February 27, 2011

Idolatry

The Israelites worshiped a golden calf in the desert, this was a more blatant form of idolatry, with an actual idol to see, feel and bow before.
"Idolatry is not the by-product of forgetting God; it is the means by which we forget Him.... All existential forgetfulness [i.e. forgetting God] begins with suppression, builds on the energy of idolatry, and binds us to an illusion that both numbs the heart to what is missing and blinds us even to our forgetfulness." - Allender (emphasis added)
We remember the Ten Commandments, specifically the First and Second commandments, which read:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." - Exodus 20:3-6
We are to take this grouping of verses as a whole commandment, (consisting of two parts) - Worship only the ONE true and living God, and serve Him in such a manner as to bring blessings upon the future generations.  Sadly, due to the Fall of man (see Gen. 3), our hearts are, in the words of John Calvin, idol factories : “The human heart is a factory of idols…Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, expert in inventing idols.”

A convicting related verse is 1 John 5:21: "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols." I know that in my own life I struggle with idolatry.  Realizing that has helped me to consider what I am investing my time, and energy in.  If the activity does not bring Glory to God's name, I should not be engaged in it.  Whatever I am doing must be conducted in such a worshipful manner as to leave no doubt in my mind, and in the minds of those observing my conduct, whom I worship.

My aim, with Christ's aid, is to worship and serve Christ alone!

February 24, 2011

Tenth Avenue North

When I first heard their song "Healing Begins" last year, I was blown away by the sound of the band, but more importantly, by the depth of their lyrics. 

Since then I have come to love several of their songs including:
~You are More
~Strong Enough to Save
~Hold my Heart
~By Your Side

Their music is kinda "punk-rock" but with big acoustic guitar sections.  And I am not saying that this style is necessarily good, but I do think bands like Tenth Avenue North and Casting Crowns have touched a nerve with my generation - their songs have substance!

The lyrics are based upon good theology, and not on some cheesy or self-centered "gospel" message which only ensnares and enslaves.  Deep.  That is a word I like to use when describing their music.  There is a certain depth to what they are singing about. And they are willing to discuss topics that are "untouchable" to so many other bands.

And did I mention that their videos aren't all about them?  They have a great YouTube channel full of updates, and vlogs on their songs, but it's not "me" focused.  I admire that.  Here is one of my favorite examples of this.

Enjoy the music!

Quote

"The cross we carry is never so heavy as the chains from which we were freed." -J.A. Lacy

February 16, 2011

Musika~



J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 Allegro Moderato

February 8, 2011

Let's Blow out the Candles!



Smiley baby
Cheesy smile
Can't believe that she's grown up so quickly.  And into such a beautiful, godly young lady.

Her birthday ice-cream sandwich :)

She is:

~Caring.  Compassionate.  Careful.
~Loving.  Loyal.  Long-suffering.
~Soft-hearted.  Sweet.  Sympathetic.
~Vavacious.  Virtuous. Vibrant.
~Brilliant.  Beaming.  Busy.
~Talkative.  Tender.  Tall.
~Artistic.  Attentive.  Affable.

Self-portrait
Johanna is simply... a wonderful gift from God.  I am thankful that in His providence He ordained for our family to have another little girl.

Playing dress-up with Jaden 





Pretty in red
With Phoebe & Hannah
With Madeline
She's my 'baby sister' who isn't little anymore.   In fact, she's about an inch shorter than me, and growing like a weed. :)  And as she grows each day, not only physically but spiritually, I am amazed at the work God is doing in her life and heart.  How He is constantly showing her the way she should go, and establishing her in that way.

On vacation at the Creation Museum
 sweet little girls
With Jaden
Roly-poly observers
Family photo
PDA - Public display of affection ;)
Colorado
Johanna & Janice
Mirror image
Web-cam
With Logan
I love you Johanna!  

Happy Birthday to you and many, many happy returns!

February 4, 2011

And now for some snow

And so while we slept early this morning, a flurry of snow fell from a orange sky and we awoke to a spectacular winter-wonderland.

Snowy lawn tractor
Trees are covered in white-stuff

A snow covered cross

Snow drifts

The cutest little birdy 
It has a red head

Yellow-green tail feathers

It was eating little worms in the bark

It kept flapping around and flitting near the tree




Phoebe was freezing because she fell in the snow

The tops of the shrubs

It's deep

Up close

Down near the bottom

Side-way
There's several inches of snow on the ground and it looks so nice out.  Phoebe and I tramped around in the snow with our boots on, slipping on the ice underneath. 

February 3, 2011

Frozen

On the first day of February, a frigid ice-storm from Canada directed its nastiness towards the residents of mid-western and southern states, dumping several inches of snow and ice in its wake.  Here in north Texas, ice layers the ground, and freezes the air.

The frozen gardens
Currently, it feels like 6 F. and that's windchill only.  In real degrees it's about 16 F. 

Frozen ground
Some people are using the phrase "super storm 2011" as if this is going to be the last bad / cold weather we're going to receive this winter!   I kinda doubt if this is the last of the harsh winter weather.  We usually have at least a couple of bad spells in February, and then at least one in March, which is usually a very windy month.

Icy all around
And what's with all of the hype surrounding 2010 being the "hottest year on record, since 1998"?   I think this has been one of the coldest, meanest winters I can remember, and last winter it snowed 5 times.  I mean snowed.

~Me~
Here are some pictures of what it looks like.  I just hope that wherever you are, that you are blessed with warmth and a roof over your heads!  God help and protect those who are homeless and without shelter at this frigid time of year.