Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A City No Longer Forsaken

by Jamie Barnes

How can we stay silent
When the noise of praise has gone?
Our tongues can’t dare keep quiet
Til His Righteousness shines like the dawn
How can we grow tired
When his return is nigh?
The skyline will burn bright again
Like a diadem on the crown of Christ

A brand new name,
Straight from the mouth of God,
The orphaned ones now take
Through the waning years He preserves His own
In a City No Longer forsaken

How can we not clear the way
With such open grace ?
How can we withhold our prayers
To the God who spares all who His seek His face?

A brand new land
Tilled by his tender hand
the thorns and thistles break
From the desert sand the harvest comes
In a city no longer forsaken

Unbend the road, the Savior rides!
Send up the signal high
Over the gravel waste, His highway runs
In a city no longer forsaken
Every door will be stained with Salvation’s name
In a City no Longer Forsaken

CCLI Song #5918948
CCLI License #1888971

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rock of Ages

Text: Augusts M. Toplady,
Music: Thomas Hasting, Brooks Ritter

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfill thy law's commands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to thee for dress;
Helpless, look to thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Really Moving

After the roller coaster weekend we received the Real green light and will be hopefully moving in tomorrow! It has been quite a long adventure. At this point it almost does not seem real. But it is. What a blessing and our God has seen us through it all.

Blessings I can remember from the weekend
81. Homeschool material arrived!
82. Many people praying for and encouraging us
83. Great first service in our new church building at St. Vincent's cathedral
84. Wonderful Biblical teaching
85. Getting the green light to move
86. Celebrating life at a friends 1st birthday party
87. Meeting new brothers and sisters
88. Jen coming to help move many boxes
89. Getting a decent amount moved over to the house today
90. Watching the boys play together at the playground
91. Jamey helping Lillian with a puzzle
92. 3 Kids napping at the same time today
93. Becca cleaning some of the apartment today
94. Life in Christ
95. Several big kisses from Reuben
96. Lillian wanting to snuggle with me before bed
97. Becca brushing my hair
98. A God who cares about all of me and can relate to me
99. Double Bonus at work
100. Ice Cream and pizza rolls 

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I made a brief mention of my couponing conquests a few days ago. It's been awhile since I sought out the coupon deals as it has been a crazy season with little ones, being pregnant and preparing to move. But we were in need of a couple things that I can usually get less than a dollar and sometimes free. So last week I began again, looking for deals on the things we needed and anything else that might give me a good return of money. I succeeded and it payed off quite well this week.

I will work backward as Rite Aid was where I spent the most money.
At Rite Aide I spent $15.06 but I received $22 in Up Rewards.
At Target with all of my coupons I only spent $1.30. They do not have a rewards program so I got nothing back, but I did save $16.44.
CVS I felt like I robbed the store. With all my coupons and a gift card I spent no money, I had $1.23 left on my gift card and received $13.

It has been awhile since I had days like that, but it was nice! Such a blessing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dealing with Disappointment

So we are not getting to move this weekend. The inspection that was scheduled to be done on Wednesday still has not happened. This is sad and disappointing. This house process feels like it has been going on forever and a day. But the one thing God is reiterating to me over and over is that He is in control and that even this house is in His hands. It is a gift from Him to even be given the responsibility to own a home. So we count it all joy and learn how to keep going in the midst of frustrations. It has been such a helpful reminder to remember what all Jesus suffered for me when little things like this get me upset. It's all perspective. God uses all things to bring Him glory and for my good. He will do/allow what it takes to make us more like His Son, Jesus Christ, even if it makes us uncomfortable or brings pain. This is good.

Current Blessings
66. When saying bedtime prayers Jamey starts, "Thank You, God, for Jesus"
67. Lillian also prayed tonight quoting from one of her favorite books, "Thank You, God, for our neighbors who always say 'hi'"
68. Many friends who stepped up to help us out tomorrow
69. SWI classes started back last night
70. Talking with a kindred spirit about writing and self-publishing
71. Jim getting off work at 7pm tonight
72. Getting most of what we own in boxes
73. The Lord is still working on me
74. Reuben holding my hand when blessing the food before eating a couple times
75. Getting to journal today
76. Have not packed our Wii
77. Still have internet and bunny ears
78. A good fiction book to read with a few moments to read it
79. Ice cream
80. Homeschool Material is on its way!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Busy Busy

It has been a crazy couple of days as we anticipate moving this week. This afternoon we were told we should be able to move into our house this weekend! We have packed a lot and pack more all the time. It is exciting that our limbo will be ending soon!

Blessings from the last few days (that I can remember)
49. Yesterday before nap Reuben gave me a big 30 second hug
50. Getting a move forward confirmation!
51. Many people willing to help us
52. Sitting with Jamey and Lillian with all of us "reading" our Bibles
53. Dark Chocolate ice cream
54. Chocolate chip cookies
55. An evening with a friend I have not been able to spend much time with in our complex
56. Village Manor Recess
57. Meeting people who can give insight
58. Sleeping until 7! (2 days in a row)
59. Learning to hear the Lord's voice
60. Being reminded that I am accepted and loved by the King of the universe
61. Fun colored nail polish
62. Spending about $18 at 3 stores and getting more than that back!!!!! (Go coupons)
63. Leaving one store without having to pay anything!
64. People who encourage me in what the Lord is doing in my life
65. Getting to spend some time with Jim

Sunday, August 19, 2012


This morning at church we talked about hospitality and what that looks like for Christians. It was so encouraging to me! I want to be hospitable, I really do. But I had such a mixed up idea of what hospitality looked like. I had this idea of grand dinners with dessert and coffee, perfectly neat house with lots of space and everything going "just right". But as I was reminded today, this is "entertaining" not practicing hospitality. Hospitality is creating a safe place where others are welcomed or making room. The literal translation from Greek means "welcoming strangers". This means that ANYONE can do it. Whether a poor college student or a billionaire, a Christian can show hospitality.
The other aspect that hit me today is that hospitality is about pursuing people not just waiting for people to come to you. I would tell people come by anytime. I meant it and still mean it, but that's not usually what gets people into your home. As a Christian God has lovingly pursued me and called me into relationship with Him. I then am to lovingly pursue others and draw them into relationship. I am still learning how to do this, but by the grace of God I will learn how to have a revolving door home.

Today's Blessings
42. God has pursued me and called me to Himself
43. Realizing that I don't have to be a perfect homemaker to be hospitable
44. Spending the evening with family and friends
45. Watching Jim let go and have fun with the kids
46. Seeing Asmaa and Sarah
47. Meeting a woman from Russia
48. Getting a decent amount of the kitchen packed

The Living Spirit

Today as I read about the instructions given to the Israelites about making things for the temple, I began to think on the Holy Spirit. God gave very elaborate details for building the Temple and those things in it where His Holy Spirit would dwell. Then the Spirit of God dwelt among the people. But since Jesus returned to to the Father after completing the work of salvation, the Holy Spirit now dwells in His people. What an amazing and wonderful thing. We can connect with God because His Spirit lives in us! This is awe inspiring and humbling. Why would the God who created the universe choose to live in a wretched human like me? I don't know, but I am so glad that He did. I am so blessed to be loved, accepted and adopted by the God of the universe!

21. God loves me and accepted me and adopted me into His Family!
22. Jim got more bonus time!
23. Jamey and Lillian asking to read the Bible
24. Reuben's giggling
25. The house is almost done!
26. Watching Reuben roll on the carpet at the house and relish in it
27. All 3 kids playing together
28. Ice Cream!!!!!
29. Jamey excited to learn Greek
30. Good deals at 3 different stores
31. The Truth and Freedom of the Gospel
32. Good Camera to take pictures
33. Video camera to capture fun moments
34. Sweet tea
35. The work of the Holy Spirit in Jim and me
36. Learning to see evidences of grace
37. Girls afternoon together
38. Lillian lighting up when she gets to shop like a big girl
39. Getting to teach what God is teaching me
40. Friends who can speak truth into your life
41. Seeing Sojourn featured on the evening news and Jonah being interviewed about Sojourn

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today's Blessings

11. The house is almost done! Counter tops delivered today
12. Appraisal scheduled
13. I was given time to spend time with the Lord and journal this afternoon
14. Free Chick-fil-A meal!
15. Jim is getting bonus time tonight
16. Sister talk time
17. Jamey asking me to read the Bible and wanting to "read it on his own"
18. Snuggling with Lillian
19. A few minutes to write a couple of pages of my story
20. Reuben communicating with me along with his smiles and giggles

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Everyday Blessings

I have heard many people talk about the books "1000 Gifts" but have never read it myself. This past weekend I have really been hit by the Holy Spirit about having an ungrateful heart even when I do not grumble with my mouth. So I am seeking to have the Holy Spirit give me a heart of gratitude for the little gifts that God gives me throughout the day. I began my mental list yesterday and will share some of what I can remember in hopes of encouraging others and a practice in being thankful "out loud". I hope to get to 1000 before the end of the year and can begin another list for 2013.

1. All 3 kids napped at the same time yesterday for 4 hours!
2. God gave me quiet time
3. I was able to work on some projects that needed to be worked on
4. Jim had 2 evenings off in a row
5. I was not pulled over when I inadvertently ran a red light in front of a cop trying to drive downtown
6. Meeting with Dawn and having a friend who wants to see us grow in the Lord
7. Our appliances were finally delivered
8. Watching all 3 kids play together for 10 minutes and laughing
9. Listening to Jamey and Lillian say Bible verses and Biblical truth
10. Kids slept past 7am this morning!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Biblical Greek

After a lot of discussion about the best way for Jim to do classes this year we decided he would do a modular course for Biblical Greek (online with a couple sessions on campus). After watching the first lesson with Jim I am so glad we decided to do it this way. Anyone who knows me knows that the one thing I really want to study at seminary is Biblical languages. I love languages and wish I could speak them all. I am also grateful for the ability to learn and pick up on most languages pretty easily. Greek seems to not be an exception. Almost immediately I have been able to read some of the words I have looked at while cutting up flash cards for Jim. I am excited to learn more along side of him. The best part has been listening to Jamey. He knows and sings the Greek alphabet song! It's so cute and he is still learning how to pronounce it correctly, but he knows it. This will be so much fun learning Biblical Greek as a family.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sovereignty and Suffering Part 2

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:8-11

"The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:16-18

Paul talked a lot about suffering and he knew a lot about it. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul gives a list of the ways he had suffered here on the earth. But even with all that he endured, Paul knew that the sufferings of this world were nothing compared to the glory that awaited for him in Christ when he joined the Lord in Heaven. 

"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake." Philippians 1:29

He also recognized that if we are in Christ that we will also suffer as Christ suffered for us. Jesus loved us so much that He suffered the most horrific death ever produced. He endured mocking, beating, and ultimately an agonizing death by hanging on a cross nailed by His hands and feet. Not only that He took the shame of being completely exposed and suffered the weight of the sins of the world on Him as He died. Jesus suffered the death we deserved because we have offended a Holy God.

Knowing how much Jesus suffered for us, how can we not expect suffering in this world? Jesus told us that if we followed Him that we would be hated and deal with persecution.

"You will be hated by all for my name's sake." Luke 21:17

This is repeated in Matthew and Mark. It is said before this that we would be given over by parents, brothers, relatives and friends. People we love and trust will turn against us because of our beliefs. That is suffering for the sake of Christ. If we truly desire to have a life after Christ, we will endure suffering of all kinds for His sake and the Glory of the Lord.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sovereignty and Suffering

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's lovehas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

No one likes to suffer because no one likes pain of any kind. Honestly who really wants to suffer? I think it is easy to believe as Christians that we should not face suffering of any kind because we are saved. But the reality is even though we are saved we still live in a fallen world with fallen people and in bodies that are still riddled with the effects of sin. These verses in Romans I have recently learned thanks to a CD of Bible verses and they have both comforted me and allowed me to encourage others.

God allows suffering in our life to make us more like Jesus. This is called sanctification. Because God loves us so much He does not leave His children where they are. Instead He teaches us and guides us through life and circumstances He both puts and allows in our lives. Some circumstances are extremely painful and very difficult to bear, but like everything God does in His children's lives, they are to draw us to Himself, realizing we need Him and we need a Savior. We cannot make it in this world alone; we were not made to go through life alone. God designed us for a need to Him and suffering shows us that need and the hope that we have through a life with Jesus Christ. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Becca is Here!

For about 9 months we have been talking about Becca moving up here with us, and it has finally come. Ready to take classes and learn she has such a wonderful attitude about it. We know it will be an adjustment for all, but we are all looking forward to her being with us for about 2 years. It is such a blessing.

Lord willing we will be moving into our house in about 3 weeks. What a wonderful time. :)