Summer Temptations: Laziness

Summer.

A time of freedom and endless possibilities. During the summer you have the time to do what you’ve always wanted to do (especially if you’re still in school!), pursue a new hobby, start a project, be outside, start a good book, try a new recipe, etc.

I make a lot of plans every summer. I have books to read, friends to hang out with, recipes to try, but how do I actually spend my summer? On facebook. Now, facebook is not wrong but it can (and should) be called the biggest time waster in human history. I spend more time than I should on FB (oh look, I even have a nickname for it, how cute!). Facebook can be a great way to stay connected with people and I believe it can be a great ministry tool. But, it can also be a means of distraction; a means of laziness.

I’ve come to realize that I’m a very lazy person. I like to be easy on myself. I don’t like stress, I like relaxation. Why start a project when I can just zone out on the computer?  Why read a book when I can go online and read the latest LOST article?

I have really been convicted of how much time I spend on my computer. Again, it’s not wrong to go on the computer, it’s not wrong to go on facebook, it’s not a sin to read the latest LOST article (thank God!) but these can all be sinful when I am using it to fuel my laziness.

I don’t want to waste my summer on the computer. I want to do things. The awesome thing is, God can give me the grace to lay down my laziness. He can give me the strength (and energy!) I need to do something. By God’s grace I can put aside my idol of comfort and pursue Him more and seek to serve others. All I need to do is ask.

I really want to look back on Summer 2010 and be happy with how I spent it. And by God’s grace that is completely possible.

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We’re Alive

We’re still here. Things have been crazy lately with school and stuff but we definitly want to continue writing on this blog.

So hang in there, we will start posting in the near future!

Thanks for your patience with us!

Becca, Grace, and Bronte

Happy Birthday, Grace!

Gracie– Happy Birthday! I love you so much and am so thankful that the Lord has given you to me as a sister. We are so different and God has used that to grow us and reveal sin over the years and continues to… 🙂  You are so patient with me. I love being able to talk about anything with you. You are such a dear gift to me and I am so thankful for  all the evidences of God’s grace I see in your life. May the Lord RICHLY bless you with an abundance of His grace this coming year as you grow more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!! Love, Bec

Dear Grace,
Happy Happy sweet 16! I hope that this year is filled with grace and that God will continue to use you! You are such a wonderful friend and a joy to be around. May your sixteenth year be filled with joy and adventure! 🙂 Love you! God bless!~Lily

Dear Grace,

Happy Birthday! Wow. 16. You are so old! 🙂

As I was thinking about what I should say I felt led to thank you for being such a great friend to me. You are a friend that I can trust and I know that the gospel is important to you. I can feel free to be silly around you without feeling like an idiot (even if I should) and you make every situation more comfortable and light-hearted. It is an evidence of God’s grace in you to care for me and to be friendly and outgoing towards others. It’s really encouraging to see you put aside fear of man (if you have any!) and show kindness towards others. God is at work in you.

Thanks also, for getting obsessed with things with me (4 8 15 16 23 42), for loving musicals with me, and for putting up with me (especially when I talk a lot). Thanks for all the photo shoots and costume making, which we really need to do again sometime soon. Thanks for standing up for me and especially for telling people it is pronounced Brontee (hence the two dots!). Thanks for encouraging me and for saying kind things to me, even when I say all the wrong things. Thanks for helping me get out of my comfort zone and for teaching me that improv really is fun.

Can you tell I’m thankful? 🙂

I love you Grace, and again Happy Birthday!

Love,

Bronte (with two dots over the e)

Waiting…

Waiting. How hard it is to wait. We have a dream, a hope and when that dream or hope does not come to pass, we can’t begin to imagine why. It seemed so right in our mind.

God has a reason for every single thing we face, whether good or bad. He has a purpose and it is all for our good and His glory.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. -Psalm 84:11 (ESV)

We often think that “our good” is getting what we want, when we want it. We think that it is always being happy, never feeling pain, never going through trials or hardship. But, God doesn’t think the same way we do. As much as we think we know what’s best for us, we don’t.

Think about the last time you went through a trial. I know that every time I go through difficulties and pain, I fall down on my knees and pray for strength and grace. We need grace most when we face trials. Trials force us to run to the arms of Christ because everything else around us is falling.

Our ultimate good is to be made into the image of Christ Jesus. This is the slow process of sanctification. Instead of looking for our hope and joy in this life, we must look to Christ for hope.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. -Colossians 3:1-4 (ESV)

As believers, what hope we have!! One day we will be with the Lord and we will see Him face to face! Wait on Him, dear saints! He is our shield, our shepherd, our life, our salvation, our joy, our satisfaction, our hope, and everything else good. He never lets us go!

Another Quote

My family has a set of mugs that have a picture of a theologian on one side and a quote by them on the other. I’ve read these quotes before but I’ve never really thought about them. Yesterday while I was enjoying some hot chocolate with my little sister I read the back of my mug:

“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accomodations here.”

–Jonathan Edwards

I was immediately convicted. I realized that I had been putting my trust in other things thinking they would satisfy me and bring me happiness. Only God can give me satisfaction. I must look to him! Praise God for his grace to do it! All of this from having a mug of hot chocolate. Maybe I should drink it more often…

A Quote From Charles Spurgeon

I praise God as we enter this new year for the Gospel which is spoken through the holy scriptures. He has given us a true, living, and powerful book in which His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness are on display. It brings hope to my life, for Christ Has come to save all sinners, and I am indeed a chief of sinners. Be encouraged oh dear friends, take heart! Hope HAS COME!

“Within the Scripture, there is a balm for every wound, a salve for every sore. Oh, the wondrous power in the Scripture to create a heart of hope, within the ribs of despair! Amidst sharp and strong temptations, and fierce and bitter trials, the Word of the Lord has preserved us. Amidst discouragements which damped our hopes, and disappointments which wounded our hearts, our Bibles have brought us a secret, unconquerable consolation.”

-Charles Spurgeon

Celebration of Faith in Christ Jesus (Fall 2006-Fall 2009)

I have grown up in a Christian home all of my life. I have known who Jesus was for as long as I can remember. At age four, I prayed to receive Christ into my life. I understood that Jesus died but, I didn’t really understand why I needed a Savior because I was blinded to my sin. My parents had no reason to doubt that I was a Christian because I knew the answers to simple biblical questions, yet I didn’t believe what I preached to those around me.

Sinful patterns of rebellion were beginning to be planted into my heart during the very early teen years. I did not show it outwardly because I didn’t what people to think badly of me. In my heart I rejected God. I had no desire at all to attend church and would even volunteer to do nursery very often to skip the sermon. I was sinning and being content to live in my sin. At age 13 (2005), God was beginning to draw my heart, yet I was not ready to follow Him. In early 2006, my eyes were slowly being opened to my sin. I didn’t talk to my parents about it because of my sin and my pride! I did whisper a prayer to God to change my life. Little did I know that I was in for a shock.

During this time God was working drastically in my parents. My Dad was feeling God calling Him to leave his 13 year job as a pastor in Iowa and be evaluated to become a pastor under Sovereign Grace. We as kids were somewhat aware of this and the possibility. On May 6th 2006 when my parents shared that we were moving to Minnesota, we were all in shock. God continued to work in my life and in the life of our family during our last 4 months in Iowa. On September 3rd 2006, we headed up to Minnesota to move the first truck full of things into our new house. That Sunday was my first week visiting what would be our new church. I was amazed by how everyone cared for our family. That next weekend, we moved the rest of the stuff up. During our first months, we were blessed with gifts, prayers, meals, and God’s grace was very evident and continues to be!

God used the kindness of of our church, the faith of my parents, the passionate worshiping at church, and the convicting sermons to finally draw me to my knees in Fall of 2006. I was broken over my sin and finally was open to my need for a Savior.

That Savior is Jesus Christ. Even when I was against God he chose me and drew me close to Him. We as sinners are under the JUST wrath of God, but He sent Jesus to die for our sins in our place. We also get Jesus’ righteousness! So when God looks at us, He sees Jesus’ perfection! We will always struggle with our sin but, God has conquered it and it no longer has any hold on us. We are FORGIVEN! Praise God! If you trust in Jesus’ work on the cross and that it is enough to save you from your sin, you can be forgiven! As Christians we await Heaven!

In the past three years, the Lord has changed my desires and my heart. He alone is to be praised and worshiped. I am no more than a sinner saved by the amazing, unchanging, and never-ending grace of God. GLORY TO GOD for he alone has replaced my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh. Seek Him!!

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” -Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. -Ephesians 2:1-5 (ESV)

Christian Music

It is SO hard to find good music to listen to. Particularly good contemporary Christian music. I feel like most christian music sounds the same. There are precious few music artists who write good lyrics and still have good music. But there are a few who do. Reilly being one of them. Right now Reilly is my favorite band. They are a very interesting mix. They are in the rock/pop genre, but they play violins too. It’s so cool. They also have really thoughtful lyrics (particularly in their second CD entitled Let June Decide). I also find it interesting that they attend a Sovereign Grace Church. That’s really cool too! 🙂

Here’s their music video for their song Sunlight:

A couple more Christian artists I really appriciate are; Jars of Clay, Mute Math (we just got their new CD Armistince which is really good!), Waterdeep, Telecast (I love their CD The Beauty of Simplicity), TobyMac, and Red Umbrella.

Worldliness: A (Late) Conclusion

This has been a long time in coming but here is  the conclusion to our Worldliness book study.

Honostly, I went into this book with a  self-righteousness attitude. I didn’t think I was worldly. I dress modestly, I listen to good music, I watch good movies. But God humbled me with the relization that I have worldliness in my heart. When I desire to impress others with what I wear (even though it’s modest) that’s worldliness. When I desire to be in the world, when I desire to be like everyone else, that’s worldliness. Wow.

The good news is, God gives grace to fight sin. He will give me the grace I need (the grace we all need) to fight the remaining sin in our life, no matter how subtle it is. Praise God for this truth!

I don’t know how many of you read the book, but we hope you were helped and encouraged. We hope this study was a means of grace to you.

Thanks so much for your patience with us! 🙂

Happy Birthday Becca!

Dear Becca,

Happy 17th birthday! Wow! You’re old. 🙂

You are an incredible example to me. With your love for the lord, your church, and your family. With your desire to serve others even when it’s hard or makes you “get out of your comfort zone.” Your humility. Your willingness to put aside your fear and pride and step out in faith. With the way you talk and bring loving counsel to others. You have wisdom beyond your years. All this is God’s grace in your life! Praise be to Him!

Thanks so much for being there for me. You are a blessing!

Love, B

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