Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Homeschooling and Ideas Needed

For those of you who've wondered why we want to homeschool our kiddos, check out THIS from Gregg Harris (who also happens to be the father of our former senior pastor, Josh Harris, at Covenant Life). Note: the article is long but you need to read it in its entirety.



In fact, reading this has me PUMPED to homeschool! Okay, and a bit scared as Papa and Mama Whitney are not the sharpest arrows in the bunch, if you dig what I'm saying. But, I once heard someone say, All you really need to teach your child is a library card and a Bible. We got that!



And for those of you out there who DO or DON'T homeschool, I'd love to get some more ideas for what things I can do with my toddlers. I'm looking for what you would consider a MUST HAVE (or even an I'D REALLY WANT) for kids.



So, email or post your votes for good toys, books, videos, craft items, whatever! I'm all ears and eyes!!!



~kia

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our Weird-o Parents

We think our Mama is PARANOID. Daddy just thinks she's crazy. Here's why:

1. She takes pictures of cars that park in our driveway. Did you know she always wanted to be the first black Charlie's Angel? Yeah, she fancys herself a McGyver type woman and always wanted to "kick a window out of a school bus." How many of you had to reread that one!

2. She chases neighborhood kids who throw trash in our grass, makes them pick it up, tells them "I'm Mrs. Whitney," and then smiles as she asks if they want her to throw the trash away. I think we're scarred for good because the kids now look at us with a smile when they see us outside.

3. She almost took a picture of a drunk driver who drove past our house FOUR times. She didn't have her camera with her but she sure did give them a good stare down. Daddy did call 5.0 though. That made for an interesting night!

4. And this morning Joshua peed in his pants and as she was dealing with that some strange white dude with light-colored hair in a black Titan V8 truck pulled in front of our house across the street. She stopped to watch him because she thought he was looking rather "strangely" at our house. Next thing she knows, he whipping out a camera and snaps a few shots. Who knows what she would've done had she not had to put a kid on the potty and wipe up some pee pees on the floor! She's capable of anything. Those of you who know the Akichi story know what I'm talking about!



Now for our Daddy!



1. He eats like three donuts and then says doing so pulled his groin. How are eating too many donuts related to pulling your groin????

2. Daddy likes to push the limit a bit too much. The other day he was mowing the grass and thought to himself, "I can get even closer to that water line!" Next thing you know, there's a loud noise and then Daddy shuffles into the garage to try and hammer the mower blade back into shape. It doesn't work! And it's doubtful he learned any lesson.

3. Just a short while ago Daddy has the great idea to call a friend who will be turning 27 on Monday (yo, Mr. M! Happy Bday!) and leave 27 messages. Yep. He says, "Wouldn't that be cool?" Uhhhh, NO, Psycho-pops!

4. And most of you out there know that Papa almost killed himself a few times. Sometimes he uses fire and gas (ask Grandad and Grammy about the one!) and other times he just decides to apply to become a police officer and thereby almost die of an exercise-induced asthma attack.

Talk about a match made in Heaven. Our parents are ridiculously idiotic. You wouldn't beleive how many times we hear Mommy say, "Oh no, I cut myself!" or Daddy say, "Ummm, Wifey, you that ____, I broke it." Don't they ever learn!! And what does that mean for us kiddos?


Wait a minute! Isn't it true that once a person gives their life to the Lord they are ADOPTED? There's hope yet for us Whitney kiddos to NOT be conformed to their image after all! Lord, make us like You!!!! Our folks truly are as dumb as sheep! But we love them regardless.

Peace out, peeps!

sarania, for the whitneykiddos



Thursday, July 26, 2007

Change is A Comin'

Every once in a while I feel I need to change things about how I'm managing my home. Here's the deal, three times this week the Lord had me catch bits and pieces of my former senior pastor, Joshua Harris, on Nancy Leigh DeMoss. He was speaking on the influence media has on us. What can I say, I feel conviction and know the Lord is about bring on some change.

I am often guilty of popping my kiddos in front of the TV to watch a video or catch Clifford and I KNOW that I am using it as a babysitter. But, before I go drastic, I know that TV in it of itself is not the Enemy. What I'm convicted of is not using the time God has given me (i.e. stewardship!) to do what His Word says.

Proverbs 22:6 says:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I want to be better at stewarding the time God gives me to point my kiddos to Christ.

I need to discipline myself to be ever thinking in light of eternity. Hebrews 11:12 puts it this way: For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

I've asked my hubby for a few hours for some serious PLANNING. It'll be a retreat of sorts. The main goal will be to inquire of the Lord regarding my role of Home Manager. (By the way, I like that term better than "homemaker" as "homemaker" sounds like I'm just folding clothes and making beds. Know what I mean? Where's the "impacting souls for eternity" in that?!) I'm seeing where my family would benefit from some systems as dinner has been pathetic lately, clean up time has been ineffective, I still have stuff to unpack as well as dirty toilets that need cleaning and piles of stuff that need "a home".

SOOOOO - question for all other home managers out there!

What are some ways you maintain your focus on eternity while managing your home? And how do you keep your priorities straight (meaning God first, marriage second, and kiddos next)?

If there are any men out there who might read this, how are you maintaining your focus on eternity while providing for your family? And how do you keep your priorities straight (i.e. not putting your job over your wife or kiddos)?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Random Shots and Updates

Here is a random post with lots of pictures. Sometimes it's easier to add too many pics than to use the extra brainpower to decide which ones to include. Blogger wigged out on me so I am actually adding fewer than anticipated.

Oh- and a few quick updates:

* WDW got a new job and begins on 8/6/07 (Hey! That's cousin Celeste's 6th bday!!!). Pray for that, specifically that I will be full of joy and TRUST in this as it is further away than I would like (among other things) and that Pops will be able to keep his priorities straight. Ummm, I guess we'll be need some accountability, huh?

* KDW had his 6 month check up and is continuing the Whitney kiddos tradition of being "long and lean" (as the doc said, but he's really not long at all!). He weighed in at 14.03 pounds, is 2 ft 2 inches tall, and is wanting to crawl already. Little Dude is ACTIVE and full of joy. He also seems to have an allergy to milk (errrr!).

* SEW had her 18 month visit 2 months late is FINALLY broke 20 pounds!!! Wahoo! I can't beleive she's JUST now weighing 20 pounds (which means William and I were naughty and should not have turned her car seat around till now! Oh well!). And she's 2 ft 8 inches tall. It is so funny to see her little naked body! She's incredibly verbal but incredibly TINY! One of her new favorites things is to repeat is YEP! or Ummm, NO! Of course, she still says, JAAAHH-SWA!

* JCW was spared a doc check. He's doing well, speaking lots more and is often frustrated because we're unable to understand him. He continues to be very kind to his Sissy and little K-K and loves helping. He's great at getting and throwing away diapers, is learning to fold (kind of!), and walks around saying, "Jah-jah, big boy! Umm, yes!" And some of you may recall how anal he was, that has not changed! He still likes to select just the right pair of socks to go with his outfit and is very particular about how is blanket is on top of him! Oh my!

Enough talk! Enjoy!

We went to two parks nearby. Both were on the river and pretty much in walking distance from our house. We decided to drive it and then walk along the river.


Here I got excited about swinging. I got on and held my breath as I just knew the swing was going to break under my weight!



Then there was KD. Always smiling and giggling. He just loves when he gets a little attention. Are you like that?

big girl Saraina-bug

Mama with her 2 big babies making a weird face.
Saraina wasn't interested in looking foolish!

A sleepy Saraina

I love when my kiddos hug!
There is something special about seeing your kids hug!


Joshua in the sandbox


Joshua swinging

Kadin all smiles, AGAIN!!




Looking at this picture I can hear Sissy's laugh.

Papa-bear with his cubs (minus one!)
Daddy tried out the swing and it didn't break!

Saraina possibly tasting the flowers.
The girl eats EVERYTHING!!!!!

(Thankfully, we are getting new windows any day!!)




Ummm...

Hand in hand!



And I tried to be brave the other day and let the kids paint. This is SO hard for me. Messes like that are VERY challenging for me! They did well until Saraina decided to STEP on and WALK THROUGH and ON the final masterpieces as I (stupidly!) put them on the floor to dry (hey, they were out of the way!). Well, I found out that washable paint isn't so washable!


With Jesus

Yes, Micah is now with Jesus. With JESUS, the King or kings and Lord of lords!

I can't imagine what the Davis family is going through right now. Our Joshua is just a few months younger than Micah. But the Davis family sure is showing me (through their lives via the blog) what it means to live in light of eternity.

Let's be praying for them as they grieve.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Micah Davis and Family

Please visit the Davis family blog and read the latest on little Micah and fam.

Thanks.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Breaking Point

What do you consider your breaking point?

Well, today was one of those days I woke up struggling, wondering why, and raging inside. It seemed like I reached my breaking point.

My reality was too overwhelming for me this morning. Thoughts like, 'Joshua will never be potty trained', 'how long will Kadin be sick', 'I have to put away the laundry', 'I forgot eggs and frozen vegetables at the grocery store yesterday', will I have time to do my hair today', 'my body aches', 'how could I possibly want more kids', and 'how should I cook the pork chops' seemed to rush in my mind at once. I was not seeing God's goodness. And His sovereignty was pushed to the back of my mind as I focused on ME. I was seeing all that was before me as things I needed to accomplish or get through, not things God would grant me the grace to do and experience. I forgot all about grace. And I didn't think much about Him being in control.

Psalm 121 says,
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

(Thanks, Sue, for reminding me of this psalm!)

So, I resolve to run into HIS arms and remember HE DIED for me.
He loves me so much that all (the tough stuff included!) He allows is for my good, not harm!
Yes, He is a God who holds ALL THINGS TOGETHER, including me.

I guess I did reach the breaking point. I finally realized in my "moment of madness" that I am sinful through and through BUT... He knows my frame, He knows my needs, He called me by name, and He allows the things that happen to me for HIS great glory and my good.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Other Dancer

VIDEO NOT WORKING! WILL TRY ANOTHER TIME! (sorry!)


In my roll as drummer the other day I didn't get the props I deserved. You see, my friend, I am not only a drummer but a dancer as well.










The video below proves it!










Watch out, Sis! You're not the only one who can whip out the smooth moves!





~jc

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our First Guests - the WAITS!

It will forever go down in history that the Waits from TX were our very first guests. Here they are just before driving to Chicago for a visit with the Chi-town Whitneys.

The Whitney kiddos had a great time with their cousins from the Lone Star State. This was even the first time they were able to meet their baby cousin Kadin. Last time we were together with the Waits was Thanksgiving and I was pregnant with Kadin. Because of the time lapse, I wasn't sure how Joshua and Saraina would behave. But Joshua and Saraina did great and really enjoyed having cousins near... for even a brief time. It was so cute hearing them say their names and ask for them after nap time!


Saraina, who LOVES books and eating, was able to enjoy special attention from a special Allison who adored reading and playing and teaching.


And Kadin didn't get the shaft these couple of days! Clearly, he had a great time with all the attention that was showered on him.




Joshua LOVED playing with and asking for "Unca T" during their visit. Unca T played with Joshua in the backyard and Joshua couldn't be happier to dig around in and move dirt, play ball, and whatever else boys do together.

Joshua and Allison

Emily and Joshua


Our neighbors decided to keep things pretty quiet during their visit but things were still lively. Sitting on the porch we enjoyed counting how many police cars (marked and unmarked) passed, how many ice cream trucks we'd see, and how many tricked-out cars would speed by. I think the Waits were pretty impressed that they could buy cotton candy (which they did!) from someone walking by selling it. And I'm told it was good and fresh cotton candy. You can't get that everywhere, folks!


Aunt Cristina with Kadin

So, thanks Waits for visiting with us! We really count ourselves blessed that you would make a deliberate stop here and spend time amidst chaos (and filth! I was embarrassed I didn't get to clean the bathrooms before your visit!). We love you guys and look forward to visiting one day (God willing) your home in TX!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kadin - SIX MONTHS OLD (on July 12th)

Happy half birthday to me!!!! Am I adorable or what?!

See my double dimples?

Hey, lay off the hair-do, will ya? Unless you plan on speaking to my parents about it, I don't want to hear about it.



I am so easily excited.
In fact, I spend most of my time with my mouth wide open.


I don't enjoy speaking too much but LOVE giggling.
I am a very gifted giggler.


And my hair in the picture above looks pretty sharp to me, by the way.


I watch my big brother and sister a lot.
I learn much of what to do and what not to do.


Joshua and Saraina are very good with me. Their name for me is K-K.


Like I said before, I get SOOOO excited and am quite expressive. And my parents ADORE me. I have a very special place in my Mommy's heart, even though I get the shaft a lot. If you are the third born, you know what I mean! The older sibs often get a little too much attention.


Here's a little tip for you other third born babies: you get special one-on-one attention with your Mommy by waking up in the middle of the night - way beyond the "they should be sleeping through the night" season. She'll be too exhausted from her day to NOT feed you! Shhhh! Our little secret!!!! Let me know if it works for ya. Thank me later.


Monday, July 16, 2007

God, my Father

We had a guest pastor at church yesterday and he's actually the brother of a member of our church. I can't remember his name right now but I remember his message. His message was GOOD NEWS to those who have been saved from their sins. I hope to put a link up here letting you check it out. But till I am able to get that done, one thing (of many!) he shared which got my attention was that "the Christian word for God is Father."

Did you catch that? All other religions use other terms for their gods but we can cry out, Abba meaning Daddy! Indeed we have been ADOPTED into His family. That's how much He cares for me, who once spit in His face by the way I lived in complete rejection of His love.

My "mom-through-marriage" (aka mother-in-law, but that term seems too stuffy to me) reminded me of this again today by encouraging me to read Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for today. It says,

THE NOTION OF DIVINE CONTROL
"How much more shall your Father which is in heaven
give good things to them that ask Him?" Matthew 7:11

Jesus is laying down rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit. By the simple argument of these verses He urges us to keep our minds filled with the notion of God's control behind everything, which means that the disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.

Notion your mind with the idea that God is there. If once the mind is notioned along that line, then when you are in difficulties it is as easy as breathing to remember - Why, my Father knows all about it! It is not an effort, it comes naturally when perplexities press. Before, you used to go to this person and that, but now the notion of the Divine control is forming so powerfully in you that you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit, and it works on this principle - God is my Father, He loves me, I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry?

There are times, says Jesus, when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural Father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the notion of the mind of God behind all things strong and growing. Nothing happens in any particular unless God's will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. "Ask, and it shall be given you."
Ooooooo, that is good for me to read today. I don't know about you but I'm wanting to spend some more alone time with my Daddy.
Grace to you!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Valley of Vision

Ever get to that point of not knowing what to think or write or say or do? I'm there, just about.

Well, if you're there right now and not sure what to pray or even for whom to pray because your prayer list is just so long, may the Puritan prayer below give you (and me!) His perspective!

Valley of Vision (You can get it HERE.)

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Any Ideas?







There are a bunch of wise, creative women out there who I would LOVE to get some ideas from regarding my new purchase. Yes, I need your help!







William told me I had to take a picture of this big boy bag o' rice. He's used to my bulk buying to save buck. Thing is I don't know how to store this 25 pound bag of goodness! We're talking 250 servings!!!!




Why did I buy it? Because it was so cheap, of course! Let's be real. Paying $6.65 for a 25 pound bag of rice is a great deal. And I would have purchased a smaller bag if they had one. But the smaller bags were MORE expensive and the thought of driving to yet another store was just out of the question.




So, who out there in cyberspace has a good idea for me regarding STORING rice. And if you've got some great recipes, I'll take those as well!




~kia


Think You Can Do it All?

Read this the other day and it really encouraged me.

I got it from the Preschoolers and Peace blog that my friend Jerusha has a link to from her blog. Thanks, Jerusha!

May it encourage you as well!
~kia

Friday, July 06, 2007

Granny Did You Know?

Granny,

Hey there! Long time no chat with. I just had to show off my braids with you.

Whatcha think?




Yep. You are SO right! Mama needs some serious practice. Did you see that crooked part!

I thought you'd get a kick knowing that Mama was remembering being a little girl and having you do her hair. She was trippin' going down memory lane.

She remembers you sitting on the edge of your bed and her standing in between your legs as you brushed and combed and braided her hair.

She remembers the smell of Sulfur 8 and coconut oil.

She remembers the infamous two cornrows on each side and then the rest of her hair pulled back in a big pony tail.

She remembers always wanting to wear her hair down.
She remembers being very tenderheaded.

And she generally remembers all this and more when she sits down with me in between her legs as she brushes and combs and braids my hair... and tells me to "Keep still."

Well, I better go. It's morning nap time! Love to you and all the peeps reading this!
Curly-Top

Challenge Update - Month One

Soooo, how are you doing on the Challenge?

I started the Reading Through the Bible in 90 Days plan a month ago today. And boy, did I pick a busy time to begin! I surely have NOT been consistent as I would have liked.

But, even though I just ready Day 18 today (instead of Day 31, where I should be) it has been such a blessing reading larger chunks of Scripture!

Quick thoughts regarding the Challenge:

1- I have a greater desire to read MORE of God's Word, and not just to say "I've read it." I'm finding "help in my time of need" as I read of God's people rebelling and God continuing to offer salvation.

2- I have been a bit quicker to see my sin as evil and greiving to the Lord. For example, I keep reading about God's people "whoring" after other gods. (Other translations use the phrase prostitute or play the harlot.) That is some strong language that has captured my attention.

3- I have appreciated God's mercy and grace way more as I read of how the people will finally cry out to God, confess their sin, and repent.

Well, you're not too interested in this and I hear some loud thumping upstairs which let's me know I've got kiddos who are awake! Have a wonderful day!

~kee

oh- one more thing! God was quick to bring conviction to me regarding my attitude towards my firecrack-loving neighbors! Guess what? They were actually outside yesterday afternoon for a couple hours (at least) cleaning up from the big mess. And I'm talking rakes and brooms! I am very embarrassed by how quick I was to judge them. But, truth be told, when the firecrackers went off AGAIN last night, I again was very angry. I was going to call the police if I didn't have to get out of the bed to do it! Pray for me!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fourth Fun

We had a WONDERFUL Independence Day!

It's funny living in Aurora. After living in Northern Jersey and Chicago proper for a spell, I actually think we live more in the city now than ever before. I know that sounds crazy.

It's just that our location is so busy, so lively, so often that it really does seem like our kids will be raised in the city. Our home is far away from Chatham and Laurel!

Yesterday we loaded up and walked to the downtown area to watch the parade. (Pictures below.) The kids didn't react how we thought they would but they sure seemed mesmerized by something. They get very excited to go for a walk in the neighborhood!

After our jaunt to the parade we had lunch and then naps. My precious Hubby did yard work while everyone else napped! We think he's got a rep for being the crazy man in the big white house. What would you think of someone using a saber saw on a weed?

To finish the day we took a trip to Ikea to make a return and enjoy some Swedish meatballs in their cafeteria. The kids were thrilled with this last minute decision. Nothing like some cold, hard french fries to make our two toddlers smile!

Enjoy the pictures!









We took picture of this very patriotic man watching the parade. He was quiet and sitting till the bagpipes started blowing.

Freaks Don't Sleep at Night

Do you know that song, "The freaks come out at night?" Well, I have a new line for the song, "The freaks don't sleep at night!"

We have some neighbors that are... well, yes this is horrible to say, but... they are FREAKS!

ALL night long we heard BANG, BANG, BANG-BANG. Two times in particular I thought we were living in a war zone. No joke. It was THAT loud. By 3:55 AM I was ready to confront our fire-happy neighbors.

When I went downstairs to get the coffee going I spotted about three individuals across the street. These folks were looking rough, to say the least. I'm talking barefoot, hair all over the place, walking in the street, and even a shirtless dude.

Using my childhood suburban tactics, I walked into another room and carefully peeked out of another window with the lights all off. At that time I caught a lady throw something lit into the street towards the window I was peaking through. Thankfully it wasn't another bomb or fireworks display.

Pause. Now, most of you reading this are probably saying I must be exaggerating. I am not! These "fireworks" were like BOMBS!!! They would create this string of fireworks that would cause an assortment of bombs to go off for 4 minutes straight! No joke! I know exactly where they were coming from because of the smoke. And I can see the debris this morning.

So, how do I feel about these folks? I'm strongly disliking them! But, I once heard someone quote some other godly person saying something like, "You love God as much as you love your greatest enemy." I'm sure I got that quote wrong but it reminds me of who else generally has sleep issues.

You see, my kiddos, who traditionally get up extra early, like 5:50 AM, actually slept through all this commotion. I didn't hear them till around 7:15 AM!

What does all this mean???

Well, I must be the freak! And I am. I am still quick to anger. I am quick to see other people as being more sinful, more deserving of God's wrath. I am still not loving as Christ has called me. It is I who was acting like the FREAK at 4 in the morning!

Lord, I pray for my neighbors, all of them, those I like and those I strongly dislike. Would you give me eyes and a heart that sees and cares for them as you do. Change my perspective to be aligned with Yours. May I care more for their souls than my comfort.

Hyper at Bedtime - Part 3

And more to watch!

Kadin Playing Rollover

And here is our little Kadin David at bedtime...

Hyper at Bedtime - Part 2

Now in this video you can see more of our personalities. Clearly we aren't are as quiet and shy as people would like to believe.

Hyper at Bedtime - Part 1



Well, we never cease to crack our folks up. Here we are grooving at bedtime.


Oh- play close attention to how Saraina almost hurts Joshua with the drumstick and how Joshua simply says, "No, sis!"


~joshua and saraina



A Future Winner????

For those of you in my folks' old, old care group back at Covenant Life (you know, the Sheffer CG!) you will appreciate my Mommy (who never wanted to play, by the way) teaching me to "blow hard."





For those of you know who don't know about the Sheffer game (passed down from Mrs. Sheffer's grandma) you'll have to ask my Daddy to show you... I mean tell you how to play. Thing is he has been said to EAT the cotton balls. Hmmmm... maybe you don't want to know how to play.


~joshua

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ALL

This morning I couldn't stop thinking about the word ALL. Little word that is quite impressive!

I know how I can use it without putting much thought into it. Like,

- All I could think about was...
- Eat all of your vegetables...
- I was up all night long...

And then there are the times when it is not said but meant. Like,

- I didn't finish my reading for today.
- Clean up your toys.

Well, I read Joshua 8 this morning and these two verses stuck out,

And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.

You see, on Saturday evening we were hanging out on the front porch watching the kiddos play when the pastor from next door and her husband arrived. (Some of you have had your curiosity peaked, right?) I'd met Cyndi before soon after we moved in. She had been responsible for arranging a beautiful 'welcome to the neighborhood' basket for us. I was excited to be able to meet her husband for the first time and for William to be able to meet her finally.

Okay, so what does ALL and the verse in Joshua 8 have to do with Cyndi? Well, we found out just how different we are from each other and it has to do with ALL.

We believe ALL of Scripture is the word of God and is without error.
We believe ALL of the Bible is relevant for us today.
We believe ALL of us are sinners in need of the Savior.
We believe ALL of us will one day stand before a Holy God and give an account.
We believe ALL of our thoughts, deeds, actions are known by God.

Cyndi does not. Her congregation probably does (a long story there!) but she's taking her church in a different direction. Cyndi believes in the blessing, not the curse.

Joshua 8:34-35 reminds us that ALL of the Law of God was important to ALL people. We can't pick and choose! We sure can try to have that "buffet-style" of religion but what it boils down to is this: It doesn't matter what you believe. What matters is what is TRUE!

So, when Cyndi said with a smile and a laugh, "We couldn't be further from opposite ends of the spectrum!" we could only nod and smile back and say, "You're right!"

Yet we are beginning a relationship though! And we hope to learn from one another. We have extended an invitation to them so hopefully they'll join us for dinner one Friday evening. We must NOT be ashamed of the Gospel for it IS good news for ALL people! We will live our lives accordingly. Indeed we will spend our lives, ALL of our lives, for Him alone!

Now, it goes without saying that at least some of you reading this will call me names along the lines of (but a bit stronger than) narrow-minded. And that's okay! I am not called to please all people. I couldn't if I wanted to. But, with the help of The Helper I will be pleasing to One who called me by name. Yes, the Lord of the Universe called ME by my name when I was running as hard and fast as I could straight to Hell! (Please post a comment or send me an email if you'd like to know details of what I mean by that!)

My question to you and for me today: what are you (am I) giving your (my) ALL to this day?

May our answer to that question be all pleasing to God!