Thursday, May 28, 2009

On suffering for Christ-

Friends, this is the best i have ever read on this topic. I am studying 2 Timothy right now and this is part of John Calvin's commentary on chapter 3. (For the entire commentary read herev.12 Indeed all who wish to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted...

"And he says this, partly that believers may prepare themselves for submitting to this condition, and partly that good men may not view him with suspicion on account of the persecutions which he endures from wicked persons; [think JOB] as it frequently happens that the distresses to which men are subjected lead to unfavorable opinions concerning them... immediately declared by the common people to be hated by God.

By this general statement, therefore, Paul classes himself with the children of God, and, at the same time, exhorts all the children of God to prepare for enduring persecutions; for, if this condition is laid down for “all who wish to live a godly life in Christ,” they who wish to be exempt from persecutions must necessarily renounce Christ. my favorite part of the whole thing: In vain shall we endeavor to detach Christ from his cross; for it may be said to be natural that the world should hate Christ even in his members. In short, let us know that we are Christians on this condition, that we shall be liable to many tribulations and various contests.

But it is asked, Must all men be martyrs? for it is evident that there have been many godly persons who have never suffered banishment, or imprisonment, or flight, or any kind of persecution. I reply, it is not always in one way that Satan persecutes the servants of Christ. But yet it is absolutely unavoidable that all of them shall have the world for their enemy in some form or other, that their faith may be tried and their steadfastness proved; for Satan, who is the continual enemy of Christ, will never suffer any one to be at peace during his whole life; and there will always be wicked men that are thorns in our sides. Moreover, as soon as zeal for God is manifested by a believer, it kindles the rage of all ungodly men;accordingly, although they are not exposed to the same assaults, and do not engage in the same battles, yet they [the persecuted non-martyrs] have a warfare in common, and shall never be wholly at peace and exempt from persecutions.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A timely post

I have been following the girltalk blog for almost a year now. It has blessed me in many ways and discipled me on more than one occasion. Here is part of a recent post that i think is a PERFECT response to the previous post about my disaster vacation!

...What is your burden today? They come in countless shapes and sizes—from clingy colds (& stomach virus!) to crushing cares. But one thing’s for sure: our idols cannot bear their load. Leisure and escape don’t provide true rest. Sinful anger cannot relieve the pressure. Even friends are not strong enough to bear up under their full weight.

But have we forgotten? We have been borne by Christ since birth. He carried us from the womb and will not stop even when we are old and bent and gray. He alone has borne the full weight of our sin, and He alone can bear the burdens of life in a sinful world.

He doesn’t pop in once a week or every month to relieve us of our heavy load. Daily, everyday, today, He promises to bear us up.  He will carry and he will save. Today. So big or small, let’s cast our burdens on Him. God is our salvation.

To read the rest of the post click here.  I strongly encourage you to follow this blog..it WILL bless you!

Friday, May 22, 2009

vacation-oh friends!!

Okay if you are reading this blog, you probably know me pretty well. So i need you to make me laugh about what i am about to write, to make me appreciate what i do have, to be joyful in all circumstances, to...make lemonade...
For a year now, i have been tucking back any little money i could to save for a vacation.
We decided to plan our OWN vacation this year-alone. Before baby #2 comes. All plans were made. We got a great deal on a beach cottage in Santa Rosa Beach (b/t Seaside & Destin) b/c it was before memorial day weekend. Brennan was going to stay with his Nana and Papa (my mom & dad) for 2 nights and then join us for two days at the beach..
DA DA DA DUMM... Thursday night 12 a.m. Brennan starts crying. I walk in pick him up and as i am he pukes. EVERYWHERE. on himself, me, the crib, the sheets, the rug, the dry clean only bumper pads.. I clean him up. Ben changes the sheets and cleans up throw up.
3 a.m. same thing..and 4 and 5.
He didn't throw up for 3 hours and we thought it would just pass, so we continue with plans and head to my parents. However, he threw up twice in the car...
We canceled the little 'party' we had planned with my family, but Hope and her kiddos stayed to at least say hello...Brennan seemed to feel fine so teh next morning, we left for the beach.
It was rainy, windy and cold, but our hopes were high. I awoke in our precious little honeymoon cottage at 12 throwing up..the entire next day it was windy and cool. My nausea continued through the day. That night Ben & i tried to enjoy a dinner on the beach. He awoke the next morning sick...
I will refrain from all details..but we DID have one last day to spend together both feeling well. Brennan did not get to come down to the beach b/c my mom got too sick to travel with him. The virus spread to my whole family..but we are home now and EVERYONE is feeling better PRAISE THE LORD!!! I had some pretty bad sunburn from falling asleep in the sun for an hour..and some swelling form the travel..
I am still looking for ways to count my blessings about the whole trip..so please point out God's goodness to me dear friends!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brennan's presents from Ben's familly

Birthday Boy



Brennan's One Year Birthday

Here is Brennan's cupcake cake. It spelled out Happy Birthday and his had the special big #1 



Do you think he enjoyed it???!!!

At least he was willing to share with his Daddy!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

helpful links

I am including two great links that have really helped me this week. I always desire to encourage Ben, but never know how, and i have (as i said in my earlier blog) struggled with seeing the bad not the good this week. So these helped me greatly and hope they do the same for you. One is on the power of encouraging words, and the other is on changes I should make, not others..

Friday, May 8, 2009

more marriage...

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Although i drifted a bit by giving tips on freezers and tans, I want to return to the theme of marriage. With our 5 year anniversary coming up, it has been a topic on my mind. The growth, change of heart and mind that has taken place in this half a decade. I can only pray that the next 2 decades will spike in this continual learning curve!
Our marriage has been transformed this year as God has given me (and Ben) a new awareness of biblical womanhood (and him manhood). We are so thankful to the council of biblical womanhood and manhood website for posting helpful sermons, online books, an endless resource of council for us. We are also thankful to our friends Mike and Kay Simmons, who have guided us to the gospel in all things. Their testimony is amazing...
Here i want to continue sharing the info given to us at our marriage retreat:
When speaking to my husband i need to have a heart that is-
  •  amazed by grace (keenly aware of Christ forgiveness to ME)
  •  humbled by God allowing me to share in this picture of Him and His Bride
  • eager to serve just as Christ was and is
  • understanding that I am limited (not seeing all and hearing all)
  • honest about my own sin 
Great Tip by Besty Riccuchi: "When listening to and speaking with your husband if there is a 'rise' of defense springing up in you-rather than respond, step back, evaluate your own sinfulness and (if needed-which most likely it is) get the plank our of your own eye."

Preaching to myself-the Message


 Philipians 2:5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status ... Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Phiipians 4:6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

 8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse... Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Hi friends, this is just what i have been encouraged by these last two days. I have struggled with clinging to my desires, my rights..i have been focusing on the worst, not the best..so this is something that i have been preaching to myself!

Monday, May 4, 2009

How I got my summer TAN

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Okay as silly as this my sound, I have never been a bronze beauty. I have ALWAYS wanted to have a tan year round. It boosts my confidence. I am a sun-a-holic once summer hits, but there's always that first donning of the swimsuit (or shorts, a dress w/o hose, sandals, sleeveless..) In high school there was a failed attempt at self tanner. I didn't have a good product or good technique. 

Last summer, Brennan was born in May and was too tiny to be out in the June/July/August heat for me to lay out, besides, i was nursing and i didn't seem to have that whole chedule down enough to get a break long enough to steal some rays. So THIS spring, i am like super-ultra WHITE. As you know, i am also prego, so NO tanning bed for me (not to mention that i was totally convicted about that with the whole your-body-is a temple..[so lets micorwave it?! NO!] )

I found TWO great products that i wanted to share with my white-protect-your-skin-from- cancer-and-still-have-a-tan,  friends.

 

They are pictured above. Coppertone costs 7.99 at Publix and Loreal costs 9.99 at CVS.. CVS doesn't carry Coppertone.

My mom-n-law went to cosmotoglogy school and has a few tips for making it look its best:

  • before your first application use an exfoliating scrub ALL over getting rid of old, dry skin
  • after you shower (and shave) cover yourself in a deep mosturizer such as baby oil or body cream [this allows for all teh dry spots like ankles, knees, elbows and feet
  • THEN apply the self tanner all over-everywhere your bathing suit won't cover, including your face and neck
  • to apply to your back (if your hubby doesn't want to rub you down) squirt a small amount onto saran wrap and rub back and forth as if you were drying your back with a towel.
ENJOY your summer like tan- i have gotten several comments on my tan. Even Ben thinks it looks great! i just wish someone had told me about this sooner!