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Food for thought

Found these on the "5 Verses you thought were in the Bible...but aren't" from crosswalk.com

4. “If you work hard enough, you’ll be successful.” 2 Jobs 4:04
Is hard work good? Yes. In fact, we’re told over and over in Proverbs that we’re supposed to work hard (12:11, 13:4, 14:23, etc.). Jesus kept a tireless pace during His life on earth, and you’ll never hear Paul condemn someone who works hard (in fact, he condemns those who don’t in 2 Thessalonians 3:10).
But the popular idea that hard work necessarily equals abundant earthly blessings has no basis in Scripture. As a Christian, we are supposed to work at everything as if we were doing it for Jesus. But our reward is in knowing we did our best for Him, not in seeing our bank accounts bloom.

Well, I'm glad I found this because my thoughts have been revolving around this whole concept of work, success, and laziness. So, I guess another way of putting it is that if I'm doing my best, and honoring God in my work, then it really doesn't matter whether or not I'm "successful" or "wealthy" from it, because the focus is on God, not me or my skills. This is so crazy because it's exact opposite of what we're taught in society as a whole. Even churches seem to hop on the bandwagon of "whoever is better" at this or that will be allowed the prized ministry position, but if you're not up to par, then your humble acts of service are not good enough? I'm relieved to know that my God isn't up there on His throne, peering down on us, and comparing me to the next person. I'm not anyone else but myself, and I come with skills and flaws, but that doesn't make me less of a person. Maybe I'm not as business savvy as the guy in a sales position because I'm not comfortable with false advertising and using clever tactics to get people to buy something - that doesn't make me lazy, it just means that I have convictions he doesn't. I may never get a job that pays me well doing the things that I enjoy doing, but that doesn't make me unsuccessful, it just means that I am willing to work doing things that aren't necessarily my favorite or choice jobs, because it allows me to do the things I enjoy doing even if it's on the side.

For the last 6 years I have been struggling with being ok about never landing a job in design. A career, that is. I've struggled with comparing myself to other gifted students I graduated with, and the painful realization that I'll never do what they do. But why does it bother me? I knew from the very beginning that all I wanted to do was use my talents to glorify God. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use my skills, my artwork, to share the Gospel, and to encourage others. People don't get paid to do that, at least not in a usual job... Even in ministries, like Desiring God or Ligonier, there is surely someone designing the websites and the brochures and everything else - but at the end of the day, I'm pretty sure they aren't writing it off as fulfilling the ministry. They're just a piece to the mechanical engineering of the entire machine. They are one of the pieces that makes the whole thing work. The whole thing is sharing the Gospel and encouraging others, but individually the camera man can't reach out and touch the world through long hours of editing. The layout designer isn't doing anything particularly encouraging to the readers by making the layout look a certain way. And me, in my uncertainty of what my reason for being here is, is not going to write off fulfilling the ministry if the church decided to pay me for designing things. I wouldn't feel like, or even be, in a position of "success" if I ever landed a job at a graphic design firm or even doing a position for graphic design. In all likelihood, I'd probably end up more unsatisfied with myself because I'd be turning myself into a career woman. At least, that's what I was always afraid of. I knew deep down that it would drain me of all life. I wouldn't get to follow God the way I want and need to if I took up a job like that. That's what I kept telling myself. But maybe there's a purpose for me in this body of Christ down the road that I don't know about; maybe someday I will do something that pleases God and that'll be the end of my worries regarding the whole thing. I can only hope that is the case. I have desires, I have dreams, I have things I take pleasure in doing that just won't ever see the light of day...

5. “Just follow your heart and believe, and you can do anything.” Song of Disney 20:15
Sometimes, Disney movies seem to invade Scripture. Perhaps because we humans love Cinderella stories (unjust rags to magical riches), the notion of us being "anything we want to be if we just believe” has become weaved into the fabric of how we view the Bible. David the shepherd boy became a king, right?
God gives us passions and desires and uses our lives to prepare us for His purposes—just as He prepared David during his time as a shepherd, soldier, and court musician. But that only works if we completely surrender our lives to His leading. On the other hand, if we spend our lives pursuing that “whatever we want to be,” we may very well end up disillusioned and dissatisfied even if we achieve our goal.

Along with the last quote, this one sure follows suit. I always thought I would grow up and be like Johnnie Clark or someone who designed all the Christian stuff at C28, but it never happened. I had aspirations that just about died after graduating and not being hired by the Clarks like they had promised. Not only that, but everyone else seemed to be enjoying a life of doing what they wanted, while I was stuck in a rut not doing what I wanted...but instead paying dearly for all the education I wasted money on thinking it would get me to where I wanted to be. Everyone used to say how talented I was, how great of an artist I am, and how amazing my work is...but the truth is, nobody really cares. It's not as easy as following my stupid evil heart. In fact, the Bible says I should never follow my heart. It's deceitful, wicked, and untrustworthy. I thought I was in love so many times, and it was all a hoax. I thought a lot of things that are wrong. If anything, I need to follow God and trust that He will pave the path for me.

When I have a child..

Originally written August 3, 2013

I have been growing more critical of the movie rating system over the last decade. It has become increasingly more obvious that it is really the culture that dictates even the very basis of what is morally acceptable or unacceptable in America, and that the standards of everyday living are becoming torn down as a result. God's Word is no longer the plumb line for America in many ways. What many Americans call "truth" and "moral standards" are merely subjective and opinion, and is seeping into even the churches.

One area of primary concern for me as we are heading into the future, and I am soon to be reaching adulthood, is the fact that I cannot control what my future children (if God allows me to have any) will see. It is not a far stretch of the imagination to say that my children, even before the age of 10, will most likely encounter many subtle lies and immoral behavior which will counter God's Word and entice the mind into believing the culture's standards are "not bad" - offering the ideals of pleasure and entertainment as a more attractive plate than stiff-necked order of Christianity.

Now, my point is that when I have children - or even if I never have my own, but instead may be overseeing children in a spiritual sense - they will be immersed in a culture where immorality is praised as being "open-minded" and "tolerant" and where the rebuking of sin will be intolerable, claimed as "hateful". They will see ads on  TV, hear music, see movies that will have coarse language, innuendos, inappropriate behavior being deemed normal. How will I talk to my children about it? How will I instill in them the sense to weigh the things they see and hear with the Bible? Is it even possible to guide children in the waters of the world without them becoming tainted by it?

I have heard many great teachings from Focus on the Family, and know I can trust they will be around when I actually embark on the journey of parenthood, but is there anything I can do to prepare now for my children in the future?

I know that right now it is crucial for me to be soaking up every ounce of God's Word as much as possible. I am single and don't have huge commitments that weigh me down, and I have time to study God's Word, to seek mentorship, and to be growing my roots in the knowledge and discernment needed for parenting.

I also know that the one thing aside from being firm in the faith as a single, is being in a solid community church. I need people. I can't go into a relationship, a marriage, a family, without having solid people in God's truth coming alongside me as I go through the various stages of life as an adult. I need support when I start swaying in rough waters, and I need friends who I can count on to tell me when storm clouds are in sight even in gentle waters. I need friends who are solid in their faith, not wavering in every doctrine or succumbing to the climate of the world's latest fads.

Having a solid foundation in my faith and the community around me are crucial and basic needs of every believer, so what goes on top of it? I think this is where the need for discernment and wisdom comes in. Before anything happens, I want to be sure that the man I marry will be on the same track as me. I've made the mistake of looking past deal-breaker issues in previous relationships, thinking that if I was just patient then things would get better. Wrong. It doesn't always go well for those who wait out the storm. In fact, it is a common notion to say that once you are an adult, rarely can you change your ways. Not to say that Christ's work in someone couldn't change the person, but if a person is unwilling to change then good luck. So, that brings me to the husband. I need to see fruit in his life and an active growth and pursuit of Christ in him. I know I can't hold any man to the standards of Christ completely, because we all sin, but there must be a willing heart to change and the motivation to pursue that change. If the man is unwilling to take up his cross, there's a good chance he never went to the foot of the cross to begin with. There's many religious people who claim to be holy and devout, but even the adulteress woman was religious!

While having a godly husband will be beneficial and foundational for a family, I also must take into consideration how I use my time. Our time. Will my husband work? Will I work? We need to think about how much time we are spending together and alone with God. We need to think about how much time we will have for a family if we start one. It's in those precious hours of a small child that many things are being learned, and I want to know that I'm not just leaving my child with a nanny or the public school to raise my child for me. I need to be actively part of that child's growth. I need to do the hard work of imparting God's truth in our daily life. Perhaps the husband will be the one to do the teaching, but I will need to exemplify those teachings in return. Am I ready for that? Can I be humble and submissive to my husband, showing by way of example to my children that the father is the leader of our home and I need to be obedient and let him lead?

I do believe another element is home-schooling. I don't think I want my children in private or public school systems because there's no guarantee how they'll turn out, and I'm not overseeing anything. If I home school, then I will know what my child sees and hears and is being taught. I also will have control to teach everything according to God's Word.

But what about the child's exposure to the real world? My child needs to know the truth, that the world is a big place with lots of potential, but like all of us is covered in sin. They need the Gospel, but many don't have it. My child needs to know how to love the people in the world, treat them as people who are captive, and know how to talk to and acquaint themselves with them. I made a lot of bad moves it seems when I tried to talk to nonbelievers, and even some who believe they are saved from their sin. I always had either loved without truth or gave the truth with little love…or at least I didn't know how to show my love in an appropriate manner. These are things my children need to learn how to do. Can I teach them even if I haven't gotten it right yet?

I muse at the thought of Christianity being the targeted religion of today's hate-antics. Of every religion, Christianity is the only one that offers a God who died for our sins, the prospects of being able to turn to God regardless of race, color, social status, you name it. It was Jesus Christ who made this possible for every man on earth to become one with the Father just as He is one with the Father, and for every man to be one with Christ Himself. While the Law of Moses offered nothing more than to show us that it is impossible to please God by obeying laws, Jesus shows us that nobody can come to the Father but through Him because it is a free gift of God that Christ died for our sins! If anything, Christianity is not stiff-necked, but mindful of what is pleasing to the Lord rather than to our flesh.

Quotes from Heidi

Found old note of things Heidi (Leon) Rodriguez told me back in the day...

"So when you are around _________, keep your pants on! and BEHAVE!!!"

"Be good, be honest, be yourself! :-)"

"You look so cute in your picture you always have a shy smile!"

"I think recording is your destiny."

"You write better letters than me...your letters have descriptive words that sound so poetic!! I love it!!"

"I was glad to hear you the day you called."

"Anyway your looks and ways <u>are not</u> loserish!! Think about ___...she was so conceited!! ~ _____'s friends were losers they want to be part of a "label" (skater/surfer) because they want to be accepted. They dress as a skater or surfer to avoid being an outcast. They all have self-esteem problems."

"~~~ remember that big bird that took my pizza that fell on the floor?"

Poems I liked in highschool

So I found this list on dropbox lol...

Poems I Adore:

Walt Whitman
song of myself

Emily Dickinson
i never lost as much but twice
the soul selects her own society
after great pain, a formal feeling comes
much madness is divinest sense
this is my letter to the world
i dwell in possibility
my life closed twice before its close

Lewis Carroll
a long tale

Thomas Hardy
In tenebris (When the clouds swoln..)
At casterbridge fair (former beauties)
he never expected much

Gerard Manley Hopkins
the wreck of the deutschland
pied beauty
binsey poplars
spring and fall
no worst, there is none. pitched past pitch of grief
i wake and feel the fell of dark, not day

Robert Bridges
the snow lies sprinkled on the beach

A.E. Housman
loveliest of trees, the cherry now
into my heart an air that kills
with rue my heart is laden
hell gate

William Butler Yeats
(symbology of the 28 phases of the moon: full, dark of, there)
the sorrow of love
a dialogue of self and soul

Edwin Arlington Robinson
miniver cheevy

Hilaire Belloc
the moral alphabet
sarah byng

Robert Frost
the road not taken
the sound of trees
fire and ice
spring pools

Carl Sandburg

Wallace Stevens
thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird
the emperor of ice-cream
a postcard from teh volcano
a rabbit as king of the ghosts
study of two pears
the sense of the Sleight-of-Hand man
a quiet normal life
the plain sense of things
reality is an activity of the most august imagination

William Carlos Williams
this is just to say
flowers by the sea

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)
sea rose

Siegfried Sassoon

Robinson Jeffers
fawn's foster-mother
evening ebb

T.S. Eliot
the waste land

Wilfred Owen
greater love

E.E. Cummings
space being (don't forget to remember) curved
you shall above all things be glad and young
all nearness pauses, while a star can grow

Jean Toomer
her lips are copper wire

Yvor Winters
sir gawaine and the green knight
time and the garden

Robert Penn Warren
riddle in the garden

Stanley Kunitz
the war against trees

theodore roethke
long live the weeds
cuttings (later)
the waking
in a dark time

stephen spender
what i expected

josephine miles
on inhabiting an orange
made shine

irving layton
the birth of tragedy

muriel rukeyser
ballad of orange and grape

john berryman
the ball poem
the dream songs
of suicide

p.k. page
deaf-mute in the pear tree

lawrence ferlinghetti
sometime during eternity

edwin honig
now, my usefulness is over

keith douglas
simplify me when i'm dead

amy clampitt
beach glass

richard wilbur
a world without objects is a sensible emptiness

kingsley amis
sight unseen

james dickey
the heaven of animals
the sheep child

dannie abse
pathology of colours
a new diary

maxine kumin
in the absence of bliss

donald justice
on a painting by patient B of the independence state hospital for the insane

a.r. ammons
conserving the magnitude of uselessness

allen ginsberg
i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness

john ashbery
paradoxes and oxymorons

anne sexton
the truth the dead know
all my pretty ones
wanting to die

peter porter
the king of the cats is dead

adrienne rich
the floating poem (unnumbered)

thom gunn
elegy on the dust

bruce dawe
happiness is the art of being broken

mark strand
the dreadful has already happened

marge piercy
postcard from the garden

june jordan
notes on the peanut

john hollander
a lion named passion
some walks with you

bruce dawe
happiness is the art of being broken

Ted hughes

sylvia plath
poppies in october

audre lorde
love poem
a question of climate

mark strand
the garden

jon stallworthy
the almond tree

marge piercy
postcard from the garden

marilyn hacker

louise gluck
gretel in darkness
mock orange

craig raine
the onion, memory
in modern dress


susan musgrave
i am not a conspiracy, Everything is not paranoid, The drug enforecement administraion is not everywhere

To add to this list..I'm pretty sure I liked some Edgar Allen Poe and Lord Byron.

An update

So, regarding the adoption papers and birth certificate:
It was actually not a big surprise, but very disappointing, to get the response I did from Mandy; she basically said that I had no right to be asking for anything, and that she didn't have anything of mine. That was a blatant lie, of course, because she specifically took those things from me in the hospital and said she was going to "hold on to them for safe-keeping".
Not only did they withhold those documents from me, but they also further made it hell for me to ever see Amelia. They said that for the time being both her and Andy had to be present and that I could only visit for a short period of time. I couldn't see her even once a week, and I pretty much gave up on it. I decided then that I would leave it all in God's hands and that I would focus on moving on with my life. There was no sense in me trying to be a part of Amelia's life if they weren't going to allow me to.
It's been almost 7 years since that email, and the heartache that ensued from it, and I still don't talk to the Crawfords or allow them to be actively involved or up to date with me. When I moved to Alabama a few years ago, the Crawfords were both trying to get me to add them on Linkedin and also Facebook, but I had allowed Mandy to be my friend on Facebook for a short while and also emailed with her a couple times before coming to the conclusion that it was all futile and probably not in my best interest to keep them in my life. I felt then that I was just being watched. I normally wouldn't care at such a distance, but at the same time, it was a tease. It was like "look here's Amelia's drawings, and here's pictures of her" but I'd never really be a part of her life, so why should I even torture myself with seeing anything from her? She doesn't even know I exist for all I know. As far as I can tell, I'm just a myth and probably made out to be a horrible person to Amelia, and there's just no reason for me to ever allow anything between us.
A few months ago it dawned on me that Amelia would be turning 9 this year. I couldn't believe it. I had thought about sending her something for her birthday, but anonymously, and ultimately decided to refrain from such stupid things. There was no reason to send her anything. Even if it was anonymous it would raise questions as to who would send something anonymous and why. The Crawfords are still sending me stupid invites on Linkedin and I'm still not going to accept their requests. Why? Because they have no business with me. I don't care what they say or what they are promising, what kind of kind things they try to encourage me with, because they have already proven themselves to be nothing more than wishy washy deceptive people. I don't need people like them in my life. Even though I have prayed for them in the past and still hold a small hope that they would change for the better, I have learned that once someone has lost trust I can forgive them but I don't owe them that same trust again. And guess who I learned that from...yes, them. It's a bit ironic how the very crap they gave me over the years I had lived with them and dealt with their lies and bad-mouthing me, that now they can see the fruit of it.

I was reading Proverbs 12:20-22 and thinking that those verses really spoke about them in my life. It sort of comforts me in a way that I can rest in the Lord knowing that people like that will not get the better end of things. I wouldn't wish anything bad on the Crawfords, especially Amelia, but I really hope for justice to be brought in the end regarding what they did to me...and Amelia.

As I reflect on the futility of me ever trying to redeem Amelia of the worthless lifestyle she'd be brought up in, I can't help but wonder if I'll ever meet her in the future and how she will turn out to be. I ache at the thought of her being anything like Mandy. But that's what she has for a mom. If there's any good sense in Mandy's mom to instill in Amelia, I would think that was the only good that ever came her way. I recently discovered the shocking truth that the Crawfords have foregone all those pathetic excuses for not sharing Amelia's pictures freely. In fact, Amelia's pictures are all a part of publicity now, as the little 9 year old girl is now being pampered and photographed for children's clothes boutiques and modeling like she's the next Jean Benette Ramsy. It actually made me a bit sick and weak inside to see what they've done to my little girl. Everything I ever wanted for Amelia - for her to be raised with good sense and in a Biblical manner - seems to be a shadow of a promise now, and fading away. Sure, Amelia got the home I could never afford her - she is probably eating well, I hope, and her health is good - but I am ill at the thought that she is only going to grow up acting like she owns everything and that everyone owes her. I hate the thought that she will be a prissy little sass and never know true happiness in Jesus. I am saddened by the reality that this little girl is being brought up with little moral values if any and is just going to be a materialistic girl who puts all her treasure in this world. I never wanted that.

But she's beautiful, just like her real mother, and I couldn't help but see myself in her. I can see both me and Alex in her face, and it's so bewildering. What ever happened to Alex? Some said that he was getting better, but I never thought he really knew Christ when everything was said and done. He just never seemed to be genuine, and neither did his parents or brother. If there's one wish I would make and know it come true, it would just be that Amelia truly know Christ and be saved. It doesn't matter how beautiful she is, that beauty will fade, and the only beauty that remains is what is in the heart and soul if any should exist. I hope that God would allow her to have a good heart and spirit, not one that is selfish and vain, but one that is humble.

I guess I could share some of my favorite pictures I found of Amelia on facebook...

In the end, wrong will be made right...

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble. Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight. (Proverbs 12:20-22 ESV)

Commentary by Matthew Henry:

Note, 1. Those that devise mischief contrive, for the accomplishing of it, how to impose upon others; but it will prove, in the end, that they deceive themselves. Those that imagine evil, under colour of friendship, have their hearts full of this and the other advantage and satisfaction which they shall gain by it, but it is all a cheat. Let them imagine it ever so artfully, deceivers will be deceived. 2. Those that consult the good of their neighbours, that study the things which make for peace and give peaceable advice, promote healing attempts and contrive healing methods, and, according as their sphere is, further the public welfare, will have not only the credit, but the comfort of it. They will have joy and success, perhaps beyond their expectation. Blessed are the peace-makers.

Note, 1. Piety is a sure protection. If men be sincerely righteous, the righteous God has engaged that no evil shall happen to them. He will, by the power of his grace in them, that principle of justice, keep them from the evil of sin; so that, though they be tempted, yet they shall not be overcome by the temptation, and though they may come into trouble, into many troubles, yet to them those troubles shall have no evil in them, whatever they have to others (Ps. 91:10), for they shall be overruled to work for their good. 2. Wickedness is as sure a destruction. Those that live in contempt of God and man, that are set on mischief, with mischief they shall be filled. They shall be more mischievous, shall be filled with all unrighteousness, Rom. 1:29. Or they shall be made miserable with the mischiefs that shall come upon them. Those that delight in mischief shall have enough of it. Some read the whole verse thus, There shall no evil happen to the just, though the wicked be filled with mischief and spite against them. They shall be safe under the protection of Heaven, though hell itself break loose upon them.

We are here taught, 1. To hate lying, and to keep at the utmost distance from it, because it is an abomination to the Lord, and renders those abominable in his sight that allow themselves in it, not only because it is a breach of his law, but because it is destructive to human society. 2. To make conscience of truth, not only in our words, but in all our actions, because those that deal truly and sincerely in all their dealings are his delight, and he is well pleased with them. We delight to converse with, and make use of, those that are honest and that we may put a confidence in; such therefore let us be, that we may recommend ourselves to the favour both of God and man.

Commentary by John Gill:

Deceit [is] in the heart of them that imagine evil
That secretly devise mischief in their hearts against their neighbours; that plough evil, as the word F7 signifies, and sow discord among men; and by many artful and deceitful methods promote contention and division, in order to answer some base designs of theirs; but sooner or later they are deceived themselves, are disappointed of their views, the consequence of which is vexation and sorrow; but to the counsellors of peace [is] joy:
such who consult the good of others, who advise to peace, concord, and unity; who seek to cultivate it in their families and neighbourhoods, and in the church of God, in which, if they succeed, they have joy and pleasure; if not, they have a satisfaction, in their own minds and consciences that they have done what is right and good; such have a conscience peace now, and an eternal one hereafter; or, as Aben Ezra calls it, the joy of salvation; see ( Matthew 5:9 ) .

There shall no evil happen to the just
The evil of sin: no iniquity, as the Targum; which, and the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, interpret of sin not being agreeable, convenient, suit able, and pleasing to a righteous man. Moreover, the Lord, by his Spirit and grace, weakens the power of sin in them; and, by his providence, prevents and removes occasion of sinning; and by his power preserves from it, from being overcome and carried away with it, at least finally and totally. Or the evil of punishment is here meant; no penal evil shall befall them; the punishment of their sin has been inflicted on Christ their surety, and therefore shall never be laid on them; and whatever afflictions may happen to them, which have the name and appearance of evil, these work together for their good, spiritual and eternal; so that, in reality, no evil thing, properly speaking, happens to them; see ( Psalms 91:10 ) . Or whatever does come to them comes not by chance unto them, but by the decree and will of God, and is overruled for good; but the wicked shall be filled with mischief;
or "with evil" F8, the evil of sin; with malice and wickedness, with all impiety and unrighteousness, with ignorance and error; with all kind of sins, both against the first and second table of the law, and so with all the consequences of sin: with the evil of punishment; with an evil conscience, with the terrors of it; with many distresses here, and with everlasting destruction hereafter. Some understand it of the mischief they devise to others, which they are full of and big with; and "though" they are, as Aben Ezra interprets the word, yet no evil shall happen to the righteous; the mischief contrived by them shall fall upon themselves.

Lying lips [are] abomination to the Lord
Such that speak lies in common talk; and that deliver out doctrinal lies, false doctrines, lies in hypocrisy, as are the doctrines of Rome; these are abominable unto God; as being contrary to his nature as the God of truth; contrary to the Scriptures of truth he has endited; contrary to the truth of the Gospel he has published; contrary to his Son, who is truth itself; and to the Spirit of truth, which leads into all truth, as it is in Jesus; wherefore an abomination and a lie are joined together, (Revelation 21:27 ) ; but they that deal truly [are] his delight;
or the objects of "his good will" and pleasure, as the word F9 signifies; they are grateful and acceptable to him; he is well-pleased with them, and delights in them. Not only such that speak the truth, but "do the truth" F11, as the words may be rendered; whose words and actions, doctrine and life, agree together: it is not enough to embrace, profess, or preach the truth, but he must practise it; see ( John 3:21 ) ( 1 John 1:6 ) ; he must deal truly with God and men, or faithfully, as the Targum and Vulgate Latin version; he must be true to his word and promises, and faithfully perform what he has agreed unto. Or, "that work faith"; that work the work of faith, that faith which works by love; that live on Christ and his righteousness; such are well pleasing to God; without which faith it is impossible to please him, (Hebrews 11:6 ) .
My Childhood Stuffed Animal Album

  • Take a photo of each childhood toy

  • On opposite page of photo, have a snapshot "About Me" page: Name of toy, Where I got it, Personality, likes & dislikes, etc.

  • Write a short story about the toy as if the toy were a real animal or person

Book of Eric
Make a small book or booklet that will be a reference guide to everything about Eric. I will use it so I can remember what things he likes and dislikes, memories we share together, things we want to do together, and more. I can buy a little memo book or journal for this.


Strong's G4993 - sōphroneō

to be of sound mind

  1. to be in one's right mind

  2. to exercise self control

    1. to put a moderate estimate upon one's self, think of one's self soberly

      to curb one's passions

[1Co 15:34 ESV] 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
[1Th 5:6, 8 ESV] 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. ... 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
[1Ti 3:2, 11 ESV] 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, ... 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.
[1Pe 1:13 ESV] 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
[1Pe 4:7 ESV] 7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
[1Pe 5:8 ESV] 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
sober or, vigilant. 1Co 15:34; 1Th 5:6,8; 1Ti 3:2,11; 1Pe 1:13; 1Pe 4:7; 1Pe 5:8

Please read through these with me during the week; if you can, read at least one before you start the day, think about it through the day, and pray about it, then end the day reading it again. There is enough to last all week.


O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. (Psalm 139:1-4 ESV)

Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything… The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? ... For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:9-20 ESV)

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. (Matthew 15:19 ESV)


He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:6-8 ESV)

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12 ESV)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:12-14 ESV)

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:5-11 ESV)


Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
(2 Timothy 2:21-22 ESV)

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:5-10 ESV)

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:10 ESV)

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV)


The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:12-14 ESV)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
(Galatians 5:16-26 ESV)


And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30 ESV)

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:2-3 ESV)

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5-6 ESV)

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17 ESV)


For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.
(Titus 1:7-8 ESV)

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5 ESV)

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:2-14 ESV)


But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8 ESV)

knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:18-25 ESV)

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:7-8 ESV)

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
(Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)

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