Monday, July 30, 2007

Summer Booking

New book reviews from Mr. Butts and myself over at The Booked Blog! Enjoy.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Teacher Site - Recruiting Advice

I had many goals for the summer. Projects, if you will. Some were tackled. Pantry organized - check. Oven cleaned - check. You get the picture. Some are still underway and it is yet to be seen if they will be finished by the start of school. Oh well.

One such project is finding more imporance on my priority list. I wanted to make a class website and nix the old Friday Newsletters required of us by our principal. Besides, she encourages us to use technology. And, Lisa Merryman has a wonderful teacher website. I'm hoping to copy some of her ideas. Thanks, Lisa!

Anyway, I e-mailed The Tim Challies for advice as well as being inspired by Erin's My Symphony and The Cozart/Helwig blogs, so here I go... another wordpress blog. ;)

Here's what I need from you. My future 5A families don't know about the classroom site yet. It's brand spankin' new. I won't unveil it until I have it exactly like I want it with good links, edited welcome post, about the teacher section, my philosophies, etc. If you are bored or love editing, please edit and critique what I have so far. I'm not as computer-savvy as some of you, so those who are you can also give pointers on templates, etc. Teachers, you can help by sending wonderful links that parents of 5th graders would enjoy or find beneficial. It being a Christian school, any good links on parenting or family issues would also be helpful.

Here goes...

It should change a lot in the next few days!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


At Kari's sweet request, I put our Indy pics on facebook. We got a little camera happy.

We had a great time. I don't know where to start, but let's just say we enjoyed it tremendously. Indianapolis is a cool town.

NOTE: If you use Priceline, good for you, but if you get a hotel downtown, be prepared to pay a pretty penny on parking. Don't say we didn't warn you. We actually got it validated, but that's a long story. (If 30 people have a party next to your room, kindly tell the manager. They are usually nice and compensate you. Ha!)

Other than that, it was great. We tried to be cool like our friends with bikes so we rented them for an hour and had a BLAST cruising around town. I think it was the highlight of the trip. We also went to the NCAA Hall of Champions (forgot to tell you that one, Erin), Indiana State (not the college) Museum (surprisingly really cool), Superheroes Museum, Borders, PF Changs, Jimmy Johns, small Italian joint, and hung out around the cool canal. Before we knew our parking would be validated, we were scared to leave our parking spot (they would have added another day on), so we couldn't go to church or drive anywhere, but we had a great time walking everywhere. Made me think I should get out and walk more. Plus, the weather was amazing. This paragraph has tons of parentheses and run-ons. Sorry.

Back in place now and school is in full swing. Well, we're not due back until the 9th of August, but I have work to do to prepare! Still enjoying the last few days of summer though. There you have it, Kari friend. Pics and even a little update. :) We had a wonderful time enjoying the weekend with each other. It was a sweet memory.

A long time ago, my friends Patrick Horner and Mary Row taught me a valuable lesson about recording the "history of God's dealings in your life" so you don't forget like the Israelites. I loved that lesson they both taught and displayed for me. So, I asked Dustin if we could start an anniversary book. We bought a cheapo journal at Borders and started and just recorded a few of the main things from this year. Hope to add to it on each anniversary. I'm kind of sentimental. Who knew? If you don't think it's too cheesy, consider starting something similar no matter what season you are in. Or just journal from time to time. It could be helpful and super encouraging to look at one day down the road, or that's the goal anyway.

Here are a few pics, but you can go here and here for all of them:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Still Profound

I still find the mystery of marriage profound. On Sunday, we will celebrate our first anniversary! I find the following things to be true:

-God not only blessed, as the song goes, but kindly ordained the broken road that led me straight to my dear husband. There are plenty of godly guys in the world, but God so wisely designed my husband to complement me - help sanctify my weaknesses and sins, encourage my insecurities, and walk with me through the joys and trials upon our short pilgrimage here. Even in the issue of personalities, God prepared Dustin to "fit" with me so well. God is so good at orchestrating marriages wisely. He's a God to be trusted!

-I am a selfish sinner and marriage is wonderful, but not at all like the movies. Knowing this beforehand and experiencing it afterwards were two entirely different things. Like any other Christian discipline, self must be killed and grace must reign and Christ must be depended upon and His Word revered and obeyed.

-Communication is oftentimes difficult, but worth it. As the Tripp's new book's title explains, relationships are messes worth making. I love that title.

-Marriage is still profound because it is a strange design that God chooses marriage as a way to put the Gospel on display. As Piper says, and hear this, my single friends, marriage is NOT the point, but it is meant only to point to something. The Gospel.

-Younger women truly do need to be discipled, shown and taught by older women (old may mean season, not just age) how to love their husbands and children, manage their homes, etc. It doesn't just come naturally. God made us to need that training process. The Lord has given me excellent examples, both in TX and KY. If you don't have that, find it, seek it, pray for it.

Many other lessons come to mind, but how I thank the Lord for my husband. It's incredible to watch him grow in Christ and love for our family, the church, the Word, the lost, etc. And to see God use him to humble and grow me. We have so much fun together and laugh until we cry, we enjoy each other, but we do not have a "perfect" marriage. There is no such thing. We are blessed, but we continue to grow (this seems like an obvious point to me, but one to be made nonetheless). I'm learning to be content with exactly where God currently has us in the process of sanctification. We aren't seasoned yet like John and Noelle or Al and Mary, but we are Dustin and Jamie, sinners and fairly new at this marriage thing, and God is kind to be patient and teach us, use us and grow us.

That said, we're excited about a weekend getaway (, of course) to Indianapolis. It should be a sweet time, from the Superhero Museum to fun restaurants and just some time with cell phones off to reflect and rejoice. Our first year of marriage was full, fun and God remains faithful. AND... the mystery of marriage remains profound!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pitfalls in Choosing Friends (taken from The Purple Cellar)

Wow, 2 posts back to back. It's been awhile since that happened. Be sure and look at the one from last night. Hope it's helpful to you.

This one is all borrowed. I find something edifying almost every time I visit the Purple Cellar Since I'm limiting my comptuer time these days, by the time I do get over to visit that site, there's usually lots of terrific articles to choose from. Here's what they have to say about friendships. Read slowly. I think you can also glean from here what it means to be a good friend, a true friend. Everything below this sentence is quoted, just so you know.

Here are some pitfalls--in ourselves and in others--to be aware of in choosing our friends, as well as some ways to identify these pitfalls in relationships we already have.

1) Self-identity. We pick people we want to be like or whom we want others to believe we are like.
Tip-off: You want to be her friend because she is connected to people you desire to be associated with.

2) God substitution. We allow a friend to displace our dependence on God.
Tip-off: You dial your friend when a crisis hits before you pray.

3) The sharpening effect. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27:17). The primary criterion for choosing a friend is the impact on our faith.
Tip-off: Your commitment to Christ is diminishing through this friendship rather than flourishing.

4) Counsel. True friends are persuasive. Is the counsel your friend offers worldly or biblical?
Tip-off: She speaks more about self-esteem then about self-denial.

5) Ego-building. Do you actually like this person? Or do you simply like the fact they she likes you?
Tip-off: You are drawn to someone who flatters you. “Do not associate with one who flatters with his lips” (Prov. 20:19).

6) Anger. “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul” (22:24–25). A habitually angry person is generally not someone who is concerned about God’s agenda. In fact, her anger often indicates she is living in rebellion against it. Anger is linked to frustration, and frustration typically comes when we aren’t getting our way.
Tip-off: Your time with her often leaves you questioning the goodness of God.

7) Spiritual growth. Someone wisely observed, "We are conformed to that upon which we center our interest and love." And more weighty still are Paul’s words: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” (1 Cor. 15:33).
Tip-off: You don’t want others to know you went out with her last night.

8) Love of pleasure. What is her level of interest in and commitment to sensual enjoyments? A good, healthy enjoyment of God's bounty glorifies him; a fixation on such pleasures does not. “Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat” (Prov. 23:20)
Tip-off: She is someone you call when you are in the mood to overindulge.

9) Stability. “Do not associate with those given to change” (Prov. 24:21). We can—and should—reach out to love unstable people, but we should do so without linking ourselves emotionally to them.
Tip-off: You have feelings of anxiety during and after your times together.

10) Love of controversy. “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:17–18).
Tip-off: You are always on the defensive around your friend about your faith, your ministry activities, or your church.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Spirit's Work in Sanctification

Certainly, there are specific responsibilities the believer is given in the sanctifying process. However, in our ladies' book study on The Discipline of Grace, Bridges is currently emphasizing the Spirit's work. Why?

Bridges explains,

We tend to lose sight of the fact that He is the agent of sanctification.

Guilty as charged. Just look at my post yesterday or last week or well, lots of old posts. Read my journal (no, don't). I am always trying my new plans, "picking myself up by my boot straps" - my attempts to "help God out" in sanctifying me by getting all of my to-dos to-done, as I like to say. Checkmarks. Me-focused goals, so I can feel good about my work or something like that. I love LOVE this book because he labors the point, I mean he really hops on the horse and stays there for quite awhile, that the Holy Spirit is responsible for our transformation. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

He is the one who works deep within our character to change us.

So, relax. Well, no, don't relax. Work! Plan to grow. Plan to read. Evangelize. Serve in your church. There are so many biblical exhortations to obey, but before you get started on your responsibilities as a believer, make one fact very, very clear in your mind. (And remind me every time you see me.)

It is God who works in you.

One of the things I loved from book study was a prayer that we, like Jerry Bridges, can pray, based on Hebrews 13:21.

After writing about one of my favorite verses, Philippians 1:6, Bridges turns to a Hebrews passage on the same topic,

The writer of Hebrews prayed that God will 'work in us what is pleasing to him' (13:21). Although these passages speak of God in a nonspecific sense, or use the pronoun he, we know from other Scriptures that the work of sanctification within the Trinity is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). This being true, we ought to pray daily for His work of sanctification within us. One of my favorite prayers is to take the words of Hebrews 13:21 and ask that He will work in me what is pleasing to Him.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Time Management

What with Girl Talk's new book on managing your time and the book we borrowed from my parent's house and skimmed, there have been many discussions in the Butts' household on time management. (Maybe there should be more conversations about run-on sentences.) It is a great discussion to have and re-visit often.

Dustin and I have a lot of time on our hands this summer. It is interesting how easy it is, however, to find that the day has slipped by with many things left undone. Stress or getting behind can even sneak in around the summer. I have a growing theory that if I don't manage my time well now (not perfectly, but well), I certainly won't when school starts. And it will follow that I certainly won't when we start have babies one day.

I haven't read Girl Talk's book yet, but I am gleaning ideas from several places and from mistakes I've made in the past.

Some of the principles I'm hitting on currently are planning each day, getting sufficient rest, working hard when it's time to work, setting goals, evaluating your goals, prayerful dependence, accountability in your goals, etc.

One goal is to budget my time on the computer. That being said, I only have a few minutes.

I'd like to share one other small goal. Laura actually inspired me. I want to practice piano... a lot. I took lessons twice a week for 10 years and yet, sadly, I haven't played in a few years except sporadically. We have a keyboard and my desire is strong. There may even be future needs in my church. I don't want to waste all of those years, for one thing. :)

So, here's to Resolutions made in July. Ask me later how it's going.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Photos de Tejas!

You can find pictures of our recent trip to Texas here and here. We had such a nice visit with our family and friends. I'd never seen so much rain in my life, by the way. It was a blessing to visit my old church, Heritage Baptist, although I didn't get any pictures of anyone there. We had a great visit with our Dallas fam and our Lampasas fam. Highlights from the trip included Game Night at Casa Moore, visit with Yu Towery at our beloved Panda Express, Breakfast Girls' Date with Erin, Jenn Dower Gets Engaged Day, Anna Kate's Birthday, Mickey D's Breakfast with Travis, Melodie's Jumping Gerbil Show, Sea World with the Butts, Dr. Pepper with Dudley, Cozart Night in Brady, IKEA roadtrip, Balloon Fights with Granna, 4th of July at Dustin's aunt and uncle's place, wonderful food, great visits, and a terrific hotel in Memphis on the way back. is the way to go for cheap, nice hotel stays! (In answer to your question Jay, it was 13 hours from Loui to Dallas and then 16 from Lampasas to Loui, so we broke the returning trip up with the Memphis overnight stay.)

You'll also catch some pictures of our 2 adorable nephews. We couldn't keep our hands off them. They are too much fun! AND, you'll see a visit to my Uncle David and Aunt Katy's Trike Shop, where Nana even hopped on for a great picture (below). We are both very thankful for both of our families and how marriage gives you even more family to love on! They are way too good to us and love us so much; we don't deserve them. I'm sad I didn't take even more pictures, but there should be plenty to capture the trip for ya.

All of that being said, it has been nice to be home to the 'Ville as well. We missed 3 Sundays at our church because of our trip so it was so good to be "home" today to worship and fellowship at Third Avenue. Chris and Sarah Peek have also arrived in town and are settling in. While driving to Wal-Mart yesterday, I saw them on a walk together all smiles, so I think they are doing quite well.

More soon, but that was the TX update I promised.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Back in place...

We just arrived from our visit to TX. It was a good trip. We're tired but glad to be home. More later.

I did go ahead and post on the last half of Pleasing People by Priolo. If you want to borrow my copy, just give me a call. God has kindly used and is using this book in my life.

It's good to be home after a trip, don't you think?