Sunday, December 9, 2012

Guest Post: Should We Continue in Sin?

Well, ya'll, it's your lucky day! Today we have our first guest post! 
My husband (the Brad in the 'Brad & Gillian), is taking a class on Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and as a project he wrote this little article. So, without further ado:

Should We Continue in Sin?

   Paul begins the sixth chapter of Roman with a question: “Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1, KJV) Obviously Paul must have been having trouble with “sinning Christians” or he would not have felt compelled to write about the subject, but what is he really saying?
  Some felt that the abundance of grace was a license to go on sinning; after all there was plenty of grace to go around. But Paul immediately rejects this idea in the next verse with a resounding “God forbid.” He states, ‘how can someone who is dead to sin go on living in sin?' To continue in sin would actually contradict the very purpose of grace; Paul’s was telling us grace is so much greater than any sin that we might commit, not that it just keeps covering as we keep sinning. Those who are in Christ are dead to sin - just as He died once for all to cover our sin, we die to sin and it no longer reigns in our lives. To suggest that a Christian could go on sinning is inconsistent with Christ’s nature and thus inconsistent with the nature of those who are in Him. Christ came to forgive and remove sin from our lives so that we might live in victory. Paul is not suggesting, as some might, the literal impossibility of sin, but the moral inconsistency of it - is it not a contradiction to say that we died to sin and yet continue to live in sin?
   A Christian is not only dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus, just as He is now alive. We walk in a new life, free from the bonds of sin and death because the payment for our sin was paid on Calvary. So if Jesus died for our sin, and we are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ, how can we let sin reign? It is a total contradiction! Paul goes on later to tell us “do not let sin reign in your mortal body” (Romans 6:12), and, “let us put aside the deeds of darkness” (Romans 13:12, NIV), and such statements as these. He is showing us that while we will be affected by temptations we do not have to let it reign or take over in our lives. Why would Paul put all of this down and spend so much time explaining it if it is not possible to live without sin? But, some would cite the Scripture that says if you say you are without sin you are a deceived (1 John 1:8, KJV); it’s true the Bible does say that all have sinned, but it is talking about the nature of sin we are born with and how that no man or woman that is born has (past tense) not committed sin. This is not saying that we should live in sin. Again, how could Paul say he is dead to sin if it was impossible? Since we know the Bible is truth and cannot lie, we must look at the whole picture: if Paul and others say we can live “dead to sin,” then the meaning in the verses just mentioned must be simply that all have sinned, but that all do not have to continue to sin. Of what use is the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus to us if it does not get rid of sin? That is why He came - to free us from sin - and if we are truly dead to sin and free in Christ then we should live and act like it. Let the grace of God remove the sin from your life and then through His grace you can continue to live “dead to sin”.
    It’s in the Bible - why would God have Paul write it down if it was an impossibility for us? Think about it!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Print Your 5x7 Photo Card Print Your 5x7 Photo Card
Creating Christmas cards have never been this easy.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Odds and Ends...

You may notice a few posts popping up that are dated earlier in the year. No, you're not imagining things.
I'm trying to catch up on all posts that I never got around to doing. I had hoped to be able to print my blog posts for the year in a book for family members for Christmas, but, alas, I failed to make the necessary posts! The new posts have the dates on which they SHOULD have been posted in order to keep things in chronological order.

Note: If you are my friend on facebook, you've already seen some of what I'll be posting here. Feel free to ignore whatever you've already read - I'm just reposting it here for the day when I finally get around to posting regularly and decide to print this thing! :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So you think God doesn't care about your little problem?

So you think God doesn't care about your little problem?
On Tuesday night, the kids and I came out of Walmart in the pouring rain, got in our truck...and it wouldn't start. Wouldn't turn over, nothing.
Oh, did I mention that my husband is working in Baton Rouge (on the other side of the state) and won't be home 'til Thursday (or something like that)?
Some time passed....I called the hubby and stuff like that, and during that time I tried it several times....nothing. 

After I got off of the phone, I finally I told the kids that we needed to ask Jesus to fix our car (you have to understand that for me to call someone and ask them for help there has to be NO other option. Ok, for me to call someone period, it has to be almost an emergency...just a strange quirk in my personality). 

Juliana laughed and told me that Jesus doesn't fix cars; I told her that he does - that Jesus can fix anything!

She said, 'well, I've never seen Him do anything like that!' But a moment later, I heard her murmuring, 'Jesus...please fix our car...'

A couple of minutes later, I put the key in, turned it....and it started.

We drove home. I started it again just for fun. 

Wanna rethink the answer to that first question? :)


But the story doesn't end there:

The next day....

After our little adventure with the truck not starting the night before, it was fairly obvious that I was going to have to get a new battery - and quickly. It did start every time I needed it throughout the day taking Juliana to school and what-have-you, though it was struggling greatly. When I parked it at Walmart to have them install the battery, just from the time I turned it off and went and handed the keys to the mechanic,
 to him starting it it almost didn't not only did Jesus fix it for us that night, He kept it running until I could get it fixed!

Now for the rest of the story:
I went to Walmart to get a battery, wondering all the way how I was going to fit this expense in the budget with all of the other extra expenses we're going to have this month - and believe me, there's plenty - not just two birthdays and Christmas (didn't we time the birth of our children well? We have Thanksgiving, a birthday, two weeks later another birthday, and then Christmas!) but one vehicle just had to have a brake line repaired, it needs new brake pads NOW, I need new tires on the back of both vehicles, plus quite a few other fairly large expenses that we don't normally have.
 Please understand, I'm not telling this to make anyone feel sorry for us - we'll make it.
 I'm just telling you that God works on behalf of His people.

Back to my story...They installed the battery for me, and I went in to pay. After waiting for a bit for a CSM to come approve a battery exchange (to get the core fee waived since I gave them the old battery), the lady at the desk rang everything up and said,
 'Ok, looks like all you owe me is $10.87!'
The battery should have been $99.97 + tax

Apparently the old battery had been in just under three years (it was in when we bought it, so I  had no idea how old it was) and was still under warranty!

$11.00 instead of $111.00? I'll take it!!!!! :)

Isn't God good?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My Handy Helpers

When you're baking cakes and making all kinds of yumminess for Thanksgiving dinner, you should always have a taste-tester! I have two: I call them my Handy Helpers.

The eldest; she can be helpful - especially when it concerns licking bowls and beaters - that's her specialty.

And this one...well, he's very helpful if you need a mess made! He can make a mess in 2.5 seconds - getting him to clean it up is a bit harder, though.

When they hear the mixer, they both come running. They have this idea that the more 'helpful' they are, the more likely they are to get first dibs on the beaters. Of course, friendly chaos insues as each one jockies for position as 'helper'...

But how you resist a face like that?

Or this?

Or maybe I'm just prejudiced!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Day in Texas (and The Beach Trip That Didn't Go So Well)

One bright  cloudy day in September, the family Davis set off into the world to find out what fun the state of Texas had to offer - more specifically the town of Beaumont, Tx. The father of the family had some business to take care of there, so the entire bunch of us packed up and went along - including a grandmother and a cousin.

Our first stop was at Adventure Kingdom; the plan was to play miniature golf with the miniature people, but, of course, the moment we got out of our vehicle it started to rain. Not a downpour, or anything, but rain enough that it would be a bit uncomfortable for playing golf, so the people (both miniature and full-sized ((and plus-sized))) sought shelter in a nearby house.

Umm, Honey? I think you're  a little big for that house...

Of course, the mother didn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain and instead hung around outside taking pictures. Which is what mothers do best. (Ok, maybe not...)

After a bit, the rain stopped, and we once again set out on our little adventure. 

First on the agenda:

Teach the Child how to Hit the Ball.

She was frustrated with it, but kept on plugging along. (She's a bit of a perfectionist, and gets frustrated when she doesn't immediately catch on to things, but she kept trying...and we only had two or three meltdowns along the way. :) )

The Littlest Little Person whopped the ball with his club a few times and then gave up on the club: he'd just pick up the ball and walk over to the next hole and drop it in. He would then whoop and holler about how he "DID IT!" Of course, since he with his superior golfing skills finished well ahead of everyone else, this left him PLENTY of time to get in trouble   investigate the grounds.

I don't know what he did, but he got caught. Sentence: life without parole in the custody of one Gillian Davis. Somebody tell her she'd better stock up on ice cream.... 

He had a pretty cute accomplice!

Next, we attempted the paddle boats.
Next time I go to try out a paddle boat, someone remind me that short full-ish skirts, windy days and paddle boats are NOT a good combination! (Unless my husband is the only other person in the vicinity...he'd probably get a kick out of it!)
Yeah...'nuf said. 

I'm not real sure that the occupants of the other boat knew what they were doing. We spent most of our time wildly paddling to get out of their way before we crashed! (That would be the grandmother and the cousin driving)

Next stop: FOOOOOD!!!!

Of course, Jonathan's favorite part of the meal was the ice cream...
Like father like son?

With tummies filled and ice cream mustaches wiped, we headed for the beach. Would you believe? For the past (almost) four years, we have lived only a hour from the Gulf of Mexico, and this was the first time we actually made it there! This was the kids' one request; they wanted to go to the beach. The REAL beach.

So off we went.
They dispensed with footwear and waded right in. 

 He pretty much kept to the shallow water, which was fine with his mother.  The tide was pretty strong by then, plus it was windy, so it would knock you off of your feet if you weren't careful.

Now this one? She loves the water. I had to keep calling her back, 'cause she wanted to go out where it was deeper.  She'd lay on her belly in the sand and float.

The search for that perfect shell...

Unfortunately, someone soon discovered that of all the lovely things hiding in the sea, not all of them are friendly to visitors. She headed out about waist-deep (on her) in the water (which was very cloudy and sandy at that point), and after only a moment she began screaming. Of course, Mama's heart stopped.
I ran to carry her out of the water- she was wailing that her leg hurt. I checked it over and over, but couldn't find a mark of any kind, but she was adamant that SOMETHING had stung or bitten her. 
Now, at this point, we're probably 30-45 minutes away from a town of any size, and having no idea what might have gotten her and whether or not she night be allergic to it, we decided that the best move would probably be to head back toward civilization. 
Meanwhile, she's still bawling pitifully that her leg hurts. By this time when I checked her leg, small blisters had popped up all over her calf and back of her knee. My guess was that she had run into a somewhat grumpy jellyfish...
After a brief stop for benadryl and vinegar (supposed to be good for jelly stings), we headed to our hotel. After a bath and some food  (and a little Popeye and Olyve Oyle) she began to recover. 

After church the next morning, we headed back...via the scenic route - we drove along the coast through Texas and Louisiana and took the kids across the Ferry. (and thus a trip that took 45 minutes one way took 3 hours the other!)

While we were on the ferry waiting to cross, we let the kids unbuckle and look out. We got to see several dolphins jumping just off the side!  

All in all, 'twas an eventful journey. Juliana may have to have counseling before she'll ever go back in the ocean (just kidding, sort of. She IS that dramatic...). All in all, she doesn't seem to have suffering any lasting effects from meeting up with the business end of whatever it was. By the next day, she had fully recovered. (and believe me, she'll milk as much sympathy as she can out of any injury!) 

Hopefully, the next time we go to beach we'll get to stay a little longer! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Juliana Goes to School!

It doesn't seem quite possible,  but yesterday my baby started school! :(
It only seems like it was a few days ago that I held her in my arms, a helpless baby - but she's not a baby anymore.

Out the door...

For five and a half years, I have spent nearly every waking moment with her - and quite a few un-awake moments, too! I've fed her, dressed her, and along with her dad, we've protected her as well as we could. We couldn't protect her from every boo-boo along the way, but the ones we
couldn't protect her from, we kissed and made better. We've taught her almost everything she knows - from how to crawl and walk, to how to use the big-girl potty, to how to act like a lady (ok, maybe that one hasn't stuck too well, but we're trying!) among many other things.

Across the parking lot...

Yesterday, she set out on a new learning adventure. She'll have many new teachers on this journey, who will teach her many things. She'll have fun times, sad times, frustrating times, and she will feel pride at accomplishing some new thing.

Down the hall, to left...and we've arrived!
I can't protect her from everything any more. There is sure to come a day when she is hurt by one of her classmates, or a teacher who speaks carelessly or harshly...but she is learning. And each little hurt, each little joy, every moment along the way, will help her to grow and to become the woman she will be. 

The little brother wasn't very happy to leave his playmate.

No, I won't always be there to keep the hurts from happening, but I WILL be here to hold her when she hurts. I'll be here to listen when she doesn't understand. I may not always be her best friend - in fact, there'll probably be times when I'm downright unpopular in her eyes, but I will always be her biggest supporter.

Doing the first homework.

And when she needs more than I can give her, I'll be sure to point her the One who will be everything she ever needs. The One who loves her even more than I do, and knows more about her than I will ever know because He made her.

All finished!

And so, I'm sad. It will take a while to adjust to having one of my chicks missing for most of the day, but we'll survive. But this is life,  and it's a new learning experience for her.

So I'll be happy for her.

After I cry for a while.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TN Trip Part 2 - The Grandparents

The trip continues....
We left the Fogleman's house Sunday afternoon and headed on to Tennessee - Brad had to be there by late Sunday evening to check in. We took him to his hotel, got him situated, and headed out to my parents house (out in the country, about 30 minutes from Nashville).
The kids hadn't seen them in over a year (Brad & I got to see them in December when we were there for his work Christmas thingy, but the kids had gone to Missouri 'cause we couldn't take them along), but they marched right in and pretty well took over! It took them a little longer to warm up to Grandma, but they took to Pop right away!
Unfortunately, Juliana has this odd fear of clocks that chime - and Mom & Dad have not just ONE, but TWO grandfather clocks in their house - that chime every 15 minutes! (One is theirs, and one belongs to my brother) She eventually got to where she didn't notice them most of the time, but she still didn't want to be in the room alone with either clock, so that took us a bit of convincing to get past...

The next morning, they hopped out of bed before Mommy or Grandma got up and gave Pop his marching orders; by the time I got up, he's already fixed them breakfast, and they were getting ready to go out and feed the chickens.
They had a great time. I think by the time we left Pop was ready for a good rest! :)

 'Helping' Pop in the garden

'Planting' the seeds
(I think Jonathan was more picking the seeds back up going, 'Pop, you dwop dis!')

Make that row nice and straight!

 Terrorizing the chickens...Jonathan thought it was great fun to yell and jump at them so they would run off squawking! :-0

 They helped Pop 'mow the tractor'

 And they got to meet the horse - my sister got this horse when I was 10 or 11, so he's getting a bit old, but he still loves kids. Jonathan was quite sure what to think about him, but Ju liked petting his nose.

My dad mows their property a bit at a time and catches the grass to feed to the horse and cows. The cows have their specific spot where he feeds them, and the horse has his - and they know not to get in each others' spot. Thumper (the horse), however, is sneaky, and when Dad turns his back, he goes and eats the cows' leftovers, at which point Dad fusses at him, and he goes back to his spot. It's like this little ritual that they have.   
So, the cows had their food, the horse had his, and Pop went to go back to his gardening; as soon as he turned his back, of course, Thumper went to snitch some cow food. As soon as he got there, Dad hollered at him, 'Git out of there, Ding-Dong!', and the horse went back to his spot. A few minutes later, he tried it again; Jonathan spotted him, and got very excited. 
"Pop," he yelled, "Ding-Ding gittin' cow's food!"
Pop told him to 'tell Ding-Dong to get out of there', so he would run up the fence and say very authoritatively,
 "Ding-Ding, you GIT!"
And Ding-Ding would oblige! 

Don't look now, Pop, but I think someone just hijacked your tractor...

While they were draggin' Pop around, Mommy was taking care of Grandma's pile of mending that she hadn't gotten to yet. It was some nice mindless sewing - I'm normally making stuff, so changing elastic and hemming stuff was a nice change! :)
The kids did play with Grandma, too, but she has this camera aversion, so no pictures there. I tell her that when she dies, her grandchildren will only be able to remember her by the palms of her hands, because about every picture we have of her, she has her hand up in front of her face!
Between feeding all the animals, chickens and fish, gathering eggs, gardening with Pop, and trying to coerce both of them into reading them stories, I think the little people enjoyed their time there.  
The cat, on the other never did figure us out. I was in my early teens when we got her as a kitten, so she's getting pretty old, too. She did come out one night after everyone else was asleep and rubbed against my ankle once or twice, but as long as the kids were out, she was absent. Poor kitty...she's not used to all that racket! (For that matter, I don't think Grandma & Pop are, either!)

We did run into Nashville a couple of nights to see Daddy - Monday night we went and had supper with him, and Wednesday night after church we went and wandered around Barnes & Noble for a bit. It's no fun when Daddy's gone! :( While we were farming, he was studying about pizza sales - I think we had the better end of the deal! 
Friday afternoon we went and picked him up, and we headed back home; we arrived tired, but happy to be home again! 

Who is this 'JUNE' and what happened to May?! (or, TN. Trip Part 1)

Ok, I blinked a couple of times, and May disappeared...Weird....
See, the last time I posted, we were getting ready to go to Tennessee. Brad had to go for a week of training at the Hunt Bros. Pizza Headquarters in Nashville, so the kids and I decided to tag along and visit the grandparents.
So, on the way, we stopped to spend the weekend with some friends:

We went to the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham....

 Ju had a lot of fun playing with Jackson and Carson.

 Jonathan could not understand why he wasn't allowed to drive all the airplanes; he'd run up to each one and say,  "I dribe DIS one!" only to be disappointed time after time when we told him that, no, he wasn't allowed to get in that one, either.  Finally we found one that was open so that they could climb in: 
He promptly climbed in the 'driver's' seat....
But, alas, there were no keys.
 Over and over, he'd ask,
'Where's da keys, Ma?'

 'Dad! Where's da keys?'

 We finally found one he could REALLY drive - in the playroom.
He dragged it over to the playroom door, and was trying to open the door and get it out; I had to tell him that the museum probably wouldn't like it if we stole their rocket ship.

Then we drove to Calera, Alabama to see Thomas the Tank Engine.  Thomas only goes through a couple of times a year, and as it happened, that was one of the times he would be there, so we had to take the kids to see him!
Waiting on the train.

 There's Thomas!!!!

 Riding in a coach 'pulled' by Thomas.

They had a little petting zoo set up, so the kids went to visit the animals.

Jonathan believes in sharing, so he promptly offered the goat a chance to blow his new train whistle. The goat thought about it for a minute, but eventually declined.

 Unfortunately, someone left our camera at the air museum, so I was camera-less for the Train excursion, but Brittany graciously consented to share her picture with me...Thank you, Brittany!  (Thankfully, the museum staff wrapped up the camera and placed it in some bushes so that we could pick it up after hours, so no one had to try to drive back and get it before closing time. It was safely retrieved later.)

Overheard in the backseat on the way to eat supper (Carson rode with us):
Juliana: "Carson, I like you if you like me!"  
Carson: "I like you, too. Y'know, I'm older than you, but you're bigger than me.....that's just weird!"
Juliana: "Yeah, that IS weird!"

David, Brittany, and kiddos: Thanks for allowing us to come. We enjoyed staying in your home and worshipping with you and your people! We'll have to do it again sometime.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - The Grandparents!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Well, I did it...

Yessireebob, I sure did!
(Don't you just love my language? It's the hillbilly from Arkansas/Tennessee coming out!)

What did I do?

I jumped on the make-your-own laundry soap wagon!

I've seen a several of my friends say they've tried it, and I've had it on my to-do list (i.e pinterest board) for a while, I just hadn't gotten around to it yet (in other words, I kept forgetting to buy the ingredients when I went to the store).

One minor difference, though - most everybody I've seen has been doing the powdered version. I wanted to try the liquid for a couple of reasons: one, I'm not a big fan of powdered. I know it's usually the more economical choice, however, (and this is also the other reason for making the liquid) a lot of times it doesn't dissolve well in cold water, and I, for the most part, do all of my
washing in cold water (except for sheets, and other, dirtier stuff).
So, liquid it was.
The melting soap
I used this recipe.

One thing I will say, several people around the web had mentioned that they melt their bar of soap in the microwave. I tried it. If I decide to do this again, I'll try the grating and melting method; for me it just blew up into a big, poufy, soapy sponge that didn't want to dissolve when I added it to the hot water - and my microwave now smells VERY strongly of soap. So much so, that when I went to heat up the kids lunch, it came out with a faint soapy taste to it.
Not good.
Not good at all.

My self-appointed soap-stirrer

The smell was a bit strong. The kids were outside playing when I started the whole melting process, and it got so strong that I opened the windows because I kept sneezing. A couple of minutes late, Juju came trotting in, informing me, 'Mom. I smell soap. Why do I smell soap?' She then appointed herself official soap-stirrer.

'Mom making cake?'
Sorry, son. I kept having to remind him not to taste it!

Of course, the little brother had to get in on the action. He wanted to eat whatever was in the pot. I finally convinced him that it wouldn't taste too good, so then he wanted to help stir.

The finished product.

I started out by putting it into two gallon jugs (the ones shown). I filled them most of the way up with water, but before they were even half cooled, they had already thickened to the point of being unpourable, so I divided in into another gallon jug and added water. It's still pretty thick, but more usable.

SO, cost breakdown:

All together, I paid a little over $9 for the ingredients.
I estimated that I have enough soap made for 80-ish loads, which makes it about 10-11 cents per load. When you take into consideration that I normally buy my soap on sale for $2.50-3.00 a bottle, it's not really much of a cost savings. However, I do have enough borax and soda left to make several more batches, so that will lower the overall cost dramatically.

Do I like it?
I've washed two loads with it. It seems to get the clothes clean, and they smell good when they're done. It's not a strong smell, but they smell clean - and I HATE musty smelling clothes (and towels). Some people have said that they notice their whites/lights get dingy faster using this. I personally find that my whites get really dingy here anyway (apparently from the yucky water), even though I bleach most of them frequently, so I doubt they'll get any worse, but we shall see!

If you've tried it, let me know what you think!

(BTW, THIS is NOT a good deal...good grief! I think my most expensive item was the Borax, which was around $4 for the 76 oz. box. Someone's making a killing!)