Thursday, December 27, 2007

More for the Blessings Journal...

Blessings Journal Post

It's about time to add to my Blessings thank the Lord for all His blessings and gifts.

1. I thank the Lord for the people at The Point Community Church. From the love gift to help our moving needs, to all the men who showed up to help us all the ladies who helped me pack and unpack and fixed us all the prayers for our have shown us your love. We thank the Lord for you, and we extend our personal thanks to you.

2. God provided us a truck as a second car for free! We didn't even ask Him for it or ever think about it. We were just happy to live close to the church with one car! :) We are thankful to the donor...may the Lord bless you.

3. God has provided our needs through various means. From Christmas money from family to personal love gifts, God has continued to amaze us with the generosity of His people. We are thankful for all He has given us.

4. We are thankful for the way we got to leave Crossings. They sent us off with love and a nice Home Depot card! :) We were blessed by their joy in what God is doing in our lives. We are so blessed that we got to be a part of this ministry!

5. There were Christmas gifts for all of us on our front door when we got home from Indy. Since they were labeled "from your friends", we will say thank you to whoever you are. The Lord knows. That was a blessing.

6. We are thankful for our new home. God has truly blessed us. It feels like home, and we know we are very blessed. We are so happy to be near the church...and, need I say it again...close to a grocery store! :)

7. I am thankful that God has heard the desires of my husband's heart and placed him where he has felt called for years. Ten years ago, he told me he had the desire to be an associate pastor, and there is no better feeling than to see your husband's calling being fulfilled. God continues to be faithful, in spite of knowing us and our weaknesses so well! We are thankful for this opportunity to serve His people. May He who called us find us faithful.

8. My mother's cancer is in remission. For that I am so thankful to God. That He has given us more time with her. I am thankful for the work He did in her heart through her cancer. He is a good and gracious God, and I am blessed to have her as my mother for a little while longer!

9. I am thankful for my children. They continue to bless my heart daily. (not that they never drive me a little crazy!) But, they melt my heart with their little kisses and hugs, and I know they are a reward from God.

10. For my have a husband who loves the Lord and serves Him wholeheartedly is a gift. God gave me more than I ever could have imagined in Shane. He leads our family, he keeps me in line, and he leads us to love the Lord more and more by his personal example. He teaches me correct theology....he protects me from those who try to hurt me....and I am so thankful for all of this....and if I've never mentioned it, he's also extremely good-looking! :)

God has indeed been good to me. He gives good gifts. It's been a good year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Funny Guy!

Click here to see some great video clips from a guy named Tim Hawkins. Don't know much about him. Shane found him from a link off Joshua Harris' blog. We laughed and laughed at the "Homeschool Family" video. That's what scared Shane the most when we decided to start our homeschooling adventure! He said we would, as long as we never looked like a "homeschool" family-and you all know what I mean! So, I took my jean jumpers back to Goodwill (since you can't find them anymore unless you make them)!

Anyhow, once you're done laughing at the homeschool family, check out "Cletus take the reel." Too funny! :)

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I'll be blogging about ours soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Growing Weary?

"And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we will reap if we faint not."
Galatians 6:9

"...The Christian life is NOT a task. The Christian life ALONE is worthy of the name life. ..It is the life the Son of God Himself lived....I [must] remind myself it is a great and good life, it is 'well doing.'...How have I gotten into this life-this life that I am..finding hard and difficult?..There is only one answer. We have come from that to this because the only begotten Son of God left heaven and came down to earth for our salvation, He divested Himself of all the insignia of His eternal glory and humbled Himself to be born as a babe and to be placed in a manger, spat upon and reviled. He had thorns thrust into His head and was nailed to a cross, to bear the punishment of my sin. That is how I have come from that to this, and if I ever, even for a fraction of a second, question the greatness and the glory and the nobility of this walk in which I am engaged, well then I am spitting upon Him. Out upon the suggestion! 'Be not weary in well doing!' My friend, if you think of your Christian life in any shape or a wearisome task or duty, I tell you to go back to the beginning of your life, retrace your steps to the wicket gate through which you passed. Look at the world in its evil and sin, look at the hell to which it was leading you, and then look forward and realize that you are set in the midst of the most glorious campaign into which a man could ever enter, and that you are on the noblest road that the world has ever known."

"...The world is too much with us, that is our trouble.."

(D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Little Bragging On My Shane....

Click here for a great article on my husband by our dear friend, Josh. Josh is the lead singer for the famous Josh Martin Band, and a great guy besides! :) I read this and it was so sweet, I had to share. Thanks, Josh. I like Shane, too! The only thing you didn't mention is that he's kind of a hunk, too! :)

Movin' On....

Well, it seems as if our time in Bagdad, Kentucky has come to an end. What a great three years it's been. Full of good times, great memories, wonderful people, and a few trials! But, God has been so good to us, and it's been such a blessing to be a part of Crossings Ministries. We are so excited to see what God has ahead for this ministry.

For now, God has called us on. On Saturday...yes, in two days...we are moving to Frankfort. Shane is going to be the full-time Teaching/Associate Pastor at The Point Community Church. This is amazing in so many ways. Ten years ago, he felt the calling to be an associate pastor, and here we are. It's so neat to see God fulfill a calling in your husband's life. There is a peace and a joy there. And, it's so great to be part of a church that we absolutely love! We have loved this church from the beginning and knew God had us there. We are so overwhelmed with all He has done. We now get the privilege to serve the people there full-time. It will be great to be in the same town as they are!

So, God has also blessed us with owning our first home. It's a cute little beford stone ranch about five minutes from the church. It was quite a big downsize for us, but that gives us the opportunity to get rid of junk we don't need! :) I'll post pictures when we get it all together. We have a great yard for the kids, and the convenience of living so close to everything, with a country setting.

We were blessed with the addition of my family here for Thanksgiving. My parents and sisters got to join us, and in the midst of the boxes, we sat in our pj's and had a great dinner and a good time together! Mom's cancer is in remission and they have headed out on their life journey now! (Dad and mom bought an RV and are wanderers now!) It will be different, and we will miss seeing them as often, but we are excited for what God has ahead for them.

We will go home to Indy around Christmas time to visit Shane's family. My sisters are going to join us for Christmas eve/day, which will be a lot of fun. It's gonna be a little crazy getting the house together and all the Christmas decorations out, but what's life without some craziness? Seems to be par for the course for us!

As we move on, I will miss the people at Cedarmore and Crossings I have come to love, but plan to continue those friendships. God has grown us and blessed us here. It's a bittersweet move for me. I am looking forward to being closer to the grocery store, but I will miss the beautiful 30 minute drive home I have now! :) And, I look forward to furthering the friendships God has brought into our lives through The Point. It's a big step of faith on many levels, but I look forward to seeing God at work in it all.

So, just a little update....and a few new pictures of the kids from the pumpkin patch in October! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

More on Trials of Faith...

Well, I'm still going through the book "Spiritual Depression" by D. M. Lloyd-Jones, and I continue to be blessed and convicted. It continues to be one of the best books I have ever read. It's so much more than depression-He really touches on the ares of our life and our walk that are common to man, and that do lead to spiritual depression when we're not seeing things in light of Scripture. The chapter I just finished, chapter 10, was on faith. He brings us to the passage of the disciples in the boat with Jesus. (Luke 8:22-25) I agree with Lloyd-Jones that I'm so thankful God put the disciples in the Bible for us to read about. I think we can all see ourselves in them and all their blunders, and here they were having a crisis of faith.

God permits things in our lives and often we find ourselves thinking He is unconcerned with our trials. "Master, Master, we are perishing!" It's as if they were saying, "Doesn't He care that we are all going to drown, Himself included?" He was asleep, but was He really unconcerned? Is He really unconcerned about us and our trials when He seems to be "asleep?" No, that would be inconsistent with His very nature. But, Christ does allow trials of faith in our lives, He permits trials. Feeling like Christ is unconcerned about what we are going through IS this trial of faith. Apparently, this was a very familiar theme with the Puritans and the Christians in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It goes to further prove that there is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing we are struggling with that is new.

What greatly encouraged me in this chapter was the last paragraph. It brought me to tears-and I'm talking the "pouring down your face" kind of tears! It was on "the value of even the weakest and smallest faith." When we look at this passage of Scripture, we see the disciples' weak and poor faith. They got agitated and panicked, but at the end, they did the right thing. They went to Christ. They still knew He could do something. Yes, it was poor faith, but "it is faith, thank God." And, the scriptures tell us that faith "as small as a mustard seed" is "valuable, because it takes us to Him." And, we learn something from the disciples here. We see what happens when we have weak faith. God is disappointed in us, He disciplines us, and He doesn't conceal that. "Where is your faith?" "O ye of little faith." "Why do you behave as if you were a Christian at all?" "Why didn't you apply your faith as you should have?" He doesn't conceal His disappointment, but:

"blessed be His name, He will nevertheless still receive us. He does not drive us away. He did not drive these disciples away. He received them, and He will receive us. Yes, and He will not only receive us, He will bless us and He will give us peace. 'He rebuked the wind and there was a great calm.' He produced the condition they were so anxious to enjoy, in spite of their lack of faith. Such is the gracious Lord that you and I believe in and follow. Though He is disappointed in us often and though He rebukes us, He will never neglect us; He will receive us, He will bless us, He will give us peace, indeed He will do for us what He did for these men. With this peace, He gave them a still greater conception of Himself than they ever had before. They marvelled, and were full of amazement at His wonderful power. He, as it were, threw that into the bargain on top of all the blessings."

And, isn't that just like our God? We all know how it is when we come through these trials. We see God at the end. But, it is possible to see Him in the midst of these things. We must exercise our faith, the faith that we already have been given. The tears came from realizing his faithfulness in spite of my weakness. Tears of what a gracious God I serve. It reminded me of one of my favorite verses.

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for HE CANNOT DENY HIMSELF."

2 Timothy 2:13

Monday, October 15, 2007

Farley Family Photos...

A few from my latest photo shoot. I'm thrilled with these shots. Such a cute family!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Latest book I'm reading...

Well, the latest book I'm reading is "Spiritual Depression: Its causes and cures" by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He retired as the minister of Westminster Chapel in 1968, and passed away in 1981. But, he has been called the "greatest Bible expositor in the English-speaking world." This book is a collection of 21 sermons originally delivered at Westminster Chapel in London. "Christian people too often seem to be perpetually in the doldrums and too often give the appearance of unhappiness and of lack of freedom and absence of joy. There is no question at all but that this is the main reason why large numbers of people have ceased to be interested in Christianity," said Lloyd-Jones. In this book he "lays bare not only the causes that have robbed Christians of spiritual vitality, but also the cure that if found through the mind and spirit of Christ."

I struggle with depression myself off and on. I know most people that I know do, too. This book has been amazing. I picked it up one day off Shane's bookshelf for lack of anything else to read. But, I believe it was God-ordained for me. It has really ministered to me. I am only about half way through, but I have been convicted and encouraged. I really think everyone needs to read this book, especially if you struggle with depression at all. He talks about the causes and cures of spiritual depression.

This last chapter I read was chapter 9, "Labourers in the Vineyard." The passage of scripture Lloyd-Jones focused on was Matthew 20:1-16, where Jesus tells the parable of the vineyard workers, and how they were all paid the same at the end of the day, whether they came early or late to work. This is a bit long, but so worth the read, if you have the time.....I was both very convicted and encouraged.

  • "...they [the workers who had been there all day] began to murmur. ...they are murmuring because they were not given something extra. Is that not a terrible thing? But how true it is that Christian poeple can be guilty of this very thing that our Lord here depicts-the tendency to murmur as the children of Israel did of old, and as these people did at this point, commiserating with yourself, feeling you are not given your rights, feeling you are being dealt with harshly....You remember how the Apostle Paul addresses a word about it to the Philippians. He reminds them that they are to be as luminaries in the heavens, they are to 'do all things without murmurings and disputings; that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.'...What a tragic thing it is that Christian people can be miserable and murmuring instead of rejoicing in Christ Jesus. It is an outcome of the fact that they have forgotten that EVERYTHING IS OF GRACE. They have forgotten this great principle that goes right through the Christian life from the very beginning to the very end.

    But, that's not all. It leads to another thing, namely, a contempt for others and at the same time a certain amount of jealousy of others.....This tendency comes in and attacks Christian people who have been faithful in their witness and who have done most excellent work. It comes in most subtle ways and makes them miserable because they feel that others have been rewarded in a greater way than they have....

    But, above all, and this is the most serious and the most terrible thing of all, they had a feeling in their heart that the householder was unjust. In this conidtion they had persuaded themselves that this man was not righteous in his dealing with them. They were absolutely wrong, there was not a vestige of foundation for that attitude, but they felt it. And so the Christian is tempted of the devil to feel that God is not being fair. The devil comes to him and says: 'Look at how much you have done, and what are you getting for it? Look at that other fellow, he has done nothing yet look at what he is getting.' That is what the devil says, and these people listen to him....That is the spirit, and the thing that makes it so serious is that in that condition the Christian, unless he is very careful, will soon be ascribing unrighteousness to God. He will be feeling that God is not fair to him, that God is not giving him his rights, that God is not giving him his due.

    What a miserable thing self is, what an ugly thing, what a foul thing. We are all guilty, of this, every one of us, in some shape or form. The devil comes to us and we listen, and we begin to doubt whether God is just and righteous in His dealings with us. Self needs to be exposed for what it is. Sin in its ugliness and foulness needs to be unmasked. It is not surprising that our Lord dealt with this wrong spirit in the way He did in this parable. It is the greatest enemy of the soul, and it leads to misery and unhappiness. It is bound to do so for every reason. It is utterly wrong, and there is nothing to be said in its defence.

    That brings me to the cure. What is the treatment? Is is to understand the controlling principle of the Kingdom of God. That prinicple which seems so obvious but which we are so prone to forget in detail. Our Lord puts it here once and for ever. I am simply putting what He said in other words. The principle is that in the Kingdom of God everything is essentially different from everything in every other kingdom. For, he says in effect, the Kingdom of God is not like that which you have always known, it is something quite new and different. The first thing we have to realize is that 'if any man be in Christ he is a new creature (he is a new creation), old things are passed away, behold all things are new.' If only we realized as we should, that here we are in a realm in which everything is different! The whole foundation is different, it has nothing to do with the principle of the old life. We have to work this out in detail, but first let me underline again that new principle. We must say to ourselves every day of our lives: 'Now I am a Christian, and because I am a Christian I am in the Kingdom of God and all my thinking has got to be different. Everything here is different. I must not bring with me those old ideas, those old moods and concepts of thought.' We tend to confine salvation to one thing, namely forgiveness, but we have to apply the principle throughout the Christian life.

    ...The first thing is this. Do not think in terms of bargains and rights in the Kingdom of God. That is absolutely fatal. There is nothing so wrong as the spirit which argues that because I do this, or because I have done that, that I have a right to expect something else in return...I don't care what it is, whether prayer or anything else, in no respect must I ever argue that because I do something I am entitled to get something-never....The Holy Spirit is Lord, and He is a Sovereign Lord....we have no right to anything at all...even the rewards are of grace. He need not give them, and if you think you can determine and predict how they are to come you will be quite wrong. Everything is of grace in the Christian life from the beginning to the end....we need to watch our own spirits lest we harbour the thought that He is not dealing with us justly and fairly.

    ....Do not keep a record or an account of your work. Give up being book-keepers. In the Christian life we must desire nothing but His glory, nothing but to please Him. So, do not keep your eye on the clock, but keep it on Him and His work. Do not keep recording your work and labour, keep your eye on Him and His glory, on His love and His honour and the extension of His kingdom...In effect, leave the book-keeping to Him and to His grace...there is nothing so romantic as God's method of accountancy. Be prepared for surprises in this Kingdom. You never know what is going to happen. The last shall be first. What a complete reversal of our materialistic outlook, the last first, the first last, everything upside down. The whole world is turned upside down by grace. It is not of man, it is of God, it is the kingdom of God. How excellent this is.

    ...Paul..says: 'Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus'. You see what that means. He did not look at Himself, He did not consider Himself and His own interests only; He made Himself of no reputation, He laid aside the inisgnia of His eternal glory. He did not regard His equality with God as something to hold on to and say: 'Come what may I will not let it go.' Not at all, He laid it aside, He humbled Himself, He forgot Himself, and He went through and endured and did all He did, looking only to the glory of God. Nothing else mattered to Him but that the Father should be glorified and that men and women should come to the Father. That is the secret. Not watching the clock, not assessing the amount of work, not keeping a record in a book, but
    forgetting everything except the glory of God, the privilege of being called to work for Him at all, the privilege of being a Christian, remembering only the grace that has ever looked upon us and removed us from darkness to light.

    It is grace at the beginning, grace at the end. So that when you and I come to lie upon our deathbeds, the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us at the beginning. Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace. Grace, wonderous grace. 'By the grace of God I am what I am.' 'Yet, not I, but the grace of God which was with me.'

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Verse of the day

"Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever."
Psalms 73:21-25

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Jason and Ashley

Another few shots from a couple I photographed a few weeks ago. She is the twin sister of Melissa, whose wedding I did earlier this year. Jason and Ashley were a gem to work with-such a great couple!

Tate '08

Just a few fun shots from another senior photo shoot I did recently.

Monday, October 01, 2007

On being a soldier....

"Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, he carried them on his wings. The Lord ALONE guided him, and there was no foreign God with him." Deuteronomy 32:11-12

(another gem from C.H. Spurgeon-from the devotional Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman)

"...See you not, then, that God may take away your comforts and your privileges, to make you the better Christians? Why, the Lord always trains His soldiers, not by letting them lie on feather-beds, but by turning them out, and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long march with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. This is the way in which He makes them soldiers-not by dressing them up in fine uniforms, to swagger at the barrack gates, and to be fine gentlemen in the eyes of the loungers in the park. God knows that soldiers are only to be made in battle; they are not to be grown in peaceful times. We may grow the stuff of which soldiers are made; but warriors are really educated by the smell of powder, in the midst of whizzing bullets and roaring cannonades, not in soft and peaceful times. Well, Christian, may not this account for it all? Is not thy Lord bringing out thy graces and making them grow? Is He not developing in you the qualities of the soldier by throwing you into the heat of battle, and should you not use every appliance to come off conqueror?"

Trials, Tribulations, and Crises of Faith

Trials...not necessarily my favorite part of being a Christian. God's Word says they will come, and we know they will come, and then we act surprised when they do! Well, I do, anyways. Trials come in various shapes and sizes-some are big, some small..but they all feel big. I go through these "crises of faith" as I call them. They don't make me question my Christianity, but they make me question my faith in God. Do I really believe Him, do I really take Him at His word? Too many times the answer is "no, I don't." I'd like to tell you all that I do. I'd like to tell you that I pray your faith is as strong as mine...but if I did, my close friends who know the truth would laugh at me! I struggle. My faith falters. But, my God does not. His word IS truth, His promises ARE true, no matter what I am going through. No matter what I FEEL.

God allows us to go through trials and trying times so that we lean on Him. He wants us to grow in character and in faith. He desires us to go deeper with Him, and that usually can only come through what seems to us to be fierce storms of life. Trials and tests of our faith. I want the character, and I want to be refined, but I want it the easy way. But, I tell you what, this time of the testing of my faith has caused me to go deeper with God, to fall on my knees in surrender day after day. To seek God until I find Him, just to get me through some days! But, He is good. He comes to my rescue. I know He has a purpose.

My girls always are asking me why I have to read my Bible and spend time with God. And, I always tell them that I won't be a good mommy if I don't. Well, last week I had a "not so good" attitude day! As the day was ending, I apologized to my little Lizzie, telling her I was sorry for being grumpy. She said she thought she knew why I was grumpy. When I asked why, she said, "Mommy, did you spend time with God today?" I had to be honest and tell her I didn't. I asked her if she thought that was why I had a hard day, and she said, "Yep. It is, mom. Do you want me to go get your Bible for you?" :) They are watching us, and they will see what comes of our faith or lack of it. I want to be found faithful.

"Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Caleb-Senior '08

A few photos from my latest photo shoot...Caleb. We had a fun day and I'm loving the pictures we got! :)

Friday, September 07, 2007

New picture of the kids....

Well, here are the kids (August/September 2007). Unfortunately, this is what happens to you as a young boy when you have two older sisters..... :) .....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though some might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed us his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

And, since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because of our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends with God."

Romans 5:1-11, NLT

Monday, September 03, 2007

Don't waste your ear wax!

You know, after reading this, I'm afraid I have taken my ear wax for think of all the ear wax I have thrown out over the years. I really am always on the search for ways to save money. I thought this may be useful to others, too.... :)

"Uses for Ear Wax" (1833)

"Those who are troubled by cracked lips have found this remedy successful when others have failed. It is one of those sorts of cures, which are very likely to be lauged at; but I know of its having produced very beneficial results."
(taken from Log Cabin Cooking)
**I have to say that this picture makes me a little queasy when I look at it, but it does add a nice touch to this blogpost, don't you think?

When Lightening Strikes!

This is a 19th century Swiss Remedy "in case you're struck by lightening:"

"For a couple of hours shower in cold water. In case there is still no sign of life, add a cupful of salt and continue for another hour."

.....ummm...sure...I think that will work! :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007


(see picture above: socialization!)

Okay, as a homeschooling family, we get pretty tired of the "what about socialization?" question. Over and over I have heard it and so have many of my friends who choose to homeschool. In the book, "When You Rise Up"(metioned in an earlier blog post), R.C. Sproul, Jr. comes up with a great reply for this question. I only hope I remember it the next time someone brings it up.

He mentions that the Bible doesn't tell us how children are to be socialized, and-even further- God never commands that our children even be "socialized!" (and the Bible itself says that it equips us for every good work and that we are to raise our children in the admonition of the Lord) He will usually question the other person as to what they mean by socialization. He then guides the conversation by saying, "..Now, when you speak of socialization, you're talking about my child's ability to get along with others who are different. Is that it?" Usually he gets an affirmative response, and then goes on to list all the ways his children daily interact with everyone from adults to their special-needs sister, to "socializing" with the kids at church, to folks, etc...

"But that isn't really what people mean by socialization. What they want for my daughter Darby is to be hip to all the things other ten-year old girls are concerned about, like fashion labels, television shows, pop singers, and other essentials to the good life....But I have none of that concern. I raise my daughter, her sisters, and her brother to be free. Their identity is in Christ, not in pop culture...Oh, but how will she ever meet people where they are? How will she ever be able to relate to the world around her, if she doesn't know what's up with Harry Potter? And if she doesn't know that, how can she possibly win the lost? This whole drowning-ourselves-in-pop-culture-sludge argument should be wearing thin by now. What exactly do your children need to know in order to win the lost besides the Bible...?...All our children need to know about the lost is that they are lost. When they, in their lostness, yammer on and on about the latest boy band, all they need to know is that the latest boy band is not the answer." (pp. 136)

When I looked up the word "socialize" in the Webster's Dictionary, it says "to make friendly or sociable, to take part in social activities." Yes, my children take part in social activities. Yes, my children are friendly. And, they don't need a roomful of kids only their own age to find someone to socialize with. They have so much fun with our summer staff-who are college age. I've even had people tell me that they are surprised how much friendlier and outgoing my kids are than some kids who are in school. My oldest is more shy, but that is just who she is, and she would be that way in school or at home. No amount of "socialization" can change their God-given personalities. That's what makes them unique.

"And these words 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 6:6-7)

He's One!

My baby, Nehemiah, is one year old today! I don't know how it happened so quickly. All I can say is that we thank God every day for the blessings he brings our family. We wouldn't be complete without him! What a joy he is! :)

Happy Birthday, precious baby boy!

New Lyrics to an Old Hymn...

Our new Crossings camp CD is finished, and it's awesome! You can find out how to get yourself a copy by calling 1-502-491-7000, by the way! We listen to it all the time. The kids love it!

So, this morning, Lizze was singing "Jesus Paid It All." However, her lyrics were a bit different than the original ones. I laughed and laughed! It went:

Jesus paid it all

All because of sin

Sin had lost it's criminal

Hee-haw is white as snow!

For those of you "hymn-challenged, " the original lyrics are:

Jesus paid it all

All to Him I owe

Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow

:) Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mud Pit

Here's this year's mud pit picture!(Left to Right:Eli, Lizzie, Autumn, Myra) (Eli and Autumn are our good friends and neighbors)
I told the kids I'd get in, but I didn't really get a chance this year with the baby. I DID get to ride horses and do the blob and the zip line in the lake, but I'll have to save the Tango Tower and the mud pit for next year. I'm not sure I'll ever get to the mountain bikes! :)

First Pool Experience Was Traumatic...

A Great Book

I just today finished reading a great book. It's called, "When you Rise Up" by R.C. Sproul, Jr. It's a book on homeschooling and why homeschool and gives defenses for homeschooling. Now, for those of you who don't homeschool, don't stop reading. Although this book provides biblical reasons for homeschooling, I think it would benefit all readers on raising Godly children.

I have to admit, I have been really discouraged lately, maybe? I've been struggling with being a mom, with getting ready to homeschool, with the fall/winter season approaching-which seems to be my "depressed" time of the year, etc.. I was just needing some encouragement, so I picked up some books to encourage me. And, this book was just what I needed to pick me up and set my feet on solid ground again.

The Lord has been showing me alot lately. I hate to admit it, but I realize that, at least lately, I have been seeing my children as a burden, a hindrance to doing what I want to be doing, and a distraction. I have so much to accomplish each day, and I realize I do (housework, cleaning, organizing, etc..) instead of spending time with my children. In essence, I am telling them that they are a burden and I am better off if they went out and played and left me alone. And, some days I even feel this! I know we all need time off, and there is nothing wrong with this. But, my bible says that my children are a blessing. "When we see spending time with them {our children} as a burden, rather than a joy, we see further evidence of how encultured we have become. Children, biblically speaking, are a blessing from God. And we ought to seek out time with blessings from God, not plot out ways to avoid them, or hand them over to others." (from "When You Rise Up)

I was convicted and encouraged and spurred on. I, literally, finished this book thinking how excited I am to start schooling/spending time with my kids again. Sometimes we all grow weary of parenting, especially when we homeschool and our kids are with us all the time, but God has strength for us. He who called us will equip us.

"We are called to obedience, and are not to take that sufficient grace for granted. The point isn't so much, 'Bear up under suffering,' as it is 'be obedient.' When we trust God in obedience, he gives the grace we so desperately need." (from the same book)

...more from this book later....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jason and Melissa

This past Saturday I took pictures for the wedding of Jason and Melissa Midkiff. They are a wonderful, Christian couple who were a joy to work with. Here's a few of my favorites.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Above Rubies Article

Above Rubies Email
Devotional No. 178


"Leviticus 19:3, "Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father... I am the Lord your God."
God has given honor to the status of parenthood. God is a Father and He wants His children fathered in the anointing of His fatherhood. God also has a maternal heart and He has ordained that mothers should mother with the anointing of His mother heart.
God gives many Scriptures to remind us of the honor He has placed upon parents.
Exodus 20:12, "Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land..."
Deuteronomy 5:16, "Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee..."
So that we do not forget, this command is repeated in the New Testament in Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20 and Ephesians 6:2-3.

I am always astounded by the Scripture mentioned at the beginning. Not only are children commanded to honor their parents, but to fear them. The word 'fear' that is used here is the same word that is used to 'fear' God. Do you also notice that the mother is mentioned first? Children often have a healthy respect for their father's authority but fail to honor their mother's authority. This is not God's intention. He wants children to have an awe and reverence for their mother too.

How can we experience this? I believe that we must be reminded of the truth that God has given honor to parents (including mothers) and because He has given us this honor, we must walk in the anointing of it. Perhaps you feel as though you have no honor. You feel a total failure. You feel overwhelmed. You feel you can't make it. You feel hopeless as a mother. It's certainly easy to feel like this, isn't it?

However, God doesn't see you like this. He has put honor upon you as a mother. The role of mother is a high status in God's eyes. In Ezekiel 19:10-11 it states that it is an exalted career. It is to be honored and revered. When you understand the honor that God has put upon you, you can begin to walk in it.

The other day I read a Scripture in Jeremiah 22:5 (Knox) that talked about God bringing judgment upon Israel because of their sin. "Disobey, the Lord says, and my own honor is engaged to make, of this place, a ruin." God was bound by His own honor to bring judgment because of their sin. Because God is holy, He had to judge them, or He would no longer be a God of honor. He has to honor who He is, a God of righteousness and holiness who cannot tolerate sin. Of course, He is also a merciful God who forgives and forgets the moment we repent.
We too, who parent in the likeness of God, must not give into disobedience and rebellion in our children. We must discipline, because of the honor we have as parents. We cannot fail the honor that has been given to us. It is our right for our children to obey us. Of course, as with God, forgiveness and mercy are coupled with judgment.

Each morning you wake, acknowledge the honor God has given to you as mother. See yourself with God's honor upon you and mother your children accordingly.



"Lord, thank you for reminding me that you have given honor to me as a mother. Help me to walk in the anointing of this honor as I mother my children. Amen."

I will uphold the honor God has given to me. "

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Camp is here... and a bit of Theology!

Well, here we are another camp season. It started yesterday and has gone so smoothly so far! The preceding days leading up to camp this year were so different from last. Last year was craziness and last minute details...this year was like, "oh, it's here already?" Always, at the beginning of camp, I look around and think, "man, this is such an awesome place for my kids to grow up at. How cool would it be to grow up here?" And, then I look around at all our awesome young staff and am so thankful for these Godly examples for my little ones of following after God. I just think that my kids look up to them so much and these are the kind of young adults I hope for my children to emulate one day. So, it's all good!

I must tell you that I started my systematic theology book, and it was not what I expected. By started, I mean I read the first chapter on "what is systematic theology?" I really, honestly, was expecting it to be slow and, dare I say-possibly "boring"? (I'm sorry Shane) But, I love the way Grudem presents this material. He presents it with life and charisma. He's serious and excited about doctrine, and he easily gets you on track to be excited about it, too.

So, what is "systematic theology?" It is studying what the Bible, as a whole, teaches us about any given topic. It's taking a subject and studying all the passages in the Bible on that subject and them summarizing ALL of them to find out what we believe on that given topic and relating it to the present day. As a matter of face, Grudem strongly believes that life application must occur while studying systematic theology or you are not studying it properly. He says, "all doctrines should be seen in terms of their practical value for living the Christian life."

I have heard the argument that we do not need to study "doctrine" ("what the whole bible teaches us today about some particular topic") or "theology"...that we only need to study the Bible. I do believe that most people who say this do not understand that studying doctrine IS studying the Bible. Men like Grudem have gone through the scriptures, taken them as a whole, and laid them out for us. Point blank, that's a lot of work, and I'm glad it's already been done for me, laid out "carefully organized by topic"! Furthermore, I like how he points out that most of use systematic-theological statements without even knowing it. "..Every time a Christian says something about what the whole Bible says, he or she is in a sense doing 'systematic theology'.."

I guess what I loved the most about this chapter was that I could "feel" his passion for making doctrine easily accessible and understandable for all people. He spoke about theology with an excitement I haven't seen much. At the end of this chapter, I had a hard time putting the book down..I just wanted to learn more! Not at all how I thought it would be.

"..Studying systematic theology will help us grow more as Christians. The more we know about God, about his Word, about his relationships to the world and mankind, the better we will trust him, the more fully we will praise him, and the more readily we will obey him."

"The study of theology is not merely an intellectual or mental exercise. It is a study of the living God and of the wonders of all his works in creation and redemption. We cannot study this subject as if our hearts and lives are uninvolved! We must love all that God is, all that he says, and all that he does...Our response to the study of the theology of Scripture should be that of the Psalmist who said, 'How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!' In the study of the teachings of God's word, it should not surprise us if we often find our hearts spontaneously breaking forth in expressions of praise and delight like those of the psalmist..." Not what I expected from the first chapter of my systematic theology book!!! But, even now, as I write it, it stirs my heart for more....

"The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart." Psalm 19:8

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Son

What can I even say? Is he not just the cutest thing? :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sorry it's been so long...

For those of you out there dying to read another blog post from me....I apologize! To all my loyal fans and friends I send out a "hello!" Life has been know, 3 kids, homeschooling, 3 photography sessions in 2 weeks, editing on a 7-year old computer, 3 kids, 1 sexy husband, housework, bills, shopping.....just life! :) So, I have a minute...thougt I'd just say hi and that I'm still alive. If you are one of the many people that have called me lately or are awaiting a call, just know I'm trying to catch up...I'm about 2 weeks behind in life right now. Hang in there!

What's new? Well, we got a new computer! Yea! It's great! But, we don't have any pictures or email addresses transferred over yet, so we have to get to that. But, my photo editing should go a lot quicker now.

Hey-I've lost 21.6 pounds since January 1! Yea! That makes me about 10 pounds less than when I got pregnant! yea! I'm still working, though. Just thought I'd share! I'm pretty happy!

Other than that...I still haven't gotten to my Bible Doctrines book. I keep planning to...just gotta do it. I've been studying up on the Proverbs 31 woman for our women's study coming soon. It looks like I'll be leading that class, which I'm very excited about. She has been one I've studied for several years. God just shows you more and more everytime you study her. I don't feel qualified to teach her because I feel like I am so like her yet, but I love learning about her. Pray for me as I prepare for that.

Well, some Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door last week. I just stood there in my pj's with the baby on my arm wishing Shane were there. He's so good with them and with Mormons. He always knows just what to say. I, on the other hand, found myself stumbling over my, "I'm sorry I can't take your literature. I don't believe the same way you do." What does that mean? What do we believe differently? I mean, I know there are differences, but I realized I didn't know what they were enough to invite these ladies in. When I shut the door, and they drove away, I broke down in tears. "Lord, I want to know what I know. I want to be prepared in season and out of season. I want to have an answer for the hope that lies within me." So, I prayed, asked God for forgiveness, and talked to my friend Monica later. We made a goal to study up on Jehovah's Witnesses, and on the person of Christ, and on Justification by Faith, so that we can be prepared. She's already started working on it. I've just been trying to take care of the homestead. But, it's another goal I hope to get going on this week. There are those that would say, "just love Jesus. That's all you need. You don't need to study any of this. Jesus didn't." Well, folks, Jesus wrote it all. He also said that I am to have an answer for the hope that lies within me. I don't want to know so that I can duke it out with the next JW's that come to my door, but rather, again, I know it was God just giving me a chance to see the need for knowing doctrine. It was a hard lesson, but a loving exhortation from the Lord.

Well, besides all that, we pulled off Lizzie's 5th birthday party on Saturday. She had a pirate party. Yes, my precious baby girl wanted a pirate party. It was the least planned party we've ever had, last minute...and probably the best! We had a few friends over and had a pinata anc a cake and bubbles...what more do you need? :) She is a precious girl, and we wish she didn't have to grow up. She's just a lot of fun! When I asked her what food she would like to have at her birthday party, she said, "deer heart." Really. That child is her father in short form! They love deer heart steaks...which really aren't as bad as they sound, but I just can't get over the "heart" part. Needless to say, we ended up having hot dogs. She hasn't learned yet that deer heart is socially unacceptable! :) Hey, we live in the country, folks.

On that note, I will sign off for now! :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ever Had One of Those Days?

Okay, I LOVE this picture of Nehemiah! It just cracks me up everytime I see it. It's just so cute and so real! Any suggestions as to a title for it?

What I'm Reading

Okay, so I finally got the systematic theology book yesterday. I was in Louisville and got all inspired, and bought it. It looks a little daunting, but I hear it's not! I'm more of a reader of women's issues and I love fiction! So, it's a big step for me. Of course, Shane came home, saw it, and said, "You can keep it in my library." I respectfully told him no! It's my systematic theology book-he has plenty of his own. But, I was honored he'd want my new book for his library. Most of my books couldn't force their way in! :-)

The book is entitled, "Bible Doctrine", and it's by Wayne Grudem. It covers: The Doctrine of the word of God, The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of Man, The Doctrine of Christ, The Doctrine of the Application of Redemption, The Doctrine of the church, The Doctrine of the Future.

Sound like light reading, eh? I know. I'll let you know how it goes! I'm excited and afraid that I won't understand it, even though it's the "systematic theology for dummies" book! :) However, luckily I am married to a walking systematic theology book, so I'm sure I won't be left in the dark on an issue I may not be able to grasp.

Look for more exciting posts on my theology journey to come..... Anyone want to join me? :)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

How To Have Peace

Well, I haven't posted in awhile, kind of because I've been in a "funk." I hate to admit it, but I'm a pretty honest person. Too honest? Maybe sometimes. I suppose I've always had the opinion that once you get to know me you'll see the real me, anyways, so why not just come out with it up front! Is that wise? I dunno, but it's who I am.

I have had a bit of a whiny, jealous, depressed, "blah" couple weeks-minus a few days here and there. I've been trying to figure out why, now that I'm pretty over it...and that darn (sorry for the "Christian cussing") word keeps coming back to me-CONTENTMENT. Aagh! There it is again. It keeps attacking me when I'm not looking for it! And, one verse keeps coming to me over and over...

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."

There is a definite progression here if we break this verse apart...I will have PERFECT peace when my mind is stayed on the Lord and when I am trusting in Him. So, when I don't have peace, what could that mean? Precisely, you smart friends of mine (all 2 of you who read my blog! )....when I don't have peace, could it mean that my mind is NOT stayed on the Lord and I am NOT trusting Him? I think so. I can probably trace all my "crises" (is that how it's spelled?) back to not trusting the Lord, and looking to something other than Him to fulfill me.

Man, after all these years of being saved, after all the times God has been faithful...why do I continue to not trust Him? Why do I look elsewhere for my fulfillment? You know, "if I owned my own home, I would be so happy?" It's true...or so I can convince myself! Why? Do I really ever own anything? Isn't it all God's, anyways? So, why do I buy into the world's thoughts? Why do I battle with discontentment and jealousies? Because my mind is not stayed upon the Lord. Oh, God, forgive me. Have mercy upon me..again!

And, He does. He's been GENTLY reminding me of this verse..over and over. His kindness leads me to repentance. He is gracious and loving, because he knows I am made of dust. You know why He chose you and I, don't you? "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty....that NO flesh should glory in His presence." (1 Cor. 1:27-28) There's your encouragement for the day! But, no, it really is...He chose me because I was weak and foolish, so that He could get the glory. He knows who I am, He knows my heart, whether I tell you the truth of what's in it or not. But, then He gets the glory for anything good that comes out of my life.

When God has called you, He wants all of you. All these times of showing me my heart are a growing process for me. I see my heart for what it is. I know there's so much in there I hold on to.

I will have perfect peace when my mind is stayed on Him because I trust Him. God, help me to trust you. You have never proven yourself to be anything other than trustworthy. Keep my mind on you, keep my eyes fixed on you.

One more favorite verse: " Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way." Psalm 119:37....worthless things. How much time do I spend thinking of worthless things instead of keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus? Too much.

How to be content and have peace? Trust God with everything. Keep your mind stayed on Him. Simple as that! :-)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"For Instruction In Righteousness"

I suppose this is a sort of "book review." I purchased the book, "For Instruction In Righteousness" some time ago, but had one of my first chances to use it yesterday. Well, I'm sure it was not my first chance, but I suppose the Lord brought it to my mind, and I just had to share.

The book comes from It is a book that has topically arranged chapters for the "parent in need," as I call myself! It's a quick bibilical reference to subjects such as: Disobedience, Pride, Arguing/Complaining, Shifting blame, Fear, Laziness, Immodesty, Rules for borrowers, Hitting/Biting/Kicking, Unkind Speech, and so on. The chapters are laid out by general information and biblical commandments about each sin, what happens (or should happen) to the person involved in that sin, what that sin is likened to, stories that illustrate the consequences of that sin, and the blessings of those who do the opposite of the sin (i.e..obeying vs. disobeying), stories that illustrate the blessings, and then verses to memorize. They use only scripture for reference, but give practical ideas as how to make the scriptures real to your children.

One example is Selfishness. One verse that gives general information on this sin is Eph. 4:28, which talks about working so you can give to others. The practical advice for this verse is to have children purchase gifts for others from their own earnings.

What happens or should happen to the selfish person? Provervs 28:27 says "He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses." A practical suggestion to apply this verse would be to deny the child the privilege of playing, or deny them thier toys for a time, etc...

On the other hand, one of the blessings of generosity is found in Matthew 23:11, which says, "'But the greatest among you shall be your servant." In this book they encourage you to exalt the generous, unselfish child, to give him a special "honor-the-servant" party, and have the rest of the family serve him for a day.

I have just given you a taste of what this book is about. It doesn't come cheap ($30 spiral-bound), but it is definitely worth your money. These parents came up with this book as a reference for their own family, and we can reap from their hard work! I would recommend any of their books, actually. What a blessing to have God's word at our fingertips to use wisely in situations with our children.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Paul said, "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in." (Philippians 4:11)

Now, if Kari were writing this today, it would read: "Well, sometimes I think I am content, until I start watching too many HGTV shows. I feel content, but then those darn NutriSlim commercials come on TV, and I realize I am not shaped like a pencil like those women. I want to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself in...if only God would put me where I want to be...yes, then I COULD be content." Sadly to say, this is the truth of my heart. I long for contentment, but I can get so caught up in the affairs of this world, so "entagled" is what Paul calls it, isn't it? I feel God is speaking to me about, it's not the first time, and I'm sad to say it probably won't be the last. But, I want to keep hearing from Him in this area.

"Contentment is wanting what you already have." (from Thriving on One Income)

"Entire books have been written on the subject [of living frugally], but I think it can be boiled down to two key behaviors: staying home and practicing contentment. Leaving the house costs money and discontentment costs you more than just money." (from

Friday, March 23, 2007

Missing Shane

I told Lizzie this morning that I missed Shane (he's in Seattle at the Acts 29 Resurgence Conference) and she said, "Me, too, mommy....I miss his beautiful face!" :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Holding Fast to Sound Doctrine

I am coming to the realization that there is more and more out there to pull us away from truth. From blogging with Emergent church seekers to hearing too many women "love" Joyce Meyers, I am feeling God prodding my heart in the area of "knowing what I know." What I mean is that I lean alot on Shane for answers. Someone asks me something and I say, "I don't know, I'll ask Shane." Although that is one role my husband should play, as head of our household-and a role I highly respect him in-I am feeling that I need to search these things for myself. Not to come up with a different conclusion, but maybe to have an answer more often. I'm not sure if I have enough brain left, after three children, for this venture, but I think God is stirring my heart to study a Systematic Theology book. I have really felt it heavy on my heart this past week. I want to have an answer for why I believe what I believe. Oh, will Shaney be excited (all of you feel free to call him 'Shaney')! He's been wanting me to study this book for some time, but I just haven't been ready. I'd tell you the name of the book, but I can't even remember it! ( I suppose it doesn't look like I'm off to a good start, but at least I'm honest about it!) I'll keep you updated on this.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Blessing Journal

blogging from Indiana....

So, I am reading this book entitled, "Thriving on One Income" by Kimberly Eddy. I am always looking for more encouragement in the area of budgeting and finances. It's been a great book so far-I am on chapter10. Chapter 8 is entitled, "The Blessing Journal." At the beginning of the chapter, she quotes Psalm 145:2-5:

"Every day I will bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation will praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works."

In this chapter, she talks about how when she saw this commandment in scripture, she wondered how she could ever obey since they were-at the time-just "barely scraping by." Inspired by a project her daughter's Sunday school class did, she decided to start a blessings journal. In it she would write down each blessing she received from God and every thing she was thankful for. She says, in her book, "I have learned that my husband may get payed on Thursdays, but my God provides for me everyday." She did this to not only to look back on "what the Lord hath done" on her down days, but also to help her to see all of God's provisions every day!

Well, she has inspired me. I want to share some financial blessings God gave us this past week. I'd love to hear from you, too! ......

1. He gave us 2 tubs of clothes for Nehemiah in size 18 months-which just "happened to be the size we needed for him!

2. He provided for our daughter to go to the Puzzle Dome with a friend who's parents said they wanted to pay since they invited her!

3. We had got a gift card for Christmas to a restaurant, which went out of business before we could use the card. So, the company reimbursed our money and we used it Sunday when we went to eat with some friends from church.

4. Someone gave me a gift card for my birthday to a clothing store!

5. On Saturday, I found a brand new pair of jeans with the labels on them (old navy) for only $8 at a consignment shop, where I also got my daughter a Laura Ashley easter dress for $6!

6. My parents paid for dinner for the girls and I tonight at their church.

7. The Lord provided a hotel room and a car rental free for my husband while in Seattle.

And, I'm sure there are more...but my brain is only so big with three kids!;) It's so good to remember what the Lord has done. He is bigger than our paychecks or our budgets.

"Do you have food and clothing? Thank Him. That's all He says we TRULY need, and yet He provides us with so much more, doesn't He?"