psalm 62-8

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“Little children, keep yourselves from idols”

1 John 5:21

this is how John ends his first letter. just that sentence. no fancy farewell or sweet hopes of seeing the letter-receivers like Paul. nope. just one more command to his readers. it’s like he wants this thought provoking phrase to be the last word. the last thing we remember from his letter. and i find that fascinating.

he calls his readers “little children” too. some people might have been offended to be considered children by someone they respected and liked. but to me, it reminds me that i am a little child in my faith too, i’m still learning and growing in my relationship with God. so i accept that my name is child. Child of God.

but then he says, “keep yourselves from idols.” i think most of us today read that and skim right over. don’t really think about it. what idols is he talking about? the kind of historic figures that people made from wood or from stone? no, i don’t think so. i think he is talking about anything…ANYTHING that takes our focus from Jesus. that we think about more than Jesus. that we focus on when we have nothing else to think about. anything we worry about. dream about. anything we can’t live without.

at church, we are going through Tim Keller’s Gospel in Life series. Last week, we went through the video about idols.  Tim Keller says this:

“What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

“…A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living.”

close your eyes for a minute. think about loosing everything in your life. what if you lost your family? your friends? your job? your house? your money? what of all those things, do you fear losing the most? what do you think would make life impossible to go on if you lost it?

yikes, things pop into your head too? it’s so hard to think that sometimes the things that we love the most, that are actually gifts from God, can turn into our idols. when really, we should be turning to God in thanksgiving for those gifts, with an open hand, knowing He could take it all away in a blink of an eye.

as you can tell, i’ve had the message about idols in my head for a couple of weeks. and reading 1 John has reminded me, that i need to pay close attention to my idols… and make sure that i bring them to the Lord in repentance. i’m just like a little child. i need this reminder. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

may you remember John’s parting words today, my friends. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

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Lititz, PA, a tiny town just to the north of our little apartment in Lancaster won “America’s Coolest Small Town in 2013”.  {really! it did, here’s proof!} So, we just HAD to check it out.

and it was really cute. there were cute little shutters on every window and lots of americana decoration around because it was the weekend after the 4th of July. Lititz1

there were lots of things to see, lots of shops, there were a few cafe’s and coffee shops that we want to go back and visit.lititz small

 

but what proved that it was the coolest little town was that Husbuddy’s prof and friends from Gordon Conwell Seminary just happened to be headed to Lititz the same day! Husbuddy had tweeted that we were headed to Lititz for a “daycation” (as he likes to call it) and luck would have it, they saw the tweet as they were driving into town! they texted us and we met up for coffee!

Lititz2

how fun is that? life is crazy sometimes, and it’s so cool when something small and totally awesome, like randomly running into dear friends, happens.

 

just to show that it took about a million photos to get the cute one for this post:

imagine Puppycakes thinking, “what the heck are they making me wear?” or “look, there’s a bunny over there” or “this thing around my neck is too big” or “this is SOooooo boring” or “please, daddy, are we done yet?”outtakes_edited-1yup. we’re dog torturers over here. if you have any doubts, check out what we did to him that one christmas

he’s got to be so relieved that there will be another little thing around here to torture with photographs in the future! hee hee.

 

 

big brother

puppycakes is just too cute all the time. he doesn’t really know what the sign says. haha. little does he know that he isn’t going to be a spoiled only child for too much longer! 15 weeks boy

 

so for those of you who have been wondering why it’s been extra quiet around this blog lately…

well… let’s just say the first trimester wore me out! i didn’t really have energy for much at all. Husbuddy was the sweetest to put up with me-especially during the move to Lancaster!  {i’m hoping that as the second trimester gets into full swing i will have more energy because i have big plans and a few big changes coming to this place!}

SO, we have our little Sweet Pea coming in December!

we are very excited to share the news with you today, but i think our mom’s are more excited than we are to spread the news. we told them they had to wait to announce on facebook until we did…hee hee. we’re big ol’ bullies, i know. so yay! now they can brag about being grandmas to their hearts content. :)

we have had an ultrasound and it was so amazing to see Sweet Pea dancing away. it didn’t really seem REAL until that moment. it was crazy!

we feel incredibly blessed and excited. life is a beautiful thing!! 12,14,15

a little late, i know. how was your 4th? did you have a bbq and spend some time outside? we did!  it was a busy day for us, with friends. it was WONDERFUL.

 

these sweet friends drove out to visit Lancaster! we showed them some of the sites, including horse and buggies as well as Kitchen Kettle which was fun and toursity. IMG_2228_Bowens on 4th

it was so wonderful to catch up.
IMG_2236_at kitchen kettle

and then there was some quality time spent in our apartment complex’s pool. what a perfect day for swimming! IMG_2242_at pool

the weather was seriously perfect. PERFECT. it was so nice to sit outside and celebrate life and freedom together! {btw, don’t they have an adorable little family?!}
IMG_2251_bbq

 

what was extra fun was that a couple other friends showed up for the food as well. we had “3 worlds collide” as Husbuddy put it. our friends from our church in Princeton, a friend that was driving through from Gloucester, and a friend from the area here who’s wife was out of town. IMG_2254_4th bbq

 

it’s really cool how these “3 worlds” can come together and be able to mesh just fine, because really, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. i LOVE that.

friends are nourishment for the soul. it was SO good to see each of them :)

what about you? spend time with some friends? bbq? go swimming? anything fun?  i’d love to hear!

xo-kimberly renee

Check out this heart-felt blog by my little sis: Hiroshima.

this month’s art project is kind of fun, if i do say so myself. :) this is actually a project that Husbuddy and i are doing together… yup, you read that right, he is helping me! amazing, i know. but the reason he is helping will make sense in a minute.

first, a little background:

the church that we just became a part of has been supporting their sister church in Ukholovo, Russia through missions. one of the things that they are trying to help with right now is helping to raise funds to pay off the physical church building. the way our church decided to raise these funds was to use the idea from the gospel of Matthew chapter 25 about the Talents:

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

SO, one Sunday, they gave every family (or even every family member) 20$ bill. then we’re supposed to go and invest it in order to make more money from that 20$ bill by the end of the summer. in August, we will each bring back our envelope with however much money we made in order to send to the church in Russia.

pretty cool, huh?!

so a lot of people here in Lancaster county are good at making pies, or jams, or breads, or even bbq that they are selling. {check back at the end of the summer and see how much weight i’ve gained from all the goodness that is being sold… for a good cause! ha.}

but me? i’m not so good at cooking…especially in our gluten-free/dairy-free household. but i AM good at making creative pieces of art. this is an idea that came from a custom project last Christmas {you can see it herewhen a friend came to me and wanted me to make a sign with their family’s favorite verse on it. so, i thought, i wonder if anyone else would like a custom sign with THEIR favorite verse on it?!

Husbuddy didn’t really have an idea for himself, so we decided to pool our two 20$ so that we could afford to start this project. we bought a 4′-0″x8′-0″,  1/2″ thick solid mdf wood and then had the guys at the store cut it down to size since we don’t have our own machine saw in our tiny little apartment. {and no way to fit such a big piece of wood in our little Subaru.} then we primed it and we made a sample. Husbuddy’s main job is helping me to sand/prime, figuring out how to hang these suckers(they are a little heavy!) and then help me cut out letters when needed. :) i do the rest.

this is the sample that we made last Saturday:

Overall image

it’s been sanded and roughed up a bit. so it’s not as clean and crisp as the Christmas example that was on  canvas.  it’s rustic. i thought it gave it more character. these verses can stand the test of time  sandpaper. {yup, just cracked myself up over here}

anyway, i am kind of in love. combined closeupthese things are a serious commitment though. it takes FOR.EVER. to create the custom template, to cut out each letter so that i can paint over it with the darker color, then go back and touch it all up and then sand it. so, this isn’t an easy project, and therefore, they aren’t exactly cheap. i’m not sure how many we’ll be selling.  we’ll see if anyone is interested!

BUT, dear friends, i wanted to open it up to YOU. if you’d like your own custom-verse-sign and you wouldn’t mind feeling good about helping out a good cause… then please check out my Etsy Site for more information!! :) link HERE.

a few things to note:

  • the max # words for the verse needs to be between 15-20 words. 
  • choose a color– note that the words will be white, so a dark background color works best. {examples: gray, dark purple, dark blue, dark red}
  • order by August 1st. –in order for me to get all the signs done in time to turn in the money for the church i need to have your order by August 1st.
  • cost: $85.00 plus shipping. again, these puppies aren’t cheap, but i’m only making them for a limited time, so get one while you can! and remember it’s for a good cause!

there ya go. that’s how we do: artwork for a cause.

thanks for being here friends. in the next few days/weeks there are a lot of changes that will be coming, so keep an eye out! i’m working away on lots of new ideas!

xo-kimberly renee

i’m sneaking a few moments to document our trip to Colorado this past week.  by “sneaking”, i mean that i should be studying. my 4th ARE test is on friday. eek! that’s where i am this week… your prayers are coveted.

so with that, i leave you with a few Color-full images :)

it seems the main time i got out my camera was one smoke-free afternoon that my sister and Husbuddy explored the Garden of the Go. the glory of the place really can’t be shown in photos. some day, you’ll have to go visit! Garden of the Gods-smGarden of the Gods visitors-sm

other moments included an afternoon/dinner with the bestest of friends, lots of food and games with family, quality time with my sweet sister and seeing my little brother for a split second before he went climbing(…again…lol)

group collage

can i just say, i LOVE Colorado? and i miss it and everyone there already!!

Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad i know! :)

i love that this photo shows how you passed on your love for the outdoors and hiking  to me starting at a young age. i’m so thankful for you and your example of what a good father is. i’m so thankful that in the way you’re my Dad, you have always showed me an example of how my Heavenly Dad loves me. i love you!  kim&dad