Monday, June 22, 2009

Knowing/Believing

I am aware that i rarely get comments on my "spiritual" posts, however, i will not allow that to squelch my desire to share great nuggets when i stumble upon them. I have been studying 2 Timothy now for about a month and a half. I enjoy reading anything that Spurgeon writes. As i studied today, his commentary on 2 Timothy 1:12 was timely and appropriately went well with yesterday's message at the church we attend. (click here for the sermon)
I would encourage you, as always to read the entire commmentary, but will include a short clip:
The only religious knowing and believing which can save concern the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. “I know,” saith the apostle, — not “what “ — but “whom I have believed.” He does not say, “I know the catechism which I have believed,” nor “I know the Institutes of Calvin,” nor “I know the body and system of theology”; but, “I know whom I have believed.” Both the knowing and the believing centre round the wondrous person who for our sakes left his starry throne and became a man; knowing whom, is a saving knowledge, and trusting whom, is saving trust, but of which, all other knowing and believing falls short.

Observe, then, that all other knowledge may be useful enough in itself, but if it doth not concern Christ, it cannot be called saving knowledge. Same person know a great deal about doctrine. Perhaps they have taken up with the Calvinistic theology, or even with the hyper-Calvinistic, and they really understand the system thoroughly well; and they certainly hold it with quite enough tenacity, if not too much. We know some, who we believe, would very cheerfully go to the stake in defence of some points of doctrine so convinced are they of the orthodoxy of what they have received. Others take up another theory, and go upon, the Arminian principle, and they, too, know their set of doctrines, and know then well. But, dear friends, I may know all the doctrines in the Bible, but unless I know Christ, there, is not one of them that can save me. I may know election, but if I cannot see myself as chosen in Christ Jesus, election will do me no good. I may know the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, but if I am not in Christ, I should only persevere in my sins, and such a final perseverance will be dreadful indeed. It is one thing to know the doctrine of justification by faith, but it is quite another thing to be justified by faith, and to have peace with God. You may stand up for imputed righteousness, and fight for it, and yet the righteousness of Christ may never to imputed unto you. It is not knowing the creed, though that is well, that can save the soul; the knowledge that is wanted is to know him whom Paul believed.~

Friday, June 19, 2009

A penny saved...

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Being that i am not "working" right now, the old 'a penny saved is a penny earned' means more to me.  The way i am "making" money right now is by not using as much of it...so i am going to share some small ways that i have 'cut back' and i would LOVE to hear back from you on ways to save.
May i preface this by mentioning that my mom never "went" green..she was ALWAYS that way, so i have a great example on how to be economically cautious..
  • NO eating out unless traveling and its absolutely neccessary.
  • Cutting and hunting down coupons like a mad woman and doubling them.
  • Buying ONLY what is on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu for the week when buying groceries which means:
  • Cutting out "treats" at the grocery store-unless i have a pay next to nothing coupon for them.
  • Hang all clothes to dry (except the absolutely would look like a wad if i did), thus saving on dryer expenses.
  • Taking shorter showers.
  • Not turning on lights in the house during the day (sun-up till around 7)
  • Letting my hair air dry for the most part and drying only when its almost already dry.
  • Turning the AC up a notch a week until we adjusted to warmer
  • Baking everything at one time- instead of running the oven multiple times..
  • Catching rain in a bucket to water out tomato and pepper plants
So thats about it. I've had a yard sale, sold unused books and am planning to take some of Ben's super nice used men's clothes to consignment..
Any more suggestions?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brennan's first steps!!

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yes he is naked!!! oops! he can thank me one day when he is older:)
we were about to put him in the bath and he just turned around and walked away!! 
we were running to get our cameras!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Teacher & Preacher turned Photographer & Baker

I didn't realize so many of my friends were so behind on our little life so i am going to try to briefly update you. You can read about some of what God did in our lives to move us away from full time ministry here.  
We are having a huge growth spurt in our lives together right now. Ben has served on staff at a church for the last 10 years. Remember, too, that he became a believer only as a junior in high school. The first years of his salvation were spent at the University of Mobile being discipled by religion professors. Then after a not-so-happily-ever-after expereince at seminary he began full time service.  It was a struggle for years. Daily he would come home questioning his work, his calling. He never seemed to enjoy it and would often feel unsure about everything he did.
On the other hand, I was loving what i was doing every day. Unable to understand and offer much counsel or encouragement, i was teaching 2nd grade and driving to work everyday thinking "I've wanted to do this my whole life!" 
Even as we moved here, Ben, though happier, still struggled with satisfaction with God and his work. We prayed about missions, about other work..and God opened doors. In the meantime,we got pregnant with Brennan. My last day of work was May 9 and Brennan was born May 10! I couldn't imagine leaving Brennan when August came and we had saved all 4 years so that i could stay home with him. 
SOOOOO...Ben resigned his church position, went full force into starting his own business (The Visible Group -www.thevisiblegroup.net) and took off with his photography (www.benfinchphotography.com). I emerged slowly from my just-had-a-baby world and began tutoring a little and started my own little business called "Loaves of Joy"-which is the name for my homemade sourdough bread..(for all of you who knew my mom's bread so well-its the same stuff, i just also do flavored loaves-a cinnamon & a garlic..)
So there is the update: new occupations, new identities and new found loves and fulfillment! Neither of us are using our college degrees at the moment and most people would say that is a waste, but i'm really beginning to wonder..
How do you feel? Anyone else out there not working in your 'field of study'?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Moofest 2009






This year's flavor winner is..
Hi guys! Joy Baldwin Finch, the ice cream lover of all times, could not have moved to a better town!! I live in the town where you get to sample free ice cream and vote on your favorite flavor! I get to have a say in what goes in your stores! Hooray for Moofest day! 
Last year i had a 2 week old baby and couldn't stand on my feet for long, so i missed out. This year, however, it was a family event I didn't get to capture the grandeur of it all, but did manage to get Brennan's pics while enjoying the petting zoo they had set up. There were GINORMOUS cows everywhere and Brennan kept pointing and going MOO!!  It was great! We shared some sugar free vanilla so that he wouldn't be so hyped up before bed! 
I wish you all could have been there! It was a blast!

Umm Watermelon!





Friday, June 5, 2009

5 years!!

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So here we are 5 years and almost two babies later!!!

Ben and I celebrate our 5 year anniversary today and it has truly been a surprising, wonderful, blissful journey!!!  I will quickly recap some of our funny and favorite moments that i have been told could make a book:

  1. On our one year anniversary, we went to the freezer and opened the little box of our frozen wedding topper that my mom had saved (according to a tradition that i knew nothing of-i'm a throw away-er not a keeper of strange things like this..) So after our lovely meal of steak and baked potatoes (cooked on our "illegal" grill in seminary housing) we decided to try the frozen treat...only to find as we cut into it that it was made COMPLETELY of cardboard!!!
  2. Not long after this out of sheer love and desire to please my new husband, i got a GREAT recipe out of a magazine. I knew Ben LOVED ranch doritoes & chicken so it seemed perfect (you were to 'batter' the chicken in the crushed doritoes.) So i followed the directions, as i told Ben later, "to a T"...when he cut into his chicken it practically layed an egg it was so raw..so we went to the recipe..which said to use PRE- COOKED chicken breast!! Woops..we ordered a Little Caesar's $5 pizza.
  3. In the second year of our marriage, we decided to go to a local vacation spot (remember we lived in Mississippi) so we had his mom book us at a 'resort' in Hot Springs Arkansas.  We planned to celebrate our anniversary there. We were to stay one night alone and then our good friends were to join us for the next two nights. As we pull in to this legendary " "Hot Spot" we don't see much..some pretty buildings and a lake..According to the localist you must get in the Hot Springs and do the full treatment massage..sounds romantic right?? We go in to the ancient 'hotel' sign up for the couples massage and are immediately wisked away SEPERATELY to un-air conditioned rooms, told to strip, wrapped in a sheet and i was told by Helga to lie down as she beat my back and rubbed my sun burned legs..Meanwhile Ben is equally vandalized by skinny -not-so-straight-guy who is super hairy..
  4. The third year was redemptive as we celebrated at Disney!! Our good friend who works at the Safari Park recommeded a top class resteraunt, had the ticket paid for and desert 'compliments of the chef'..to follow was the parade of lights at night around the castle and fireworks at midnight as "When you wish upon a star" playing in the background..it doesn't get more romantic than that!!!
  5. And last, but not least is our trip to the beach this year..if you haven't read the story, then lets just say it fits in more with # 1-3!! However, we did have a joyous Wednesday this week as we 'celebrated' early by having a sitter and going to our churches couples care group..it proved very beneficial and grew us closer to one another..read more at Ben's blog here.
Have a blessed marriage my friends and may your stories be ones you can laugh at!!