Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Depth of Mercy!

by Charles Mercy

*Go here for the Sovereign Grace version that has become one of my favorites. I had no idea how many verses were in the original. Both the orginal and the "remix" are really good!

Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear,
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?

I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.

I have spilt His precious blood,
Trampled on the Son of God,
Filled with pangs unspeakable,
I, who yet am not in hell!

I my Master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned His hallowed Name,
Put Him to an open shame.

Whence to me this waste of love?
Ask my Advocate above!
See the cause in Jesus' face,
Now before the throne of grace.

Jesus, answer from above,
Is not all Thy nature love?
Wilt Thou not the wrong forget,
Permit me to kiss Thy feet?

If I rightly read Thy heart,
If Thou all compassion art,
Bow Thine ear, in mercy bow,
Pardon and accept me now.

Jesus speaks, and pleads His blood!
He disarms the wrath of God;
Now my Father's mercies move,
Justice lingers into love.

Kindled His relentings are,
Me He now delights to spare,
Cries, 'How shall I give thee up?'
Lets the lifted thunder drop.

Lo! I still walk on the ground:
Lo! an Advocate is found:
'Hasten not to cut Him down,
Let this barren soul alone.'

There for me the Savior stands,
Shows His wounds and spreads His hands.
God is love! I know, I feel;
Jesus weeps and loves me still.

Pity from Thine eye let fall,
By a look my soul recall;
Now the stone to flesh convert,
Cast a look, and break my heart.

Now incline me to repent,
Let me now my sins lament,
Now my foul revolt deplore,
Weep, believe, and sin no more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cincy - Take 3!

We took our 3rd getaway trip to Cincinnati this past weekend. It's wonderful to take a break from the hustle and bustle of this season. And I love extended time with my sweet husband. My little sister gave us a weekend at a hotel for a birthday gift. (She works at LaQuinta!) It was so thoughtful! We had a great time chatting there and back, resting, eating at PFChang's on a gift card and hitting up some great stores and sales for some Christmas shopping. We even found a Bath and Body Works Outlet, and Dustin was nice enough to spend quite some time there while I browsed. It had everything normal for about 1/4 of the price! Our favorite find was... Tea and Bowl! Tea and Bowl is a Boba Tea place near the University of Cincinnati! We went twice. :) I have lots of pictures, but it may be awhile to upload. Thanks again, Joey!!

2 weeks ago, we also had a visit from my dear friend Yu Towery. She was one of my best friends from DBU, and she's my sweet Japanese friend. It was such a blast hanging out.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! We are spending time with the TX crew here in Louisville. I'm making Chocolate Meringue Pie and preparing a veggie tray. There is so much to be thankful for... I love Thanksgiving!

Then... on December 20, we'll head out for Texas to see our families and celebrate Christmas!

Other things on the agenda too - one being a TX Ugly Sweater Party hosted by our friends Kari and Kristin. Sounds hilarious to me!

We've had 2 light snows.

That's a very quick and random update for blogland... until next time!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gospel Encouragement Through Song

Step 1: Go here.
Step 2: Click on the top right icon with the little headphones that say Sovereign Grace Radio.
Step 3: Listen to songs like Out of the Depths and Glorious and Mighty.

Often when I grade, although not nearly enough, I listen to sermons or music.

I think one of the things I am really thankful for this year is Christ-centered music. I love songs based on God's Word. So many times at church or in the car or grading papers, I've been humbled by my sin and then overwhelmed by my Father's grace as I sing about or listen to what God has done for sinners like me, pouring out His wrath on His Son. That wrath should have been poured out on me. Praising God for mercy, the recent attribute my kids studied.

Merciful - God is kind to undeserving sinners...

**Just a side note, I'm not a HUGE fan of the Sovereign Grace music that is fast. I just can't get into it. However, I like almost ALL of their slow music. Wonder if I'm alone in that? At any rate, I'm so grateful for their ministry from books to sermons and music... God has used it in my life.

Goodbye, Gorgeous Fall Leaves! I'll miss you!

Our sweet friend, Kristin Booth, captured excellent pictures such as the one above that you can see on Cara's blog.

Honestly, it is hard for me to say hello to winter and goodbye to fall. (FYI, I know it's not technically winter yet, but it's starting to feel like it around here. And most of those pretty leaves are now on the ground.) I'm a wimp. Having winter just around the corner is pretty daunting to me: figuring out how to dress for cold, needing 5 more layers of clothes to brave recess, going to school when it snows, not being able to feel toes, trying to save money so not using too much heat, less sunshine, etc.

But... there are many things to be thankful for during winter. Well, there are always many things to be thankful for! That will remain for another post, another day...

Open House today! 13 hours at school. Hopefully it will be a very productive day of grading. Speaking of...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Youth Minister

I am one of the few who have the youth group experience where you have the SAME youth minister throughout your entire youth group experience.

Every 11/18, I think of Mike on his birthday. And this verse always pops quickly in my mind.

Hebrews 13:7-8 – Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.

I wish I had pictures up here at school for you. I have known Mike since I was in 2nd grade! He was my youth minister from 7th grade to 12th grade. I saw him become a dad and babysat for the 3 kids as they grew up. He was always a listening ear and guiding voice in my life. He spoke truth, even when it wasn't popular. He is passionate about the Lord, really knowing the Lord, and he loves people very well. He loves God's Word and God's people and he loves the lost... all around the world. While parents are usually and rightfully the central role models in a kid's life, and I deeply appreciate my parents, it's also terrific when a kid can see other adults who are also living out the Gospel. I suppose it confirms the truthfulness of what the parents are saying about God. So, Mike spoke the word of God to us. Sometimes, there were 70 of us. His "way of life" has been an example. His faith has been a testimony. I want to remember him today and consider the outcome of his way of life... such joy, a wonderful family, a deep desire to worship God with his life... I want to imitate him in several ways.

And the Jesus Mike loved and served way back when we were in the same state and local church is the same Jesus I serve today and Mike still serves in Louisiana.

Love you, Norms! Soooo thankful for you! Happy Birthday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Black Friday!

No... I'm not depressed today. :) Just thinking ahead to the day after Thanksgiving...
Now, I am not usually a big shopper. And, I hate hitting malls when I know there will be crowds. But I like a good deal, especially this year when we have been budgeting carefully to finish Dustin's school. So, when I was sent this link, I thought maybe I should be brave and head out early on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Sarah and Becky Peek scored amazing deals last year. Maybe, I think, just maybe I could get all of my Christmas shopping done before 10:00am and buy a few cheap birthday gifts ahead or something. This is how I think. So unreasonable... 10:00am! Yea right! :)

So, you seasoned shoppers, what do you think? Should I do it? OH, and are certain grocery items also on sale on this day? Like can you buy amazingly cheap canned pumpkin or turkey or something? Just curious!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Husby and Wiffey

This is an old picture, from August. But I like it! I guess because it's kind of quirky, like us. And I'm smitten by Dustin's sweet smile that captures his personality so well! And because I don't think we've taken many pictures this year. Not sure we have any of just us from the last few months. Sad, huh? Dustin is such a terrific husband. I am so thankful for him. (Thanks, Blake, for the picture I found on your Flikr!)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Musings

Several people have asked me about working the polls yesterday...

A few thoughts, on being a poll worker, and on the 2008 elction in general -

1. I didn't work with senior adults, although Laura Cozart and I really like them. =) The other poll workers were about my mom's age or a tad older (which is mighty young, Mom). And one was a grandmother of my student... small world.

2. Old Louisville is eclectic. We mainly had U of L voters, so it was fun to see lots of students who confessed, "I have no clue how to vote. Please tell me what to do!" The brand new voters were so great... it was fun to see their enthusiasm and involvement. Other than that, we had all sorts of fun people. It's an interesting place to live which makes it an interesting precinct!

3. Working the polls helps you see your neighborhood. You literally see a good chunk of the people who live within easy walking distance.

4. Working the polls taught me a lot about the election process. It was a good experience, and I would encourage others to try it next time!

5. Being a poll worker means sharing a long time out of one day, but if you have the day off, I think it's well worth it. I will get $120 for the training and election day, which is only about 8 an hour, but it comes at a good time, with Christmas right around the corner.

6. Other aspects about the election (hearing conversations all around me there, talking about it with co-workers, overhearing kids, reading blogs, etc) keep me coming back to a 2-word reminder in my head - DON'T PANIC. There were pros and cons of both canidates and important moral issues are rightly on the forefront of the minds of most Christians. However, we know that God is on His throne. He is Sovereign over the affairs of men. We can pray for president-elect Obama, not in despair, but with hope. God does all things well.

7. Proposition 8 passed! :)

8. I wanted to say THANKS to fellow church member Matt Wireman for posting a helpful answer to a popular question these days. Is it okay to abort if the woman was raped? This is something people really discuss, my neighbors included, and Christians need to think deeply about the issues. This is only one of many questions surrounding the abortion issue, but this one strikes me as unique in that you often hear people on both sides of the issue wonder about this one.
Matt said, Doug Wilson has written a good post on this issue. Here’s the gist of such a view of justice:

So here is the answer to the “rape and incest” objection. When a woman conceives as the result of a rape, there are three parties involved. There is the rapist, there is the woman, and there is the child. Two of these parties are innocent, and one of them is guilty. What kind of sense does it make to execute one of the innocent parties for the crime of his father?

I don't think this answer would necessarily help anyone who was very pro-choice. I am not saying that it will change minds or hearts just by spouting it off to friends who disagree... only God can. But I think it's helpful. I think it's good. I realize these are emotional issues that often divide. I won't be getting into politics very often on here, but I do think Christians should respect and pray for Obama earnestly, praying to the King on His throne, and that we should be thinking very deeply about the issues that have and will continue to affect our nation and live by the Word of Truth.

9. Oh yea, I was on the news! I was told that I was working hard, which relieved me, because I only remember the media's cameras surprising me when I was just starting on my burger Dustin brought me from Sonic! Glad they didn't show that clip!

10. I do agree with Carolyn McCulley completely and she worded it so much better than I could -

Though I disagree with many of President-elect Obama's policies (and will be praying for change), I still appreciate the tremendous moment facing us with the election of our nation's first African-American president. Read more here.

11. Go here for a prayer to pray for Obama.