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19 September 2011

a Monday prayer

This prayer by Scotty Smith is a good way to begin a Monday, I think...

A Prayer for Remembering Gospel Benefits

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Ps. 103:1-5

Dear Jesus, though I’m growing forgetful, I pray I will never forget you or a single benefit you’ve freely given us in the gospel. But irrespective of changes in my brain chemistry, you will never, ever forget us—your beloved children. This is my great hope and peace. As this day begins, here are a few of the innumerable gospel benefits for which I am especially grateful.

I praise you for forgiving all my sins—past, present, and future—sins of thought, word, and deed. How staggering a thought. I used to think you forgive only confessed sins, but now I realize I’m probably aware of only 4 percent of my sins. But your blood covers the other 96 percent as well. Praise the Lord, O my soul, for perfect and pervasive forgiveness!

I praise you for healing all my diseases—diseases in my body, heart, and mind. Though I wish you would completely heal me before you return, nonetheless, I have this sure hope: the healing I’m already receiving in the gospel will be brought to completion. Praise the Lord, O my soul, for present, ongoing, and a secured complete healing!

I praise you for redeeming my life from all pits—the pit of eternal separation from God, the pits others throw me into, the pits I naively fall into, and the pits I foolishly dig for myself. You’ve bought and brought me out of all pits into your embrace by taking the ultimate “pit” of God’s judgment for us on the cross. Praise the Lord, O my soul, for an all-pit redemption salvation!

I praise you for crowning me with your love and compassion. You have taken away all my guilt and you’ve borne my shame. My conscience is no longer under the law and condemnation but under the gospel and freedom. But you haven’t just crowned me, you’ve also clothed me in the royal raiment of your righteousness. Praise the Lord, O my soul, for a coronation of mercy and the garments of grace!

I praise you for satisfying my desires with good things. Lord, I praise you for the smile of my grandson, the kiss of my wife, the taste of dark chocolate, the rainbow you painted on the side of a trout, the encouragement from a friend, and the sounds of great music, just to name a few. Praise the Lord, O my soul, for a God who takes my desires seriously and satisfies them in countless ways!

Lord Jesus, may the unsearchable, innumerable, and inexhaustible riches of the gospel renew me today with youth-like energy, that I may soar like an eagle and live to the praise of your glorious grace! So very Amen I pray, in your exalted and peerless name.

(photo: sunrise in Denver on Saturday morning)

08 September 2011


items of interest I (virtually) stumbled across in the last couple of days...

on way to serve homeless people that seems to be making a difference- Safe harbor for Florida's homeless

a reminder on how good blog etiquette (good life etiquette!) includes not speaking harshly of your spouse over the world wide web (& a recipe for egg rolls, besides!)- Homemade Egg Rolls + A Rant 

how Christianity is represented, or not, in connection to upcoming September 11 events has been much in the news. I found these two articles to be good reminders of why Christianity will always offend, the vertical nature of the cross- Permanently offensive and Prayer at Ground Zero.

06 September 2011

end of summer

Summer went by that quickly.

04 September 2011

days of summer- 76

and again I was reminded how very much my heart longs for worship, and how good it is to be in the presence of His people.

03 September 2011

days of summer- 75

nothing like a wedding reception to remind me that, really, our time here is short, and I can love much better.

(photo taken via my husband's i-phone and the instagram app. I LOVE the instagram app!)

02 September 2011

Five Minute Friday- Rest

When peace seems so far away,
when sin and brokenness and conflict continue without ceasing.
When I stumble yet again,
and my best is not enough.
When disappointment and worry and angst fill the moments,
awake and asleep.
Where do I find rest?

He sent from on high,
He took me;
He drew me out of many waters…
He brought me forth also into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

Psalm 18:16, 19

He delighted in me?
He delighted in me.
As I gaze long on my sleeping children,
as I marvel at the newborn grand who does nothing to merit favor except to be,
and simply delight,
He delighted in me.

And there, I breathe long,
and cry out,
and rest.

Five Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama. Her instructions:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:

days of summer- 74

what an unexpected surprise!

The Kolache Factory

Today I had a most wonderful encounter! I met a friend at The Kolache Factory for a cup of coffee and a snack, and we started talking to the man at the counter, who told us he was originally from Seward, Nebraska.

Seward, Nebraska! I know Seward, Nebraska and a little ol' gym where my girls played volleyball and basketball, and a baseball field where my boy's team got crushed. But I digress...

We talked up all kinds of things Nebraska, including Husker football of course, because what ELSE would any good Nebraskan talk about the Friday before the first Saturday of the football season.., and the weather, because as much as Texans like to talk about heat, folks from Nebraska talk about the cold..., and then sat down and devoured the DEE-licious kolaches. (I never knew what a kolache was before moving to Nebraska- I just called it a Danish. But it is so much more!) While talking, the nice fellow's mom brought us a dozen and a half complimentary kolaches, just because we were Nebraskans!

WOW! What a treat!! Thanks Patty and Jason! You blessed us, and our families! I'm telling you, these kolaches are Amazing! The bread is Amazing! The filling is Amazing! (am I using enough capital A's and exclamation points to convince you of this?) If there is a Kolache Factory in your 'hood, go now! Of course, the whole Nebraska thing might not work for you the way it did for us, but you'll be glad you stopped, nonetheless. We will definitely be back to the Kolache Factory!

( Jason put on his Husker hat for the photo. He sports a ball cap for a normal Kolache day... :-)

days of summer- 73

and how is it that school starts and suddenly every flat surface is covered with other people's stuff...?

01 September 2011

Love You More

"When you become the parents of a child of another race, you become a conspicuous family," a social worker said when my husband and I began the adoption process. "Are you ready for that?" I said I was but it still throws me that seeing my family can have the effect of causing perfectly well-mannered people to turn off their filters and use their "outside voices" to express whatever thoughts pop into their heads."

Such begins the story of international adoption for author Jennifer Grant in Love You More. Love You More documents the journey from hearing the whisper of God prompting the author to consider adoption, through the seemingly endless application, paperwork and red-tape of waiting for a baby, to the moment of welcoming a wonderfully made little girl to the Grant family, and into the experience of watching that daughter grow alongside them. The author movingly describes the range of emotions that she, her husband, and three young children experienced in the waiting. And she tells of some of the ideas and steps that they used in the adoption process and as parents of a "conspicuous family."

I found Love You More to be both a captivating and informative read. Grant well tells the tale of the emotional rollercoaster of the adoption process, and how faith, friends, and the everyday responsibilities that come in loving and caring for her biological children grounded her during that time. I especially read with interest how the story proceeds after the long-awaited little girl arrives home, and how the Grant family so very intentionally speaks with openness about adoption as a gift to their family while acknowledging the sacrifice of the biological mother.

I have the profound blessing of knowing "conspicuous families," and I found Love You More to ring true to their stories. I am eager to pass this book on to a friend in the beginning of the adoption process, and I will enthusiastically recommend it to others wanting to learn more about adoption.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."