Friday, March 31, 2006


Session 3...

A big thanks to Taylor for blogging Session 2. I would periodically glance over at her and see her fingers flying!

Wow, gals! This has been such an exciting time and I wish all the ladies from our fellowship could be here, but I reckon this is the next best thing! There was such an awareness last night of the Spirit’s presence with us. He is so kind to condescend to us and minister to all believers.

And now for Session 3…

A Woman’s Beauty Regimen- Carolyn Mahaney

All women have a daily beauty regimen; some regimens are simple, and some are very complicated. The point is, we all do something to amend what we look like when we crawl out of bed each morning. But Scripture gives a beauty regimen that guarantees to make a woman beautiful, regardless of age, weight or color.

Do not let your adorning be external- the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing- but lwt your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. I Peter 3:3-4

Please note: God is not opposed to women making themselves beautiful. On the contrary- the above verse gives various ideas. God delights in beauty; consider the beauty of creation! An elegant flower, towering trees, majestic night sky, a meandering river; all are displays of God’s love of and delight in beauty. And we are created in His image; it is in our very nature to make things beautiful. In this way, we are imitating our Creator!

This taste for beauty, however in many cases it may be altogether corrupted in its object, wrong in its principle, or excessive in its degree, is in its own nature an imitation of the workmanship of God, who, ‘by his Spirit has garnished the heavens,’ and covered the earth with beauty.” John Angell James, Female Piety

How can we use this taste for beauty to glorify God. Certainly, we want to adorn ourselves in such a manner that doesn’t detract from His glory.

I. The Beauty Regimen God Condemns

This verse does not forbid the sober and moderate use of decent ornaments, when the use is according to the quality, place, and station. But it forbids the inordinate love and excessive use (that is, the abuse) of them. There may be the plaiting of the hair, and the wearing of gold, and there must be the putting on of apparel. But we must not make these things our adorning: that is, we must not set our hearts upon them, nor value ourselves by them, nor think the better of ourselves for them, nor pride ourselves in them, as if they added any real excellence to us.” Matthew Henry, The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit

‘Adorning’ refers to what one uses to make oneself beautiful to others. The point is that Christian women should depend for their own attractiveness not on outward things like braiding their hair, decorations of gold, and wearing fine clothing…Peter’s point is not that nay of these is forbidden, but that these should not be a woman’s ‘adorning,’ her source of beauty.” Wayne Grudem, The First Epistle of Peter (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)

So, these things are not forbidden, but these things aren’t the source of our beauty. What is forbidden is the dependence upon them. Our society today focuses solely on outward beauty. BEWARE your hearts: we are so prone to be sucked into this philosophy.

II. The Beauty Regimen God Commands

We are to adorn the hidden person of the heart- our inward nature. God requires us to be occupied mostly with what is hidden. We behave in the opposite of this! How do we clean our homes? We start with the obvious- what is seen. But we dare not apply this same approach when it comes to making ourselves beautiful. Scripture is clear that priority is to be given to what is on the inside. So how do we do this?

We do this with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This is not referring to a woman with a quiet personality. One can be quiet and not have a gentle and quiet spirit. So what is it?

A gentle and quiet spirit is an inner disposition of humble contentment and quiet tranquility rooted in an unwavering trust in God and His purpose. ‘Gentle’ carries the idea of humility (not thinking one is too important) that results in patiently accepting whatever comes one’s way- especially wrongdoing from others, hende, humble contentment. ‘Quiet’ doesn’t just mean ‘not talking.’ It has the idea of calmness and tranquility that delivers one from both selfish assertiveness and anxious striving. In the larger context of this passage, this clearly has to do with calmly trusting in God and patiently accepting wrong from persecutors an unbelieving husband.” Jeff Purswell

How do we display a steadfast peace when someone has sinned against us? What is our reaction when someone wrongs us in some way, whether insignificant or serious? Is our reaction sinful, or gentle and quiet? Do we remain gentle, or do we lash out and retaliate? Do we display a peace that cannot be shaken? How is it possible to maintain this unshakable peace? We continue entrusting ourselves to “ Him who judges justly.” This is how it’s possible! This is a resolute and steadfast trust in God.

Love to God disposes men to see his hand in everything; to own him as the governor of the world, and the director of providence; and to acknowledge his disposal in everything that takes place. And the fact, that the hand of God is a great deal more concerned in all that happens to us than the treatment of men is, should lead us, an a great measure, not to think of things as from men, but to have respect to them chiefly as from God - as ordered by his love and wisdom, even when their immediate source may be the malice or heedlessness of a fellow-man. And if we indeed consider and feel that they are from the hand of God, then we shall be disposed meekly to receive and quietly to submit to them, and to own that the greatest injuries received from men are justly and even kindly ordered of God, and so be far from any ruffle or tumult of mind on account of them." Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruit

III. The Beauty Regimen God Commends

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. I Samuel 16:7

What is the most endearing thing for a woman who adorns her inward spirit? She attracts God’s attention! It is precious to Him! Why? Because He delights in being trusted. Hebrews 11:6- “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

We want to die to sin and live to righteousness. We can only do this because of Christ’s death for us. And because of his death for us, we can cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit. Jesus, thank You for the cross.


Session 2...

Session 2: Trusting God With A Hope Deferred

Carolyn McCulley

It is humbling to receive encouragement from people who knew you from the very beginning. God does make us trophies of his grace.

This comes from the sub-title of my book, but in some ways I wish it had been the main title. When I first became a Christian, I had no idea that I would still be waiting to get married, I would not have anticipated that to be God’s plan, God’s best for me, when I was 30. So, in some ways writing this book was an outworking of what it means to say that what God gives is for my good and for His glory. Why would singleness be for my good when I want to be married? There are two points I want to make:

I. It is God Who Assigns The Gifts
II. We’re called to Cultivate the same Character

Well, all of us, married or single are tempted to ask why? Why is this what you chose to give me? Do I still continue to ask for what I want? Is this your best. We single women can come into a church and experiecne a culture shock, entering a place where unlike society, marriage is exalted. We walk in a tension between what

We hear all kinds of counsel about how old you are, what you need to look like, what kind of character you need to have in order to be married, but it comes down to what God says in scripture about his character is true. We see ourselves as being SINGLE women, rather than single WOMEN. I think when we look at scripture we see a lot more about being a woman than about our marital status of life. So what does being a woman look like in whatever season of life God gives us?

I look at Scripture and I see that Paul talks about various gifts but he uses the same word charisma. This particular word, it doesn’t mean what we often think of in the sense of “do I like this gift?” do I want to exchange it. Ait’s better to look at is as a gracious endowment where the emphasis is on the grace given by the supplier.

The gifts of leading, teaching, serving are not questioned, they are merely practiced. But I beileve the gifts of marriage and singleness should be viewed in the same way.

Marriage exists to be a portrait of Christ and his church. Singleness is a season of sowing what we have been given into the church. It’s not about us, but it’s the only gift we tend to evaluate subjectively. We say I’m single, what’s wrong with me.

Now some would like to know if their gifts of singleness will be lifelong. I don’t know the answer. The only one who knows our future is the one who exists outside our future. He stands outside of time. He provides sustaining grace for every season.

1 Cor. 7:6-9
Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I

Here we have Paul calling singleness both good and a gift.

1 Cor. 12:4-11
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will.

The Bible’s emphasis is on our Godly femininity, no matter our material status. However, Scripture refers both to marriage and singleness as a gift.

That last sentence is very important. We see two important things about spiritual gifts. God is the one who gives, and he gives according to His will. We are tempted to think that it has to do with us. It’s not about who we are in meriting a gift. As soon as we start, we are overriding the concept of grace. As tempting as it is to see that singleness is looming over you and that everything in your life is on hold until you find that mate. Let me share a quote with you that CJ said:

Your greatest need is not a spouse, your greatest need is to be delivered from the wrath of God, and he has made a way for that.

A side note about contentment. Many will say to singles, you need to be content in your singleness and then God will provide a spouse. We need to protect ourselves from a performance that flows out of a desire to earn God’s favor. However, if people are speaking to your lack of contentment.

We see that being single is not being on hold that we have a purpose for investing that gift in the local church. Well, we have a role model in the Proverbs 31 woman, oddly enough. One day I was studying this and I realized these are the words of the mother to her son are actually an accrostic for the Hebrew alphabet. She is instillin in him early on what to look for in a woman who would therefore be an excellent wife. Therefore, these qualities are to be practiced by single women as well as married women.

A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain. She doeth him good and not evil All the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchant-ships; She bringeth her bread from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth food to her household, And their task to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it; With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh linen garments and selleth them, And delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing; And she laugheth at the time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue. She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying: Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all. Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates.
Prov. 31:10-31

She is a wonderful cook, she is a savy business woman, she has the heart of her husband. What is her worth? The word in Hebrew actually means that her character has an imestimable value. As we look at that in light of this passage, we see there are oppurtunities to look at the big picture, how we serve, why we serve. She was always thinking long term, for the benefit of her family and household. I don’t have time to go through the entire chapter but I do want to highlight the first verse, which begins, “A wife of noble character, who can find? ”
We see that we are to have the type of character that draws people to Christ from this example and command. Suffering is one way God brings about character. Though some would not experience singleness as a type of suffering, perhaps infertility, illness, or even a besetting sin that we struggle with for many years is how suffering manifests in your life. We are all brought to a place of trusting God with this hope that He will change our lives.

"For it is like a man going on a trip who called his servants and turned his money over to them. To one man he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, based on their ability. Then he went on his trip. "The one who received five talents went out at once and invested them and earned five more. In the same way, the one who had two talents earned two more. But the one who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master's money. "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I've earned five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy servant! Since you have been trustworthy with a small amount, I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master's joy!' "The one with two talents also came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I've earned two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy servant! Since you have been trustworthy with a small amount, I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master's joy!' "Then the one who had received one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you haven't planted and gathering where you haven't scattered any seed. Being afraid, I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here, take what is yours!' "His master answered him, 'You evil and lazy servant! So you knew that I harvested where I haven't planted and gathered where I haven't scattered any seed? Then you should have invested my money with the bankers. When I returned, I would have received my money back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has something, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Matt. 25:14-29

When we see Jesus address this in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. The Bible notes that he gave to each according to his ability. But the master was generous even in this, because a talent is actually worth about 20 years of wages. We see that the third servant did not think highly of his master, he went and buried it and was not a good steward. As singles, we can view our singleness as this one talent. We can bury it and wait around for a husband. We sit back and think our life will take off when we have a husbandand children. We have to see that whatever God has given us, we will be called to give an account for it. We have to say, here is what I have done with what you have given us. I believe that when we see God, our hearts will change. We will become thankful and joyful with the gifts He has given us. We will be able to see all the things God has done through us as a result of this gift of singleness. That is if we trust Him and if we continue to persevere and God will provide the grace for that.

So when you are in that season waiting and experiencing nobbled by your emotions and circumstances, how do we respond? I think we respond with worship. Hab 3: 17-18 says in my own paraphrase:

Though His friendship does not blossom,
nor love be in His heart,
Though he chooses to pursue someone else,
and my prayers seem to go unanswered,
though others walk down the wedding aisle,
and I remain behind,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

The Bible is full of accounts of our faithlessness and God’s faithfulness. We need to go to these passages of Scripture in times of struggle. There are two passages where God demonstrated his faithfulness to single women. In the book of Ruth, I want to consider Naomi. She endured much struggle, and decided that God was set against her. She returned home after losing her sons, and her friends greeted her. She asked them not to call her pleasant (Naomi), but instead bitter (Mara). As she stands there, Ruth is beside her, the living promise of God’s future favor and blessing on her. They returned at the time of the barley harvest. The very fields that held Ruth’s future, fields that Naomi did not plant, and yet God would use them to bless her. If only Naomi could have known that surrounding her were the promises of a faithful God, she might have held her tongue. But that is a test that I have not yet passed myself. Had she only known that one day she would be listed in the Scripture in the geneology of our Lord and Savior. She had surveyed her own circumstances and had asked to be called bitter. We are not omniscient, we can’t see the sum total of our circumstances of our lives. God is always at work. The second passage is found in John 11, the account of Mary Martha and Lazarus. They were already disciples of Jesus, and Lazarus had fallen ill. They sent words to Jesus that Lazarus was ill. Jesus saw their circumstances differently. He saw the situation as one to be used for God’s glory. But they did not understand why Jesus didn’t come. Why he instead stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Jesus then returns to the scene, and in verse 32 he arrives, “ (vs. 32)”
Jesus doesn’t see our circumstances and remain unmoved. He enters into our greif, even though He knew what he was about to do. He still wept. When we don’t understand what God is doing it is so easy to accuse him as the Jews did. But he had already said that this situation would not end as they thought it would. God had another plan. And now the sweet result of waiting on God. Many came to know the Lord in these circumstances. They had asked him only for a healing, but he had so much more in store. He came to demonstrate his power over death, to restore the relationship of brother and sister, as well as to reach outsiders to see the glory of God. There are so many levels to trusting God with our hopes. I would like to close with a quote from Charles Spurgeon, because no Sovereign grace message is complete without mentioning Spurgeon.

“God has not promised to rescue us according to our time schedule. If it appears that your prayers are unanswered, do not dishonour the Lord with unbelief. Waiting in faith is a high form of worship. In some respects, it excels the adoration of the shining ones above. God delivers His servants in ways that exercise their faith. He would not have them lacking in faith, for faith is the wealth of heavenly life. He desires that the trial of faith continues until faith grows strong and comes to full assurance. The sycamore fig never ripens into sweetness unless it is bruised; the same is true of faith. Tested believer, God will bring you through, but do not expect Him to bring you through in the way that human reason suggests, for that would not develop your faith…Obey Him and that will be far more in accord with your position as a finite creature than the vain attempt to map out a course for your Creator.”

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Session 1: What We Dare Not Forget...

Blogging Live from Encounter ’06- Charlotte, NC !!

Session 1- Thursday, March 30, 2006- Carolyn Mahaney

Ground Rules: What We Dare Not Forget

What happens when we hear teaching at conferences? Sometimes we are apprehensive because we can’t live up to the truth of the teaching that we hear. Sometimes we are downright fearful of attending because we may come under condemnation. Because of this, we want to use the first session to “prep” you for this conference. So here are some ground rules for this conference, some things we dare not forget!

I. The Source of Our Justification

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

When I am reminded of past sins, I come under condemnation. I start to focus more on my sin than God’s grace. I retreat from the Savior instead of drawing closer to Him. If I don’t struggle with condemnation, then I might stray toward legalism- trying to please God and gain acceptance from Him through obedience to Him. This plays out something like this: If I pray longer during my devotional time, then I can approach Him with more confidence!! But if I neglect to pray for a certain amount of time, I might try to avoid time with God until I “get my act together.”

Here is the danger: the presence of legalism isn’t always obvious. It can go undetected for a long time. This is why we need to be challenged to resist the temptation of legalism. Why? It is an expression of arrogance and unbelief. We are, in essence, declaring that Christ’s death is unneccessary and insufficient. We would never say such a thing aloud, but that is the attitude of legalism. Our acceptance by God is NEVER dependant upon our performance, but by His grace! We don’t earn or forfeit our justification based on performance. Praying longer doesn’t earn forgiveness from God. Cultivating a meek and quiet spirit will not justify us before God. Our obedience in these areas will not earn God’s favor or forgiveness. We are declared forgiven and righteous ONLY because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. The things mentioned above are important to pursue in sanctification. But don’t confuse the two: our continuing sanctification never makes us acceptable before God.

There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable ot God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot be accepted at all. This is not true of only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live…It is always on His ‘blood and righteousness’ alone that we can rest.” B.B. Warfield, Works 7:113

So, as we learn these things this weekend, let us not stumble under the weight of condemnation. Be assured there is more mercy in Christ than sin in us! (Richard Sibbes) We are already accepted by God because of His Son’s death on the cross. Let’s resolve to pursue obedience that is anchored in the justifying grace of God.

II. The Source of Our Ability

In all yor ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6

The purpose of this conference is not to cultivate self-effort, but to draw your attention to the power of the Holy Spirit at work within you and exhort you to draw upon strength of the Spirit. Growth in godliness is not solely dependent upon us; we need God’s power to obey his commands. Paul says in Colossians 1:29, “For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” Notice that Paul did struggle, but he did so depending upon the power of God. Jesus was clear when He said, “without Me, you can do nothing.” We must walk in constant and genuine dependence on God.

So, how do I constantly depend upon God in the daily busy-ness of life? Proverbs 3:6 gives us the answer for us!

Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction. Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without His counsel. He loves to be consulted...consider no circumstances too clear to need His direction. In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative, temporal or eternal, let Him be supreme. Who of us has not found the unspeakable 'peace' of bringing to God matters too minute or individual to be entrusted to the most confidential ear? If in true poverty of spirit we go every morning to our Lord, as knowing not how to guide ourselves for this day; our eye constantly looking upward for direction, the light will come down. He shall direct thy paths...Let the will be kept in quiet, subdued, cheerful, readiness, to move, stay, retreat, turn to the right hand or the left, at the Lord's bidding; always remembering that is best which is least our own doing, and that a pliable spirit ever secures the needful guidance....No step well prayed over will bring ultimate regret.” Charles Bridges, Proverbs (Geneva Series of Commentaries)

It is easy to trust God for the BIG decisions, but do we do this for every day? For simple dependence? We need to plan for this. If we don’t, we will be susceptible to the sin of self-sufficiency. So here’s a two-part plan:
1. Acknowledge our need for God and ask for His help. God loves to be consulted about the ordinary matters of our days! He loves to reveal Himself in the ordinary “stuff” of daily life.
2. If there is any area of growth we are made aware of, let’s resist the temptation of thinking that change depends entirely upon us. Let’s be quick to acknowledge our need for, dependence upon, and trust in Him. We can be encouraged that God will work in our lives!

III. The Source of Our Motivation

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31

There is an implication here that we can actually do something to glorify God. What a stunning thought! Not only stunning, but also motivating. The God who made the universe had personally called us to serve and glorify Himself. Think of that in the light of our sinfulness. Why would we be called to do that? Astounding! Let’s dare not miss the amazing fact of this privelege we’ve been given!

**In closing, if we neglect these ground rules, we may revert to self-sufficient effort and fail to recognize the privelege of glorifying God.

Here’s a thought for you: don’t even try to remember everything we will hear this weekend! WHAT?! Listen here: God has justified us; He has given us his Spirit to sanctify us; and He has given us the privelege of gloryfying Him. But we just aren’t capable of remembering everything.

Just as we don’t change all at once, so we don’t swallow all of truth in one gulp. We are simple people. You can’t remember ten things at once. Invariably, if you could remember just ONE true thing…you’d be different.” David Powlison, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ

In light of the above counsel, take a sip of truth, instead of huge gulps. This is an expression of humility; an acknowledgment of ourselves as finite creatures. This doesn’t mean your growth in godliness will be confined to one area. Not so. Change in one area very often affects every area of our lives.

Connect one bit of Scripture to one bit of life…Apply one relevant thing from our Redeemer to one significant scene on our story. Bring one bit of the Bible to one bit of our life…You can’t deal with it all at once. Scripture never does…Life goes one step at a time.” David Powlison, “Think Globally, Act Locally,” Journal of Biblical Counseling, Volume 22, Number 1 (Fall 2003)

What one bit of Scripture are you connecting to one part of your life? Then follow with one step of obedience at a time.


We made it...

We are here! Our group from Crossway Fellowship in Athens, GA caravanned up here to North Carolina- what a blast! In our suburban were 4 adult women and 4 teenaged ladies. The teenagers really help to keep us older ones young! What fun singing praises and laughing. Oh, and to Kat and Courtney: the 70’s are NOT the “olden days”!!!!

We eagerly await God meeting us this weekend. Please pray for us to be purposeful in our thoughts and in our time. I personally look forward to learning more about our great God and Savior, as well as pouring time into relationships with the godly women of our fellowship.

Let me introduce my fellow blogging friend for the weekend: Taylor Battaglia. Yes, the link to her website is on the sidebar. Hop on over and check out her blog. You will find a heart eager to follow after Christ. Taylor is definitely the techno-geek (ha!ha!) on this team.

We hope this will bless the ladies who cannot be here this weekend. Be encouraged by the teaching of God’s Word!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The best I've read in a long time...

I urge you blog-lovin' gals out there to rush over, as it were, to my friend Faith Raider's blog and read "Heart Matters." It isn't the most recent post, but one from March 24. This is the best blog post I have read in a long time. It is truly a heart check in this world of subtle and not-so-subtle pride in our choices and accomplishments. And somehow, the post made me laugh out loud and yet become introspective at the same time. Be blessed and encouraged. I was.

Friday, March 24, 2006


In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina...

Yes, I do love listening to James Taylor's old stuff. Can't really comment on the new, as I haven't bought anything recorded by him past 1985 or so...I digress. Actually, I'm not just goin' to Carolina in my mind; I'm truly going in body too! Next Thursday, as a matter of fact, to Charlotte, NC for Encounter '06. I'm so excited. So, go ahead, ask me....Oh! What is Encounter '06? Well, it is a conference hosted by Sovereign Grace Ministries and is targeted to equip women more fully in the gospel and living out the message and glories of the cross.

I'm seriously thinking about taking ye old laptop and blogging from the conference. No, this isn't an original idea, but a good one, doncha think?

I do hope to post before next week's end, but in case I don't....yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind...

Monday, March 20, 2006


We are family...

I am singing the blues these past few days since my sister moved to Florida *sniff*. She took job at a hospital in Panama City and a condo in Ft. Walton Beach. With a pool. And her own private walkway to the beach. I forget- I'm sad why? Oh yeah, because she is 6 hours away now.

My sister is a single gal who happens to be a great friend, a great nurse practitioner, and a great auntie. My kiddos think she hung the moon. Not created it, mind you. We have given them theological training!! There were many tears on Saturday when we said "goodbye"; until Faith uttered those 15 magical words, "Ft. Walton is only a 45 minute plane ride and $38 round trip from Atlanta." All of a sudden, my children were envisioning solo flights to the beach, body-surfing in the ocean, cannonballing into the pool, and seafood feasts at the local restaurant. Oh, and seeing Aunt Faith would be great too!! Self-centered little beasts! Everyone knows I will be the first one on the plane to Ft. Walton; soaking up the rays; engrossed in a great book; sipping ice cold, sweetened tea; popping succulent shrimp scampi into my mouth....Um, huh, um. Sorry, just a little daydreaming there!

Seriously, I do have some concerns. How can we cultivate our relationship with this new distance? In what ways can I serve her, both spiritually and practically? (How can I cut my grocery budget to start saving for plane tickets?) Oops! Did I say that out loud? Let me hear from y'all. I know there are some gals out there who have siblings in another state. Tell me, how do you do it? I eagerly await feedback...

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Goodbye Google...

I know that most of y'all just LOOOOOOVE Google, and generally, I do too. But these ads popping up on my blogsite are just not cuttin' it. They were supposed to be "content driven" ads, but I swear I've never blogged about cheating partners or the need to spice up one's sex life. Please forgive and try to overlook as I go about getting this straightened out!! I'm sure these have caused offense, as they do not exactly lift up the name of Christ. Thank you for your patience with one who is Oh-so-slow in learning about technical stuff!!

Friday, March 10, 2006


Blessed be Your name...

This is not a funny post, but definately a thankful one. Yesterday afternoon my youngest child, Kirk, was playing with his siblings and a neighborhood friend outside. My oldest child, Harrison, came bursting in the house calling for me and Rob (we were on opposite ends). He said that Kirk fell and couldn't talk. Well, he had fallen. Hard. Onto the concrete driveway. Head first. OFF THE TOP OF OUR MINIVAN. Yes, apparently he climbed up onto the top of the van- not the hood, the roof- to get away from our very large puppy, Jack, who was chasing him. Kirk tripped over the roof rack and fell straight down. When we got to his side he was moaning but not responding to us. His eyes were rolled back off to the right and he couldn't focus or make eye contact. Rob immediately scooped him up and said, "I'm taking him to the ER." And then proceeded to hop into the van with Kirk on his lap and drove away. *Please, no comments as to the unsafe transport to the hospital. This obviously is not a normal circumstance and we would never have done this otherwise*

I ushered the children into the house, and amid floods of tears, prayed with them for their baby brother. Then I called Karen from church to come stay with them while I went to the ER. Not only did she come right over, but sent her husband and another church friend over on their way home from work!! So I confidently left Harrison, Eli and Sophia in the capable, praying, Godly hands of those three adults.

The whole way to the hospital I was just crying out to God to spare my baby boy. The abrasions on his face and body testified to how hard he actually fell. When I rushed into the ER exam room I saw his little 3-year old body lying on a bed with a C-collar attached to his neck. I know parents should try to "hold it together" so the child doesn't get upset, but that is way easier said than done. Rob told me that Kirk began to vomit on the way to the hospital and continued to do so in the ER triage- probably why he got put in a room so quickly.

Our pastor, Paul, came into the room very shortly after I arrived and let us know that many people were, at that very moment, praying to God for Kirk's life and health. Kirk was then wheeled off to have x-rays and a CT scan with me beside him- after I assured hospital personnel that there was no chance I could be pregnant. What happened over the next hour can only be described as God's hand restoring my son to health. First, his color gradually came back. Then, he sat up and asked, "Can you please take this 'fing' off my neck? It itches me!" The doc and nurses were all amazed at the rapid transformation in him. Kirk was wheeled back into the exam room to find Scott, our care group leader, in the room as well. Let me say that the 4 adults had some sweet time of prayer for our son, and I am so glad that Kirk was aware that we were clinging to God at that time.

After several hours, he was pronounced "fine" and we were able to go home. Upon entering the door of the house Kirk immediately burst out with, "Hey guys! Guess what? God healed me!!!" We witnessed an outpouring of affection onto him from his siblings. They were crying, laughing and hugging him, all at the same time.

Rejoice with us as we are thanking God today for our precious son who,upon waking, asked for pizza for breakfast! Guess what he got?! Yep! Deep dish cheese from Dominos!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


You put the lime in the coconut...

Okay, REALLY!! Has anyone ever tried that? Come to think of it, it does sound like it might taste good. But I digress...I'm actually posting today to extol the virtues of something I've discovered (drumroll please)-- Coconut Oil. Now, I know what y'all are thinking..."Is she gonna try to become a cooking/baking/cleanining tips kind of gal?" And the answer is "NO." Not because I don't enjoy those blogs; I do. There are just so many others who are already doing them- quite well, I might add.

But back to coconut is fantastic!! I have been baking bread for about 7 years now. Actually my mother-in-law gave me a Whisper Mill about 8 years ago, but I really didn't know what to do with it until a year or so later. Traditionally, I use olive oil for the oil/fat portion. And I do love olive oil, but for some reason, it has shot up in price around here. I was reading Stephanie's blog and she talks about coconut oil in a couple of her posts. Sorry, I'm not technologically proficient enough to actually link y'all to that particular post! She recommended using coconut oil in place of olive oil in baking bread. I did this and the results were muy fabuloso!!

Any more great ideas for using coconut oil? Other than mixing it with lime...

Monday, March 06, 2006


Hey la! Hey la! My boyfriend's back...

G'day ladies! Hope your weekend was wonderful. Mine was; I got my husband back. Okay- clarification: I didn't lose him nor send him away. He has been on business trips for the past two weeks (not continually) and he arrived home FOR GOOD on Saturday (I capitalize that so in case Rob's boss stumbles upon this site he will get the hint!!!).

Do any of your husbands have to travel with their jobs? I would be interested to know what that is like for other wives and mothers. Sometimes things go great, without a hitch; other times, well, let's just say that the song in the title of this post is completely appropriate!!! I just love it when Rob slips into the whole "She-was-my-wife-before-she-was-your-mother-and-you-may-not-mistreat-MY WIFE" cleanup process. Not to paint an inaccurate picture of my childrens' behavior though. Generally speaking, my boys step up to the plate to be "the men of the house" and my daughter is extra helpful. However, I have one child- whom I won't mention, but his name starts with "Kirk"- who has built in "daddy isn't home" radar and slips into bed with me at precisely 3:17 am when Rob is gone. SO SWEET!!! Who could resist that?

And while I'm garnering advice from y'all, how about this one: How on earth am I supposed to buckle down and do schooling with the kiddos when the expected high this week is 80 degrees? I can definitely see many insect-hunting, flower/weed gathering, fossil-searching expeditions!! Forget that we aren't even studying any of those things right now!!! But hey! If my friend can have her kids do a life-skills unit on "home renovation" (stripping bathroom wallpaper and pulling up flooring), then we can certainly explore the great outdoors!! Great idea, Andrea!

*Quick note* In light of the recent post at Mrs. Happy Housewife on apostrophe misuse, just let me say in defense of the post's title that 1. It should be read as a contraction (boyfriend is) and 2. It IS the title of a song...

Enjoy this gorgeous week to come- if you live in Georgia and other temperate places. And to my friends in Michigan: keep shoveling!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


A blogger no more....

This is the question I've been pondering for the last few days. My heart has been immeasurably saddened over witnessing what I will call a "Blog-drama" on some of the weblogs, two in particular. I am not a party directly involved with either of these two women, and to put forth names and specific details would be gossip, plain and simple. But I have seen gossip disguised as "just pointing out the truth" and "defending myself against her attacks," etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. At one point I was so upset over the hermeneutical twisting of Matthew 18 in order to justify gossip that I had to go to my husband and say, "What in the world is going on here?"

Thank God for the wisdom and protection of my husband. (Now is a great time to direct y'all to Crystal's blog and to her article regarding "Why women need protectors") He reminded me that one danger of having a blog and a large readership is the potential for pride to move in and take up residence without even realizing his presence. As the Purtian Richard Baxter once said, "Pride is the disease that leaves you thinking you have NO disease at all." No, I am not pointing out my finger in accusation toward these women. This is an exhortation to me as well (though I don't have a large readership!!)

So here is my dilemma: If this blog-thing isn't used for encouraging, exhorting, and lifting up the name of Christ, why blog at all? Shouldn't there be an inherently DIFFERENT tone to the blogs that are "Christian"? Shouldn't lost people who providentially "stumble" onto our sites be refreshed by an altogether pleasant aroma of the beauty of our Savior? And lastly, even in this age of cyberspace and mega-technology, God's plan for resolving conflict between and among believers does not change. God is never pleased with dissension and pride-infused arguments. Let's get back to being salt and light; not just another group of people known by infighting and unloving hearts.

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