Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I don't know about you but Sunday mornings growing up seemed to be the morning our family fought the most. There was grumbling and complaining, and no doubt I did my share (especially if I had to wear a dress). Well, we are sinners and must be on our guard against sin in our lives but we also have an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy. He certainly doesn't want us to go to church where we get fed and encouraged in our walks with the Lord and where we spend time praising and honoring the Father. This past Sunday was no different. With a closet full of clothes I 'couldn't find anything' to wear. As I spoke my thoughts out loud my loving husband said, "First of all, we're not gonna whine." He was more joking than he was serious but I was convicted. That still didn't change the fact that I didn't like what I had on and still couldn't put together an outfit. Finally I found something I was comfortable in and that was decently cute for church. Nonetheless, Satan and my sin nearly ruined the morning. On the way to church I wondered how much of that was my sin and how much of that was Satan using everything he can to take my focus off God and onto self. I think they go hand in hand and for some reason Satan has pummeled me more in the last few months than he has ever in my life. Needless to say I was encouraged by one of the songs we sang that morning in church. God is so good:

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are
great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side, the man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same, and he must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours thro' him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill;
God's truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever.

If you think about it, please pray for me that I would not be unaware of Satan's schemes and that when he does attack that I would not believe his lies and succumb to depression and tears. Pray that I would put on the full armor of God and stand firm. And I will do this BY HIS GRACE. I pray you too will stand firm against Satan's attacks. Let us not forget we have an enemy that seeks to devour us and to call on our God, the Mighty Fortress that never fails.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

By His Grace

I believe a new chapter of my life is opening up. The title of my whole blog, "Live Worthy of the Gospel", comes from Philippians 1:27. Most of you who know me know that that has been my life verse since summer of 04. I sign every email with it. The truth of it is still amazing but I'm seeing it in a whole new light now. Before this summer I lived out that verse by doing missions. Now, I'm daily faced with the challenge of living worthy of the gospel in the ways I conduct myself such as in humility, patience, forgiveness, gentleness, love, etc. I would venture to say that I have realized that walking daily in those Christ-like qualities is harder for me than doing missions. So, now the phrase that seems to be coming to mind is, "By His Grace...". I will be honest...I have never been tempted more in my life to walk in anger and bitterness and pride and laziness and selfishness as I have in the last four months. I have given in many times to those sins and I have often given over my joy to Satan without much of a fight. I also have not been so pummeled by Satan's many lies before as I have in the past four months. He is the father of Lies and he is good at what he does. BUT...By HIS GRACE, we are more than conquerors! He has given me the ultimate victory over sin and death and Satan's lies. I spoke with a good friend of mine yesterday and realized we were both in the same boat spiritually. Married, single, it doesn't matter...when we don't choose the Lord we grow cold. Sin creeps in and brings death. But By HIS GRACE He never lets go of us. My friend said to me, "He chose me when I didn't want Him so I need to choose Him." That is so good to remember. Well, we sung a hymn this morning in church that I think applies perfectly to the situation. Here are the lyrics:

O great God of highest heaven, occupy my lowly heart;
Own it all and reign supreme, conquer every rebel power.
Let no vice or sin remain that resists Your holy war.
You have loved and purchased me-make me Yours forevermore.

I was blinded by my sin, had no ears to hear Your voice;
Did not know Your love within, had no taste for heaven's joy.
Then Your Spirit gave me life, opened up Your word to me;
Through the gospel of Your Son gave me ENDLESS HOPE AND PEACE.


Great lyrics huh? All I know is that BY HIS GRACE, and dependent on His grace alone, I will live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Once again (and my heart has been cold) my heart only desires that He be known, worshiped, and glorified. Praise God that He is a gracious and loving Father that displays incredible patience with us as sinful, adopted children. I pray I will rightly reflect the image of my Father in the way I display patience and love and forgiveness towards others.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Humility Homework....100%!

So, last week I decided that I would pick Jason up from school and surprise him by taking him to the driving range. He loves golf and recently bought some great clubs at Golf Galaxy for a great deal. I loaded those in the car and headed to Southern to pick him up. Instead of going home I took him to the driving range and bought the biggest bucket of golf balls available. We went out and found a spot and he started hitting. He said, "Do you want to try?" I said, "Absolutely not!" And then I remembered what C.J. said about playing lots of golf to cultivate humility and weaken pride and I kind of wanted to swing a club and whack a golf ball anyway. I took him up on 'trying' to hit a golf ball. First swing and a....MISS! Pride was shot out of the sky and humility was beginning to set in. Second swing and a...HIT! I couldn't believe it! Well, that was followed by about 20 consecutive swings and misses! I finally grabbed a couple of balls and another club and went to the spot next to Jason to go at my own pace while he steadily whacked the balls clear across the range. Needless to say, I killed two birds with one stone in cultivating humility and weakening pride (see post on humility): I played 'lots' of golf and I laughed, at myself, a whole lot!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 actually is a season!

Just for the friend Kristin Booth took these pictures...I had the privilege of driving around with her as she took these amazing photos! Isn't God a beautiful and creative God?

Monday, November 10, 2008


My heart is so full right now but I'm going to attempt a short, without further ado:

13 Ways to cultivate humility and weaken pride (Humility by C.J. Mahaney):

1. Begin your day by acknowledging your dependence upon God and your need for God.
2. Begin your day expressing gratefulness to God.
3. Practice the Spiritual Disciplines (He mentions: prayer, bible study, and worship)
4. Seize your commute time to memorize and meditate on scripture (God knows I have a pride issue which is why he gave me a job at a hospital 20 minutes from my apt.!!! He is so good!!!)
5. Cast your cares upon Him!
6. Reflect on the wonder of the cross of Christ.
7. End your day by reviewing your day and carefully assigning all glory to God for the grace you experienced that day.
8. Receive the gift of sleep from God and acknowledge His purpose for sleep (that we are finite creatures and will collapse if we attempt to stay awake too long!!! We are dependent on much more on Him who sustains us while we sleep!!!)
9. Study the attributes of God
10. Study the doctrines of grace
11. Study the doctrine of sin
12. Play golf (seriously...his rationale is that he stinks at golf so it is humbling to play it!!! I hear ya C.J.!!)
13. Laugh often, and laugh often at yourself!

These are from chapters 5-7 in C.J. Mahaney's book on Humility. Here are a few other quotes from guys C.J. quotes in his book:

"Fill your affections with the cross of Christ that there may be no room for sin."
-John Owen-

"How can anyone be arrogant when he stands beside the cross?"
-Carl Henry-

"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?"
-Martyn Lloyd Jones-
(Quote from his book "Spiritual Depression")

Last night Nick Bateman gave the devo at Sunday night church. He cried (I would say wept but I think he was holding back a little for the purpose of not having snot bubbles during the rest of his sermon!!) over what Christ has done for us. He quoted most of "Before the Throne of God Above" through tears. He went on to admonish us to consider, "Who or what steals your mind's attention and your heart's affections?" So, may we wake up and lie down with our mind's attention on the Savior and our heart's affections set on Christ and our perfect and sure hope that we have in Him!!!

How's that for a short blog? Fall pictures coming soon!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Live Worthy of the Gospel" REDEFINED

Identity Crisis:
1. a period or episode of psychological distress, often occurring in adolescence but sometimes in adulthood, when a person seeks a clearer sense of self and an acceptable role in society.
2. confusion as to goals and priorities: The company is undergoing an identity crisis.

This could be me the last couple of months. Lets have a rundown.
Jan 08-moving home to be with my parents
"Feb-March 08-teaching at CPCP and in Mexico on a short term mission trip
March-April 08-visiting friends and family
End of April/beginning of May 08-in Mexico on a short term trip
May 08-dated and got engaged
June 08- camp counselor in Ecuador
July 08- camp counselor in Canada
August 08- married and living in Louisville as a seminary wife on the hunt for a nursing job and a church
Sept. 08-joined 3rd Avenue Baptist Church (praise the Lord, Hallelujah and AMEN!!)

Needless to say I have asked myself in the last 3 months: "Who am I?"

I won't lie. I have struggled with significance and purpose. I went from single female missionary to jobless seminary wife. I had way too much time on my hands to dwell on sin and no church to serve in. I could clean the apartment so that Jason can have a calm, nonchaotic (I guess that would be the meaning of calm) refuge to come home to but that takes all of an hour or so. The apartment was clean, Jason's needs were met, and still I had so much time on my hands I didn't know what to do with myself. I was battling sin more than ever in my life it seemed like and I felt like I was losing most battles. What I was doing for the Lord felt insignificant. My definition of a life worthy of the gospel was missions. Going to the hard places and willing to be martyred for the sake of the gospel. That certainly is a life lived worthy of the gospel. No doubt about that. Paul was in prison for the gospel when he wrote Ephesians. But it's not limited to that. The second time we visited 3rd Ave God brought me a friend named Mary. God has used her big time every time we meet to help me along. I was telling her of my struggle and she said, "You know...there is a similar verse (similar to Phil 1:27) in Ephesians that stuck out to me the other day. Paul was saying that he was urging the Ephesians to walk in a manner worthy of their calling and it didn't go on to say what I thought it would say like 'lay down your lives for the gospel, etc'. It said to walk in humility and patience, etc." That hit me square between the eyes. Humility. Good grief. I need a loading dose of humility and then an IV of humility fluid hooked up to me on continuous flow. I have so much pride I can't stand it! So, missionaries are indeed people who live worthy of the gospel IF their lives are also characterized by what SCRIPTURE says is a life lived worthy of the gospel in Ephesians 4. So, my identity crisis I believe has come to an end. I am first and foremost a child of God set apart for His purposes and His purpose for me right now is to be a Godly wife and a witness to the gospel everywhere I go. THAT is significant. So, whether missionary or mom (no I'm not pregnant...yet!), a life worthy of the gospel is defined by humility, gentleness, or to put it plainly: Christlikeness. For me, that is harder than going to the ends of the earth and dying for the gospel. I would even venture to say that I need more grace to live here and walk in humility and go evangelize than I would to live on the mission field, although I need his grace anywhere I am. So, I mapped out Ephesians 4 in a list of do's and don'ts (what's worthy and what's not):

*tolerate eachother in love
*be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
*speak the truth in love
*lay aside old self
*be renewed in the spirit of your mind
*put on the new self (which is created in the likeness of God: righteousness, holiness, and truth!!!)
*lay aside falsehood
*speak truth to your neighbor (because we are members of one another!!!)
*be angry and not sin
*do good labor that you may share with others in need
*speak words of edification
*be KIND, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING (as Christ forgave you...ALL your sin)

*walk as the Gentiles walked
-futility of mind
-darkened in understanding
-excluded from the life of God because of ignorance and hard hearts
-given over to sensuality and every impure act
-greedy for impure deeds
*let the sun go down on your anger
*give satan a foothold
*let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth
*grieve the Holy Spirit.

Then, Ephesians chapter 5 starts with, "Therefore be IMITATORS of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."

I wrote a blog earlier about how our church search came to an end at 3rd Avenue Baptist Church (3abc) and how we need the local church. It doesn't surprise me that after Ephesians four begins with an urge to live lives worthy of the gospel that the middle part of the chapter talks about how Christ appointed by his grace apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers FOR THE EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF SERVICE, TO THE BUILDING UP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. Verses 15-16 say:

"but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together BY WHAT EVERY JOINT SUPPLIES, according to the proper working of each individual part, CAUSES THE GROWTH OF THE BODY FOR THE BUILDING UP OF ITSELF IN LOVE."

I have truly experienced this through the local church, the body of Christ. God used Mary to speak truth in love into my life. God used Dan Diffey to speak truth in love into my life as he called the church to be prepared for Christ's return by living a holy life, evangelizing, and bringing about the kingdom in our lives and others. God has used Kurt, our pastor, every Sunday as he preached through Genesis to show me the foolishness of walking in sin, God's judgment on sin, and God's mercy and blessing on His children. God has used the church, His body, to build me up in love. So, let us live worthy of the gospel and walk out this verse:

Therefore, laying aside all falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, FOR WE ARE MEMBERS OF ONE ANOTHER!
Ephesians 4:25

Whoever you are and whatever you are doing, the calling on your life is to walk in humility, gentleness, be like Christ. In all simplicity, that is a life worthy of the gospel.

So...I'm off to read Mahaney's book titled, "Humility." Adios!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The sinfulness of sin, the evil enemy, the 5 O'Clock news, and our gracious God through the cross of Christ

Long title for what will probably be a long blog.

Derek Webb speaks on his CD "The House Show" about how we are great at hiding our sin. He says it would be best if our sin would be exposed on the 5 O'Clock news so that we would have nothing to hide anymore and we could finally be real with each other, cry with each other, encourage one another, pray specifically for each other, rejoice with one another in victory over sin, preach the gospel to one another, etc...this is my version of the 5 O'Clock news because I'm tired of trying to hide my sin (and by hide I mean continue on in it) and pretend like I'm some spiritual giant trying to prove to everyone that I am holy and righteous and have everything figured out. Pride would keep me from writing this blog just like pride wants me to hide my sin. Well, I'm through with my sin and ready to walk in righteousness. I'm through spurning the Lord's grace in my life. I'm through loving the momentary pleasures of sin more than Christ who died to take the punishment for that very sin.

Yesterday the Lord, our gracious God, opened my eyes to my sin. At dinner I confessed everything to Jason and we carried on with our night as usual. When we got home it was as if Satan, the evil enemy, was awaiting me. He attacked me with shame and humiliation and accused me of being a failure and a disgrace and a horrible wife and a lousy daughter of God. He wanted me to believe that God was angry with me. I battled these things and preached the gospel to myself, "I am righteous before God in Christ Jesus. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He took the punishment. I should have no shame." I shared my struggles with Jason as much as I could through tears and I finally 'let him' go to sleep around 2 or 2:30 while I continued in the battle, still struggling to really believe the gospel. I finally got up at 3 to make the traditional chocolate muffins that my mom made for us on our birthdays growing up. While they were in the oven I sat in the hall and a song came to me. Keith Green put Psalm 51 to music so I just sang over and over and over again, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not from your presence O Lord. Take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation. And renew a right Spirit within me." (I think thats how the song goes). Well, I finally went to sleep around 4:30 this morning and woke up at 8 still feeling ashamed and humiliated. After a pep talk from Jason I do what I always do now when I need to think and process...I vacuumed the floor, unloaded the dishwasher, etc. When those duties were taken care of before our company arrived I opened up to the Psalms and started in chapter 17 since today is the 17th and my birthday...why not read the 17th chapter? I kept reading and read the familiar 19th chapter of Psalms but this time it really meant something to me instead of just being words on the page which the word can often be when I don't ask the Lord to reveal Himself to me by His Spirit through His word.

Psalm 19:7-14

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
In keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors?
THEN I will be blameless, and I SHALL BE ACQUITTED OF
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

I wrote this out in my journal and began to think about the sinfulness of sin. I remembered a preacher (maybe Jackson Boyette?)once saying that the bible describes sin using sin because you can't get any more wretched than the 'sinfulness of sin.' I somehow remembered it was from Romans 7 and I read it as well as a chunk of commentary on it...good stuff:

Romans 7:13-14 Therefore, did that which is good (the law that reveals sin) become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was SIN, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment 'SIN WOULD BECOME UTTERLY SINFUL.'

Here's the commentary:

Thus sin by the commandment does appear sin (Rom_7:13); it appears in its own colours, appears to be what it is, and you cannot call it by a worse name than its own. Thus by the commandment it becomes exceedingly sinful; that is, it appears to be so. We never see the desperate venom or malignity there is in sin, till we come to compare it with the law, and the spiritual nature of the law, and then we see it to be an evil and a bitter thing. 2. It was humbling (Rom_7:9): I was alive. He (Paul) thought himself in a very good condition; he was alive in his own opinion and apprehension, very secure and confident of the goodness of his state. Thus he was once, pote - in times past, when he was a Pharisee; for it was the common temper of that generation of men that they had a very good conceit of themselves; and Paul was then like the rest of them, and the reason was he was then without the law. Though brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, though himself a great student in the law, a strict observer of it, and a zealous stickler for it, yet without the law. He had the letter of the law, but he had not the spiritual meaning of it - the shell, but not the kernel. He had the law in his hand and in his head, but he had it not in his heart; the notion of it, but not the power of it. There are a great many who are spiritually dead in sin, that yet are alive in their own opinion of themselves, and it is their strangeness to the law that is the cause of the mistake. But when the commandment came, came in the power of it (not to his eyes only, but to his heart), sin revived, as the dust in a room rises (that is, appears) when the sun-shine is let into it. Paul then saw that in sin which he had never seen before; he then saw sin in its causes, the bitter root, the corrupt bias, the bent to backslide, - sin in its colours, deforming, defiling, breaking a righteous law, affronting an awful Majesty, profaning a sovereign crown by casting it to the ground, - sin in its consequences, sin with death at the heels of it, sin and the curse entailed upon it. “Thus sin revived, and then I died; I lost that good opinion which I had had of myself, and came to be of another mind. Sin revived, and I died; that is, the Spirit, but the commandment, convinced me that I was in a state of sin, and in a state of death because of sin.” Of this excellent use is the law; it is a lamp and a light; it converts the soul, opens the eyes, prepares the way of the Lord in the desert, rends the rocks, levels the mountains, makes ready a people prepared for the Lord.

So the Law of God is indeed perfect, reviving the soul. The gospel is indeed needed for the unbeliever and believer alike, daily. The gospel shoots down condemnation and shame and humiliation and does away with sin and exalts Christ and decreases us.

Oh that I would hate sin, take up the shield of faith to exstinguish the flaming darts of the enemy, expose my sin on the '5 O'Clock News', and trust wholeheartedly our gracious God who has made a way for us through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Church Search comes to an end at 3rd Avenue Baptist Church!

Praise Jesus! We have decided to join 3rd Avenue Baptist Church! Jason and I are very excited about this decision and this new community of believers to get to know. They already feel like our family! Here is a snippit from this morning's Sunday school and service:

The SS class was over Church History: the Early Church Fathers.

Gregory of Nazianzus (don't ask me who that guy is) said:

"For we ought to think of God even more often than we draw our breath; and if the expression is permissible, we ought to do nothing else."

Hymn from this morning: "O Great God"

O great God of highest heaven, occupy my lowly heart;
Own it all and reign supreme, conquer every rebel power.
Let no vice or sin remain that resists your holy war.
You have loved and purchased me-make me yours forevermore.

I was blinded by my sin, had no ears to hear your voice;
Did not know your love within, had not taste for heaven's joy.
Then your Spirit gave me life, opened up Your word to me;
Through the gospel of your Son gave me endless hope and peace.

Help me now to live a life that's dependent on your grace;
Keep my heart and guard my soul from the evils that I face.


That is such a great song. All the songs we sing up here are solid and filled with truth that causes you to reflect on who God is and worship Him.

It is so nice to know where we will fellowship every Sunday. There is so much joy found in the local church. We need the local church for so many reasons. It's our body. Of course we need our hands and our feet and our eyes and ears; not to mention our heart and lungs and other vital organs. It would be foolish to think we don't need them. Likewise, we NEED the local church that meets under the Headship of Christ. We need accountability. We need fellowship. We need encouragement. We need to encourage. We need to serve. We need to hear the word of God. We need to speak the word of God. We need to worship through song. We need discipleship. We need to disciple. We need the body. We need the gospel. We need Christ.

Thank you Lord Jesus for the church that meets at 3rd Avenue.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Beauty of Simplicity

Wow. I don't even know where to begin. I am sitting on my couch looking at our bookshelf that is slowly being filled with more books. Books about theology, books about the NT and the OT, books about counseling, the kingdom of Christ, discipleship, the puritans, and so on. All exist for the purpose of aiding us to know Christ better. We've been checking out churches so we get a sermon every Sunday and a sermon at Chapel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And then I go to Panera Bread to use the internet while our power was out and next to me I hear a dad helping his 4 or 5 year old daughter memorize scripture. Behind me is a table full of guys memorizing greek or hebrew vocabulary. I go to Java Brewing Company, again because we had no power, and the first book I see sitting on the coffee bar is Kingdom of Christ, a book belonging to one of our seminary friends. I walk into the entrance to the weight room and I hear a dad say lovingly to his son, "Son, do you know why you received correction?" By the time we leave here I will probably have forgotten how to open doors for myself because the population of gentlemen, or nice people in general, is overflowing up here. We can't pick a church to go to because every one we've been to is proclaiming the truth of God's word and loving people (great problem to have by the way).

Let's just say, "I'm in a bubble." It is a great bubble. I'm thankful for such Godly examples all around me. I really am. And I am extremely grateful, once we decide on a church, for a Godly, bible-based church. But you know who I have come to respect more and more on a deeper level? My brother-in-law Sylas and his wife Shea. They labor faithfully where these things DON'T take place all around them. Sylas, week after week, Wednesday after Wednesday, walks right down into the basement of FBC Eldorado and faithfully proclaims God's word and exalts Christ among those students listening in. He doesn't stray from the text and he doesn't neglect the hard truths but proclaims them with love. Not only does he proclaim God's word there but he lives Christ among the people in Eldorado. It's not just his youth group that know him...the whole town knows Sylas because he's involved in their lives. Meanwhile, Shea is at home raising three of the most precious boys on the face of the planet (I'm a little bias), cooking meals, taking care of house and home and Sylas' needs so that together they can minister. I can't tell you how many girls have come in and out of that house receiving love and biblical counsel from Shea. They press on. They minister faithfully. They endure. We ate lunch with Brian Croft, pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church (where Ryan and Sarah attend) and when he began pastoring the church 5 years ago there were about 30 elderly people and dwindling. He said that on the first day he was going to preach he sat in the first pew before anybody arrived and he prayed. He knew that if this church was going to survive, it would only be by the grace of God and by the faithful preaching of God's word. So, Brian has faithfully preached and proclaimed God's word these last five years and by God's grace, 3 years ago, God kept the church that meets at Auburndale from dispersing. Now, Brian continues to preach God's word and strives to disciple and train up the men in his church to be pastors and teachers. Brian reminded me of Sylas as well. Two men, two very different locations, both standing on God's word and proclaiming the whole counsel of God. God blesses that.

I don't doubt that God has Jason and I in this 'bubble' for a time being for our good and our sanctification. I'm excited to see where God will take us after seminary and what God will lead us to do. But in the midst of this bubble, this ideal christian world, it would be easy to miss Christ. For the simplicity of the gospel to lose it's rightful place and be replaced with all kinds of spiritual disciplines and 'good things'. All these things I'm surrounded by are good things and they are because of Christ. I praise God that dads are helping their kids memorize scripture and that there are dads that are disciplining and correcting their children and that we do have books to read to help us learn. I am thankful for all these things. But it is Christ that meets my every need and sustains and satisfies me. Not what is going on around me. It is Christ and Christ alone. What a beautiful, simple truth.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To Live is Christ....To Die is GAIN!!!!!!

So, the ministry I used to be with is putting on this conference that is going to be AMAZING!! You should check it out at:

Piper is going to be there and David Sitton, founder of To Every Tribe Ministries, as well as Brett Harris. The title is "The Purpose Driven Death Mission Conference." Sounds risky but I know Jesus is worth the risk. Dr. Mohler has been teaching on a year of living dangerously...our lives should be lived worthy of the gospel no matter the risks, no matter the cost! Jesus is worth it! Well, check it out and go if you are able...I have no doubt that you will be blessed!!!

If anyone wants to buy my plane ticket to Austin I would be much obliged...I'm only half kidding...although I'm hoping I have a job by then...I've had one interview so far and am setting up another interview with another hospital...YAY!!! Love you guys!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Life in the Fast Lane

So...we're pretty much settled into our new apartment in Louisville and I have got a hold of just a few pics of the wedding and Louisville. So, here you go...

The Wedding

Bride and Groom!

The Bridesmaids and the Bride!


The road to our Apartment...beautiful, Eh?

Bar-B-Que at the Butt's house...all the girls...and all from Texas!!!
(L to R: Sarah Bebee, Kari Plevon, Alicia White, Jamie Butts, Me, Kristin Booth)
And wishing we could add to the couch Shea Politte and Ashley Minor and...

One morning before church...we're still looking for one to go to permanently

Jason after a week of Seminary...

Jason with his new Spurgeon Bobblehead that keeps him company at his desk as he reads...and reads, and reads, and reads....

and reads...

I think Spurgeon has something to say:

“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”


“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”

Thanks Spurgeon for the words of wisdom!!

Well, that's all the pics for now! Jason is enjoying his seminary classes and is now working at Chick-Fil-A in the mall with the other half of Southern Seminary. Really, Ryan helped several of our Texan friends new to Seminary get jobs there and now they all work at the same Chick-Fil-A with other non-Texan seminarians. They're everywhere! Good times!

I am still applying for nursing jobs and trying to keep myself is a quote from Spurgeon that PERFECTLY defines my life right now...

“There is no fatigue so wearisome as that which comes from lack of work” Spurgeon

I have slept probably 30 hours of the last 48 and I am still trying to figure out why! Maybe I'm finally catching up on sleep from this past summer!! Maybe its the allergies...after all, we are in the Allergy Capital of the world! When I am awake I am usually driving Jason to class or work and running errands or reading. Right now I am reading Matthew and studying the parables from a book called "The Parables of Jesus" by Terry Johnson. This summer we taught on various parables and my desire to know them better initiated this study. I have really enjoyed it! On top of that I am reading "Feminine Appeal" by Caroline Mahaney and daily realizing more and more how selfish and prideful I am. I tell is one thing to know in your head that marriage is better when you are selfless and a whole other thing to actually live it out. The days I have been more selfless than selfish are the better days of my marriage. Praise God for His gracious grace and His loving kindness to show me my sin and then enable me to walk in truth and so make my marriage even happier! He is a good, good God!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ecuador, Canada, Wedding, Louisville

Not too many people travel out of the country for their engagement to two different countries and then come home and get married four days later. But...such is my life and I love it! Walking with Jesus is the greatest and most fun adventure anyone could ever go on!! So, now that I have time to breathe I thought I might give you the scoop on Ecuador and Canada and the wedding and Louisville all in one blog. Yikes you say? I will try and keep it short!! Here goes the picture story of Ecuador and Canada:

The staff at the equator in Ecuador

Camp Chacauco

Tungurahua...the volcano about 20 miles from Camp Chacauco usually covered by clouds

Syncretistic Catholocism dominates this region

The Kiddos

The Market

Team Building Time with Larrie and Angela on the lake in Ecuador

We stopped by to visit the house that Nate Saint and his family lived in while doing missions in Ecuador.

The basket they used to lower the gifts to the Waodani from Nate's Piper Plane


Staff trip to Ottawa

Lake Ontario

Jumping into Lake Ontario with all our clothes on...see me in the back with my hands in the air?

On to more important we are at the site luncheon where we met the people we would be working with throughout Kingston during our 3 weeks in Canada.

Painting the inside of a First Baptist Church Kingston

The week prior to this picture my group tore up the linoleum floor and Will's (the man on the right) group came the week after us and laid new tile for FBC Kingston.

All in all it was a great summer. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know everyone on staff and made some lifelong friends. The best part of the summer I would have to say was the time of worship every night of camp. No matter what was going on in my day, when worship rolled around, it was a sweet, refreshing time with Jesus, just worshiping Him. It was a great summer!

I returned home July 29th and Jason as well as his parents and mine greeted me at the airport. It was a sweet reunion!!! Four days later I was married to Jason Arnold and 8 days later we moved to Louisville, Kentucky. I am sitting on my couch in the living room in my apartment as I type this. I regret to say that I have no pictures yet of the wedding or Louisville but I plan to get right on that!! So, stay tuned for the photo story of the last two weeks of my life!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ecuador Here I Come!!

Well, today was filled with many challenges...the first being the daily battle against sin. I seemed to be on the front lines today with the battle raging on but Christ being all sufficient and mighty to save!! I hate being a wretched sinner but I love being a child of the King!! Praise the Lord for imputed righteousness all because of Christ....I love it! Well, I leave in approximately 2 and a half hours to hop my first plane of several before making it to Ecuador tomorrow (or today) evening!

I am so excited!! Tomorrow I will get to meet the staff and then fly to Ecuador with them and there serve side by side for the faith of the gospel with them!! What a life we have in Christ!! Oh the richness of Him!!

We will spend one week training and preparing for the day when we get to say "CAMPERS ARE COMING!!!" (Reminds me of good ole Camp Buckner)! Well, I believe the following Friday is when they arrive. We will have two weeks of camp in Ecuador before flying to Canada to continue camp only in a different country. Fun times!

Camp consists of running, breakfast, bible-study with the students (this is where we the staff of M-fuge come in), ministry at different sites/locations, lunch, more ministry, free-time, dinner, camp-wide worship, youth group time, bedtime.

My job basically consists of joy after joy. I have the privilege of teaching through some of the parables in Matthew with the students and then leading them in ministry at different sites in Ecuador and Canada. What a life!

I would greatly appreciate your prayers for me this summer as I teach God's word. Pray I rightly divide it and speak only the truth. Pray that the truth would sink deep in the hearts and the minds of the students that will result in a life of praise to the Father and a desire to make Him known. Pray for the people we will be taking the gospel to in Ecuador and Canada, that God would be mighty to save. Pray for the unity among the staff at Mission Fuge as we labor side by side for the faith of the gospel. Pray for Barrett, the camp pastor, that God would speak through him as his vessel of truth. Pray for those who lead worship, that it wouldn't be about them but that our hearts would be directed to singing praises to our King and Him alone who is worthy of our praise. Pray for steadfastness in all of us, that we would run to win the race and that we would throw off the sin that so easily entangles us and that we would press on to Know Him. Thank you for your prayers!!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mission Day with the Kids of Dayspring...

This morning I had the joy of teaching about 20 kiddos from Dayspring about Missions. We sang a few songs, I shared about missions, and then we made tortillas...La Barra style! It was so much fun to see the little kids roll the dough between their hands and smash it in the tortilla press!! While we were making tortillas, the other kids were playing 'Tina' (pronounced teenya), the spanish version of 'Tag'. Good times...