Saturday, March 31, 2007

Into the Field of Souls

I'm off to the abortion mill this's supposed to be a "full house"...40 mommies have made appointments to slaughter their precious little ones today. If you read this before it's too late, please pray that babies would be saved from their imminent death, and also that souls would be spared from the wrath of God.

Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds? ~Prov. 24:11-12

When will the church in America wake up, and see what Christ died for? They are millions of little babies being ripped to pieces in our own back yards; billions of people headed for a devil's hell. We can't just sit back and act like we don't know; God knows we know...and we'll all be held accountable for our apathy!

Friday, March 30, 2007

My Story: Part 1, The Younger Years

So, I've decided after a bit of thinking, that I will share my testimony. This will be in parts because it's long, but I figure if you want to read my blog, you might as well know where I'm coming from. It might be boring for some (maybe even most), but will encompass a lot of aspects of my life, beginning when I was just a wee one, all the way through when I became a true, born again Christian. Thinking back on my life, and seeing God's clear hand in it really makes me wonder how people can not believe in the sovereignty of God (popularly known as the five points of Calvinism *grin*), but I digress....that is another topic for another day.

I was my parents' first (and only) child, born in a small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. Mom and Dad hadn't planned me, but I do suppose that since I came into being, God did! :o) So, two years (just about) into my parents marriage, I was born. I was almost Geneva, and I was almost Sofia...but I ended up being Mary Jo(sephine), after my maternal Grandmother. I think the name fits rather nicely; it's grown on me these past 17 years, I reckon.

Fastforward a couple of years: My parents were not Christians when I was a little girl, but my Dad's Mother was faithful to the Lord. She began taking me to church with her every Lord's Day, when I was quite young. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and when my Grandparents took a long trip to Florida, I was still anxious to attend church, so Mom and Dad decided they'd go ahead and take me. This was huge. I truly believe it was the answer to my Grandmother's prayers, as the prayers of the righteous do truly avail much! Just years before, my Dad had been embarassed that his mother was a Baptist, and certainly did not want to get married in a Baptist church...but one fine Sunday morning, he found himself sitting in a pew (probably close to the back, but I could be wrong...I never asked about that detail), with his wife, in the very Baptist church he had opted OUT of getting married in. Eventually, Grandma and Grandpa came back to North Carolina, and Mom and Dad kept on going to church. Within the next year or so, they both professed faith in Christ and were baptized together. This was probably the beginning of the path to becoming true Christians, but I think they would both say they were genuinely converted later on.

Now, we can fast forward a few more years. When I was four, we moved to a small town in Ohio where my Dad had been hired to be the publisher of the newspaper (it had a different name back then, and was owned by a different publishing company). After a series of completely crazy events, we ended up leaving there to come to the sunshine state when I was just a few weeks shy of turning 8. Dad moved before Mom and I did, as he needed to start working right away, so he found a church that we would attend together when his girls (Mom and I) joined him in Florida.

The following summer, I went to Vacation Bible School. It was that week at VBS that I asked Jesus into my heart, or accepted Him as my Lord and Savior (however you want to put it). Of course, I now know that that is not the Biblical gospel (accepting Him as your Lord--aka MASTER--and Savior can be biblical, depending on what is meant by it, but it is generally preached as a form of antinomianism), but at the time it was what I was told was true. (for those of you who preach that...try to find where it says in scripture that that's what we're to do) I recall at one point even asking my Dad where it said it in the Bible. "I'm sure it's there," I said, believing what I'd been taught at church, "But I'm just wondering where." We never did find the passage. The following December I was baptized, and joined the church.

At this point in time, I would venture to say that my "conversion" was a false profession. While I had done what they said I needed to do to be saved, there were a couple of problems. Namely, what they said doesn't square up with what God's Word says; that is "Repent and believe the gospel!" Needless to say, I had not repented, and my belief didn't really go deeper than an acknowledgment of the facts--Jesus died for my sins on the cross so I could go to heaven.

So, that's the beginning of my story as well as I can remember it. I praise God for those years, but thank Him for His mercy and forgiveness in that I did not live any of them for Him. But, He knew every detail of my life before I was even conceived; in fact, before the world was even created.

Stay tuned for Part 2 (I haven't come up with a title for it yet :oD )!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Hope Chest

Ben built me a hope chest while we were together this month! It is so beautiful, and is currently adorning my bedroom. We brought it into the house on Tuesday, and he helped me put my (eventually our) things into it! It's made of very nice pine, and it has a cedar lining, to prevent bugs from eating linens and other such things; I hope to have a number of linens ready for when we get married, so that was a nice touch! The latch is a window latch, which I'm sure will prove to be nice and child proof, should the Lord choose to bless us with children after we're married. Along with the hinges, there is a hinge of some sort that we found to hold the lid open, which is nice, since it is such a heavy makes it easier to close, and it's conventient to be able to keep it open. It matches the bedroom furniture my parents are going to give us after we're married (that's why I picked that stain). The pictures were taken in my front yard before we brought it in.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a handcrafted, custom hope chest, let me know! If you email me (or just comment, if you'd rather) specifications for size, type of wood etc, I could get Ben to quite you a price. They can be made nearly any size, with any kind of wood and whatever hardware you like. It's hard to find a nice, quality hope chest these days, so this is rare! I've wanted one for quite some time...long before I knew Ben. I think it's pretty neat that he was able to make it for me. :o)

Yes, I'm in love! :oD

Us out back yesterday before he left

Ben left yesterday morning; I cried as always. I just love having him around. He is my closest friend, and the love of my life! Things just feel perfect (most of the time *wink*) when we're together. He's such a godly man...I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him!

Sorry for my extended absense from the blog-world. I should be back permanently; when Ben is here, he takes priority over my blog (I'm sure y'all understand)! :o)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I'm Back :o)

So, it's been a million years since I've posted.

When life throws lots of wonderful things at you all at once, blogging doesn't take priority. :o) I'm with my beloved, and we've been doing all sorts of things out and about, and I love spending time with him more than I love blogging! haha

But just a bit about what's going on...don't forget about me, readers!

We spent a week at his family's house. While we were there, he made me a beeeautiful hope chest, which was a bit broken after it was shipped here (it ended up a smidge too big to put in the car), so he'll fix it tomorrow or Tuesday, so that is VERY exciting! I've been desiring a hope chest for quite some time, and who would've known that my future DH would be the one to build it? :)

We got to my house this past Monday, after an uneventful drive down. On the way, we stopped to drop off two birdhouses at a store that had its grand opening on March 15; the owner wants Ben's products in her shop...we're praying this will be the huge income boost we need to get married! May God's will be done in all things!! :o)

Since we've been here, we've had plenty of fun. One day, we went to Bright Light Books, a wonderful used bookstore (it started as a Christian bookstore, so they have a very large Christian section). Between the two of us, we had $60 worth of credit there, after trading in some books, plus I had $16 left from my last trade in, so we got lots of books (the total was $100, so we paid $24):

~The Fundamentals (2 vols.)
~The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible(5 vols.), recommended in Knowing Scripture
~The New Bible Commentary, also recommended in Knowing Scripture
~The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible
~The Person and Work of Christ
~The Religious Affections
~The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination
~Matthew Henry's Commentary (unabridged in 1 vol.)

Those were all very good buys, by very godly men of the past. I'm so thankful our Lord has blessed us with their writings!

This week was also the Ligonier Ministries National Conference, which was held in Orlando. Ben and I went, and boy was it wonderful! The topic for this year was Contending for the Faith, and the speakers were R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul, Jr., John Piper, John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Jr., and Ravi Zacharias. It was such an edifying and informative time...I've very thankful for the opportunity we had to attend! We also bought some books there (...can you tell we love good books? *grin*). Here are the titles:
~Meet the Puritans (it was buy 2, get 1 free)
~A Taste of Heaven: Worship in the Light of Eternity
~Contending for Our All

The conference ended yesterday, and today was a blessed Sabbath. My Pastor preached an amazing sermon from the beginning of Matthew 25, the parable of the 10 Virgins(it's hard to believe he's only got 3 and a half chapters left!) brought me to tears more than once. I truly fear for the lost. How fearful it would be to fancy yourself a true believer, and stand before God and find out you're not, and it's too late to repent, too late to be saved; to say "Lord, Lord" to Christ and be told He never knew you, as His holy angels cast you into hell, to be tormented for eternity, knowing if you had only repented, you could be rejoicing in Heaven, enjoying God forever. May we all examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith!

After church, Pastor and his wife invited us over to their home for Sunday dinner! That was also a huge blessing. It was a sweet time of fellowship.

Well, I better get going because folks (Ben and Mom and I...Dad is out of town) are getting hungry! :)

Many blessings,
Mary Jo

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Late Nights at Grandma's House

So, as of Thursday, I am in North Carolina at my Grandma's house. After a flight delayed 3 hours due to bad weather, Dad and I landed at about midnight and got here in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, and we went to bed at about 3! That is 5 hours later than my normal bed time, so I slept pretty late on Friday (about 9:30, I believe). We are here celebrating my Grandma's birthday...when we arrived, my Aunt Dana, whose family lives in south FL, was already here. Friday night, my cousin, Katie, and her husband, Chris, came, as well as my Aunt Dianne, and very late, my Aunt Debbie arrived. We've had a really nice time, although I haven't gone to bed before 1:30 since I've been here. . .my schedule is totally out of whack! That's fine, though. I've really enjoyed the fellowship with my family. Everyone but me is leaving today. This afternoon, Ben is coming here after church (his church is halfway between his house and Grandma's) to pick me up (yaaay!). We're leaving tomorrow morning sometime to go back to his family's house. I can't wait to see him *grin*

We'll be at their house for a week, and then we head back to Orlando. I'm not sure how long he's staying, but I'm sure happy that we'll have a nice long visit! He's coming down for the Ligonier Ministry's national conference. We're going to that together, and then he's going to stay a few extra days once it's over. :o)

I don't know if I'll get to post at all until I get home, but if Ben decides to take a nap or something (which seems unlikely), I'll try!

Have a BLESSED Sabbath!
Mary Jo