Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Wedding!

Today my dear friend, Tara, was married to her wonderful prince! The ceremony was exquisitely beautiful, the Lord was honored and glorified, the reception was full of happy fellowship, and now Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Craig have ridden off into the sunset amidst a shower of rose petals!

If you wanted to be at the big event, but couldn't make it, live streaming was offered through their wedding website. I heard that only 75 people were able to log on before the connection got too full of people to accommodate any more. However, the video that was streamed live is able to be viewed here. I just watched portions of it myself. Unfortunately, the sound quality is full of static when anything musical was happening, but otherwise, the effect was pretty good. There are commercials scattered throughout the video at all the wrong moments, but with a little patience, the whole ceremony is eventually seen!

I'll try to blog more about this delightful weekend, but I'm exhausted from all the festivities and must go to bed!

Until the next time, I remain one tuckered out but very happy bridesmaid. :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Beauty of the Bible

I read this outline in a book today and thought it was such a beautiful portrayal of the perfection of Scripture:

The New Testament is contained in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is explained in the New Testament.

The New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.

The Old Testament anticipates the New Testament.
The New Testament authenticates the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament, the New Testament lies hidden.
In the New Testament, the Old Testament lies open.

The Old Testament foreshadows the New Testament.
The New Testament fulfills the Old Testament.

In the Old Testament, they were always seeking.
In the New Testament, they found.

The Old Testament predicts a Person.
The New Testament presents that Person.

And that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ who fully validated the Old Testament.

The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) presents the Figures of Christ.

The Psalms present the Feelings of Christ.
The Prophets present the Foretellings of Christ.

The Gospels present the Facts of Christ.
The Epistles present the Fruits of Christ.

Religion is what sinful people try to do for a Holy God.
The Gospel is the Good News of what a Holy God has already done for sinful people.

~ Roy Gustafson
Excerpt from The Name, by Franklin Graham

Another Encouraging Story!

Just this morning, I received an email with this link to a very encouraging blog post about what God is doing in Ukraine through Euro Team Outreach! This is the missionary organization that my good friends, Joshua and Kelsie Steele head up, and with whom Katelin and Nathan work.

Make sure to check it out!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More Discipleship Adventures...Chinese Style

Meet my Chinese girls' Bible study.

This is my favorite place to be every Friday night!

We have a great time studying God's Word together. And yes, we have plenty of fun doing so!

Just recently, we started a new study using the book by Elizabeth George entitled A Young Woman After God's Own Heart. It's the first time in five years that we are doing a "formal" study written by an author, rather than a Katrina-created study. :-) I must say, I am enjoying the break from writing lessons, and am finding this book by Elizabeth George to have very basic, practical exhortations which are exactly what my group needs to be learning right now.

Two weeks ago, the girls had a blast making their own journals in which to record their homework assignments as well as special verses from their quiet times with God.

They are all quite gifted when it comes to art of any sort. It was such a joy to watch them delight in this project!

However, it was even more of a joy to hear them read from their journals the following week regarding the story of Mary and Martha as their homework assignment had instructed. Their descriptions of this famous "tale of two sisters" were precious to hear!

I LOVE my Chinese girls!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Please Pray

Please pray for the Ireland family, missionaries in Ukraine. They just received word today that their 20-year-old daughter, a student at Pensacola Christian College, died in a kayak accident off the coast of Maine. You can read the press article here.

Though I've never met the Irelands personally, they are good friends of the ETO team in Ukraine with whom Nathan and Katelin serve, and their reputation is one of a dynamic, Godly family. My heart goes out to them over this sudden and unexpected loss. Please pray for God's comfort to be poured forth upon them at this time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An Encouraging Story

I was very blessed to read this story today on the Law Man's blog. What a great reminder that God often uses witnessing experiences in ways we may never know about...

Let us not lose heart or grow weary in well doing when it comes to sharing the Gospel message!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Details...

To learn more details about Baby Day who is on the way, see Katelin and Nathan's post here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Breaking News!

1 + 1 = 3

It's a very happy Mother's Day in Ukraine today!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Discipleship Adventures

There are few things that I find more exciting than discipleship. Teaching God's Word to hungry young women is one the most fulfilling joys of my life. There is something so precious about seeing the light in someone's eyes as they grasp hold of new truths from the Bible and learn more of the Lord than they knew before.

Three weeks ago, I went over to our neighbor's house to help the ladies in their family with a home work assignment for the Sunday school class we are all in at church. Because these ladies are baby Christians and their knowledge of Scripture is limited, I figured they would need some assistance navigating their way through the home work assignment as well as the pages of Scripture necessary to fulfilling it. They were very grateful for the help, and we had a delightful time gathered around their kitchen table studying Proverbs 31, Titus 2, and 1 Peter 3 as pertains to virtuous women! These Scripture verses were new to them and they gleaned a lot from the pages of God's Word.

During that evening study, the oldest daughter, Stephanie (age 17), asked if I was available every Wednesday to come and do Bible study together. What a blessing to hear her request!

Stephanie is one of the "sheep" in my little fold, having become a Christian at age 12 during an evangelistic Bible study outreach I held for neighborhood girls several years ago. Soon after, her mother became a believer as well, and then her two younger siblings awhile later. They came to church off and on when they could, but it's hard to stay faithful when one's father is not on board with this whole "Christianity" thing. (We've been praying though...and God's definitely doing a work in his heart!)

It's been ages since Stephanie and I have done any Bible study together, her high school home work being the main distracting factor. Therefore, I was surprised and incredibly exciting when she inquired about the possibility of meeting weekly for study. She is so hungry for the Word of God right now and longs to grow.

Well, tonight marked the third Wednesday of our discipleship nights, and they have been such a blessing to me! I look forward to them every week. Last week, after Stephanie and I had studied two Psalms, with Amber (13) listening in, Amber peppered me with dozens of questions that took us the rest of the evening to get through! Questions like, "What's going to happen at the end of the world?" "Do people get a second chance after they die?" "How come God doesn't talk to people out loud the way He did in the Bible?" "What about dinosaurs?" Some questions were random; some were related to one another. She had obviously been thinking a lot about these different topics and it was so much fun to feed her with the knowledge she was hungry to understand. Not long into our discussion, the girls' mother joined us at the table. With each question, we turned to Bible verses that answered them. It was obvious to see each person's wheels turning and the light bulbs clicking on as God's Word made sense!

Seeing Amber's quest for answers, we made a deal that night. From now on, the first thirty minutes of our time together will be devoted to a structured study, followed by another thirty minutes for questions and answers. This caused both girls to be satisfied with the arrangement and their mom smiled too.

Tonight, Stephanie and I were able to make it through 5 Psalms, stopping along the way to explain definitions, look up cross references, and share which verses were particularly meaningful to us. Amber listened in again as she ate Chinese take-out. (I'm learning that she is more of an auditory learner rather than one who needs to see things written to understand them!) When we finished with the Psalms, her question tonight had to do with Satan and whether people could see him or not. Well, of course, such a question merits a very long answer as I felt it necessary to explain the background of Satan, his demons, their agenda, etc. We finished by reading in Ephesians 6 about the armor God has given us in which to stand strong against the devil, and the weapons we are to use in battle. Both girls were encouraged by this passage! (And so was I!)

I am so grateful for the precious gift of God's Word and the opportunity to share in its riches with these sweet friends. There is nothing more exciting than seeing disciples of Jesus Christ grow in their love for Him!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Poor, Neglected Blog

If you are wondering whether or nor my blog would ever get another post again, please rest assured that I am alive and well...just swamped in life right now with in incredibly full schedule, not to mention a broken camera and a virus-laden computer. Blog posts have had to take a back seat for the time being, though inspiration for various posts is stirring, so I hope to be back to writing more consistently again soon!

The above picture was taken last weekend at the home of my sweet friend, Brittany Wyatt. She is an incredibly talented seamstress who agreed to make my bridesmaid dress for a *certain* upcoming wedding, and it turned out beautifully! We had a wonderful time together enjoying fellowship, good food, girly movies, and lots of laughter in the midst of all the sewing. I am so grateful for the chance to have visited Brittany and her new husband at their home in the New Braunfels area. It was just the relaxing weekend break that I needed. Their hospitality was such a blessing!

As we enter a new week, may the Lord continue to draw each of you closer to Himself and reveal His love to you in a deeper way!