Sunday, December 7, 2008

Good News and Bad News

It has been an eventful week for us! Bad news first - the powers that be at my school have decided that they must fill an open Spanish position two weeks before finals. As I have the certification necessary, I have been elected to move departments into the position. I will no longer have a classroom, as the open position is for a floater who moves throughout the four story school. Also, I will be teaching the "comprehensive" aka behavior issue classes. This will not be pleasant.

Now for the much more pleasant good news: Ben has been asked to be a Garrett Fellow to Dr. Nettles! This is an honor for Ben and I am very proud of him. He has worked very diligently this semester and God has blessed his efforts with new friends, new knowledge of several areas, and now, the opportunity to be a Garrett Fellow.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Happy Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend in Mississippi. It was especially good to see our friends at New Home again. Ben preached on Wednesday night and we were able to share a meal with them.
It was also really nice to spend some leisure time with family. Ben's Meemaw was visiting Clinton, so we were able to see her more than usual.
I hope that everyone had as much fun as we did. Only 3 more weeks until Christmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

To SBC or not to SBC?

That is the question...
With the fallout of the John 3:16 Conference dulling to a low roar, I thought that I would share some thoughts and fears about our future as Southern Baptists. (You can read some of the responses here or here, or just ask Ben. He has plenty to say on the matter.)

Ben and I love Baptist churches. We especially love Mississippi Baptists and feel called to work in our home state again one day. Lately, however, I have been concerned about whether or not the Southern Baptist Convention will have us. We are branded with the scarlet letter. That letter is a "C."

As you may know, Ben received his M.Div. from RTS Jackson. My family and I were members of a Presbyterian church. Now, we are in Louisville, KY where Ben is pursuing his doctorate and studying under men like Dr. Tom Nettles and Dr. David Puckett.

We are Calvinists. Wow. I'm not sure if I've ever actually seen that in print before. It is a little scary considering the current climate, but it is necessary to say. We are not confrontational people, but I would not have us hide what we believe. It is the whole doctrine of God.

Earlier this week Ben sent me this blog. I read it and my immediate reaction was to get really angry that poor guy has been blacklisted because of his beliefs. Then, I thought about how many times I have avoided the Calvin conversation myself. I thought of a recent lecture that I heard on William Tyndale. Tyndale sacrificed his life for what he believed. I guess a little ostracism is a small price to pay for holding to the scripture-based solas.

My second reaction to reading Voddie Baucham's blog was fear. After all, if these things can happen to someone like him, we are certainly at risk. I have lots of questions like: Will the SBC go on a witch hunt and kick all of us out? What will some of the reformed-leaning pastors at home do about this? Will they ignore us? Or will they help us? Will Southern Seminary officially take a stand on this matter for its professors and students?

I do not know the answers to these questions today, but I do know that we will continue to be Southern Baptists. This week, I will start working on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at church. (If that ain't Baptist, I don't know what is!)

I grew up Baptist, but I rarely shared the Gospel because I didn't know what I believed. Now that I listen to solid, biblical preaching, I am told that my beliefs kill evangelism. I disagree. I am on fire now. I want to be a new kind of Baptist. I want to share the Gospel with unbelievers and not skip over anything. I want to be the kind of Baptist that can articulate what I believe and back it up with scripture. I will know the attributes of God and praise Him daily for his sovereignty. I think they call that Reformed Baptist.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Harry Connick Jr.

Thanks to a connection at my school, we got free tickets to the first performance of Harry Connick Jr.'s new tour.
Ben and I enjoyed the concert at the Louisville Palace on Tuesday night. We had a great time watching Harry Connick Jr. perform Christmas music and some other favorites. The Palace is an incredible venue. This was a fun way for us to kick off the holiday season!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It is cold and rainy here. We are bracing for the winter, and hoping for a mild one. My car is out of the shop, and the tires repaired from a blowout that we had on the way to church last week. We are worry-free and on wheels again!
Ben has been working like crazy getting the last of his papers completed. I got really sick last week and am still recovering from a sinus infection. With his busy schedule, it is a blessing that Ben did not catch it. This is his last big, busy week and then he can take a breather.
At school, there is still a possibility that I may get moved into another department in January. We are hoping and praying against that because it would be a big inconvenience and very stressful. In the meantime, I am teaching The Odyssey to my Freshmen and they are working hard. We are all ready for the holiday breaks.
So, that's what's happening lately.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Foliage

Take a look at these pictures of the pretty fall leaves around the campus. We took a walk tonight and got these shots.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hillcrest Halloween

On Hillcrest Avenue, just a few streets down from the seminary, there is an annual display of Halloween decorations. Almost every house on the street gets into the act. We walked down with our neighbors, Todd and Kim. We particularly enjoyed "Dante's Disco Inferno." The "Martha" house was also fun with it's tombstoned dedicated to Freddie Mac, 401K, and Enron.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Prayer Requests

Please keep us in your prayers during this especially hectic week. Ben is in the thick of his paper-writing time and is extremely busy from dawn to dusk. Both of our cars are giving us some trouble. Mine broke down this morning and is in the shop. Ben's will go in when we get mine out.
Also, this weekend we will be part of a marriage conference at a church in Indiana. Ben is leading two sessions and I will be leading one. The conference takes place on Friday evening and on Saturday. As this is a busy time for Ben, we need prayers for preparation time and for blessings on the conference itself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beginning and Ending Well

Everyone has those days when it is hard to face what waits for you. Many times I have had difficulty going into my day. God has blessed us with my job as it provides for us here, however a significant amount of stress accompanies the provision. Last semester I struggled with anxiety and fear when I woke up in the morning and when I went to bed at night. It's a long story, but suffice it to say that just the thought of going into my school was enough to make me despair. I know that God does not want those feelings for me. We should never despair in what He has ordained. So, I started doing some reading and I wanted to share some of the ways that I learned to change my thought processes.

Starting the day:

1) Begin by acknowledging that you really can't do anything - not without Christ! Remember and have faith in the fact that you need and are completely dependent upon Him.

2) Take your thoughts captive. (This was the hardest one for me.) Do not allow yourself to listen to your negative thoughts. Stop listening to yourself and talk to yourself about the goodness of God. Remember that you have faith for the future. He will bring his work in your life to completion for His glory and your good.

3) Use your commute or "getting ready" time to pray or memorize scripture. This also helps with #2! If you are busy memorizing or praying, you don't have time to think poisonous thoughts.

Ending the Day:

1) Thank God for the gift of sleep! (see blog below)

2) Thank Him for the blessings of the day and acknowledge that He is the source of all good things.

3) Seize this opportunity to express gratitude for the cross. There is no comparable gift.

These things have really worked for me. I am much less anxious and more positive as I begin my day. This has also helped me to have that invaluable reflection time before bed. Ending the day contemplating the blessings of God has a real affect on how you wake up.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Check out this blog...

Ben reads this blog pretty often. I recently commented on a post concerning the state of public schools. Check it out!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Savoring Sleep

After a 3 day weekend I am feeling particularly well-rested. One of the reasons for that feeling is the restful sleep that I have enjoyed. Reflecting on all of that sleep, I remembered a blog that I read a few months ago which hinted that naps may be a sinful thing. I disagree.
In his book, Humility, C.J. Mahaney charges Christians to praise God for sleep. It is certainly a gift like no other. Sleep did not have to be such a pleasant thing. God could have created another, less delightful (I do mean delightful) way for us to be rejuvenated. In addition to praising God for this gift, we can also praise Him for his sovereignty in a special way. What better example do we have for the all-sustaining sovereignty of God than sleep? Sleeping is a time when we have to admit to absolutely no control. He gives us every breath and every heartbeat. It is by His grace that we wake from our sleep. I am making it a habit to thank God for this gift every time I close my eyes to rest. I hope that you will do the same.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Ben

Monday is Ben's birthday! We had some other seminary students and their spouses come over on Friday night. We all ate red velvet cake (Ben's favorite) and chips. Ben wants to thank everyone for his great gifts which include a new watch and gift card to Lifeway from Mama Brown, some much-desired CD's and student loan payments from his parents, and some gift cards for eating out from Jeff and Matt. I got him a new TV. We have been watching on a tiny little one for a long time. No longer. It took some saving, but Ben is now the proud parent of a 42 inch HD TV.
It has been a pretty good birthday weekend for Ben!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ike comes to Kentucky

While driving home from church on last Sunday, Ben and I experienced what the news is calling "Wind Storm 2008." Apparently, Ike's outer bands gained strength when it encountered a cold front and pounded Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio with 75 mph winds. In Louisville over 300,000 people lost power due to tremendous wind damage. We were without power for three days. Many people are still waiting as crews from Kentucky and other nearby states work to rebuild and restore the broken poles and lines.

Both my public school system and Southern Seminary canceled classes for the entire week, so Ben and I have been working ahead, reading, and rearranging furniture.
I have to take this opportunity to praise SBTS and thank God for them. The seminary went above and beyond to provide and care for those of us who live on campus. We were offered meals for three days and we were kept informed by text messages and people who went door to door to give us updates. The meals were a special blessing as many of us lost our weekly groceries when food went bad. This also provided us with an opportunity to sit in the dark and eat melting ice cream with people we did not know. That may not sound so good, but we have made new friends because of the experience. I am really proud to say that we are part of SBTS and I hope they know how much we appreciate the work done by professors, building and cafeteria staff, and the president and his family.
For Ben and I, this has brought back some unpleasant memories of life after Katrina. Fortunately, we have had mild weather to make our days bearable. With the exception of groceries and a week of class, we have lost very little. We continue to pray for the residents of Texas and Louisiana who are still struggling. We also remember the many in Kentucky and surrounding states who are without utilities and are dealing with home and auto damage from the storm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A busy week...

The second week of school is really busy with new students and getting started activities. I am teaching all Freshmen this year, and they have no clue. They don't know where the bathroom is, how to open a locker, when to eat lunch, etc. They are wearing me out!

I am working until my eyes are blurry every night and getting up at 5:30. (Ben doesn't like that part.) Tonight, I am cheering myself up by posting some previously unseen pictures of our trip to Philadelphia and New York.

How long until summer break comes again?

Friday, August 15, 2008

I survived the first week of school!

Seriously. I'm thinking of getting a t-shirt made. My classes this year consist of a Literacy Lab (2 hours with one class!) and two levels of Freshman English. I LOVE my Advanced Freshman. I could hug them every day. The regular groups are a bit rowdy, but it is much better than the groups I had last year. With a school of 2,200 students, you never know what you are gonna get. Hope everyone else is having a good week!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Broadway and Times Square

While in NYC, we went to a Broadway show. All six of us saw Mamma Mia! on Thursday evening. It was packed...I really expected more flashy sets and costumes, but it was a pretty simple story. After the show we walked around Times Square where Ben took these pictures.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

World Trade Center

I couldn't go to NYC and not go to the World Trade Center site. My sister would have been livid! So, we visited Ground Zero and the WTC Museum. Although it is very small, I recommend the museum. Inside you watch two short videos and hear personal stories. There are also several artifacts including an airplane window, firefighters' jackets, and personal items belonging to victims. Seeing these things, as well as the wall of pictures of the victims, really made this event more real to me than ever. If you visit, be aware that you cannot actually get onto the WTC site and there is a large fence around it. Also, a visit to St. Paul's at the south end of the site is worth a stop. This is where many of the rescue workers and volunteers took shelter during the days and weeks following the events. They offer a wonderful timeline of events spanning from 9-11 through late 2002.

Natural History Museum and More...

There is a ton of walking involved in a visit to NYC. Our maps were our best friends! We enjoyed the Natural History Museum, but I actually preferred the Creation Museum. I tired quickly of the emphasis on evolution. I can't understand why I can't just look at the stuffed bison without hearing how he is my distant relative. Anyway, on the same day we toured St. John the Divine and had dinner at the "Seinfeld" restaurant. Then, Ben made us trek all the way to Grant's tomb just to get a picture that he could use to tease Jason McCoy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Brooklyn Bridge

NYC - Liberty Day

On our first full day in NYC, we took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. The ride over was a lot of fun and we were excited to get such great views of the statue. Ben's Dad was able to get us into the SOLD OUT museum and pedastal of Lady Liberty.

The All-Star games were in town and Ben took a picture with this miniature lady all decked-out with team emblems.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Amish Country

The visit to the Amish Country of Pennsylvania was very interesting. We learned about their roots and lifestyle and did some shopping. It wasn't until we passed Dutch Wonderland that I realized that we were near the home of my favorite TV stars - Jon and Kate plus 8. I kept my eyes peeled for sextuplets, but I never had a sighting. We did, however, see and shop with lots of really nice Amish people. This place as a tourist attraction leaves you with the strange feeling that the commercial heart of the area is in conflict with the beliefs of the Amish. They didn't seem to mind too much and we had a lot of fun.

Ben is as strong as an ox.

We had lunch at this restaurant. It was served family-style and we got to eat and talk with people from all over the country. The food was good (and plenty).

Learning the secrets of the Amish and Mennonites at the Museum and Visitor's Center. Here, we toured a full-size replica of the Biblical Tabernacle.

These Crocs made awesome travel shoes.