Friday, September 28, 2007
Ryan's coming home tomorrow!!! He's been gone for two weeks now, and boy, do I miss him!
He's been having so much fun though. He's staying with his Aunt Erin, visiting with her and Jeremy. He's been over to Grandma Cindi's house to see her and Grandpa Casey. He's been to the zoo, bowling, golfing; he's baked cookies with Grandma, played with play dough(something that NEVER happens at home!) and he's had a BLAST!!!!
But it's time for him to come home. Mommy's MORE than ready to get her little guy back! I've missed our nighttime talks before bedtime when he tries to squeeze in as much talking as possible to keep from having to go to sleep. :) I've missed tucking him in and praying with him before he goes to sleep, whether for his nap or bedtime. *Sigh* I miss snuggling up with him to read his good-night books. Oh, it's going to be good to see him and hug him and love on him again! Phone conversations just DON'T CUT IT!!!
And we're taking him first thing to the park when he gets here! YAY!!! Family time is awesome! It's wonderful to watch him and Steven playing together. I usually just sit back and watch them, thinking about how wonderful it is to have a loving husband and two beautiful boys to share my life!
I can't wait for tomorrow! But I have lots to do before then, so I better get to it.
Bye Y'all!! ;)
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
That they will adorn the doctrine of god our Saviour in every respect.
Titus 2:10 (NASB)
It is undoubtedly true that if you are steadily determined to walk this path--to endeavor that your household may thus serve the Lord, worshipping Him in spirit and in truth--you will have need to use all the grace, all the courage, all the wisdom which God has given you. for you will find such hindrances as only the mighty power of God can enable you to break through.
You will have all the saints of the world to grapple with, who think you carry things too far. You will have all the powers of darkness against you, employing both force and fraud. Above all, is the deceitfulness of your own heart which, if you will hearken to it, will supply you with many reasons why you should be a little more conformable to this world.
But as you have begun, go on in the name of the Lord and in the power of His might. Set the smiling and the frowning world at defiance! Follow reason and the Word of God, not the customs and fashions of men.
Keep yourself pure. Whatever others do, let you and your household adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour. Let you, your yokefellow, and your children be all on the Lord's side, sweetly drawing together in one yoke. Walk in all His commandments and ordinances, till every one of you shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor (I Corinthians 3:8).
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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Friday, September 14, 2007
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you wil find it again.
Eccl. 11:1 (NIV)
You have taught your children from their early infancy in the plainest manner you could, omitting no opportunity, and persevering in it. If you presently do not see fruit of your labor, you must not conclude that there will be none. The seed which has long remained in the ground may at last spring up into a plentiful harvest. Whatever the effect meantime, your reward is with the Most High.
Yet, this is not all. Pious parents must take into account where their children are to be sent to school. The best thing is to send them to a private school, kept by a pious person, who endeavors to instruct a small number of children both in religion and learning.
When they have completed their schooling, you doubtless thinking of some business for them. Before you determine anything in this matter, see that your eye is single. Is your view to please God? In what emplyment will they be most likely to love and serve God? And do not regard if they get less money, provided they get more holiness.
When your son or daughter is of age to marry, you will have great need of wisdom from above. Aim not at what the world calls a good match but simply at the glory of God and the real happiness of your children both in time and eternity.
Daily Devotional Insights
Renew My Heart
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Daniel 11:33 (NIV)
We prepare our household to serve the Lord by instructing them. We take care to see that every person under our roof has all such knowledge necessary to salvation. It is our responsibility to see that our spouse and children are taught those things which belong to their eternal peace. Plan, especially for the Lord's Day, that all may attend the public services for instruction. And take care that they have time daily for reading, meditation, and prayer. Neither should any day pass without family prayer, seriously performed.
You should particularly endeavor to instruct your children early, plainly, frequently, patiently. Whenever a child begins to speak, you may be assured that reason has begun to work. From that time, lose no opportunity of speaking of the things of God.
But speak plainly, using such words as little children understand--such as they themselves use. Do this frequently, lifting up your heart to God that He would open their understanding and pour His light upon them.
But all this will not avail unless you persevere in it. Never leave off until you see the fruit of it. To do this, you will find the absolute need of being endued with power from on high. Without this, I am persuaded, none will have the patience sufficient for this work.
Daily Devotional Insights
Renew My Heart
Anyway, there's a few sites I'd like to share with everyone. These are places you can go to get good ideas, advice, recipes, and lots of other resources for living frugally and honoring God with your money and your time.
Living On A Dime
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
2 Tbsp. baby bath or shampoo
1 Tbsp. baby oil1 roll paper towels
Mix the water, baby bath and baby oil in an empty round baby wipe container. Cut the paper towels in ½ using an electric knife. Remove core from the center. Place paper towels in wipe container. Let the paper towels soak up the water solution. Turn every few minutes to allow the solution to reach the middle of the paper towels. If there is still a dry spot in the middle, add a little more water and turn until soaked through. Pull the wipes from the middle of the roll through the top of the wipe container.
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds neat. I want to try it!!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Hebrews 12:6 (NIV)
What can we do that all our household may serve the Lord? May we not endeavor, first, to restrain them from all outward sin--from taking the name of God in vain and doing needless work on the Lord's Day? Those you hire may be restrained by argument or persuasion, but if they will not yield, they must be dismissed, be it ever so inconvenient.
(Note: While I am absolutely not an advocate of divorce over any little thing, I do believe that Scripture allows for divorce in other cases beside adultery. I do not wish to get into that subject here, but wanted to add that side note for clarification.)
Your spouse cannot be dismissed, except for adultery. In other cases, what can be done if open sin is habitual? All that can be done is done partly by example, partly by argument or persuasion, as dictated by Christian prudence. If evil ever can be overcome, it must be by good. We cannot beat the devil with his own weapons. If this evil cannot be overcome by good, we are called to suffer it. When God sees it to be best, He will remove it. Meantime, continue in earnest prayer; in due time, He will either take the temptation away or make it a blessing to your soul.
While your children are young, you may restrain them by advice, persuasion, and reproof, and also by correction. Only remember, this means is to be used last--after all others have been tried and found ineffectual. All should be done with mildness and with kindness. Otherwise, your own spirit suffers loss, and the child reaps little advantage. Only do not think yourselves wiser than God. He said, "Chasten...while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (Proverbs 19:18 KJV).
Daily Devotional Insights
Renew My Heart
Joshua 24:15 (NASB)
Every real Christian will say, "I and my house will serve the Lord." Who are included in the expression "my house"? The one in your house who claims your first and nearest attention is your spouse, seeing you are to love each other as Christ loved the Church. You are to use every possible means that he or she may be freed from every spot and walk unblamable in love.
Next to your spouse are your children--immortal spirits whom God has entrusted to your care for a time that you may train them up in all holiness and fit them for the enjoyment of God in eternity.
This is a glorious and important trust, seeing one soul is of more value than all the world beside. You are, therefore, to watch over every child with the utmost care, that when you are called to give an account of each to the Father of spirits, you may give your accounts with joy and not with grief.
Those you engage for longer or shorter periods of time, who voluntarily contract with you for hire are, in a measure, delivered into your hands. For that period of time, they are committed to your charge as one that must give an account. And it is not the will of your Master that these should go out of your hands before they receive from you something more valuable than silver or gold.
Daily Devotional Insights
Renew My Heart
This is an area I've been thinking and praying over the last many weeks. The Lord has been dealing with me about my responsibility to train up my sons in the knowledge of His Word and keep before them their need for salvation. I've contemplated how exactly to go about that on my own, how to fit it into each day, and where to begin.
To pick up this book "by chance" today was anything but chance!! The Lord was reiterating what has become such a burden for me. As a mother, it is my main duty in caring for my children to direct their hearts, as young as they are, to the Lord Jesus Christ as the One and most blessed Friend of sinners and as the only Refuge for their souls. I hope that these devotions will be a help to you, as they were to me.
For starters, I plan to post some of the excellent and convicting exhortations our pastor has been sending out. Some are more lengthy than others, but all are worth the time it takes to read them. You might even consider them a devotion you can add into your daily quiet time.
As I am able, I may be posting daily verses and other short devotions, as well as, significant church news/events. Nothing posted there will be personally from me, as I believe anything associated with our church should be led by the men. I am simply the "secretary" of the blog! Any questions can be addressed to Pastor Audey Shepard, whose email can be found on Grace Baptist Coleman, Texas.
I'd ask that you pray for me as I undertake this endeavor. I seek to be a help to our church in such a way that will glorify God and be wholly honoring to Him.
So, stop by the blog regularly, and if you'd like, add us as a link on your own website!
By Robert Spencer
Monday, September 10, 2007
"I invite you to embrace Islam,” says Osama bin Laden in his latest videotape. Most analysts take this as pious window-dressing and focus on what they believe to be the more substantive points of his message: his comments on the war in Iraq , his critique of capitalism, the similarity of much of what he says to Democratic Party talking points, and the like. But in fact the invitation to Islam is the heart, and the most revealing aspect, of bin Laden’s entire statement.
The chief reason for this, of course, is because in traditional Islamic law, the invitation to Islam must precede an attack on non-Muslims. The Islamic prophet Muhammad makes this clear, directing Muslims to issue this invitation first, and if the unbelievers refuse, to invite them to enter the Islamic social order as second-class dhimmis, and if they refuse both, to go to war with them:
Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them....If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya [the poll tax on non-Muslims]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim 4294)
Is, then, a major attack imminent? There are numerous indications of that – suggesting that one of the primary audiences, at least for this part of Osama’s message, is the Islamic world. If such an attack comes, Osama has by means of this videotape attempted to forestall criticism by Muslims, and has laid claim to Islamic legitimacy for Al-Qaeda’s actions.
But there is also a still wider significance to Osama’s invitation to Islam. He offers in this videotape a cultural critique of the Judeo-Christian West. This critique doesn’t focus on the exportation of its immoral pop culture, which some think is the primary, if not sole, grievance of the Islamic world against the West; Osama doesn’t mention that at all here. Rather, he concentrates on its religion: “You believe with absolute certainty that you believe in Allah, and you are full of conviction of this belief, so much that you have written this belief of yours on your dollar. But the truth is that you are mistaken in this belief of yours.”
Why? He lists two reasons: “you associate others with Him in your beliefs and separate state from religion.” Both of these criticisms focus on Christianity: Islam regards the divinity of Christ as an unacceptable and polytheistic association of a partner with God, and rejects the sacred/secular distinction that is ultimately derived from Christ’s directive to “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). Bin Laden charges the West with “manifest polytheism,” criticizing its making laws “in contradiction to [Allah’s] Law and methodology.” This is an integral part of his invitation to Islam: since Islam is a political and social system as well as a religious faith, to accept it is not merely to change one’s religious affiliation: it would fundamentally alter the nature of Western society.
The call to implement Islamic Sharia law in its fullness as an antidote to the ills of society is resonating throughout the Islamic world, with severe challenges to relatively secular regimes being mounted recently in Malaysia , Turkey , and Pakistan . Jihadists base their appeal in the Islamic world on the purity of their Islam, and on the proposition that obedience to Allah brings worldly success, as Osama says: “And our holding firm to this magnificent Book is the secret of our strength and winning of the war against you despite the fewness of our numbers and materiel.”
Six years after 9/11, and a year and a half after Donald Rumsfeld observed that “We need to find ways to win the ideological battle as well,” the jihadists’ ideological challenge is not being answered adequately. Osama’s challenge to Christianity and advocacy of Sharia is an opportunity for Western leaders to stress the aspects of Judeo-Christian civilization that Sharia law denies: notably the equality of dignity of men and women and the freedom of conscience. But no Western leader will do this, because it would contradict the multiculturalist dogma that no civilization or culture has any virtues that any others do not possess. The centrality of the jihadists’ cultural challenge to the West, and Western unwillingness to respond to this challenge, is a chief theme of my book Religion of Peace? Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t, but it is getting little attention elsewhere; even conservative media figures are hesitant to discuss the cultural conflict. The ideological challenge that the jihadists are making to the West remains the single most misunderstood aspect of the war on terror. As Osama invites us once again to accept Islam, probably very few Americans would be able to articulate why they wouldn’t want to accept the invitation, and yet talk of Sharia and how it contradicts basic Western understandings of human rights remain taboo.
As Al-Qaeda attempts to follow up on Osama’s invitation, and Europe becomes increasingly riven by strife between Muslims and non-Muslims, it will become clearer why we ignore this aspect of the jihadist challenge at our own peril.