Wednesday, April 9, 2014

To Bring Us to God

The suffering of Christ -
to bring us to God.

This suffering was the ultimate sacrifice of God's Son to purchase our forgiveness ... so we could be set free from sin's control. But for what purpose do we need to be set free? So we can live in freedom, of course. 

But ultimately, is there a higher purpose, above what we could imagine; a purpose that was worth the giving of His only Son. For our forgiveness, yes - atonement for our sin. But what does our forgiveness accomplish; for what purpose has it been provided for?

So we can enter His Presence.
We can be close to Him,
the source of Love,
Joy, and Peace.
All that we long for, 
and all that He longs to give.


"You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
(Psalm 16:11)

"This means He sent Christ to bring us to the 
deepest, longest joy a human can have."
(John Piper)

Sharing my thoughts as I am reading through Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die (by John Piper) during these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday ... thanking Him for His great gift of salvation, which brings us to Him.

Linking up with:
Sunday Stillness

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Birthday

With six (grown) children, four sons-in-law, and ten grandkids ... there are birthdays happening continually! Two sweet grandsons turned FIVE this past week - so fun to go to their home on Saturday to celebrate! We had a little snowfall the day before the party, but Saturday was great weather to spend time outdoors with these boys! A very special day for two boys that we are so very thankful for!

(Credits for digital supplies - Page Template: mcato-simplebeauty; Paper & Embellishments: Digital Scrapper - 2013 09 Premier Celebrate by Julie Billingsley.)

Click here for more digital scrapbook pages from 2014 - a fun hobby for me, and a way to preserve family memories.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Promise of His Presence

Spring is in the air, and yet, there are concerns that we carry with us - as if the cold winds of winter threaten to never leave. 

Our granddaughter's kidneys continue to fail, and things will get worse before they get better as she awaits a kidney transplant. And there are other concerns on our minds - problems all across the globe, in our neighborhoods, and inside our homes. For we are not promised a problem-free life. 

Likely every person on this earth has some form of trial that they are in the midst of. If not now, they will have. And the longer we live, the more we are in need. For there is pain all around.

"But the gospel is not ultimately a defense from pain and suffering; rather, it is the message of God's rescue through pain." (Glorious Ruin)

And the pain we experience has a way 
of pulling our hearts towards God. 
Our need pulls us to Him. 

As I am reading through Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper(focusing deeper on Him during these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday), I am receiving some deeper insight into familiar words. As with these words (above) from Romans ...

It's the "all things" that catches my attention. We know that this does not refer to giving us all things that make for a perfect life, free from pain and problems ... for this world is fallen. A problem-free life is in our future home.

"It means that He will give us all things that are good for us. All things that we really need in order to be conformed to the image of His Son. ... God will meet every real need, including the ability to rejoice in suffering when many felt needs do not get met." (John Piper)

In this life filled with the good and the lovely, as well as with pain and tears, we are promised all things that we need. All that we need as we walk through trials. All that we need as we grieve, as we sorrow ... everything that we need to walk through this life. And this is a breath of fresh spring air ... a promise of His Presence. 

Click for more posts on this topic ...
Held Secure: His Love in Times of Trial

Linking up with:
Faith Filled Friday

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Delicious Brownies

I'm not really one to buy mixes too often, as I make a lot of things from scratch, but when it comes to making brownies, it just makes sense to me to make them from a mix. There are some other brownie recipes that I do use, ones with extra, added ingredients - but for plain, simple, delicious brownies I use mixes ...

And my favorite way to prepare brownies (often for group meetings in our home) is to use both of the brownie mixes in the photo above. I mix them both up together (Chocolate Chunk mix for 8x8 pan and the Fudge Brownie mix for 9x13 pan), combining the ingredients required for each one. Then I pour the combined mixture into a greased jelly roll pan (10 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches), and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes (testing for doneness with a toothpick, as the boxes instruct). Cool, then frost with a tub of purchased chocolate frosting.

Years ago, a friend shared this "recipe" with me, after I had complimented her on the very "delicious brownies" she had made. And I have been using her idea of combining brownie mixes ever since!

What is your favorite way to make brownies?

Linking up with:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Half of March Memories

It was quiet here on my blog last week - and these photos give a few reasons why! Life is certainly full, never a dull moment. And somehow I find the time to capture memories ... here are two digital scrapbook pages with memories from the last half of March. The month has flown by ...

So thankful for family, for serving together with my hubby through Cru, for glimpses of spring weather, for God's love and mercy - new with each day and each month. 

(Digital supply credits - Top Page Template: LW-Life-Templates-Set-12; Paper & Embellishments: Sweet Shoppe-very girly birthday. Bottom Page Template: Digital Scrapper Premier April 2013-Hop Along by Penny Springmann; Papers: ericamade-springtime, Shappy Princess-Spring Breeze, Sweet Shoppe-a very girly birthday; Embellishments: Sweet Shoppe-a very girly birthday.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Without a Single Fault

Help me to cease from striving, to rest. 
For I am already holy, 
and I am also becoming holy. 
By Your Grace and Mercy, 
being molded by You, into what I already am. 
Privileged to live and breathe in Your Presence, 
holy and blameless, without fault. 
Today, and forever.
"One of the greatest sources of joy and endurance for the Christian is knowing that in the imperfection of our progress we have already been perfected ..." (John Piper)
Thinking on these words as I am reading through
Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die - 
thankful, and in awe that He sees me as holy and blameless. 

Linking up with:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Eva's Birthday

What can be cuter and sweeter than a little granddaughter turning two?! It was so fun to capture Eva's birthday on these two digital scrapbook pages. Her mother planned a "pink party" for this little girl whose favorite color is pink

So very thankful for the blessing of family, and of sweet grandkids. 

For any who are interested in digital scrapbooking - click here for an "Outside the Square" video tutorial you can purchase to learn how to create the type of frames you see in my top page. There are so many things to learn with Photoshop Elements (which is what I use for my digital scrapbooking), and I am so thankful to be a Premier member of Digital Scrapper. Each month I receive four video tutorials for use with Photoshop Elements, along with a digital scrapbook kit. (You can purchase the video tutorials separately, as well, but it is a great bargain to be a Premier member.)

(Credits - Page Template: Scrap Girls - JSM_dD - pageGrids02; Papers: Digital Scrapper SRoberts-cardstock, Scrap Girls KSC_Beautiful Spring; Embellishment and WordArt: Sweet Shoppe-a very girly birthday.)