Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Unusual Challenge...

...well, not unusual, but challenging none the less! I have been following Angie's blog since the spring and she is the most wonderful blog writer ever...no, I don't know her, but I have been reading her blog for sometimes and she has a great way with words and a great love for our Lord! She has challenged us blog readers to start memorizing scripture...for it is necessary to hide God's word in our heart! So she threw it out there that she was going to start memorizing Psalm 139 and I thought that I would throw it out there for all of you! Are you in for a challenge right before the start of a new year? We should have it all memorized before Jan. 1! Good Luck to all of you who are interested!!

P.S. Brenly says that she is going to try to memorize it with me..so yesterday we were in the car (which is where we spend a LARGE portion of our day) and she kept saying " OOOOOOOOO LORD, you search me and you know me" It is a wonderful feeling to hear you child quote scripture! After we got home, I was cooking dinner and I heard her in her room with Avery and Brenly kept saying, "OOOOOO LORD, you search me and you know me" I have a feeling before long, Avery will be saying it as well!She loves to copy anything that her big sister says/does! Praise the Lord!

Psalm 139 (NIV)

1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

5You hem me in-behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? 22I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


I am starting this tomorrow, but feel free to do it at your own pace. If you choose to begin with me, we will finish on January 1st…what a way to start the New Year!!!

It is so important to have the word of God hidden in our hearts and this one is just amazing and so life-giving. I grouped the daily verses together in case you want to print them out and make them little note-cards (that’s usually the easiest way for me to memorize scripture).

***You can DO this!!!*** Don’t get discouraged if you get behind. I am praying for you all as we seek to serve Him with our whole lives.

Let’s get going, girls!!! You’re 18 days away from the power of Psalm 139 in your heart!

Day 1: Memorize verses 1&2

Day 2: Memorize verses 3&4

Day 3: Review/Catch Up

Day 4: Memorize verses 5&6

Day 5: Memorize verses 7&8

Day 6: Review/Catch Up

Day 7: Memorize verses 9&10

Day 8: Memorize verses 11&12

Day 9: Review/Catch Up

Day 10: Memorize verses 13&14

Day 11: Memorize verses 15&16

Day 12: Review/Catch Up

Day 13: Memorize verses 17&18

Day 14: Memorize verses 19&20

Day 15: Review/Catch Up

Day 16: Memorize verses 21&22

Day 17: Memorize verses 23&24

Day 18: Review/ Catch Up

The Arrival

by Max Lucado (my very favorite author)

God had entered the world as a baby.
Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold.
The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor.
A more lowly place of birth could not exist.
Off to one side sit a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor; perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him—so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds.
Near the young mother sits the weary father. If anyone is dozing, he is. He can’t remember the last time he sat down. And now that the excitement has subsided a bit, now that Mary and the baby are comfortable, he leans against the wall of the stable and feels his eyes grow heavy. He still hasn’t figured it all out. The mystery of the event puzzles him. But he hasn’t the energy to wrestle with the questions. What’s important is that the baby is fine and that Mary is safe. As sleep comes he remembers the name the angel told him to use … Jesus. “We will call him Jesus.”
Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of Joseph’s saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in history, the human being who best understands who God is and what he is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can’t take her eyes off him. Somehow Mary knows she is holding God. So this is he. She remembers the words of the angel. “His kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:33)
He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.
Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter.
She touches the face of the infant-God. How long was your journey!
This baby had overlooked the universe. These rags keeping him warm were the robes of eternity. His golden throne room had been abandoned in favor of a dirty sheep pen. And worshiping angels had been replaced with kind but bewildered shepherds.
Meanwhile, the city hums. The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And the people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility.
Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren’t looking.
Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?

A quick reminder...

If you get a chance, please continue to pray for my friend Julie Cossar Jones and her family (Ben and Becca) What a long 4 months it has been and they are doing good, but a little extra prayer never hurt, right? Thanks for being willing to pray for those you may not even know, for God hears them all!

Santa came to visit Becca a little early this year!!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Alpine Christmas Village...

for the girls...We went last year and had such a good time that we decided to head back. Trinity Baptist Church hosts it and does such a good job with all of it!We met The Parks and The Quinn's and had a fun filled Sunday afternoon!

Christmas came early...

Thanks to MiMi and Grandfather...Last week when MiMi was here for Brenly's program, she wanted to go look for "big" playgrounds for Brenly and Avery's Christmas (and Birthday) present! It was FREEZING cold, but we managed to look around and find what she wanted! Her (Brenly's) main request is that she have a rock wall and Avery REALLY loves to swing! MiMi made her purchase and we were told that they wouldn't be able to deliver it until next Thursday (Dec. 18th) so Brenly was all depressed because she wanted it immediately, but she was very good and tried to be as patient as a 4 1/2 yr. old can be! Ray called me at work last Thursday and said that they were going to deliver it on Friday morning (keep in mind, MiMi just purchased it on Wed. and they built it that fast!) We, of course didn't get home until after dark, so we waited to let her find it on Saturday morning after Ray got home from work! I have never seen such excitement in all of my life! MiMi and Grandfather, we can't thank you enough for such a HUGE Christmas (and Birthday!) present. It is one that we will be able to treasure for many years to come! WE LOVE YOU!!

P.S. You MUST know that it was SOOOOOO cold out there on Saturday...and very windy...but never fear, Brenly and I were out there eating a picnic on her new "playground"!

First Preschool Christmas Program...

and she did so good! Last Tuesday night we got the opportunity to go see Brenly "perform" in her first Christmas program...They sang 4 songs and they were so cute...of course, I would say that seeing as how she is mine! They signed the words to Happy Birthday to Jesus, they sang Away in a Manger, J-E-S-U-S (to the tune of BINGO..."God loved the world and sent His son and Jesus was His name-o") and one more song which I was not familiar with...She did good and her facial expressions cracked me up! He are a few pictures from the night! Oh, and MiMi drove in from Nashville to see her baby perform! We were glad to see her!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Where does she get that RED HAIR?

Its a question that I get on a daily basis...perhaps even hourly...And honestly, I haven't really known the right answer...We have heard that MiMi's mother was red-headed, and we ALL know that she looks JUST LIKE HER DADDY! So I have always said that she gets all of her traits from her daddy! Well this weekend, I was getting all of our Christmas stuff out, and found this long lost box full of good stuff, One of which was a picture of Ray when he was a year and a half old! AND OH MY GOODNESS! He and Avery are identical. I had to get these pictures posted (the quality isn't great, they are pictures of pictures:) So if you have ever wondered where Avery's get her looks...take a look at these!

and believe me...she normally has that same "sassy" look that Ray has on his face, it just wasn't captured in this picture!

Amazing Grace and Nightly Prayers...

Last night I decided to pull out the camera and take some videos of Bren and Avery (they both are growing up so fast and I felt like I need to take more videos of them!) so I got a few videos of the girls singing and saying prayers...so sweet!

PeePee on the Potty...

that's right, you read it correctly (not that any of you care about our bathroom habits, however this is a very noteworthy time in Avery's little life!) Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, Avery was running around the house naked...yes, you read it correctly (not that any of you care about Avery's little naked behind runnin around-although it is PRECIOUS!) and I was busy in the kitchen trying to get things ready for Thanksgiving! She came up to me and grabbed my hand and said, "PeePee Mommy...Potty" So we dart to the bathroom and she sits on her little potty...We wait for a few minutes and then we "HEAR" it...She peepeed on the potty...YAY! Brenly and I were so excited, you would have thought Avery had just won the lottery...We started screaming and hollerin, jumpin up and down...singing a little "PeePee on the POTTY" jingle! Believe me, it was a SIGHT to behold...good thing I only got pictures of that precious baby and her proud accomplishment!

She has since peepeed on the potty 3 more times...very inconsistent, but any small step helps us get closer to NO MORE DIAPERS!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

christmas pictures...

I know...its not even thanksgiving...and I have already taken my kids to get their Christmas Pictures made...however you have to proactive about these things, because if you wait to long...you will never get an appointment! So yesterday we made our way to Collierville to get pictures made at Portrait Innovations...and much to my surprise, both of my girls did SO good! They didn't cry (which is usually what Avery likes to do!) and they listened and did whatever was asked of them! And as a result, their pictures turned out really good! Just wanted to give you a few to preview! And don't be shocked if a few of you don't get some of these as a Christmas present! :)