Saturday, April 30, 2011

A little slice of home

For all you (North) Texans out there:  Two funny quotes from displaced Texans in DC this week:

"I am majorly craving Joe T. Garcias and La Hacienda right now."
-Roommate, Ashley

"Moment of silence for Mexican food."
-Friend, Lindsey

BAHA. I love these two Texan friends! 
Grateful for little slices of home all over the place.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Godly Woman versus Wonder Woman

A Godly Woman:
A make-believe person whose lasting ideals often seem untouchable to me.

Wonder Woman:
A more graspable make-believe person whose fading ideals seem somewhat reachable and worthwhile (if I have enough hairspray; if my vacuum and Swiffer make my home sparkle; and if I've got a Tide Pen handy to get rid of the coffee stain on my favorite dress).


One of my new favorite bloggers, Jean from In All Honesty did an excellent job addressing this very issue.  I love this lady.  She's honest, witty, and brilliant (she wrote a PhD on the Puritan experience of the enjoyment of God. Um, okay. Amazing), and she writes in a helpful way, especially when it comes to pointing out what Scripture says a godly woman does and does not mean.  Here's a teaser from her post this week:

"I visited a friend the other day. She confessed that her cooking reached an all-time low last year when she made toast for her family's main meal - and burnt the toast. She has a large family, and the house isn't huge, but there's often a boarder living with them, and you'll usually find some of the local kids hanging out. She works in ministry, sleeps until 8 every morning, and the kids do their chores before she gets up. She's brilliant with a paint-brush or a spanner [ie: wrench. She's an Aussie]. When people arrive at the door, she laughs at the mess and asks them in. She has gifts of evangelism I can only dream of, and loves, chats and gently hectors her friends into the kingdom."

If you're interested in reading more, Jean has written a whole series on Biblical Womanhood.

 A few quotes...you know I love them and am bursting to share...from Elisabeth Elliot:

 "We are women, and my plea is 'Let me be a woman!,' holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is."

"The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of christian; but the fact that I am a christian does make me a different kind of woman."


"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."  
Proverbs 31:25

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The promise for a weary soul

Yesterday was hard.  Really hard.  I got on the metro and recalled the time last summer when I had a similar day.  I was balling my eyes out between the McPherson Square metro and Court House stop...so much so that a sweet man caught my eye and got up from his seat as he told me with his concerned eyes, "Take my seat. You need it much more than I do."  Of course that kind deed made me cry even harder.  Awesome.

So, yesterday, I held back the tears until I exited the metro and was walking amidst my fellow commuters (and excited tourists; how could I forget the tourists?).  Then I lost it.  Called a friend who has kindly entered my life as a sister and a friend.  She let me fumble through some thoughts and tears, and then reassured me of the truth -- that this time will not last forever.  It will one day be looked on as a breath.  And that I will make it through because my Father will give me strength.  I remembered from church a few weeks ago, that weakness is an advantage, as God's strength is made manifest through it.  Then she prayed for me.  We went to God together in prayer.  More tears came, but they came with the comfort that flows from a humbled heart and a fresh perspective that God is in full, loving, sovereign control of all things.

This morning I accidentally turned my alarm off.  Got ready in record time: 34 minutes (this should be an Olympic sport- just a thought).  Got to work.  Opened my daily Morning & Evening selection from Charles Spurgeon and read this:

"Are you faint and feeble because your way is rough and you are weary?  Here is the promise--"He giveth power to the faint."  When you read such a promise, take it back to the great Promiser, and ask him to fulfill his own word."  Morning, April 28

So, that is the plan for today.  Remembering the promises that God has made to me.  Taking them back to Him.  Believing He is actively working for my good and for His eternal glory.

Much love.

Begone Unbelief

Begone Unbelief 

1. Begone unbelief, My Savior is near,
And for my relief Will surely appear:
By faith let me wrestle, with God in the storm
And help me my Savior, the faith to adorn
And help me my Savior, the faith to adorn

2. Though dark be my way, Since he is my guide,
'Tis mine to obey, and His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken, And creatures all fail,
The word he has spoken will surely prevail.
The word he has spoken will surely prevail.

Chorus
Begone unbelief, The Savior is here (3x)
Though cisterns be broken And creatures all fail
The word he has spoken will surely prevail
The word he has spoken will surely prevail


3. Why should I complain, Of want or distress
Temptation or pain? He told me no less
The heirs of salvation, I know from his word
Through much tribulation Must follow their Lord
Through much tribulation Must follow their Lord
Chorus

4. Since all that I meet will work for my good,
The bitter is sweet, The medicine food;
Though painful at present, will cease before long,
And then, O! how glorious, The conqueror's song!
And then, O! how glorious, The conqueror's song!
Chorus


Hymn originally by John Newton (1725-1807)
Additions by Kevin Twit 
Listen on Grooveshark.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The One who holds safely all things

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy.  Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands."

Elisabeth Elliot

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh boy! (or girl)

Honestly.

Noah & Ethan

Can these kids get any cuter?


I guess the only way they could is if another one was added to their cuteness...

:)

Hehe.

Congratulations to my sister and brother-in-law!  Baby Watts #3 is due in the fall :)



"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward."  Psalm 127:3



Love, 
The Beaming Aunty of 7 kiddos

Saturday, April 16, 2011

He turns his eyes yet lower

"Thy gentleness hath made me great."  Psalm 18:35

It is God's making himself little which is the cause of our being made great. We are so little, that if God should manifest his greatness without condescension, we should be trampled under his feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies, and bow to see what angels do, turns his eye yet lower, and looks to the lowly and contrite, and makes them great.

How marvellous has been our experience of God's gentleness! How gentle have been his corrections! How gentle his forbearance! How gentle his teachings! How gentle his drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. 

Let gratitude be awakened; 
let humility be deepened; 
let love be quickened ere thou fallest asleep tonight.


A portion of Charles Spurgeon's Evening selection for April 9

Friday, April 15, 2011

World's best cup of coffee

Courtesy of google images
For the love of pete, please go out right now and get a cup of this deliciousness.  Or, visit my favorite little Illy brewery, Buzz cafe in AlexandriaBon appetit!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

116 insights into my soul

Okay, if you haven't seen You've Got Mail, you probably won't understand that quote...but this post isn't about my favorite movies anyway.  But, it is about love...

Have you ever read Psalm 116?  It is amazing.  Totally been stuck in it for days, I think mostly because of verse 7:
"Be at rest, O my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you."  

It seems that my rest is in direct correlation with understanding and believing that God is completely good.  Unlike me, he stays the same.  (Just take one look at my calendar, and you can see how many times I reschedule and change my mind, and  over-commit-- but... that's another story!).

I'm also struck by how God always (rightfully) vouches for himself, and he never gets tired or weary of doing so.  He is so patient to do this, especially when I function on the assumption that I am the one who is wholly good.  I can understand the Psalmist's question after reflecting on God's goodness, "What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me?" (v. 12).  The dilemna is that I have nothing to repay God with.  In fact, I have only my sin to offer him.  God's goodness demands that my sin be atoned for perfectly.  Herein lies the sweetness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God asks me to humble myself and recognize that I have nothing good to offer him (God's kindness in telling me the truth)-- and humbly repent of my sin and believe in Christ as the perfect sacrifice for my sin.  This is the incredible news of the Gospel-- God's love motivated him to pay what I could never pay:  "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:4).

So, the Christian answers the question in Psalm 116, by rejoicing in what Christ has done by humbly responding to the Gospel, and giving him my whole heart and life-- all my allegiance, devotion, and love.

Quick book recommendation:  My morning commute readings this month have consisted of the book, It Is Well.  It's a collection of sermons about why we need Christ to pay for our sin, and why it is the most important thing we can ever think about.  In other words, it's about substitutionary atonement.  It's an excellent read, and I highly recommend it!  It is warming my heart up to understand, love, and cherish Jesus more-- and it's preparing my heart for Easter (next week!).

Side note, this quote from Spurgeon is about understanding the need for spiritual food.  It is helping to  encourage me to persevere in making time for God's Word:  "We should come to hear the Word, like baby birds in the nest-- when the mother bird comes with the worm, they are all stretching their necks to see which one shall get the food, for they are all hungry and want it."  Join me in feasting on Psalm 116:

Psalm 116

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
   he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
   I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
   the anguish of the grave came over me;
   I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
   “LORD, save me!”

The LORD is gracious and righteous;
   our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the unwary;
   when I was brought low, he saved me.

Be at rest, O my soul,
   for the LORD has been good to you.


For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
   my eyes from tears,
   my feet from stumbling, 

that I may walk before the LORD
   in the land of the living.


I trusted in the LORD when I said,
   “I am greatly afflicted”;
in my alarm I said,
   “Everyone is a liar.”

What shall I return to the LORD
   for all his goodness to me?


I will lift up the cup of salvation
   and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
   in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the LORD
   is the death of his faithful servants
Truly I am your servant, LORD;
   I serve you just as my mother did;
   you have freed me from my chains.

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
   and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
   in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the LORD—
   in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the LORD.

Emphasis mine.

1 Peter thoughts

Thoughts on 1 Peter 3:  Gentle, quiet, meek spirit

"The quiet here is the absence of an agitated, turbulent spirit. One that embraces God's will for me, and finds peace in my roll and assignment."

My adornment is the hidden person of the heart.

How can I love in the way in which I've been loved?


How can I be more interested in loving other people than in being loved?


Big questions for me to spend time chewing on. Hopefully over a cup of Illy coffee :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If I went back to school, I'd go to...

The Little Flower School!

Courtesy of http://little-flower-school.blogspot.com


I love flowers. One of my favorite blogs is called Little Flower School, which is a compilation of bouquets photos and flower arranging classes from a New York-based floral shop. Check out one of their alternate sites: Saipua.  Flip through their seasonal arrangements and enjoy the colors of Spring!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grace: A person, place, or thing?

"If I can highlight the thought here: 
there is no "thing" that Jesus takes from Himself and then, as it were, hands over to me.   

There is only Jesus Himself.   

Grasping that thought can make a significant difference to a Christian's life. 

So, while some people might think this is just splitting hairs about different ways of saying the same thing, 
it can make a vital difference. 

It was not a thing that was crucified to give us a thing called grace.   

It was the person of the Lord Jesus that was crucified 
in order that 
He might give Himself to us 
through the ministry of the Holy Spirit."

Quote from: Sinclair Ferguson


Emphasis mine.  Read the original post on John Piper's Desiring God blog.

Wow!  What a thought!  The fullness of grace flows through Jesus to us... and yet it is completely encompassed in Him!  Big thoughts.  Makes me excited to celebrate Easter with an even bigger picture of Christ and all that God did through Him on the cross and on that blessed third day.

Bask in the richness of God's incredible grace through Christ.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Waterdeep

Been busting out the old school Enter the Worship Circle Waterdeep cd lately.  The song "Faithful" hit me afresh.

Faithful, you are faithful;
I have found nothing but good in your heart.

Loving, You are loving;
I am in love with the way that you are.

Thankful, I am thankful;
I had been running away on my own.

And then you found me. 

Oh how you loved me. 

I know you'll never leave me alone.

To that end, if you have a chance, check out CJ Mahaney's sermon at my church a few weeks ago, entitled Called, Loved, and Kept.  It seriously changed my life.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

He never began to love

"He began to create, he began actually to redeem, but he never began to love [...] Never did his love begin, and never can it cease.  It is from eternity, and shall be to eternity."
Charles Spurgeon

What comfort!

Friday, April 8, 2011

He asks for my weakness

"God does not need your strength: He has more than enough power of His own. He asks for your weakness: He has none of that Himself, and He is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in His own mighty hand. Will you not yield your weakness to Him, and receive His strength?"

Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A taste of His love here

"That they may not faint, that having a sweet taste of His love here may stay their hearts thereupon until the day wherein He will fully manifest His love unto them.  The Lord seeith His children are subject to be oppressed with heaviness here.  Therefore he gives them a taste of His love here that thereby they might be comforted when nothing else can."

Richard Sibbes on the Song of Solomon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring and showers

'tis the season for pretty things