Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Year...

Has it really been a year?

On Sunday, my husband and I will celebrate our one year anniversary! It seems to have gone by so fast and yet Dan often reminds me that this is the slowest life will go for us. Part of me doesn't even want to think about that...

It doesn't seem that long ago that we walked down that aisle as husband and wife and now here we are a year later. It's been a busy, fantastic, hard but rewarding year, one I wouldn't trade for anything. I have learned so much about my husband and myself and feel like I've grown in so many ways.

So here's to many more wonderful years to come! May God continue to bless us and grow us in ways we never before imagined!

I love you, Daniel!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday Sentiments

Saturday has been full of good moments! Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper & Nicole Johnson shared testimony of how God has worked in their lives, leading us home, his compassion, dealing with our "God-anger" & finding peace & healing. Sheila reminded us that the Shepherd knows where to find us, even in our darkest times. Lisa spoke of the gut-level compassion God has for us. Nicole gave us hope that God sees not only the value in our broken pieces but has a vision for creating something beautiful from them.
After lunch & saying good-bye to my friend who had to leave early, Natalie Grant blew us away with her powerhouse voice. Her concert included one of my favorites,"Held", & a beautiful a cappella version of "It is Well with My Soul". So moving! Then Luci Swindoll encouraged us to "live the life out of every day". She also encouraged us to imagine & try more, telling ourselves "no one told me I couldn't!"
As we prepare to wrap up, I hope you have enjoyed these updates!
Soli Deo Gloria,

Friday, August 26, 2011

First Day's Night

We are now done with the first day at Women of Faith! :) To complete the evening we missed the first metro train out because it was PACKED! But today, I laughed, cried, coughed, hugged, danced, laughed some more, and really felt God speaking into my life through the speakers on the platform. So much of it to process since so much seems to be relevant to where I am right now.
And NICOLE JOHNSON! :D I was so excited to see her back doing drama! I know she had stepped back for awhile & that she was still writing dramas for others to perform at events but it's so nice to see Nicole back in the capacity I grew to love her in.
And the Mary Mary concert tonight was tremendous! :) Such a fun time seeing these sisters lead us in energetic worship of our Lord and Savior!
Well, our train is almost here & I am looking forward to my head hitting the pillow tonight! Can't wait for an exciting day tomorrow, including Luci Swindoll, Lisa Harper & Natalie Grant! Check back for more updates then!

Floored :)

Loving our seats on the floor for the evening session! :) Stay tuned for hopefully one more post later tonight! :) God bless!
Soli Deo Gloria,

Sessions 2 & 3!

Today has just been amazing so far! Session 2 was Dr. Cloud's second talk & focused on "necessary endings". He talked about pruning, under what circumstances it occurs & how it applies to our lives. He also discussed how we're all hoarders on some level & how our fears & attachments make pruning difficult. "Today may be the enemy of your tomorrow."
Session 3 began w/ a Q&A with both Sheila & Dr. Cloud. Some "sound bites" from that include: "The bigger the trouble, the faster you run home", how the inability to forgive is crippling, & how we were never intended/designed to judge ourselves & that critical voice in our heads is a result of the Fall.
Sheila was back up next for her 2nd talk. This time she focused on Jesus' promise of peace in John 14:27. "Peace is not the absence of trouble, it's the presence of Christ." She reminded us we have to make the decision to be at the feet of the Peace Promiser. It's an attitude, a determination of will.
Almost time for the evening session! :)

Session One!

Session one is now done! It was an absolutely fabulous start to everything! We started off in song with the worship team. I recognized two songs from their CD but one was new so it was a nice mix.
Then Sheila Walsh took the stage, speaking on God's promises. Two sound bites/quotes for you: "You have not lived an unloved moment in your life." And "When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, you will change." She talked about the woman with the blood issue in Mark 5 & how Jesus wanted to give her a bigger miracle than she came for. When she comes forward & tells Him the whole truth, Jesus gives her a greater gift than her healing by calling her "daughter" (ONLY time he calls an single woman this) & telling her to "go in peace".
Then Dr. Henry Cloud discussed some content of his new book "The Law of Happiness". The 2 attributes of happy people he discussed were happy people are givers & happy people are connected people.
No more space left :( On to Session 2!
We have arrived!! :) My friend and I rode Metro in this morning with the commuters and made our way to the Verizon Center. Today's daytime session is general admission and since we have seats on the floor for the rest of the conference we decided to sit a couple of rows up from the floor. It's 945a now and the conference starts at 10a so we are just relaxing and enjoying the time. :) They have music playing from the "Rejoice" CD I reviewed a little while back and it's beautiful. I love recognizing the songs and humming along with them. :) So excited!! :D More to come...
Soli Deo Gloria,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Blog Feature!

Friends! I'm excited to announce a new feature for my blog!

With the Women of Faith conference coming up this weekend (tomorrow! EEK!) I really wanted to be able to share the experience with you while it was happening. However, carting around my laptop is not an option and I know I'll be too exhausted to blog about it when I get home each night. So what's a girl to do? Hello, SMS and MMS blogging! :)

Yes, I will be making my first attempt to live blog something by sending in blog posts via text messages and photo/media messages from my phone. Due to the limitations of this method, posts will most likely be fairly short but I wanted to make sure that I tried to share this experience with you as it was happening. This will be my first time live-blogging so please hang in with me if there are any technical issues :) Also, because I will doing this remotely, I won't be able to post all the links to Facebook individually like I usually do.

So excited to try this out! Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes well!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to have lunch with my hubby for my birthday! :) I think I see a Chick-fil-A milkshake in my future... ;)

Soli Deo Gloria,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Alien Invader!

Well, maybe not alien but certainly creepy!

Word to the wise...apparently praying mantis love basil plants. I found a baby one on my plant a couple of weeks ago and just brushed him off, not thinking much of it. Apparently he came back for revenge! He's definitely longer than any of my fingers and won't be as easily knocked off this time. Besides almost giving me a heart attack, he kept me from collecting basil off the plant to make more pesto for the moment. :( I abhor bugs. Maybe the impending thunderstorm making noise outside will take care of him for me...

I see you...

Creepy I tell you....just creepy...


WOF Update and a New Book!

Friends! :)

Just wanted to give you an update on the Women of Faith conference coming up NEXT WEEKEND! I can't believe it's so close! I received my tickets in the mail at the end of last week. In the several times I've been to the conference prior, I've mostly sat in the 100-section, the sloped seats in the lower portion of the "bowl" at the Verizon Center. But this year that all changes. I was so excited to see that the tickets that came in the mail are for the FLOOR! Considering the tickets were free in exchange for posting a couple of blogs about the event, I basically expected them to be in the nosebleed section. What a surprise gift! :) One of my best friends is coming up from Va. Beach to spend the weekend and attend the conference with me. So exciting!

Also, in conjunction with the Women of Faith conference, I selected a new book from the BookSneeze lineup! It was perfect timing because they were offering a book by one of the Women of Faith speakers! So now I'm about ready to start reading "Stumbling Into Grace: Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman" by Lisa Harper. Lisa used to work at Focus on the Family as the director of women's ministry and is now one of the speakers on the Women of Faith team that will be at the DC conference next weekend. I thought it would be a great match-up to choose a book that could supplement my Women of Faith experience. And how cute is that little girls on the cover! :) The book description reads as follows:
"Humorous yet poignant stories from Lisa's life help readers relate to spiritual truths found in the life and ministry of Christ.
Stumbling Into Grace is the diary-devotional of one woman's honest, ongoing, bumbling journey of faith and how she finds encouragement through a deeper understanding of Christ's time on earth. Within each chapter she alternates her often humorous memoir with stirring portraits of Jesus and his own encounters as recorded in the New Testament.
Both intimately relevant and refreshingly inspirational, this book will help readers to jettison the theological misconceptions, guilt, shame, and hypocrisy they struggle with, exchanging them for a vibrant, passionate relationship with Christ that results in a more abundant, joyful life."

Can't wait to read it and share my review with you! :)

Have a blessed day!
Soli Deo Gloria,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catching up...Acts 9-12

Hi everyone!

So I've gotten a little behind in my readings and postings... :\

Here's the next set of chapter observations! Enjoy!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Acts 9
I wonder what Saul's companions thought since they heard everything but didn't see the light. I imagine it was quite a frightening experience, especially once they realized that Saul had been blinded. I also have to wonder how scared Ananias must have been. He knew exactly what Saul had been sent to do and following God's will meant revealing himself to the very man that had come to arrest people like him (or worse). And yet Ananias followed God's commands as did Saul, despite the hardships it might/would bring them. Oh to have such faith in the face of trial! It's easy to see why the Jews in Damascus would want to kill Saul since they probably thought his preaching was a trap meant to capture true believers. But God used Barnabas, mentioned in Acts 4 (sold the field), to act as a liaison and peacemaker between Saul and the disciples. I did notice that Saul has not become Paul yet. For some reason, I had thought this happened sooner, pretty much right after the healing in Damascus.

Acts 10
I think the story of Cornelius is a wonderful example of how our personal faith can impact others. Several times he is referred to as righteous and God-fearing though he is a Gentile. One of his soldiers is called devout, most likely due to the influence of his leader. God even used his faith to teach Peter about God's acceptance of all who seek him, whether Jew or Gentile. I love how God prepares Peter before he even knows what will occur or where he will be sent. I think it's a great example of the cliche "God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called." God readied Peter's heart for the task at hand, opening his eyes to the diversity of God's people.
Peter's message to Cornelius and his family is a great structure example for how to share the gospel with those around us. First he reminds them of what they know and that Jesus was the Messiah. Then he offers up his own testimony of being with Jesus and what he commands us to do (preach and testify) and lays out the necessary steps in order to have a relationship with Christ (believe in him for forgiveness of sins and be baptized). I may need to study this more in order to be better prepared in my own life to share the Gospel.

Acts 11
"Who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?" Wow... How often through my daily thoughts and actions do I stand in the way of God's will being accomplished? I'm afraid to admit that it's probably more often than I think. How much more could I accomplish for the kingdom if I simply let God have his way in my life and trusted him completely? “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
And again, Saul is still Saul and not Paul. I seriously thought his name had changed by this point in the story but I guess I was wrong. I guess we're taught so often about how Saul changed his ways on the road to Damascus and later changed his name to Paul that we come to associate the two events as synonymous when in fact they are chapters apart. Looking forward to pushing ahead to find out when it really does happen since my memory has failed me. :)

Acts 12
After his vision of the sheet with animals coming down from heaven, I don't blame Peter for thinking the angel leading him out of prison was a vision. He probably thought there was no way this could be real and that he could just walk out of prison without the guards seeing him. I love the phrasing about how Peter "came to himself" and "when this had dawned on him". He truly had no clue what was going on, it was all God's doing, not of Peter's own power. Unfortunately, we also have another martyr for the faith, James, the brother of John and one of Jesus' 3 closest disciples, also at the hand of Herod. He was the first of the original apostles to be martyred. I think it was only common sense for Peter to get out of town quickly after telling the believers about what had happened. When Peter was found missing, Herod had the guards killed and I can only assume had he been able to get his hands on Peter, he wouldn't have just been put back in prison. God is truly just though and Herod received his death at the hand of God himself when he allowed the people to call him a "god" and didn't give the glory to God.

Side note: This is not the same Herod that killed John the Baptist or took part in Jesus' trial. This is Herod Agrippa I (10 B.C.-A.D. 44), grandson of Herod the Great (Lk 1:5) and nephew of Herod the Tetrarch (Lk 3:19; 13:31; 23:7-12). Thought others might find this interesting :)

Monday, August 1, 2011


Friends! Exciting news!! :)

Last month, BookSneeze partnered with Women of Faith to offer bloggers the chance to apply to attend a local Women of Faith conference and blog about the experience. I just found out before leaving for California that I was accepted as a blogger for the Washington, DC conference at the end of August! I am so excited to be attending a Women of Faith conference again. I attended regularly for several years but haven't been to one in a couple of years due to scheduling and money issues. But now I've been given the opportunity to attend again! :)

This year, the Women of Faith conference is being held at the Verizon Center August 26th and 27th. Friday is basically a 12 hour day (10a-10p) with a 3 hour break from 3:30-6:30. Saturday goes from 9a-5p. It's a long exhausting weekend but in the past has been totally worth it to worship with other women and learn from others that have been where I am. I'm excited to hear Sheila Walsh and Luci Swindoll speak again. They've been members of the speaking team since I started attending. They've split the team into two groups recently and added a few other members so that not all the women have to be at every conference so I will miss some of the ladies I've enjoyed before but there are a few new additions, like Lisa Harper, that I'm looking forward to hearing as well. And, of course, the musical guests are always a joy and this year will be no exception with Mary Mary and Natalie Grant! :)

So if you're looking for a good weekend, join me at the Women of Faith conference. You can click the image to the left to get more information. It is quite a unique time with a stadium full of women who love and worship God. Hope to see you there!

Soli Deo Gloria,