Saturday, March 27, 2010

"To Know You" - Then Sings My Soul Saturday

What's our purpose in life? What's God's goal for our lives? To make us like Jesus... to bring him glory. Paul said in Philippians 3 that

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord...

Nearly every line of this song is rooted in Scripture, especially in the book of Philippians (mostly chapter 3). What does it mean to know Christ?

See more inspirational music at Amy's this weekend.

To Know You
Casting Crowns

To know You is to never worry for my life
To know You is to never give into compromise and
To know You is to want to tell the world about You
‘Cause I can’t live without You

To know You is to hear Your voice when You are calling
To know You is to catch my brother when he is falling
To know You is to feel the pain of the brokenhearted
‘Cause they can’t live without You

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All I’m reaching for, I live my life to know You more
I leave it all behind, You’re all that satisfies
To know You is to want to know You more
To know You is to want to know You more

To know You is to ache for more than ordinary
To know You is to look beyond the temporary
To know You is believing that You’ll be enough
‘Cause there’s no life without You

All this life could offer me
Could not compare to You, compare to You
And I count it all as loss
Compared to knowing You, knowing You

All this life could offer me
Could not compare to You, compare to You
And I count it all as loss
Compared to knowing You, knowing You

And I count it all as loss
Compared to knowing You, knowing You

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Reading Thing 2010

It's been a long while since I've participated in Katrina's reading challenges, but now that I'm a bit more settled in the new house and have that all-important library card.... Well, it's time to jump back in!

I am trying to avoid my tendency to put reading ahead of the other responsibilities in my life, hence my list is shorter than in times past. This also has to do with the fact that many of the books are library requests and I am not sure how long it will take to get them. The library here has a shorter check-out period than I've been accustomed to (2 vs. 3 weeks), so I may have to do the unusual (for me, at any rate) and renew some of them. I'm not sure of the rules here, but in previous libraries, renewing wasn't an option if someone else was waiting, so hopefully that won't be a problem. The online system back in CA actually showed me what my position in the holds list was, so I knew how many people were ahead of and behind me in the list; I don't have that luxury here, so I'm flying blind.

With all that out of the way, here's the list:

Books on hand

The Annotated Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery. This has been on my shelf for a good while now. 

The Wee Musketeers, Robert Bresloff. This is an Advanced Reader's Copy I received through LibraryThing. It's a kids' book and won't take long once I take the time to sit down with it. Looks like fun, and is right up Joel's alley. 

Not a Tame Lion, Bruce Edwards. Another book I've had for quite some time. I actually began this one, but it got misplaced in one of our moves and I found it again shelving books after this one. 

Shades of Blue, Karen Kingsbury. Technically not on hand, but will be arriving in the next week or so.

Books I'm waiting on

Girl Meets God, Lauren Winner. This book received a lot of buzz several years ago, but this will be my first chance to read it.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller. Having loved his previous books, I'm really looking forward to this one.

Take Three, Karen Kingsbury. Third in a series of four.

Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver. Light fiction... read an online review that sounded interesting.

Coral Moon, Brandilyn Collins. Another book I read a recent review of. I've read some of her work before. Light suspense, nothing heavy.

The Rise of the Black Wolf,  Derek Benz. This is second in a trilogy for young adults. Joel is currently reading the first (which I read a few years ago). I want to pre-read this one for him.

The Fall of the Templar, Derek Benz. Book three of the trilogy.

I'm also hoping to come across something good to read aloud with the kids. We have gotten out of the practice of reading aloud and I'd like to start again.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

From there to here

This is part 2 of this post...

The USAF whisked us away from Ohio one wintry February day and set us down in Omaha, NE. We had been in Omaha house-hunting one weekend a few months before (November 2002) and had visited a church that just "felt" right to us. We had emailed the church before coming and had received emails from a few people there, so we weren't entirely strangers that very first visit, nor the second time after we arrived in our new home. The amazing thing about this congregation was the speed at which we became a part of things. Never before in our lives had we been invited into ministry so quickly. Our very first Sunday there, we wound up staying after church for the better part of the day and helping coach puppet and drama skits for LTC. Emily was assimilated quite quickly into the group and was given roles in both drama and puppet skits, participated in the chorus, and even caught up with the group in Bible Bowl study. Our LTC involvement lasted the entire time we were there (just a little over 2 years... we managed to get in 3 conventions before having to move again).  

Our LTC group was more than just a group of parents mentoring their kids, though. We were a small group as well... we prayed and sang together, shared our hearts and hurts, and took care of each other. This was another first for us. We'd not experienced this before. These relationships filled a void in our lives and created relationships that we are still keeping alive today.

It wasn't just through LTC and small group that we felt connected. We were blessed to have reached this church just shortly before they hired a new preaching minister. So we got to be the "new folks" with him and his family. We fell in love with them all. We became regular out-to-lunch friends on Sunday afternoons, spent occasional Friday or Saturday evenings playing board games, and went to the occasional concert together.  Halle was the flower girl for their daughter's wedding the weekend before we moved away. If you're a regular reader, you know that they are still a part of our lives; Jim came to CA for Brian's retirement ceremony. 

I look back and I see how we were going through a progression of sorts... in Ohio, we learned what it felt like to be loved. In retrospect, I feel like I was soaking it all up, but not really passing it on. Then in Nebraska, the same kind of love was there, but in addition, we were equipped to display love to others. Plus, we had the benefit of getting to be involved in ministry in ways we'd never been able to before. It was amazing to me, who had always felt kind of on the fringe of things. Now that I had a taste of what it was truly like to belong, I could never be satisfied with just sitting back and letting others do everything. What I learned there gave me the passion to be involved.

If leaving Ohio was hard, leaving Nebraska was even harder. And I had even more states to scatter my tears through as we traveled from there to California less than 2 1/2 years after arriving there.

I can't help but look back on all this as we begin a new chapter of life here in Alabama. We're settling into a new church family. In the less than 2 months we've been there, I'm already finding a place to serve on the praise team. I'm looking forward to an overnight women's retreat this weekend in Nashville and hoping I get to know some folks better at that. Brian's involved in a men's class on Wednesday nights, the kids are enjoying their classes... We're excited to see what God's going to have us do here. 

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