Friday, February 29, 2008
Double click on the picture to see it larger.
“Now examine further the effectiveness and benefits that really caused the Sacrament to be instituted. This is its most necessary part, so that we may know what we should seek and gain there. This is plain and clear from the words just mentioned, ‘This is My body and blood, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’ Briefly, that is like saying, ‘For this reason we go to the Sacrament: there we receive such a treasure by and in which we gain forgiveness of sins.’ ‘Why so?’ Because the words stand here and give us this. Therefore, Christ asks me to eat and drink, so that this treasure may be my own and may benefit me as a sure pledge and token. In fact, it is the very same treasure that is appointed for me against my sins, death, and every disaster.’
On this account it is indeed called a food of souls, which nourishes and strengthens the new man. For by Baptism we are first born anew (John 3:5). But, as we said before, there still remains the old vicious nature of flesh and blood in mankind. There are so many hindrances and temptations of the devil and of the world that we often become weary and faint, and sometimes we also stumble (Hebrews 12:3).
Therefore, the Sacrament is given as a daily pasture and sustenance, that faith may refresh and strengthen itself (Psalm 23:1-3) so that it will not fall back in such a battle, but become ever stronger and stronger.”
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This may not be as well known as some other DMB songs, but I really like it. I think it’s great musically, and it makes for a good theme song for life—sometimes we just have to make the best of what’s around.
“See you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
So we can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We'll make the best of what's around”
Listen to a clip here
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Because I work in a large church, I probably go to a lot more funerals than most people do. Within the first two months of this year alone, I will have gone to funerals for a baby, a 27 year old, a 50 something old man who died of cancer, and a 90 year old man that I visited regularly. And I see the family and friends of these people grieving, deeply hurting. And I hurt too. The sting of death. I see it up close a lot, and it’s hard. Yet, this verse in 1 Corinthians gives so much hope and peace in the midst of the hurting. Christ died and rose! Death has been swallowed up in victory! Those who have faith in Christ will be in heaven and have eternal life. Christ was victorious over death, and those who believe in Him have this victory. This verse reminds us how even though we do experience the sting of death, even though it is natural to grieve, we can at the same time rejoice in the victory over death of Christ Jesus our Lord and all who believe.
“…one sees what a great, excellent thing Baptism is. It delivers us from the devil’s jaws and makes us God’s own. It suppresses and takes away sin and then daily strengthens the new man. It is working and always continues working until we pass from this estate of misery to eternal glory.
For this reason let everyone value his Baptism as a daily dress (Galatians 3:27) in which he is to walk constantly. Then he may ever be found in the faith and its fruit, so that he may suppress the old man and grow up in the new.”
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
The first time I heard this song, it blew me away. The words are so powerful, reminding me of my great sinfulness, and Christ’s suffering and sacrifice for me.
I’ve listened to different artists singing this and like the Phillips Craig & Dean version the best. Listen and download here.
Monday, February 25, 2008
This is such an important passage since it reminds us we can do NOTHING to earn our salvation. We are saved by grace alone. And our faith is a gift from God. By our nature we are hostile to God and would not come to him. But thanks be to God that He gives us faith. I am so thankful everything depends on Him, and nothing depends on me.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
There is so much I could say about Disney World. It truly is a magical place. Going there is escaping reality for awhile which is nice. I love everything about it—the characters, the rides, the parades, the fireworks, just the atmosphere of it. Each park offers a unique experience. Magic Kingdom has some great rides like It’s a Small World, and Haunted Mansion, and fun shows like Country Bear Jamboree. Epcot has the great international pavilion. I love being able to get a glimpse of 11 different countries. And the fireworks/laser show there is amazing. Soarin’ was an awesome ride too. MGM is fun for me since I used to study film. I like the Great Movie Ride, and enjoy the drop on Tower of Terror. And Animal Kingdom with its safari and The Lion King show is lots of fun. Downtown Disney is cool too with all the shops and restaurants.
I went to Disney World the first time when I was in college. I went with a friend from high school, and it was a great time. But the second time I went, it was with my mom in 2006, and that was so incredibly awesome. My mom had never been there, and taking the trip together was something I really wanted to do. My mom is so fun and young at heart. I knew we would have a blast. Part of the fun for me that trip was watching my mom enjoy it so much. She really got into the pin trading. We did it all—had our pics taken with the characters and everything. I took over 500 pics from that trip, and my mom took quite a few too. I don’t think DisneyWorld is a place I could ever get tired of. I am such a kid at heart, and I think get excited as any kid does. Like I said, it’s magical place.
Fount of purest pleasure,
Truest friend to me,
Ah, how long in anguish
Shall my spirit languish,
Yearning, Lord, for Thee?
Thou are mine, O Lamb divine!
I will suffer naught to hide Thee;
Naught I ask beside Thee.
In Thine arms I rest me;
Foes who would molest me
Cannot reach me here.
Though the earth be shaking,
Ev’ry heart be quaking,
Jesus calms my fear.
Lightnings flash and thunders crash;
Yet, though sin and hell assail me,
Jesus will not fail me.
Satan, I defy thee;
Death, I now decry thee;
Fear, I bid thee cease.
World, thou shalt not harm me
Nor thy treats alarm me
While I sing of peace.
God’s great pow’r guards ev’ry hour;
Earth and all its depths adore Him,
Silent bow before Him.
Hence, all earthly treasure!
Jesus is my pleasure,
Jesus is my choice.
Hence, all empty glory!
Naught to me thy story
Told with tempting voice.
Pain or loss, or shame or cross,
Shall not from my Savior move me
Since He deigns to love me.
Evil world, I leave thee;
Thou canst not deceive me,
Thine appeal is vain.
Sin that once did blind me,
Get thee far behind me,
Come not forth again.
Past thy hour, o pride and pow’r;
Sinful life, thy bonds I sever,
Leave thee now forever.
Hence, all fear and sadness!
For the Lord of gladness,
Jesus, enters in.
Those who love the Father,
Though the storms may gather,
Still have peace within.
Yea, whate’er I here must bear,
Thou are still my purest pleasure,
Jesus, priceless treasure!
Text: Johann Franck, tr. Catherine Winkworth
Tune: Johann Cruger
I love the melody and words to this hymn. I especially like vs. 3 and 6. I find a lot of comfort in this hymn; it is a reminder God is always with us no matter what, and that He is there to help us though the devil, the world, death assail us and we face many storms and trials in life. He has given us faith and strengthens that faith so we can persevere, and He gives us His perfect peace.
1 Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your
servant who trusts in you.
3 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life—men without regard for you.
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
This is an awesome Psalm speaking of God’s abounding love, faithfulness, and forgiveness. It is a wonderful prayer to God, asking Him to answer us and show mercy to us. V. 13 is especially awesome, reminding us that we have been delivered from the depths of the grace. Awesome how that points us to Christ and what He has done for us.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
“But because He is God, He also claims the honor of giving much more and more abundantly than anyone can understand (Ephesians 3:20). He is like an eternal, unfailing fountain. The more it pours forth and overflows, the more it continues to give. God desires nothing more seriously from us than that we ask Him for much and great things. In fact, He is angry if we do not ask and pray confidently (Hebrews 4:16).”
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Trader Joe’s is a grocery store, but is unique. They have brands and food items you can’t find in your typical grocery store. I like some of the ethnic foods they have there. I love the guaca-salsa they have there, and I love to try different wines. When looking for cheap wine (that is good), you can’t really beat Charles Shaw wine that they sell (or “3 buck chuck” as it is often called). It is always a treat to go there and find new things to try. And the prices are VERY reasonable.
Visit the website.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This was the first album the Crash Test Dummies did. This group was popular in the 90s, and the lead singer has a very unique voice. My favorite songs on this album, “Comin’ Back Soon (The Bereft Man’s Song),” “Thick-Necked Man,” “Here on Earth (I’ll Have My Cake),” and “At My Funeral,” were not hit singles, but they are my favorite from this album. I used to say some of this music was my “angry music,” that I’d play it when I was in a bad mood, particularly “Thick-Necked Man.” But it doesn’t mean I ONLY listen to this music when I’m angry or in a bad mood. Some of the songs are fun, and some ponder the deep stuff people contemplate having to do with death and relationships.
Listen to some clips
Friday, February 15, 2008
This is a revolving restaurant located on the 28th floor of the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis. It’s weird at first moving, but the movement is very slow and you get a great panoramic view of the city and the Arch. It’s gorgeous at night looking out over all the lights. The food is great—wonderful appetizers like the mushrooms or crabcakes. Great lobster bisque. And the Tuttomare is great for an entre. And an incredible dessert cart! Awesome place for the food and the atmosphere!
Check Out the Menus
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
“For when we had been created by God the Father and had received from Him all kinds of good, the devil came and led us into disobedience, sin, death, and all evil (Genesis 3). So we fell under God’s wrath and displeasure and were doomed to eternal damnation, just as we had merited and deserved. There was no counsel, help, or comfort until this only and eternal Son of God—in His immeasurable goodness—had compassion upon our misery and wretchedness. He came from heaven to help us (John 1:9). So those tyrants and jailers are all expelled now. In their place has come Jesus Christ, Lord of life, righteousness and every blessing, and salvation. He has delivered us poor, lost people from hell’s jaws, has won us, has made us free (Romans 8:1-2), and has brought us again into the Father’s favor and grace. He has taken us as His own property under His shelter and protection (Psalm 61:3-4) so that He may govern us by His righteousness, wisdom, power, life and blessedness.
Let this, then, be the sum of this article: the little word Lord means simply the same as redeemer. It means the One who has brought us from Satan to God, from death to life, from sin to righteousness, and who preserves us in the same.”
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
So many of the things we tend to cling to or hold on to are not lasting. The people we love die. Things are spoiled all the time for us whether it be food or the plans we make. The possessions we have can fade as can the happiness we experience from things of this world. But we have an inheritance that cannot perish, spoil or fade. We have living hope. We have new birth. We have a Savior Who died and rose for us. And we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy because we receive salvation. I love these words in 1 Peter, and they are so good to cling to when faced with the difficulties and “suckiness” of life.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I was pretty little when this show first aired, but when I was in junior high, I really got into watching reruns of Eight is Enough. I think for me being an only child, this show about a large family was fascinating. I loved watching the sibling interactions and seeing how the family dealt with different challenges, tragedies, conflicts with each other etc. Some of it may be a little hokey when you watch it now, but it’s one of those shows that gives me a happy feeling when I watch it because I watched it as a kid and enjoyed it so much. It’s too bad so many of the actors/actresses struggled with drugs and alcohol, but some of them became Christians (Grant Goodeve and Willie Aames “Bibleman”) and their lives turned around.
“Wherever we escape from disaster or danger, we ought to remember that it is God who gives and does all these things. In these escapes we sense and see His fatherly heart and His surpassing love toward us (Exodus 34:6). In this way the heart would be warmed and kindled to be thankful, and to use all such good things to honor and praise God…
For here we see how the Father has given Himself to us, together with all creatures, and has most richly provided for us in this life. We see that He has overwhelmed us with unspeakable, eternal treasures by His Son and the Holy Spirit, as we shall hear (Colossians 2:2).”
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Eddie Bauer has become my favorite clothing store. I love the dress shirts there, and I especially love that they are wrinkle resistant since I hate ironing so much! The clothes can be a little pricey, so I look for things on clearance, or ask for gift cards for the store for Christmas or my birthday.
People blog for all different reasons. I have blogged to keep a journal for myself about what was happening at a particular my life and to update people on what’s happening in my life. This particular blog was inspired by my boyfriend Chris who has a similar type blog. This is a great way to celebrate all the blessings God gives. As I make all these entries I am thankful for the many many ways God blesses us and makes life interesting for us. And I hope it’s fun for the people who happen to read this blog to see this stuff, maybe be exposed to some new stuff or be reminded themselves of all the blessings they have.
Friday, February 8, 2008
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This passage is always comforting to me, and it is one I share often when I visit people. We do face a lot of difficulties and hardship in a fallen world, but no matter what NOTHING can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. That is something we can always cling to.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I love this song! The guitar stuff is great. The first time I heard this, I found it incredibly catchy. Some lyrics: