Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Psalter

Let Us Sing Songs of Praise

95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
    as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
    and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation
    and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart,
    and they have not known my ways.”
11 Therefore I swore in my wrath,
    “They shall not enter my rest.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Psalter

The Lord Will Not Forsake His People

94 Lord, God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
    repay to the proud what they deserve!
Lordhow long shall the wicked,
    how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words;
    all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
    and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner,
    and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
Understand, O dullest of the people!
    Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
10 He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge—
11     the Lord—knows the thoughts of man,
    that they are but a breath.[a]
12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
    and whom you teach out of your law,
13 to give him rest from days of trouble,
    until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not forsake his people;
    he will not abandon his heritage;
15 for justice will return to the righteous,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who rises up for me against the wicked?
    Who stands up for me against evildoers?
17 If the Lord had not been my help,
    my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
18 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
    your steadfast love, O Lordheld me up.
19 When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul.
20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
    those who frame injustice by statute?
21 They band together against the life of the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.[b]
22 But the Lord has become my stronghold,
    and my God the rock of my refuge.
23 He will bring back on them their iniquity
    and wipe them out for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday

Short thought for today:

"This is the role of writers: to turn their tears into a story — and perhaps into a prayer." —Elie Wiesel

What story are your tears telling? What prayers are you praying?

"You think about that."
(stole that from our friend, Steve Brown)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Psalter

The Lord Reigns

93 The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
Your throne is established from of old;
    you are from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
    the floods have lifted up their voice;
    the floods lift up their roaring.
Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
    mightier than the waves of the sea,
    the Lord on high is mighty!
Your decrees are very trustworthy;
    holiness befits your house,
    Lord, forevermore.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts for Thursday

Each Thursday, a quote that has some kind of meaning to me will be posted here on OCF. In light of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on Oct. 15, I decided to share this Nouwen quote. 

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."   -Henri Nouwen

In our own grief journey, those in our community who have been able to sit with us in our pain without explaining it away or sprinkling it with Jesus dust in the name of "encouragement" have been such a blessing to us. I challenge you to consider which kind of person you are (and which kind of person you want to be), with those in your life that are experiencing trials or periods of suffering. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

If you look on the right sidebar of this little blog, you'll see that I'm just a crunchy girl...powered by the love of Jesus and homemade yogurt. 

One of my lovely readers asked me about making homemade yogurt. (Hi Rachel!) I've tried it probably 5 different ways over the last year or so. Commercial milk, raw milk, different starters, different incubators, different recipes, the list goes on and on. 

 My suggestions for anyone wanting to make homemade yogurt is to experiment, experiment, experiment. If one way didn't work, try another! Don't give up on your homemade yogurt. It is WORTH the effort. You can save around $600 PER YEAR making it at home, people. 

I tried it this way.  This post has a great rationale for why to make yogurt at home. Thanks, Katie!
My cooler did not stay hot enough, and I ended up with runny warm milk. Fail. This works great for some people, just not me. Gotta do what works.  

I have a microwave over my cooktop in my kitchen, equipped with a light that illuminates the stovetop. I realized one day that when the light is on, inside the microwave gets super hot. INCUBATOR! This is how I incubated my yogurt before I had my Excalibur. (I'll explain the joys of this appliance later) If you have this set up, give it a try. 

Then I tried it this way.
I had some real success with this one, and also some real failures. Once I ended up with think yogurt, but it had a...snotty consistency. (please excuse me for the use of the word "snotty") Not appetizing. 

And THEN I tried it this way.  (Cue the Hallelujah Chorus)
Major success. Every time. I think her explanation for why you NEED to cook the milk to 180 degrees makes a lot of sense. Gotta change the protein structures of that milk, but not so much that your body doesn't recognize it a la ultra pasteurized (read: dead) milk. 

Give it a try, let me know what works for you. Good luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday Psalter

We're starting a new series here on OCF, the Sunday Psalter. Each Sunday, I'll post the Psalm we read in that week's City Bible Reading.  I may highlight certain parts that stuck out to me or make some comments on the passage, I may not, (that's the cool thing about having your own can do whatever you want). Our first Psalm is Psalm 92- so fitting for the first ever Sunday Psalter.

CBR is a Bible reading initiative from New City to read through the Scriptures as a church. We desire to journal, discuss and live out publicly what we've processed privately. You can read more about CBR journaling here.

How Great Are Your Works

A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.

92 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
How great are your works, O Lord!
    Your thoughts are very deep!
The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
    but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
    for behold, your enemies shall perish;
    all evildoers shall be scattered.
10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
    you have poured over me[a] fresh oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

1,408 days

October 11, 2008 was such a happy day. On that day, we were united as one in marriage. Here are some photos from that day... You can see all the photos here. I can't believe they are still on the photographer's website.

This is one of my FAVORITE pictures from the entire wedding. My grandmother looking on in the background is so precious to me. So glad that our photographers captured this. 

Celebrating with a little champagne! 

Beautiful bridesmaids. Love these women. 

The jewels

First time Dan saw me in my dress. Such a sweet moment. 
Sweet moment...

We had a super fun wedding party. 

This is the church that I grew up in. So thankful to have gotten married in this special place. 

Another one of my favorite pictures. Me, my grandmother, and Dan with his grandparents. 

Things got a little emotional. This comes as no surprise to anyone that knows us. 

Officially married. 

Aside from the band and dancing, this is my favorite part of weddings- the cake.  Our wedding was no exception. We shared the top tier from our cake on our first anniversary, and it was still delicious. Cake is my love language. 

The band was great. Everyone had a great time dancing the night away. 

Sparklers at weddings scare me. All that hairspray in my hair + open flames....shudder. So, our guests threw rose petals. No danger there.  

So much has happened in the last four years. So much joy mixed with so much pain. There is no one else in the world with whom I would want standing beside me besides my husband.

Stay tuned for updates from our Colorado anniversary trip we're taking next week.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Launching and Longing

We sang this song in church on Sunday, and it has been in my head ever since.

 We have launched into the world of Reproductive Endocrinology, and with each test result and each procedure, this is where I want my heart to be....fixing my gaze on God alone and trusting him completely. My heart longs to be a mother, and only God knows if that will ever happen. 

I will trust him completely. I will mourn the babies that we have lost. I will wait, and I will praise Him. 

Psalm 62 

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bermuda , Bahama, Come on pretty mama... part 1

So let's rewind to about 2 weeks before my last post.

When my husband and I graduated from seminary in May, we were so surprised when his parents offered to take us on a graduation trip to Bermuda. We said yes of course, and were whisked off to an island full of beauty and culture.

This post will be Bermuda in Pictures...(does anyone remember old slide reels? Pretend we're sitting in my living room with a sheet on the wall and I'm clicking a slide's much more nostalgic that way)

Dan and me about 30 seconds after we got to the hotel. It was BEAUTIFUL and made me want to buy a sailboat.
Sailboats everywhere...

More sailboats...

Dan and me swimming out to this massive rock. I am, in fact, wearing a swimsuit. 
The hotel's sister resort had an amazing beach with these cute waitresses serving you round the clock. Dark n Stormy at 11 AM? Don't mind if I do! 

This is a huge cannon in the quaint little city of St. George. St. George is the oldest settlement in Bermuda and the third successful British settlement in the Americas. It was first settled in 1692! 

Bermuda also played an important role securing America's independence: During the revolutionary war Bermudians stole much-needed gunpowder from a magazine which supplied neighbouring the forts protecting St. George's, and then smuggled it out of Tobacco Bay(over the hill from St. George's) to George Washington. Cool. huh? Thanks Wikipedia for the reminder...

This is a European-style cathedral that was never finished. It was near completion when the church members had a disagreement that was so disruptive that construction was stopped and this beautiful Cathedral was never finished. How's that for Christian love and brotherhood.....It's from the 1870s. 

We had to take a minute and read the Summit Daily News while we were there. The Summit Daily is from Summit County, CO, where our vacation home is located. We actually sent this picture in, and it was printed a few weeks ago.

Daredevils...D and his dad jumped off of these rocks, even though they were strictly instructed not to. We're glad they survived.
This little lagoon was possibly our favorite little spot on the island. The sand was pink and the water was warm. It was like something from a movie.

We had a great time...Stay tuned for part 2. More pics and stories to come! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America

America has it's faults, but we sure are thankful for our country today.

We are spending it in Colorado with many of our family members. Us, my parents, Dan's parents and Dan's sister's family (minus her husband) have been having a fantastic time in Frisco, CO. It's a comfortable 75 degrees in the middle of the day...Florida we love you but you can't beat CO summertime.

I have some posts in the works, and will be posting more soon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


We. Did. It. 

 Dan and me

These are some of Dan's good friends- they call themselves the Oviedo 7, even though there are 8 of them. Go figure. These men and their wives and children have been a blessing to us throughout the last 3 years. We are so thankful for our little RTS family. We're spreading out all across the world, (Florida, North Carolina, Japan, Bangaladesh, England) and I will miss these people dearly. 

 These are the 14 people that have walked this journey together. MAC 2012- I love them. They all have supported me and challenged me more than I would have ever dreamed, and it has been hard but wonderful. I will miss so many things about each of them as we all go our separate ways. 

2 of my besties! Elizabeth and Kim- We need to keep thirsty Thursdays going. Skype maybe? 

Dan and me with Dan's parents after the ceremony

Dan and me with my parents and brother, Neil after the ceremony

We are extremely thankful for our families and for their support and encouragement over the last 3 years. They have supported us emotionally and financially and through their prayers, and we could NOT have done this without them. We are SO blessed. 

Love this man! We were so blessed by being able to go through seminary together. Graduating together was such a unique experience, and I am so thankful that we are DONE! The Lord has been good to us even in the midst of incredible trials that we never would have expected. The last 6 months have been so, so hard and I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else but him. I am so proud of him, and he is going to be a great pastor. 

So the question on everyone's minds: What's next? We have a few exciting things in the works for the next few years. Dan has accepted a position as a church planting intern with our church, New City. Through his apprenticeship, he will be preparing to church plant sometime in the next few years. We have a pretty grueling assessment to get through in July before that can happen; please be in prayer for us! 

I will be working June-August at RTS filling in for our clinic director while she is on maternity leave. After August, only the Lord knows. I have some options for starting a priviate practice, but Dan and I have both decided that some time off would do my heart and my soul good. I'm planning to spend a lot of time at the beach decompressing from the last two years and the intense last 6 months. 

I'm also planning to spend LOTS of time in the kitchen experimenting with sprouting, fermenting, tincture making, etc. It will all be documented here on OCF, so buckle up!