Friday, December 15, 2006

Just Married?

Just wanted to say a few last words...before the big day! For those of you who are wondering I am not married yet, but Lord willing I will be in less than 14 hours!

I wanted to do one more post before I am "Mrs. Lewis" and the funny thing is when I signed onto our page I looked at the lady bugs (our official countdown) and it said just married! I was laughing because I guess it updates it in the evening for the next day. Anyways it just made me laugh because I am still in shock that very soon I will be married, and my life will never be the same!

A few reflections before I sign off and "try" to get some rest:

God has been so good to us! I have seen so much of God's faithfulness in the last few weeks, it amazes me how much he desires to bless his children. A few examples:

1) I have been exposed to many many sick & contagious people in the last week and most people around me have been very sick with viruses (Including people under my own roof)... yet God has protected me from all illness!

2) God has given me grace to finish 6 exams in the last 7 days (2 cumulative) and pass them all with very good scores....truly a miraculous work of God because I really didn't have too much time (or motivation) to study!

3) God provided a large sum of money from many anonymous givers which will cover the rest of my debt from my recent surgery! It amazes me that I could ever doubt provision from my loving Fathers hand. Thank you to all of you out there who may be reading this who had faith to give for the glory of the Lord! How pleased the Lord must be with your faith and generosity.

...and the big one... God has provided for me a loving husband, the perfect compliment to me....a man who I respect, treasure, and love so deeply; truly a gift from God that I am undeserving of. Apart from the gift of salvation he truly couldn't have given me a better gift.

Lew: I love you and can't wait to say I do and commit to as many days as the Lord gives us on this earth together! You are a gift from God to me.

Thank you all for all your prayers and support!

Signing off.....
-"Mrs. Lewis"

Almost There

We have 21 hours to go, so unbelievable!

Here is some interesting trivia about the show "24" courtesy of the Wikipedia. The original premise for the show was to be a romantic comedy about 24 hours before a wedding.

Reason #1 why I am excited to marry Laura
I love her with my all and know that I am called to spend the rest of my life with her!

Here is some John Stott that is really encouraging as I round the homestretch (it's based on Ephesians 5)...

"The church's head is the churches bridegroom. He does not crush the
church. Rather he sacrificed himself to serve her, in order that she might
become everything he longs for her to be, namely herself in the fullness of
her glory. Just so a husband should never use his headship to crush
or stifle his wife, or frustrate her from being herself. His love for her
will lead him to an exactly opposite path. he will give himeself for her,
in order that she may develop her full potential under God and so become more
complete herself."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wedding Week

We are currently full throttle into wedding week and everything seems to be coming together well. This morning it definitely hit me that on Saturday that we will be married. The fact that it's busy from here on out is what made it more real.

Tonight: Hair cut
Thursday (Last day of work): Pick up family from airport
Friday: Breakfast with family and count down hours until rehearsal

The schedule isn't busy at all, but the fact that there are things on it just makes Saturday not seem like such a far out day.

Reason #3 Why I am excited to marry Laura
She is sensitive to God's Spirit so that she can be molded into His image

Thursday, December 07, 2006


In single digits. This is craziness. I remember when we were trying to count down from some 160 or some insanely high number. I didn’t really get discouraging by counting from the high number because I knew each day was one day closer and the numbers would not go in reverse. It’s been fun watching those ladybugs creep closer and closer together. They have their antennas locked and it looks like the two of them may soon become one!

It’s amazing how fast time goes. It only goes faster as we grow older too. As I have the privilege of growing older with Laura and savor every day that God gives us together.

Everyday is a blessing and gift from God. One of the hardest things about this season is enjoying the day that God has given me and not looking ahead to the future. I know that even once we get to marriage there will be times when I will look ahead to something else. For now, I want to cultivate a heart that is filled with joy because of all the grace that God has poured out for today.

Reason #9 for why I am excited to marry Laura:
She is living for more then just marriage or anything this world offers.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tomorrow night is the staff Christmas party and I am definitely super excited for that. I remember last year we had a private viewing of Narnia right before it came out. This year they are taking us to a private viewing of the Nativity Story. It's neat because it isn't just a gathering people to celebrate Christmas and watch a movie, but a time of fellowship and encouragement.

This is the first job that I've had that Christmas party. None of my jobs in college had Christmas party for the students. The coffeeshop was an interesting place to work. We never had Christmas parties and the boss was Jewish, so I guess it made sense to not have a holidy. The logical disconnect does come with the fact that he did host easter lunches at his house. His wife was a Christian, so that probably had something to do with the easter lunch. In my job at the Youth Opportunity Center the cottage I worked in did not have a Christmas party because morale was so low and no one liked each other.

Even though I loved last year's Christmas party, it was kind of sad because Laura couldn't come with me. Because she is my beautiful bride-to-be (doesn't that sound a lot better then fiance) she gets to join me this year!

Reason #10 why I am excited to marry Laura:
she is who i want to spend the rest of my life with and all of my free time with

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I had a good talk with my friend Clay on Saturday night. He was encouraging me about how great marriage is and how much I would love it. At one point he said, "When people tell you that you are only in the honeymoon phase you just tell them, 'And you know what, I'm never going to leave this honeymoon phase either!'"

Reason #11 why I am excited to marry Laura:
She gets excited about the little things in life, but is also able to keep her eye on the big picture!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

As the Ladybugs move on...

So unfortunately I don't have time to really give much of an update....but I just wanted to make a note......1 week and 5 days!!! Unbelievable ;) Did you check out the ladybugs above? They are so close!

Lew has moved into our new place, it's kinda weird whenever we go there I look around and think...this is where we are gonna live, and it will be here before we know it!

Pictures of our new place are coming up soon.... as soon as we can get it a little more organized ;)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Couple of quotes

I was looking through my old blog and came across these quotes

"When Abram had gone to Egypt, he had chosen for himself and had gotten into
great difficulty. Now he was content to leave the choices with God and to trust
God for his future provision. He did not need to take care of "number
one." God would do that. Therefore, since he was sure God would
provide, he held the things of this world loosely. If God gave them, that
was alright. Abram would hold them in trust from God and use them for
God's glory. But if God took them away, that was fine too. For Abram
had God and, having Him, had the only thing that mattered." James Montgomery
Boice on Abram in Genesis 13:1-13


"The love of God is limitless; it embraces all mankind. No sacrifice
was too great to bring its unmeasured intensity home to men and women: the best
that God had to give, He gave - His only Son, His well-beloved. Nor was it
for one nation or group that He was given: He was given so that all,
without distinction or exception, who repose their faith on Him, might be
rescued from destruction and blessed with the life that is life indeed.
The gospel of salvation and life has its source in the love of God. The
essence of the saving message is made unmistakeably plain, in language which
people of all races, cultures and times can grasp, and so effectively is it set
forth in these words that many more, probably, have found the way of life
through them than through any other Biblical text." F.F. Bruce on John

Reason # 19 why I am excited to marry Laura:

She has a heart for theology and God's Word.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I’ve made a resolve, I will no longer to think of Thanksgiving as a day to give thanks, but instead evaluate how I am doing in terms of giving thanks.

you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist
that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, therefore I everyday should be a day that I proclaim thankfulness for the blessings that God has given me. Specifically looking ahead to December 16th when I will make the vow to honor and cherish Laura as long as I shall live I should not presume upon the grace of tomorrow, but instead take advantage of the grace of today to show my gratefulness.

There are a lot of earthly blessings I can be thankful for, but I want the one that is perpetually evident is my thankfulness for Laura being a part of my world. Aside from my salvation God has given me no greater gift. She is the helper suitable for me and strong where I am weak. She is compassionate and eager to give of herself to help others. There are so many reasons that I am thankful for Laura that I know I don’t show it and say it enough.

My goal is to never grow famaliar and always find new ways to encourage her. She truly is fearfully and wonderfully amazed and I am amazed that God has given her to sinner like I to lead and serve for the rest of my days.

Reason #24 for why I am excited to marry Laura:
Relating to her, hearing about her day and knowing what excites her is a pleasure.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wedding Poetry

Two planks of wood come together
Forming a cross where the God of all creation
Gives up His life for His bride
So that all may know life.

A man and a woman come together
At an altar before the God who died on the cross
There they give up their lives for each other
So that all may know Him.

I had this idea for a poem a few days ago. Thinking about the similarity of the cross and marriage. With the cross two pieces form one structure and in marriage two people become one. At both the cross and marriage there is a dying involved, but also in both life may be found. In the cross we are crucified with Christ so that we might have new life. Marriage shows two people dying to self that Christ may be all the more glorified.

In the past when I wrote poetry I would usually write lots in spurts. Who knows, this might be the first of many more to come.

Reason 29 why I am excited to marry Laura:

She is patient loves kids. By the way she interacts with her nieces and nephews I know she will make a great mom!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Couple of quick hits

-We are getting married soon. That is so hard to believe. I remember yesterday I was writing the date on a form and thought "in a month and a day I will be married to the love of my life." Then today I was filling out the date on a form and thought, "Exactly one month from today I will be married to my best friend."

-I couldn’t sleep last night and ended up coming into work early. It was neat because I looked over to the east and saw the sun not that high in the sky and was reminded of the morning when I came to work at sunrise and recorded the video that I used to propose to Laura.

-I read a great Piper quote the other day "God can accomplish more good for those who trust him while they sleep than they can accomplish with anxious labor while awake."

-Reason #30 why I am excited to marry Laura
She will bring order to my world known as "chaos"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Love Laura as Christ loved the Church

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This passage came to mind earlier and in the margins of my Bible I have written, "Description of Christ and His love for the church." Several years back Allred led a Bible study series on the passage above and he stated how this passage is very common for being read at weddings, but the romantic kind of love was not Paul's original intent. Paul's intent in this passage was to show the Corinthians Christ and what they are to seek after in their interaction with one another. Basically, the word "love," is interchangeable with Christ.

I decided to make the connection between this passage and Ephesians 5. If I am to love Laura as Christ loved the church then essentially: I will be patient and kind with Laura. I will lead her humbly, never envying her gifts or boasting about mine over her. During conflict I will not let the sun go down on my anger. No score card of wrongs will ever be kept, but grace will define our daily living. By grace, I will rejoice in truth and seek to put to death all sin. As I am faithful to glorify God in my marriage I will protect and trust Laura. Through good times and bad, sickness and health, I will persevere in loving Laura. During the hard times I will maintain hope, not because of who Laura is, but because of our foundation in the cross.

Reason #40 why I am excited to marry Laura:
Despite the fact that I am a goober and in need of lots of help, she is eager to be my helper.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Woe to Disorder

Well this is my (Laura) little mini update...

So, Nursing school has been good, but soooo busy! I moved through 7 (very fast) weeks of Psychiatric nursing. I guess I can say I learned a few things from that course, but the main thing that I learned is that I don't want to be a Psychiatric Nurse . That course went fast ...and I just began the last 7 weeks of my semester with good old medical surgical nursing ;) I am doing my clinicals at Shady Grove Hospital and am loving it so far. It's crazy to think that I am in week 2 out of seven weeks, which means I am getting married in 6 weeks... too weird!

Today I learned about Arterial blood gasses, acid base balance in the blood, fluid electrolyte balance...and IV fluids/meds for each deficiency. I seriously spent 7.5 hours on campus going from workshop to workshop and lab to lab, mandatory of course ;} having to go through one case study after another.... I left feeling like my head was spinning... but hey if anybody wants to know about metabolic acidosis, the effects on the acid base balance from repeated vomiting, and/or the importance of the sodium potassium pump...see me ;) I was so excited about all the info that I had learned that I called Lew and gave him a mini lecture over the phone, just for fun (more for me than him!) I am a nerd... I know

Anyways on another note... I could use some help! Things have seriously gotten soooo busy that I feel like I am constantly behind in things like.... cleaning my room, laundry....well I would just say organization in general!! My room is pretty much a mess. In the midst of packing my stuff, and just being super busy I feel like there is never enough time! Truly I left my house at 6:30 this morning... was home for about 1 1/2 hours and then left for my night class. Then I just got home from my night class.... and it finally hit me.... my room is a disaster zone (my poor mother would sadly agree). I just made my bed (I know it's 9:00 pm) but I can't go to bed in an unmade I made it anyways. But as I was making my bed I felt sad that things like that are being neglected. So I am determined that tomorrow, somehow, even in the midst of my business I am going to take some tome to organize and clean... starting with my laundry!

I even have included some pictures for you all to enjoy.... Yes this in an act of humility... but I figure you all could get a few laughs out of my messy room! These pictures tell a story ;)

Yes, you can see my boxes for packing, my unmade bed and books...lots of books... scattered everywhere :{

This is my "disaster" corner... I have piled all of my laundry (that I intend on doing of course) in the "perfect" spot next to my closet...? Somehow it made sense at the time.

And biggest disaster desk, or what I like to call the free for all. I have found this has become a place of piling (piling is one of my worst habits). You can see lots of piling right now, my special monkey from my little sister, my splenda from baking a few days ago, a bag of rice from a few nights ago, some random vitamins, and worst of all my chair has so many clothes piled on it that I can't sit in it. So pretty much I can't use my desk at all until I can get some organization going!
Well I guess it could be worse, but still if anyone has any good organization tips for someone in a super busy season please do share!!

I am getting married in 45 days.... wow ;)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Time for an update

Wow, we haven’t posted in a while. Life is busy and doesn’t appear to slow down until those two ladybugs up top meet. Here are some quick bullet points of events past, present and future.

• Last weekend was the care group leaders retreat and it was a very refreshing time. The first session was on how the gospel is our fuel for change. I am looking forward to reviewing those notes and going over it with the care group. The next two sessions were very helpful about understanding the heart and getting to sin issues in the heart.

• Speaking of care group retreat, we have our first care group retreat with our new care group this Saturday. The theme is “care” and I am anticipating a great time of seeing more fully how God cares for us and how He intends to use us to care for one another.

• We have our first premarital counseling session this Thursday. Just typing that last sentence made me realize how thankful I am for grace. Even though a recently married friend told me I am more ready for marriage then he is, I know that three pre-marital counseling sessions won’t make me be ready to be a husband. I will fail time and time again, but God is gracious to sinners like me.

• On December 1st I am moving and Laura’s and I new place of residence will be the first time that I will live in the same house for more then a year since 2000-2002. (Yay for roommates forever!)

• I’ve been reading through “Heart Aflame,” in my quiet times and I am excited because 20 straight days will be spent meditating through Psalm 119! Oh yeah buddy!

• We are serving tonight at the Harvest Party. It’s definitely no Reformation Celebration, but the costume requirements are a bit easier. Harvest party you only have to wear a particular color versus the Reformation Celebration where you attempt to dress up as John Calvin, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper or any other reformer throughout history.

• I feel like over the past month Laura and I have done all types of traveling and seen exotic Maryland locale such as Towson, Westminster, Annapolis and crossing the stateline into Alexandria, Va. Amazingly enough, the one trip we got lost on was the trip that I’ve made the most. It’s nice to know that I haven’t lost my touch making the amazingly simple so much harder then it should be.

• Lastly, I heard a song on the radio this weekend called, “I Loved her first.” It’s typically a song that would have meant nothing to me, but in this particular season I found myself listening to all the words thinking about the gift that Laura is to me and if God would bless us with a daughter. The lyrics are below for you to enjoy.

Look at the two of you dancing that way
Lost in the moment and each others face
So much in love your alone in this place
Like there's nobody else in the world
I was enough for her not long ago
I was her number one
She told me so
And she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl
Time changes everything
Life must go on
And I'm not gonna stand in your way

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it still hard to give her away
I loved her first

How could that beautiful women with you
Be the same freckle face kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairy tales to
And tucked into bed all those nights
And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But its still hard to give her away
I loved her first

From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
Someday you might know what I'm going through
When a miracle smiles up at you
I loved her first

Reason #45 why I am exited to marry Laura

She has been tested by God and has come out like pure gold.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Enraptured Admiration

I've recently find myself amazed with the relationship that the saints of old had with God. Laura and I have been enjoying the new Chris Tomlin CD lately and one of the songs on it is the original version of Amazing Grace. The last verse is different then how it is typically sung now.

"The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine" Newton

In Heaven, God will be forever mine. This isn’t just a business relationship or a mere acquaintance, but this is an “enrapture admiration (John Calvin).” Newton understood that our earthly marriages are only a reflection of our relationship with God. There should be nothing that we are more passionately in love with then God and His glory.

What defines my life isn’t my marriage, my job or anything temporal in this life. What drives me in this life is what I look forward to in the next life. My life needs to be characterized now by making the most of having Christ as “mine.”

As I think about being a care group leader and asking how guys are doing in terms of spending with God I need to convey to them that it isn’t an issue of regularity in quiet times, but instead it is a matter pursuing intimacy with God through communing with Him by the means of prayer and His Word because. Having a quiet time isn’t about just reading the Word and praying, but instead it is admiring the beauty of the One whose blood purchased me. I want to whet my appetite now for Heaven’s delight because there is truly no other satisfaction here on earth then growing in the one that I was made for.

"Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee." Augustine

Reason #57 why I am excited to marry Laura:
her heart to meet with God and be made more like Him!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Yay for engagement pictures ;)

Yeah, I don't see or hear from me very often anymore. Life is so busy that, sorry folks, but blogging has been at the bottom of my priority list....but I have a fun update ;)

We finally got our engagement pics, courtesy of Janelle Bradshaw ;) Here are a few of our personal favorites. Enjoy...and check out our wedding website for more.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Marrying my best friend

Earlier tonight I had a chance to talk to an old friend from high school. It's interesting, I remember my senior year of high school my old Young Life leader discipled myself and two other guys. We called ourselves, "The Fishermen's club," because we were called to be Fishers of Men. We all went to different high schools, but we were all really close and best friends. We ended up going to different colleges, but made a pact to stay in touch.

Staying in touch has proved harder then we thought. One of the guys is still back home in South Bend, I'm out here on the east coast and another guy is in Hawaii. With our busy lives it's very rare that three of us get to see each other, although we do talk on the phone once every few months. I remember a conversation a few years back where we talked about being in each others wedding. The first guy got married this past summer and none of the fishermen were there. For my wedding in December none of the fishermen will be able to make it either.

With college, my internship and moving out here, I have always felt like a bit of a nomad. I have had some friendships and relationships that have come and gone, even ones that I would last the test of time. Two months from today I will be marrying my best friend and having someone who will always be there. There won't be any moving away from each other, but actually getting to live life together and sharing every moment as we grow in Christ. What a blessing this is for me that I sometimes struggle to comprehend. Every other friendship has been for a season, but this will be a joining of two lives. For better or for worse, till death do us part.

Reason #61 why I am excited to marry Laura...
I will be marrying my best friend

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Baseball, Grace and Marriage

The Mets are playing the Cardinals in game 1 of the NLCS. I can't help but to wonder what Freddy's thoughts are right now. I worked with Freddy during my internship at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Freddy was a lifelong Mets fan. (Freddy was also a bit out there, when asked who you would play him in a movie about his life his response was "batman"). In the summer of 2004 the Mets made a particular trade that was too much for Freddy. Freddy exclaimed to us that he was fed up and could take it no longer. It was officially over and Freddy divorced the Mets. This was serious business, Freddy sold all of his Mets baseball cards, jerseys, souvenirs and memorabilia. He even e-mailed every Major League Baseball team (except for the Yankees and Braves) letting them know that he was an ex-Mets fan and he was looking for a new team. By the end of my summer at Cooperstown Freddy had not picked a new team and said it could be two year process.

The Mets have obviously been recipients of God's grace and are four victories away from being NL champions. Thinking about Freddy's divorce of the Mets it is just further evidence of why the Bible doesn't support divorce. One of the things that we can count on in marriage is God's faithfulness. He will always be faithful to us in our time of need and gives us the grace that we need. We never need to despair or consider anyone a lost cause because God is on our side. If we are properly trusting in God then we can be patient and know that when marriage is built on grace then God will sustain any marriage.

Reason #65 why I am excited to marry Laura:
She likes going to baseball games with me!

Monday, October 09, 2006

More photo fun

Jonah and I were joking around the other weekend about starting our own comedy routine where we told funny stories about all the crazy things that we've done and we'd always says, "hey, remember that time when?"

For example, "hey, remember that time when we tried to start a new tradition of the groomsmen kissing the groom before the wedding?"

Actually, if that happened at my wedding I would probably react the same way Alex does here, but it does make for a funny photo.

Reason #68 why I am excited to marry Laura:

Starting new traditions as we share life together!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Don't Waste Your Life

Something that really struck me earlier this week is how I will glorify God as Laura's husband. Jonah and I were talking about this last weekend and it puts it in perspective when I realize that everything I do for Laura is done for the purpose of God. Piper states in "Don't Waste Your Life," that nothing is merely an idea, but all ideas and actions bear on my wife. Where I work, how I spend my money, what I do in my free time, all of these decisions affect Laura. The only way can I make these decisions to best serve and care for Laura is by primarily viewing everything through the lens of "How can God be most glorified?"

Reason #71 why I am excited to marry Laura:

She is compassionate and has a heart to care for others

Here is Jonah and I at a wedding together this past weekend in Indiana.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thoughts on engagement

The wedding day is quickly approaching and I came to a neat realization the other day. Since April we have been putting a lot of worthy time and effort into the ceremony. The ceremony will point to God and magnify His glory and it will truly be a wonderful day. This wedding was planned long before we were born, from before the foundation of the world, God had a plan to redeem us to through the death of His Son on the cross and bring us together on Memorial Day 2005 so that we can grow in Christ and in friendship leading us to December 16th, 2006 when we will become one.

The ceremony will be great, but our focus and our desire isn't that one day. Instead, the craving and yearning of our hearts is for every moment of our life together that God wil be glorified. What we are living for right now isn't to be married, but a life that points to the cross.

Ever since we became believers the work of the Spirit in our hearts isn't pushing us towards a great wedding, but a marriage that honors God daily. That excites me to think that December 16, 2006 isn't an end, but a beginning of a new season and knowing the love of my life more as well as my Savior who has made all things possible.

O LORD, we have waited for You;
The desire of our soul is for Your name
And for the remembrance of You. (Isaiah 26:8)

Reason #72 why I am excited to marry Laura...

She has a desire and a passion to see God glorified in all areas of her life.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Day 73

I will do new blog post sometime in the future. Not sure when, but it will come. This wedding season is a hectic one, but God is good and teaching me about priorities.

Reason #75 why I am excited to marry Laura:

She is responsible when it comes to finances realizes the role they play in glorifying God.

A few photos to make you smile

One of my simple pleasures was spending time with my nephew and niece....even though right now is so insanely busy for me with school...I was able to spend a little bit of time with my nephew Isaiah last week. He is getting so big its unbelievable! He will be 1 year this month. The funniest thing was whenever I would snap the camera to take his picture the flash would go off for a few seconds before and he would open his mouth and stick out his tongue! In fact in almost every single picture his mouth is open and his tongue is out!! Here are some cute pictures to make you smile:

And to see some very cute pictures of my new niece Giana (who I hope to spend some time with very soon) go here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Day 74

Reason #74 why I am excited to marry Laura:

She is gorgeous and will look like a radiant princess on our wedding day!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Day 75

I've been without the internet for the past few days so I haven't been able to update. I was in Indiana at a wedding and I will probably fill in the details about that trip later. For now, time to pick up where I left off...

Reason #75 why I am excited to become Laura's husband:

She helps me to eat healthy and be a good steward of the body that God has given me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Day 80

Reason #80 why I am excited to marry Laura:

I have gotten her into the idea of tea and having tea parties together!

10 Simple pleasures

I didn't forget. It was just kind of on the backburner. For those who are curious. Below you can find my ten simple peasures. I think everyone else has already been tagged, so I am copping out of the part where I tag others. Enjoy!

10 Simple Pleasures

10)Sitting down with a hot cup of tea.
9)Going walking at Sugarloaf or someplace else where God’s glory in nature is displayed.
8)Watching football with my dad.
7)Hearing about what God is teaching to my friends.
6)Being able to spend time with my guitar.
5)The smell of popcorn (and also eating popcorn).
4)Baking with the love of my life.
3)Reading a good book.
2)Reminiscing about memories of all my friends from college and all the crazy things we did.
1)Making new memories with Laura.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Day 81

Reason #81 why I am excited about becoming Laura's husband:

She is excited about caring for other ladies and helping them to grow in knowledge and love for their Savior.

Monday, September 25, 2006

First time for everything

This weekend I did what I never thought I would do. I can be a forgetful person would probably forget my head if it wasn't screwed on tight. The one thing I have never done before is forgotten my keys and locked myself out of the car. I've even had times when I've gone running and put my house key in my shoe and then when I went driving later I left the key in my running shoes, thus locking myself out of the house.

I think it all traces back to my first semester of college where you got two free passes for locking yourself out of your room, but the third time they have to let you in you pay a fine. Twice I locked myself out of room and from that point on I never did it again because I didn't want to pay the fine. Well technically, I only locked myself out of my room once, the second time I had put my key in back pocket, which I never do, had to go get the spare key from the desk and by the time I got to my room I realized what I did, but I was too embarassed to go back and return the key right away because I had to much pride to say, "well, um, I just disovered that I didn't lock myself out, but the key was in my back pocket all along."

This Saturday, after our first premarital seminar, we were walking out to the car, talking about lunch and all of a sudden I realized my keys were not in my pockets. No need to fear because I never lock my keys in the car, they must be someplace. After searching the parking lot, lost and found and various other places, they keys were not to be found. You are probably thinking, it's a good thing Lew carries a spare key on him, well actually, Lew does not carry a spare key on him. In need of a good workout, Laura and I made the 20 minute trek to my house to get the key and 20 minute trek back.

This whole scenario could have been avoided except for my pride. In the past Laura would ask me if I had my keys and I would often respond back in a prideful way as I impersonated Napolean Dynamite and stated, "GOSH, of course I have my keys." A more humble response would have been to see Laura's desire to help and not to think so highly of myself and my ability's to always remember my keys.

Reason #82 why I am excited to marry Laura in 82 days:

She views herself as my helper and is eager to help me and does not want me to cultivate self sufficiency or pride.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Day 83

Reason #83 why I am excited to marry Laura:

She is passionate about worshipping the one died to pay for her sins and reconcile her to our gracious and mericful Father!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Day 84

Reason #84 why I am excited to be Laura's husband...

She is humble and quick to confess her sin

Friday, September 22, 2006

Day 85

Reason #85 why I am excited to be married to Laura:

She puts up with the cheesey things that I do like counting down days until we are married on our blog with a new reason to be excited for our wedding day. It excites me how she has learned how to not be so easily embarassed.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Day 86

Reason #86 I am excited to be Laura's husband:

Laura actively pursues the attributes and characteristics of a Godly wife and mother. This is great for me, because I have trouble managing my laundry, yet alone a home.

Peach Cobbler and Home Comforts

You may be wondering if I am still pursuing heartily after I have posted no recipes or domestic hints in over a month. Well the truth is it has been hard enough to find time to be domestic, let alone post about it! But I do love sharing the things that God is teaching me about domesticity and fun recipes that I have I am gonna try a little harder to keep up with this, at least once a week ;)

So to start I will share some helpful insight from a GREAT book that I got for my birthday from my sis-in-law Rachel. The book is called Home Comforts The Art & Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelson. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about keeping a home and all it's one of the best I have read on the topic.

Here is a brief insight on Neatening, the author brings up the "broken window" theory which I had never heard of, but it shed a lot of light on why I have such a hard time sometimes keeping things neat. Without going into as much detail as the author I will paraphrase the meaning of the theory, then share the authors short description of how it's applicable to keeping home. The broken window theory is a theory that was shown by situations seen in several neighborhoods. Studies had shown that if a window was broken in a home and not repaired this suggests to "wrongdoers" in the neighborhood that no one cares about the home, which then leads to the home being at much higher risk of being vandalized. Stay with me now, before you get too confused and question how this could possibly have to do with keeping home...let me give you the authors explanation. It's a long quote, but I think you'll find it humorous to see how her examples are really pretty accurate to what we experience in our own homes:

The broken window theory certainly applies to every individual home, and the reason why it does is clear. When people are cooperating in maintaining a household, the domestic equivalent of an unrepaired broken window can result in a chain reaction that eventually sees the home in complete chaos. It happens like this. Someone is reading in his favorite chair while sipping a cup of tea, after slipping off his shoes to get comfortable. His wife hands him an important piece of mail, and after reading it he walks off to make a telephone call, leaving behind the mail and the torn envelope, his novel spread to mark his place, his shoes, his half empty cup, and the chair looking nicely sat in. He does not return to this chair for the rest of the day, forgetting his tea and novel after the telephone call and getting involved in something else. Now the "window" has been broken in this room. Anyone who walks in will feel entitled to add more disorder because the room is already slightly even if pleasantly, disorderly. The next person therefore leaves her stack of papers at her chair and throws her sweater on it. After something like this happens four or five times, the room is littered, and the disorder soon spreads to the next room. Or say one person does a lackluster job cleaning up after a meal. Some dishes or pots or countertops are left unwashed. Everyone who walks into the kitchen afterward feels entitled to add to the mess, leaving a glass and plate on the counter or more crumbs on the table. (After all there are already a dirty cup and bowl; two more won't matter.) The same chain of events can happen with chores. He did not market, so I will not (or cannot) cook or do the laundry or vacuum. It can also happen when you live alone, and you can find yourself responding to your own breaches of order or routine with still more disorder and disruption, In each case, the household is soon entirely out of control.

So you may ask, how can such a chain be broken!? If your anything like me you can relate to such instances, and I thought it was a problem that could never be fixed! Alas, there is hope to such a dilemma; the chain of the unbroken window can be "broken".

In order to learn this and apply it to my own life I am going to post a weekly "Keeping House Hint" beginning with the pursuit of neatness. The author does a great job at providing hints for keeping your home neat, without making it undoable, uncomfortable or unliveable. So starting next week you can look for my hints on a weekly basis, I don't have a specific day that I will do this, so just keep a lookout for it ;)

Please remember, even in things such as domesticity, we are still a people dependent on God's grace. I know I must constantly remind myself of this when I am weary or feel like I am failing at a task, especially with homemaking. Let us cling to this truth as we pursue after these things:

"whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies —in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. " 1 Peter 4:11b

So if you decide to pursue after domesticity and things as such, do it heartily for the glory of God!

* Note for the men who read our blog: I know this is not the most popular topic that sparks interest in most of your minds, but you may even find these tips helpful in serving your wives or families ;) No pressure, but I just wanted you guys to feel included to read along, even though the title is "Keeping House Hints" the topic of neatness can be applied to anyone's life, male or female.

Now for my last portion of my post...I know it's been a long one (thanks for hanging in there) but it's been so long since I have posted I must make up for lost time:

Essie's Peach Cobbler
Preheat oven to 350
Cream together in bowl:
1/4 C butter
1/2 C sugar

Combine separately:
1 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon (optional)
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with:
1/2 C milk
Mix until smooth. Grease a 10x5 or 9x9 baking pan. Spoon batter into pan over:
4 sliced peaches ( you can use many other fruits besides peaches such as berries or cherries)
Sprinkle top with:
2-4 T sugar
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve with cold milk,whipped topping, or ice cream.

Mmmmm!Lew and I made this a few weeks ago and it was favorite cobbler recipe! The topping is a little cakey, but not too cakey....and it's really moist!
Enjoy ;)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Day 87

Reason 87 I am excited to be Laura's husband because she is one tough cookie when it comes to painful things like surgery, but she is still gentle and feminine.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Link of the Day

Probably the funniest thing I've read in ages.

Sovereign Grace's new reality show

Day 88: Laura is a great cook. Seriously, she even makes fake eggs taste good!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Day 89

Even though I am a sinner who is prone to wander and prone to leave the God I love, Laura is quick to show me grace, but more importantly, point me to the grace of God and His Son who bled and died for my sins at the cross.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Let me count the ways (Day 90)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

I never had a plan to write in this blog everyday, but this has now changed. Or at least for the next 90 days. In exactly 90 days Laura and I will become plural, "The Lewis'." I want to use this time and space to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness for the wonderful bride-to-be that I have. In the next 90 days, you can find here 90 reasons why I can't wait to be Laura's husband. Don't worry, these won't be long mushy reasons, but sometimes funny and sometimes serious, but always from the heart.

Day 90: Laura wants to know who I am...faults, weaknesses and all.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Life's simple pleasures

I have been tagged by Rachel .

Instructions: Name 10 of life's simple pleasures that you like the most, then pick 10 people to do the same. Try to be original and creative; try not to use things that someone else has already used.

1)Seeing the color of the changing fall leaves as the sun is rising.

2) The feeling of my pre-wedding countdown being in the double digits and realizing I will be Mrs. Lewis in 92 days.

3) Going to baseball games with the one I love while eating really bad junk food for the sake of the "baseball experience", but not feeling guilty for it at all.

4) Sitting in front of a bonfire with friends on a cool fall night.

5) The smell outside when it's going to snow.

6) Having my whole immediate family together at one time and realizing how much God has blessed us.

7) Seafood subs from subway with pickles and old bay....I can't explain this one...I am just a little strange.

8) The first part of my day, with God and my cup of coffee.

9) The smell of Christmas in my home. It's a combination of my Mom's festive candles, food, and the Christmas decorations from the attic...It makes me feel so nostalgic.

10) The warm feeling of holding my niece and nephew

Ok I tag... Lew (you still must answer!), Kelly, Becca and Dre K, Janet, Renee and Gene, Evy and Marlon, and Megan R. If you don't have a blog feel free to email your response.

(Thanks for tagging me Rach, this was fun to do!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Joy in serving Laura

I like to multi-task and sometimes while watching sports inbetween plays or during commercials I try to do some reading. Last night while watching Monday Night Football I read a great article by Piper called, "Marriage: A Matrix of Christian Hedonism."

Christ died for the church in order that he might present to himself a beautiful bride. He endured the cross for the joy of marriage that was set before him. But what is the ultimate joy of the church? Is it not to be presented as a bride to the sovereign Christ? So Christ sought his own joy in the joy of the church. Therefore, the example Christ sets for husbands is to seek their joy in the joy of their wives...if you devote yourself with all your heart to the holy joy of your spouse, you will also be living for your joy and making a marriage after the image of Christ and his church.

One of the things that I am learning as I prepare for my marriage is that marriage is all about selfless living. I am no longer living for myself alone and what brings me joy, but instead, I am dying to those things so thatI can bring Laura joy. As I devote myself to serving, providing, honoring and caring for Laura then my joy increases. Christ mission, enduring the scorn and shame of the cross, brought Him joy because He was doing it for His church. AsI long I keep my life in perspective, that I am giving up my life for Laura, then my life will be a quest for joy.

Something really neat to think about is how Christ is the greatest leader and the greatest servant. To follow Christ examples means to wash Laura's feet. I am not a general or sergant who barks orders and Laura follows. The goal is servant leadership that makes love the trademark and looks first needs of others. When Christ washed the disciples feet there was never any doubt that He is the leader. When Christ brought the disciples correction there was never any question of His love or attacks on His leadership. On Christ journey to the cross His focus was always on bringing the Father glory and secondly serving His disciples.

My prayer is that I may be decrease so that He may increase. As I die more and more to self then I want to be able to serve Laura and provide for her protection and care. I don't want my pleasure to ever be in my job or my hanging out with my guy friends. In laying down my life I pray my pleasure can be found in pursuing Laura and bringing her joy. As iron sharpens iron, I want to be able to sharpen Laura and help her to more passionately pursue her Heavenly Father and grow in Him. I desire boldness and discernment so I can not only mortify my own sin, but also help Laura to put hers to death as well.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Double digits!

Yes today is 100 days until the wedding! Which means tomorrow Lew and I begin our double digit countdown. Wow has time flown by!

I have found an interesting way to celebrate the fact that we are finally in the double digits....
I hope you guys can get a good laugh out of this...

Check it out here

The Subtlety of Unbelief

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who
believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears,
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24)

I am reading through Mark right now and as I read this passage on Sunday I thought about how I've often used it when caring for friends. As I was praying through the passage I felt God's Spirit asking to me to examine my own heart for unbelief. Knowing the truth of Scripture so well and who God is I don't typically find myself struggling with unbelief. Just because there is no struggle does not mean that unbelief is not present. I began to pray Psalm 139 and ask God to search me and know my heart, test for me any anxiety and lead me back to home.

Later on that afternoon as I was spending time with Laura's family God graciously revealed an area of unbelief in my life. When I was talking to Laura's dad and her brother Jeremy about job opportunities I mentioned to them the job that I had applied for with Lanmark Technologies and that I felt in faith for God to work. A little bit later on as I was talking to the whole family about my job prospects I thought mentioning Lanmark Technologies and then the thought popped into my head, "how many other jobs have you felt in faith for or thought would be great and nothing panned out." I ended up not mentioning the job I applied for and in that moment I stopped believing in God's faithfulness to me and never ending provision of a career. I took my eyes off of the eternal hope I have and let my circumstances control my worldview.

What a great hope that I have that God's faithfulness is not dependent on my trust. I am so thankful that even when I take my eyes off of Him He remains steadfast in caring for me. I can never come before the cross enough and see the greatest act of love and be reminded that of God will do that for me then how can He not do all else. He is my solid rock amidst all uncertainties and what I cling to in all circumstances. My belief is never in myself because I am a total goober, but my belief for any good lies in the One who defines good.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Spurgeon once said that there is no greater kindness that anyone can do but pray for me.

Prayer is something that both Laura and I could appreciate right now. Laura is starting a new semester of school and this one will definitely be her busiest one yet. You can also pray for me as I have a job interview with Lanmark Technologies as to be a project manager for a digital library initiative at the Department of Labor. We are both at a place where we realize that we can't be self sufficient and do things on our own, but we are totally in need of God's sovereign grace daily to do any good!

True love to Christ is in every case the Holy Spirit's work, and must be wrought in the heart by Him. He is the efficient cause of it; but the logical reason why we love Jesus lies in Himself. Why do we love Jesus? Because He first loved us. Why do we love Jesus? Because He "gave Himself for us." We have life through His death; we have peace through His blood. Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor. Why do we love Jesus? Because of the excellency of His person. We are filled with a sense of His beauty! an admiration of His charms! a consciousness of His infinite perfection! His greatness, goodness, and loveliness, in one resplendent ray, combine to enchant the soul till it is so ravished that it exclaims, "Yea, He is altogether lovely." Blessed love this-a love which binds the heart with chains more soft than silk, and yet more firm than adamant! (Spurgeon)

Care group last night went really well. We spent a lot of time in prayer and we closed with the above reading from Morning and Evening and meditating on the atonement. It always amazes me to think about God's love and care for me that He would send His holy Son to die in my place so that I can wear His righteousness and be His child. To think that He has taken care of my greatest need, so how can He not take care of all others. It's easy to judge my relationship with God based on outward circumstances, but He is truly continually blessing me just by allowing me to be in relationship with Him. His love is so great and He is so worthy of praise that it excites me to think of what it will be like to praise Him forever in Heaven.

"Why should anything have my heart, but God, but Christ? He love me, He loves me with love that passeth knowledge, and I will love Him. His love stripped Him of all for my sake; Lord, let my love strip me of all for thy sake. I am a son of love, an object of love, a monument of love; of free love, of distinguishing love, of peculiar love, and of love that passeth knowledge: and why should not I
walk in love -- in love to God, in love to man, in holy love, in love unfeigned?"-John Bunyan

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Marriage and the Gospel

Martyn Lloyd-Jones taught me something about Ephesians 5:25 that I had never before grasped. How many times have I read, and preached, this verse and missed it?Then I read his pastoral words of application: "How many of us have realized that we are always to think of the married state in terms of the doctrine of the atonement? Is that our customary way of thinking of marriage?. . . Where do we find what the books have to say about marriage? Under which section? Under ethics. But it does not belong there. We must consider marriage in terms of the doctrine of the atonement." (Life in the Spirit, 148)

That means, by the way, that every time we hear a sermon on the atonement, we as Christian husbands are being shown and taught by our Lord how to love our wives. Yes, certainly, above all, whenever we hear atonement proclaimed, we are always first to consider the matchless work of God on our behalf. The atonement always and foremost is to evoke in us wonder, love, gratitude and praise for saving grace freely given to us at the cost of the Father’s only and beloved Son. It is about what God is doing for us, for our redemption, outside of us, without any assistance from us, or any input from us, or any contribution from us. For the atonement is the awesome display of the stunningly surprising saving love of God at work on our behalf. It is never a mere example of love. It is never a mere illustration. It is never merely a means of moral influence.

But here in Ephesians 5:25b, Paul bids Christian husbands to look at the cross, to look at how Christ gave himself for his people there, to look at how he gave himself totally, to look at how he gave himself to the uttermost, to look at how he endured the shame and suffering, to look at how he died – all for his bride, all for his people, all for the church.

And then the apostle Paul applies the atonement to Christian husbands. "Men," he says, "Christ lived, suffered and died for the eternal good of his bride – now, you go love your wives like that. Love your wives like Christ loved the church. Love your wives like Christ gave himself for the church. Love your wives in light of the atonement."

So next time you are wishing that the preacher would talk about something practical, and he’s up there again preaching about the cross, preaching about the atonement, just remember the triple practicality of it – (1) he’s not only teaching you about the love of God, a love so deep you’ll never see to the bottom of it in all eternity, (2) he’s not only teaching you about the glorious work of redemption by penal substitution, a work without which you would not and could not have been saved from an eternity in hell, (3) he’s teaching you as a Christian husband how to love your wife – Christ lived, suffered and died for his bride; you live, and if necessary suffer and die for your wife’s good. (Taken from the "Together for the Gospel Blog").

Friday, September 01, 2006

Musical Memories

I have a stat counter on this blog and it's neat to see where all the different people come from that visit this blog. For those of you that never read the original Lew blog I want to share the story of how Laura and I got engaged. I was planning on placing this link on the side bar soon, but I figure it deserves its own post.

It was April 22nd and we had made plans to go the Acts musical put on at our church. Earlier that day we had talked to her brother and his wife and gone over the 5 questions to ask yourself before engagement. By God's grace we passed and received their blessing. I told Laura that the singles pastors at our church had a video they wanted all couples to watch before engagement. I put in the DVD without her seeing what it was titled.

Follow this link to relive the memory with us: Engagement video

She said "yes" and here we are 3 months two week and 1 day away!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Birthday Blessing

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Yesterday was the birthday of my beautiful bride-to-be! If I were to count the ways way I am so thankful for her I could write a book that spans volumes! She is precious both in my eyes in God's. Laura is a woman who makes it a priority to daily spend time with God and would much rather her soul shaped by Him instead of spending time shaping her hair or doing makeup. Don't get me wrong, hair, makeup and clothing are priorities, but not the highest priority and she does know how to make herself look gorgeous with those means, but she knows that isn't her source of beauty.

I am grateful to God that I get to lead a care group with Laura. I know there is no other lady that I would want with me to lead others to embrace the cross more in their daily lives. Laura is an example to other ladies of what accountability looks like and passionately pursuing after God! One of the many things that I am thankful to God for Laura about is how she continually ask me good questions to draw me out about my sin and the condition of my heart.

When I think of Proverbs 31 I think of Laura. Since August 27th of last year I have been learning to safely trust her and find great gain as I've had her by my side. Because of God's grace in her life Laura is able to wear strength and honor as her clothing. Instead of spending her summer working she made herself a student of her mom cultivating the attributes and characteristics of Godly wife and mother so that when we have our own home she is able to tend to it well for God's glory. Laura is a woman that fears God and many women delight to fellowship with her. God has definitely gifted Laura with a heart of compassion that is seen in so many ways, whether it's practically caring for others or caring for the souls of other ladies. It is amazing to see how she is always available to be there for others.

I continually found myself in awe that God would you give you to me to honor, cherish and protect. I pray that you know our Father's love for you! Next to my Savior's sacrifice for my sin, you are the greatest gift that He's given me! I pray that every day I can help you to see God's grace in your life and feel encouraged by all the great things He is doing in you!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Psalm 139

This morning I was meditating on Psalm 139...this has become something I do annually on my birthday (yes I came to this world 23 years ago today) and every year God refreshes my perspective on his perfect plans for me. This year as I read through verses 13-14 I was brought to tears as I recalled God's kindness. He knit me together in my mothers womb...He made me fearfully and wonderfully...wonderful are his soul knows it very well! The amazing part is that despite what I am tempted to believe at times, as I read this passage this morning and the psalmist declared how wonderful are the Father's soul truly did know it well! You see even though I was born with 2 birth defects: one side of my face born larger and one leg born shorter, I can still trust and believe that God carefully knitted me together in my Mothers womb...this was no accident (as science would say), but a perfect plan of my Heavenly Father. And even though through many surgeries my legs are now even and the prominence of the right side of my face reduced...I am still very aware of how God has used these "thorns in my flesh" (2 Cor. 12) to teach me of his all sufficient grace and all sustaining strength! So in light of this I wanted to share a letter between my future father-in-law and I. A few weeks ago he emailed me asking why I had chosen Psalm 139 as my email address. Following his question you will see my response. My honest and sincere heart in sharing this is that as you read the letter below all glory would go to God our Father, for it is truly only by his grace that I stand here today, His chosen child, with this story to tell....Lord please be glorified!

Psalm 139 is beautiful but I wonder what made you
select it as opposed to another -- say for example
Psalm 23 or 138?

Thanks for asking!
This verse is a huge part of my testimony. Growing up was not easy for me because I had limitations that could only be fixed by extensive surgery....30 surgeries to be exact. It was very hard as a child to face the physical suffering, but sometimes the emotional suffering was even harder. Ever since I was a little girl, when I would ask my Mom why God made me the way he did and when I would find myself broken hearted as a child being teased (because I was different) My mom would open her bible to Psalm 139....

When I see Psalm 139 I am reminded:

That God knows me deeply, more deeply then I know myself...and he knows all my thoughts and questions
I am also reminded that he is always near to me

But the portions of this chapter that really speak to me are vs 11-18
This reminds me that God knit me together in my mothers womb....he knows all the details of my body, and he says I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Doctors would say that my "birth defects" occurred because of a mismatched chromosome (basically there is no genetic explanation for it).... a mistake in science...but God's word says there was NO mistake! His word says that He saw my unformed body, it was not hidden from Him. God wrote all of my days before even one of them began, he knew exactly how I would suffer and he knew exactly how he would comfort me as well.

So to make a long story short: for the first 16 years of my life I spent a majority of my time in the hospital, there was nothing easy about that for a child physically or emotionally. But the great news is that for many years God used this verse to give me hope that he had a plan for my limitations...and one day he would use them for His glory and my good. And you know what? He has!

Now I don't know all of the many reasons God had in mind when he created me the way He did, but it's amazing to see how kindly he has used all of the suffering growing up to enable me to: be a better nurse, be more compassionate, and to change my perspective on beauty. And Lord willing one day he will use my past suffering to help me to be a good wife...and loving mother.

And now, even neater (!) I always wondered growing up..."what kind of man will I marry?" ....and one of my favorite parts of the story that God has given me your son to of the most tender, compassionate, godly men I know! And God has given Jeffrey eyes to see beauty in me that only God can explain.

So I hope this wasn't too much info for ya!! I guess Psalm 139 just is a fresh reminder for me (much needed) of God's goodness in creating me just the way I am. And dont' worry if you have any questions please ask them ;) I like to talk about it often because it helps me to keep thanking God for all he has done and is still doing

Much Love,

Friday, August 25, 2006

weekend thought

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

If this is the God that I serve, the One that has rescued me delights in me and desires to commune with me then why I don't I always make me highest priority to spend time with Him and seek my highest joy in Him.

It only seems logical that in any situaton I would go to the Wonderful Counselor, find my strength in the Mighty God and gain peace and comfort from the Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Cross

"For every one look at your sins, take ten looks at Christ."--Robert Murray McCheyne

I know I've posted that quote before, but in light of last nights discussion on the doctrine of sin the magnitude of this quote really hit me. Issac shared a really good definition of sin from J.C. Ryle's "Holiness," that basically states any thought, action, or word that is not in conformity with God's law is sin. This knowledge of a person's own sinfulness can lead them either to despair because they never measure up or an attitude that stops pursuing holiness. The answer our sinful state is the cross.

When we see our sin we need to come to the cross. At the cross sinful man is allowed to commune with a holy God. If I see my sin and then instantly go to the cross then my whole life is lived under the cross. There is a law inside of me that wars against the spirit that wants to do good, because of this law I don't do the good I desire and therefore I see my need even more for the cross. There is never a moment that I am not a sinner in desperate of need of His merciful and abundant grace!

As Mark Lauterbach states, "if I am not confessing sin I am confessing sinlessness. And we know that does not happen." Thankfully when I confess I glory in my God knowing that He is faithful to forgive and faithful to provide power to grow.

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin
abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so
grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our
Lord. (Romans 5:20-21).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I’ve always thought that it’s neat how the idea of peace figures so prominent all through the Bible. I came across this one verse last night and it’s one of those pillars of truths to clutch onto tightly in any time of trial.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world
you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33)

Because of the cross peace has been redefined. We have peace with God, therefore because our greatest need has been taken care of we can have peace in all situations. His wrath was burning hot against because of our sin against Him, but because Christ blood that covers us we are recipients of His all sufficient grace and mercy. Christ blood is sufficient to cover us because He has power to overcome death and any trial or temptation in this world.

Placing our trust in Christ blood allows us to have a new type of peace. A peace that is indefinable because it surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).One of my favorite stories in the book of Judges is in chapter six when Gideon build an altar to God and calls it “The LORD is peace.” How reassuring is it that the God we serve is peace. In moments of anxiety we can lift our eyes up to Him and see the peace that comes from Calvary.

I spent most of last night with my friend Nate whose car had gotten stolen earlier in the day. For some people this might be a blessing in disguise, but Nate has a brand new Nissan Xterra. Also he is a teacher and yesterday was his first back and when his car got stolen there were many things that he needed for the school year. There were practical concerns that he had about some of his school being gone and starting the school year. His demeanor was upbeat and of good cheer as he mentioned to me the opportunity this could provide for witnessing. It was very refreshing to hear him talk about how even though he didn’t understand the situation; he knew God would work it for His good. What an amazing perspective. That’s just a great testimony of grace! If you get a chance, please pray for Nate that the police would find his car and that He would continue to trust God.

Monday, August 21, 2006

New Season

Last Tuesday Laura and I entered into a new season at CLC. Typically this would be the time when most engaged couples join a married care group. A few months back we were asked by the single's ministry to lead a care group. This past Tuesday was our first time leading our new group together. Spurgeon has a great quote today on"Morning and Evening," about caring for others.

"He that watereth shall be watered also himself."—Proverbs 11:25.
We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise.
It's neat to think about the new adenture of leading this group. One of the tendencies that I have is to think about all that I have to do to faithfully lead this group. Yes, there are imperatives for leadership, but the refreshing thing is God's promise and His ability to grow me through the ups and downs. Right now, being a new leader, if I am to become a better leader, I must lead. There is no better training ground, but being bold and trusting God. As I exercise the little ability I have, God will work in me to increase my ability.

As I was meditating on God's promise to grow me in leadership, new application for the verse walk by faith and not by sight came to mind. In any leadership context, whether it's this new group or leading Laura, disappointment or failure should not be the overriding emotion when plans don't go my way. Instead, I can be filled with hope because I know that God is watering me and training me for the future. Even though I may not see the present fruit at the moment I can be confident that God is working during those times and that He hasn't left me, but He is preparing me for the future. My faith isn't in the results that I can see, but in the God that I serve. Therefore, I can be confident that as I pour myself out, He will indeed water me and replenish me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Addition!

Yes the pictures are here! I was able to visit our precious (long awaited) new addition, Gianna, in the hospital today. She is so cute, and really a splitting image of my brother Sam! Priscila is doing great, she has really been a trooper through this whole process. So I can't help but be the "bragging" Aunt who shares all her pictures....Enjoy!

Gianna Da Rocha Ellis 8/14/2006 2:07

Chubby Cheeks

The new and improved Ellis Family ;)

Aunt Laura

Proud Daddy

Tiny Toes

Monday, August 14, 2006

Welcome Baby Girl!

Welcome Gianna Da Rocha Ellis

Born August 14th 2006 at 2:07 pm

6lb 14oz.

Mom and baby are healthy and happy!

Congratulations Sam and Priscilla!

Pictures of our new little addition to come tomorrow...

Ellis Family

The Ellis Family is growing! The next time a family portrait is taken another baby will be with us! Sam and Prisicila are at the hospital and baby Gianna should be on her way into the world any time now!

Sam and Pri we are all praying for you and rejoicing with you on your new arrival!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wedding Prayer

This is a prayer I found on the reformation 21 blog by Ric Cannada, chancellor of reformed theological seminary. This prayer is really rich and I bolded some of my favorite parts.

O God of love, you have established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Yours was the plan, and only with you can we work it out with joy. You have said, “it is not good for a man to live alone . . . I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now our joys are doubled, since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other; our burdens are halved, since, when we share them, we divide the load. Bless this husband. Bless him as provider for the needs of those he loves. Sustain him in all his struggles in the contest of life. May his strength be her protection, his character be her joy and assurance. May he so live that she may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs. Bless this loving wife. Give her a tenderness that makes her great . . . a deep sense of understanding and a great faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that he may be pleased always to reverence and adore her.

May they never make the mistake of merely living for each other. Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two uniting and joining hands to serve You, the living God. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. may the seek first the kingdom that is yours, and its righteousness, so that all other things may be added unto them. Loving you best, they shall love each other all the more. And faithful unto You, faithful unto each other they will remain.

May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs alone to You. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths and beauty, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. Give them a little something to forgive each day, that they may grow in the grace of long-suffering and love. And may they be forbearing with each other’s omissions and commissions as You are with theirs. Make such assignments to them according to Your will as will bless them and develop their character as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough success to make them sure they belong to You. May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: “Out of all this world, you have chosen me!” Then when life is done, and the sun is setting, may they be found, then as now, still hand in hand, still so proud, thanking you so very much for each other. May they serve You happily, faithfully, together, until at least one shall lay the other in Your arms. This we ask through Jesus Christ, great lover of souls. Amen.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Justification and loving sinners

My next few post will focus on things that I gleaned from the singles care group leaders retreat I was on this past weekend.

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being
sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14).

One of the things that I love about our church is the emphasis on the cross. One of our discussions was about qualifications for leadership. Something they emphasized as they gave us the assignment before the retreat and during the actual discussion is to realize that we are all sinners worthy of God’s wrath, but because of the cross we’ve been made right with God. What freedom we have to not feel condemned. What a joy to realize the criticism of the cross, that we will never measure up to God’s standard, but God made Himself man, so that proper substitution can be made for our weakness and failure.

I read a wonderful quote a few weeks back that said, “For every one look at your sin take ten looks at Christ.” There are two wonderful truths that can be realized when we view our sin in light of the cross. First, by realizing that we are justified sinners then the glorious truth comes to life that all sin is forgiven sin. Secondly, every sin that we will ever struggle with has been defeated at Calvary. We are no longer tied and bound to our sins, but instead we have power and strength in Christ to overcome our sins. What great confidence can we have that through the cross there is power for change!

This is a great truth for personal growth as well as leading a care group. This truth probably most resonates with me in light of marriage and preparing for marriage. This view of sin in light of justification totally alters my perception of my relationship with Laura. She is a sinner chosen and loved by God. God has granted her forgiveness and mercy at the cross, so no matter how I perceive her sin against me I have no option but to forgive her. This forgiveness is a total and complete forgiveness. God has redeemed all of her, He doesn’t say “I’ll love this aspect of Laura, but when she is really sinful then my love is no more.” Because of the cross God loves Laura unconditionally, and because of the cross I can unconditionally love Laura no matter the circumstance.

My motivation to encourage Laura in her ability to grow in godliness isn’t because of her own strength or ability. Instead, I can encourage Laura’s growth because of the cross and everything she needs to grow was accomplished at Calvary. When Laura is discouraged about her sin, instead of encouraging her about who she is, I can encourage her about who her God is and the growth He has already produced in her. On top of that, I never have to be downtrodden or upset because of where Laura is at spiritually, instead I can be patient because of the faithfulness of God and knowing that He will complete the good work He has started in her.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Faithfulness of God

"Thy mercy, 0 LORD, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the
clouds (Psalm 36:5)." Far above all finite comprehension is the unchanging
faithfulness of God. Everything about God is great, vast, incomparable. He never forgets, never fails, never falters, never forfeits His word. (A.W. Pink)

One of the greatest reasons that I have for confidence when I pray is the fact that I know that God will be faithful. He is a faithful God and His character is never changing (Deuteronomy 7:9). What great hope I have in realizing that God has never made a promise He hasn’t kept. He is a rock and a stronghold, in the trials and storms of life He is always the same, there is never a moment when He is not trustworthy. I feel so much more comfortable being able to trust God's faithfulness instead of my own ability or strength!

Hold fast to the truth of the cross and realize that if God would give His own Son to bear His wrath for our sake, then how can He not be faithful to give us all other blessings (Romans 8:32). Know that if at the cross there is grace for our greatest needs, then God will also provide grace for our lesser needs as well. If we can walk by faith for our salvation, let us also walk by faith for the practical because He is faithful in all things.

The fruit of being firmly rooted in the faithfulness of God is a quieted and peaceful soul. When hope is placed in God we can be like a weaned child that is fully assured of their mother’s protection and care (Psalm 130 & 131). Once our trust is placed in divine providence we can be certain that although God goodness is hidden behind a veil, He in His unfathomable wisdom and love is at all time surely being faithful (Spurgeon).

I can't remember a trial or a pain he did not recycle to bring me gain. I can'tremember one single regret in serving God only and trusting his hand (Sara Groves)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sweet Truth & Sweet Dessert

Last week I was talking to my good friend Kelly and asking her what she had been doing for her times in the word AKA quiet times. She told me she had been going through John Piper's book The Passion of the Christ... 50 reasons why Christ suffered and died. This is a book one of my small group leaders had given me over a year ago, and I used to read it every morning for my quiet time, but recently had not been doing so. Well, to make a long story short I decided to begin to read it daily again. This book captures the gospel from so many different angles, and gives a fresh perspective of God's perfect plan in sending His Son. Though, by God's grace, I have been spending time in God's word pretty much on a regular basis, something vital has been missing. And I now realize that I have been neglecting to remind myself of the Gospel, the redeeming truth of Jesus Christ's sacrifice for me, a sinner, to be made right with God. Not placing this truth on the "windshield" of my day, gives me such a tainted view and really sets me up for discouragement.

There are several ways we can remind ourselves of this truth daily, and reading this book is just one of the many. The reason why I have found this book helpful is that it always starts out with the passage(s) in scripture that pertains to that chapter. Piper takes you right to God's word first before he gives his doctrinal explanation. The book has 50 chapters (all 2 pages long) and basically each chapter summarizes one reason why Christ had to suffer and die according to God's word. Some of the chapter titles include:

To Absorb the Wrath of God
To Bring us to Faith and Keep us Faithful
To Obtain for Us All Things That Are Good for Us
So That We Might Belong to Him... and many more.

This book includes sound doctrinal truths, but in a clear easy to grasp format. Even after just four days of reading through these truths, I am finding my heart so encouraged by the truth of the Gospel...something so profound....yet so easy to forget!?!

In Piper's introduction of the book he includes the questions he intends to answer in the book:
When all is said and done, the most crucial question is: Why? Why did Christ suffer and die? Not why in the sense of cause, but why in the sense of purpose. What did Christ achieve by his passion? Why did he have to suffer so much? What great thing was happening on Calvary for the world? That's what the rest of this book is about. I have gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons why Christ suffered and died. Not fifty causes, but fifty purposes. Infinitely more important than who killed Jesus is the question: What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die? To that we now turn.

This is just one option for a "Gospel Reminder", by all means not the only option... but a question we should all be asking ourselves on a regular basis is:

How am I reminding myself of the Gospel daily?

on another note...

Here's a little yummy dessert I tried out today:
Easy Lemon Squares:
1/4 C granulated sugar
3 T butter or stick margarine softened
1 C all purpose flour
3 large eggs
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 Teas. grated lemon rind
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 T all purpose flour
1/2 teas baking powder
1/8 teas salt
2 Teas. powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven 350
2. To prepare crust beat 1/4 C sugar and butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add 1 Cup flour to sugar mixture beating at low speed until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gently press mixture into bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
3. To prepare topping beat eggs at medium speed until foamy. Add 3/4 cup granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients; beat until well blended. Pour mixture over crust. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Sift powdered sugar evenly over top.

For those of you who are health conscience: (I got this recipe from cooking light)
There are 16 servings and the serving size is 1 square
Calories: 118, fat 3.2g (sat 1.7g) ;) Protein 2.2 g, Carb 20.5 g