Wednesday, September 27, 2006
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
Monday, September 25, 2006
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
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
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
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 entails...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
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 def.my favorite cobbler recipe! The topping is a little cakey, but not too cakey....and it's really moist!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!