Thursday, October 11, 2012

10-11-12

Chosen.  Dearly loved.  Ransomed.  Set free.  Redeemed.  Not forgotten.  Called by name.  Given new life.

Comforted.  Protected.  Given hope.  Given a future.  Held.  Counted as worthy.  Set apart.  Daughter.

Claimed.  Rescued.  Cherished.

Saved.

These words remind me of my inheritance in Christ.

These words changed me.  They gave me a future and a hope.

I was once an orphan, but am now loved by the Most High God.  He chose me to be part of His family.  And He didn't have to.  That's love.

On this day I stand in awe.  In awe of the picture that God has given us, His children, of redemption.  We can read about it in the pages of Scripture and experience it first hand when we submit our lives to Jesus Christ, but there's another picture He has given us...

Adoption.

Do you see these two beauties?


















These are the faces of two chosen children.  A beautiful girl and a cute, cute boy who have been given a new name.  As of today, they are part of our family.  My niece and nephew.  They have a Mom and a Dad. They are...

Chosen.  Dearly loved.  Ransomed.  Set free.  Redeemed.  Not forgotten.  Called by name.  Given new life.

Comforted.  Protected.  Given hope.  Given a future.  Held.  Counted as worthy.  Set apart.

Claimed.  Rescued.  Cherished.

Saved.

The adoption of these children, Maria and Elijah Brockhaus, is picture, a glimpse, of Christ's love for us.

In this is THE story of redemption,
The universe was meant to be a home—where the image-bearers of God rule and serve under their Father. It was all to be ours. The primeval insurrection in the garden, though, turned the universe into an orphanage—the heirs were gone, done in by their appetites. A serpent now holds the cosmos in captivity, driving along the deposed rulers as his slaves. The whole universe is now an orphanage.
But then there’s Jesus.
When we were still orphans, Christ became a substitute orphan for us. Though he was a son, he took on the humiliation of a slave and the horror of death (Phil 2:6-8). (Adopted for Life, Russell Moore)
Thank you, God, for setting the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). Thank you, Jesus, for adoption.  It is beautiful.  You are beautiful.

And thank you, Andrew and Amy, for walking in obedience to the call of Christ, for having a faith that works.  Your lives are testimonies to the

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (James 1:27)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The God of the possible

People have begun to look different to me.  I see them not as much for who they are to me from the outside, but for who God created them to be in His image.  I talk to people more and with a genuine desire to see people...these other image bearers of God that I walk through this life with.  And sometimes it's hard. Because sometimes people make it hard.  I see their sin and I don't like it and then because of their sin, my sin shows up.  Not real cool.  And so I ask forgiveness for this often.  But I am thankful that at least now I see my sin and am asking forgiveness for it rather than not seeing it at all and not even realizing I need to rid it from my life.

So, I'm learning.  God is opening my eyes.  Sometimes it takes an opportunity passing me by for my eyes to be open.

The other day I passed up an opportunity that was right there in front of me.  But I said "No."  I was in line checking out at the grocery store when the woman in line in front of me asked the checker to please place only one or two items in each of her grocery bags.  This woman was in a motorized cart and was clearly weak.  She asked that the checker do this because she couldn't bear the weight of any more items in each of her bags.  I listened to the dialogue.  Actually, it wasn't much of a dialogue because the checker seemed a bit perturbed and didn't really say much to the woman.  I stood there with my cart full of groceries and two small children with me thinking, "Gosh, I should really offer to help this woman."  But the longer I stood there without saying anything, some other thoughts quickly entered my mind and took over.

I thought to myself, "I'd really love to help this lady out, but I can't offer to help her.  How could I help her and manage my cart, my kids, her stuff all at the same time?  If the girls weren't with me I could definitely help her.  I just can't do it all."

And so she left and we left and no one helped her.

I said, "No."

And my heart was sad when I later realized why I said no.  I said no because I didn't trust Jesus.  It's as simple as that.  I decided that I couldn't figure out how it would all work out, so surely He couldn't either.  Wait, did I just say that my God couldn't figure it out?  That's what I said in that moment even though no one else saw it but me and God.  Sometimes I'm so blind.

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

I didn't carry her burdens...quite literally.

But all Jesus asks is that I bring Him what I have.  In that moment, a willing spirit should have been enough.  Just like when He fed the 5000 with five loaves and two fishes.  He asked, "How many loaves do you have?" (Mark 6:38). The answer didn't really matter, what was important was that they brought Him what they had.  He was looking for the willingness of their hearts.  I love what Richard Stearns writes The Hole in Our Gospel on this very story:
Can you see the real miracle at work here?  Confronted with an overwhelming problem, Jesus did not ask the disciples to do the impossible; He asked only for them to bring to Him what they had.  He then multiplied the small offering and used it to do the impossible. . .  God never asks us to give what we do not have . . . But he cannot use what we will not give.
Such freedom.  We can't do the impossible.  But we are commanded to bring to Him what we have and let Him do the impossible!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This is called

"Look Andee, this is called We Don't Use Too Much Toilet Paper."
























Oh Charlee, thank you for making your mama laugh with the things that come out of your mouth sometimes.  I love getting to see the world through your eyes.  I will love you forever, even when you use too much toilet paper.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Run to Him

Our absolute favorite kids' Bible is The Jesus Storybook Bible.  It is sooooooo amazing at pointing to Jesus in every story.  I don't remember much about Bible stories from my childhood days, but I remember enough to know that I had NO IDEA that the entire Old Testament points to Jesus.  I just thought He showed up in the New Testament so when I learned that it's ALL about Him, every page of His Word, I was stunned.  So that's why I love this Bible because from a very young age my little ones are learning about Jesus.  That it's always been all about Him and it will always be all about Him.

So, tonight we read The Captain of the Storm taken from Mark 4 and Matthew 8.



After reading I asked Charlee, "Did you know that when we have Jesus we never need to fear anything?"

Very matter-of-factly she replied, "Yeah, Mommy, like when we are afraid and we want to run and hide sometimes we can run to Him instead."

"That's right, honey.  That's exactly right."

And then silence.  I had nothing else to say.  That's it.  We run to Him.  Always.  Without fail.  Without abandon.  We run.

And I prayed, "Please Jesus, may this little girl spend her life running to You."

I don't know how much a 4 year old can comprehend about Jesus and what He's all about, but I am certain that she is far beyond where I was at her age in terms of understanding the simplicity of the gospel.  And for that I am so grateful.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A first world problem

There's a strange little something that's been weighing on my mind...

I have a passion for health, fitness, nutrition, etc.  All the things you could stick in a bucket and call "wellness."  Because of this passion, I've been committed for quite some time to providing healthy, mostly organic food for my family to eat.  My conviction in doing so stems mostly from a desire to attempt to protect my girls from the possibility of disease because of harmful pesticides, hormones, etc. in our food supply.  But equally important to me is the desire to support my local farming community, in particular those who uphold eco-friendly agricultural values and practices.  No, I'm not an environmentalist...at least not in the typical sense of the word.  I do, however, highly value this earth God has given us and believe we need to do our best to steward it well.  I also believe our bodies are temples, in which the Holy Spirit lives and dwells and that it is our responsibility as Christians to steward these gifts well, too (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

The most strikingly obvious difference you'll notice when you purchase real food (you know, the kind that isn't neon because of dyes, the chicken breasts that are smaller because they're not pumped with hormones, the stuff that's not shelf-stable for centuries) is the oftentimes significantly greater dent it makes in your bank account.  This is a price I've been willing to pay for quite some time, but...

I was beginning to feel like perhaps all this organic, naturalness was becoming a little bit of an idol in my life.  And that feeling wasn't sitting well with me.  But I didn't really know how to not let it be an idol, but at the same time follow some strong convictions I have about big agriculture and fake food.

Then this Matthew 25 way of living starts to become very real to me. And then I start to question whether I should even buy organic at all.  And then I feel convicted.  And then God reaches down and turns my heart upside down in my chest.

And now I know this is very clearly a first world problem.

I mean, to even talk about organic, non-GMO, high fructose corn syrup free, artificial dye free, paraben free, and on and on seems so very trivial, doesn't it, when you consider these statistics:

  • Nearly 963 million people in the world are hungry
  • Over 1.4 billion people in the developing world live below the poverty line ($1.25 per day)
  • More than 6 million children die each year from malnutrition
  • 53% of deaths of children under the age of 5 are related to under-nutrition

Suddenly the going rate of $5.00 for a 6oz container of organic blueberries seems slightly ridiculous when I think of all the people living at less than $1.25 per day.

So, what now?  How do I reconcile my growing burden for the poor with my desire to provide the best nutrition for my family?

Again, I remind myself of Jesus' word in Matthew 25:
I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me. (Matthew 25:40, The Message)
Tom Davis in his book Red Letters writes, "If our Christian faith doesn't manifest into something that helps the life of another human being, it doesn't mean squat to him."  Is my "organic" shopping preventing me from giving as much as I could to another human being.  I think so.  And I would rather see more mouths fed across this world with food that's sprayed with preservatives and injected with hormones than I would like to see the faces of these children dying...all while I'm eating my organic blueberries.

Am I going to rush out to the grocery store and stockpile my cupboards with food that will last through the next millennium?  No.  But I will be giving some of the money I save from not being enslaved to the organic revolution to those who need food...plain, simple food.

There's even a deeper issue here, too.  Fear.  So I will be trusting God more because I know that I don't have one ounce of control over the ultimate health of my family.  He is sovereign and He is worth trusting.  Besides, "fear keeps us from acting on the compassion in our hearts" (Red Letters, Tom Davis).  Maybe it's just me, but for some reason I feel that He may just choose to honor the sharing of abundance among many over the hoarding of the "natural" for a family of four.

I think it's clear that our God is pretty passionate about the poor and the needy and I want to be conformed to His image, so maybe I ought to pursue that same passion.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48, NIV)

Monday, August 6, 2012

School girl

Although not huge, our family hit another milestone today as Charlee began her second year of preschool.  I'm still not quite sure how I got to be old enough to be married let alone have a child in school!  Of course, we had to take the stereotypical "first day of school" pictures and here you have it...

The school girl.

































One with Daddy.
























One with Mommy.

































One with sister...well, sort of.
























Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to school we go.  Uh oh, one is gonna be left behind.  Sad day.  She just doesn't understand why she can't do everything big sister does. 

































Poor baby.  She was so proud.  Don't worry, little A, your day is coming...next year!

































Proof that someone stayed happy even after we got to school.

Friday, August 3, 2012

“Cut out” for Jesus

Jesus, you're wrecking me.  And I'm loving it.  These last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind.  You have led me to discover You, a whole new Jesus.  A very real Jesus.  A Jesus who says, “Come.  Follow Me.”

What have the past 20 years that I’ve been a Christian been all about?  About You?  Sadly, no, they’ve mostly been not about You but about me.  And I didn’t even see it.  Until now.

This “now” is changing me.  I know so much now, in this moment, that I didn’t know just a few short weeks ago.

For 20 years I didn’t know You want me.  I didn’t know You look at me and see someone who can be used by You to change the world.  I didn’t know that Your call on my life is no different than your call to the disciples 2000 years ago.  I didn’t know I didn’t need to wait for a “calling” from you.  I didn’t know that this normal American dream of a life isn’t all that You want for me.

Reckless abandon. I guess I always thought that some people were called to live their lives with this kind of love for You, but I just wasn’t one of them. My “normal” life was acceptable. I thought some people were just “cut out” for going to Africa, for being missionaries.  Now I’m starting to get it.  There’s nothing biblical about choosing not to obey because I am not “cut out” for something.  These people in Africa and elsewhere are not all “cut out” for their work, for Your work.  No, but they are “cut out” for You.  I want to be “cut out” for you. My sacrifices (and there haven’t been many) are not pleasing to You. It’s not my sacrifices You’re after, You want my obedience.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”  James 1:22

I love Preston Sprinkle’s perspective on obedience.  Speaking in reference to Matthew 25:31-46, he says, “Jesus emphasizes obedience as the marker of distinguishing the believer from the unbeliever.”  Does that mean there’s no grace?  No. Absolutely not.  What it means, I think, is that it’s through obedience that fruit grows in a believer’s life.  We’re always looking for fruit as the evidence of faith, but maybe we’ve got it wrong.  Maybe we should be looking for obedience as the evidence of that faith.  I think sometimes we’re tempted to believe that if we see what we consider fruit in a person’s life that means they are walking with God.  But how do we know that that fruit is a by-product of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life or if it’s just their desire to do “good” things which is usually driven by the desire to please other fallen people rather than the perfect Creator God?  Perhaps it’s not the fruit that declares a person godly. I think it might be the obedience to God’s commands. When there’s obedience, naturally there will be fruit.

I know very little, but one thing I’m being convinced of over and over as I read Scripture these days is how much it feels Jesus demands of me.  Or is it really that much?  He sent His perfect Son to die for me, to purchase me back from death and on a daily basis I say, “No thanks, God.  I can do it myself.  This cute little life I’ve created is good enough.”  But it’s not.  It pales in comparison to the glory He seeks.

If Jesus, on the night before he was murdered, prayed for God to be glorified, who am I to think that I shouldn’t do the same?  Daily.  On my face before Him.

Jesus, I am praying “anything” for You.  For Your glory because You will not share it with another.  It’s all about You and it’s always been only about You, but maybe I’m just now waking up to that truth.

Jesus, You’ve never been more beautiful to me.  Make me completely Yours.

“The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”  2 Chronicles 16:9

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dancing girl

Little Charlee girl, you're a dancer.  You have a dancing gene.  I don't know where it came from and neither does Daddy, but somehow it got in there.  You've been taking a class called Fairytale Ballet this summer with Miss Jenny.  It truly has been the perfect match for you...a mixture of both dance and dress-up.  Two of the things that make your heart happiest. Today was "performance" day so we got to witness all the fun you've been having.

You, my little girl, are a delight.  I love to watch you when you're "in your element."  When you're so focused, afraid to smile because you're concentrating so hard.  But every once in a while you'll glance over just to make sure we're still watching, that we're noticing you.  And we are watching.  We are watching you blossom into such a beautiful young lady.  Somehow you've reached an age where you are a girl.  You're not a baby, not a toddler, not even a little girl to me anymore.  You're a little lady and I couldn't be more proud of you.

You are learning not to say "I can't" but rather "I'll try."  And because you're choosing to "try", you are going to have so much fun in life.  My prayer is that you will always try because I know what it's like to live in the "I can'ts" and you miss out on a lot of life.  I don't want that for you.  I am learning to try with you and I thank you for that.  I love you, beautiful one.

Pretty ballerina.








































































































































































































The peanut gallery.

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Jesus just got bigger

My life, my thinking, who I thought I was…it’s all been turned upside down.
My Jesus, my God, He just got so much bigger.
This entry may or may not make any sense by the time I’m done with it. My mind is racing like it’s never raced before. I’ve started writing this and re-writing this post multiple times. I simply don’t know where to start, but here goes…
You know those light-bulb moments, those “Ah ha” moments, those moments when you realize you just get it? It’s kind of been like one of those moments for me lately, but on a whole new level.
This change has been “brewing” in me for some time really, but it wasn’t until I read the book Kisses from Katie that everything, I mean everything, changed for me. Jesus was made real to me through Katie Davis’ words. And I say this as a girl who’s been a Christian for 20 years.
Twenty years and I’m just now “getting it”? I think so.
The Lord used Katie’s words to change my heart. A heart that I didn’t know needed to be changed. A heart that I thought was mostly okay. A heart that was mostly content with this life I’ve been living.  A heart that I now realize was lukewarm.  A heart that wasn’t in love with Jesus.  A heart that’s been given new life and, that life, in such glorious abundance.
Kisses from Katie is the story of a young American girl, Katie Davis, who leaves her comfortable life in Tennessee because God calls her to Uganda. Once there, she adopts 14 children. She says “Yes” to God’s call on her life. Over and over again. Her words…
I realize that since I have chosen an unusual path it is easier for outsiders to look at my life and come to the conclusion that it is something extraordinary. That I am courageous. That I am strong. That I am special. But I am just a plain girl from Tennessee. Broken in many ways, sinful, and inadequate. Common and simple with nothing special about me. Nothing special except I choose to say “Yes.”
I don’t expect that this book would be so life-changing for everyone who reads it. I really believe it could be, but I have this feeling that God caused me to read it at just the right time in my life. At a time when my heart was open which allowed Him to open my eyes further to Jesus. I wish I could say that the time I’ve spent reading my Bible over the years has overwhelmed me with joy like Kisses from Katie has. Here and there that has happened, but now as I read God’s Word with this new lens, this new filter, His words mean everything to me. I see Him. I see His heart and I want that heart. I want Jesus. I want to know Jesus, I want the world to know Jesus and I want Him to know me.
“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?” Galatians 4:9
God wants to know me? Me? This broken, ugly mess of a person. Yes!
“As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
I am holy and dearly loved. Me? Yes!
If I know these things to be true, how can I not take these truths out into the world? How can that not transform the way I live, the way I view those created in His image?
I used to think my life needed to be closer to perfect before God could use me.
I used to think I could live in the comfort of my little home, with my little family in Gilbert, AZ and have contentment.
I used to think adoption was for those who couldn’t have children of their own.
Now I know that in me, little old me, is the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
Now I know that He wants, even expects, everything of me. (Luke 14)
Now I know that life as a Christian is all about adoption. I am His because of adoption. In Katie’s words, “Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the Gospel in my living room.” (Ephesians 1:5)
I don’t know where all this leaves me, but God knows. And I know He is moving.
What I do know is that Jesus is enough.  He will always be enough. I know this with my entire being.
You know Philippians 4:13? “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” I always believed this to be true on some level, but now I know it to be true.
I want to do something for Jesus. He called me, He justified me and He is sanctifying me.  Jesus died for me.  I want to live for Him. I want the world to know Him.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Prov 3:27
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Tim 1:7
Jesus is my Abba Father.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15
Jesus loves me this I know.  For real.
























Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yes, I will...

Yes, I will let her dress herself.

Yes, I will let her dress herself.

Yes, I will let her dress herself.

This is what I repeated to myself over and over again when Charlee proudly exited her room dressed like this yesterday morning.

































Sadly, I didn't say anything to her about her outfit.  I didn't tell her I loved it.  I didn't tell her I was proud of her for picking out her clothes or thank her for getting herself dressed.

Instead, we sat down to eat breakfast and she said, "Mommy, do you like my outfit?  I picked it out myself."

My heart hurt when she said those words because I know exactly what it feels like when you want someone you love to notice you, to accept you, to tell you they are proud of you.  Of course, after she asked I did tell her those things.  I just wish I had said something before she asked.  It probably would have meant more to her.  Thankfully, however, I'm fairly confident that I will have many more opportunities to do so in the near future!

And a close up in case you didn't get the full effect from the first picture.
Even the way she walked around had "Mommy, aren't you proud of me?" written all over it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

KDSGONE

This was the license plate of a car I passed on the way home from church this morning.  And it wasn't just any old car.  I don't know my luxury cars, but it was some variety of Mercedes that surely cost over $100,000.  I saw it and I totally made a judgment that I had to repent of already.  But this is where my mind and my heart went...

Really?  So what, you've raised your kids and now they're gone so you feel you deserve this vehicle, that somehow you've earned it because you've completed the task of raising children?  What does that say to your kids?  That now that they are gone, you're living the good life?  That it wasn't so good while they were there, but it is now that they're out of the house, that life is fun again?  And what does it say to the world?  That having kids is great and all, but life just gets so much better once they're gone?  That life while raising kids is no fun, that you just suck it up and get through it because you have your heart set on better things?  Really?

Okay, so I have no idea what the real story is behind this woman, her car and her license plate.  It sure did get me fired up though.  Isn't that the message of this world?  Having children is almost like an item on the to-do list.  Something you just want check off your list, right up there with folding laundry and mopping the floor.  That really they are a burden, a hindrance to your life and your fun.  Because we all know that most of the things that go on our to-do lists are things we don't want to do.

I will not be that mom who thinks of her children as an item to be checked off the list.

I don't want to constantly look to the future holding out hope that I'll make it through the parenting years and that only then will I enjoy life.  I want to thrive in the parenting years.  I want joy now.  And I believe there is joy to be had now if we have the mind of Christ.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as theses (Matthew 19:14)."

If this is Jesus' heart, I want it to be mine.  I want to love my children so much that I pour into them every ounce of time and energy I have.  I want them to know Jesus and if I want them to know Jesus, then my life is drastically affected.  They will not feel as though they are hindering my life, because in so many ways they are my life.

I am Mommy because of them.

I am Mommy in the tickling and in the disciplining.

I am Mommy in the joy and in the pain.

I am Mommy in the trenches, the day-to-day, the mundane.

But I am Mommy and there is no one else who can claim that title for my little girls.

I will love them in their sin and selfishness because Jesus loves me in my sin and my selfishness.

He chose me so I choose them.

Friday, July 20, 2012

AMY with Gramma

Today, with Groupon in hand, my mom and I took the girls to the Arizona Museum for Youth. What a seriously cool place!  I've been to the Phoenix Children's Museum, which is truly amazing, but there was something about this place that I might have loved a little more given the ages of the girls.  I felt like it suited younger kids well, particularly a two-year old.  We had fun with many things...

A life-sized Lite-Brite!  Seriously cool.
























Crafting with clay.
























And dress-up.  Oh how we love dress-up.

































Meow.

































You mean they want us to put stickers on the walls?
























Workin' hard.
























And playing harder.




































































































Thursday, July 19, 2012

Joy is...

...listening to your two year-old humming this song while driving in the car.

The tale of a boy and his dream

Last night was a very exciting night in the life of a man named LarryB.  He was completely unsuspecting...precisely the plan.  There was some scheming and planning going on behind his back.  All for a very good cause.

You see, this man has had a dream for many years.  A dream that he hasn't had the time to make come true. A dream, however, that a special lady has known about for all these years as well.  And so, at just the right time, she made it come true for him.

LarryB is a busy man.  He is a travelling man.  He has a very kind spirit that is constantly, and I mean always, serving other people.  This LarryB is my dad.  And the special lady is my mom.  This special lady takes notice of the things he does, the way he never puts himself first and she decided to take it upon herself to bless him with something he never would have done for himself.

His dream...to own a Jeep.
And so she bought one.
And we all surprised him.
And his face was priceless (after the confusion wore off).

The big reveal.
























Well that's cool, but who's it for?

































What do you mean, you bought me a Jeep?

































Still processing, but thinking he's pretty happy about this.
























Yep, feels good.
























Better make sure it drives all right too.






















The girls agree it's a keeper.






















LarryB and the special lady that made his dream come true.
























I think we may have another Jeep lover in the family...or maybe just a Grampa lover.
























Proud owner.
























Oh, did I mention LarryB is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan?  So, it seemed only right that he change into a more appropriate shirt for this pic.
























Another small detail.  Kinda cute, huh?
























There's one more thing I cannot leave unmentioned.  A big, big thank you goes to my wonderful husband who really was instrumental in helping to make this all a reality.  With his desire to serve and love his parents-in-law (or maybe it was just his secret desire to get taken out for a ride one day!), he took care of all the behind-the-scenes dirty work.  All the wheelin' and dealin'.  Thank you, Adam, for loving my parents so much!  Pretty sure they'd agree that you're the best son-in-law ever.  And I love you too.

All right, Grampa, when can we get this thing dirty???

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My peace I give to you

I listened to another John Piper sermon today.  That man is such a wealth of wisdom.

The sermon was from John 14: 26-31
But the Helper, the Holy Spiritwhom the Father will send in My nameHe will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. "Peace I leave with you; My peace give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troublednor let it be fearful. "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. "Now I have told you before it happensso that when it happens, you may believe. "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.
Piper says this, "If in history's darkest hour (the crucifixion) it was true that Satan and evil did not have the upper hand, but God had the upper hand for your good, then in your darkest hour that's true also."

Pretty powerful stuff.  So, if in my darkest hour, which is no where near His darkest hour, God is interested in my good, whom or what shall I fear?

And then this...and I love this point...

Jesus says to his disciples, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you..."  To which Piper says, "In the last hour of His life, He's helping ME not be anxious."  Me?  If in that hour Christ was focused on me, then can I not trust Him to give me the peace of which he speaks?  How can I then walk through this life with worry and anxiety?

I can't.

Instead I walk in faith and continue to trust Him with the building (Psalm 127:1-2).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gilbert Water Tower Fun

So many girls, so much water, so much fun.

Today's adventure: Gilbert Water Tower Park.  With my Sarah and all our favorite little girls.

Running free.
























Happy campers with a little water, cups and buckets.
























And some splashing to keep things cool.
























So, the whole point of going to the Water Tower is the splash pad, right?

For some reason, Gracie seemed to be the only one who got that.
























Let's not sit too close so as not to confuse anyone into thinking we're actually friends.






















Spotted some cute toes. =)
























And some pruney ones.  (This is a real word even though spell check doesn't like it.)
























All this playing makes a girl hungry.
























Who can be bothered with eating when there's all this fun to be had?

































Sometimes big sisters do know best...Gracie's right, this is fun!

































Sittin' pretty.  And happy.

































Hey Charlee, I think we should do this again some time real soon!
























5 bathing beauties.  Little ladies entrusted by God to us?  Why is Jesus so good?

Andee, Charlee, Reagan, Brooklyn and Gracie.  Love them all so much.

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