Jan. 12, 2013: Day 1 of Experiencing God

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Today (yesterday, because I’m pretty bad at this blogging on time thing) I began the Experiencing God study. By that I mean the workbook portion of the study. You do one section per day for five days. Day one was great! It begins by talking about seeing God at work. It encourages seeking God’s will in your life. God expects us to seek Him, allow Him to guide us, and work to see Him glorified.

Seeking God’s guidance and allowing Him to do work in your life is how people will see God’s power. Working through the workbook reminded me of a couple of things from my childhood.

My parents started a church in the little farm town in New York where I’m originally from. They started a Bible study where there was a need and within a couple of years it had grown into a church. It eventually grew to need a building, and then to need a larger building. Over and over God provided. For every single need God provided exactly what was necessary at the perfect time. Growing up, my brother and I were able to see God perform miracle after miracle because my parents were not only following God but seeking to do the things He directed them to do, God-sized things, that they could accomplish only through Him. When we are at our weakest God is seen vividly by the world around us.

Another thing that really hit me was a part about worry. We so often worry about big and small details in our lives. As Christians we are charged with giving all of our stresses and anxiety over to Christ, and to experience the freedom of trusting in Him.

This reminded me of the environment I grew up in. My parents were always very loving and supportive. Even if we were upset with each other, we dealt with each other in love. It was a very peaceful environment. And this was Blackaby’s point; to illustrate the freedom that comes from peace through Christ.

When I was growing up there were people at our house ALL the time. While I thought it was fun back then I didn’t realize that it was the peaceful, freedom that people sought. I didn’t understand it at the time but all those coming over weren’t necessarily attracted to us, but to Christ in us. They wanted the peace that Christ gave our family. What a neat witness to be able to offer the world; that your family would be known as the one everyone wanted to be around. That’s because Jesus is the one everyone wants to be around.

The peace of Christ is attractive to this broken world. What an exciting day of reflection and praise to God! I’m excited to continue working through the study!

Adam

Jan. 11, 2013: Duck Dynasty

Over the Thanksgiving break my father-in-law introduced us to one of the greatest television shows of all time: Duck Dynasty! This show is funny! It’s just a bunch of fun-loving family-people. They just happen to have a ton of money so they can afford to mess around and do whatever they want to do. It’s really hilarious!

My favorite is Uncle Si. He’s the brother of Phil, the founder of the Duck Dynasty company, Duck Commander. Si was in Vietnam and he has tons of funny stories about life and all kinds of things. I love the fact that he’s always carrying around an old tupperware cup with him to drink sweet tea. He’s always starting off every conversation with “hey” – like Harry Carey.

I love the fact that they are so loving to each other. The brothers tease each other all the time and compete with each other, but they’re always loving about it. It’s neat to see how much they care for and take care of each other. I love that at the end of each show they close it out with a prayer at supper. It’s a really neat way to end the show.

Of all the horrible things on television at least there is still one show that’s just a lot of good clean fun. And they remind me of some of my family. Love it!

Adam

Jan. 10, 2013: Let’s Call It A Date (Night)!

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(This actually was written on the 11th, but just pretend it was still the 10th.)

Today was a fairly busy day at the office. I tweaked and retweaked my musician rotations until I think they’re finally set. I have a bunch of fantastic musicians and volunteers! It’s a real blessing!

The internet in the office has been acting really crazy lately so it’s been a little difficult to get some things done. I guess that’s the downside to technology. I’ve been trying really hard to digitize most of what I do so files are accessible everywhere all the time. The problem is, when the internet acts up they’re accessible nowhere none of the time. So hopefully that will get straightened out soon.

I passed along to my fellow ministers a little gem that my brother passed on to my wife and I. That is, a game called “Jetpack Joyride.” It’s amazing! Anyone who has at least one finger can play it. It’s simple and a lot of fun! Just look it up on your smart phone. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

We capped off the day with a little date night, just Lydia and I. It’s so nice to get away and spend some time with your beloved. We always have a good time! We did some Shopkicks and ran around town some, got some dinner, and even caught a movie! There’s no one in the world I would rather spend time with! All in all, a pretty great day!

Adam

A Word From Adam: The Beginning of the End

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Every couple months Adam has to write an article for the church newsletter so I thought I’d share his thoughts with you!

The Beginning of the End (Phil. 3)

This is it. No more excuses. No more exceptions. It’s time to start being a people of our word. It’s time to let our “‘yes’ be yes and {our} ‘no’ be no (Matt. 5:37; James 5:12).” It’s time to live the thing we talk about all the time. The world has enough hypocrites. The name “Christian” has been soiled in so many ways and yet we gladly continue living the way we always have, dragging the image of Christ through the mud of our disgusting sin-filled lives. Let right now be the beginning of the end.

Philippians 3 tells us to “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.” These are all around us. These ARE us. WE are the dogs, the evildoers, those who mutilate the flesh. We are the ones who are rampantly serving other gods all while stamping the name of Christ on our lives and our actions.

Let it stop here! We must kill the pride! We must kill the ego! We must kill our desires for our own gain! Paul tells us in Philippians 3 that we must lose all for the sake of the Gospel. We have nothing to boast of, nothing of our own doing. Because of Adam all sin. Because of us, becauseof our sinful nature, we do not desire God apart from the working of the Holy Spirit.

But the work of the Holy Spirit, if He HAS worked in you, must shine out of you! Why? Because “We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” When we serve ourselves we serve the devil and the same disgusting pattern of this world. If anyone could brag it was Paul. He was (strictly according to the law of Moses) the closest to perfect that a human could be apart from the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:4b-6). And even Paul says “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for
the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” When Paul became a follower of Christ he finally had something that was truly worth anything. Knowing Christ Jesus far surpassed anything Paul could deem as “good” in this world.

Paul did not stop there. He did not simply attend church from time to time when it was convenient and drop a pittance in the offering plate when he felt like it. He suffered. He became exposed and vulnerable. He laid down his life for the sake of Christ’s glorious name. “For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish.” Paul desired to “know {Christ} and the power of his  resurrection” by “{sharing} his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” in order to be with and to know Christ for eternity (Phil. 3:8b-11).

We must forget the old way and press ahead toward being like Christ (Phil. 3:13-16). We can’t continue to “walk as enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18).” We can’t serve our bellies, glory in our shame, or set our mind on earthly things (3:19). We must be citizens of heaven and glory in Christ our Savior (3:20), because He has made us his own (3:12).

This year, lay yourself wide-open for the Gospel. That IS the Gospel. Jesus sacrificially gave of his life and his perfection for us all. Let us follow the example of Paul, who followed Christ, and lay down our lives for Christ. Let us crucify the flesh daily. Don’t give the flesh another moment but lay your entire life at the foot of the cross. Let this year be the beginning of the end.

January 2013

Jan. 9, 2013: Experiencing Wednesday

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We started our Experiencing God study tonight. It was awesome! I’m very excited to dig in and start on the workbook! We had 70 or so people there tonight. The church is really growing and it’s so great!

Today was a busy day because on Wednesdays I have to tie up all loose ends on my Sunday preparations and anything else heading into the weekend. I got all of my lists together for my musicians: singer rotations, instrumentalists rotations, A/V rotations. I was able to get that all knocked out for the whole year!

Right now I’m watching the People’s Choice Awards. It’s kind of funny to see all the celebrities there. It’s funny because they know they can’t miss THIS awards show. It’s the only one that is directly decided by their fans/the people who pay them and make them famous. So in a sense they are all there hocking themselves to the world to try to remain popular and relevant. It’s kind of funny.

Lydia just made a couple of her green smoothies for us for tomorrow. I’m excited about that! They’re pretty decent! They are very intense but they actually do taste pretty good. Shhh….don’t tell her I said that! 😉

Adam

Super Green Smoothie

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My brother-in-law gave me a blender for Christmas. omg. I was thrilled. From the very moment I read about this smoothie from Iowa Girl Eats I have been wanting to make my own green smoothie! Obviously, I read her post much later in the year (right before Christmas!) but it just looked and sounded soooo good! ONLY problem: I did not own a blender or food processor….. so thank heaven for Brother Jones and Groupon (my bro-in-law is obsessed!).

Although I was very inspired by her recipe, I didn’t follow Iowa Girl Eats’ recipe at all…. You can ask my family, I’ve never been one to follow recipes. I just throw a little bit of this and a little bit of that (depends on what I have in my fridge and cabinets) in a bowl and it usually turns out great! And I don’t really expect others to give me full recipes especially since I don’t usually….If I give you a recipe (which almost never happens! unless you are the mother of this adorable kid:

2012-09-23_15-36-045Then, and only then, will I be forced to give you a recipe with ALL of the ingredients and measurements) I have most likely left an ingredient out….mean…I know. I’m working on this flaw of mine….s.l.o.w.l.y. very slowly. It’s not my fault actually. My dad used to tell me a story about one of his Aunts that would leave ingredients out of recipes she gave out. That way no one could make it like she did. As a little kid that sounded amazing to me. I mean, I could be the best baker in my little social circle and make everyone love everything I ever baked! And then it turned into just not giving out my recipes ever. But, in the name of working on this flaw, here is how I made my green smoothie. 🙂

Unfortunately, for you (and me in light of the story I just told you) I did not measure a single thing. But I can guesstimate for you:

Handfuls of fresh spinach AND kale (like 3-4 handfuls of each)

4-5 frozen strawberries (and/or blueberries)

1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt

1/4 cup orange juice

Blend and enjoy! (I promise those are ALL of the ingredients used!)

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It is soooo good! I love it. I also love the fact that I am getting TONS of good stuff for me all in one smoothie! Adam is not really a fan (as expected!! haha) but he did down one without any complaints! I have had 3-4 of these mean-green-machines since Monday. 😀

~ Lydia

Jan. 8, 2013: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Ok, I’m not calling myself Pee Wee, but I DID go to the big city today. And not on a bicycle, sadly. Myself and my fellow ministerial staffers paid a visit to a couple of families that had some medical procedures done. Everyone appeared to be in good spirits so that was encouraging! We spent most of the day doing that and making a couple of stops along the way.

Our senior pastor had to stop and buy some books from Lifeway for a Bible study we’re going to be starting: Experiencing God! I’m very excited about it! I’ve known about it for years but have never gone through it. My parents did the study a long, long time ago at the church I grew up in, but I was basically too young to really be able to do the study. I just know that for years my dad has repeated one truth over and over to me from that study: “Keep doing the last thing God told you to do until He tells you something else.” He may have just been paraphrasing Henry Blackaby, I’m not really sure. But that truth has definitely proven itself as beneficial in my life.

After we got our books we went to Guitar Center and officially placed our order for the church’s new electronic drum set. I’m very VERY excited about that! My drummer is pretty psyched too!

After all this stuff I got to see God do two AMAZING miracles this afternoon! I can’t really go into the details but there were two situations that needed to be fixed and God did some pretty amazing stuff to make it better! So that’s exciting! It’s been a really good day!

Then I got to come home to my wonderful wife! And I brought her some treats so she was quite happy too! It’s been a good day!

Adam

Jan. 7, 2013: A Whole New Week

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Today was a busy day in the office. There were people in and out all day! We’ve been doing some painting/fixing up. My internet has been switching on and off over and over all day long. That’s been pretty frustrating! Our Mr. Fix-It guy seems to think there may have been a rodent in the crawlspace that may have chewed up a cord somewhere. THAT’S frustrating!

I worked on ordering a new electronic drum set for the praise band. We’re getting a Roland TD9 set. I’m pretty excited about it! Although I’m actually ordering it through Guitar Center in Lexington. They gave me a much better deal!

After that I worked on my new praise team rotation for 2013. I had a bunch of files and info uploading to my Google Drive so it gave me plenty of downtime to work on other stuff.

I watched the BCS Championship bowl game tonight. Boy, that was rough! Poor Notre Dame. They looked like they never should have made it to that game. I really would rather have watched Georgia play Alabama again. That was a MUCH better game!

Well my wife has an earache and I need to take care of her so I’m headed to bed. Goodnight all!

Adam

The Living Room Continued

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Last night we hung two more instruments on a different wall in the living room. Adam is pumped and keeps telling me that this has always been a dream of his to feel like he lives in Guitar Center.

As you remember this is the wall we completed the other day (my view from the couch!):

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But now if you are sitting on our couch and look to the right then you will see this:

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The banjo and the classical guitar are the instruments we finished hanging last night. If you want to hang your own guitars (or banjos or mandolins, etc, etc,) I highly recommend String Swing.

2013-01-07_11-28-14_129We purchased four of them and a wall bumper was included for each. They are very sturdy and Adam feels comfortable with them (which is of utmost importance!)

After we were finished I counted how many instruments we have in our living room and it comes to a total of eight! With one more coming because since we hung some on the walls we have an extra spot in the guitar stand. 🙂 Needless to say, my man is extremely talented because he can actually play all of the them!

I still have a few more pictures to hang/projects to complete before I’m finished with the living room but for now it’s just so exciting that it is beginning to look and feel like our home!

~ Lydia