Come ye apart before you come apart

Mark 6 – 30The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

How true it is that when you start to find time to meditate and soak in God’s message, your whole attitude changes with reading the Bible. You start to search and seek out His word…it’s a wonderful feeling of change, give it a try some time!

I recommend picking a book or topic you want to read about in the Bible (currently, we’re reading a new book of Acts this month). Find out what time is best for you, what time of the day do you have an extra few minutes and will actually remember what you read. For me, this is early morning, but I’ve only had time late in the day (as you can tell by the time of this post).

If you’re interested in reading about a topic, maybe it’s a theme you’re struggling with in life right now…here’s a great starting place to find a theme and read passages about it:

Youversion

30 Day Plans

BibleStudy for Beginners

If nothing else grab a friend (or many), pick a book, read a chapter a day and talk about what YOU got out of it. It will be interesting to hear what everyone got out of the same passage. It’s also entertaining to use Bible Gateway to read different translations, literal translations, etc. (check out “The Message” to read a modern rendition compared to some of the older translations.

Have fun!

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Acts

Wow. We’re a bit more than halfway through Acts and with every chapter so far, we are shown the great “acts” that God does and that fellow believers do as well as those that happen to non-believers and how they are transformed.

This reminds me of Laurel and I, what first inspired us to find our church. It was almost a year ago today and we’re looking for an Easter Egg hunt to take the kids, but also using this as an opportunity to check out local churches. Laurel is watching our pastor, Peter, give a sermon and calls me into the room to check him out. We really like how he is preaching the word, how relaxed both he and the church is and it’s growing on us by the minute. I get up to find something to write on and what do I pick up? A flyer from Hill Country Bible Church Leander talking about the Easter Egg hunt they’re doing and inviting us to check out the church! At that point, we looked at each other with that “whoa” expression and knew it was meant to be! Now, the Easter Egg hunt at the church got rained out, so we weren’t able to meet the people in the church that day, but we went the next Sunday and have been attending ever since.

I’m so glad, with a few minor “acts”, all of the signs were put in front of us, almost hitting us upside the head as if to say, “Hey! What do I gotta do here? GO TO THIS CHURCH!!” haha. We love our church, we love the people in it and it has strengthened our religious and faith more than anything I’ve ever known or felt. Thank you for finding us, HCBC, just as Paul and his disciples would find people and spread the word in Acts. Don’t ignore those signs, people, God has a plan for all of us individually and when things happen, you better be paying attention! 🙂

In other news, I’m over my stomach bug sickness that took me out for about 48 hours. The rest of the family caught it too and look to be recovering as well. Braeden and Julia (any maybe Mommy….I sure hope not) got pink eye on top of it, but as of Sunday night, everyone was looking more and more healthy. I had such a reserve of energy, I went out and ran about 3.6 miles that morning then rode my bike into work for the first time in probably 8-9 months (26 miles round trip). I probably should’ve eased into it a different way, but I had the energy…at least in the morning I had it. The ride home was pretty brutal and now, the next day, my knee is killing me. Oh well, it rained today so I’ll rest it and take it easy, not a whole lot of walking in an office job, thankful for that on rare occasions. I do wish they’d get to installing bike lanes and/or shoulders on these roads. It’s fun to cruise past everyone bumper to bumper, but scary when I have to ride about 6 inches away from them. Traffic sure has increased here within the past year.

Bible software on the iPad…

is going to ROCK! I would love to study the Bible on such a brightly lit screen with references to the different translations, pictures, maps, cross references, etc. Logos is already working on their version (and giving away an iPad a day). Pretty sweet if I ever get an iPad, this will be a good use for it (as will these accessories made by modulR (the car mount sold it for me):

I tried Bing for the first time ever because I thought there was a problem with Google (turns out, there was a problem with my wireless, easy fix), but the exploration was pretty cool as they had this as their homepage:

They have about 7 images you can use as a background for the search page, you can also download them to use for a desktop background. I can’t believe I’m actually liking something Microsoft is doing, but it was a pleasant surprise. The search results I got were of course, not enough to keep me coming back, but I may check out their site once a week just to check out the images and Easter Eggs within the images.

Of course, those who know me well know that this was enough to keep me from really ever going back:

But I’m sure I’ll tough it out…until they put a cephalopod on there…that will definitely be the last straw…

Just kidding. I love all of God’s creatures, although that doesn’t mean I can’t have my weird fears sometimes, right?

Lord, give me the strength and courage to face all of my fears. I put my trust in You and hope that you fill my heart with courage to face the day and the scary things that are out there (besides weird sea creatures) 🙂

In sickness and in health!

Woo boy, what a weekend! Somehow, somewhere, I picked up a viral bug that kept me home on Friday…I’ll spare you the details, but just imagine you went to Mazatlan and had a 2 liter of tap water, ok? Laurel did a great job of taking care of me and keeping my hydrated, fed, isolated, the house smelled like Spic N Span & Lysol, I thought that would be enough.

The same day, Braeden was diagnosed with pink eye and that spread to Julia shortly thereafter. Come Saturday afternoon, I think I’m doing better but hold on…at approximately 1am, I hear synchronized vomiting coming from about 4 people! Looks like that bug spread faster than you can say Afghanistan Bananastand and I’m washing sheets, towels and floors like those scrubbing bubbles characters. It’s getting to be Sunday evening and everyone’s been getting lots of rest, fluids and anything else I can provide.

Thank you, Lord for giving me the strength and the power to help take care of my family. I know none of this would not be possible without your presence and faith that you give us. Praise to you for everything that you’ve done and everything that you’ve given us, blessed are we that you are in our hearts and watching over us, in your name we pray, Amen.

Get better or get bitter!

Heard 2 powerful podcasts lately that really resonate as we enter into a new season, reminding me that just because something is over, we do not stop (John 19.30). If you lose something important, don’t get something you’ve prayed for or when you think about losing something important, are your first thoughts related to God failing you? “Bitterness is always a wrong response to an apparent negative.”

If this interests you, or if you need some guidance in this area, I encourage you to check out a few great sermons that inspired me today:

Peter Horn from Hill Country Bible Church Leander with “How Can A Loving God Send People to Hell?” and David Sheppard from Hill Country Bible Church Leander with “What About Evil and Suffering?”. Both are part of a wonderful 5 part series called “F.A.Q about GOD” that is worth checking out either on iTunes or from the HCBC Leander Sermon archive.

and

Brian Houston from Hillsong Church (Sydney AUS) with “He Takes Away To Establish (pt.1 and pt.2)”

All are free and such a great use of time, especially in the car…check them out and let me know what you think or if you have a great suggestion of your own!

On a somewhat related note, I’m over what was probably the most serious stomach bug I’ve had for as long as I can remember and my Apple TV died. Adios to both as we enter into this new season of Spring…I now have my energy restored and one less reason to plop in front of the television…blessings in disguise, getting better, not bitter!

First post!

Setting up this blog to collect some day-to-day musings…do I REALLY need another name/password to remember? I guess so! 🙂

Reading: Acts 7 (NIV)

Acts 7:55. "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God."

So many powerful messages here…every time I read through it, I take away something different, here’s a new realization for me:

“57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him,”

It’s amazing (and unfortunate) just how quickly and how often man rejects God.“

58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.”

I always took this as their anger towards Stephen but now I see it as their anger against God and the power for which they could not understand. I bet this struck a strong chord with the crowd in which their fear took over.

“Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.”

Realization that Stephen’s final prayer was heard…