Summer Count Off

Friday, July 31, 2009

Things of This Summer 2009
  • Shopping for Clothes
  • Vacation Bible School
  • BBQing with Friends
  • Watching Fireworks over the River
  • Swimming
  • Reading Good Books
  • Watching Swimming Lessons
  • Tutoring
  • Seeing "Up" at the Theatre
  • Went to the Water Park
  • Summer Reading Program
  • Family Camp
  • Seeing the Guys from Reach Records in concert - TWICE
  • Picking Raspberries
  • Cooking up massive amounts of food when our freezer began to thaw out (on accident)
  • Seeing Harry Potter at the Theatre
  • Setting up Mom's Gazebo 
  • Picnics in the Park
  • Walks in the Warm Night Air
Yes, there are some things I'd like to, plan to, and will add to the list - but so far, I'd say that my summer is going quite well! The best part -

I know that all the things (good and "bad") I've been facing this summer are for my good in that they are shaping me into the image of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So that, God may be made known among those I come into contact with and my joy may be full!!! 

C.S. Lewis

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Surely we've all heard of him. Here is something he wrote that I read today:

"The safest road to hell is the gradual one...the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." 

Something More Valuable

Monday, July 27, 2009

A sermon to help you see that "nothing is more valuable than the Kingdom of God"!

Experiencing Hospitality

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This last week, my family went away on a retreat. We were privileged to spend time with about 15 Christian families at a ranch in the countryside. 

This place is a wonderful get away for us. We have developed friendships with the people that live there as well as other guests we've met during the different times we've visited. 

The element that makes this place in the middle of nowhere so appealing, even to a "city" girl like me, is the way the people there extend hospitality to their guests. 

Through the different times I've visited, I've learned that in the body of Christ, we must take turns serving and being served. To say it another way, in our serving there will be times where we are also being served and it is essential that we gladly accept it

These experiences (both serving and accepting service from others) provide a unity in Christ  and teach us a little more of this bond we share in Him. 

Childlike Hospitality

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How often do kids want to have friends over? 

Ask any parent and I'll bet that's probably one of the number one questions they hear while raising their kids. 

What prompts this desire - a favorite meal, a special game, or just an ordinary day? 

Whatever the cause, I think it's time that we take a look at their simple wish to be hospitable! 

If only we would open our doors, invite others in, and not have a care as to whether we're "up to it today".  As we minister to others in this way, I think we'll begin to see that it's not so bad after all. 


Thursday, July 09, 2009

The ladies at GirlTalk are starting a series on hospitality. 

If you're not familiar with them, I'd encourage you to head over for a visit. I can promise you that you will not be disappointed. 

Here is a favorite highlight of the posts that have been made so far:


Hospitality is a love of strangers. “It is to show kindness to strangers in such a way  that they cease to be strangers.” It is “A concrete and personal expression of Christian love, intended to include strangers in a circle of care.” (New Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

A “stranger” isn’t merely a person you’ve never laid eyes on before. So often, people in our churches, neighborhoods, jobs, schools, and even extended family are strangers. Even though we see them every day, we hardly know them. 

But when someone walks through our front door, a tangible, powerful thing happens. There is a fundamental change in our relationship. People who were once strangers cease to be strangers. They become a guest, and even a friend.

As someone that is said to be gifted in this area, this series has caught my attention for sure! Please feel free to jump back here for a discussion of any points that interest, challenge, or inspire you! 

Why the Name?

I've got a confession to make. It's nothing extreme. As with a lot of the writing I do, when I named my blog the words just came to me (Through*For*By). Since I liked the sound of them, I kept them even though I really wasn't sure exactly what they meant or where they came from.

Sure, I knew that meditating on Scriptures like Colossians 1:16 melded these words into my heart and mind. But at the time, the why behind me choosing these words for my blog was a mystery to me.

Last night, out of nowhere, they came into my head. All three, one by one, along with meaning. 

For anyone wondering, here is the simple answer to the meaning behind the title of my blog:

 I live THROUGH God, FOR God, because I was created BY God. 

Meditating on the Word

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I spent some time in Psalm 73. I was so moved by this Psalm that I want to share with you the verses that especially stuck out to me. 

Understand that I picked up my Bible and thought, "Let's see what 73 has to say." 

As it turns out, the theme of this chapter fits right into what God has been teaching me lately and the studying I've been doing through John Piper's book "Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist".

Truly God is good to Israel, to those are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Behold, these are the wicked: always at ease, they increase in riches.

But when I thought how to understand this [the confusion expressed in vs. 13-15], it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!

When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward You. Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to Glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You? 

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

For behold, those who are far from You shall perish; You put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to You. 

But for me it is good to be near God;

I have made the Lord God my refuge,

that I may tell of all Your works!!!