Friday, December 30, 2011

Goals

I know every blogger in the world is exclaiming, "I can't believe 2011 is gone" so I'll join in their cry :)!  This year has flown by but in a good way.  Many new things happened which stretched me to higher heights and closer to my Lord.  

At the end of each year I have a habit of setting goals for the coming year.  These goals vary from exercising more to memorizing certain portions of Scripture.  One of the goals that stays constant every year is a verse for the next year.  It is so neat to look back on the past 12 months and see how the Lord fulfilled the verse given at the beginning of the year.  The verse I had for 2011 was Daniel 12:3, "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever."  My desire for 2011 was that Jesus Christ would be even greater in my life and that through me people would know Him more!  This is obviously my life's goal but I felt it especially stressed this past year.

The verse I feel the Lord giving me for 2012 is 1 Samuel 12:24 which says, "Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you."  Following graduation in June I will enter a whole new phase of life. I do not anticipate following the normal course of high school graduates instead I desire to serve my Lord while I'm most available to do so.  His love for me requires my life for Him.  More than anything else I desire that my life be used by Jesus this year.

Do you have goals that you set for the new year?  If not, pray and see if this is something the Lord would have you to do.
May we all strive to be used mightily for His Kingdom in the coming year.  I can't wait to see what the Lord will do!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Obedience

"One word stands out from all others as the key to knowing God, to having his peace and assurance in your heart; it is OBEDIENCE.
To OBEY God's Will was like food to Jesus, refreshing His mind, body and spirit.  'My meat is to do the Will of Him that sent Me.' {John 4:34}
OBEDIENCE to God's Will is the secret of spiritual knowledge and insight.  It is not willingness to know, but willingness to DO (obey) God's Will that brings certainty.
OBEDIENCE IS THE SECRET OF GUIDANCE.  Every Christian should live a God-guided life.  If you are not guided by God you will be guided by something else. 
The Christian that doesn't know this sense of guidance in his life is missing something vital.
Take OBEDIENCE with you into your prayer hour, for you will know as much of God, and only as much of God, as you are willing to put into practice.

"When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we DO HIS GOOD WILL
He abides with us still,
And with all who will TRUST and OBEY" "

Written by Eric Liddell in his book "Prayers for Daily Use"

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Mother

As I've gotten older I've realized exactly how much this household needs our wonderful mother to run properly!  Mamma never planned on staying home, homeschooling, or having more than 3 babies but the Lord had other plans (thankfully!).  When she was pregnant with me she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and has since then striven to live every moment of every day serving, loving, and worshiping Him.
 
My beautiful Mamma!
 After she had me she couldn't imagine leaving me in some stranger's hands and thus began her journey of faith.  About 18 months later my sister Kimber was born.  Not too long after that my sister Alexis was born and then finally a little brother, Caleb arrived.  About this time I was ready to attend my first year of school but once again Mamma and Daddy did not feel comfortable leaving me (or my siblings) to be raised by the anti-God public school system.  After much prayer and searching the Scriptures they decided to homeschool.  Once again they stepped out of the normal and into the way God was calling them.

Daddy and Mommy enjoying a time of fun together :)!
  Everyone was sure that Mamma was done having kids- I mean 4 kids under 6 was more than enough for one woman to handle...right?.  But Mommy and Daddy wanted a little playmate for Caleb so Seth entered our family.  Well, by this time people were definitely beginning to wonder about how many children Mom and Dad were aiming for.  But that was just it...they weren't aiming for any certain number.  Every time the youngest child was around 2 or 3 Mamma began to have that God-given urge for another child.  Wondering if they really were off their rocker they once again searched the Scriptures.  The Lord impressed upon their hearts during their study that children were a blessing and that they should accept however many He wanted to give them.  Since then 4 more blessings have joined their growing brood!
Mamma and her youngest child (as of right now :)
  My mother has for years been our loving nurturer, godly teacher, and thrifty chef.  Her tender care when you're sick, her constant self-less serving, and her love of knowledge are all examples to me.  I couldn't ask for a better mother and confidant!
I love you!!
 I love you, mommy!  Thank you for your Christ-like example that you exhibit inside and outside of our home.  I don't think people realize what an amazing woman you really are!  I hope to one day be a wife and mother just like you!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Book Review: Preparing to be a Help Meet


Front Cover
Go HERE for more info!
"And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
Genesis 2:18
As soon as this book came out I knew I wanted it!  I had watched as Mommy read and diligently applied Debi Pearl's book "Created to be His Help Meet" and I knew I needed to know more about this seemingly forgotten subject of being a help meet.  On my 16th birthday my younger brother kindly surprised me with my very own copy of "Preparing to be a Help Meet".  Over the next couple of months my mamma and I studied this well-written, sometimes humorous book.  Sprinkled throughout are true stories of how the Creator of the universe orchestrated the amazing love between a man and a woman and how they used it all for His glory.  You will learn about the different types of men and women and how the Lord uses both genders together to portray a fuller picture of Himself.  You will also read of tragedies and learn from the mistakes others have made.  Gently yet firmly, Mrs. Pearl explains some of the things that will either build your marriage up or break it down.  She also warns that the habits you form now will effect your relationship with your man (if the Lord has one for you) in the future.  She urges you to wait, save as much as you can (especially physical and emotional purity), and pray for your future beloved.  You will receive practical and spiritual advice in how to better prepare to be a help meet to the one the Lord gives you.  Personally, this book reaffirmed many convictions and goals I already had.  It also pushed me to study more, prepare more, and pray more for my husband-to-be. 
Please read this.  It will encourage you, it'll challenge you, it'll prepare you to the best help meet you possibly can be for His Glory!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah           

Friday, December 2, 2011

Traditions

"and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God."
Numbers 15:40 
Today I thought I'd share with you some traditions my family has, especially with all the upcoming holidays.  Daddy and Mamma have always tried to teach us to remember what Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Resurrection Sunday are all about.  Unfortunately in this day and age people think that Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy a huge meal, Christmas is the day you receive presents, and Resurrection Sunday is a time to search for easter eggs.  While each of these "traditions" are not bad in themselves we believe it's important to remember why they are here in the first place.
Some friends and some siblings re-enacting the First Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Traditions: Every year we are reminded about the Pilgrims and God's Providence to them through the Thanksliving Treasure Box by Family Life.  Easy to understand this resource is excellent for families with young children.  With several colorful paintings and figurines of corn, the Mayflower, the cross, etc. my siblings have no problem sitting still and listening to the short devotional.  Another thing we do is get a piece of Thanksgiving-themed stationary and write down specific things we are thankful for from this past year.  We then store it in a safe place to look back on in the coming years.

Our traditional manger scene
Christmas Traditions: Several years ago my parents decided to switch the traditional Christmas tree for a nativity scene.  Every year the week-end after Thanksgiving, Daddy cuts up a small tree and sets the logs in a semicircle around a straw-floored manger scene.  Daddy handmade a small manger and on Christmas Eve Baby Jesus is placed gently in his straw bed (usually a spare baby doll ;).  About one week before Christmas day the "Wise-men" arrive.  Three gunny sack bags, tied with gold string, suddenly appear around the manger scene.  Inside are the presents which we enjoy opening as a family on Christmas Eve morning (we have our Christmas a day before since we're usually at a grandparents' house on Christmas Day).  About 2 weeks before Christmas we enjoy reading through our Adornaments.  This creative devotional contains the different Scriptural names of Jesus and defines them.  This helps us to remember what, or rather Who, Christmas is all about.

One fancy Resurrection lunch
Resurrection Sunday Traditions: This is the one holiday that isn't the same every year. We've celebrated the Jewish Passover before, enjoyed a fancy Easter lunch, loved on a newborn sibling (only 3 days old), etc.  One thing that is consistent though is our 12 eggs of the Resurrection.  Each one contains some symbol of the last supper, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord.  When the eggs are all passed out we listen intently as daddy explains each symbol and their Biblical meaning.

The whole things with traditions is to remember that Jesus is to be the center of everything!  This is hard to remember especially with the business of the season but it's so important.  The Devil desperately wants us to forget the Scriptural meanings of all these (that's why he uses such tools as Santa, Easter Bunny, and Turkeys) but we must not allow it.  We, the next generation, must strive to never forget the God-whom we serve and the many traditions that were made to ultimately honor and glorify Him!
May you be blessed this Christmas season!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving

It's fascinating to read the differences between President Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation and President Barack Obama's 2011 Thanksgiving Proclamation.  Below are the two proclamations and I'll let you notice the differences.  As Christians it is our duty to examine everything under the light of the Scriptures.  Please consider that as you read the following.

A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the conscienceness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln

You can read Obama's here.

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Benjamin Franklin's Call to Prayer

My sister and I read this in our history book and I had to post it!  After several days of debating and arguing, the Constitutional Congress was getting nowhere.  Finally, Mr. Franklin called the delegates to remember God, the One who set them free from the tyranny of Britain in the first place.  It's rather long but I promise you it's worth it!  I wish all members of Congress would read this!
 
Mr. President [president of the Convention, not the nation]:
The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other -- our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own wont of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their  Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.
In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. -- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.
I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move -- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Monday, November 14, 2011

Which Seed are You?

http://www.frugallawstudent.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/sower.jpg 

I was once again doing my morning devotions, reading a familiar passage, when the Lord revealed something new to me.
*As a side note, whenever I see something new in something "old" it reminds me that my God is alive and does speak to His people.  What a blessing!*

The passage was Mark 4:3-8, 14-20 about the seeds and the sower.  Jesus mentions 4 specific places the seeds fall: the wayside, the stony ground, the thorns, and the good ground.  The place I want to focus on is among the thorns.  What are the thorns?  Jesus said the thorns were, "...the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things..." Mark 4:19a.  These seeds sprang up but because of the thorns they were unable to mature and therefore produced no fruit.  Although they were still alive they were weak and useless for the Kingdom.  The Lord revealed to me that unfortunately in America there are far too many "thorns" and far too many "seeds" that fall among them.  Called by some carnal Christians these believers struggle to maintain a living relationship with Jesus because of all the riches, pleasures, and distractions surrounding us.  While they still will spend eternity with Jesus they fail in their mission to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..." Matthew 28:19a.  If we are weak how are to reach those who do not believe?
I pray every day that I will be useful and fruitful for my King!  I hope and pray that I will be like the seed that fell on the good ground which produced, "some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred." Mark 4:20c.  What is this life worth if it's not spent for the King?

So, which seed are you?

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Way of the Cross

The way of the cross is not easy and smooth,
But Jesus is there to travel with you.
He'll not leave you to fight the battles alone,
But strengthen you from His heavenly throne.

Chritians of old have followed that Way,
They've been beaten and bruised and cast far away.
Although they were rejected by land and by sea,
To You alone did they bend their knee.

Help me, dear Lord to carry my cross,
To follow the Way no matter the cost;
To step out in faith and follow you plan
Even though I may not always understand!

Inspired by: A.W. Tozer's Book "The Radical Cross"

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Monday, October 31, 2011

Habits

What is a habit?

Habit - "A disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act."   Websters 1828 Dictionary.  
As I was doing my devotions in Daniel a couple days ago the Lord revealed this verse to me:

"
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days."
Daniel 6:10

I had read this verse before and had always admired Daniel's obedience to God, but this time the last part of the verse caught my eye, "since [his] early days."  Daniel had a habit of praying to the Lord three times a day.  He didn't change his habit just because an ungodly edict had been issued...he continued doing what the Lord had shown him to do.
Wondering if there was any other verses that revealed good habits started while young I searched the Scriptures.

1)  In 1 Samuel 3:1a, 10 it says, "Now the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli.  Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”"
Samuel had a habit of listening to God.  Because of this habit, established while young,  he was used mightily for God's purposes when older.

2)  Another person who established a godly habit while young was David.  In Psalm 71:5 he says, "For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth."
David had a habit of trusting God.

3) In the New Testament we're told that Timothy studied the Scriptures while still a child.
"and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."  2 Timothy 3:15

There are plenty of other examples but I just wanted to focus on a few.  From these verses we've gathered several habits that we should start right now!

Prayer- Talking to our Creator...why would we not?! :)
Listening to God- John 10:4 makes it clear that "His sheep know His voice."  How would we know His voice if we didn't listen for it?
Trusting God - this is a life-long habit we all have to acquire otherwise we will go crazy trying to do things in our own strength.  "Fear not for I am with you..." Is. 41:10  We must always keep our focus vertical not horizontal.
Studying the Scriptures- If we love God we will desire to please Him.  To please Him we must know what He delights in.  To know what He delights in we must study His Word.

Combine all these and we will be powerhouses able to used mightily for our Savior.
Another thing the Lord showed me is to beware of habits that will take away time from my family, Himself, and the real world.  One particular habit for me would be browsing blogs.  I don't necessarily spend hours on the computer looking at blogs but I do need to be very careful in how I use the time the Lord has given me.  Time is something that God has given man....it can be used for ourselves or to glorify God....which am I doing?  With the Lord's help I hope to overcome my not-the-best habit in order to better serve Him, my family, and others.  Will you pray for me?

Is there any habit I can pray for you to overcome?
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Movie Review: Underground Reality "Colombia"

 
Over the last couple of weeks my family and I have been watching this fascinating and exciting documentary.  Filmed in Colombia this movie follows around a group of 7 young adults as they serve for a short time along other missionaries.  As you continue to watch you will hear the stories of several native Christians who have bravely stood and continue to stand for their faith...and the consequences thereof.  You will visit widows who lost their husband because they couldn't keep quiet about their love for Jesus; you will witness the continual struggle for freedom between the Paramilitary and the FARC guerrillas and the effects it has on the people; you will encounter amazing life-changing testimonies that will challenge and encourage you.  Colombia is close to my heart as we "adopt" 6 children from different regions of Colombia through Compassion International.  Watching this movie opened my eyes to the life our children have there and the difficulties they face every day. 
Unashamed and unafraid, the most amazing virtue that these fellow Christians portray is love and passion for Jesus and those who don't know Him.  This is what sets us apart from the rest of the world.  Our fellow believers in Colombia boldly proclaim the truth no matter the cost every day.  They will be praised because of their love and faith in Jesus.  
Will we?
To learn more go here!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah  
P.S.- Because of some graphic images and reenactments I wouldn't recommend this for young children.     

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Prayer

Lord,
If you called Paul to be an apostle, [Galatians 1:15]
Peter to be a disciple, [Matthew 10:2a]
Mary to be the mother of the Savior of the world, [Luke 1:30-31]
Daniel to be Your servant in a foreign land, [Daniel 2:19]
Esther to be the defender of Your people, [Esther 4:14d]
Isaiah and Jeremiah to be prophets, [Jeremiah 1:5]
David to be the shepherd and ruler over Israel, [1 Samuel 16:12]
Moses to lead Your people out of bondage, [Exodus 4:12]
Abraham to leave his native country to establish Your nation Israel, [Genesis 12:1-2]
and Adam to be "fruitful and multiply" [Genesis 1:27]....
what is my calling?

**Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.**
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

~Inspired by the continual prayer of what the Lord desires to do with me after I finish my formal education.~

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Modesty

What is modesty?  In today's culture you're considered modest if you don't show off everything to everyone.  But what really is modesty according to the Scriptures?  Does the Bible say anything about modesty?

"in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,  but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works."
1 Timothy 2:9-10

The Lord specifically notes that the women are to be dressed in "modest apparel...which is proper for women professing godliness...".  We're to look different from the rest of the world.  When people meet you what do they see first?  Your outside; your clothing, your make-up, your lipstick, etc.  Shouldn't our outside portray the inside?  If we're modest, humble servants of Christ wouldn't that show up in the way we dress?

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."
1 Peter 3:3-4 

Not only do I believe modesty is important to God but also to our brothers in Christ.  I think far too often sisters in Christ unintentionally cause their brothers to stumble by their lack of modesty.  Our bodies are to be used for the glory of God [Romans 12:1] not for the admiration and lust of men.  We need to be so careful, my sisters, in what we wear and how we wear it!

Websters 1828 dictionary defines modesty as: "moderation; decency; Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor."

Modesty not only honors God and our brothers but also ourselves.  Men will be blessed by your attempt to assist them in their desire for mental purity.  We will be blessed by their honorable treatment of us.  And God will be blessed and honored by your desire to follow His way in regards to modesty.

See below for some resources that have helped me in my search for modesty:

The Holy Bible- research modesty/clothing/purity and see what the Lord shows you!
The Modesty Survey - This site has helped my sisters and I really understand what men think and why!
Beautiful Girlhood - This book taught me that true beauty is on the inside not the out!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Voice of the Martyrs

I would like to draw your attention to a link on the sidebar for Voice of the Martyrs.  We came in contact with this wonderful ministry through our church.  Founded in the late 1960's by a persecuted pastor in Romania who escaped from behind the "iron curtain", this ministry was meant to be a voice to the free world of the intense persecution in the closed Communist bloc.  Many free Christians had no idea of the sufferings of their chained brothers and sisters.  Today Voice of the Martyrs assists Christians living in persecuted countries.  Unlike some organizations, VOM's main goal is not to assist Christians fleeing from their country but rather those who have determined to stand where God has placed them-no matter the cost.  If you go onto their website you can sign up for their free newsletter which alerts you of the needs of your brothers and sisters in different countries.  Also I highly recommend the book "Tortured for Christ" by Richard Wurmbrand.  To find out how you can help or purchase any of their excellent books or DVDs go HERE! 

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recipe: Sugar and Spice Cookies

Fall has finally arrived (sort-of...VA weather always flips back and forth) and with it the changing of the leaves, hot tea/cocoa, and COOKIES!!  Sugar and Spice cookies is one of our family's favorite fall/winter-time cookie recipes...enjoy!

Sugar and Spice Cookies

Cream:
1 c. dark sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 c. sucanat with honey (or white sugar)
1 c. of butter (2 sticks)

Then add:
2 eggs (preferably fresh from the farm: non-GMO and pastured raised....see HERE for more info)
1 t. vanilla

In a separate bowl combine:
4-5 c. of freshly milled soft white wheat or 4 c. of white flour (until the dough doesn't stick too bad to your fingers)
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
Then add these ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture.  After mixing thoroughly pinch off little balls and roll in a bowl of sugar.  Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.  Delicious hot and great leftover!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah    

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A verse the Lord showed me....

"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."
Matthew 24:12

I read this verse in my quiet time yesterday morning and the Lord revealed just a tiny bit about what this verse means.  To give you a little background, in Matthew 24 the disciples asked Jesus, "Tell us, when will these things be?  And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" [Matthew 24:3].  Jesus' response is recorded not only in Matthew 24 but also in Mark 13 and Luke 21; but only in Matthew is this verse recorded.  
Our family knows many couples who are struggling with their marriages.  In fact, in America a whopping 50% of marriages end in divorce.  The Lord showed me that because of the sexual lawlessness thriving in our country the love of many couples is growing cold.  Satan knows that the strength of a nation depends on the strength of the families.  He knows that marriage is "the Lord's holy institution which He loves..." [Malachi 2:11c] and that it is supposed to represent the love and commitment Christ has for His church.  For these reasons he has tried since the beginning of time to destroy the life-long vow of marriage.
I want to thank my daddy and mamma for understanding the importance of marriage and for fighting so hard to follow the model clearly set forth in the Bible.  The Lord has reasons in putting the man as the head of the wife, the wife in submission to the husband, and the children in obedience to both.  He has reasons for putting the wife in the home and not in the work place.  It is because God's people have chosen not to follow God's roles in marriage that divorce is on the rise.  If unbelievers do not see a difference between their own marriages and Christian's marriages then why would they want to come to Jesus?
Although lawlessness is abounding we still have the responsibility to "be holy as He is holy" [1 Peter 1:16] and to allow Him to use us in whatever way He sees fit.  How comforting to know that the Lord's love for us will never grow cold.  What an awesome God we have!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah
      

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: The Kingdom Series

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
2 Corinthians 10:4-6
My parents bought this book series by Chuck Black, a retired F-16 fighter pilot, in mid-June for family reading every night.  As soon as we picked up the first book we could not put it down.  Within 2 months we were done all 6 books and wanted more (we soon after bought the Knights Of Arrethtrae Series and have enjoyed those so far).  Anyway, about these books...........
Set in the 14th century A.D. be prepared to enter a world of knights, ladies in distress, sword fighting, dragons, etc.  Originally written to increase his children's interest in the Scriptures, Chuck Black expertly and eloquently weaves in an allegory of the entire Bible, starting in Genesis and ending with Revelation.  Your heart will beat with excitement during every encounter of good with evil; it will cheer in victory every time "The King reigns...and His Son" is proclaimed; it will be filled with sorrow when it seems as if evil has conquered only to be lifted out of the depths of despair when the Prince's Silent Warriors come to the rescue!  Prepare to be encouraged in your walk with Christ and challenged to give your ALL to the King to do with as He desires.  This isn't just a book for boys but courageous young women who desire to serve the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Suitable for all age ranges I highly recommend this series for the whole family to read.

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah
To find out more go HERE 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Family Beach Vacation

The Lord did allow us to enjoy our much-looked-forward-to beach vacation.  Hurricane Irene landed in Outer Banks the Saturday we were supposed to leave but after much prayer and the thumbs up from the realty company, we were able to leave last Monday.  We've gone every year with my mom's side of the family since before I was born!  Jesus has blessed me with some wonderful, fun-loving Aunts and Uncles and some great cousins!  This is the one week of the year that we put aside our differences, whatever they may be, and just enjoy being a family.  Please enjoy the pictures below!

Packing up early Monday morning!!

Our 15 passenger van is usually stuffed!

Every year we stop at Morris Farmers Market on our way down!

At the Farmers Market they have antique tractors that the kids were able to play on.  My sister Eden seemed to be enjoying it!

Peaches are one of our favorite fruits to get down there!!
We're finally here!!  It was really foggy when we arrived but it cleared up soon!

The front of our 8 bedroom rental home.

What our house looked like from the beach.
This was my brother Judah's first time at the beach!!  He loved the water but tried to get away from the sand.
Two of my sisters and I shared this colorful room.  We enjoyed having our own space!

The view of the ocean from the top deck of our home.

Three of my cousins!  Love um to death!!
The ocean!  Ah, how marvelous are your works O, Lord!!

My sister and another cousin jumping the waves.
The day before we left my sister Kimber took some updated beach photos of all of us!

The ones who started it all!  Love you guys!

The whole family.  Wouldn't trade you for the world!

L to R: Hannah (17), Lydia (3), Seth (10), Josiah (5), Lexi (14), Judah (1), Caleb (12), Eden (7), Kimber (15)

I leave you with this.
We had a wonderful time and made many memories.  How very blessed we are to be able to enjoy a vacation like this every year!

        "Those who go down to the sea in ships,
         Who do business on great waters,
 24 They see the works of the LORD,
         And His wonders in the deep.
 25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
         Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
 26 They mount up to the heavens,
         They go down again to the depths;
         Their soul melts because of trouble.
 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
         And are at their wits’ end.
 28 Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble,
         And He brings them out of their distresses.
 29 He calms the storm,
         So that its waves are still.
 30 Then they are glad because they are quiet;
         So He guides them to their desired haven.
 31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
         And for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
Psalm 107:23-31

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

P.S.- Photo's a courtesy of Photography for Jesus.  Please see my family's blog for a more detailed account of our beach vacation.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

"Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way.
Thou are the potter,
I am the clay...."

I was humming this hymn by Adelaide Pollard while doing my morning chore, when I realized something so simple yet so encouraging.  The Lord would have His own way no matter what.  When the world's falling down on us, when the political state of our nation is distressing, when our annual beach vacation could be ruined...He will still have His way!!

 
When problems arise do we, as Christians, remember that the Lord will have His way, and that His way is ALWAYS best??!  If we are in tune to the Savior His way will be our way.

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass....do not fret it only causes harm."
Psalm 37:5,8b

Have Thine own way, Lord in every endeavor I make in this life!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So What About Calvin?

I really hesitate to bring this subject up, mainly because I know this is a sore point for many people, but I do believe it's important as young ladies to be able to clearly and concisely declare what the Scripture says and why.

I believe that Calvin's 5 doctrines are misleading and unscriptural.  Before I go any farther I'd like to make it clear that I am not an Armenian or a Calvinist...I'm a Christian.  Please keep an open mind and heart as I attempt to show from the Scriptures my conviction.

To start out please see below for the 5 points of Calvinism:

Total Depravity (man was born completely in sin and unable to accept salvation on his own )
Unconditional Election (God chooses the elect just because He can)
Limited Atonement (Jesus died only for the elect)
Irresistible Grace (if you are elected you are unable to resist the message of salvation and thereby become a Christian)
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)


The underlying issue I have with all of these points is that it throws man's free will out the window.  Allow me to define free will: "power of independent action and choice".  

 Now when God placed Adam and Eve in the garden He told them,
“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 
Genesis 2:16c-17

He did not put an electric fence all around the tree, leaving man with no choice but to accept God's command, no, He left it out in the open.  He didn't want man to obey because he had to, He wanted us to obey because we wanted to.  All throughout Scripture we see the same choice.

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."
Deuteronomy 30:19  


All the prophets of old repeatedly called for repentance from the people of Israel or warned that destruction would surely fall on the land.  They frequently refused to listen and even killed the prophets of God.  Instead of choosing God's way they chose their own way and reaped the rewards thereof.

"Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts."
Zechariah 1:3

Does this apply to salvation as well?  All I've mentioned so far is Old Testament verses.  But I believe the Scripture is "given by inspiration of God..." and that He confirms His promises all throughout His Word.  Please see the following:

"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
Matthew 16:24


"But you were not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
John 5:40



"Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." "
John 6:29


"He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
John 6:38


"...he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
John 8:12


"...for is you do not believe I am He you will die in your sins."
John 8-24b

"...who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:6

There are hundreds more but I think you get the point.  There are two reoccurring action words in these Scriptures...follow and believe. There is an action side to our salvation.

Now, in regards to the "Perseverance of the Saints", I do believe some are chosen such as the disciples, Paul, and others but I also believe they could have "jumped ship" at any time.  A president is chosen for his position by the people but he's free to step down at any time.  We were chosen to be in the families that we're in but we can leave at any time and deny our connection.  The Lord does the same.  He does not keep us in a clenched fist but in a protective palm.  See below verses for why:

"Abide in Me, and I in you..."
John 15:4a
Why would we have to abide if we're already securely in God's Hand?  He will not force us to stay with Him, He wants us to stay with Him because we love Him!

"For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.  For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them."
2 Peter 2:20-21
In these verses Peter warns against those who "fall away"...meaning they were once in.  Instead of resisting temptation they allowed the devil or their flesh to overcome their love and commitment to Jesus Christ.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."
1 Peter 5:8-9
We have to be watchful in our Christian walk as the devil would like nothing more than to destroy us.  Why?  Because we are the light of the world, the city on the hill, we are his ultimate demise.

So, what about Calvin?  What about him.  Search the Scriptures.  Ask the Lord to teach you and He will because He promises, "if you seek you will find, if you search with all your heart".  If I was in prison for my faith with another brother or sister who was a Calvinist it wouldn't matter.  What does matter is "Who do you say that I am?"  [Matthew 16:15]


Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Post Coming!

I promise my weekly post is coming sometime this week!!  We've been really busy and the subject of my next post is rather heavy.  Please bear with me.  I leave you with a verse until then!

"that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
Deuteronomy 30:20

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Monday, August 8, 2011

Verses that have encouraged me lately!

"I will love You, O Lord, my strength." 
Psalm 18:1 ~ My Savior deserves ALL my love! 


"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart."
Jeremiah 24:7 ~ It also says in Jeremiah 14 that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.  Only the Lord Jesus Christ can change my ugly, sinful heart into something whole and beautiful!


"As for me, here I am, in Your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to You."
Jeremiah 26:14 ~ The Lord's ways are so above ours!  If we would simply trust Him and allow Him to do what He wishes in us, we will be more useful, more fulfilled than we ever could anywhere else!



"...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance."
Ephesians 1:17-18 ~ May the Lord guide each of us as we strive to find His will in our lives and fulfill it!


"For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 2:21 ~ May this not be said of us!

As a side note, today my wonderful parents celebrate 19 years of wedded bliss!  I constantly thank the Lord for the two awesome people He has placed in my life as my parents.  Their love and commitment to each other and to the Lord is inspiring!



"Many waters cannot quench love, nor can floods drown it..."
Song of Solomon 8:7a

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Monday, August 1, 2011

Recipe: Easy Tuna Casserole

Most of our family loves this dish when we have leftover spaghetti and only a little bit of time to prepare dinner.  It's very creamy and simple.  Enjoy!

Tuna Casserole

1 16 oz. can of Cream of Mushroom
1 can of milk (use the Cream of Mushroom can)
1 large can of tuna, drained
1 box of spaghetti (cooked or leftover)
Cheddar Cheese or Velveeta for a creamier dish

Combine Cream of Mushroom, tuna, milk, and spaghetti (you can layer it if you like :).  Top with bountiful amounts of cheese!  Cook at 350 for 30-45 minutes (until hot).  Serve and enjoy!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Monday, July 25, 2011

Encouraging Words!

The Lord showed me today just how important encouraging words are!  He has a lot to say in His Word about our speech - we can use it for building up or tearing down. 

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell."
James 3:6

"He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit."
Proverbs 17:27
An old picture of all of us girls.

Oftentimes my mouth gets me into trouble because instead of "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" I'm quick to say what's on my mind...even if it's not Christ-honoring.  I think the biggest and also the hardest thing that defines the quality of a  brother/sister relationship is your speech toward them.  Last year at the Homeschool Convention I was able to attend a session about brother/sister relationships by Dr. S.M. Davis.  He said, and I agree (although it's very hard to practice), that 90% of your speech should be encouraging and 10% should be criticism.  I find that I'm usually switched around....I'm 90% criticism and 10% encouraging.  I believe the main reason for this is that I think more highly of myself than I ought and instead of comparing myself to Jesus I compare myself to others and think, "why, I'm not doing so bad" or "I'm better than that person, by far".  How shocking!! 

Some of my loving siblings!


"In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them." 
Proverbs 14:3
 
How true is the verse in Jeremiah 17:9, “ The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?"  The answer to this question is of course the Lord.  He knows all the mean, prideful, evil things about me and yet He still loves me!!??!!  How amazing is His love!


If you do not have Jesus Christ as your Savior I'm praying for you.  There is nothing more wonderful than a real relationship with the God of the universe!!  No one else, nothing else, can ever fill that void in your life except Jesus Christ!!  He died so you and I might live; He rose so that we might live with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom for eternity.  Isn't it amazing that He would want you and I to live with Him in paradise!  The least we can do is offer up our lives for Him to do with as He wills.


Anyways, back to encouraging words.  As the oldest in my family I sometimes find it difficult to be just the loving, encouraging sister; not the overbearing, bossy "second mother".  This morning, instead of encouraging my brother I brought him down with my selfish, condemning words.  I later asked him for forgiveness and he encouraged me, even though I had just been unkind to him!  I believe he's surpassed me as a Christian!  I love all my brothers and sisters so much and wouldn't trade my family for any other.  They love me even though they know my faults and sins so well.  How thankful I am for that love!

A big hug from my youngest sister!!



"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her own hands"
Proverbs 14:1

Only with the Lord's help can we become this woman!  If we will allow Him to work in our speech, actions, and thoughts, He will change us into something beyond our wildest imaginations!
What a mighty God we serve!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah 


Monday, July 18, 2011

Exercising while Cellercising®


Home Based Half-Fold Cellerciser® Kit
The Cellerciser®
Okay, you're probably still trying to figure out the root word of "cellercising" and what in the world it has to do with exercising! :)  No worries, I'll get to that soon.  First things first, as a young lady I had found it difficult to work out as much I had wanted until I met the Cellerciser®.  A Cellerciser is a mini-trampoline also known as a rebounder.  This isn't any run of the mill  rebounder though.  Specially constructed the springs are three-tiered and will not stretch out over time, unlike the cheap department store versions.  The mat, made up of durable, non-stretching material, allows you to land as if you're on solid ground instead of causing your feet to bend in towards your body which can cause ankle, knee, and back problems.  Sturdy and resistant to UV rays, you can leave it outside and it will still be just as usable as if you had left it inside.  Now, I think that the health benefits are even better than the amazing quality of this product.  Instead of going against gravity as you would if you were lifting, you're moving with gravity.  As you bounce high you're increasing your gravitational force and when you fall down every single muscle in your body is pulled on simply to keep yourself upright.  You only have to bounce for 10-15 minutes a day to see benefits!  Not only that, but when you bounce you flush out your cells keeping you healthy and more immune resistant.  Thus the name Cellercising: exercising your cells.
The benefits for us ladies I think is immense!  You can bounce in the privacy of your own home without the worries of causing your brothers to stumble due to the exercise clothing available.  You're also not using a machine or weight that hundreds of other hands have been on, thus you are safer in regards to germs.  I personally can testify that this works!  I've lost 5 pounds since I started doing it 5 days a week in January and I have been sick only once since then.  I really didn't believe what it claimed but now my sisters, mother, father, and I can prove that it works.  My father quit his $40 subscription to a local gym and began working out using the Cellerciser...he has built muscle!  So, girls if you can afford it (it is a little expensive but it's worth it!!) buy a Cellerciser and enjoy the benefits of exercising while cellercising!! 

We got ours HERE!  To get a special discount on your own new Cellerciser enter coupon code: jesussaves.

But do remember this verse during your exercising endeavors:
"For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."
1 Timothy 4:8

If we're in shape physically but weak spiritually we have failed.  Jesus should be first in everything in our lives...even exercising!

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah     

Monday, July 11, 2011

Movie Review: Agenda


The story of how we first found out about this movie is quite interesting.  In 2007 my father and I attended the Vision Forum Father/Daughter Retreat and there met Mr. Bowers and his two beautiful daughters while eating and enjoying the High Tea.  Soon after lunch Mr. Bowers asked my Dad if I would be willing to pen-pal his youngest daughter.  I agreed and so began our long distance writing relationship.
In summer 2010 I was told by my friend that her father was almost finished producing his new movie, "Agenda", and was planning on entering it into the San Antonio Film Festival.  Around mid-November we eagerly watched the SAFF blog and prayed that, if the Lord willed, Agenda would win.  Early the morning after the winners were announced I ran to the computer and checked the festival's blog.  I couldn't believe my eyes, THEY HAD WON FIRST PLACE!!!  I was so excited and so happy of my friend and her family.  Soon after we ordered a copy of our own and watched it together as a family.  What we saw not only amazed us but drove us to action.
Narrated by the producer, Agenda tells the story of how he was invited to take the place of a friend at an undercover meeting of the Communist Party USA in 1992.  What he heard and saw was just the beginning of many years of research about the communists and their political agenda.  Chilling to say the least, he explains that communism is not by any means dead but alive and well, thriving in "free" America.  He will walk you through several communist books that were published in the 1950's and show how their goals then are being fulfilled now.  He will show you that we are very close to full blown communism and that the biggest threat to the US right now is self destruction.  Explore the many close ties President Obama has to radical communists and communistic groups such as the Fabians, ACORN, etc.  Listen as Mr. Bowers interviews over 15 people all across America and asks them about communism and its goals.  Please understand this is not a conspiracy theory. This is reality.  The evidence is too much to be denied.  Gather your whole family, share this movie with your church, friends, acquaintances, etc.  Everyone needs to know about this before it's too late and we no longer have the freedom to stand for what this nation was founded on.

To learn more go here!
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah   

Monday, July 4, 2011

America! America!

"This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing.  Give glory to the Lord your God, before He causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death and makes it dense darkness."
Jeremiah 13:10, 16

In the beginning of a great nation, strong godly men knelt in prayer for hours before making any drastic decision that would effect their country that they loved so well.  Humble and prayerful, the Lord blessed their efforts and blessed their country.  Rich in natural resources and with many plentiful jobs, thousands of immigrants came to the "land of the free and the home of the brave".  Founded on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, this nation flourished and people not only found physical rest but rest for their souls.  There was no nation like it on earth! 
Several hundred years past and men became "too smart for God".  Relying on their own strength and following their own selfish desires they quickly led the country away from the firm foundation that had weathered all storms and withstood all attacks.  Unrepentent and unprotected, this nation soon fell into the hands of the Devil.  Reveling in his success at taking down the first nation founded on the Bible, Satan soon infiltrated the schools, the government, the medical system, and the Biblical definition of marriage.  Living apart from the safety of God's fold and purposly walking contrary to the path set forth in the Scripture, this once mighty country now faces the sure judgement of God..........  Is that the end of America?  Shall we become an astonishment and byword [Duet. 28;37] among the ungodly nations?
Will we turn America back to the Lord before it's too late? 
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 
2 Chr. 7:14  

This is our solution as believers.  We need to humble ourselves as a nation, realizing we've done wrong.  We need to pray for forgiveness then seek the Lord once again.  We have a very gracious Lord and Savior who would gladly receive us back into His arms if we would but run to Him. 

Will you pray with me for America? 
Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah   

Monday, June 27, 2011

A List of "firsts"

  "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, 
Do not stir up nor awaken love 
Until it pleases."  
Songs of Solomon 8:4

I don't know about you but it helps me to write down certain things I'd like to remember.  A couple of days ago I wrote down a list that contained all the "firsts" I'd like to happen between only me and my husband, if the Lord has one for me.  Below are some things that I wrote down:

~ *My first kiss.*  This is definitely a priority.  I want this to be a special gift we give to each other.  Ideally he would have saved his first kiss for me as well!  (Please read "The Princess and the Kiss" if you haven't already!)

~All physical intimacy.  The Lord created certain things for marriage and marriage only!  I want to save ALL I can for my future spouse!!   

~My first dance with another man outside my family.  Dancing is a very intimate action that I would love to save for my wedding night!

~My first bouquet from a man.  I desire to save all romantic actions for just me and my future husband!

~My first ring.  I made a commitment to not wear any ring unless given to me by my future spouse (wedding ring, engagement ring, etc.).  Please understand this is something I felt led to do and I certainly do not expect you to do the same!  I know some of you have purity rings, college rings, etc. and I don't think there's anything wrong with them!  I just think that receiving my first ring from my husband will make it that much more special to me!!

Those are just a couple of examples!  There are plenty more "firsts" I could name off.  You may be asking, "Why have "firsts"?  What's so special about it?"  I think they're very important and so does the Bible!  The first born sons, first fruits, and basically the first of anything in the Scriptures has always taken on significance.  Both my parents can testify that their pre-marriage relationships with the opposite sex did not improve their quality of marriage but rather caused a certain amount of tension.  Instead of appreciating everything they had to offer to each other they began comparing each other to their former relationships.  As an example, if mom got flowers from her boyfriend before dad then she almost unconsciously compares dad's flowers he gets for her to the other flowers from her earlier boyfriend.  You tend to be unsatisfied with your spouse and ungrateful for all that he/she is.  I want everything in my future marriage to be new and beautiful.  Each day better than the last.  Every gift received and given to be fully appreciated and compared to nothing else, as there is nothing else ;).

This post is obviously with the expectation of marriage in mind.  Even if the Lord's will is not for me to marry I still desire to stay as physically and emotionally pure for Him, for He is my first beloved.  My first and primary goal in life to, "...love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind,’ and ‘my neighbor as myself.’”"  Luke 10:27 [personal pronouns I changed]
Nothing else, nobody else will ever take His seat as first in my life!

So write down a list of "firsts".  Pray and ask the Lord to help you keep all you can for your one and only husband.  
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Poem

Lessons by the Death Bed

Sitting by her bedside,
Holding tight her hand,
Thinking of the Spirit inside
Who's fleeing for Christ's land.
Wondering what it feels like,
Hoping she's not in pain,
Praying that through her Savior's might
She'll reap the heavenly gain.
Wanting to go with her,
Knowing it's not my time,
Trying to keep my life so pure
While waiting for what's mine.
Living for Jesus all of my life
Regretting none of my days,
Keeping in tune to my Savior's voice,
Until I'm in heavenly rays.


Inspired by my Great-Grandma who went to be with Jesus last Wednesday.

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Priorities

My adorable 9 month old brother, Judah!

I think it is hard for us young people to grasp the reality that life is short!  I attended the homeschool convention Friday and the keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Swenson, urged the necessity of having the right priorities.  When someone is dying the priorities that really matter in life suddenly jump into full view...the Lord, family, friends......... people.  But when they've recovered those priorities are quickly blocked by the meaningless "stuff" that surrounds them.  Are we the same way?  Do you and I allow the things we're surrounded by to dictate to us what should be a priority?  As Christians, our very first priority is to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever"!  I believe if He's first in everything that the things which should be a priority will become one.  I frequently forget how important it is that I invest in the lives of my younger siblings!  I only have a short time with them and then I'll be in the next phase of the life the Lord has for me.

My sweet youngest sister, Lydia!
"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”" 
James 4:13-15

It says here that our lives are but a vapor.  May our prayer always be, "Lord, use this vapor to reach as many people as you see fit!"  If our eyes are fixed on Jesus it's hard to stray down the slippery path of mixed priorities.

Learning to delight in Jesus,
Hannah