Thursday, October 29, 2009

If you have to take a midterm...

Pajamas and hot chocolate is the way to go.:o)  Aren't online tests the most amazing invention?

Two midterms and one 70 questions "quiz" down.

One midterm next Tuesday.

 By God's grace, another round of midterms is almost behind me.:o)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's raining here today...

and I was given the day off from work.  So that means,

cinnamon vanilla candles

trying out a new oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe (yummy and warm!)


studying and listening to classical music

and just enjoying the much needed rain!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Speaking of Undeserved Blessings...

Over the last couple of weeks I have been eating really well.  A little too well maybe. Which is part of the reason why all recent pictures have been of my surroundings, and not of me.:o)

Last week I made Mexican Rice Casserole (recipe complements of my wonderful friend Kristen!).  She made it for Rebecca and I when we were in Seattle and we really enjoyed it.  It was a big hit here as well, and we finished off all leftovers last night.:o)

I had a really fun time making it, but right about the time I finished I began to remember why I typically try to clean up as I go along.

Thankfully my aunt was out working in the yard for most of the time, and by the time she came in she said, "Wow!  It smells delicious and the kitchen looks great.":o)

Then last Sunday Rebecca and I had our first "official" Sunday Sister Afternoon.  (We'll come up with a better name eventually.:o)  We made yummy banana muffins and then topped them with some cream cheese frosting and fall sprinkles.  Nutritious and delicious!;o)  Then we sat on her couches and talked, laughed, and ate our muffins while sipping chai tea.  Did I mention this was the absolute highlight of my week???

And last, but not necessarily least, I made scones yesterday.  I got out of my psych clinical early and came home ready to bake before going to a friend's high school play.  This particular baking adventure may not sound overly significant, but it was.  For whatever reason I've always been intimidated by scones.  They just seemed too challenging to attempt.  It turns out (like many things in my life) all the apprehension was for nothing.  They were incredibly easy, and delicious.  We had them with breakfast this morning, and the consensus was that they are a keeper.  What has the cooler weather inspired you to bake recently? 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Undeserved Blessings

I have frequently referred to the exciting and surprising joys which fill my life as "unexpected blessings," and without a doubt they are.  Last night, however, I was challenged to reclassify them as something else: "undeserved blessings."  At the recommendation of my wise older sister, I decided to attend a children's ministry Biblestudy which meets on Friday nights.  One of the couples who lead the study are close friends of my sister and brother-in-law, and I have enjoyed getting to know them as well.  The group has been reading through "A Simple Christianity" by John MacArthur, and last night they discussed a chapter titled "In the Likeness of Men."  I've known (I think) since before I could talk that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He came to earth as a man to die on the cross for the sins of the world.  In spite of this knowledge, I rarely pause to reflect on how much He gave up to come or the sinfulness and unworthiness of the humans He came to save.

The leader pointed out that His overwhelming and incredibly undeserved gift should alter the way in which we live our lives as Christians.  The fact that Jesus gave up the comforts of Heaven and His face-to-face relationship with the Father to come to earth and die, should radically change our worldview and force us to reconsider what we "deserve."  The word deserve is defined as to "be worthy or deserving."  Psalm 103:8-12 says:
     "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  He will not always accuse,
     nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to 
     our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
     as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (emphasis mine)

The reality is that we deserve death (Romans 6:23).  We deserve eternal punishment, and are instead given eternal life.  God sent His Son to die an unimaginable and horrific death on the cross so that we might spend eternity in Heaven with Him, and all we must do to receive this free gift is place our trust in Jesus Christ (John 3:16).  So the next time I'm tempted to respond with "righteous" indignation toward the person who has dared to pull into the gas station slot I "deserved" because I was there first, I pray that I will remember that I am a sinner who actually deserves death and was instead given life, and that this remembrance will allow me to smile graciously and settle back into my seat.  The God of the universe saved me from what I deserve.  And I can wait.