Sunday, May 31, 2009

God's beautiful creation

Here are some pictures that we took a few days ago near our house....



I believe these are called Bleeding Hearts. You can't really see the shape from the side like this, but it does look like a heart.
Andrea took this picture. Isn't it neat?


Elaina smelling the flowers.

Wow, isn't God's creation beatiful?!?! It is just amazing to think about how He planned each little detail about each flower, insect, and especially... person! He didn't have to, but He choose to work each of us into His master plan and He has specific purposes for each of us!
Blessings,
Marissa

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Ten Laws of Excellent Speech

From the book The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ
by Pastor Jerry Ross

1. Speak sparingly
Proverbs 10:19
2. Speak only after thinking
James 1:19
3. Speak honestly
Proverbs 12:17
4. Speak with grace
Colossians 4:6
5. Speak only acceptable words
Psalm 19:14
6. Speak appropriately
Proverbs 25:11
7. Speak respectfully
1 Timothy 5:1-2
8. Never speak evil of another
Titus 3:2
9. Never praise yourself
Proverbs 27:2
10. Speak the gospel boldly
Romans 1:16

If anyone has not read this book, I would really encourage you to read it. It is
very good!!!
Blessings,
Marissa

Sorry the font is so weird... blogger is being.. interesting... :D It won't let me make all of the words the same size.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I love my Brothers!

My brothers are such a blessing! It is so much fun to watch them grow up and see how God works in their lives.
Mini Man! (As Marissa and I call him)
Ian loves helping me with my puzzles, which I also love. Spending quality time with brothers is so much fun! Even from a 4 (Almost 5) year old, you learn things that you never would have thought of, and hear things from their perspective. Yes, even though they may seem little, they understand things and have a mind of their own!!!
No, there's nothing wrong with his eyes, no matter how much the picture may decieve you!!

video
I just thought this was cute. You might not like it as much but I thought I would put it on. =)
P.S. It's Seth. I know it's kind of dark, the lighting was funny, but I hope you can see it!!

Blessings,
Andrea

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am my father's daughter--and I love it!

Yes. We are our father's daughters. We always will be. But whether we love them and give them our hearts is up to us. No one can make us love our fathers but us.
Giving our hearts to our fathers means:
1. Submitting to their authority.
2. Trusting his decisions and showing him that.
3. Loving and caring when he feels bad.
4. Helping out when he needs it or just wants it.
5. Living as if you were his servant.
6. Believing in him.
Fathers love it when you believe in them. When you show that you think they can take care of whatever problem they're facing. (especially with God's help) They love to be needed. And they should be! Men feel good when you complement their decisions-showing that you trusted what they did.
Finding goodness in your father makes you closer to him. I could find all the bad things about my father, but the thing is-I don't want to! God gave me a wonderful father! He is so amazing and I feel terribly blessed!!! God made him exactly the father that I needed-He is so good to us! If we find all the faults with our fathers we might build up hate for them, but when we find the goodness, and focus on that, we build up what I now finally have! A wonderful, loving relationship with the man God specially gave you!
When we show our fathers that we love, respect, and give our hearts completely to them, we build a strong relationship with love, happiness, and get an amazing gift!

God Bless!
~Andrea

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Young Maiden's Daybook- Entry #1

Well... this is supposed to be done each Monday, but we were busy all day Monday and I wasn't able to do it yesterday... so here it is! :D




Today…
May 27, 2009

Outside my window…
It's raining :D

I am thinking…
I love rain! And storms. :D They are amazing and they also are a very big help for the garden. :D

I am thankful for…
Being a servant of Jesus Christ, my family, and TONS of other things!

I am wearing:
A denim skirt and green polo shirt

I am reading...
1. The Bible
2. The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ
3. Captains Courageous

I am creating…
Pajama pants for my brothers and washcloths... I am pretty much always making washcloths because we go through them so fast!

One of my favorite things…
Being with my sisters and brothers

For education this week…
I am finishing math! And I am also listening to a set of CD's called What in the World? by Answers in Genesis. They are really good! They are about history-- what God's doing in and through it and His plan in it all (HIS story).

A keeper at home skill I'm using....
Cooking, sewing, crocheting and cleaning!

A spiritual lesson I'm learning...
Being joyful always

A godly character trait I plan to work on....
Having a gentle and quiet spirit

Scripture I am memorizing...
Psalm 27

I am praying for...
God's will to be done in my family's life

For the rest of the week....
We have lots going on, as usual! :D

A picture I'd like to share....


A plant in our yard. I think Andrea took this picture but I thought it was neat. :D

For more information on how to participate in A Young Maiden's Daybook, click HERE.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In Christ Alone


In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Living for Eternity

In church today we talked about living for eternity. Wow, it was a very convicting message. Something that I know, but really should be putting into practice much more.
I don't think I spend as much time thinking about this as I should. Everything I do is either going to only effect the temporal life here on this earth, or it is going to effect my life in eternity. I am trying to think of practical examples for this.....
1. If I decide to play out in the yard with my siblings, I could be doing it for the temporal or for the eternal. I could do it to get exercise, only for my own personal benefit, or I could be doing it to build into my siblings lives and building relationships with them. I would also be getting exercise in the process. Why would I want to do it for only the temporal it I could be doing it for the eternal at the same time?
2. If I am going to practice on of my instruments, I could do it for the temporal or the eternal. I could do it simply to get better for my own personal benefit, or I could adjust my focus so that I was doing it to get better for the Lord, so that I could better serve Him.
3. If I am helping my mom shop for groceries, I could be doing it for the temporal or eternal. I could do it simply to help her, or I could be building into lives while I do it. First of all, usually when I am doing this, it's with one of my siblings. Just seeing siblings get along is pretty rare in our world today. Also, maybe I could start a conversation with someone in the store or with the cashier. You never know what simply talking to a person can lead to. You may be able to change their life.

Anyway, I realized that I should constantly be thinking of what I can do to effect eternity.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Thanks for reading!
In Christ Alone,
Marissa

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Family First!

Families are part of God's special design and should be treated as though they are part of God's design. It is so easy for people to throw away their families and turn to friends instead. Yes, God gave us friends, but our families came first!
Families are wonderful! It's like a having a play date and sleep-over with your best friend all the time! Making your siblings your best friends is amazing because if you can just get past your differences, ignoring them and seeing your similarities, you will find that buried underneath all of this, there is a real gold mine! The other thing is serving your family.
Often our fathers have wants and desires that they don't share with you, but if you asked them, they would be delighted to share these desires with you and love having your company while you help them. Our father is a HUGE gardener. He wished he had more land then we have, but makes the most of what we do have. He has almost thirty fruit trees on just a half acre and a garden that would make your mouth water! He loves having our help with planting, watering, and harvesting, but we don't do a good enough job at asking if he would like help.
When we do ask, we are hesitant at first, (mostly because it doesn't look like that much fun) but it turns out to be a blast just making our father happy.


We also want to love our families. Showing your family that you will always be there for them, enjoying life with them, and letting them know that they will come first, before friends and sports and anything else you might do is so important.
Have fun with your family! Simply playing with them and spending time with them shows them that you love them and that you care.
Families are God's gift to you. Enjoy one another, love one another, serve one another, and be each others best friend. They are there for a reason.
God Bless,
Andrea

Friday, May 22, 2009

Living a life of surrender

Right now I am reading a book called Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy. The biggest thing that I am learning and being convicted of in this book is that I am God's! My life is from Him and for Him. No second of my day is my own, it all belongs to God. Romans 12:1 says: Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. (Emphasis added.)
I am learning to get up each day with the attitude of, "How can I serve my King today?". There are lots of days when I wake up and think, "The list of things to do today is so long, how can I possibly get it all done?" Then I realize that my day is God's and He will give me the strength to get it done. Usually when I have this attitude, everything that needs to be done seems to get done much faster. I have learned that I need to first surrender my day to Him.
Also, we need to make it a priority to spend time with God each day before anything else. I know it is sometimes very hard to spend time with the Lord when there is so much to do. It can be very tempting to just "wait until later" to read your Bible, pray, and spend time alone with the Lord, but it needs to be done now. The very reason that we are living is for the Lord. How can we not spend time with Him before anything else?
Have a great day serving our King!
In Christ,
Marissa



Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

So, I was flipping through the cookbook the other day, looking for something to make, and I came across this bread. My family loves making bread and I heard a big 'YES! Make that!!' when I suggested it, so I made it. I fudged a little bit on the recipe but it turned out to be some of the best bread I have ever made or tasted! So here's the recipe:

4-1/2 tsp. of yeast
1/3 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar, divided
6 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 tsp. salt
5-1/2 - 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, salt and 2-1/2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll up each rectangle from a short side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down in two greased 9 in. by 5 in. by 3 in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Yields 2 loaves.

Now we didn't have very much time yesterday so I only let it rise for 15 minutes all together. I didn't let it rise when it says to right before you bake it. It turned out beautiful! I let it rise for longer the next day (when I made it again ☺) and it wasn't as good or beautiful!
DON'T LET IT RISE THE WHOLE TIME!
:D
I would suggest 15-20 minutes. :D


God Bless,
-Andrea

Every Word









Proverbs 15:1
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

Every word that comes from our mouth could make a difference in somebodies life.
I've been working on that a lot lately because I have a lot of trouble responding to my little sister kindly. It's especially hard when you are sisters to not get angry with each other, but that is the perfect practice ground.

God gave us our family's for that very reason.
He will give you someone, like a little sister, who you can practice with,
because some people won't be so forgiving.

Don't ever think that God placed a sibling in your life just to drive you crazy and make life hard.
I used to think that often. I used to say, "Oh she makes me crazy! Why did God make her my sister! Why couldn't she be -- sister."
Well the answer is this; I used to say why can't she be so and so's sister because that person was patient! Well, they have other struggles and there is something in their life that is their battlefield.

If we practice patients with our family, it will be much easier to practice it on others.
But remember that every word that comes from your mouth could make a difference.

-Andrea

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Daughters of the King









God is the King of kings, and LORD of lords.
He reigns in His heavenly kingdom.

We are His daughters, and He is our Father.
Isaiah 63:16b says:
"you, Oh Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name."
The Lord is our Father and we are His Princesses.

God has been reminding me that I need to act as though I am a princesses.
The way I act will show who I am. Same for everyone. If we act rough, rude, and self-centered, that will be who we truly are! Definitely not a princesses.
If we act calm, helpful, and other-centered, that will be who we are! Much more like princesses.

It is sometimes easier to be kind to your siblings, more helpful, and more obedient to your mother and father when you have company over.
After a while, you start noticing that you are being respectful to your parents and helping more around the house when people aren't around.

If you keep practicing acting like a princess, people will notice that you are a daughter of the King.

-Andrea

Welcome to our blog!

Hi everyone! :D We are starting this blog to share with you some of the things we as young women of Christ are learning. We pray that it will be an encouragement and blessing to everyone who reads it. Our writing comes from flawed humans who are filled with sin but are trying each day to purify ourselves in Christ's love. Thanks for looking and enjoy the blog!
Also, be sure to check out our family blog at:
jmchester.blogspot.com

-Marissa and Andrea