Friday, November 20, 2009

I feel like I'm a horrible poster now that I'm in America. Which is probably fine, because its not like a ton of people are reading this blog. But I do like to keep it updated.

Anyway, Bech and I have been pretty busy lately. We are about to head up to Oxford for the LSU game...we are going to win this year. I just know it. Ha, we probably won't...but maybe! I am so excited to be in the grove, especially when it's cold. Plus my whole family will be there, which will be very fun.

Last week, Bech's aunt, cousin, and future uncle (he's engaged to Tanta, Bech's aunt) came into town, so we got to spend lots of time with them.

Also, last weekend, I ushered at a visitation. I'm an intern with First Pres, and they ask interns to help out with visitations and funerals. I have never been able to do it before, but I was able this time. Also, the woman who died has a daughter Bech's age who he was good friends with in high school, so I really wanted to help.

The woman was pretty young (57) and an amazing lady. I have never seen that many flowers and that many people. It was supposed to be a 3 hour visitation, but ended up being 5 hours, because there were so many people. What an amazing testament to someone's character to have that many people there. She was a wonderful woman, and people loved her.

Please just keep this family in your prayers over the holidays. She left behind 3 grown kids and a husband, and I know Christmas is going to be so hard for them this year (and probably for many, many years to come). I feel mostly for Bech's friend (and my friend too). I have absolutely no idea how I could ever function without my mom, and I hurt so much for her.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last weekend, I was at Twin Lakes for RUF fall conference. We had a pretty good were there from Rhodes, Memphis State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Delta State, Hinds, JSU, MC, Belhaven, and Millsaps. The State music team led worship and they did an amazing job. I was so excited and encouraged to see that many college kids loving the music.
In the younger circles of the PCA, there is a big movement to sing hymns set to guitar music. Some of these hymns are actually the same tune you would sing in church (Be Thou My Vision, O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, and Amazing Grace are a few like that), but most of the hymns have been set to new music. A few are actually new words as well, but most are the words that have been sung in the church for years and years.
I absolutely love singing hymns. Not only do I love it, but I actually believe that hymns (as opposed to more modern praise and worship songs) should be a big part of worship. Please know, though, that I don't think anything bad about people who worship God in more contemporary ways. This is just a personal opinion. There is actually an article on the RUF site that is a good resource when looking at hymns vs. praise and worship style songs. Its by a guy named Kevin Twit, who has been a big part of the hymn movement.
I believe in singing hymns for a couple of reasons. The first has to do with the age and legacy of these hymns. It is so amazing to sing a song and know that Christians from 300 years ago worshipped God with the same song! I love to have that connection to the past Christians, who are now worshipping Christ in heaven.
I also love the words. No offense, but I feel like some modern Christian songs have very little depth to them. I think the words must have been written rather quickly. Also, the songs tend to focus on what we do to worship and glorify God. Hymns were not written quickly. They required time and lots of effort. The words usually focus a lot more on our depravity and sinfulness and how Christ has saved us. For example:
Come, ye weary, heavy laden,

Bruised and broken by the fall;
If you tarry 'til you're better,
You will never come at all.
Not the righteous, not the righteous;
Sinners Jesus came to call.
These lyrics are from Come, Ye Sinners...this is one of my favorites. I feel like there is so
much within this song to focus on and ponder.
Another great hymn is A Debtor to Mercy Alone. Here's the last verse:
My name from the palms of His hands

Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is given
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in heaven.

That hymn was written by Augustus Toplady, who also wrote Rock of Ages.
I have so many favorite hymns, so I'm not going to talk about them all on here. But if you are
interested, go here. That link will take you to the music section of the RUF site. It links to
some RUF cds, which I would highly recommend. The Indelible Grace cds are great...I love
them! They just released a Christmas cd and an acoustic cd, and I can't wait to get both.
Anyway, just wanted to put some thoughts out there...if you disagree, feel free to comment!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I am absolutely adoring fall. Last week, there were a few warm days (that's Mississippi for you), but its been chilly this weekend. Bech and I have been going to the farmers market and cooking a bunch, which is always fun.

Saturday night (which some of you call Halloween, but it was really Reformation Day), David and I took 15 Millsaps students to Canton to the Canton Corn Maze and Haunted Barn. We had a great time. It's pretty far away (at least 45 minutes). It's been raining in Mississippi for seriously the past 2 months, so the corn maze was REALLY muddy. Some of us went in the actual corn maze which had lots of mud and puzzles. We were so gross, but it was great.

I try to make some sort of snack each week for MCF. This past week I made pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese's the recipe. They taste so good...sort of like an early Thanksgiving treat!

Okay, I know Bech and I are weird because we take pictures of our food. But sometimes food is just so pretty! Here is a salsa verde Bech made for our chicken the other night.

Here is some grilled chicken with salsa verde, mashed sweet potatoes (made with sweet potatoes that Bech's brother grew), and green beans with lemon juice. I just love all of the different colors.

This weekend is going to be busy. It's Mistletoe Marketplace, which is a huge Christmas market put on by the Junior League of Jackson each year. It's one of my favorite times of the year, probably actually my favorite second to Christmas. Plus, we have RUF fall conference this weekend. I am going to be very busy!