Monday, June 30, 2008

What I'm doing this month...

This month, my siblings and I are taking a sabbatical from computer. Similar to the Technology Free week we've done in the past, we are going to spend the last whole month of summer "vacation" finding more productive things to do. The last week we will be at our Granny's, so although we may possibly be on the computer (it's our vacation, after all) most likely we will not go online. During this month, I hope to read much more than I have been, before school starts back again!
The reason we are not breaking from all electronics is because we've found computer to be the most tempting one. We rarely watch T.V. or DVDs, we don't talk much on the phone rather than answering it, we don't listen to i-Pods much or play video games ever. Yet we will not use our "no-computer time" as an excuse to spend on other electronics. We are planning on finding productive and hard things to do. :) If you are interested in taking a week off or more from computer and/or other electronics, feel free to join us! This was a last minute decision (made late last night) so this post is late. Sorry about that.
I have a couple scheduled posts for you to look out for!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

This past weekend we had company, and this weekend part of my family (including myself of course) is going to the Do Hard Things tour, so you'll have to wait for my post following the Importance of a Summer Schedule until next week!
Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

“My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. “There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:1-2

Friday, June 20, 2008

Importance of a Summer Schedule

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “summer”? I imagine it’s probably not the words “work” or “schedule”. Why? Because we tend to think of summer as free time—“me time”, time for fun. If this is your idea of summer, then you’re about to make a 180 degree turn in your thinking—if you choose to do so. :) Why is it important to stick to a summer schedule? Isn’t summer a time for relaxing and vacation, for T.V., swimming, and fun stuff? And aren’t schedules for school? I believe that many of us (including me) have had a wrong view of summer. When we have wrong thinking for a long time, it negatively affects us and is difficult to change. Trust me. It’s not easy to turn and say, “I’m not going to waste my summer away. I’m going to find productive things to do.” But it is essential, for spiritual growth and discipline, and development of character. We have to learn to take initiative to do hard things, learn new things, and spend time on productive things. If we choose to do nothing this summer, what will we have to say we gained or learned?
So, I’ve conveyed the importance of not wasting our summer, but instead finding productive things to do. Where does the schedule fit in? Can’t I do productive things without a schedule telling me what to do? You may be surprised to find the answer is yes. You can make good use of your summer without a summer schedule dictating your assignments. The only problem is this—you have most likely had a difficult time getting motivated to do difficult and productive things in previous summers. How will this one be any different? I find it much harder to stick to my original ideas and plans if I do not have a schedule. Your schedule may be as simple as a few hour time-frames that say, “do SOMETHING productive”, and you have a list of ideas of things that you could do during that time. I encourage you to at least have some sort of schedule, and if you stick to it, you will find yourself doing many more things that have future and eternal benefit. Now I’m not saying that this summer you may not touch a computer, watch T.V., or have any fun. I’m simply challenging you to try finding some more productive things to fill at least part of your time. You will find them to be much more rewarding and fulfilling!
If you want to be encouraged, challenged, and inspired, I encourage you to start by reading Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris. Here are two quotes from their book:
“We do what comes easily; we certainly don’t do hard things. The consequence? We waste some of the best years of our lives and never reach our full God-given potential. We never attempt things that would stretch, grow, and strengthen us. We end up weak and unprepared for the amazing future that could have been. We like the freedom low expectations give us, but we’re really being robbed.”
“Where expectations are high, we tend to rise to meet them. Where expectations are low, we tend to drop to meet them.”
Be on the lookout for my next post… Ideas for what to do this summer!

Monday, June 16, 2008

This is one of my new favorite songs. But then, I have something like 20 favorite songs... I really love the words and the melody to this song!

Your glorious cause, O God, engages our hearts
May Jesus Christ be known wherever we are
We ask not for ourselves, but for Your renown
The cross has saved us so we pray
Your kingdom come

Let Your kingdom come
Let Your will be done
So that everyone might know Your Name
Let Your song be heard everywhere on earth
Till Your sovereign work on earth is done
Let Your kingdom come

Give us Your strength, O God, and courage to speak
Perform Your wondrous deeds through those who are weak
Lord use us as You want, whatever the test
By grace we’ll preach Your gospel
Till our dying breath

You can purchase this song on I-tunes or the Sovereign Grace Music Store.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Encouragement from God's Word

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
~2 Timothy 2:15

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blackberry picking pictures

Headed towards the berries (Abbie & my one of my brothers)

Katie (have you noticed the "Grace Family Church" shirts?)


A little help?

contrast: a ripe and unripe blackberry

You can just imagine her face, looking at all those berries!...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blackberry picking

Tuesday evening mom took my siblings and me blackberry picking with some friends of ours. Except for the "prickles" and "pokes" on the bushes, the kids had a ton of fun! It was funny, because the younger ones became competitive in their picking--they raced to see who could pick fastest! I took 300 pictures in the hour we picked, but not all of them were decent. :) This was the first time for all of us to pick blackberries, and because of the thorny bushes, it's slower! My mom suggested that we bring gloves the next time we pick to push back the bushes to get to the yummy blackberries! I have many pictures I could share with you, so I'll separate them into 2 posts, or even three if I find a bunch I like! Be on the lookout for more!

rows of blackberries!

I see lots!

Found one!

Got it!

multitude of blackberries

Monday, June 2, 2008

Do Hard Things Tour

We have a group of teenagers and parents from our church going to the Rebelution's Do Hard Things tour in Dallas June 28th. Is anyone out in the blogging world going? Or would you consider it? Click here to view the promo video. This is what the conference is about, taken from the Rebelution website:

The Rebelution's Do Hard Things Tour is coming to seven major cities across the United States in 2008. Each conference is a challenging one-day event for teens by teens who believe that our generation is ready for a change. Ready for something that doesn't promise a whole new life if you'll just buy the right pair of jeans or use the right brand of deodorant.

We believe that our generation is ready to rethink what teens are capable of doing and becoming. And we've noticed that once wrong ideas are debunked and cleared away, our generation is quick to choose a better way, even if it's also more difficult.

The Do Hard Things Tour invites you to explore some radical questions:
  • Is it possible that even though teens today have more freedom than any other generation in history, we're actually missing out on some of the best years of our lives?

  • Is it possible that what our culture says about the purpose and potential of the teen years is a lie, and that we are its victims?

  • Is it possible that our teen years give us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for huge accomplishments -- as individuals and as a generation?

  • And finally, what would our lives look like if we set out on a different path entirely -- a path that required more effort but promised a lot more reward?
We describe that alternative path with three simple words: Do Hard Things.

It sounds great! I'm excited!