Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Fight Inside

I just finished reading The Oath by: Frank Peretti. It was awesome!! Then as I was listening to some of my favorite artists today and the songs also talked about what I had just read about.

**Spoiler Alert- if you want to read The Oath, do not read**
The book starts out with a murder. Yes, a murder. As it more and more investigated, they decide what they thought killed the person, a bear, in fact did not kill the man.

More people go missing in the little town. A town superstition is learned of, by the outsider, while he is looking into what/who killed his brother. The town is one of those that one family has been in charge of it for a century. Plus they have a dirty secret, which a century ago an oath was signed to keep it a secret. They are the don't talk about it type of town. Someone goes missing and excuses are made up "She went to go visit her mother"...etc. They try to hide the truth.

Right before the people go missing, they get a black stain/mark that appears on their chest, right over their heart. And it is painful. Then the people digresses, kinda start going crazy (being outspoken, rude, etc.) and the black stain starts to ooze and get worse. Then they feel no pain. They are numb to it.
Then the people disappear.

More investigation goes on, the outsider finally learns more from the "religious nut" character about the town superstition. There is some type of dragon-type creature that eats the people, only the ones with the mark.

The story line gets really good. Finally at the end, the "religious nut" seems not so crazy to the outsider. He tells him that the town's sin created the dragon. The town had the motto "If this is sin, let sin be served". The town's sin made the dragon grow more and more and made it more violent. The mark was their sin eating through them and then they would be killed by the dragon or their sin. The outsider learns that the only way the dragon can be defeated is to give his life to Jesus. It is only then that he is free from his sin, and his sin no longer can kill him.

I loved this book. It is something that I have read in other Christian writers books (Dekker). Sin is embodied into something physical.

I also wanted to share with you the music videos. Warning: These are pretty jammin' Christian rock songs, I like them, that doesn't mean you will :) If nothing else, try to listen to the lyrics, they are awesome!

"Monster" by: Skillet

This one is a little more rockin' but the lyrics are so amazing!

"The Fight Inside" By: Red

Ok, I promise there is a meaning of all this. Here it is.

As a Christian, we deal with a constant struggle. Not a struggle that most can see, instead we struggle within ourselves with sin. We struggle not to get angry at someone who cuts us off in traffic, we struggle with telling the truth to our peers, we struggle. Everyone has something. Something that hinders us in our walk with God. We try not to, however our sin nature does not help. Plus, the sin is always waiting.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Genisis 4:6

What happened in the story is something that really happens. No we do not get a black mark and get eaten by a dragon. However if we do not master our sin, it will devour us. Have you ever noticed that when you get jealous of something, anger, ungratefulness, selfishness are soon to follow! Usually one sinful thought leads to another, unless you master it....learn/understand what just happened and change the situation.

I love these music videos because it is something that we deal with! Skillet's song talks about a monster inside them. "A secret side of me, I never let you see. I keep it caged but I can't control it." "I feel it deep within it's just beneath the skin. I must confess that I feel like a monster.... It's hiding in the dark, its teeth are razor sharp. There's no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart."

Red's song deals with the same thing. There is a struggle within ourselves. "Knowing Truth, whispering lies. And it hurts again.... The fight inside is coursing through my veins. And it's raging. The fight inside is breaking me again."

Such truthful words.

However, as Christians we have hope! God gave his son to us, so that we may not be a slave to sin anymore.

When Adam and Eve were in the garden, God warned them not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. "for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genisis 2:17

Once they ate, sin entered the world and we would never be the same. Sin separated man from God. God sent his son to show his graciousness. Without Jesus, we would die, not just physically but also spiritually, separated from God's presence for eternity. Knowing Christ and having Him in your heart allows us to never die spiritually! We instead get to live eternity in God's presence.

One of my favorite verses is:
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

Death is no longer scary! Jesus was victorious over death!

When you become a Christian, you do not become perfect. Instead we have forgiveness from Jesus. This does not mean that we should continue sinning over and over again. But instead realize that we did not honor God in our actions, ask for forgiveness, and turn the other way (away from the sin). Sometimes we do the same sin over again, that is the struggle. Even though we may struggle with it, it is so that we may glorify God by being obedient to Him and His word. We are not always successful, however God is so gracious in giving us his son and that forgiveness.

If you are reading this and are not a Christian and want to know that peace and joy from God, know that this is not something you can buy into. It is a matter of the heart. Jesus paid the price, he sacrificed himself so that death could not bound us. He died for everyone. Not just for a select group. Everyone!

How do you become a Christian? Admit that you have sinned. Believe in your heart that Jesus died for you. Ask Him to come into your life and make you new. When you commit your life to God, you enter a relationship with Him. The best relationship you will ever be in, one with your Creator who knows everything about you, everything you will ever do, and loves you more than you will ever be able to understand!

After you commit your life to Jesus, you can talk to your pastor or another person you know who is a Christian. You can set up accountability with that person. If you have a sin that likes to come back, having someone help you stay accountable might help you better fight it away, even though we are always held accountable by God. This should be someone you can really trust, since some sins can be a little embarrassing, and usually you want someone as the same gender as you. The accountability thing is optional, it is not required to be a Christian.

I know this is a super long post. I just felt like I was supposed to write this. I'm sorry if it's a little everywhere.
I just want to let you know that God is amazing, He will rock your socks off, if you let Him into your life. There will be times that are hard, but knowing that you have a Creator that does not make accidents and loves you gives you hope for the sunshine ahead.

Have a great night!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Decluttering The Pantry!

I haven't been able to do much decluttering lately(school and such), but this morning I decided to do a small area. 

Joey got his gallbladder out on Friday, so I've been taking care of him. I don't mind it at all! Although he's pretty tough and insists on doing most things by himself. He never took any pain medication after he got home either! I'm impressed! :) Not sure I'd be the same!

Anyways this morning, I wanted to declutter something, so I thought the pantry would be a great little project. 




I mostly threw away stuff that has been in the pantry forever. Then I put up the bags of like crackers that have been open and such back in their box. I moved a few things around on the bottom shelf so I could fit the napkins on the shelf. 

Oh,  what's in that orange bin I'm sure your wondering(on the pantry floor) holds my little stockpile. The bin holds extra pasta (that I got for free at Kroger), extra crackers, hot chocolate, container of oatmeal, my extra brown sugar and my one extra box of cereal.  On the shelf (with the cans) I have 4 ragus, extra mustard, salad dressing, 2 jars of pace, 9 cans of green beans all of which is part of my stockpile. I got most all of those things pretty cheap!

Not much, but I have a sense of accomplishment :)

Hope you enjoyed it! :) Have a lovely day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Update on Spring Projects

I previously wrote a post a little while back about Joey and my's spring projects. He is building an indoor turtle pond for our turtle babies. I planted some flowers to go by our front door. Well I took pictures of what's happening now! :)

Yesterday I started staining the outside panels for the turtle tank. Today I put on another coat on one piece, stained a few more pieces Joey cut for me, and I put finish on most of the panels. The panels are in a red mahogany color, they look so nice! :)

Here's pics:
These first 2 pictures are not that good bc the sun was going down. I stained these last night. 

This is what I did today:

You can see the color so much better in that picture :)

Here is what the tank looks like as of yesterday (this pic. was taken before I painted the panel)

(Where the opening is in the panel is what will be a door to access the filter)

Joey got the liner nailed in place today :) As well as cut the panels to go on the top, which I put stain on them. All that is left is I need to put finish on two pieces I stained today and then apply a second coat of finish on the panels. Then the panels need to be nailed on. Then move the tank inside, fill with water, add sand, and then I think just add turtles :)

Checking back on my little project. My flowers have taken off!! That Miracle Grow Moisture Control soil is awesome! It was only a dollar more and I have a history of under-watering or over-watering, which this soil is to protect the plant in each condition, so I bought it. I figured one more dollar would be worth it, it's either that or waste $8 worth of flowers!

Here's what my flowers look like now:

This is what they looked like right when they were planted:

Time for their close-up!

I like this picture because you can see my cute little flower pot couple(in the window). My awesome Mother-in-law got them for me in a silent auction at a church fundraiser. I think they are so adorable!! 

They greet people as they come to the door :)

Oh something else I picked up at Kroger:
This little guy was left over from the Easter stuff! No one wanted him! He originally costs $6.99 and he was 75% off!! I got him for $1.75!! I think he's so cute! I don't have much Easter/Spring stuff, so I thought he'd look great in our home. 

That is all I have for you for now! I will update you on the turtle tank progress. We are hoping to have it done sometimes this next week!! Yay!!  Have a lovely night!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tackling the Kitchen

So last week Money Saving Mom challenged her readers to clean out their kitchen. I didn't have any time to do that, until today!

Since most of our kitchen gadgets and such we just got last year, I didn't have much to get rid of. I probably  do but that would take a really long time for me to go through each I mostly cleaned/organized! :D I will go back a little later and get rid of some things, but there won't be enough difference for a "wow" picture. :)

Alright now onto the before/after photos! 

Pesky island is such a catch-all

Sink full of dishes and happens

This is not that bad...usually there's more :)

Spice cabinet

Coupon drawer and reciepts w/ savings waiting to be entered into spreadsheet


Nice clean bar :) Papers were put in the "to file" pile
I cleaned the counter-top.
(You can see my catch-all place when I come home...I'm working on that)

Kitchen sink all empty. I even cleaned the sink!
I put away the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and loaded the dirty ones. 

I put the papers away 

I reorganized the spice cabinet. Got rid of a few things and found a big jar of Basil I'm going to donate to our church...if they want it :)

Coupon drawer! I put away the recipes I had just thrown in there. I put the coupons up and got rid of the extra junk.

I even cleaned the stove top! It was weird, as I wiped the stove and the little counter-top next to it (under the spice cabinet...where the spice rack is in the pic.) the cloth picked up all this red stuff and turned red. Like a bright red. I was wondering "what in the world?!" Then I realized...every time I make Kool-aid...I do it right on that counter-top! It was Kool-aid powder!! lol It got all the way onto the stove! Very strange!

Here is a picture of our nicely cleaned stove top

That is all I have to show you for now! Hope you enjoyed! :)

Have a lovely evening!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Good Day

So today was Rosie Bratton's benefit! Joey and I went to the Ft. Bend County Fairgrounds last night to help set up a little and to test the internet connection for our ticket stuff. We were there for a few hours and then went home.

Today we got to the fairgrounds at 8:45. We helped put out items for the silent auction. I went around and made sure the volunteers had their tickets and before we knew it people were showing up! We were supposed to open at 11, however people were starting to show up 15 minutes early :D

Joey and I were in charge of tickets. He helped me at the gate. We had to take the tickets from the people who bought presale tickets and give them a blue ticket (for BBQ) and a red ticket (to see the Monster Trucks). We did it that way so people could not go through the lines twice.

I basically did that all day :) It was nice, not too crazy. We had a good number of people show up!

The food was awesome! We had the 2010 Rodeo Cookoff Team (Drillin &Grillin) cook for us along with other cook-off teams!

Everything turned out so well! The weather in the beginning was a little worrisome since it was sprinkling. It did rain some. The sun did decide to come out a little later though. There was still a great turn out :)

It was such a blessing! I am so happy and honored to be a part of the benefit. It is so nice to see people, and so many people come out to help Tony, Rosa and little Emily! It makes me so happy that I was able to be a small part in showing that family that they are loved and to be able to give glory to our Father.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Decluttering the Closet

Money Saving Mom is one of my favorite deal website. Right now she is doing a series about decluttering. She is taking pictures of her house before and after. So far she has done the hall closet, living room, and today was the kitchen. She is also encouraging others to take her challenge and declutter with her!

So I got motivated and started cleaning!

I reorganized the hall/coat closet. Then I started on our master closet. It had gotten quite messy in there! And guess what?! I took pictures to show all of you! And I am not ashamed that it got messy, because face it...everyone has areas in their house that gathers extra things. I am not too happy it got messy, but it happens :)

Ok here it is:
(I had to take different angles so you could really see it all)

Shirts that are going to be worn for painting (on the floor)

Purse basket was overflowing. Extra boxes needing to be thrown away.

Disorganized jewlery
Clothes I wear for a little while, instead of putting them away they sit on the shelf. 
Extra junk on the bottom shelf

(Our shelf is not crooked...I was on my tip-toes)
Gift wrap stuff and bags


Moved the rid of some shirts (hanging in the background). Plus put up winter shirts.

Got rid of 3 purses and trash. Put suitcases inside each other and moved them together.

Got rid of jewelry I never wear. Put clothes away. Put the extra things back in their place.

Re-organized gift bags and stuff. That pile next to my boot box is the shirts that will be worn for painting. Looks much better than them thrown on the floor!

Oh! I also hung the photo frames I bought back in January.
They are in the hallway :)

Again...these aren't crooked in real-life...I was in the bathroom doorway trying to get both in the picture. :)

What it looks like looking in the hallway :)

I'm going to keep on decluttering and posting my before/after pictures! Hopefully this can encourage you or give you some motivation to declutter. If you don't have a lot of time, you can pick smaller a junk drawer :)

Have a sunny day! :D