Sunday, January 29, 2012

Proverbs

Oh, Proverbs.  One of the more enjoyable books of the Bible in my opinion.  To me, they are like little fortune cookies of wisdom.  They are straight forward, tell it to your face snippets of awesomeness.  (I probably use all forms of awesome too much, but hey, it's what I do.)  So, I'm just going to go through a couple of the proverbs that have caught my attention through my reading this time and comment on them a bit.

"Listen, my son, to your father's
instruction
and do not forsake your
mother's teaching.
They will be a garland to grace
your head
and a chain to adorn your
neck."
     -Proverbs 1:8-9

Ok, so your parents aren't completely stupid like you thought.  They can be a great resource to you because they have been right where you are now.  They were young once, have grown and do know what they're talking about.  Their knowledge can help you make better decisions as you go through life.

"For a lack of guidance a nations falls,
but many advisers make victory sure"
-Proverbs 11:14

I am not political by any means, but this caught my attention because it seems like we as a nation are failing.  We do not have wise people leading our way and those who are in charge can not seem to work together for the good of us because we are looking in the wrong places.

"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid"
-Proverbs 12:1

I probably only likes this one because I love it when the Bible calls people stupid, because we are stupid.  In my experience to grow and know more you have to be disciplined in your learning and when correction is needed embrace it because it makes you better in the end.

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor,
it is attained by a righteous life"
-Proverbs 16:31

This one made me think of Michael and all that gray hair that he has.  He must have been noticed as righteous early in life since he was already starting to gray when I met him when he was fifteen years old.

Proverbs is an great book to look into.  It keeps everything simple and easy to follow and I think is also a good starting off point if new to Bible reading because it's not super intimidating when you begin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Being Miserable

I have been sick for over a week now and I hate it with a passion.  Even medicated up I still feel awful.  This is the worst cold I've ever had.  Over this past weekend I literally (and I mean literally) went through three boxes of tissues.  And even the littlest things leave me completely exhausted.  On Sunday my sinuses were so bad that my left eye was swollen.  My nose is raw and is now peeling from constant tissue contact. I feel very pathetic.

My house is suffering from no real attention and is a disaster.  I just can't get myself moving to clean it.  When I try I become fatigued so quickly that I fall asleep.  And worse than anything, I feel like I haven't seen my kids or Michael over the last few days I've been sleeping so much.

They say it has to get worse before it gets better, right?  I'm hoping that I am almost done with this nastiness.  My life is not meant to be spent sleeping, hacking and feeling terrible.  I want to be able to get up and clean, to play with my kids and feel like a normal person again.  So, please pray for my well being that I will be over this quickly and can get back to my regular routine.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wow... Pastor Michael

So this past weekend Michael was announced as the new Children's Pastor for GV Christian Center!  We are very excited!  Michael was called to children's ministry many years ago.  He volunteered for years and then God opened up an opportunity for him to assist the last children's pastor while he was going to school to receive his Ministers License.

Michael has worked very hard and I am very proud of him.  Now it's just a new beginning and I'm so glad that I get to be along for the ride.

Oh and if you want to see Michael being introduced at service, you can see it here and hear a great message while you're at it.  Also, don't mind my voice as I was sick and it was gone.  I sound ridiculous so feel free to ignore that part.  Other than that, enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Review: Bossypants

Last night I finished reading Bossypants by Tina Fey.  While over all the book was an easy read with some parts that made me smile and even laugh out loud at times I really felt it was lacking in some ways.

I honestly think Tina should be proud of herself and her accomplishments.  I find her funny when I watch her on TV and I loved when she was on SNL Weekend Update.  I just felt like most of the book she was downplaying herself and her talent.  I mean it's ok that she finds others that she worked with very talented but the whole time it seemed like she took the "I'm really not the great" approach to this memoir and then would go on to describe some of the great things she did do.  I'm all for being humble but there is also a place to be proud of yourself or your humility seems fake.

I did enjoy the couple of stories about herself when she was younger and how she looked up to her dad and how awesome he really is.  And that she is very happy to have her daughter and have a family.  I think family is very important and I it seems she feels that way to.

My favorite chapter in the book is the one where she writes a prayer for her daughter.  While I know that much of the prayer was included to be humorous I believe that in some of it she was serious in her wishes for her daughters future.

If Tina Fey ever writes another book I will more than likely give it a read.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rolled Page Letter Bookends

Way back in October I made a rolled page letter A (which you can see here) with the intention of hanging it in my front doorway to add some character to an empty wall area.  But, the letter was too small to really make the space look nice, so I had another idea.  I went ahead and made a Z to go with my A and will be adding a wood block to the back to keep them stable and created my own unique bookends.

This make me very excited because I have been searching for bookends to help display our collection of foreign language Bibles.  I wanted something that looked nice and never really found anything I liked and I really wanted to get them out of the bookshelf and out in the open.

Our collection includes:

  •  Polish prayer book
  •  Hebrew NT
  •  2 Indian Bibles but two different languages
    • Thiruviviliam
    • Hindi 
  • French Bible
  • Spanish Bible
  • Korean Bible
  • Japanese Bible
  • Bulgarian Bible
We've been blessed by friends and family that while they have traveled have known about our collection and have brought us back Bibles from the countries they visited.  A couple of the Bibles we found in used book stores and the Japanese Bible was a Christmas present to Michael from my parents (it took them a couple of months to track one down).  I get excited anytime we receive or find a new one to add and hope to add more to the rest very soon.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: The Son of Neptune

I have to say that I did enjoy reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, but I am digging this second series even more.  The Heroes of Olympus way more exciting and more of a page turner.  I just finished reading The Son of Neptune and I was happy to see the return of Percy Jackson, since he was mentioned but missing in the first installment.  He is a great character in my opinion.  He is loyal and brave- thing you want in a hero.

It's been awesome getting to know some of the gods in their Roman form.  It did take me a while to get used to them this way and using them with their Roman names instead of Greek; since I'm more familiar with the Greek gods.  I even ran a across a couple of gods that I had never heard of before.

I also have a copy of the first book in this series on audiobook and plan on listening to it with kids like I did with the Percy Jackson series.  Sidda and MJ loved hearing about Percy Jackson's adventures and I am excited to add more for them to experience.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Printables

So, I've been trying my hand at designing some printables and making one silly one that Michael suggested we make because I've been torturing by listening to the audiobooks of the Shopaholic series while I clean the house.  I hope you enjoy the couple I've made.  Maybe I'll try my hand at some more as ideas come to me.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sidda and Basketball

Sidda had her very first basketball game today!  She plays with her cousin Aden and they are amazing to watch. If you have never seen a six year old basketball game you are missing out.  It is awesome.  Sidda has never played a game before so it took her a little time to get a hang of what was going on.  She also managed to make a basket!  I am very excited for next week when she plays again.
Sidda is #4 and Aden #5.  They are in the maroon/red shirts.


 Here they are running some defense














Sidda and Aden waiting for a pass



Preparing for awesomeness



After game snack time



And some silliness.  What a couple of weirdos!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Crossed

Crossed by Ally Condie is the second book in the Matched Trilogy.  In the first installment you follow Cassia who is being Matched.  Her match is her best friend Xander who she has known all her life.  But life quickly changed for Cassia when Society tells her she is also matched to Ky.  The first book is an interesting concept.  I'm not a huge fan of distopian stories but the first one held my interest enough to continue on to the sequel.

So, Crossed is what happens after Cassia chooses to love Ky and he is sent away from Society and her journey to find him and the Rising.  Though she loves Ky she still has a strong pull to Xander.  I've read many reviews that said that they felt like the story never truly progressed but I couldn't disagree more.  I thought this book had so much more going on in it than the previous one.  I love stories that give good background and help explain why people are the way that they are.  I feel like I now understand more of the story.  I also liked that I was able to hear much of the story from Ky's perspective.  He is no longer such a mystery.

I am now looking forward to the final book coming out later this year to see how this ends and what will happen to Society.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Psalms

Wow... it only took me two and a half months to get through Psalms.  How embarrassing is that?  I don't know what it is about this book that just frustrated me so.  There are very few that I actually like, and even less that I feel connected with.


Now, don't start yelling at me... I know that you love the Book of Psalms.  It's ok, I won't hold it against you.  It's really just not my cup of tea.  It might be that my brain is so set on the New Testament that it just boggles as I go through some of these Old Testament books.  But enough about that- let's move on to what I actually did enjoy.


The first one that hit me was Psalm 73.




1 Surely God is good to Israel,
   to those who are pure in heart.
 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
   I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
   when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
 4 They have no struggles;
   their bodies are healthy and strong.[a]
5 They are free from common human burdens;
   they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
   they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity[b];
   their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
   with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
   and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them
   and drink up waters in abundance.[c]
11 They say, “How would God know?
   Does the Most High know anything?”
 12 This is what the wicked are like—
   always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
   and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
   and every morning brings new punishments.
 15 If I had spoken out like that,
   I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
   it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
   then I understood their final destiny.
 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
   you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
   completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes;
   when you arise, Lord,
   you will despise them as fantasies.
 21 When my heart was grieved
   and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
   I was a brute beast before you.
 23 Yet I am always with you;
   you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
   and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength of my heart
   and my portion forever.
 27 Those who are far from you will perish;
   you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
   I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
   I will tell of all your deeds.

This Psalm goes into how frustrating it is to see those who do not love God prosper.  They have money, beauty, popularity- everything that the world can offer and jealousy sets in, but in the end you remember that they will wiped away to nothing and God will still be there.  And He is enough.

Now my favorite Psalm.  It is a pretty popular one and many use it to speak against abortion.  And I agree in it's use for that reason, but it is not why it is my favorite.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
 1 You have searched me, LORD,
   and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
   you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such 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?
8 If 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,
10 even 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,”
12 even 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.
14 I 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.
16 Your 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, God! 

   How vast is the sum of them! 
18 Were I to count them, 
   they would outnumber the grains of sand— 
   when I awake, I am still with you.
 19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
   Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
   your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
   and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
   I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

To me this Psalms says that I am intentional to God.  He wanted me here, so here I am.  He makes appoint to know who I am, even if I don't fully know it myself.  He planned me from the very beginning and to Him I am special.  I may feel, at times, unwelcome in this world but I know that God wants me and will lead me the right way.  


I think that Psalms can be very inspiring to many people, as these two Psalms did connect to me.  I'm hoping as I continue through on my reading, that the next time I get to Psalms my relationship with them will have changed and I will not cringe when it's time to read but welcome them with the open arms that God's Word deserved.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Well, today is the first day of the new year and there are many things that are going through my mind about how I desire for this year to turn out.  The first thing that comes to mind is to be a healthier version of myself as well as an example of healthiness to my family.  This is something that I want for everyday for the rest of my life.  I want to be healthy.  I see the the things that happen to many people who are overweight and some issues that they have to deal with, but even issues with people who are not overweight but are just generally unhealthy.  I want to know that my body is in it for the long haul, my mind is, I just want my body to be right there with me.

I want to get back to school.  This is something I am currently working on.  I've applied for financial aid and am finishing up some paperwork and then it's just waiting to know if I qualify and for how much and then I am finally on my way to finishing up an Associates in English and then to quickly move on the a Bachelors Degree.

I love to read.  This is no secret to anyone who knows me well.  I love to curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book and I am good to go.  It is how I relax and recharge.  For 2011 I had a goal of 75 books and actually went over my goal and was able to read 82 books but 37 of those books were books that I had read before.  Again, for 2012 I will have a goal of 75 books but this time around I want to not read so many books that I have read before.  I will end up re-reading a few books I'm sure but I want to challenge myself to read books that are new to me and maybe even stepping out of my comfort zone of genres and try something different.  I keep track of my books that I read on Goodreads.com.  If you have any book recommendations I would be happy to know them.

This year I want to finish reading through the Bible.  I have gotten myself stuck in Psalms.  This book is very hard for me to get through and its the one that causes me the most trouble whenever I am reading my Bible.  I don't know why I don't connect to Psalms as many other people do, but that is a different subject for a different blog.  But as well as having my own personal devotional time, my sister in law Sabrina and I both have the same memory verse book and are going to work together through this year to memorize one verse a week.  I'm excited for the accountability that it offers me and keeping me on track.  Michael and I will also be changing up the way that we do out devotionals by going chapter by chapter and getting more in depth and working together on what we read about as well as what we would want to teach Sidda and MJ about it.

It seems like a lot of things to do this year, but I am up for the challenge.  It's all about setting myself up to succeed as well and keeping my priorities in check.  It's making time to do these things each day and not pushing them off to the next one, because it quickly become the day after and so on and soon it's 2013 and I've accomplished nothing.  I don't want that to be me.