'Tis the Season for Giveaways

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Not really-- it's the season for Immanuel.

However, it also happens to be the season a lot of blogs are giving away a lot of items. Please consider joining this giveaway. They're giving away some amazing resources, including the new ESV Study Bible that I would love to have in my library.


Rachel's Wedding

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear Rach,

Thank you for sharing your anointed day with all of us in such a spectacular place. There are memories to last a lifetime! I've posted the pictures here:

Seaside- Rachel's Wedding

Changing URL!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I have seen some error in my ways today-- using your last name as the blog title probably isn't the smartest thing I've ever done. I'm going to attempt to change the url to writtenbymegs.blogspot.com. Why can I not be any more creative than that?!

Sorry for the inconvenience! I hope you find me over here!!

$500 Walmart Giveaway!!!!!!

One of the blogs I follow, Cent$ible Sawyer, is giving away a $500 Walmart gift card! Before I get a lecture from my sister on the horrible business practices of Walmart, let me just say that until the day my $30 Walmart run no longer costs me $75 when buying non-Walmart (as it did this weekend at my local grocery), I am going to be chained to the Walmart line. It's unfortunate but true. $500 goes a LONG way in purchasing groceries-- about 3 months worth! If you're in my boat, please feel free to visit the Cent$ible blog and enter yourself. I won't tell on you.

Timing of Photographs

Monday, December 8, 2008

On a lighter note, check out this collection of photographs! Very cleverly timed and framed.

The Shack, Reviewed

If you have some time for a lengthy review and have already read The Shack, I suggest reading this posting by Scott Lindsey of The Resurgence blog.

I spent a bit of time discussing the book with my core group and reading it has led to some wonderful discussions about the role of the Trinity and how we interact with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I am thankful that this novel has opened up some questions that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.

I do issue a word of caution, however. Admittedly, I ignorantly read the book without doing any of my own Biblical research alongside the reading and allowed myself to take some of the novel's words at face value. A primary example where I should not have done this regards Young's view of responsibility. In the novel it is stated that the word responsibility does not exist in Scripture (in English translations, of course). Scott Lindsey, the author of this review, points to very clear instances where responsibility IS discussed and called for in Scripture. I am ashamed that I did not read more carefully into the theology.

At the same time, I am thankful that the book brought to light our human ability to interact with the Trinity. I encourage reading and discussing this book alongside a careful exploration of Scripture and with a reverance to our God, most deserving of our awe and worship. Quoting Lindsey, "So if you come to the book well-schooled in God’s holiness, justice and wrath, you will benefit from the exposure to his grace, mercy and love."

I'd be happy to discuss!

Winter Wonderland

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Welcome to our winter escape. I am so glad to be here and feel remarkably blessed. I hope this is a sign of more snow to come!!

I'm so excited to be putting out the Christmas decorations. I love the smell of pine and gingerbread, the glow of lights and ornaments, and bright Christmas wrapping paper! The big debate we're having right now is... chop down our own Christmas tree Griswald style or purchase from the local tree stand? This weekend we'll decide how far we want to drive-- sad that it's the deciding factor. But I want it up in the window with lights and ornaments! I only get one month to officially enjoy it! I hope you find much joy in your Christmas decorating, letter writing, cookie making, present wrapping, friend hosting, fire burning, candle smelling, scarf wearing, deal hunting, family visiting, photo taking and memory treasuring Christmas adventures (you get the idea).


Thursday, November 27, 2008

We are feeling incredibly thankful in this season of our lives. Like Larry said this morning, we are proud to be part of a nation that sets a day aside in remembrance of the blessings we have. The only reason to give thanks is if you recognize that there is someone who's given you what you are thankful for. Today we set aside time to deliberately give recognition to God for the many blessings in our lives. I hope today you have found countless things to be thankful for and found the One to whom we owe such thanks.

Blessings on you all.

On a lighter note, here are some photos from our day. Enjoy and smile :)

All pictures from the day can be viewed here:

Thanksgiving 2008


Monday, November 24, 2008

I love the experience of having a God breakthrough. I had yet another one this week-- less personal, so I thought I'd share. Our highly esteemed Rev. DBurke was sharing about pain. No easy topic. I found myself throughout the talk frustrated and fighting against my own questions.

Yes, all pain will one day be redeemed. This we are promised (Rev 17:17).

Yes, one day we will know in full what today we have only known in part (1 Cor 13:12).

But what about the circumstances and individuals that God says that he loves (Romans 8:37)-- and I believe Him!-- yet do not know the end to suffering. How am I to bring light of the love of God in someone's life who has experienced inexcusable pain done to them. How can I speak of redemption when it is someone else's sin that has brought such abuse into their lives??


Yes, he is the Sunday School answer. As of Tuesday I understand why He is the answer to this question as well. DBurke walked us through a very troubling story of abuse. How one woman who had been abused beyond description had to walk right into the depths of the abuse to encounter Jesus. There, in the depth of the sea of her hurt, she was asked by this professor of DBurke's to picture Jesus in the room in the midst of her suffering. Then she was to picture Jesus walking towards her. Then, in the very act of abuse, she was asked to picture Jesus taking her place. The substitutionary sacrifice.

Now I get it.

Jesus not only provides redemption for us in the eternal sense (Heb 9:28). The provision of his death not only covers our sins (Romans 6:1-4). The provision of his suffering is also substitutionary for the sins caused against us (1 John 2:1-2 + the truth of living in the reality of the kingdom of God now-- a whole other discussion per Dallas Willard). He takes on this suffering. He died that we might have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10)! He has already, continues to, and will take on the suffering of the entire world. So to you who is experiencing more than your share of heartache-- you whose entire sense of today has been shaped by abuses of your past-- you who are looking ahead to months with a diagnosis of pain-- know that Jesus died that you might know now Christ himself and the redemption his death has purchased.

He cares for you so much.

Rev 4:8 "And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"

May we all say this in amazement.

Picking up something new

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last Friday night I had 2 options while waiting for my poor, free pass flyin', stuck in Florida traveling parents to finally make it in:

a. Fall asleep at 9:30
b. Start a project

With 3 hours or so of waiting to go-- it was project time. The mountain gets shrouded in this INCREDIBLY thick fog in the fall. If someone's walking just a bit too fast in front of you, you're not going to see them. One sweet lady at church who's probably experienced at least 60 years of this phenomenon had a wonderful thing to say about it. She said she used to be anxiuos in this "fog from hell," but then found in comfort in knowing that the presence of God himself descends on the earth in a cloud (Ex 13:21, Ex 19:9, 1 Kings 8;10-11,Ps 18:9, Isaiah 19:1, Matt 17:5, Rev 10:1 to name a few!!). So this intense fog is like being straight in the middle of the mist (midst) of God. I hope that helps you truly enjoy that thick cloud of fog the next time it descends!

Back to Friday-- I thought this would be a fun time to get my camera out and try some light shooting! (Thanks Larry for the help interpreting the manual!) Pretty crazy effect, huh?!

Larry calls this the "alien invasion"


What project would you have started with an extra 3 hours in your weekend?

Learning from Dune

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So Larry and I just completed a book trade. I don't know if you've noticed or not, but on my reading list of late has been Dune by Frank Herbert. Not exactly what you'd expect me to read, I know. I have to admit-- I did really enjoy the book. Not enough to read all of the ecology on worms or religion offered in the epilogue, but enough to zip through it fairly quickly.

There was one lesson I wanted to bring from it (and from Kelly Minter's No Other Gods). One of the characters revealed early on the book is a traitor. I won't give his name away in case you decide to pick up the book one day-- no spoiler alerts from me! Anywho-- the traitor finds himself at the mercy of a Truthsayer. According to the author, a Truthsayer has been trained from a young age to be able to know what is true from what is untrue. Praise the Lord we have the Holy Spirit to give us such discernment, but I digress... Back to the scene. The character finds himself in the audience of the Truthsayer and likely to be found out of his grand scheme. His strategy to avoid being caught (known via internal dialogue) is to always say what is true, but never what is truth. There's only one solution for him. He thinks, "There's only one solution: tell the truth as far as I can."


How many have times have we pushed the truth as far as we can? Let's say that again-- the way to not be caught in a lie is to always say what is true, but never what is truth. Kelly Minter points out in her Bible study that this is a tool of the enemy. Satan has made a disgusting art form in trapping us with what is (seemingly) true, but never declaring truth. This revelation has really challenged me to see a. What is truth coming out of secular avenues like Dune, and b. What I have allowed in my life that may be true but not truth.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Cariño

Thank you for leading us in building such a beautiful foundation for our marriage. The image you first gave me about putting my life in the hands of the Lord and you joining me there set us in such a remarkable path, one in which I am able to put my complete trust and from which I receive a complete and overwhelming portion of love.

I would not want to embarrass you with further accolades, but you are deserving of far more than I could boast out loud.

Tu Amor


Monday, September 22, 2008

Prelude: Ever considered what you would do if technology were to fail completely, and we returned to a culture of manual work and material trade?

Story: I have missed my calling-- but discovered it this weekend. Canning! Ha! But seriously-- I enjoyed harvesting Asian and what we're calling "American" pears from the pasture of the family that has taken us in for a while. I say "enjoy," but if I'm being truly honest, my mood may have been more like "exhausted but productively satisfied" come Sunday evening after a weekend of recipe experimentation and canning. It started with filling paper bags with the low-hanging fruit and 200 or 300 ish pealed pears later, I have a colonial-style feast and a kitchen full of presents I will giddily pass on (hopefully with recipes!).

The property we're on has a mysterious background-- uncultivated since sometime pre-1960, yet with 4 oversized pear trees up in a clearing. How did they get there? How did someone pre-1960 get Asian pear trees to plant? The Lord only knows. I feel like it is further confirmation of the fruit God intends to bring forth from this property and this family.

I love studying in God's Word about the harvest and seeing how He can at times be so incredibly practical about gardening and other times so mind-blowingly spiritual. Take Leviticus for example. He tells his people that a fruit crop will be 3 years in coming. The 4th year is to be an offering to God, and the 5th is for harvesting. Who woulda known-- it takes 3 years to create the fruit, and the first year of the fruit isn't as sweet! After that we are all about receiving the blessing. Or take the lesson from our friend Renee as regards pruning. When you're choosing which grape vine to keep for the next year, you choose only one. It is not the oldest, largest, strongest nor the one that has produced the most fruit. It is the solitary vine leading in the direction you need it to grow. How much God has to teach us about how he prunes us! How fruit is grown in our lives! And of the heavenly harvest to come. We miss these precious truths by not getting our hands dirty every once in a while.

Moral: Can I make a living trading Biblical truths and canned pears? The Lord only knows.

What would you do if your job was old-school? Shoe horses? Dig ditches? Local thief? :)

Larry's Graduation

Monday, May 5, 2008

We so enjoyed having everyone in for graduation this past weekend! There is SO much to celebrate, and I appreciate the trip everyone took to be here! I thoroughly enjoyed every meal and all the fun.

Moments I don't want to forget:

1. My brother's "Graduation Outfit" following 2 rules: can't wear the shorts from the night before or tennis shoes. You have to give him points for creativity!

2. That delicious strawberry cake from Niko's. What a Delicious dinner! The company was pretty amazing, too.

3. Not-so-Board game, board game fun! What would YOUR wrestling name be??

Fall Creek Falls

Sunday, April 27, 2008

You have to LOVE getting out of town in the spring and away from the cubicle for just a day or two.  Larry and I really enjoyed our time in Fall Creek Falls!  Though a bit more crowded of a place than we'd prefer, it was fun to be with Sara and Jonathan and see so many different waterfalls in the same day!

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have... 1 Peter 3:15

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

... but do this with gentleness and respect. (Thought that extra note might be necessary).

I've been pondering a passage from tomorrow's (sorry, I read ahead) My Utmost for His Highest passage. Please consider this and let me know your thoughts:

"The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, and the ability to explain the purposes of God to others. The overruling passion of his life is Jesus Christ. Whenever you see this quality in a person, you get the feeling that he is truly a man after God’s own heart."