Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Run That Glorified God

I've had this unusual struggle recently with leaving Sunday worship in a bad mood.  Some might counsel me, "Well, maybe you should go to a different church".  But, I don't think that's the answer.  I'm pretty sure the Bible never measures a healthy church by the mood of those attending it.  And I do believe this is a good church for us.  The gospel is proclaimed, the teaching is sound, we have found a place to serve, and the fellowship within our Community Group has been huge in making Louisville feel like home.

I made a comment to Derek as we walked out, "The mingling after church makes me feel like I'm in junior high again."  "What do you mean?" he said back.  "It's all just awkward small talk.  It's all very shallow," I replied.  He was quiet for awhile... I hate it when he gets quiet. Finally, he said, "I don't like that phrase "small talk", and it's only shallow if you make it that way.  It's only shallow if you are not interested in what the other person is saying."  Ouch!

So, then I was really in a bad mood.  I'm the one who's shallow.  We get home, and I decide to go for a run to process all this.  At some point, I realize that what actually makes it junior high is standing there waiting to see who will come talk to me.  (I'm yelling at myself to grow up.)  Next time, I need to go initiate a conversation! But, back to the run... I know the problem is me and my sinful heart, but how do I work through that?  It strikes me that my sin is pride manifesting itself as self pity.   Poor me, no one will come and talk to me.

Throw on top of all that a greater need to love others.  I have it in me to do that.  I have Christ in me who is God.  And God is love.  So, how do I flee this darkness?

All this is going through my head as I'm running.  Then, the coolest thing!  The lyrics to the Charlie Hall song "Marvelous Light" start playing through my head.  "Into marvelous light I'm running, out of darkness, out of shame. By the cross You are the truth, You are the life, You are the Way."  And I'm running, and the sun is beaming down on me, and I know this is from God.

 I don't have to act like the person I was in junior high, because I'm not that person anymore.  In Christ I am a new creation.  The old has passed away; the new has come.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." -2 Corinthians 5:17

It's good to get a glimpse into the depths of our depravity.  My struggles include pride, self pity, fearing man more than I fear God, seeking the approval of man over the approval of God... the list goes on and on. But, in Christ I'm facing down the darkness.  I'm not who I was.  My life is hidden with Christ.  I pray and plead with God that this would be evident! I am a wretched creature apart from the grace of Jesus Christ.

"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." -Colossians 3:1-3

Derek challenged me to initiate a conversation with someone after church next Sunday.  And not to let it be shallow or junior high.  In fact, there was a woman sitting in front of us today holding a baby about Benjamin's age who smiled at me twice.  I'm pretty sure I could have had a "real" conversation with her. I repent of my pride.  Lord, forgive me.  By Your grace, I will love others better. 

So, this is how my inner self is renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16, Eph 4:23); this is how I set my mind on things above and not on earthly things (Col 3:2); this is how even a run can bring glory to God (1 Cor 10:31).

Verse 1
I once was fatherless,
a stranger with no hope;
Your kindness wakened me,
Awakened me, from my sleep

Verse 2
Your love it beckons deeply,
a call to come and die.
By grace now I will come
And take this life, take your life.

Sin has lost it's power,
death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen

Into marvelous light I'm running,
Out of darkness, out of shame.
By the cross you are the truth,
You are the life, you are the way

Verse 3
My dead heart now is beating,
My deepest stains now clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs.
Now I'm free. now I'm free!

Lift my hands and spin around,
See the light that i have found.
Oh the marvelous light
Marvelous light

Lift my hands and spin
See the light within...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun in our Texas home.

Sometimes I'm not sure what to call home.  Texarkana is home... that's where my parents live, Austin still feels like home, Louisville is home... that's where we actually live. Maybe all the confusion stems from the fact that this world is not my home period.

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. -I Peter 2:9-13

That being said, we just got back from a great trip to our Central Texas "home"! Thank you Nunnellys, Flores', Ruizs', McClungs, and Teutons for your great hospitality! We loved seeing every single one of you! We got to spend a Sunday at Austin Ridge Bible Church and catch up with so many friends there. Plus, I got to hang out with a few of my old co-workers... really friends is a better word. What a sweet time we had hanging out together the night before baby Chloe's birth! 

Enough talk... here are some pictures. I didn't capture every moment of our trip. There's always people and moments I wish I'd got on camera. But, I did get some very sweet pictures.

Okay, so this was actually in our Tennessee home... Benjamin and Cousin Morgan in the wagon at Nana & Boompa's house.

Morgan is such a little nurturer! She spent most of her time in the wagon making sure Benjamin was okay. Sweet thing!

Benjamin & Daddy... what a happy boy! He's a sweet child as long as you're not trying to get him to take a nap. He loves to play!

Grant Nunnelly, Benjamin & Daddy go for a swim!

We had a great weekend with the Nunnellys and the Tippens! We started out as friends with no kiddos and now we're up to four! 
Lt to Rt: Derek, Will, & Scott with Benjamin, Lucy Jane, Kyle, & Grant

...and the mommies! Kristen, Kaely, & Meredith with Kyle, Grant (peeking through), Lucy Jane & Benjamin

We also spent some time with the Ruizes. Stephanie, me and Benjamin in their back yard pool. Benjamin is still getting used to the water...

Miss Natalie & Miss Darienne give Benjamin his first haircut! He was not too happy about it, but it's at least out of his eyes now!

Stephanie and Benjamin with the Freeman kids... Zach & Kylie

Swimming with Cousin Ashton! Look at those beautiful teeth!

Mommy helping Benjamin down the slide!

Benjamin and Ashton... they were chasing bubbles which didn't really show up in the picture.

I love this picture! Papa Ray with Benjamin. My dad has always been great with babies, so he is making an awesome granddad. This is on the porch at Aunt Kathy & Uncle Robert's house.

Benjamin & Aunt Kathy (AK)

He loves to swing!

Just chillin' in the tire swing...

playing with Uncle Zach's (UZ) goatee...

More swimming... now he's really starting to love it! Momma, Benjamin, Aunt Brooke, & UZ

that kinda hurt...

He loves the water!

JuJu and Benjamin. What a sweet picture! My mom loves spending time with her grandson. I think she's making up some kind of story because that book has no words. :)

Benjamin and Cousin Carter! They were born just two weeks apart.

All the boys... Ashton, Benjamin & Carter

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our latest...

For my first Mother's Day, "Benjamin" got me some plants. This one's for the house, and it only has to be watered once a month. That's good for me!

 Daddy & Benjamin with my Wandering Jew plant. I've always thought that was a funny name to give a plant. Anyway, it's really pretty and also easy to maintain. I hung this plant right outside our front door so I can see it from the window.

This little basket I got from my Aunt Kathy a couple of years ago. This is the first time I've planted anything in it. That's Angelonia and a Sweet Potato Vine. I'm hoping the vine will grow and trail over the side of the basket. This one we hung where you see it as you come up our stairs. 

 Mommy & Benjamin goofing around. He really is funny, already making faces for the camera!

Another funny face. He really gets carried away when I get the camera out!

Such a big boy! Our furniture is a little tall for him to pull up on but he can do it. He'll stand there for a long time if you stand him up there first!

 He loves books already. He'll sit and even let me read to him for a little bit at a time. His favorite book is Baby Einstein "Mirror Me", probably because I make lots of funny faces when I read that one to him!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two Teeth & A Snack


This picture was taken last Saturday.  Poor little guy felt awful!  You can see it in his eyes!  Then...


On Sunday two new teeth showed up!!! I know you can't really see them in the picture, but they're there!

On another note, I have a new favorite snack.  It's basically a spinach banana smoothie.  I've seen this recipe several places and always felt like it was for the truly super nutritious people... like organic everything and nothing processed whatsoever... Well, for some reason today I decided to try it, and it's delicious.  Not just "I'm going to drink this because it's good for me" delicious, but it's actually really good. And really good for you! I just put a frozen banana, two good handfuls of spinach, 1 cup of milk, and a little honey in a blender and this is what came out...


Looks kinda gross, but it was yummy. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter & Some Funny Faces!

We spent Easter with Derek's family. That's one nice thing about being in Louisville... his family is only three hours away in Nashville! We drove down for church and lunch and then came back mid-afternoon. We had a great time celebrating the Resurrection with family!

Derek with Benjamin, Derek's mom, Betsy, with Cousin Luke & Cousin Morgan

Derek & Benjamin - almost 8 months old in this picture!

I got the camera out yesterday to take pictures of Benjamin in his big kid pajamas. You know, not the kind that button around a diaper. He is becoming such a little ham! I swear he was making faces just for the camera! I think he's figuring things out!

This face usually involves a funny noise coming out from between those lips!

"I'm so mad at you!" 

Such a funny face!

And, finally, a little smile.

This one is just to show off the cute pajamas.