Thursday, February 14, 2019

What A Saviour!

Man of Sorrows
By: Phillip Bliss

"Man of sorrows," what a name!
For the Son of God who came.
Ruined sinners to reclaim,
Hallelujah! What a Saviour! 

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah! What a Saviour! 

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! can it be? 
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Lifted up was He to die,
"It is finished!" was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high;
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All his ransomed home to bring.
Then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Saviour! 

What a Saviour! I think this phrase, this song, accurately describes my feelings today. Today is Thursday, February 14th, also recognized as Valentine's Day. When one hears the words 'valentine's day', they may think of love and gifts. I'm sure there are proposals and maybe even weddings happening today. And as much as I love weddings and enjoy hearing other people's love stories, there is one love story that surpasses all others, and it is my favorite. It is the story of God loving me way before I even loved him. It is the story of my Jesus loving me so immensely that he became sin for me, so that I could have his righteousness. It is the story of me accepting his salvation and love, which enables me to have a sweet fellowship. Friend, if you are redeemed by the precious Lamb, this is your beautiful love story too. When I think of standing before the throne of God with Jesus' cloak of righteousness about me and all my sin covered by the blood of the perfect Lamb, and Jesus advocating on my behalf, it makes me stop. And awe. And declare "what a Saviour!"

 Below is Isaiah 55:3-12. Read it slowly; let the words sink into your heart as you meditate on our marvellous God.

 "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

It could have only been Jesus who died in our place because he was sinless and perfect. The requirement for a sacrifice was that it had to be spotless, without blemish, perfect. If another person died for us, a sacrifice would still have to made for him, and it would be made by another sinner. (For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. -2 Corinthians 5:21)  Jesus was the final sacrifice.
It could have only been Jesus who died in our place for he was fully human, and only a man can give up his life for a fellow man. 
It could have only been Jesus who died in our place because even though he was fully human, he was fully God. And we know that "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
 Here's a short paragraph written by Ruth Harms Calkin.
 "Dear God,
I have sinned against heaven and against you. 
I am no longer worthy to be called your child. 
Child, I know...I know...
But my Son is forever worthy to be called your Saviour."

Valentine's day will end and come again next year. But aren't you glad Jesus doesn't just dispense his love once a year?! Even when we mess up, God is still there, wooing, loving us to himself. His love is so amazing and pure and deep, it should cause us all to fall to our knees and declare, as the hymn writer did, WHAT A SAVIOUR!

On this valentine's day, friend, may you fall more deeply in love with the one who gave his all for you. ❤


love,
  Ashley  


In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 
~1 John 4:9-10  










Saturday, February 9, 2019

Live Without You Book Review & Blog Tour


About the book:
 Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can't help but blame herself for her brother's tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her-not even the God who promised to be there for her, but wasn't.
For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He's had enough of it, and only by God's grace is able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic even brings Piper's greatest fear and Ezra's failures to light, can they use that even to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt? 



My thoughts: 
When I heard that Sarah Grace wrote a book, I was thrilled to be able to review it and be a part of the tour. Sarah Grace did a phenomenal job of writing her first book, Live Without You, and I really enjoyed reading it. The story is about a young lady who has nightmares because of her tragic past, and a man who struggles with the sadness and pain from his past. Both of them feel shame and guilt over what they did, or what they did not do, and they learn together to accept and embrace the freedom Christ gives to His children. The author did a good job of creating a wonderful message, as well as the lovely characters. There is lots of action, especially in the beginning, which pulls the reader into the story and keeps their attention. Even though this book is labeled as a 'contemporary Christian romance', I didn't find the main character's relationships to be the plot of the story; the romance was rather light and sweet and weaved throughout. The scenes that contained shootings and death were tastefully written, and I think those ages 13+ would enjoy this book. :) 



Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Giveaway Information:
Grand Prize ~ $20 Amazon gift card, Signed Paperback of Live Without You, specialty designed 
mug.
Second Prize ~ $5 Amazon gift card, ebook copy of Live Without You
3 Third Prize Winner ~ Ebook copy of Live Without You


Grand prize open to US entrants only, 2nd and 3rd prizes available internationally. Giveaway runs
from 12 AM 1.21.19 - 12 AM 2.23.19. Victoria Lynn Designs retains the right to disregard any 
entries that they deem bogus or spam.




Book Links:


About the author:

Sarah Grace Grzy is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called 'Life,' she’d be
tempted to spend all her days in front of a wood stove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other.
A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things and has more hobbies than she knows
what to do with. Sarah Grace is a freelance web and graphic designer, and when not working, 
spending time with her ever-growing family, or reading, she can be found painting, playing the
piano, or fangirling with her sisters and friends. She inhabits the State of Great Lakes, and 
wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—unless it meant she could have a baby penguin, in which 
case, she’d gladly move to the South Pole.

Author Links:

Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/geaL6D
Twitter: twitter.com/esteticodesigns
Instagram: instagram.com/sarahgracegrzy

Book tour schedule:

Feb. 10


Feb. 11


Feb. 12
Rose K. // Review  https://www.instagram.com/adventurous.bookworm/


Feb 13


Feb. 14 ~ Valentine’s Day
Tammy Lash // Spotlight  http://instagram.com/tamlash5  


Feb. 15


Feb. 16


Feb. 18


Feb. 19


Feb. 20


Feb. 21


Feb. 22 ~ Sarah Grace’s Birthday




Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Recent Snapshots

 
In the beginning of January, my mom and us girls made some fun memories when we camped out at a new Chick-fil-a the day before its grand opening. :) 
We celebrated my grandparent's 60th anniversary in January.
 


 
Here's cute little Gracie dressed up in a build-a-bear outfit. She
did not want to keep that hat on.  :)
We had the privilege of hearing the Collingsworth family sing at a 
church near us. You can listen to them on youtube. I really like these
three songs: 

 

 

I made this fudge brownie cheesecake for a church fellowship.
 

 
I weeded the garden plot, added new manure, and planted a bunch of 
new seeds. They are doing marvellous and growing so fast! :) 

 We were at the beach taking Lauren's senior photos, and I was 
able to capture this seagull in flight. 


How has your month been, friend? I would love to hear what you have been up to in the comments! 


Psalm 33:4-8
For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 
 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Meet Gracie!

Meet Gracie! 

Many of you know that our dog Lacy died last August. On October 29th, my family brought a new dog home. Gracie is a Shih-Tzu  puppy and is just as spunky and adorable as can be. :) She was a small fry, only 12 weeks old when she joined our family. She has grown alot though, and loves chewing on things (and eating things she's not supposed to ;)   ), chasing the chickens, and playing with her toys. 

 


She loves to spread out like this on the floor.








I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. 
~Psalm 77:11-14



Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Christmas Vacation to Kentucky part 2

We finished out our mini vacation by spending Wednesday at the Creation Museum. Our family visited it once many years ago, but since then, they have changed and added many displays. 



Deborah and I had the privilege to go zip-lining. The weather was perfect for it...sunny and cold with a slight breeze. It was a blast.
The outside of the museum was decorated so beautifully. 
I love how the museum is set up. Each visitor experiences walking through the 7 Cs of History: 
Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation.



This picture of a cave bear is just one example of the animals that lived during the Ice Age. How would you like to live around one of these guys?
(To read this picture, click to enlarge.)
This is an Allosaurus named Ebenezer. This skeleton is assembled from a combination of the real fossil bones and castings made from other Allosaurus fossils. It is rare to find Allosaurus skeletons that are more than 50% complete, and few adult skeletons are found with their skulls full intact. This skeleton is almost 50% complete with 139 bones recovered out of a possible 250, making Ebenezer an exceptional find.
This is Ebenezer's real skull. The reason that the skull is in a separate case is because fossilized dinosaur skulls can be too heavy for a steel armature to support.
This quilt containing the 7Cs of history was hanging in the stairwell.
That afternoon, we got to meet Buddy Davis before his singing session. Our family has watched his Creation Adventure DVDs and we girls have been listening to his songs on youtube for a while, so it was exciting getting to meet him. :)  If you're interested in the resources, Answers in Genesis carries books, CDs, and DVDs for all ages.

The sun setting cast some brilliant colors through the trees.

This waterfall was so beautiful..we sisters had a lovely time "photo-shooting" each other. :)



At the petting zoo again...more animals were active this time, including the zonkey and the zorse (pictured above.)

This final picture closed out our evening. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at both the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. I think it is a wonderful and encouraging place that Christian families would enjoy visiting and where non-believers can be educated about creation, the flood, and the gospel.


I would love to know, have you visited the ark or museum before? If so, what was your favorite part?  


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
~John1:1-3