Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!!

Justin is 34 today, and although that might sound old, I can truly say Justin is young at heart! He has such a youthful energy and glow about him everyday, I often forget he is not still in his mid twenties. It is hard to believe that I met him more than 10 years ago when he was just 23 and I was 20!! We were just kids! As years have been added to Justin, so has wisdom, discernment, grace, humility, and boldness for Christ. Justin has surpassed my wildest expectations of a godly husband and father. A God fearing husband is a precious gift from the Lord, and I am so thankful for mine. Every day Justin's example to me of hard work causes me to be a better, more effective person. I love you Jus and I love the marriage and precious girls God has given us! Praise to Jesus Christ and Him alone for all good in my life!

And a special shout out to Justin's beautiful mother on this wonderful day! She bore Justin and his twin brother Casey like a true maternal champion, holding their restless bodies inside of her for weeks of reverse lamaze and being carried to the toilet. We love Shari Lee and are always craving more time with her!!!

7 Months Old Today!!!

Our Sweet Katelyn is 7 months old! We can't believe our sweet little baby is getting so old. Katelyn is such a sweet, mild tempered baby. She can sit on her own now, quite well and she loves to sit and watch her big sisters play. Her smile is big and bright and gives me that overwhelming feeling of parental bliss and tremendous love for this little being God has entrusted me with! Kalena has taken to make it her mission several times a day to get Katelyn to laugh. This involves a series of loud obnoxious (a word i banned from the household for it's harsh undertones) noises that she repeats over and over again increasing in volume. While mommy can only take so much of it, Katelyn thinks it is really great and now laughs multiple times a day at Kalena. She has really figured out a lot of little special things to make Katelyn laugh and it is very precious. Sara loves her baby sister too and whenever Katlyn comes down from a nap, Sara yells "Katelyns awake" at the top of her lungs. She then runs to her and in a soft very high pitch squeaky voice talks baby talk to katelyn, saying, "Oh you are so cute and precious, I just can't stand it" or something of the sort. Neither of the girls really has a handle on being gentle with Katelyn yet so she gets roughed around quite a bit, but seems to enjoy her sisters regardless. In the past week she has gotten up on all fours (hands and knees) and I think is close to taking some first attempts at crawling! This is much sooner than her sisters, who both crawled about about 10 months! I love my little Katelyn so much!!! My favorite times with her each day are when she first wakes up and wants to be cuddled. We snuggle together and she just burries her face into my neck. It is the sweetest thing and something i look forward to everyday. She also loves to press her face against my cheek, which is just too sweet I simply can't stand it!!!

I am praying for my sweet little Katelyn to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Creator who created her so perfectly! I pray she will come to know Him at an early age, and be a woman who praises God and loves and serves him with all her heart, mind, soul and strength.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Q & A With John MacArthur

April 18th, 2010. Questions and Answers with John MacArthur at Grace Community Church

QUESTION: Hi, I’m a Catholic. I’ve been a Catholic all of my life, that’s 75 years. The question I’m going to ask is a very, very basic and has been bothering me for many, many years of my adult life. To the billions of non-Christian denominations, I’m talking about the Jewish, the Buddhists, the Profuciests, Mormons and so forth that truly believe in their faith, that lived a very good life according to their faith. My question is, is there salvation...a heaven for them? Or all they all condemned to hell?

JOHN: Yeah, that’s a very good question. What’s your name?

CHARLIE: Charlie...........Simmons

JOHN: Hi, Charlie. That’s a very good question, Charlie.
The answer to that from the Word of God is they will all perish in hell because there is only one way to go to heaven. There’s no salvation in any other name than the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus said “You will die in your sins,” to the Jewish leaders, “because you believe not on Me...because you believe not on Me.” “God, that familiar John 3:16, so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes on Him shall not perish.”

There’s only one heaven and there’s only one way into heaven and that is through faith in Christ. It is the only hope, that is why we are told to go to the ends of the earth, preach the gospel to every creature. So all who perish without the knowledge of Christ, die in their sins and go everlastingly to hell.

Now the degree of punishment in hell will vary. But what makes it vary is not the goodness of the person because no person is good before God, no person. Only God is good and Jesus said that. No person is good, no person is good enough to earn heaven. The only difference in hell will be that the people who heard about Jesus Christ and rejected Him will have a greater punishment than the people who didn’t hear about Him. They will all be punished, but those who knew about Christ and didn’t receive Christ will have the greater punishment. That’s Hebrews, “How much sorer, or greater will be the punishment of those who trampled underfoot the blood of the covenant and counted the work of Christ, as it were, an unholy thing, rejected Christ.”

Now the other thing to say is this, that even if you believe in Christ, even if you believe in Christ as God and Christ dying on the cross and Christ being raised from the dead and Christ being Lord, and all those things, that may not be enough to get you into heaven either because in Matthew 7 it says, “Many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, we did this in Your name and that in Your name.’ And He’ll say, ‘Depart from Me, I never knew you.’” So you can know about Christ and you can know that He lived a holy life and was born of a virgin and that He died on the cross and He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and reigns and is returning and not go to heaven.

But here’s the key. You must trust Christ for your salvation alone and reject any works of your own as having any contribution to your salvation.

JOHN: It doesn’t matter how many times you went to church, it doesn’t matter how many humanly good deeds you did, it doesn’t matter how many times you took the Mass, for example, in a Catholic situation, it doesn’t matter how many times you went to Confession, it doesn’t matter how bad you felt about the sins that you did, it doesn’t matter how many rosaries you said, it doesn’t matter any of those things...none of those things individually and all of those things collectively cannot save a person. A person will be saved by faith in Christ alone, recognizing that in my flesh dwells no good thing, by the deeds of the Law will not flesh be justified. You can’t earn your way in by being good. You can only receive salvation when you know you’re not good enough and you cry out to be forgiven of your sin by the sheer grace of God based upon the death and provision of Christ on the cross. Okay?

CHARLIE: Oh one last thing, I meant to add this. I am leaving the Catholic Church and hope to join this church.

JOHN: We welcome you. (Applause) Now you folks over there, you folks over there need to open your arms to Charlie, right? Let him know we love having him here.

You understand the gospel, right? The way I explained it? All right, Charlie, never too late, right? You’re the youngest-looking 75. What happened to me? I don’t get it. Okay. Alright.

[This has been taken from the Grace To You website.]

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kalena's First Prayer

This was what I was so blessed to have witnessed:
Kalena and Sara were playing "school", and it was lunchtime at the school. They sat down at their little table, about 10 feet from me where I was working on the computer. Kalena said it was time to pray and asked Sara to hold her hands. Then they both bowed their heads and closed their eyes. Kalena began to pray. I scrambled to get something to write it down with. Here is what I caught of the last half of the prayer: "Thank you for our childs (she meant their baby dolls), thank you for the sky, (then she paused to think) thank you for all the things (lets go of Sara's hand to wave her hand around) that bless me. In your name, Amen." It was so sweet to hear Kalena pray. We have asked her numerous times before if she wanted to pray and she has always said "no", and that she doesn't know what to pray for. This was indeed music to my ears!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Amazing Banana Bread!

Banana Bread
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease and flour one 9-inch loaf pan or several smaller pans. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; combine with the butter mixture. Add the bananas, sour cream and vanilla; stir well. fold in the nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out into a rack. Makes 1 loaf.
*Works with whole wheat flour too!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sara is 2!!!

Last month our sweet Sara Bear Cakes turned two years old! Here are some of our thoughts about Sara. Sara is the funniest little girl. She is smiling and laughing all the time and constantly trying to make us do the same. She is usually successful. Sara is a bundle of fun wrapped up in a small yet still squishy body that just begs to be squeezed and cuddled. She usually wakes up with a smile and an enthusiastic "Hi Mommy, Im awake!" She doesn't say her S's or her R's yet so it is our favorite thing to ask her what her name is "Thawa Gwath" She has a favorite baby doll she has affectionately named "Baby Mosif" (can't say the s on the end of moses). Kalena has a baby doll who is "Baby Jesus". So when playing dolls, Sara is usually Joseph and Kalena is Mary and repeats often that Joseph is her husband and they are in love with each other. When not playing joseph, she is Moses's mother, Jachobed (hilarious to hear Sara try to say that one!) Sara loves Dora the Explora, Boots, Poo Bear, and her Sea Horse (a pink seahorse that's belly lights up and plays classical music). She loves to read also, and every time I finish a book she yells "Again!". Her speech has become so clear and her sentences are very verbose. She uses "really" a lot, *substitute the r for a w ("I welly want a cookie") and one of her favorite phrases is "I bumped myself!" She is bumping her self a lot because she never walks anywhere. If it is more than two steps, she is usually running. She also has learned how to decapitate her "My Little Pony" and recently decapitated an angel doll (grammy had to sew it back together). She has lost the privilege of using markers because aside from eating them, she can not sit contained with a marker, she must be running around the house marking on things. She got into my sharpies the other day and drew on the couch's arm chair, coffee table, another chair, and all over her baby doll's head. After many spankings, I have decided to wait on giving Sara markers. I give her white chalk only. So far she hasn't eaten any, and anything it gets on can be easily wiped off. I have been letting her draw on the kitchen floor with chalk. she loves it. She adores Kalena and follows her around the house. She also adores Katelyn and is constantly hugging, kissing, and playing with her. When Grammy gave her a special treat of a Jamba Juice today, she said "Thank you for my pajama juice!" Sara is a treasure that we are so blessed to have around us all day long. We just can't get enough of her. I get sad when it is time to say good night to Sara. She makes everyone in the house a happier person, her laughter and humor are so contagious. We adore Sara, and are praying that she will become a woman who fears and honors the Lord. Thank you God for giving us our Sara Bear!