Sunday, June 29, 2008

June Fun

We were hanging out at Barnes and Noble. Hannah was having a grand ole' time entertaining herself.... Round and round and round.

video

For the latest pictures....click here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=40185&l=c12f2&id=607147099

Until next time...

Terra

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Chapter 14: Infancy to Childhood: Training Objectives

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

I must admit, I'm excited to be tackling the age group that my daughter falls into - both this week and next. This chapter deals with training objectives whereas the next chapter will deal with training procedures. That being said, let's get started!

Tripp begins by defining this age group as birth to age 4 or 5. He says the primary characteristic of this period is Change. Children this age are changing rapidly physically, socially, intellectually, and spiritually. With all of these changes, what should be our primary focus? According to Dr. Tripp, the big lesson is for the child to understand "he is an individual under authority." This is not the type of authority the parent hangs over his child's head. It's purpose is for the child to learn he is made by God and has a responsibility to obey God in all things. Tripp says the key passage for this age is Ephesians 6:1-3:
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise),' that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."

Why are our children instructed to obey us as parents? Because God has called them to. When they obey us, they are obeying a clear command from the Lord. On a side note, our children are called to obey us "in the Lord." They are not required to obey their parents when the instruction given is asking them to sin. In such a situation, they are to obey what they know to be true of God's word first.

Tripp has a diagram he calls the "Circle of Safety." According to Eph. 6:1-3, he draws a circle of blessing around a child. Within that circle are the commands to honor and obey. As a result, the fruit: go well and long life. When our children honor and obey us, they are in a place of protection and safety, which may lead to long life. For example, if we tell our child not to run into the road, and he disobeys us, it could literally cost him his life. But if he obeys, he is in a place of safety. Tripp then reminds us that the function of the rod and communication is to rescue our children and keep them within the Circle of Safety.

Back to the "honoring" part of the verse. A child will honor his parent's as a result of either a parent teaching him to do so or a parent being honorable in his conduct and demeanor. Our children must speak to us in a manner of respect, not as to a peer. Tripp gives several examples of gentle yet firm ways to teach our children. One example he used was this: "I am sorry, dear, but you may not speak to me in that way. God has made me your mother and has said that you must treat me with honor. Now, let's see if there is a respectful way you can express what you wish to say." It's a mouthful but it's clear, biblical and firm. Dr. Tripp reminds us to start early with our children or we will regret the lack of teaching when they are teenagers.

So what exactly is obedience? Tripp defines it as the "willing submission of one person to the authority of another." Yet, it is not a child just doing what he is told. He should be doing it "without challenge, without excuse, without delay." I've also heard this as "all the way, right away, with a happy heart." If any of these three are not happening, they are still choosing to disobey and should be disciplined accordingly. Remember, it's not for your sake - it's for theirs - that it will go well and they will enjoy long life.

Tripp then goes on to discuss consistency. I have personally noted this as THE failure in most parent's disciplining (including myself). More than once I've heard, "But my child won't listen to me," or "discipline does not work with my child." Most of the time you can thank yourself for this. When we fail to be consistent, we fail to teach our children to obey. More often than not, I fail to be consistent because of laziness. Sometimes it's easier in the moment to ignore a whining child than to discipline her. However, being inconsistent, I'm only teaching her to disobey.

Next, Tripp describes the process of appeal. Appeal is a safety check for both the parents and the child. It keeps the parent from being harsh or hasty and the child knows they have permission to appeal (in a godly manner) to the command. Tripp gives four guidelines in making a biblical appeal.
  1. You begin to obey immediately, not after appeal.
  2. You must be prepared to obey either way.
  3. You must appeal in a respectful manner.
  4. You must accept the result of the appeal with a gracious spirit.

If these guidelines are followed, the child can appeal and the parent can choose to change his command. But done in this way, the appeal shows respect and not blatant rebellion. We should be careful to model submission to our children as well. Whether as a wife to her husband, an employee to an employer, etc., our children should see us "practice what we preach."

When our children naturally want to do something other than what we we've commanded them to do, we have the opportunity to point them to Christ. We can teach them about our selfish hearts and the way we will live apart from God's grace. As Tripp says, "only the power of the gospel can give a willing heart and the strength to obey." Let's start while our children are young. If they are older and we've already failed, let's repent, ask them for forgiveness, and work to rebuild the foundation we wrongly began. After all, God has promised us grace.

A lot of good stuff to chew on. Until next week...

In Christ,

Terra

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday's Music Review: God of All Glory

Song Title: God of All Glory
Album Title: Full Attention
Artist(s): Jeremy Riddle

(Hear the song here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qU_ARLcF7pQ):

God of the heavens
King of matchless worth
Lord of all nations
Judge of the earth
By mercy we come
Out of love we cry

Chorus:
God of all glory
Savior of the world
Holy One eternal
Let Your praise fill the earth

We raise holy hands
We extol the King of Kings
We rend our whole heart
As a fragrant offering

Lifting up one voice
Resounding out one cry
(Oh, Let it ring, let it rise)

Chorus

My thoughts:

This song is sweet, simple and beautiful. I've only recently become more aware of Jeremy Riddle and his music. After buying the CD for James for Father's Day, I realized there were several songs on it that I knew from the radio that I just didn't know who sang. Now I'm falling in love with his music!

The downside to simple songs like this is that I can sometimes struggle in knowing what to write in a review. Every word of this song is true to the Bible. What a mighty God we serve! And then towards the end of the song, I get the most amazing picture. Close your eyes and imagine with me for a moment...

You're in heaven...
You hear myriads of people and angels singing praise to the Lord.
The music is unlike anything you've ever heard on the earth.
It is gorgeous.
Spectacular.
Awakening.
Christ-centered.
You raise your hands in praise.
Your whole heart is open to the Lord.
You sing to him:
"God of all glory
Savior of the world
Holy One eternal
Let Your praise fill the earth!"


What a magnificent vision! Songs like these and moments like this cause me to long for heaven all the more! Oh I praise God for songs that draw us nearer to Himself!

In Christ,
Terra

P.S. The video link at the beginning of this post is absolutely breath-taking. Visually, it's more about the beauty of the earth than God - that's the downside. But on a positive note, it does cause us to praise the Lord for the beautiful planet He has created. Take that for what it's worth.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Family and One Year Pics

Click the family pic below to enjoy all of them:

Take care,

The Santos Family

Chapters 12 & 13: Combined because of length

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

Chapter 12: Embracing Biblical Methods: Appeal to the Conscience
"They (the Gentiles) show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them..." - Romans 2:15

Our correction and discipline must find its mark in the conscience of our children, says Tripp. God gives us all a conscience to make decisions with. In addition to the book of Proverbs justifying the use of the rod, it also entreats us to appeal to the conscience (ex. Pro. 23:17,19,22,23,26). The rod has limitations and gets attention, the conscience must be plowed up and planted with God's truth.

Twice in Matthew 21, Jesus Himself appeals to the consciences of the Pharisees. As Tripp notes, there is a pattern. "Christ appeals to their conscience so they cannot escape the implications of their sin. Thus, He deals with the root problems, not just the surface issues." When we appeal to the consciences of our children, we're teaching them to identify their own sins. While this is beneficial even while they are young, it will be even more so as they age and begin to make more of their own judgment calls.

Dr. Tripp reminds us that the cross of Christ must be the central focus of our childrearing. We are to be helping our children understand themselves as sinners. We need to then remind them of the mercy of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for their sin. We should be holding them to the same standard God holds them to, so they see they need grace of God to achieve such. Otherwise, they depend on their own resources, which in turn moves them away from the cross.

-----------

Chapter 13: Shepherding the Heart Summarized

Thought I would like to post the details about this chapter, it is basically a summary of the first 12 chapters. I fear my comments would be too close to plagiarism because of it's nice, short list. To read the summary for yourself, refer to pages 126-127 of the book.

I'm looking forward to the next section of this book: Shepherding Through the Stages of Childhood. Dr. Tripp will walk us through ages and stages, tackling specific issues dealing with each. Stay tuned for next week!

In Christ,
Terra

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I babysit a couple of kids from church once or twice each week. Today, while they were both still sleeping, I decided to peek through their enormous movie collection for some entertainment. They have several VHS "classics" in their cartoon collection - so I set out to find one.

To my excitement, I stumbled upon "An American Tale," a movie about a mouse who immigrated from Russia in the late 1800's. On his way over, he lost his family and spends the rest of the movie in an adventure-filled search for them. The movie was released in 1986 and I remember it very clearly from my childhood. I remembered my favorite song, "Somewhere Out There," and recalled many of the lyrics from memory.

Hannah, surprisingly enjoy it as well! She's not a big TV/movie girl (maybe because we don't own a TV) and is usually pretty disinterested. But today, as she sat in my lap eating Cheerios, her eyes were glued on one of her Mommy's old favorites! Every time a song or music came on, she danced. When the mice told their families goodbye, she waved at the TV. It was so cute!

I know this is a random blog but it was so much fun recalling this tiny bit of childhood. And the fact that my daughter enjoyed it as well was just too good to be true! Do you have a childhood favorite movie, book, or game? How much fun would a Memory Lane night be? :)

Take care,
Terra

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Pastor - Daniel M.

For those of you interested in our church life, the following video is of last week's sermon. It's a bit long but incredibly encouraging if you have the extra time. Praise God for Bro. Daniel.



'The New Way' - Daniel Montgomery from Sojourn on Vimeo.

In Christ,
Terra

Monday's Music Review: Sweetly Broken

Song Title: Sweetly Broken
Album Title: Sweetly Broken
Artist(s): Jeremy Riddle

(Hear the song here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=-NkzxwpQlXA):


To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing

For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

Chorus:
At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled

Chorus

In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your
redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness

Chorus 2x

My thoughts:

This is an amazing song in so many ways. To begin with, the lyrics are incredibly Christ-centered and biblical. Referring to God being both love and just, I direct our thoughts to Romans 3:22-26 (ESV, my italics and underline):

"For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus".
For God to be love, He must also be just. So many people try to argue this in our day. They say if God is love, He should never condemn anyone. Let me give a scenario to clarify this point. If someone stole your wallet and used every credit card you had for their own purposes, would you say, "It's okay. I still love them. It's really not big deal. I'll pay for all of the charges they incurred." Of course not! That is ridiculous. Instead, you would insist on that person being judged for his wrong doing and having to pay the price of his misconduct. After all, that would be just. Why do we think God should be any different? When a person sins against God, there is a penalty to be paid. And yet by God's GREAT grace, He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to die as the propitiation (subsitution) for our sin. He was raised on the third day and in Him we may have life when we believe. What a beautiful truth!

As the song says, "He called us out of death" and into life. "What a priceless gift!" This song also describes us being drawn to our knees, sweetly broken, wholly surrendered to God. Romans 5:6-11 (ESV, my italics) speaks on this:

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are
reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."
Oh what a beautiful song and a beautiful reminder of God's precious truths!

In Christ,
Terra

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chapter 11: Embracing Biblical Methods: The Rod

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him." - Prov 22:15 (ESV)

Before I even begin this chapter, considering the topic, I know some of my readers might pull up their "wall of defense" and prepare for battle. Please know that we're simply evaluating Scripture and seeking to understand what it means regarding our childrearing. I have no evil intentions and will do my best to correctly communicate the author's points.


So why do children need the rod in the first place and why are we having this discussion? Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick..." Children are not born morally and ethically neutral. Tripp said it well, the "child's problem is not an information deficit. His problem is that he is a sinner." Where does the rod come into play? I've already listed one verse in the opening of this blog (Prov. 22:15). In addition, Proverbs 29:15 says, "The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." When the rod is properly administered, the child is rendered compliant and ready to receive life-giving words. I love Hebrews 12:11 dealing with this topic, "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

Tripp goes on to clearly explain what the rod is. He says it is a "parent, in faith toward God and faithfulness toward his or her children, undertaking the responsibility of careful, timely measured and controlled us of physical punishment to underscore the importance of obeying god, thus rescuing the child from continuing in his foolishness until death." He breaks it down further into six parts. The rod is reserved for the parent alone. It is an act of faith in that while the parent doesn't perfectly understand how it works, God has commanded it. It is an act of faithfulness toward the child. There are many times where we do not want to spank our children. However, being true to God, we must be faithful to our children. The rod is a responsibility of the parent. The parent is either choosing to obey or disobey God's command on the matter. The rod is physical punishment - but not in any of the ways I will list in the next paragraph. It is always "careful, timely, measured and controlled." Lastly, the rod is a rescue mission. When a child disobeys his parent, he disobeys the Lord (because He has called for parental obedience). The child is disciplined ultimately because he has disobeyed the Lord, not the parent. He needs to be rescued from the sin that leads to death.

Now in all of this talk about the rod, what are we not talking about? We are not talking about allowing child abuse. A parent does not have the right to an unbridled temper. Tripp says that he will discuss this more fully later in the book. The rod should not be associated with anger. A parent being mad at a child will not correct the problem. The opposite, a spanking done with love (and communicated in such a way), will lead the child towards a repentant heart. As parents, we do not have the right to hit out children whenever we wish. The rod should only be used in the context of correction and discipline. The rod should not be used to vent frustration. The rod is not used to exact retribution. It is not payment due but simply a means to administer discipline in a biblical way.

There are many common objections to the rod. I'll mention them each but comment only briefly for the sake of space.
  • Objection #1: I love my children too much to spank them. Is it hard to spank our children? Most of the time, yes. Yet who benefits from the lack of a spanking? Not the child, because they are not being disciplined as the Lord has commanded. Yet it is the parent who is being spared the feeling of discomfort or agony over the spanking. "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him." -
    Prov 13:24 (ESV). This verse suggests the opposite of the objection.
  • Objection #2: I'm afraid I will hurt him. There IS a such of thing as child abuse, let's not be mistaken. If we are mindful of our own hearts when the spanking is administered, this should not be an issue. Proverbs 23:13-14 says, "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from [death]."
  • Objection #3: I'm afraid it will make him rebellious and angry. Proverbs 29:17 says, "Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart." The disciplined child (when done properly) is a child at peace.
  • Objection #4: It doesn't work. There are four possible reasons here. First, there is an inconsistent use of the rod and the child never knows what to expect. Second, the parents fail to persist long enough to get the expected response. Third, the spanking is ineffective because it inflicts zero pain. For example, a double layer of diaper will not respond to a spanking. Lastly, if it is administered in anger, the child will see their parent as a bully and not a giver of justice.
  • Objection #5: I'm afraid of being arrested for child abuse. There is validity to this concern. Tripp suggests that a spanking always be given at home. He says it's ultimately a question of faith. Will I obey God with risks attached?

Tripp closes by discussing the fruit of the Rod. He says "the rod teaches outcomes to behavior." When we are consistent, our children learn there are inevitable outcomes to certain behavior. God has built a principle of sowing and reaping. The rod also shows God's authority over Mom and Dad. One reason children have a problem with authority is because it is not modeled well in our culture. The rod demonstrates parental love and commitment - he is engaged and involved. As Hebrews 12:11 says, the rod yields a harvest of peace and righteousness. The rod returns the child to the place of blessing and not that he would continue to live a lust-driven life. It promotes and atmosphere of closeness and openness between the parent and child.

Tripp point out that we cannot focus exclusively on either the rod or communication (as discussed in the past). They are designed to work together and should always function in such a way. He goes on to state that the primacy of both the rod and communication will vary depending on the child's age, which will be discussed in future chapters.

Wow! What an incredibly detailed and insightful chapter! I pray it is an encouragement to you this week!

In Christ,

Terra

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Testing My Relationship With God

For the last 4 or 5 days, my one year old daughter Hannah has been fighting some sort of a cold. She has been incredibly moody and non-compliant. I've been giving her more "slack" because I know she doesn't feel well. She's not eating nearly as much as usual - unless the name of the food consists of "cookie" or "cheerio". She's no dummy. In addition, the cold happened to coincide with her switch from formula to soy milk. She almost always refuses the soy milk and thereby goes thirsty. Oh... and did I mention, I'm pretty sure my toothless child is teething as well. Why am I writing about this on my Titus 2 Blog instead of our family blog? Because it has tested my relationship with the Lord.

For some of you, this may sound a bit confusing. How could Hannah's illness test my relationship with God? In many, many ways, I respond. I'm not delighting in my child, as Scripture instructs. I'm doubting the Lord's goodness. I'm quickly angered and irritated with Hannah's moodiness. I'm wanting peace and a problem-free day over Godward sanctification.

On one hand, I know that "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," Romans 8:1 (ESV). All of my current sin struggles have already been crucified with Christ. Praise the Lord. On the other hand, "I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing," Romans 7:19 (ESV). May God lead me during this time of growth in Christ.

In Him,
Terra

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lots of Uploads!

Here are the most recent pictures and videos.
Hannah Walking Really Well:

video
Hannah Fingerpainting (with Grandpa's voice in the background):

video

Click my picture of Hannah here to see lots of others:
Enjoy!

Take care,

Terra

Monday's Music Review: All Because of Jesus

Song Title: All Because of Jesus (#10 on album)
Album Title: The Altar and the Door
Artist(s): Casting Crowns
Written by: Steve Fee

(Hear the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmaSe3z4_ZA):

Giver of every breath I breathe

Author of all eternity
Giver of every perfect thing
To You be the glory
Maker of Heaven and of Earth
No one can comprehend Your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory

And I am alive because I’m alive in You

It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
It’s all because the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man’s life
It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
I’m alive, I’m alive

Giver of every breath I breathe
Author of all eternity
Giver of every perfect thing
To You be the glory
Maker of Heaven and of Earth
No one can comprehend Your worth
King over all the universe
To You be the glory

And I am alive
because I’m alive in You

It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
It’s all because the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man’s life

It’s all because of Jesus

Every sunrise sings Your praise
The universe cries out Your praise
I’m singing freedom all my days
Now that I’m alive

I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive

My thoughts:
Though a little repetitive, the message of this song is eternal. We are alive physically because Christ both created and sustains us. We are alive spiritually (if we are Christians) because Christ has transformed and renewed our hearts. First Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV) says this about Christ,
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."

Wow! I consider this passage one of the Bible's greatest - if that is possible! No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot fathom Christ's worth, as mentioned in the song. He is ultimately higher and bigger than anything we can dream of. What a mighty God we serve!

In Christ,
Terra

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chapter 10 - Embracing Biblical Methods: A Life of Communication

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

Living a lifestyle of communication requires effort. Tedd Tripp had an excellent example about communication being a lifestyle and not just an event. He discusses how parents fail when we only talk with our children when something is wrong. We should be communicating with them (about God especially) at all times. As listed in Deuteronomy 6, we should communicate while lying down, waking, rising, walking, sitting, and so on.

Tripp reminds us that "honest, thorough, truly biblical communication is expensive." Good opportunities to communicate with our children will not always be at opportune times. They may be struggling with an issue and want to talk while you're cooking dinner or getting ready for bed. Tripp says we must be ready to seize these opportunities when they most naturally arise. In addition to timing, the physical and spiritual energy necessary to communicate well with our children can sometimes be overwhelming. He says parents may miss opportunities because of exhaustion. As parents, we must have the mental stamina to keep our thoughts focused. In one paragraph (5th paragraph, pg 95), Tripp lists a great list of Christian dynamics we need to model for our children.

Yet in addition to being costly, biblical communication yields great blessings. Tripp analyzes the costs versus benefits. For starters, this type of communication is what "cements" a parent and child together in terms of relationship. Tripp goes on to give an excellent model of what he calls the "Authority / Influence Continuum." I will not post it here for copyright constraints but I'll explain it a bit. On the left, vertical axis of the chart, there is "authority" at the top and "influence" at the bottom. On the horizontal axis, is the age of a child from 0 to 18. Initially, (at birth), the authority of the parent is at it's peak and the influence is at it's lowest point. As the child ages, the authority decreases steadily as the influence increases. In the end, (age 18), influence has peaked and authority is at it's lowest point. Basically, Tripp is graphically depicting that as the child is younger, the parent still has things such as strength, speed, size, etc. on his side. He has complete authority (in this sense of the word) over the child. Yet as the child ages and gets bigger, stronger, etc., the parent's authority will not have as great of an effect as does his influence. This is why we need to be growing in our communication and building the type of a relationship the child will respond to. Tripp says that "influence represents the willingness of a child to place himself under authority because of trust." When our children trust us, our words will have weight.

Our children need communication skills for every facet of their lives. From future interaction with peers, employers, employees, spouses, etc., these skills are necessary. Tripp calls communication "the art of expressing in godly ways what is in my heart and of hearing completely and understanding what another thinks and feels." Don't we want our children to be able to do that? What a better place to teach our children the art of communication than home? The more we communicate with our children, the more we are helping them to understand themselves and the world around them. We are giving them a biblical understanding of life. Then, once they are on their own, they can respond in biblical ways themselves.

Tripp closes the chapter by reinforcing the cost versus benefit scheme. Biblical communication with our children will take time, energy, effort and most of all, sacrifice. We must regard parenting as one of our most important tasks while our children are at home. There will be many things (even good ones) that we'll have to set aside during this time in order to be the parents we are called to be. Yet in the end, the fruit we bear (with God's help) will be beyond the joy of those shorter-term desires. May God lead us and forbear with us during this season of our lives.

In Christ,
Terra

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tired...Always Tired

A couple of weeks ago, I (Terra) ended up at the doctor. I had had a sore throat for two weeks which refused to go away. While there, I mentioned to my doctor some other strange things which have be going on with my body. I'm always tired - no matter how much rest I get. I currently weigh less than I ever have as an adult, with zero effort (no dieting, exercising, etc). My hair is breaking easily and so on. I was tested for strep in the office, which was negative. I was also tested for mono. Since that test was sent out of office, the doc went ahead and prescribed an antibiotic in the meantime for my throat, in case it was some weird bacterial thing that just hadn't gone away over time. My potassium levels, kidney and liver functions, blood sugar and thyroid were all checked. I had no weird blood issues going on (anemia, white blood count or platelet issues). Absolutely nothing. The sore throat went away by the second day I was on the antibiotic. The rest of the issues are still problems - yet a cause cannot be pinpointed.

My sister suggested that I may have finally reached a level of busyness that is taking a toll on my body. Considering how busy James and I tend to be, she might be on to something. By God's grace, we're cutting back our activities and I pray it makes a difference. In the meantime, please continue to pray for me in this area. The thing that bothers me the most is the constant fatigue. It's hard to be joyful with a one year old when you're always tired. I'm also looking into better eating habits to see if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance for your prayers!
Terra

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday's Music Review: Prayer for a Friend

Song Title: Prayer for a Friend (#9 on album)
Album Title: The Altar and the Door
Artist(s): Casting Crowns
Written by: Mark Hall

(Hear the song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN3D0Carn3U):


Lord, I lift my friend to You,
I’ve done all that I know to do
I lift my friend to You
Complicated circumstances have clouded his view
Lord, I lift my friend up to You

I fear that I won’t have the words that he needs to hear
I pray for Your wisdom, oh God, and a heart that’s sincere
Lord, I lift my friend up to You

Lord, I lift my friend to You
My best friend in the world,
I know he means much more to You
I want so much to help him,
but this is something he has to do
And Lord, I lift my friend up to You

‘Cause there’s a way that seems so right to him
But You know where that leads
He’s becoming a puppet of the world, too blind to see the strings
Lord, I lift my friend up to You
My friend up to You

My Thoughts:

This is such a sweet song for those of us who have been (or are currently) in such a position. While typing this post, a couple of friends come to mind. As Christians, we all have friends or family members that we long to lead to the Lord. Yet sin is blinding and they may often desire only the things of this world. What we desire may seem foolish to them. Christ, however, has the power to change their hearts and call them to Himself. After all, that's what He did with us. Though we are called to speak the truth (in love) to our nonbelieving friends, there comes a time where we must simply turn them over to the Lord. God will work out the rest. What a sweet meditation...

In Christ,
Terra