Monday, October 31, 2011

For the Message of the Gospel is This...

I caught sight of a debate/argument on Facebook today, and I am afraid that it is all too common in our society. The original post read:

Just encountered another "born again", who was caught in an affair with her preacher, costing him his job and her the marriage she was in. The response: "we all fall short" but she says that she is saved because she is born again in Christ (before the affair) but people who aren't "born again" but [live] righteous and pious lives are going to hell......................

Uhh.............................. how does that work?

This broke my heart. Incidences like this have been all too familiar in my life. It is terrible and awful. It rips people apart.

Many comments followed this original post. You can only imagine people's thoughts. Problems in the can bad people go to Heaven and good people go to today is a joke...would Hitler have gone to Heaven if he confessed right before he the people who broke the 10 commandments have a blank check?...etc. etc. etc.

I wanted to ignore it. I wanted to remove the post so it wouldn't upset me. But, I couldn't. My God is sovereign and righteous and just. And, I too am a sinner. I had to respond.

My response was too long to post on Facebook, so I ended up sending it through a message. I also wanted to share my response on here for the purpose of trying to preserve the gospel. I want to shed a bit of truth where there is much confusion and darkness. There is no better way of doing this than through the gospel itself.

Here is my response:

I don’t in any way condone the behavior of these two you posted about, but the message of the gospel is this:

Romans 3:21-26
21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.  For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Yes, they sinned—we are all sinners—and…

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Because of our sin, we all deserve death. Yet,

John 3:16
16"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

God sent his son to die so that those who believe may have eternal life—not those who have lived good lives.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

There is nothing we can do—no righteous life we can live—to deserve or EARN Heaven.

Romans 10:9-10
9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

That is the only way to receive grace and eternal life!

1 John 1:9-10
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Just because a believer sins, that does not mean that he can lose his salvation. If that were the case, Heaven would be empty…

Titus 3:3-7
3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

There is nothing we can do that will make God love us any more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us any less. 

May God continue to speak his truth into the lives of people. May we, his children, not keep silent. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Weekend...In Pictures

This weekend has been awesome (every weekend should be like that according to Mrs. G., and I'd have to agree). I thought I'd share it with you all through some  (a lot of?) photos....

Friday began with the birth of my nephew (my step-sister's son) Logan! Welcome to the world, Buddy!

After work, we tried out Buffalo Wild Wings. Our staff didn't have a great showing, but it's the quality not the quantity, right? I did get to hang out with my old junior high PE teacher from Tevis. When he realized I was in his class, he told me he hated me. We had a grand ole time...

Friday evening was sushi and Target--always a delightful combination. 

On Saturday, Mom and I headed out to Solvang to celebrate Lauren Jensen's birthday. This was the view for the first part of the trip:

A cotton truck?!? Really?!? Not cool!

When we arrived, we had lunch at a golf course...

...and embarked on some wine tasting adventures.

Of course, I was the DD (or the DVD as I like to call it).

(The water had quite the refreshing flavor!)

The winery was GORGEOUS!

The next winery wasn't beautiful, but it had lots of personality...

We walked around and shopped before dinner. Solvang is OBSESSED with Halloween. Strange. All the stores were participating in a Scarecrow making contest.

The sunset that night was beautiful. Notice the moon?

The evening held many rousing games of Dutch Blitz (appropriate, much?) and a delightful slumber party for six!

This morning we ate an incredible (and filling) breakfast! I could not come to Solvang without a piece of this deliciousness!

(Here is where we enter our food comas)

We had to work off our breakfast by shopping, olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting, and of course, laughing. 

On the way home, we picked up many unwelcome visitors on the windshield, so we had to drive through the car wash before coming home. I chose the best option, and it came with a PICTURE! Check it out!

Amusing, because I really hate Halloween, but hilarious because it's a picture from the car wash. :)

I hope you enjoyed my weekend in pictures. Let's hope that there's many more of these to come!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Penny For My Thoughts... (a random collection of thoughts)

...oh no, I'll sell them for a dollar. I LOVE the new Lauren Alaina album. No, that song isn't on it, but she did perform it on Idol. Wildflower is completely worth listening to!

People, please don't wear grey at the gym or when you're working out. Ever. I really don't want to see your awkward sweat lines--especially if you're wearing a thong. Ew.

One would think that with all this gym going, one's physique might start changing a bit. Don't worry, folks, it's not. But yet, I press on...

Modern Family and The Middle are a couple of the best shows on television.

I get stupidly excited to watch reruns of my favorite old shows. Perhaps that's why I started collecting the seasons of Boy Meets World. Too bad I haven't found time to start watching them--this doesn't diminish the excitement, however.

Last random thought for the day....

I love love love our morning news team on Eyewitness News. They are ridiculously funny. It makes waking up too early a little more bearable. This slight obsession with the news may have something to do with the fact that I've been fascinated with the news since I was a child--no idea why! Thanks Aaron, John, Leyla, and Cambi for making my mornings just a little bit brighter.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You Beat Me by One, Kid!

Last weekend, I had the JOY of meeting (and snuggling) the newest addition to our family--Noah. It was incredible to hold this little guy in my arms and marvel at the miracle of new babies. He's the 9th grandchild of his grandparents (my aunt and uncle)--he's the sweet baby, the youngest. I was the 8th grandchild--the youngest--he beat me by one, but we still have the baby thing in common.

In honor of my dear first cousins once removed (yes, that's technically the correct term--I lost an argument over it once), I'd like to dedicate this post to all of them. To see a picture of them, visit my "Cousins" album on Facebook if you're my friend. If not, just picture their adorable faces.

Going in order from oldest to youngest, they are:

Carter-- the leader, with a strong spirit and a gentle heart.

Joshua-- the curious and clever one, a "voracious" reader (in his own words).

Emma-- the spitfire, full of love and compassion.

Bobby-- the imaginative dreamer who knows no limits.

Micah-- the determined one. If he sets his mind on something, it will happen.

Matthew--my mini-me, the first baby I ever felt kick. He's a daring one who knows no fear.

Nathan-- the heart melter who marches to his own drum (literally) and will melt your heart while doing it

Grace-- our baby girl, pretty in pink, quite a welcome addition to our family of all (but one) boy.

Noah-- the sweet baby boy, quiet and content, a snuggler.

There you have it. I thank God for these babies (who have grown up far too quickly). Being the baby myself, I never got to have babies around during family get togethers--that makes this time of my life so much sweeter. I pray that they will grow up strong in the Lord, loving Him and others before themselves. I am so excited to see the work He's doing and will continue to do in their lives. I love you my dear cousins!

Oh, and thanks to my first cousins for bringing these sweet children into our family. :) I love you all as well!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Observations: Part Four (this one is so good it gets its own post)

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse more ridiculous.....

1. A kid goes and swallows part of his pencil.

Now, this is a junior higher we're talking about, NOT a toddler. REALLY?!? Apparently he was playing with part of it in his mouth, started laughing, choked, and swallowed it. He was well enough to tell me that he did so, so I figured it wasn't too big of an issue. Through muffled much laughter, I sent him and another student to the office. He paused long enough to make sure I'd share the story with his other teachers. Little did he know, he'd become blog fame.

Really, dude?!? They don't teach you how to handle things such as this in school...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Observations: Part Three

We are about the embark on the eighth week of school--I can hardly believe it. I haven't shared any observations lately, so let's see what I can come up with (in no particular order):

1. Junior highers' hormones are raging (we all know this, of course, but I had to point it out once again). Amazing (not!) that they seem to care more about each other than learning!

2. Groups failed (for now). The desks are back in rows.

3. Weather has a HUGE effect on kids. Hence the switch back to rows for now.

4. Kids go crazy over being a part of something. My homeroom college is UCLA and the kids adore their t-shirts and the UCLA fight song. They love to sing the fight song and wear their UCLA shirts in their science teacher's class (his college is USC). This makes me smile.

5. "Involved" parents can be more of a challenge than uninvolved parents--I'll leave it at that.

6. Hanging out with co-workers after work on a Friday can do a lot of good (and provide a lot of laughs).

7. Grading essays sucks.

8. I'm grateful that the weather will be cooling down soon--hopefully the kids won't smell as bad.

9. Acne is for junior highers--not their teachers--I think it's their fault I still have traces of it.

10. I drink a lot of water these days and our bathroom is entirely too far away. Four minute passing periods just about do me in on occasion.

11. Dog training tools work well on junior highers--thank you Rick Morris!

12. Consistency is key. This can be a struggle for me at times--perhaps I shall tattoo it on my arm. No? Not a great idea? Ok, I'll write myself a note.

And perhaps the best for last?

13. Apparently I have a nice dairy air according to an impulsive junior high boy. Not a good choice of words, buddy. Junior highers often almost always speak before they think. Imagine that!

I'll just leave you with that. And on I go to begin another week of adventures...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The GREAT Kern County Fair!

Whenever I speak of our county fair, I must say The GREAT Kern County Fair--why?--because it is. Here are the top ten reasons why I love our fair (in no particular order):

The animals--especially this adorable pig!!!

People watching--your team!

Country Music

FRIED SNICKERS! Don't knock it until you try it. It's amazing!

 The hypnotist show. Hilarious. 

 Kicking booty at fair games.


Hanging out with family.

Hanging out with friends (and seeing old friends and students).


So, friends, why do you LOVE (or hate) the fair?!?