Yarnies for the Gospel

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I have inadvertently spearheaded a ministry. I know. Like I need more on my plate, but maybe you, my dear reader, can help me.

I stumbled across an organization called Caps for Good, where you knit or crochet baby hats for babies in third-world countries. I liked the premise, but it lacked the all-important gospel. There's no point in doing good for people if it lacks the message of salvation. "Just makes the world a nicer place to go to Hell from," as my husband says. So, I searched and searched for a "Christian version", but to no avail. I prayed for God to send me an opportunity, if it was His will for me to serve Him in this way.

The next day, Kathy, my step-mom, contacted me and said that I could send over goods (hats, mittens, scarves, blankets, etc.) with her when she goes back to Africa with The Luke Commission (details below) in February. Yes, believe it or not, it does get cold in Africa! She told me that they use whatever warmth they can find, as their homes are not heated, nor are they very well-insulated (most live in shacks or huts). I thanked her profusely and started "recruiting" as many of my "yarnie" friends as I could think of. So far, I have a couple ladies from my church who are interested, but I'm sure we could use a lot more.

If anyone is interested in donating your time and talent to help our cause, please comment and I can give you the needed information. Warm, good-quality crocheted or knitted goods infant to adult size are needed. Even if you're interested in donating yarn, that will be a blessing, too! It will be a wonderful way to help spread the gospel and help the people of Swaziland!

About The Luke Commission: (From their website) "The Luke Commission is a Christian medical mission serving remote regions in southern Africa. We take our mobile medical clinic to rural villages, schools, churches, chief's kraals, and orphan care points and offer free medical care, medications, HIV testing and counseling, vision care, eyeglasses, Bibles and the Hope of the Gospel. Current efforts are concentrated in the bush of Swaziland, a tiny country with the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world."

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..." -Matthew 28:19-20

Five Months Old

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guess who's turning five months on Monday? =)

He's a pretty happy little guy these days, but still has his moments. We see him slowly, but surely growing out of it, though.

Who is Jesus?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've been pondering this lately. Not out of disbelief, but as a way of "quizzing" myself to make sure I'm walking the correct path. As a believer, I could probably rattle off a brief description of my Lord, and although my answer wouldn't cover it all, I know my answers would be "biblically-sound". There are so many people out there that claim to know Christ, but really don't know a single thing about who He really is. Some say a prophet, some say Michael the Archangel, some say the spirit brother of Lucifer, and others - just a nice guy who shared his lunch and knew some pretty nifty party tricks. God's Word doesn't refer to Him as any of these things. It's vital to know the "real Jesus" in order to be saved. As the Bible says:

"And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1 John 5:11-12 ESV

Or for you KJV only-ers:

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:11-12 KJV

I know Christmas is still a little ways away, but that's where Jesus' story (as most people know it) "begins". I came across this great article by Pastor John MacArthur, a man I deeply respect and trust when it comes to all things biblical. Are you following the correct Jesus? You better make sure - your eternity depends on it.

Why did Jesus come to Earth?

Who was that child in the manger? God. We see that clearly now. But why would God become a man, be born in such a lowly manner, and let men treat Him the way they did? Why would Jesus, while existing "before all things" (Colossians 1:17) and holding "first place in everything" (v. 18), agree to come to earth as a baby, suffer the abuse He suffered, and die such a painful death? The apostle Paul is clear: "It was the Father's good pleasure ... through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross" (vv. 19-20).

He did it to make peace between God and man. God is justifiably angry at humanity's sin. All of us have sinned--and done so repeatedly. Yet He loves sinners enough that He gave His own Son to live on earth, die on a cross, and bear sin in His own body, suffering the full weight of God's wrath--wrath deserved by sinners. He paid the penalty to restore peace between God and sinners. It could not have been done any other way.

So Christmas is primarily a celebration of God's love toward mankind. The babe in a manger is more than just a tender child. He is the express image of God. He took on a body of human flesh so He could bear in that body the sins of the world. He made possible the gift of God--eternal life (Romans 6:23). That is the sum of the Christmas message.

Don't get lost in the wide scope of it all. The incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is nothing if it is not personal. This is the message of Christmas for you: He who entered this world and took on human flesh died on a cross to bear sin, to pay the penalty for iniquity, to remove guilt.

That pardon from guilt He offers to you. Jesus came to forgive sinners and bring them into His presence by virtue of His own sacrificial death. Do you desire His forgiveness and long to know God's loving embrace?

You must respond.

Specifically, God calls you to respond in faith. Turn from your sin to follow Him. Believe He has forgiven your sin and trust Him with your life (John 3:18, 36). Follow Him without reservation. Jesus Christ must take His rightful place as Lord--first place in everything (Colossians 1:18). Submit to Him and He who created everything will make you a new creature, remolded in His image, with new desires and a new heart (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Should you respond to God's offer of forgiveness in Christ, this Christmas will truly be a time to celebrate, for you will have the greatest gift you can ever receive, "being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

Pastor John MacArthur
Grace To You

Biblical Parenting

Don’t just teach your children external self-control; train them to understand temptation and resist it. Don’t just teach them manners; teach them why pride is sinful and why greed, lust, selfishness, and covetousness dishonor God. Punish t...hem for external offenses, but teach them that the root issue is always a deeper problem – corruption in their hearts. When you correct them, don’t do it merely to satisfy you as the offended, irritated, frustrated parent. That’s anger; it’s vengeance. But when you correct them help them to see that it is first of all God who has been offended and that He offers reconciliation through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

John MacArthur

Spiritual Depression

Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression? The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and for ever to your past. Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ. Never look back at your sins again. Say: “It is finished; it is covered by the Blood of Christ.” That is your first step. Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you. What you need is not to make resolutions to live a better life, to start fasting and sweating and praying. No! You just begin to say: “I rest my faith on Him alone who died for my transgressions to atone.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Spiritual Depression – Its Causes and its Cures

Paper Robot

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today we made a robot! We talked about colors and shapes as I cut them out. Rob's really loving these little projects we're doing together. He's so proud to hang his work up on the fridge every day.

Overdue Update

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm terrible. I've been meaning to update for awhile, but life, once again, has gotten away from me. It's the thought that counts, right?

Things have not being going as well as we'd like. We're definitely in the midst of trial. Raising and just tending to the boys has been more challenging than ever before, as both demand more and more of our attention, energy, and patience. It's taken it's toll on us individually and as a couple, but by the grace of God, we stumble through. I can definitely see it's effects on myself. I'm gaining weight like no tomorrow, my hair is falling out in clumps, and I've been struggling with my depression on a daily basis. This is definitely the hardest thing I've had to do in my entire life. Yet, I still praise God. I know that this is His purpose for me at this time and that He will give me strength and faith to endure. This time is so fleeting, despite it's seemingly dragging pace right now. We will someday look back at this time and thank God for getting us through and for making us better because of it. I'm realizing now that God has sent me these boys not only to care for and raise to be righteous men, but to refine me as a person and servant to Him as well. Never see yourself as "not that bad". God sees that as a challenge and will show you otherwise! I am more impatient and selfish than I thought before and I have proven it over and over again lately! It's as if God sent me two little mirrors to show me the true me. Scary. Some days I feel as if I'm struggling just to stay afloat, but lo and behold - I survived another day. I don't want to merely "survive", though. I want to rejoice in being allowed another day on Earth with my little family! But sadly, the flesh doesn't always see it that way. God's still working on me.

That aside, we've been keeping busy as usual. I had the pleasure and honor of shooting my "baby" cousin's senior photos a couple weeks ago. It went great and we got some good shots that her mom and herself were very pleased with. Shortly after, our photography finally turned into a business. Yep, that's right! Marshall Photography is now a legit business! We're very blessed and very thankful to God for allowing our passion to turn into something more. We're going very slow for right now, but it will be interesting to see where the Lord takes us from here. We hope to save up to buy a camera for Matt and a new computer, since our desktop is definitely showing it's age as of late. It's sad to think that four years is old in computer years, but we've maxed it to it's capacity with upgrades and it's getting worse and worse. In due time. We need a minivan first. Come on tax time! Other than that, we all fell victim to a nasty stomach flu that was circulating our church family. A friend of ours coined it the "Amazon Flu" because our VBS (rainforest-themed) kids brought it upon us. I got it, then Matt (who had to stay home from work one day), then Robby (on the same sick day as Matt), and finally Drew, who made us all miserable again by letting us know he wasn't feeling well. I have never seen such a sickness before and I'm QUITE thankful it's gone from our household. We're just stumbling along, trying to do the best we can with what little energy and time we have these days. The fair is right around the corner and we plan on submitting photos again and then AWANA and Matt's Bible study start up again next month. Never a moment of quiet, it seems. Thankfully this year we plan on doing AWANA together, hopefully. I know it adds to my plate, but it would actually be easier on us if Matt and I did it together and I offered to take pictures so they would have a nice slideshow at the end of the year. Having Matt gone two times a week is actually really hard on us as a family; especially with as challenging as these boys have been lately. We will see how that goes.

Where did this year go? Is it really almost school time again? It seems as if I just blinked and POOF! It's August! Crazy. Well, that's all I have for you right now. Really just to say "we're alive and we need prayer". We covet those prayers if you think of us. It's been increasingly more difficult as the days progress, but I know that only God can get us through it. He has never failed to take care of this little family. Until next time.

Arts & Crafts/Four Months

Monday, August 2, 2010

It was suggested to me that Robby might be starting to get bored, so in order to stimulate that little brain of his, I decided to start doing a craft or activity (just him and I) each day. Today we made a Robby collage. I dug out some parenting magazines, a pair of scissors, a glue stick, and some card stock and let him pick out pictures of things he liked (lots of food, you'll notice) and I pasted them onto the paper for him. It was fun at first, but two poopie diapers, a two-year-old's short attention span, and one screaming baby brother later, it went from fun to stressful. I think he still had a good time doing a craft with me, though. That's all that matters. I have a lot more craft ideas, so I hope to keep this up. I just hope future mornings aren't as nightmarish as this morning was.

Also, I'm late on Drew's four-month picture. Four months! Crazy, no?

The Real Calvin and Hobbes

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I would have never guessed this in a million years! We're definitely a Calvinist household. That's why I found this so interesting! The text reads:

Calvin and Hobbes

"John Calvin (1509-1564) was a French theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was a central developer of Calvinism - an approach to the Christian life that emphasizes God's sovereignty in all things. The system is perhaps best known for it's doctrines of predestination and total depravity, the fallen state of man as a result of the general condition of sinfulness into which human beings are born.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was an English philosopher, today best remembered for his work on political philosophy. Hobbes's account of human nature as self-interested cooperation has proved to be an enduring theory in the field of philosophical anthropology.

Calvin and Hobbes is a comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Watterson, following the antics of an imaginative six-year-old boy and his sardonic - albeit stuffed - tiger. The pair are named after John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes."