Monthly Archives: March 2011

risen

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straight from the girltalk blog … a post on Sovereign Grace’s newest album … my personal favorite is “We will Rise.”

risen

Just in time for Resurrection Sunday, Sovereign Grace Music has masterfully compiled thirteen doctrinally rich and musically appealing songs to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Released March 22nd, the Risen album quickly climbed to 9th place on Amazon’s mp3 downloads.  Apparently the news is out and people are enjoying the combination of sound theological lyrics, memorable melodies, and musical excellence that make “Risen” among Sovereign Grace Music’s best albums to date.

Here is the description of the album from the insert:
“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.” These words, spoken by an angel to the women at Jesus’s tomb, changed history forever. Christ’s resurrection was more than a display of raw supernatural power. It was the single event that assures us that his payment for our sins has been accepted. God’s wrath is satisfied. Death is defeated. The powers of darkness are overcome. Sin’s dominion has been broken. And the life of the age to come has dawned.

The songs on this album celebrate these realities experienced and enjoyed by all who place their faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53

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I’ve been waiting for several weeks for this passage to reach our BSF line-up.  I’ve been reading C.J. Mahaney’s Cross Centered Life, in preparation for Easter, and he devotes the chapter, ‘Searching the Mystery’, to Isaiah 53.  He asks and answers a most significant and relevant question, “What does it all mean? Why did Jesus have to die?”

Isaiah 53 answers that question.

53:1] Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

[2] For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

[3] He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

[4] Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

[5] But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

[6] All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

[7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

[8] By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

[9] And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

[10] Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

[11] Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

[12] Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53 ESV)


“Sinclair Ferguson’s words on the staggering implications of the crucifixion:

When we think of Christ’s dying on the cross, we are shown the lengths to which God’s love goes in order to win us back to himself.  We would almost think that God loved us more than He loved His son.  We cannot measure His love by any other standard.  He is saying to us, ‘I love you this much.’

“The cross is the heart of the gospel; it makes the gospel good news.  Christ died for us; He stood in our place before God’s judgement seat; He has born our sins.  God has done something on the cross which we could never do for ourselves.  But God does something to us as well as for us through the cross.  He persuades us that He loves us.”


popcorn shop

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One of my favorite places to visit as a kid was the popcorn shop on Front Street, downtown Wheaton!  You can see the door here .. the store is only the width of the door.  They put a roof over the space between two store fronts and called it the popcorn shop!  We also affectionately called it the ‘penny candy store’ as kids because the wall is lined with jars of candy … most of which used to be a penny.  Today many of them are 5 and 10 cents … not bad for 40 some years!  The little white bags the girls are holding are what you use to collect your loot from the jars .. they count it up and give you your final tab!  4 bags of candy and a large popcorn only set us back about $5.

 

Today the girls and I had a lovely day in Wheaton visiting my parents … which included swimming at the club (yes, I swam too) lunch at Grammie & Papa’s, playing in the afternoon, popcorn shop and we somehow made Chick-fil-a be on our way home!

 

Happy!

how much is that doggy in the the window?

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The picture isn’t the best .. taken with my iphone .. but if you look closely, you see our dog, Baxter, peering out the window, standing up on the sofa, like a king on a throne. Funny thing is, he’s not allowed in the living room….

 

This was the sight that greeted me on my way home from my run this morning .. someone didn’t secure the gate .. that would be me .. oops!

 

The good news .. no accidents or destruction of any kind was found .. guess he was just watching over the front yard .. good dog (kinda).

on my bedside table

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I’ve been accused of having way too many books on my bedside table.  Recently Jon and the girls ‘helped’ me by removing some of them and relocating them to an actual bookshelf in the living room .. leaving me just a few of the books I’m ‘actively reading.’  I’ve including a section in my sidebar of those books that currently remain on my bedside table.  I’m sure it will change regularly, but for now, these are the top reads for me.

One of these great reads is ‘Because He Loves Me,’ by Elyse Fitzpatrick.  In her own words, it’s a book about the Gospel for people who think they already know it.  I’m one of those people, and the truths emphasized in her book have really challenged me.  Throughout the book, she asks the reader to consider, “In your pursuit of godliness, have you left Jesus behind?”  The book is divided into two parts, Part One: How God’s love transforms our identity, and Part Two:  How God’s love transforms our life.

I’m currently reading it for the second time and meeting occasionally with a few other women to talk about how we can apply it to our lives.  Today we considered who we are in Christ, and how we should live as a result of that reality.  Further, looking more specifically at what we should put off and what we should put on.  So many great truths to consider.  I’ll share just one paragraph here.

Be Renewed, Put off, Put on

“What would laying your life down right now look like?  I don’t know.  We’re all in different circumstances.  But there is something that he is calling each of us to do:  we’re to be renewed in the attitude of our mind.  We’re to remember the gospel, to let it renew our thoughts about who he is, who we are, what our neighbor needs.  Our attitude (and the behavior that flows from it) needs to be continually informed by the gospel. We’re more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe; we’re more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope. In light of this, we’re to put off all the unbelief and self-love that motivated our former identity.  And then we’re to live a life of loving service because we’ve been created in the image of a holy and righteous God who is himself love (Ephesians 4:22-24) We can be faithful servants to each other because “the immortal Word took on the form of a servant,” and he has gone before us, clearing the way.”

I find it most challenging to live this out in my most primary relationships . . . marriage and family.  I confessed today that I have not lovingly served my family this week.  Thankfully, God’s mercies are new each day . . . I can do it differently tomorrow.

Isaiah 50-52

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I was in the children’s program last week, so I didnt’ post BSF notes … though I will say that I really enjoyed volunteering with the 3-4 year olds.  I’m definitely out of my comfort zone in teaching younger children, but I loved being part of their morning routine.  I have always heard how amazing the BSF children’s program  is, and it was really great to see that first hand.  The teachers LOVE those kids so intentionally for those 2 hours.  And the intentionality of the schedule and programming is really amazing .. it even includes ‘quiet time’, where the kids (yes, 3 year olds) sit quietly on a towel for a few minutes and think about what they learned.  And they are studying Isaiah!  I really loved it!

Another side note .. our teaching leader said recently that someone commented to her after one of the lessons, “Wasn’t this the same lesson we had last week?”  Different passage .. similar message.  She used this to point out the layers in Isaiah and the continuing themes of God’s sovereignty and His redemption of His people.  I love the repetition … I need to hear those truths each week!

So, this week ..

Isaiah 50-52

A focus on Listening and Waking Up!

JESUS is the only one who can open our hearts and ears to God, are we willing to listen?

She focused on the idea of listening ..

Our own minds are our mental universe.

-we like to listen to ourselves

-we have tempting voices

-we love by doing and controlling

-we create an inner-personal environment.

However, our ears are on the OUTSIDE of our head

-we must listen outside of ourselves; it’s not all about us

*we must take into our heads what GOD says.

God gave us words in the Bible.

-He also gave us Jesus, as the LIVING word

God’s words:

-lasting, not deceptive

-TRUE

-they illuminate our lives

-the one who hears and listens will KNOW God through His living word.

Isaiah 50:4-9

PRINCIPLE:  Those who allow the servant to open their ears to God will know Him and be sustained and not condemned.

-God will make a way for His obedient people to go through suffering.

How does the suffering of Jesus help you understand God’s plan for you?

How do we look at the tragedies and hard places in this world?

-we go to God’s word and listen to what it says

Isaiah 42:16

[16] And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

God makes a way through suffering and promises never to leave us.

-may we listen to His word.

-those who awake to God’s promises can be comforted, assured.

Isaiah 51

God did the impossible

God’s righteousness encourages our courage.

-only God’s righteousness will last forever.

v. 9-11  Israel speaking to God . . .

v. 12   God’s response

PRINCIPLE:  Those who are awakened and listen to the promises of God find comfort and hope.

Do we believe God’s promises?

Do we believe the person who make the promises?

Where is God calling you today to listen to Him? To be comforted by Him? To go through a hard place with Him?

v. 17

Get out of despair and wake up to forgiveness

God knew Israel suffered painful consequences for their idolatry.

-consequences will hopefully  move us to the remedy .. towards the right choice and away from sin.

Isaiah 52:  Awake and get up and enter into the promises

Your God reigns

Be holy because God is Holy

God is calling us to know Him and live as He says we are.

-we are His

-we can know His promises and claim them

*We can know the blessing and the power of God as He leads us through all circumstances.

May we know the person of God through His word!

say it isn’t so

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those who know me well, know that I get sad when babies GET teeth and sad when ‘no longer babies’ LOSE teeth!

our baby just lost her first tooth … SAD!!

She was soooo excited .. mom, not so much .. I also don’t do blood.  Thankfully, Daddy did the ‘pulling out.”

The dilemma was that Evangeline is on spring break this week and so how will she show her teachers and school friends if the tooth fairy comes and takes her tooth?!?

Emma, being sympathetic to her dilemma, helps her out by writing a note to the tooth fairy . . .

The tooth fairy was generous to leave the tooth and a dollar in honor of the FIRST TOOTH LOST!

 

Mom .. is still sad ..