This Week in Scripture; my refuge is God and trust in Him at all times.

He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah - Psalm 62:6-8

Only God provides my salvation and He alone is able to protect me (He has done so in the past; why not trust Him in the present and the future?); He kept me from committing sins more grievous than I dared to consider and He counted me as one of His as a sinner saved by grace.

It was His grace that atoned for my sin and it was His grace that I run to as a refuge.

I love the idea of God being our refuge (I shared this earlier, with another verse that I had memorized.), but I love the idea of God being our salvation more. While we can hide in Him as a Mighty Fortress and lean on Him for He's our rock, but we can also pour our heart out before Him. He's a Comforter as well and we're to trust in Him at all times (Not occasionally and not once in a blue moon. "At all times" means constantly and consistently.). To have a God that we can trust is a blessing that is far-reaching; that truth is healing for broken bones and mending for a broken heart.

I thought the following quote from John Owen is poignant and helpful:

It is not the distance of the earth from the sun, nor the sun's withdrawing itself, that makes a dark and gloomy day; but the interposition of clouds and vaporous exhalations. Neither is thy soul beyond the reach of the promise, nor does God withdraw Himself; but the vapours of thy carnal, unbelieving heart do cloud thee. - John Owen

God doesn't withdraw from us, especially when we need to lean on Him the most. We tend to move away from Him, but He doesn't let go of us. His not letting go is the salve that we need.

To God be the glory (Soli Deo Gloria)!


A Blessed Advent to all!

Today happens to be two things:

1) The Lord's Day (Sunday) and
2) Christmas

I don't celebrate Christmas in the usual way (I happily celebrate the fact that my Savior was born; praise God!), but I desired to celebrate the Lord's Day.

Unfortunately, illness got in the way of joining my brothers and sisters in Christ today. Both my husband and I managed to come down with some stomach virus (Thankfully, Bee didn't get sick; she managed to hit a growth spurt instead.).

I wish everyone a blessed Lord's Day, a happy Advent and a merry Christmas (I'm covering all of the bases here...)!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Amen and amen.


This Week in Scripture; God is my Judge.

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. - Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

As much as we all like to believe that God is a loving God (He is, by the way!), He is also a God who judges righteously; He is a Judge and He is holy. If He wasn't holy, then He really couldn't be loving; if He never disciplined His children, then why claim Him to be loving?

That said, to discipline a child shows that you love him enough to correct ill behavior; to ignore the wrong behavior is to hate that child.

My daughter is 2; she does a lot of things that, frankly, annoy me. It is my job, as her mother, to discipline her when she does something wrong. Yet, I must discipline her when I'm not angry, otherwise she'll fear the discipline for the wrong reasons (I'd don't want her growing up in a household like mine, where we feared discipline because the person who dealt the punishment did so out of anger.).

Yet, this child was entrusted to me by God; He saw fit that I'm to care for this child and to train her in the Lord. She is to know God's commandments and statutes; she is to understand her need of a Savior and that Savior is Christ the Lord. She is also to understand that God draws us to Him and He is our Shield and Mighty Fortress when we are in need of it.

Most importantly, she is to understand that God is a just Judge, yet a merciful Father at the same time. His judgment was pronounced upon Christ, who was a sinless Man, who took our place on the cross.

God is love, but He is also just and holy. We're to adore and praise Him, but we're also to rightfully be in awe and in fear of Him.


This Week in Scripture; take refuge in God!

This God - His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. - 2 Samuel 22:31

A friend of mine recently introduced me to a hip-hop artist named Shai Linne, who is more than versed in Reformed theology (I believe he calls it "lyrical theology"; it fits.) and is quite talented in stringing words together. Mind y'all, I do not care for rap, hip-hop or R&B (Mainly because it's mostly vile.), but I really like this (Mainly because it's theologically sound.).

like Mr. Linne, we are to take refuge in God (It's more than evident in his lyrics that he does this.); it refreshes our souls like water to a parched throat and it puts us as ease with the Creator of the universe who we call our Father (Likewise, He calls us His children.). What beautiful imagery this is! We're to run to our Father and cling to Him!

In return, the LORD is our shield; Luther called Him a Mighty Fortress. What strength this shows us! Forget asking if God can make a stone too heavy for Him to lift (Such questions are foolish.); ask if God is strong enough to protect YOU and to act as your Shield.

Chances are, He is more than strong enough; rely on Him as your Shield and Mighty Fortress (We don't have to be "strong enough"; that's why we run to Him.).

Speaking of being strong enough, one of my favorite songs is by Matthew West; he sings about this very thing (The link takes you directly to the official music video.): Matthew West's Strong Enough


This Week in Scripture; live peaceably!

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. - Romans 12:17-18

The one thing that I've noticed "Christians" (Please notice the quotation marks.) do is that, once they're wronged, they lash out (and often lash out publicly).

Not only is this shameful behavior, but it goes against what both Christ and the apostle Paul have taught! Jesus taught the following:

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. - Matthew 5:38-40

The point of living peaceably is to point others to Christ (and to point ourselves constantly to Christ); Christ Himself lived peaceably with others, even as He rebuked hypocrisy. He did so in order to bring people to the spirit of the law (Belief.) rather than to follow the letter of the law (Legalism.). Unfortunately, legalism is alive in well; belief, fortunately, is also alive and well. Thankfully, belief in Christ trumps legalism, even if that legalism tries to bind people and enslave them in shackles.

Perhaps it's time to cling to belief and to have the Holy Spirit remove those shackles. Live peaceably with one another. :)


This Week in Scripture; give thanks!

"Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him; sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!" 1 Chronicles 16:8-9

This past week, Americans (including yours truly) celebrated Thanksgiving; most folks stuffed themselves silly with turkey and pumpkin pie, then watched football. Others were content with foodstuffs like cranberry sauce (My personal favorite!) and stuffing. Either way, people love food.

However, the meaning behind this holiday gets lost in the hustle and bustle and shuffle of preparing for the big feast; it's really a day to give thanks and, in my case, it's to thank God for another year of being on this planet.

I was blessed to have my husband here this year (He was in Afghanistan last year.), as well as a good friend of mine. However, I consider myself more blessed because I am a child of God (not by anything that I've done, but what He has done).

Consider yourself blessed if you don't already and give thanks to the LORD!


This Week in Scripture; God condemned sin once and for all.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:3-4

I am constantly amazed by God.

I keep finding new things about Him that leave me in awe, make me tremble and burst in praise (Sometimes, all three occur.). In the past few days, I've witnessed several blessings: A friend's new baby (He is adorable, by the way!), another's growing pregnancy (Another boy for her and her husband!), and an acquaintance's adoption announcement (Just found out today; hooray for the happy couple!).

Here's something that caught me completely by surprise: God condemned sin once and for all and condemned it in the flesh. I knew that Jesus died for our sins and we now are covered under His righteousness, but it doesn't sink in until the word "condemned" pops up.

To "condemn" something is to "express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.
Sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, esp. death: "the rebels had been condemned to death"." (Source: Dictionary.Com) The original word came from Latin (Where else?), which was condemnāre (It eventually found its way to Middle English as condempnen, with some French influence.). It's a very harsh-sounding word, but it's highly appropriate in this case.

Since God condemned sin, that means that we are no longer condemned and we no longer face God's wrath. Also, Christ fulfilled the requirements for us (That's what "under grace" means; Someone else paid our price and we reap the benefits without merit whatsoever.), but it doesn't mean that we can go on sinning (The Apostle Paul constantly points this out!). We, as Christians, are to happily and lovingly serve God and to mortify sin.

Isn't it awesome when God amazes you?


This Week in Scripture; peace and pondering.

There are many who say, "Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!" You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. - Psalm 4:6-8

One thing that I've noticed in my faith walk: If I have a quiet time with God first thing in the morning, my attitude is almost always peaceful and content; I manage to have a good day, even with hiccups and goofs. When I don't, I'm in a foul mood and I try my hardest not to let it affect my husband or daughter (I often fail in that sad endeavor.).

For some folks, that seems like a no-brainer; by now, it's become a habit to do a daily devotional or to carve out some time for prayer. In my case, it's been a "Well, duh!" moment. It's a good reminder that one who isn't sure of her foothold is one that will be washed away. I don't want to be washed away; I want a solid foundation that's set on Christ!

This week, I'm focusing on the rest of the psalm; I'll be paying quite a bit of attention to verse 8, which shows that a peaceful heart is one that trusts in the LORD. It ties in with the previous verse, which we're to "ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent" (Psalm 4:4); to reflect on God's glory and His holiness isn't a bad thing. To be firm on that faith is a blessing indeed.


Watch for bandaids on fingers!

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. - Proverbs 31:13
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. - Proverbs 31:19

For the majority of people that know me, they know that I'm a klutz; it's a given that I find bruises on my shins and I have no clue how I got them (In fact, I have a bruise that's just going away on my left leg.). I can trip over my own feet with relative ease and without anything to trip over (Would you call it a gift without laughing? I sure can't!).

I'm thankful my cat doesn't target me; she targets my husband instead. :)

While I may be klutzy, I also have the urge to do something with my hands; they're usually occupied by two to four needles and a bunch of yarn (Sometimes, something cute comes from that work!).

Lately, I've been wanting to sew. A part of that comes from the fact that I have a hard time finding skirts that are modest (and that I don't have to alter) and affordable (Affordable on an enlisted Marine's salary, that is.); another part is that I want to stay occupied. I honestly believe that God doesn't make us lazy; we do that to ourselves (and we're quite good at it, if we're truly honest with ourselves). That and "other things" get in the way of busyness; we loaf around and we claim to be "bored"...until we have to do something (Cleaning a room, doing dishes or taking out the trash, for example.).

I've found a couple of patterns that look easy and I cut out the pieces of one to put a tunic together (My practice piece, if you will.). Here's to not stabbing myself with pins or needles! :D


This Week in Scripture; anger and modesty are related!

Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. - Psalm 4:4-5

I'll be the first to admit that I have a bad temper (In fact, I believe I touched up on this topic a while back.) and the Holy Spirit has convicted me in that regard (That's one reason why I don't curse; that and I don't want "unwholesome talk to come out of my mouth" (See Ephesians 4:29; it's "corrupting talk" in the ESV.), but it's better to edify others instead of bring folks down.

Focusing on the behavior instead helps; to lovingly correct a friend or loved one is difficult, but it needs to be done and it should be done with love on the mind. The offending party needs to stress this to the offender; the offender should consider that his or her actions are offensive and need to repent. I've had one or two people do this to me and I've been grateful for the correction; unfortunately, I've also had folks that didn't bother and let me continue in sin. That grieved me more than the original offense.

Since I have desired to be more modest, I've been more and more concerned about how I am modest inwardly. To be modest on the outside is not enough; a Christian needs to be modest in appearance AND in thought. That's where the hypocrites fail; they're fine with looking nice and clean-cut on the outside, but are incredibly filthy inward. Christ Himself constantly warned us of that by pointing to the Pharisees, who had rules on top of the many rules that they followed; yet, when it came down to the spirit of the Law, they conveniently didn't bother with it. They rather have had their checklists and ignore the entire point of the Law (That is, God separated the Hebrews from everyone else and made them unique; they were made uniquely His.).

I urge you to not only be modest outwardly, but to be more than willing to be modest inwardly; speak encouragingly and with edifying words. Peace be with you today!


This Week in Scripture; is honor worth preserving?

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. - Psalm 4:2-3

In many cultures, honor is the most precious thing a person can own; to lose face is a grave insult on a person's honor (So much so that the Japanese, for example, will say "hai" (yes) when they mean that they understand you. They're not agreeing with you, but they want you to save face and they don't want to say "iie" (no).).

Americans don't have this concept of honor; we'd rather be positive, even when lying to one another ("That ___ looks great on you!" "No offense, but..." and other lovely American sayings come to mind.). We don't want to offend the other person (Notice that it's a concept of "saving face".), but we're also willing to spread lies and gossip about people ("Did you hear about...? He/she is a ....!") and, in some ways, ruins our honor. When we speak ill of people, we are not trusted in the future with things that are important to our friends (If we gossip, then it's likely that we'll gossip about our friends and their personal business.).

That's why we're told to avoid slanderous words and things that are not beneficial; in a sense, that preserves our honor (As if we have any to begin with!). It's also worth noting that our honor is oftentimes defiled because we belong to Christ and the world hates Messiah.

Here's the best part of these verses: God Himself set His people apart from the rest and He hears us when we call to Him. Even in times of despair and dishonor, we can run to our Father and He will draw us to Him.

How's that for a personal God?

Today also happens to be Reformation Day; Martin Luther, on this day, nailed his 95 Theses on the doors of the Wittenburg church in Germany. His desire was to reform the Church from within; instead, the eventual birth of the Protestant movement (From Protest-ant; those that have protested some of the activities that the Catholic church was doing, such as selling indulgences.). Happy Reformation Day, everyone!


This Week in Scripture; patience IS a virtue!

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! - Psalm 4:1

This week starts something different; I'll be memorizing Psalm 4, starting from verse 1. It's a short psalm (8 verses), but it's rich with praise for a gracious God.

I've also noticed that there's an urgency with prayers and petitions before Him; if it's something that we really, really, REALLY want, we usually fall to our knees and beg God for That. One. Thing.

However, God doesn't run on our timetable; we should realize that we need to run on His (A thousand years is as a day...a paraphrase of 2 Peter 3:8.) and we don't always get what we want (God is not a magical Pez dispenser, as my best friend Becca would say.). Instead, we (Especially yours truly!) need to accept that His answer to our prayers are "No." and "Wait." We don't always get a "Yes!" I've found that the majority of my prayers are given a "Wait." or a "No." for an answer.

Case in point: Christ, just before He was arrested and then crucified, had prayed the following:

And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." - Mark 14:35-36

He didn't say to His Father, "Look, God. I came down here and all that stuff; I did what You wanted Me to do. How about we spare this death thing from Me, okay?" Instead, He said, "Not My will but Your will be done."

He ended up doing His Father's will; we should be aiming for that as well. Patience is a virtue after all.


This Week in Scripture; the sinfulness of sin

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." - Romans 1:16-17

For the past couple of weeks, my pastor has been preaching from Romans, a book that is known to be difficult in understanding. This week, he started on the big chunk of the book that talked exclusively of sin (Yup; that word. The one that makes hardened atheists roll their eyes and the legalistic theist think "That's not me; it's that other guy who's beating his chest and not looking up at God."). The chunk of sin-talk extends to chapter 3.

I'm not going to waste your time with a full exegesis of those chapters; it all boils down to this: It's not Good News unless you know what the bad news is first (What's the point of knowing what the Good News is unless you know that you have rejected God from the beginning and instead would rather follow temporary and fleeting things? Only then would you realize how much you need that righteousness that only God is more than willing to provide.). Until that is realized, then the Good News is moot.

Here's where the sinfulness of sin pops in; we know how debased we really are and we understand that God is holy and can't stand the sight of sin. With that thought in mind, we still do the things that we do and push God either to the back of our minds or out of the picture entirely; it's as if we don't care what He thinks about the whole thing (In a way, that's exactly what we think.).

It's about time to face the prospect that, although we say that we bow our knees to Him, we are hypocrites in that fashion. Repent and serve the God that has called us to Him!


This Week in Scripture; secrets and regrets

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. - Psalm 139:15

This verse is the third in a series of verses related to one another that I wanted to memorize (I had memorized verses 13 and 14.); all three speak on how personal and how creative God is (Who else would have thought of knitting a person together, for example? Who else would be wonderfully and fearfully made?).

That said, the things that we tried to keep secret are known to God; don't even bother hiding anything from the Creator of the universe because He already knows! It's better to repent and to strive toward being more Christ-like.

Something that came to mind as of late is a song (Are you surprised? I hope not.) called "Secrets and Regrets" from Pillar; the chorus goes like this:

Your secrets and regrets are keeping you from going very far
And you can't let all this get you down and keep you living in the dark
Cause all you're looking for is love
You're living in the dark; you just can't get enough

Why should we be surprised that, when our darkest and deepest secrets are finally let out of the bag and sprung into the open? Shouldn't we be more aware that our sinful natures, while earnestly trying to keep things hidden, often fail us? Even when the motives are considered altruistic or "good", there is still something underneath that seeks to puff the self up instead of God.

No matter how good it looks on the outside, the ulterior motive always has a way in revealing itself. Make sure that the real reason you're doing something glorifies God instead of yourself.


Consistent with the Gospel

I'll admit that one of my favorite TV shows is on the History Channel; it's called Top Shot. My husband and I watch it consistently (Mainly because we're both gun nuts.) and the series is in its 3rd season.

This season has been quite interesting, since one of the competitors is a devout Christian (Turns out, he is a camp director and minister!); his attitude has been Christ-like and constantly upbeat. This is what History Channel viewers are seeing and hopefully are being pointed to Christ.

I'm not saying that we're to fawn over the dude (Not by any means!), but we should be imitating Christ (See 1 Corinthians 11:1; Paul encourages believers to be like him.), especially when all eyes are on us because we claim to be Christians. I believe that the Top Shot competitor is imitating Christ.

Folks, be consistent with the Gospel; walk the walk while talking the talk (Convey the message clearly and live up to its standards with God's strength.). When you stumble, admit to stumbling (sinning), stand back up (repent) and start running again (press on).


This week in Scripture; creation and knitting

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. - Psalm 139:14

I was looking back at the various verses I've memorized so far and I came across the verse that this blog was named for (Psalm 139:13); this week's verse (and next week's) are usually memorized together.

One thing came to mind as this verse popped out for me: I don't praise God enough that He made me and that my soul knows His works (I don't praise Him enough period.). I'm still having a hard time grasping that altogether and I thought that I understood our Father; He's never failed to surprise me with His mercy and endless grace. That alone should be a good reason to praise Him!

The fact that my soul already knows His works is mind-boggling; it's an awestruck feeling when the Creator of the universe made sure that my soul (As puny and insignificant it is.) knows HIS works.

Speaking of creation and whathaveyou, I'm knitting a slouchy hat that can be found on Ravelry and on the Madelinetosh site, called Stella; so far, it's a quick knit (Even though I had double-pointed needles in a 6 instead of a circular needle; either one can be used, really, but a circular needle tends to be easier for me to use.) and I'm enjoying it.

I also managed to find another hat to make, thanks to that website...I'm even willing to pay $6 for it (That's unusual for me; I usually gravitate free patterns since I'm lazy cheap usually broke.).

Here's to a blessed week for everyone!


Day 3 - Interesting...

Today marks day 3 of wearing a skirt.

Apparently, I had bought a couple of sweater skirts (They're kinda warm for California weather.), but the other skirt (an ankle-length tiered skirt) has been incredibly comfortable. That has been a good find! If I find more skirts like that, they'll be snagged. I'm also keeping an eye out on sales, just in case.

Now, onto tops: A lot of the tops I have don't really work well with skirts, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled. A lot of the camisoles I own have the built-in shelf bra and they're uncomfortable as layering pieces; the four camis from the now-closed Romy store are more comfortable for layering. Here's to the Internet for buying some clothes!


Day 1 - She bought what??

Apparently, modesty is in (At least, there are quite a few folks that are concerned about ladies being modest.); that's great news for those that 1) don't want unneeded attention, 2) want to be feminine and 3) honor God (most importantly).

I'll give the Mormons some credit on this one; the majority of the online shops are run by Mormons and they stress modesty. Something that the majority of Christians need to consider and take some notes.

I did manage to find three more skirts today (Thanks, Old Navy!); two ankle-length (Taupe and gray.) and one mid-calf (black). I'm now on the hunt for tops that can be layered (So far, I've had quite a bit of luck online.) in some colors that I haven't considered (Bright turquoise? I'll try it!).

When we were still getting our bearings here at Pendleton, there was a store (That since closed; boo!) that catered to a more modest lady while still looked pretty and feminine (If anyone has a chance to shop at Romy in either Oregon or Washington state, do so; I'm really bummed that the stores in CA have closed, since their camisoles are much longer than most camisoles I used to wear.). That said, I managed to snag about four or five camisoles from that store and I adore them.

That and I'm already planning a small shopping trip to Irvine; apparently, there is a store called DownEast Basics at the Spectrum and their clothing is inexpensive and cute. Yay!

Anyway, I've starting to get a small collection of both dressy and casual skirts and I'm thrilled.


What to wear...and what not to wear.

As of late, I've been thinking about what I've been wearing (Work with me here, folks.).

Since I could remember, I've been a tomboy; I've worn jeans, shorts and T-shirts. I hardly wore dresses growing up (I'm rather embarrassed to admit this, but I poked fun at the girls that did wear skirts and dresses 24/7 at first; I now understand the reasoning behind their choices.) and when I did, I felt uncomfortable and girly (Remember, I was a tomboy! I hung out with boys growing up; in fact, I normally put Barbies aside for Lincoln Logs.).

Now that I'm older, hopefully a tad bit wiser (That can be debated, depending on where the wisdom's coming from.) and with a daughter of my own, I have a strong desire to teach her what it means to be female, to be feminine and to display those qualities in a Biblical manner while not attracting the wrong kind of attention. That said, I want to set a good example for her. Even more so, I want to please God.

So, I've been looking at my closet and in my drawers; most of what I have are jeans, T-shirts and shorts. Perhaps an overhaul wouldn't be a bad thing. On top of that, several of those items aren't what I'd call "modest". I'm sure that several of those things don't please God; they can easily be more modest (Layering is a good thing!). Other things (Such as jeans.) will be put away.

This should be an interesting thing; I pray that God's glorified in the entire transition.

I'm slowly starting my skirt collection with two skirts from Goodwill (An awesome place to find some neat things at a bargain!) and I have a couple of skirts that I already own that I can wear to church (The long "Gypsy" skirts.). I'll keep an eye out for more skirts and longer tops.

That said, I would love it if I can be pointed in the right direction in the way of clothing.


A not-so-quiet day in this house!

Right now, I'm having my "Quiet Mommy" time; I'm catching up on Facebook, listening to the 19 Kids and Counting marathon (Yay for a new episode tonight! I may not want that many kids, but I can still learn from Michelle Duggar on what a good perspective and a good attitude will accomplish!) and trying to get better (Apparently, I have a mild cold. Oh dear.) at the same time (See, I can multitask!).

However, Bee has a different plan (She is strong-willed!) and She. Wants. Up. Now. (She also has a cold; poor baby Bee!) Right now, I'm praying that I have enough energy to get through the day!

With all that being done (As well as a second Swallowtail still on my needles!), I still crave a "time out" with God, even if that means keeping my focus on a Scripture verse or a chapter from the Word. He may be the Creator of the universe, but He still knows how many hairs are on my head and makes Himself a personal God, as opposed to all the impersonal "deities" out there.

Why shouldn't I give Him my time and my attention? He's more than worth it.


This week in Scripture; sniffles, sneezes and "Wake up, lady!"

My weekly Scripture verse to memorize is this:

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. - Psalm 16:5

This past weekend, my pastor had read this psalm as our call to worship and this particular verse jumped out for me. My lot was cast before the beginning of the world and it's the LORD that called me to Him. In return, I make Him my portion and my cup; everything else falls into place.

Speaking of lots: Our entire house has come down with the sniffles and sneezes (We all have sinus issues, even little Bee!); last night, my husband lovingly made a curry that had quite a kick to it (and sent our sinus issues reeling). Let's just say that we all had clear sinuses last night...for a little while.

Bee's favorite phrase in the morning? "Wake up, lady!" Apparently, she heard her daddy say that to me every morning and decided to pick up where he left off. God must have a sense of humor, otherwise I wouldn't have a mimic for a child and a husband that is popular with mimics.

Have a blessed day, everyone!


Speaking up when necessary...

As most people in the US knows by now, the concept known as "don't ask, don't tell" was officially repealed today.

Like a lot of folks on Facebook, I spoke up about it (I disagree with the repeal.), thinking that things would be okay. Instead, I was surprised...with disappointment.

As of now, I "lost" quite a few "friends" over that disagreement, as well as the aftermath of that disagreement. While that may hurt (It does hurt, don't get me wrong.), what hurt more was that I wasn't considered a friend to them.

I was gently reminded of two verses: John 15:18 and Matthew 5:10 (Thanks to my friend Cece.) Either way, those that speak up on the Truth will be hated and will be mocked for their faith. In return, God will remember those that have suffered for His sake.

Food for thought: For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. - 2 Corinthians 1:8-9

It's things like what happened to me are what drives us to Christ and into His arms.

Don't be afraid to speak up for Truth.

This Week in Scripture; strength, sin and clarity.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. - Romans 1:18-19

It's tempting to memorize Scripture verses that don't speak of sin and judgment; yet, God constantly spoke on how holy He is and how much He hates sin! Even though he spoke on the vileness of sin and His hatred of it, He is also generous with His mercy and grace.

So, when we fall down or get tripped up in our sins, He is most gracious when we repent and helps us up when we're too weak to continue (His strength is perfect, after all!).

Now, that's a God that I can lean on!

On top of that, my church went through a three-week study on God's Word; this past Sunday, we studied 2 Peter 3:14-18 and the topic of God's Word being clear. While Scripture (Romans, especially.) can be difficult to understand, it's still the revealed Word and it can be understood (This is where we ask the Holy Spirit to clarify things for us.). I'll be the first to admit when I don't understand Scripture (Ruth 3 comes to mind!), but I can always rely on the Holy Spirit and fellow believers to help me understand.

Perhaps we all could use some clarity when it comes to the Word of God.


No He Can't by Kevin McCullough

(This is a longer version of my review for BookSneeze.)

In No He Can't, the author proceeds to explain how our current President is not the best for the United States. Mr. McCullough goes into detail how he predicted the outcome of the 2008 and 2010 elections (The ushering in of Barack Obama in 2008, followed with the Tea Party-backed candidates for Congress in 2010, respectfully.).

While explaining himself clearly, Mr. McCullough also runs the risk of being redundant, but he uses that redundancy to further prove his points that Obama has lied to the American people, treats them with contempt and puffs himself up in the process. Mr. McCullough points to the economy, the rising unemployment rate and the various polls that have been done on various news networks as some of the reasons behind his views in regards to "Hope and Change".

He also brings up President Obama's willingness to appease "leaders" that are overwhelmingly hostile toward the US, as well as his appeasement toward Muslims.

While Mr. McCullough espouses the Christian faith, he merely glosses over it as if the reader is a believer.

Overall, this does give a Conservative or an Independent enough information to cast the vote for someone that is more willing to help the American cause, rather than to destroy it.

I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze in order to give this my honest review.


This Week in Scripture; give me understanding!

Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live. - Psalm 119:144

I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand a lot of things; my knowledge in some subjects is sorely lacking, while other subjects can be breezed through in minutes. Even though I have a good grasp of the subjects that I'm good at, I still get the twinge of inadequacy when I'm not able to communicate in Spanish, discuss quantum physics with friends or play a violin (I'd be lucky enough to ask where the bathroom is in Spanish, ask what "quantum" really means in terms of physics and screech out a note on that violin.).

The same can be applied to Scripture; I'm not the one that memorizes well (Unless set to music; don't ask.) and I can get bogged down with something insignificant. However, I often ask the Holy Spirit to give me understanding of what the Scripture is saying (Even though I may think I know what the Word's saying, there will always be a humdinger waiting to kick me in the pants. A really good humdinger that comes to mind is the last 4 or so chapters in Judges.).

I'll admit that the last part of the verse is somewhat confusing to me (Does the psalmist mean that he'll live longer? If he doesn't understand, does that mean that he won't live as long?), but it's something that I'll be asking the Holy Spirit (and my pastor) this week. :)


This week in Scripture; dual citizenship.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God... - Ephesians 2:19

Several thousand immigrants come to the US every year, usually to become citizens of this country. Some have considered what's known as a dual citizenship (Being a citizen of both countries.); many have taken that route, while others simply call themselves as Americans and renounce their citizenship of the previous country.

This is the same thing for Christians; at one time, we were citizens of the sinful world and of the flesh. Now that we've been called to God through Christ, we are now citizens of Heaven; we don't have the option of dual-cititzenship and, honestly, we don't need that option! Why try to bunker down in this world when we have something much more awesome waiting for us? I'd rather have that than what is temporary in this life (Which happens to be almost everything!).


This week in Scripture; Bee chirps "Uh-oh!"

I'm working on Proverbs 3 for the next few days:

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. - Proverbs 3:11-12

The previous week was Proverbs 3:7-8:

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Both groups of verses speak of wisdom (A big player in the book of Proverbs overall.); this week speaks of the wisdom of accepting God's correction, while the previous week encourages the reader to accept God's wisdom rather than relying on the self's "wisdom".

Onto this week!

Think about this week's verses this way: As parents, we have to discipline our kids whenever they get themselves into trouble; we love them so much that we want them to do well. When they get out of line, we must correct that behavior.

Case in point: Bee is learning that she is not to throw toys (Thankfully, stuffed animals!) when she is in the backseat of our vehicle. She starts to learn that her daddy and I won't keep handing her the same toy to throw and to hear her say "Uh-oh" multiple times (It does get taxing after a few minutes!).

In the same way, we must allow ourselves to see that God does love us, even when He's correcting our bad behavior.


This week in Scripture; hiding spots!

This week's Scripture verse comes from Psalms 119 (The longest chapter in the Bible; it also happens to fall neatly right in the middle of the Book!):

"You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word." - Psalm 119:114

I loved playing hide-and-seek as a kid (I guess that's a good thing to have siblings play with you!); I manage to find some hiding spots that I know that I won't be found by my brother.

In a different take of hide-and-seek, I'm able to "hide" in God's Word, but I'm also found hoping in His Word as well! As Christians, we put our trust in Christ at conversion; should we not put our hope in His promises and Word as well?


This week in Scripture; falling behind!

This week, I'm focusing on Isaiah 12:4, which goes like this:

And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.

We often thank God during the good moments and when things are going well. The world is bright and sunny; kids are behaving well and your spouse is in good health.

What happens when the clouds and rain roll in, the kids misbehave and your healthy spouse suddenly becomes ill? Do we even bother thanking God that His grace is sufficient and His strength is perfect? We often grumble and complain; the Hebrews did the same thing after they escaped Egypt. After they came to the Promised Land. After they got their king. After they get what they want.

What happens when we get what we want? We often see something that's "better", so we demand that "better" thing. That sounds like a spoiled child, doesn't it?

Why not thank God for the blessings He chooses to give as well as the things He holds back from us? Could it be that what we may want at that moment isn't what we need?


I've really been falling behind as of late and that's pitiful of me! I am sorry for that!


This week in Scripture; Bee-sense!

It's been at least a couple of weeks since I wrote (Oops!); life has been hectic, to say the least! That said, it's better for my hands to not be idle. :)

Last week, I had memorized Romans 8:13-14 (For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.); like most of the verses I've memorized, this struck a cord with me. I have a hard time (by my own will) putting to death (Or to mortify; there's that pesky word again!) those sins that I desire (Don't kid yourself when you tell yourself that you don't desire sin; we do desire some sins, while detest others.). That's only by the grace of God that I can learn to detest those desirable sins!

This week, Ephesians 4:31-32 will be my verses to memorize: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

As far as Bee goes, she's scheduled for occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy; it will be a busy few weeks (again). Pray that she gets up to speed developmental-wise!


This Week in Scripture; Marie is constantly late!

I'm quite behind on posting the weekly Scripture that I'm to memorize; do forgive me!

This week is Psalm 37:7, which goes something like this:

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

I find it sadly amusing that this is quite pertinent to how I should live my life; I'm constantly on the go and am constantly late to appointments and other things that must be done. That and I don't slow down to listen to what God has to say; that's the sad part about the whole thing. I need to slow down and listen to that still, small voice that whispers amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Perhaps now would be the best time to stop and listen. Won't you join me in that?


This Week in Scripture; Encouragement At It's Best!

When I chose this week's Scripture verse to memorize, I paused after I read it.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2, ESV)

It made me pause for this reason: During our trials and various problems through life, God will always be there and He will not turn His back on you.

When I was growing up, my dad was not the best dad out there; I knew that he would only show up at events I was involved in because my mom practically begged him to show up. Even when he did, he'd sit in the very back and closest to the exit; he was clearly not interested in being there and he showed his lack of enthusiasm. I knew that he would be bored out of his mind, yet I wanted him there to support and encourage me; I still never received that support and encouragement. The one thing I longed to hear from Dad was "I'm proud of you" and I never heard it from him.

When I became a Christian (God's grace alone did that; I can't claim anything on that one.) when I was 20 years old (That was 10 years ago; God's timing is perfect.), I had a hard time relating to God as Father (Sometimes, I still do.) and a perfect Father at that (That was even more mind-boggling.); He encourages, consoles and disciplines His children perfectly and with love. I never had that kind of example growing up and I struggled with that. I struggled a long time with the idea of an affectionate, loving and encouraging Father.

When I was younger, I looked at fathers with their kids and I ached with sadness; I was jealous of those kids because their dads actually cared. My dad was more concerned about his golf game and whether or not things were done his way.

I would not be surprised if Dad despised the idea of his daughter embracing Christ as Savior; it was the exact opposite of how he lived his life. He chose early on to reject Christianity and showed in various ways how hostile he was to the faith.

Now, I watch my husband with his little girl and I smile; he's encouraging her, he consoles her when she falls and disciplines her when she needs it. My daughter will know what a loving father is like, because she'll have both her temporal father and her eternal Father; that's what I want Bee to witness as she grows up and when the Holy Spirit draws her near to her Savior.


This Week in Scripture!

This week I decided to focus on the Old Testament, specifically from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 43:1 states the following:

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine."

Several passages in Isaiah speak of a coming Messiah, one who will rise up for the Jewish people and will be a conqueror.

Christians, though, see Jesus as that Messiah; He conquered death and triumphed over sin (Granted, that's incredibly oversimplified.) just to save those that God has called to Him.

Pretty neat if you think about it.


This Week in Scripture!

I'm ready for this week's Scripture!

It's Romans 6:17-18, which goes like this:
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

At one time, we were slaves to sin; our ankles were shackled to the most foul and disgusting things that weighed us down. We weren't able to free ourselves from that heavy burden; we were free when Christ took those foul and disgusting things and placed them upon Himself at the cross. In turn, we became slaves to that yoke that is Christ's righteousness.

He did say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30); why not lean on that Truth and take Him up on it?


Barbed wires and concrete; wire cutters and sledgehammer.

Lately, I've been checking out various blogs and interesting websites; sometimes, it's for a design element that I'd like to try out for a website or because the layout itself is visually appealing and it kick-starts my creative streak.

This time around, however, I've been checking them out for their content. Not because I still find the layout awesome (They can be incredibly attentive to detail, while others are minimalist at best; both should reflect the writer(s).), but what a person says should matter and it does matter.

It's almost by accident that I find a blog or two that shatter my perceptions of life, family and, most importantly, faith. Frankly, I needed those perceptions smashed to tiny shards; I've been flippant and numb in those areas.

In one blog entry, two simple pictures speak volumes. The first picture has a little girl (Possibly one of Mrs. Voskamp's daughters.) holding a picture saying "You are loved"; the next picture has "and together we can do it (Jesus is in us!)!" Later on, she writes about how someone that is closed off eventually entraps herself in that "protective barrier" that she builds for herself.

For the record, my preferred way of building walls like that was with concrete topped with barbed wire (Figuratively.); the walls were thick and the barbed wires pierce the toughest skin. That way, no one will hurt me and I won't let their words hurt.

However, words hurt deeply and they can bear the most unpleasant of scars. Proverbs 12:18a says it like this: "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts..."

God wants a vulnerable heart; He wants a teachable pupil; He wants a trusting child.

The rest of the verse in Proverbs is encouraging: "...but the tongue of the wise brings healing." It is that soft-spoken word, that encouraging cheer, that prayer being lifted up by a close friend is what heals that heart. Thankfully, I've met several women like that and they don't know just how helpful they've been.

Another blog (One I just stumbled on this evening!) has an entry back in December 2010 that spoke of this very thing; however, the author encourages sisters in Christ to take up a commitment of words. The link to it is here and I encourage everyone to read it.

Yours truly has used words as barbs and as scourges in her past (Some as recent as this year!). I can't do that anymore, seeing how hurt I've been.

It's time to bring out the heavy-duty wire cutters and a sledgehammer; God's been at work and it's time for me to come to the wall and tear it down.

One more thing: To those women that have been encouraging and uplifting me as of late? Thank you. I believe with all of my heart that God has placed you in my life so that His glory can be seen and that He will be praised.


This week in Scripture!

I had the fortunate blessing of going to church this past Sunday (It was Easter; I can't help but celebrate the fact that my Savior's alive!); during the past week I came down with bronchitis and, while it affected my ability to sing in the choir (It's not good for a soprano to squeak while failing to hit a high note!), I was still able to make a joyful noise. :)

I'm thankful that I was well enough to stand in the choir and to be able to worship with everyone; I'm even more thankful that God was glorified.

Being thankful for what I have and not desiring what I don't is something that I need to work on; that said, my Scripture verses this week are from Colossians 2:6-7, which goes like this:

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

I'm focusing on that this week because I should be thankful for what God graciously gave me; I shouldn't dwell on the things that were "missed opportunities" or "unanswered prayers". Those things weren't meant for me to begin with; He knows what He's doing and He wants what's best (It's similar to what a father would do for his children; God is the same way in that aspect!). Why not let Him lead you?


Good Friday musings

Today is Good Friday, a day in which Christians are reminded that their Savior was tortured and executed for them.

I had wondered why we call it "Good Friday", since it normally isn't considered a good thing for someone to face his or her execution (At times, it's obvious that I'm still a toddler in the faith; today happens to be one of those days!); however, it's what happens three days after Jesus' death that makes it "good".

Jesus was resurrected (Latin resurrēctiōn, which is the past-particle of resurgere, which we get "resurge"; that means "to rise again").

Given that Adam (the first man) brought us death (through the sin of disobedience), I think that it's appropriate that the Second Adam (Christ) brought us life.

The Romans were incredibly cruel with their punishments and, morbidly, perfected the "art" of executing criminals; the whippings alone were more than enough to kill a man. With a crucifixion, a criminal was either tied to two beams formed in a T (During the Roman Empire, the style and method of crucifixion changed considerably; they started with a single pole and eventually moved to what's known as a Latin cross; that appears as a lowercase T to us.) or was nailed directly onto the beams (The nails would go through the feet and through the wrists (There are several nerves and ligaments within the wrists that would be destroyed, but no bones would be broken. The bones and muscles that the hand, wrist and arm meet would hold the nail in place.) in order to anchor the poor soul to the beams.); the condemned would actually die of asphyxia (Being hoisted up in that fashion would make the lungs work harder and the person would be taking deeper breaths to compensate; that quickens the person's death in actuality.) and blood loss from the whipping endured prior to the crucifixion.

It was agonizing, to say the least. That's why we have the word "excruciating" in our lexicon today; crucifixion was a horrendous way to die.

Yet, Jesus died this way. For you. For me. With our sins weighing Him down.

The best part of the whole thing is this: He didn't stay dead.

God was gracious enough to forgive us of our sins, but they were placed on His own Son instead.

Read up on Matthew 27 and 28 to get just a foretaste of what our Messiah went through.


Heavy vocab and easy ice, please!

One of my favorite drinks from Starbucks is an iced vanilla chai and I always ask for "easy ice" (Basically, I don't like watered-down drinks!). Either I get the vanilla chai or a white chocolate mocha. Normally, that's how I really begin my day; I'm barely awake before I have my first sip of caffeinated goodness (Bad Marie!).

That said, I can skip this part or vary my routine and I'm still a happy (although with much less caffeine in my system) Marie nonetheless. In some ways, I've become immune to the effects of caffeine; I can still sleep easily at night after a cuppa joe and I don't get jittery if I don't buy my favorite caffeinated drink.

One thing, however, that I've learned since becoming a Christian 10 years ago is that I will never be able be immune to sin.

There are folks out there that deride (Meaning: Express contempt for; ridicule. The Latin dērīdēre, which is "to mock", is where we get it.) the idea of sin, while others place heavy emphasis on the very thing that God despises and we are called to mortify (Meaning: To put to death. It comes from the Latin mortificāre, which we get "mortician".). I tend to fall under the latter category; sin is serious stuff!

(Perhaps I should have forewarned that this post is vocabulary-heavy; my apologies! I'll provide the meanings to some of the more unusual words. Both my husband and I tend to use words that many people don't know; it's a shame because English is quite a rich, if not interesting, language that has its roots in German, Norse and Latin!)

Christians are called to mortify sin, as if we're putting it to death; we are to despise it to death. We are to hold it in contempt and to loathe it with every fiber of our being (I don't think that there is any other English word that describes such loathing; "audacity" comes close, as does "repugnant" (BTW, that was originally Latin as well; we get "repugnance" from repugnantia.) and "hostile".)

Sin has no dominion (Meaning: Rule, control, ownership; Latin dominionem.) over us once we're clothed in Christ's righteousness (For we fall under Christ's dominion once the Holy Spirit changes our hearts and we are regenerated (Meaning: Re-create or make over; Latin regenerāre).), but it can still knock us off our feet and off of the path that God graciously carved for us; that's why believers are urged to pray, read the Word and to fellowship with other believers on a constant basis.

Sin may not own us, but we still feel the effects of sin from our first parents (Adam and Eve); we still suffer with diseases and ailments and we also die. It's how we deal with that sin (As well as the ones that we personally commit!) that matters. Do we turn it all over to a God that will forgive us yet calls us to despise the very things that we loved to do, or do we turn away from that God and continue to lead lives that displeases Him and depresses our souls?

Perhaps it's time to mortify sin (Put sin to death!) and to glorify God instead.


This Week in Scripture (and then some)!

This week, I'll be focusing on 1 Peter 3:10-12; frankly, my tongue can be put to much better use than sarcasm and condescending remarks.

The verse goes something like this:
For "whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Today happens to be my 30th birthday; I don't feel much older and I certainly don't feel any wiser. Thankfully, God has both of those covered (He knows how many days I'm to live and He's infinitely wiser than I can even begin to be.). :)

Maybe I should have chosen 1 Corinthians 13:11 instead to mark the occasion of getting older: "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man (In my case, woman.), I gave up childish ways."

For some people, it doesn't take 30 years to give up childish ways; some folks, however, can't seem to let them go. I'll admit that I have held onto some childish ways, but it's time to let them go.

Disciple's "Dear X" suits this succinctly; I recommend that, if you have not heard the song, you listen to it (I linked to a lyrics site, as well as Disciple's site.).


This week in Scripture!

This week began the Scripture memorization challenge set by Kelli of The Beauty of His Love (Hi, Kelli!) and I started a week early (Mainly because I'm weird and silly like that; apparently, people like that about me.) with Psalm 139:13.

This week, it's Philippians 4:5-7: "Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and minds in Christ Jesus."

I'm naturally an anxious person and a worrywart (My husband can attest to this, as well as several friends through the years!), so focusing on these verses should help the anxiety (It's all on the Lord's strength; I'm a weakling!). So far, this has been a tremendous blessing for me; I've been much calmer as of late.

After these verses, I'm thinking 1 Peter 3:10-12, which goes like this:

'Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.'

Not many know this (Until now, since I decided to let the cat out of the bag.), but my tongue gets me into a lot of trouble; I usually reply sarcastically or in a way that's inappropriate in one form or another. This challenge has definitely changed my perspective on things and how I approach people; I'm learning to be a bit more tactful and a lot less sarcastic. I think of my daughter and I don't want her to pick up Mama's bad habits; I want her to grow into a gentle and loving person that loves the Lord with all of her heart instead. There's no time like the present to start those habits that are much better.

A good song that plays on my friend Katelynn's playlist is Michael W. Smith's "Never Been Unloved"; it's a perfect reminder that, although I've been a lot of things (Especially toward God, which upsets me.), I've never been unloved. My gratitude can never be expressed because it's too great to do so.


Sustenance among chaos.

One thing that has been on people's minds as of late is a possible government shutdown (Another happens to be that another earthquake rocked Japan; pray for them and help out if you can!).

What people may not know is that the military is affected in a big way.

Members of the armed forces are considered as federal employees; federal employees will be affected by the shutdown by not getting paid or getting a reduced paycheck. Many of those are young couples that are living on just that one paycheck.

That said, I urge folks to not become anxious.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7)

God has this covered already; if He provided the Hebrews with manna, quail and water when they went on their mass exodus out of Egypt, then He can surely provide the necessities for today.

Jesus' message in Matthew 6 also covers this very thing:

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:25-34)

Even among what seems to be chaos, our Father sustains us. We're to seek Him; everything else falls into place (It doesn't mean that life will be honky-dory, but it will be more tolerable since the Creator of the universe is looking out for our best interest.).


Sorta related to knitting. :)

I was challenged by a good friend of mine (Kelli from The Beauty of His Love) to memorize Scripture (One to two verses a week.), starting next Monday (the 11th).

I decided to start a week early; since I love to knit, my first couple of verses will focus on that (Knitting takes a lot of labor and a lot of love; a person who loves to knit or loves the recipient of a knitted gift knows the difficulty and the labor it takes to construct a viable and practical (Or something not-so-practical.) gift.). :D

Here's my verse for the week (All verses will be from the English Standard Version.): For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

This not only strikes me as a knitter, but as a mother; my Bee (Now at 18 months old!) was knitted together by the very One who, in a sense, knitted the universe together and knows how many hairs (Including my gray hairs; eep!) are on my head. To me, I'm awestruck by that; a God who takes the time to count my gray hairs (There aren't many, as far as I know!) and knits a baby in her mother's womb is surely a God that is meant to be personal and personable. Add to that a God that is creative (A duck-billed platypus? Check. A three-toed sloth? Check. A klutzy knitter who prefers heels while trying to avoid a cat trying to trip her? That's a check, too!).

That said, throughout the rest of the year, I'll be learning and memorizing Scripture; thank you, Kelli, for the opportunity and for the challenge!

Knitting-wise, I'm still on my second Swallowtail; I'm a really slow knitter. :)


KALs and joy!

I recently joined a KAL on Ravelry (The Light and Dark Lace Club) and I received my yarn today (You buy a skein of yarn and the pattern comes later.); I must say that the yarn is exquisite and I'm looking forward to the pattern (I'm thinking it'll be a shawlette.).

I'm still working on a cardigan for myself and a second Swallowtail shawl; both are at a snail's pace, I'm afraid. I don't knit very quickly.

Anywho, my little Bee-nut is currently at .5 ounces away from being 16 lbs (Yay!); we've had a hard time getting weight on the poor thing, so it's a tremendous blessing when she does. Praise God!

Basically, I've been busy! :D