Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A good book....

I'm always in search of one!!  I've always had a love for reading and always seem to have a long list of book titles just waiting to be read.  I was recently selected to be on the delivery team for a new book coming out this month.  It's called The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill.  In this book, Susan takes you on a journey through the book of Nehemiah and into the heart of parenting.  She shares stories and confessions in each chapter of what she has learned on her own journey which is simply this: no mom can control her child's future, but every mom can parent well.

You can find more information on the book, including a sample chapter and free printables at Susan's website:  http://www.susanme.com/passionatemom/#

The book releases April 16.  You can pre-order from Amazon and other websites listed on Susan's blog.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Updating...

So...it's been a while.  A long while.  I'm still here....plugging along through life.  Things stay pretty busy around here.  Emma's first year of middle school has been a great success.  She's done really well and is very self-motivated which I love about her.  Her grades are excellent -- all A's with one B (in gifted science) but here at the end of the year, she's pulled it up to an A.  She also will be receiving an award this week at the Awards celebration.  I'm so proud of her and the young lady she is turning in to.  Audrey and Amy are doing very well...finishing up 3rd and 2nd grades, respectively.  They've both had great grades as well...mostly all A's this year with a couple of B's at different grading periods.  They are excited for the summer to begin.  They will all be attending Winshape Camp for Girls 2 week camp this summer at Berry College.  We are excited for them and are wondering what we will do without them for 2 whole weeks!

David and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary on the 25th of April.  We are truly blessed to have such a happy marriage.  I thank God for him daily.  And, David is the reason for me updating this blog today.  Yesterday was Mother's Day and I was showered with wonderful gifts and had a really nice day...then, last night, as I was heading to bed, he brought me some paper and said, "here is some reading material for you to read before you go to sleep."  I looked at the paper and he had written "100 Things I love about Angie."  You may remember that last summer I was inspired by a couple of my friends who had written 100 things they loved about their husbands and wrote my own list.  David was surprised by my list and has said that it is something that he cherishes.  He wanted to do the same for me.  He also gave me permission to put it on the blog.  So, here I am...ready to share it with you!  Here goes....


100 Things I Love About Angie Lindley
1. You are Mrs. Fix It – You wear they tool belt in our family and I’m not ashamed to admit it
2. You can give our John Deere mower a tune up
3. When you surprise me with Happy “Day of the Week” Gifts – just because!
4. Your commitment to going to the gym
5. Your dance skillz
6. The way you fold laundry 
7. Your organization of loading the dishwasher
8. Your magic act of cooking a meal and somehow beyond comprehension not having dishes to wash when finished
9. We are best friends
10. That you show me respect as the head of our household
11. That you love me too, also, as well
12. That we can be examples of a mom and dad’s love in front of our girls
13. That when I tell you I am running to the store without missing a beat you suggest that I drive
14. I think you are very smart and wise 
15. Seeing you fix the girls hair and when you girls have your nail painting parties
16. Your ability to pronounce words blows my mind especially the ones you haven’t heard before 
17. Your amazing sewing talents 
18. You’re the best Chick-fil-A Cow ever!
19. Your body
20. Long hair
21. Your fearlessness around seagulls – it’s very admirable to me : )
22. How you can meet new people
23. How you are supportive of me
24. How you don’t nag me
25. That you don’t talk bad about me to your friends
26. I could gaze into your green eyes forever
27. Your soft kisses
28. Your handwriting
29. The neatness of when you take notes 
30. That we ran our first half marathon together and finished together!
31. The cute little girl smile you give when you are happy about something
32. Every memory of mine that you are in
33. Our Story!
34. The deliciously consistent cup of coffee you make
35. That you decorate the house for each holiday season
36. You are Thrifty
37. How you can make me laugh
38. The shape of your ears
39. That you enjoy mowing the lawn and surprise me by mowing it at times
40. You are a very fast reader (and you can remember what you read)
41. That you are all natural – hair color, nails, etc.
42. Your commitment to go to all the practices and games of our girls’ activities
43. That you like the same sports teams I like and have shirts of each team – Go Gators , Braves, and Red Sox!
44. That you created and wear your “I love my husband” shirt often
45. That you come watch any sports games I play
46. That you are my first girlfriend
47. The awesome birthday cakes you make
48. That you will shoot pool with me
49. That you collect owls
50. I love going to the gym together
51. That you have always supported my “Chick-fil-A Career” : )
52. Your parents
53. Being able to know your brother Robby 
54. When you wear Bath and Body Works – Sensual Amber
55. When you wear my favorite perfume – Xia Xiang – which I have translated to “the scent of Angie”
56. Your work ethic – you don’t stop until it’s finished
57. When I change the radio station from Christian music to something else and you always ask “What, don’t you love Jesus!?” : )
58. You in heels
59. You get my humor
60. You have given me my favorite gift ever even though when I got it my reaction was less than happy because I didn’t know how much I would come to love it – my iPod
61. We work together in life making it as easy and cooperative as possible to live together
62. You believe in Jesus
63. Our song is Always by Bon Jovi
64. Your nightly routine of a glass of milk before bed
65. Always kissing each other goodnight before bed
66. Your random text messages letting me know that you are thinking of me
67. You pray for me
68. The recipes that have become family favorites – shrimp chowder, potato soup, bbq chicken, and of course Country Fried Steak & Mashed Potatoes!
69. The Florida Gator Quilt you made me with accompanying pillow
70. When we have breakfast dates
71. Holding hands in the car
72. That you are dependable
73. You are a fire pit champion fire builder!
74. Your fearless attitude in doing new things
75. That you still had a crush on me after high school ; )
76. You are well spoken
77. Your southern accent that comes out every so often
78. When you offer to drive
79. You are an amazing mommy to our girls
80. You are a great forever wife where sometimes that doesn’t seem long enough 
81. The things you love in life that I have come to equally love – Yorkies, crab legs, and dark chocolate to name a few
82. You have an amazing instinct of when or when not someone should go to the doctor for medical attention…sorry about your fingertip 
83. You are a social butterfly and that you can also listen
84. You are forgiving
85. That you made me a list of 100 things you love about me!  I cherish it : )
86. That you didn’t ask me to make you a list of 100 things I love about you…therefore I get to make you a list on my own terms! : )
87. You are great friend to your friends, very supportive, and always attends weddings, showers, and parties they throw 
88. When you flirt with me
89. You are the perfect height for our hugs and you give great hugs
90. You are very timely and keep us all on time!
91. You have a great memory – I love how you remember all the details in our lives from dating details to all the details of our girls growing up
92. That you are faithful and I have no doubts about it
93. That you don’t need make up to look pretty
94. Your playfulness
95. You are honest with me – especially about my clothes (even making me feel good when you describe my sweater as “tight”)
96. That I know I can be completely honest and transparent with you about anything
97. Taking walks on the beach together
98. Your modesty and balanced classiness in the way you dress
99. That you take care of the gift buying and wrapping 
100. That you love me unconditionally 
101. That you know I have to always out do you and I know you will try to out do me : )


So...now I have a list to treasure.  It was a great way to end my Mother's Day.  Hopefully it won't take me another 9 months to update again!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

The virtue of Modesty....

This topic was recently brought to my attention on facebook. I won't go into all the details, but suffice it to say, a male friend of mine honestly asked for help from female contemporaries in the area of their dress. He asked for them to not dress in a revealing manner as to not lead him in to temptation and causing him to stumble. I commended him for his honesty....men are visual creatures as designed by God and he was just admitting to this fact. One of his friends disagreed with him...and went to the extreme of saying that by putting the responsibility on women and how they dress, it is saying that any woman who has been raped has deserved it from her clothing. I disagreed and told her so. The conversation went on from there, but I will leave it at that. I write all this to say, I was reminded of a blog post I did about 4 years ago on Myspace discussing this very topic. It seems that in this fallen world, this will always be a "hot topic" for many. Here is my blog from years ago.....like I said, this was about 4 years ago...I won't bother with updating my kids ages....

Modesty -- a Virtue

I just felt the need to post a blog about Modesty. Being the mother of 3 girls, I find myself having a difficult time finding appropriate clothes for children. By appropriate I mean not having a LOW RISE jean for a 7 year old and not having words written across the bottom of toddler clothes (even if it says something innocent, like "cutie"). I myself even have a difficult time finding clothes that don't reveal too much, whether it be the rise on the jeans or the cut of the neckline. My best friend LeighAnn and I have been having discussions on this lately. At the Bible study we attend on Tuesday mornings at Berachah Bible Church, the pastor's wife mentioned that someone questioned an outfit she was wearing as not being appropriately modest. She went on to say that she was thankful that someone had challenged her on it. It was an excellent insight. She realized that although she may feel particularly cute or attractive in certain clothing, she must also take into consideration the way she looks to others. We may think we are dressed decently, but at the same time not realize the weakness of the opposite sex when it comes to visual desires. God made men to be very visual. We should not be an instrument of temptation to the men we come in contact with. Are we dressing in a way that is helping men avoid temptation? Are we helping them or hindering them by what we wear? We must keep these things in mind when we are dressing ourselves, and for me, when I am dressing my daughters. I don't want my 3, 4, and 7 year old daughters growing up thinking it's "okay" for someone to look at their backside (even if it's "only" to read what is written there). It's never okay to draw that sort of attention to ourselves. Our bodies are to be used to glorify God. I want to be an example of a Godly woman to my girls. The responsibility of teaching them modesty is mine.

One of the ladies in the church at Berachah wrote an article about this. I really enjoyed the article when I read it and I felt like it was important to post. In today's society, we are bombarded with sexual images...even in our commercials for shampoo!! We Christian women need to set the example of dressing appropriately...not only to honor ourselves, or even our husbands...but most importantly to honor GOD!

Here is the article:

Summer is officially here! Our sweaters are put away and our shorts are out. In these hot Georgia summers, how do we as Christian women choose to adorn ourselves? Are we attempting to look like and fit in with the world or are we setting ourselves apart for godliness? Fashion magazines, clothing stores, television, peers, and our own desires to fit in or stand out all tell us and show us what we "need" to wear. In our culture it is becoming more and more difficult to find stylish yet modest clothing. You might ask, "Why is modesty really so important"? We all have heard teaching on modesty numerous times, but it becomes a bit more obvious every summer that we need to be more diligent in applying God's word in this area. If modesty was an idea from man only, we could call it legalism. However, instruction for being modest and chaste is God-given, so we must pay attention. We will begin by going to the heart of modesty–our hearts!!

Modesty is the fruit of a well kept heart. In 1 Timothy 2:9 Paul states that "women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel" and the attitude in so doing is "with modesty and self-control". Practically speaking, "respectable attire" would be that which is not extravagant, showy, revealing or sexually enticing. Paul's appeal to Timothy was not a legalistic claim for women to dress in only a certain type of clothes. In the contrary, it was an appeal for those "women making a claim to godliness" (1 Tim. 2:10) to appear as such. The dress and appearance of women in the church is one way in which the church may distinguish itself from godlessness. Our hearts are the center of our being, our minds, our wills, and our desires. We have studied much in the past year about keeping our hearts with all diligence (Prov. 4:23) for "out of them spring the issues of life." The way we choose to adorn ourselves says much about the attitude and allegiance of our hearts. Do our wardrobes communicate that we are God-fearers? Modesty as defined in the Webster's dictionary is "freedom from vanity or conceit" and "propriety in dress, speech, or conduct". We can say then that immodesty is the fruit of a prideful heart. Self-control is defined as "restraint over one's impulses, emotions and desires." Here we can apply this teaching of modesty by being self-controlled and deliberate with our attire. Even as I write this, I am praying and asking God to reveal any area of my heart or wardrobe that needs attention. We are all about this heart work together.

Modesty in our dress flows from a humble heart. Immodesty is an attempt to draw attention to myself instead of bringing glory to God. This can simply be called arrogance or pride, a matter of the heart we must consider. CJ Mahaney in his book Humility: True Greatness says, "The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God, thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive." What is my motivation, then, when I am out shopping for new clothes or at my closet door choosing what to where? Is it what will draw the most attention to me and my figure today? Is it what will turn the eyes of men? Or am I choosing modest yet attractive apparel to honor God? Our prideful hearts say our preferences are better than God's way. Dethroning ourselves and our desires, and humbly submitting to God may require reassessing our wardrobes. Be it casual or formal wear or swimwear, and whether church friends are around or not, this is an opportunity to be intentionally counter-cultural in expressing the fear of the Lord. A wedding is an example of one such opportunity. Brides and young ladies who will one day be brides, guard your hearts in your pursuit for the perfect dress. Your wedding is a time to demonstrate the glory of God in the covenant of marriage. For the Christian bride, this is one of the holiest times of your lives as you make vows before God and the church. You are a display of the body of Christ being presented to the Groom. This day should not be one to wear the most revealing thing you've ever worn. You will be the center of attention. A modest, yet beautiful dress should accentuate the face and heart of a bride who loves her Lord and her husband. The same can be said for dress on Sunday mornings for worship as we gather to praise God, not one another.

Modesty is one manner in which we serve others in the body of Christ. God has created men and women very differently with tendencies towards different types of sin. As this morning's message shows, Christian men must be constantly on their guard against the sin of lust. How women dress can effect men and cause them to sin. Even to those who are on guard and do not sin, it can be a great distraction. We, as Christian women, can show care for our brothers in Christ by dressing modestly. Church should be one place where they are protected from the sensual dress of women. In this sense, we see modesty as being a matter of responsibility not just preference. Al Mohler has this to say of men, "If it's a male and he's still breathing, he's going to be struggling with visual stimulation that will lead him to sin. And you need to care for your brothers, to serve them by not allowing that to happen."

Lastly, modesty assists in the furtherance of the gospel. As believers we are to be holy as Christ is holy. We must live in a way that is consistent with our faith. May there be no contradiction between our appearance before the world and the gospel message we proclaim. It is the glory of God at stake and the world is watching! As we live authentically, may we not tend towards self-righteousness. We must love the lost, no matter how they are dressed. Our ultimate goal is not to get them fully-dressed but to share the gospel that will save their souls.

The exhortation given to women through Paul to Timothy is to all Christian women, young and old. Even for our very young girls we have to search for modest clothing. To the older women, your instruction to younger women, daughters and granddaughters is most effective when you model modesty as well. Young women and girls, listen to the instruction of your fathers, mothers and older women in this area. Their wisdom can provide great protection.

God is the giver of all things beautiful!! The call to modesty is not a call to be unattractive or to wear only burlap sacks. We are to display the beauty and grace of womanhood that comes from a heart that finds ultimate pleasure in God. Let's assist one another in the high calling of well-kept, humble hearts that seek to exalt Christ.

Here are a few other interesting links:

http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

http://www.therebelution.com/blog/2007/02/cj-mahaney-the-soul-of-modesty-2/

http://girltalk.blogs.com/girltalk/2005/06/modesty_heart_c.html

I hope you all find this information worthwhile. It is also my prayer that anyone that reads this information will re-evaluate their own wardrobe and thought process when it comes to choosing the clothes you wear. I know I did.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Feeling inspired....

So....it's been almost a year since I last blogged. For some reason, I just can't get into a habit of updating this site at all! I'm not going to close it down...and I'm not going to make any promises of updating more often. I think I will just update as inspiration strikes...hence this post. While I fail at updating my own blog, I do read several blogs on a regular basis. (You can find these on the side of my page.) My oldest childhood friend, and by oldest I mean the friend that I've had the longest time (almost 23 years!), recently blogged about her husband and listed 100 things she loved about him. A day or so later, a mutual friend of ours from high school was inspired and wrote her list of things that she loved about her husband. So, here I am, feeling inspired to make my list. I would like to note that the three of us have all been happily married for over 13 years and we all married our high school sweethearts. :) (Technically, David and I didn't start dating until after we graduated, but, we each had a crush on each other our senior year.)

So, here goes.

100 Things I love about David

1. He tells me he loves me, multiple times, every day.

2. He likes to fall asleep watching boring things on TV like History Channel or Discovery Channel.

3. He has a GREAT sense of humor, that not everyone gets.

4. He can be shy.

5. He drove over an hour to visit my Dad at work to ask for my hand in marriage.

6. He loves to hold babies, and isn't nervous to do so.

7. He worked full-time while going to college and paid his own way.

8. He is an amazing athlete, and does well at just about every sport he tries.

9. He does not like scary movies.

10. He holds my hand whenever we pray.

11. He has never raised his voice at me.

12. Before he ever asked me to marry him, he told me when he got married, he would NOT get divorced.

13. He has nice hands.

14. When we ran our first half-marathon together, he stayed with me the whole time, even though he normally runs at a much faster pace.

15. I think he is excellent at his job.

16. His commute is around 1.5 hours (round trip) and he does this willingly to provide for his family.

17. He loves being a father to all girls.

18. When we got a dog, he let me get a girl.

19. My happiness is important to him.

20. He loves to cook.

21. He is an awesome cook...and has created some of his own recipes that are amazing! (Bruschetta and Lindley Broil, just to name a couple.)

22. He carried me over the threshold on our wedding day.

23. He let me wipe the sweat off his forehead during our wedding.

24. He is tall, but not too tall.

25. When we hug, we fit.

26. He remembers our many anniversaries....date of first phone call, first date, when he asked me to marry him, etc.

27. He has special "Daddy's Little ____" names for each of our girls.

28. He is artistic.

29. He has a special way he draws each of our girls' names.

30. He likes to doodle.

31. When he doodles, he usually doodles my name.

32. He will send me random texts, just to let me know he is thinking about me.

33. He encourages me.

34. He cares about his employees.

35. He is a man of integrity.

36. He calls me "his girl".

37. He loves to play games.

38. When he tucks our girls in at night, he tells them to "blow out the light"...every time.

39. He tucks me in, too. I also get to "blow out the light."

40. He will dance with me, even though he doesn't like to dance.

41. When he is out of town, he misses me....even if it's just overnight.

42. He is still a kid at heart.

43. Sometimes when he tucks in the kids, he will surprise them and start a pillow fight.

44. Just the other day, he started a pillow fight....in the middle of a department store. He threw all the pillows off the shelf at the kids....and then he cleaned them up.

45. He collects Hot Wheels.

46. He will let me pick what we watch on TV.

47. He is always appreciative and says "Thank you" often.

48. He can wiggle his ears.

49. He willingly handles everything when the kids get sick because he knows I can't handle it.

50. He trusts my instincts on knowing when we should take the kids to the doctor or not.

51. He cut the chord at all 3 of our children's births....even though he gets grossed out at that sort of stuff.

52. He shares his work day with me, and often asks for my advice or opinion.

53. If he sees something he knows I would like, he will buy it for me, "just because."

54. He prays for me.

55. When I get frustrated over something silly, he doesn't get upset.

56. He is always calm.

57. He still has his Monchichi doll from when he was a little boy.

58. He is an excellent daddy.

59. He sets a great example of how a husband should treat his wife.

60. When we kissed at our wedding, he pulled my veil off. :)

61. In high school, he flirted with me by throwing starburst wrappers at me.

62. He still throws starburst wrappers at me.

63. He puts his arm around me at church.

64. He is a faithful tither.

65. He handles all of our bills and our budget.

66. When he looks at me, I still get butterflies.

67. He makes a delicious chocolate sauce, and will make it for me whenever I ask him to.

68. He listens to stories he's heard before (sometimes multiple times) about my childhood with my brother.

69. He has never disrespected me.

70. He was my rock when my brother died, and when my dad was diagnosed with cancer.

71. He is always willing to rearrange his schedule when I need him to.

72. He is my best friend.

73. He will make my coffee for me.

74. He has beautiful eyes....the perfect shade of blue.

75. He is competitive, but has good sportsmanship, even if he loses.

76. He doesn't complain.

77. He always calls me on his way home from work to check if he needs to pick anything up for me.

78. He likes to hug me in front of the girls...and he always tells them that he loves me very much.

79. He went to all of my OB appointments for all of my pregnancies.

80. He took great care of me when our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage.

81. I had surgery last year and couldn't do any housework for 6 weeks....he maintained our house (laudry, dishes, and meals) without falling behind.

82. He encouraged me to get Lasik, even though it is expensive.

83. He always gives me a hug and kiss goodbye.

84. He has been known to plan great surprises (like a trip to NY) for me.

85. He is trustworthy and can keep a secret.

86. He loves to go on dates.

87. He is great at picking out clothes for me.

88. He is always willing to help others.

89. He makes me laugh every day.

90. He still flirts with me.

91. He decorates the envelope of every card he gives me.

92. He always thinks I am beautiful, even when I have bed head.

93. He will run my bath for me when I want to take one, and the water is always the perfect temperature.

94. He puts the toilet seat down.

95. When he cooks dinner, he will fix my plate for me.

96. He laughs out loud while watching TV....even at shows he's seen before.

97. He loves God more than me.

98. He is always honest with me.

99. He appreciates my thriftiness.

100. He always kisses me goodnight.

Thank you Heidi and Jamie for the inspriration!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Has it really been 6 months???

Wow...I can't believe it's been almost 6 months since I last posted! I guess life has been busy and I just haven't made the time to blog. I really need to make it more of a priority. I really enjoy reading other blogs...and it's not like there hasn't been stuff going on around here to blog about, I just need to sit down and do it!

So...let's see if I can catch up with the Lindley happenings......

In February, David and I spent Valentine's weekend at our favorite marriage conference, Weekend to Remember, by FamilyLife. We went to Hilton Head, SC and had a wonderful time focusing on our marriage and refocusing on each other. After that, we attended the annual Chick-fil-A operator's seminar in Washington, D.C. We were able to do some sight seeing; we went to George Washington's home and got to spend a few hours at the National Mall going to museums and visiting monuments.

In April, Audrey turned 7 and had a Pig party. She loves pigs! Emma turned the big 1-0 in May right at the end of the school year. She had another luau party with a bit of a monkey theme. The girls finished out the school year strong!! They all received some great awards at the end of the school year and Emma was invited to join the Jr. Beta Club! We are so proud of them. Audrey and Emma both took the CRCT this year and did great by exceeding all the standards.

David and I went on a cruise at the beginning of June with the Chick-fil-A Dwarf House group. We spent a day in Key West and also a day in Cozumel where we got the opportunity to swim with dolphins! It was incredible! We got to do a dorsal tow -- we held on to the dorsal fins of two dolphins and they pulled us through the water. They also did a foot push where each dolphin pushed us by our feet up and out of the water!! It was SO much fun. We also were lucky enough to get to spend some time with a manatee. It was a blast! The weekend after our cruise we went on our family vacation to Panama City Beach! Mom and Dad went with us and we stayed the week at Splash Resort. We celebrated both Father's Day and David's birthday at the beach! We had a great time even though we had a couple of injuries. Audrey was the first one to fall at the water park that is on sight. She slipped on a slide and bumped her head and ended up with a nice goose egg over her left eye. Not to be outdone, Amy developed yet another abscessed tooth the next day so we had to call the dentist and have a prescription called in....then, the next day, Amy fell at the water park and busted her top lip!! She ended up with a scrape on the cheek and a nice cut on the inside of her lip.

We started of July with the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th. This year, Emma decided to join David and I at the race! She did great! The Peachtree is a 10k which translates to 6.2 miles. We ran the first 4 miles and then had to walk the last 2 miles because Emma and David were beginning to show signs of heat exhaustion. We had a late start time (almost 9:00) and it was HOT out there! We still managed to finish in about an hour and 25 minutes.

Now we are just chilling out for the rest of the summer....Amy will turn 6 (where has the time gone??) in a little over a week. She is having yet another Dora birthday party. This will be her 5th Dora party. I told her yesterday she should be the president of the Dora fan club because she has to be Dora's biggest fan!! We are also getting ready to start our back to school supply shopping. Emma is about to enter the 5th grade, Audrey will be in 2nd and Amy will be a 1st grader. The girls really enjoy school so although they are sad their summer is coming to an end, they are looking forward to being back with their friends.

I plan to go to work with David a couple of days a week and I will also be doing Mom to Mom again. I really enjoyed it last year and look forward to it again this year.

I think that has me caught up!!! I'm hoping to set aside time each week to update...but I'm not making any promises. I know the school year will be busy with lots of homework and projects...but maybe I can find a window of opportunity every now and then to update.

Until next time......Angie

Monday, January 25, 2010

At a loss....

Well, it's hard to believe that January is almost over. Time is a precious thing. It always seems to go by way too fast. Recently (the 17th of this month) we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Robby's homegoing. Celebrate seems to be a strange word, but, in all honesty, it is something to celebrate. He has been with Jesus for 10 years now. I can honestly say that not one day in these last ten years has gone by without him coming to my mind. I think of him every day. There are things that make me sad, I do miss him. I wish that he would have been able to experience being an uncle. Emma was born just months after he died. However, I don't know that I would have wanted my girls to experience losing him....but I would have liked for them to have known him.

The past few weeks have been rough, emotionally speaking. There have been so many deaths. Right after the New year, one of David's old employee's passed away. Then, days later, the associate pastor of my church died. That same day, a friend of mine lost her boyfriend. And then, just this past Friday, one of the sweetest ladies I've ever known, Karen Means, died of brain cancer. She leaves behind her husband of 21 years, her 14 year old son, and her 10 year old daughter. I can't honestly say I know how these people feel...while I've suffered a great loss losing my brother, I know it's different to lose a parent, a child, or a spouse. I do know that they have a tough road ahead. My prayers are with them. I know that most of them know the Lord...and for that I am thankful. The Bible says in Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. I hope that these suffering families can find hope in these words. Each day that goes by is but another day closer to reuniting with our loved ones.

I'm attending the funeral of my sweet friend Karen today. My heart is broken, but I know that Karen is no longer suffering from the beast that invaded her body. She is greatly missed, but will not be forgotten. Please join me in praying for these precious families as they adjust to life without their loved ones presence.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Prodigal God...

I just heard of this book from a friend of mine, Amy Cathy (I also follow her blog -- "My Place in the Sun"). She mentioned that it was the first book she downloaded to her Kindle. I, too, got a Kindle for Christmas so I decided to see what the book was about. After reading the short description on Amazon, I decided I wanted to read it. So, I bought it with "one-click" and was able to start reading it about a minute later. :) I do love my Kindle!! (In case you have not heard of a Kindle, it's an e-book reader offered by Amazon. You can download somewhere around 1500 books on this little electronic device that is about the size of an average paperback, but is only about 1/4" thick. Most new releases are around $9.99 and there are thousands of books that are "public domain" that you can download for free.) Anyway, I only planned on beginning the book, but I just kept reading until I was done.

The book is based on a parable in the Bible from the book of Luke (Chapter 15) about the Prodigal Son. I've heard this parable many times and the times I've heard it, the emphasis has been on this prodigal son. However, this book brings to light not only the sins of the Prodigal Son, but also those of the elder brother. One of the features I really like about the Kindle is the ability to highlight passages within the books I read. The Kindle stores all those highlighted passages into a separate file called "my clippings." Throughout this book, I highlighted several passages that stood out to me. I wanted to share those with you.

"Religion operates on the principle of "I obey -- therefore I am accepted by God." The basic operating principle of the Gospel is "I am accepted by God through the work of Jesus Christ -- therefore I obey."

"As Richard Lovelace has written: "[People] who are no longer sure that God loves and accepts them in Jesus, apart from their present spiritual achievements, are subconsciously radically insecure persons...Their insecurity shows itself in pride, a fierce, defensive assertion of their own righteousness, and defensive criticism of others. They come naturally to hate other cultural styles and other races in order to bolster their own security and discharge their suppressed anger."

"As long as you are trying to earn your salvation by controlling God through goodness, you will never be sure you have been good enough for him. You simply aren't sure God loves and delights in you."

"Mercy and forgiveness must be free and unmerited to the wrongdoer. If the wrongdoer has to do something to merit it, then it isn't mercy, but forgiveness always comes at a cost to the one granting the forgiveness."

"Martin Luther's old formula still sums things up nicely: "We are saved by faith alone (not our works), but not by faith that remains alone." Nothing we do can merit God's grace and favor, we can only believe that he has given it to us in Jesus Christ and receive it by faith. But if we truly believe and trust in the one who sacrificially served us, it changes us into people who sacrificially serve God and our neighbors. If we say "I believe in Jesus" but it doesn't affect the way we live, the answer is not that now we need to add hard work to our faith so much as that we haven't truly understood or believed in Jesus at all."

As you can see, I really liked this book! I liked that it brought to light that you can take "doing the right thing" to the extreme. Our service to God should come from the heart. Not because it's what we are "supposed to do."
I'm so thankful for a Heavenly Father full of grace and mercy!!