Friday, June 29, 2012

Every Good and Perfect Gift

So, Lee and I decided to study the book of James this summer. Now, Lee and I do bible study completely different. This can cause friction some times, but most of the time it's awesome because we each have a different perspective. As soon as we decided to do James I knew I wanted to do Beth Moore's James study, and thanks to my super fantastic BFF, I was able to get the book and even the videos. I love Beth Moore studies, and two weeks in, this one promises to live up to my high expectations. For this study she has it broken down into levels of participation. I'm doing Level 4 which means I watch the videos, do the homework, handwrite the entire book of James, and read the amazing extra articles (Level 5 is memorizing the entire book of James, which I decided not to do...yet). So far Lee is doing Level 1 with me, which is just watching the videos. His reactions to the girliness of it all is priceless, but he seems to be getting something out of it. He's also doing his own study of James.

I wanted to share one of the exercises that I did today. Today's passage was James 1:16-18. I do my study in the ESV so here's vs 17 in that translation: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." Most of us have heard this verse before and tend to blow past it. Just before this James talks about temptation and how God doesn't tempt us, but our own desires do, which leads to sin and death. All bad stuff right. Verse 16 is a turning point and says, "Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers." Bad things happen as a result of sin in the world and we tend to focus on those things. Sometimes we even tend to cast blame on God and get so bogged down in the awful things that we are deceived. There is good in our lives and all of it comes directly from the Lord. We should remember those blessings and the one who blessed us, which is what this exercise is about.

Take your present age and divide by 4: 26/4 = 6.5 (yeah, I'm a math person)
Divide your life into quarters and list blessings from each time.
Newborn to 6.5 years:
I was born into a wonderful loving family.

 6.5 to 13 years:
My family moved to Arkansas so I was able to see extended family more often. I became a Christian.

13 to 19.5 years:
I graduated from high school and attended the UofA on full scholarship. I made amazing friends at school and began to develop a true relationship with Christ. I met this guy named Lee.

19.5 to 23 years:
I started dating and eventually married that guy named Lee. I graduated from college (twice), and I now have the opportunity to go BACK to school and be a teacher.

These are just a few of the many blessings God has given me. I just think it's so neat to see how God has been giving me gifts throughout my entire life. He is constant and He doesn't change. Yes, there have been some hard times too. But those trials have made me into who I am and have created a steadfastness in me like it talks about in James 1:2-4. How about you? How has the Father of light blessed you throughout your life?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Sorry it's been forever a month since I last updated. I lot has gone on as you can probably guess. I figured I'd update you a bit, but let me apologize in advance for my lack of pictures and the fact that this post is just a huge block of text. The Kentucky air has done nothing to improve my photography skills.

Lee and I got an apartment and we quickly moved in on June 1. It was an adventure to say the least. A big shout out to our friends who helped us pack and unpack (especially you Joy)! It was enough so that we'd contemplate moving again in, oh, maybe, 10 years. Maybe. Anyway, we got moved in okay and our apartment is set up like we want it now. It's amazing to me, though, that you can move all your stuff that filled one apartment to another and still find several things you need. I guess that's just how it works. 

I started classes on June 4. I have 3 hours of Summer Institute and 3 hours of UofL classes 4 days a week. I've done a lot of reading, some practice teaching and even got to work with some real live kids. I spend half my time being super pumped about starting teaching in August and half my time afraid out of my mind of everything this will entail. I keep coming back to the fact that I know this is the path God has for me so He'll get me through it, one way or the other! I have had a few interviews, but there has been a bit of a backlog on hiring here so I'll update as soon as I get officially hired. 

Lee has a job, and he'll actually be working quite a bit this summer. He was pretty bored for the first few weeks, but it also allowed us to get a lot done to move our residency over to Kentucky. He also signed up for his seminary classes and I think he's getting pretty excited about those. 

We've also been looking for new churches which is interesting for us since we've never looked for a church as a married couple. We've been a few places and are discussing what we're looking for. We're praying for a church that has sound teaching and is a place for us to serve and be served. You can imagine with a great seminary in town that there are a plethora of wonderful churches. I'm confident God has one in mind for us. 

For my book loving friends, I have been doing quite a bit of reading (besides my teaching textbooks) and I went and got my library card pretty quickly after we moved. Living in a city that's big enough to have more than one branch of the public library is bizarre to me, but I've mostly been reading the free ebooks anyway. For those who don't know, if you have a library card, see if you can check out ebooks from your library. I'm a huge fan of this to say the least. 

Now, I need a few things from my teacher friends. First, any helpful advice since I'm a month and a half away from my first teaching experience? Also, and this is especially for the high school teachers, what kind of rewards and consequences do you find effective in your classroom? There is so much more that goes into teaching than I ever realized so I'm doubly appreciative of every teacher I know. I'll be teaching in an urban setting which is completely different from anything I know, but any advice would be appreciated. 

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this transition Lee and I are in and keep those prayers coming!