Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012

What is your mindset going into this new year?

If we neglect God’s Word and prayer, we are saying with our hearts and actions: “I can do it all by myself.”
Jesus has a different perspective: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” He says in John 15:5.

When we sit at Jesus’ feet, we are saying: “I need you! I can’t obey you without your help. I can’t serve you in my own strength. I can’t walk in a manner worthy of the gospel by myself. I need your grace.” 

We can't do anything on our own. We must learn to sit before the Lord this upcoming year, acknowledging our great dependence on Him and seeking Him with our whole heart.


Katie

End of 2011


The year ends today. Have you took time to evaluate 2011 and plan for 2012? Some questions to consider...
  • What has God taught you this year? 
  • What has He miraculously worked in your life? 
  • How do you plan to seek Him next year? 
  • How will you use your time wisely, to honor and glorify Him? 
  • What have you accomplished this year? 
  • What was your biggest waste of time and how can you seek to improve next year? 
 "Have I pursued [God] with all my heart and soul or am I starting to begin to coast? Am I just getting lazy? Am I starting to enjoy stuff to the degree that Jesus is being diminished?" 




Katie

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Glorious Gospel as Proclaimed in the Old Testament

Once recent morning, as I was pondering on the wonder of Jesus Christ coming to earth as a baby, I was directed to the power of the gospel, and how the very fact that Jesus humbled Himself and was born in the lowliest of places is such a marvelous thing. Then I thought about the prophets who prophesied Christ’s coming hundreds of years before, and I wondered how the gospel was proclaimed throughout those prophesies. I turned to Isaiah and Jeremiah and began searching, and this is what I found.

Man's Dilemma:
“For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 5:24b

God's Promise:
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'  Jer. 33:14-16

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jer. 31:31-34

Prophesy of the Messiah:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:6-7


Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel Isaiah 7:14

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. Isaiah 11:1-4

Death of Christ:
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6

Author of Salvation:
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25

You will say in that day: "I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, Your anger turned away, that You might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:1-2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Isaiah 9:2

The gospel certainly is a glorious picture. Even in the Old Testament it is declared with power and wonder! How could we not rejoice this Christmas season, because we’re celebrating the coming of Christ, who alone is our salvation! I believe our response should be like Mary's, who exclaimed:
"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior"
Luke 1:46-47

Katie

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Car

When we visited our relatives in November, my uncle asked me what car I drive. So I thought I’d show all of you, in case you were interested in seeing it. 



It’s a cool car. 

Bright red.

Old-fashioned.

Doesn't fit that many people though.

But my parents bought it for me. It was a Christmas present.

It’s in perfect condition. 

I take wonderful care of it and don’t take it out much. 

It even has my name on it! 

It’s amazing.

Spectacular.

Fantastic.

So without further adieu…my beautiful car. 


 





Yes, that is it. That’s the closest I get to having my own car. ;) 


Katie

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

For those who use Reader....

I posted a movie review, but it didn't show up in Google Reader. Check out my blog (and my sister's) to read our reviews of War Horse. You'll see some differences within our reviews, and my sister's is much more thorough. :)


Katie

War Horse Movie Review





My family had the opportunity to see a special preview of the upcoming movie, War Horse, that is coming out on December 25th. Recommended by a homeschool association, we were excited to go to a movie for the first time before it was officially out, and to enjoy an interesting plot with good themes.



The movie War Horse is centered around a horse, Joey, that gets sold as a war horse at the beginning of WWI and his journey back to his owner and beloved friend, Albert. We concluded that the Steven Spielberg was attempting to portray his themes through Joey. However, it was hard to really connect with that, because last I checked, I was not a horse, and a non-talking animal does not connect with me and inspire me in a way that a human character would.

Good movies involve character transformation. Either within the main character, a formerly evil person, or some antagonist, but some sort of character transformation must be evident. Without this you wonder what makes the end different from the beginning. War Horse had no apparent character transformation. Albert is not depicted any different at the beginning and end, and neither is anyone else. This movie was also quite long, and I found it to be drawn out and slow in several parts, so by the end you kind of think, “It took us this long to get to this?”

War is a sad state according to the movie War Horse. While it depicted some of the tragic realities of war, it also gave the impression that there was no point to war. You were led in such a way that it was not clear which side of WWI was the bad side, and you weren’t rooting for either. Even those in the war were not in favor of it. No one had vision for what they were fighting for. There was not much honor portrayed in defending your country.  While I’m not advocating war for the sake of war, I do believe there is honor in defending your country against attack, and this was not presented in any way. This nihilistic (nothing-ism) view of war presented leaves us feeling depressed and sad, like war can serve no purpose at all, and the last 2 hours of the movie were for naught. People live. People die. Life goes on.

Even the reunion between the Joey and Albert was not done in such a way that made you feel ecstatic and like the movie was ready to end happily.  The bond was not built in such a way that you were sympathetic to the Joey only being with the Albert. There was some character work that could have been used more effectively in the time spent that would have made it more engaging.

Although this movie is pretty clean for a PG-13 rated film compared to some, it does include several curse words we were not pleased to hear and some violent depictions of war (though very little blood). This movie was recommended to us as a family movie, yet I personally would not recommend it for young children. Despite the language and violence, there were some humorous parts my siblings and I enjoyed, especially because parts of Joey’s character reminded us of my sister’s dog. ;)

Movies have power. They hold great influence and can shape a culture through their messages. My brother came home from the movie thinking all war was bad. That is one of the main thrusts of the movie, though it may appear somewhat subtle to some. So while some animal lovers may be drawn into the story of the horse, the overall message of the film leaves one wondering what life is really about.




P.S. Check out my sister Katie's blog for her review.


 Katie