Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Trip To Virginia - Part 1

Almost two weeks ago, our family took a vacation / field trip to Virginia. Landmark Events was  taking a tour to the Shenandoah Valley and the surrounding areas. Our excellent tour guide and amazingly informative historian was Bill Potter.
Friday morning, May 19th, we departed at 6:30 and drove about 13 hours to Christiansburg, Virginia, where we stopped for the night. The next morning found us driving two and a half hours north to the beautiful area of the New Market Battlefield which is located in the Shenandoah Valley.  There was going to be a reenactment of the battle of New Market and the Battle of Lost Shoes later on in the afternoon.  Before that happened, visitors had a chance to walk among both the Confederate and Union sides, and tour the actual Bushong house which had been caught in the middle of the crossfire of the battle. 

Here's a little history about the Bushong family:    
June 22, 1791, Henry Bushong patented a 260- acre tract in Shenandoah County that would be home for several generations of descendants. Henry's son Jacob married Sarah Stickler in March. They took up residence in a four-room log house and began a family that would grow to include four boys and two girls. In 1825 Jacob Bushong built this vernacular Federal-style home. An 1852 expansion added double porches attached on the north end to provide extra room for the growing family. The Bushongs raised wheat, oats, cattle, hogs, and horses. Wheelwright and blacksmith shops provided farm implements for the Bushongs and other area families. The family worked alongside three African American slaves on the property - an unnamed man, a woman named Mary, and a young boy, Israel. 
On May 15, 1864, seven family members took refuge in their sturdy cellar as the Battle of New Market raged across their farm. Peering through the windows, they saw the VMI (Virginia Military Institute) cadets pass on the east and west sides of the house as they marched to join the Confederate battle line. After the battle, the house and barn, like most buildings in and around New Market, served as a hospital. 
There were also reenacters playing games like the children would've played back then, as well as a couple fun dances, one being the Virginia Reel, which visitors could participate in.


 The Union soldiers.
 The Confederate soldiers.



The first two soldiers that "died."

Do you see the sniper?

Here's a short video of the fighting.
If viewing this post on your email and video doesn't appear, click here.
The Virginia Museum of the Civil War was nearby, so while we waited for the battle to start, Sarah, Daddy, and I walked over there and were able to tour it for a little bit.
This bronze statue was displayed inside the museum with this description:
Lee on Traveler
By Fredrick Volk (1822-1891) 
German-born artist Fredrick Volk began sketches for this statue as early as August of 1864, while he was employed by the Confederate Bureau of Naval Ordnance. General Robert E. Lee sat for this work, and Volk used Lee's death mask to refine the statute's details. The artist even measured Traveler to assure accuracy of proportions. Volk completed the statue in the mid-1870s and presented it to Virginia Military Institute as a token of esteem.

After the battle was over, we left and enjoyed a nice long ride through the curvy back roads.

The scenery was just beautiful with the magnificent smoky mountains and the elegant-looking houses with their large gardens.
Sunday morning and part of the afternoon was spent at a very small Presbyterian Church called Lebanon Presbyterian Church in the town of Goshen. The ladies prepared a nice homemade lunch for everyone. After lunch, there was a short service honoring a few men that died during the battle of New Market and were buried in the church's cemetery. The cemetery was up on a hill which is where I took the above picture.

After leaving the church, we stopped at a couple different pull-off places by the river and took pictures.

At one pull-off spot, a lady was painting a picture of the scenery. I asked her if I could snap a picture, and she agreed. 
We also stopped at this suspension bridge, and three of us girls walked across it.

Well, that concludes the first three days of our trip. I hope you have a good and godly week, and stay tuned for part two!

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13

Friday, May 26, 2017

Remember the Lord


We all want God to speak to us or show us something new. We want him to change something. And that is perfectly okay. He's our Father. He is God, and He wants to bless us. But sometimes we need to stop and remember the things he has done, shown, and given us in the past. Remember means: to recall something forgotten; to keep something in memoryWe should remember, or keep in our memory, all the good times.  But we also need to remember the trials. Think back over the hard times in your life. Remember when God answered that specific prayer request? Remember when He provided and took care of you when there was no hope? Remember when He put that special friend in your life to encourage you? Do you remember when He showed Himself to you? When He showed Himself faithful and kind? Remember fill in the blank. 

There are a few things mentioned in Scripture worth remembering: 
1.  We should remember the Lord. (Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. - Psalm 20:7
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; -Ecclesiastes 12:1

2. We should remember the words of the Lord. (I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. -Psalm 119:16)

3. We should remember how we were at one time without Christ, but now are made nigh by His blood. (That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. - Ephesians 2:12-13)

4. We should remember the good news of the gospel. (Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: - 2 Timothy 2:8)

5. We should remember His works. (He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. -Psalm 11:4 

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. 
- Psalm 143:5
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)

Over and over in Deuteronomy, the Lord tells the children of Israel to remember. "Remember when I brought you out of Egypt; remember when you were servants to Pharaoh. Remember the plagues I brought upon Pharaoh. Remember the Lord your God, and the day you were led out of Egypt and redeemed. Remember what Amalek did to you, and remember the days of old." The Psalms are full of David remembering the goodness and works of God and beseeching God to remember him (David) and His promises.
It is okay to ask God for things-we're His children. But there is something special about pausing and remembering what He has already done. The more we remember, the more we can trust Him; the more we can rest in Him, and the more we know how very near He is to us. In Psalm 77:11-12 David says, "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."
It would be encouraging to take a moment, look behind you, and see the path that the Lord has led you through.  Perhaps it would be helpful to do some remembering and meditating on the past miracles, struggles, and victories. He is so faithful. And the things He does are worth remembering. 

"Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you." ~ 1 Samuel 12:24

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Martin Luther In His Own Words ~ Book Review

Didn't Martin Luther write the Ninety-Five Theses? 

Though most Protestants--approximately 900 million believers worldwide--trace their spiritual roots back to the Reformation, many people today have only a vague knowledge of Martin Luther's extensive writings. Jack Kilcrease and Erwin Lutzer step into this vacuum with Martin Luther in His Own Words, a carefully selected collection of Luther's works.

Organized around the five solas of the Reformation (sola Scripturasola fidesola gratiasola Christussoli Deo gloria), the selections offer readers an accessible primer on works that are foundational to the theology of Protestantism in all its forms. An introduction to each writing includes an explanation of its historical context and theological significance. 

Students of the Bible, pastors, teachers, and seminary students will find this collection an enlightening introduction to Luther in his own words and a useful addition to their libraries.
My thoughts: 
In the beginning chapters, there were a couple confusing parts that I had to reread, but this was a really good and engaging book. It helped me to understand what Luther believed, especially about justification, grace, and salvation. At the front of each chapter, there was a short paragraph by the editors and each one told a little of what made Martin Luther translate the Bible, when he did it, his reasoning, and where he was at. One paragraph talked about how Erasmus supported Luther and his reforming efforts, but unlike Luther, Erasmus did not believe the same way about Christianity, Jesus Christ, and salvation. Each beginning paragraph was very interesting and helpful to read before Luther's writings. There were many chapters that consisted of a chapter by chapter commentary on the book of Romans, which I liked because it shed new light on some verses I hadn't understood before. There was also an insightful commentary on the book of Galatians. One thing that Luther emphasized over and over in his writings was justification is by faith in Christ alone, no works added. While teaching the book of Romans, Luther came across this discovery: we can neither attain salvation, nor can we contribute to it. Our only contribution is sin; Jesus supplies the forgiveness and secures our acceptance before our Heavenly Father. Martin Luther was happily relieved when he said, "My sins belong to Christ as if he had committed them." I give Martin Luther In His Own Words 4 stars and would recommend it to ages 14+. 

**I was given a free copy of this book from BakerBooks and all thoughts are my own.**

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Giveaway Winner // Happy Birthday To a Very Special Mother

Good morning!  Before I announce the winner, I want to say thank you to 
everyone who entered my giveaway. Ya'll are so sweet and I enjoyed reading 
your comments :)  Now, are you ready to  find out who won?  I am so
 excited to announce that....................JANAE is the winner! 

My dear mommy is having a birthday today...

"The older I grow,
the more I realize that my mother
is the best best friend that I ever had."

Please join me in wishing her a very happy birthday. :) 
To my special mother: 
I appreciate and love you so very much, and hope you have a 
splendid day, even though we aren't with you to celebrate.
 Happy happy birthday!

Psalm 118:24
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Duck Duck Here and a Duck Duck There...

A cheery hello to you!
Our American Pekin ducks, are growing rapidly. They're only 5 1/2 weeks old but they look almost full grown. On the 3rd, they swam and splashed around in the pond for the first time. :) They really love the water.  Here are a couple videos of them in the pond.

 If the videos don't load, click here.

 These pictures were taken on the 6th...they were all relaxing under
 the tree in the evening.

 And here's a picture of our new seedling Cypress tree. :)

I hope you all enjoyed seeing updated pictures of the ducks.
And don't forget - the giveaway is still going on. You can enter here

Have a good and godly week! 

"God is faithful, by Whom ye were called into the fellowship of of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

-1 Corinthians 1:9

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Let's Have a Party!

Guess what time it is!

I'm so marks the fourth year of my blogging journey! I can't believe it's already been four years...during that time  I've met so many people from around the world and made some sweet new friends. I am so thankful for and appreciate each one of you dear readers. Thank you for following along and for the comments you have left on the posts I share. In celebration what do you say we have a party!
I love surprises, so for the party, I am giving away a surprise box! One person will win the surprise box and one other person will win a surprise ebook, which I know you will absolutely love reading. :) (Here's a hint: It's a book I have reviewed.)
If you would like to enter this fun giveaway for a surprise box, all you have to do is leave a comment below.  I would love for you to share how you found my blog. :) This giveaway is open to all U.S. residents.
To earn  an extra entry you can: 
-Follow my blog

And that's all, folks! The giveaway will be open for 5 days. I will announce the winner on May 9th. 
I hope you all have a fantastic day! Thank you for celebrating with me!