Friday, March 31, 2006

Spring days are good days...

1. I finally got gauge for my lace sweater that is supposed to be finished in time for Easter. I found the yarn by accident after a long search for similar yarns, and stumbled onto this website where the yarn that the pattern called for and the color that I thought was out of circulation was on clearance! I'm only about five rows into the project, but Rowan 4-ply knits up beautifully and quickly, even on size 6 needles.
2. My Mom, three younger brothers and my younger sister and I went for a hike in a nature preserve not too far from here. We hiked a trail that we hadn't explored yet, and it took us to an island in the middle of a lake. It was very peaceful, with only the occasional hum of airplanes to remind us that we were still smack dap in the middle of suburbia, even on a nature preserve. :-) There were insects galore and it was very hot (the trees did give us some cooling relief from the sun, though) so we were all heated, tired and bug-bitten when we made it back to the start of the trail. However, despite all of the heat and bugs, it was just so wonderful to simply meander along in a peaceful setting with birds and beautiful, huge butterflies flapping all around us. There were turtles, ducks, egrets and a boating couple on the lake. We intend to rent a canoe or kayak the next time we go.
3. After that, we went to a beautiful gardening store and I did some herb shopping. I didn't purchase any as I wanted to see what I could fit and where in my garden first. While pondering what I could afford to buy when I make it back, I realized that for the same price as a mocha at Starbucks (my bad habit) I could have a new herb in my garden. In fact, in one week I could probably have 10 new herb plants in my garden, and maybe a cute garden sign, too. With that thought in mind, I decided to not have a mocha today, and instead save the money for a plant. So when my mom pulled through the Sbux drive-through, I declined a drink. Then we got to the window and the barista had made a mistake and gave my mom a venti instead of the ordered tall mocha. She didn't even charge Mom the venti price since it was her mistake, so I ended up sharing the monstrous drink and getting my mocha anyway. :-)
4. Then I got home and found my $100 Visa gift card that I won from Blingo early this month waiting in the mailbox (my sister-in-law received one as well when I did)!
5. After a great dinner, prepared by my younger siblings (grilled hamburgers&onions, homemade guacamole, fries) and a cute movie, I am now ready to hit bed so that I can get up for an early morning run.

I like a good day...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Here is more from Ligonier's National Conference...

Bought With A Price: Ligonier Ministries National Conference 2006
Sessions from Thursday, March 9
Dr. John MacArthur and Dr. R.C. Sproul, speakers

Jesus, The Head of The Church
Dr. John MacArthur

Dr. MacArthur started his session with the powerful story of Bohemian (pre)Reformer, John Hus and the price paid by Christians throughout the ages for the belief that there is only one head of the church: Jesus Christ. I am so amazed at how much believers have suffered over the centuries for holding to a doctrine that in their time was revolutionary and in our time we take for granted. Dr. MacArthur used his remaining time to discuss how today there is a disdain for faithful mediators, and also how the seeker movement (including the Emergent Chruch) strips Christ of His dominion by using the culture to dictate their ministry and not the Bible, and labels such-quoting John Piper-"Evangelical slapstick". He also explained that the original Greek word for "head" (and as it is used in Scripture) never means anything other than ruling/governing.

One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Dr. R.C. Sproul

This was a wonderful session in which Dr. Sproul laid out for the audience the ways in which the church is (or should be) one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. He gave the etymological root of "church" which was from Late Greek "kyriakos" from which we also get the word "curious"; thus church is for the curious. He went to explain the ways in which Christ has set apart His church to be one (there is a union in Christ which is real, substantive, and cannot be destroyed; it transcends all differences), holy (second meaning of holiness is purity), catholic and apostolic. Dr. Sproul elaborated on the ways that the church today mirrors the world, how it is not what the Bible teaches as we are called to mirror Christ, and how we have done everything we can to disguise the "otherness" of the church.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Oops, my pictures didn't post in the right order. Start at the bottom picture and work your way up...

There was a lot of good worship with music provided by The Westminster Brass and congregational singing led by James Brown. Posted by Picasa

The conference was packed with people of all kinds and ages who had traveled from all over the US (and some from around the world) to attend the three day event. Posted by Picasa

...and filled with books galore! The Soli Deo Gloria Publishing table stretched along that back wall and was packed with all kinds of reprinted Puritan classics. Posted by Picasa

The conference bookstore was huge... Posted by Picasa

I loved the light-wrapped palm trees. :-) Posted by Picasa

We went to Legal Seafoods (second level, above the Ahava store) for a cup of chowder, which is not available fresh for us landlocked Texans, and some salad (I had a magnificent blue cheese and walnut salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing -yum!). We felt a little out of place not ordering from the entree' side of the menu, but we really just wanted some of Legal's famous chowder, which we had first tasted in Boston a couple of years ago, and love to get anytime we get a chance (which is not often)! :-) Posted by Picasa Posted by Picasa

We strolled around a small shopping center before eating dinner, and spotted this man with his parrots.

It was a beautiful day of sun and surf! These pictures just didn't adequately catch the beautiful colors of the sand and ocean. I didn't want to leave... Posted by Picasa

West Palm Beach, Florida Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 13, 2006

I couldn't get Hello to upload my pictures to this blog, so I'll have to work out the problem and load them later. Here are the session topics, overviews, and my favorite quotes from the pre-conference (with summaries from the conference proper to follow later).

Bought With A Price: 2006 Ligonier National Conference
Pre-conference Seminar: The Intimate Marriage
Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr., Rev. Ken Jones, Dr. R.C. Sproul, Sr, speakers

The Biblical Foundations of Intimate Marriage
Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.

This was not your typical, basic "why God instituted marriage" seminar. Instead, R.C. gave the basic a good twist, and instead of rehashing the old, old subject he turned it into a discourse on evil, our crafty enemy (the serpent), reflecting God's image and glory, and the role a husband plays in sanctifying his wife.
Good quote: "The redefining of the family in our age will be the defining character in our age."

The Nature and Function of Intimate Marriage
Rev. Kenneth Jones

Rev. Jones did a great job exploring the ways that the culture and commercialism has defined our views of intimacy, emotions and marital expectations. He suggests that couples need to "detox" from Biblically opposing views of marriage, and said that intimate marriage is a redundancy because marriage, by definition, is intimate.
Good quote: "It is at the point we recognize our deficiencies that we can embrace grace."

Challenges to Intimate Marriage
Dr. R.C. Sproul, Sr.

A fascinating talk on ness and it's instant link between sin and shame, and the attempt we make to cover our shame and hide who we are. Dr. Sproul covered a lot of ground in this seminar with his discourse on the correlation between physical ness (the only place where there is no shame and hiding is in marriage) and spiritual ness (people by nature don't want God looking at them but over them). He also explained that the Hebrew word for "knew" does not merely mean marital consummation, but also means an unveiling/disclosing of the mind as well as the body.
Good quote: "God loves you because He knows you" (emphasis mine; see Hebrew explanantion above).

More to follow soon...

Back home

After a tiresome flight back and an even more tiresome wait for baggage when we arrived at DFW, we finally made it home around 10 pm last night. As much as I enjoyed the trip, I'm glad to be back home and in my familiar surroundings.

I'm still processing three days' worth of teaching from the conference. It's a lot to listen to and each session in itself merits a lot of thought, but when you pack them into three days it all starts to blur together after awhile. I'll be bringing my notebook out of the suitcase today and reviewing my notes from the sessions and refreshing my memory. I may get out the cd's of my favorite sessions and listen to them as well. I will be posting later some thoughts and reviews of the conference and my thoughts regarding Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.'s presence and teaching at the event. I understand that this was a problem for many people, although I didn't give it too much thought until he started speaking and it then occurred to me that some people might object to his being there. No one walked out on his session (that I could see) and I think that if anything, the controversy surrounding him made his talk that much more interesting for those of us aware of what is going on. For the most part, however, it is my opinion that very few people are aware of what has happened, judging by the amount of his materials purchased after his session and by the fact that his session cd was completely sold out by the last day, and by the amount of people talking to him afterward (all of this I was privy to as I worked in the bookstore the entire conference). But, more on it all later. Right now I'm going to post a few pictures and then run off to unpack and get some laundry washed. :-)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Conference Update: Last Day

Just so you know, the post below this one was written yesterday morning but didn't get posted until this morning.

We are now into the last day here at the conference. We will be hearing from Sinclair Ferguson this morning as well as RC Sproul and there will be a Q&A session sometime this morning, which is always my favorite part.

I have been unable to post due to finicky connections here at the church or dead batteries on the laptop. Something always seems to prevent my getting on here and so I will just have to wait to post session overviews and Florida pictures on Monday. Suffice it to say, the teaching has been wonderful and I have enjoyed the conference overall, despite some difficulties working as a volunteer.

The concert featuring the Westminster Brass and the Atlanta Boy Choir last night was absolutely beautiful, and the Q&A session following with John MacArthur, RC Sproul, Ligon Duncan and Ken Jones was very insightful and entertaining. :-)

I have now missed most of the worship this morning, so I'm going to sign off and head in there...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Quick Update from Ligonier's National Conference

It's hard to believe that today is our third day here. We have been so busy and were without internet connection until yesterday. I had intended to blog last night but was unable to as the laptop was dead. I will post an overview of yesterday's conference sessions later, as well as today's when the day is over. We heard from RC Sproul, Jr., Ken Jones and RC Sproul Sr. yesterday in pre-conference, then John MacArthur and RC Sproul again last night. This morning we have already heard from Ligon Duncan and were treated to some rap by Ligon and his brother John (you would have to be here!) and we are now listening to Ken Jones speak. His session is titled One Body, Many Members. More on it all later...

Quickly, I want to thank Mom for my Starbucks gift card and thanks to Lexi for the goodies and the handmade card. How exciting to open my suitcase Wednesday evening and find treasures and encouraging notes inside. I've been munching my treats and will use my gift card today. I am convinced that I have the best family ever!

And last but certainly not least, I have to wish Lexi a very Happy Birthday! Twelve years ago God sent her as the answer to my prayer for a little sister. I love you, Lexi, and thank God always that you were His perfect answer to my prayers!

More from the conference (including pictures) later...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Just a little more packing to do and I am all set to take off early tomorrow morning for Florida. Be sure to check in frequently for updates and pictures...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Photo by Shelbi

This also was taken in the gardens at Duke. This was such a peaceful spot, and we reached it in late afternoon after a full day on campus. We spent a few moments taking in the peaceful atmosphere here.Posted by Picasa

Photo by LTS
This colorful picture was taken by my "little" brother in the gardens at Duke University last September.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Most Special Day

I just want to quickly and publicly wish (before the day is over!) my brother Parker a very Happy Birthday! He was born this day, 1989. It was bitterly cold (for Texas) and there was some white stuff on the ground that people up north call "snow" and "ice". I was staying at a friend's house and my dad came by to ask if I wanted to go with him to the hospital to see my new baby brother. I opted to stay with my friend, and I regretted it the minute my dad pulled out of the driveway, and because it was the dawn before instant communication for the masses, there wasn't any way for me to tell Dad that I had changed my mind, and so I was upset for the whole day. The most memorable moment of the day for me, however, was when I looked out into my friend's backyard in the afternoon and saw a rainbow. For some reason, that made an impression on me (I was very young, if that explains anything). So, on this day of memorable anniversaries such as Martyn Lloyd-Jones' death and Texas Independence Day, etc.,. the one that means the most to me is the anniversary of my brother's grand entrance into this world. I love you, little brother, and will thank God always that He sent you to our family.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Midweek Odds and Ends

One week from today I will be in Florida, gearing up to attend Ligonier's National Conference. I will also be working in the bookstore, and hopefully blogging from the conference every chance I get. I intend to live-blog the sessions, but won't know for sure until I get there and see about internet connection from the conference site. But until then, I will be busy with a variety of things, including seeing this artist tonight. It is not an understatement to say that I am very much looking forward to seeing/hearing Joshua Bell playing some classical pieces on his Stradivarius.

In my knitting news, I finished-at long last!-my Frilly Cardigan. After ripping out probably 1,000 stitches on the ruffles, I grit my teeth Monday evening and just sat working on those stubborn frills until they came out right. The result is far from perfect, but I'm just glad to be done with it. Besides, the yarn couldn't have stood any more ripping, so it just had to be finished, mistakes or no mistakes. I have yet to attach the ties to the cardigan because after basting them on and then trying on the cardigan, I wasn't pleased with the look. It seems to look better without the ties. My sister has suggested a button instead. For now, however, I'm done working on this project until I get my knitting sanity back. I was looking forward to debuting my new cardi, but the weather has turned insanely warm since Monday, wouldn't you know, and it looks as though my cardigan is getting the last laugh.