Monday, February 28, 2011

Blogging Challenge - Day 13 - My Goals

Since I feel like I just did this one a few months ago on my New Year's Resolution Post, I'll just give a status of how I'm doing and any changes/additions I have to these goals:
  • Read through the Bible in a year - Chronological version 
    • Status: Doing pretty good with this one. Little behind, but really enjoying it so far. I'm in Joshua right now. 
  • Have a quiet time and pray once a day. I'm trying to do this in the morning.
    • Not so well with the consistency. This is a good reminder. Mornings are rough for me! 
  • Pray for global missions 
    • My hubby, Jason is going to Ecuador in April, so very excited about that and also excited about helping the team this week pack medicine for the trip (it's a medical missions trip with our church over the week of Masters) 
  • Post 15 blog posts a month - every other day 
    • January - Check!
    • February - Check! (this is why I wrote 3 posts today! - procrastinate much?)
  • Run 400 miles in 2011 - about 8 miles a week 
    • 75 miles in Jan. and Feb. At this rate I'll be at 450 for the year! 
  • Run another Half Marathon 
    • I'm thinking I will do the Augusta one this year 
  • Go to the gym at least 8 times a month - so my company will reimburse me!
    • January - Check!
    • February - Check!
  • Find a new way to serve locally
    • Haven't done this yet. Although I have some ideas...
  • Read 6 books and review them on the blog 
    • Just about finished (1 chapter left) of Seeds of Turmoil. Review is coming soon! 
  • Cook more homemade meals
    • Does Frozen Turkey Burgers, French Fries, and Green Beans count? 
    • BTW - these things are AMAZING! and only 160 calories and 5 grams of fat, yet they taste like the real thing - no joke! 
  • Save for a Macbook
    • Thanks to our tax refund, we are getting our first Macbook in the mail tomorrow! 
  • Play the piano more  - reignite my love for music 
    • This one has been a definite FAILURE so far. Will keep trying 
New Goals:
  • Buy a Rental Property in 2011
  • Learn the Guitar again. I partially did when I was in high school, but for some reason, I'm wanting to learn how to play again. Maybe it's all those Taylor Swift music videos I've been watching? :) 
Until next time! 
Laura 

Blogging Challenge - Day 12 - What I Believe

Everything I believe in life is based on my faith in Jesus Christ. I praise God that he has given me purpose in life and enabled me to understand to answer to the "Why am I here?" question that many many people struggle with. I know without a doubt that my life here on earth is meant to glorify God, to know Him more, and to spread the Good News of the Gospel to those who don't know Him personally. I am so thankful that as a Christian, I can seek answers to life's questions through the the Bible, through speaking to God through prayer, and through other Christian friends who strengthen me in my faith. I am so thankful that I became a believer early on in life and that Jesus has been with me, guiding, comforting, strengthening, and growing me in my life up until now.

When it comes to what I really fundamentally "Believe", I couldn't find anything else that summed it up better than  Mars Hill Church's "What We Believe" page. Even though I don't attend Mars Hill Church, I frequently listen to sermons by their pastor Mark Driscoll and so far I think him and his church are right on doctrinally. I think that God is using him in an amazing way and really respect what he has to say in sermons, on Twitter, on Facebook, etc. I encourage you to listen to what he has to say. 

So here's what I believe (taken from the Mars Hill Church Statement of Faith)

The Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16172 Peter 1:2021Matthew 5:18John 16:1213).

The Godhead

We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—co-eter¬nal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfec¬tions (Deuteronomy 6:42 Corinthians 13:14)

The Person and Work of Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1–214Luke 1:35). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished ¬our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:241 Peter 2:24Ephesians 1:71 Peter 1:3–5). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry as Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:910;Hebrews 7:25Hebrews 9:24Romans 8:341 John 2:1–2). We believe Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5Romans 14:92 Timothy 4:1).

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He is the Supernatural Agent in regenera¬tion, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemp¬tion (John 16:8–112 Corinthians 3:61 Corinthians 12:12–14Romans 8:9Ephesians 5:18).

The Total Depravity of Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that through Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; man is totally depraved and of himself utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:2627Romans 3:22235:12Ephesians 2:1–312).

Salvation

We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8–10John 1:12Ephesians 1:71 Peter 1:18–19).

Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers

We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37–4010:27–30Romans 8:138391 Corinthians 1:4–81 Peter 1:5). We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh (Romans 13:1314Galatians 5:13Titus 2:11–15).

The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s responsi¬bility to attempt to develop their sovereignly given spiritual gift(s). The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion and is the placing of the believer into the Body of Christ. We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are neither essential, nor prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor are an indication of deep spiritual experience (1 Corinthians 12:71113Ephesians 4:7–8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:71 John 5:1415). We believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to him (Romans 12:1–8; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 Peter 4:10–11).

The Church

We believe that the church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons (Ephesians 1:22235:25–271 Corinthians 12:12–142 Corinthians 11:2). We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:2718:2220:171 Timothy 3:1–3Titus 1:5–11). We believe in the autonomy of the local churches, free of any external authority and control (Acts 13:1–415:19–3120:28Romans 16:1,41 Corinthians 3:9161 Corinthians 5:4–7131 Peter 5:1–4). We recognize believer’s baptism and the Lord’s supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church (Matthew 28:1920Acts 2:4142Acts 18:81 Corinthians 11:23–26).

Top 10 of the Oscars 2011

I have to admit that the main reason I watch the Oscars is to see the fashion of the night. Here's my Top 10 List

1. Best Hair: Wavy (on Amy Adams, Celine Dion, and Natalie Portman)
2. Best Hair: Scarlett Johansson - I don't care so much for the dress, but love the tousled bob!
3. Best Dressed: Jennifer Hudson - love the color! 
4. Best Dressed: Natalie Portman: she won it all in my book, Best Actress, Best Speech, Best Dressed, the list goes on...
5. Best Dressed: Halle Berry - I thought she looked beautiful in this
6. Best Dressed: Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit - I loved her in the movie, and she looked so presh in this frock (which I heard she designed herself!) I wish I was this poised at 14!
7. Best Dressed (but worst singing..) Gwyneth Paltrow. She looks beautiful, and I can't believe how she can look like that after two kids! 
8. Mandy Moore: Best Dressed. Seeing her sing last night sure was a blast from the past, anyone remember "Candy"? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e4e-eXWbbs 
9. Best Dressed: Anne Hathaway. Of the many looks of Anne Hathaway - this was my favorite. There's something so "normal" about her. I enjoyed her hosting last night. 
10. Cute Couple: Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez  - how cute are they?!

If you missed it.... 
Oscar Opening - not the best quality, but this was one of my favorite parts of last night!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A February Beach Trip

With warmer weather in the air and spring just around the corner, this past weekend Laura and I got a jump on summer fun by beaching it up with our friends Paul and Shannon Myers. We've wanted to go on a trip with them for awhile, and it finally worked out that they were going to their Uncle's beach house on Fripp Island, SC. It was a really fun and relaxing mini vacation right in the middle of normal routine life. We were also at the beach house with Paul's parents and some of their friends (the beach house was huge) so it was a jam-packed weekend of meeting new folks, hanging out, riding bikes, walking on the beach - which was really nice one day, but then really cold the next day, playing games, and eating the most ridiculously good food. It was sad to see it end. But here are some pictures of our adventure.

We got to the island Friday night after Laura got off of work and pretty much just met everyone and had the first of many amazing meals. That first night we had Greek inspired dishes which included spinach and feta stuffed lamb with tzatziki sauce with a side of veggies and a creamy lima bean dish. After the dinner we just talked, relaxed in the HOT TUB! and went to bed because it was a long day of work, school, and driving. The next day we went on a bike ride around the island and strolled the beach.

This is Paul getting a shot with the big ol alligator that was sunning himself.  I love the retro bike he was riding. We didn't have quite enough bikes for everyone so Paul found this in a storage closet in the garage.  Classic.



 Here's a close up shot of the gator.  He looked pretty peaceful.  Almost as if he was napping so it was tempting to get really close, but I didn't really want to lose an arm or leg on this trip.


 As classy cool as the retro Schwinn bike was, the chain ended up popping off while Paul was trying some stunt riding.  Fortunately it did not take long to put back on and continue riding.


Here's Laura riding next to me.  This shot was crazy because I was taking the picture while riding the bike trying to avoid traffic and trying not to drop the camera on speeding ground below. Not smart, but a very cool action shot was the result and the camera is fine.


After a wonderful lunch of sandwiches, chips, fruit and crazy good coconut pecan bars (I should mention that one of the ladies on the trip was a professional caterer with her own company) we went out to the beach and enjoyed a beautiful February afternoon.  PS: Laura always makes me carry the camera and the strap is so short, it always looks ridiculous if I put it on as evidenced by this picture.  But I need my hands to move freely through space!


After a fun-filled day of biking, beaching, reading, and game playing it was time for another fabulous dinner.  This time the guys were in charge so filet's were on the menu with salad and baked sweet potatoes.  So good.


That evening we had a gaming Olympiad complete with a scavenger hunt, Scategories, Outburst, and a Pictionary type game but using clay.  Point values were assigned for winning and totals were calculated to see who won the top prize.  A great idea for any party.  The next morning we hung out, visited the beach one last time and finally had to pack up and say goodbye.  It was a great little weekend getaway and we were really glad to be able to go.  Well, that's all for now.





Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging Challenge - Day 11 - Favorite TV Shows

These days I really don't watch much TV. I'd rather hang out online, watch a movie or documentary on Netflix, or read a book.

When I DO watch TVshows, I often watch them online. This is part of the reason I'm trying to convince Jason to get rid of cable and invest in a Roku - so we can just use the internet instead and save some $$$!

Biggest Loser - like everyone else, I often need motivation for working out. Sometimes the best motivation is watching other people work out, lose weight, and have other positive outcomes from working out. Plus, I like how they work out with intensity- this makes me want to be more "hard-core" in my work-outs. When I'm on the treadmill or lifting weights, I sometimes think, "If those people on the Biggest Loser can do it, so can I!" Plus, who doesn't love the transformations? Sometimes I don't watch the season, but I make sure I see the last episode!
Candice Olson's "Divine Designs" - I went on an HGTV binge about 6 months ago and don't watch it nearly as much anymore. Still, I love this channel and always discover new ideas and how "easy" DIY projects can be! My all-time favorite host is Candace Olson. I have never not liked one of the rooms she designed - even if the show was taped back in the early 90s! Here's some eye candy...






Sarah's House - Another one of my favorites is Sarah's House. I LOVE her designs! She takes an old house and redecorates it one room at a time.



Dancing with the Stars - you have to admit that this show is entertaining. I watch this when I don't want to use my brain... Plus you can watch full episodes on abc.com here: http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars
The Sing-Off - although it only lasts a few weeks, Jason and I really enjoyed watching the Sing-Off, an A Capella competition show. I think the people on this show are WAY better than American Idol. My favorite group "Committed" won the show last season. Here's a pretty awesome clip:


This list would be complete without my favorite shows that are no longer around:

Lost - can someone please tell me of a similar show that can replace the "Lost-sized" hole in my TV watching schedule? 

Seinfeld - at least I can catch this on reruns all the time. 

The Bachelor and Bachelorette - when it was good... that day is long gone. 

So there you have it, after I tell you I don't watch TV, a pretty long list of the shows I watch- LOL. 


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesdays: Week 3


It's been a great week so far, here's some things that I'm lovin' today.

1. I'm loving that Jason and I got invited to go hang out at our friend's family's Beach House on Fripp Island this weekend! Can't wait until Friday when I get to see the beach!

2. I'm loving the Enchiladas (my favorite!) that I made for dinner tonight. Sometimes the time and effort it takes to make something homemade pays off! YUM!

3. My work is having a fitness contest contest and one of the ways you can earn points is by not drinking caffeine. Given that I am pretty much addicted to Diet Coke, there is one thing that has sustained me during the past 4 weeks. Fresca! It has the cold fizziness that I love about Diet Coke, but without the caffeine - and no calories either! I know it's not as good for you as water, but it still gets me going in the morning! BTW) - this pic just made me want to check out the other flavors...

4. I'm loving that my best gal pal Amy got engaged this week! Her fiance surprised her at the beautiful location of Yosemite National Park. Well Done! I can't wait for the wedding planning to begin!

5. I'm loving the book Seeds of Turmoil by my parents pastor Bryant Wright. In the book, he traces the biblical and historical roots that have led to the Middle Eastern Crisis. I highly recommend it for those who want a deeper understanding of what's going on in the news today.

6. I'm loving my guilty pleasure- The Glenn Beck Show. I'm been a fan in hiding for some time now - but I'm ready to come out of the closet. I'm not asking any of you to agree with me. I'm just being honest about the fact that his show on http://www.watchglennbeck.com/ has become an entertaining source of information about what's going on in our country and world today. But if you're a conservative- I think you would enjoy the show.

7. I'm loving a hubby who gladly does the dishes every night. Ladies- does it get better than this?!?

8. I'm loving Julie@The Smitton Minton's Target Gift Card Giveaway! I'm definitely entering her first contest and you should too! I absolutely love Target - especially their new blue and white melamime dish-ware set I eyed in the store this week...

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