Monthly Archives: September 2013

Finally…Flower Pictures to Share…

Here are some of the pictures of the flowers from the recent wedding I did. This wedding’s flower lineup included white hydrangeas, calla lilies and roses, blue delphinium, purple statice, peach wax flowers, green hypericum berries and grass…oh, and blue thistle! I have to admit I was a little nervous about this particular combination of flowers, but it turned out to be a beautiful mix!

The following pictures are courtesy of Joshua and Candace Spencer of Lotus Creative Studios:

20130802 Sabatini Flowers-2 20130802 Sabatini Flowers-3 20130802 Sabatini Flowers-4 20130802 Sabatini Flowers-5 20130802 Sabatini Flowers-7 20130802 Sabatini Flowers

And here are a few extra pictures I took. The best part was secretly adding the bride’s grandmother’s brooches into the bouquet–a special request of the mother of the bride that made it extra special for her daughter:

561227_10151653042624270_1348615605_n999711_10151653042459270_1202680105_n17744_10151653042339270_385724055_n998736_10151653042199270_2129827869_n

 

Journey Journal: Days 232-256

Day 232-256: Tuesday, August 20, through Friday, September 13, 2013

I feel the need to write but am not sure where to start. It’s been almost a month since I was able to give some updates, but I don’t have a ton to say. We’re still enjoying our jobs, as busy as ever but enjoying it! We’re still active at church, although we’re taking a hiatus from teaching children’s Sunday school due to other responsibilities and to be part of an adult Sunday school again for a bit. We’re still working on the back room project–we’ve purchased everything at this point except final trim work stuff and are just waiting to finish putting the pieces together, but definitely making progress! Bryan’s well into his first semester of culinary school, and so far it’s going really well.

My handsome chef in the culinary lab.

Last week, I took Thursday off as a random vacation day. It was my first day off in forever and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I slept in till like 10! (It was amazing!) Then started my day with a cup of hot tea, cajun home fries and spinach asiago scrambled eggs for brunch before running errands. Priced flowers for an upcoming wedding, went to the bank, picked up flooring for the new room!, went grocery shopping, went to the Farmers’ Market, unloaded flooring…and actually took time to read! Plus, I was able to spend a long time in the Word and read a portion of my current Bible study book. Finished the day by making supper for Bryan, while watching some cooking shows. It was such a nice day, I got so much accomplished, and I feel human again! If you haven’t taken a random day off in a while and you can, I highly recommend it!

In other news, we had a week or so that we ate out a lot, primarily due to busy schedules, and we’ve decided that we do not want to make that a regular pattern, so we’re taking a moratorium on eating out for a month–unless it was already scheduled or a ministry thing, of course. And we’ve been experimenting with food. Here are a few of our culinary adventures:

A breakfast of grilled pita and sliced turkey topped with over medium eggs, Parmesan, and fresh pico!

Dinner of sautéed asparagus tips with shallots, garlic, red pepper, and a squeeze of lemon, topped with a few grilled, thin slices of turkey breast, crumbled goat cheese, and two over medium eggs with salt, pepper, and thyme; spicy tasting carrots with garlic, thyme, dill, crushed red pepper flakes, and some olive oil; golden mushroom caps; and mashed potatoes with crumbled sausage & parsley. Served with OJ…and a French Press of coffee (not shown). This was basically two full meals–so we packed some up for lunch the next day.

Spicy Asian Fish and Ginger-Scallion Scallops with Stir-fried Vegetables over Steamed Rice for Dinner

Sesame fried pork cutlets, red skinned mashed potatoes, and salad with honey sriracha dressing!

First attempt at clams and mussels…not bad. This was a roasted pepper and paprika cream sauce. I had no idea these lil’ guys were so cheap! Definitely going to keep experimenting.

So, that pretty much catches you up except for the nitty gritty of work and life, but I won’t make you read those details. 😉 It’s been pretty busy all-in-all, but things are starting to line up and fall in place and slowly get checked off the to-do lists on all fronts. We’re encouraged, and we’re thankful for how God is working in our lives and holding up our hands and providing strength and rest in this busy season of life.

 

“Lessons in Limitations” – Pastor Tim Chaddick, Reality LA

Pastor Tim Chaddick,    Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Reality LA

My brother and sister in law went to this church in L.A. when they lived out there. The few sermons by Tim Chaddick that I’ve had the privilege to listen to have been outstanding! This one entitled “Lessons in Limitations” was particularly convicting and refreshing.

Pastor Chaddick was on sabbatical this summer, and this was his first sermon back after his time of rest and renewal. It’s packed full of practical theological truths. There’s some intro comments, then the sermon starts right around 5 minutes in. Sermon from II Corinthians 10:11-18. Definitely worth listening to! I can’t get the video to embed, but you can listen to it here: http://realityla.com/teachings/lessons-in-limitations/.

Here’s the basic gist and some of the comments that really stuck out to me:

II Corinthians 10 was written to a church who was influenced by “self-proclaimed leaders who did not live in reality but in fantasy, and whose influence was damaging the church. His portrait of them is not painted with the exaggerated illusions they used for themselves, but with sober words rooted in reality…living a life that went beyond the truth, a life that went beyond boundaries, a life that went beyond God-given limits, and they were talking as though they were. What they needed was a lesson in limitation.” “These arrogant and errant teachers started creeping their way into the community, and they were corrupting sound doctrine. And one of the reasons many people fell for it was because they looked so impressive. In an attempt to establish their credentials, they talked a big game…but their mouths were writing checks that their lives couldn’t cash.”

Imagine this passage was written not only to these teachers but also to us. We are “constantly tempted to go beyond God-given limits. Holy Scripture tells the truth about us…about humanity, exposes our temptation towards illusion, image management, and half-truths, and pushes us towards Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, others-oriented, healthy and humble living.”

  • Recognize Your Limits.
    • Social media–“illusion” and “distraction” and “disconnection” and “overloaded”; “We feel this constant need to be up-to-date, but the reality is in our world today, to be up-to-date all the time would mean you would have to be unemployed.”
    • Overwork–trying to go beyond our God-given limits; often because “we need to feel needed” or our “need to be successful” or “need to be known” or “need to avoid what’s in front of you right now”…
    • Exaggeration–hide our weaknesses and then constantly live in “image management” mode; symptoms: “falsely lifting yourself up,” “playing up your abilities and strengths,” “putting other people down,” “taking credit for other people’s work,” “only looking at ‘what if’ not ‘what is,'” “constant comparison to other people…cycle of arrogance and insecurity…starving for the praise of men, you boast”

“When we go beyond God’s limits, we are not advancing His cause–we are advancing our own cause;” “Limits can have a profound way of teaching us to reflect on our motives.”

Recognizing limits “cultivates humility…For in recognizing noble limits, we are essentially recognizing God is Creator and we are creature. We are His creation. …it’s a prerequisite to worship, recognizing that God is God.”

  • Learn to Receive Limits.
    • “Though we do not choose the times in which we  live, we do choose how we live within those times.”
    • “Receiving limits means choosing to live within God’s boundaries.
      • “…a matter of living according to Scripture…God has given all of us moral, ethical, and spiritual boundaries. The doctrine that we learn from Scripture shapes our lives….Scripture is our authority.”
      • “…living within your sphere of influence and responsibility.”
    • Physical Body–“God is not bummed out in heaven right now that you are not in five places….God gave you a physical body…your finiteness does not equal sinfulness.”
    • 24-Hour Days–“We must make a decision: How am I going to live today?”
    • Your Work–“What does it mean to be faithful in the job that God has given you right now?”
    • Marital and Family Status–“That is a season of life that God has allowed you to enter into.” How are you glorifying God in your current status?
  • Learn to Set Up Proper Boundaries
    • Spirit-Led Discipline vs. Laziness–“Most things that are good for you in your life actually take some work to put into place. Like nobody just accidentally started exercising.”
    • Benefits: Focus on what God has given to us right now, Freedom from living without comparison to the callings of others, a way to be Faithful and Fruitful
  • Rejoicing in Limits
    • The commendation from God becomes the only commendation that matters.
    • “It is Christ’s glory not ours that matters….This is a radical change in our definition of success. What if we went into every situation being not thinking like, ‘What can I get out of this?’ but ‘Will God get glory? How can Christ get glory in this situation?'”
    • “The truth is this morning you woke up to a world you did not create in need of a salvation you could not accomplish. That is the truth. God does not need you, but in His grace He loves you, He saves you, and He gives you meaning, and He gives you purpose, and He gives you work in life.”
    • “Jesus came in humility, and He limited Himself to the path of the cross….to rescue us…”

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord’ (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

“You can’t do everything, you can’t know everything and be everywhere with everyone, and confessing this honors God, who alone is wise, who alone is all powerful, who alone is omniscient, who alone is compassionate….by recognizing that Jesus is the one who accomplishes your salvation alone, receiving Him as your Savior, and rejoicing in the salvation that He gives you freely as a gift of  His grace. See, you can rejoice in limitations when you know you have God’s commendation. God’s calling us to pause, to stop, and to pay attention to Him. Where are we going beyond noble limits?…”

[from “Lessons in Limitations” sermon by Tim Chaddick at Reality LA, preached on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013]