Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Unconfessed Sin

I was recently listening to a radio program that was dealing with the topic of unconfessed sin. Specifically, what would happen to a believer who died with unconfessed sin. They did a sort of man on the street interview of folks at a Christian conference, and I found the answers they received very difficult to listen to.

The answers ranged from...that person would go to, only God can answer that, but I would be concerned for their isn't really as mean as we might think he is, so he probably looks on the heart and that person's actions.

What the heck? I thought, who makes this crap up? I listened, horrified, waiting for someone...anyone to claim Christ's blood as being sufficient to cover all sins, past, present and future. Only one dude went there.

Not only was that disturbing, but I thought it mostly ironic that people thought God looking on our hearts was a good thing. Heavens, my heart is more sinful than even I know, I don't want my heart to be the judge of my eternal destination!

I spent this morning reading through scripture after scripture that points to our justification in Christ as being final and eternal. As believers we are holy. Christ's blood has covered us, and when God looks upon us he sees Christ. It was wonderful to remember that I can be assured of my salvation through Christ.

I thought about listing out the passages that I was in this morning, and I can...Romans 4, 5, 8; Ephesians 1, 2; Colossians 1, 2; Titus 3; Psalm 32, and others.

Of course this afternoon I also went to my favorite past time read- the Heidelberg Catechism- I love this little book! Question 56 asks "What do you believe concerning 'the forgiveness of sins'?" Answer:
I believe that God, because of Christ's atonement, will never hold against me any of my sins nor my sinful nature which I need to struggle against all my life. Rather, in his grace God grants me the righteousness of Christ to free me forever from judgement. Psalm 103.3-4, 10, 12; Micah 7.18-19, II Corinthians 5.18-21; I John 1.7, 2.2; Romans 7.21-25; JOhn 3.17-18 and Romans 8.1-2

I also opened the Westminster Confession and read Chapter 17:
1. Those whom God has accepted in his beloved Son, called to faith and sanctified by his Holy Spirit, can neither totally nor finally sever themselves from God's gracious love. The gift of faith endures to the end of life, eternally saving the believer. Philippians 1.6; II Peter 1.10; John 10.28-29; I John 3.9; I Peter 1.5, 9
2. The saints' endurance of faith does not depend on their decisions, but on the unchangeable character of God's purpose of election. The Father's sustaining grace flows from his free and unchangeable love. II Timothy 2.18-19; Jeremiah 31.3

OK, stop freaking out about this being a license to sin, and just revel in the love, grace and mercy that has been imparted to believers. How beautiful. I am so thankful that I can rest in this certainty and not in the goodness of my own merit and heart.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Jack Franklin

I am an Aunt...again! Dan and his wife, Karina, welcomed little Jack into the world last Thursday. He weighed in at 7 lbs. 12 oz. and 19.5 inches long. Jack is affectionately named after Jack Bauer of the TV series 24. Dan thinks it is weird that I bring this fact up a lot...but hey, being names after a character on TV is worthy of a note. Don't worry, his middle name isn't really Bauer, but Timothy, which was a great choice in my opinion. Not that anyone cares about my opinion in naming their child. Twice I have offered my name to be used as a middle name, but Dan and Karina hold to their own ideas about naming. I figured if Jack was named after Jack Bauer, why not have his middle name be Ami. Then we could say Jack was named after the guy from Miami Ink, and his crazy Aunt.

Ah well, I can't complain too much because we certainly don't let anyone weigh in on the naming of our babies. I figure once they are born no one can complain about the name to my face. I was sure that Hadleigh was an odd enough name that we would get comments...but now that is her name and everyone must just whisper behind my back. Mom has given it a valiant try in guessing the name of our next little girl. But she has failed is hard to jump into the inner workings of my mind...and don't even think about trying to figure out Dave!

So, there you have it folks. I am now an Aunt to 5 boys. I am counting on Chris and Rubie to produce a neice for me in the next 10 years. Maybe one of these days I will be able to meet my nephews and nieces before they are 2 years old, but as Dave's sister seems to be out of the baby stage (since her oldest just graduated from high school), and my brothers live 3,000 miles away, we'll just be content to meet them whenever that time comes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One Year Ago

I was going to post a different picture and then I found this one, taken a year ago today. Dave was in the states interviewing and Hadleigh Claire and I stayed in Germany. We sent him this picture to remind him we were thinking about him. She was 5 months old.
It was this week one year ago that we realized we would be moving back to Atlanta, instead of taking a job in crazy Michigan.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pink Undies and The END

Come on, you know that you have always wanted to wear your mother's pink maternity underwear around your neck!

I am not exactly sure why, but Hadleigh Claire LOVES to find my underwear, clean or dirty, and put it over her head. This pair happened to be clean, so we let her run around for a while like this. It just really makes me laugh. This morning I found her with a pair of Dave's boxers around her neck, so apparently she is just partial to undies, not necessarily womens.

On a slightly different note I have been thinking about a recent topic of teaching at our Sunday fellowship. The last couple weeks were on Thessalonians and the "End Times". The thing about this subject that I find mildly amusing is that there is just a LOT that we can't know. I mean literally we can't know. But apparently there are a lot of folks out there who really want to know.

Now, I am a definitely a person that likes to know things, but I also like to know things that I think are at least somewhat know-able. For example I feel very happy and content in the Reformed camp. There are definitely some Reformed freaks out there, just like all the other freaks, but I still feel that through scripture I am confidant of God's sovereingty in my salvation and sanctification.

However I feel like the whole end times thing is sometimes a joke. I felt very relieved when the teacher basically said "I don't know" through the whole last class. I felt like that was honest and true...We looked at the four major views and pros and cons about each and then were left with our own study to figure out if we want to claim a camp. For me, I don't want to claim a camp, but I like making fun of the different ones.

This morning I heard an advertisement on the radio for the end went something like...Matthew 24 says in the end there will be wars and rumors of war...Iran is threatening to wipe out Israel and Russia is helping the end must be near.

I chuckled...who makes this crap up? When in history has there not been wars or rumors of wars? When have there not been natural disasters? Good heavens...

Anyway, I feel very content to just know that I have NO idea how things are going to shake out, but I know that Christ's return is imminent, and however it works out I know that it at least will not be a surprise to the Lord.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Playgroup Implodes

I do not even know if implodes is the right word, but it just sounds so cool so I had to use it!

I have been looking forward to the fall for a million different reasons. The fall is the most wonderful season. My birthday is in the fall. My anniversary is in the fall. My second daughter will be born in the fall. It is a nice feeling to get past the middle of September and to be able to walk outside and not be instantly out of breath because of the heat and humidity. Our first summer back in Hotlanta sure has been one to remember. I swear I cannot be outside unless I am in the pool. Even walking from my door to the car gets me out of breath.

So, besides leaving the humidity behind I have been looking forward to life becoming a bit more scheduled again. This morning I signed up for a morning Bible Studay and I am all excited because there was a new study added at the last minute, and it is a study of Deuteronomy. Yes! Studies that just go through a book (as opposed to studying a book of the Bible) sometimes make me weary. So I am totally pumped about the new study that will start in just a couple weeks.

Last week I was able to register Hadleigh for a morning class one day a week. I am so thrilled about that, and think that it will be helpful once the little one comes especially. In the mean time I am planning on using my first morning free to get my hair cut!

So, about the playgroup...the class that I wanted to sign Hadleigh up for was on the same day as the playgroup. I thought if folks did not mind switching days we could swap and that would work out well for us. I thought I had heard from everyone and all was well with the switch. Alas, I was mistaken.

We will see what happens...I might be able to round-up a couple lost souls who have no group. Or we might jump in and take a quick class before the little one comes. Who knows.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On the Linoleum

So I had mentioned before my insane battle with our linoleum floors. I have a little update and much coveted information for others in the same boat.

Dave found a little steamer on sale and that baby works wonders on the linoleum. It takes some time, but it is easier than scrubbing with cascade!

The other day I picked up an OrangeGlo mop set for the hardwood floors, and that mop is awesome! It has one of those edges that is full of ridges so that it can hold the cloth mop head. You just take off the cloth mop head and rinse out and then put it back on. Super easy. I have found that my favorite Kitchen cleaner...Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner (citrus scent) works wonders on the dirt. Spray it on, let it sit for a minute and then use the OrangeGlo mop. Sweet sassy!!! Almost as pretty as when I scrub the floor on my hands and knees.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum

So we went up to Knox this past weekend to visit Dave's fam. I am guessing that will be our last trip up there before the little one comes...insanity!

Saturday night I got a real treat, I went to the movie theatre and we saw the "Bourne Ultimatum". It was a very fun movie, but it was also just a major treat to be at the movies! The last movie I saw in a theatre was the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, which was almost 1.5 years ago! And the last time I was in an American movie theatre was over 3.5 years ago. Dave has gone to see several movies since we have been back...he doesn't mind going to see a movie by himself...weird.

OK, so here was a weird thing that happened. We went to the concession stand and Dave asked about their combo specials. He ordered 2 medium drinks and a large popcorn and asked for one of the drinks to be water. The lady was like "oh, we can give you the water in a cup". And then I realized that meant we were going to be paying $3.30 for a cup of tap I said I wanted the bottled water, but apparently they can't give bottled water with that combo meal...hmm...that didn't make any sense to me. The bottled water was listed at $3 (ok, I know ridiculous), and the medium drinks were listed at $3.30. What part of this makes sense?

There was one other very confusing conversation surrounding water and finally Dave just ordered a large drink and popcorn and after he drank his coke offered to get me water from the water fountain. I ended up not needing a drink, so it was all well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

17 Months

Miss Hadleigh Claire was 17 months old on Tuesday.

Her major accomplishments include:
walking, which she now does more than crawling
feeding herself, which she is becoming pretty good at
knowing where her belly button, head, eyes and ears are
recognizing and naming anything that moves other than a car...helicopter, planes, trucks...
putting away her toys, sometimes
dropping her morning nap and sleeping 14 hours at night
making new animal noises, recently adding bees, lizards, cats, and horses to her resume
getting stung by a bee and not crying at all
traveling down the CA coast
putting her feet in the Pacific Ocean
having somewhat regular fits when she doesn't get her way

She is a funny, funny girl and we love her more all the time. She is still super loving and will often give kisses on the cheek without any prompting. When we were at the doctor's office yesterday she crawled up in my lap and gave me multiple kisses...she likes it when I keep turning a different cheek to her. It was super sweet.

She LOVES her belly button. She will pick up her shirt and say "baby" which is her word for belloy button. When she finds it with her finger, she pushes her finger inside her BB and then sucks in her gut. I also have taught her the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and she thinks this song is hilarious. She always giggles and grabs her head when I start singing it.

Just this week she has started saying "wow". She makes her mouth into an oval shape when she does hilarious!
HC and Nana Patti with the elephant seals
HC and Dan at Berringer Estate
HC and Emma Stoddard
HC in the pool

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Reformission

I have a new fav person and his name is Mark Driscoll, he wrote the book that I am currently reading, "The Radical Reformission". My first plug is that he is pretty funny, and so as I am reading along I am always giggling about something he has written. My second plug is that his book seems to be entirely about the gospel, and so it is challenging and music to my ears.

The main premise of the book is that the church needs to have three things in focus...gospel, church and culture, or...a love for the Lord, a love for our neighbors, and a love for other believers. You take any of those out of the equation and you get liberalism, fundamentalism, or parachurch.

Another thing I like about it is, it seems to be a call to be relevant to the culture without ditching church.

Here is a quote that I have been pondering these past couple of days.

...reformission requires that Christians and their churches move forward on their knees, continually confessing their addictions to morality and the appearance of godliness, which does not penetrate the heart and transform lives...I learned that God's mission is not to create a team of moral and decent people, but rather to create a movement of holy loving missionaries who are comfortable and truthful around lost sinners and who, in this way, look more like Jesus than most of his pastors do.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Today again, I was so thankful for our church, Intown. I think that both Dave and I still feel a little bit in awe whenever we attend worship. There are definitely things that I miss about being able to worship at the chapel in Baumholder, but to me one of the greatest blessings about being back is worshiping at Intown.

I know that I have mentioned this before, but Stuart Townend is alive! When I first heard the hymn he wrote, "How Deep the Father's Love" I just assumed that the dude must be dead. But he isn't dead, so that means more good songs to come, hopefully! Amazingly I was first introduced to his song "In Christ Alone" while we were in Germany. It is somewhat ironic because we usually sang "contemporary" songs (aka. songs from the 1980s), but somehow, I think it was Lisa Dykstra's doing that we occassionally sang this song. Thank you, Lisa!

Every night as I put Hadleigh to bed I sing her either "In Christ Alone" or "How Deep the Father's Love". She loves it, and even often times when I sing to her I feel moved to tears as I repeat the words and also pray that the Lord would stir in her heart and that she would one day understand them.

This morning we sang a new song to me, and I think that I need to quickly memorize it so I can add it to my nightly song fest with Hadleigh. I sang it to her tonight, but had to use my bulletin to remember it all. She seemed a little confused that I was singing a different song, but seemed to enjoy it anyway.

Our confession of sin this morning was piercing as well. I just love having a confession of sin and time to reflect on who I am and who God is.

Almighty and most merciful Father, we are thankful that your mercy is higher than the heavens, wider than our wanderings, deeper than all our sins. Forgive our careless attitudes toward your purposes, our refusal to relieve the suffering of others, our envy of those who have more than we have, our obsession with creating a life of constant pleasure, our indifference to the treasures of heaven, our neglect of your wise and gracious law. Help us to change our way of life so that we may desire what is good, love what you love, and do what you command, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And the Assurance of Pardon was from Colossians 1.13 "For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us in to the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have reemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Finally, here is song we sang this morning..."The Power of the Cross"...
Oh to see the dawn of the darkest day. Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men, torn and beaten then nailed to a cross of wood.
This the pow'r of the cross. Christ became sin for us.
Took the blame, bore the wrath. We stand forgiven at the cross.
Oh to see the pain written on Your face, bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev'ry bitter thought, ev'ry evil deed crowning Your bloodstained brow.
This the pow'r of the cross. Christ became sin for us.
Took the blame, bore the wrath. We stand forgiven at the cross.
Now the daylight flees, How the ground beneath quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two, dead are raised to life. "Finished!" the vict'ry cry.
This the pow'r of the cross. Christ became sin for us.
Took the blame, bore the wrath. We stand forgiven at the cross.
Oh to see my name written in the wounds, for through Your suff'ring I am free.
Death is crushed to death, life is mine to live won through Your selfless love!
This the pow'r of the cross Son of God slain for us.
What a life, what a cost. We stand forgiven at the cross.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sometimes It is Just So Clear

A lot of the time life seems like a muddle. We aren't really sure where to go, when to go, how to go, and with whom. Sometimes it just all seems like a big guessing game. It is just amazing that anything gets done!

And then there are those rare occasions in life when all is clear and you see the road in front of you and you begin to walk on it. Of course the road never looks exactly like what it looked like on that first day, but that is another story.

Today I am thankful for the things that are clear. It is clear that we will soon have another little girl to love. It is clear that we are to live in our cute, little, wonderful, green free house. It is clear that we are to host a community group.

The above picture is Hadleigh Claire reading one of her favorite books. Reading is such a wonderful pleasure and I am thankful that Hadleigh enjoys it so much. She loves to read to herself, and she loves us to read to her.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pile of Wrath

I don't think that I have mentioned it before, but Dave and I started hosting a Community Group, basically Intown's small group Bible study. We are glad to be back in the swing of things like this, and it has been fun to get to know the folks who attend the group.

The only real downfall is that on Wednesday nights I really count on Dave being home from work early to help and sometimes that just doesn't happen. It seems to be harder and harder to get things done with Hadleigh Claire around. It seems that I have to sacrifice one mess for another. For example I folded clothes while she pulled clothes out of Dave's dresser...what do you least she was happy.

So, for the first Wednesday of every month the group skips studying John and we have a potluck dinner and read and discuss an article.

Last night we introduced them to "Pile of Food". This is a McNay tradition, and we had the privilige of introducing Baumholder to "Pile of Food" and now it is Atlanta's turn. Pile of Food is basically maybe what the normal person might call taco salad...but it is with a twist. According to Dave, growing up they would just pull out all the contents of the fridge and cupboards and load whatever they wanted onto their plates. AND they always topped it off with coconut and walnuts. There is no Pile of Food without coconut and walnuts. Also the main foundation is fritos. So last night everyone brought something to pass and we had a fabulous Pile of Food feast! Dave managed even to talk some of the gals into trying it with coconut, and those who did enjoyed it!

OK, so onto the wrath part. Dave picked out an article by John Piper that was called
God’s Deliverance from God Is the Foundation of God’s Deliverance from Satan
How the Cross of Christ Corresponds to and Conquers Satan’s Work
I know that it is a ridiculously long title, which kind of reminds me of how Jonathan Edwards titles things. The article of course was good, and piggybacked on what Matt Christian preached about on Sunday. It reminded me of what one of my little Baumholder friends said once. It was one of the Money girls, either Katie or Rachel. One of the Chaplains was asking them questions about their faith and the Bible before they took their first communion. I think the question was something like "What are you saved from?" And she answered, "God saved us from Himself and saved us for Himself." I thought it was fascinating then and I think it is fascinating now...I am not saved from hell, I am saved from the wrath of God.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It's the Veggie Sticks