Friday, March 28, 2014

Just because....

Evelyn Hope..... You are so much fun!!!!!!! :-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taking God at His Word-book review

I was so very honored to receive an advance copy of Kevin DeYoung's new book for review, entitled Taking God at His Word.  It was refreshing, to say the least, to read a book with such a high and lofty view of God's Holy, written Word.  DeYoung describes the purpose of his book:

     "“The goal of this book is to get us believing what we should about the Bible, feeling what we should about the Bible, and to get us doing what we ought to do with the Bible”

(Excerpt From: DeYoung, Kevin. “Taking God at His Word: Advance Reader Copy.” Crossway. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.)

   I love this goal, and I do think DeYoung accomplishes what he set out to do.  In an easy-to-read, down-to-earth format overall, the author takes us through the doctrines of the Scripture, as laid out guessed it! Scripture!  Everyone can benefit from a higher and grander view of God's Holy Word.   We have an invaluable gift, and this book serves to remind us of the true purpose and treasure, and in fact, our absolute NEED for the Word of God in every aspect of life.  In DeYoung's own words:

     “No one makes it far in the school of holiness without hours and days and years in the word. You and I simply will not mature as quickly, minister as effectively, or live as gloriously without immersing ourselves in the Scriptures.
We need the Bible if we are to be competent Christians. The Bible will build us up so that we can endure suffering. It will give us discernment for difficult choices. It will make us strong enough to be patient with others and patient enough to respond with kindness when others hurt us.”

(Excerpt From: DeYoung, Kevin. “Taking God at His Word: Advance Reader Copy.” Crossway. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.)

     For me personally, I found difficulty in the approach that says God only speaks to us through His Word. Period. There was no discussion of Jesus' words when he told his disciples, "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7).  I agree wholeheartedly that God's Word is the final authority on all things! But, God reveals Himself to man.  That is who He is, it is His character. The fullness of His deity is shown in Christ.  And yet, Christ said it was better for Him to go, that He would send us the Holy Spirit.  This does not diminish my view of the Scripture, but it elevates it!!! I cannot rightly discern the leading of the Holy Spirit without rightly dividing the Word of Truth.  In our family devotions, the question was asked, "Why is it so important to read God's Word?" And my answer, among many other things, was that without knowing God's Word, I cannot rightly recognize His voice in any other ways He may choose to speak to me.  When I feel the Spirit say, "Go here." Or "Do this."  I must know God's Word, because it IS the final authority on all things.

   That being said, I think every Christian can benefit from the high view of the Scriptures as expressed and rightly defended here in this book.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

More pics....

Your special birthday necklace!
A new tie and dress-up shirt!! (Which, as a side note, you wore a dress shirt and tie with your black rain boots to the zoo. It was fantastic.)
Look out world!!!  Here he comes!!

Judah Sean-3 years old!!

Oh Judah Sean. You are such a sweet little boy.  You have the biggest smile. We have had so much fun celebrating your third year of life.  We went to the zoo on Friday, and you got to ride the train with Daddy!
We had our family lunch at Pizza Guru, with soda!!!!
And then we had family movie night at home where we watched Promised Land, a surf movie set in Israel.  Last night we got to celebrate with cousins at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  You were so surprised when you saw the Spider-Man ride-on toy.  (The pictures are on daddy's phone, but I hope to post them soon.) 
After each card from your cousins you would ask, "Mom, do I get to keep this?"
And then of course, when you opened your markers and said, "Oh, these are just the ones I was wanting."
You are an amazing, bright, cuddly little boy.  When we asked you what you wanted for your birthday, you said, "Well, I'm thinking about it..."
Oh Judah. We love having you as part of this silly, crazy family.  You teach me all the time with your precious ways.  I pray that you will always take the time to "think about it."  That you will carefully watch and learn the ways of our God, and then follow hard after Him.  Your name means "praise God who is gracious."  May we all spend our lives praising Him, who is so gracious....may we think carefully about His kindness and goodness to us, who gave us all things in Christ.  And may we live with the "full joy" that Jesus came to provide, and that I see so clearly in your big smile.
I love you Judah Sean.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full-Book Review

This is an amazing, Gospel-filled, encouraging book for moms!!  Reading this made me just want to befriend the author and sit with her over tea.  From a mom who is "in the trenches", Gloria Furman uses tons of Scripture to call our eyes back to Christ and the wonders He has for us as mothers.  The only reason that I didn't give this five stars was because for the average, sleep-deprived mom, there will be parts that are a little difficult to read.  Those same portions are well-worth the effort, however, and the mom who is willing to persevere will be rewarded--not only with deep theological truth, but with fun and down to earth stories about the author's family life along the way.
I would enthusiastically recommend to all moms, especially those with young children.  I received an advance copy of this book to review, and I think it would be an excellent choice to use in a small group study of moms.  The chapters are short enough to get through quickly, but packed full of Scripture, truth, and encouragement for connecting our day to day mothering with the beauty of our Savior.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The State of our Affairs....

Here's a picture of Emma and Evelyn's room in its current state:
Yep. That's real. Long story short....major plumbing issues....Ben was able to take off some time from work and save us thousands of dollars by doing lots of hard manual labor by himself. Well, Caleb helped too. We have been so blessed by a friend of the family who has been heaven sent to help us through the process. So. For now, Emma is in with the boys, and Evelyn is in with us. It's cozy! But as of tonight, we have working showers and toilets, so we are better off than last night. :-)

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Exploring Grace Together- book review

This is a new devotional for families by Jessica Thompson, co-author of Give Them Grace with Elyse Fitzpatrick.  I had the opportunity to review this book for Crossway, and I'm so glad I did. In short and sweet little chapters, Thompson gives a key verse of Scripture, followed by a "case-study", so to speak. A child is struggling with something, and the corresponding truth from Scripture shows clearly how the truth of the Gospel defeats the lie that is preventing the child from experiencing the grace and truth of Jesus Christ's lovel.  In closing, each chapter offers a few questions for the parent to ask, interacting with their own child, and finding ways in which they might relate to the what is being discussed in the devotional.  Overall, it would be very easy for a family to implement this useful tool, and I would consider it most beneficial between the ages of 5-8.