Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I took this picture yesterday on my bike ride in the neighborhood that I really like to ride in. I like this house alot, mostly because of the porch. It's such a nice big porch, and I just really love to sit out on the porch in a porch swing. As I was growing up, most houses had big porches. Seems people used to sit out on their porches alot and visit. I miss that.

I have good memories of the porch as I was growing up and then when my first set of kids were little. Sunday afternoons or holidays after lunch at my parent's house with my sisters and brother there and all their and my kids running around.

Porches are nice, I think.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom!

What a great verse. Job 33:24.

Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

We deserve to go down to the pit (to hell). We are so full of sin inside and out. God is so holy and pure, he cannot look upon such sinful beings. Sin must be paid for and we can't pay the price. --Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn't it? But wait. God says 'Deliver him from going down to the pit. I have found a ransom.' What wonderful news! God has found a ransom. He has provided a ransom for his people. The Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross to pay the ransom for his people.

Hallelujeh! What a savior!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

God's Sovereignty & Man's Repsonsibility

I struggle sometimes with how God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility can both be true. I know, mind you, that they both are, but nevertheless my finite mind, which wants to figure everything out and file it away as ‘understood’ has a hard time reconciling the two. How can God be completely sovereign over everything that happens, but at the same time, man is responsible for his actions? I can’t explain it, but it’s true. Here is a passage of scripture that shows the two very clearly, I think.

Isaiah 10:5-16
5. O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

6. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

7. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

8. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings?

9. Is not Calno as Carchemish? Is not Hamath as Arpad? Is not Samaria as Damascus?

10. As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;

11. Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

12. Wherefore it shall come to pass, [that] when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

13. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done [it], and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:

14. And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

15. Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

16. Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.

In this story, God is going to send Assyria up against the hypocritical nation of Israel to punish her. Assyria is going to be an instrument in God's hands--the "rod of mine anger". And when God is finished, he is going to punish the king and the kingdom of Assyria for what they have done.

God is going to be sovereign in all that is done, for the king of Assyria will be doing what God is planning for him to do; and yet, the king and kingdom of Assyria will be held responsible for their acts. In this passage, the coexistence of God's absolute sovereignty and human responsibility is clearly displayed for us. We may have a hard time understanding how they can coexist, but here they are, side by side in the same passage of scripture, and side by side in regards to one single event.

Verse 7 tells us that the king’s intentions were not the same as the Lord’s. The king thought he was acting of his own power and will. His intention was not to punish and correct the people of the Jews, but to utterly destroy them, and not them only, but many other nations. In verses 8-11, the Assyrian king talks of the kings he had conquered in the past and how easily he did it. In verse 12, Isaiah tells us that indeed God will use the Assyrian king to punish his people, and afterwards he will punish the king for his wicked actions and pride-filled heart. In verses 13-14, Isaiah tells how the kings goes on with his boasting of what he will do and how easy it will be for him. I love verses 15 & 16 where Isaiah asks, shall the axe boast that it did the work instead of the person swinging it, or the saw boast of doing the cutting instead of the person pushing it back and forth? The king was only an axe or a saw in the hand of the Lord! --As are we.

What a great passage of scripture. The Lord is sovereign & at the same time, we are responsible for our actions. Understand it or not, it is true. The bible tells us so!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Isn't this a cool old picture. I came across it today while surfing the web. It was taken in the 1880's by a man named Solomon Butcher. And don't we live quite a different life these days?

I like the cow standing on the hill in the back. Funny.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bo & I went just got back from a 19 mile bicycle ride around the city. Whew! I'm tired. I've been riding quite a bit this week on my new bicycle and have increased my speed somewhat. I was averaging 9 mph and the last few days I've averaged 11 mph. My stamina seems to be increasing too. It's cool how your body does that, but I know you have to keep at it or you will loose that stamina. We'll see how it goes. We stopped and had a cool drink and rested for a bit about half way. There is a block party going on downtown today with lots of bands playing and food to eat and we passed by there.

Bo also went for a 5 mile run this morning, so he is worn out and is getting a little R & R as you can see.

We're going out to dinner tonight with the people whose house we will be buying, but not until January or February. They are building a house and it should be finished around then. We are going to go ahead and sign a contract on the house though. It really hasnt been bad at all living in here in our rented townhouse. The only real drawback for me is that there is no yard and I like to go outside, so I get kind of stircrazy sometimes.

Well, today is my brother-in-law John's retirement party in Houston. He is retiring from the Police Dept. I hate that we are so far away and couldn't make it, but I hope you guys are having a good time. Happy Retirement John!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Negativity Bias

I was reading today about something called the ‘negativity bias.’ The article said it is a well-recognized psychological phenomenon and goes like this: People react to the bad more strongly and persistently than to the comparable good, and anxious or angry thoughts capture our attention more effectively than happier thoughts.

For example, the pain of losing a certain amount of money is greater than the pleasure of gaining that same sum. In a marriage, it takes at least five good acts to repair the damage of one critical or destructive act.

I know from my own experience, I seem to be more bothered & remember it longer when someone says something ugly to me or about me, than happy when someone says something nice to me or about me.

Also research shows that one consequence of the negativity bias is that when people’s thoughts are wandering or unoccupied, people tend to begin to brood.

Funny, this 'psychological phenomenon' goes right along with what the bible says:

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

Only by the Holy Spirit working in us can we do or think differently.
I put a Bible Trivia Quiz on my blog if you look to the right and scroll down to just under the 'Archives' section. There should be a new quiz every day. Might be kinda fun to try. I actually made a 100 on today's quiz (without having to go search for the answers). Yea! Yesterday I had to go find and read the verses pertaining to the quiz to get the answers. A good way to refresh my memory and learn new things though.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Isn't she a beauty?! (The bicycle, that is)

I got a new bicycle today!! I'm so excited. My old one has been having problems lately. The gears were messing up and the chain kept coming off. And no wonder, it was not a very expensive bicycle to begin with and it had over 1,200 miles on it. I'd say I got my money's worth out of it. So anyway, my wonderful husband decided we should get me a new one today. We went down to Hills Sport Shop and got this nice new black one. It's a 2007 Expedition Sport and it rides like a dream! The wind is blowing 24 mph now, but I'm going to take it out in a little while anyway. I'll let you know how I make out. Later....

Friday, August 11, 2006

I rode my bicycle 14 miles this morning. It was such a beautiful morning and I enjoyed it so much. I listened to a sermon by Henry Mahan as I rode along and it was so good. The name of the sermon was 'Why Men Hate Free Grace." I liked it alot so I put it on our website The Gospel Of Grace Online. A link going directly to the sermon is here. Gosh, how often I forget what a dreadful sinner I am and how wonderful and merciful God is. Oh, how much I like to elevate myself and try to bring glory to myself. As much as I hate it, I still do it. I need to hear sermons like that to remind me of my place and of Christ's place. He is my only hope. Praise his wonderful, Holy name!!

Monday, August 07, 2006


Yikes! This is what my old house looks like now. The new owners cut down the big willow tree in the front yard and got rid of two lilac bushes that were between the front windows, and they squared off the shrubbery. It looks so bare now. I loved that willow tree. Makes me sad, even though it's no longer our house. It's their house and they can do whatever they please with it. Jenny told me last week after a visit to Dalhart, they were cutting the tree down, so this weekend while Jocelyne was there visiting friends, I asked her to take a picture for me. .....Gasp, it hurts to look at it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Whitney! 24 years old today. Whitney & I met when she was 12 years old, and I became her mean, old wicked stepmother. We've been thru many ups & downs since then, and I've watched her grow into a beautiful, sweet, young woman.

Have a great day today on your birthday, Whitney!!