Black and White and Blue in Between

Monday, March 30, 2009

are you a black and white thinker? i hate to admit but i am. i see things in extremes. it's always or never, yes or no, good or bad. this is a problem i have dealt with throughout my life, and when you think this way, more often than not, it brings along with it the blues. lately i have been tuned in more than ever to my need to change this way of thinking. you might ask why, and you may already know why. black and white thinking in my opinion, is not kind to the Lord. because with this mindset he is either giving or taking away, punishing or blessing, good or bad. i have to fight to see joy, to find grace, to see my sin as not all consuming. which is good, but more often than not i see myself as unworthy instead of saved by grace. it's a hard fight. one i will always have, but i want to fight in a God glorifying way. just this past week i have been struggling earnestly with some sin. even after confessing it and filling my head with grace-filled scripture, i still felt like i was a horrible, sinful person unworthy of the cross. now that is just sinful pride and satan whispering you're not worthy. but it usually takes another person to come along side of me and speak truth over and over again. i'm thanking the Lord for my grace-filled and ever patient husband. i've been reading "how people change" by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp. i've been thoroughly encouraged by their words namely these: "God calls you to be dissatisfied. You should be discontent, restless, and hungry!...The life of self-examination and joyful disontent should not be confused with a life of paralyzing self-condemnation. God does not call us to self-loathing but to a willingness to examine our lives in light of our hope as new creatures in Christ" (how people change, 2006) ...and i'm clinging to these truths: -God is not surprised by my struggle -The Bible is for people just like you and me -Christ enters into my struggle. He has been there!! -Christ will help. I am confident I am not alone. -Christ pleads my case to the Father. I have an advocate. -I can come to God with confidence. I am beginning to take my black and white and conform it into many more shades of gray to in hopes turn my blues to reds as I look to the blood of Christ as my perfect redeemer. I am praying that one day I will be able to see myself as a flawed person in a broken world with a view of myself as filled with gospel infused hope, where I am not discouraged, but encouraged. what kind of thinker are you?

latest on the bookshelf

Monday, March 23, 2009

this past month has been full of reading, some were great while others were just not my thing. so here are the reviews: The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck (aka christian chick lit) -this was a great book, fun and easy to read, perfect for a relaxing afternoon Rating: A+ A Searching Heart by Janette Oke -okay, good story about a girl growing in faith Rating: B Peace like a River by Leif Enger (book club pick) -well I only made it a quarter of the way through, narrative is not my style Rating: D The Duggar's: 20 and Counting - I really liked this one but I also really like the's pretty inspiring and encouraging Rating: A Marley and Me by John Grogan I want to see the movie Rating: A Go green, Live rich by David Bach -informative, helpful, we've adapted a few great tips! Rating: A

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We are not in the least Irish and yet, to all of you out there, Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I get a kick out of watching all the families, kids, and adults alike all in green's great. Especially when I work for a very Irish family...Riley, Liam, Colin. Their names scream Irish. There they were today, donning their wellies and caps, ready to shamrock!
So from us to you...shamrock it up!

what we've been up to...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

last weekend alex and i headed to appleton to visit my family. we had a great time, playing with my nephews and niece, seeing my brothers and sister-in-law, hanging out with my mom, and dining with my dad and step-mom. it's always busy, but worth every ounce of energy! highlights: -seeing 'slumdog millionaire' and eating movie theater popcorn with mom -playing with the trippies in luke's bed tent -chatting it up with chris and jen -enjoying the melting pot with dad and teri and matt -just relaxing together:) lowlights: -coming back home:( but i am very excited to be able to go back to appleton for an extended time over the week before easter! other news on the homefront: our house is up for SALE again...with a new lower price! let's cross our fingers that maybe we will be two for two on the house sales! why are we selling...well because we don't want to find ourselves stuck in a place too small, too far away, and at times too expensive. so we are spending our time getting things all ready and in order for potential home buyers! that's about it!

my second favorite place on earth

Saturday, March 7, 2009

other than being with my husband and living in our little house on the lake, my second favorite place to be is back in my childhood home, surrounded by family and familiar surroundings...i feel like i am a kid again.
another thing that helps me feel like a kid are my nieces and nephews. this time around while back at my home away from home we were able to spend the day today with jack, kate and luke...arn't they adorable. at 5 they are full of energy, spunk, and tons of fun. what more could "auntie-andrea-dunner" ask for?
we spent the morning at the ymca watching jack play soccer...followed by some play time at their house and my very own private performance of kate's dance recital since we will need to miss it!

Meningitis Outbreak and my brother

Friday, March 6, 2009

Today I found out about a meningitis outbreak in my hometown of Appleton, WI.  I am saddened while rejoicing because my little brother Matt was spared.  Three of his friends from high school contracted meningitis, a disease spread through respiratory droplets aka kissing, sharing food/utensils, etc.
My little brother who hangs out with these kids fairly often has just begun his first golf season...why was he not there, at that house, that afternoon...because he was swinging the clubs at practice.
Coincidence, maybe...but I'm calling it sovereignty...there is a reason why Matt was spared and his friends contracted the disease.  We may never know in our lifetime the reasons why, but I'm thanking the Lord now for Matt's safety while also praying for the Lord to cure, uphold, and strengthen those kids who are suffering...pray with us!

SNAP...economic relief!

Today's headlines really saddened my heart.   Our nation tips the scales at over 300 million people and a tenth of them are on food stamps.  12.5 million are unemployed...if you take in the number of married families where only one adult is working, that is a lot of people.  And yet, our nation feels it necessary to spend 600 million to search for aliens.  Something seems a little wrong with this picture.

I feel blessed to go to a church and be surrounded by people who view this recession as a GOOD thing!  Pray continually for God's will to be revealed and fulfilled through this difficult time...for he will carry us on eagle's wings and HOLD us in his mighty right hand.
As stated by Pastor John:
"This is a message about God's purposes in the recession.  By recession I don't have any sophisticated definition in mind.  I just mean various financial setback like business slowdown, decreasing profits, massive layoffs and joblessness, the bursting of the housing bubble, thousands of foreclosures, personal and business bankruptcies, bank failures, investment company collapses, the loss of retirement funds, and the social ills and unrest that go with the downturn.  
God is SOVEREIGN over these things, he foresees them all, he causes or permits them all, and when he causes or permits something, he does so with purpose and design.
(SOME) of God's Purposes in THIS recession:
1.  He intends for this recession to expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.
2.  He intends to wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.
3.  He intends to relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods, in his mercy rather that our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.
4.  He intends to advance his saving mission in the world-the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church-precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.
5.  He intends for the church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love."

preamble, timothy and economic meltdown

Monday, March 2, 2009

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What happens when people take something that is inherently good and turn it into something utterly destructive? Well, look around...we are in it.

Isn't it sad that our forefathers fought for freedom...for our freedom, so that we can live and thrive in a country in which we are free. We are able to do most anything we wish and yet things are crumbling around us. My 2 cents: We are inherently sinful, without Christ we are nothing, and sin abounds wtihin and around us. When something good is taken hold by those in whom sin abounds, destruction is going to happen. Case in point, Timothy 2 is coming true...

II Timothy 3:1-5,7 "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of god; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

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