Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just As I Am: What's It Saying?

Hymns. We sing them Sunday after Sunday. Sometimes they become mere repetitions. We sing the words, but do we actually HEAR what we are singing? What was the writer conveying when he/she wrote the song? I thought of this song this morning. It is often used as an altar call. A song to beckon an unbeliever to come to Christ. I have broken it down into what I think it says. To me, it's pretty straightforward, but you might have a different take on it. So, read through it and think about what it says. If you have anything you would like to add, please put it in the comments. I may go back and use some of your comments and add them to the post.

JUST AS I AM: written by Charlotte Elliot in 1835

Just as I am! : No bells or whistles. Just me. Right here. Right now.
without one plea,
but that Thy blood was shed for me,
and that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee : I don't ask for anything but I realize that you shed your blood for ME, and You are calling for ME to come you.
Oh Lamb of God! I come! I come!

Just as I am! : Just me again. Just the way I am. I don't have to change anything to come to You.
and waiting not,
to rid my soul of one dark blot,
to Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot: I don't have to wait. Your blood can cover ALL my sins right here, right now if I just ask.
Oh Lamb of God! I come! I come!

Just as I am! : Just me again. Right here. Right now. The way I am.
Thou wilt receive, : You will not turn me away.
Wilt welcome, : You WANT me to come...You've been waiting.
pardon, : You will forgive me of all my sins.
cleanse, : Your blood will wipe away my sins
relieve, : Ah! The best part! Relief, at last! To know I am YOUR child, and I don't have to worry about all the sins of my past, for they are cast away. You've got my back!

Because Thy promise I believe: God, you gave Your only begotten son, Jesus, that WHOsoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). I believe in Jesus and I believe Your promise.

Oh Lamb of God! I come! I come!

If you have never accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, and you feel led to do so, please click here. You don't have to be in a church. You can do it in the presence of your own home. It is a simple act of faith that will change your life for the better. May God bless you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dilemma: Real Tree or Artificial Tree?

It's time to put up the Christmas tree. But, I have a problem. About 2 years ago we bought a pre-lit artificial tree. It is really pretty and quite easy to put up. However, my 3 sons want a real tree. You know the kind. The kind that dries out before Christmas gets here, and pine needles fall everywhere when you barely touch it. If I give in and get a real tree, I will have to go buy more lights, as the half of old ones are burned out. I have always loved a real tree. It's just the hassle of it that bothers me. First of all, we have to go try to find the "perfect" tree. Then, we have to haul it home. Then, we have to get it in the stand straight, all the while getting stuck and poked by the needles, not to mention the sap! Then, we have to let it "fall out" before decorating it. Is it worth it? I don't know. I guess that's the real question. Of course, I could put up a real tree AND the artificial tree. But my house is not very big. We have to make room to put up ONE tree. I also thought about going down into the woods close to my parents' home and seeing if we could find a tree. It wouldn't be one of the nice sturdy trees like the kind you buy, just one of those regular cedar trees. But, we could make some memories by doing this. I think it would be fun. We could get one small enough to go in one of the corners of our house and then put of the artificial tree, as well.

So, I need your input. Do I just put up the pre-lit artificial tree that I already have? Do I honor my sons' wishes and get a real tree? After all, they are getting older and won't be living at home forever. Or, do I try to reach a compromise and do both? If I do this, that just means more work for me. The artificial tree will be there ready and waiting WHENEVER I decide to use it. What are your thoughts? What do you do at your home? Leave me your comments and suggestions. I'll post again and let you know what I decided to do.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Light-Hearted Thanksgiving Poem

I found this very amusing. I hope you all enjoy it...

Twas the Night of Thanksgiving
With apologies to Clement C. Moore, author of 'A Visit From St. Nicholas'

'Twas the night of Thanksgiving, But I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep
The leftovers beckoned --- The dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation
The thought of a snack became infatuation.
So I raced to the kitchen, Flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground !!

I crashed through the ceiling. Floating into the sky,
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie,
But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees ... Happy eating to all! (Pass the cranberries, please)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Everything Give Thanks

This morning in church our pastor preached on 1 Thessalonians 5:18..."In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Just to read this without thinking about it, you would assume that Paul says to give thanks for everything. But look a little closer. It doesn't say "for" everything. It says "in" everything. If we give thanks for everything, we are giving thanks for sin, too. We don't want to do that! To give thanks "in" everything means to give thanks for God in ALL circumstances.

Sometimes we go through trials, and circumstances are not what we would like for them to be. But, God puts us through these trials to help us to grow and become more like Him. It is in these trials, that we learn to trust in Him. We grow. So, we should be thankful that God is dealing with us in this way. He is preparing us for His kingdom. He didn't say it would be easy. It is easy to give thanks during the good times. It is much harder when things aren't going good. I don't always do this. My family has gone through some pretty tough times. I have even questioned God as to why he was putting us though a particular situation. The last thing I wanted to do was to thank Him for it! But, this is the will of God. We won't always know why He allows bad things to happen to us. But, we'll know His purpose when we get to Heaven. Our eyes will be opened, and it will all make perfect sense. So, just know that God is in control.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." As I was researching for this blog post, I came across this amazing video of Nick Vujicic. After watching this, I realized that if this guy can give God thanks and praise, how much more should I do the same?! I hope this touches you and blesses your heart the same way that it did mine. And remember...IN everything, give thanks. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ode to My House Shoes

I love my house shoes.

They are so comfy and cozy.

It just feels wonderful to take off my shoes at the end of the day and slip into my fuzzy house shoes.

I also love slipping them on first thing in the morning when I get out of bed.

Mine are burgundy.

They are the kind that have the big cushion on the bottom.

They just make my feet feel good.

If I ever lose them or misplace them, I can't stand it.

I've gotta have my house shoes!

Don't even think about coming and stealing them from me.

You get your own!

I would hate to have to hunt you down and beat you up for my house shoes...but I will!

These are MY house shoes, and I LOVE them!

P.S. I could use a new pair for Christmas...mine are almost worn out!

What random item do you have that needs an "ode" written to it/them?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Attending Church

Why do we go to church? Is it to worship and lift up the name of Jesus? Or, has it become a routine just because that is what we have always done? Well, I didn't go to church this morning. I had my own private Bible study between me and God. What I studied was Isaiah 1:1-2:5. What I took from it is this. God doesn't want us to come to Him out of burdensome obligation. He wants us to come to Him as a joyous renewal of our relationship with Him. He wants us to hunger for His Word. He wants us to join in fellowship with other Christians because it strengthens our walk with Him. We are obligated to God. He has provided a way for us. But, we should want to lift up his name and praise Him for his blessings on us. Just think of that. What has He blessed you with today? Are you going to church for the right reasons?

Isaiah 1:11-12 (NIV) "The multitude of your sacrifices--what are they to me?" says the Lord. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?"

Friday, November 14, 2008

WELCOME!!! A Little Bit About Me and The Fam

I finally did it! I am finally launching my new blog. I hope you like it. I deleted my former blog, The Weekend Homemaker, a few weeks ago when I realized that I wasn't much of a weekend homemaker, either! Don't get me wrong. I TRY to keep my house orderly, but with all the testosterone around doesn't happen much! So, I have to constantly repeat the serenity prayer: "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." This is one of those things that is not going to change. There's no use in fretting over it. I just do the best I can. Flylady says, "Housework done improperly still blesses your family." So, that's what I do. I do as I can, and try to get some help now and again from the other members of the family. Which brings me to the introductions of my groovy family. I'll keep it short and to the point. You'll learn more about them as this blog progresses. You may want to refer to their pics in the right sidebar while reading the introductions.

Hubby: Kevin; Deliverer of medical equipment; Loves video games, Mountain Dew, & the Auburn Tigers

Oldest Son: Justin; 19 y/o; Future rock star, drummer/Current college student; Slacker

Middle Son: Chase; 17 y/o; Athletic kid; Enjoys rap music a little too much

Youngest Son: Jordan: 14 y/o; Developing musical ability (saxophone & bass guitar); "The Good Kid" of the family

So, there you have it! There is always something going on in my house. There is hardly a quiet moment to be found! I have to go to work to get a break! But, I love it. Welcome to my groovy life. Please subscribe and follow us in our many adventures. I'll tell you how Justin's music career is coming along, how Chase is doing in football, and Jordan's adventures of high school marching band, concert band, jazz band, and show choir band. There will be random tidbits from me of things that are on my mind, or things I find interesting. Please feel free to comment any of my posts or anything else on this blog. You can also follow my updates on Twitter: follow SandySmile Thanks for visiting...and DON'T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE! :-)