My life is not my own, for I belong to Christ.
Some Fabulous Posts
Some Fabulous Places
Some Fabulous People
Friday, November 30, 2007
My little piano tutee, Cassandra, was delighted to see our living room filled with recently hung Christmas decor. Somehow, even with the red and green-ness surrounding me, I can't quite get into the "Christmas mode". Even the many emails circling through the Blackwood kids' inboxes entitled "Christmas Wish List!" aren't quite pulling me into my usual Christmas cheer. It still seems so odd to have these opposite seasons -- especially when holidays come around. Also, I feel like I must be getting old because this year seems to have passed by so ridiculously quickly.
I've been thinking about the Christian view of Christmas celebration. So far I've just come to the conclusion that the real issue is how important you make the holiday, not whether or not you choose to celebrate it. I love the traditions that come with Christmas, but I don't want to become so wrapped up in it that it truly becomes an irreplaceable "holy day". The great event of Christ's coming to earth is celebrated every Lord's day, and more devotion should be given to that day as it comes each week than the once-a-year Christmas holiday.
Holidays make me miss the joys of family so much more. I'm so thankful for the family I do have with me here.
(I haven't done this in a while)
Maria: I think of new recipes in my sleep.
Maria: Are you joking?!
Tamara: Yes, I'm serious.
Charity: Maria is going to eat you out of house and fruit
Tamara: These socks make me look like a candy cane....but cuter!
Charity: *spits out gum*
Keaton: But think about the koalas!
Keaton: Did you say Chinese dorks?
Keaton: Don't slang! It's rude!
[We just had the most hilarious evening ever with Keaton...]
p.s. Just a few more minutes until December. Weird.
Charity | 11:50 pmComments-[ comments.]
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Sovereignty of the LORD in Creation and History
1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deep in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
13 The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
14 From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.
16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for safety;
Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
22 Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.
Do you ever just stop and consider just how imcomprehensibly great our God is? The concept of His soverignty and glory and majesty beyond our imagination. Not only is He an incredibly great God, but He is an amazingly good God. And He chose to save sinners such as you and me.
Charity | 5:12 pmComments-[ comments.]
Sunday, November 18, 2007
It will never cease to amaze me how persistently people will avoid sitting in or near the front row in church. No matter how many different arrangements we make with the chairs, the front rows are always left empty (excepting a Blackwood or two).
What are people so afraid of?
Here are some reasons to sit in the front row(s):
Sitting in or near the front can be a great blessing in worship for those reasons and more. It doesn't have to be a role excluded to pastor's kids. It's okay to be noticed in church. More importantly, it's a good opportunity to demonstrate a readiness and willingness to pay full attention.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Charity | 9:27 pmComments-[ comments.]
Friday, November 16, 2007
check out www.christianaudio.com and register so you can download a free audio book every month! I'm pretty excited about "The Religious Affections" by Jonathan Edwards that I started downloading yesterday. It's a lot of new thoughts to think through, but it's definitely worth the time.
Another cool site is www.freerice.com. Test out your vocab and help feed the hungry. Curious? Give it a go.
**Thanks to Jared and Allen for those sites.
Charity | 6:09 pmComments-[ comments.]
Monday, November 12, 2007
We just got back from our annual Nhill visit. Oh the joy of family roadtrips. The car ride there seemed like an eternity. We left two hours late, and half an hour down the road we had already eaten half the snacks we brought. Our book-on-tape selection that Maria, Tamara, and I had grabbed on our quick run to the library wasn't all that fabulous, and it was HOT. Somehow we survived the 7 hour journey and arrived safely and at least half-sane at the (David) Bedford's home. Wendy fed us an amazing tea when Josh got home, and Hannah arrived a little later that night. I had picked up a book off of their shelf (oops, yet another interruption to my "summer reading list"), and when Hannah came into the caravan where we girls were to sleep, my sisters and I were all engrossed in our books. Hannah saw us and said, "Oh! Are we reading? Okay, I'll just grab my book..." We assured her that we'd just been waiting for her to come up and proceeded to talk and laugh a small part of the night away.
Saturday was a long but fun day at the 50th Anniversary of the Town Hall. Maria, Tamara, and I took over the drink and ice cream and chips booth and posed as business women and adopted children of the Bedford family (we had to tell them something when they asked who we were related to at this get-together!). Some of the people remembered us from last year, including Malcome, whose sheep we had scared away after driving off the dirt road and into his field. We had a great time hanging out with the Bedford cousins. The concert was especially amusing with Sarah Bedford's singing additions to the acts. I have to admit I didn't really get all the country jokes told by the emcee, but I tried to hide my city-slicker giveaway and laugh along with all the country bumpkins.
We had a rather late night, talking and eating and laughing and singing, but we still managed to get up for church over at Alan and Jean Bedford's. We were a welcomed addition to their small living-room group. We had a nice sleep in the afternoon, and a beautiful walk after tea in the evening. What a beautiful country the Lord has made. The weekend was really lovely, aside from the fact that no medication seemed to be working for my ever-bothersome allergies.
This morning came bright and early as we had to get up for breakfast at 6:30. We were on the road again about 7:00, and made the trip home in only about 6 hours. I drove the last few hours and managed not to do any real damage.
I am so thankful that the Lord has provided us with such good friends, far and near. I can't wait to go back!
Charity | 2:13 pmComments-[ comments.]
Monday, November 05, 2007
I am pretty sure I shamed the name of the State of Basketball tonight in attempting to play with my siblings, Dad, Matt, and James. My ever-faithfully supportive teammate James spent the entire first half of the game attempting to kick me off his team. He dropped occasional casual hints, such as "Maybe Charity and Ben should switch places. Can Charity go on their team? I think it would be a lot better if Ben was on our team instead of Charity."
I managed to make 3 baskets...of course, one of those was for the opposing team. But I made those baskets proudly (and loudly), and I laughed right along with everyone else at my sad lack of shooting, dribbling, and running skills.
Ooooooooh, it was fun.
Charity | 9:43 pmComments-[ comments.]
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I was awakened by thunder for the first time in at least 2 years. It was about 3 a.m., and I almost wondered if I was still dreaming. I smiled, half-asleep, at the lightning streaming through our windows and the roaring thunder. I praised the Lord for His demonstrated power and His mercy in sending the rain. It rained all night and most of today. I think this has been the longest heavy rain we've experienced since being here--and the first thunderstorm we've had in Frankston since we've lived here. With the coming summer season, the grass turning to brown, and the reinforcement of water restrictions, we are ever reminded of this lasting drought. Records show this being the driest 6 years since 1906.
Will it ever end?
"O God, show mercy to us, and bless us with Your grace..."
Charity | 8:41 pmComments-[ comments.]