Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Joyful Songs

Just thought I'd post a fun blog about Christmas music.
What do you enjoy?
What do you wish you had not wasted your money on?

A few of our Favorites:
Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God.
This is our favorite and currently missing Christmas album. It's unlike any Christmas album I've ever heard. It starts in the old testament and, in customary Andrew Peterson manner it tells the story of the Messiah. It's folky, peaceful, unique and refreshing.

Bebo Normans Christmas from the Realms of Glory

This album is, as The Husband would say "pleasant".
It's not the same old same old, is Christ centered and draws you in so you leave it living in your CD player.

Mercy Me The Christmas Sessions
This is one I listen to a lot myself. I even run to it! It starts with quite a few songs that are not so quiet and ends at the other end. I've always loved Mercy Me and it holds true with this album.

The not so great: I downloaded David Crowder Band Oh For Joy a couple of weeks ago. I have always liked him and was really disappointed. It starts out really well and peters out. It does start off very joyful, but then the music is just drab and depressing.
The worst part is the last song is a total rip off of Trans Siberian Orchestra's Carol of the Bells
I thought maybe I had burned a song off of another album onto the CD, but no, it's not.
It was like they thought the idea of making a Christmas album was good and then they gave up.

So how about you?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What we really need

So many times God tells me no or wait and I throw fits and then learn, the very hard way how He knows so much better than me. And I admit this, and move on with life and completely forget it. I don't know how many times I've done this! I'm glad He is abundantly patient with me!

This past year has been rough in some regards. The main one being (and it's kind of hard to write about this in a public place, but I feel it is beneficial to others, and so I will) that we have been trying to start a family and it's just not happening like I "want" it to. Like I "planned".
Which is hard on a few levels.
I forget that God is sovereign and in complete control. I go through mixed emotions of feeling broken, aching, judging others who are parents and comparing myself (which is not only sinful, but absurd). And that's just the tip of the iceberg!

God's taught me a few things through this time and with the help of my husband.
He's taught me that I have no idea what is best for me and that I need to just trust Him. This is so cliche and so hard to actually do.
A Sovereign grace song has been going through my mind this week:
" You disarmed me of everything that I would lean on
So I would lean on You
And You stripped me of everything I would depend on
So I’d depend on You"
A verse I have relied on through much of this is Romans 8:32:

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Believing He actually always knows what is best is a wonderful place to be.
Know He knows. Truly trust that He is for you. Because He is!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Abundant Grace

It's been a rough week. So many sinus headaches. Just not feeling well from my allergies. Emotions. I've been feeling like I was just hanging on as I got through my shifts at work.
It's so comforting to have God's Word right there every day no matter what is going on. Such comfort and strength. Such grace right when I need it.

When I thought, "My foot slips,"
your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
Ps 94:18, 19

Romans 8:32

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

It's so comforting to know if I don't have something right now, I don't need it;
Or if I have things in my life, it's what's best for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Reflections

I was sitting in church today reflecting on God's grace in placing us there.

Last fall we drilled into our youth that the church is not the building, it's the people. I was thinking about that, and about how amazing it is that we are there. How in our great plan we were visiting this city for a few months.

I could see a brother who, before we started attending was my pilot and flew me to Toronto so that I could have a crucial surgery that may have saved my life a couple of years ago.

I saw some of my youth with their various hopes, dreams, passions and talents.

I saw the quiet violin player who blesses our whole congregation humbly.

I saw our shepherd who daily leads us by his life and ministry in the Word.

I looked around and thought about how each face there was a representation of so many things that the average passer by would not see. Pains and joys. Struggles and triumphs.
I reflected on how God has privileged us with the gift of having this congregation welcome us with open arms. How we are a living body that we have been placed there to be a part of.

I looked and saw my family.

I pray that I never take that for granted. We are so privileged to be a part of this family.
Thank you all for loving us so deeply, so sincerely.
We are blessed to be a part of you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do you really?

Something I have thought about in the past is how God takes us through things, stretches us and brings us one step at a time through learning something. He doesn't whack us over the head, asking us why we don't get it yet. He gently and lovingly teaches us.

If you asked me last month even if I would be alright with having absolutely no idea what was next, including a job for my husband, I probably would have been more than a little hesitant.
If you had asked me that five years ago I really would not have been alright with it.
When my husband even shared with me a couple of days ago how he was feeling about a job prospect, I felt leery.

But, do I really take God at His Word, or do I only believe it when my plans are in place and my ducks are in a row?
We are memorizing Psalm 34 together right now (although he has been more diligent in this than I, I have to admit).

When I read and say I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (vs 1) are those just empty words, or will I live them?

Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (vs 9-10)

These are verses that I and we have come to live by. They are not just pretty poetry that bring a flutter or a thrill to the heart. They are unchanging truths. If I don't have something, it's not good for me. So what I have is good and is from the Lord.
He's brought me and us through a lot for me to be in the place where I can say this from my heart.
To be honest with you, I don't fully understand this peace. But I believe it comes from knowing we are following God's will for us and knowing He will continue to take care of us no matter what.

Because as I told someone dear to me a little while ago, yes, I believe He can be trusted no matter what and will never let me down.

Monday, February 14, 2011

More than you'll ever know

Five years ago the man and I spent our first Valentines day separated by more than a thousand miles. I saw him a couple of days later and he proposed!

Five amazing years later, and I now know that he believes Valentines is a silly made up holiday, made for the sake of consumerism.

That year however I was giddy and made him a special gift he still treasures. Funny thing is, something I now find a little corny is what prompted him to encourage me to get back to blogging (among other things).

I wrote him a "fairy tale" about a princess (me) and her prince, scrap book style with our few pictures in it.
When I was young I used to think I'd be a writer, but that's fallen by the way side over the years.
Andrew told me that this gift is part of what made him fall in love with me. Go figure.
Today as I was praying and thanking the Lord for a man who loves me so much.
He loves me where I am, encourages me where I need to grow and nurtures things in me I don't even realize are there sometimes. I am also so grateful for a husband who loves the Lord so much and who's desire is to serve Him and His people all his life.

During my quiet time today I was also thinking about God's huge love for me and how He has shown me /us that over the years.
In so many little and huge ways He has taken care of us and redirected our plans. What a loving thing to do!
The man put this quote on my facebook wall not to long ago, and it really spoke to me:
"You're more sinful than you ever dared believe; you're more loved than you ever dared hope."
Tim Keller

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

God's love for us isn't based on how we live or what good things we have done. It's based on Christ and the cross. I can courageously wake up each morning and approach the throne of grace boldly knowing that He sees me in Christ, that I cannot have a righteousness of my own, but that His love for me will never change. He doesn't love me out of principle (because He has to) , but because He truly loves me!
Bask in His love today!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sweet anticipation

I bought a bunch of goodies today for our youth sleepover on Friday. I'm about to make a couple of things, and tomorrow and extra special something as well. I can't say in case someone peeks ;).
I get such joy out of showing my girlies that they are so special. I don't think we let teens know how valuable they are enough of the time.
I think I am more excited than they are because I get to prepare for their special night. I'm also excited for what God has given to me to share with them.
I thank God for giving me the opportunity and grace to serve these teens and to grow with them these past two years. It has been such a joy and blessing!
What types of things do you get excited about? What lights you up? What do you anticipate?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A New Beginning

I know, I know, I've said it before "I'm going to be better about blogging".
But, this time I feel it's all about discipline, bringing glory to God and encouraging the family of God.
I had been thinking along the lines of the later, but then my pastor encouraged it on Sunday, and then to top it off my husband gave me a shove in the right direction.
Ladies, marry a man who encourages the best in you, especially the things you may not think are your best.
When I was a kid I used to want to be an author. I thought I might have a bit of a knack for writing, but never pursued it.
My husband told me last night that I should do this. He then told me that my writing was one thing that attracted him to me. Go figure.
God has also been giving me grace in the area of disciplines of late.
He's been helping me to wake up earlier to spend time with Him before I begin my day at work.
He now giving me grace in working on my eating habits and exercise.
And now it's time to get back to blogging.

I used to be consist, back when it was the thing to use Xanga.
I know I can do it, despite business. It's all about priorities. Using my time wisely and in a way that will bring glory to Himself.

So here is the start of something new.
I hope to encourage with insights from the Lord through things He's showing me and teaching me.
I'm sure I'll mention my jewelery, coffee and other things that I obsess over :).
My prayer is that I may be a blessing, encouragement, and that God may get the glory through His workings in our lives.

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Timothy 1:17