Wednesday, February 24, 2010

3,000 Bracelets Campaign

Happy Hump Day! I know I'm excited. This has been a pretty busy week. I have been with my fourth graders and it has been so wonderful and such great experience. Today I was formally observed and after being more nervous than I should have supervisor gave me great scores and great feedback. I was thrilled!

Tonight I want to tell you about a unique opportunity. After reading so much about Katie and her life in Uganda, I have been fascinated by reading adoption stories. Adoptions bring so much joy to so many. I know that we have dear friends who have adopted. Carter brings so much joy to Chris and Julie and you can read their story and why they decided to adopt here. But...I found this blog about another family and from what I have read I think they have already adopted a child from Russia and one from China. They are in the process of adopting another precious girl from China. Her name is Isabella. You can find the story of their process of adopting here. So...they have begun what they call the "3,000 Bracelets Campaign." You can buy these adorable bracelets and help this family bring their daughter home. After I found it...I showed it to mom....and we went crazy. :) We got several bracelets including a couple of these....
I personally think they are so fun and can't wait till we receive ours!
Click here to order...
Help this family bring Isabella home!
Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sweet Words

"The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
-Psalm 27

This is one of my favorite passages in Scripture. My favorite is verse 4 about dwelling in the house of the Lord. I cannot tell you how often I think, "Lord, please just return and take me home today!" No, I don't wish for death and in my selfishness I often have my list of things I want to happen before I spend eternity with Christ (how dumb does that sound?). I want to get married, have children and be a mom, have my own classroom, etc. These are not wrong desires....but silly in comparison to spending eternity with my Heavenly Father. I desire to be content with whatever He allows me to experience while I am on this earth and I desire to be ready to depart when He calls me home. How comforting to know that God offers us help for today and hope for our future! Confidence in God is our remedy for fear and loneliness. May these sweet words encourage you!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back to the Grind

Good Afternoon Friends! I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend! There hasn't been too much going on around here. Thankfully, I have had a few days to just relax. We have had a couple of really beautiful days which have made me long for summer all the more! I am ready for consistent warm weather, the beach, a tan, watermelon, flip-flops, tank tops, pool days, lemonade, summer nights, and no school. Mmm....

Anyways, no more of that talk because it is not summer yet! Brett's parents came into town this weekend. It was great to spend the weekend with them! Yesterday was absolutely beautiful so we took Outlaw, Drew and Brett's dog, to the park to walk. He loved it. We loved it. Last night Brett and I cooked for his family and we watched the Olympics. We made chicken parmesan and it was delicious. For dessert... chocolate-chip cookie dough dessert. I have made this easy dessert probably 30 times. All credit for this goes to my dear friend Katherine and her family. Katherine's mom made this for us all the time when we came over in high school. I have passed the recipe on to many other friends so I suppose I will share.

First, spread a roll of cookie dough on the bottom of a 13x9 dish. Mix one egg, a cup of sugar, and an 8 oz package of cream cheese. Spread this one top of the cookie dough then break another roll into pieces on top. Oven on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. So easy. So good. Enjoy!

This week is going to be looooong. I don't have classes so I will be with my fourth graders all week! I am excited. I guess I better be considering this is what I will be doing when I graduate! :) I will be teaching two more of my own lesson plans so hopefully they go well! I will be going to bed early and waking up early all week. So...I am relaxing this afternoon.

Before I depart from this fascinating post :) I want to tell you about church this morning. As I have mentioned before, we are going through the book of Genesis. This morning we were in chapter 25 discussing when Jacob and Esau were born. The overall point that Jack started with was that, "Families Can Cause Problems." This is different because so often we think that our families solve problems and make things so much better. If you think about Jacob and Esau, there was conflict from the beginning.

"The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, 'Why is this happening to me? So she went to inquire of the Lord.' The Lord said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.'" -Genesis 25:21-23

The Lord was telling Rebekah that she was going to have twins and that they were already at odds with one another. Also, normally the birthright is given to the oldest son which we will find out is Esau. The Lord is telling Rebekah that in her sons case this will be opposite. In verses 29-34 Esau comes in to get something to eat. He asks Jacob for some stew and Jacob says he will give him some of Esau will sell him his birthright. Just as the Lord told Rebekah, Esau agrees. Jacob's name means "trickster" which is appropriate. In this situation we see Esau give up a promise from God for instant gratification. He invested greater value in a bowl of stew than in a promise from the Lord! At first I am thinking, this is crazy but then Jack went on to say that so often, we are Esau. We sell the greater things that God has for us for the things of this world....only to be hungry again. Basically, our families are not solutions to our problems. We cannot value our relationships with our friends, parents, children, or anyone else more than our relationship with Christ. A relationship with Christ is the only solution, the only thing that can satisfy us. Have I mentioned I love my church? I love that we study full books of the Bible. I learn so much!

Well, I am off to enjoy the rest of my afternoon before I head back to the grind. Have a relaxing Sunday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Early Weekend

Hello folks! I hope your week has been good so far! I just couldn't be more excited because it is officially the weekend for me! For the rest of you, I am sorry but it is hump day so that is something to be happy about! Also, I have a new addition to my room.
We have these all over our house. They are wall words. There are all sorts of quotes and verses that you can get printed in all different fonts and colors. I had been wanting one for a while and finally got one. I think that this verse is suitable and I will see it every night before I go to bed. I LOVE it! I am so thankful for the promise that my Father will make me dwell in safety. I plan on having these verses everywhere in my home one day!

Sorry for the short, seemingly pointless post... :)
Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, February 15, 2010

An Uncomfortable Request

Hello all! Hope your Monday was not too bad! This past weekend I read a blog that I have mentioned on here before but this weekend the story posted was truly humbling. I honestly have not been able to stop thinking about it since I read it. I am sure you remember Katie who I have talked about before. I do not even know her and she is miles and miles away but I am so blessed by this girl! I won't spill her story on here but I would encourage you to go to her blog. Basically, the post is about how she ended up in Uganda. It is so real and convicting.

A few summers ago I went to Panama City Beach, Florida for my very first Summer Beach Project. It was the most amazing, life-changing summer. I went with an organization called Campus Outreach. The Lord used that summer to show and teach me so much. As I think back, I remember struggling over something that was said at a session. A missionary and friend of our family spoke about living in Kazakhstan and one thing that she said was, "be prepared to go, but be willing to stay." That statement really hit me hard. I looked around after each speaker came up and those around me were all talking about how much they felt called to go overseas. I kept thinking to myself, "I really just do not feel that tug on my heart. I honestly have never felt called to go and live." I then began to feel like I was selfish. I have never been opposed to short-term trips overseas. I spent over two months in Belo Horizonte, Brazil this summer and it was such an amazing experience. I would not at all mind going back or going somewhere else.

The realization is that we are all called to go. Those famous words of the great commission tell us, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." -Matthew 28:18-20

No, God does not have each of us to go to another country and be a missionary for years and years. Those who are called to be doctors, accountants, teachers, coaches, and moms are just as important. As I sat and thought about how I did not feel called to live my life in another country I couldn't help but feel guilty. I have learned more and more that I am responsible to show the love of Christ everywhere I go and the gospel should be preached by the way I live my life. Don't get me wrong, I hope that if the Lord called me to go, that I would immediately be obedient and pack my bags. However, even if He doesn't call me to be uncomfortable overseas, I am still called to be uncomfortable.

As I read Katie's post about all that she gave up to live in Uganda I thought, "This is how it really is. This is how much of a struggle it would be to leave my friends, family, comfort, and plans." As I said, I have learned a lot. I don't know if God might have me to go and live somewhere else one day but all I can do is continue to live my life in obedience. I know that this requires me to continually spend time with my Savior and continue to know Him so that I might know His voice and hear Him when He calls.

This is just something that had been on my heart since I read Katie's blog. I would encourage you to continue to pray for Katie and others who are serving the Lord in other countries. I am sure that life is so rewarding but that there are so many struggles that we could never understand. Remember, "be prepared to go, but be willing to stay" and may we all strive to live uncomfortably.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Wins

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! I hope that you all had a great day and got to spend time with friends, family, or that special someone. Luckily, I got to spend time with all of the above. All in all, a good day.
With all of the Valentine's day hype I couldn't help but be reminded of a God who loves me more than I could ever fathom. Don't get me wrong....the smell of fresh roses filling my room thanks to my sweet boyfriend is great. Also, a lot has happened since last Valentine's day. This is the year I fell in love for the first time. So...I like Valentine's day....but I was just reminded of a few verses and I thought I'd share in honor of this holiday.

"Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you." -Psalm 63:3

"Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back." -Isaiah 38:17

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." -1 John 4:18-19
What an amazing promise!

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." -John 14:21

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." -1 John 4:8

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:8
The Gospel! I am so thankful!

"Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." -Psalm 36:5

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" -1 John 3:1

And of course......
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
-1 Corinthians 13:4-9

I pray that we all would dwell on these promises and remember that nothing in this world can ever satisfy. He loves you more than anyone on this earth ever could and is the only one who could love us so perfectly!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Today Was A Fairy Tale..

"But can you feel this magic in the air? It must have been the way you kissed me... Fell in love when I saw you standing there it must have been the way... today was a fairy tale. It must have been they way.. today was a fairy tale!"

I don't know why but I felt that this song was appropriate for today...I like Taylor Swift and I don't mind admitting it! :) Well, as you know...there was a bit of magic in the air today! It was one of those days that I just have to give an A+. Last night we heard that we were going to get some snow on the ground today so we were as excited as ever! Okay....let me just say this about myself. It does not take much to excite me. I am the type who, at 21 years of age, would still wake up at 6 am on Christmas morning, knowing all I was going to get was clothes! I just get really excited! So..with just the prospect of snow I was a giddy girl!

I woke up at 7....and nothing. Rain, rain, and more rain. I did not give up! As I waited...I spent the morning in bed spending time with the Lord and reading! It was so nice to just relax. We serve a graceful and forgiving God and I am so thankful!

Around 10:30 I glance out the window and finally that rain turned to some beautiful white flakes!! I throw on my boots and grab the camera and run downstairs. I called Brett, woke him up, and told him to HURRY AND COME OVER!! He wasn't nearly as pumped as I was... :)
It snowed pretty steadily for a little over 2 hours. No, none of it stuck at my house but I was thrilled to have flurries and flakes just the same! to change topics a bit.. I have been studying through the book of John in my personal time in the Word. I have been studying with Bible Study Fellowship and one of the questions this week was, "What is one truth you have learned this year but haven't believed or put into action?" I don't remember exactly how it was phrased but it was something like that. I immediately knew what truth I had learned and one that has really been on my mind so much lately.
"Faith without deeds is dead." -James 2:26
This is so simple and I know it is a well-known verse. I just feel like I need to be a bolder witness for Christ and need to be striving to serve others more. If I am simply studying God's Word and both being poured into by others and self-feeding that is really not enough. I have to act on the things that I learn. I have to serve and love others well. I am sure we all need improvement with this but it has just especially been in my thoughts lately.

I hope you all had a fun snow day in Alabama! I know we certainly did! Enjoy the rest of your weekend friends and stay warm! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Guy

Today was a day to celebrate! There were many reasons:
1.) It is now the weekend for me!
2.) I have a light week next week..
3.) Apparently we are getting SNOW tomorrow!!!!
But most importantly.....We got to celebrate the life of this special young man...
Today was Brett's 21st birthday. Although we didn't celebrate until tonight it was still a pretty good day. He had to coach tonight so I decided to surprise him by cooking dinner and having it at his house when he got done. This ended up being just what he needed because sadly, the lady bulldogs lost and ended their season. They really did have a great season and have so much to be proud of!!
So...I am going to give you a couple of will be glad you have them! I was going to try to go all fancy and pull a Paula Dean but then I thought....Brett loves this dish....why not cook this? His eyes lit up when he saw what we were having! For dinner we had a simple recipe of jambalya. Attention!! If you are not so good in the kitchen or if you are great...this recipe is so good and so easy!!! It is almost impossible to mess up!
This is what you need:
2 cups of rice, a can of french onion soup, can of beef broth, 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 lb of sausage, and a bunch of green onions will need 2-3 lbs of chicken or shrimp (whatever you prefer) and you can throw in a bell pepper which I love but did not add tonight...

You simply put all of these ingredients into a 13x9 dish and cook for an hour and a half with the oven on 350 degrees. I am telling is so good and so easy.

Dessert was so much fun for me to make..... Brett loves those chocolate molten cakes you can get at Chili's so I decided to attempt to make them. I have to say....I did a pretty good job. Brett claims that "it was better than Chili's!" These are slightly more time consuming but pretty easy as well...Here is what you need:

I used these trays for the individual cakes but you could use the giant-sized muffin pans as well. These were a little shallow but ended up working well. All you do is make the cakes as the box directs and bake them...
After they have cooled a bit take a serrated knife and cut a small hole in the top. Do not go all the way through to the bottom. Essentially, you are making a small crater in your cake. :) Take a spoon and slide the excess cake out creating a "crater"
Then take your fudge (already heated in the microwave for about 45 seconds) and fill the hole with the fudge! Stick your cakes in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.
Take it out...Pop it in the microwave for about 45 seconds...Stick a scoop of ice cream on there and top it off with the hard chocolate shell! It is delish!
The birthday boy also enjoyed reading his new Bible on his birthday.. haha. Okay just kidding...I mean, he really did get a new study Bible from my parents but he was really just reading Song of Solomon... Don't let him fool you! :) gift. He wasn't quite sure what it was......
But I think he was pretty happy....

Hopefully I was able to make his 21st a memorable day! Oh, an in case all of you in Alabama haven't heard...we are apparently getting a little visit tomorrow. How I wish we could wake up to lots of white stuff. I fear it might only be a small amount. Oh was enough to cancel school for my fourth graders tomorrow and they were simply thrilled about it! Everyone bundle up tomorrow!
Happy Birthday Sweet Sweet Boy! You are a blessing in my life!! :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

How Was Your Weekend?

Because mine was just great!

The weekend was fun, relaxing, and fairly productive! On Friday my brother, sister-in-law, and niece came into town! They had a marriage conference across the bay so the family headed over to keep Virginia. Brett and I drove separately because...being the great guy that he is, he bought us tickets to see Dear John. So..I have heard that the book does not have a great ending. However, I must say...while the ending leaves you hanging a little bit I would still give this movie a thumbs up. Maybe this is because I am a sucker for sappy love stories. Seriously...I'm pitiful. :) Either way..I would recommend seeing it.

Before the movie we made a pit stop at the Grand Hotel to see my sweet family. Did I mention I love living in Mobile? Wanna know why? The following pictures might help explain....

We got to see the most beautiful sunset.
No, I don't get to see this every single day but it is still such a blessing to live near this bay!

"Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen." -Psalm 72:19

So Saturday...Eric, Linds, and V all came back across the bay to stay with us. Excuse the following pictures....I am her aunt and I am allowed to think she is the sweetest, best, most adorable baby to ever be born. :)
So sweet..
Could you not just eat her up?

:) I love this!
Sorry there are so least I didn't post all 200 pictures I took! :)
Seriously..I look at this sweet girl and think, "what did we do before
Virginia was part of this family?" haha
We had such a fun weekend with Eric and Linds too! :) Unfortunately, they had to go back to Auburn...

I have to say...Sunday was also a really great day. I go to a church called, The People of Mars Hill. I cannot tell you what a blessing it is to be part of a body like Mars Hill. I love it! We have been going through the book of Genesis and on Sunday we were in chapter 24. It is when Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac. First of all, I never realized how specific this servant was when he prayed for to God, asking for His wisdom and favor.
"Then he prayed, 'O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'--let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.'" (Genesis 24:12-14)

Then we see that before he even finished praying the woman who was to be Isaac's wife walked out to get water. She did everything that the servant had prayed. She was selfless. We learned that during those time it would be common hospitality to provide a drink for a servant who asked for one but it would be going beyond expectations for a girl to draw water for camels. The servant had about 10 camels with him meaning that she would have drawn several gallons of water for them to drink. We learn that this girl who will go on to be Isaac's wife is Rebekah!

The biggest thing that I learned (that Jack taught..) was that this story is a picture of the Holy Spirit who comes and prepares us for the day when we will be united with Christ. This servant came to find Rebekah and prepare her to be united with Isaac. We, as believers, essentially are Rebekah! I also want to put into practice being as much of a servant as Rebekah was. I want to go above and beyond for those around me. I thought this was cool so I wanted to share...

Well, this week is really busy but there is so much to look forward to!! Brett's 21st birthday is Thursday and Valentine's Day is Sunday!
Have a good week friends!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Care For S'more?

Looking for a fun, delicious, absolutely unhealthy recipe? Look no further...I found one! They are S'more brownies and they were fabulous. My intention was to make them and take them to Brett's house for he and his roommates to enjoy. However, Mobile had an unexpected tsunami tonight and Brett thought it would be better if he came over here instead of me getting out into the nasty weather. Sweet guy. I still need to take the remaining brownies over there though! Ashley, Brett's brothers girlfriend (that was confusing) love s'mores so I think she would love this! We surely do not need them here. Anyways...they are simple.

Here is what you will need:
1.) Graham cracker squares (enough to cover the bottom of a 13x9 dish)
2.) 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) of butter
3.) 4 squares of Baker's unsweetened chocolate
4.) 2 cups of sugar
5.) 3 eggs
6.) 1 tsp. of vanilla
7.) 1 cup of flour
8.) 2-1/2 cups of mini marshmellows
9.) 1 cup of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate chunks
So here is what you need to do:
1.) Heat oven to 350 degrees
2.) Line your pan with foil and grease the foil
3.) Place your graham cracker squares in the pan (they should overlap slightly)
4.) Microwave butter and chocolate squares in large bowl and stir until the chocolate is completely melted
5.) Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla (mix well)
6.) Stir in the flour
7.) Pour this mix over the graham crackers
8.) Bake this for 30-32 minutes

9.) Sprinkle the marshmellows and the chocolate chunks over the brownies
10.) Bake again for 3-5 minutes or until the marshmellows begin to puff up (I did mine a little bit longer just because I wanted to make sure they were good and melted)
11.) Break off small pieces of graham crackers and press them into the marshmellows
12.) Enjoy!

Make sure and let them cool before cutting them. I will warn you...they are messy and a bit difficult to cut and make them look "pretty." I know that is tough for those of you who are all about presentation but this was just for my family so they surely didn't mind! They were so good!

For the last couple of days my sister has been staying with us since her husband is out of town. It has been so much fun hanging out with her! She is hilarious!
She taste tested the marshmellows for me tonight! What a trooper!

Well...get excited...tomorrow is FRIDAY! :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simply Delightful good it feels to be halfway done with the week. Actually, my weekends start on Thursday afternoons around 3 o'clock which is quite nice. Tomorrow is a big day though. I will be teaching two of my own lessons. I have taught plenty of my teachers lessons but tomorrow I will teach my sweet fourth graders about equivalent fractions and about WWII in Alabama and attempt to make it as fun and interesting as possible. Bless their hearts!

This week has flown by but I have to say, I am ready for the weekend. Why? Well, probably the main reason is because I get to see this sweet angel for the first time in over a month...
I cannot wait to squeeze her! Oh, and the camera is ready to go...I am certain that her Aunt Amy and I will not miss a moment of her visit. :)

I do have a busy weekend ahead of me though. I have to say, my to do list will be full of both fun and not so fun things.
1.) Lesson plans and homework (boo)
2.) Plan for Brett's birthday
3.) Organize this room of mine that has gotten oh so cluttered! (I hate that it is this way
cause I am normally organized but school has taken over!)
4.) Create my list for the dayzeroproject
(This was inspired by Bayleigh and "Inspiring someone to make a list"
was on her list! So go ahead and scratch this one off! Actually you may want to wait till
I actually make the list! Hopefully this weekend!!)

These are just a few of the main things I have planned but I am looking forward to it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

It Is Well With My Soul

Well, I have kept one New Year's resolution for one month so far.. :) I finished my book that I was reading as my January book. In case you have forgotten, my resolution was to read a book a month. Brett got me the book, The Jesus You Can't Ignore by John MacArthur.
I really loved this book. It was great because it went along perfectly with what I have been studying in my own personal time with the Lord. I have been going through the book of John and this book basically takes you through the gospels.

The overall theme is that Jesus has two very important sides and we tend to only see one side...or simply ignore the other. The book explains that Jesus was a loving, compassionate, gentle, and caring person. He is the one we see holding children and healing the blind and raising the dead. However, Jesus Christ was a bold man. He declared the truth without hesitation and confronted the religious leaders of his day with no apology. I love knowing that while Jesus walked this earth he was fully God, yet fully man. He experienced every single thing that I have ever experienced or ever will experience and still was without sin. That is amazing to me. Here are some quotes from the book that I loved:

"The effects of the wind may be observed, but its boundaries cannot be discerned by human senses, and the wind itself can neither be harnessed nor directed by human efforts or ingenuity. The Holy Spirit's ministry operates in a similar fashion. He is sovereign and moves where He wishes, not at the whim of any human agenda. his workings are not contained in-or automatically dispensed through-any religious rituals or ceremonial protocols. In fact, the Spirit isn't moved by what we do at all, but by His own sovereign will."

This part of the book was talking about Jesus and his interactions with Nicodemus:
"And Jesus cared more for the truth than He cared about how Nicodemus felt about it. Sometimes the truth isn't 'nice'--but it's always focused and unyielding."

"Obviously, both forgiveness and healing are impossible for any mere man to do. No mere man has the power either to heal at will or to absolve sin at will. Healing is actually a perfect metaphor for forgiveness in that regard. In fact, the two things are inseparable, because sickness is a result of the curse brought on creation by sin. Sickness is merely a symptom; sin is the ultimate cause."

"Jesus, of course, embodied all the attributes of God--kindness, long-suffering, and mercy on the one hand; wrath, righteousness, and judgment on the other. All those qualities are discernible in some measure in the way He dealt with the Pharisees over the course of His ministry. But because the gospel was at stake and His own lordship was constantly under attack from these men who were the most influential spiritual leaders in the nation, His tenderness never overshadowed His severity in any of His dealings with them."

Sorry they are such long quotes...I should've said here are some of my favorite sections from the book..Here is one more quote from the book that Charles Spurgeon said:
"He is a man--a thorough man throughout--a God-like man--gentle as a woman, but yet stern as a warrior in the midst of the day of battle. The character is balanced; as much of one virtue as of another. As in Deity every attribute is full orbed; justice never eclipses mercy, nor mercy justice, nor justice faithfulness; so in the character of Christ you have all the excellent things."

It really was an encouraging book and full of Scripture. Of course do we expect anything less from John MacArthur? Absolutely not. So I am on to the next book for February.. Hopefully I can stick with this resolution!

Now..I have to give a shout out to this special guy in the picture...Not that adorable Brazilian boy on the right...the other guy.
Since the semester started Brett and I have basically been crazy busy. Brett really doesn't get stressed much so I handle that part. It is an overwhelming time for us both. Brett is attempting to balance work, school, observation hours, etc. We pretty much see each other on the weekends because of our crazy schedules. Anyways, today was just one of those days when nothing seemed to go right for him. On the way home from dinner I was listening to the song "It is Well With My Soul." I was so encouraged by these words that I have heard forever...

"When peace like a river attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll.. Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control.. That Christ has regarded my helpless estate and hath shed His own blood for my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul."

I am so thankful that He is in control.
On that note..I hope everyone has a great week!

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