How Far is Too Far in Sanctification?

What exactly is “sanctification”? This is the process whereby God works in our lives to change us and to transform us in many degrees so that we are like our elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. I know this on an intellectual level, but what does it mean in my life? I’ve known that this was a hard process, that sanctification can hurt. I also know that it is necessary. I thought I’d experienced the pain of this process. To be quite honest, I’d even glamorized this process somewhat, thinking that I was such a good Christian: “Look at me! I’m being sanctified… I’m suffering for Christ’s sake.” That was before this past week.

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Preparing Room For a Newborn Child

Sovereign Grace Music produced a Christmas CD last year called, “Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song.” It is a really good album and I would commend it to you. The title song, Prepare Him Room, speaks of the wonder and mystery of Jesus, the Son of God, coming to be born as a baby. It calls the listeners to prepare Him room, in our hearts and minds.

This theme has had extra significance for us this year. We have decorated our house with a Christmas tree. There are lights inside and out, and many other decorations to remind us of the season. To remind us that we worship a God who loved us enough to come and be one of us. This is the season of Advent, when we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior. We have also setup a baby crib and rocking chair in it’s place. So while we celebrate Advent and the coming of our Savior, we are also preparing room in our physical home and in our hearts for another newborn baby, a baby that we will adopt and name as one of our own.

This process has been a rollercoaster of emotions. We have been thrilled and filled with joy at the prospects of loving a new little child, and we have experienced sadness as we wait… and wait, not knowing when we will meet our new baby. Aubrey and I thank you all for your prayers and support during this process. We are well on the way financially, but not there yet. We know God will meet the need. We thank you for your love and words of encouragement. We thank you for being a part of our journey and calling us family.

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Remember to Prepare Him (Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah) Room in your hearts and minds and traditions this year.

Photo Credit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery via Compfight cc

The Giant Yard Sale

This past weekend was the GIANT Yard Sale! G-I-A-N-T! I have never been a part of such an enormous yard sale.

When Jonathan and I decided to adopt, we were encouraged to do some fundraising and a garage sale was one of the suggested events. Friends and family began spreading the word and I soon had a garage full of baby items and more. I continued to collect items, but as the months went by I kept saying, “when it’s cooler I’ll do it” or “this weekend is so busy.” I soon became discouraged and overwhelmed at the pricing job before me and was about to give up when a sweet friend came along and said, “why don’t you let me organize the yard sale and put it on Facebook.” She offered to collect items in her big van (she has a family of 9) weekly at our homeschool community! This quickly became a large event with many friends and family joining our family and lightening the load.

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Personal Parable: Repentance

1) to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right
2) to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
3) to change one’s mind

“Repent.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 26 May 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/repent.

An Interaction With My Son

This morning my son and I were involved in what you might call horseplay. He knows that I am ticklish and so he likes to tickle me. I, of course, am (for the time) much larger than my son and so usually turn the tables quickly and tickle him into submission. This continued until the playing became a bit too rambunctious; it was beginning to bother other members of the family. My son tends to take things too far, which I wanted to prevent.

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Teach Your Children Well

I just finished listening to a FREE audio series by Alistair Begg on the Truth For Life website, called Teach Your Children Well. For all you parents out there, I would highly recommend giving this a listen. There are four parts, each being 26 minutes long, and all well worth it. I’ve provided links to each of the four messages below.

  1. Teach Your Children Well (Part 1 of 4)
  2. Teach Your Children Well (Part 2 of 4)
  3. Teach Your Children Well (Part 3 of 4)
  4. Teach Your Children Well (Part 4 of 4)

You can also subscribe to their podcast and get them that way. Plus, you’ll have easy access to all their future (and past) messages from iTunes or your iOS device.

Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll via Compfight cc

18 Years: Remembering Our Honeymoon

My beautiful bride and I were wed on May 18, 1996. It is hard to fathom this reality, but we have been married for 18 years this day. It has been a journey filled with many stories, one of which I would like to share, a story from the very beginning.

Aubrey and I honeymooned in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It really is a beautiful area and we both loved the mountains. We still sometimes reminisce about the bed and breakfast we stayed at. It sat on the side of a mountain and had floor to ceiling windows with which to enjoy the views.

What better way to immerse ourselves into this beautiful, mountainous wonderland than to take a guided mountain tour… on horseback? Sounded like a good idea. So we found a place that offered this experience and arrived with much anticipation. The tour group was small and intimate, perfect! It was just the two of us and our guide. How romantic.

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A Broken Arm

Mommy and daughter in the E.R.

Ragan, our oldest daughter, had a run-in with gravity today… and gravity won. We were at Aubrey’s parent’s house today celebrating Aubrey’s mom’s birthday. It was later in the evening and the kids were out in the front yard playing in the small(ish) tree. The kids all came in yelling about Ragan having fallen out of the tree. So out we ran and when I reached Ragan she was crying and hysterical. After we got her to calm down a bit she let us know that she’d fallen on her hand and it hurt really bad. So, we got an ice pack for it and Aubrey and I took her to the emergency room (Santa Rosa Medical Center). They were very nice and got us through pretty quick. First off were some vitals, a bunch of questions and then a few X-Rays of the arm in question. A little more waiting and we got back to see the doctor.

They splinted it and gave her some pain medication and Aubrey is taking her to our pediatrician tomorrow. We were in and out in a couple of hours, which really isn’t that bad for an E.R. visit and Ragan is not feeling too terribly bad now. We were able to keep Aubrey’s parents informed via phone and texting and the rest of the world via Facebook. We thank you all for your kind words of encouragement, sympathy and of course your prayers.

The highlight of the E.R. visit, for me at least, was the old dude in the wheelchair who seemed to be either on drugs or a little off his rocker. He kept complaining that everything took too long and that the hospital needed to hire more help. He threatened to call Clinton and get him to take some action and that he new the hospital administrator. After he dropped a few profane words (no F-bombs) his wife (I’m assuming it was his wife) told him to keep it down and that there were children present. He started going on about not seeing any children when Aubrey chimed up and pointed out the fact that we were sitting there with our daughter. He was very apologetic about it, and then proceeded to bombard us with various stories and weird facts not all of which contained topics I would want to discuss with my children. I just tried to act like I was watching the television and prayed that he’d either quit talking to us or they’d call us back. The latter happened first and I was glad.

I suppose that’s not a very Christian attitude… sorry.

Status Quo… So Far

Tree Time Lapse

The gauntlet has been thrown down, the New Year’s Resolutions for 2012 made and the proverbial ball is in my court to do something about it. The trees in the picture above show a progression of the seasons and how they affect the tree. It’s basically the same, except for some surface changes in the leaf color and leaf volume. I feel like this year, so far, has been basically maintaining the status quo.

What should I be changing? Well, the main thing I wanted to change centered around putting God first… in everything. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” I really don’t feel like I’m currently doing that; I feel more like I’m just maintaining the status quo. Sure I started a read the bible in a year program, which I’m currently on track with. Other than that, though, I don’t feel like anything has changed. God hasn’t taken a larger role in my every day life than in 2011… at least not yet. I guess I’m writing this to be out in the open and hold myself accountable before the world (wide web) to never be content with being stagnant in my faith.

How are the other resolutions (goals) coming? I’m still training for the New Orleans marathon in March. I haven’t practiced any piano this year. I did, however, implement some cross training this week which will hopefully start working on the mid-section fat. Finally, we are still working on debt. We’re taking a bit of a step back because our oldest daughter just got braces today. That required a fairly large down payment, which we were able to pay without getting behind in our bills, and adds another payment to our list. I think that we are doing well in that area, though, and expect to keep striving towards the goal of being debt free.