january books

as some of you know, i decided to read at least one book a month for the year twenty-ten. well, january is ending and i actually read 4 books! yep, pete and i don't have tv to watch all night anymore. instead, we surf the internet a lot and i read almost every night. it helped that the books i read were part of a series i had started in high school, and i wanted to find out what happened next so i kept reading. "one more chapter" i would say, and five chapters later i would finally go to bed. are you wondering what these books are that i couldn't stop reading? well, you won't be surprised that i like them, but i have to tell you that i am aware of their "corniness" and possible theological issues or speculations.

i read the end of the left behind series! that's right, the books that tell of the events of end times, after the rapture. the series starts with the rapture happening and follows a few key characters through their salvation and life through the tribulation, armageddon, and yes, even the millennial kingdom. i read: the remnant, armageddon, the glorious appearing, and the kingdom, all written by tim lahaye and jerry b. jenkins. there are three books in the series that i haven't read and probably won't. they wrote 3 books that supposedly happened before the rapture - prequels. and i decided that they wouldn't be worth it to read, i was satisfied with how it ended and didn't need any more.

okay, each month i am going to tell you a bit of what i learned from my readings. so this month was fiction, but i learned some things about myself and my Maker.

i enjoy reading this series because it always makes me wonder what i would do if someone were going to kill me for my faith in Jesus, and it makes me grateful that i most likely will not have to endure the terrible wrath of God during the tribulation. the last two books were during the time of Christ's appearing and the millennial kingdom when He reigns on earth and satan is bound. the writing made God's majesty come to life for me. i have had a pretty good view of who God is and how we should respect and revere Him, but this combined the reverence we should have toward Him and His unending love toward us.

i won't tell you examples from the books, but just reading it made me want to have a faith like the believers in the books. they knew God could and would do anything that brought Him glory and protected those who loved Him. they believed in Christ no matter what, even when the enemy was certain he would win.

this Jesus in the books came down from heaven and the scripture of revelations was "explained" in such a way that i want Jesus to come right now so i can experience Him talking to me and being ever-present at the same time.

i want His enemies to know that they will miss out and suffer for eternity if they don't accept that Christ is LORD over everything and wants to shower His love on us and receive our worship.

the most important things i learned were: i want to pray more to my King as if i know that He will respond back. i want to have a greater faith and obedience to Him. i also want to share my faith more to my believing friends and non-believing friends. i don't want the rapture to come and have them wondering what happened and why didn't amy try to warn me (whether they listen to God is their own decision) but i will pray more fervently for the unsaved because of these books.

thank you for reading the whole thing if you did. let me know if you have read these books and what you thought of them.

ephesians 3.14-21

a post for a post, post

i feel like i should post something, merely because i have this blog. it is not that i don't think about blogging all the time (i plan what i will say in my head before i write it down) but i don't make time for it as much anymore. i also have a lot of videos i want to share but for some reason (either i am not getting it, or blogger is very slow) it takes forever for a video to download so i end up giving up and not posting anything. i have a very short video i would like to share: i call it the bunny hop. have a great day

30, half of 60 and double 15

today is pete's birthday. he was born in 1980 which was "before my time." we are four years apart which is not that much to us now, but we realize how much can happen in four years when we are listening to songs on the radio and he says, "oh, this is a good song. i listened to it all the time in jr. high." well, jr. high for him was age 9 for me and i didn't even know what that song was until many years later. all that to say, i don't know what it feels like to turn 30, but i know that pete is doing a great job at it.

pete has done a lot in 30 years and i could list it all here (which i'm sure he wouldn't want me to) but the most important thing he has done is commit his life to living for the Lord. Pete has accepted Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins and is living a joy filled life awaiting the return of our King. That is the legacy pete will leave for jane and others. A life devoted to Jesus and His glory.

Happy Birthday Pete, may you have many more and thank you for your great example!

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3.14-21 - esv, my prayer for us

praying for you

one of my goals this year is to become better at praying. it seems that i don't take enough time to pray and when i do it is so rehearsed sounding that i think God doesn't want to hear that kind of prayer. so to help jumpstart my "prayer life" as we say, i am praying for those i know. i decided to start with people at church. i have been praying for the families and people in the church directory. it is a little old now, but i think a lot of people are in there and i will try to remember those who are not. so far (it is jan. 5 already) i have prayed from a - g. so if your last name starts with any of those letters then i have prayed for you. i really like it so far and i have been writing my prayers in a journal so my thoughts don't wander too much.

a Bible passage that is going to help me this year is philippians 4.4-9: taken from the message-
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Blessings on your day

that's what i meant

every year i make "new years resolutions." i usually have about 5-10 and this year is no different. often times, they are things i meant to do, not things i actually accomplish. i mean to do it, but i usually can't keep it up. for 2009 i knew i would not be able to "keep" many resolutions so i strove for two - to workout about three times a week and to read the Bible all the way through in one year. i did pretty well on the working-out, and have lost all my "baby weight!" woohoo. i also finished the whole Bible. pete and i read the same schedule and we finished on time, dec. 31st. i am glad i did it, and we decided that we would read the whole thing about every seven years (that's how often the israelites had to). my favorite old testament book is probably genesis, joshua, or ruth. i enjoy the stories. i have a least favorite which is ezekiel - it was hard for me to comprehend, and it was long. new testament favorite is probably acts or philippians and new testament least favorite might be philemon only because it is more personal and hard for me to apply to myself.

so, for 2010, i have 5 categories of resolutions with a few goals each. i would like it if you could keep me accountable to them or at least some of them. if you don't care about my goals for twenty -ten then do not read on...

here we go:

1. family
- continue using e-mealz (i cook at least 3 times a week now)
- teach jane as much as i can in this stage of her life (shouldn't be too difficult since i am with her all day)
- focus on being the best wife i can be (which is also related to being spiritually close to God)

2. physical
- workout (at the gym or otherwise) 3 or more times a week
- eat less sweets (so if you see me eating lots of cookies at church, don't let me)

3. Bible and prayer
- for my "devos, quiet time, God time" what-have-you i am going to study the passage that corresponds to the sermon that week. we started 1 corinthians at church this sunday and we will study it in Bible study on wednesdays so i will hopefully understand it well by the time i am finished.
- pray for a different person/family/topic each day. i'm hoping that will help get my "prayer life" on track.

4. mental/professional
- i want to read 12 books this year, one a month is the goal. so send me some ideas because i need about 8 or 9 more. all varieties of genres are okay. i have a fiction book and Christian "self-help". i would like a parenting/discipline book, maybe a classic, and anything else that is not too long.
- i am still working on this one, but i want to write/finish writing a professional article and submit it for publication.

5. personal/fun and friends
- practice guitar more often and challenge myself to learn more
- get out of my comfort zone and talk to more people at church besides just friends and connect more with friends i don't see often enough

there you have it, and a happy new year to you!