Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sing of His Mercy

This past Sunday at church we had a responsive reading based on Psalm 136. Psalm 136 is probably one of the first Psalms that really stuck with me when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Every verse in this particular Psalm ends with "His mercy endures forever." Spurgeon comments on this repeated line:

"His Mercy Endures Forever. We shall have this repeated in every verse of this song, but not once too often. It is the sweetest stanza that a man can sing. What joy that there is mercy, mercy with Jehovah, enduring mercy, mercy for ever. We are ever needing it, trying it, praying for it, receiving it: therefore let us for ever sing of it."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More Summer Happenings

These past few weeks have been fairly laid back...but I believe that won't last for long! Soon I will be going away to be a counselor for a week at Camp Rainbow, my first time going away without my sweet husband since we got married :( . And then my sister Hannah, brother-in-law Enoch, and nephew Isaiah will be vising from North Carolina where we will be able to celebrate by having a shower for her little girl due in October. My niece Gianna is turning 1. My sweet little sister is leaving for her sophomore year of college to Hungary where she will be studying for the fall. Lew and I are going to venture down to NC for almost a week at the end of August to visit my sisters family some more....and then, you gussed it, my last semester of Nursing School begins the day after we get back from NC! So, the rest of this summer is going to begin to fly by for us!

But here are a few things we've been able to enjoy over the last week or so (while the pace is still slow):

Last week my parents went to the beach so Lew and I stayed at their home (the home I was raised in) and watched their 2 dogs Tiny & Webster. We actually enjoyed it very much. The dogs were very well behaved, contrary to popular belief! It was fun to have dogs for the week ;)

Tiny is the tan on top of the chair, she likes to look out the window. Webster aka "Webby" is the one lying in the chair. He is so sweet, I actually got him when he was a puppy...so I tend to favor him a little ;)

This is Webby giving me "hugs"... so sweet!

Then last Friday was Lew's summer flex day (every other week he only works a half day on Friday). This has been such a blessing for the summer and Lew has been trying to find creative ways for us to use that time. So last Friday we went to the Spy museum in DC. It was very interesting!

Us outside of the Museum.

After that we went to G Street Fabrics in Rockville to find some sewing stuff. Lew is such a patient man ;) He stuck by my side as I took my time picking out fabric, thread, and buttons... I love you sweet pea!!

Lew capturing me "hard at work" once again.

The finished product:

This bag
I used a pattern as a guide but altered it a little. I would say my biggest problem is I want to finish a project in one sitting.....well I would say this was not a "one sitting project"! I was up until 1am trying to finish it while me sweet husband sat by my side reading and keeping me company. By the time I got to the base I was so tired that we'll just say my sewing by hand was....a little sloppy! So I will probably re-do the base when I get a chance. But all in all it was a fun project and I think I will try to make another bag soon!

More Summer pictures soon....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Living in the power of the gospel

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you, what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” –Hebrews 13:20-21

This past week I led our single’s care group on a discussion about the power of God. The above Hebrews passage is not one that I’d typically think of when I think about God’s power except for until I read what Matthew Henry wrote about the verse.

“He (Jesus) rose again for our justification; and that divine power by which he was raised is able to do every thing for us that we stand in need of.” Matthew Henry.

As I meditated on this passage it rocked my world to think about how the power that is found in my forgiveness of sins, is the same power that God gives me to do all things. It is an easy thing to assume the forgiveness of sins, but the real difference is when we find power for all of our needs to be met and strength to glorify God in all that we seek after. Anyone can say that “your sins are forgiven,” bug God has given us more then just forgiveness, He has given us His Spirit then at allows us to do more then we could ever ask or think of. (Matthew 9:1-8, Ephesians 3:20-21)

This power that is available through Christ blood is magnified by an awareness of weakness. If I am self-sufficient I can accomplish nothing. If I humble myself then God will lift me up and give me strength.

“When we are really weak in ourselves and are conscious of that weakness, we are in the state suited to the manifestation of God’s power. When we are emptied of ourselves, we are filled with God. Those who think they can change their own hearts, atone for their own sins, subdue the power of evil in their own souls or in the souls of others, who feel able to sustain themselves under affliction, God leaves to their own resources. But when they feel and acknowledge their weakness, he imparts divine strength to them.” Charles Hodge

What a dreadful thing to be left to my own resources. I know I am a goober. How thankful I am that I can place my hope in God and know that He is faithful to His children. I have no hope apart from Him, but in Him I find strength for all trials and every circumstance that happens in life.

“Jehovah who created all things is equal to every emergency; heaven and earth are at the disposal of Him who made them, therefore let be very joyful in our infinite helper.” Spurgeon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"She makes bed coverings for herself..."

As I spent some more time sewing this past week I was thinking about the Proverbs 31 woman. I was thinking of all of the different things she does, here are just a few:

  • She seeks wool and flax,and works with willing hands.
  • She is like the ships of the merchant;she brings her food from afar
  • She considers a field and buys it;with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard
  • She makes bed coverings for herself;her clothing is fine linen and purple

These are just a few things that she is gifted in. Lets just say I don't do most of these things! But I have been encouraged that by God's grace I can become more like the Proverbs 31 woman. So I started with the last bullet point. Making bed coverings for myself....is a pillow considered a bed covering? Maybe not, but I did make a pillow case. :-) Again, I have to keep reminding myself you have to start somewhere.
So here are a few of my feeble attempts at this:

My 2 finished products.

The larger pillow was my second attempt. It was a lot trickier! The beige colored fabric was linen and a little too thin, but I doubled it up on the flap which helps. I used that color fabric for the flap and the back, and then used the chocolate brown only on the front. I like it, but don't love it. I would probably do a better job measuring and cutting the fabric next time. I got a little sloppy and it made a big difference in the end result. But overall for attempt number 2 it wasn't too bad.

Lew captured my work as I went.
Having some problems with the needle getting jammed in the thick fabric..grrr. I almost lost my patience at this point...but I persevered!
This is the one I made first. It was also a lot easier because it was less fabric to work with. I used Corduroy which I like the look, but because it's so thick it's a little tricky to work with. The flap was pretty easy to do, I just made it the same width as the back and cut it in half, then did an overcasting stitch on the end to make it look smooth. Don't mind the wrinkly fabric. I should have probably ironed it before I took the picture :-)
I learned a lot this go around. And my next attempt...call me crazy, I am going to try to make a skirt. But this time I am going to use a pattern. I'll let you know how that goes!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Irony of technology

I had a phone/web conference this morning and had to make two separate requests to pc help and was surprised by their reactions to both request.

Request #1: The wireless mouse requires 2AA batteries. Do you have any batteries in the worst case scenario that the batteries die and are unable to use the mouse?
Response: No batteries. If the batteries, which they shouldn't, then oh well.

Request #2: Some of the participants for the web/phone conference are in Austria and unable to call in. Do you have a spare laptop so that we can chat with them as we have the web conference running on the computer.
Response: Spare batteries we don't have, but spare laptops we do. Here, take one of these!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My first creation

My goal this summer is to pick up some new hobbies, specifically things related to being a homemaker. So, my first attempt: Sewing. My Mom says I probably have sewing in my blood because my Grandmother and Aunt on my Dads side are seamstresses and we also had a lot of tailors on my Mom's side. My Mom also used to make her own clothes, so she will be a good teacher! We shall see ;) And my first creation:

Yes it's a pillow....simple, I know, but I must start somewhere right?!

The pillows bring out these subtle blue stripes in our bedding (can you see them?)...really brightens it up!

My next attempt...I hope to make one of these:
A little ambitious? Maybe, but I think I can understand how it works by looking at it... it's worth a try. I'll let ya know how that goes.

Thanks Mama for letting me use your sewing machine and for being a patient teacher!

Another Hobby for the summer: photography. I have always been interested but never pursued it. So all you pros out there any tips on a good starter camera?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mr. Clean!

Mr. Clean has been doing wonders around my home! And no I'm not talking about the man pictured above ;) My sweet husband has been blessing me time and time again but helping me with cleaning! Some of you who know me well....Mom ;)...know that cleaning isn't my favorite thing. I really have to push hard to motivate myself to clean. I love cleanliness, but just hate the hard work that gets you there. Either way since we've been married I have grown. (For those of you who are thinking "gross I've eaten at her house or used her bathroom" don't worry I do clean those very important places! I just don't like it!)

Recently I've come into the kitchen to see Lew scrubbing away at dishes, or wiping down the counters, sweeping the floor, cleaning the bathroom. He even swiffered last night! Oh how blessed I feel. He often does these things without asking, just to bless me. He doesn't even care too much about things like the bed being made...but knows that I do...so he does them. He's even getting to be better than me. I told him if he keeps that up for long I won't ever want to clean again ;)

Thank you my sweet pea! You are such a blessing to me. You are truly an example of Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Recent happenings...

I haven't been in a picture taking mood lately. I guess I go in spurts ;) But I do have a few random photos from the last few weeks.

First we had the pleasure of watching these two special folks get married!
*Note to the Bride: ha, sorry about some of these pictures. Every time I would snap a picture one of you would say something and so I would capture funny facial expressions ;) Here are the decent ones though!

First dance

This is one of those funny ones!

Then we got to have these great parents in town for the fourth of July! Tuesday night we took them to Baldwin's Station where his Mom got to enjoy their fabulous crab cakes!

Yes you don't have to look too close to see that my right eye is swollen shut. I got a nasty bug bight...grrr. As soon as his parents got here we took them out to our back yard to show them the cabin that the Hendricks built and all of the sudden I had a major allergic reaction to something (sneezing and the like..) and then poof my eye swelled up. I didn't even feel the little sucker bight me. It was quite distracting and somewhat humbling because it stayed like that for several days.

Then we go to eat LOTS of these on the fourth of July with Lew's parents, my parents, and some of my siblings.

Then we decided it would be fun to make some memories with his parents and take them to Inner Harbor to see the fireworks....and boy was it memorable! You see, last year Lew and I didn't go to see fireworks because they were calling for rain. So to err on the side of caution we watched a movie...and what do you know...NO rain! Not even a drop. So Lew and I were convinced this year that even though they were "calling" for rain we didn't want to waste another year! So off to Baltimore we went. It sprinkled as we drove down. But only off and on. We bought some ponchos and an umbrella just in case and got a perfect seat right in front of the water. We would have the best view of the fireworks when they went off at 9:30. And things went great until 9:20. We had managed to deal with some sprinkling...and even a little light rain....but then came a downpour...thats right this was a HEAVY rain! The harbor became most chaotic at this moment. Everyone started running for cover inside the mall. But my sweet sister Rissa and I stayed tucked under our ponchos. We had nestled ourselves inside 2 ponchos and were sitting on top of another poncho to try to stay dry. We were afraid to move! It was like a stampede. The police even had to lock the mall because it was getting to dangerous. So when we finally were able to find Lew's parents we all decided that we didn't like fireworks that much... and made a run for the car! We finally made it back and we were all soaked. It was a wet drive home...but the plus: NO traffic! Most people stuck around the harbor and the fireworks did eventually go off around 9:40. We saw a few on the drive home and that was enough for us ;) Yes indeed folks....certainly the most memorable fourth of July!
Sisters before the downpour!

Sisters toes! (random I know...Rissa was showing off her flip flop tan.)

When Sinners say "I Do"

Calling all married couples out there! If you haven't already picked up this book, I so highly recommend it! Even after just reading the first chapter I was so encouraged and filled with hope for our marriage to continue to grow and strengthen...with the help of the gospel that is!

Towards the end of the first chapter Harvey starts talking about Street theology...he describes this as "trying to exercise our faith in a world where couples get angry and doors get slammed."

Here's a little glimpse into the first chapter under this section:

"The sober truth is that without full disclosure on sin, the gospel of grace becomes impertinent, unnecessary, and finally uninteresting. Without a full disclosure on sin, blind self -confidence will compel us to try to make our marriages work on our own strength. And whatever we try to do in our own strength does not have as its goal the glory of God and does not get its life from the fountain of the gospel....What if you abandoned the idea that the problems in your marriage are caused by a lack of information, dedication, or communication? What if you saw your problems as they truly are: caused by a war within your own heart?

If you happen to be reading this book in the glow of a blissful honeymoon, now would be a good time to lean over to your sugarplumhoneykins and whisper softly, "I'm a really big sinner-and I'm yours for life."

That's how you do street theology in marriage."

What a sweet revelation! It's so refreshing to be reminded that the strength of our marriage comes from the Gospel! I so often forget this and try to lean on my own strength and then become weary and overwhelmed by my sin and weakness. I think marriage is the one area I consistently forget to apply the gospel to! I think that has to do in part to the lies that come from this world saying what marriage is all about.

In the last part, the message to newlyweds made me chuckle. I remember very keenly our honeymoon (it was only 7 months ago ;) ) I didn't have to make that little statement...It wasn't long before Lew knew I was a big sinner! But he has joyfully hung in there..and by God's grace will do so for life.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This is how faith reasons...

I read this in Morning and Evening and it encouraged me so much! How often I forget these precious truths. This has been a season of "walking by faith, not by sight". And though there have been challenges, God has proven faithful in every step.

I hope this encourages you today to remember how faith reasons...by looking to the promises of God...the faithfulness of God's character...and ways in the past that His strength has carried you!

"Tell me the secret of where your great strength lies!"
--Judges 16:6

Where do we find the secret strength of faith? It lies in the food on which it feeds. Faith is fixed on the promise of God and sees it as an extension of the great heart of God Himself. Faith says, "My God could not have given this promise without love and grace; therefore, it WILL be fulfilled."

Faith thinks more about WHO gave this promise than it does about the promise itself. She remembers that God can not lie; He is all-powerful and unchanging, and on that basis she goes about her business with firm conviction.

Faith also remembers WHY the promise was given, namely, for God's glory. She feels perfectly sure that God's glory is safe; He will never let the luster on His crown become tarnished, so His promise must and will stand.

Faith, then, also considers the amazing work of Christ as being a clear proof of the Father's intention to fulfill His word. "He did not spare even His own SON, but freely gave Him up for us all; therefore, how could He possibly hold back from freely giving us all things?"

Faith also looks back on the past for her battles have strengthened her and her victories have given her courage. Even in times of great need and danger faith says boldly, "To this point God has helped me, and He will help me still."

Faith views each promise in its connection with the Promise-giver, and can say with assurance, "Surely goodness and mercy WILL follow me all the days of my life!"


Friday, July 06, 2007

Faith in God

"Faith in God carries with no guarantee of comfort in this world: this was no doubt what Hebrews 11:37-38 wants us to learn. But it carries with it great reward in the only world that ultimately matters." FF Bruce

We plead with you to pray for Alivia and her parents. Her parents are having to walk through a very dark valley right now. Alivia is 3 years old and has been battling Leukemia for 18months. She is their only child and they have had to make the decision to end her life support. Please pray for comfort, peace, and that they would experience the nearness of God in this immense suffering.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tales from the Cube

I love my job, but I sometimes can't help but to laugh when I think about the databases I've been assigned to. I won't name the databases, but here are some ways that a few of them have been described.

Database #1: "It's a funky database that we've done funky things to."

: "The worst database that we host on our platform." and "Do they know how bad this data is? I mean, it can't be structured this way for a reason, can it?"

Database #3
: Conversation during project status meeting
Me: China was complaining about this database not being updated for two years on their server and I did some research and discovered that it has not been updated any place.
Project manager: Do we have customers that are subscribed to this database?
VP of electronic publishing: Yes
Project manager: (with a tone of shock that customers have a subscription to this database) They're not paying customers are they?
VP: (in her best office space tone of voice)Um, yeah.