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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Greener Grass Conspiracy


Crossway Books asked 100 bloggers to review Stephen Altrogge's new book, entitled "The Greener Grass Conspiracy".  I am one of the chosen!

Stephen is a blogger over at The Blazing Center.  I've always found his blog very encouraging and a lot of times very funny.  I follow him on Twitter and he always makes me laugh.   He is also a pastor and a singer/songwriter for Sovereign Grace Music.

Stephen's writing is very engaging and easy going.  This book was a joy to read not only because it had humor but it was also very practical.  Throughout the book there were examples of what to do if you are not content in your circumstances.  

I liked his definition of contentment:  a disposition of the heart that freely and joyfully submits to God's will, whatever that may be.  It really comes down to a heart issue.  In the chapter, 'I Worship My Television", he has a section called You Might Be An Idolater If... with examples of the way we might be thinking wrongly about our circumstances.  He says later in the chapter, "We take action by repenting of idols and turning away from them.  To repent is to change both your thinking and your behavior.  Repenting of idol worship takes different forms depending on the idol."  He then goes on to give examples of how to change our thinking and behavior.  

This book is filled with practical ideas to deal with our heart.  Each chapter ends with Stop-Think-Do questions that reinforce the chapter and dig deeper in a more personal way.  It would be good for a discipleship study with another.

Statements like this will cause you to examine your heart closely:  "When we complain, we're loudly saying that the blessings of the gospel aren't enough.  We're saying that the death of Christ isn't enough.  We're saying that eternal fellowship with God, purchased at great cost to God, isn't enough to satisfy our souls" and it continues like that for the rest of the paragraph.  

If you are struggling with contentment, then I urge you to pick up this book.  It's a Scripture-filled guide to helping you set your eyes and thoughts on Jesus.  Convicting but full of practical ideas and examples to encourage you on that journey toward our final home.  As Stephen says near the end of the book, "If we're going to escape the Green Grass Conspiracy, we must keep our eyes fixed on heaven".  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Lives!!


I serve a risen Savior, he's in the world today;
I know that he is living whatever men may say;
I see his hand of mercy; I hear his voice of cheer,
And just the time I need him, he's always near.

Chorus:
He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask my how I know he lives?
He lives within my heart.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing.
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the king!
The hope of all who seek him,
The help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Graduation


I've been working on invitations for Julianne's graduation party to be included in her announcements.  It's getting closer.

We had a photo shoot the other day and now I'm waiting to get them back from the photographer so I can include them also.  Here's a preview:



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hebrews 4:12


The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.-- A. W. Tozer


Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart! --Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Here, then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy. --R. C. Sproul



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where Have I Been?

I feel like it has been a long time since I've blogged and I think I'm out of practice!  The next few months are going to be busy but I hope to do a better job of keeping everyone updated.

Here it is April 19 and the month is half over.  Spring has finally come to Central Virginia and everything is green!   Including all the pollen coating my car!  Whenever I'm heading out, I have to rinse off my car.

Julianne and Michael are just getting over bad colds.  I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the pollen.  This year it has been very high and when it's windy out, you can actually see the pollen blowing to create a green haze.  Right now all the oak trees are dropping their pollen pods (I have no idea what they're called) and it makes interesting little tumbleweeds that blow down the street.

This stuff clogs the gutters, clogs the sewer, and is a general nuisance!  And as I mentioned, it rolls down the streets as pollen tumbleweeds when it gets windy.  Thankfully I am not allergic to this but many, many people are suffering right now!
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I started teaching a ladies' Bible study  a month or so ago and we are almost finished.  I have about 10 wonderful ladies that come to church every Wednesday night and we have been learning/studying about problems women face.  We're going through Damsels in Distress: Biblical Solutions for Problems Women Face by Martha Peace.  I read through this with my friend, Trish, a few years ago and this time around I'm learning more.  I recommend any book by Martha Peace.
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Speaking of books, I'm reading Written in Tears by Luke Veldt.  It's a father's journey through Psalm 103 after the sudden death of his 13-year daughter.  Very moving but yet very practical also.
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Julianne's graduation is about one month away....May 21st.  I received the announcements and am now in the process of sending them out.  One snag, though.....a few months ago I deleted all my contact information on my Palm and it was deleted on the back up also.  Every name, address and phone number---gone.  Trying to reconstruct all this information has been a challenge.  To that end, I bought a *real* address book and am using that.  Sometimes technology is not so great!
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Michael and I (along with another family) were officially installed as Deacon and Deaconess at our church.  What a privilege it is to serve the body of Christ in this way!!
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I think that's about all that is going on right now.  Have a blessed day!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Still Here....

I'm still here but have been very busy lately.  I promise to post soon!!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Third Day Concert/Fairfax, VA

Trish and I at the official meet and greet.  The concert was wonderful !!