Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christ is All

Boy, I'm such a horrible blogger! Dear me.

And there are so, so many things that I want to blog about. Christmas, music, books, my new room, my new NEPHEW!!! Inception, bread baking mishaps...the list goes on. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I will be able to post about most of those. But right now, I want to post about one thing.

Christ's preeminence.

That's a weird word, I know. According to my pastor, it only occurs one time in the New Testament: Colossians 1:18. As a church, we are going through the book of Colossians by memorization and the sermons. It has been wonderful! I have been learning so much. But the main thing that has taken hold of me is the fact that Christ is ALL. This was the main point of one of the very first sermons in the series. It's so true. Here are some verses that back this up:

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven making peace by the blood of His cross." Colossions 1:15-20

Try reading that by replacing all forms of "He" with "Christ". Notice how many times Paul uses the words "Christ" and "All". It's staggering.

This is how our pastor started that sermon. Do you see the preeminence of Christ in this passage?

This sermon was preached at least a couple months ago. Then, last night, I decided to begin studying the book of Hebrews on my own (I've been wanting to have more structured personal devotions for a while, and I decided to actually "start" last night. Our pastor had read a portion of Hebrews yesterday morning, so that seemed like a good place to start. Anyway.) I was so excited to find these verses:

"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs." Hebrews 1:1-4

Doesn't that sound incredibly similar to the first chapter of Colossians? I thought so, at least.

I feel like God is helping me realize how important He is, and how important His Son is. I know that sounds strange, but I'm afraid that He is not "All" in my life. Other things sometimes take a higher place. It's not like I actually believe that other things are more important, but my actions speak otherwise. Would I really get irritated with my sister if Christ was always preeminent in my thoughts? No. Do I desire to spend my time watching movies and listening to music rather than reading my Bible? Yes. Now, I'm definitely not against movies and music. I love both! And I actually think both can be very good and beneficial, in addition to being fun. I just have to keep my love for these things in check, and make sure that I don't stay up too late watching movies so that by the time I'm doing devotions, I can barely keep my eyes from closing. Does that make any sense?

Well, I need to get lunch ready for the kids. But, I do want to share one last thing. This is a song that we sang in church yesterday that really sums up everything I've said so far:

The First Place

by Matthew Westerholm

Jesus, the perfect picture of the unseen God
Maker of things we cannot comprehend
Wisdom, the earth displays Your strength and beauty.
Sovereign, yes, every throne knows You are God.

Every inch of this universe belongs to You, O Christ.
For through You and for You it was made.
Your creation endures by the order of Your hand.
So You must have in all things the first place.

Victor, over sin and death You triumphed.
Firstborn, You've shown us life beyond the grave.
Bridegroom, we long for You in expectation.
Jesus, Your church rejoices to proclaim:

Every inch of this universe belongs to You, O Christ.
For through You and for You it was made.
Your creation endures by the order of Your hand.
So You must have in all things the first place.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Alright. Well, I think I've just about met my previous record of not-posting. Oh dear. I must work on that.

However, now it feels like there is just SO much to write about, that I get overwhelmed.

Let's just pick one topic. How about school? Boring subject, I know, but it's kinda a big part of my life right now. Okay, never mind--I'll do one sentence about school and then write about something else.

This year I am taking 7 college credits (Nutrition, College Algebra, and a Child Development class that's already over) through PSEO, as well two high-school classes (twentieth century jistory and literture) with some awesome girls.

There. Okay, now you're a little caught up on school stuff. And now for other things.

How about muffins? I love muffins. And I'm sort of addicted to making them. Be they pumpkin, banana, or blueberry&oat, muffins are delish.

This is BO-ring. Soooo...maybe this is why I stopped posting? Hmm... Oh well.

I'll write more later (hopefully). I have a precious Morning and Evening to share with you all, so that will most likely be my next post.

And now, you have read the lamest post in history. Sorry. And on that note, adios! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Anne of Green Gables, new poll, new design :)

Hey, y'all!

I just got back from our family reunion/vacation. It was great fun. While I was there I read Anne of Green Gables and started Anne of Avonlea, as well as some other books. But this post is about the "Anne" series, by L. M. Montgomery.

Anne Shirley is the heroine of this set of eight books. She is an orphan girl of eleven when she is adopted by the kindhearted and lonely Matthew and his sister Marilla. Anne is a helpless romantic and uses her imagination at all hours of the day. She is dreadfully conflicted by her red hair, which seems to be the only thing that she cannot imagine away. As she finds true friendship in the neighbor girl, Diana, she also warms the heart of crusty Marilla, and brings joy and life to dear Matthew. I have only read the first one and a half books, but I can already tell you--they are books to be treasured. The characters in Anne of Green Gables are all so well-rounded and funny--you will love them all immediately. Except perhaps the dreadful Josie Pye. :) Anyway, I highly, highly, highly recommend these books. You will fall in love with the red-headed Miss Shirley and the wonderful town of Avonlea.

Okay, on to the next matter of business :) If you have already discovered this gem of literature, please vote in my new poll! Also, let me know who you picked. If you've seen the movie/s, you can vote, too! The first book is very, very similar to the first movie :)

And lastly, as you can see, I'm toying with the design of my blog again. We'll see what it actually ends up being :)

Well, I have to leave for orientation in a few minutes, so I have to go.


Monday, July 5, 2010

New Blog: Orange Marmalade :)

Well I have sufficiently neglected my blog, I think. This seems to be quite the cycle, does it not? Oh well. I can only do what I can do. And today I'm going to give you a real treat :)

A wonderful friend of mine, mother of two of my dearest friends, has started a scrumptious blog that I would like to share with all of you. It's called "Orange Marmalade" and it's goal is: "spreading the word on delightful children's literature". Sounds awesome, huh? You can visit the blog at: www.jillsbooks.wordpress.com.

Mrs. Swanson (the blog author) led my book group this past year. Thanks to her, I have found some of my very favorite novels, including "Jane Eyre" and "A Tale of Two Cities" and "The Three Musketeers". Her love of literature is irresistibly contagious--I can't even tell you how much I have grown in my own love of written works in large measure due to her enthusiasm and discussions that we've had. She is also a lover of our Lord, and an amazing person, mother, and friend. :)

One of her posts on "Orange Marmalade" has inspired me to find and read "Winnie-the-Pooh" by A. A. Milne. It is such a hoot!

So, I encourage you to join me in enjoying some delightful "Orange Marmalade". You won't regret it! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Love Song for a Savior

My family has just started a "Secular Music Fast" where we only listen to worship music for a while. I think it's a great idea, even though it's hard. :) Actually, the fact that it's hard confirms all the more that I probably need it. Anyway, I was looking through a bunch of my CDs, and I came across one by Jars of Clay--I think it was my brother's, because he loves that band. Anyway, the third track on the CD is this:

"Love Song for a Savior"

In open fields of wild flowers,
she breathes the air and flies away
She thanks her Jesus for the daises and the roses
in no simple language
Someday she'll understand
the meaning of it all
He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she'll pray,

"I want to fall in love with You"

Sitting silent wearing Sunday best
The sermon echoes through the walls
A great salvation through it calls to the people
who stare into nowhere, and can't feel the chains on their souls
He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on our lips
Someday we'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call us and we will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we'll pray,

"I want to fall in love with You"

It seems too easy to call you "Savior",
Not close enough to call you "God"So as I sit and think of words I can mention
to show my devotion
"I want to fall in love with You"
"my heart beats for You"

Given the "theme" of this blog, I thought it was a fitting song to post. :) Hope it gave a little sunshine to your day!

p.s. I think the lyrics are correct, but I found them online, so you never really know. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Drawing Closer to God

Lately I've really felt the need to draw closer to God. I'm not sure why, but I've just felt a distance between myself and my Heavenly Father. I know that nothing can snatch me out of His hands, and that He's always right there beside me (Owl City's "Meteor Shower" :). I think every Christian goes through drier times--or rather, what feels like drier times--but we do not need to fret! God will not let us wander away, because we are His precious children! Anyway, I really feel like He's drawing me closer in many ways, and also showing me how to draw closer to Him. Here, I'll explain a little bit.

My family and I started going to a new church a couple months ago. The Lord has used this change for so much good!!! Every week I come home refreshed from a time of fellowship with the body of Christ, a great time in the Word with all of our pastor's sermons, Gospel-focused worship, and wonderfully intense, sometimes interactive, times of prayer. Suffice it to say, the Lord has provided a place that my family feels "at home" and that we love! So, that's one way in which I feel Him drawing me closer.

Then, this morning, as I was reading Morning and Evening and my chapter of Hebrews, I came across these little jewels:

"The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee." ~"Morning and Evening" by Charles Spurgeon, May 4

and here is a section of Hebrews chapter 4 that really touched me:

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

I'll sum up with a short little prayer that all this lead me to pray this morning (hopefully this doesn't make anyone feel awkward, or like this is a lame blog :) :

Father, please strip all idols (I have so many!) away from me, even though it will hurt. I want you to be the only One on my throne--you're the only one deserving of that place! Thank you SO MUCH that Jesus came to die for me, and while he lived on earth, He was tempted in every way but yet did not give in to sin! Thank you that He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. How incredible to have a Savior who understands the feelings of the ones He is saving! Thank you, also, for allowing us--horrid sinners, yet by your Son we have become righteous--to draw near your throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need!!!!! What an awesome promise you've given us!

Anyway, I often times just pray the scripture I'm reading, whether by turning it into a plea or into a praise or into a prayer of thanksgiving....I think this one might have all three :)

So, be encouraged today, friends, that our Savior knows how we are feeling, and that God can and will strip away all of our idols, so that we might indeed draw nearer to Him.

"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it!
Prone to leave the God I love!
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners

This song ministered to our whole family on Sunday morning, which was even before my Grandpa passed away.

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.


Hallelujah! what a Savior!
Hallelujah! what a Friend!
Saving, helping, keeping, loving,
He is with me to the end.

Jesus! what a Strength in weakness!
Let me hide myself in Him.
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing,
He, my Strength, my victory wins.


Jesus! what a Help in sorrow!
While the billows over me roll,
Even when my heart is breaking,
He, my Comfort, helps my soul.


Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper!
While the tempest still is high,
Storms about me, night overtakes me,
He, my Pilot, hears my cry.


Jesus! I do now receive Him,
More than all in Him I find.
He hath granted me forgiveness,
I am His, and He is mine.

I was crying as I sang this Sunday morning. What a fitting, beautiful hymn! I hope that our Savior is wooing you to Himself--He sure is doing that for me more and more every day. Sometimes it seems like my faith/love for Him fluctuates, but in reality, He is "my Guide and Keeper". He is the one who granted me love for Him in the first place. He's never going to let me go. He is continually faithful. How I love Him!

p.s. If you haven't noticed, I love my Savior A LOT.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday: The start of a week and the end of a life

Yes, a life very dear to me. My grandpa passed away this afternoon. The Lord was gracious, in that it was a very peaceful death. My mom was able to be there with her father--she left yesterday afternoon after hearing Saturday night that he was in pretty critical condition. We had been busy making a cd of stories that we read into my dad's recording microphone and writing cards to send down with my dad when he flew there today. I don't know if my grandpa got a chance to see them or not--I doubt it. This made me so sad, because I felt like I didn't have a chance to tell him I loved him and to say goodbye. I spent a good part of the afternoon crying, as did my younger siblings left with me while my parents are gone. As I was explaining this part of my sadness, my brother Keith said--"Well, now he knows that we made him the cd, and he's probably listening to it right now!" It's true--my grandpa was wholly trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. We have full assurance of his whereabouts at the moment--he is home with his loving Father and Savior, perhaps listening to some stories and reading some cards from his grandchildren.

Maybe I will post more details later, when I have them. At the moment, I've only talked to my mom for less than two minutes, and so I know very little more than I've already written.
We're going to be spending the evening and night with my sister and her family, so that will be nice and comforting.

Prayers for all of us children at home, as well as for my other siblings, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, and mom and dad would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Hello Everyone! I don't have any excuses other than "school" for why I haven't posted in so long, so I'll just say I'm sorry :)

Anyway, in my devotions this morning I read this selection from Morning and Evening:

"His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob."
-- Genesis 49:24

"That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it isnot a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but whichends in smoke; it is true-divine strength. Why does Joseph standagainst temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that wecan do without the power of God. All true strength comes from "themighty God of Jacob." Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God givesthis strength to Joseph-"The arms of his hands were made strong by thehands of the mighty God of Jacob." Thus God is represented as puttinghis hands on Joseph's hands, placing his arms on Joseph's arms. Like asa father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear him.He puts his arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty,Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon thechild's hand, stretching his arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may bemade strong! This strength was also covenant strength, for it isascribed to "the mighty God of Jacob." Now, wherever you read of theGod of Jacob in the Bible, you should remember the covenant with Jacob.Christians love to think of God's covenant. All the power, all thegrace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all thethings we have, flow to us from the well-head, through the covenant. Ifthere were no covenant, then we should fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, save upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant God. Christian, it may be that the archers have sorely grieved you, and shot at you, and wounded you, but still your bow abides in strength; be sure, then, to ascribe all the glory to Jacob's God. "

Oops, some of the words are smooshed together. Sorry about that! Hopefully you can still make it out, because it is powerful and encouraging! I don't know about you, but I frequently feel my lack of strength spiritually. Not that I question my salvation, but sometimes I just don't feel strong in my faith. Like the ever-so-popular children's (and adult's) worship song, Jesus Loves Me says: "They (we) are weak but he is strong!" (now just picture a room full of 4-5 year olds singing that with only a handful of adults in the room, with heavy emphasis on the "strong". That's what I get to see almost every Sunday:) Anyway, to picture the Lord laying his arms and hands on mine and restoring my strength is a thing of great beauty to my soul. I'm falling deeper in love, people!

Okay, I have two more awesome tidbits to share with you. I received an ESV Study Bible for Christmas this year! And I've been using it nearly everyday (I'm trying to read through the New Testament this year). Just this morning, however, I decided to register my "online code" in order to view my Bible online. IT IS SO COOL! You are able to add notes, listen to a person read it (enthusiastically, I might add!), read the notes from the Study Bible, go directly to a linked verse, see a verse just by hovering over the bold type, and more! If you have a Study Bible, but, like me, you never registered your code, DO IT! You won't regret it. And if you don't have a Study Bible, I highly recommend one! It has been very helpful to me in understanding what was really going on in Bible times, and it has also helped me with theological questions that I've had.

Now for my last item: Faith Like Potatoes. I watched this movie with our small group on Friday night and it blew me away! It is a Christian film that is both encouraging and faith-building. There is one part in the movie that I had to close my eyes, and for families with younger kids, I would recommend fast-forwarding through, since it is a scene that involves an extremely traumatic circumstance. However, it really added a whole other dimension to the movie, and although it was hard to watch/hear, it was good for me. I hope to do a more full review on this movie later, but for now I'll leave it at that and add it to the "Favorite Movies" section of my profile ;)

Off to start my day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Extraordinary disappointment...

Well, I'm sick.

Yesterday, I was supposed to go to one of my best friend's house for a double sleepover and the long anticipated (by us) premiere of the movie Extraordinary Measures. But, I woke up feeling cranky and tired and terrible. And I knew that would be a rotten way to spend a double sleepover. Plus, I would hate to give my friend or any of her many little brothers and sisters my sickness.

So, I cried as my mom called her mom to say that I wouldn't be able to come. I was nearly heartbroken. I just couldn't understand why God would have me get sick at the exact time that I wanted nothing more than to hang out with my dear, dear friend. Why, after we had both been praying that nothing would go wrong, did He see fit for me to come down violently with a virus?

All I could do was think about the verses in the Bible that talk about God's love and Providence. I believe that God is Sovereign over everything. Everything? Even sickness? Even death? Even movie premieres and double sleepovers and teenage girls? Yes. EVERYTHING.

The following verse gave me comfort:

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

The truth is, I still don't know why it was good and better for me to have gotten sick than to have gone to my friend's house. But I do know that it WAS what was GOOD and BEST. Because I am a child of God, and He works all things together for the good--the further sanctification--of His children. Even if it's hard or difficult. What an incredible thing! What an incredible promise! Who is like our God? NO ONE! He is the best, most loving Father that will do what is best for His children, no matter what.

So anyway. Please join me in loving Him more and more every day!

Here is one way that He has blessed me during this awful virus:

Has anyone heard of Watch It Now on Netflix? Well, it's something where you are able to watch select movies and T.V. shows on your computer right from their website. Anyway, as I was looking for something to watch, I stumbled upon a FANTASTIC version of Jane Eyre. It was a 1983 version starring Zelah Clarke and Timothy Dalton as Jane and Mr. Rochester, respectively. They were phenomenal! I was enchanted for nearly 5 hours!

Also, I am in the midst of reading Sense and Sensibility, as I've stated before, so I've decided to put up a poll. Who is your favorite male lead in this novel? I plan to do more polls like this in the future, and I thought this would be a fun one to start out. Please vote for your favorite and then leave a comment with who you voted for and why!

Okay, I should get to bed...just one more thing. I wanted to let y'all know that I actually and genuinely enjoyed myself at Driver's Ed! My teacher is very fun and nice (he actually remembered my older sister and said that I look just like her!). There are a couple kids that I know that are in the class, one being a girl that I knew a while back but had fallen out of touch with. She's super nice and I went up to her and asked to sit by her. So now, I'm not stressed in the least. Praise the Lord!

p.s. I apologize for any grammatically incorrect sentences or misspellings--I'm exhausted and sick at the moment ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The time has come

(How's that for a better title?)

Well, here I am, at 6:47 in the morning, showered and dressed. What's that? Why am I awake right now instead of sleeping in my soft, warm bed? The answer is simple. Driver's ed.

Yes, starting at 8 o'clock this morning, I will begin learning all of the facts necessary for driving. I'm taking a class that is on Wednesday mornings for 15 weeks. I am insanely nervous.

Not really, it's just fun to say. I am a little nervous, but who wouldn't be?

So anyway, I hope I survive this class so I can come home and tell you all about it. :) I'll try to post later today, if not later this week.

p.s. any prayers would be appreciated ;)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Owl City

Okay, all of my post titles are really lame. No ingenuity whatsoever. I'll have to work on that. Anyway...

Has anyone heard of Owl City/Adam Young? He's a guy from a just an hour south of where I live. As the story goes, he started making music on the computer in his parents' basement in the middle of the night as a result of insomnia. Some of my friends really liked him and so I thought I'd look him up. I really liked what I heard, and Amazon was selling his new cd (a download, like iTunes for people like me that don't have real iPods) for $6, so I bought it. I LOVE IT! The songs are super sweet and happy. You have to come over so I can play them for you. Well, I guess you might not like it unless you are like me and don't mind a little cheesiness for the sake of utter sweetness and cuteness! I listen to it while I do Algebra 2 and my lit. study guides. The songs make me so happy. Even my mom likes him!

And on top of all of that awesomeness...he's a Christian! I don't have a twitter account, but I saw on his website a tweet that was talking about glorifying Christ Jesus. Actually, he's been to my church and he really likes my pastor. Well, our church is split into three campuses, so he's been to the southern-most one, but it still counts, right? :)

So, now I'm jealous of my friends who first told me about him because they are going to one of his concerts in May. How cool is that?!?!

Anyway, you should listen to him and let me know what you think! And if you've already been exposed to this happiness, tell me your favorite songs. My favorite by far is Vanilla Twilight. So. Stinkin'. Sweet.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sense and Sensibility

Well, so far for my book group I've read: Wuthering Heights, The Three Musketeers, and Frankenstein and now it's on to Sense and Sensibility. I'm very happy about this selection, as you may have guessed :). I love both movie versions that I've seen and I've started the book more than once but I have never finished it. Part of what I love about having a book group is that you have to finish. And it's fun, too! Trying to figure out what other people will think, mentally "bookmarking" an especially touching moment so that you can share it with a group, and, well, just talking about any book makes it so much better and more in depth. Speaking of which, I have yet to read more than half of this week's assignment, so I'd better get off of Blogger and get into the world of the Dashwood sisters, Colonel Brandon, Willoughby, and Edward Ferrars. Farewell!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Amy has a blog!

My sister Amy now has a blog, at www.hehassavedme.blogspot.com. The name of her blog is "Coming to Jesus". She's only 9, so I don't expect her posts to be very regular, but they are so sweet when they come that I thought it might be worth it for you to become a follower. :)

I'm so sorry...

...that I haven't posted in so long!!! The holidays etc. had totally taken over my life, but now that we are starting school again (well, we will on Monday) I'm hoping to take over the reigns again. Hopefully this will mean that my New Year's resolutions will be able to actually happen. Here they are:

1. Personal daily devotions in the morning (I am reading through the New Testament at night, but I think it would be best to start my day in the Word. I'm also hoping to start journaling more.)
2. Blogging more often (at least 2-3 times per week, hopefully even more)
3. Exercise and drink lots of water! (Ideally, I'd like to exercise every school day, but I'd be happy if I did Mon-Wed-Fri faithfully!)

Well, I'm hoping to post more about each holiday soon, (and maybe even with pictures!) but I don't have the time right now. I'll just say that my family had a wonderful, peaceful holiday season, remembering Jesus throughout the precious time :)