Archive for the 'faith' Category

And the packing has begun…

YEA!!! To anyone who knows us, or has read any of this blog, it is evident we need a new house. There are SOOOOOO many reasons why we need a new house that I’m not even going to bother listing any. I believe the Lord is going to provide us with a new home, but I also believe we need to work to make it happen. Sooo…

I’ve been a busy little beaver. I have the credit cards all paid off so that in just a few weeks, our debt ratio will be as good as it will ever be, making our credit as good as it is going to get for awhile. Then it will be time to have the bank pull our credit so we can get pre-approved for a mortgage. In the meantime, though, there has been plenty happening…

I’ve purchased a dolly for moving things. I’ve acquired (mostly bought) a BUNCH of boxes, and a packing tape gun. I’ve been collecting info on buying a first home, getting a mortgage, etc. God has shown me who to contact about selling the house we are in, as well as who to talk to about finding and purchasing the new one. I have some money set aside for expenses and plan on adding as much as I can to it as often as I can. Also, I have arranged to rent a 10′ x 10′ storage unit so we can empty out as much as we can prior to contacting the listing agent.

That’s the point we are at right now. I just packed up most of our photos, videos, and childrens books. These are all easy things to pack and also easy things to do without for several weeks, so that is why I’ve started with those. I’m hoping to actually have the storage unit this weekend, and as soon as I do….I will start filling it up!

So, lots of packing, some furniture moving, some paperwork (loan application and who knows what else), some house-browsing online to get some motivation, and of course our standard work, school, and loads of therapy/doctor appts in the future for the Caseys!

THANK YOU, LORD!!!

Thank you, Lord, for:

  • the Person of You… Jesus Christ
  • the Promises of You… the God who can’t lie
  • the People of God
  • the Provision of You… my Heavenly Father God
  • the Power of You… the Great I AM THAT I AM
  • the Preparation of God
  • the Peace of You… the Holy Spirit
  • the Protection of God… the Creator and Almighty God
  • the Privileges of God

I can never thank You enough! The least I can do is offer my body and life as a living sacrifice to You! THAT even is not enough. Thank You, thank You, thank You!!

Random Theological Musings

 

If it is possible for some men to fully believe they are saved and then be surprised at the judgement when they learn they are in fact, not….

And it is possible for saved men to doubt their salvation, right up to the time of death and then be surprised when they find themselves ushered into Heaven…

It therefore stands to reason that it is possible for a saved man to know he is saved and yet not know the exact time he was/will be saved, and be unsure of WHEN it has happened/will happen up to the time of death and then be surprised when they, too, are ushered into Heaven.

A good tree is known by its fruit. Some trees are mature, and its full, ripe fruit falls readily off its overloaded branches by the scores. Other trees are just beginning to bud out, as they are just beginning their first spring season, and as yet their fruit are just tender whispers of what will be. Still others, while they are not a first year sapling, are nonetheless new to bearing fruit. Perhaps because of many years of drought or poor soil, and where other trees of the same age have branches that are overflowing, their branches are very sparsely covered. The fruit is mostly small and only a few ripen and become heavy enough that it falls of its own fullness onto the ground. Most of the fruit must either be delicately handpicked or the tree shaken in some degree in order for the fruit to become seperated from its limb and fall.

While there is only way to the Father…to Heaven… and that way is Jesus Christ, I believe there are as many ways to Christ as there are souls. No two people, or souls, are alike. We are each created by God to be unique, and as such, no two of us will have identical thought processes, life experiences and opportunities, or emotional ‘baggage’ with which we have to deal. While the only way to be saved is to believe on Jesus Christ, there are an infinite number of ways to come to that belief.

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” While it is true that we must each work out our own belief on Jesus… that is, we need to believe on Him in our own right, not just because someone else like a parent or grandparent did/does, each person must believe that “the world” and “whosoever” both include themselves personally… I find no specification as to HOW one must COME to that belief.

For some people the threat of their flesh being perpetually in flames helps them to realize that they truly are deserving of that punishment and that they NEED a Savior, and then are able to shake off the pride and stubborness of wanting to be self-sufficient and in need of no one and nothing, and so then are greatly comforted by the fact that God loved/s THEM enough to sacrifice His son, so that if they choose to believe on Jesus, they can escape that horrific fate.

For others, (and I think especially of young children, here), the thought of burning in hell never enters their thought processes. They hear that God loved/s them and that He sent His son to give them everlasting life in Heaven with Him, and that’s all they need to know. Jesus loves them and will take care of them. I think a lot of these types of people believe on Jesus simply because of His great love for them. I think, perhaps, that many never even give a thought to the ‘afterlife’ when they believe on Him, they just believe because of His love.

Still others, have perhaps resisted accepting and admitting what they know in their heart to be true because of their foolish pride in their thinking skills and remain ‘skeptical’ because…after all…no one who was around when the Bible was written or when Jesus walked the earth is around today, so how can anyone KNOW for sure it’s truth. Then something, or several somethings happen in their lives that show them that if they don’t “quit messin’ around” and just believe, their lives here on earth will only continue to spiral downward… faster and faster, until there is no way to pull their heads back up above the deep, dark abyss.

Then there are those who quietly watch believers from near or far, and notice that there is something different about them. Something different in their lives that enables them to get through even the most difficult of life’s trials with an overall sense of peace. They notice that there are many small differences in their day-to-day lives and that those differences are by and large, BETTER than what they have. Perhaps they watch quietly for years and see blessing after blessing bestowed on the believer and countless times of comfort or intervention when trouble comes their way. Perhaps they have even personally benefited from the prayers or good deeds of the believer. They watch and they eventually come to a decision that whatever it is that makes the believer different, they want the same thing, and then when they hear the gospel, they believe. Not because of fear of burning flesh and eternal suffering, but because they have SEEN with their own eyes the incredible earthly benefits of believing on Jesus.

John 3:16 has often been called the gospel in miniature; I’ve even heard it called the bible in miniature. It is certainly the greatest story ever told. Thousands of souls have been saved and had their names recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life with their only knowledge of God or the bible being what is expressed in this verse. It’s that powerful! It’s that simple!

Let’s break the six simple phrases into three parts. (Three, as opposed to six, because the last 3 phrases are very much dependant on each other…intertwined like a finely made rope.)

For Godevery man is created by God and the knowledge of the existence of God is ‘built in’ at creation. Every soul knows on an instinctual, primal level of the existence of God.

so loved the world- just as every soul knows on an instinctual, primal level of the existence of God, so too does every soul realize on that same deep level that they are a creation of that God…that without that God they would not exist. As they mature, and are able to begin reasoning, they go on to realize that if one creates something, they are bonded to it…they love it. If they did not love it, they would not have created it. Therefore, on the most elemental level, every soul is already aware that God loves not only them, but all souls that He has created. (This would include unborn children.)

that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.- This is the part of the verse that men are NOT born knowing in their own hearts. This phrase, along with the rest of the verse is why it is most necessary for believers to share the gospel with others. The first part of this verse men know instinctually. Unless someone who has already learned it themselves shares this knowledge with them, they will never know the story of God’s son. They will not know that He exists, nor why it was necessary for him to lay down his life for the men of this world. While each soul, will know instinctually that God is better than s/he is, that they are in comparison- bad, the knowledge of what this means has NOT been instilled in them at their creation. Somebody will need to tell them that God has a begotten son. Somebody will need to tell them that WHOSOEVER believeth in this begotten son, will have everlasting life.

While there are many doctrines contained in the bible, and many, many more lessons for a soul to learn about God and His son, Jesus Christ, the small amount of information (which is the greatest truth in all the world) contained in this one verse is all that is necessary for a soul to know in order to receive eternal life.

MawMaw is home!

MawMaw, my grandmother on my mother’s side, the woman I wrote  about in my post entitled Our Missionary… Maw-Maw, has been home for almost 12hrs now. These first 12 hours I’m sure have been filled with many tears of joy, lots of laughter, and many embraces. She is just now settling in for what will be a long (eternal) life and celebration with her Savior. She has been reunited with loved ones she’d been waiting decades to see again… her parents, 2 of her 3 brothers, grandparents probably, and 4 of her own dear children.

The last move she went through was quite stressful on her, despite the fact that it was a move she’d longed for for over 20 years, and was quite looking forward to it. The stress from getting everything ready for that move landed her in the hospital for a couple of weeks immediately after getting moved into their new apartment. She rallied though. The Lord saw fit to raise her up again to a level of health she hadn’t had in many years, and was able to spend the next two weeks in her new apartment. Enjoying sitting on the patio, enjoying her brand new cherrywood bedroom suite, and most delightful and exciting… enjoying being able to eat basically anything she wanted (she’d had diabetes for many years, but these 2wks, her blood sugar was remarkably GOOD no matter what she ate) and being back PAIN-FREE. Her back had given her intense, severe, chronic pain for years, but for whatever reason these 2wks in her new apartment she had NO back pain.

This final move that she made today, didn’t take nearly as long to make as the one a month ago. It  did, however, take much, MUCH more time to prepare for. She’d been preparing for this final move for somewhere close to 70 years. She would’ve turned 78 this month, and I don’t know for sure at what age she accepted Christ as her Savior, but I know she was raised in a Christian home and so was being taught how to prepare for the move from earth to Heaven even as a young girl. This final move was different from the one a month ago in another way, as well. There was NO stress associated with this move. Only grace, comfort, contentment, and true peace.

I praise God for being such a gracious and loving God. I praise Him for His goodness, and thank Him for helping my MawMaw get home. I am so glad she’s home! I will miss her here on earth every day, but I take great comfort in the truth that one day… in the sweet by and by… we will meet on that beautiful shore. I’m very grateful that I have someone in Heaven whom I can have a reunion with one day.

I love you and miss you dearly already, but I’ll see ya soon, MawMaw!

The Gifts of Christmas 2009

Well Christmas is over. Even New Years is over, actually. I’m so lax about getting this blog updated it’s not even funny.

We here at the Casey residence all had a very blessed Christmas. I do believe we were ALL more than pleased with our ‘booty’, and except for Mike gettin a cold and missin one of the get-togethers, we all had great visits with family. =)

As much as I love seeing extended family and spending time talking and laughing with them (and we did plenty of that) while enjoying num-nums (I had WAY too much of that!), I’ll be honest and say it’s not my favorite part of Christmas. My favorite part is giving those I love good gifts. I absolutely LOVE to give and end up going way overboard most years. Ah well. I love it! =)

I love thinking about a person, thinking about their likes and dislikes, their personality, their habits, hobbies, and tendencies, as well as their strengths (and weaknesses… like chocolate, for instance! hehe) and desires, hopes and dreams… basically every thing I know about them, have deduced about them, or picked up on from conversations with them or their loved ones… and then putting all that personalized information into the search for the *right* gift. Of course, there are times when I can’t seem to find just the *right* thing and so I have to ‘make-do’. Too, there are some instances when picking out and making a very personal gift like that is just not an option.

I have most definitely been known to multi-gift, especially to family friends. Last year it was fudge. This year I was going to do fudge and/or banana bread, but ended up sick just before Christmas and running out of time for the other projects I had going, so I didn’t give to any of the friends this year. =*(  Maybe I’ll turn it into A “love” project and hand out goodies at Valentines. =)

As I was saying, we all had a blessed Christmas. I felt good about most of the gifts I was giving (only a few ‘make-dos’), and I did get most things finished. Then, to make it even better, most of the gifts I gave seemed to be well appreciated and admired. YES! =) I love puttin a smile on someone’s face that way! =)

To recap my projects so I can give an update, here is my list from the 18th of Dec…

  • sew Coast Guard patch onto knit hat for Mike
  • make Christmas candies (candy melts/molds… painted details) for Meg to hand out at school
  • display case of Coast Guard memorabilia for Mike
  • stain/seal display shelf for Coast Guard hat
  • sew ‘sleep sack’ out of queen and throw sized blankets
  • sew matching dresses for Meagan* and the 18″ doll she is getting for Christmas (I have the doll’s dress finished)
  • sew blue snowflake dress* for the doll
  • crochet quitar for the doll
  • crochet poncho* to match one I made Meagan a couple of years ago…for the doll
  • crochet Santa hat*, scarf*, and mittens* for the doll
  • dye and embroider 2 sets of 5 tea towels (red w/ whitework snowmen)
  • change name on Mike’s childhood stocking to Matthew*
  • sew jingle bells on the stockings Meme made the kids*
  • make fudge for giving away and taking to get-togethers*
  • coat choc. sandwich cookies in white almond bark and sprinkle red/green berries/leaves on top*
  • crochet backpack for doll*
  • hang garlands*, window clings*, wreaths*, and lights*
  • finish getting ornaments on the tree and setting out decorations
  • wrap a bunch of Christmas gifts*
  • clean house
  • do about 5 billion loads of laundry (ok, not quite that many, but close!)

Of those, I got almost everything done, believe it or not! I didn’t get the house as clean as I wanted nor as much of the laundry done as I’d hoped, but the living room was ready for Christmas morning festivities, and the rest of the house wasn’t TOO horrid. Of the projects themselves, the only ones I did NOT get done were:

  • make fudge for giving away and taking to get-togethers*
  • coat choc. sandwich cookies in white almond bark and sprinkle red/green berries/leaves on top*
  • crochet backpack for doll*
  • sew matching dresses for Meagan* and the 18″ doll she is getting for Christmas (I have the doll’s dress finished)
  • crochet Santa hat*, scarf*, and mittens* for the doll
  • I also only got 4 of the 10 tea towels finished in time for the gift exchanges. Luckily they were for generic gift exchanges at church and my grandmother’s. I took the set of 4 to one, and Mom had an extra gift for the other, so it was all good.

    The kids both had a great Christmas! Meagan absolutely adores her new doll, whom she has named Samantha, and she got a lot of other neat things that thrilled her no end, too… a scooter, black boots, lots of gift cards and $, a bunch of clip-on earrings, some pjs, a couple of video games, and a case for her guitar to name a few. Matthew was squealing over his collection of costumes (Transformers, Batman, Spiderman, and a ninja outfit) and had a good pile of other goodies… he also got a scooter, a pair of black boots, and a bunch of gift cards and $. Then there were the 3 video games, a cordless drill, a cowboy hat, a fuzzy blanket, some jeans, a couple of puzzles, a bunch of sodas and snacks, 16mi walkie-talkies, and a Bionicle. They carefully tithed off all their $$ and then had fun going shopping.

    Mike ad I had equally good bootys, but perhaps the neatest gifts we received were from God Himself. On the Wednesday before Christmas, our church had a gift exchange, and in the middle of it, someone handed me an envelope from an anonymous giver that contained a crisp $100 bill! That gift was straight from God, through this kind, big-hearted, generous, anonymous soul. I thank them both from the bottom of my heart. That cash was much needed! God didn’t stop there, though. A few days after Christmas we received a card in the mail from a family member that held a check for another $100! Again, I thank both God, from whom all blessings flow, and that special family member from the bottom of this grateful heart. With those two gifts, I’ll be able to keep my doctor’s appointment this week instead of having to put it off till another paycheck comes in.

    Well that about sums things up, I guess. I have a lot of clean-up to do, of course, and a few more projects  (ALWAYS! lol) I want to get done, but things have settled down some. School started back yesterday, so things are as back to ‘normal’ as they get around here.

    Big Dreams, Little Dreams

    Heard a really great message at church Wed on dreams. (You can download the sermon and listen to it here: Baptist Basics Download Page Look for “Dream A Dream”.) Not dreams like where you find yourself flying the spaceship from Flight of the Navigator around town with all your younger cousins on board in highchairs, but dreams like when you say “One day I’d like to…”.

    The speaker brought up a lot of good points about dreams. He talked about how we *should* have them, as they give us a goal to work towards. They motivate us to DO something. They give us a purpose.

    If we have a dream to do something, go somewhere, meet someone, be somebody, or accomplish something, we have a much greater chance of actually DOING something, GOING somewhere, MEETING someone, BEING somebody (although, to be sure we are ALL somebody to Jesus whether we ever realize that or not), or actually ACCOMPLISHING something. In other words, if we don’t have something to set our minds and hearts towards in the future, something to work towards, we won’t make any progress towards those things and so we won’t move forward in life.

    Life isn’t stagnant. It’s ALIVE! It’s moving. Look at the bodies of water on the earth. All but the Dead Sea have living things swimming happily away in them. What’s so different about the Dead Sea? It doesn’t have an outlet. There is no way for the water in the Dead Sea to get back out. It TAKES, but it never GIVES. Life enters into it, but there it stagnates and dies. The same thing will happen to small ponds or even fish tanks (like the aquarium the kids’ goldfish will be in once we find it!), if there is no circulation of water – life – movement.

    I believe I once heard the term ‘living being’ defined as a being that has the capability of growing and moving on its own. But plants can’t move, you say, and they are alive. Yes they do move, I say! They grow don’t they? Then they move. A rock is stagnant. It doesn’t move, it doesn’t grow. Neither does metal.Things like water and air move, but not on their own. They have to have an outside source of energy propel them in some way. A hand has to tilt the pitcher to pour the water into the cup, A sudden bolt of electricity (if you really want me to explain where/how that happens, I will, but it’s rather lengthy) has to warm the air causing it to expand and crash into the cooler air around it with a bang.

    In short, then, we could say that life = movement. Dreams give us something to move towards. Without dreams… be they big dreams like a wedding in your future or one finishing med school and opening your own practice… or little dreams like the Christmas gifts you want to make for your family or the dinner you plan on cooking tonight… we have no reason to move.

    God created each of us, for HIS purpose. For HIS glory and HIS pleasure. He saves us by HIS grace and desires a personal relationship -talking, sharing, loving, working- with us. He live in us once we are saved, and desires to live THROUGH us as well. If He comes into our hearts and never comes out, we WILL stagnate spiritually. And of course, if we stagnate spiritually, the rest of our lives WILL suffer.

    Jesus is the reason. Jesus is the reaon for the season, yes. But He is also the reason for living. He is the biggest dream to work towards… being like Him. We don’t have to work to get to Heaven to live with Him forever, but we DO need to work towards being like Him… sharing His qualities and character. We take life in when we accept Jesus into our hearts because He IS everlasting life. We need to give Jesus back out to keep from stagnating and scumming over like a pond with no circulating water, air, and life.

    Share the gift of eternal Life with someone this Christmas season. Make it a dream of yours to show someone how to accept Jesus into their heart and live eternally. Then MOVE (on your own, without outside energy sources propelling you) towards that dream. Now you’re livin! ;-)

    Just like all dreams, if you move towards it at all, you will have gone farther and accomplished more than you would have if you’d never tried. Even if you never achieve your goal, you’ve still succeeded. I believe it was Bob Jones Sr who said “Success is finding God’s will for your life and doing it” (that’s close, if that the exact quote).

    That’s one of mybig dreams… to lead someone to Christ… to lead many someones to Christ, actually. Now I’m going to share some of my little dreams with you. It’ll be a kind of progress report, I suppose. LOL Listed below are all the different Christmas gifts I’m making this year as well as other Christmas projects. The ones crossed out are completed. The ones with an * I haven’t even started yet! YIKES!! =)

    • sew Coast Guard patch onto knit hat for Mike
    • make Christmas candies (candy melts/molds… painted details) for Meg to hand out at school
    • display case of Coast Guard memorabilia for Mike
    • stain/seal display shelf for Coast Guard hat
    • sew ‘sleep sack’ out of queen and throw sized blankets
    • sew matching dresses for Meagan* and the 18″ doll she is getting for Christmas (I have the doll’s dress finished)
    • sew blue snowflake dress* for the doll
    • crochet quitar for the doll
    • crochet poncho* to match one I made Meagan a couple of years ago…for the doll
    • crochet Santa hat*, scarf*, and mittens* for the doll
    • dye and embroider 2 sets of 5 tea towels (red w/ whitework snowmen)
    • change name on Mike’s childhood stocking to Matthew*
    • sew jingle bells on the stockings Meme made the kids*
    • make fudge for giving away and taking to get-togethers*
    • coat choc. sandwich cookies in white almond bark and sprinkle red/green berries/leaves on top*
    • crochet backpack for doll*
    • hang garlands*, window clings*, wreaths*, and lights*
    • finish getting ornaments on the tree and setting out decorations
    • wrap a bunch of Christmas gifts*
    • clean house
    • do about 5 billion loads of laundry (ok, not quite that many, but close!)

    I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting, too! Can you say BIZ-ZEE?! I’m gonna go work on that blue doll dress now. Oh! And the matching dresses are a metallic burgundy with black trimmings. =) I’ll post pics of all the finished projects when I can. Well, for all except the stuff I made for the girls from camp. I didn’t get pictures of them before I mailed them out. I made a yellow pillow w/ “John Deere” in green, an American flag design scarf, an American flag design doll blanket, a pink/purple scarf, and a hat and scarf for a doll in red/white/blue.

    Ladies Retreat Was Great!

    I just got back (well, last night I got back…) from a wonderful ladies retreat.  The theme was Hands. Hands of God, as well as our hands being used by God. We had great speakers, awesome teaching, yummy food, and lots of fun, too. Plus, I even got to stay the night in a hotel… without kids. =)

    I stayed in a room with 3 other ladies. The oldest (though not old by any means) of us went to sleep fairly quickly. The rest of us, though, stayed up till about 1:30am playing a new Monopoly card game and talking. I got my toenails painted and decorated, too.

    When I got back home I found a (STILL) sick Matthew. He had a fever and was throwing up yesterday morning and of course his asthma is still giving him fits. He’s scheduled for an allergist appt this Tues. We’re hoping to get started on allergy shots so that maybe his asthma will improve.


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