Psalm 45:10-11, 13-15

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. [...] The bride, a princess, waits within her chambers, dressed in a gown woven with gold. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!



Monday, May 28, 2007

Menu Plan Monday



Monday Pizza

Tuesday Pork chops w/ Ranch Style Pinto beans and corn

Wednesday Spaghetti w/ Alfredo sauce and Italian sausages

Thursday Eggplant Parmigiana

Friday Garlic & Lime Chicken w/ baked beans and salad

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Humble Reflections

“I need to be reminded of who I was when I took that first step…”
- Bethany Dillon, Imagination

Oh, how those words have a meaning that is so true and humbling. I need to be reminded of who I was before my Savior took me by the hand and in His humble glory saved me. I was like our heroine, a prostitute (metaphorically). Even at eight years of age I was a wicked sinner headed for damnation. Yes, as an eight-year-old I had spited God—I had done all of those things you find in Romans 1.

Then God reached down and called out to my heart. He spoke words of love and peace and life. He said he would make His own, call me daughter and friend. One day I’d even be His Son’s Bride. I had been offered the most beautiful gift. Jesus had paid the ransom for me. I was now his. He paid the debt for all my sin, my sorrow, and my shame. (Yes, even an eight-year-old has sin, sorrow, and shame!)

His blood, the sacrifice of my depravity, covered my unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, hatred of God, insolence, arrogance, pride, and disobedience to my parents (Ro. 1:29-30). It is a great and beautiful thing that I have been made a princess of grace. I have been crowned with what I don’t deserve—mercy leading to a blessed life. And how quick I forget it.

It was not my own goodness that saved me—I was a practioner of wickedness. It was not I who crowned myself with favor. No, it was the Lord and the Lord alone. Don’t miss it. I could not have saved myself. I could not have worked my way to this place in the kingdom. An enemy does not become a daughter on her own accord.

Before Christ’s gallant entry I was worthy of one thing and one thing only—death. Remember it for that’s the humbling truth. No one enters the kingdom of God by their own merit.

I need to be reminded of who I was when I took that first step…

“But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. […] For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Romans 5:8, 10

…forever reigns the King…

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Day 4: Ten Days of Continual Prayer

Prayer Guide for Day 4:
Turning to God in repentance for the many to turn from sin to new life in Christ concerning pornography, addictions, rebellion, and immorality.

Acts 3:19
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord."

For the Glory of Christ:

  • For Christ to encounter people with His forgiving love, so that millions turn from their sin to the joy of following Him.
  • That the Spirit of God would help many to recognize how they have grieved God and openly confess their sin.
  • That the Word of the cross of Christ would break the grip of sin's power so that many will find hope for their sins to be "wiped out" (Acts 3:19).

For the Blessing of the Nations:

  • That God would bless His people by helping them be the first to turn "from their wicked ways" (Acts 3:26) so that massive movements of repentance would sweep through whole communities.
  • That these movements of repentance would bring "times of refreshing" (Acts 3:19) so that men, women and children would experience the presence of God.


Resources for the Global Day of Prayer:
10 Day Prayer Guide - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/10days.php
Global Day - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/1day.php
90 Days of Blessing - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/90days.php
24/7 Prayer Watch - http://www.global24-7.org/ (I haven't yet been to this site, so I don't know much about it.)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Day 3: Ten Days of Continual Prayer

Prayer Guide for Day 2:
Being filled with the Holy Spirit for God to pour out His spirit upon all concerning intellectual pride, demonic oppression, spiritual blindness, and depression.

Acts 2:17
"'In the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit on all people..."

For the Glory of Christ:
  • For the Church to be filled afresh with God's Spirit, empowered as Christ's witnessing servants in the world.
  • For the Spirit of God to reveal Jesus to those buried in spiritual darkness.


For the Blessing of the Nations:

  • That God would pour out His Spirit upon every person alive on the earth.
  • That the Spirit of God would awaken the nations to hear His voice and to see His works (Acts 2:33).
  • For many to be stirred by Spirit-given dreams to envision Jesus alive and at work in their lives.

Resources for the Global Day of Prayer:
10 Day Prayer Guide - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/10days.php
Global Day - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/1day.php
90 Days of Blessing - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/90days.php
24/7 Prayer Watch - http://www.global24-7.org/ (I haven't yet been to this site, so I don't know much about it.)

Day 3: 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

Remember...say nothing negative to your husband or about your husband to anybody! The point today is to try to encourage (and thank) your husband for being considerate. For more on today's challenge go to http://www.reviveourhearts.com/pdf/30DayChallenge.pdf.

Frugal Fridays: Effective Drying


We live in an apartment, so we share four washers and dryers with about 30 other apartments. They're Maytag brand, so they work well...but sometimes the dryers aren't so great. (Either that or my loads are too big--probably both!)


But my mom gave us the suggestion to take out the vent that catches the lint (What is that thing called?) and wash it with soap and warm water every so often. She said it helps to improve the efficiency of the dryer and helps the filter to last longer. Which means less quarters I need to use for drying a load again and for all those of you with your own dryer it'll help prolong your investment!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Day 2: Ten Days of Continual Prayer

Prayer Guide for Day 2:
Increasing in United Prayer for sustained movements of united prayer concerning prayerlessness, occult practices, and materialism.

Acts 1:14
"These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers."


For the Glory of Christ:

  • That God would unite us in prayer with "one mind," (Acts 1:14, 2:46; 4:24), empowering us to pray passionately together for Christ's glory in all the world.
  • That God would hear and answer the prayers of the poor, the young and the marginalized and would be glorified by their praises.

For the Blessing of the Nations:


  • That God's Spirit would inspire and empower believers to pray specific blessings upon their neighbors and friends.
  • That people throughout our communities would be moved to call out to God for His help as never before.
  • That the leaders of our community would ask God for His wisdom and hope.

Resources for the Global Day of Prayer:
10 Day Prayer Guide - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/10days.php
Global Day - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/1day.php
90 Days of Blessing - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/90days.php
24/7 Prayer Watch - http://www.global24-7.org/ (I haven't yet been to this site, so I don't know much about it.)

Day 2: 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

Today thank your husband for serving you or your family.

Need more click here http://www.reviveourhearts.com/pdf/30DayChallenge.pdf

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Global Day of Prayer

Ten Days of Continual Prayer toward the Global Day of Prayer

One of the things I've been looking forward to this year is the Global Day of Prayer. If you haven't heard of this before here's a brief history:

In July 2000 God captured the heart of a South African Christian businessman, Graham Power, with a vision based on 2 Chron. 7:14. The vision had three clear instructions:

To call Christians from all denominations in Cape Town for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at Newlands Rugby Stadium.
To challenge Christians across the rest of South Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.
To challenge Christians in Southern Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.

In March of 2001 more than 45 000 Christians united for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town. It was a day of intense intercession that transformed lives and was reflected in a changing city in the months to come. Testimonies of transformation caused the vision to be spread into the rest of South Africa and planning immediately started for similar prayer gatherings in 8 provinces of South Africa for 2002.
In February 2002 Graham Power had a second vision. This vision had an even bigger challenge: The whole of Africa was to gather in a Day of Repentance and Prayer, changing Africa to become a "light to the world".
Eventually, Africa was to invite all the nations of the globe to unite in this move of transformational prayer.
In May of 2002 Christians in South Africa gathered in 8 different venues for a Day of Repentance and Prayer. Again, the testimonies of church unity and the healing of communities inspired leaders to expand the vision into the rest of Africa. At a Summit in September 2002 leaders of 9 African countries agreed on the vision "Africa for Christ".

At a meeting of the International Prayer Council in Malaysia in November 2004, the invitation from Africa went out to the nations of the world to join in a five year Global Day of Prayer process up to 2010. On Pentecost Sunday, 15 May 2005, Christians from 156 of the 220 nations of the world united across denominational and cultural borders for the first Global Day of Prayer. In the months following this day, Christians were overwhelmed by the testimonies of God's powerful work in answer to these prayers.
This move of prayer again miraculously expanded in 2006, when on Pentecost Sunday (4 June 2006) millions of Christians from 199 of the 220 nations of the world united in prayer.

- from History at Global Day of Prayer (http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/history.php)

This will be the third year my church has taken part in the Global Day of Prayer and I'm very excited! It seems like each year it sneaks up on me, but this year I prepared!

If you go on the Global Day of Prayer website you can be a part of the world that is praying for Christ to be revealed to the our nations and the nations of the world, and for the churches of the world pray as the Body of Christ.

Starting today is the ten days of continual prayer toward the Global Day of Prayer. Over the next ten days people will be praying for the blessing of the nations, specific challenges and difficulites in our world, and most importantly for the glory of Christ! It's ten days before Pentecost, just like the new church in Acts.

Then on May 27th people all around the world will gather to pray and worship together, the Global Day of Prayer. And starting May 28th is 90 Days of Blessing, in which we seek to bless all peoples in our community for 90 days.

So be encouraged, pick up your Sword (ie, the Bible) and begin to pray! I'm excited, how about you?

Resources for the Global Day of Prayer;

10 Day Prayer Guide - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/10days.php

Global Day - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/1day.php

90 Days of Blessing - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/90days.php

24/7 Prayer Watch - http://www.global24-7.org/ (I haven't yet been to this site, so I don't know much about it.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

DAY 1: Ten Days of Continual Prayer

Ten Days of Continual Prayer
Day 1 - Seeking the Kingdom of God


As I was reading the "a prayer to get you started" (see page 3) section from the Ten Days of Continual Prayer guide there is a line of the pray that really stuck out to me:

Transform the lives of those who name You as their king so that the reality of Your kingdom would be seen by all.

What struck me was praying for the reality of God's kingdom to be seen by all. I thought that was great, and so true! God's kingdom is real, very real. And as believers we are very much a part of it, but the world at large doesn't see it--so we must pray and live lives transformed by Christ so that the world will see God in His glory!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prayer Guide for Day 1:

Seeking the Kingdom of God for the transforming power of Christ's kingdom concerning spiritual darkness, church divisions, and economic oppression.

Acts 1:3-4

"...and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Gathering them together, He commanded them
not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me..."

For the Glory of Christ:

  • For the hearts of God's people to blaze with love and loyal obedience to Jesus as King and Lord of all.
  • For the goodness and glory of Christ's kingly love to be experienced by many throughout whole cities.
  • For Christ to gather and instruct His people from the Scriptures concerning the hope of His life-giving kingdom.

For the Blessing of the Nations:

  • For Chirst to bring believers to dwell in cities where breakthroughs of blessing have not yet occurred.
  • Pray that they would patiently pursue the promised blessing of Chirst's kingdom in difficult places.
  • That the power of Christ's love would bring lasting transformation throughout entire communities.

Resources for the Global Day of Prayer;
10 Day Prayer Guide - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/10days.php
Global Day - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/1day.php
90 Days of Blessing - http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/90days.php
24/7 Prayer Watch - http://www.global24-7.org/ (I haven't yet been to this site, so I don't know much about it.)

Tonight at youth...

One of our high school girls dog died as she was coming to youth. The family (mom, 3 daughters, and her nephew) was getting in the car when the dog ran outside and was hit by a car, so they saw him die.

During worship while we were singing our youth pastor prompted us to finish the following sentence: "God I'm glad you're..." And as we were saying what we were glad God was/is she began to cry, but wasn't really letting herself cry.

I leaned over and asked if I could tell her a joke, she looked at me like "No way!" I assured her it was about God and tears. Then I asked her "How is God going to count all your tears and bottle them up, if she didn't cry?" She looked at me and said, "Really? He does that? [Pause] Why does he want to bottle them up?"

I don't know, maybe he saves them up until justice has been given...I don't know. He's God he can do what He wants.

And then she cried.



You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle are they not in Your book?
Psalm 56:8

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

One of my favorite podcasts is Revive our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. (It's actually a radio show, but you can subscribe to it online.) The last two days they've mentioned a few of their past series they've done on the show and the response they received from listeners. I've only been listening to Revive our Hearts for 9 months so almost all of the ones mentioned I haven't heard. But what is great about Revive our Hearts is that they archive all their programs with a transcript and the audio, so now I can catch up!

One thing that peaked my interest was the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge. It's a challenge for wives (although I'm sure it'd benefit those with significant others or even apply to another type of relationship all together) over the next thirty days
  • To not say anything negative about your husband to your husband or to anyone else.
  • To say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband to your husband and to someone else about your husband!

I'm newly married (tomorrow will be just two months!) and although we haven't had any hardships or difficult times in our marriage thus far I want to make sure that I'm not neglectful (ie, disrespecting) in the attitude I have toward my husband and our marriage. I want him to know that he is my priority and that I not only treat him as such, but let him and others know with the words I say. I also figure that when those hard times do come and I'm tempted to be more of a nag or complain about him to others I will already have been practicing the opposite.

So, for all you married ladies (or engaged or whatever your status) take this challenge with me to speak NOTHING negative about our husbands for 30 days! No complaining about how he leaves drawers and cabinets open or leaves wet towels on the floor or how he's late or whatever...only ENCOURAGING words. And don't forget to tell someone else. Praise your husband!

And if you do take up this challenge leave a comment let me know! I'd love to share with you my experience in this too...maybe we can even encourage each other to be better wives and women of God in this process!

If you need help getting started here's a great resource from Revive our Hearts:

http://www.reviveourhearts.com/pdf/30DayChallenge.pdf

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The New Hair



(Joe got a new haircut too!)


Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's going...

Today's the last day...it's getting cut.


Friday, May 11, 2007

An Invitation to Come

He never stops. He’s a hardcore, faithful romantic that never stops his pursuit. His love is eternal, everlasting, never ceasing. He invites us to come closer to Him and higher with Him at every turn. He never stops. He wants you. He wants you to be closer with Him today than you were yesterday, and even closer tomorrow. His affection is undying and his commitment never wavers. This is His invitation, His spoken Word, asking you his beautifully adorned beloved to take His hand and climb through life with Him. He desires you like no one else will or can ever desire you, not because no one will want you, but no one can fulfill that desire, which is also in you, like He can. His love is supernatural.

- from A Princess Story

Frugal Fridays: For the Ladies Only













My tip for this week is kind of personal and definitely applicable for only the ladies. So, if there are any guys out there reading just skip on over to the next blog (or post). I'm one of those women who never really got into the habit of tracking my monthly cycle when I first got my period. I just knew it came around the same time each month, and as I grew up I tracked it pretty sporadically. So, when I find this website www.mymonthlycycles.com I found it very useful. It's a website where you can track your menustral cycle and fertility. It also has a period calender, menustral, ovulation, and pregnancy calculators, history reports, and can even send you different reminders. It's free, but you do have to sign-up...and remember to use it. I'm getting better. ;)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Today...

It's hot...once again.

There's nothing like your landlord coming over in an hour to look at your leaky dishwasher to get you to doing the dishes. Needless to say, they're done.

I did my usual Wednesday grocery shopping routine (Henry's, Vons, the occasional Wal-Mart trip); yes, very exciting I know. But I did get two packs of Italian sausages for $ .69 each, and if you know my husband he'll be excited about that.

I reading this verse this morning and thought it was good: "Now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant." 2 Samuel 7: 28. I'm working my way reading through the Old Testament books either I haven't read yet or haven't read in their entiret (sp?).

I heard John Mayer's song "Waiting for the World to Change" on the radio today, which reminded me of this song and video (which almost made me cry as I watched it again),



in return reminded me of this NOOMA video I saw today:




So...yeah...watch some movies.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What's in my head right now...

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, life is worth the living just because He lives.

Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday!



Monday - Leftovers

Tuesday - Mac 'N Cheese Pie

Wednesday - Speedy Chicken Nachos

Thursday - Beef & Noodles w/ Fresh Veggies

Friday - Pina Colada Shrimp & Rice

Saturday - Quick & Easy Lemon Chicken & Rice

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Week in Pictures




Messy cookies!










Jess blogging away!



Joe and his new tire iron (post car fixing).














Our first time pulling out the big table (the Lowther's came over for dinner--where are they? We didn't get a group picture.)















Our first time using our George Foreman Grill. WooHoo!










Why this picture? I don't know we were playing around.















Tired Joe & Jess picture of the week!


























Pictures from the beach...Cinco de Mayo!









Joe working on budget stuff.

















Random Mother's Day pictures. We celebrated Mother's Day today with the family since we go out to brunch at El Torito's and last year we had to wait like 2 hours for our reservation. It was nice. PJ was the show stopper.





































Oh, this is Joe and his dog Spot. Spot lives at dad-in-law's house.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Frugal Fridays: Do-It-Yourself Car Repairs






This week for Frugal Friday (even though it's actually Saturday!) our frugal item of the week is car repairs. The brakes on my old 1989 Volvo wagon were well overdue on being fixed, but having gotten married in the last month or so put that on the back burner somewhat. However, last weekend that changed.
Joe happened to mention to a man in our church (who happened to give us tools for a wedding present) that we needed to fix the brakes on our car. The man offered to help Joe fixed the brakes, since he was well experienced in the area. So, Joe took him up on the offer and last weekend Joe spent four hours fixing our own brakes. We ended up saving about $400 dollars doing it ourselves and only spent $120 on new brake "stuff" and one tool. It's something worth considering if you have the time, tools, and know-how. Think about it!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Life Presented to God - Part 4

“…so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2c

As we are continually being made new in the attitude of our minds (Eph. 4:23) we come to the place where we can ascertain what the will of God is. This is a very important aspect of our transformation, because as we grow we need to know what God desires of us to, which isn’t always explicitly said in His Word. Therefore, living opposed to the world’s culture and understanding God’s mercy by offering our bodies as living sacrifices produces knowing and doing the will of God. (A very profitable lifestyle.)

At this point in the passage there becomes a very simple explanation. Pursue God and in pursuing God He will make your paths straight (Prov. 3:5-6) by reveavling Himself, His Word, and His ways to you. As we continue to pursue the Lord we become more atuned to His will. It’s as if we have an antenna and as we run after God the picture becomes more and more clear. Then we are able to say, “Oh, I understand God! (As far as we can humanly, that is.) Your ways really do work and are perfect.” And the more we see the clear picture, the more we trust in God and see experientally that His ways are perfect. The best part of it is that as we continue along our hearts are changed, we are transformed as we stare at the face of Christ.

Reflect with me today on your pursuit of Christ. Ask yourself, “Do I struggle with knowing what God’s will for me is?” If yes, then ask the Lord, “Why?” Is it unbelief? Rebellion? Fear? Whatever it is confess it before Him today.

If you answered no, ask the Lord, “What areas have I struggled with in pursuing You—letting You rule and reign as Lord?” As He answers, confess those as well. Then pursue God wholeheartedly offering yourself to him as a living sacrifice as you live a life unconformed to the pattern of this world.

Take heart and be encouraged,
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
"Without any buffer of self-justification or deceit, with no other person but God to whom to compare myself, I saw how far short of His glory I truly was. I knew why mankind needed the blood of Christ. And I knew that no personal attainment in and of itself could ever make me like Jesus. In the most profound way I understood that only Christ could live like Christ. God's plan was not to improve me but to remove me so that the Lord Jesus Himself could actually live His life through me (Gal. 2:20). In His indwelling would rest my hope of becoming like Him."

- Francis Frangipane, In Christ's Image Training