Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday's Music Review: God In Me

We are safely and restfully back from vacation! I hope to put updates and pictures on our family blog soon. Thanks for your patience!

Back to the review!
Artists: Daniel Doss Band

(Hear the song here:
It’s not the melody that brings me to you
It’s not even the words that burn in my heart
It’s not the wonderful sounds that cause me to sing
It is knowing you and what you’ve done in me

You are the song of my life
You are the dance in my feet
You are the voice of my heart
You are God in me
You are the bread of my life
You are the life giving drink
You are the everything
You are God in me

So I will sing my life a song to remain
And whatever I do it’s all for your fame
Because it’s your beautiful self that causes me to sing
About knowing you and what you do in me

You are the song of my life
You are the dance in my feet
You are the voice of my heart
You are God in me
You are the bread of my life
You are the life giving drink
You are the everything
You are God in me

Yeah me in you
And you in me
I will never stop knowing the joy that you bring
And me in you
And you in me
I will never stop tasting, tasting your goodness
Oh your goodness

Oh You are the song of my life
You are the dance in my feet
You are the voice of my heart
You are God in me
Oh You are the bread of my life
You are the life giving drink yeah
You are the everything
You are God in me
Yeah Yeah Yeah
My thoughts:
I don't really have a lot of comments on this song. It's pretty easy to understand. The lyrics explain how it's not all the great things God has done for us (though there are many), that change us. It's when we know God and what He has done in our hearts that "causes us to sing." As a Christian, I know that apart from Christ, I'm a rotten sinner. However, by God's goodness and grace, He's not only changed my life but continues to do so every day. Because of this change and growing in knowing Him, I have a reason to sing, dance, and praise God. He is my all and He provides all that I need.

A simple, sweet reflection on God's work in our lives.

In Christ,

Monday, July 21, 2008

On Vacation

We're on vacation until July 27th and there will likely be no posts until after that. See you soon!!! ;) Pray for our flights with Hannah - she's been particularly moody lately!

Take care,

On Vacation

We're on vacation until July 27th and there will likely be no posts until after that. See you soon!!! ;) Pray for our flights with Hannah - she's been particularly moody lately!

Take care,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July Pictures

Here are the latest. ;) Click the picture below to view the rest.



Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday's Music Review: In Christ Alone

Song Title: In Christ Alone
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music

(Hear the song here:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.
My thoughts:
This is probably my favorite hymn ever. Yes - even above the beloved Amazing Grace (though I love that one as well). The lyrics to this song are so powerful, gospel-centered and Christ-focused it amazes me. As a matter of fact, this is the song I either sing or hum to Hannah every single time she's tired or upset. So what is so special about this song?

The song begins with a summary of the greatness of Christ. He is our cornerstone, our protector, our "all in all." If He is the Lord of our life as He should be, He is truly all of these things.

The lyrics then move into Christ's life purpose. He was born as a babe, a man - but a God-man! He was scorned, mocked, and ultimately crucified for the sins of all. For the Christian, God's wrath was satisfied in the death of His son. But the best stanza (and my favorite, comes third).

It appears hopeless. He was slain. Darkness held Him. Or did it?! UP from the grave He rose again! I can't help but want to shout that verse every time I hear it. UP from the grave! Even death could not hold Him! Now He stands in victory at the right hand of God and I'm guiltless in the eyes of the Lord. I was bought with His precious blood.

As a result, I should have NO guilt or fear because my God is a mighty God! That's the power of Christ. Nothing (death, life, famine, nakedness, sword, etc. cf. Romans 8) can separate me fr0m the love of Christ. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! What a beautiful song in every way. I pray it blesses your life as it has my own.

In Christ,

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Sad Day & a Sober Reminder

This morning I received an email with devastating news: one of my best friends from high school died Friday evening. Let me explain a little more about this situation. For privacy reasons, I'll call my friend "J."

I met J my Senior year of high school. She moved in with my best friend Rachel after struggling with her own family life up north. Rachel's dad was a pastor and they took her as their own. She had a baby already and struggled with what doctors label manic depression as well as bipolar disorder. There were times where the friendship was unstable because of these issues but we remained close friends none-the-less. After graduation, she was married, divorced, had another child and then fell off the radar. No one knew how to contact her or what had happened to her. She simply took off.

About two weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from who but J! It had been nearly 10 years since I'd heard from her so I was ecstatic. She asked me to give her a call when I got the chance and we'd catch up. For over a week, I kept postponing the call because of the busyness of life and the selfishness of my time. Finally, on Friday morning, I called. She was not available so I left a message and asked for her to call me when she could. Then today, I found out she died the very same evening! Of what you may ask (she was only 26)? From what we could gather from family, she drank too much, may have been on some sort of medication, got sick and choked to death on her own vomit. It makes me sick to even think of it.

Here was a girl who likely did not know the Lord. I kept postponing our conversation. Then her life is over! Like that! I did not take the opportunity to share the love of Christ. I did not even give her the time of day - literally - as I let me personal time be more important. I know J's salvation was in not my hands, and yet I feel I completely ignored the Spirit's leading in this situation. What a sober reminder that our days our numbered and I do not know how many opportunities I'll have to share to love of Christ with those around me. May I be pushed closer to Christ as a result of this tragedy.

Who have you failed to share this love with today? Don't make the mistake I did. Tell them!

In Christ,

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Chapter 16: Childhood: Training Objectives

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart.

Dr. Tripp begins by explaining what he means by "childhood." He uses this word to describe the middle period of a child's life, roughly ages 5 to 12. While up to this age, we may have taught our children to obey our authority, there are now going to be more times when the child will be physically away from us and will begin to develop a growing independence. How do we build on the foundation we've begun? According to Tripp, the big issue is character. He says this is the time when our children need to learn "dependability, honesty, kindness, consideration, helpfulness, diligence, loyalty" and so forth. It is during these years that the child's conscience must develop.

I found it interesting that Tripp pointed out a difference between defiant behavior and simply wrong behavior. If a child is being selfish, he is not necessarily being disobedient or disrespectful toward the parent, but it is wrong none-the-less. This is why we have to address the child's character. Tripp says, "If you never address character, you will never get beyond bare obedience." Making more rules is not the answer. If your child actually follows all of them, he's likely to become smug and self-righteous like the Pharisees anyway. So where does this leave a parent?

Tripp reminds us we'll be looking at the "how-to's" in the next chapter. In this one, he explained his "three-pronged tool of diagnosis." It is as follows:
  1. The Child in a Relationship to God. This is not a question of "is your child a Christian." Instead, we asks questions that help us know about his "understanding of the nature of God's grace and salvation through faith in Christ."
  2. The Child in Relationship to Himself. How does he child view and understand himself? We need to understand our children so we can shepherd them appropriately.
  3. The Child in Relationship to Others. How does the child interact with those around him?

Tripp suggests we perform this diagnosis every six months or so which children this age. Let's acknowledge their strengths and see how we can help them grow in their weaknesses.

A fairly short chapter, but one in which there were many new concepts for me to grasp. I look forward to next week's "how to's."

In Christ,


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Latest Health Updates

First, let me say thank you to all of the wonderful people that have written, called, spoke, or simply prayed for me. I've been so blessed by you all! To top it off, I haven't had a true headache in about 3 days now, which is a gigantic answered prayer in itself. The dizziness and nausea has also lessened.

I spoke with my doctor yesterday afternoon. The good news, my CT scan was normal overall. No brain tumors, abnormalities or sinus issues. She pointed out that I do have a slightly deviated septum but from what I've read, most of the population does. The not-so-good news, still no diagnosis. She mentioned a couple of every day things that may be causing these symptoms individually (such as stress, parenting, etc). She said the only other potential diagnosis was one she didn't think I had anyway: depression. I agree in the sense that I'm pretty sure I'm not depressed. There was a time my sophomore year in college when I did struggle with depression. However, I know I'm not at that same point now. To be sure, I've asked a few of my closest friends (and family) and they agreed with me. Whew.

A few people have also suggested the problem could stem from the physical and/or emotional strains from my miscarriage in March. I'm not sure. I guess that's a possibility. I feel like we're coping well emotionally though.

For those of you who are concerned, the summer has been much less busy than the spring was. Our responsibilities with church functions and other things have decreased significantly. We're finally getting to rest a little bit as a family. James is still incredibly busy with work but he's able to relax a little more once he gets home.

Pray that we continue to trust in the Lord. Whatever the situation with my health, pray that I place my trust in Him fully. We'll be going on vacation in about a week and a half (to visit friends and family in Florida) and I pray it'll be a good time away for us. Thank you all again for your concern and prayers.

In Christ,

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday's Music Review: In the Valley

Song Title: In the Valley
Words and music by Bob Kauflin
As recorded on Valley of Vision

Here the sample here (I couldn't locate the entire song online):


When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ

Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley

In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed

© 2006 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).
My thoughts:

I LOVE this song. As many of you know, the day after Easter, we lost our second child to miscarriage. During that incredibly difficult time, few things were comforting to me. God was great in pointing us to Himself and this song was one of the ways He did so.

When do we trust in the Lord most? In suffering. When do we stop relying on ourselves and on God? In suffering. When do we grow more like Christ? In suffering. Yet when do we long for suffering? Never. As the song says, our humbling wouldn't be our decision. I love the analogy of the stars. We don't see them during the day because it's so bright - but they are still there. Yet when it is darkest (as our times of suffering), the stars shine so bright (as Christ). What a glorious analogy.

Even though the singer is commenting on the truth she already knows, she still prays for grace, life and joy that only the Lord can give. Suffering is never easy but the Lord has a great plan for it all. Remember, God works all things together for good for those who love Him. If you're going through a difficult time right now, may this song be an encouragement. Let me know if I can pray for you.

In Christ,

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chapter 15 - Infancy to Childhood: Training Procedures

Saturday's Shepherding a Child's Heart - on Sunday. ;)

Dr. Tripp begins the chapter by reminding us of the Circle of Safety from the last. He then jumps right into specifics. In chapter 11, we discussed the use of the rod (a spanking). Now, particularly with this age group, is the time to administer what we learned. Tripp gets a bit more practical in this chapter.

He starts with the "when" of spanking. When does a child need a spanking? Tripp says this is easy to discern - any time the child has heard and understood a command and he chooses to disobey. As tempting as it can be, we cannot let inconvenience lead us to inconsistency. Tripp says our children must understand that "when you speak for the first time, you have spoken for the last time." There should not be repeated warnings, pleadings, etc. We need to consistently discipline after the first offense.

He then deals with the "how" of spanking. He gives eight detailed "rules" that provide a form of discipline that preserves the child's dignity (pgs 150-153). I've shortened them as follows:
  1. Take your child to a private place where he can be spoken to in private. Your goal is not to humiliate him.
  2. Tell him specifically what he has done or failed to do.
  3. Secure an acknowledgement from the child of what he has done. This step may take a while.
  4. Remind him that the function of the spanking is not venting your frustration or because you are angry, but to restore him to the place in which God has promised blessing.
  5. Tell the child how many swats he will receive. This shows you are in control of yourself.
  6. Remove his drawers so that the spanking is not lost in the padding of his pants (this should be done only immediately before and then replaced immediately after the spanking). Lay the child across your lap so the spanking is done in the context of your physical relationship.
  7. After you have spanked, take the child up on your lap and hug him, telling him how much you love him, how much it grieves you to spank him and how you hope that it will not happen again.
  8. Pray with him and encourage him in Christ.

Next, Tripp addresses the "why" of spanking. Simply because God has commanded it (we talked about this in great detail in chapter 11).

I really enjoyed his list of frequently asked questions. The first, I asked myself on many occasions.

  • When is my child old enough? Whenever the child understands and willingly disobeys. His example was of an 8 month old that obeyed a command when the parent was in the room but then disobeyed when he saw the parent was gone.
  • What if my child says, "But I didn't hear you?" He suggests having a conversation with the child and explaining clearly to them that when you are speaking, he should perk up his ears to hear you over all other noise.
  • Some say, "If I follow your counsel, all I'll do is spank." Tripp reminds those if they are consistent in discipline, the children will find a child quickly responding and the need for discipline decreasing.
  • What if I'm too mad? We are told to excuse ourselves and seek the Lord. Only after we have repented of our anger, may we discipline our children. If we've disciplined out of anger, we are to seek forgiveness from our children.
  • What if we're not home? Tripp says we may have to let certain things pass when our children are very young because they do not have a long enough memory to discipline later. On balance, most of our training should be done at home so it should be taken care of on those occasions. We need to use careful judgment when using physical discipline with our children in public.
  • What if I know my child is lying to me? After seeking an honest response with our child, to no avail, we should move into a general discussion of the importance of integrity. Tripp says we should never call our children liars as it disheartens them and hurts the relationship.
  • What if I'm not sure what happened? If we are not sure, we should not discipline. He reminds us there will be plenty of times when we are sure and we should not lose our credibility by disciplining our children when they may not have sinned.
  • What if nothing works? Tripp says we are either not being consistent or not waiting long enough for the fruit of the Lord. We have to be obedient to God's command, even if it does not seem to be working.
  • What if it is too late? We are told that it is never too late - though it will be harder to "re-lay the foundation under the completed house." If our children are old enough and we have not disciplined them correctly, He suggests we do the following:
  • Sit down with our children and explain our new insights.
    Tell them what we've done wrong.
  • Seek their forgiveness for our failures as a parent.
  • Give them specific direction about what changes you think are
    needed in their behavior, attitudes and so forth.
  • Determine how you will respond to disobedience in the future and
    be sure they understand.
  • As much as we are able, live a biblically consistent
  • Be prepared to be patient. Pray. Wait on God. Study the
    Scriptures together.

In the end, Tripp reminds us that our focus must be on what it means for us to honor God in our family, not how to get our kids in line. He says getting our kids in line is a by-product of honoring God.

If you've never felt the weight of parenting, how about now? :) But it's encouraging to know what the Lord expects of us and seek our best to serve Him well.

In Christ,


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Upcoming Post

Just a quick note to let you know that I will not have the book Shepherding a Child's Heart available to me today. Instead, our next post will be uploaded tomorrow.

Hope you had a great 4th!

Take care,

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Missing Monday

This has a great deal to do with my lack of posting Monday:

Thank you for your patience,

Scanning My Head for Cats

Ha! This morning I had a CT (or CAT) Scan... the name just makes me laugh. Are there cats running around in my head giving me all these issues? Just a little humor to begin this post. As I've mentioned in a previous post, I've had some medical concerns lately. Over the last week, some new symptoms have been popping up and going relentless on my body. In addition to the symptoms mentioned in the last post, add: dizziness, lightheadness, five days of headaches, and nausea. Oh... and you can go ahead and scratch off pregnant - because I'm not. According to the doc, my ears, eyes, nose, etc., all look good. She seemed as perplexed as I am.

If you haven't known me for over a few years, you may not know some family medical history. In 2000, my dad passed away from brain cancer at age 39. We (his kids) were told to be periodically checked as it could be hereditary (they were unsure). All that to say, when my symptoms continue to worsen and not be explained, I get a little anxious.

Please pray for me. Of course you can pray for my health but more importantly, peace with God. Whatever is going on with my body, God is in complete control. Pray that I am constantly trusting in Him. Pray for the doctors to have wisdom in diagnosing this issue. I will update this blog as I receive any new information.

Thank you in advance,

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


So in all the busyness, I forgot to post Monday's Music Review. I don't have time even now so it may simply be skipped this week. If I get the chance, I'll get one up. Otherwise, please trust I'm trying to allocate my time wisely with my family obligations this week. ;)

Take care,