy 18. I do not know the Roberts personally but have grown to love their faith in our BIG God! Through this whole experience they have remained confident that God was, is and will forever be SOVEREIGN! Please keep Noah and Julie in your prayers as I am sure their heart is very sad today!

January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

As I am sitting here on the first day of 2009, a lot of things are going through my head. 2008 was a fast year for me but I was able to experience a lot of things and meet new people. I am very thankful for my church family, the teaching I receive there and how I have been ministered to from them. God is good, all the time and I'm thankful that never changes! I have ready many blogs and heard many people talk about their resolutions. But how about a new idea: no resolutions! I read the Desiring God blog this morning and here is part of what I read from Martin Lloyd Jones' book, Spiritual Depression:

Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: ‘It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ'. That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you. What you need is not to make resolutions to live a better life, to start fasting and sweating and praying. No! You just begin to say:

I rest my faith on Him alone
Who died for my transgressions to atone. (35)

WOW! So this is my resolution this year: NOT TO HAVE ONE! I am not going to try and "fix" the bad from last year or resolute to do better but to rest in Christ and trust that He who began a good work in me, is faithful to complete it. This doesn't mean that I do not have goals for this year. That I will sit back and "hope" that work will be done, but I work as if I am being worked on, knowing that God is the one doing and completing the work, not me, not my own abilities, BUT GOD!

Welcome to 2009!!!