Monday, January 30, 2012

Mother's Heart Overflowing

Love this sweet picture of my two oldest sons.  Jared, rightful firstborn, born with Angelman syndrome and severely developmentally delayed as a result.  Jackson, firstborn in every other sense of the word.  When Jackson was a baby I would place him on Jared's lap.  Now that they are the same size, Jared loves to lay on his brother's lap.

I am so touched by the tenderness of this 18 year old for his 25 year old brother who will never grow up.  And I'm brought to tears that Jared seeks out Jackson.

I wonder if he remembers that little baby?  :-)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life in the Flesh

The past four Sunday evening services at church have been spent going through the study "Living the Exchange".

Tonight's message from our Pastor was so FULL of cleansing truth.

Life in the Flesh:

When we give in to sin it becomes easier to give in next time and harder to do what is right.  Why?
Mt. 26:41  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, 
but the flesh is weak.
Rom. 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, 
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

Is God unable to hear us or save us?  What is the problem?
Is. 59:1-2  Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save;
neither his ear heavy that is cannot hear:  
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God
and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

What causes the Lord to not hear us?
Ps. 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
 We rebel in one area of our lives and expect the other areas to run smoothly.  

The World:
1 John 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh
and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life
is not of the Father, but is of the world.

What does God call it when we try to maintain our relationship with the flesh?
James 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world 
is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Rom. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

1 Cor. 6:13-17  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them.  Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord: and the Lord for the body.  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?  shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of an harlot?  God forbid.  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.  

Rom. 8:13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

We can be separated from God - still have our salvation but no relationship because of sin in our life.

Lust of the Eyes - Materialism
Does the Bible say being rich is wrong?
1 Tim. 6:9-10  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, 
they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.

Who are we to avoid?
1 Cor. 5:11  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, 
if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, 
or a railer, of a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Eph. 5:3  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, 
let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.

1 John speaks repeatedly regarding habitual sin in our lives = an unbeliever
Lust of the eyes includes living outside of our means and not being content with the things that we have.

Pride of Life
can include cutting down others to make yourself look/feel better, refusing to forgive

What does the Bible say on bitterness/unforgiveness?
Heb.  12:15-16  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 

Romans 1-3 teaches that the flesh is wicked
Romans 4-5 teaches of justification through Christ
Romans 6,8 speak of sanctification (continued salvation), becoming holy, sanctified, is dependent upon the work of Christ in our lives
Romans 7 a a reminder of the war between the flesh and the spirit

Jn. 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing

Rom. 7:18-24   For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

Does any good thing reside in the flesh?  NO!
Can the flesh help me do what is right?  NO!
Can the flesh be profitable for sanctification?  NO! 
Rom. 8:5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Rom. 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Can we be saved through works?
Tit. 3:5   Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Are we going to continue working through the flesh?
Gal. 3:3  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh

Carnal = Not subject to God's law = Death

What about the man who depends on himself?
Jer. 17:5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

What happens to works done in the flesh?
1 Cor. 3:11-15  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 

What of Bible teaching done in the flesh? 
2 Cor. 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 

Anything not done in the Lord is what?
Rom. 14:23b  for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Why would the Lord leave us in these frail human bodies?
2 Cor. 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

December 2011: Gingerbread Houses!

We have never made gingerbread houses before - hard to believe, I know!  Well, daughter and I spotted some cute kits at the grocery store and decided that this year was the year to make our first gingerbread house.  And of course we had to buy one for everyone  :-)

Harrison laying everything out and getting ready -

The kits came with a wide assortment of candies - so much fun!

Rachel doing a beautiful job in spite of her cast ~

I think Harrison made Eve from Wall-E as his snowman - lol!

Beautiful girl and beautiful house!

Great job!

This is Jackson's house.  He and I made ours a few days later.  Notice the gingerbread man and the snowman are holding croquet mallets -

Here are the rings for the ball to go through -

And he even made a little cheering section of gumdrop minions!  :-)  I think they're my favorite part.

While croquet was happening out front, no one noticed that the fire got out of control and now the chimney is on FIRE!!

My simple house - lots of rainbow colors, and lots of candy everywhere!

I think I'm the only one who used all of the candy that came with the kit.  And I love the way my little tree turned out.  Frosted the cookie and then dipped it in green sugar sprinkles.

My gumdrop roof with colored sprinkles and a light dusting of powdered sugar.  LOVE it!

We will definitely have to do this again next year!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

An Unwanted Journey

Life moves along at a steady pace and after days and weeks and months and years of a certain pattern, I got lulled into thinking the pattern of our days would continue on the same way.

What a rude awakening I had when that rhythm was interrupted. Not by some disaster, nor anything traumatic. It was a simple decision by my husband to stop paying our mortgage in January of last year. Quietly done, yet after a few months irreversible, and the constant phone calls were a very noisy reminder of that decision. My name was on our mortgage, yet this was done against my wishes and I had no choice in how things would proceed.

Six months later, my husband announced that since we would be losing our home, he had decided to go ahead and retire from work at the end of the year. He is many years older than I am and I knew of his desire to stop working, but I had always hoped he would wait until retirement age, 65, when our children, or at least our middle two, were graduated from our homeschool. Instead, he would retire with a 17, 16, and 13 year old still home to school and support. Again, I had no voice in this decision.

The final blow came when I was warned that with our home being foreclosed on and his retirement approaching, I ought to prepare myself for a move back to our home town at the beginning of next year, 2012. No asking how I felt or what I thought.

To be fair, I must say that this was always our plan. We had moved here for his job, a move that I did not want to make then - leaving home, family, and everything I had ever known - to move to a strange place where I knew no one. And yet in so many ways this became home. Our daughter was born here. We made wonderful, lifelong homeschool friends here. Our children grew up here, with all of their memories of home based here, in this place that I didn't want to come. And finally, in our eleventh year here, we found a church, a body of believers to join. With love, fellowship, encouragement, and a beautiful Christian example they became our family. And now what had once been part of the plan was something unwanted. Something disrupting. Something to be dreaded.

My only real choice was: would I live out my faith in Christ as Savior and Ruler of all, or would I give in to the sadness, anger, and bitterness that seemed so natural.