Cool corn maze!!

10.31.2008




Offended?

10.29.2008

I'm listening to part of Paul Washer's sermon that he gave at the Deeper Conference put on by Way of the Master. You can watch the whole thing here: Regeneration v. The Idolatry of Decisional "Evangelism."

Chew on this today...
We have no right to water down the Gospel's offense or civilize it's radical message... Repackaging the message and removing the stumbling block and taking the edge off of the blade so that it might be more acceptable to carnal men. We ought to be seeker friendly, but we ought to realize that there is only one seeker and He is God. If we are striving to make our church and our message accommodating, let us make them accommodating to Him. If we are striving to build a church or ministry let us build it on a passion to glorify God and a desire not to offend His majesty. 

~Paul Washer
Amen, Brother Paul!! 

*grumble*grumble*grumble*

10.28.2008

Pastor Eric shared in passing to me the other night about how the Israelites didn't get to see the promised land because of their grumbling and Moses didn't get to see it because of his burst of anger.

I have a similar situation like this going on in my home. It looks like this:

Mitchell the Grumbler.
Amy the Angry.

By the end of the day after dealing with the grumbling I hear all day long, Russ comes home to an angry, frustrated wife who has lost all sense of sweetness, kindness, goodness and mercy. Last night, my precious husband chose to use our pillow talk time to mention that I have been sounding harsh with Mitchell. *Do I get any points for extending grace to Russ for his bad timing?? Pretty, please???* I got very defensive and wanted to justify my behavior. However, because of the series that pastor has been teaching us about peacemaking and not making excuses for our own sin, I decided to keep my mouth shut instead. 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep my cool and not lose my peace when dealing with a grumbling child all day long??

My devotional is done

10.27.2008

Don't look for a devotional book written by me any time soon. This was HARD!

I have fretted, stressed, and had an anxiety attack along with a temper tantrum over this devotional. Don’t worry, my boys are used to it. Sad, but true. I have written, erased, searched the Internet until I found the end of the line, considered giving up and telling Jenny she needed to find someone else. I have read, looked up verses, considered plagiarism, and banging my head against the wall. 

Then my daughter called me today…She is a long story, my little drama girl…She said, “Just be real, Mom.” 

Just be real…Okay, here goes. 

The reality is, I am not a stellar mom. Far from it. I have made countless mistakes in my mothering and I know I will make more in the years ahead. When it comes to raising my children I have placed far more trust in the means instead of trusting in God.

For example:
…When they were toddlers and pre-schoolers, I trusted in the “right” (what was considered the right way at that time, at least) form of discipline.

…When they became school age, I chose to live where the best public schools were located and then later chose homeschooling as the means to have intelligent, well-rounded, godly children.

…When my lost and confused daughter got married, I trusted in the institution of marriage to straighten her out. 

John Piper wrote:
There is no doubt God wants us to use means to get His work done. But just as clearly He wants us not to trust in these means. “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31). Therefore, our confidence should not be in the horse, but in the Lord. 

I’m very glad for God’s mercies which are new every morning and I take comfort in that truth as I start each new day with my children. 

In my internet search, I kept going back to the blog, Girl Talk. It’s a blog written by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters, Nicole, Kristin and Janelle. There is such rich wisdom and encouragement to be found there. Because one of the means I was trusting in to “fix” my daughter fell through, I have needed some encouragement desperately. The following blog post is what I needed to hear and I hope it’s an encouragement to all of you, too. 

Time to Come
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7

These verses describe the stuff of sowing. We must talk to our children every day, instruct them throughout the day, teach them in every circumstance, train them on every occasion, tell them God’s words over and over again.
 
Sowing can be hard work. Sometimes exhausting work. We moms can wonder: Is anything getting through? Will this child ever get it? We may feel our words are falling on deaf ears; that our efforts are in vain. Oh, but let’s keep reading in Deuteronomy chapter six. Look at the hope and encouragement we find in verse 20:

“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’

Though it is not a promise, there is much encouragement we can draw from this verse; because there is a time coming when it won’t simply be us doing all the talking, teaching, and instructing. One day our children will act in response to our instruction. They will come with questions of their own. They will inquire about the meaning of God’s words. They will desire to understand God’s ways for themselves.

Now that “time to come” is different for every child. It’s sooner for some, later for others. Scripture does not give us an exact timetable for the duration of sowing. But Scripture does tell us: "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:9,10).

I know I have been weary. I imagine we have all been weary one time or another. Let us encourage one another to keep pressing on to teach our children about our good God, who came to us in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die on the cross for our sins and who rose again as a sign that His sacrifice was accepted. The Gospel is our only hope and the only hope for our children. 

My new favorite hymn

10.26.2008

There's a lot of great theology to chew on in this hymn. My favorite rendition of it is sung by Sandra McCracken on her album, "The Builder and the Architect". You can listen to a portion of this song, as well as the other songs on the album on iGrace

I Boast No More
Phil. 3:7-9. 

No more, my God, I boast no more
Of all the duties I have done;
I quit the hopes I held before,
To trust the merits of thy Son.

Now, for the love I bear his name,
What was my gain I count my loss;
My former pride I call my shame,
And nail my glory to his cross.

Yes, and I must and will esteem
All things but loss for Jesus' sake:
O may my soul be found in him,
And of his righteousness partake!

The best obedience of my hands
Dares not appear before thy throne;
But faith can answer thy demands
By pleading what my Lord has done. 

Isaac Watts 

Voice of the Martyrs

We had a guest speaker from Voice of the Martyrs come to our church tonight. It was a humbling and powerful church service. I'll be thinking twice before I grumble about any inconveniences that come my way. 

I highly recommend the book, Foxe's Voice of the Martyrs.


How does he do it??

I have sweated and toiled over this baby shower devotional for the last two days. Typing, deleting, typing, deleting. So far I have about one page written. Two minutes. Tops. And, it's not so great. I may just fall back on reading a poem on motherhood. *rolls eyes*

I was telling Jenny how hard it's been to write and she told me not to stress over it. Doesn't she know me well enough by now that I stress over everything? Of course she does, which is why she then said, "No one will remember what you say anyway." She knows I tend to take things far too seriously, get all perfectionist and freeze up. Reminding me that the world will not spin off it's axis if I don't do a great job with the devotional was just what I needed to hear. The ladies that will be there are my friends and they will extend grace to me as I stumble through the devotional on Tuesday night. 

What I want to know is this...How does my pastor do it? He writes 2 or 3 sermons a week! Long sermons. We don't get 20 minutes of fluffy stuff resembling Peeps. We get a good solid 40 - 50 minutes of expository preaching. A full course meal that is satisfying.

Hey! He has nothing better to do. Maybe he could write the devotional for me! You think??? 


Baby shower devotional

10.24.2008

I've been asked to share a devotional at a baby shower on Tuesday. I have never in my life done something like this, so I am out of my comfort zone big time

I have a topic in mind and the main verse. My goal today is to get my thoughts on paper...Okay, on Word. 

Have a blessed Friday! 

Things In My House Thursday #13

10.23.2008




When I was in third grade I belonged to an organization called Camp Fire Girls. For Christmas that year our leaders took us to a local ceramic shop to make presents for our moms. My mom always wanted a ceramic cat sitting next to the fireplace, so my dad paid the extra money for me make the cat for instead of whatever the rest of the girls were making. I have a sneaky feeling my mom was really the one who made the arrangements for me to make the cat. *wink* 

Come join us for Things In My House Thursday! It's fun!!


Clay

10.20.2008



The papers and elements for this page was made from a free download on Scrap Girls, called Refresh

Now isn't this much better than me changing my blog template every other day. :o)

My first scrap book page


Copyright ©2008 by Tracey aka Sox - Aussie Scrappers
Designs for digital-scrapbooking and Signature tag making

My heart hurts

10.19.2008

When my children were little it would hurt my heart to see them be hurt. It didn't matter if their hurt was physical, like a skinned knee or an emotional hurt, like a friend being cruel or the divorce of their parents. When they hurt, I hurt...I thought I wouldn't hurt so much for them when they got older, however, it didn't take long for me to figure out that I will hurt for them, even if their pain is self inflicted, until the day I die. 

The following quote by Elizabeth Stone rings true for me...Especially tonight. 

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
~Elizabeth Stone

My men are home...

10.18.2008




Russ got two deer so we will have a freezer full of meat this winter. :o)

My Husband Rocks ~ A fabulous vacation

10.17.2008

Come join the fun of My Husband Rocks Friday.

A couple times a year, my hubby takes a week off to do his guy things. This last week he has been on his annual hunting trip. What's different this time around, is that the boys were old enough to go this year, which means, not only did he get his hunting vacation, but I also got my own vacation, too! I am very much a homebody and perfectly content to be at home. I enjoy going places, especially with my honey, however, my most favorite times with him are just being home alone with him. Those times are very rare. 

This last week, having the house all to myself, has been...glorious! It's quiet (like now) when I want it to be quiet, it's filled with music when I want it to be filled with music. I even had a friend stop by and we were able to have a real conversation...uninterrupted! I have loved every moment ONLY because I know he will (God willing) be coming back home to me. The best part of his hunting trips is greeting him in the driveway with a huge hug and kiss and seeing his smiling face look at me like no man has ever looked at me before....


Go check out Amanda walking!

10.16.2008

You gotta go see Amanda. What an amazing young woman!!

Things In My House Thursday #12



I call this my treasure box. When I was in high school, it was an ugly brown box where I kept my keep sakes. Things like movie stubs, notes from friends and other small things like that. In 1981, my mom painted it and made it pretty. It's showing lots of wear on it now...

I keep it in my office to hold camera cords, seldom used office supplies, headphones and just stuff that needs a home. 

Come join us for Things In My House Thursday! It's fun!!

Announcement!

10.15.2008

I interrupt this day to bring a very important announcement. I have just received a report that Brooklyn can say, "Hi." Yes, that's right...She can now say, "Hi," and wave as she is saying it. 

It's official folks. We have a genius on our hands! 


Now back to your regularly scheduled day. 

Word-Filled Wednesday ~



Am I bored?

10.14.2008

Russ asked me last night if I was bored yet with him and the "little ones" being gone. I confess...I am NOT! I am enjoying the time alone and having my house stay clean for longer than five minutes, but only because I know they are coming back in a few days and the boys need this time with their dad. I have to laugh though...Russ said they all tried to take a nap yesterday afternoon but Mitchell wouldn't stop talking. All I could say was, "Welcome to my world." 

Mitchell called me yesterday morning because he missed me. He told me he even misses me bossing him around. That makes me laugh. He and I had some pretty rough days lately. We are both strong-willed people and we tend to clash quite often. I knew he needed a break from me as much as I needed a break from him. Pastor Josh preached a sermon on Sunday night on conflict resolution that hit home with me and I knew I needed to apologize to Mitchell, which I did. I can now honestly say I miss him and his "yap-yap-yapping." 

Being brave

10.12.2008

When Russ doesn't go to church, I don't go. I don't like going "alone." It's only been in the last year, that I have braved going to church without him, but I had the boys in tow, which made it a wee bit easier. 

This morning, I am taking a much bigger step and am going to church completely alone, since the boys are with their dad hunting this week. God orchestrated a conflict that caused the baptisms that were scheduled for last week, to be moved to this week. I'd have to be on my death bed to miss the baptism of the darling couple, Mario and Amy, who are new believers in the last year, thanks to a faithful friend who kept on sharing the Gospel with them using the Way of the Master model. They will be sharing their testimonies and I can't wait to hear them! Which reminds me...I need to put some tissue in my purse. I cry at every baptism. And, I had better get going so I am not late for church!! 

Hunting Season

It's hunting season!! And you know what that means...Chick Flick week!!

I watched Sense and Sensibility on Hulu last night. That was a great movie!! I need to buy that one and add it to my stash. 

My Husband Rocks ~ 8 great years

10.10.2008

Come join the fun of My Husband Rocks Friday.


I had several ideas rolling around in my brain on what I wanted to brag on about my hubby today, but those ideas will have to wait for another Friday because my husband said something so sweet, so amazingly romantic last night...

I love bed time. That time when it's just the two of us. It doesn't matter whether we are talking about the big things that are going on in our family, in our walks with God, in our church, in our country and world or laughing over the funny things that happened during our day...It's our time. It's time that I cherish. The financial crisis was part of our discussion last night. It's going to affect us, our parents and many people we know and love...However, we serve a great God and we will be fine. Russ then turns to me and said, "Honey...If God should take us during the night, thank you for the greatest eight years of my life." 

Am I richly blessed or what....

Things In My House Thursday #11

10.09.2008





In honor of what would be my mom's 74th birthday, I am sharing my favorite picture of her. This family picture was on my dad's work desk for years and years. It's still in it's original frame, with the same crack in the glass. It was taken when she was 31. You can see it in my last post sitting in a place of honor on my Laurie's the buffet. 

Come join us for Things In My House Thursday! It's fun!!

Let Them Come Home ~ revisited

10.07.2008

In January I posted a link to Abraham Piper's (John Piper's son) article "Let Them Come Home." I am reposting it because:

1~ It's a fabulous reminder on how to love our prodigal children.

2~ My prodigal son will be moving home tomorrow. :o)

My crock-pot washing piano prodigy

10.06.2008

Reagan announced last week that his piano teacher said he was a piano prodigy. 

Let's just say it's true and he is a prodigy...Can you please explain to me why he'd wash the crock-pot in a sink full of water?? Not the crock part, the crock-pot part. You know...The part that has an electrical cord?? 

Oh, the stories I could tell about this child...

Struggling with my words...

10.05.2008

This morning's service has me thinking...I am struggling with how to say what it is I am pondering, though. I decided to just say it and if it doesn't make sense to anyone but me, so be it.

Pastor said:

The Gospel is eclipsed when something other than the Gospel becomes our hope for a right relationship with God, for personal change or fulfillment and for eternal life.

In other words, if I am thinking that anything I do is pleasing to God, I am wrong...He is only pleased with His Son, Jesus Christ. It's not about what I do, but about what God has done.

One thing I am so guilty of is being busy at mastering the Word rather than being mastered by it. Oh, and my self-righteousness!! I make myself sick when I think about how self-righteous I can be about not being as self-righteous as someone else.

Then...Then I remember...Grace...Oh, the sweet grace that God has given to this lowly woman who messes up all the time. He is busy at work in my life. Changing me, growing me, sanctifying me. One day, this flesh will be gone and I will be glorified, as Christ is glorified right now. That is the hope. One day, I will be like Him....

Edit: paster Eric Schumacher's sermon, The Gospel and It's Eclipse,  is now available to listen to on line. 

Your comments have such an encouragement to me. :o) 

Let it snow...

10.04.2008


The windows are in! Obviously we have trim work to do on the inside, however, they are completely finished on the outside of the house, so let it snow!



Things In My House Thursday...#10

10.02.2008






This lovely piece of furniture is one of my most favorite pieces of furniture I have in my home...And it's not mine. Yes, that's right. It doesn't belong to me. In fact, I have a feeling I will be losing this lovely piece of furniture, after enjoying it for the last 10 years, very soon. The buffet belongs to Laurie. She didn't have room for it in her home and asked if I would like to "store" it for her. Uh, YES!!! I love the bottom drawer. Its wide enough to store all my Christmas paper and other odds and ends for gift wrapping. I keep puzzles, my sewing kit, my craft tools and other stuff like that, inside of it. I'll miss it when it goes back to it's rightful owner. I'm pretty sure she will give me visitation rights. :oD

Word Filled Wednesday

10.01.2008


Come join the blessing of Word Filled Wednesday, where it's ALL ABOUT HIM.



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