Adoption journey

Over the past year, the Lord has been growing, teaching, and challenging our family in so many ways! We are responding to the Lord's leading and are expanding our family through the adoption of a precious baby!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Knowing the Love of our Life - Attributes

Even though we cannot know God exhaustively, we can know TRUE things about God…
all that Scripture tells us about God is TRUE”[3]

Read Psalm 139
What does this passage reveal about who God is, His qualities and attributes? Psalm 139:17 – How precious are God’s thoughts to us? If they are so precious to us, would we not meditate on them day and night, just as we would if they were a love letter from our truest love? (Psalm 1, Psalm 119)

I’ve spoken of God’s “attributes”, but what are “attributes”? How do we confuse God’s attributes with the acts of God? Give examples. When speaking of God’s attributes, these are qualities that distinguish who God is, not what he does. However, God’s attributes (who God is) directly affects God’s actions. God’s attributes are true for all the Persons of the Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These differ from properties, things that each Person of the Trinity does. God’s attributes are permanent and intrinsic; they are inseparable from the being and essence of God.
“An attribute is true of ALL of God in ALL of His being” (Stan Norman). 

·        Incommunicable verses Communicable Attributes of God–
o       Incommunicable: We can’t “catch” these attributes, they are the attributes less shared by us (eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence)
o       Communicable: We can display and attain these attributes to an extent…not perfectly. (goodness, love, mercy, holiness, justice)

·        Sometimes people say that heaven sounds boring. How does the fact that God is incomprehensible, yet knowable help to answer that objection?[1]
Ø      Read David's words in Psalm 139:6 – we will never be able to know “too much” about God
- Thus, we will never tire in delighting in the discovery of more and more of His excellence  and the greatness of His works!
Ø      People think they will find out all of the unanswered questions and mysteries of the world and of God in heaven—is this really in accordance with God’s incomprehensible character?
Ø      Read Psalm 145:1-3
·        Do you want to go on knowing God more and more deeply for all eternity? Why/why not? Would you like sometime to be able to know God exhaustively? Why/why not?[2]

·        If God is incomprehensible and we will never know enough, shouldn’t we be continually growing (day-to-day, our entire lives) in our knowledge of God?

·        In view of knowing God, would you describe your present relationship to God a personal relationship?

·        How is it similar to your relationships with other people, and how is it different? What would make your relationship with God better?

Think about how well we think we "know" different people in the social media... whether it is a facebook/twitter/blogger friend, a celebrity/athlete, or a historical figure we've studied extensively. We have a far greater privilege than just knowing facts about who God is – we can speak to God in PRAYER, He Speaks to us through His WORD, We can commune with God in His PRESENCE, we can sing His praise, He dwells among us and within us to bless us (John 14:23)
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
24but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

Romans 11:33 Doxology
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom andi knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”j
35“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”k
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Join me over the next few weeks/months for a study on the attributes of God. Several of the attributes will include: God's unity, independence, constancy/unchangeable, eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence, power, sovereignty, knowledge, wisdom, truthfulness, faithfulness, goodness, providence, holiness, wrath, love & mercy, righteousness & justice
Main resources include: Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem, Attributes of God, by A. W. Pink, Systematic Theology notes from my favorite professor, Dr. Stan Norman

[1] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 152.
[2] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 153.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mardi Gras King Cake

this year's king cake
 It is king cake time again!! The past couple years, my boys and I have enjoyed making king cakes together. I received this incredible King Cake recipe from a high school friend a few years back... it always gets rave reviews!!
my excited helpers & tasters!
 I'm a New Orleans native and grew up eating king cakes and going to Mardi Gras parades. I'm happy to pass on this New Orleans tradition to my little guys... who absolutely LOVE this treat!
my little man 2 years ago

king cake from 2 years ago
Several people have asked for the recipe... if you try out this recipe, I would love to hear what you think!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Knowing... the Love of our life

Women seem to be drawn to love and romance. We desire to be loved and cherished, as well as truly love in return. We invest so much of our time getting to know possible suitors and possible mates, because we may crush on someone we don’t know very well, but rarely love someone we know little about. When we do find a worthy man, we want to know all about him! We delight in telling out friends about all him wonderful characteristics…from the color of his eyes, to his hobbies and profession, to the way he looks at and treats us. When we do fall in love with someone, we want to know that person so deeply and intimately. We delight in the pursuit of knowing our love! We hang on our love’s every word and pour over any letter or card they’ve written because we delight in that person. Each new day seems to find more opportunities to explore, adventure, and know our loved one.
When my hubby and I were dating, I made this small box for him and wrote all of the attributes I saw and love in him on the box. He still keeps this box on his dresser:)

In Christ, we are truly seen, sought after, and loved perfectly. Yet, do we really KNOW this Lover of our soul… do we know the depth of His love, do we really know all about Him and His characteristics, and do we know how to love Him in return? God has given us numerous pages of letters, notes, and descriptions about Himself and His love for us. How much time to we pour over His words? How much do we delight in the pursuit of knowing Him? Can we really love an unknown God? In order for our hearts to follow and delight in Him, we must know Him intimately!

I want to know this Lover of my soul, who created me, knows me so well, died for me, and gave me new life in Him! I want to delight in the One who redeemed me from the pit and rescued me for abundant life with Him!! Let’s pour over all of His written words to us, through Scripture, and get to know the true Lover of our souls!
Join me through this study of God's attributes... and get to know the Lover of our souls!
When getting to know people, we sometimes have false impressions or misconceptions about who they really are? What were your first impressions of your best friend? your spouse? Was there anything you were wrong about? How did you learn that these were false? Often it takes getting to know the true person, before our misconceptions can really be dispelled.
Ø      Think about yourself; consider all of your qualities, attributes and characteristics.
o       Which of these characteristics are more visible to other people; which characteristics are more hidden?
o       What characteristics do you aspire to attain?
o       What characteristics does the world applaud?
Ø      What characteristics are you proud of and of which characteristics are you possibly ashamed? Think about your spouse/best friend; consider all of his or her qualities and characteristics.
o       What are the characteristics that you know the best about that person?
o       What characteristics do you admire and wish to emulate?
o       What characteristics are your favorite; what are your least favorite?
o       What are the ways that you have gotten to know these characteristics in your friend?
Ø      Think about God; consider all of His attributes and characteristics.
o       What are His characteristics that you know the best?
o       What attributes of God do you tend to think or talk about; which do you tend to ignore or put on the back burner?
o       What are some popular ideas about God’s character?
o       What are some misconceptions about who God is?
o       What are some ways that we can get to know who God really is?

What are some characteristics YOU believe about God? Where did these develop … from parents, teachers, peers, ministers? I want us to set aside all of our preconceived ideas about who God is, and look at who He says He is throughout His Word.
“If we are to know God at all, it is necessary that He reveal Himself to us”[1]
Why do you think God decided to reveal Himself to us? Do you learn more about God from His revelation in nature or His revelation in Scripture?
·        The Bible alone tells us how to understand the testimony about God from nature[2]
·        Romans 1 – “they/we exchanged the truth of God for a lie”….we need Scripture
·        I pray that God would open our eyes that we would see wonderful things in His word (Psalm 119:18).
·        How does our own view of God affect our understanding of God?

·        How do we keep from limiting God to our own perspective of Him?

·        Can our perceptions of God ever be wrong? If so, how does that affect our lives bringing glory to God?

·        How can we know that what we are learning about God is true?
Even though we cannot know God exhaustively, we can know TRUE things about God…
all that Scripture tells us about God is TRUE”[3]
Join me over the next few weeks/months for a study on the attributes of God. 
Main resources include 
Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem
Attributes of God, by A. W. Pink
Systematic Theology notes from my favorite professor, Dr. Stan Norman

[1] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 149.
[2] Ibid., 149.
[3] Ibid., 151.