Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

The past couple of weeks at our house have been really busy to say the least.  Good busy!!  In the middle of football, homeschooling, homeschool group and church activities my parents were able to make the long haul out from the great city of Midland, Texas to come to visit all of us here in Georgia.  And oh how I love having them here with me!!!  I have been gone from "home" for a long time, but it is still and I am supposing it will always be hard everytime they leave to go back.  I have GREAT parents.  You know when you are a kid and you think your folks are basically superheroes.....well I am pretty sure mine still are.  They are just the best.  The wisdom that rolls out of my dad's mouth is crazy to me!!  I wonder when some of that will rub off:)!!??  The sweetness that pours out of my mother's heart warms my soul.  OHHH to be half the parents to my children that they have been to me. 

I have been thinking a lot about home and what my parents have done for me in my life.  They have helped us in so many ways, but more than anything, my parents are transparent.  I know when they struggle because they tell me.  Their faith is the real deal. That is so rare....everyone (including myself) wants people to think very highly of them, of their faith.  I never want to admit I still struggle with sin....but I do.  I struggle with my words with my children.  I can be so harsh, so sharp.  I struggle with my feelings of inadequacy as a pastor's wife.  I don't love people the way I should.  At times, these sin issues can feel like a mountain....Everest!!!  I feel like Paul when he said (Courtney's paraphrasing)....The things I know to do....I don't do them.....the things I know NOT to do....well those I find myself doing all the time!  This sin struggle at times can be so overwhelming.  That's when God tenderly shows me something in His Word or through the thoughts of other Christians....I found this yesterday....

I was working on our music for Sunday....and we are singing "Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus".  Every now and then I like to look at the history behind the lyrics.  So I googled the song......the writer's name was Samuel T. Francis and he lived in London in the 1800s.  Although raised in church he really struggled with his faith.  It happened that one lonely night in London he came upon the bridge overlooking the Thames River and was contemplating taking his life.  Thankfully those thoughts were overcome by these......the depths of Christ's love.  These are the lyrics he penned.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
His life was life was changed through love of Jesus Christ.  I too have seen my sinks me to the depths.  It offends my family, my friends, but more than that it has offended a Holy God.  So what was I to do?  Still ,what am I to do?  Run to the cross of Christ!  It is there that I find that the penalty of my sin is SO severe that God Himself had to die for it.  It is there that I find that His love for us...for me is so great that He would willingly lay Himself down as the substitute for my offenses.  When lost I found refuge in the love of Christ....and as a follower of Christ I still find my solace in Him.  ~~Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus.....Tis an ocean full of blessing....tis a haven giving rest!~~  When I find myself entrenched in the darkness of sin, I still run to the cross.  It is there where my hope is found.  I am thankful for parents who were and still are transparent enough to show me EVERYthing  I need is found in the cross of Christ.
This is Sovereign Grace's version of  "Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Crazy, Mixed Up Day

               Today has been a LONGGGG day!  It started with the girl waking up around 5:30....just about 15 minutes before the alarm was set to go off....uggghhhh....I despise when that happens. I knew today was going to be jammed-packed full of craziness.  We needed to smush a full day of schoolwork into a half day....and there was a whole lot of whining going on when we had to wake up a whole hour early.  The reason for the rush was that I got a weird blood report back from the doctor and I had an appointment with a hemotologist in Valdosta....which is a good hour and 15 minutes from Waycross....the appointment was at 2.  Since I got that phone call last week, I had pretty much diagnosed myself with some sort of internal bleeding problem caused by none other than full blown cancer.....really I was convinced of it.  Come to find out, the doctor had misread my lab report and although I am very low in iron, I am not anemic and certainly am not dying....good news:)  I shared all of that to say this, which all of my family and close friends know....I am such a drama queen:) 

              But this is what I was able to think about for the last week.....I am thankful for my life.  I am thankful for my husband and my children.  When we were married 13 years ago, I NEVER imagined Jarrod would be pastoring.  I imagined my life much different....I imagined the things we would advanced my kids would be in school (I would be home-room mom)....the big SUV I would sporting around:)  Well....we live in a 1100 sq ft house which somehow we manage to do everything in....including I guess I DID get to be home-room mom, hahaha:).  And that SUV turned out to be a rockin' minivan.  Here is what I didn't.....couldn't have imagined.....that my husband would love me like he does.  That he would be so committed to see me grow in Christ's likeness that he would sacrifice his time and hobbies to make sure he helped to cultivate that in me......that laughter and love would ring throughout our little home, because though sin does abound here......Christ's grace does SO much more.....that my kids know more about the goodness, sovereignty and sufficiency of Christ and His sacrifice than I ever imagined they could comprehend at their age.......And although the picture of my...our life, looks different than I thought it's colors are so much brighter than I ever thought they would be!  I am so thankful that God paired me with Jarrod for this life and that He has allowed us to disciple these three children.  I am thankful for the crazy.....mixed up appointment that I had with a doctor at cancer center an hour from my house......for mistakes.....for forgiveness of mistakes.....of sin.....and for the life I thought I wanted.....that God was so gracious enough to not give me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Here We Go Again!!!

Well hello again:)  I haven't been blogging much.....I guess at all actually in the last three years, BUT it's time again.  I have all kinds of thoughts on my mind and am constanly thinking of how therapeutic it would be to write all of these thoughts down. So that's what you guys are going to get,  my not so profound thoughts that I have daily....weekly....or just whenever.  Thoughts about my family, life in the ministry, life as a wife....a mother....a homeschooling mother at that and more importantly, life as a daughter of the King.  In no way am I claiming to have terrific insight, but I know I have read thougths of others who have influenced my life toward godliness....I hope to be able to do the same for the two of you who will read this:)....My heart is to encourage....and let's face it.....better here than facebook, right;)  So, here we go again....happy Monday to you all!!  I am looking forward to what the week holds!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Madness

Well hello strangers, haha! I am sitting here wondering why in the world I started this blog. I mean seriously, I had such good intentions when I began this thing over a year ago. But come on, between moving back to Georgia, homeschooling, my new line of children's clothing (yes, I am a glotton for punishment), my bow business and of course life with 3 kids in general, things on the homefront have been a little bit crazy (as my 2 year old likes to say). So here I am pledging again to be more faithful to this blog, let's see if it sticks this time!

I think it time for a game plan. I have a great friend in the Atlanta area, with FOUR kids who keeps the balls in the air all the time and she has a FABULOUS blog. Let me give a shout out to Mrs. Genie Blazi, you should look her up! She is amazing! She has devoted a Thursday to blogging, I mean it probably doesn't take her all day Thursday, but if I wanted my blog to look like that IT WOULD take me all day. So, hats off to her and her awesomeness, and back to my gameplan. Thursdays would be great, but Genie has that day, so I am thinking something a little different. I am thinking every other Monday...... how's that sound???? I think the title will be Monday Madness.

Mondays..... you know the day after Sunday. The day my kids are asking me, mom do we really have THAT much school work? The day the house looks like a tornado actually hit the laundry room. The day that the toys are really going to find their proper location, NOT the middle of the hallway! The day I plan a menu for the following two weeks, which will probably take me longer than writing this blog!! Yes, Monday! Why not get all of the tedious details of life over in one day? That is my game plan!

So now that we have a game plan, I guess it is time to blog about my wonderful life and family! Well today has been a little chaotic (I did say this was a Monday blog). We got home about 10 last night from our FINAL drive from Waycross to Starke on a Sunday night (can I get a Whoop Whoop)! So this week is packing, packing and more packing. We move on Friday and I cannot be more excited than I am right now about it. God has been so gracious to us.

Ellie Kay is taking a nap, the boys are on a short break from school work and I have already gotten almost all of the kids things packed this morning. It's been a very productive day! Jarrod is studying at his office away from office (also known as Davis trucking), although I don't know why he can't stay here and study! It's so quiet ( I hope you feel my humor). So now, all I have left to do is cook, make about 30 bows between now and Friday and finish two Christmas dresses for Mary's store. Oh yeah, and move...... I am feeling the need for a brown bag.

I know I have shared this before, if not on this blog I have on facebook, but I am so thankful for church family. These past few months have been a little bit nutty with all of the commuting, but our church has been so gracious.... especially with the pounding:)!! I mean from the RV that was lent to us, to the house, to the pounding, we just feel really fortunate. Thank you Deenwood for loving us like you have. You know life isn't easy and I don't think it's supposed to be either. I mean this isn't heaven, so why do we act like it should be? Things happen, and more than not, not the way we would have planned. But this one thing I know, church family makes all the difference. God has given us such a gift when he gave us the local church. We are drawn together by the gospel and we love each other through it all! We love you Deenwood, thanks for loving us! We look forward to serving along side of you to share with others the miracle of the gospel and the power Christ has to change lifes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Man has this been a crazy summer!! In a few days it will already be July, and this I cannot believe. Most summers for us are busy, but for some reason this one seems to be especially busy. Our baby boy just turned six years old a few days ago and I pretty much went into mourning. They grow up too fast and in a few weeks Jarrod will be 33. THIRTY-THREE!! A few weeks after that we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary, which is also mind-numbing! I guess I am feeling a little nostalgic this morning. I remember being a "green" 18 year old freshman at Liberty University when I met this HUGE (and adorable I should add) 20 year old defensive lineman.

I am thankful for God's providence. Jarrod and I look back and we see the hand of God leading us both to Liberty, both with unusual circumstances and then leading Jarrod from a career in the medical field (which he planned on all through out college) to the ministry. I don't think we will ever understand why He chose to call us, but are so thankful He did. I am thankful for how He pursued us, even in our rebellion. We serve a gracious and merciful God. I meditate on the psalms quite often and can identify with the writer when He says in chapter 48

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.
Beautiful elevation,
The joy of the whole earth ,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
God is in her palaces;
He is known as her refuge.

For behold, the kings assembled,
They passed by together.
They saw it, and so they marveled;
They were troubled, they hastened away.
Fear took hold of them there.
And when You break the ships of Tarshish
With an east wind.

As we have heard,
So we have seen
In the city of the Lord of hosts,
In the city of our God:
God will establish it forever.

We have thought, O God, on Your
In the midst of Your temple.
According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Let Mount Zion rejoice,
Let the daughters of Judah be glad,
Because of your judgements.

Walk about Zion
And go all around her.
Count her towers;
Mark well her bulwarks;
Consider her palaces;
That you may tell it to the generation
For this is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide
even to death.

I am thankful we serve an almighty God whose glory is greatly to be praised! I pray our lives are continually echoing the glory of the cross, and the next ten years of our marriage and ministry we will know Him better and will continue to be transformed because of it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 2009

Ty was being so sweet.....
Wyatt was being so sweet....
Ellie Kay was just being Ellie Kay....

Ellie actually stayed put.....
The last picture before we headed off to church to celebrate the Risen Lord!!!
I came across this letter yesterday when I was reading about Adoniram Judson. I loved it so much I wanted to share it on our blog. My heart is heavy for our ministry and how God is using us and this letter encouraged and reminded me that serving the Lord is not cheap. I needed this and thought it may encourage some other believers - I have highlighted some of my favorite parts.

To the Foreign Missionary Association of the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution, N. Y.

DEAR BRETHREN: Yours of November last, from the pen of your Corresponding Secretary, Mr. William Dean, is before me. It is one of the few letters that I feel called upon to answer, for you ask my advice on several important points. There is, also, in the sentiments you express, something so congenial to my own, that I feel my heart knit to the members of your association, and instead of commonplace reply, am desirous of setting down a few items which may be profitable to you in your future course. Brief items they must be, for want of time forbids my expatiating.

In commencing my remarks, I take you as you are. You are contemplating a missionary life.

First, then, let it be a missionary life; that is, come out for life, and not for a limited term. Do not fancy that you have a true missionary spirit, while you are intending all along to leave the heathen soon after acquiring their language. Leave them! for what? To spend the rest of your days in enjoying the ease and plenty of your native land?

Secondly. In choosing a companion for life, have particular regard to a good constitution, and not wantonly, or without good cause, bring a burden on yourselves and the mission.

Thirdly. Be not ravenous to do good on board ship. Missionaries have frequently done more hurt than good, by injudicious zeal, during their passage out.

Fourthly. Take care that the attention you receive at home, the unfavorable circumstances in which you will be placed on board ship, and the unmissionary examples you may possibly meet with at some missionary stations, do not transform you from living missionaries to mere skeletons before you reach the place of your destination. It may be profitable to bear in mind, that a large proportion of those who come out on a mission to the East die within five years after leaving their native land. Walk softly, therefore; death is narrowly watching your steps.

Fifthly. Beware of the reaction which will take place soon after reaching your field of labor. There you will perhaps find native Christians, of whose merits or demerits you can not judge correctly without some familiar acquaintance with their language. Some appearances will combine to disappoint and disgust you. You will meet with disappointments and discouragements, of which it is impossible to form a correct idea from written accounts, and which will lead you, at first, almost to regret that you have embarked in the cause. You will see men and women whom you have been accustomed to view through a telescope some thousands of miles long. Such an instrument is apt to magnify. Beware, therefore, of the reaction you will experience from a combination of all these causes, lest you become disheartened at commencing your work, or take up a prejudice against some persons and places, which will embitter all your future lives.

Sixthly. Beware of the greater reaction which will take place after you have acquired the language, and become fatigued and worn out with preaching the gospel to a disobedient and gainsaying people. You will sometimes long for a quiet retreat, where you can find a respite from the tug of toiling at native work -- the incessant, intolerable friction of the missionary grindstone. And Satan will sympathize with you in this matter; and he will present some chapel of ease, in which to officiate in your native tongue, some government situation, some professorship or editorship, some literary or scientific pursuit, some supernumerary translation, or, at least, some system of schools; anything, in a word, that will help you, without much surrender of character, to slip out of real missionary work. Such a temptation will form the crisis of your disease. If your spiritual constitution can sustain it, you recover; if not, you die.

Seventhly. Beware of pride; not the pride of proud men, but the pride of humble men -- that secret pride which is apt to grow out of the consciousness that we are esteemed by the great and good. This pride sometimes eats out the vitals of religion before its existence is suspected. In order to check its operations, it may be well to remember how we appear in the sight of God, and how we should appear in the sight of our fellow-men, if all were known. Endeavor to let all be known. Confess your faults freely, and as publicly as circumstances will require or admit. When you have done something of which you are ashamed, and by which, perhaps, some person has been injured (and what man is exempt?), be glad not only to make reparation, but improve the opportunity for subduing your pride.

Eighthly. Never lay up money for yourselves or your families. Trust in God from day to day, and verily you shall be fed.

Ninthly. Beware of that indolence which leads to a neglect of bodily exercise. The poor health and premature death of most Europeans in the East must be eminently ascribed to the most wanton neglect of bodily exercise.
I have also left untouched several topics of vital importance, it having been my aim to select such only as appear to me to have been not much noticed or enforced. I hope you will excuse the monitorial style that I have accidentally adopted. I assure you, I mean no harm.

In regard to your inquiries concerning studies, qualifications, etc., nothing occurs that I think would be particularly useful, except the simple remark, that I fear too much stress begins to be laid on what is termed a thorough classical education.

Praying that you may be guided in all your deliberations, and that I may yet have the pleasure of welcoming some of you to these heathen shores, I remainYour affectionate brother,

Maulmain, June 25, 1832