cru·ci·ble – noun
1. a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
2. Metallurgy . a hollow area at the bottom of a furnace in which the metal collects.
3. a severe, searching test or trial
(stay with me)
Matthew 26: 69-75
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said.
But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth."
He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!"
After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away."
Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!"
Immediately a rooster crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.
I think we all have read these verses before, but I never thought of it as being Peter's crucible. It was his ultimate test of faith. His test of how committed he actually was to Jesus. Would Peter stand up for Jesus? Was Peter really willing to die for him? vs 35 But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same.
Being a disciple of Christ is not about your name being on a church role. It's not about attending Sunday school. It's not about identifying yourself as a Christian. Being a disciple is not an easy task, as Peter could certainly attest.
Being a true disciple of Christ is about defending the truth, defending Jesus and His word, when it can be the hardest thing to do. We are called to oppose what is wrong in the world and that certainly is not the popular thing to do. We are called to spread the love of Jesus - to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Even when they repeatedly back in to your mailbox and yet, even when you hear their apparent sailor cousin in town through the fence.)
We are not to deny Jesus as Peter did when times get tough and our lives, or even less, our reputation and humility are at risk. As followers of Christ, we will at some point pass through a difficult test of our commitment to Christ. Will we get a passing grade? Or fail after 3 chances?
God sometimes puts us through a crucible to show us where we need improvement . He refines us as gold, for His good works. It also shows us that we can not stand alone. We have to rely on Christ, the solid rock to get us through ALL THINGS. We have to fully trust, (as frightening as that is), not in our own strength, but in His.
Peter failed his initial test, but Jesus restored him for His own good. Peter 3 times turned his back on Jesus, but Jesus saw in Peter the possible, the attainable, the acheivable disciple that he could be.
We are to love Jesus will all that we have. We can not possibly love Him as He loves us, we just are called to love Him the best we can. He can see what we can attain and acheive through Him. For Him.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Erin has made it successfully through a week of Kindergarten with green smilies in her calender every day.
Luke has survived two weeks of pre-k and brought home a paper today with perfectly traced straight lines marked "Great" from his teacher.
I was looking back through July's pictures and realized I never posted these. From our many trips to Blue Bayou this summer, I never brought my camera, because it was always just me & the kids, and we were always in the water.
Because it was just usually the three of us, we had a rule to stick together and take turns. Take turns paying the parking man. Take turns picking the first swimming activity, the first ride. Group bathroom breaks whether you had to go or not. Hanging on tight to Mom in the wave pool & lazy river. Alternating piggy back rides back to the car...
Looking at these, I'm reminded of what an awesome summer I had with my family. And that we have a few weeks left on our passes....I see another trip coming...
This was "Summer Lights on Summer Nights" and Patrick joined us for rides & laser show.
So long summer, we miss you already!
Posted by Ashleigh at 8/20/2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD's renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed."
Posted by Ashleigh at 8/18/2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
of a kindergartener!
Today was the day, my big girl finally started Kindergarten. She has waited for years to ride the bus and she could not have been more excited! Patrick was home today to see her off on her first day, and Granny came for the excitement too.
Some like morning coffee,
Erin likes morning frogs...
honestly, I think she smiled like this all morning...
waiting for the bus...
and there she goes!
We had been asked at the open house (that I missed - oops!) if we would be able to come help out with the lunch routine for a day or two, so I did.
There I found out most of the morning had been spent making a gingerbread girl, but as soon as they baked her, she ran off! So the girls searched all over the school, looking for clues as to where the gingerbread girl might be. I don't think they ever found her.
On to lunch...Thank goodness for rolls & pink milk.
I remember being much older, and as soon as we sat down, we would lick our roll so no one else would take it.
Then we all anxiously watched the clock for the bus to come again!
Posted by Ashleigh at 8/13/2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
"I'll lend you for a little while
A child of mine," God said;
"For you to love the while he lives
And mourn for when he's dead."
"It may be one or two years,
Or forty-two or three.
But will you, till I call him back.
Take care of him for me?"
"He'll bring his charms to gladden you;
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories
As a solace for your grief."
"I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return;
But the lessons taught in earthly realm
I want this child to learn."
"I've looked the whole world over
In searth of teachers true;
And from the ones that crowd life's lane,
I have chosen you."
"Will you give him all your tender care,
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to take
This lent child back again?"
And father then and mother said,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For joys Thy child will bring,
The risk of grief we'll run."
"We'll shelter him with tenderness;
We'll love him while we may;
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay."
"But should Thy angels call for him
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the grief that comes to us
And try to understand."
Edgar A. Guest
Please be in prayer for my classmates, Stephen & Rita, who lost their youngest son Kyle, only 4 years old, Tuesday night when he wandered off and drowned in their swimming pool.
I can not begin to imagine the pain and emptyness they must be feeling. So go hug your babies and thank the Lord for the time that you have with them.
A memorial fund has been set up at Hancock Bank for Kyle Michael Farris.
Posted by Ashleigh at 8/06/2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Save, budget, build.
For my birthday, 1 month ago, my wonderful husband rented a sod cutter. He said he had never sweated so much for a birthday gift.
Patrick cut up the best grass in the whole yard.
The kids pulled roots...
And did who knows what while Patrick & I were outside sweating!
If you are wondering, he is a tiger. See the stripes on his arms? I had to ask, I was thinking more "Incredible Hulk".
Then they found fun things to do outside too...
And after much sweat, digging, tilling, sawing, hammering, shoveling (all from my husband),
we had this...
meanwhile, Erin found another
The big day arrived, exactly one month after the "ground breaking". I don't know if I was more excited or the kids to see the concrete mixer at our house!
These guys were the best, and took no time at all!
The next day, it was set enough to finally put the patio furniture ON THE PATIO!
Now don't think, what an unattractive slab of concrete. See all that dirt around the border? Think, "tropical, flowery oasis!" What? Don't see it? Well, I'll be sure to show you when it happens!
Thanks to my wonderful husband, who worked SO hard on this. Even if he thinks it's too hot to sit out there, we have had breakfast, snacks & played Go Fish. I love it!
Posted by Ashleigh at 8/01/2010