Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In the Midst of Tragedy

I'm assuming that you have all heard about the tragedy that happened here in Denver this past week. Watching the news and knowing that such devastation occurred so close to home is heart wrenching. While our neighbors are still recovering from the devastating wild fires that occurred earlier this month, there is now yet another event to mourn. 

I have refrained from posting much in social media since the day that it happened. Reading through my news feed is almost enough to bring me to tears. While people are sharing the pain from the people that were lost or still in critical condition, others are going to barbecues and celebrating birthdays. I know that this goes on every day, but watching it unfold right before my eyes seems so surreal. Life goes on.

This is the world we live in. A world full of troubles, yet Jesus told us to take heart because He has overcome the world. It's months such as this that I need that reminder. Not just for the big things, but for the little things too. While our state is suffering from both natural and unnatural devastation, there are normal every day troubles as well. Just because my heart hurts for all of those suffering doesn't mean that I can stop being a mom to mourn with them. We all have to carry on. We can weep as we live, but live we must. 

So while this is a time of sorrow for those not just here in Colorado, but around the world as the families and friends affected by these events are scattered across the globe, I have to take heart knowing that Jesus, my sweet Jesus, has overcome the troubles of this world. And that while any of us could die tomorrow in a natural or unnatural disaster, I can place my hope and my trust in Christ alone. We don't have the promise of tomorrow, but we can have the promise of eternity. 


I can't think of anyway to draw my feelings of hurt and hope to a close, so I want to share a link with you. This is the only link I have shared about this latest act destruction is one written by someone who was there. She shared her experience and heart on her blog and her words are wise. I encourage you to read them: http://aminiatureclaypot.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/so-you-still-think-god-is-a-merciful-god/

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Gospel for Christians

I received a disheartening message today. It was letting me know about a past sin in a fellow Christian's life. The point was clear, I shouldn't be accepting their teaching because they were a sinner. And it broke my heart. It took me a moment to figure out exactly how to respond, or if I should even respond at all, but then I knew. I could only respond with one thing - the Gospel. 

You see, as we are all failures. We all make mistakes. That's why we need Christ. We've all messed up and have things in our past that we wish weren't so - but that doesn't change the Gospel. Not for me, and not for you. We are all sinners in need of a Savior.

The ironic thing was, that the Christian teacher in question was preaching that very message. He never once claimed perfection, he only claimed the cross. With everything that I have done, all of the mistakes that I have made, that is the exact kind of teacher that I need. I don't need a perfect pastor who has never known the pain that serious sin causes ones heart, I need someone who knows firsthand the joy of undeserved forgiveness. 

A few years ago I knew a wonderful woman. When I say I knew her, we went to the same church and Bible study, and our children often played together, but we weren't inseparable. We never shared our pasts or tears of any sort. But she left an impact on my life, and part of that impact was words that I will never forget. She said, "I've got a lot of baggage in my past, when I came here I was pretty screwed up. But God brought me through it, and I am through it. If people are bothered by it, then that's between them and God, because it doesn't bother me anymore." I absolutely loved the peace that she had about her past mistakes. I don't know what her sin was or how grievous it was, but I know that it happened while she was a believer, not before. Christians aren't insta-perfect. We still make mistakes, and God brings us through them. 

In fact, the only real difference between Christians and non-Christians isn't about us at all. It lies in the Gospel. We have accepted that we will never, and can never be perfect, that we need the perfect blood of Christ to grant us forgiveness not only for the mistakes of our past, but for the mistakes that we make each and every day. The Gospel is just as important for Christians, as it is for non-Christians, the only difference is that we are suppose to recognize the power in the blood. 

That is my prayer for myself at least - that I don't take the Gospel for-granted, not when it comes to my sin, and not when it comes to the sin of others either. God sent His Son, part of Himself, to die so that we could be forgiven of our numerous, horrific sins - all of them. He is so amazing ins't He?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life Happens

I've been busy lately. Besides the mounds of work that I have to work through, I've been trying to make sure that work doesn't consume my life, and that only appears to make me even busier. My dad and little brother came to visit us last weekend, which was tons of fun, and the week before the kids had vacation Bible school. I always loved VBS as a kid, although I don't remember much other then the fun, it brought me tears of joy listening to the boys retell the parables that they learned during the week. The theme was "Things Hidden" and the children learned about the unseen things of God - like His kingdom and eternity. 


Honestly, I had an entire post planned out about one of the parables that they recounted to me. There was just something about listening to it from the perspective of a child that I wanted to share... but then life happened, and while I'm sure I will remember later, I can't for the life of me get my thoughts together now.

Ty's schooling is still up in the air for next year. Mr. Amazing is going to call the district tomorrow and see if he can get any answers that they wouldn't give me when I tried in the spring. Depending on how that goes, we should be making a final decision soon. It will be good to know what direction we will be going so that I can stop thinking about all of the possibilities and focus on just one. I'm leaning heavily towards public online school if he hasn't been accepted into the school we are still waiting to hear from.

Have I mentioned on this blog that I'm working on a new book? I can't remember. You can learn more about it on my other blog at: http://authorheatherhart.blogspot.com/2012/06/faith-talk.html I'm posting updates on it as I go over there, if you're interested.


Well, despite my mindless chattering, I really do have work to do... I'd best get to it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Prosperity

Job has been a long time favorite book of mine. Most people think I'm nuts, but it's so reassuring to me to know that God is in control of everything. Besides being a window into the 'behind the scenes' of things, there is also a ton of wisdom within the pages. While the words of Job's "comforters" were spoken with wrong assumptions, they are all still wise words. However, as I was reading them earlier this week I was slapped in the face with the prosperity gospel. I don't know why I had never noticed it before, but there it was. Job's comforter, Eliphaz, was preaching the prosperity gospel to Job during the time that he had lost everything - including the will to live. Talk about bad timing. But then again, when is a good time for the prosperity gospel?

Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble - not prosperity. So were these words spoken by Eliphaz unbiblical? I don't think so. After all, all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching. So what gives? The only logical reason would be the difference in the definition of prosperity. Eliphaz said, "You will know your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing. You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself." Can you imagine saying that to someone who had just lost all of his children?

Even though those things did come to pass in Job's life, I still don't believe in the worldly prosperity gospel. At first glance, this appears to be a biblical example of it, but my tent is a heavenly one. Everything I have belongs to God, and thus none of it will ever be missing, even if He takes it away. I don't know what's in store for my earthly children, but I pray that I will help many many women in their spiritual journey's to spread God's message to the ends of the earth. Through Christ we are all family - His family - and that's more important then anything on this earth. I will go to my grave in full vigor, because the best part of my life is yet to come. I will not have any regrets, or feel like I'm leaving anything behind, because my home is heavenward. That's how I choose to apply the prosperity gospel to my life. I will prosper in my life after death and for all eternity. That is worth far more than all the prosperity that this world has to offer.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Twins!

After another blogger recently posted about their twins, a friend of mine suggested that I do the same. So here is my Twin post, based off of the original posters format:


What was your twin pregnancy like?

To sum it up in two words: Long and Short. It was long because I suffer from terrible morning sickness each time I'm pregnant, and it started super early with the twins, lasted pretty much my entire pregnancy, and was even worse then it was with my singletons. Besides the morning sickness, there were the increased number of doctors visits. All twin pregnancies are considered high-risk, which meant my doctor had me coming in so often that I almost felt like I was there more than I was at work. And to top it all off, I started having consistent contractions at around 32 weeks, they increased in frequency and intensity until at 34 weeks I was having them every three minutes, which lasted two more weeks until I finally delivered at 36 weeks. 
How did you choose names for them?

We had originally picked out one boy name and one girl name when we found out I was pregnant. As it went for all of our kids, I chose the first name, and my husband chose the middle name. When we found out it was twin girls, we split in half and I named baby A (Ella Elizabeth) and he named baby B (Alexa Vivian).

Do they sleep together, or apart?

Together. When they were itty-bitty, they shared a bassinet, but eventually they grew out of that and while they each had their own crib, they shared a room. After they grew out of their cribs they shared a King size bed for about a year, and finally they now have a bunk bed. 

Did you feed them simultaneously?

Okay, don't judge me, but - I have never been successful at breastfeeding. I tried and tried and tried, and my kids could never latch on. For my first son they ended up giving me a breast shield that helped make it easier, but for the rest of the kids they wouldn't. With the twins I wasn't producing enough milk for them anyway, so I ended up pumping so I could measure the amount of milk they were getting so I would know how much formula I needed to supplement                 with. It wasn't easy, but it worked.
Do you dress them matching?

Despite the wonderful people who love buying them matching outfits, we rarely - if ever - dress them alike. They are two individual people, and we have always wanted them to develop their own personalities and tastes. 
How do you afford purchasing multiples items? 

By God's provision. We had lots of people give us their old baby stuff or purchase items for us. Thankfully we still had the high chair and crib from our singletons so that cut down on some of the bigger expenses. We also didn't have two of everything. We only had on baby bouncer, and really only of our girls liked it anyway. We did have two swings, but only one bassinet (as I said, they shared it when they were tiny). 
How did you tell them apart?


Generally this wasn't hard for us since they weren't identical, but for anyone who wasn't around them very often, Alexa was always identified as the one without any hair, as Ella was born with a head full of hair and Alexa didn't have anything more than peach fuzz for about 2 years.


Photos and a video of the twins:










Birthday Photos

Birth

1


2

3

4

Videos

video
Reading a book
video
On the slide

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blogging Update

I have been way behind on my work lately, and I know that part of it is keeping up with three blogs. While I'm not willing to give any of them up, I am going to cut back posting on this one to two times a week. For those of you who follow me, I wanted to let you know that instead of posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I will now be posting every Tuesday and Thursday. The main downside of this is that I will have to make a tough choice about Mr. Monday. It will either be filtered into my regular postings or re-vamped and re-named as I won't be posting on Mondays. It's a decision in the making, and I appreciate your understanding while I pray my way through this. The new schedule will start next week, but since this is my second post this week, it will also be my last. However, I do hope to see all of your beautiful comments here on Tuesday :)

I love my followers!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Teen Devotionals...for Girls! Volume 2 by Shelley Hitz

Teen Devotionals...for Girls! Volume 2

by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart

Giveaway ends July 07, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win



Are you a teen girl who is struggling to find a way to apply God's Word to your life? Or maybe you're an adult who is looking for a way of communicating God's Word to the teens in your life? Either way, we believe that these devotions can help. You can win a free paperback copy this week on Goodreads by entering our contest above.

These devos are already read daily by teens around the world, used in Bible study groups, and have even been used at events such asSee You at the Pole. We hope that as you read through these devotions (on your own or in a group) you will grow in your walk with God, and that you will be able to relate God's Word to your life in a relevant way.

You can also sign up to get these devotionals sent to your e-mail for free at: http://www.findyourtruebeauty.com/devos



*On a side note, CJ and Shelley Hitz have put together a Christian Book Giveaway Extravaganza. You can join them for a chance to win 13 print books at:  http://bit.ly/christianbookgiveaway