Life with the Shirley Family

Life with the Shirley Family

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

God's Promises

A rainbow always reminds us that God keeps his promises!!!

These are two of God's promises enjoying themselves after the rain!

Nathan is trying to teach Camden how to play football.  Camden doesn't want to play if it is flag though, because he can't tackle! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Putting it all together

I like to finish things.  I may have lots of projects going at one time, but I finish them.  One thing that seems to take me a long time to finish when I get behind is my Bible study.  Last Fall I started a a study on Esther, Ezra/Haggai, and Nehemiah (actually 3 Precept studies).  The study lasted until Spring, but I just today finished all of it.  Right in time to be behind on starting Romans tomorrow!!!  I learned a lot through the year, but because it took me a few extra months to finish, I don't have a cohesive view of it all.  So I am attempting in this post to put together what I have learned. 

In Esther, the biggest thing I learned was to obey those in authority of us unless they are out of God's will; like when the king asked Vashti to parade at his banquet.  But when Esther obeyed Mordecai as her parental authority, and thus obeyed God, God protected her.  And always be willing to do the right thing.  God puts you where He wants you, for you to do the right thing.

Ezra was the priest of God who spearheaded rebuilding he temple.  He knew the Law just as we are to know the Word.  Because of that, he could finish the temple correctly.  When they finished, many of the people were sad because the temple was not as beautiful on the outside as Solomon's had been.  But others, who had not seen Solomon's temple, rejoiced greatly because they had finished the work.  What was exciting to know was that this temple would have more glory than Solomon's because Christ Himself would come into this temple!!  The glory of God would not just be behind the holy of holies, but in the temple where everyone could see Him!

I think the biggest thing I learned in the books of Ezra and Haggai came from Haggai 1 where God says to "Consider your ways".  The people had not finished the temple,but they had finished their houses.  Verse 4 says, "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?".  So many times I do for myself or my house, while neglecting the church.  I know the church is not the building, but I think I need to help keep up my church and not only think of my house's upkeep.  I need to think of paying off the debt of my church's building and not just focus on getting my house's finances in order.  I don't think that working on my house or my family's finances is wrong, but the church building I attend church service in should not be neglected.  Nor should I neglect the actual church, body of believers, to focus only on my family and home.

Nehemiah also focused on giving to the church in part of the book when it talked about the Levites and singers returning home from Jerusalem because they had not received the tithe...they had not been paid.  It is important for Christians to give their tithe.  If we don't, we will hinder the work of God in our church.

The other thing that I learned from Nehemiah involved goodness.  Nehemiah 5:19 says "Remember me, O my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people".  I have a favorite quote by John Wesley that says, "Do all the good you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can."   I know that when talking about doing good, you have to be careful in where your emphasis lies.  You can't just do good for people in order to feel good about yourself.  And in only doing good without sharing Christ, you are not being the witness that you need to be for the Lord.  Having said that, we should do good.  All goodness comes from God and one of the fruit of the Spirit is goodness.  Nehemiah, in his governing of the Israelites, did good; especially for the poor who were in debt and enslaved.  He asked God to remember him for this goodness.  When our life is over and we stand before God, after first relying solely on Jesus as our way to heaven, what then will God say about us?  What rewards will He give us?  What good will He remember that we did?  In sharing Christ with a lost world, we also must share His goodness.  And the only way to share His goodness is to be good to other people. 

So that is how I have pulled my year of Bible study together.  I start Romans tomorrow.  I pray that I don't get as far behind on it as I did this past year.  But I am glad that in sticking with it, I was able to learn from these great men and women of the Old Testament.    

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Recipes, and more recipes!!

You would think that with my Southern Living book, that I would have enough recipes to try, but then the fall Southern Living magazine came in the mail!  This not only made me want to make these yummy apple-cinnamon-caramel muffins, but it even got us to drive to NC to pick the apples for the recipe!!  They were really good, although the caramel does melt into the muffin by the next day.  And the stems are just for looks :)

I do want to recap July and August recipes.  Either I was too busy to do much cooking, or the recipes weren't appealing, but I didn't cook as much from my book in the past two months. 

In July, I was able to make some burgers and some egg sandwiches.  I think I was too involved with camps that month!

In August, we had Not Yo Mama's Mac and Cheese!  It was good, however, the boys were not thrilled about the addition of prosciutto.  But any pasta with white Cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan is yummy!  The citrus tacos were ok; I think that I am too spoiled with Taco Spot and can't do any better!  The only other stand out were Lasagne Pizza Cups.  Canned biscuits, beef seasoned with pizza sauce and garlic and onion, ricotta cheese, all topped with mozzarella cheese.  Easy and good.  I even froze extra and sent them to school with Nathan. 

So on to September!  And lots more apple recipes with all my apples!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pink Lemonade!!

Need I say more!!  I have now succeeded in tasting all of the summer cupcake flavors at Cupcake!  I think I have gained 10 pounds!  The last day I needed was Sunday, and although I was mainly interested in pink lemonade, I also tried the french toast.  French toast wasn't my favorite, and pink lemonade was ok, but there is always red velvet everyday!!!  Can't wait to see what flavors they have for us in the fall :)