Monday, December 31, 2012

Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

Over and over again, Great is Thy Faithfulness is the song my heart sings. I think it is the perfect song for every occasion, and especially as I reflect on the passing year. I love the change and fresh start that seems to be given as the calendar page turns. 2012 may have been the most exciting year of my life. Planning for a wedding, marriage and all its adventures seem to make a profound impact on one's life. Our 1st married Christmas was incredible and Adam and I were overwhelmed and blessed by the generosity of our families, friends, and even some anonymous givers. We had a blast spending time with so many people we love!

Here's a couple pic stitches of some of my favorite iPhone pics this year!

This may be my favorite verse right now. It has been a sweet reminder of who my Lord truly is.

For great is His steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD!
(Psalm 117:2 ESV)

Thank you Lord for your faithfulness in 2012. May 2013 be an even greater opportunity to praise the Lord for His steadfast love and faithfulness.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


For the past few years, I have tried to pick 2 or 3 things that I am thankful for and dwell on them or remind myself of them as Thanksgiving approaches. I thought it would be appropriate to share them with my blog friends.

  • Big surprise here: The gift of marriage. For the past few days, I have been reflecting on my life before marriage and how I would often hear that marriage is a gift from God. It almost sounds like a "Duh" kind of statement. However, I think once you are married, you see from the inside how God blesses with this wonderful gift. Marriage to Adam is not something I ever expected or even planned, but I can recognize that it is a precious gift from God. It amazes me how the Lord's sovereignty places people together. Marriage is for His glory and truly a blessing from Him.  
*For my friends who are single, marriage is not the ultimate gift from God, salvation is. I believe that God blesses with good gifts, no matter single or married. He knows His children and knows how to give good gifts!

  • For about as long as I can remember, my dad has picked a verse of the year to meditate on. Following his example, I picked two different ones for this year, but this one has been my primary meditation. "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 ESV) I am thankful for the truth of this verse, that the old nature has been crucified with Christ and He dwells within me. I am thankful for the life I can live by faith. And I am thankful for the Son of God, who loved enough to give Himself for me. I try hard to grasp the magnitude of what Christ has done for me and fall so short, but I am extremely thankful that I do not have to live life apart from Christ. 
  • I think of grace and mercy that I experience each day from God and from others as I have days when I struggle along or my attitude gets in the way of doing what God desires for me. These verses have been brought to mind so much this year,    
              The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
                   His mercies never come to an end;
              they are new every morning;
                   great is your faithfulness.
              “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
                  “therefore I will hope in Him.”

                (Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV)
I love this about the Lord! New mercies and His faithfulness for each and every day. My prayer is that I will continue to see Him as my portion and hope only in Him!  

Happy Thanksgiving (a few days early.) 

Thursday, October 04, 2012


This is actually a post I wrote a few months ago. Not sure why I didn't post it then.

Sometimes you encounter a person and realize that their story is your story or vice versa, I guess. Today was one of those days for me. Our stories are not exactly alike, but we can definitely relate. Dealing with a loved one with cancer seems to be the thing that we share so deeply in common. However, as I am reminded of the ugliness of cancer, I remember the greater story. It is because of sin that we face disease, suffer, hurt, experience pain, and helplessness. You know what else? Cancer makes the Gospel so much sweeter. Because of cancer, I realize that I cannot save myself or those I love. I cannot make it on my own or fix what seems to be wrong in my life. God knew long before I ever came on the scene that cancer would affect my life. He knew the same for my friend. He also knew that He would not leave us helpless. I was thinking how when Jesus came to earth we saw different characteristics from Him that help us face these tough roads with hope. He showed compassion. He showed grace in suffering. We see the glory of God displayed in His death. He is the example when times are tough. He is also my only Hope.

"But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works." -Psalm 73:28

Friday, September 14, 2012

Adam Got New Glasses (or did he?)

Adam got new glasses on Tuesday. We (mostly he) picked them out online, so we weren't 100% sure how they would look. When they came, they were a bit more "hipster" than they looked on the screen. What fun would new hipster glasses be unless other people tried them on? Here's a bit of what we did this week.

Obviously, I am not hip enough for hipster glasses.

Our boss dude, Nathan, it looks pretty natural like he should wear hipster glasses. 
Andy is just cool with the beard and the hat. Definitely does well with the hipster glasses.

Little Dude pulling off the "old man" look.

The real owner of the glasses. He is a worship leader, they can wear hipster glasses.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Happenings (or I Married a Rock Star)

A friend of ours told me that my memoir could be called, "I Married A Rock Star." Adam pretty much loathes being called these kinda things. My favorites to use when referring to him are "The Celebrity" or "Boy-Band Member." They are usually met with eyes being rolled. :) Anyway, that's not important. What is important is some pretty cool opportunities Adam has been given lately!

I'm not even sure what I would do if I had been blessed with some musical talent (God knew what He was doing), but God has given me the opportunity to be a part of the ministry that HE has entrusted to Adam. Last weekend, he got to lead music for his friend, Rich. Rich pastors at Audubon Park Baptist Church which is in the heart of Memphis. They were having a church conference. He invited 3 different preachers to preach on different aspects of the church. It was incredibly convicting! More on them in a second.

Adam had the opportunity to play and sing with so many talented musicians. I think "the band" consisted of 11 people and it was awesome to see some unique instruments like the mandolin, violin, and viola that are not so common in praise bands. I think they did an excellent job of pointing our hearts to the Savior and His Word through music. I know it was a fun experience for him to play with such a variety of musicians!
Worship - I tried to be a little sneaky, so not the best quality pic.

And now for a few notes from the sermons!

 Dr. Tim Seal spoke on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 on "God's Glory in the Church."
1. They spoke the Word of Christ boldly (v. 1-6)
    a. In adversity
    b. With authority
    c. With honesty
    d. With loyalty
2. They cared deeply. (v. 7-9)
    a. With gentleness
    b. Through giving
3. They lived holy. (v. 10-12)

Dr. John Mahoney spoke on the "The Congregation and Repentance" from 2 Corinthians 7:8-13.
He started out his sermon asking, "Are you ready to repent?" He was very straight forward on sharing what the church lacks in repentance, not just repentance at salvation, but what he called "progressive repentance." It is what God uses to produce growth in believers and the congregation.
1. Context is sin.
2. Confrontation with the truth.
3. Concept of repentance.
    -sorrow that results in life-change
4. Contrast is sorrow that produces repentance.
    a. Genuine sorrow before God's holiness, think of Isaiah in Isaiah 6.
    b. Genuine sorrow before God's presence.
5. Characteristics (v. 11)
6. Consequences of repentance.
    a. Back in step with God's purposes.
    b. Encouragement.

Dr. Phil Newton finished on Sunday morning from Colossians 3:15-17 with "What is the Congregation?"
God's desire was dwell with a people not in a building, think of Israel in the Old Testament. To be a congregation is to be involved in one another's lives, centered in the Gospel, for the glory of God.
1. A Referee of the Body (v. 15) - "Let the peace of of Christ rule."
2. A Residence within Us. (v. 16) - "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly"
    a. Word of Christ dwells in you!
    b. Teaching and admonishing - each one contributes to the worship of the body
    c. Produces thankfulness in your heart
3. The Atmosphere in the Congregation (v. 17)
    a. Invoking the name of Christ in every aspect of the congregation
    b. Do it with thankfulness.
A congregation lives with such a consciousness of the work of Christ that one cannot help but be thankful! His challenge to the church: Live out the Gospel! 

Each message was convicting and very challenging. Dr. Newton has been a pastor for over 30 years and it was easy to see his heart for the congregation. He desires to the see the church be what God has called the church to be. It was incredible and encouraging!

It was a fantastic weekend with a sweet body of believers. Adam and I were especially encouraged by the words of a sweet lady in the congregation. I love how God uses His people to edify other believers! May God continue to use this congregation for His glory! Adam and I were definitely blessed to be a part of this special time with the Audubon Park congregation.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

31 Years.

I love significant days. Holidays, birthdays, and other special days just point my mind and heart to reflect on what sets that day apart from other "normal" days. My mom often prayed 1 Samuel 12:23-24 over her children, the last part of verse 24 says this, "For consider what great things He has done for you." On special days, I am always challenged to consider these great things. For the past couple of weeks, my mind has been fixed on the way that God loves. I don't understand, definitely don't deserve it, but it have been given so freely. One of my favorite verses of Scripture is Romans 5:8, "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
I love this simple song by Meredith Andrews. It perfectly reflects the praise of my heart for the love of the Savior.

Thank You for the way that You love us
How You love us
Thank You for the way You have made us
We were created
For Your pleasure, for Your presence
For the glory of Your name
Thank You for the way that You love us

Jesus, faithful King
Lord, with grateful hearts we sing
How great is the love
How great is the love
Of our Savior

The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame
You carried it all and rose from the grave
How great is the love, how great is the love
Of our Savior

Thank You for Your grace that has saved us
You forgave us
Thank You for the way You have freed us
We have been ransomed
We've been rescued, we've been purchased
With the price of Your own life

Thank You for the way that You love us
Thank You for the way that You love us
How You love us
-How Great is the Love of Our Savior.

In 31 years, I have seen the love and grace of Christ demonstrated over and over again, and my heart is truly thankful. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cause a lot of life is just funny....

Beginning July 27, I enjoyed the Summer Olympics most evenings... Adam was excited about it for about 2 hours and then kinda got over it. It became quite the joke at our place, and I thought how funny it would be to record the things that Adam did while the Olympics were on.

Played Angry Birds on his computer. 
Gave me crazy looks.

Ate pizza.

Describing his lack of love for the Olympics over text messaging.

Sleeping... This may have happened a couple times. 

He also read a lot, did the dishes (woohoo), and a ton of other things that were non-Olympic related.  While I enjoyed the two and a half weeks of the Olympic games, I am happy they are over, but probably not as happy as Adam.

Since the end of the Olympics, the new tenants in the apartment above ours have started training for Rio 2016. I'm pretty sure they are into Rhythmic Gymnastics. I don't understand why.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Trusted in the Master

Mom's Bible with a Red Rose - Her Favorite!

This day 4 years ago was without a doubt the most difficult day of my life. I said earthly good-byes to my precious Mom as she enjoyed the most glorious day and was perfectly healed of all cancer in Heaven. This has definitely been a year that I have missed her in some very big ways! However, I do not miss cancer and the suffering it caused her! Thankful that the Lord heals perfectly! I have been thinking of words to a Trip Lee song called, "Take Me There." It speaks of the desire and longing for Heaven and verse 2 perfectly describes my family's experience with Mom. The line that has come to mind over and over again when I think of Mom is this one, "She ain't scared of death cause she's trusted in the Master." Often, I have asked myself what have I learned since Mom passed away? This is definitely one of the big truths, trusting in the Master.

Yes, there was a point in my younger years where I trusted in the Master for salvation and believed in Him as the Lord and Savior of my life. That's what this song is mainly referring to, but since Mom has been gone, I have learned in an even greater way what it means to trust the Master. It was not a thing that I did at salvation and never had to do again, but it is something that I need to do every day. Who do you trust to provide breathe in your lungs? Who do you trust to provide for your needs of the day? Who do you trust when your heart hurts? The Sovereign God is the Perfect Master! He is Worthy to be trusted.

We are doing a series with the Student Ministry called The Bible Overview. As I have read through some big events in the Old Testament, it draws out 3 different thoughts: Who God Is, What God Does, and How God Works.

In 4 years and in light of cancer, this is just a small highlight of what I have learned----

Who God Is: The Faithful Father, Refuge, Promise Keeper, Comfort, Joy, Hope, and so much more! Look on the pages of Scripture, He is written all over it and it is TRUE! Yes, He is a God of justice and wrath when it comes to sin, but when it comes to those who belong to Him, He is GOOD and He is ENOUGH!

What God Does: He doesn't leave His children helpless or alone, but provides strength and comfort in the most difficult times. He reminds me that strength is found when I take delight and joy in Him! He uses the most difficult times to show Himself near and sanctify His children.

How God Works: For my good. I think Romans 8:28 is over quoted like as a light-hearted thing to say something Biblical to people during tough times. But if you have experienced a difficult time as a believer, the verse comes to life, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." He is Good and His Work is Good! No doubt about this simple, but profound truth.

In 4 years, I have been drawn near to my sweet Master and I am so thankful for that. As I reflect on my life with Mom and without Mom, my heart and head know this truth, God allowed cancer and Mom's death for His glory. It has been hard, but God has been good. For now, I anxiously await a reunion where I can worship the Master face-to-face alongside my dear Mom and other believers.

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." -Revelation 21:3-6

Sunday, July 08, 2012

How's Married Life?

If Adam and I had a nickel for every time we have been asked, "How's Married Life?", we would have a lot of nickels... I think I probably get asked that question at least once a day, sometimes more often than that. As much as I want to give an answer that will catch people off guard (to be funny, of course.), most times I just reply with something like, "It is great" or "I really enjoy being married." While both of those are very true statements, it is hard to sum up the answer to that question in a short sentence or when someone wants to make small talk. (Truthfully, I am horrible at small talk.)

Adam and I are going through this Bible study called, "The Gospel-Centered Marriage." This study has been so good and at the same time very challenging. That's how I think marriage is! It is so good and so challenging. My favorite thought from the book (so far) has been this, "One of the great things about marriage is that God throws a fellow sinner into close proximity to us so that they walk all over our idols. So marriage is a God-given means of revealing and addressing our idolatrous desires." (p. 62). Since I get to live with a sinner, I'm thankful for the one God choose for me! At the same time God has used this short time to show the idolatrous desires of my heart.

A few years ago the Student Ministry I work with took a group to a conference concerning idols of the heart. Idolatry is not talked about to much in our culture, especially since we are not prone to make a statue and worship it. However, the idols are still there, they just take on different forms in a person that one idolizes, electronics, sports, or whatever it may be that captures your heart above Christ. Paul talked about this in 1 Thessalonians 1, "how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God..." One phrase that I wrote down during that time that still continues to challenge me is this, "Accepting Jesus is not just adding Jesus, it is subtracting the idols." That's how the Christian life is. Remembering that Jesus is the prize and the only One worthy of all of my worship and honor, anything that comes before Him is an idol. Married life has been much the same way, remembering that Jesus is the prize and the only One worthy of all my worship and honor while learning to put away my selfish desires and seeking the best for Adam, the one that God has entrusted to be my husband.

I love this song by Jimmy Needham, "Clear the Stage." The line that continues to convict my heart is this, "Anything I put before my God is an idol. Anything I want with all my heart is an idol." 

As a part of the bride of Christ, I pray that God continues to reveal the idolatrous desires of my heart and show me that He is the Great Treasure. So, "how's married life?" It is a gift from God. One of the best earthly gifts He can give. I pray that I am using the married life that He has given to me to make much of Christ. Marriage is His picture, His plan, for His glory.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Mother's Day is not the easiest for me, although I think it should be a joyful time. Sometimes, I feel like I have an emotional struggle with sadness and wanting to rejoice with those around me who God has blessed to be mothers. This year I have a Mother-in-Law, which obviously, I have never experienced before. Plus there is the Stepmom, "adopted" Mom, Aunts who are like having another Mom, and awesome friends who happen to be Moms. I certainly cannot forget my Grandma, who turned 91 this month. She has been a Mom a long time and all these ladies are to be celebrated.

When my Mom was in the hospital, I would sing to her. Nothing impressive, I promise, but just cause sitting in a hospital is boring. I would sing hymns that she knew or I would randomly pick. I tried to sing hymns that I knew all the verses to, so the singing would last longer. When she was first in the hospital she sang along with me sometimes. We used to sing in the car together, so it was nothing unfamiliar or out-of-the-ordinary. During the last few days of her life, this is the song I would sing most often as I would hold her hand. It was one of her favorites and still is one of mine, verse four is especially beautiful as I imagine the truth of those words!

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
William Ralph Featherston, 1864

So for the Moms to be celebrated and the Moms being missed because they are experiencing the joys of Heaven, the best thing is life has been and will always be having a relationship with Jesus. Life is truly all about Him. I pray He is the One we love and celebrate every day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Forsaking All Others

I’m working through my books for the year. I’m a little behind because of a wedding, moving, and other good stuff that comes along with life. Right now, I am in the middle of Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Let Me Be A Woman. I bought the book about a year ago, just because I wanted it and it was a good price. Little did I know that it is a book of wisdom/advice she wrote to her daughter Valerie as a newlywed. Could there be a better time for me to read this?

I remember listening to Elizabeth Elliot on the radio at home when I was a kid. She had a 15 minute program called Gateway to Joy. She introduced each program with these words, “…I have loved you with an everlasting love…” from Jeremiah 31:3. Anyway, she is one of those spiritual giants as far as I am concerned. Her love story with her missionary husband, Jim, who was martyred by the Aucas in 1956 is truly a story of God’s sovereignty. It is better than anything the world has ever tried to recreate on a movie screen. Her book Passion & Purity details that story very well!

As I have been reading Let Me Be A Woman, I have been amused and challenged by her writing, but nothing has stood out to me quite like Chapter 27 – Forsaking All Others.

Here are some sweet gleanings from this chapter:

“Marriage is a choice of one above all others. Each partner promises to forsake all others, and the Bible says that a man will leave his father and mother and ‘cleave’ to his wife. Any choice we ever make in life instantly limits us. To choose to take this man as your husband is to choose not to take every other man on earth. When you decide to marry this particular sinner you have committed yourself to putting up with his particular sins even though you don’t have a clear idea of what they will be. You will begin at once to find them out, and as you do, remind yourself that you married this sinner. You can always look at other sinners and thank God you don’t have to live with their varieties of failures, but then what kind of sins would you choose if you could choose which ones to live with? It’s a good thing you are not asked.”

“Your growth toward maturity will bring you a wider perspective. The apostle Paul, always desirious that his converts should move on into spiritual maturity, prayed for the Colossian Christians that they might see things from God’s point of view by being given spiritual insight and understanding. What could be a greater help to a wife than to see her husband as God sees him? God has created him, formed him, redeemed him, he is His. God is bringing him to perfection. We are all unfinished and not what we ought to be. If we can see one another from God’s point of view, it helps us see what He direction for the relationship.“

“To the Christian who has prayed for years to be led to the right partner and believes that the one he or she marries is indeed God’s choice, it is reasonable to conclude that the personality given is the one that best compliments his or her own, the one that meets needs in ways he or she could not have forseen or chosen. It is the very differences themselves that open our eyes to what we are and, if we pray for the spiritual insight and understanding that Paul prayed for, we see them as God sees them and appreciate the glorious imagination of the Creator who made them.”

Friday, April 27, 2012

As Much As I Know How...

It is no secret that my parents are my spiritual heroes. My dad's dad (aka Grandpa) was a pastor for many years. Him and my Grandma loved the Word of God and have passed down an incredible spiritual legacy. My mom was probably the odd one in her family for awhile when it came to her relationship with Jesus. So, they kinda had opposites as far as spiritual background, but seemed to come together when it came time for them to have their own family. There are so many reasons, they are my spiritual heroes. On Easter, my pastor preached about evidences of the Resurrection. He said one of the greatest evidences of the Resurrection is changed lives. I think that is the main reason why my parents are my spiritual heroes. Their lives were changed by the power of the Gospel and I got to experience firsthand the changed life lived out.

Before we got married, my Dad talked/preached to Adam and myself. He asked us the same question and then answered it for us, but like every good preacher, he had a point. The question was, "Do you love her or him?" I thought it was an interesting question and of course, my answer was YES, but my dad answered it a little bit differently. My dad's answer for the question, "As much as I know how." He then went on to share a bit from what I like to think is his favorite book of the Bible, "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others..." -Philippians 2:1-4. Dad then encouraged us to live lives of humility, preferring the other over yourself, putting away selfishness, and following Christ's example of humility that we see in Philippians 2:5-11. However, we don't do it for our own glory or exaltation, but that Christ may be honored and glorified in our marriage. Some Godly people in our lives, including our pastor, gave us wisdom along the same lines. The ugly sin of selfishness often shows up in our lives, but I think at times it seems uglier in marriage when the person you love the most can see it too.

Less than 2 months into marriage, and the challenge from my Dad's words seems to become greater. I'm thankful for his Godly wisdom and others encouraging Adam and myself in the same way. I am most grateful for the example we see in Jesus. I am challenged by His example and awed by the truth that He was able to put this into practice perfectly with His death on the cross. He loved perfectly and selflessly. May my life be a reflection of striving to be like Him as much as I know how...

This is how we know
This is how we know what love is
Just one look at Your cross
And this is where we see
This is where we see how love works
For You surrendered Your all

-Matt Redman, This Is How We Know.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Proverbs 31 Adventures: Homemade Muffins

My friend E and I aspire to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. We are lacking in a few areas, but that doesn't keep us from trying. We both have jobs outside our homes and she has 2 kiddos in her life, so you can imagine the challenges.

I decided to try out some of my baking skills (which came to me genetically from the Mom and Aunts), I really have no talent on my own, just good genes and the ability to follow a recipe. Anyway, my Mom used to make muffins a lot and I like them for breakfast, so I decided our home needed some strawberry muffins. With the help of modern technology, aka Pinterest, I was able to find some delicious muffin recipes. You can see the one I settled on here.

My Kitchenaid mixer was a wedding gift/blessing from the Lord. It was my trusty helper for the evening. On a side note, I have named him Augustine, since he is blue (must be a male.) I will call him 'A', since the hubby is sometimes referred to as 'N' by our friends. So, A and I were watching the National Championship game and frankly a little bored, we decided to get to work.

I forgot to take pictures as I went along, so here is the beautiful batter with the fresh strawberries... Yum.

The finished project.

This is what it looked like on my plate for breakfast this morning... (after I had consumed 1)

My final verdict on this fancy recipe. They were a bit dry, but if you have say a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, you barely notice the dryness. The dryness does not cover up the delicious flavor. Overall, I was pleased with the muffin adventure and end result.

Stay tuned for more Proverbs 31 Adventures...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Marriage. There really are not adequate words to describe it. It is so much better than I could have ever dreamed it would be and so challenging at the same time as you share every part of life with this person.
At the same time, I believe God is using this special time to teach me a few things. One humbling lesson came crashing in my face on Sunday afternoon.

Adam is writing a sermon for Wednesday night from some verses in Colossians and has been sharing the truths from this letter and the overlying theme --- we have all we need IN CHRIST. He is enough.

Here are a few of the Colossians "gems."

Reconciliation - "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him," (Col. 1:21-22)

Wisdom and Knowledge "that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Col. 2:2-3)

Alive in Christ - And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Col. 2:13-14)

These verses really wrap up the greatness and splendor of Christ - He is preeminent; He is more than enough.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross. (Col. 1:15-20)

God has shown me once again who I really am, and that my true identity is found in Christ. A lesson I get to learn over and over.

My identity changed two weeks ago. I got a new last name and became a wife. One major thing did not change and will not change, I am complete in Christ. Because of Him, I have all I need. So whether I am looking for approval, acceptance, or whatever else I think my fleshly heart desires, my mind and heart should rest in the truth of Scripture. Christ has made me complete. Christ is sufficient; He is enough.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Name Changes.

The time is close and Adam & I are getting married in a few days!! To say that we are excited is a big understatement! As of now, I am not nervous. I believe that God is sovereign and He has known that Adam & I were to be married, and all the when and how of each part of it! These past few days have been a little surreal for me as I think about God's timing, perfect plan, and the vows we will make before God. This is real life and I am thankful to be able to trust the Author!

My name has been Shawna Joy Kelly since the beginning of my time. I was actually supposed to be named Melody Joy, which sounds like a singer's name (which I am not.) I was named after a girl in the church my Mom & Dad had attended and I'm pretty happy with what Mom & Dad chose.

Even though marriage was not in the picture when Mom was alive, we talked about it a LOT. Mostly Mom would tell me that I needed to find a Godly guy first, and then we could begin planning. She was a realist. I needed that. My plan was always to become Shawna Kelly ........ I would keep the Kelly and drop the Joy in my name. My mom had a different plan. She wanted the Kelly dropped and the Joy kept. She was pretty adamant about it and even expressed it to my aunts when she was in the hospital. They made some kind of promise to her to make sure it happened as she wanted! :)

So, this Saturday, March 10, I will honor my Mom and keep the Joy (and keep my aunts from having to get on to me). My name change will actually be Shawna Joy Johnson, which I am quite excited about! In just a small way, it honors the memory of my Mom. She will be greatly missed on this special day, but I am so thankful that she now experiences the joys of Heaven.  

"The memory of the righteous is a blessing..." -Proverbs 10:7a

Friday, January 06, 2012

A Challenge to Finish...

I love reflecting on the year past and making goals for the new year! It may have to do with my overwhelming desire to make lists and more lists. I've been thinking a lot about my reading habits and how they have quickly diminished since I finished my Master's Degree. Now, it is easier to play on Pintrest or watch Netflix instead of sitting down with a good book. I'm also the worst at starting a book and getting about halfway through and not finishing. I hate that. I do realize that some books are probably not worth the time, but a lot of of books out there are. My challenge to myself this upcoming year with my daily Bible reading and a stack of books is going to be to finish these things I start.

The Bible reading plan is not a set-in-stone plan, but just something that has worked for me in the past. I will read 1 chapter of Proverbs, 1 chapter of Psalms, and probably 2 Old Testament and 2 New Testament chapters. I have a check off thing as I go through the chapters, so I'm not too concerned about reading the books in a certain order or within a certain time frame. If I decide to spend some extra time in an Old Testament book, I'm good with that and want to have that freedom. I've also got two girls I'm studying with for discipleship things, so most of my indepth study on a passage will probably come from that.

Here's my book list for 2012. I have picked 11, my goal is 1 book a month. (I'm sure another book will come out in 2012 that I want to read). It doesn't seem like much, but I haven't started and finished 11 books in a long time. The list is not really in any particular order except I will be starting with the first one on the list. I have heard excellent reviews about it and want to read it!

1. The Meaning of Marriage - Tim & Kathy Keller
2. A Proverbs Drive Life - Selvaggio
3. Let Me Be Woman - Elizabeth Elliot
4. A God Entranced Vision of All Things - John Piper & Justin Taylor
5. A Praying Life - Paul Miller
6. A Chance to Die - Elizabeth Elliot
7. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - Metaxas
8. Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis
9. All of Grace - Charles Spurgeon
10. Faith on Trial - Martin Lloyd Jones
11. Heaven & Hell - Jonathan Edwards
12. TBD

The best thing is that I (or Adam) have all of these books. So, I am not purchasing any new books yet, but just reading ones that we have!

Update: I started this blog on 12/29/2011... It is now, January 6... Already I am failing at finishing things!!
Maybe I will share my New Year's Resolutions next, we shall see how well I follow through! :)