Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The American Dream

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What beautiful weather! We are loving it!

Today we spent some time outside in the warm sunshine. After rest-time, we plan to continue.

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I read a book. And to just call it a book, does NOT do it justice.
 
While I read, children played.

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I have been completely emersed in this book, and I have so much to say about it. If I said all I'd like to say, I'd say to every person I come in contact with..."Please sit down and let me read this book to you." Do you think they would run? 

Since there is so much in Radical that is mind boggling, I decided today as I was reading that since I had my little camera so handy, I would just take pictures of those words that spoke to me.  (Don't just read the parts that are underlined, read the entire page. It will make more sense.) So....here goes.....

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Did you see this part???
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I'm so thankful to be an American. But I wonder, am I living the American Dream?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Newsletter

***Justine is one of the precious little girls that stayed with us when they were in Andalusia. And Esther stayed with Amy and Mother. Sweet, sweet children! 
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Hope for Orphans

HFO - Summit VII Banner
Over the past several years, our team at Hope for Orphans, a ministry of FamilyLife, has seen God move His people to care for orphans and waiting children in amazing ways.


One of the most exciting things to come out of this movement of the Holy Spirit has been the formation of the Christian Alliance for Orphans and its annual Summit. The Summit has become a “national hub for Christians committed to adoption, foster care, and global orphan initiatives rooted in the local church.”
This year’s Summit VII is just a few weeks away (May 12-13) and will be held at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. I am very honored to be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Summit, along with several other outstanding speakers. In addition to the main sessions, the Hope for Orphans team will be leading breakout sessions and connecting with local church champions who are passionately seeking to mobilize their churches to reach orphans.
If God is moving you to do more on behalf of orphans and children in foster care, Summit VII is a perfect opportunity for you to learn ways you and your church can get involved. If you are already involved in orphans ministry on your own, through an agency, or through your church, but want to connect with other like-minded believers to be encouraged and to learn how to be more effective in your ministry, Summit VII is the perfect place for you as well.
Won’t you consider joining me and our Hope for Orphans team at Summit VII this year? To learn more about Summit VII, and to register, please click here.
If you do attend Summit VII, please be sure to visit the Hope for Orphans display booth to meet our Hope for Orphans team and to pick up a free gift, our way of thanking you for making yourself available to be used by God to reach His precious children with His abundant love and hope.
If you’re not able to attend Summit VII, would you consider praying for this important event with your family, small group, or friends? Pray that God will use this time to continue to mobilize His people on behalf of the fatherless, and that we would be united in bringing the hope of the gospel to orphans everywhere.

Blessings,
Dennis Rainey

I would love to be a part of this!
More info at Hope for Orphans.
Haaaaaaaaaappppyyyy Friday! It's beautiful out there!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weekend to Remember

***Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the page and mute the playlist first.



I can testify from experience, these are AWESOME!!! I would go to one every year! They are so worth your money and time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Simplify


Simple. De-clutter. Organized. Purpose.

I like all those words. Actually, I love those words. I'm all about some organization! So as I was reading Simple Mom, I decided I would join the party. And de-clutter. Simplify. Organize. And create a home and family with a purpose.



I want to de-clutter with two missions in mind. I want to organize my house. And I want to bless someone with my "clutter". Does that make any sense? 

Sidenote: We are so blessed. All of us. Did you know that if you have running water, shelter over your head, clothes to wear, food to eat, and some means of transportation (even if it's pubic transportation), then you are in the top 15% of the world's people for wealth? WoW! We live in luxury. But we don't think so. (I'm reading Radical. Oh my goodness! My eyes are being opened! More later....)

Back to the project. I'm a little behind so I may not be right on schedule with Simple Mom, but I'll do my best.
I am starting with the master closet. And I will have lots of help.

***Speaking of de-cluttering, I'm planning a yard-sale for April 2nd. At my house. I think we may have a "neighborhood yardsale." I think it will be fun! Maybe I'll see you!



Friday, March 11, 2011

Crazy

First of all...

what in the world am I doing awake this late?

How do we go from this...
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to this?
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This south Alabama weather is crazy. But I wouldn't rather live anywhere else in the world!

Anyway, I guess the crazy weather gives opportunities for all kinds of entertainment. From picking flowers to building fires.

After the terrible wind we had earlier this week, John was out cleaning up the yard. (until 9:00 pm!...a little OCD? He's just like me!:) All the trash made for a nice cozy fire. So after the kiddos fell asleep, we 'cozied' by the fire.

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We tried to make smores.  The only problem was we had no marshmellows, old graham crackers, and only white chocolate (which was okay cause I love it). But no pan to melt it in. Oh well, didn't work out exactly like I planned.

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Pa has been burning so we've taken several trips to see 'his' helicopter. John Luke is cautious as usual. His sister is ready to fly it high, and then sky dive. They are just like their parents. John Luke like his daddy---Very cautious. Allie Beth like her mama---A dare-devil.

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John Luke is still not so sure about "the man in the blue suit." His name is Stephan (not so sure about the spelling.) And he is from Austria so he has a neat accent.

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Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Grace Notes

I'm doing something I've never done before but have always thought it could be fun. I have joined with Stacey to study grace. She is doing a year-long study on grace, and has invited anyone who would like, to join her. I thought I would enjoy.

Several years ago, I read a book that should be considered one of those "life-changing" reads. Let's just say I've read it several times since. I need reminders. Often. A lot. The book was called Putting a Face on Grace by Richard Blackaby.
Blackaby says, "If you are truly grateful for God's forgiveness you will be quick to forgive others."
One day, God made me very aware that I was not a grace-giving person.
I have found out that the more I pray for God to make me a "grace-giver", the more opportunities He provides for me to do just that!

 As I said, He has been teaching me.  And is still to this present day, teaching me. And most days, I wonder why in the world I can't "get it"! Because I just continue to fail. But I guess that would be a wonderful example of HIS grace!!!

Some particular "grace lessons" in my own life are:
  • If we grasp what God did for us on the cross, we will gladly give grace to others.
  • If we are truly broken and humbled by our own sin, we will not focus so much on the sin of others.
  • Grace forgives. Whether it is deserved or not. Afterall, isn't that what God did for us?
  • Grace can be costly.
  • Grace eases conflict in all relationships.
  • Grace is a one-way street.
  • Grace offers the freedom to fail.
  • Grace sees others through God's eyes.
  • Grace doesn't insist on always being right.
  • Grace strives to listen and understand.
  • Grace in marriage is vital. (I heard one time...I married a sinner. But so did he!)

I believe at one time I thought that if I extended grace to someone, I was excepting the wrong behavior. Or condoning their actions. Absolutely not true. Blackaby says, "God has a unique way of viewing us. He looks at us through eyes of grace. That doesn't mean He glosses over our transgressions or ignores our sin. Jesus came in grace and truth. (John 1:14). But God does not focus on what is but what could be. Grace is not fixated on the past but looks toward the future. After enjoying the immeasurable benefits of His love toward us, how should we respond? Does it make sense for us to take in so much and not want to share what we have been given with others?"

I think I realized that it was simply not my job to "discipline" them. But that was God's job. It was my job to be obedient to Christ. I will not answer for that person, but I will answer for me.

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." I Cor. 15:10

I think Paul is admitting that even though he has worked harder than any of the other apostles, he knows that his power came from God. Therefore it was of no signifigance who had worked the hardest. He was only thankful for God's grace. He was not boasting or complaining. He was grateful that God had extended such amazing grace to him.

I wonder how often we compare. We look at ourselves and all the 'things we've accomplished'. The 'work we've put in'. How much 'better we are than the other'. How much more we 'deserve' than someone else. We can get very 'proud of ourselves' very quickly. But what gives us the 'right' to compare? The 'right' to deserve? (One sweet friend of mine in my Bible Study once said, "we don't deserve anything but death and hell.")

I'm so grateful for God's amazing grace.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt, Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, Freely bestowed on all who believe; All who are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive?
Grace, Grace , God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Thanks Stacey!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Simple pleasures

"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalms 16:11

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Spring brings out all the simple pleasures from our Father. I love this season!

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Newness of life. 

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Fresh starts.

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Sweet beginnings.

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Much like grace.

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Time. Precious time with precious loves. To do simple things.

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And to enjoy marvelous pictures.

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And dream about the place that's behind that marvelous sunset!

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Spring. It's my fave! What do you love about it???